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Sample records for central mediterranean sea

  1. Seasonal variability in the Central Mediterranean Sea circulation

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    R. Sorgente

    Full Text Available A high resolution eddy-resolving primitive equation numerical model, based on the Princeton Ocean Model (POM, is used to study the seasonal variability of the general circulation in the Central Mediterranean Sea. The model is run on a seasonal cycle, perpetual year simulation for five years, with nesting to the coarser resolution Ocean General Circulation Model (OGCM, covering the whole Mediterranean Sea. The model results are compared to the current knowledge on the hydrography and dynamics of the area, with a special focus on the annual cycle of the Modified Atlantic Water (MAW, on the circulation in the Sardinia Channel, the water exchange across the Strait of Sicily, and on the transition and fate of the Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW. The results show that the adopted coupling techniques between the two models give a proficient downscaling of the large-scale OGCM flow field into the regional scale model. The numerical solution is also used to highlight the seasonal characteristics of important dynamical features in the area, as well as to shed light on the scarcely known circulation regimes along the north African shelf and slope.

    Key words. Oceanography: general (numerical modelling; Oceanography: physical (currents; general circulation

  2. Rising Mediterranean Sea Surface Temperatures Amplify Extreme Summer Precipitation in Central Europe

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    Volosciuk, Claudia; Maraun, Douglas; Semenov, Vladimir A.; Tilinina, Natalia; Gulev, Sergey K.; Latif, Mojib

    2016-08-01

    The beginning of the 21st century was marked by a number of severe summer floods in Central Europe associated with extreme precipitation (e.g., Elbe 2002, Oder 2010 and Danube 2013). Extratropical storms, known as Vb-cyclones, cause summer extreme precipitation events over Central Europe and can thus lead to such floodings. Vb-cyclones develop over the Mediterranean Sea, which itself strongly warmed during recent decades. Here we investigate the influence of increased Mediterranean Sea surface temperature (SST) on extreme precipitation events in Central Europe. To this end, we carry out atmosphere model simulations forced by average Mediterranean SSTs during 1970-1999 and 2000-2012. Extreme precipitation events occurring on average every 20 summers in the warmer-SST-simulation (2000-2012) amplify along the Vb-cyclone track compared to those in the colder-SST-simulation (1970-1999), on average by 17% in Central Europe. The largest increase is located southeast of maximum precipitation for both simulated heavy events and historical Vb-events. The responsible physical mechanism is increased evaporation from and enhanced atmospheric moisture content over the Mediterranean Sea. The excess in precipitable water is transported from the Mediterranean Sea to Central Europe causing stronger precipitation extremes over that region. Our findings suggest that Mediterranean Sea surface warming amplifies Central European precipitation extremes.

  3. Floating plastic debris in the Central and Western Mediterranean Sea.

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    Ruiz-Orejón, Luis F; Sardá, Rafael; Ramis-Pujol, Juan

    2016-09-01

    In two sea voyages throughout the Mediterranean (2011 and 2013) that repeated the historical travels of Archduke Ludwig Salvator of Austria (1847-1915), 71 samples of floating plastic debris were obtained with a Manta trawl. Floating plastic was observed in all the sampled sites, with an average weight concentration of 579.3 g dw km(-2) (maximum value of 9298.2 g dw km(-2)) and an average particle concentration of 147,500 items km(-2) (the maximum concentration was 1,164,403 items km(-2)). The plastic size distribution showed microplastics (<5 mm) in all the samples. The most abundant particles had a surface area of approximately 1 mm(2) (the mesh size was 333 μm). The general estimate obtained was a total value of 1455 tons dw of floating plastic in the entire Mediterranean region, with various potential spatial accumulation areas.

  4. The Impact of a Warmer Mediterranean Sea on Central European Summer Flooding

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    Volosciuk, Claudia; Semenov, Vladimir; Maraun, Douglas; Latif, Mojib; Tilinina, Natalia

    2014-05-01

    Central European climate is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, which experienced a strong increase in sea surface temperature (SST) during the last four decades. One example of extreme weather events are cyclones following the "Vb" pathway. These cyclones are generated over the Mediterranean Sea and travel northeastwards around the Alps and then hit countries like Poland and Germany. The cyclones carry large amounts of moisture and cause extreme precipitation, and subsequently flooding, particularly in summer. These floods, such as the Elbe flood in 2002, have devastating societal impacts and also influence ecosystems. To analyse the potential impact of increased Mediterranean SST on extreme precipitation in Europe, a series of simulations with the atmospheric general circulation model (AGCM) ECHAM5 has been carried out. ECHAM5 was run at high horizontal resolution (T159) and integrated for 40 years in each experiment. The control run is forced by SST and sea ice concentration (SIC) climatology derived from 1970-1999. A warmer climate is simulated by using global climatological SST and SIC from 2000-2012. To disentangle the impact of the Mediterranean Sea, an additional simulation was performed with the same global SST and SIC as in the control run, but with the warmer 2000-2012 SST climatology restricted to the Mediterranean and Black Seas. 20-season return levels were derived as a measure of extreme precipitation for daily as well as five day precipitation in JJA (June, July, August). These return levels are estimated as quantiles of a stationary generalised extreme value (GEV) distribution. Although the increase in the number of Vb cyclones is only modest, precipitation return levels in JJA show an increase along the Vb cyclone track, for daily (up to approximately 63 %) as well as for five day (up to approximately 76 %) precipitation extremes. This increase can be attributed to the warmer Mediterranean Sea, as it is observed in both the globally warmer and

  5. Predictive habitat suitability models to aid conservation of elasmobranch diversity in the central Mediterranean Sea

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    Lauria, V.; Gristina, M.; Attrill, M. J.; Fiorentino, F.; Garofalo, G.

    2015-08-01

    Commercial fisheries have dramatically impacted elasmobranch populations worldwide. With high capture and bycatch rates, the abundance of many species is rapidly declining and around a quarter of the world’s sharks and rays are threatened with extinction. At a regional scale this negative trend has also been evidenced in the central Mediterranean Sea, where bottom-trawl fisheries have affected the biomass of certain rays (e.g. Raja clavata) and sharks (e.g. Mustelus spp.). Detailed knowledge of elasmobranch habitat requirements is essential for biodiversity conservation and fisheries management, but this is often hampered by a poor understanding of their spatial ecology. Habitat suitability models were used to investigate the habitat preference of nine elasmobranch species and their overall diversity (number of species) in relation to five environmental predictors (i.e. depth, sea surface temperature, surface salinity, slope and rugosity) in the central Mediterranean Sea. Results showed that depth, seafloor morphology and sea surface temperature were the main drivers for elasmobranch habitat suitability. Predictive distribution maps revealed different species-specific patterns of suitable habitat while high assemblage diversity was predicted in deeper offshore waters (400-800 m depth). This study helps to identify priority conservation areas and diversity hot-spots for rare and endangered elasmobranchs in the Mediterranean Sea.

  6. Population genetic history of Aristeus antennatus (Crustacea: Decapoda in the Western and Central Mediterranean Sea.

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    Annamaria Marra

    Full Text Available Aristeus antennatus is an ecologically and economically important deep-water species in the Mediterranean Sea. In this study we investigated the genetic variability of A. antennatus sampled from 10 sampling stations in the Western and Central Mediterranean. By comparing our new samples with available data from the Western area, we aim to identify potential genetic stocks of A. antennatus and to reconstruct its historical demography in the Mediterranean. We analyzed two regions of mitochondrial DNA in 319 individuals, namely COI and 16S. We found two main results: i the genetic diversity values consistent with previous data within the Mediterranean and the absence of barriers to gene flow within the Mediterranean Sea; ii a constant long-term effective population size in almost all demes but a strong signature of population expansion in the pooled sample about 50,000 years B.P./ago. We propose two explanation for our results. The first is based on the ecology of A. antennatus. We suggest the existence of a complex meta-population structured into two layers: a deeper-dwelling stock, not affected by fishing, which preserves the pattern of historical demography; and genetically homogeneous demes inhabiting the fishing grounds. The larval dispersal, adult migration and continuous movements of individuals from "virgin" deeper grounds not affected by fishing to upper fishing areas support an effective 'rescue effect' contributing to the recovery of the exploited stocks and explain their genetic homogeneity throughout the Mediterranean Sea. The second is based on the reproduction model of this shrimp: the high variance in offspring production calls for a careful interpretation of the data observed under classical population genetics and Kingman's coalescent. In both cases, management policies for A. antennatus will therefore require careful evaluation of the meta-population dynamics of all stocks in the Mediterranean. In the future, it will be

  7. Mean sea-level height variations in the Central Mediterranean

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    Zerbini, Susanna; Bruni, Sara; Errico, Maddalena; Petracca, Fernanda; Raicich, Fabio; Santi, Efisio

    2015-04-01

    The Italian tide gauge network has experienced difficulties during last century. However, historical time series, starting from the end of the ninetieth century, are available in the PSMSL data base (Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level, http://www.psmsl.org/data/). Data from the early 1980s can also be obtained from the data base of ISPRA (Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale, http://www.mareografico.it). In 1998, the Italian national tide gauge network (Rete Mareografica Nazionale - RMN) was completely restructured; it consists of 36 homogeneously distributed stations providing measurements sampled every 10 minutes. We have analyzed both the historical and the recent time series of a sub set of stations located in the Tyrrhenian area by using the Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF) approach. The EOF analysis allows describing one data set as a linear combination of orthogonal components, or modes, that depend on position only, while the linear combination coefficients are functions of time only. Each mode is associated to a percentage of the total variance of the original data set, which accounts for the relative importance of the corresponding mode of variability. The aim of this work is to identify common modes which could possibly be related to wide area crustal deformation and/or to climatic fluctuations, such as the inverted barometer effect.

  8. Polychaetes of an artificial reef in the central mediterranean sea

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    Gravina, M. F.; Ardizzone, G. D.; Belluscio, A.

    1989-02-01

    The development of a polychaete community over five years on a man-made reef was analyzed. The reef was composed of 280 concrete blocks (2 × 2 × 2 m) and located in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Italy) 1.5 miles offshore and 12-14 m deep. Sixty-three species were collected—serpulids, nereids and cirratulids being the most abundant families. Ordination by Principal Components Analysis (PCA) technique showed three main stages in the colonization process: a pioneer phase, when mainly serpulids ( Pomatoceros triqueter, P. lamarckii, Hydroides pseuduncinata) occurred; a second phase, characterized by mussel ( Mytilus galloprovincialis) dominance and a more differentiated community structure with a lot of new species especially recurring on hard bottom ( Serpula concharum, H. dianthus, Ceratonereis costae); and a third phase, with an alteration of the substratum through soft deposits and the polychaete community characterized by also the occurrence of soft bottom species ( Heteromastus filiformis, Polydora ciliata, Dorvillea rubrovittata). From the trophic point of view, the structure of the community changed from dominance by filter feeders (97%) to a more differentiated situation with abundant detritic feeders ( c. 20%). The rates of immigration and extinction and the colonization curve showed that an actual stable steady-state was not reached.

  9. Mitochondrial Control Region Variability in Mytilus galloprovincialis Populations from the Central-Eastern Mediterranean Sea

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    Ioannis A. Giantsis

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The variable domain 1 (VD1 domain of the control region and a small segment of the rrnaL gene of the F mtDNA type were sequenced and analyzed in 174 specimens of Mytilus galloprovincialis. Samples were collected from eight locations in four Central-Eastern (CE Mediterranean countries (Italy, Croatia, Greece and Turkey. A new primer, specific for the F mtDNA type, was designed for the sequencing procedure. In total 40 different haplotypes were recorded, 24 of which were unique. Aside from the two populations situated in Thermaikos gulf (Northern Aegean, Greece, relatively high levels of haplotype and nucleotide diversity were estimated for both Central and Eastern Mediterranean populations. Eight out of the 40 haplotypes were shared by at least three populations while two of them were found in all populations. ΦST and cluster analysis revealed lack of structuring among CE Mediterranean populations with the exception of those located at the Sea of Marmara and Croatian coast which were highly differentiated. Apart from the species’ inherit dispersal ability, anthropogenic activities, such as the repeated translocations of mussel spat, seem to have played an important role in shaping the current genetic population structure of CE M. galloprovincialis mussels.

  10. Genetic structure of Octopus vulgaris (Cephalopoda, Octopodidae) in the central Mediterranean Sea inferred from the mitochondrial COIII gene.

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    Fadhlaoui-Zid, Karima; Knittweis, Leyla; Aurelle, Didier; Nafkha, Chaala; Ezzeddine, Soufia; Fiorentino, Fabio; Ghmati, Hisham; Ceriola, Luca; Jarboui, Othman; Maltagliati, Ferruccio

    2012-01-01

    The polymorphism of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome oxidase III was studied in the Mediterranean octopus, Octopus vulgaris Cuvier, 1797. A total of 202 specimens from seven sampling sites were analysed with the aim of elucidating patterns of genetic structure in the central Mediterranean Sea and to give an insight into the phylogeny of the Octopus genus. Phylogenetic analyses showed that individuals from the central Mediterranean belong to the O. vulgaris species whose limits should nevertheless be clarified. Concerning genetic structure, two high-frequency haplotypes were present in all locations. The overall genetic divergence (Φ(ST)=0.05, P<0.05) indicated a significant genetic structuring in the study area and an AMOVA highlighted a significant break between western and eastern Mediterranean basins (Φ(CT)=0.094, P<0.05). Possible explanations for the observed patterns of genetic structuring are discussed with reference to their relevance for fisheries management.

  11. Marine response to climate changes during the last five millennia in the central Mediterranean Sea

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    Margaritelli, G.; Vallefuoco, M.; Di Rita, F.; Capotondi, L.; Bellucci, L. G.; Insinga, D. D.; Petrosino, P.; Bonomo, S.; Cacho, I.; Cascella, A.; Ferraro, L.; Florindo, F.; Lubritto, C.; Lurcock, P. C.; Magri, D.; Pelosi, N.; Rettori, R.; Lirer, F.

    2016-07-01

    We present a high-resolution paleoclimatic and paleoenvironmental reconstruction of the last five millennia from a shallow water marine sedimentary record from the central Tyrrhenian Sea (Gulf of Gaeta) using planktonic foraminifera, pollen, oxygen stable isotope, tephrostratigrapy and magnetostratigrapy. This multiproxy approach allows to evidence and characterize nine time intervals associated with archaeological/cultural periods: Eneolithic (base of the core-ca. 2410 BCE), Early Bronze Age (ca. 2410 BCE-ca. 1900 BCE), Middle Bronze Age-Iron Age (ca. 1900 BCE-ca. 500 BCE), Roman Period (ca. 500 BCE-ca. 550 CE), Dark Age (ca. 550 CE-ca. 860 CE), Medieval Climate Anomaly (ca. 860 CE-ca. 1250 CE), Little Ice Age (ca. 1250 CE-ca. 1850 CE), Industrial Period (ca. 1850 CE-ca. 1950 CE), Modern Warm Period (ca. 1950 CE-present day). The reconstructed climatic evolution in the investigated sedimentary succession is coherent with the short-term climate variability documented at the Mediterranean scale. By integrating the planktonic foraminiferal turnover from carnivorous to herbivorous-opportunistic species, the oxygen isotope record and the pollen distribution, we document important modification from the onset of the Roman Period to the present-day. From ca. 500 CE upwards the documentation of the cooling trend punctuated by climate variability at secular scale evidenced by the short-term δ18O is very detailed. We hypothesise that the present day warm conditions started from the end of cold Maunder event. Additionally, we provide that the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) directly affected the central Mediterranean region during the investigated time interval.

  12. Effects of the 2003 European heatwave on the Central Mediterranean Sea surface layer: a numerical simulation

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    A. Olita

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available The effects of anomalous weather conditions on the sea surface layer over the Central Mediterranean were studied with an eddy resolving regional ocean model by performing a 5-year long simulation from 2000 to 2004. The focus was on surface heat fluxes, temperature and dynamics. The analysis of the time series of the selected variables permitted us to identify and quantify the anomalies of the analysed parameters. In order to separate the part of variability not related to the annual cycle and to locate the anomalies in the time-frequency domain, we performed a wavelet analysis of anomalies time series. We found the strongest anomalous event was the overheating affecting the sea surface in the summer of 2003. This anomaly was strictly related to a strong increase of air temperature, a decrease of both wind stress and upward heat fluxes in all their components. The simulated monthly averages of the sea surface temperature were in a good agreement with the remotely-sensed data, although the ocean regional model tended to underestimate the extreme events. We also found, on the basis of the long-wave period of the observed anomaly, this event was not limited to the few summer months, but it was probably part of a longer signal, which also includes negative perturbations of the involved variables. The atmospheric parameters responsible for the overheating of the sea surface also influenced the regional surface and sub-surface dynamics, especially in the Atlantic Ionian Stream and the African Modified Atlantic Water current, in which flows seem to be deeply modified in that period.

  13. Remarks on Echinodermata from the South Central Mediterranean Sea based upon collections made during the MARCOS cruise (10 to 20th April, 2007)

    OpenAIRE

    2009-01-01

    The MARCOS cruise, which took place in the South Central Mediterranean Sea on board the RV ‘Urania’, resulted in the collection of 27 species of Echinodermata from shallow to bathyal depths, many from around Malta (the Fisheries Management Zone). The fauna is represented by common to rare taxa already reported from the Mediterranean with the exception of the amphi-Atlantic ophiuroid Ophiotreta valenciennesi rufescens (Koehler, 1896), recorded from the Mediterranean Basin for the first time. O...

  14. First record of the Central Indo-Pacific reef coral Oulastrea crispata in the Mediterranean Sea

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    B. W. HOEKSEMA

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available A live colony of a non-indigenous zooxanthellate scleractinian coral was found in shallow water at the west coast of Corsica, western Mediterranean. Its diameter of 6 cm suggests that it has already survived for some years. It was identified as Oulastrea crispata, a species native on near-shore coral reefs in the central Indo-Pacific with a high tolerance for low water temperatures at high latitudes. Based on its morphology it can be distinguished from other zooxanthellate colonial scleractinians in the Mediterranean. O. crispata has a reputation of being a successful colonizer because it is able to settle on a wide variety of substrata and because it utilizes various reproductive strategies as simultaneous hermaphrodite and producer of asexually derived planulae. Owing to its original distribution range in temperate and subtropical waters, it is likely that it will be able to meet a suitable temperature regime in the Mediterranean for further range expansion.

  15. Annual Acoustic Presence of Fin Whale (Balaenoptera physalus) Offshore Eastern Sicily, Central Mediterranean Sea

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    Sciacca, Virginia; Caruso, Francesco; Beranzoli, Laura; Chierici, Francesco; De Domenico, Emilio; Embriaco, Davide; Favali, Paolo; Giovanetti, Gabriele; Larosa, Giuseppina; Marinaro, Giuditta; Papale, Elena; Pavan, Gianni; Pellegrino, Carmelo; Pulvirenti, Sara; Simeone, Francesco; Viola, Salvatore; Riccobene, Giorgio

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, an increasing number of surveys have definitively confirmed the seasonal presence of fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) in highly productive regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite this, very little is yet known about the routes that the species seasonally follows within the Mediterranean basin and, particularly, in the Ionian area. The present study assesses for the first time fin whale acoustic presence offshore Eastern Sicily (Ionian Sea), throughout the processing of about 10 months of continuous acoustic monitoring. The recording of fin whale vocalizations was made possible by the cabled deep-sea multidisciplinary observatory, “NEMO-SN1”, deployed 25 km off the Catania harbor at a depth of about 2,100 meters. NEMO-SN1 is an operational node of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO) Research Infrastructure. The observatory was equipped with a low-frequency hydrophone (bandwidth: 0.05 Hz–1 kHz, sampling rate: 2 kHz) which continuously acquired data from July 2012 to May 2013. About 7,200 hours of acoustic data were analyzed by means of spectrogram display. Calls with the typical structure and patterns associated to the Mediterranean fin whale population were identified and monitored in the area for the first time. Furthermore, a background noise analysis within the fin whale communication frequency band (17.9–22.5 Hz) was conducted to investigate possible detection-masking effects. The study confirms the hypothesis that fin whales are present in the Ionian Sea throughout all seasons, with peaks in call detection rate during spring and summer months. The analysis also demonstrates that calls were more frequently detected in low background noise conditions. Further analysis will be performed to understand whether observed levels of noise limit the acoustic detection of the fin whales vocalizations, or whether the animals vocalize less in the presence of high background noise. PMID:26581104

  16. Remarks on Echinodermata from the South Central Mediterranean Sea based upon collections made during the MARCOS cruise (10 to 20th April, 2007

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    C. MIFSUD

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The MARCOS cruise, which took place in the South Central Mediterranean Sea on board the RV ‘Urania’, resulted in the collection of 27 species of Echinodermata from shallow to bathyal depths, many from around Malta (the Fisheries Management Zone. The fauna is represented by common to rare taxa already reported from the Mediterranean with the exception of the amphi-Atlantic ophiuroid Ophiotreta valenciennesi rufescens (Koehler, 1896, recorded from the Mediterranean Basin for the first time. Odontaster mediterraneus (von Marenzeller, 1893 and Luidia sarsi Lutken, 1858 are also first records for the Maltese Islands.

  17. Seabed litter composition, distribution and sources in the Northern and Central Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean).

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    Pasquini, Giulia; Ronchi, Francesca; Strafella, Pierluigi; Scarcella, Giuseppe; Fortibuoni, Tomaso

    2016-12-01

    Detecting the origin of marine benthic litter is fundamental for developing policies aimed at achieving the Good Environmental Status in European Seas by 2020, as requested by the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). The abundance and composition of benthic litter in the Northern and Central Adriatic Sea were investigated at 67 stations with bottom trawl nets. Average density of benthic litter was 913±80items/km(2), ranking the Adriatic as one of the most polluted basins worldwide. Plastic was dominant in terms of numbers (80%) and weight (62%), and mainly consisted in bags, sheets and mussel nets. Higher quantities of litter were found in coastal areas, especially in front river mouths, coastal cities and mussel farms. In deep waters, litter hotspots were associated with most congested shipping lanes, indicating an additional litter input to the basin. Benthic litter composition resulted to be largely driven by the vicinity to local sources, i.e. mussel farming installations and most congested shipping routes. These findings provide useful insights to set measures to manage marine litter in the Adriatic region, and possibly to minimize this anthropogenic pollution.

  18. Millennial-Scale Climate Variability during the Last 28 cal. ka BP in the Tyrrhenian Sea (central Sector of Mediterranean Sea)

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    Amore, F. Ornella; Palumbo, Eliana; Elderfield, Henry; Perugia, Carmen; Emanuele, Dario; Petrillo, Zaccaria

    2014-05-01

    High resolution reconstructions of coccolithophore assemblages and plankton carbon and oxygen stable isotope data from Ocean Drilling Project (ODP) Hole 974D have been studied to investigate climate variability in the Tyrrhenian Sea (Western Mediterranean) during the last 28 cal. ka BP. The main climatic signal is showed by coccolithophore assemblages and isotopic records at glacial/interglacial timescale. Through the application of statistical analyses, a possible role of half and fourth precession cycles was hypothesised, more likely linked to the influence of the Equator insolation on central sector of Western Mediterranean circulation. The occurrence of abrupt coolings, more likely connected to Northern Hemisphere global climatic changes, was hypothesised also in the Tyrrhenian Sea during the Last Glacial (LG) and the Holocene, highlighted by the occurrence of the subpolar species Coccolithus pelagicus pelagicus. The events of the LG occurred in correspondence of the Dansgaard/Oeschger (D/O) stadial at 28 cal. ka BP and Heinrich event 2. The Holocene events were quite synchronous with several Bond Cycles and Rapid Climate Changes. In addition, marine warm phases, coincident with the D/O interstadial 2 and the Bølling-Allerød interval, were recognised at ODP Hole 974D by increases of warm species. Furthermore, during the Younger Dryas, oxygen stable isotope record indicates the occurrence of a cooling while coccolithophore assemblages testify increased nutrient conditions, highlighted by the group of small Gephyrocapsa. During the transition to the Holocene a latitudinal warming was observed, through the comparison of available data from coccolithophore assemblages of other sites of the Tyrrhenian Sea (Sbaffi et al., 2001; Buccheri et al., 2002; Amore et al., 2004). The latitudinal warming moved northward versus the central part of the basin, reaching the maximum amplitude in correspondence of Tyrrhenian Holocene Climatic Optimum (Buccheri et al., 2002). Other

  19. Parasitic inventory of Balistes capriscus (Teleostei:Balistidae) from the Gulf of Gabès (Southern Tunisia, Central Mediterranean Sea)

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Hichem Kacem; Lassad Neifar

    2015-01-01

    Objective:To investigate the parasitic inventory of Balistes capriscus (Teleostei:Balistidae) (B. capriscus) from the Gulf of Gabès (Southern Tunisia, Central Mediterranean Sea). Methods:A parasitological survey of the grey triggerfish B. capriscus (Gmelin, 1788) from the Gulf of Gabès (Southern Tunisia, Central Mediterranean Sea) was conducted monthly from May 2007 to April 2009. A total of 480 fishes were collected from commercial catches by pelagic trawl net at different fishing ports at Chebba (34°14' N, 11°06' E), Kerkennah (34°45' N, 11°17' E) and Zarzis (33°41' N, 11°48' E). The weight, the size, the sex, the date and the area of capture of each specimen were recorded. B. capriscus were then examined to search for ectoparasites and endoparasites. For each parasite species, parasitological indices were calculated. Results:Five species of parasites were identified, among which a new species of Digenea Hypocreadium caputvadum was discovered and two species of parasites were reported for the first time in the Mediterranean. Conclusions:It is the first inventory of the ecto and endoparasites of grey triggerfish collected from the Gulf of Gabès Mediterranean Sea.

  20. Unusual algal turfs associated with the rhodophyta Phyllophora crispa: Benthic assemblages along a depth gradient in the Central Mediterranean Sea

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    Bonifazi, Andrea; Ventura, Daniele; Gravina, Maria Flavia; Lasinio, Giovanna Jona; Belluscio, Andrea; Ardizzone, Gian Domenico

    2017-02-01

    Macroalgal assemblages dominated by the turf-forming alga Phyllophora crispa are described in detail for the first time in the Central Mediterranean Sea. This particular form of algal growth, which comprises an upper mixed layer of multiple algal species with a basal stratum formed by entangled thalli of P. crispa, was observed for the first time in 2012 along the promontory of Punta del Lazzaretto (Giglio Island, Italy). In this study, this assemblage was analysed to document the diversity of macroalgae and invertebrate associated communities and assess their distribution along a depth gradient. The algae forming turfs grow directly on the rock at low depth up to 10-15 m depth, while they grow above P. crispa from 15 m to 35 m depth, resulting in luxuriant beds covering up to 100% of the substrate. Multivariate analysis revealed clear differences regarding algae and invertebrate species richness and abundance between shallow and deep strata because of the dominance of Phyllophora crispa at depths greater than 20 m. The long laminal thalli of P. crispa favoured sessile fauna colonization, while the vagile species were principally linked to the architectural complexity of the turf layer created by the P. crispa, which increased the microhabitat diversity and favoured sediment deposition within the turf layer. The complex structures of these turf assemblages and their widespread distribution along the whole coast of the island suggest a well-established condition of the communities linked to the high natural sedimentation rate observed in the area.

  1. Effects of the 2003 European heatwave on the Central Mediterranean Sea: surface fluxes and the dynamical response

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    R. Sorgente

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The effects of the 2003 European heatwave on the sea surface layer of the Central Mediterranean were studied using a regional 3-D ocean model. The model was used to simulate the period 2000 to 2004 and its performance was validated using remotely-sensed and in situ data. Analysis of the results focused on changes in the Sea Surface Temperature (SST and on changes to the surface and sub-surface current field. This permitted us to identify and quantify the anomalies of atmospheric and sea surface parameters that accompanied the heatwave. The dominant annual cycle in each variable was first removed and a wavelet analysis then used to locate anomalies in the time-frequency domain.

    We found that the excess heating affecting the sea surface in the summer of 2003 was related to a significant increase in air temperature, a decrease in wind stress and reduction of all components of the upward heat flux. The monthly averages of the model SST were found to be in good agreement with remotely-sensed data during the period studied, although the ocean model tended to underestimate extreme events. The spatial distribution of SST anomalies as well as their time-frequency location was similar for both the remotely-sensed and model temperatures. We also found, on the basis of the period of the observed anomaly, that the event was not limited to the few summer months of 2003 but was part of a longer phenomenon. Both the model results and experimental data suggest the anomalous heating mainly affected the top 15 m of ocean and was associated with strong surface stratification and low mixing.

    The skill of the model to reproduce the sub-surface hydrographic features during the heatwave was checked by comparison with temperature and salinity measurements. This showed that the model was generally in good agreement with observations. The model and observations showed that the anomalous warming also modified the currents in the region, most noticeably

  2. Calcareous nannofossil assemblages from the Central Mediterranean Sea over the last four centuries: the impact of the little ice age

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    A. Incarbona

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available We present decadal-scale calcareous nannofossil data from four short cores (Station 272, 37° 17' N, 12° 48' E, 226 m depth; St 342, 36° 42' N, 13° 55' E, 858.2 m depth; St 407, 36° 23' N, 14° 27' E, 345.4 m depth; C90-1M, 40° 36' N, 14° 42' E, 103.4 m depth recovered in the central Mediterranean Sea (northern Sicily Channel and Tyrrhenian Sea, which, on the basis of 210Pb activity span the last 200–350 years. Assemblages are dominated by placoliths, mostly Emiliania huxleyi, while, at least in the Sicily Channel sediments, Florisphaera profunda was an important part of the coccolithophore community.

    The paleoenvironmental reconstruction, based on ecological preference of species and groups, suggests that the Tyrrhenian core C90-1M maintained higher productivity levels over recent centuries, with respect to the Sicily Channel sites, possibly because of more pronounced winter phytoplankton blooms, in agreement with modern primary productivity variations over the last ten years.

    The lowermost part of the record of one of the cores from the Sicily Channel, Station 407, which extends down to 1650 AD, is characterized by drastic changes in productivity. Specifically, below 1850 AD, the decrease in abundance of F. profunda and the increase of placoliths, suggest increased productivity. The chronology of this change is related to the main phase of the Little Ice Age, which might have impacted the hydrography of the southern coast of Sicily and promoted vertical mixing in the water column. The comparison with climatic forcings points out the importance of stronger and prolonged northerlies, together with decreased solar irradiance. The identification of the LIA in the northern Sicily Channel cover the Bond cycle BO that was missing in a previous study of Holocene climatic anomalies in the Sicily Channel.

    Finally, we suggest that major abundance changes in reworked nannofossil specimens

  3. Holocene vegetation and climate changes in central Mediterranean inferred from a high-resolution marine pollen record (Adriatic Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Combourieu-Nebout

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available To understand the effects of future climate change on the ecology of the central Mediterranean we can look to the impacts of long-term, millennial to centennial-scale climatic variability on vegetation in the basin. Pollen data from the Adriatic Marine core MD 90-917 allows us to reconstruct vegetation and regional climate changes over the south central Mediterranean during the Holocene. Clay mineral ratios from the same core reflect the relative contributions of riverine (illite and smectite and eolian (kaolinite contributions to the site, and thus act as an additional proxy with which to test precipitation changes in the Holocene. Vegetation reconstruction shows vegetation responses to the late-Glacial Preboreal oscillation, most likely driven by changes in seasonal precipitation. Pollen-inferred temperature declines during the early-mid Holocene, but increases during the mid-late Holocene, similar to southern-western Mediterranean climatic patterns during the Holocene. Several short climatic events appear in the record, indicating the sensitivity of vegetation in the region to millennial-scale variability. Reconstructed summer precipitation shows a regional maximum between 8000 and 7000 cal yr BP similar to the general pattern across southern Europe. Two important shifts in vegetation occur at 7700 and between 7500 and 7000 yr. These vegetation shifts are linked to changes in seasonal precipitation and are correlated to increased river inputs respectively from the north (7700 event and from the central Adriatic borderlands (7500–7000 event. These results reinforce the strengths of multi-proxy analysis and provide a deeper understanding of the role of precipitation and particularly the seasonality of precipitation in mediating vegetation change in the central Mediterranean during the Holocene.

  4. Parapenaeus longirostris (Lucas, 1846) an early warning indicator species of global warming in the central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Colloca, Francesco; Mastrantonio, Gianluca; Lasinio, Giovanna Jona; Ligas, Alessandro; Sartor, Paolo

    2014-10-01

    The effect of temperature increase on the stock of the deep-sea pink shrimp (Parapenaeus longirostris) was analysed along the western coasts of Italy (North Tyrrhenian-Ligurian Sea: Geographical Sub-Area 9). This crustacean is currently one of the most important commercial species of the trawl fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea. Landings of the species in the North Tyrrhenian-Ligurian Sea have grown consistently during the last years following a rapid increase in the stock size. Since the deep-sea pink shrimp stock is exploited on the same fishing ground of other heavily overexploited stocks in a full mixed and poorly selective fishery, its condition seems to be largely independent of the current fishing exploitation pattern suggesting a positive role of climate change on the dynamic of the stock. To test this hypothesis we investigated the effect of sea surface temperature (SST) on density and distribution of P. longirostris by means of general additive models (GAMs). Two different models were developed for the whole stock and for the recruits (CL planktonic stages, or owing to changes in the quality/quantity of nursery habitats.

  5. Evidence of mud diapirism and coral colonies in the ionian sea (central mediterranean from high resolution chirp sonar survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Corselli

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available A chirp sonar survey in the Ionian Sea investigated the Calabrian margin, the Calabrian accretionary wedge, the Taranto Trench and the Apulian foreland. Shallow tectonics structures have been related to deeper ones, recognised on CROP seismic profiles. The identified echo characters have been compared with those described in the modern literature and have been related to different kinds of sediments, on the basis of core samples. Based on echo character and morphology we have recognised: 1 A widespread presence of mounds, up to 50 m high, occurring on the Apulian plateau as isolated mounds in the deepest zones (1600-800 m and in groups in the shallower ones (800-600 m; they have been interpreted as coral mounds, according to a recent discovery of living deep water coral colonies in this zone. 2 Some mud diapirs, isolated or in groups of two or three elements, widespread in the whole study area. In analogy of what has been observed on the Mediterranean Ridge, their presence suggests the activity of deep tectonic structures (thrusts and faults and a reduced thickness (or absence of Messinian evaporites in this part of the Ionian Sea.

  6. Fishing management scenarios to rebuild exploited resources and ecosystems of the Northern-Central Adriatic (Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fouzai, Nadia; Coll, Marta; Palomera, Isabel; Santojanni, Alberto; Arneri, Enrico; Christensen, Villy

    2012-10-01

    We examined various fishing management options to recover exploited marine resources and ecosystems of the Northern-Central Adriatic Sea. Dynamic simulations were based on a spatial ecological model previously calibrated with time series of data. Scenarios regarding spatial management were evaluated with the establishment of two marine protected areas, respectively, in the Pomo pit and the northern region. In addition, three temporal simulations of temporary closures and overall reduction of fishing effort of demersal and pelagic fleets (bottom, mid-water trawls and purse seines) were also considered. Simulations were run for 45 years (1975-2020), including the calibration period (1975-2002), and changes in biomass and catch of marine resources were analyzed. Our results confirm that current fishing management in the Adriatic Sea does not have clear beneficial impacts for the recovery of exploited resources, which will remain depleted in 2020 if "business as usual" continues. Simulations of alternative management suggest that both protected areas could be beneficial for fish population recovery predicting an increase in the biomass of commercial fish and predatory organisms. Simulations of temporary closures and overall reduction of fishing effort also show significant benefits for several commercial resources. We argue that both management measures may be effective tools to recover exploited ecosystems of the Northern-Central Adriatic Sea and halt the decline of marine resources.

  7. Recovery of the commercial sponges in the central and southeastern Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean after an outbreak of sponge disease

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. CASTRITSI-CATHARIOS

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The distribution and biometry of commercial sponges (Porifera in coastal areas of the central and southeastern Aegean Sea was investigated to estimate the recovery progress of the populations eight years after the first appearance of sponge disease. Signs of the disease were detected only in 1.6% of the harvested sponges. Multivariate analysis on the percentage abundance of sponges showed two distinct groups among the sixteen fishing grounds studied: the eight deep (50-110 m and the eight shallow ones (<40 m. The group from the deep depths consisted of Spongia officinalis adriatica, S. agaricina and S. zimocca. The infralittoral zone was characterized by the presence of Hippospongia communis, S. officinalis adriatica and S. officinalis mollissima. These bath sponges showed an enhanced abundance in the eastern Cretan Sea (S. Aegean Sea. In addition, their dimensions, particularly height, increased with increasing depth. It is indicated that the hydrographic conditions prevailing in the eastern Cretan Sea affected the repopulating processes of sponge banks. In each species, the biometric characteristics of the experimental specimens were similar to those of the sponges found in the market and harvested at respective depths prior to the appearance of sponge disease.

  8. Life-history traits of the long-nosed skate Dipturus oxyrinchus, from the central western Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonello Mulas

    2015-11-01

    sensitive to fishing pressure, in the Mediterranean Sea.

  9. Hydrothermalism in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dando, P. R.; Stüben, D.; Varnavas, S. P.

    1999-08-01

    Hydrothermalism in the Mediterranean Sea results from the collision of the African and European plates, with the subduction of the oceanic part of the African plate below Europe. High heat flows in the resulting volcanic arcs and back-arc extensional areas have set-up hydrothermal convection systems. Most of the known hydrothermal sites are in shallow coastal waters, <200 m depth, so that much of the reported fluid venting is of the gasohydrothermal type. The hydrothermal liquids are of varying salinities, both because of phase separation as a result of seawater boiling at the low pressures and because of significant inputs of rainfall into the hydrothermal reservoirs at some sites. The major component of the vented gas is carbon dioxide, with significant quantities of sulphur dioxide, hydrogen sulphide, methane and hydrogen also being released. Acid leaching of the underlying rocks leads to the mobilisation of heavy metals, many of which are deposited sub-surface although there is a conspicuous enrichment of metals in surficial sediments in venting areas. Massive polymetalic sulphides have been reported from some sites. No extant vent-specific fauna have been described from Mediterranean sites. There is a reduced diversity of fauna within the sediments at the vents. In contrast, a high diversity of epifauna has been reported and the vent sites are areas of settlement for exotic thermophilic species. Large numbers of novel prokaryotes, especially hyperthermophilic crenarchaeota, have been isolated from Mediterranean hydrothermal vents. However, their distribution in the subsurface biosphere and their role in the biogeochemistry of the sites has yet to be studied.

  10. The Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries at risk from overexploitation.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Athanassios C Tsikliras

    Full Text Available The status of the Mediterranean and Black Sea fisheries was evaluated for the period 1970-2010 on a subarea basis, using various indicators including the temporal variability of total landings, the number of recorded stocks, the mean trophic level of the catch, the fishing-in-balance index and the catch-based method of stock classification. All indicators confirmed that the fisheries resources of the Mediterranean and Black Sea are at risk from overexploitation. The pattern of exploitation and the state of stocks differed among the western (W, central (C and eastern (E Mediterranean subareas and the Black Sea (BS, with the E Mediterranean and BS fisheries being in a worst shape. Indeed, in the E Mediterranean and the BS, total landings, mean trophic level of the catch and fishing-in-balance index were declining, the cumulative percentage of overexploited and collapsed stocks was higher, and the percentage of developing stocks was lower, compared to the W and C Mediterranean. Our results confirm the need for detailed and extensive stock assessments across species that will eventually lead to stocks recovering through conservation and management measures.

  11. Inertial bioluminescence rhythms at the Capo Passero (KM3NeT-Italia) site, Central Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aguzzi, J.; Fanelli, E.; Ciuffardi, T.; Schirone, A.; Craig, J.; Aiello, S.; Ameli, F.; Anghinolfi, M.; Barbarino, G.; Barbarito, E.; Beverini, N.; Biagi, S.; Biagioni, A.; Bouhadef, B.; Bozza, C.; Cacopardo, G.; Calamai, M.; Calì, C.; Capone, A.; Caruso, F.; Cecchini, S.; Ceres, A.; Chiarusi, T.; Circella, M.; Cocimano, R.; Coniglione, R.; Costa, M.; Cuttone, G.; D’Amato, C.; D’Amico, A.; De Bonis, G.; De Luca, V.; Deniskina, N.; Distefano, C.; Di Mauro, L. S.; Fermani, P.; Ferrara, G.; Flaminio, V.; Fusco, L. A.; Garufi, F.; Giordano, V.; Gmerk, A.; Grasso, R.; Grella, G.; Hugon, C.; Imbesi, M.; Kulikovskiy, V.; Larosa, G.; Lattuada, D.; Leismüller, K. P.; Leonora, E.; Litrico, P.; Lonardo, A.; Longhitano, F.; Presti, D. Lo; Maccioni, E.; Margiotta, A.; Marinelli, A.; Martini, A.; Masullo, R.; Mele, R.; Migliozzi, P.; Migneco, E.; Miraglia, A.; Mollo, C. M.; Mongelli, M.; Morganti, M.; Musico, P.; Musumeci, M.; Nicolau, C. A.; Orlando, A.; Orzelli, A.; Papaleo, R.; Pellegrino, C.; Pellegriti, M. G.; Perrina, C.; Piattelli, P.; Poma, E.; Pulvirenti, S.; Raffaelli, F.; Randazzo, N.; Riccobene, G.; Rovelli, A.; Sanguineti, M.; Sapienza, P.; Sciacca, V.; Sgura, I.; Simeone, F.; Sipala, V.; Speziale, F.; Spitaleri, A.; Spurio, M.; Stellacci, S. M.; Taiuti, M.; Terreni, G.; Trasatti, L.; Trovato, A.; Versari, F.; Vicini, P.; Viola, S.; Vivolo, D.

    2017-01-01

    In the deep sea, the sense of time is dependent on geophysical fluctuations, such as internal tides and atmospheric-related inertial currents, rather than day-night rhythms. Deep-sea neutrino telescopes instrumented with light detecting Photo-Multiplier Tubes (PMT) can be used to describe the synchronization of bioluminescent activity of abyssopelagic organisms with hydrodynamic cycles. PMT readings at 8 different depths (from 3069 to 3349 m) of the NEMO Phase 2 prototype, deployed offshore Capo Passero (Sicily) at the KM3NeT-Italia site, were used to characterize rhythmic bioluminescence patterns in June 2013, in response to water mass movements. We found a significant (p bioluminescence signal, corresponding to inertial fluctuations. Waveform and Fourier analyses of PMT data and tower orientation were carried out to identify phases (i.e. the timing of peaks) by subdividing time series on the length of detected inertial periodicity. A phase overlap between rhythms and cycles suggests a mechanical stimulation of bioluminescence, as organisms carried by currents collide with the telescope infrastructure, resulting in the emission of light. A bathymetric shift in PMT phases indicated that organisms travelled in discontinuous deep-sea undular vortices consisting of chains of inertially pulsating mesoscale cyclones/anticyclones, which to date remain poorly known. PMID:28332561

  12. Plastic Accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Cózar, Andrés

    2015-04-01

    Concentrations of floating plastic were measured throughout the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether this basin can be regarded as a great accumulation region of plastic debris. We found that the average density of plastic (1 item per 4 m2), as well as its frequency of occurrence (100% of the sites sampled), are comparable to the accumulation zones described for the five subtropical ocean gyres. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean surface waters was dominated by millimeter-sized fragments, but showed a higher proportion of large plastic objects than that present in oceanic gyres, reflecting the closer connection with pollution sources. The accumulation of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea (between 1,000 and 3,000 tons) is likely related to the high human pressure together with the hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed basin, with outflow mainly occurring through a deep water layer. Given the biological richness and concentration of economic activities in the Mediterranean Sea, the affects of plastic pollution on marine and human life are expected to be particularly frequent in this plastic accumulation region.

  13. Plastic Accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cózar, Andrés; Sanz-Martín, Marina; Martí, Elisa; González-Gordillo, J. Ignacio; Ubeda, Bárbara; Gálvez, José Á.; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M.

    2015-01-01

    Concentrations of floating plastic were measured throughout the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether this basin can be regarded as a great accumulation region of plastic debris. We found that the average density of plastic (1 item per 4 m2), as well as its frequency of occurrence (100% of the sites sampled), are comparable to the accumulation zones described for the five subtropical ocean gyres. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean surface waters was dominated by millimeter-sized fragments, but showed a higher proportion of large plastic objects than that present in oceanic gyres, reflecting the closer connection with pollution sources. The accumulation of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea (between 1,000 and 3,000 tons) is likely related to the high human pressure together with the hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed basin, with outflow mainly occurring through a deep water layer. Given the biological richness and concentration of economic activities in the Mediterranean Sea, the affects of plastic pollution on marine and human life are expected to be particularly frequent in this plastic accumulation region. PMID:25831129

  14. Plastic accumulation in the Mediterranean sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Cózar

    Full Text Available Concentrations of floating plastic were measured throughout the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether this basin can be regarded as a great accumulation region of plastic debris. We found that the average density of plastic (1 item per 4 m2, as well as its frequency of occurrence (100% of the sites sampled, are comparable to the accumulation zones described for the five subtropical ocean gyres. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean surface waters was dominated by millimeter-sized fragments, but showed a higher proportion of large plastic objects than that present in oceanic gyres, reflecting the closer connection with pollution sources. The accumulation of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea (between 1,000 and 3,000 tons is likely related to the high human pressure together with the hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed basin, with outflow mainly occurring through a deep water layer. Given the biological richness and concentration of economic activities in the Mediterranean Sea, the affects of plastic pollution on marine and human life are expected to be particularly frequent in this plastic accumulation region.

  15. Plastic accumulation in the Mediterranean sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cózar, Andrés; Sanz-Martín, Marina; Martí, Elisa; González-Gordillo, J Ignacio; Ubeda, Bárbara; Gálvez, José Á; Irigoien, Xabier; Duarte, Carlos M

    2015-01-01

    Concentrations of floating plastic were measured throughout the Mediterranean Sea to assess whether this basin can be regarded as a great accumulation region of plastic debris. We found that the average density of plastic (1 item per 4 m2), as well as its frequency of occurrence (100% of the sites sampled), are comparable to the accumulation zones described for the five subtropical ocean gyres. Plastic debris in the Mediterranean surface waters was dominated by millimeter-sized fragments, but showed a higher proportion of large plastic objects than that present in oceanic gyres, reflecting the closer connection with pollution sources. The accumulation of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea (between 1,000 and 3,000 tons) is likely related to the high human pressure together with the hydrodynamics of this semi-enclosed basin, with outflow mainly occurring through a deep water layer. Given the biological richness and concentration of economic activities in the Mediterranean Sea, the affects of plastic pollution on marine and human life are expected to be particularly frequent in this plastic accumulation region.

  16. Linking spatial distribution and feeding behavior of Atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) in the Strait of Sicily (Central Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rumolo, Paola; Basilone, Gualtiero; Fanelli, Emanuela; Barra, Marco; Calabrò, Monica; Genovese, Simona; Gherardi, Serena; Ferreri, Rosalia; Mazzola, Salvatore; Bonanno, Angelo

    2017-03-01

    The Atlantic horse mackerel (Trachurus trachurus) is a semi-pelagic fish species with a wide geographical distribution and commonly found on the continental shelf. In recent years, the species has received some attention due to its ecological role in pelagic food webs. Stable isotope of nitrogen and carbon (δ15N and δ13C) and Stomach Content Analysis (SCA) of T. trachurus were adopted as tools to provide necessary knowledge on its feeding habits in the Strait of Sicily. The strong correlation found between δ15N and δ13C values with body length, together with significant ontogenetic shift evidenced by SCA, could be associated to changes in food availability, which in turn is triggered by environmental conditions. Spatial distribution of T. trachurus in the study area, mainly for small and medium size specimens, is linked to lower temperature, salinity and Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PARsat) values with higher aggregations on the Adventure Bank (i.e., an area characterized by periodic upwelling events). Larger size specimens mostly inhabited shallower waters characterized by higher temperature, salinity and PAR values, typical of the central-eastern part of the study area. Our results support the hypothesis that feeding behavior of T. trachurus is strictly linked to environmental factors (i.e. chiefly oceanographic conditions of the water column and day duration) that in turn influences the distribution of its prey. Findings can supply knowledge needed for improving fish stock management and promoting plans able to take into account also local ecosystem analysis.

  17. box modeling of the eastern mediterranean sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ashkenazy, Y.; Stone, P. H.

    2003-04-01

    Recently (~1990) a new source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was found in the southern part of the Aegean sea. Till then, the only source of deep water formation in the Eastern Mediterranean was in the Adriatic sea; the rate of the deep water formation of the new Aegean source is 1Sv=10^6m^3/s, three times larger then the Adriatic source. We develop a simple 3 box-model to study the stability of the thermohaline circulation of the Eastern Mediterranean sea. The 3 boxes represent the Adriatic sea, Aegean sea, and the Ionian sea. The boxes exchange heat and salinity and may be described by a set of nonlinear differential equations. We analytically analyze these equations and find that the system may have one, two, or four stable flux states. We consider two cases for which the temperatures of the boxes are (i) fixed or (ii) variable. After setting the parameters to correspond to the Eastern Mediterranean we find that the system has two stable states, one with (i) two thermally dominant sources of deep water formation in the Adriatic and Aegean and the other with (ii) a salinity dominant source of deep water formation in the Adriatic and a thermally dominant source in the Aegean. While the Adriatic thermally dominant source is comparable to the observed flux of 0.3Sv the Aegean source has much smaller flux than the observed value. This situation is analogous to the state of the thermohaline circulation pre 1990 where the only source of deep water formation was in the Adriatic. If we decrease the atmospheric temperature of the Aegean box by 2C in accordance with recent observations, we find that the deep water formation of the Aegean increases significantly to a value comparable to the recently observed flux.

  18. New Fisheries-related data from the Mediterranean Sea (October 2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. TSAGARAKIS

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available In this third Collective Article, with fisheries-related data from the Mediterranean Sea, we present the historical length distribution of Lophius budegassa in the catch of commercial trawlers in the Greek seas; length-weight and length-length relationships of five flatfish species (Lepidorhombus boscii, L. whiffiagonis, Platichthys flesus, Pegusa lascaris and Solea solea from different coastal areas of Turkey (Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean Sea; growth of settled Polyprion americanus and length-weight relationships of this species and of Deltentosteus quadrimaculatus, Capros aper and three commercially important groupers in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea; the age, growth and mortality of Zosterisessor ophiocephalus in the Eastern Adriatic Sea; the length-weight relationship and condition factor of Atherina boyeri in a Central Mediterranean semi-isolated lagoon, and also the length-weight and length-length relationships of three Alburnus species from different inland waters in Turkey.

  19. Microplastic sampling in the Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Biginagwa, Fares; Sosthenes, Bahati; Syberg, Kristian

    The extent of microplastic pollution in the Southwestern Mediterranean Sea is not yet known, although on Northwestern part has been previously studied. Plastic samples were collected at 7 transects during a 10 day expedition from Sicily (Italy) to Malaga (Spain) in September 2014. A 330 µM mesh...... to 5 Gyres protocol. Microplastics (5mm) across all sites. Abundance decreased with increasing distance from the coast of Palermo to the open sea, with the highest abundance (20717 particles per Km2) observed at the Sicilian coast. Fragments were...

  20. Friction and mixing effects on potential vorticity for bottom current crossing a marine strait: an application to the Sicily Channel (central Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Falcini

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available We discuss here the evolution of vorticity and potential vorticity (PV for a bottom current crossing a marine channel in shallow-water approximation, focusing on the effect of friction and mixing. We argue that bottom current vorticity is prone to significant sign changes and oscillations due to topographic effects when, in particular, the current flows over the sill of a channel. These vorticity variations are, however, modulated by frictional effects due to seafloor roughness and morphology. Such behavior is also reflected in the PV spatial evolution, which shows an abrupt peak around the sill region. Our theoretical findings are discussed by means of in situ hydrographic data related to the Eastern Mediterranean Deep Water, i.e., a dense, bottom water vein that flows northwestward, along the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea. Indeed, the narrow sill of this channel implies that friction and entrainment need to be considered. Small tidal effects in the Sicily Channel allow for a steady theoretical approach. Our diagnoses on vorticity and PV allow us to obtain general insights about the effect of mixing and friction on the pathway and internal structure of bottom-trapped currents flowing through channels and straits, and to discuss spatial variability of the frictional coefficient. Our approach significantly differs from other PV-constant approaches previously used in studying the dynamics of bottom currents flowing through rotating channels.

  1. On the occurrence of the fireworm Eurythoe complanata complex (Annelida, Amphinomidae in the Mediterranean Sea with an updated revision of the alien Mediterranean amphinomids

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrés Arias

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The presence of two species within the Eurythoe complanata complex in the Mediterranean Sea is reported, as well as their geographical distributions. One species, Eurythoe laevisetis, occurs in the eastern and central Mediterranean, likely constituting the first historical introduction to the Mediterranean Sea and the other, Eurythoe complanata, in both eastern and Levantine basins. Brief notes on their taxonomy are also provided and their potential pathways for introduction to the Mediterranean are discussed. A simplified key to the Mediterranean amphinomid genera and species of Eurythoe and Linopherus is presented plus an updated revision of the alien amphinomid species reported previously from the Mediterranean Sea. A total of five exotic species have been included; information on their location, habitat, date of introduction and other relevant features is also provided.

  2. Pre-collisional geodynamics of the Mediterranean Sea: the Mediterranean Ridge and the Tyrrhenian Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Chaumillon

    1997-06-01

    Full Text Available Today the Mediterranean Sea consists of a series of small-sized and almost geographically disconnected oceanic or continental crust rooted marine basins. It is also an area almost totally surrounded by mountain ranges, which chiefly belong to the alpine realm. This overall geodynamic setting results from a long term convergence between the two major, African and European, plates. Previous collisions have led to the edification of surrounding chains, while subduction and new-collisional processes tend to create new extensional back-arc basins and wide tectonized accretionary prisms. In this paper we briefly outline the most recent and almost land-locked back-arc basin that has developed in the Mediterranean,i.e., the Tyrrhenian Sea, and the Mediterranean Ridge, which may be regarded as a collisional sedimentary wedge predating a future mountain chain.

  3. Zonal distribution of dissolved aluminium in the Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rolison, J. M.; Middag, R.; Stirling, C. H.; Rijkenberg, M. J. A.; de Baar, H. J. W.

    2015-01-01

    Dissolved aluminium (Al) is an important tracer of atmospheric dust input to the oceans. The GEOTRACES expedition to the highly dust impacted Mediterranean Sea afforded the opportunity to study the distribution of dissolved Al in the Mediterranean Sea in detail. Interestingly, the elevated concentra

  4. Environmental quality assessment of Grand Harbour (Valletta, Maltese Islands): a case study of a busy harbour in the Central Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo, Teresa; D'Alessandro, Michela; Esposito, Valentina; Scotti, Gianfranco; Berto, Daniela; Formalewicz, Malgorzata; Noventa, Seta; Giuliani, Silvia; Macchia, Simona; Sartori, Davide; Mazzola, Angelo; Andaloro, Franco; Giacobbe, Salvatore; Deidun, Alan; Renzi, Monia

    2015-12-01

    Contamination levels by plastic debris, trace elements and persistent organic pollutants were assessed and related to macrobenthic diversity within soft bottoms of Grand Harbour (Malta, Central Mediterranean). Sediment toxicity was evaluated by ecotoxicological method, deploying Bacteria (Vibrio fischeri), Echinodermata (Paracentrotus lividus) and Crustacea (Corophium orientale). Univariate analysis (Pearson's test) was used to test relationships between biodiversity indices, pollutants and grain size. A multivariate approach (PERMANOVA) was applied to investigate for any significant differences among sampling stations concerning plastic abundances and to test the relationship between infaunal abundances and pollutant concentrations (the BIOENV test). Significant differences in the plastic abundances were found between sampling stations. The lowest value for Shannon-Wiener biodiversity index was associated to the highest sediment pollution level. Multivariate analyses suggest that MBT and TBT were factors that most influenced macrozoobenthic abundance and biodiversity. The bivalve Corbula gibba and the introduced polychaete Monticellina dorsobranchialis were the most abundant found species.

  5. Mapping cold-water coral habitats at different scales within the Northern Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean): an assessment of coral coverage and associated vulnerability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savini, Alessandra; Vertino, Agostina; Marchese, Fabio; Beuck, Lydia; Freiwald, André

    2014-01-01

    In this study, we mapped the distribution of Cold-Water Coral (CWC) habitats on the northern Ionian Margin (Mediterranean Sea), with an emphasis on assessing coral coverage at various spatial scales over an area of 2,000 km(2) between 120 and 1,400 m of water depth. Our work made use of a set of data obtained from ship-based research surveys. Multi-scale seafloor mapping data, video inspections, and previous results from sediment samples were integrated and analyzed using Geographic Information System (GIS)-based tools. Results obtained from the application of spatial and textural analytical techniques to acoustic meso-scale maps (i.e. a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) of the seafloor at a 40 m grid cell size and associated terrain parameters) and large-scale maps (i.e. Side-Scan Sonar (SSS) mosaics of 1 m in resolution ground-truthed using underwater video observations) were integrated and revealed that, at the meso-scale level, the main morphological pattern (i.e. the aggregation of mound-like features) associated with CWC habitat occurrences was widespread over a total area of 600 km(2). Single coral mounds were isolated from the DTM and represented the geomorphic proxies used to model coral distributions within the investigated area. Coral mounds spanned a total area of 68 km(2) where different coral facies (characterized using video analyses and mapped on SSS mosaics) represent the dominant macro-habitat. We also mapped and classified anthropogenic threats that were identifiable within the examined videos, and, here, discuss their relationship to the mapped distribution of coral habitats and mounds. The combined results (from multi-scale habitat mapping and observations of the distribution of anthropogenic threats) provide the first quantitative assessment of CWC coverage for a Mediterranean province and document the relevant role of seafloor geomorphology in influencing habitat vulnerability to different types of human pressures.

  6. Reproductive aspects of the velvet belly lantern shark Etmopterus spinax (Condrichthyes: Etmopteridae, from the central western Mediterranean sea. Notes on gametogenesis and oviducal gland microstructure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. PORCU

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In this paper, the reproductive biology of the velvet belly lanternshark Etmopterus spinax was analyzed in Sardinian waters (central western Mediterranean. This species was sexually dimorphic with females growing to a larger size than males. Marked sexual dimorphism in size was also observed along the vertical gradient. Histological analysis of gonads was very useful in assigning macroscopical maturity stages. The investigation on the microstructure of oviducal gland (OG highlighted four morphofunctional zones with mucous and/or proteic secretions according to the zone and to their specific functions and development. Sperm in the OG was found for the first time in E. spinax. The localization of sperm storage tubules deeper in OG suggested long-term sperm storage, which is in agreement with the long reproductive cycle described. This species matured late, specifically at 80.7% and 79% at the maximum observed size for females and males respectively. Mature specimens were found throughout the year with pregnant females observed in winter and autumn. A low fecundity was observed with a mean ovarian fecundity of 16.5 mature follicles.

  7. Food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea ecosystem (Eastern Mediterranean) and comparison with other Mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsagarakis, K.; Coll, M.; Giannoulaki, M.; Somarakis, S.; Papaconstantinou, C.; Machias, A.

    2010-06-01

    A mass-balance trophic model was built to describe the food-web traits of the North Aegean Sea (Strymonikos Gulf and Thracian Sea, Greece, Eastern Mediterranean) during the mid-2000s and to explore the impacts of fishing. This is the first food-web model representing the Aegean Sea, and results were presented and discussed in comparison to other previous ecosystems modelled from the western and the central areas of the basin (South Catalan and North-Central Adriatic Seas). Forty functional groups were defined, covering the entire trophic spectrum from lower to higher trophic levels. Emphasis was placed on commercial invertebrates and fish. The potential ecological role of the invasive ctenophore, Mnemiopsis leidyi, and several vulnerable groups (e.g., dolphins) was also explored. Results confirmed the spatial productivity patterns known for the Mediterranean Sea showing, for example, that the total biomass is highest in N.C. Adriatic and lowest in N. Aegean Sea. Accordingly, food-web flows and several ecosystem indicators like the mean transfer efficiency were influenced by these patterns. Nevertheless, all three systems shared some common features evidencing similarities of Mediterranean Sea ecosystems such as dominance of the pelagic fraction in terms of flows and strong benthic-pelagic coupling of zooplankton and benthic invertebrates through detritus. The importance of detritus highlighted the role of the microbial food-web, which was indirectly considered through detritus dynamics. Ciliates, mesozooplankton and several benthic invertebrate groups were shown as important elements of the ecosystem linking primary producers and detritus with higher trophic levels in the N. Aegean Sea. Adult anchovy was shown as the most important fish group in terms of production, consumption and overall effect on the rest of the ecological groups in the model, in line with results from the Western Mediterranean Sea. The five fishing fleets considered (both artisanal and

  8. Cyclone contribution to the Mediterranean Sea water budget

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flaounas, E.; Di Luca, A.; Drobinski, P.; Mailler, S.; Arsouze, T.; Bastin, S.; Beranger, K.; Lebeaupin Brossier, C.

    2016-02-01

    This paper analyzes the impact of cyclones to the atmospheric components on the Mediterranean Sea Water Budget, namely the cyclones contribution to precipitation and evaporation over the Mediterranean Sea. Three regional simulations were performed with the WRF model for the period 1989-2008. The model was run (1) as a standalone model, (2) coupled with the oceanic model NEMO-MED12 and (3) forced by the smoothed Sea Surface Temperature (SST) fields from the second simulation. Cyclones were tracked in all simulations, and their contribution to the total rainfall and evaporation was quantified. Results show that cyclones are mainly associated with extreme precipitation, representing more than 50 % of the annual rainfall over the Mediterranean Sea. On the other hand, we found that cyclone-induced evaporation represents only a small fraction of the annual total, except in winter, when the most intense Mediterranean cyclones take place. Despite the significant contribution of cyclones to rainfall, our results show that there is a balance between cyclone-induced rainfall and evaporation, suggesting a weak net impact of cyclones on the Mediterranean Sea water budget. The sensitivity of our results with respect to rapid SST changes during the development of cyclones was also investigated. Both rainfall and evaporation are affected in correlation with the SST response to the atmosphere. In fact, air feedbacks to the Mediterranean Sea during the cyclones occurrence were shown to cool down the SST and consequently to reduce rainfall and evaporation at the proximity of cyclone centers.

  9. Characterization of PM10 sources in the central Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Calzolai

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Basin atmosphere is influenced by both strong natural and anthropogenic aerosol emissions, and is also subject to important climatic forcings. Several programs have addressed the study of the Mediterranean basin; nevertheless important pieces of information are still missing. In this framework, PM10 samples were collected on a daily basis on the island of Lampedusa (35.5° N, 12.6° E, 45 m a.s.l., which is far from continental pollution sources (the nearest coast, in Tunisia, is more than 100 km away. After mass gravimetric measurements, different portions of the samples were analyzed to determine the ionic content by Ion Chromatography (IC, the soluble metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometry (ICP-AES, and the total (soluble + insoluble elemental composition by Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE. Data from years 2007 and 2008 are used in this study. The Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF model was applied to the 2 year long data set of PM10 mass concentration and chemical composition to assess the aerosol sources affecting the Central Mediterranean basin. Seven sources were resolved: sea-salt, mineral dust, biogenic emissions, primary particulate ship emissions, secondary sulphate, secondary nitrate, and combustion emissions. Source contributions to the total PM10 mass were estimated to be about 40 % for sea-salt, around 25 % for mineral dust, 10 % each for secondary nitrate and secondary sulphate, and 5 % each for primary particulate ship emissions, biogenic emissions, and combustion emissions. Large variations in absolute and relative contributions are found and appear to depend on the season and on transport episodes. In addition, the secondary sulphate due to ship emissions was estimated, and found to contribute by about one third to the total sulphate mass. Results for the sea-salt and mineral dust sources were compared with estimates of the same contributions obtained from independent

  10. Precipitation in the Central Mediterranean during the last century

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maheras, P.; Balafoutis, Ch.; Vafiadis, M.

    1992-09-01

    Monthly precipitation data from 10 stations (Patras, Corfu, Hvar, Trieste, Venice, Florence, Rome, Naples, Catania and Malta) in the Central Mediterranean area are used for a period of 95 years (1894 1988). The homogeneity of these precipitation time series is tested and their statistical characteristics are analysed. An abrupt climatic change is found at Naples and Rome. The application of Principal Component Analysis (PCA) has yielded three groups of stations where the precipitation data indicate similar fluctuations. Group A includes the stations situated along the coasts of the Ionian and Adriatic seas and the station Naples, while Group B includes the Northern Italian stations and Group C includes the stations at Catania and Malta. In all three groups maximum precipitation was observed during the 1930s. The periodicities of the scores of the significant components have been studied by spectral analysis and significant periodicities of 13.6, 3.5 and 2.2 years were found. Finally, a discussion of the relationships between these precipitation fluctuations and circulation types over the Mediterranean is presented.

  11. Diet and trophic ecology of the lanternfish Electrona risso (Cocco 1829) in the Strait of Messina (central Mediterranean Sea) and potential resource utilization from the Deep Scattering Layer (DSL)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battaglia, Pietro; Andaloro, Franco; Esposito, Valentina; Granata, Antonia; Guglielmo, Letterio; Guglielmo, Rosanna; Musolino, Simona; Romeo, Teresa; Zagami, Giacomo

    2016-07-01

    The feeding habits of the mesopelagic lanternfish Electrona risso from the Strait of Messina (central Mediterranean Sea) were analyzed for the first time. A total of 326 individuals were collected stranded along the Sicilian coast of the Strait of Messina from October 2012 to May 2013. Specimens ranged from 12.0 to 53.8 mm LS (mean LS = 38.6 ± 8.4 mm). Their stomach content was examined and prey composition and feeding strategy were investigated. The results indicate that E. risso is a specialist predator, which feeds mainly on the small mesopelagic fish Cyclothone braueri (%IRI = 74.06) and in minor proportion on zooplankton, with a prevalence of copepods. The specialized feeding strategy of E. risso is confirmed by the low value of Levins standardized index (Bj = 0.141), which indicated a restricted niche breadth. The value of the index of trophic level (TROPH) for E. risso resulted 4.20. The prey composition suggests that E. risso can be considered a weakly vertical migrating species, that feeds on the DSL crustacean and fish communities below 300 m of depth.

  12. The structure of western Sicily, central Mediterranean

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Catalano, R.; Sulli, A. [Universita di Palermo, Dip. di Geologia e Geodesia, Palermo (Italy); Merlini, S. [ENI-Divisione AGIP, San Donato Milanese (Italy)

    2002-07-01

    Western Sicily is part of the Sicilian chain, a sector of the SE-verging Alpine orogenic belt in the central Mediterranean. Interpretation of seismic reflection profiles, boreholes and recent inland geological data, have enabled us to assess the deep structural grain. A wedge of flat-lying Mesozoic-Miocene carbonate and terrigenous rocks (pre-Panormide nappes) is superimposed on NW-trending, 7-8 km thick, Mesozoic-Paleogene carbonate thrust ramps (Trapanese units), arranged in two structural levels extending from the Tyrrhenian coast to western offshore Sicily. Upper Miocene to Pleistocene terrigenous strata, often deformed, fill syntectonic basins above the thrust pile. The main tectonic transport of the thrust pile, developing from Early Miocene to Early-Middle Pleistocene times, was towards the east and southeast. Initial stacking and deformation of the pre-Panormide allochthon is bracketed between Early and Late Miocene. The Late Miocene-Early Pleistocene underthrusting of the Trapanese-Saccense units, that acted through more recent deep-seated thrusts in the carbonate platform layer, induced late stage refolding and further shortening in the early emplaced pre-Panormide nappe. Previously formed structures appear to have been dissected or reactivated by a right oblique transpression during the Late Pliocene-Pleistocene. The geometry of the carbonate bodies opens new potential perspectives on the existence of structural traps, but the uncertainties of source rock occurrence remain. (Author)

  13. Footprints of climate change on Mediterranean Sea biota

    KAUST Repository

    Marbà, Núria

    2015-08-13

    The Mediterranean Sea ranks among the ocean regions warming fastest. There is evidence for impacts of climate change on marine Mediterranean organisms but a quantitative assessment is lacking. We compiled the impacts of warming reported in the literature to provide a quantitative assessment for the Mediterranean Sea. During the last three decades the summer surface temperature has increased 1.15°C. Strong heat wave events have occurred in years 1994, 2003, and 2009. Impacts of warming are evident on growth, survival, fertility, migration and phenology of pelagic and benthic organisms, from phytoplankton to marine vegetation, invertebrates and vertebrates. Overall, 50% of biological impacts in the Mediterranean Sea occur at summer surface temperature anomaly ≤ 4.5°C and at summer surface temperature of 27.5°C. The activation energy (geometric mean 1.58 ± 0.48 eV), the slope of the Arrhenius equation describing the temperature-dependence of biological processes, for the response of Mediterranean marine biota to warming reveals that these responses in the Mediterranean are far steepest than possibly explained by the direct effect of warming alone. The observations are biased toward the northern and western sectors of the basin, likely underestimating the impacts of warming in areas where warming is particularly intense.

  14. Footprints of climate change on Mediterranean Sea biota

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Núria eMarbà

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea ranks among the ocean regions warming fastest. There is evidence for impacts of climate change on marine Mediterranean organisms but a quantitative assessment is lacking. We compiled the impacts of warming reported in the literature to provide a quantitative assessment for the Mediterranean Sea. During the last three decades the summer surface temperature has increased 1.15 oC. Strong heat wave events have occurred in years 1994, 2003 and 2009. Impacts of warming are evident on growth, survival, fertility, migration and phenology of pelagic and benthic organisms, from phytoplankton to marine vegetation, invertebrates and vertebrates. Overall, 50 % of biological impacts in the Mediterranean Sea occur at summer surface temperature anomaly ≤ 4.5 ºC and at summer surface temperature of 27.5 ºC. The activation energy (geometric mean 1.58 ± 0.48 eV, the slope of the Arrhenius equation describing the temperature-dependence of biological processes, for the response of Mediterranean marine biota to warming reveals that these responses in the Mediterranean are far steepest than possibly explained by the direct effect of warming alone. The observations are biased toward the northern and western sectors of the basin, likely underestimating the impacts of warming in areas where warming is particularly intense.

  15. Comparison of Several Geoid Models over the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Termens, A.; Martinez-Benjamin, J. J.

    2011-07-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed true ocean. Recent Mediterranean circulation and sea level studies using various observations and ocean general circulation models show good coherence and agreement. The satellite altimetry and tide gauge observed and model predicted sea level show good coherent with correlation coefficient of 0.6. The barotropic pressure response accounts for about 66% of the Mediterranean sea level rise (1948-2001). The estimated sea level trend (1.54 ± 0.75 mm/yr) using decadal altimetry (1985-2001) after correcting the interannual/decadal signals reconstructed using tide gauge data, agrees well with the long term trend (1948-2001) estimated using tide gauges (1.43 ± 0.09 mm/yr) in the Mediterranean Sea, and is in better agreement than before with the global long-term sea level trend (1.7 - 1.8 mm/yr). Simulation studies indicate that the time-varying mass variations of Mediterranean Sea likely are sensitive to GOCE at the few mEötvös level. One of GOCE's primary high-level data products is the global gravity model with anticipated geoid accuracy of 1 cm RMS and a spatial resolution of 130 km or longer. Actually, the International Centre for Global Earth Models (ICGEM) distributes some GOCE's Global Gravity field Models (GGMs) like GO_CONS_GCF_2_DIR (Bruinsma et al, 2010), GO_CONS_GCF_2_TIM (Pail et al, 2010a), GO_CONS_GCF_2_SPW (Migliaccio et al, 2010), GOCO01S (Pail et al, 2010b). The work focuses on the comparison between these GOCE's GGMs, EGM2008 and EIGEN-51C, with sea gravity anomalies and geoid undulations provided by existing local and regional geoids - like IBERGEO (Sevilla, 2008), IGG (Corchete et al, 2005), etc. - in the Western Mediterranean Sea in order to find the GGM that best fits this area. We also try to estimate how the GOCE geoid data, provided by ESA, works on the Western Mediterranean Sea in order to prepare future geomatic issues.

  16. Mechanisms for Amplified Central European Summer Precipitation Extremes in a Warmer Mediterranean Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volosciuk, Claudia; Maraun, Douglas; Semenov, Vladimir; Tilinina, Natalia; Latif, Mojib

    2015-04-01

    Central European climate is influenced by the Mediterranean Sea, where a strong increase in sea surface temperature (SST) has been observed during the last four decades. One example of extreme weather events are cyclones following the "Vb" pathway. These cyclones are generated over the Mediterranean Sea, travel northeastwards around the Alps and then hit central European countries. These cyclones carry large amounts of moisture and cause extreme precipitation, and subsequently flooding, particularly in summer. To investigate the mechanisms causing increased summer extreme precipitation due to increased Mediterranean SST in Europe, we analyze a series of simulations with the atmospheric general circulation model ECHAM5. In the control run, we forced the model with the 1970-1999 SST climatology. In an additional run, we replaced the Mediterranean and Black Sea SST forcing with the climatology of the warmer 2000-2012 period. ECHAM5 was run at high horizontal resolution (T159) and integrated for 40 years in each experiment. 20-season return levels were derived as a measure of extreme precipitation for daily precipitation in JJA (June - August). These return levels are estimated as quantiles of a stationary generalized Pareto distribution, based on exceedances of the 95th precipitation percentile. We have shown in a previous contribution that precipitation return levels in JJA increase along the Vb cyclone track although the number of Vb cyclones does not increase. Here we discuss the mechanisms responsible for this increase. Due to the warmer climate in the Mediterranean region, climatological mean evaporation and precipitable water in the atmosphere are increased. On extreme days, composites show an even further increase in precipitable water over the central European region. On these extreme days, a higher sea level pressure gradient between central Europe and the Atlantic causes enhanced cyclonic flow that transports more moisture from the Mediterranean region to

  17. Saharan dust deposition may affect phytoplankton growth in the Mediterranean sea at ecological time scales.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rachele Gallisai

    Full Text Available The surface waters of the Mediterranean Sea are extremely poor in the nutrients necessary for plankton growth. At the same time, the Mediterranean Sea borders with the largest and most active desert areas in the world and the atmosphere over the basin is subject to frequent injections of mineral dust particles. We describe statistical correlations between dust deposition over the Mediterranean Sea and surface chlorophyll concentrations at ecological time scales. Aerosol deposition of Saharan origin may explain 1 to 10% (average 5% of seasonally detrended chlorophyll variability in the low nutrient-low chlorophyll Mediterranean. Most of the statistically significant correlations are positive with main effects in spring over the Eastern and Central Mediterranean, conforming to a view of dust events fueling needed nutrients to the planktonic community. Some areas show negative effects of dust deposition on chlorophyll, coinciding with regions under a large influence of aerosols from European origin. The influence of dust deposition on chlorophyll dynamics may become larger in future scenarios of increased aridity and shallowing of the mixed layer.

  18. Climate of the past 2500 years in the Gulf of Taranto, central Mediterranean Sea: A high-resolution climate reconstruction based on δ18O and δ13C of Globigerinoides ruber (white)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grauel, A.-L.; Goudeau, M.-L.S.; de Lange, G.J.; Bernasconi, S.M.

    2013-01-01

    We present a high-resolution isotope stratigraphy based on Globigerinoides ruber (white) over the past 2500 years in the Gulf of Taranto, central Mediterranean. G. ruber (white) reflects summer conditions in the Gulf of Taranto but is influenced by two major surface water masses: the Western Adriati

  19. Sediment reworking rates in deep sediments of the Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barsanti, M., E-mail: mattia.barsanti@enea.it [ENEA, Marine Environment Research Centre, La Spezia (Italy); Delbono, I., E-mail: ivana.delbono@enea.it [ENEA, Marine Environment Research Centre, La Spezia (Italy); Schirone, A., E-mail: antonio.schirone@enea.it [ENEA, Marine Environment Research Centre, La Spezia (Italy); Langone, L., E-mail: leonardo.langone@bo.ismar.cnr.it [CNR, ISMAR Istituto di Scienze Marine, U.O.S. Bologna (Italy); Miserocchi, S., E-mail: stefano.miserocchi@bo.ismar.cnr.it [CNR, ISMAR Istituto di Scienze Marine, U.O.S. Bologna (Italy); Salvi, S., E-mail: stefano.salvi@enea.it [ENEA, Research Centre Brasimone, Camugnano (Italy); Delfanti, R., E-mail: roberta.delfanti@enea.it [ENEA, Marine Environment Research Centre, La Spezia (Italy)

    2011-07-01

    Different pelagic areas of the Mediterranean Sea have been investigated in order to quantify physical and biological mixing processes in deep sea sediments. Herein, results of eleven sediment cores sampled at different deep areas (> 2000 m) of the Western and Eastern Mediterranean Sea are presented. {sup 210}Pb{sub xs} and {sup 137}Cs vertical profiles, together with {sup 14}C dating, are used to identify the main processes characterising the different areas and, finally, controlling mixing depths (SML) and bioturbation coefficients (D{sub b}). Radionuclide vertical profiles and inventories indicate that bioturbation processes are the dominant processes responsible for sediment reworking in deep sea environments. Results show significant differences in sediment mixing depths and bioturbation coefficients among areas of the Mediterranean Sea characterised by different trophic regimes. In particular, in the Oran Rise area, where the Almeria-Oran Front induces frequent phytoplankton blooms, we calculate the highest values of sediment mixing layers (13 cm) and bioturbation coefficients (0.187 cm{sup 2} yr{sup -1}), and the highest values of {sup 210}Pb{sub xs} and {sup 137}Cs inventories. Intermediate values of SML and D{sub b} ({approx} 6 cm and {approx} 0.040 cm{sup 2} yr{sup -1}, respectively) characterise the mesothrophic Algero-Balearic basin, while in the Southern Tyrrhenian Sea mixing parameters (SML of 3 cm and D{sub b} of 0.011 cm{sup 2} yr{sup -1}) are similar to those calculated for the oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean (SML of 2 cm and D{sub b} of {approx} 0.005 cm{sup 2} yr{sup -1}). - Research highlights: {yields} Physical and biological mixing processes in the Mediterranean Sea are investigated. {yields} Results of 11 sediment cores in deep areas of the Mediterranean Sea are shown. {yields} {sup 210}Pb{sub xs} and {sup 137}Cs vertical profiles are analysed. {yields} New data on {sup 210}Pb and {sup 137}Cs inventories of Mediterranean deep sediments are

  20. The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casale, Paolo; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-01-01

    mainly disperse to the Ionian, Adriatic and south-central Mediterranean areas. Combining hatchling dispersal with existing empirical information on juveniles and adults, a general distribution model among nesting sites, oceanic and neritic foraging grounds for Mediterranean sea turtles is proposed......Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean...... were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area...

  1. Loss of large predatory sharks from the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferretti, Francesco; Myers, Ransom A; Serena, Fabrizio; Lotze, Heike K

    2008-08-01

    Evidence for severe declines in large predatory fishes is increasing around the world. Because of its long history of intense fishing, the Mediterranean Sea offers a unique perspective on fish population declines over historical timescales. We used a diverse set of records dating back to the early 19th and mid 20th century to reconstruct long-term population trends of large predatory sharks in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. We compiled 9 time series of abundance indices from commercial and recreational fishery landings, scientific surveys, and sighting records. Generalized linear models were used to extract instantaneous rates of change from each data set, and a meta-analysis was conducted to compare population trends. Only 5 of the 20 species we considered had sufficient records for analysis. Hammerhead (Sphyrna spp.), blue (Prionace glauca), mackerel (Isurus oxyrinchus and Lamna nasus), and thresher sharks (Alopias vulpinus) declined between 96 and 99.99% relative to their former abundance. According to World Conservation Union (IUCN) criteria, these species would be considered critically endangered. So far, the lack of quantitative population assessments has impeded shark conservation in the Mediterranean Sea. Our study fills this critical information gap, suggesting that current levels of exploitation put large sharks at risk of extinction in the Mediterranean Sea. Possible ecosystem effects of these losses involve a disruption of top-down control and a release of midlevel consumers.

  2. Patterns in planktonic metabolism in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Regaudie-de-Gioux

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Planktonic gross community production (GPP, net community production (NCP and community respiration (CR across the Mediterranean Sea was examined in two cruises, Thresholds 2006 and 2007, each crossing the Mediterranean from West to East to test for consistent variation along this longitudinal gradient in late spring to early summer. GPP averaged 2.4±0.4 mmol O2 m−3 d−1, CR averaged 3.8±0.5 mmol O2 m−3 d−1, and NCP averaged – 0.8±0.6 mmol O2 m−3 d−1 across the studied sections, indicative of a tendency for a net heterotrophic metabolism in late spring to early summer, prevalent across studied sections of the Mediterranean Sea as reflected in 70% of negative NCP estimates. The median P/R ratio was 0.6, also indicating a strong prevalence of heterotrophic communities (P/R<1 along the studied sections of the Mediterranean Sea. The communities tended to be net heterotrophic (i.e. P/R<1 at GPP less than 2.8 mmol O2 m−3 d−1. The Western Mediterranean tended to support a higher gross primary production and community respiration than the Eastern basin did, but these differences were not statistically significant (t-test, p>0.05. The net heterotrophy of the studied sections of the Mediterranean Sea indicates that allochthonous carbon should be important to subsidise planktonic metabolism during the late spring.

  3. Space-time variability of alkalinity in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Cossarini

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The paper provides a basin assessment of the spatial distribution of ocean alkalinity in the Mediterranean Sea. The assessment is made using a 3-D transport-biogeochemical-carbonate model to integrate the available experimental findings, which also constrains model output. The results indicate that the Mediterranean Sea shows alkalinity values that are much higher than those observed in the Atlantic Ocean on a basin-wide scale. A marked west-to-east surface gradient of alkalinity is reproduced as a response to the terrestrial discharges, the mixing effect with the Atlantic water entering from the Gibraltar Strait and the Black Sea water from Dardanelles, and the surface flux of evaporation minus precipitation. Dense water production in marginal seas (Adriatic and Aegean Seas, where alkaline inputs are relevant, and the Mediterranean thermohaline circulation sustains the west-to-east gradient along the entire water column. In the surface layers, alkalinity has a relevant seasonal cycle (up to 40 μmol kg−1 that is driven both by physical and biological processes. A comparison of alkalinity vs. salinity indicates that different regions present different relationships. In regions of freshwater influence, the two measures are negatively correlated due to riverine alkalinity input, whereas they are positively correlated in open seas. Alkalinity always is much higher than in the Atlantic waters, which might indicate a higher than usual buffering capacity towards ocean acidification, even at high concentrations of dissolved inorganic carbon.

  4. Active tectonics of the Calabrian subduction revealed by new multi-beam bathymetric data and high-resolution seismic profiles in the Ionian Sea (Central Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutscher, Marc-André; Kopp, Heidrun; Krastel, Sebastian; Bohrmann, Gerhard; Garlan, Thierry; Zaragosi, Sebastien; Klaucke, Ingo; Wintersteller, Paul; Loubrieu, Benoit; Le Faou, Yann; San Pedro, Laurine; Dominguez, Stephane; Rovere, Marzia; Mercier de Lepinay, Bernard; Ranero, Cesar; Sallares, Valenti

    2017-03-01

    The detailed morphology and internal structure of the Calabrian accretionary wedge and adjacent Eastern Sicily margin are imaged in unprecedented detail by a combined dataset of multi-beam bathymetry and high-resolution seismic profiles. The bathymetric data represent the results of 6 recent marine geophysical surveys since 2010 as well as a compilation of earlier surveys presented as a 2 arc-sec (60 m) grid. Several distinct morpho-tectonic provinces are identified including: the deeply incised Malta-Hyblean Escarpment, numerous submarine canyons, broad regions of relatively flat seafloor dominated by fields of sediment waves, the gently undulating anticlinal fold-and-thrust belts of the external Calabrian accretionary wedge and the adjacent portion of the Western Mediterranean Ridge. The Calabrian arc can be divided into 4 domains (from SE to NW): 1) the undeformed Ionian abyssal plain, 2) the external evaporitic wedge, 3) the internal clastic wedge, 4) the Calabrian backstop (Variscan crystalline basement). The Calabrian accretionary wedge can also be divided laterally into two major lobes, the NE- and the SW lobes, and two minor lobes. The kinematics of the limit between the two major lobes is investigated and shown to be sinistral in the external (evaporitic) wedge. A network of radial slip lines within the southernmost external wedge unequivocally demonstrate ongoing dextral displacement of a rigid indenter (representing the corner of the clastic wedge) into the evaporitic wedge thereby confirming the geodynamic model of an active lateral slab tear fault here off eastern Sicily. The slab tear produces a series of major sub-parallel dextral strike-slip faults offshore Mt. Etna and south of the Straits of Messina consistent with the relative motions between Calabria and the Peloritan domain (NE Sicily). Abundant strike-slip faulting, and wide-spread folding and thrusting observed throughout the entire accretionary wedge, indicate regional shortening between the

  5. Palaeoceanography of the interglacial eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Marino, G.

    2008-01-01

    The sensitivity of the present interglacial climate to the ongoing anthropogenic-driven increase of atmospheric greenhouse gas poses a fundamental concern to modern society. The Mediterranean region is responding with a distinct change towards drier and warmer conditions, which affects also the hydr

  6. Abyssal and deep circulation in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Ionian Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Artale, Vincenzo; Bensi, Manuel; Falcini, Federico; Marullo, Salvatore; Rubino, Angelo

    2016-04-01

    In the mid-1990s, experimental evidences on the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) were presented and it was shown that the Mediterranean abyssal circulation is not in a steady state but can be subjected to episodic sudden changes (Roether et al., 1996). In the last 10 years the Ionian Sea, the central and deepest part of the Mediterranean Sea, was subjected to relevant scientific interests from a theoretical and experimental point of view. Among these, there is the discovery of the BiOS (Bimodal Oscillating System), one new mechanism that drives a periodic (almost decadal) redistribution of surface and subsurface waters in the Eastern Mediterranean, with considerable feedbacks in the variability of the deep-water formation both in the southern Adriatic and in the Levantine and Aegean sub-basins (Gačić et al., 2010). In the Ionian Sea, numerous recent observational campaigns have been conducted to investigate the behaviour of deep and abyssal waters, at depths between 2000-4000m that are comparable to the mean global ocean depth (Rubino and Hainbucher, 2007; Bensi et al., 2013). There, advection, diffusion and vertical stability of the water masses can assume an important role on the internal quasi-periodical variability, creating the preconditions for catastrophic events such as the EMT or reversals of the Ionian circulation (Pisacane et al., 2006). Since there are no significant deep heat sources in the world ocean, waters that fill the deep ocean can only return to the sea surface as a result of downward mixing of heat from the sea surface to the bottom and vice versa and this occurs through eddy diffusion. Along our presentation, mainly through the analysis of the deepest CTD casts taken from 2009 to 2011 in the eastern basins and in particular in the Ionian Sea, we will show a significant change in the deep thermohaline structure (including its biogeochemical and hydrological characteristics), giving an indication on the time scale of the renewal of deep

  7. Biology and new records of the invasive species Branchiomma bairdi (Annelida: Sabellidae in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. ARIAS

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available First observations on the reproductive biology of the alien polychaete Branchiomma bairdi (McIntosh, 1885 (Sabellidae in the Mediterranean Sea are provided as well as additional Mediterranean records of the species which can help to understand its introduction and spreading. Re-examination of the specimens from Miseno harbour (Tyrrhenian Sea, Italy revealed the presence of B. bairdi in the central-Mediterranean since September 2004. The histological study of individuals collected in Malta revealed that the species is a simultaneous hermaphrodite, developing male and female gametes in the same body segments; embryos are brooded inside the parent tube. However, there is evidence also for asexual reproduction. The species shows a different reproductive pattern from the previously reported population from the eastern-Pacific; this demonstrates its great plasticity and adaptability. Branchiomma bairdi has an invasive behaviour, colonizing large areas in relatively short-time, and reaching relatively high densities (c.a. 50 individuals/m2. Its expansion throughout several Mediterranean localities is largely a consequence of the high capacity of this species to colonize extremely different habitats and substrates, to the occurrence of sexual and asexual reproductive strategies, and the combination of both. Further, B. bairdi appears to be particularly abundant in confined and anthropogenic degraded areas. Finally, our findings strongly suggest that the pathway of introduction in the Mediterranean, previously hypothesized as the Suez Canal (Lessepsian migration, is most likely via the Gibraltar Strait.

  8. Interannual variability, growth, reproduction and feeding of Pelagia noctiluca (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in the Straits of Messina (Central Mediterranean Sea): Linkages with temperature and diet

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosa, S.; Pansera, M.; Granata, A.; Guglielmo, L.

    2013-02-01

    To identify some of the possible environmental factors stimulating the increasingly frequent outbreaks of the scyphomedusa Pelagia noctiluca in the Straits of Messina, we investigated its abundance, growth, reproduction and feeding over a 4-year period, from 2007 to 2011, at two coastal sites. Using either field investigations and manipulative experiments we show that, among the various factors considered, shifts in water temperature (influencing medusae metabolism, growth and reproduction rates) and the size structure of the zooplankton community (their natural preys) can promote the proliferation of P. noctiluca. In particular, we show that increased temperature let jellyfishes to grow more rapidly and reach exceptional sizes. We also report a peculiar opportunistic behavior of P. noctiluca, which makes this species a potentially strong competitor in the pelagic trophic web of the Straits ecosystem. We therefore propose that more frequent P. noctiluca outbreaks stimulated by increasing sea surface temperature and shifts in their prey availability and composition would become, in the near future, a major cause of ecosystem shift.

  9. Fin whales and microplastics: The Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez scenarios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fossi, Maria Cristina; Marsili, Letizia; Baini, Matteo; Giannetti, Matteo; Coppola, Daniele; Guerranti, Cristiana; Caliani, Ilaria; Minutoli, Roberta; Lauriano, Giancarlo; Finoia, Maria Grazia; Rubegni, Fabrizio; Panigada, Simone; Bérubé, Martine; Urbán Ramírez, Jorge; Panti, Cristina

    2016-02-01

    The impact that microplastics have on baleen whales is a question that remains largely unexplored. This study examined the interaction between free-ranging fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) and microplastics by comparing populations living in two semi-enclosed basins, the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California, Mexico). The results indicate that a considerable abundance of microplastics and plastic additives exists in the neustonic samples from Pelagos Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea, and that pelagic areas containing high densities of microplastics overlap with whale feeding grounds, suggesting that whales are exposed to microplastics during foraging; this was confirmed by the observation of a temporal increase in toxicological stress in whales. Given the abundance of microplastics in the Mediterranean environment, along with the high concentrations of Persistent Bioaccumulative and Toxic (PBT) chemicals, plastic additives and biomarker responses detected in the biopsies of Mediterranean whales as compared to those in whales inhabiting the Sea of Cortez, we believe that exposure to microplastics because of direct ingestion and consumption of contaminated prey poses a major threat to the health of fin whales in the Mediterranean Sea.

  10. Benefits of the Mediterranean diet beyond the Mediterranean Sea and beyond food patterns.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-González, Miguel A

    2016-10-14

    Abundant and growing evidence has accrued to demonstrate that the traditional Mediterranean diet is likely to be the ideal dietary pattern for the prevention of cardiovascular disease. A landmark randomized trial (PREDIMED) together with many well-conducted long-term observational prospective cohort studies support this causal effect.A new, large British cohort study by Tong et al. assessing the association between adherence to the Mediterranean diet and cardiovascular disease was recently published in BMC Medicine. Using a superb methodology, they followed-up 23,902 participants for 12.2 years on average and observed several thousand incident cases.The results of this cohort study showed a significant beneficial effect of the Mediterranean diet on cardiovascular events. These findings support the transferability of this dietary pattern beyond the shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The authors provided measures of population impact in cardiovascular prevention and estimated that 19,375 cases of cardiovascular death would be prevented each year in the UK by promoting the Mediterranean Diet.Please see related article: http://bmcmedicine.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12916-016-0677-4 .

  11. Common littoral pycnogonids of the Mediterranean Sea

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    Tobias Lehmann

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available In the present study 21 littoral pycnogonid species from 5 families are analysed: Ammotheidae (9 species, Callipallenidae (5 species, Endeidae (2 species, Phoxichilidiidae (3 species, and Pycnogonidae (2 species. The material was mainly taken from Mediterranean pycnogonid collections housed in the Bavarian State Collection of Zoology. Additional material was collected during field trips. Altogether the material was obtained from six different locations: Banyuls-sur-Mer (France, Tavolara Island (Italy, Elba Island (Italy, Giglio Island (Italy, Sicily Island (Italy, and Istria Peninsula (Croatia. The animals were studied in detail with a scanning electron microscope (SEM. Additionally series of light microscopic pictures were made to generate extended depth of field pictures of whole animals. The observed features are compared with previous literature.

  12. The biodiversity of the Mediterranean Sea: estimates, patterns, and threats.

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    Marta Coll

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea is a marine biodiversity hot spot. Here we combined an extensive literature analysis with expert opinions to update publicly available estimates of major taxa in this marine ecosystem and to revise and update several species lists. We also assessed overall spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity and identified major changes and threats. Our results listed approximately 17,000 marine species occurring in the Mediterranean Sea. However, our estimates of marine diversity are still incomplete as yet-undescribed species will be added in the future. Diversity for microbes is substantially underestimated, and the deep-sea areas and portions of the southern and eastern region are still poorly known. In addition, the invasion of alien species is a crucial factor that will continue to change the biodiversity of the Mediterranean, mainly in its eastern basin that can spread rapidly northwards and westwards due to the warming of the Mediterranean Sea. Spatial patterns showed a general decrease in biodiversity from northwestern to southeastern regions following a gradient of production, with some exceptions and caution due to gaps in our knowledge of the biota along the southern and eastern rims. Biodiversity was also generally higher in coastal areas and continental shelves, and decreases with depth. Temporal trends indicated that overexploitation and habitat loss have been the main human drivers of historical changes in biodiversity. At present, habitat loss and degradation, followed by fishing impacts, pollution, climate change, eutrophication, and the establishment of alien species are the most important threats and affect the greatest number of taxonomic groups. All these impacts are expected to grow in importance in the future, especially climate change and habitat degradation. The spatial identification of hot spots highlighted the ecological importance of most of the western Mediterranean shelves (and in particular

  13. Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the Western Mediterranean Sea waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brumovský, Miroslav; Karásková, Pavlína; Borghini, Mireno; Nizzetto, Luca

    2016-09-01

    The spatial and temporal distribution of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) in the open Western Mediterranean Sea waters was investigated in this study for the first time. In addition to surface water samples, a deep water sample (1390 m depth) collected in the center of the western basin was analyzed. Perfluorohexanoic acid (PFHxA), perfluoroheptanoic acid (PFHpA), perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorohexanesulfonate (PFHxS) and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS) were detected in all samples and were the dominant PFASs found. The sum of PFAS concentrations (ΣPFASs) ranged 246-515 pg/L for surface water samples. PFASs in surface water had a relatively homogeneous distribution with levels similar to those previously measured in the Atlantic near the Strait of Gibraltar, in water masses feeding the inflow to the Mediterranean Sea. Higher concentrations of PFHxA, PFHpA and PFHxS were, however, found in the present study. Inflowing Atlantic water and river/coastal discharges are likely the major sources of PFASs to the Western Mediterranean basin. Slightly lower (factor of 2) ΣPFASs was found in the deep water sample (141 pg/L). Such a relatively high contamination of deep water is likely to be linked to recurring deep water renewal fed by downwelling events in the Gulf of Lion and/or Ligurian Sea.

  14. The Cystoseira spp. Communities from the Aegean Sea (NE Mediterranean

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    B. MONTESANTO

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A synthetic study of qualitative and quantitative data from some algal communities dominated by different species of the genus Cystoseira has been carried out in three coastal areas of the Aegean Sea. Seasonal samples were taken from 10 stations and a list of 30 species presenting coverage values > 1% was dressed. Ecological indices, such as Shannon Diversity Index, Pielou Eveness and Bray-Curtis Similarity Index were calculate using the PRIMER software. The results from the Aegean Sea were compared with other Mediterranean areas, and the use of Cystoseira communities as ecological quality indicators was discussed.

  15. Influence of paired subduction zones: insight into Central Mediterranean tectonics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Meghan Samantha; Moresi, Louis; Faccenna, Claudio; Funiciello, Francesca

    2015-04-01

    The Hellenic and Calabrian slabs are subducting the last remnant of the Ionian oceanic lithosphere into the deep mantle beneath the Central Mediterranean. Seismic tomography studies have provided clear images of the present day morphology of the subducted lithosphere [1]. Tectonic studies have shown that the Calabrian slab has rolled back into its current geometry with episodes of back-arc spreading that have now ceased [2]. Conversely, GPS observations along with tectonic reconstructions show that the Hellenic slab is currently rolling back and appears to have accelerated in the past ~15 My [3], which has resulted in the only region of backarc spreading still active in the Mediterranean. Observations of seismic anisotropy from SKS splitting [4] indicate toroidal flow patterns at the edges of the subducted slabs, which lead to interpretations of mantle convection and flow. Rollback in a confined setting has allowed the two slabs to become a plate-tectonic pushmi-pullyu [5]. The evolution of each slab is necessarily dependent on the other as they are both subducting the same lithosphere in opposite directions and are sufficiently close together that their induced mantle flow patterns must interact strongly. Although this seems to be an oddity in the classical picture of plate tectonics, we note that rollback-dominated subduction is more likely to be important in the highly-confined setting of a closing ocean where the oceanic lithosphere is not always able to develop into a freely-moving plate. Under such conditions, back-to-back pairings of subducting slabs are potentially more common. To investigate this setting, we present preliminary numerical models of paired subduction zones that we have developed using Underworld. We include variations in the strength and buoyancy of the surrounding (over-riding) plates and account for the presence of continentally-derived basement in the Adriatic sea. The geodynamic models allow for exploration into the timing, mechanics

  16. Long-period sea-level variations in the Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerbini, Susanna; Raicich, Fabio; Bruni, Sara; del Conte, Sara; Errico, Maddalena; Prati, Claudio; Santi, Efisio

    2016-04-01

    Since the beginning of its long-lasting lifetime, the Wegener initiative has devoted careful consideration to studying sea-level variations/changes across the Mediterranean Sea. Our study focuses on several long-period sea-level time series (from end of 1800 to 2012) acquired in the Mediterranean by tide gauge stations. In general, the analysis and interpretation of these data sets can provide an important contribution to research on climate change and its impacts. We have analyzed the centennial sea-level time series of six fairly well documented tide gauges. They are: Marseille, in France, Alicante in Spain, Genoa, Trieste, Venice and Marina di Ravenna (formerly Porto Corsini), in Italy. The data of the Italian stations of Marina di Ravenna and Venice clearly indicate that land subsidence is responsible for most of the observed rate of relative sea level rise. It is well known that, in the two areas, subsidence is caused by both natural processes and human activities. For these two stations, using levelling data of benchmarks at, and/or close to, the tide gauges, and for the recent years, also GPS and InSAR height time series, modelling of the long-period non-linear behavior of subsidence was successfully accomplished. After removing the land vertical motions, the estimate of the linear long-period sea-level rise at all six stations yielded remarkably consistent values, between +1,2 and +1,3 mm/yr, with associated errors ranging from ±0,2 to ±0,3 mm/yr (95% confidence interval), which also account for the statistical autocorrelation of the time series. These trends in the Mediterranean area are lower than the global mean rate of 1,7±0,2 mm/yr (1901-2010) presented by the IPCC in its 5th Assessment Report; however, they are in full agreement with a global mean sea-level rise estimate, over the period 1901-1990, recently published by Hay et al. (2015, doi:10.1038/nature14093) and obtained using probabilistic techniques that combine sea-level records with physics

  17. Excess of {sup 236}U in the northwest Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chamizo, E., E-mail: echamizo@us.es [Centro Nacional de Aceleradores, Universidad de Sevilla, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Junta de Andalucía, Thomas Alva Edison 7, 41092 Seville (Spain); López-Lora, M., E-mail: mlopezlora@us.es [Centro Nacional de Aceleradores, Universidad de Sevilla, Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Junta de Andalucía, Thomas Alva Edison 7, 41092 Seville (Spain); Bressac, M., E-mail: matthieu.bressac@utas.edu.au [IAEA-Environment Laboratories, Monte Carlo 98000 (Monaco); Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart, TAS (Australia); Levy, I., E-mail: I.N.Levy@iaea.org [IAEA-Environment Laboratories, Monte Carlo 98000 (Monaco); Pham, M.K., E-mail: M.Pham@iaea.org [IAEA-Environment Laboratories, Monte Carlo 98000 (Monaco)

    2016-09-15

    In this work, we present first {sup 236}U results in the northwestern Mediterranean. {sup 236}U is studied in a seawater column sampled at DYFAMED (Dynamics of Atmospheric Fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea) station (Ligurian Sea, 43°25′N, 07°52′E). The obtained {sup 236}U/{sup 238}U atom ratios in the dissolved phase, ranging from about 2 × 10{sup −9} at 100 m depth to about 1.5 × 10{sup −9} at 2350 m depth, indicate that anthropogenic {sup 236}U dominates the whole seawater column. The corresponding deep-water column inventory (12.6 ng/m{sup 2} or 32.1 × 10{sup 12} atoms/m{sup 2}) exceeds by a factor of 2.5 the expected one for global fallout at similar latitudes (5 ng/m{sup 2} or 13 × 10{sup 12} atoms/m{sup 2}), evidencing the influence of local or regional {sup 236}U sources in the western Mediterranean basin. On the other hand, the input of {sup 236}U associated to Saharan dust outbreaks is evaluated. An additional {sup 236}U annual deposition of about 0.2 pg/m{sup 2} based on the study of atmospheric particles collected in Monaco during different Saharan dust intrusions is estimated. The obtained results in the corresponding suspended solids collected at DYFAMED station indicate that about 64% of that {sup 236}U stays in solution in seawater. Overall, this source accounts for about 0.1% of the {sup 236}U inventory excess observed at DYFAMED station. The influence of the so-called Chernobyl fallout and the radioactive effluents produced by the different nuclear installations allocated to the Mediterranean basin, might explain the inventory gap, however, further studies are necessary to come to a conclusion about its origin. - Highlights: • First {sup 236}U results in the northwest Mediterranean Sea are reported. • Anthropogenic {sup 236}U dominates the whole seawater column at DYFAMED station. • {sup 236}U deep-water column inventory exceeds by a factor of 2.5 the global fallout one. • Saharan dust intrusions are responsible for an annual

  18. A new morpho-bathymetric map of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascle, Jean; Brosolo, Laetitia

    2016-04-01

    A new morpho-bathymetric synthesis of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea has been compiled using a digital terrain model (DTM) based on a 100-meter grid. This DTM has been constructed using data provided by several peri-mediterranean Institutes, and collected using various swath bathymetry systems operated by different research vessels. One may estimate that 90% of the seabed extending by water depths higher than 2000m have been mapped using swath systems. The aim of this synthesis is chiefly to illustrate, in detail, the morphological features resulting from the various (sedimentary, tectonic, geochemical, magmatic, etc.) active geological processes operating on the four main physiographic domains, which characterize the Eastern Mediterranean Sea: the Calabria outer arc (Ionian Sea), the Mediterranean Ridge (most of the central basin), the Nile sedimentary cone (off Egypt) and the Eratosthenes seamount (south of Cyprus). For areas not yet covered by swath bathymetric systems the map has been completed by digital data extracted either from GEBCO or from EMODNET DTM files (http://www.gebco.net/data_and_products/gebco_digital_atlas/) (http://www.emodnet-hydrography.eu/). Several artifacts introduced by the use of these files, for example theoccurrences of their grids, can be detected along most of the steep continental slopes not yet mapped in detail, as well as in the southern domain of the Adriatic Sea. Similarly it has not been possible to systematically correct a few, but non-linear, discrepancies in Z values between various DTM files. Such discrepancies result either from the use of data collected by swath systems operating at different frequencies and/or from minor differences in seawater sound velocity corrections.

  19. Seasonal sea level extremes in the Mediterranean Sea and at the Atlantic European coasts

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. N. Tsimplis

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Hourly sea level data from tide gauges and a barotropic model are used to explore the spatial and temporal variability of sea level extremes in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic coasts of the Iberian peninsula on seasonal time scales. Significant spatial variability is identified in the observations in all seasons. The Atlantic stations show larger extreme values than the Mediterranean Sea primarily due to the tidal signal. When the tidal signal is removed most stations have maximum values of less than 90 cm occurring in winter or autumn. The maxima in spring and summer are less than 60 cm in most stations. The wind and atmospheric forcing contributes about 50 cm in the winter and between 20–40 cm in the other seasons. In the western Mediterranean the observed extreme values are less than 50 cm, except near the Strait of Gibraltar. Direct atmospheric forcing contributes significantly to sea level extremes. Maximum sea level values due to atmospheric forcing reach in some stations 45 cm during the winter. During the summer the contribution of the direct atmospheric forcing is between 10–20 cm. The Adriatic Sea shows a resonant behaviour with maximum extreme observed sea level values around 200 cm found at the northern part. Trends in the 99.9% percentiles are present in several areas, however most of them are removed when the 50% percentile is subtracted indicating that changes in the extremes are in line with mean sea level change. The North Atlantic Oscillation and the Mediterranean Oscillation Index are well correlated with the changes in the 99.9% winter values in the Atlantic, western Mediterranean and the Adriatic stations. The correlation of the NAO and the MOI indices in the Atlantic and western Mediterranean is significant in the autumn too. The correlations between the NAO and MOI index and the changes in the sea level extremes become insignificant when the 50% percentile is removed indicating again that changes in extremes

  20. Wave Height Incidence on Mediterranean Short Sea Shipping Routes

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    F. X. Martínez de Osés

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available According to the recent mid term review of the EU white paper on transport, Short Sea Shipping in EU waters is expected to grow from 2000 to 2020 at a rate of 59% in volume (metric tonnes. If we consider that the overall expected growth in freight exchanges is of 50% (also in volume, sea transport is one of the most feasible ways to reduce traffic congestion on European roads. High speed vessels are a possible way to compete with road transport in certain traffics; however these ships are highly affected by heavy weather. This paper is going to analyse the weather influence on several short sea shipping Mediterranean routes to be served by fast ships.

  1. Environmental History on a Central Mediterranean Island

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gambin, Belinda; Medail, Frederic; Andrieu-Ponel, Valerie; Djamali, Morteza; Marriner, Nick; Morhange, Christophe; Gambin, Timmy

    2013-04-01

    Through the PaleoMed project a number of cores have been taken from key locations on the Maltese Islands with the aim of establishing various aspects related to the archipelago's historical environment. A multi-disciplinary team have been investigating a number of bodies of evidence including sediments, charcoal and shells. Through this poster I will present the results from pollen samples extracted from a section of one of the cores. The core, taken from Burmarrad, has a section that has been carbon dated to 7200-3200BP. Preliminary results from this site, one of the largest flood plains on Malta, will provide an indication of the local vegetation during this chronological window. Pollen was extracted from sediment deposits following the classical treatment method (eg Moore et al., 1990). Furthermore, identification was undertaken through the use of pollen atlases of Europe and North Africa (Reille, 1992, 1995, 1998) and Beug (2004) along with IMBE's international pollen reference collection. Pollen percentages were calculated in TILIA and the pollen percentage diagram constructed using TGView software (Grimm 2004, 2005). Current results indicate that prior to 7000BP there was a high percentage of aquatic plants, while tree and shrub counts were low. At 6900BP a large increase in Pistacia pollen is recorded, with moderate increase in Plantago (especially lanceolata), Asphodelus, Dinaflagelates and Mirco Foraminifera. At this time there is also a reduction in Cichorioideae & Charcoal in the section. A similar increase in Pistacia at around this time has also been recorded from another core in Burmarrad (Djamali et al., 2012) and in southern Sicily (Tinner et al., 2009). The date of this increase corresponds to the first recorded settlement on the Maltese Islands (circa 5500BC) as well as the climatic optimum of forest cover in the Mediterranean region (Noti et al., 2009).

  2. Neutrino Telescopy in the Mediterranean Sea

    CERN Document Server

    Katz, U F

    2005-01-01

    The observation of high-energy extraterrestrial neutrinos is one of the most promising future options to increase our knowledge on non-thermal processes in the universe. Neutrinos are e.g. unavoidably produced in environments where high-energy hadrons collide; in particular this almost certainly must be true in the astrophysical accelerators of cosmic rays, which thus could be identified unambiguously by sky observations in "neutrino light". On the one hand, neutrinos are ideal messengers for astrophysical observations since they are not deflected by electromagnetic fields and interact so weakly that they are able to escape even from very dense production regions and traverse large distances in the universe without attenuation. On the other hand, their weak interaction poses a significant problem for detecting neutrinos. Huge target masses up to gigatons must be employed, requiring to instrument natural abundances of media such as sea water or antarctic ice. The first generation of such neutrino telescopes is...

  3. Deep silicon maxima in the stratified oligotrophic Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. Crombet

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available The silicon biogeochemical cycle has been studied in the Mediterranean Sea during late summer/early autumn 1999 and summer 2008. The distribution of nutrients, particulate carbon and silicon, fucoxanthin (Fuco, and total chlorophyll-a (TChl-a were investigated along an eastward gradient of oligotrophy during two cruises (PROSOPE and BOUM encompassing the entire Mediterranean Sea during the stratified period. At both seasons, surface waters were depleted in nutrients and the nutriclines gradually deepened towards the East, the phosphacline being the deepest in the easternmost Levantine basin. Following the nutriclines, parallel deep maxima of biogenic silica (DSM, fucoxanthin (DFM and TChl-a (DCM were evidenced during both seasons with maximal concentrations of 0.45 μmol L−1 for BSi, 0.26 μg L−1 for Fuco, and 1.70 μg L−1 for TChl-a, all measured during summer. Contrary to the DCM which was a persistent feature in the Mediterranean Sea, the DSM and DFMs were observed in discrete areas of the Alboran Sea, the Algero-Provencal basin, the Ionian sea and the Levantine basin, indicating that diatoms were able to grow at depth and dominate the DCM under specific conditions. Diatom assemblages were dominated by Chaetoceros spp., Leptocylindrus spp., Pseudonitzschia spp. and the association between large centric diatoms (Hemiaulus hauckii and Rhizosolenia styliformis and the cyanobacterium Richelia intracellularis was observed at nearly all sites. The diatom's ability to grow at depth is commonly observed in other oligotrophic regions and could play a major role in ecosystem productivity and carbon export to depth. Contrary to the common view that Si and siliceous phytoplankton are not major components of the Mediterranean biogeochemistry, we suggest here that diatoms, by persisting at depth during the stratified period, could contribute to a

  4. Excess of (236)U in the northwest Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chamizo, E; López-Lora, M; Bressac, M; Levy, I; Pham, M K

    2016-09-15

    In this work, we present first (236)U results in the northwestern Mediterranean. (236)U is studied in a seawater column sampled at DYFAMED (Dynamics of Atmospheric Fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea) station (Ligurian Sea, 43°25'N, 07°52'E). The obtained (236)U/(238)U atom ratios in the dissolved phase, ranging from about 2×10(-9) at 100m depth to about 1.5×10(-9) at 2350m depth, indicate that anthropogenic (236)U dominates the whole seawater column. The corresponding deep-water column inventory (12.6ng/m(2) or 32.1×10(12) atoms/m(2)) exceeds by a factor of 2.5 the expected one for global fallout at similar latitudes (5ng/m(2) or 13×10(12) atoms/m(2)), evidencing the influence of local or regional (236)U sources in the western Mediterranean basin. On the other hand, the input of (236)U associated to Saharan dust outbreaks is evaluated. An additional (236)U annual deposition of about 0.2pg/m(2) based on the study of atmospheric particles collected in Monaco during different Saharan dust intrusions is estimated. The obtained results in the corresponding suspended solids collected at DYFAMED station indicate that about 64% of that (236)U stays in solution in seawater. Overall, this source accounts for about 0.1% of the (236)U inventory excess observed at DYFAMED station. The influence of the so-called Chernobyl fallout and the radioactive effluents produced by the different nuclear installations allocated to the Mediterranean basin, might explain the inventory gap, however, further studies are necessary to come to a conclusion about its origin.

  5. An evaluation of surface micro- and mesoplastic pollution in pelagic ecosystems of the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Faure, Florian; Saini, Camille; Potter, Gaël; Galgani, François; de Alencastro, Luiz Felippe; Hagmann, Pascal

    2015-08-01

    This study examines the distribution, abundance and characteristics of surface micro- and mesoplastic debris in the Western Mediterranean Sea. 41 samples were collected in 2011 (summer) and 2012 (summer). Results, firstly, revealed that micro- (Sea.

  6. Relationships among predatory fish, sea urchins and barrens in Mediterranean rocky reefs across a latitudinal gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidetti, P; Dulcić, J

    2007-03-01

    Previous studies conducted on a local scale emphasised the potential of trophic cascades in Mediterranean rocky reefs (involving predatory fish, sea urchins and macroalgae) in affecting the transition between benthic communities dominated by erected macroalgae and barrens (i.e., bare rock with partial cover of encrusting algae). Distribution patterns of fish predators of sea urchins (Diplodus sargus sargus, Diplodus vulgaris, Coris julis and Thalassoma pavo), sea urchins (Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula) and barrens, and fish predation rates upon sea urchins, were assessed in shallow (3-6m depth) sublittoral rocky reefs in the northern, central and southern sectors of the eastern Adriatic Sea, i.e., on a large spatial scale of hundreds of kilometres. No dramatic differences were observed in predatory fish density across latitude, except for a lower density of small D. sargus sargus in the northern Adriatic and an increasing density of T. pavo from north to south. P. lividus did not show any significant difference across latitude, whereas A. lixula was more abundant in the southern than in the central Adriatic. Barrens were more extended in the southern than in the central and northern sectors, and were related with sea urchin density. Fish predation upon adult sea urchins did not change on a large scale, whereas it was slightly higher in the southern sector for juveniles when predation rates of both urchins were pooled. Results show that: (1) assemblages of predatory fish and sea urchins, and barren extent change across latitude in the eastern Adriatic Sea, (2) the weak relations between predatory fish density and predation rates on urchins reveal that factors other than top-down control can be important over large scale (with the caveat that the study was conducted in fished areas) and (3) patterns of interaction among strongly interacting taxa could change on large spatial scales and the number of species involved.

  7. Metabarcoding analysis of European hake diet in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Riccioni

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available European hake (EH, Merluccius merluccius, is a demersal fish distributed from the North Sea and Atlantic to the Levantine Sea in the Mediterranean. EH is an important predator of deep Mediterranean upper shelf slope communities and it is currently characterised by growth overexploitation. EH adults feed mainly on fish and squids whereas the young (<16 cm feed on crustaceans. All current EH diet studies relied on the morphological identification of prey remains in stomach content, however this method is labour intensive and it precludes the identification of strongly digested food. The development of High-Throughput Sequencing (HTS approaches provide more accurate methods for dietary studies revealing many consumed species simultaneously (DNA metabarcoding. The aim of this study is to use a HTS approach based on COI amplification, contextually to classic microscopic morphological identification, to analyse EH stomach content and to evaluate the efficiency of the molecular method. HTS sequencing has been carried out on the amplicons obtained by PCR amplification (Leray et al. 2013 of stomach remains and all the Miseq Illumina paired-end reads have been analysed by using bioinformatic tools (Boyer et al. 2015 for taxonomic assignment. The selected sequences clustered in OCTUs (Operational Clustered Taxonomic Units and taxonomically assigned, will be used in diversity analyses to compute distance matrices among samples, to compare taxa summaries from different samples, to create networks and perform PCA and PcoA analysis. Classic microscopic morphological analyses on stomach content remains have been carried out contextually to compare the results of the two methods. The molecular approach has proven a promising method to study marine fish dietary habits. All the data will be summarized to reconstruct EH trophic dynamics in the Mediterranean Sea.

  8. Environmental control on Emiliania huxleyi coccolithophore calcification in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Amario, Barbara; Grelaud, Michael; Ziveri, Patrizia

    2016-04-01

    The Mediterranean Sea, a "natural laboratory" characterized by strong environmental gradients, is likely to undergo serious alterations due to climate change and ocean acidification. These processes are expected to affect also phytoplankton distribution. Coccolithophores are the only phytoplankton calcifying group and laboratory studies on E. huxleyi, the most abundant and widely distributed species of coccolithophores worldwide, yield strain-specific results. Culture experiments must be integrated with observations in the natural environment to understand existing interactions between drivers, and to verify population structures in different areas. Two transects spanning the south-western and south-eastern basins have been investigated, combining data from April 2011 (Meteor cruise M84/3) and May 2013 (MedSeA cruise). E. huxleyi coccolith morphometry was analyzed to determine average mass and length. These results were then compared with morphological observations performed on the largely dominant E. huxleyi Type A through scanning electron microscope (SEM). We distinguished four main calcification morphologies within E. huxleyi Type A: low-calcified (A1), medium-calcified (A2), high-calcified with closed central area (A3a), and open central area (A3b). E. huxleyi coccolith mass was strongly and positively correlated with the relative abundance of a particular morphology. Moreover, the calcification morphologies were preferentially distributed in the Mediterranean according to specific combinations of environmental variables, which included the carbonate chemistry system. The distribution of E. huxleyi Type A calcification morphologies in the Mediterranean is likely to be influenced by climate changes. Coccolithophore calcification degree is connected to the carbon cycle through photosynthesis / calcification ratio and sedimentation (particulate inorganic and organic carbon reaching the seafloor). This study aims to provide a basis for future investigations on the

  9. Fine-resolution simulation of surface current and sea ice in the Arctic Mediterranean Seas

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIU Xiying; ZHANG Xuehong; YU Rucong; LIU Hailong; LI Wei

    2007-01-01

    A fine-resolution model is developed for ocean circulation simulation in the National Key Laboratory of Numerical Modeling for Atmospheric Sciences and Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (LASG),Chinese Academy of Sciences, and is applied to simulate surface current and sea ice variations in the Arctic Mediterranean Seas. A dynamic sea ice model in elastic-viscous-plastic rheology and a thermodynamic sea ice model are employed. A 200-year simulation is performed and a dimatological average of a 10-year period (141 st-150 th) is presented with focus on sea ice concentration and surface current variations in the Arctic Mediterranean Seas. The model is able to simulate well the East Greenland Current, Beaufort Gyre and the Transpolar Drift, but the simulated West Spitsbergen Current is small and weak. In the March climatology, the sea ice coverage can be simulated well except for a bit more ice in east of Spitsbergen Island. The result is also good for the September scenario except for less ice concentration east of Greenland and greater ice concentration near the ice margin. The extra ice east of Spitsbergen Island is caused by sea ice current convergence forced by atmospheric wind stress.

  10. Deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea: the known, the unknown, and the unknowable.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Danovaro

    Full Text Available Deep-sea ecosystems represent the largest biome of the global biosphere, but knowledge of their biodiversity is still scant. The Mediterranean basin has been proposed as a hot spot of terrestrial and coastal marine biodiversity but has been supposed to be impoverished of deep-sea species richness. We summarized all available information on benthic biodiversity (Prokaryotes, Foraminifera, Meiofauna, Macrofauna, and Megafauna in different deep-sea ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea (200 to more than 4,000 m depth, including open slopes, deep basins, canyons, cold seeps, seamounts, deep-water corals and deep-hypersaline anoxic basins and analyzed overall longitudinal and bathymetric patterns. We show that in contrast to what was expected from the sharp decrease in organic carbon fluxes and reduced faunal abundance, the deep-sea biodiversity of both the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean Sea is similarly high. All of the biodiversity components, except Bacteria and Archaea, displayed a decreasing pattern with increasing water depth, but to a different extent for each component. Unlike patterns observed for faunal abundance, highest negative values of the slopes of the biodiversity patterns were observed for Meiofauna, followed by Macrofauna and Megafauna. Comparison of the biodiversity associated with open slopes, deep basins, canyons, and deep-water corals showed that the deep basins were the least diverse. Rarefaction curves allowed us to estimate the expected number of species for each benthic component in different bathymetric ranges. A large fraction of exclusive species was associated with each specific habitat or ecosystem. Thus, each deep-sea ecosystem contributes significantly to overall biodiversity. From theoretical extrapolations we estimate that the overall deep-sea Mediterranean biodiversity (excluding prokaryotes reaches approximately 2805 species of which about 66% is still undiscovered. Among the biotic components

  11. Recent sea surface temperature trends and future scenarios for the Mediterranean Sea:

    OpenAIRE

    2014-01-01

    We analyse recent Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures (SSTs) and their response to global change using 1/4-degree gridded advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR) daily SST data, 1982-2012. These data indicate significant annual warming (from 0.24°C decade-1 west of the Strait of Gibraltar to 0.51°C decade-1 over the Black Sea) and significant spatial variation in annual average SST (from 15ºC over the Black Sea to 21°C over the Levantine sub-basin). Ensemble mean scenarios indicat...

  12. Abrupt climate shift in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schroeder, K.; Chiggiato, J.; Bryden, H. L.; Borghini, M.; Ben Ismail, S.

    2016-03-01

    One century of oceanographic measurements has evidenced gradual increases in temperature and salinity of western Mediterranean water masses, even though the vertical stratification has basically remained unchanged. Starting in 2005, the basic structure of the intermediate and deep layers abruptly changed. We report here evidence of reinforced thermohaline variability in the deep western basin with significant dense water formation events producing large amounts of warmer, saltier and denser water masses than ever before. We provide a detailed chronological order to these changes, giving an overview of the new water masses and following their route from the central basin interior to the east (toward the Tyrrhenian) and toward the Atlantic Ocean. As a consequence of this climate shift, new deep waters outflowing through Gibraltar will impact the North Atlantic in terms of salt and heat input. In addition, modifications in the Mediterranean abyssal ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles are to be expected.

  13. Food web structure and vulnerability of a deep-sea ecosystem in the NW Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Christensen, Villy; Company, Joan B.; Ramírez-Llodra, Eva; Sardà, Francisco

    2013-05-01

    There is increasing fishing pressure on the continental margins of the oceans, and this raises concerns about the vulnerability of the ecosystems thriving there. The current knowledge of the biology of deep-water fish species identifies potential reduced resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. However, there are extreme difficulties in sampling the deep sea, resulting in poorly resolved and indirectly obtained food-web relationships. Here, we modelled the flows and biomasses of a Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystem, the Catalan Sea continental slope at depths of 1000-1400 m. This is the first model of a deep-water ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea. The objectives were to (a) quantitatively describe the food web structure of the ecosystem, (b) examine the role of key species in the ecosystem, and (c) explore the vulnerability of this deep-sea ecosystem to potential future fishing exploitation. We used the Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) modelling approach and software to model the ecosystem. The trophic model included 18 consumers, a marine snow group, and a sediment detritus group. Trophic network analysis identified low levels of consumer biomass cycling and low system omnivory index when compared with expected values of marine ecosystems, and higher cycling and omnivory when compared with available EwE models of shallower areas of the Mediterranean Sea. The majority of flows in the ecosystem were concentrated at the trophic level of first-order consumers (TL 2). Benthic invertebrates and demersal sharks were identified to have key ecological roles in the ecosystem. We used the dynamic temporal model Ecosim to simulate expansion of the red-shrimp benthic trawl fishery that currently operates at shallower depths, down to 800 m depth. The simulations showed reductions in fish biomass and that the state of the deep continental slope ecosystem in the western Mediterranean seems to be the result of a long-term succession process, which has reached ecological stability, and is

  14. Trophic structure of pelagic species in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Albo-Puigserver, Marta; Navarro, Joan; Coll, Marta; Layman, Craig A.; Palomera, Isabel

    2016-11-01

    Ecological knowledge of food web interactions within pelagic marine communities is often limited, impairing our capabilities to manage these ecologically and economically important marine fish species. Here we used stable isotope analyses to investigate trophic interactions in the pelagic ecosystem of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea during 2012 and 2013. Our results suggest that European sardine, Sardina pilchardus, and anchovy, Engraulis encrasicolus, are consumers located at relatively low levels of the pelagic food web. Unexpectedly, the round sardinella, Sardinella aurita, appeared to be located at a higher trophic level than the other small pelagic fish species, although previous studies found similarity in their diets. Isotope data suggested that trophic niches of species within the genera Trachurus spp. and Scomber spp., were distinct. Atlantic bonito Sarda sarda, European hake Merluccius merluccius and European squid Loligo vulgaris, appeared to feed at higher trophic levels than other species. Despite some intraspecific seasonal variability for some species, community trophic structure appeared relatively stable through the year. These data provide an important step for developing models of food web dynamics in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

  15. The first “lost year” of Mediterranean sea turtles: dispersal patterns indicate subregional management units for conservation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Casale, Paolo; Mariani, Patrizio

    2014-01-01

    Identifying highly frequented areas is a priority for sea turtle conservation, and the distribution of young individuals in open waters represents a major knowledge gap due to methodological biases. The drift of hatchlings from 38 loggerhead and 10 green turtle nesting sites in the Mediterranean...... were simulated for the first six months of life, with the simulations being repeated for five different years (2001 – 2005). The results indicate that hatchlings from the Levantine and south-central Mediterranean sites are mainly retained in the same areas of origin, while those from the Ionian area...

  16. Temperature, salinity, and nutrients data collected from North Atlantic Ocean, White Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and Sea of Azov from 1924-03-19 to 1989-11-19 by multiple Soviet Union institutes (NODC Accession 0077413)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Temperature, salinity, and nutrients data collected from North Atlantic Ocean, White Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Black Sea, and Sea of Azov from 1924-03-19 to 1989-11-19...

  17. Invasion pathway of the Ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghabooli, Sara; Shiganova, Tamara A; Briski, Elizabeta; Piraino, Stefano; Fuentes, Veronica; Thibault-Botha, Delphine; Angel, Dror L; Cristescu, Melania E; Macisaac, Hugh J

    2013-01-01

    Gelatinous zooplankton outbreaks have increased globally owing to a number of human-mediated factors, including food web alterations and species introductions. The invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi entered the Black Sea in the early 1980s. The invasion was followed by the Azov, Caspian, Baltic and North Seas, and, most recently, the Mediterranean Sea. Previous studies identified two distinct invasion pathways of M. leidyi from its native range in the western Atlantic Ocean to Eurasia. However, the source of newly established populations in the Mediterranean Sea remains unclear. Here we build upon our previous study and investigate sequence variation in both mitochondrial (Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I) and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Spacer) markers in M. leidyi, encompassing five native and 11 introduced populations, including four from the Mediterranean Sea. Extant genetic diversity in Mediterranean populations (n = 8, N a = 10) preclude the occurrence of a severe genetic bottleneck or founder effects in the initial colonizing population. Our mitochondrial and nuclear marker surveys revealed two possible pathways of introduction into Mediterranean Sea. In total, 17 haplotypes and 18 alleles were recovered from all surveyed populations. Haplotype and allelic diversity of Mediterranean populations were comparable to populations from which they were likely drawn. The distribution of genetic diversity and pattern of genetic differentiation suggest initial colonization of the Mediterranean from the Black-Azov Seas (pairwise F ST = 0.001-0.028). However, some haplotypes and alleles from the Mediterranean Sea were not detected from the well-sampled Black Sea, although they were found in Gulf of Mexico populations that were also genetically similar to those in the Mediterranean Sea (pairwise F ST = 0.010-0.032), raising the possibility of multiple invasion sources. Multiple introductions from a combination of Black Sea and native region sources

  18. Invasion pathway of the Ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Ghabooli

    Full Text Available Gelatinous zooplankton outbreaks have increased globally owing to a number of human-mediated factors, including food web alterations and species introductions. The invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi entered the Black Sea in the early 1980s. The invasion was followed by the Azov, Caspian, Baltic and North Seas, and, most recently, the Mediterranean Sea. Previous studies identified two distinct invasion pathways of M. leidyi from its native range in the western Atlantic Ocean to Eurasia. However, the source of newly established populations in the Mediterranean Sea remains unclear. Here we build upon our previous study and investigate sequence variation in both mitochondrial (Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Spacer markers in M. leidyi, encompassing five native and 11 introduced populations, including four from the Mediterranean Sea. Extant genetic diversity in Mediterranean populations (n = 8, N a = 10 preclude the occurrence of a severe genetic bottleneck or founder effects in the initial colonizing population. Our mitochondrial and nuclear marker surveys revealed two possible pathways of introduction into Mediterranean Sea. In total, 17 haplotypes and 18 alleles were recovered from all surveyed populations. Haplotype and allelic diversity of Mediterranean populations were comparable to populations from which they were likely drawn. The distribution of genetic diversity and pattern of genetic differentiation suggest initial colonization of the Mediterranean from the Black-Azov Seas (pairwise F ST = 0.001-0.028. However, some haplotypes and alleles from the Mediterranean Sea were not detected from the well-sampled Black Sea, although they were found in Gulf of Mexico populations that were also genetically similar to those in the Mediterranean Sea (pairwise F ST = 0.010-0.032, raising the possibility of multiple invasion sources. Multiple introductions from a combination of Black Sea and native

  19. Invasion Pathway of the Ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghabooli, Sara; Shiganova, Tamara A.; Briski, Elizabeta; Piraino, Stefano; Fuentes, Veronica; Thibault-Botha, Delphine; Angel, Dror L.; Cristescu, Melania E.; MacIsaac, Hugh J.

    2013-01-01

    Gelatinous zooplankton outbreaks have increased globally owing to a number of human-mediated factors, including food web alterations and species introductions. The invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi entered the Black Sea in the early 1980s. The invasion was followed by the Azov, Caspian, Baltic and North Seas, and, most recently, the Mediterranean Sea. Previous studies identified two distinct invasion pathways of M. leidyi from its native range in the western Atlantic Ocean to Eurasia. However, the source of newly established populations in the Mediterranean Sea remains unclear. Here we build upon our previous study and investigate sequence variation in both mitochondrial (Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I) and nuclear (Internal Transcribed Spacer) markers in M. leidyi, encompassing five native and 11 introduced populations, including four from the Mediterranean Sea. Extant genetic diversity in Mediterranean populations (n = 8, Na = 10) preclude the occurrence of a severe genetic bottleneck or founder effects in the initial colonizing population. Our mitochondrial and nuclear marker surveys revealed two possible pathways of introduction into Mediterranean Sea. In total, 17 haplotypes and 18 alleles were recovered from all surveyed populations. Haplotype and allelic diversity of Mediterranean populations were comparable to populations from which they were likely drawn. The distribution of genetic diversity and pattern of genetic differentiation suggest initial colonization of the Mediterranean from the Black-Azov Seas (pairwise FST = 0.001–0.028). However, some haplotypes and alleles from the Mediterranean Sea were not detected from the well-sampled Black Sea, although they were found in Gulf of Mexico populations that were also genetically similar to those in the Mediterranean Sea (pairwise FST = 0.010–0.032), raising the possibility of multiple invasion sources. Multiple introductions from a combination of Black Sea and native region sources

  20. The wind and thermally driven circulation of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Part II: the Baroclinic case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malanotte-Rizzoli, Paola; Bergamasco, Andrea

    1991-04-01

    anticyclonic ones in summer, according to the vorticity input by the wind. When surface thermal forcing is included, the winter-to-summer differences become very small and the yearly pattern is dominant. The second important result is that the intercomparisons of the various numerical experiments in which each driving mechanism is studied in isolation from the others allows us to classify unambiguously the three forcing mechanisms in order of relative importance in driving the circulation in the different sub-basins of the eastern Mediterranean. Specifically, for the Ionian Sea and Sea of Crete the dominant forcing is the inflow at the Straits of Sicily while for the Levantine Sea thermohaline fluxes are the main driving function. The wind-stress forcing induces a seasonal fluctuation only in the meandering path of the Atlantic jet entering the Ionian Sea through the Sicily Straits. We finally carry out a 'central experiment', the most realistic one in which all forcing functions drive the circulation that we compare quantitatively with other model results and qualitatively with observations. Major features can be recognized and are shown to be persistent all year long. These features are also found in the dynamic heights of the general hydrographic surveys of the Physical Oceanography of the Eastern Mediterranean (POEM) programme. The only POEM feature not reproduced by the model, an intense anticyclonic region in the south eastern Levantine, may be attributed to errors and specifically underestimates, of the available thermal fluxes whose effect is partially overcome by the wind-stress forcing. This anticyclonic cell is in fact obtained when the model is driven by the thermal fluxes alone. Overall, the model results compare well with the observational evidence provided by the POEM surveys and the thermohaline vertical circulation cell reproduced by the model is consistent with the preliminary results of the transient-tracer survey POEM-V-87. Finally, many of the persistent

  1. Mediterranean sea eddy kinetic energy variability from 11 years of altimetric data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujol, M.-I.; Larnicol, G.

    2005-12-01

    specific variability pattern is observed in each sub-basin of the Mediterranean Sea (Western, Ionian and Levantine). The observed permanent/recurrent structures, as well as the transient ones, are subject to annual variations that occurred with different phases: permanent/recurrent structures (such as the Alboran Gyres and the Ierapetra Eddy — IE) are at maximum intensity in late summer (October to January) whereas areas of mesoscale activity (southwest of Sardinia, central Ionian and Mersa-Matruh areas) display maximum intensity in winter (January to April). Both annual and interannual variations are more pronounced in the eastern part of the basin. On the western side, mesoscale activity is relatively stable. The appearance of sporadic energetic structures leads to a positive trend in the Alboran Sea and north of the Tyrrhenian, while a negative trend is observed south of Majorca. The seasonal EKE variations are mainly concentrated southwest of Sardinia. They are found to be modulated by interannual variability, with a weakening of both the mean EKE and the amplitude of the seasonal cycle between 1997 and 2000 and between 2001 and 2003. In the Ionian Sea, the EKE variability is affected by the reversal of the circulation in 1997. This phenomenon suggests that the decadal scale of variability should not be overlooked in this basin. A strong positive EKE trend, coupled with an increase in the seasonal cycle amplitude, is observed in 1997 in the central Ionian. The high correlation of wind stress variations and high-frequency EKE in the Ionian Sea, suggests that the seasonal variations are partly due to wind-induced mesoscale activity. In the Levantine Sea, an even stronger positive EKE trend is observed, partly influenced by strong activity around the IE and in the Mersa-Matruh and Shikmona areas. Seasonal variations are present all over the studied period and are either largely influenced by the IE activity at the beginning and end of the period, or are concentrated at

  2. Silica cycling in the ultra-oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. D. Krom

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Although silica is a key plant nutrient there have been few studies aimed at understanding the Si cycle in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS. Here we use a combination of new measurements and literature values to explain the silicic acid distribution across the basin and to calculate a silica budget to identify the key controlling processes. The surface water concentration of ~ 1 μM, which is unchanging seasonally across the basin was due to the inflow of Western Mediterranean Sea (WMS water at the Straits of Sicily. It does not change seasonally because there is only a sparse population of diatoms due to the low nutrient (N and P supply to the photic zone in the EMS. The concentration of silicic acid in the deep water of the western Ionian Sea (6.3 μM close to the S. Adriatic area of formation was due to the preformed silicic acid (3 μM plus biogenic silica (BSi from the dissolution of diatoms from the winter phytoplankton bloom (3.2 μM. The increase of 4.4 μM across the deep water of the EMS was due to silicic acid formed from in-situ diagenetic weathering of alumina-silicate minerals fluxing out of the sediment. The major inputs to the EMS are silicic acid and BSi inflowing from the western Mediterranean (121 × 109 mol Si year−1 silicic acid and 16 × 109 mol Si year−1 BSi, silicic acid fluxing from the sediment (54 × 109 mol Si year−1, riverine (27 × 109 mol Si year−1 and subterranean ground water (9.7 × 109 mol Si year−1 inputs, with only a minor direct input from dissolution of dust in the water column (1 × 109 mol Si year−1. This budget shows the importance of rapidly dissolving BSi and in-situ weathering of alumino-silicate minerals as sources of silica to balance the net export of silicic acid at the Straits of Sicily. Future measurements to improve the accuracy of this preliminary budget have been identified.

  3. Probabilistic Tsunami Hazard Assessment - Application to the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorensen, M. B.; Spada, M.; Babeyko, A.; Wiemer, S.; Grünthal, G.

    2009-12-01

    Following several large tsunami events around the world in the recent years, the tsunami hazard is becoming an increasing concern. The traditional way of assessing tsunami hazard has been through deterministic scenario calculations which provide the expected wave heights due to a given tsunami source, usually a worst-case scenario. For quantitative hazard and risk assessment, however, it is necessary to move towards a probabilistic framework. In this study we focus on earthquake generated tsunamis and present a scheme for probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment (PTHA). Our PTHA methodology is based on the use of Monte-Carlo simulations and follows probabilistic seismic hazard assessment methodologies closely. The PTHA is performed in four steps. First, earthquake and tsunami catalogues are analyzed in order to define a number of potential tsunami sources in the study area. For each of these sources, activity rates, maximum earthquake magnitude and uncertainties are assigned. Following, a synthetic earthquake catalogue is established, based on the information about the sources. The third step is to calculate multiple synthetic tsunami scenarios for all potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes in the synthetic catalogue. The tsunami scenarios are then combined at the fourth step to generate hazard curves and maps. We implement the PTHA methodology in the Mediterranean Sea, where numerous tsunami events have been reported in history. We derive a 100000 year-long catalog of potentially tsunamigenic earthquakes and calculate tsunami propagation scenarios for ca. 85000 M6.5+ earthquakes from the synthetic catalog. Results show that the highest tsunami hazard is attributed to the Eastern Mediterranean region, but that also the Western Mediterranean can experience significant tsunami waves for long return periods. Hazard maps will be presented for a range of probability levels together with hazard curves for selected critical locations.

  4. Interannual Differences for Sea Turtles Bycatch in Spanish Longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José C. Báez

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO. During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle.

  5. Interannual differences for sea turtles bycatch in Spanish longliners from Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Báez, José C; Macías, David; García-Barcelona, Salvador; Real, Raimundo

    2014-01-01

    Recent studies showed that regional abundance of loggerhead and leatherback turtles could oscillate interannually according to oceanographic and climatic conditions. The Western Mediterranean is an important fishing area for the Spanish drifting longline fleet, which mainly targets swordfish, bluefin tuna, and albacore. Due to the spatial overlapping in fishing activity and turtle distribution, there is an increasing sea turtle conservation concern. The main goal of this study is to analyse the interannual bycatch of loggerhead and leatherback turtles by the Spanish Mediterranean longline fishery and to test the relationship between the total turtle by-catch of this fishery and the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). During the 14 years covered in this study, the number of sea turtle bycatches was 3,940 loggerhead turtles and 8 leatherback turtles, 0.499 loggerhead turtles/1000 hooks and 0.001014 leatherback turtles/1000 hooks. In the case of the loggerhead turtle the positive phase of the NAO favours an increase of loggerhead turtles in the Western Mediterranean Sea. However, in the case of leatherback turtle the negative phase of the NAO favours the presence of leatherback turtle. This contraposition could be related to the different ecophysiological response of both species during their migration cycle.

  6. Megaturbidite triggered by the ad 365 Cretan earthquake in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polonia, Alina; Bonatti, Enrico; Camerlenghi, Angelo; Gasperini, Luca; Lucchi, Renata; Panieri, Giuliana

    2013-04-01

    Destructive earthquakes/tsunamis have affected repeatedly the circum Mediterranean highly populated coastal regions. A record of these past events can be provided by large-volume turbidites or megaturbidites, detected in the marine sedimentary record (Polonia et al., 2012). Megaturbidites have been identified in the Ionian basin (central Mediterranean) that is located between two tectonically active subduction zones (i.e. the Calabrin Arc to the North and the Hellenic Arc to the East). The uppermost megabed, has been named "Homogenite" (Kastens and Cita, 1981) or "Augias turbidite" (Hieke, 1984). Its well defined stratigraphic position, above the regional marker sapropel bed S1, has been interpreted as evidence that it was deposited in a single, basin-wide event capable to put into suspension simultaneously sediment at a basin-wide scale. Absence of absolute dating of the megabed and of a detailed chronostratigraphy of the deposits above and below the turbidite, have allowed a number of different correlations of this megaturbidite with the 3500 yr BP Minoan eruption of Santorini and related tsunamis in the Aegean Sea (Kastens and Cita, 1981), to the 7.600 ± 130 yr B.P. collapse of a flank of the Etna Volcano (Pareschi et al., 2006) or to the 365 earthquake in the Mediterranean (Vigliotti, 2008). Based on studies of sediment cores we collected from the Ionian seafloor (mineralogy, micropaleontology, elemental and isotopic geochemistry and radiocarbon dating), we show that the Homogenite/Augias turbidite (HAT), up to 20-25 m thick, was related to multi-source turbidity flows triggered by the 365 AD tsunami. We were able to reconstruct the different units deposited in response to the 365 AD Cretan earthquake/tsunami and the results confirm that the HAT is a unique instance of deep sea tsunami deposit. Backwash flows and related gravity-driven processes are the primary means of downslope sediment transport. An older similar deep sea megaturbidite was deposited in the

  7. Vertical diffusion processes in the Eastern Mediterranean - Black Sea System

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kioroglou, Sotiris; Tragou, Elina; Zervakis, Vassilis; Georgopoulos, Dimitris; Herut, Barak; Gertman, Isaak; Kovacevic, Vedrana; Özsoy, Emin; Tutsak, Ersin

    2014-07-01

    The identification and examination of ‘complete' potential density overturns in CTD profiles, within the framework of SESAME project, are employed to assess vertical eddy diffusivities, mostly in the top 100 m of the water column, for a broad area covering the East Mediterranean, the Turkish Straits and the Black Sea. The implementation of this method shows that, mixing induced by mechanical turbulence is enhanced in frontal areas, in the proximity of straits and inside anticyclones; furthermore, that mechanical turbulence is insignificant, down to the scale of CTD resolution, within areas of double diffusive staircases, encountered in deep layers of the water column. Consequently, only laminar theories about double diffusion are applied for assessing diffusivities therein. Susceptibility to different types of double diffusion seems to be related to the interaction of different types of water masses.

  8. On the occurrence of Zenopsis conchifer (Lowe, 1852 (Osteichthyes, Zeidae in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernández, A. M.

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The capture of four specimens of Silvery John Dory (Zenopsis conchifer,a species recorded in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in 2006, is reported from the Iberian coast (western Mediterranean. One of the specimens was caught near the Strait of Gibraltar and is probably a vagrant. Despite these catches, there is no evidence of a self–sustaining population, so this species should be considered as alien in the Mediterranean.

  9. A seasonal model of the Mediterranean Sea general circulation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roussenov, Vassil; Stanev, Emil; Artale, Vincenzo; Pinardi, Nadia

    1995-07-01

    This paper describes the seasonal characteristics of the Mediterranean Sea general circulation as simulated by a primitive equation general circulation model. The forcing is composed of climatological monthly mean atmospheric parameters, which are used to compute the heat and momentum budgets at the air-sea interface of the model. This allows heat fluxes to be determined by a realistic air-sea interaction physics. The Strait of Gibraltar is open, and the model resolution is ? in the horizontal and 19 levels in the vertical. The results show the large seasonal cycle of the circulation and its transient characteristics. The heat budget at the surface is characterized by lateral boundary intensifications occurring in downwelling and up welling areas of the basin. The general circulation is composed of subbasin gyres, and cyclonic motion dominates the northern and anticyclonic motion the southern part of the basin. The Atlantic stream which enters from Gibraltar and assumes the form of different boundary current subsystems is a coherent structure at the surface. At depth it appears as current segments and jets around a vigorous gyre system. The seasonal variability is manifested not only by a change in amplitude and location of the gyres but also by the appearance of seasonally recurrent gyres in different parts of the basin. Distinct westward propagation of these gyres occurs, together with amplitude changes. For the first time a Mersa-Matruh Gyre is successfully simulated due to the introduction of our heat fluxes at the air-sea interface. The seasonal thermocline is formed each summer, and a deep winter mixed layer is produced in the region of Levantine intermediate water formation. Deep water renewal does not occur, probably due to the climatological forcing used.

  10. The timing of Mediterranean sapropel deposition relative to insolation, sea-level and African monsoon changes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Grant, K. M.; Grimm, R.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Marino, G.; Ziegler, M.; Rohling, E. J.

    2016-01-01

    The Mediterranean basin is sensitive to global sea-level changes and African monsoon variability on orbital timescales. Both of these processes are thought to be important to the deposition of organic-rich sediment layers or 'sapropels' throughout the eastern Mediterranean, yet their relative influe

  11. First record of the polychaetous annelid Diopatra micrura Pires et al., 2010 in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. ARIAS

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Until now the only recognised species of the onuphid genus Diopatra in the Mediterranean Sea was D. neapolitana. This paper reports the presence of another species, D. micrura, in the western Mediterranean, occurring in shallow waters along the coasts of southeastern Spain. 

  12. A new alien gastropod Pseudorhaphitoma iodolabiata (Hornung & Mermod, 1928 (Mangeliidae, Mollusca in the Mediterranean Sea

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    B. OZTURK

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The study documents the occurrence of a new alien gastropod Pseudorhaphitoma iodolabiata in the Mediterranean Sea, collected inIskenderun Bay, Turkey, on September 2011. This record increases to 213 the number of alien molluscs in the Mediterranean.

  13. Recent sea surface temperature trends and future scenarios for the Mediterranean Sea

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    Mohamed Shaltout

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We analyse recent Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures (SSTs and their response to global change using 1/4-degree gridded advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR daily SST data, 1982–2012. These data indicate significant annual warming (from 0.24 °C decade−1 west of the Strait of Gibraltar to 0.51 °C decade−1 over the Black Sea and significant spatial variation in annual average SST (from 15 °C over the Black Sea to 21 °C over the Levantine sub-basin. Ensemble mean scenarios indicate that the study area SST may experience significant warming, peaking at 2.6 °C century−1 in the Representative Concentration Pathways 85 (RCP85 scenario.

  14. Recent sea surface temperature trends and future scenarios for the Mediterranean Sea:

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    Mohamed Shaltout

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available We analyse recent Mediterranean Sea surface temperatures (SSTs and their response to global change using 1/4-degree gridded advanced very-high-resolution radiometer (AVHRR daily SST data, 1982-2012. These data indicate significant annual warming (from 0.24°C decade-1 west of the Strait of Gibraltar to 0.51°C decade-1 over the Black Sea and significant spatial variation in annual average SST (from 15ºC over the Black Sea to 21°C over the Levantine sub-basin. Ensemble mean scenarios indicate that the study area SST may experience significant warming, peaking at 2.6°C century-1 in the Representative Concentration Pathways 85 (RCP85 scenario.

  15. Reanalysis of biogeochemical properties in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cossarini, Gianpiero; Teruzzi, Anna; Salon, Stefano; Solidoro, Cosimo

    2014-05-01

    In the 3D variational (3DVAR) assimilation approach the error covariance matrix can be decomposed in a series of operators. The decomposition makes the 3DVAR particularly suitable for marine biogeochemistry data assimilation, because of the reduced computational costs of the method and its modularity, which allows to define the covariance among the biogeochemical variables in a specific operator. In the present work, the results of 3DVAR assimilation of surface chlorophyll concentration in a multi-annual simulation of the Mediterranean Sea biogeochemistry are presented. The assimilated chlorophyll concentrations are obtained from satellite observations (Volpe et al. 2012). The multi-annual simulation is carried out using the OPATM-BFM model (Lazzari et al. 2012), which describes the low trophic web dynamics and is offline coupled with the MFS physical model (Oddo et al. 2009). In the OPATM-BFM four types of phytoplankton are simulated in terms of their content in carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous, silicon and chlorophyll. In the 3DVAR the error covariance matrix has been decomposed in three different operators, which account for the vertical, the horizontal and the biogeochemical covariance (Teruzzi et al. 2014). The biogeochemical operator propagates the result of the assimilation to the OPATM-BFM variables, providing innovation for the components of the four phytoplankton types. The biogeochemical covariance has been designed supposing that the assimilation preserves the physiological status and the relative abundances of phytoplankton types. Practically, the assimilation preserves the internal quotas of the components for each phytoplankton as long as the optimal growth rate condition are maintained. The quotas preservation is not applied when the phytoplankton is in severe declining growth phase, and the correction provided by the assimilation is set equal to zero. Moreover, the relative abundances among the phytoplankton functional types are preserved. The 3DVAR

  16. Paleogeography of the Central Asian proto-Paratethys Sea in the Eocene: Controlling mechanisms and paleoenvironmental impacts (Utrecht Studies in Earth Sciences 038)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bosboom, R.E.

    2013-01-01

    The Cretaceous and Paleogene sediments of the Central Asian basins include remnants of the easternmost extent of a large epicontinental sea. Before this sea retreated westward and eventually separated as the Paratethys Sea, it extended across Eurasia from the Mediterranean Tethys to the Tarim Basin

  17. Extant Rhabdosphaeraceae (coccolithophorids, class Prymnesiophyceae) from the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic Ocean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kleijne, A.

    1992-01-01

    Rhabdosphaerids were consistently present as a minor constituent of the 1985 summer coccolithophorid flora in surface waters of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North Atlantic. Sixteen taxa are identified, belonging to seven genera, including the two new combinations Cyrtosphaera acu

  18. The history and transitent nature of salinity anomalies in the Mediterranean Sea from advanced reanalysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinardi, Nadia; Fratianni, Claudia; Lyubartsev, Vladyslav

    2015-04-01

    Long term, high resolution re-analyses of the Mediterranean Sea circulation and thermohaline structure are now available from the NextData and MyOcean projects. The first is a 60 years re-analysis (1953-2012) done with atmospheric AMIP forcing and the second is 25 years re-analysis (1987-2012) done with ECMWF atmospheric forcing re-analysis. Both concur to have a representation of the longest time series of salinity anomalies in the Mediterranean Sea, the highest space-time reconstruction ever done for the whole basin. The salinity anomalies of the Mediterranean Sea below seven hundred meters of the past 60 years are examined in comparison with the Eastern Mediterranean Transient, a phenomenon Dr. A.Hecht contributed to discover during POEM. Deep water salinity changes and Gibraltar Strait anomalies are also examined in the light of possible feedback mechanisms, as well as the structure and correlation of such salinity anomalies with atmospheric forcing.

  19. Plankton in the open Mediterranean Sea: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siokou-Frangou, I.; Christaki, U.; Mazzocchi, M. G.; Montresor, M.; Ribera D'Alcalá, M.; Vaqué, D.; Zingone, A.

    2009-11-01

    We present an overview of the plankton studies conducted during the last 25 years in the epipelagic offshore waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This quasi-enclosed sea is characterized by a rich and complex physical dynamics that includes unique thermohaline features, particular multilayer circulation, topographic gyres, and meso- and sub-mesoscale activity. Recent investigations have basically confirmed the long-recognised oligotrophic character of this sea, which enhances along both the west-east, and the north-south directions. Nutrient availability is low, especially for phosphorous (N:P up to 60), although limitation may be relaxed by inputs from highly populated coasts and from the atmosphere. Phytoplankton biomass as chl-a, generally displays low values (less than 0.2 μg chl-a l-1) over large areas, with a modest late winter increase. A large bloom (up to 3 μg l-1) throughout the late winter and early spring is only observed in the NW area. Relatively high biomass peaks are also recorded in fronts and cyclonic gyres. A deep chlorophyll maximum is a~permanent feature for the whole basin (except during the late winter mixing). It progressively deepens from the Alboran Sea (30 m) to the easternmost Levantine basin (120 m). Primary production reveals a similar west-east decreasing trend and ranges from 59 to 150 g C m-2 y-1 (in situ measurements). Overall the basin is largely dominated by small-sized autotrophs, microheterotrophs and egg-carrying copepod species. The phytoplankton, the microbial (both autotrophic and heterotrophic) and the zooplankton components reveal a considerable diversity and variability over spatial and temporal scales, the latter less explored though. Examples are the wide diversity of dinoflagellates and coccolithophores, the multifarious role of diatoms or picoeukaryotes, and the distinct seasonal or spatial patterns of the species-reach copepod genera or families which dominate in the basin. Major dissimilarities between western and

  20. Results on SSH neural network forecasting in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rixen, Michel; Beckers, Jean-Marie; Alvarez, Alberto; Tintore, Joaquim

    2002-01-01

    Nowadays, satellites are the only monitoring systems that cover almost continuously all possible ocean areas and are now an essential part of operational oceanography. A novel approach based on artificial intelligence (AI) concepts, exploits pasts time series of satellite images to infer near future ocean conditions at the surface by neural networks and genetic algorithms. The size of the AI problem is drastically reduced by splitting the spatio-temporal variability contained in the remote sensing data by using empirical orthogonal function (EOF) decomposition. The problem of forecasting the dynamics of a 2D surface field can thus be reduced by selecting the most relevant empirical modes, and non-linear time series predictors are then applied on the amplitudes only. In the present case study, we use altimetric maps of the Mediterranean Sea, combining TOPEX-POSEIDON and ERS-1/2 data for the period 1992 to 1997. The learning procedure is applied to each mode individually. The final forecast is then reconstructed form the EOFs and the forecasted amplitudes and compared to the real observed field for validation of the method.

  1. Contrasting patterns of climatic changes during the Holocene in the Central Mediterranean (Italy reconstructed from pollen data

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    O. Peyron

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available Lake-level records from Italy suggest a north–south climatic partition in the Central Mediterranean during the Holocene with respect to precipitation, but the scarcity of reliable palaeoclimatic records in the North and Central-Southern Mediterranean means new evidence is needed to validate this hypothesis. Here, we provide robust quantitative estimates of Holocene climate in the Mediterranean region based on four high-resolution pollen records from Northern (Lakes Ledro and Accesa and Southern (Lakes Trifoglietti and Pergusa Italy. Multiple methods are used to provide an improved assessment of the paleoclimatic reconstruction uncertainty. The multi-method approach uses the pollen-based Weighted Averaging, Weighted-Average-Partial-Least-Squares regression, Modern Analogues Technique, and the Non-Metric-Multidimensional Scaling/Generalized-Additive-Model methods. The precipitation seasonality reconstructions are validated by independent lake-level data, obtained from the same records.

    A climatic partition between the north and the south during the Holocene confirms the hypothesis of opposing mid-Holocene summer precipitation regimes in the Mediterranean. During the early-to-mid-Holocene the northern sites (Ledro, Accesa are characterized by minima for summer precipitation and lake-levels while the southern sites (Trifoglietti, Pergusa are marked by maxima for precipitation and lake-levels. During the late Holocene, both pollen-inferred precipitation and lake-levels indicate the opposite pattern, a maximum in North Italy and a minimum in Southern Italy/Sicily. Summer temperatures also show partitioning, with warm conditions in Northern Italy and cool conditions in Sicily during the early/mid-Holocene, and a reversal during the Late-Holocene.

    Comparison with marine cores from the Aegean Sea suggests that climate trends and gradients observed in Italy shows strong similarities with those recognized from the Aegean Sea, and more

  2. The Mediterranean Sea system: a review and an introduction to the special issue

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    T. Tanhua

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea is a semi-enclosed sea characterized by high salinities, temperatures and densities. The net evaporation exceeds the precipitation, driving an anti-estuarine circulation through the Strait of Gibraltar, contributing to very low nutrient concentrations. The Mediterranean Sea has an active overturning circulation, one shallow cell that communicates directly with the Atlantic Ocean, and two deep overturning cells, one in each of the two main basins. It is surrounded by populated areas and is thus sensitive to anthropogenic forcing. Several dramatic changes in the oceanographic and biogeochemical conditions have been observed during the past several decades, emphasizing the need to better monitor and understand the changing conditions and their drivers. During 2011 three oceanographic cruises were conducted in a coordinated fashion in order to produce baseline data of important physical and biogeochemical parameters that can be compared to historic data and be used as reference for future observational campaigns. In this article we provide information on the Mediterranean Sea oceanographic situation, and present a short review that will serve as background information for the special issue in Ocean Science on "Physical, chemical and biological oceanography of the Mediterranean Sea". An important contribution of this article is the set of figures showing the large-scale distributions of physical and chemical properties along the full length of the Mediterranean Sea.

  3. Mean sea level and surface circulation variability of the Mediterranean Sea from 2 years of TOPEX/POSEIDON altimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larnicol, Gilles; Le Traon, Pierre-Yves; Ayoub, Nadia; de Mey, Pierre

    1995-12-01

    We describe the circulation and mean sea level variations of the Mediterranean Sea from 2 years of TOPEX/POSEIDON altimetric data. It is first shown that the response of the Mediterranean Sea to atmospheric pressure forcing is close to an inverse barometer (except at high frequencies) which means that the adjustment is accompanied by a flow through the Straits of Sicily and Gibraltar. We then use TOPEX/POSEIDON to study the mean sea level variations, representing steric effects and integrated large-scale changes of the mass of the Mediterranean Sea. We observe an annual cycle with a fast drop during winter. Steric effects account for about half of the observed variations. The remaining signal is believed to be driven by evaporation minus precipitation (E - P) forcing and internal hydraulic control in the Straits of Gibraltar. Using suboptimal space-time objective analysis, the classic components of the Mediterranean surface circulation are recovered, despite low signal-to-noise ratio (the rms of sea level variability is less than 10 cm). The variable Mediterranean circulation is seen as a complex combination of mesoscale and large-scale variations. The surface circulation is more complex in the eastern basin than in the western basin. In the east it is composed of subbasin-scale gyres, such as the so-called Mersa-Matruh and Shikmona gyres, which do not have an obvious recurrence period. We also observe an intensification of the large-scale cyclonic winter circulation in the western and in the Ionian basins. Several mesoscale structures, such as the Alboran gyres and the Ierepetra gyre, show a clear seasonal cycle, with a maximum in summer. The good qualitative and quantitative agreement of the results with previous data from the Mediterranean illustrates the improved accurary of TOPEX/POSEIDON over its predecessors.

  4. Biodiversity patterns of crustacean suprabenthic assemblages along an oligotrophic gradient in the bathyal Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Almeida, Mariana; Frutos, Inmaculada; Tecchio, Samuele; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Company, Joan B.; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; Cunha, Marina R.

    2017-03-01

    Crustacean suprabenthic abundance, community structure, α-diversity (both taxonomic and trophic) and β-diversity were studied along a West-East gradient of oligotrophy in the deep Mediterranean Sea. The assemblages were sampled with a suprabenthic sledge in three regions (western, central and eastern basins) at three water depths (1200, 2000 and 3000 m) in May-June 2009. Environmental data were obtained at each sampling location including sediment properties, oceanographic variables near the seafloor and in the water column, and proxies of epipelagic productivity at the surface. Our results, concerning the crustacean component of the suprabenthos, showed complex trends in community structure and biodiversity across different spatial scales (longitudinal, bathymetric, and near-bottom distribution). A decrease in the number of species and abundance, accompanied by changes in the trophic structure of the assemblages were observed from West to East. In the eastern region the assemblages were impoverished in number of trophic guilds and trophic diversity. The West-East oligotrophic gradient was identified as the main driver in community structure as shown by the significant correlation with trophic environmental variables. Differences in community structure across regions were more marked at greater depths, while at the shallower sites assemblages were more similar. Within each basin, abundance, number of species and number of trophic groups decreased with depth, showing high turnover rates between 1200 and 2000 m depths. The small-scale (0-150 cm) vertical distribution of the suprabenthos was interpreted in relation to the species' functional traits (e.g. swimming activity, migratory behaviour, bottom dependence, feeding habits). Bottom-dependent and more mobile components of the suprabenthos were apparently responding differently to the various environmental challenges imposed by the large-scale longitudinal and bathymetric gradients. We propose that the bathyal

  5. Failure Mechanisms of Ana Slide, Eivissa Channel, Western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lafuerza, S.; Sultan, N.; Canals, M.; Lastras, G.; Cattaneo, A.; Frigola, J.; Costa, S.; Berndt, C.

    2011-12-01

    Fluid seepage has been considered as the most plausible explanation to account for slope instabilities in the Eivissa Channel in between the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands, Western Mediterranean Sea. In situ geotechnical tests and sediment cores obtained in the Ana Slide area, on the Balearic slope of the Eivissa Channel, suggest that the development of the basal failure surface (BFS) was favoured by contrasting hydro-mechanical properties between a coarse unit (U7) charged with methane and a fine-grained unit above (U6). The presence of past methane seepage has been inferred from high magnetic susceptibility values found in sediments from the headwall area and is supported by seismic reflection data. Geotechnical data from piezocone tests, laboratory analyses and numerical calculations indicate degradation of the undrained shear strength generated by methane exsolution and expansion as the only plausible mechanism to explain the origin of Ana Slide. The probability of failure for different critical failure surfaces has been investigated by using the SAMU-3D slope stability model taking into account the role of free gas in the development of the landslide. According to SAMU-3D, the most probable failure surface is related to a minimum degradation of the undrained shear strength of units U6 and U7 of 95% and a basal failure surface developed at the base of U6, which acted as a weak layer. Wheeler's theory suggests that 9% of free-gas saturation in U7 is enough to reduce the undrained shear strength by 95%. However, using the theory of the undrained equilibrium behaviour of gassy sediments we conclude that the excess fluid pressure generated by gas exsolution and expansion is not relevant to bring the slope to fail.

  6. Temperature trends in Malta (central Mediterranean) from 1951 to 2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galdies, C.

    2012-08-01

    There is as yet scanty published information on climate trends at a local scale within the central Mediterranean region. This is the most updated study that focuses on detailed understanding of air temperature shifts based on standard observations gathered from the Maltese islands. This analysis leads to a number of conclusions, most significant being (1) that the rate of change in the mean temperature is +1.1 °C between 1951 and 2010, (2) a warming trend of +1.2 and +1.1 °C exists in the maximum and minimum temperature, respectively, over the same period, (3) that the strongest anomalous warming has occurred during the last 30 years, particularly during the months of June, August and October, and (4) the local temperature trend is in the same category of air temperature trends detected in the nearby Island of Sicily (Catania, Italy), Perpignan (France) and Dar el-Beida (Algeria). Local data also show differences in the temperature trends, especially pronounced between the two 30-year periods of 1951-1980 and 1981-2010. This study provides an understanding of temperature shifts at recommended small spatio-temporal scales.

  7. Marine caves of the Mediterranean Sea: a sponge biodiversity reservoir within a biodiversity hotspot.

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    Vasilis Gerovasileiou

    Full Text Available Marine caves are widely acknowledged for their unique biodiversity and constitute a typical feature of the Mediterranean coastline. Herein an attempt was made to evaluate the ecological significance of this particular ecosystem in the Mediterranean Sea, which is considered a biodiversity hotspot. This was accomplished by using Porifera, which dominate the rocky sublittoral substrata, as a reference group in a meta-analytical approach, combining primary research data from the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean with data derived from the literature. In total 311 species from all poriferan classes were recorded, representing 45.7% of the Mediterranean Porifera. Demospongiae and Homoscleromorpha are highly represented in marine caves at the family (88%, generic (70%, and species level (47.5%, the latter being the most favored group along with Dictyoceratida and Lithistida. Several rare and cave-exclusive species were reported from only one or few caves, indicating the fragmentation and peculiarity of this unique ecosystem. Species richness and phylogenetic diversity varied among Mediterranean areas; the former was positively correlated with research effort, being higher in the northern Mediterranean, while the latter was generally higher in caves than in the overall sponge assemblages of each area. Resemblance analysis among areas revealed that cavernicolous sponge assemblages followed a pattern quite similar to that of the overall Mediterranean assemblages. The same pattern was exhibited by the zoogeographic affinities of cave sponges: species with Atlanto-Mediterranean distribution and Mediterranean endemics prevailed (more than 40% each, 70% of them having warm-water affinities, since most caves were studied in shallow waters. According to our findings, Mediterranean marine caves appear to be important sponge biodiversity reservoirs of high representativeness and great scientific interest, deserving further detailed study and protection.

  8. Plankton in the open Mediterranean Sea: a review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Siokou-Frangou

    2010-05-01

    Full Text Available We present an overview of the plankton studies conducted during the last 25 years in the epipelagic offshore waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This quasi-enclosed sea is characterized by a rich and complex physical dynamics with distinctive traits, especially in regard to the thermohaline circulation. Recent investigations have basically confirmed the long-recognised oligotrophic nature of this sea, which increases along both the west-east and the north-south directions. Nutrient availability is low, especially for phosphorous (N:P up to 60, though this limitation may be buffered by inputs from highly populated coasts and from the atmosphere. Phytoplankton biomass, as chl a, generally displays low values (less than 0.2 μg chl a l−1 over large areas, with a modest late winter increase. A large bloom (up to 3 μg l−1 is observed throughout the late winter and spring exclusively in the NW area. Relatively high biomass values are recorded in fronts and cyclonic gyres. A deep chlorophyll maximum is a permanent feature for the whole basin, except during the late winter mixing. It is found at increasingly greater depths ranging from 30 m in the Alboran Sea to 120 m in the easternmost Levantine basin. Primary production reveals a west-east decreasing trend and ranges between 59 and 150 g C m−2 y−1 (in situ measurements. Overall, the basin is largely dominated by small autotrophs, microheterotrophs and egg-carrying copepod species. The microorganisms (phytoplankton, viruses, bacteria, flagellates and ciliates and zooplankton components reveal a considerable diversity and variability over spatial and temporal scales, although the latter is poorly studied. Examples are the wide diversity of dinoflagellates and coccolithophores, the multifarious role of diatoms or picoeukaryotes, and the distinct seasonal or spatial patterns of the species-rich copepod genera or families which dominate the

  9. New Fisheries-related data from the Mediterranean Sea (April 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. STERGIOU

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available As part of its policy, Mediterranean Marine Science started from 2014 to publish a new series of collective article with fisheries-related data from the Mediterranean Sea. In this first collective article we present length frequencies and weight-length relationships for the northern brown shrimp Farfantepenaeus aztecus in the eastern Mediterranean, length-weight relationships for 10 fish species in the North Aegean Sea, the feeding habits for 11 sparid fishes in the North Aegean Sea, a review of the existing literature on the feeding and reproduction of common carp Cyprinus carpio in Anatolia (Turkey and mouth dimensions and the relationships between mouth area and length for seven freshwater fishes from Lake Volvi (Northern Greece.

  10. Climatic features of the Mediterranean Sea detected by the analysis of the longwave radiative bulk formulae

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    M. E. Schiano

    Full Text Available Some important climatic features of the Mediterranean Sea stand out from an analysis of the systematic discrepancies between direct measurements of longwave radiation budget and predictions obtained by the most widely used bulk formulae. In particular, under clear-sky conditions the results show that the surface values of both air temperature and humidity over the Mediterranean Sea are larger than those expected over an open ocean with the same amount of net longwave radiation. Furthermore, the twofold climatic regime of the Mediterranean region strongly affects the downwelling clear-sky radiation. This study suggests that a single bulk formula with constant numerical coefficients is unable to reproduce the fluxes at the surface for all the seasons.

    Key words: Meteorology and Atmospheric dynamics (radiative processes – Oceanography: general (marginal and semienclosed seas; marine meteorology

  11. {sup 137}Cs baseline levels in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: A cross-basin survey of the CIESM Mediterranean Mussel Watch programme

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thebault, Herve [IRSN, LERCM, Centre Ifremer, BP 330, F-83507 La Seyne sur Mer (France); Rodriguez y Baena, Alessia M. [International Commission for the Scientific Exploration of the Mediterranean Sea (CIESM), 16 Blvd de Suisse, MC-98000 Principality of Monaco (Monaco); Andral, Bruno [Ifremer, BP 330, F-83507 La Seyne sur Mer (France); Barisic, Delko [Center for Marine and Environmental Research, Lab. for Trace Physical Chemistry, Ruder Boskovic Inst., P.O. Box 1016, Bijenicka 54, 10002 Zagreb (Croatia); Albaladejo, Jose Benedicto [Inst. Espanol de Oceanografi' a (IEO), Centro Oceanografico de Murcia - Calle Varadero No. 1, 30740 San Pedro del Pinatar (Spain); Bologa, Alexandru S. [National Institute for Marine Research and Development ' Grigore Antipa' , RO-900581, Constantza (Romania); Boudjenoun, Redouane [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique (COMENA), Centre de Radioprotection Recherche Nucleaire d' Algeret de Surete, Lab. d' Etudes d' Impact Radiologique, 2 Blvd F. Fanon - BP 399 Alger-Gare, 16000 Alger (Algeria); Delfanti, Roberta [Ente per le Nuove Tecnologie, l' Energia, e l' Ambiente (ENEA), Marine Environment Research Centre, La Spezia (Italy); Egorov, Victor N. [Inst. of Biology of the Southern Seas (IBSS), National Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine, 2 Porspekt Nakhimova, 99 011 Sevastopol, Crimea (Ukraine); El Khoukhi, Tahar [Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires de la Maamora (CNESTEN), BP 1382 RP Rabat 10001 (Morocco); Florou, Heleni [National Centre for Scientific Research ' Demokritos' , Aghia Paraskevi 153 10, P.O. Box 60228, Athens (Greece); Kniewald, Goran [Center for Marine and Environmental Research, Lab. for Trace Physical Chemistry, Ruder Boskovic Inst., P.O. Box 1016, Bijenicka 54, 10002 Zagreb (Croatia); Noureddine, Abdelkader [Commissariat a l' Energie Atomique (COMENA), Centre de Radioprotection Recherche Nucleaire d' Algeret de Surete, Lab. d' Etudes d' Impact Radiologique, 2 Blvd F. Fanon - BP 399 Alger-Gare, 16000 Alger (Algeria)] (and others)

    2008-07-01

    The common mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis was selected as unique biomonitor species to implement a regional monitoring programme, the CIESM Mediterranean Mussel Watch (MMW), in the Mediterranean and Black Seas. As of today, and upon standardization of the methodological approach, the MMW Network has been able to quantify {sup 137}Cs levels in mussels from 60 coastal stations and to produce the first distribution map of this artificial radionuclide at the scale of the entire Mediterranean and Black Seas. While measured {sup 137}Cs levels were found to be very low (usually <1 Bq kg{sup -1} wet wt) {sup 137}Cs activity concentrations in the Black Sea and North Aegean Sea were up to two orders of magnitude higher than those in the western Mediterranean Basin. Such effects, far from representing a threat to human populations or the environment, reflect a persistent signature of the Chernobyl fallout in this area.

  12. An oceanic box model of the Miocene Mediterranean Sea with emphasis on the effects of closure of the eastern gateway

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Karami, M.P.; Meijer, P.Th.; Dijkstra, H.A.; Wortel, M.J.R.

    2009-01-01

    The early Miocene Mediterranean Sea had two gateways toward the open ocean: the Indian Ocean in the east and the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Closure of the eastern connection during the middle Miocene had important effects on the water properties and circulation of the Mediterranean Sea. To gain ins

  13. Simulated anthropogenic CO2 storage and acidification of the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Palmiéri

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Constraints on the Mediterranean Sea's storage of anthropogenic CO2 are limited, coming only from data-based approaches that disagree by more than a factor of two. Here we simulate this marginal sea's anthropogenic carbon storage by applying a perturbation approach in a high-resolution regional model. Our model simulates that, between 1800 and 2001, basin-wide CO2 storage by the Mediterranean Sea has increased by 1.0 Pg C, a lower limit based on the model's weak deep-water ventilation, as revealed by evaluation with CFC-12. Furthermore, by testing a data-based approach (transit time distribution in our model, comparing simulated anthropogenic CO2 to values computed from simulated CFC-12 and physical variables, we conclude that the associated basin-wide storage of 1.7 Pg, published previously, must be an upper bound. Out of the total simulated storage of 1.0 Pg C, 75% comes from the air–sea flux into the Mediterranean Sea and 25% comes from net transport from the Atlantic across the Strait of Gibraltar. Sensitivity tests indicate that the Mediterranean Sea's higher total alkalinity, relative to the global-ocean mean, enhances the Mediterranean's total inventory of anthropogenic carbon by 10%. Yet the corresponding average anthropogenic change in surface pH does not differ significantly from the global-ocean average, despite higher total alkalinity. In Mediterranean deep waters, the pH change is estimated to be between −0.005 and −0.06 pH units.

  14. Consumers of sea urchins, Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula, in shallow Mediterranean rocky reefs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidetti, Paolo

    2004-04-01

    Underwater observations on fish and asteroid consumers (i.e. predators and scavengers) of sea urchins, Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula, were carried out at several locations in shallow Mediterranean rocky reefs. Observations conducted in the marine reserve of Torre Guaceto (Adriatic Sea) revealed that sparid fishes, Diplodus sargus and D. vulgaris, are the main fish predators of small (sargus were able to prey upon small and medium, and occasionally large (>4 cm) sea urchins, whereas medium and small Diplodus preyed mainly upon small sea urchins. The number of sea urchins preyed upon by fishes was negatively related to sea urchin size for both species. P. lividus appeared to be subject to higher predation levels than A. lixula. The scavenger guild comprised 11 fish species, with D. sargus, D. vulgaris, Coris julis and Chromis chromis accounting for about 80% of scavenger fishes. Observations performed at several locations in the Mediterranean on the predatory asteroid Marthasterias glacialis revealed that only 3% of the detected individuals were preying upon sea urchins. Due to the importance of sea urchins for assemblage structure and functioning of Mediterranean rocky reef ecosystems, these results may have also important implications for management of fishing activities.

  15. Nutrient Limitation in Central Red Sea Mangroves

    KAUST Repository

    Almahasheer, Hanan

    2016-12-24

    As coastal plants that can survive in salt water, mangroves play an essential role in large marine ecosystems (LMEs). The Red Sea, where the growth of mangroves is stunted, is one of the least studied LMEs in the world. Mangroves along the Central Red Sea have characteristic heights of ~2 m, suggesting nutrient limitation. We assessed the nutrient status of mangrove stands in the Central Red Sea and conducted a fertilization experiment (N, P and Fe and various combinations thereof) on 4-week-old seedlings of Avicennia marina to identify limiting nutrients and stoichiometric effects. We measured height, number of leaves, number of nodes and root development at different time periods as well as the leaf content of C, N, P, Fe, and Chl a in the experimental seedlings. Height, number of nodes and number of leaves differed significantly among treatments. Iron treatment resulted in significantly taller plants compared with other nutrients, demonstrating that iron is the primary limiting nutrient in the tested mangrove population and confirming Liebig\\'s law of the minimum: iron addition alone yielded results comparable to those using complete fertilizer. This result is consistent with the biogenic nature of the sediments in the Red Sea, which are dominated by carbonates, and the lack of riverine sources of iron.

  16. Mediterranean Sea response to climate change in an ensemble of twenty first century scenarios

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adloff, Fanny; Somot, Samuel; Sevault, Florence; Jordà, Gabriel; Aznar, Roland; Déqué, Michel; Herrmann, Marine; Marcos, Marta; Dubois, Clotilde; Padorno, Elena; Alvarez-Fanjul, Enrique; Gomis, Damià

    2015-11-01

    The Mediterranean climate is expected to become warmer and drier during the twenty-first century. Mediterranean Sea response to climate change could be modulated by the choice of the socio-economic scenario as well as the choice of the boundary conditions mainly the Atlantic hydrography, the river runoff and the atmospheric fluxes. To assess and quantify the sensitivity of the Mediterranean Sea to the twenty-first century climate change, a set of numerical experiments was carried out with the regional ocean model NEMOMED8 set up for the Mediterranean Sea. The model is forced by air-sea fluxes derived from the regional climate model ARPEGE-Climate at a 50-km horizontal resolution. Historical simulations representing the climate of the period 1961-2000 were run to obtain a reference state. From this baseline, various sensitivity experiments were performed for the period 2001-2099, following different socio-economic scenarios based on the Special Report on Emissions Scenarios. For the A2 scenario, the main three boundary forcings (river runoff, near-Atlantic water hydrography and air-sea fluxes) were changed one by one to better identify the role of each forcing in the way the ocean responds to climate change. In two additional simulations (A1B, B1), the scenario is changed, allowing to quantify the socio-economic uncertainty. Our 6-member scenario simulations display a warming and saltening of the Mediterranean. For the 2070-2099 period compared to 1961-1990, the sea surface temperature anomalies range from +1.73 to +2.97 °C and the SSS anomalies spread from +0.48 to +0.89. In most of the cases, we found that the future Mediterranean thermohaline circulation (MTHC) tends to reach a situation similar to the eastern Mediterranean Transient. However, this response is varying depending on the chosen boundary conditions and socio-economic scenarios. Our numerical experiments suggest that the choice of the near-Atlantic surface water evolution, which is very uncertain in

  17. Propagation regimes and populations of internal waves in the Mediterranean Sea basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kurkina, Oxana; Rouvinskaya, Ekaterina; Talipova, Tatiana; Soomere, Tarmo

    2017-02-01

    The geographical and seasonal distributions of kinematic and nonlinear parameters of long internal waves are derived from the Generalized Digital Environmental Model (GDEM) climatology for the Mediterranean Sea region, including the Black Sea. The considered parameters are phase speed of long internal waves and the coefficients at the dispersion, quadratic and cubic terms of the weakly-nonlinear Korteweg-de Vries-type models (in particular, the Gardner model). These parameters govern the possible polarities and shapes of solitary internal waves, their limiting amplitudes and propagation speeds. The key outcome is an express estimate of the expected parameters of internal waves for different regions of the Mediterranean basin.

  18. Speciation of mercury in surface and deep-sea waters in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Horvat, Milena; Kotnik, Jože; Logar, Martina; Fajon, Vesna; Zvonarić, Tomislav; Pirrone, Nicola

    A summary of data recently obtained for mercury analysis and speciation (reactive Hg, total Hg and monomethylmercury (MMHg)) in filtered and non-filtered seawater samples, dissolved gaseous mercury (DGM) and dimethylmercury (DMHg) in open and coastal waters of the Mediterranean Sea is presented. The majority of the results were obtained during an oceanographic cruise aboard the research vessel Urania from 14 July to 9 August, 2000, as part of the MED-OCEANOR Project funded by the National Research Council of Italy. The results are compared with those obtained in contaminated coastal environments of the Adriatic (The Gulf of Trieste and Kaštela Bay) and non-contaminated coastal waters of the eastern Adriatic coast obtained in 1998. Total mercury concentrations in surface ocean waters are relatively low with an average of 0.81 pM (0.49-1.91 pM). Reactive Hg represents a substantial part with an average of 57% of total Hg (15-97%). Most mercury in open ocean waters was present in the dissolved form (32-95%, av. 70%), which is mainly due to the low abundance of particulate matter, a phenomenon well known for the Mediterranean open ocean waters. On average the percentage of Hg as MMHg was about 20%, of which about 66% was present in the dissolved form. The percentage of DGM in the surface ocean waters represents about 9% of total Hg (2.5-24.5%) and may originate from photochemical, biologically mediated mechanisms or diffusion from deeper layer either due to biological and/or to tectonic activity which is typical of the Mediterranean region. The presence of DMHg was confirmed only in waters below 20 m (up to 12 fM), while in surface waters DMHg was below the limit of detection (<0.1 fM). Surface concentrations of Hg in the eastern and western parts are comparable, except for DGM which shows significantly higher concentrations in the eastern part (mean value: 0.22 pM) as compared to the western Mediterranean (mean value: 0.09 pM). The distribution of Hg species with

  19. Potential Use of HF Radar for Tsunami Detection in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cokacar, Tulay; Necmioglu, Ocal; Ozer, Ceren

    2016-04-01

    Today, HF radar is recognized as internationally cost-effective and efficient solution to provide near-real time measurements that cover a large area continuously over time for ocean hazards warning and long term ocean monitoring studies such as, seasonal forecasts of climate, hurricanes, s torm surges and large-scale ocean circulation changes. These radar systems recently became an operational tool in coastal monitoring worldwide. They are used for many operational applications that include ship detection, tracking, guidance, distribution of pollutants, fishery and oceanography. HF radar data used for the tsunami warnings, can also be used for the other purposes and be of potential interest to wide application area users and stakeholders. Moreover multi user applications will ensure the system is maintained operationally over the long term. Hence the system is cost effective also with regards to maintenance. New algorithms allow useful detection and verification for tsunami detection. While technical monitoring capacity and the algorithms for tsunami detection is improved significantly, further studies are required to obtain complete wave height determination. We analysed the available technology and algorithms for the purpose of tsunami detection in the central-eastern Mediterranean and its connected Seas (Aegean and Black Sea). Since the study area is characterized by narrow continental shelf area, the HF radar observation for the purpose of tsunami detection is possible in restricted areas. While extensive continental shelves in the northeastern Black Sea and along the coast of Tunisia in the central Mediterranean let tsunami detection 2.5 hours before tsunami waves hit the coast, the detection is possible around 1 hr or less in advance for the remaining basins with wide continental shelf areas. The bathymetric structure is important for deciding the applicability of HF radar systems for the tsunami detection in continental shelf areas, which can be covered by

  20. First record of Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, Lepidochelys kempii (Garman, 1880 (Cheloniidae, from the Italian waters (Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gianni Insacco

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available In this work the authors describe the first case of Lepidochelys kempii stranding (Garman, 1880 happened in Italian waters (Sicily, Messina and considered to be the fifth in the entire Mediterranean Sea. A young individual was recovered with a longline hook in its oesophageal.

  1. Mitochondrial DNA Reveals Genetic Structuring of Pinna nobilis across the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanna, Daria; Cossu, Piero; Dedola, Gian Luca; Scarpa, Fabio; Maltagliati, Ferruccio; Castelli, Alberto; Franzoi, Piero; Lai, Tiziana; Cristo, Benedetto; Curini-Galletti, Marco; Francalacci, Paolo; Casu, Marco

    2013-01-01

    Pinna nobilis is the largest endemic Mediterranean marine bivalve. During past centuries, various human activities have promoted the regression of its populations. As a consequence of stringent standards of protection, demographic expansions are currently reported in many sites. The aim of this study was to provide the first large broad-scale insight into the genetic variability of P. nobilis in the area that encompasses the western Mediterranean, Ionian Sea, and Adriatic Sea marine ecoregions. To accomplish this objective twenty-five populations from this area were surveyed using two mitochondrial DNA markers (COI and 16S). Our dataset was then merged with those obtained in other studies for the Aegean and Tunisian populations (eastern Mediterranean), and statistical analyses (Bayesian model-based clustering, median-joining network, AMOVA, mismatch distribution, Tajima’s and Fu’s neutrality tests and Bayesian skyline plots) were performed. The results revealed genetic divergence among three distinguishable areas: (1) western Mediterranean and Ionian Sea; (2) Adriatic Sea; and (3) Aegean Sea and Tunisian coastal areas. From a conservational point of view, populations from the three genetically divergent groups found may be considered as different management units. PMID:23840684

  2. Global warming and mass mortalities of benthic invertebrates in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivetti, Irene; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Lionello, Piero; Zambianchi, Enrico; Boero, Ferdinando

    2014-01-01

    Satellite data show a steady increase, in the last decades, of the surface temperature (upper few millimetres of the water surface) of the Mediterranean Sea. Reports of mass mortalities of benthic marine invertebrates increased in the same period. Some local studies interpreted the two phenomena in a cause-effect fashion. However, a basin-wide picture of temperature changes combined with a systematic assessment on invertebrate mass mortalities was still lacking. Both the thermal structure of the water column in the Mediterranean Sea over the period 1945-2011 and all documented invertebrate mass mortality events in the basin are analysed to ascertain if: 1- documented mass mortalities occurred under conditions of positive temperature trends at basin scale, and 2- atypical thermal conditions were registered at the smaller spatial and temporal scale of mass mortality events. The thermal structure of the shallow water column over the last 67 years was reconstructed using data from three public sources: MEDAR-MEDATLAS, World Ocean Database, MFS-VOS programme. A review of the mass mortality events of benthic invertebrates at Mediterranean scale was also carried out. The analysis of in situ temperature profiles shows that the Mediterranean Sea changed in a non-homogeneous fashion. The frequency of mass mortalities is increasing. The areas subjected to these events correspond to positive thermal anomalies. Statistically significant temperature trends in the upper layers of the Mediterranean Sea show an increase of up to 0.07°C/yr for a large fraction of the basin. Mass mortalities are consistent with both the temperature increase at basin scale and the thermal changes at local scale, up to 5.2°C. Our research supports the existence of a causal link between positive thermal anomalies and observed invertebrate mass mortalities in the Mediterranean Sea, invoking focused mitigation initiatives in sensitive areas.

  3. The surface circulation in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamad, N.; Millot, C.; Taupier-Letage, I.

    2003-04-01

    The POEM-schema of the Atlantic Water (AW, http://ciesm.org/events/RT5-WaterMassAcronyms.pdf) circulation in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea widely referred to nowadays (Robinson et al., 1991, completed by Robinson and Golnaraghi, 1993, and by Malanotte-Rizzoli et al., 1997) represents, in particular, a jet meandering offshore across the whole basin. No information is given on the southern part of the basin and no mention is made of a possible overall alongslope anticlockwise flow there, as suggested by a contemporaneous analysis of infrared satellite images (Le Vourch et al., 1992; Millot, 1992). A roughly similar controversy was elucidated in the western basin where such imagery was proven reliable. This has motivated the detailed analysis of daily and weekly composite images (about 1000) during the period 1996-2000, and of monthly composites available since 1985. Our analysis shows that AW circulates alongslope and anticlockwise around the whole basin, as indicated by Nielsen (1912) who considered the Coriolis effect as dominant. This circulation, which is permanent from Tunisia to Turkey, exists more or less temporarily in the Aegean, in the Ionian around Greece and in the Adriatic, due to the Etesians. However, a branch having spread for years (up to early 1998) from the channel of Sicily towards the northern Ionian before vanishing represents marked interannual (not seasonal) variability. Being unstable during most of its circuit, the AW flow generates mesoscale eddies which had not been correctly described before and which represent a relatively large amount of AW. Other eddies are known to be generated by orographic effects on the wind field, especially the Etesians. Both kinds of eddies play a fundamental role in spreading AW from alongslope towards the open basin. Although these eddies have characteristics almost specific to each subbasin and/or generation mechanism, the largest ones are anticyclonic, both kinds reach diameters of a few 100s km

  4. North-south palaeohydrological contrasts in the central Mediterranean during the Holocene: tentative synthesis and working hypotheses

    Science.gov (United States)

    Magny, M.; Combourieu-Nebout, N.; de Beaulieu, J. L.; Bout-Roumazeilles, V.; Colombaroli, D.; Desprat, S.; Francke, A.; Joannin, S.; Ortu, E.; Peyron, O.; Revel, M.; Sadori, L.; Siani, G.; Sicre, M. A.; Samartin, S.; Simonneau, A.; Tinner, W.; Vannière, B.; Wagner, B.; Zanchetta, G.; Anselmetti, F.; Brugiapaglia, E.; Chapron, E.; Debret, M.; Desmet, M.; Didier, J.; Essallami, L.; Galop, D.; Gilli, A.; Haas, J. N.; Kallel, N.; Millet, L.; Stock, A.; Turon, J. L.; Wirth, S.

    2013-09-01

    On the basis of a multi-proxy approach and a strategy combining lacustrine and marine records along a north-south transect, data collected in the central Mediterranean within the framework of a collaborative project have led to reconstruction of high-resolution and well-dated palaeohydrological records and to assessment of their spatial and temporal coherency. Contrasting patterns of palaeohydrological changes have been evidenced in the central Mediterranean: south (north) of around 40° N of latitude, the middle part of the Holocene was characterised by lake-level maxima (minima), during an interval dated to ca. 10 300-4500 cal BP to the south and 9000-4500 cal BP to the north. Available data suggest that these contrasting palaeohydrological patterns operated throughout the Holocene, both on millennial and centennial scales. Regarding precipitation seasonality, maximum humidity in the central Mediterranean during the middle part of the Holocene was characterised by humid winters and dry summers north of ca. 40° N, and humid winters and summers south of ca. 40° N. This may explain an apparent conflict between palaeoclimatic records depending on the proxies used for reconstruction as well as the synchronous expansion of tree species taxa with contrasting climatic requirements. In addition, south of ca. 40° N, the first millennium of the Holocene was characterised by very dry climatic conditions not only in the eastern, but also in the central- and the western Mediterranean zones as reflected by low lake levels and delayed reforestation. These results suggest that, in addition to the influence of the Nile discharge reinforced by the African monsoon, the deposition of Sapropel 1 has been favoured (1) by an increase in winter precipitation in the northern Mediterranean borderlands, and (2) by an increase in winter and summer precipitation in the southern Mediterranean area. The climate reversal following the Holocene climate optimum appears to have been punctuated

  5. First occurrence of a Hymenosomatid crab Elamena mathoei (Desmarest, 1823 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. ZAOUALI

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Mediterranean fauna is undergoing drastic modifications as a result of anthropogenic activities and global warming. The most important of these is the colonization of the Mediterranean Sea by alien species, many of them entering through the Suez Canal. While many of them are still confined to the Levant Basin, several have extended their distribution westwards to Tunisian waters. The presence of the Indo-west Pacific hymenosomatid crab Elamena mathoei on a rocky shore at Sidi Daoud, Cape Bon Peninsula, Tunisia, is the first Mediterranean record of this species. It is a testimony to the changes in the patterns of invasion in the Mediterranean Sea.

  6. Seamount physiography and biology in the north-east Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Morato

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available This work aims at characterising the seamount physiography and biology in the OSPAR Convention limits (north-east Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea. We first inferred potential abundance, location and morphological characteristics of seamounts, and secondly, summarized the existing biological, geological and oceanographic in situ research, identifying examples of well-studied seamounts. Our study showed that the seamount population in the OSPAR area (north-east Atlantic and in the Mediterranean Sea is large with around 557 and 101 seamount-like features, respectively. Similarly, seamounts occupy large areas of about 616 000 km2 in the OSPAR region and of about 89 500 km2 in the Mediterranean Sea. The presence of seamounts in the north-east Atlantic has been known since the late 19th century, but overall knowledge regarding seamount ecology and geology is still relatively poor. Only 37 seamounts in the OSPAR area (3.5% of all seamounts in the region, 22 in the Mediterranean Sea (9.2% of all seamounts in the region and 25 in the north-east Atlantic south of the OSPAR area have in situ information. Seamounts mapped in both areas are in general very heterogeneous, showing diverse geophysical characteristics. These differences will likely affect the biological diversity and production of resident and associated organisms.

  7. Effect of ocean warming and acidification on a plankton community in the NW Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Maugendre, L.; Gattuso, J.-P.; Louis, J.; de Kluijver, A.; Marro, S.; Soetaert, K.; Gazeau, F.

    2015-01-01

    The effect of ocean warming and acidification was investigated on a natural plankton assemblage from an oligotrophic area, the bay of Villefranche (NW Mediterranean Sea). The assemblage was sampled in March 2012 and exposed to the following four treatments for 12 days: control (~360 µatm, 14°C), ele

  8. Composition and sources of sedimentary organic matter in the deep Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Pedrosa-Pàmies

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Surface sediments collected from deep slopes and basins (1018–4087 m depth of the oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea have been analysed for bulk elemental and isotopic composition of organic carbon, total nitrogen and selected lipid biomarkers, jointly with grain size distribution and other geochemical proxies. The distribution and sources of sedimentary organic matter (OM have been subsequently assessed and general environmental variables, such as water depth and currents, have been examined as causative factors of deep-sea sediment characteristics. Lithogenic and biogenic carbonates are the dominant sedimentary fractions, while both bulk and molecular organic tracers reflect a mixed contribution from autochthonous and allochthonous sources for the sedimentary OM, as indicated by relatively degraded marine OM, terrestrial plant waxes and anthropogenic OM including degraded petroleum by-products, respectively. Wide regional variations have been observed amongst the studied proxies, which reflect the multiple factors controlling sedimentation in the deep Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Our findings highlight the role of deep Eastern Mediterranean basins as depocentres of organic-rich fine-grained sediments (mean 5.4 ± 2.4 μm, with OM accumulation and burial due to aggregation mechanisms and hydrodynamic sorting. A multi-proxy approach is hired to investigate the biogeochemical composition of sediment samples, which sheds new light on the sources and transport mechanisms along with the impact of preservation vs. diagenetic processes on the composition of sedimentary OM in the deep basins of the oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  9. Eight years of wind measurements from scatterometer for wind resource mapping in the Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Furevik, Birgitte R.; Sempreviva, Anna Maria; Cavaleri, Luigi;

    2011-01-01

    Eight years of wind observations from the SeaWinds scatterometer instrument on the National Aeronautics and Space Administration QuikScat satellite and in situ data from 11 locations in the Mediterranean have been considered. The data have been co-located in time and space, and it is shown...

  10. First occurrence of knight rock shrimp, Sicyonia lancifer (Olivier, 1811 (Decapoda: Sicyoniidae in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. PATANIA

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of the non-native species Sicyonia lancifer  (Olivier, 1811 belonging to Sicyoniidae family is reported for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea. In the following  paper  the distinguishing features of the species are provided. 

  11. Optimizing Surface Winds using QuikSCAT Measurements in the Mediterranean Sea During 2000-2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-28

    r.com/ locate / jmarsysOptimizing surface winds using QuikSCAT measurements in the Mediterranean Sea during 2000–2006 A. Birol Kara a,⁎, Alan J...flux algorithms. J. Geophys. Res. 113, C04009. doi:10.1029/2007JC004324. Large, W.G., Danabasoglu, G., Doney, S.C., McWilliams , J.C., 1997

  12. Low water column nitrogen fixation in the Mediterranean Sea: basin-wide experimental evidence.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agawin, N.S.R.; Tovar-Sanchez, A.; Stal, L.J.; Alvarez, M.; Agustí, S.; Duarte, C.M.

    2011-01-01

    The abundance and nitrogen fixation rates of Trichodesmium sp. integrated down to the deep chlorophyll maximum as well as nitrogen fixation rates in size-fractionated discrete surface water samples were measured across the Mediterranean Sea. The abundance of Trichodesmium sp. was generally low (<50

  13. Low water column nitrogen fixation in the Mediterranean Sea: basin-wide experimental evidence

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Agawin, N.S.R.; Tovar-Sanchez, A.; Stal, L.J.; Alvarez, M.; Agusti, S.; Duarte, C.M.

    2011-01-01

    The abundance and nitrogen fixation rates of Trichodesmium sp. integrated down to the deep chlorophyll maximum as well as nitrogen fixation rates in size-fractionated discrete surface water samples were measured across the Mediterranean Sea. The abundance of Trichodesmium sp. was generally low (20°C

  14. Sea-level change and projected future flooding along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Shaltout

    2015-10-01

    The results indicate that DT can be used to study coastal and deep-water sea-level changes in the study area. The southern Levantine sub-basin sea level has recently risen by an average of 3.1 cm decade−1 and exhibits significant annual sea-level variation of −17 cm to 8 cm. The sea-level variation is significantly affected by several factors: sea-level variation west of the Gibraltar Strait, steric sea level, and sea-surface temperature. The GFDL simulations best describing the recent sea level over the study area, i.e., GFDL-CM3 and GFDL-ESM2M, are used to calculate the two-model ensemble mean (GFDL-2ENM, which indicates that Egypt's Mediterranean coast will experience substantial sea-level rise (SLR this century. The estimated uncertainty over the study area was 4–22 cm by 2100, with the emission assumptions dominating the three sources of uncertainty sources. Comparing the projected SLRs with digital elevation data indicates that Egypt's Mediterranean coast will only be safe from flooding by 2100 if effective adaptation methods are applied.

  15. Benthic communities in the deep Mediterranean Sea: exploring microbial and meiofaunal patterns in slope and basin ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Sevastou

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The long held perception of the deep sea consisting of monotonous slopes and uniform oceanic basins has over the decades given way to the idea of a complex system with wide habitat heterogeneity. Under the prism of a highly diverse environment, a large dataset was used to describe and compare spatial patterns of the dominant small-size components of deep-sea benthos, metazoan meiofauna and bacteria, from Mediterranean basins and slopes. A grid of 73 stations sampled at five geographical areas along the central-eastern Mediterranean basin (central Mediterranean, northern Aegean Sea, Cretan Sea, Libyan Sea, eastern Levantine spanning over 4 km in depth revealed a high diversity in terms of both metazoan meiofauna and microbial communities. The higher meiofaunal abundance and richness observed in the northern Aegean Sea highlights the effect of productivity on benthic patterns. Non parametric analyses detected no differences for meiobenthic standing stocks and major taxa diversity (α, β, γ and δ components between the two habitats (basin vs. slope for the whole investigated area and within each region, but revealed significant bathymetric trends: abundance and richness follow the well-known gradient of decreasing values with increasing depth, whereas differentiation diversity (β- and δ-diversity increases with depth. In spite of a similar bathymetric trend observed for nematode genera richness, no clear pattern was detected with regard to habitat type; the observed number of nematode genera suggests higher diversity in slopes, whereas richness estimator Jack1 found no differences between habitats. On the other hand, δ-diversity was higher at the basin habitat, but no differences were found among depth ranges, though turnover values were high in all pairwise comparisons of the different depth categories. Results of multivariate analysis are in line with the above findings, indicating high

  16. Stable carbon isotope gradients in benthic foraminifera as proxy for organic carbon fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Theodor, Marc; Schmiedl, Gerhard; Jorissen, Frans; Mackensen, Andreas

    2016-11-01

    We have determined stable carbon isotope ratios of epifaunal and shallow infaunal benthic foraminifera in the Mediterranean Sea to relate the inferred gradient of pore water δ13CDIC to varying trophic conditions. This is a prerequisite for developing this difference into a potential transfer function for organic matter flux rates. The data set is based on samples retrieved from a well-defined bathymetric range (400-1500 m water depth) of sub-basins in the western, central, and eastern Mediterranean Sea. Regional contrasts in organic matter fluxes and associated δ13CDIC of pore water are recorded by the δ13C difference (Δδ13CUmed-Epi) between the shallow infaunal Uvigerina mediterranea and epifaunal species (Planulina ariminensis, Cibicidoides pachydermus, Cibicides lobatulus). Within epifaunal taxa, the highest δ13C values are recorded for P. ariminensis, providing the best indicator for bottom water δ13CDIC. In contrast, C. pachydermus reveals minor pore water effects at the more eutrophic sites. Because of ontogenetic trends in the δ13C signal of U. mediterranea of up to 1.04 ‰, only tests larger than 600 µm were used for the development of the transfer function. The recorded differences in the δ13C values of U. mediterranea and epifaunal taxa (Δδ13CUmed-Epi) range from -0.46 to -2.13 ‰, with generally higher offsets at more eutrophic sites. The measured δ13C differences are related to site-specific differences in microhabitat, depth of the principal sedimentary redox boundary, and TOC content of the ambient sediment. The Δδ13CUmed-Epi values reveal a consistent relation to Corg fluxes estimated from satellite-derived surface water primary production in open-marine settings of the Alboran Sea, Mallorca Channel, Strait of Sicily, and southern Aegean Sea. In contrast, Δδ13CUmed-Epi values in areas affected by intense resuspension and riverine organic matter sources of the northern to central Aegean Sea and the canyon systems of the Gulf of Lion

  17. Proliferation and demise of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean during the Younger Dryas

    Science.gov (United States)

    McCulloch, Malcolm; Taviani, Marco; Montagna, Paolo; López Correa, Matthias; Remia, Alessandro; Mortimer, Graham

    2010-09-01

    Uranium-series and radiocarbon ages are reported for deep-sea corals Madrepora oculata, Desmophyllum dianthus, Lophelia pertusa and Caryophyllia smithii from the Mediterranean Sea. U-series dating indicates that deep-sea corals have persisted in the Mediterranean for over 480,000 years, especially during cool interstadial periods. The most prolific period of growth however appears to have occurred within the Younger Dryas (YD) period from 12,900 to 11,700 years BP followed by a short (~ 330 years) phase of post-YD coral growth from 11,230 to 10,900 years BP. This indicates that deep-sea corals were prolific in the Mediterranean not only during the return to the more glacial-like conditions of the YD, but also following the rapid deglaciation and transition to warmer conditions that followed the end of the YD. Surprisingly, there is a paucity Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) coral ages, implying they were largely absent during this period when cold-water conditions were more prevalent. Radiocarbon ages show that the intermediate depth waters of the Mediterranean generally had Δ 14C compositions similar to surface waters, indicating that these waters were extremely well ventilated. The only exception is a narrow period in the YD (12,500 ± 100 years BP) when several samples of Lophelia pertusa from the Ionian Sea had Δ 14C values falling significantly below the marine curve. Using a refined approach, isolation ages (τ isol) of 300 years to 500 years are estimated for these intermediate (800-1000 m) depth waters relative to surface marine waters, indicating a reduction or absence of deep-water formation in the Ionian and adjacent Adriatic Seas during the YD. Contrary to previous findings, we find no evidence for widespread intrusion of low Δ 14C Atlantic waters into the Mediterranean. Prolific growth of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean ended abruptly at ~ 10,900 years BP, with many of the coral-bearing mounds on the continental slopes being draped in a thin veneer

  18. Proliferation and demise of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean during the Younger Dryas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCulloch, Malcolm [ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, School of Earth and Environment, The University of Western Australian, Crawley, 6009, Western Australia (Australia); Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, 0200 (Australia); Taviani, Marco; Lopez Correa, Matthias; Remia, Alessandro [ISMAR-CNR, via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna (Italy); Montagna, Paolo [LSCE, Av. de la Terrasse, 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette, France, ISMAR-CNR, via Gobetti 101, I-40129 Bologna (Italy); Mortimer, Graham [Research School of Earth Sciences, Australian National University, Canberra, 0200 (Australia)

    2010-07-01

    Uranium-series and radiocarbon ages are reported for deep-sea corals Madrepora oculata, Desmophyllum dianthus, Lophelia pertusa and Caryophyllia smithii from the Mediterranean Sea. U-series dating indicates that deep-sea corals have persisted in the Mediterranean for over 480, 000 years, especially during cool inter-stadial periods. The most prolific period of growth however appears to have occurred within the Younger Dryas (YD) period from 12, 900 to 11, 700 years BP followed by a short ({approx} 330 years) phase of post-YD coral growth from 11, 230 to 10, 900 years BP. This indicates that deep-sea corals were prolific in the Mediterranean not only during the return to the more glacial-like conditions of the YD, but also following the rapid deglaciation and transition to warmer conditions that followed the end of the YD. Surprisingly, there is a paucity Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) coral ages, implying they were largely absent during this period when cold-water conditions were more prevalent. Radiocarbon ages show that the intermediate depth waters of the Mediterranean generally had {Delta}{sup 14}C compositions similar to surface waters, indicating that these waters were extremely well ventilated. The only exception is a narrow period in the YD (12, 500 {+-} 100 years BP) when several samples of Lophelia pertusa from the Ionian Sea had {Delta}{sup 14}C values falling significantly below the marine curve. Using a refined approach, isolation ages (T{sub isol}) of 300 years to 500 years are estimated for these intermediate (800-1000 m) depth waters relative to surface marine waters, indicating a reduction or absence of deep-water formation in the Ionian and adjacent Adriatic Seas during the YD. Contrary to previous findings, we find no evidence for widespread intrusion of low {Delta}{sup 14}C Atlantic waters into the Mediterranean. Prolific growth of deep-sea corals in the Mediterranean ended abruptly at {approx} 10, 900 years BP, with many of the coral-bearing mounds

  19. Environmental Assessment for Selected Regions in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    1992-01-01

    shallow sill and travel eastward along the interface between the dissimilar water masses at a speed of 3 to 4 kt. Temperature differences on the order of...the eastern Mediterranean. OceanoL Acta 9(3): 239-248. Arevalo, L. and T. Garcia (1982). Corrientes de la Costa de Malaga, metodos y resultados. Inf

  20. A critical review of the Mediterranean sea turtle rescue network: a web looking for a weaver

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Judith Ullmann

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available A key issue in conservation biology is recognizing and bridging the gap between scientific results and specific action. We examine sea turtles—charismatic yet endangered flagship species—in the Mediterranean, a sea with historically high levels of exploitation and 22 coastal nations. We take sea turtle rescue facilities as a visible measure for implemented conservation action. Our study yielded 34 confirmed sea turtle rescue centers, 8 first-aid stations, and 7 informal rescue institutions currently in operation. Juxtaposing these facilities to known sea turtle distribution and threat hotspots reveals a clear disconnect. Only 14 of the 22 coastal countries had centers, with clear gaps in the Middle East and Africa. Moreover, the information flow between centers is apparently limited. The populations of the two species nesting in the Mediterranean, the loggerhead Caretta caretta and the green turtle Chelonia mydas, are far below historical levels and face a range of anthropogenic threats at sea and on land. Sea turtle rescue centers are acknowledged to reduce mortality in bycatch hotspots, provide a wealth of scientific data, and raise public awareness. The proposal for a Mediterranean-wide rescue network as published by the Regional Activity Centre for Specially Protected Areas a decade ago has not materialized in its envisioned scope. We discuss the efficiency, gaps, and needs for a rescue network and call for establishing additional rescue centers and an accompanying common online database to connect existing centers. This would provide better information on the number and types of rescue facilities on a Mediterranean scale, improve communication between these facilities, enhance standardization of procedures, yield large-scale data on the number of treated turtles and their injuries, and thus provide valuable input for targeted conservation measures.

  1. Distribution of artificial radionuclides in deep sediments of the Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Garcia-Orellana, J. [Departament de Fisica, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain)], E-mail: jordi.garcia@uab.cat; Pates, J.M. [Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster, LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Masque, P. [Departament de Fisica, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Bruach, J.M. [Departament de Fisica, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Sanchez-Cabeza, J.A. [Departament de Fisica, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); Institut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambientals (ICTA), Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, E-08193 Bellaterra (Spain); International Atomic Energy Agency, Marine Environment Laboratories, MC-98000 (Monaco)

    2009-01-01

    Artificial radionuclides enter the Mediterranean Sea mainly through atmospheric deposition following nuclear weapons tests and the Chernobyl accident, but also through the river discharge of nuclear facility effluents. Previous studies of artificial radionuclides impact of the Mediterranean Sea have focussed on shallow, coastal sediments. However, deep sea sediments have the potential to store and accumulate pollutants, including artificial radionuclides. Deep sea marine sediment cores were collected from Mediterranean Sea abyssal plains (depth > 2000 m) and analysed for {sup 239,240}Pu and {sup 137}Cs to elucidate the concentrations, inventories and sources of these radionuclides in the deepest areas of the Mediterranean. The activity - depth profiles of {sup 210}Pb, together with {sup 14}C dating, indicate that sediment mixing redistributes the artificial radionuclides within the first 2.5 cm of the sedimentary column. The excess {sup 210}Pb inventory was used to normalize {sup 239,240}Pu and {sup 137}Cs inventories for variable sediment fluxes. The {sup 239,240}Pu/{sup 210}Pb{sub xs} ratio was uniform across the entire sea, with a mean value of 1.24 x 10{sup -3}, indicating homogeneous fallout of {sup 239,240}Pu. The {sup 137}Cs/{sup 210}Pb{sub xs} ratio showed differences between the eastern (0.049) and western basins (0.030), clearly significant impact of deep sea sediments from the Chernobyl accident. The inventory ratios of {sup 239,240}Pu/{sup 137}Cs were 0.041 and 0.025 in the western and eastern basins respectively, greater than the fallout ratio, 0.021, showing more efficient scavenging of {sup 239,240}Pu in the water column and major sedimentation of {sup 137}Cs in the eastern basin. Although areas with water depths of > 2000 m constitute around 40% of the entire Mediterranean basin, the sediments in these regions only contained 2.7% of the {sup 239,240}Pu and 0.95% of the {sup 137}Cs deposited across the Sea in 2000. These data show that the

  2. Recent and Late Quaternary sedimentation processes in the area of the SE Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamann, Y.; Ehrmann, W.; Schmiedl, G.; Dulski, P.; Kuhnt, T.

    2007-12-01

    The present distribution of clay minerals in the southeastern Levantine Sea reveals a complex pattern of different source areas and dispersions of the main clay minerals smectite, illite, kaolinite, chlorite, and palygorskite. Smectite dominates the suspension load of the Nile River and rivers of the Near East. Sources of illite are dust- bearing winds blowing from the Saharan desert and the northern mainland of the Levantine Sea. Kaolinite is prevalent in the sediment yield of rivers which drain the Sinai, in sediments of wadis which discharge into the Nile River, and in dust loads of African storms. Palygorskite and chlorite are mainly derived from several dust bearing wind systems of the North and Central African continent, whereas chlorite is also provided by dust-bearing winds of the northeastern Mediterranean mainland. The clay mineral distributions and XRF element data of a sediment core from the southeastern Levantine Sea, spanning the last 27,000 years, show that the sediments are mainly affected by the discharge of the Nile River. The provenance of clay minerals provides a sensitive recorder of changes in the Nile River discharge and therefore in the climate conditions in the catchment of its tributaries. The glacial section of the core is characterized by low smectite concentrations, high K/Al ratios and low linear sedimentation rates when compared to the Holocene suggesting a low influence by the Nile outflow. Subsequently, during the early and middle Holocene, when the North African continent was influenced by more humid conditions during the African Humid Period, our record shows high proportions of smectite and low K/Al ratios which likely reflect higher discharge rates of the River Nile. In contrast to the sharp beginning and end of the African Humid Period as recorded in West African records at 15 and 5.5 kyr BP, our record in the southeastern Levantine Sea shows more transitional patterns and trend towards slightly lower Nile discharge rates at

  3. Alien species in the Mediterranean Sea by 2010. A contribution to the application of European Union’s Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD. Part I. Spatial distribution

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. ZENETOS

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The state-of-art on alien species in the Mediterranean Sea is presented, making distinctions among the four subregions defined in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive: (i the Western Mediterranean Sea (WMED; (ii the Central Mediterranean Sea (CMED; (iii the Adriatic Sea (ADRIA; and (iv the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMED. The updated checklist (December 2010 of marine alien species within each subregion, along with their acclimatization status and origin, is provided. A total of 955 alien species is known in the Mediterranean, the vast majority of them having being introduced in the EMED (718, less in the WMED (328 and CMED (267 and least in the Adriatic (171. Of these, 535 species (56% are established in at least one area.Despite the collective effort of experts who attempted in this work, the number of introduced species remains probably underestimated. Excluding microalgae, for which knowledge is still insufficient, aliens have increased the total species richness of the Mediterranean Sea by 5.9%. This figure should not be directly read as an indication of higher biodiversity, as spreading of so many aliens within the basin is possibly causing biotic homogenization. Thermophilic species, i.e. Indo-Pacific, Indian Ocean, Red Sea, Tropical Atlantic, Tropical Pacific, and circum(subtropical, account for 88.4% of the introduced species in the EMED, 72.8% in the CMED, 59.3% in the WMED and 56.1% in the Adriatic. Cold water species, i.e. circumboreal, N Atlantic, and N Pacific, make up a small percentage of the introduced species, ranging between 4.2% and 21.6% and being more numerous in the Adriatic and less so in the EMED.Species that are classified as invasive or potentially invasive are 134 in the whole of the Mediterranean: 108 are present in the EMED, 76 in the CMED, 53 in the Adriatic and 64 in the WMED. The WMED hosts most invasive macrophytes, whereas the EMED has the lion’s share in polychaetes, crustaceans, molluscs and fish.

  4. The last glacial-interglacial transition and dinoflagellate cysts in the western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rouis-Zargouni, Imene; Turon, Jean-Louis; Londeix, Laurent; Kallel, Néjib; Essallami, Latifa

    2012-02-01

    Using the analysis of dinoflagellate cysts in three deep-sea sediments cores situated in the Sicilian-Tunisian Strait, in the Gulf of Lions and in the Alboran Sea, we reconstruct the paleoenvironmental changes that took place during the last glacial-interglacial transition in the western Mediterranean Sea. The development of the warm microflora Impagidinium aculeatum and especially Spiniferites mirabilis appears to be an important proxy for recognizing warm periods as the Bölling/Alleröd and the Early Holocene. Bitectatodinium tepikiense, Spiniferites elongatus and Nematosphaeropsis labyrinthus mark the end of the Heinrich event 1 and the Younger Dryas. This cold microfloral association confirms the drastic climate changes in the western Mediterranean Sea synchronous to the dry and cold climate which occurred in the South European margin. The dinocyst N. labyrinthus shows high percentages in all studied regions during the Younger Dryas. Its distribution reveals a significant increase from the South to the North of this basin during this cold brief event. Thus, we note that this species can be considered as a new eco-stratigraphical tracer of the Younger Dryas in the western Mediterranean Sea.

  5. Studies and site characterization for a km3 scale underwater neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riccobene, G.

    2000-08-01

    NEMO (NEutrino Mediterranean Observatory) is an INFN Collaboration aiming at a feasibility study of a km3 scale underwater Neutrino Detector to be located in the Mediterranean Sea. The Project concerns, at the present stage, an R&D program for marine sites characterization, low power data acquisition electronics and development of Montecarlo codes to study the best performing layout of the detector in collaboration with a team of engineering consultants to study the detector mechanical structure. The major effort of the collaboration was, up to now, the study of deep sea properties, in several sites close to the Italian Coasts. Measurements were performed together with oceanogragraphic Institutions (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Osservatorio Geofisico Sperimentale) and the Italian Military Navy. Within the end of year 2000 NEMO is going to deploy part of a deep sea test station at 2000m depth. .

  6. Benthic communities in the deep Mediterranean Sea: exploring microbial and meiofaunal patterns in slope and basin ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sevastou, K.; Lampadariou, N.; Polymenakou, P. N.; Tselepides, A.

    2013-07-01

    The long-held perception of the deep sea consisting of monotonous slopes and uniform oceanic basins has over the decades given way to the idea of a complex system with wide habitat heterogeneity. Under the prism of a highly diverse environment, a large dataset was used to describe and compare spatial patterns of the dominant small-size components of deep-sea benthos, metazoan meiofauna and microbes, from Mediterranean basins and slopes. A grid of 73 stations sampled at five geographical areas along the central-eastern Mediterranean Basin (central Mediterranean, northern Aegean Sea, Cretan Sea, Libyan Sea, eastern Levantine) spanning over 4 km in depth revealed a high diversity, irrespective of the benthic group or level of taxonomic analysis. A common decreasing bathymetric trend was detected for meiobenthic abundance, major taxa diversity and nematode genera richness, but no differences were found between the two habitats (basin vs slope). In contrast, microbial richness is significantly higher at the basin ecosystem and tends to increase with depth. Multivariate analyses (β- and δ-diversity and ordination analysis) complemented these results and underlined the high within-habitat variability of benthic communities. Meiofaunal communities in particular were found to change gradually and vary more towards the abyss. On the other hand, microbial communities were highly variable, even among samples of the same area, habitat and bathymetry. A significant proportion of the variation of benthic communities and their descriptors was explained by depth and proxies of food availability (sedimentary pigments and organic content), but the combination of predictor variables and the strength of the relationship varied depending on the data set used (based on type of habitat, benthic component, taxonomic level). This, along with the observed high within-habitat variability suggests that other factors, which tend to vary at local scale (hydrodynamics, substrate structure

  7. Benthic communities in the deep Mediterranean Sea: exploring microbial and meiofaunal patterns in slope and basin ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Sevastou

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The long-held perception of the deep sea consisting of monotonous slopes and uniform oceanic basins has over the decades given way to the idea of a complex system with wide habitat heterogeneity. Under the prism of a highly diverse environment, a large dataset was used to describe and compare spatial patterns of the dominant small-size components of deep-sea benthos, metazoan meiofauna and microbes, from Mediterranean basins and slopes. A grid of 73 stations sampled at five geographical areas along the central-eastern Mediterranean Basin (central Mediterranean, northern Aegean Sea, Cretan Sea, Libyan Sea, eastern Levantine spanning over 4 km in depth revealed a high diversity, irrespective of the benthic group or level of taxonomic analysis. A common decreasing bathymetric trend was detected for meiobenthic abundance, major taxa diversity and nematode genera richness, but no differences were found between the two habitats (basin vs slope. In contrast, microbial richness is significantly higher at the basin ecosystem and tends to increase with depth. Multivariate analyses (β- and δ-diversity and ordination analysis complemented these results and underlined the high within-habitat variability of benthic communities. Meiofaunal communities in particular were found to change gradually and vary more towards the abyss. On the other hand, microbial communities were highly variable, even among samples of the same area, habitat and bathymetry. A significant proportion of the variation of benthic communities and their descriptors was explained by depth and proxies of food availability (sedimentary pigments and organic content, but the combination of predictor variables and the strength of the relationship varied depending on the data set used (based on type of habitat, benthic component, taxonomic level. This, along with the observed high within-habitat variability suggests that other factors, which tend to vary at local scale (hydrodynamics, substrate

  8. Gouge marks on deep-sea mud volcanoes in the eastern Mediterranean: Caused by Cuvier's beaked whales?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodside, J. M.; David, L.; Frantzis, A.; Hooker, S. K.

    2006-11-01

    Enigmatic seafloor gouge marks at depths of 1700-2100 m have been observed from submersible during geological survey work studying mud volcanoes in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The marks consist of a central groove (about 10 cm deep and 1-2 m long), superimposed on a broader bowl-shaped depression (1-2 m long by about 50 cm wide) with raised rims (up to 10 cm high) to either side of the central groove. We discuss the potential biological causes of these marks, and conclude that they are probably created by Cuvier's beaked whales ( Ziphius cavirostris) during foraging dives to these depths. The mud volcanoes have a comparatively rich and diverse benthic ecology associated with methane-rich fluid seeps and thus could be the base of food chains that reach top predators like the deep-diving whales. The characteristic high acoustic backscatter of the mud volcanoes would facilitate their detection by the echolocation system of these whales.

  9. A Sea Change : Exotics In the eastern Mediterranean.

    OpenAIRE

    Galil, B.S.; Zenetos, A

    2002-01-01

    The eastern Mediterranean is susceptible to biological invasions because of its placement between the Atlantic, Pontic and Erythrean regions, busy maritime traffic, and lagoons and bays that are crowded with fish and shellfish farms. However, the greatest influx of invaders resulted from the opening of the Suez Canal in 1869, which allowed entry of Indo-Pacific and Erythrean biota. Exotic macro phytes, invertebrates and fish are found in most coastal habitats in the eastern Med...

  10. Monitoring the mesoscale circulation of the Western Mediterranean Sea using SSS derived from SMOS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olmedo, Estrella; Isern-Fontanet, Jordi; Turiel, Antonio; Portabella, Marcos; Ballabrera-Poy, Joaquim

    2016-04-01

    The circulation in the Mediterranean Sea is characterized by the inflow of fresh waters from the Atlantic Ocean through the Strait of Gibraltar. These waters, characterized by their lower salinity, create baroclinic instabilities that spawn eddies with sizes of the order of 100 km. These eddies have been widely analyzed using Sea Surface Temperature (SST) observations. Recent improvements in the Sea Surface Salinity (SSS) retrieval and bias correction methodologies applied to the Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity (SMOS) satellite data have led, for the first time, to the generation of SSS maps that capture the signature of these structures. This opens the door for the generation of high spatial and temporal density maps in the Mediterranean, which can be used in a wide variety of oceanographic applications. In particular, the signature of the Alboran gyre and the eddy propagation across the Algerian coast are well reproduced, allowing for the first time to characterize the baroclinicity of the flow. The SMOS data are strongly affected by Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) and land-sea contamination in the Mediterranean Sea. Two important SSS retrieval algorithm improvements are proposed in this study. First, with more than six years of SMOS data acquisitions, there is enough data to empirically characterize and correct systematic biases. Second, the filtering criterion has been modified to account for the statistical distributions of SSS at each ocean grid point. This allows retrieving a value of SSS which is less affected by outliers originated from RFI and other effects. In this study, high level (spatio-temporally consistent) SSS maps are obtained by averaging the SMOS SSS retrievals using a classical objective analysis scheme and then combining the resulting maps with Sea Surface Temperature (SST) maps by means of multifractal fusion. The SSS fused maps contain well-defined spatial structures, suitable for studying the mesoscale activity in the Western

  11. First record of the sipunculan worm Phascolion (Phascolion caupo Hendrix, 1975 in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L.M. FERRERO-VICENTE

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Specimens of the sipunculan worm Phascolion (Phascolion caupo Hendrix, 1975 have been collected for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea, thus increasing the number of known sipunculan species of up to 36 in this area. They were encountered on soft bottoms from the coast of San Pedro del Pinatar (Western Mediterranean. Thirty specimens were collected at a depth ranging from 32.6 to 37.2 m, mainly in sandy substrata with high load of silt and clays. 80% of the individuals were found inhabiting empty shells of gastropods or empty tubes of serpulid polychaetes.

  12. Metazoan parasite infection in the swordfish, Xiphias gladius, from the Mediterranean Sea and comparison with Atlantic populations: implications for its stock characterization

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mattiucci Simonetta

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Thirteen parasite taxa were identified in the Mediterranean swordfish by morphological and genetic/molecular methods. The comparison of the identified parasite taxa and parasitic infection values observed in the Mediterranean swordfish showed statistically significant differences with respect to those reported for its Atlantic populations. A stepwise Linear Discriminant Analysis of the individual fish examined showed a separation among three groups: one including fish from the Mediterranean Sea (CTS, STS, and IOS; one consisting of fish from the Central South (CS, Eastern Tropical (ET, and Equatorial (TEQ Atlantic; and a third comprising the fish sampled from the North-West Atlantic (NW; the CN Atlantic sample was more similar to the first group rather than to the other Atlantic ones. The nematodes Hysterothylacium petteri and Anisakis pegreffii were the species that contributed most to the characterization of the Mediterranean swordfish samples with respect to these Atlantic ones. Anisakis brevispiculata, A. physeteris, A. paggiae, Anisakis sp. 2, Hysterothylacium incurvum, Hepatoxylon trichiuri, Sphyriocephalus viridis, and their high infection levels were associated with the swordfish from the Central and the Southern Atlantic areas. Finally, H. corrugatum, A. simplex (s.s., Rhadinorhynchus pristis, and Bolbosoma vasculosum were related to the fish from the North-West (NW Atlantic area. These results indicate that some parasites, particularly Anisakis spp. larvae identified by genetic markers, could be used as “biological tags” and support the existence of a Mediterranean swordfish stock.

  13. Toward a dynamic biogeochemical division of the Mediterranean Sea in a context of global climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reygondeau, Gabriel; Olivier Irisson, Jean; Guieu, Cecile; Gasparini, Stephane; Ayata, Sakina; Koubbi, Philippe

    2013-04-01

    In recent decades, it has been found useful to ecoregionalise the pelagic environment assuming that within each partition environmental conditions are distinguishable and unique. Indeed, each partition of the ocean that is proposed aimed to delineate the main oceanographical and ecological patterns to provide a geographical framework of marine ecosystems for ecological studies and management purposes. The aim of the present work is to integrate and process existing data on the pelagic environment of the Mediterranean Sea in order to define biogeochemical regions. Open access databases including remote sensing observations, oceanographic campaign data and physical modeling simulations are used. These various dataset allow the multidisciplinary view required to understand the interactions between climate and Mediterranean marine ecosystems. The first step of our study has consisted in a statistical selection of a set of crucial environmental factors to propose the most parsimonious biogeographical approach that allows detecting the main oceanographic structure of the Mediterranean Sea. Second, based on the identified set of environmental parameters, both non-hierarchical and hierarchical clustering algorithms have been tested. Outputs from each methodology are then inter-compared to propose a robust map of the biotopes (unique range of environmental parameters) of the area. Each biotope was then modeled using a non parametric environmental niche method to infer a dynamic biogeochemical partition. Last, the seasonal, inter annual and long term spatial changes of each biogeochemical regions were investigated. The future of this work will be to perform a second partition to subdivide the biogeochemical regions according to biotic features of the Mediterranean Sea (ecoregions). This second level of division will thus be used as a geographical framework to identify ecosystems that have been altered by human activities (i.e. pollution, fishery, invasive species) for the

  14. Zooplankton of the Black Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean: Similarities and dissimilarities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A.V. KOVALEV

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A synthesis of data on abundance and biomass of zooplankton in the Eastern Mediterranean (EMED and the Black Sea shows major differences in the composition and structure of pelagic communities in the two basins. Few Mediterranean planktonic animals have invaded and acclimatised in the Black Sea. The great bulk of Black Sea species is represented by coastal inhabitants that spread throughout the whole basin. This process has been called “neritization” of the Black Sea fauna. Peculiarities in zooplankton assemblages of the Black Sea have been further strengthened over the last few decades due to increasing eutrophication and the massive invasion of the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi. The relative contribution of copepods, cladocerans, chaetognaths, and appendicularians to total zooplankton biomass has notably decreased , whereas gelatinous groups (mainly represented by Mnemiopsis and Aurelia aurita contributed up to 99% of total wet weight in 1995 in the Black Sea.The basic features of planktonic fauna in the Black Sea are mainly due do the geo-morphological characters of the basin and the limited exchanges with the EMED, that are confined to the surface-subsurface layers in the Dardanelles and Bosphorus Straits. However, the dramatic changes that recently occurred in the structure of zooplankton assemblages seem to have been caused by heavy anthropogenic impact on the pelagic system.

  15. Gonioinfradens paucidentatus (A. Milne Edwards, 1861 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Portunidae: a new alien crab in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. CORSINI-FOKA

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The first record for the Mediterranean Sea of the Red Sea/Indo-Pacific portunid Gonioinfradens paucidentatus (red swimming crab is documented. A detailed description of the specimens collected at Rodos Island (southeastern Aegean Sea is given, while possible introduction vectors of the species in the area are discussed.

  16. Data from investigation on seismic Sea waves events in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1000 to 1500 A.D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. ANTONOPOULOS

    1980-06-01

    Full Text Available Tsunamis from 1000 to 1500 A.D. in the Eastern Mediterranean
    Sea between 31-44 N and 18-36 E excluding the Black Sea
    and the Italian coasts of the Adriatic Sea is the object of the
    present paper.

  17. Outer shelf seafloor geomorphology along a carbonate escarpment: The eastern Malta Plateau, Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micallef, Aaron; Georgiopoulou, Aggeliki; Mountjoy, Joshu; Huvenne, Veerle A. I.; Iacono, Claudio Lo; Le Bas, Timothy; Del Carlo, Paola; Otero, Daniel Cunarro

    2016-12-01

    Submarine carbonate escarpments, documented in numerous sites around the world, consist of thick exposures of Mesozoic shallow water carbonate sequences - primarily limestones and dolomites - with reliefs of >1 km and slope gradients of >70°. Whilst most research efforts have focused on the processes that shaped carbonate escarpments into complex and extreme terrains, little attention has been paid to the geomorphology of shelves upslope of carbonate escarpments. In this study we investigate high resolution geophysical, sedimentological and visual data acquired from the eastern Malta Plateau, central Mediterranean Sea, to demonstrate that the outer shelf of a carbonate escarpment is directly influenced by escarpment-forming processes. We document forty eight erosional scars, six long channels and numerous smaller-scale channels, three elongate mounds, and an elongate ridge across the eastern Malta Plateau. By analysing their morphology, seismic character, and sedimentological properties, we infer that the seafloor of the eastern Malta Plateau has been modified by three key processes: (i) Mass movements - in the form of translational slides, spreading and debris flows - that mobilised stratified Plio-Pleistocene hemipelagic mud along the shelf break and that were likely triggered by seismicity and loss of support due to canyon erosion across the upper Malta Escarpment; (ii) NNW-SSE trending sinistral strike-slip deformation in Cenozoic carbonates - resulting from the development of a mega-hinge fault system along the Malta Escarpment since the Late Mesozoic, and SE-NW directed horizontal shortening since the Late Miocene - which gave rise to NW-SE oriented extensional grabens and a NNW-SSE horst; (iii) Flow of bottom currents perpendicular and parallel to the Malta Escarpment, associated with either Modified Atlantic Water flows during sea level lowstands and/or Levantine Intermediate Water flows at present, which was responsible for sediment erosion and deposition

  18. Sea surface temperature variability in the North Western Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Lion) during the Common Era

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sicre, Marie-Alexandrine; Jalali, Bassem; Martrat, Belen; Schmidt, Sabine; Bassetti, Maria-Angela; Kallel, Nejib

    2016-12-01

    This study investigates the multidecadal-scale variability of sea surface temperatures (SSTs) in the convection region of the Gulf of Lion (NW Mediterranean Sea) over the full past 2000 yr (Common Era) using alkenone biomarkers. Our data show colder SSTs by 1.7 °C over most of the first millennium (200-800 AD) and by 1.3 °C during the Little Ice Age (LIA; 1400-1850 AD) than the 20th century mean (17.9 °C). Although on average warmer, those of the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) (1000-1200 AD) were lower by 1 °C. We found a mean SST warming of 2 °C/100 yr over the last century in close agreement with the 0.22 and 0.26 °C/decade values calculated for the western Mediterranean Sea from in situ and satellite data, respectively. Our results also reveal strongly fluctuating SSTs characterized by cold extremes followed by abrupt warming during the LIA. We suggest that the coldest decades of the LIA were likely caused by prevailing negative EA states and associated anticyclone blocking over the North Atlantic resulting in cold continental northeasterly winds to blow over Western Europe and the Mediterranean region.

  19. Biodiversity loss and turnover in alternative states in the Mediterranean Sea: a case study on meiofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchelli, Silvia; Buschi, Emanuela; Danovaro, Roberto; Pusceddu, Antonio

    2016-10-01

    In the Mediterranean Sea hard-bottom macroalgal meadows may switch to alternative and less-productive barrens grounds, as a result of sea urchins overgrazing. Meiofauna (and especially nematodes) represent key components of benthic ecosystems, are highly-diversified, sensitive to environmental change and anthropogenic impacts, but, so-far, have been neglected in studies on regime shifts. We report here that sedimentary organic matter contents, meiofaunal taxa richness and community composition, nematode α- and β-biodiversity vary significantly between alternative macroalgal and barren states. The observed differences are consistent in six areas spread across the Mediterranean Sea, irrespective of barren extent. Our results suggest also that the low biodiversity levels in barren states are the result of habitat loss/fragmentation, which is associated also with a lower availability of trophic resources. Furthermore, differences in meiofaunal and nematode abundance, biomass and diversity between macroalgal meadow and barren states persist when the latter is not fully formed, or consists of patches interspersed in macroalgal meadows. Since barren grounds are expanding rapidly along the Mediterranean Sea and meiofauna are a key trophic component in marine ecosystems, we suggest that the extension and persistence of barrens at the expenses of macroalgal meadows could also affect resilience of higher trophic level.

  20. Biodiversity loss and turnover in alternative states in the Mediterranean Sea: a case study on meiofauna

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchelli, Silvia; Buschi, Emanuela; Danovaro, Roberto; Pusceddu, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    In the Mediterranean Sea hard-bottom macroalgal meadows may switch to alternative and less-productive barrens grounds, as a result of sea urchins overgrazing. Meiofauna (and especially nematodes) represent key components of benthic ecosystems, are highly-diversified, sensitive to environmental change and anthropogenic impacts, but, so-far, have been neglected in studies on regime shifts. We report here that sedimentary organic matter contents, meiofaunal taxa richness and community composition, nematode α- and β-biodiversity vary significantly between alternative macroalgal and barren states. The observed differences are consistent in six areas spread across the Mediterranean Sea, irrespective of barren extent. Our results suggest also that the low biodiversity levels in barren states are the result of habitat loss/fragmentation, which is associated also with a lower availability of trophic resources. Furthermore, differences in meiofaunal and nematode abundance, biomass and diversity between macroalgal meadow and barren states persist when the latter is not fully formed, or consists of patches interspersed in macroalgal meadows. Since barren grounds are expanding rapidly along the Mediterranean Sea and meiofauna are a key trophic component in marine ecosystems, we suggest that the extension and persistence of barrens at the expenses of macroalgal meadows could also affect resilience of higher trophic level. PMID:27708343

  1. Turbulent mixing in the eddy transport of Western Mediterranean Intermediate Water to the Alboran Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forryan, A.; Allen, J. T.; Edhouse, E.; Silburn, B.; Reeve, K.; Tesi, E.

    2012-09-01

    Western Mediterranean Intermediate Water (WIW) is formed in winter in the North-Western Mediterranean. WIW, identifiable as a distinct temperature minimum layer between Atlantic-Mediterranean Interface waters and the denser Levantine Intermediate Water, is carried down the east coast of Spain in anticyclonic mode water eddies, or “weddies” eventually reaching the Alboran sea. A previous detailed analysis of a weddy in the vicinity of the Almeria-Oran front indicated that it could have accounted for 10% of a winter's production of WIW, but this analysis was unable to consider turbulent dissipation. In this study we present microstructure measurements across a similar observation of WIW in the vicinity of the Almeria-Oran front and show that this figure could be conservative by 15-50% due to the turbulent dissipation associated with a weddy.

  2. Strangers in Paradise: The biogeographic range expansion of the foraminifera Amphistegina in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Langer, M. R.; Weinmann, A. E.; Rödder, D.; Lötters, S.

    2012-04-01

    Species distribution models (SDMs) have become important tools in biogeography and biodiversity research over the last decades. They are mainly based on the fundamental niche concept and allow the correlative prediction of species' potential distributional ranges by combining occurrence records with information on environmental (e.g. climatic) conditions. The generated environmental envelope of a species is projected into geographic space, thus defining areas of adequate habitat suitability. Here we apply a species distribution model (SDM) to assess potential range expansions of Amphistegina spp. in the Mediterranean Sea under current und future climate conditions. The model uses an environmental envelope of information from localities where amphisteginids are currently known to occur. Amphisteginid foraminifers are a group of circumtropically distributed, larger symbiont-bearing, calcareous foraminifera that have a well-documented record as detectors of historical climate change. They are currently expanding their biogeographic range in the Mediterranean Sea and rapidly progressing northwestward, closely approaching the Adriatic and the Tyrrhenian Sea. The shift in range locally leads to profound ecological changes where amphisteginids have become the dominant species along entire stretches of coastline. Mass deposits of amphisteginids reflect an increased carbonate production and reduced assemblage diversity, and these are likely to trigger major changes in ecosystem functioning. It is anticipated that the ongoing warming trend will convey the northwestward migration of amphisteginid foraminifers. Our model indicates that further warming is likely to cause a northwestward range extension and predicts dispersal through the straits of Sicily, Messina and Otranto into the Tyrrhenian and Adriatic Sea. Rapid proliferation and the extreme abundances of amphisteginid foraminifera affect the dynamic equilibrium of established foraminiferal biotas. In the eastern

  3. Midwater Bioluminescence Assessment in the West Alboran Gyre (Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    1991-09-01

    Mediterranean (see Mills and Goy, m 1988, for review), moving up into the upper 100 m during the night. Our night dive observations tented to support that...413 484.7 91.4I 57)491 Nepheloctena white- tent -ade 2939-CGS Creno 511 491.2 86.3 P42)491 Ocyropsis macalata BWI-4 Creno 356 492.2 86.3 F39)491...umbrellar margin. Solmissus (the single most abundant medusa) is also transparent and brightly luminescent from the lateral umbrellar margin,the velum

  4. The ecology of the Ostracoda (Crustacea) species obtained from the coasts of Iskenderun Bay (Eastern Mediterranean Sea)

    OpenAIRE

    Paçal, Ferda Perçin

    2011-01-01

    Abstract The aim of this study was to understand the ecology of the ostracoda species obtained from Iskenderun Bay, the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Ecological parameters like temperature and salinity, affecting the distribution of the live ostracoda species are considerably higher in Iskenderun Bay than the middle and western parts of the Mediterranean Sea. This study was carried out along the coasts of Iskenderun Bay between 22-26 September 2002. Total of 27 genera and 56 ostracoda species we...

  5. The morphology of saccular otoliths as a tool to identify different mugilid species from the Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Callicó Fortunato, Roberta; Benedito Durà, Vicent; Volpedo, Alejandra

    2014-06-01

    In the Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea there are 8 species of the Mugilidae family: Mugil cephalus, Liza aurata, Liza ramada, Oedalechilus labeo, Chelon labrosus, Liza saliens, Liza carinata and Liza haematocheila. The identification of mugilids is very important for local fisheries management and regulations, but it is difficult using gross morphological characters. This work aims to contribute to the identification of mullets present in the Northeastern Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean Sea using saccular otolith features of each species. Specimens of C. labrosus, L. aurata, L. ramada, L. saliens and M. cephalus were obtained from Delta del Ebro (40°38'N-0°44'E) in artisanal catches. For L. carinata and O. labeo photographs extracted from AFORO online database were used. L. haematocheila was not studied for lack of otolith samples. A general pattern of the saccular otoliths for this family was identified: the shape of the otoliths are rectangular to oblong with irregular margins; they present a heterosulcoid, ostial sulcus acusticus, with an open funnel-like ostium to the anterior margin and a closed, tubular cauda, ending towards the posterior ventral corner, always larger than the ostium. In the present study, the mugilid species could be recognized using their saccular otolith morphology. Here we give the first key to identify Northeastern Atlantic and Mediterranean mullets. The distinctive features between the species were the position and centrality of the sulcus, the curvature of the cauda, the presence of areal depositions and plateaus, and the type of anterior and posterior regions. These features could be used not only to reinforce the identification keys through morphological and meristic characters of the species, but also to identify the species consumed by piscivores, being the otoliths the only identifiable remains of the individuals.

  6. First evidence of European eels exiting the Mediterranean Sea during their spawning migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amilhat, Elsa; Aarestrup, Kim; Faliex, Elisabeth; Simon, Gaël; Westerberg, Håkan; Righton, David

    2016-02-24

    The migration route and the spawning site of the European eel Anguilla anguilla are still uncertain. It has been suggested that the Mediterranean eel stock does not contribute to spawning because there is no evidence of eels leaving the Mediterranean Sea. To test this hypothesis, we equipped eight female silver eels from the south of France with pop-up satellite tags during escapement from coastal waters. Once in deeper water, the eels quickly established diel vertical migration (DVM) between the upper and lower mesopelagic zone. Five tagged eels were taken by predators within the Mediterranean, but two eels reached the Atlantic Ocean after six months and at distances greater than 2000 km from release. These eels ceased their DVM while they negotiated the Gibraltar Strait, and remained in deep water until they reached the Atlantic Ocean, when they recommenced DVM. Our results are the first to show that eels from Mediterranean can cross the Strait of Gibraltar and continue their migration into the Atlantic Ocean. This finding suggests that Mediterranean countries, as for other EU states, have an important role to play in contributing to conservation efforts for the recovery of the European eel stock.

  7. MidMedPol: Polychaetes from midlittoral rocky shores in Greece and Italy (Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Abstract This paper describes a dataset of polychaetes (Annelida) from 14 midlittoral rocky shore sampling sites in Greece and Italy (Mediterranean Sea). The dataset combines the outcome of four different projects studying the hard substrate midlittoral zone in the Mediterranean between 1984 and 2009. Samples were collected by scraping and collecting the organisms from a framed area. The maximal sampling depth was 1.5 m. In total, 123 polychaete species were recorded, five of which are new records for the respective biogeographic sectors of the Mediterranean. The dataset contains 788 occurrence records, fully annotated with all required metadata. These data contribute to the knowledge of a previously very understudied regional habitat, since at present, comprehensive lists of the midlittoral communities in the Mediterranean are provided through only a few, paper-based, studies. This dataset is one of the first electronic data compilations of the Mediterranean midlittoral zone communities and certainly the most comprehensive of its kind, contributing to the ongoing efforts of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) which aims at filling the gaps in our current knowledge of the world's oceans. It is accessible at http://ipt.vliz.be/resource.do?r=mediterraneanpolychaetaintertidal. PMID:24723761

  8. MidMedPol: Polychaetes from midlittoral rocky shores in Greece and Italy (Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kleoniki Keklikoglou

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper describes a dataset of polychaetes (Annelida from 14 midlittoral rocky shore sampling sites in Greece and Italy (Mediterranean Sea. The dataset combines the outcome of four different projects studying the hard substrate midlittoral zone in the Mediterranean between 1984 and 2009. Samples were collected by scraping and collecting the organisms from a framed area. The maximal sampling depth was 1.5 m. In total, 123 polychaete species were recorded, five of which are new records for the respective biogeographic sectors of the Mediterranean. The dataset contains 788 occurrence records, fully annotated with all required metadata. These data contribute to the knowledge of a previously very understudied regional habitat, since at present, comprehensive lists of the midlittoral communities in the Mediterranean are provided through only a few, paper-based, studies. This dataset is one of the first electronic data compilations of the Mediterranean midlittoral zone communities and certainly the most comprehensive of its kind, contributing to the ongoing efforts of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS which aims at filling the gaps in our current knowledge of the world's oceans. It is accessible at http://ipt.vliz.be/resource.do?r=mediterraneanpolychaetaintertidal.

  9. MidMedPol: Polychaetes from midlittoral rocky shores in Greece and Italy (Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keklikoglou, Kleoniki; Faulwetter, Sarah; Chatzigeorgiou, Giorgos; Badalamenti, Fabio; Kitsos, Militiadis Spyridon; Arvanitidis, Christos

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes a dataset of polychaetes (Annelida) from 14 midlittoral rocky shore sampling sites in Greece and Italy (Mediterranean Sea). The dataset combines the outcome of four different projects studying the hard substrate midlittoral zone in the Mediterranean between 1984 and 2009. Samples were collected by scraping and collecting the organisms from a framed area. The maximal sampling depth was 1.5 m. In total, 123 polychaete species were recorded, five of which are new records for the respective biogeographic sectors of the Mediterranean. The dataset contains 788 occurrence records, fully annotated with all required metadata. These data contribute to the knowledge of a previously very understudied regional habitat, since at present, comprehensive lists of the midlittoral communities in the Mediterranean are provided through only a few, paper-based, studies. This dataset is one of the first electronic data compilations of the Mediterranean midlittoral zone communities and certainly the most comprehensive of its kind, contributing to the ongoing efforts of the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS) which aims at filling the gaps in our current knowledge of the world's oceans. It is accessible at http://ipt.vliz.be/resource.do?r=mediterraneanpolychaetaintertidal.

  10. Atmospheric occurrence and deposition of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) in the open Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castro-Jiménez, J; Eisenreich, S J; Ghiani, M; Mariani, G; Skejo, H; Umlauf, G; Wollgast, J; Zaldívar, J M; Berrojalbiz, N; Reuter, H I; Dachs, J

    2010-07-15

    The overall objective of this work is to provide the first evaluation of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs) occurrence and deposition to Mediterranean open seawater. sigma2,3,7,8-PCDD/F air (gas+aerosol) concentrations over the Mediterranean Sea ranged from 60 to 1040 fg m(-3). The highest value (1555 fg m(-3)) was measured in a reference sample taken in the SW Black Sea. No consistent trend regarding the diel cycle of PCDD/Fs was observed. PCDD/Fs transported to the open sea waters from continental areas and across the Atlantic as well as ship emissions may be significant sources to the open Mediterranean. Seawater concentrations in the Mediterranean ranged from 42 to 64 fg L(-1). The sigma2,3,7,8-PCDD/F dry deposition fluxes in the Marmara and Black Seas (210 kg year(-1)) are from 2 to 55 times higher than dry fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea (4-156 kg year(-1)). Analysis of estimated diffusive air-water fluxes and air/water fugacity ratios show that a net volatilization of some PCDD congeners is feasible. However, evidence of a net absorption flux for the rest of PCDD/F is found. When both atmospheric deposition processes are considered together the open Mediterranean Sea is a net sink of PCDD/F, due to the importance of dry deposition fluxes of aerosol-bound PCDDFs.

  11. Coralligenous "atolls": discovery of a new morphotype in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonacorsi, Marina; Pergent-Martini, Christine; Clabaut, Philippe; Pergent, Gérard

    2012-01-01

    Coralligenous habitat and rhodoliths beds are very important in terms of biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea. During an oceanographic campaign, carried out in northern Cap Corse, new coralligenous structures have been discovered. These structures, never previously identified in the Mediterranean Sea, are named "coralligenous atolls" because of their circular shape. The origin and growth dynamics of these atolls are still unknown but their form does not appear to result from hydrodynamic action and an anthropogenic origin also seems unlikely. However, this kind of shape seems rather closer to that of other circular structures (e.g. pockmarks) the origin of which is related to gaseous emissions. Further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis through chemical analysis.

  12. Clay mineral stratigraphy of Miocene to recent marine sediments in the central Mediterranean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Visser, J.P. de

    1992-01-01

    X-ray diffraction analyses were made of the smaller than 2 J..Lm fraction from about 1250 samples of the central Mediterranean Miocene to Recent and the southeastern North-Atlantic Miocene in order to reconstruct climatic changes. Relative quantities of the clay minerals chlorite, illite, pyrophylli

  13. New Fisheries-related data from the Mediterranean Sea (April 2015

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.K. KARACHLE

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In this second Collective Article with fisheries-related data from the Mediterranean Sea we present the evaluation of bony structures in aging of Barbus tauricus, otolith dimensions-body length relationships for two species (Trachinus draco and Synchiropus phaeton, information on the growth of juvenile Thunnus thynnus and of Ruvettus pretiosus, weight-length relationships for three species (Aulopus fiamentosus, Thunnus thynnus and Tylosurus acus imperialis and data on feeding habits and reproduction of Aulopus fiamentosus.

  14. Sea-level change and projected future flooding along the Egyptian Mediterranean coast

    OpenAIRE

    2015-01-01

    Future sea-level changes along the Mediterranean Egyptian coast (southern Levantine sub-basin) are projected using satellite altimetry data and model simulations. Twenty-one years (1993–2013) of satellite altimetry data, represented by dynamic topography (DT), are examined in light of tide-gauge observations. Current DT changes are examined with respect to five atmospheric/oceanic factors. The qualities of three realizations of the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) model are examin...

  15. Single-Species Dominance in a Subsurface Phytoplankton Concentration at a Mediterranean Sea Front

    Science.gov (United States)

    1990-01-01

    light. A the western Mediterranean Sea. Subsequent single diatom species, Thalassiosira partheneia microscopic analysis revealed a gelatinous ...Schrader in gelatinous colonies, represented 98% colony-forming diatom (Thalassiosira par- of the total phytoplankton biomass in the layer theneia Schrader...convergence/divergence regimes semblages are common and the "paradox must also be determined to assess their roles of the plankton " is the norm

  16. Modelling retention and dispersion mechanisms of bluefin tuna eggs and larvae in the Northwest Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Mariani, Patrizio; MacKenzie, Brian; Iudicone, D.;

    2010-01-01

    Knowledge of early life history of most fish species in the Mediterranean Sea is sparse and processes affecting their recruitment are poorly understood. This is particularly true for bluefin tuna, Thunnus thynnus, even though this species is one of the world's most valued fish species. Here we...... mesoscale processes in the Balearic area and thus potentially affect bluefin tuna larvae. These modelling approaches can increase understanding of bluefin tuna recruitment processes and eventually contribute to management of bluefin tuna fisheries....

  17. Seamount physiography and biology in North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Morato, T.; K. Ø. Kvile; Taranto, G. H.; F. Tempera; Narayanaswamy, B.E.; Hebbeln, D.; Menezes, G.; Wienberg, C.; SANTOS, R. S.; T. J. Pitcher

    2012-01-01

    This work aims at characterising the seamount physiography and biology in the OSPAR Convention limits (North-East Atlantic Ocean) and Mediterranean Sea. We first inferred potential abundance, location and morphological characteristics of seamounts, and secondly, summarized the existing biological, geological and oceanographic in-situ research, identifying examples of well-studied seamounts. Our study showed that the seamount population in the OSPAR area (North-East Atlantic) and in Mediterran...

  18. Seamount physiography and biology in the north-east Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Morato, T.; K. Ø. Kvile; Taranto, G. H.; F. Tempera; Narayanaswamy, B.E.; Hebbeln, D.; Menezes, G. M.; Wienberg, C.; SANTOS, R. S.; T. J. Pitcher

    2013-01-01

    This work aims at characterising the seamount physiography and biology in the OSPAR Convention limits (north-east Atlantic Ocean) and Mediterranean Sea. We first inferred potential abundance, location and morphological characteristics of seamounts, and secondly, summarized the existing biological, geological and oceanographic in situ research, identifying examples of well-studied seamounts. Our study showed that the seamount population in the OSPAR area (north-east Atlantic)...

  19. Octopus vulgaris (Cuvier, 1797 in the Mediterranean Sea: Genetic Diversity and Population Structure.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniele De Luca

    Full Text Available The common octopus, Octopus vulgaris Cuvier 1797, is a largely exploited cephalopod species in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as along the coasts of Africa, Brazil and Japan, where its taxonomic identity is still debated. The assessment of its genetic structure is a pressing need to correctly manage the resource and to avoid overfishing and collapsing of local stocks. Here we analysed genetic variation and population structure of O. vulgaris using thirteen microsatellite loci in seven sampling localities from the Mediterranean Sea and one from the Atlantic Ocean. We also used a DNA barcoding approach by COI gene fragment to understand the phylogenetic relationships among the specimens here investigated and the ones whose sequences are available in literature. Our results reveal high levels of allelic richness and moderate heterozygosity in all samples investigated, and a pronounced differentiation of the Atlantic and Sicilian specimens. This latter aspect seems to support the isolation of the biota within the Strait of Messina. A certain degree of differentiation was detected among the other geographic samples within the Mediterranean Sea, which is more compatible with an island model than isolation by distance. The occurrence of null alleles affected more genetic diversity indices than population structure estimations. This study provides new insights about the genetic diversity and structure of O. vulgaris in the area of interest, which can be used as guidelines for a fisheries management perspective.

  20. Octopus vulgaris (Cuvier, 1797) in the Mediterranean Sea: Genetic Diversity and Population Structure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Luca, Daniele; Catanese, Gaetano; Procaccini, Gabriele; Fiorito, Graziano

    2016-01-01

    The common octopus, Octopus vulgaris Cuvier 1797, is a largely exploited cephalopod species in the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, as well as along the coasts of Africa, Brazil and Japan, where its taxonomic identity is still debated. The assessment of its genetic structure is a pressing need to correctly manage the resource and to avoid overfishing and collapsing of local stocks. Here we analysed genetic variation and population structure of O. vulgaris using thirteen microsatellite loci in seven sampling localities from the Mediterranean Sea and one from the Atlantic Ocean. We also used a DNA barcoding approach by COI gene fragment to understand the phylogenetic relationships among the specimens here investigated and the ones whose sequences are available in literature. Our results reveal high levels of allelic richness and moderate heterozygosity in all samples investigated, and a pronounced differentiation of the Atlantic and Sicilian specimens. This latter aspect seems to support the isolation of the biota within the Strait of Messina. A certain degree of differentiation was detected among the other geographic samples within the Mediterranean Sea, which is more compatible with an island model than isolation by distance. The occurrence of null alleles affected more genetic diversity indices than population structure estimations. This study provides new insights about the genetic diversity and structure of O. vulgaris in the area of interest, which can be used as guidelines for a fisheries management perspective.

  1. Assessment of butyltin and phenyltin pollution in the sea mullet, Mugil cephalus, along the Moroccan and Spanish coasts (Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hassani, L Hajjaj; Frenich, A Garrido; Benajiba, M H; Rodríguez, M J González; Vidal, J L Martínez; Debdoubi, A

    2006-11-01

    Levels of three butyltin (BTs) compounds, monobutyltin (MBT), dibutyltin (DBT) and tributyltin (TBT), and three phenyltin (PTs) compounds, monophenyltin (MPhT), diphenyltin (DPhT), and triphenyltin (TPhT), were determined in the sea mullet, Mugil cephalus, collected along the northern Mediterranean coast of Morocco, and the south Mediterranean coast of Spain. Also, sediment samples from the Guadalquivir River (Spain) near to its mouth in the Mediterranean Sea were analysed. TBT and TPhT were the predominant compounds in the analyzed samples, and TBT concentrations were higher in liver than in muscle. In general, the total content of BTs in these samples was higher than PT levels. In the Moroccan coast, the highest value of BTs (18.00 mg/Kg wet weight) was found in the west harbour of the Tangier site, while the lowest concentration (0.01 mg/Kg wet weight) was detected in the Oued Laoue site. Concerning PTs compounds, the highest value (4.00 mg/Kg wet weight) was found in the harbour of the M'diq Site and the lowest value (0.01 mg/Kg wet weight) was detected in the Oued Laoue site. On the other hand, organotin (OT) residues were not detected in the water samples of the Spanish coast although TBT was identified in four of the nine sediment samples from the Guadalquivir River at concentrations between 15.45 and 245.07 mg/Kg wet weight.

  2. Circulation in the Southeastern Mediterranean Sea (EGITTO-NICOP)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-06-07

    marine environmental evolution, with particular emphasis on the eddy dynamics in marginal seas where the effect of bottom morphology , the forcing by...ADDRESS(ES) 10. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S ACRONYM(S) 11. SPONSOR/MONITOR’S REPORT NUMBER(S) 12. DISTRIBUTION/AVAILABILITY STATEMENT Approved for public

  3. Cloud amount/frequency, NITRATE and other data from ERNST KRENKEL, MUSSON and other platforms in the Mediterranean Sea and Black Sea from 1978-02-11 to 1979-12-20 (NCEI Accession 9000266)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — The Ocean Station data in this accession was collected in Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea as part of the International Council for the Exploration of Seas (ICES)...

  4. Assessing the role of submarine groundwater discharge as a source of Sr to the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trezzi, Giada; Garcia-Orellana, Jordi; Rodellas, Valentí; Masqué, Pere; Garcia-Solsona, Ester; Andersson, Per S.

    2017-03-01

    Submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) has been identified as an important source of Sr to the ocean and the SGD-driven Sr flux to the global ocean has been recently re-evaluated (Beck et al., 2013). However, the uncertainty of this value is still high because of the uncertainties related to the determination of SGD flow rates and the paucity of 87Sr/86Sr data in SGD end-members. As carbonates have high Sr concentrations and are subjected to intense heightened weathering, they might significantly influence the SGD input of Sr to the ocean. Here we present data on Sr concentrations and 87Sr/86Sr ratios in three carbonate dominated sites of the western area of the Mediterranean Sea, a semi-enclosed basin characterized by abundant coastal carbonates. The 87Sr/86Sr ratios in groundwater were lower compared to modern seawater (∼0.70916), as expected for areas dominated by carbonate lithologies. Concentrations of Sr and 87Sr/86Sr ratios in groundwater showed conservative mixing in the studied subterranean estuaries. By using SGD flow rates reported in the literature for the study areas, a flow-weighted fresh SGD end-member characterized by a Sr concentration of 27-30 μM and a 87Sr/86Sr ratio of 0.707834-0.708020 was calculated for the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula. Integrating these Sr data with literature data (i.e. values of Sr concentration and 87Sr/86Sr ratio from other lithologies as well as SGD flow rates), we also calculated the fresh SGD-driven Sr flux to the entire Mediterranean Sea, obtaining a value of (0.34-0.83)·109 mol y-1, with a 87Sr/86Sr of 0.7081-0.7086. Thus, for the entire Mediterranean basin, SGD is globally a source of Sr less radiogenic compared to seawater. The SGD Sr flux to the Mediterranean Sea represents 5-6% of the SGD Sr flux to the global ocean and the Mediterranean SGD end-member has higher Sr concentration (5-12 μM) than the global SGD end-member (2.9 μM). This confirms the significant role of carbonate lithologies on SGD

  5. Late-Pleistocene evolution of the East Mediterranean shallow continental shelf of north-central Israel

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shtienberg, Gilad; Dix, Justin; Waldmann, Nicolas; Makovsky, Yizhaq; Bookman, Revital; Roskin, Joel; Bialik, Or; Golan, Arik; Sivan, Dorit

    2016-04-01

    Sea-level fluctuations are a dominant and dynamic mechanism that control coastal environmental through time. This is especially the case for the successive regressions and transgressions over the last interglacial cycle, which have shaped the deposition, preservation and erosion patterns of unconsolidated sediments currently submerged on continental shelves. The current study focuses on an integrated high-resolution marine and terrestrial litho-stratigraphic and geophysical framework of the north-central Mediterranean coastal zone of Israel. The interpretation enabled the reconstruction of the coastal evolution over the last ˜130 ka. A multi-disciplinary approach was applied by compiling existing elevation raster grids, bathymetric charts, detailed lithological borehole data-sets, a dense 110 km long sub-bottom geophysical survey and seven continuous boreholes sediment records. Based on seismic stratigraphic analysis, observed geometries, and reflective appearances, six bounding surfaces and seven seismic units were identified and characterized. Meanwhile, the chronostratigraphy of the terrestrial side was constructed through integration of magnetic susceptibility, sedimentological and geochemical analysis with 17 new OSL ages. The seismic units were correlated with the available terrestrial borehole data and then associated to the retrieved terrestrial chronostratigraphy to produce a 4D reconstruction model of the paleo-landscape. The entire unconsolidated sequence overlies a calcareous aeolianite (locally named Kurkar unit) dated from ˜131 - ˜104 ka, which represents the top of the last interglacial cycle dune sediments. The lower unconsolidated unit consists of a red silty loam dated to ˜71 ka. This Red-Paleosol unit is overlaid by a dark brown clayey silty loam This Brown-Paleosol unit dates to ˜58 - ˜36 ka and is overlaid by a dark silty clay wetland deposit dated to ˜21 - ˜10 ka. The wetland unit is topped by a quartz sand dated to ˜6.6 - 0.1 ka

  6. Structure, functioning, and cumulative stressors of Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francisco

    2015-06-01

    Environmental stressors, such as climate fluctuations, and anthropogenic stressors, such as fishing, are of major concern for the management of deep-sea ecosystems. Deep-water habitats are limited by primary productivity and are mainly dependent on the vertical input of organic matter from the surface. Global change over the latest decades is imparting variations in primary productivity levels across oceans, and thus it has an impact on the amount of organic matter landing on the deep seafloor. In addition, anthropogenic impacts are now reaching the deep ocean. The Mediterranean Sea, the largest enclosed basin on the planet, is not an exception. However, ecosystem-level studies of response to varying food input and anthropogenic stressors on deep-sea ecosystems are still scant. We present here a comparative ecological network analysis of three food webs of the deep Mediterranean Sea, with contrasting trophic structure. After modelling the flows of these food webs with the Ecopath with Ecosim approach, we compared indicators of network structure and functioning. We then developed temporal dynamic simulations varying the organic matter input to evaluate its potential effect. Results show that, following the west-to-east gradient in the Mediterranean Sea of marine snow input, organic matter recycling increases, net production decreases to negative values and trophic organisation is overall reduced. The levels of food-web activity followed the gradient of organic matter availability at the seafloor, confirming that deep-water ecosystems directly depend on marine snow and are therefore influenced by variations of energy input, such as climate-driven changes. In addition, simulations of varying marine snow arrival at the seafloor, combined with the hypothesis of a possible fishery expansion on the lower continental slope in the western basin, evidence that the trawling fishery may pose an impact which could be an order of magnitude stronger than a climate

  7. Spatio-temporal variability of phytoplankton dimensional classes in the Mediterranean Sea from satellite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sammartino, Michela; Di Cicco, Annalisa; Marullo, Salvatore; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2016-04-01

    Phytoplankton contributes to fix half of the carbon dioxide released on Earth, becoming a key component not only in the carbon cycle, but also in several biogeochemical cycles. It is involved in the control of greenhouse gases and, consequently, in the effect of climate change on marine system. Therefore, phytoplankton is often considered one of the most common bio-indicator for any environmental changes, which, in turn, can affect the algal community composition and structure. The alteration of the biological, physical and chemical conditions in the ocean can be reflected in the algal assemblage structure, in terms of variation of dominant size class and taxonomic composition. In this work, the seasonal and year-to-year variability of the phytoplankton size class (PSC) spatial distribution has been examined in the Mediterranean Sea using ten year of satellite observations. The estimation of PSCs from space is based on relationship between chlorophyll a (Chl a) and diagnostic pigments that should be verified at regional scales. Our analysis shows that the Mediterranean pigments ratios differs from the global ones; therefore, we regionalized the mathematical relation existing between the Chl a and the diagnostic pigments, used in the in situ PSC identification. This regionally tuned relation allowed to improve the estimation of PSCs from space by reducing the observed bias between modelled and measured PSCs. The analysis of PSC satellite time series allowed, for the first time, to have a quantitative description of the seasonal and inter-annual variability of the spatial distribution of the algal community in the Mediterranean Sea. The results demonstrated that the pico-phytoplankton contributes with high values to the total Chl a, especially in summer and in ultra-oligotrophic environments, such as the Levantine basin. Micro-phytoplankton contribution results high during spring bloom period in offshore areas, characterized by a strong water mixing; while, in

  8. Tracers confirm downward mixing of Tyrrhenian Sea upper waters associated with the Eastern Mediterranean Transient

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    W. Roether

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Observations of tritium and 3He in the Tyrrhenian Sea, 1987–2009, confirm the enhanced vertical mixing of intermediate waters into the deep waters that has been noted and associated with the Eastern Mediterranean Transient in previous studies. Our evidence for the mixing rests on increasing tracer concentrations in the Tyrrhenian deep waters, accompanied by decreases in the upper waters, which are supplied from the Eastern Mediterranean. The downward transfer is particularly evident between 1987 and 1997. Later on, information partly rests on increasing tritium-3He ages; here we correct the observed 3He for contributions released from the ocean floor. The Tyrrhenian tracer distributions are fully compatible with data upstream of the Sicily Strait and in the Western Mediterranean. The tracer data show that mixing reached to the bottom and confirm a cyclonic nature of the deep water circulation in the Tyrrhenian. They furthermore indicate that horizontal homogenization of the deep waters occurs on a time scale of roughly 5 years. Various features point to a reduced impact of Western Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW in the Tyrrhenian during the enhanced-mixing period. This is an important finding because it implies less upward mixing of WMDW, which has been named a major process to enable the WMDW to leave the Mediterranean via the Gibraltar Strait. On the other hand, the TDW outflow for several years represented a major influx of enhanced salinity and density waters into the deep-water range of the Western Mediterranean.

  9. Simulation of aerosol chemical compositions in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chrit, Mounir; Kata Sartelet, Karine; Sciare, Jean; Marchand, Nicolas; Pey, Jorge; Sellegri, Karine

    2016-04-01

    This work aims at evaluating the chemical transport model (CTM) Polair3d of the air-quality modelling platform Polyphemus during the ChArMex summer campaigns of 2013, using ground-based measurements performed at ERSA (Cape Corsica, France), and at determining the processes controlling organic aerosol concentrations at ERSA. Simulations are compared to measurements for concentrations of both organic and inorganic species, as well as the ratio of biogenic versus anthropogenic particles, and organic aerosol properties (oxidation state). For inorganics, the concentrations of sulphate, sodium, chloride, ammonium and nitrate are compared to measurements. Non-sea-salt sulphate and ammonium concentrations are well reproduced by the model. However, because of the geographic location of the measurement station at Cape Corsica which undergoes strong wind velocities and sea effects, sea-salt sulphate, sodium, chloride and nitrate concentrations are strongly influenced by the parameterizations used for sea-salt emissions. Different parameterizations are compared and a parameterization is chosen after comparison to sodium measurements. For organics, the concentrations are well modelled when compared to experimental values. Anthropogenic particles are influenced by emission of semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOC). Measurements allow us to refine the estimation of those emissions, which are currently missing in emission inventories. Although concentrations of biogenic particles are well simulated, the organic chemical compounds are not enough oxidised in the model. The observed oxidation state of organics shows that the oligomerisation of pinonaldehyde was over-estimated in Polyphemus. To improve the oxidation property of organics, the formation of extremely low volatile organic compounds from autoxidation of monoterpenes is added to Polyphemus, using recently published data from chamber experiments. These chemical compounds are highly oxygenated and are formed rapidly, as first

  10. Bathymetric zonation of modern shelf benthic foraminifera in the Levantine Basin, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avnaim-Katav, Simona; Hyams-Kaphzan, Orit; Milker, Yvonne; Almogi-Labin, Ahuva

    2015-05-01

    Siliciclastic carbonate-poor sediments are common in southern and central parts of the inner Israeli shelf, part of the Nile littoral cell and in deeper water along the entire coast, while carbonate rich sediments occur in northern Israel and in submerged rocky environments. The distribution of benthic foraminifera, common components of these environments, was studied in surface sediment samples in order to identify their bathymetric zonation using multivariate statistical analyses. The dead foraminiferal assemblages exhibit a clear bathymetric zonation directly related to substrate type. A distinct faunal change has been found at approximately 40 m water depth coinciding with the shift from the shallow-water sand belt, distributed parallel to the Israeli coast up to Haifa Bay, to a silty-clayey belt relatively rich with organic matter extending westward along the entire SE Mediterranean shelf. Ammonia parkinsoniana, Ammonia sp. 1, Buccella granulata, Nubeculina divaricata and Adelosina sp. 1 predominating the shallow-water depths are positively related to sand content and negatively related to water depth. Other species, such as Asterigerinata mamilla, Hanzawaia rhodiensis, Reussella spinulosa, Triloculina marioni and Valvulineria bradyana, occurring between 40 and 100 m, exhibit a positive relationship with total organic carbon content and water depth. Beyond the Nile littoral cell and partly in its distal part Amphistegina lessonii, Peneroplis pertusus, Pseudoschlumbergerina ovata, Pseudoschlumbergerina sp. 1 and Quinqueloculina ungeriana dominate the rocky and coarse sand substrate, exhibiting a more positive relationship with higher carbonate content values. The distinct bathymetric zonation established in this study may prove to be useful in fossil records for accurate paleo-bathymetry reconstruction of Quaternary records in this dynamic system prone to frequent sea level fluctuations.

  11. Eastern Mediterranean Sea Spatial and Temporal Variability of Thermohaline Structure and Circulation Identified from Observational (T, S) Profiles

    Science.gov (United States)

    2015-12-01

    SCIENCE IN METEOROLOGY AND PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY from the NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL December 2015 Approved by: Peter C. Chu Thesis... Physical Oceanography of the Eastern Mediterranean RG Rhodes Gyre SMA Shikmona Anticyclone SSS Sea Surface Salinity xvi SST Sea Surface...Europe, low pressure system over Turkey, and evolution of the south Asian warmth over the Anatolian plateau causes the occurrence of the Etesian

  12. Spatial Gradients in Trace Metal Concentrations in the Surface Microlayer of the Mediterranean Sea

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    Antonio eTovar-Sanchez

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available The relationship between dust deposition and surface water metal concentrations is poorly understood. Dissolution, solubility, and partitioning reactions of trace metals from dust particles are governed by complex chemical, biological, and physical processes occurring in the surface ocean. Despite that, the role of the sea surface microlayer (SML, a thin, but fundamental component modulating the air-sea exchange of materials has not been properly evaluated. Our study revealed that the SML of the Mediterranean Sea is enriched with bioactive trace metals (i.e., Cd, Co, Cu and Fe, ranging from 8 (for Cd to 1000 (for Fe times higher than the dissolved metal pool in the underlying water column. The highest enrichments were spatially correlated with the atmospheric deposition of mineral particles. Our mass balance results suggest that the SML in the Mediterranean Sea contains about 2 tonnes of Fe. However, we did not detect any trends between the concentrations of metals in SML with the subsurface water concentrations and biomass distributions. These findings suggest that future studies are needed to quantify the rate of metal exchange between the SML and the bioavailable pool and that the SML should be considered to better understand the effect of atmospheric inputs on the biogeochemistry of trace metals in the ocean.

  13. Uncommon pelagic and deep-sea cephalopods in the Mediterranean: new data and literature review

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    A. QUETGLAS

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Compared to their shelf-living relatives, the biology and ecology of most pelagic and deep-sea cephalopods is currently rather unknown owing to the difficulties to catch them. To cover the lack of information on these cephalopods, scientists have to make use of the limited and fragmentary data gathered from different sources such as sporadic captures, strandings or stomach contents of their predators. Here, we give some biological and ecological information on eleven uncommon pelagic and deep-sea cephalopods collected during more than fifteen years of fisheries surveys in the western Mediterranean Sea. The cephalopods investigated include two epipelagic octopuses (Ocythoe tuberculata and Tremoctopus violaceus, one deep-sea cirrate octopus (Opisthoteuthis calypso, the sepiolid Stoloteuthis leucoptera and seven teuthoid species inhabiting preferentially mesopelagic and bathypelagic waters (Abraliopsis morisii, Ancistrocheirus lesueurii, Brachioteuthis riisei, Chiroteuthis veranyi, Chtenopteryx sicula, Onychoteuthis banksii and Taonius pavo. Although all of these species are either cosmopolitan or present a wide distribution in other oceans, they are nevertheless relatively rare in catches, and therefore remain poorly known. The finding of T. pavo represents the first record of this cephalopod in the Mediterranean.

  14. Roseobacter-Like Bacteria in Red and Mediterranean Sea Aerobic Anoxygenic Photosynthetic Populations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oz, Aia; Sabehi, Gazalah; Koblízek, Michal; Massana, Ramon; Béjà, Oded

    2005-01-01

    Bacteriochlorophyll a-containing aerobic anoxygenic phototrophs (AAnP) have been proposed to account for up to 11% of the total surface water microbial community and to potentially have great ecological importance in the world's oceans. Recently, environmental and genomic data based on analysis of the pufM gene identified the existence of α-proteobacteria as well as possible γ-like proteobacteria among AAnP in the Pacific Ocean. Here we report on analyses of environmental samples from the Red and Mediterranean Seas by using pufM as well as the bchX and bchL genes as molecular markers. The majority of photosynthesis genes retrieved from these seas were related to Roseobacter-like AAnP sequences. Furthermore, the sequence of a novel photosynthetic operon organization from an uncultured Roseobacter-like bacterial artificial chromosome retrieved from the Red Sea is described. The data show the presence of Roseobacter-like bacteria in Red and Mediterranean Sea AAnP populations in the seasons analyzed. PMID:15640208

  15. Mesozooplankton biomass and abundance in Cyprus coastal waters and comparison with the Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. C.S. HANNIDES

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Here we conduct the first comprehensive assessment of mesozooplankton abundance, biomass, and taxa composition in Cyprus coastal waters (Levantine Sea.  Mesozooplankton abundance and biomass sampled at several locations around the island ranged from 153 – 498 individuals m-3 and 0.7 – 5.2 mg dry weight m-3, respectively, with significantly larger biomass observed in winter-early spring (March than in summer (September.  The community was dominated by calanoid and cyclopoid copepods throughout the year (80% of total numbers, with higher abundances of predatory taxa (chaetognaths and medusae in winter and cladocerans in summer.  Overall, we find that coastal mesozooplankton communities around Cyprus appear to be more similar to communities in offshore waters or those around the island of Rhodes than to communities along the mainland Levantine coast.  We further highlight regional differences in the eastern Mediterranean by comparing our data with mesozooplankton in the western Aegean (Saronikos Gulf and northeastern Aegean Sea (NEA.  Distinct spatial differences were observed, for example anthropogenic influences in the Saronikos Gulf and the outflow of Modified Black Sea Water in the NEA drove generally greater biomass and abundance in these regions.  Overall, our comparison supports the concept of a latitudinal gradient in oligotrophy in the eastern Mediterranean, with ultra-oligotrophic conditions found in the Levantine Sea.

  16. KM3NeT: towards a km3-scale neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Km3NeT Consortium; Distefano, C.; KM3NeT Consortium

    2009-05-01

    The observation of high energy neutrinos (≳1 TeV) from astrophysical sources would substantially improve our knowledge and understanding of the non-thermal processes in these sources, and would in particular pinpoint the accelerators of cosmic rays. Theoretical predictions indicate that km3-scale detectors are needed to detect astrophysical neutrino fluxes. That is the reason why the three Mediterranean experiments, ANTARES, NEMO and NESTOR are working together on preparing KM3NeT, a large deep-sea neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea which will survey a large part of the Galactic disc, including the Galactic Centre. It will complement the IceCube telescope currently under construction at the South Pole. Furthermore, the improved optical properties of sea water, compared to Antarctic ice, will allow for a better angular resolution and hence a better background rejection. The construction of this detector will require the solution of technological problems common to many deep submarine installations, and will help paving the way for other deep-sea research facilities. In this paper the major activities and the status of KM3NeT are presented.

  17. Assessment of the sardine (Sardina pilchardus Walbaum, 1792 fishery in the eastern Mediterranean basin (North Aegean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. ANTONAKAKIS

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to describe the biometric characteristics of the European sardine (Sardina pilchardus catches and assess the current status of sardine stock in North Aegean Sea based on population characteristics and abundance trends. The stock was dominated by age groups 1 and 2, not exceeding age group 4. The sardine stock in this area was assessed through an Integrated Catch-at-Age model which implements a separable Virtual Population Analysis on catch at age data with weighted tuning indices. Sardine landings data derived from the commercial purse seine fishery over the period 2000-2008 were combined with the age structure of the stock as resulted from fisheries independent acoustic surveys. Sensitivity analysis of the impact of natural mortality values on stock assessment results was applied. Additionally forecast of the sardine population parameters and catches under different exploitation scenarios was implemented in a medium term basis. Results indicated that the North Aegean Sea sardine stock is considered fully exploited with the fishery operating close but over the empirical exploitation level for sustainability. Finally, the status of the sardine stock in N. Aegean Sea is discussed in relation to the sardine stocks from the western and the central Mediterranean basin.

  18. Population genetic structure of North Atlantic, Mediterranean Sea and Sea of Cortez fin whales, Balaenoptera physalus (Linnaeus 1758) : Analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear loci

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bérubé, Martine; Aguilar, Alex; Dendanto, Dan; Larsen, Finn; Notarbartolo di Sciara, Guiseppe; Sears, Richard; Sigurjónsson8, Johan; Urban-R, Jorge; Palsboll, Per

    1998-01-01

    Samples were collected from 407 fin whales, Balaenoptera physalus, at four North Atlantic and one Mediterranean Sea summer feeding area as well as the Sea of Cortez in the Pacific Ocean. For each sample, the sex, the sequence of the first 288 nucleotides of the mitochondrial (mt) control region and

  19. Mesozoic and Cenozoic rocks from Malta Escarpment (central Mediterranean)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scandone, P. (Istituto di Geologia e Paleontologia, Pisa, Italy); Patacca, E.; Radoicic, R.; Ryan, W.B.F.; Cita, M.B.; Rawson, M.; Chezar, H.; Miller, E.; McKenzie, J.; Rossi, S.

    1981-07-01

    Sedimentary rocks of Triassic-Neogene age are present on the Malta Escarpment of the eastern Mediterranean. Upper Triassic dolomitic limestones of shallow-water origin, at depths between 2.5 and 3.5 km, are similar in lithofacies to coeval platform carbonates of the Siracusa (Syracuse) belt of southern Sicily. Jurassic rocks include lower-middle Liassic shallow-water limestones followed by condensed hemipelagic lime deposits indicative of sinking and starving of the former platform. Cretaceous materials are represented by both red marls rich in planktonic faunas and reworkd volcaniclastic breccias including shallow-water skeletal material. Paleogene rocks are both shallow-water limestones with corals, algae, and bivalves, and redeposited calcarenites of lithofacies similar to those from surface and subsurface of the Ragusa zone. Oligocene-lower Miocene rocks from the escarpment are also similar in lithology to the coeval Ragusa deposits. Tortonian is represented by hemipelagic marls indicating open-marine environment. Pervasive dolomitization on lime crusts and on initial-stage fissure fillings with strongly positive isotopic oxygen ratio is thought to be a product of Messinian evaporitic drawdown. Pliocene sediments belong to the Trubi facies and consist of pelagic foraminiferal chalk. An impressive vertical relief existed by Miocene times, as attested by Messinian crusts and veins on or in rocks as old as Late Triassic. Our data do not provide evidence that this morphologic feature necessarily coincides with a continent-ocean transition. The present escarpment was produced by faulting, erosion, and defacement. 14 figures, 1 table.

  20. Characterization of a Strain of Fukuyoa paulensis (Dinophyceae) from the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laza-Martínez, Aitor; David, Helena; Riobó, Pilar; Miguel, Irati; Orive, Emma

    2016-07-01

    A single cell of the dinoflagellate genus Fukuyoa was isolated from the island of Formentera (Balearic Islands, west Mediterranean Sea), cultured, and characterized by morphological and molecular methods and toxin analyses. This is the first report of the Gambierdiscus lineage (genera Fukuyoa and Gambierdiscus) from the western Mediterranean Sea, which is cooler than its eastern basin. Molecular analyses revealed that the Mediterranean strain belongs to F. paulensis and that it bears LSU rDNA sequences identical to New Zealand, Australian, and Brazilian strains. It also shared an identical sequence of the more variable ITS-rDNA with the Brazilian strain. Toxin analyses showed the presence of maitotoxin, 54-deoxyCTX1B, and gambieric acid A. This is the first observation of the two latter compounds in a Fukuyoa strain. Therefore, both Gambierdiscus and Fukuyoa should be considered when as contributing to ciguatera fish poisoning. Different strains of Fukuyoa form a complex of morphologically cryptic lineages where F. paulensis stands as the most distantly related nominal species. The comparison of the ITS2 secondary structures revealed the absence of CBCs among strains. The study of the morphological and molecular traits depicted an unresolved taxonomic scenario impacted by the low strains sampling.

  1. Vertical ozone measurements in the troposphere over the Eastern Mediterranean and comparison with Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. D. Kalabokas

    2007-02-01

    Full Text Available Vertical ozone profiles measured in the period 1996–2002 in the framework of the MOZAIC project (Measurement of Ozone and Water Vapor by Airbus in Service Aircraft for flights connecting Central Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean basin (Heraklion, Rhodes; Antalya were analysed in order to evaluate the high rural ozone levels recorded in the Mediterranean area during summertime. The 77 flights during summer (JJAS showed significantly (10–12 ppb, 20–40% enhanced ozone mixing ratios in the lower troposphere over the Eastern Mediterranean frequently exceeding the 60 ppb, 8-h EU air quality standard, whereas ozone between 700 hPa and 400 hPa was only slightly (3–5 ppb, 5–10% higher than over central Europe. Analysis of composite weather maps for the high and low ozone cases, as well as back-trajectories and vertical profiles of carbon monoxide, suggest that the main factor leading to high tropospheric ozone values in the area is anticyclonic influence, in combination with a persistent northerly flow in the lower troposphere during summertime over the Aegean. On the other hand the lowest ozone levels are associated with low-pressure systems, especially the extension of the Middle East low over the Eastern Mediterranean area.

  2. Vertical ozone measurements in the troposphere over the Eastern Mediterranean and comparison with Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. D. Kalabokas

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Vertical ozone profiles measured in the period 1996–2002 in the framework of the MOZAIC project (Measurement of Ozone and Water Vapor by Airbus in Service Aircraft for flights connecting Central Europe to the Eastern Mediterranean basin (Heraklion, Rhodes, Antalya were analysed in order to evaluate the high rural ozone levels recorded in the Mediterranean area during summertime. The 77 flights during summer (JJAS showed substantially (10–12 ppb, 20–40% enhanced ozone mixing ratios in the lower troposphere over the Eastern Mediterranean frequently exceeding the 60 ppb, 8-h EU air quality standard, whereas ozone between 700 hPa and 400 hPa was only slightly (3–5 ppb, 5–10% higher than over Central Europe. Analysis of composite weather maps for the high and low ozone cases, as well as back-trajectories and vertical profiles of carbon monoxide, suggest that the main factor leading to high tropospheric ozone values in the area is anticyclonic influence, in combination with a persistent northerly flow in the lower troposphere during summertime over the Aegean. On the other hand the lowest ozone levels are associated with low-pressure systems, especially the extension of the Middle East low over the Eastern Mediterranean area.

  3. The timing of Mediterranean sapropel deposition relative to insolation, sea-level and African monsoon changes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K. M.; Grimm, R.; Mikolajewicz, U.; Marino, G.; Ziegler, M.; Rohling, E. J.

    2016-05-01

    The Mediterranean basin is sensitive to global sea-level changes and African monsoon variability on orbital timescales. Both of these processes are thought to be important to the deposition of organic-rich sediment layers or 'sapropels' throughout the eastern Mediterranean, yet their relative influences remain ambiguous. A related issue is that an assumed 3-kyr lag between boreal insolation maxima and sapropel mid-points remains to be tested. Here we present new geochemical and ice-volume-corrected planktonic foraminiferal stable isotope records for sapropels S1 (Holocene), S3, S4, and S5 (Marine Isotope Stage 5) in core LC21 from the southern Aegean Sea. The records have a radiometrically constrained chronology that has already been synchronised with the Red Sea relative sea-level record, and this allows detailed examination of the timing of sapropel deposition relative to insolation, sea-level, and African monsoon changes. We find that sapropel onset was near-synchronous with monsoon run-off into the eastern Mediterranean, but that insolation-sapropel/monsoon phasings were not systematic through the last glacial cycle. These latter phasings instead appear to relate to sea-level changes. We propose that persistent meltwater discharges into the North Atlantic (e.g., at glacial terminations) modified the timing of sapropel deposition by delaying the timing of peak African monsoon run-off. These observations may reconcile apparent model-data offsets with respect to the orbital pacing of the African monsoon. Our observations also imply that the previous assumption of a systematic 3-kyr lag between insolation maxima and sapropel midpoints may lead to overestimated insolation-sapropel phasings. Finally, we surmise that both sea-level rise and monsoon run-off contributed to surface-water buoyancy changes at times of sapropel deposition, and their relative influences differed per sapropel case, depending on their magnitudes. Sea-level rise was clearly important for

  4. Simulation and analysis of the mesoscale circulation in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

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    V. Echevin

    Full Text Available The large-scale and mesoscale circulation of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea are simulated with an eddy-resolving primitive-equation regional model (RM of 1/16° resolution embedded in a general circulation model (GM of the Mediterranean Sea of 1/8° resolution. The RM is forced by a monthly climatology of heat fluxes, precipitation and wind stress. The GM, which uses the same atmospheric forcing, provides initial and boundary conditions for the RM. Analysis of the RM results shows that several realistic features of the large-scale and mesoscale circulation are evident in this region. The mean cyclonic circulation is in good agreement with observations. Mesoscale variability is intense along the coasts of Sardinia and Corsica, in the Gulf of Lions and in the Catalan Sea. The length scales of the Northern Current meanders along the Provence coast and in the Gulf of Lions’ shelf are in good agreement with observations. Winter Intermediate Water is formed along most of the north-coast shelves, between the Gulf of Genoa and Cape Creus. Advection of this water by the mean cyclonic circulation generates a complex eddy field in the Catalan Sea. Intense anticyclonic eddies are generated northeast of the Balearic Islands. These results are in good agreement with mesoscale activity inferred from satellite altimetric data. This work demonstrates the feasibility of a down-scaling system composed of a general-circulation, a regional and a coastal model, which is one of the goals of the Mediterranean Forecasting System Pilot Project.

    Key words. Oceanography: physical (currents; eddies and mesoscale processes; general circulation

  5. Short term summer to autumn variability of dissolved lipid classes in the Ligurian sea (NW Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Duflos

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Changes in concentration and composition of Iatroscan-measured dissolved lipids were examined at a daily to month scale, in relation to the hydrological and biological context at a central site of the Ligurian sea, NW Mediterranean during the PECHE-DYNAPROC 2 experiment (14 September to 17 October 2004. Lipid concentrations (excluding hydrocarbons (TLd-HC and TLd-HC to DOC ratios in the 0–1000 m water column, varied from 5.3 to 48.5 μg l−1 and 0.01 to 0.09, respectively. The highest TLd-HC concentration values were found in the 0–50 m surface layer, coinciding with phytoplankton biomass. Significant correlations (p<0.01, n=87 between glycolipids from chloroplast membranes, namely the monogalactosyldiacylglycerols, a major component of dissolved lipids (25.1±10.8% of TLd-HC, n=166, and various phytoplankton pigments (chlorophyll cs-170, violaxanthin, diadinoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein, suggested that picoeucaryote phytoplankton were a major source of dissolved lipids. Lipid metabolites (free fatty acids, alcohols, diacylglycerols and monoacylglycerols, an other important component of TLd-HC (37.6±11.1%, n=166, showed a greater degree of degradation of lipids in this transitional period than previously observed earlier in the year. Zooplankton wax and steryl ester biomarkers (WSE and triacylglycerols showed a distinct periodicity in the mesopelagic layer throughout the period investigated. Concentrations of WSE (5.5–13.6 μg/l increased in the 0–150 m surface layer, mid-way through the cruise (4–6 October, before the winter mixing. WSE were observed later and deeper in the mesopelagic layer (6–11 October, accompanied by rebounds in hydrocarbons (6–8 October and phospholipid concentrations (12 October in the 400–1000 m depth layer. Zooplankton migration and/or fecal pellet egestion, followed by DOM release from POM, were likely responsible for the appearance of these lipid signatures

  6. Dissolved inorganic carbon, alkalinity, temperature, salinity and other variables collected from discrete sample and profile observations using CTD, bottle and other instruments from METEOR in the Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea and others from 2001-10-18 to 2001-11-11 (NODC Accession 0084620)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NCEI Accession 0084620 includes discrete sample and profile data collected from METEOR in the Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, Mediterranean Sea - Eastern Basin,...

  7. Major changes in Mediterranean Sea level variability from 7 years of TOPEX/Poseidon and ERS-1/2 data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larnicol, G.; Ayoub, N.; Le Traon, P. Y.

    2002-06-01

    Seven years of combined maps of TOPEX/Poseidon (T/P) and ERS-1/2 altimeter data are used to describe the surface circulation variability in the Mediterranean Sea. As described in the past, the Mediterranean Sea level variability is a complex combination of a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. However, this paper gives an improved estimation of sea level statistics (rms, annual, semiannual cycle). Moreover, the longer period (1993-1999) and the merging of T/P and ERS-1/2 altimeter data allows us to observe with a good accuracy the major changes that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, at basin and sub-basin scales. First, important interannual signals were found in the Ionian basin where the cyclonic circulation has clearly intensified since 1997. In the Levantine basin, although the Ierapetra eddy exhibits a clear seasonal cycle, it is not always present during our period of observation. These interannual changes seem to be correlated with the variability of the Mid-Mediterranean Jet, which produces strong meanders. A new view of the circulation in the south of the basin is indeed suggested by considering that the eddies observed in the Mersa-Matruh and Shikmona areas represent meanders of the Mid-Mediterranean Jet rather than permanent structures as commonly described. Secondly, the seasonal cycle of the Alboran gyres is confirmed. Moreover, these gyres and the Ierapetra eddy constitute the most intense signals of the Mediterranean Sea variability. Finally, this descriptive study illustrates the need to continue monitoring the surface circulation in order to better understand the dynamics of the Mediterranean Sea.

  8. Messinian Salinity Crisis - DREAM (Deep-sea Record of Mediterranean Messinian events) drilling projects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lofi, Johanna; Camerlenghi, Angelo

    2014-05-01

    About 6 My ago the Mediterranean Sea was transformed into a giant saline basin. This event, commonly referred to as the Messinian salinity crisis (MSC), changed the chemistry of the global ocean and had a permanent impact on both the terrestrial and marine ecosystems of a huge area surrounding the Mediterranean area. The first fascinating MSC scenario was proposed following DSDP Leg XIII in 1970 and envisaged an almost desiccated deep Mediterranean basin with a dramatic ~1,500 m drop of sea level, the incision of deep canyons by rivers on the continental margins, and a final catastrophic flooding event when the connections between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic were re-established ~5.33 My ago. In spite of 40 years of multi-disciplinary research conducted on the MSC, modalities, timing, causes, chronology and consequence at local and planetary scale are still not yet fully understood, and the MSC event remains one of the longest-living controversies in Earth Science. Key factor for the controversy is the lack of a complete record of the MSC preserved in the deepest Mediterranean basins. Anywhere else, the MSC mostly generated a sedimentary/time lag corresponding to a widespread erosion surface. Correlations with the offshore depositional units are thus complex, preventing the construction of a coherent scenario linking the outcropping MSC evaporites, the erosion on the margins, and the deposition of clastics and evaporites in the abyssal plains. Recent activity by various research groups in order to identify locations for multiple-site drilling (including riser-drilling) in the Mediterranean Sea that would contribute to solve the open questions still existing about the MSC has culminated in two DREAM Magellan+ Workshops held in 2013 and 2014. A strategy and work plan have been established in order to submit an IODP Multi-phase Drilling Project("Uncovering A Salt Giant")including several site-specific drilling proposals addressing different scientific

  9. KM3NeT:a large underwater neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea

    CERN Document Server

    Rapidis, P A

    2008-01-01

    High energy neutrinos produced in astrophysical processes will allow for a new way of studying the universe. In order to detect the expected flux of high energy neutrinos from specific astrophysical sources, neutrino telescopes of a scale of a km^3 of water will be needed. A Northern Hemisphere detector is being proposed to be sited in a deep area of the Mediterranean Sea. This detector will provide complimentary sky coverage to the IceCube detector being built at the South Pole. The three neutrino telescope projects in the Mediterranean (ANTARES, NEMO and NESTOR) are partners in an effort to design, and build such a km^3 size neutrino telescope, the KM3NeT. The EU is funding a 3-year Design Study; the status of the Design Study is presented and some technical issues are discussed.

  10. The Prevailing Weather and Traffic Conditions in the Evaluation of a Future ECA in the Mediterranean Sea. A view into the Western Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcella Castells i Sanabra

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available Appendix III of MARPOL's Annex VI sets out the criteria and procedures for designating an emission control area (ECA.These criteria includes: a clear delineation of the proposed ECA; types of emissions proposed for control, land and sea areas at risk; emission quantification and impact assessment; prevailing weather conditions; data and quality on marine traffic; land based measures concurrent with the ECA adoption and the relative costs of reducing emissions from ships. This paper analyses the climate parameter together with traffic conditions: prevailing weather conditions as a parameter to be kept in mind for the adoption of a future ECA in the Mediterranean Sea. Preliminary results would show how marine emissions coming from existing traffic will impact the sea and land ecology in the Mediterranean area.

  11. Multiproxy assessment of Holocene relative sea-level changes in the western Mediterranean: sea-level variability and improvements in the definition of the isostatic signal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vacchi, Matteo; Rovere, Alessio; Marriner, Nick; Morhange, Christophe; Spada, Giorgio; Fontana, Alessandro

    2016-04-01

    After the review of 918 radiocarbon dated Relative Sea-Level (RSL) data-points we present here the first quality-controlled database constraining the Holocene sea-level histories of the western Mediterranean Sea (Spain, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Malta and Tunisia). We reviewed and standardized the geological RSL data-points using a new multi-proxy methodology based on: (1) modern taxa assemblages in Mediterranean lagoons and marshes; (2) beachrock characteristics (cement fabric and chemistry, sedimentary structures); and (3) the modern distribution of Mediterranean fixed biological indicators. These RSL data-points were coupled with the large number of archaeological RSL indicators available for the western Mediterranean. We assessed the spatial variability of RSL histories for 22 regions and compared these with the ICE-5G VM2 GIA model. In the western Mediterranean, RSL rose continuously for the whole Holocene with a sudden slowdown at ~7.5 ka BP and a further deceleration during the last ~4.0 ka BP, after which time observed RSL changes are mainly related to variability in isostatic adjustment. The sole exception is southern Tunisia, where data show evidence of a mid-Holocene high-stand compatible with the isostatic impacts of the melting history of the remote Antarctic ice sheet. Our results indicate that late-Holocene sea-level rise was significantly slower than the current one. First estimates of GIA contribution indicate that, at least in the northwestern sector, it accounts at least for the 25-30% of the ongoing sea-level rise recorded by Mediterranean tidal gauges. Such contribution is less constrained at lower latitudes due to the lower quality of the late Holocene index points. Future applications of spatio-temporal statistical techniques are required to better quantify the gradient of the isostatic contribution and to provide improved context for the assessment of 20th century acceleration of Mediterranean sea-level rise.

  12. Mixed layer warming-deepening in the Mediterranean Sea and its effect on the marine environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rivetti, Irene; Boero, Ferdinando; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Zambianchi, Enrico; Lionello, Piero

    2015-04-01

    This work aims at investigating the evolution of the ocean mixed layer in the Mediterranean Sea and linking it to the occurrence of mass mortalities of benthic invertebrates. The temporal evolution of selected parameters describing the mixed layer and the seasonal thermocline is provided for the whole Mediterranean Sea for spring, summer and autumn and for the period 1945-2011. For this analysis all temperature profiles collected in the basin with bottles, Mechanical Bathy-Thermographs (MBT), eXpendable Bathy-Thermographs (XBT), and Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) have been used (166,990). These data have been extracted from three public sources: the MEDAR-MEDATLAS, the World Ocean Database 2013 and the MFS-VOS program. Five different methods for estimating the mixed layer depth are compared using temperature profiles collected at the DYFAMED station in the Ligurian Sea and one method, the so-called three-segment method, has been selected for a systematic analysis of the evolution of the uppermost part of the whole Mediterranean Sea. This method approximates the upper water column with three segments representing mixed layer, thermocline and deep layer and has shown to be the most suitable method for capturing the mixed layer depth for most shapes of temperature profiles. Mass mortalities events of benthic invertebrates have been identified by an extensive search of all data bases in ISI Web of Knowledge considering studies published from 1945 to 2011. Studies reporting the geographical coordinates, the timing of the events, the species involved and the depth at which signs of stress occurred have been considered. Results show a general increase of thickness and temperature of the mixed layer, deepening and cooling of the thermocline base in summer and autumn. Possible impacts of these changes are mass mortalities events of benthic invertebrates that have been documented since 1983 mainly in summer and autumn. It is also shown that most mass mortalities

  13. Updated review of marine alien species and other ‘newcomers’ recorded from the Maltese Islands (Central Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. EVANS

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available An updated review of marine alien species and other ‘newcomers’ recorded from the Maltese Islands is presented on account of new records and amendments to a previous review in 2007. Species were classified according to their establishment status (‘Questionable’, ‘Casual’, ‘Established’, ‘Invasive’ and origin (‘Alien’, ‘Range expansion’, ‘Cryptogenic’. A total of 31 species were added to the inventory, while 6 species have been removed, bringing the total number of species to 73. Of these, 66 are considered to be aliens (or putative aliens but with uncertain origin with the remaining 7 resulting from range expansion. Six records are considered to be questionable and hence unverified. For verified records, the dominant taxonomic groups are Mollusca (represented by 21 species and Actinopterygii (15 species, followed by Crustacea (8 species and Rhodophyta (7 species. Eight of these species (aliens: Caulerpa cylindracea, Lophocladia lallemandi, Womersleyella setacea, Brachidontes pharaonis, Percnon gibbesi, Fistularia commersonii, Siganus luridus; range extender: Sphoeroides pachygaster are considered to be invasive. The introduction pathway for 30 species is unknown. Amongst the alien species, ‘Shipping’ is the most common introduction pathway, followed by ‘Secondary dispersal’ from elsewhere in the Mediterranean Sea. An increasing trend in the number of alien marine species reported from the Maltese Islands is evident, with a peak of 22 species recorded during the last decade (2001–2010. A discussion on the rationale for including range-expanding species in national inventories of recent arrivals, and in the analysis of trends in records from the Maltese Islands, is included. In particular, the general warming trend of Mediterranean surface waters appears to be facilitating the westward spread of thermophilic alien species from the Eastern to the Central Mediterranean, and the eastward range expansion of

  14. Comparing the Gibraltar and Calabrian subduction zones (central western Mediterranean) based on seismic tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Argnani, Andrea; Battista Cimini, Giovanni; Frugoni, Francesco; Monna, Stephen; Montuori, Caterina

    2016-04-01

    The Central Western Mediterranean (CWM) was shaped by a complex tectonic and geodynamic evolution. Deep seismicity and tomographic studies point to the existence, under the Alboran and Tyrrhenian Seas, of lithospheric slabs extending down to the bottom of the mantle transition zone, at 660 km depth. Two narrow arcs correspond to the two slabs, the Gibraltar and Calabrian Arcs (e.g., Monna et al., 2013; Montuori et al., 2007). Similarities in the tectonic and mantle structure of the two areas have been explained by a common subduction and roll-back mechanism for the opening of the CWM, in which the two arcs are symmetrical end products. In spite of this unifying model, a wide amount of literature from different disciplines shows that many aspects of the two areas are still controversial. We present a new 3-D tomographic model at mantle scale for the Calabrian Arc and compare it with a recently published 3-D tomographic model for the Gibraltar Arc by Monna et al (2013). The two models are based on non-linear inversion of teleseismic phase arrivals, and have scale and parametrization that allow for a direct comparison. Unlike previous studies the tomographic models here presented include Ocean Bottom Seismometer broadband data, which improved the resolution of the mantle structures in the marine areas surrounding the arcs. We focus on key features of the two models that constrain reconstructions of the geodynamic evolution of the CWM (e.g., Monna et al., 2015). At Tortonian time the opening of the Tyrrhenian basin was in its initial stage, and the Calabrian arc formed subsequently; on the contrary, the Gibraltar arc was almost completely defined. We hypothesize that the complexity of the continental margin approaching the subduction zone played a key role during the final stages of the arc formation. References Monna, S., G. B. Cimini, C. Montuori, L. Matias, W. H. Geissler, and P. Favali (2013), New insights from seismic tomography on the complex geodynamic evolution

  15. The Mediterranean: A Corrupting Sea? A Review-Essay on Ecology and History, Anthropology and Synthesis

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bang, Peter Fibiger

    2004-01-01

    Historie, Mediterranean pre-industrial history, The Mediterranean, Ecological History, Economic History, Pre-industrial History, Finley, Ancient trade, Mediterranean unity......Historie, Mediterranean pre-industrial history, The Mediterranean, Ecological History, Economic History, Pre-industrial History, Finley, Ancient trade, Mediterranean unity...

  16. GHRSST Level 4 EUR Mediterranean Sea Regional Foundation Sea Surface Temperature Analysis (GDS version 2)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) Level 4 sea surface temperature analysis produced daily by Ifremer/CERSAT (France) using optimal...

  17. GHRSST Level 4 ODYSSEA Mediterranean Sea Regional Foundation Sea Surface Temperature Analysis (GDS version 1)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — A Group for High Resolution Sea Surface Temperature (GHRSST) Level 4 sea surface temperature analysis produced daily on an operational basis at Ifremer/CERSAT...

  18. Response of Rocky Reef Top Predators (Serranidae: Epinephelinae) in and Around Marine Protected Areas in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Carlos Werner Hackradt; José Antonio García-Charton; Mireille Harmelin-Vivien; Ángel Pérez-Ruzafa; Laurence Le Diréach; Just Bayle-Sempere; Eric Charbonnel; Denis Ody; Olga Reñones; Pablo Sanchez-Jerez; Carlos Valle

    2014-01-01

    Groupers species are extremely vulnerable to overfishing and many species are threatened worldwide. In recent decades, Mediterranean groupers experienced dramatic population declines. Marine protected areas (MPAs) can protect populations inside their boundaries and provide individuals to adjacent fishing areas through the process of spillover and larval export. This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of six marine reserves in the Western Mediterranean Sea to protect the populations of t...

  19. Is the distribution of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus ecotypes in the Mediterranean Sea affected by global warming?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mella-Flores, D.; Mazard, S.; Humily, F.; Partensky, F.; Mahé, F.; Bariat, L.; Courties, C.; Marie, D.; Ras, J.; Mauriac, R.; Jeanthon, C.; Mahdi Bendif, E.; Ostrowski, M.; Scanlan, D. J.; Garczarek, L.

    2011-09-01

    Biological communities populating the Mediterranean Sea, which is situated at the northern boundary of the subtropics, are often claimed to be particularly affected by global warming. This is indicated, for instance, by the introduction of (sub)tropical species of fish or invertebrates that can displace local species. This raises the question of whether microbial communities are similarly affected, especially in the Levantine basin where sea surface temperatures have significantly risen over the last 25 years (0.50 ± 0.11 °C in average per decade, P libraries of the 16S-23S ribosomal DNA Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS) region, with a focus on the abundance of clades that may constitute bioindicators of warm waters. During both cruises, the dominant Prochlorococcus clade in the upper mixed layer at all stations was HLI, a clade typical of temperate waters, whereas the HLII clade, the dominant group in (sub)tropical waters, was only present at very low concentrations. The Synechococcus community was dominated by clades I, III and IV in the northwestern waters of the Gulf of Lions and by clade III and groups genetically related to clades WPC1 and VI in the rest of the Mediterranean Sea. In contrast, only a few sequences of clade II, a group typical of warm waters, were observed. These data indicate that local cyanobacterial populations have not yet been displaced by their (sub)tropical counterparts.

  20. Biogeochemical regions of the Mediterranean Sea: An objective multidimensional and multivariate environmental approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reygondeau, Gabriel; Guieu, Cécile; Benedetti, Fabio; Irisson, Jean-Olivier; Ayata, Sakina-Dorothée; Gasparini, Stéphane; Koubbi, Philippe

    2017-02-01

    When dividing the ocean, the aim is generally to summarise a complex system into a representative number of units, each representing a specific environment, a biological community or a socio-economical specificity. Recently, several geographical partitions of the global ocean have been proposed using statistical approaches applied to remote sensing or observations gathered during oceanographic cruises. Such geographical frameworks defined at a macroscale appear hardly applicable to characterise the biogeochemical features of semi-enclosed seas that are driven by smaller-scale chemical and physical processes. Following the Longhurst's biogeochemical partitioning of the pelagic realm, this study investigates the environmental divisions of the Mediterranean Sea using a large set of environmental parameters. These parameters were informed in the horizontal and the vertical dimensions to provide a 3D spatial framework for environmental management (12 regions found for the epipelagic, 12 for the mesopelagic, 13 for the bathypelagic and 26 for the seafloor). We show that: (1) the contribution of the longitudinal environmental gradient to the biogeochemical partitions decreases with depth; (2) the partition of the surface layer cannot be extrapolated to other vertical layers as the partition is driven by a different set of environmental variables. This new partitioning of the Mediterranean Sea has strong implications for conservation as it highlights that management must account for the differences in zoning with depth at a regional scale.

  1. Climate change and the potential spreading of marine mucilage and microbial pathogens in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Roberto Danovaro

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Marine snow (small amorphous aggregates with colloidal properties is present in all oceans of the world. Surface water warming and the consequent increase of water column stability can favour the coalescence of marine snow into marine mucilage, large marine aggregates representing an ephemeral and extreme habitat. Marine mucilage characterize aquatic systems with altered environmental conditions. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We investigated, by means of molecular techniques, viruses and prokaryotes within the mucilage and in surrounding seawater to examine the potential of mucilage to host new microbial diversity and/or spread marine diseases. We found that marine mucilage contained a large and unexpectedly exclusive microbial biodiversity and hosted pathogenic species that were absent in surrounding seawater. We also investigated the relationship between climate change and the frequency of mucilage in the Mediterranean Sea over the last 200 years and found that the number of mucilage outbreaks increased almost exponentially in the last 20 years. The increasing frequency of mucilage outbreaks is closely associated with the temperature anomalies. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: We conclude that the spreading of mucilage in the Mediterranean Sea is linked to climate-driven sea surface warming. The mucilage can act as a controlling factor of microbial diversity across wide oceanic regions and could have the potential to act as a carrier of specific microorganisms, thereby increasing the spread of pathogenic bacteria.

  2. Multidisciplinary oil spill modeling to protect coastal communities and the environment of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Tiago M.; Kokinou, Eleni; Zodiatis, George; Radhakrishnan, Hari; Panagiotakis, Costas; Lardner, Robin

    2016-11-01

    We present new mathematical and geological models to assist civil protection authorities in the mitigation of potential oil spill accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Oil spill simulations for 19 existing offshore wells were carried out based on novel and high resolution bathymetric, meteorological, oceanographic, and geomorphological data. The simulations show a trend for east and northeast movement of oil spills into the Levantine Basin, affecting the coastal areas of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Oil slicks will reach the coast in 1 to 20 days, driven by the action of the winds, currents and waves. By applying a qualitative analysis, seabed morphology is for the first time related to the direction of the oil slick expansion, as it is able to alter the movement of sea currents. Specifically, the direction of the major axis of the oil spills, in most of the cases examined, is oriented according to the prevailing azimuth of bathymetric features. This work suggests that oil spills in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea should be mitigated in the very few hours after their onset, and before wind and currents disperse them. We explain that protocols should be prioritized between neighboring countries to mitigate any oil spills.

  3. Implementation and validation of a coastal forecasting system for wind waves in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Inghilesi

    2012-02-01

    Full Text Available A coastal forecasting system was implemented to provide wind wave forecasts over the whole Mediterranean Sea area, and with the added capability to focus on selected coastal areas. The goal of the system was to achieve a representation of the small-scale coastal processes influencing the propagation of waves towards the coasts. The system was based on a chain of nested wave models and adopted the WAve Model (WAM to analyse the large-scale, deep-sea propagation of waves; and the Simulating WAves Nearshore (SWAN to simulate waves in key coastal areas. Regional intermediate-scale WAM grids were introduced to bridge the gap between the large-scale and each coastal area. Even applying two consecutive nestings (Mediterranean grid → regional grid → coastal grid, a very high resolution was still required for the large scale WAM implementation in order to get a final resolution of about 400 m on the shores. In this study three regional areas in the Tyrrhenian Sea were selected, with a single coastal area embedded in each of them. The number of regional and coastal grids in the system could easily be modified without significantly affecting the efficiency of the system. The coastal system was tested in three Italian coastal regions in order to optimize the numerical parameters and to check the results in orographically complex zones for which wave records were available. Fifteen storm events in the period 2004–2009 were considered.

  4. Multidisciplinary oil spill modeling to protect coastal communities and the environment of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alves, Tiago M; Kokinou, Eleni; Zodiatis, George; Radhakrishnan, Hari; Panagiotakis, Costas; Lardner, Robin

    2016-11-10

    We present new mathematical and geological models to assist civil protection authorities in the mitigation of potential oil spill accidents in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Oil spill simulations for 19 existing offshore wells were carried out based on novel and high resolution bathymetric, meteorological, oceanographic, and geomorphological data. The simulations show a trend for east and northeast movement of oil spills into the Levantine Basin, affecting the coastal areas of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Oil slicks will reach the coast in 1 to 20 days, driven by the action of the winds, currents and waves. By applying a qualitative analysis, seabed morphology is for the first time related to the direction of the oil slick expansion, as it is able to alter the movement of sea currents. Specifically, the direction of the major axis of the oil spills, in most of the cases examined, is oriented according to the prevailing azimuth of bathymetric features. This work suggests that oil spills in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea should be mitigated in the very few hours after their onset, and before wind and currents disperse them. We explain that protocols should be prioritized between neighboring countries to mitigate any oil spills.

  5. Hydrography in the Mediterranean Sea during a cruise with RV POSEIDON in April 2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Hainbucher

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available We report on data from an oceanographic cruise in the Mediterranean Sea on the German research vessel POSEIDON in April 2014. Data were taken on a west–east section starting at the Strait of Gibraltar and ending south-east of Crete as well on sections in the Ionian and Adriatic Sea. The objectives of the cruise were twofold; long-term variations of the Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW and the deep water masses of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea were investigated. The measurements include salinity, temperature, oxygen and currents and were conducted with a CTD/rosette system, an underway CTD and an ADCP. The sections are on tracks which have been sampled during several other cruises, thus supporting the opportunity to investigate the long term temporal development of the different variables. The use of an underway CTD made it possible to conduct measurements of temperature and salinity with a high resolution of 6 nm and a vertical resolution of 1 dbar for the upper 800 m of the water column.

  6. Artificial radionuclides in a high resolution water column profile from the Catalan Sea (the Northwestern Mediterranean)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Merino, J.; Sanchez-Cabeza, J.A.; Bruach, J.M.; Masque, P.; Pujol, Ll. [Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Bellatera (Spain). Grup de Fisica de les Radiacions

    1997-12-31

    {sup 137}Cs, {sup 239,240}Pu and {sup 90}Sr concentration profiles (0-1200 m) were determined in filtered large volume water samples collected from the Catalan Sea (the Northwestern Mediterranean) in August 1993. Plutonium isotopes were also measured in the suspended matter. {sup 137}Cs concentrations showed a maximum surface activity of 4.45 {+-} 0.38 Bq m{sup -3} and decreased along the water column to a minimum value. The total {sup 137}Cs inventory in the water column was 3.30 {+-} 0.13 kBq m{sup -2}. {sup 90}Sr concentration profile showed a similar behaviour, but levels rose slightly near the bottom. On the other hand, soluble {sup 239,240}Pu concentrations showed a broad subsurface maximum centered at about 400 m depth, where its maximum value was found. This observation is in agreement with that found by others in open ocean waters of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea. The soluble {sup 239,240}Pu inventory was 17.4 {+-} 0.5 Bq m{sup -2}. In comparison with the inventories reported earlier, the vertical flux of plutonium was determined to be 1.97 {+-} 0.14 Bq m{sup -2} y{sup -1}, roughly 10% of the annual standing inventory. This indicated that {sup 239,240}Pu may be used to trace particulate vertical transport processes in open sea waters. (author) 21 refs.

  7. Biodiversity of the white coral bank off Cape Santa Maria di Leuca (Mediterranean Sea): An update

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mastrototaro, F.; D'Onghia, G.; Corriero, G.; Matarrese, A.; Maiorano, P.; Panetta, P.; Gherardi, M.; Longo, C.; Rosso, A.; Sciuto, F.; Sanfilippo, R.; Gravili, C.; Boero, F.; Taviani, M.; Tursi, A.

    2010-03-01

    The biodiversity of the Santa Maria di Leuca (SML) coral bank is summarized and its description is updated using data collected by means of underwater video systems, benthic samplers and fishing gears. A total of 222 living species have been recorded within the coral bank area in the depth range 280-1121 m. The most abundant benthic taxa recorded are Porifera (36 species) followed by Mollusca (35) and Cnidaria (31). The scleractinian corals Madrepora oculata and Lophelia pertusa are the main colonial species in the structure of the SML bank. Annelida, Crustacea and Bryozoa have been found with 24, 23 and 19 species, respectively. A total of 40 species of demersal fish have been recorded. Other faunal taxa were found with small numbers of species. One hundred and thirty-five species are new for the SML bank, 31 of which represent new records for the north-western Ionian Sea (2 Porifera, 17 Cnidaria, 1 Mollusca, 3 Annelida, 2 Crustacea, 4 Bryozoa and 4 Echinodermata). The finding of the annelid Harmothoë vesiculosa represents the first record for the Mediterranean Sea. The SML coral bank represents a biodiversity "hot-spot" on the bathyal bottoms of the Mediterranean Sea.

  8. Observing System Simulation Experiments for the assessment of temperature sampling strategies in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Raicich

    Full Text Available For the first time in the Mediterranean Sea various temperature sampling strategies are studied and compared to each other by means of the Observing System Simulation Experiment technique. Their usefulness in the framework of the Mediterranean Forecasting System (MFS is assessed by quantifying their impact in a Mediterranean General Circulation Model in numerical twin experiments via univariate data assimilation of temperature profiles in summer and winter conditions. Data assimilation is performed by means of the optimal interpolation algorithm implemented in the SOFA (System for Ocean Forecasting and Analysis code. The sampling strategies studied here include various combinations of eXpendable BathyThermograph (XBT profiles collected along Volunteer Observing Ship (VOS tracks, Airborne XBTs (AXBTs and sea surface temperatures. The actual sampling strategy adopted in the MFS Pilot Project during the Targeted Operational Period (TOP, winter-spring 2000 is also studied.

    The data impact is quantified by the error reduction relative to the free run. The most effective sampling strategies determine 25–40% error reduction, depending on the season, the geographic area and the depth range. A qualitative relationship can be recognized in terms of the spread of information from the data positions, between basin circulation features and spatial patterns of the error reduction fields, as a function of different spatial and seasonal characteristics of the dynamics. The largest error reductions are observed when samplings are characterized by extensive spatial coverages, as in the cases of AXBTs and the combination of XBTs and surface temperatures. The sampling strategy adopted during the TOP is characterized by little impact, as a consequence of a sampling frequency that is too low.

    Key words. Oceanography: general (marginal and semi-enclosed seas; numerical modelling

  9. Is the distribution of Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus ecotypes in the Mediterranean Sea affected by global warming?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Ostrowski

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Biological communities populating the Mediterranean Sea, which is situated at the northern boundary of the subtropics, are often claimed to be particularly affected by global warming. This is indicated, for instance, by the introduction of (subtropical species of fish or invertebrates that can displace local species. This raises the question of whether microbial communities are similarly affected, especially in the Levantine basin where sea surface temperatures have risen in recent years. In this paper, the genetic diversity of the two most abundant members of the phytoplankton community, the picocyanobacteria Prochlorococcus and Synechococcus, was examined on a transect from the South coast of France to Cyprus in the summer of 2008 (BOUM cruise. Diversity was studied using dot blot hybridization with clade-specific 16S rRNA oligonucleotide probes and clone libraries of the 16S–23S ribosomal DNA Internal Transcribed Spacer (ITS region. Data were compared with those obtained during the PROSOPE cruise held almost a decade earlier, with a focus on the abundance of clades that may constitute bioindicators of warm waters. During both cruises, the dominant Prochlorococcus clade in the upper mixed layer at all stations was HLI, a clade typical of temperate waters, whereas the HLII clade, the dominant group in (subtropical waters, was only present at very low concentrations. The Synechococcus community was dominated by clades I, III and IV in the northwestern waters of the Gulf of Lions and by clade III and groups genetically related to clades WPC1 and VI in the rest of the Mediterranean Sea. In contrast, only a few sequences of clade II, a group typical of warm waters, were observed. These data indicate that local cyanobacterial populations have not yet been displaced by their (subtropical counterparts. This is discussed in the context of the low phosphorus concentrations found in surface waters in the eastern Mediterranean basin, as this may

  10. New insights into the organic carbon export in the Mediterranean Sea from 3-D modeling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Guyennon

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea is one of the most oligotrophic regions of the oceans, and nutrients have been shown to limit both phytoplankton and bacterial activities. This has direct implications on the stock of dissolved organic carbon (DOC, whose high variability has already been well-documented even if measurements are still sparse and are associated with important uncertainties. We here propose a Mediterranean Basin-scale view of the export of organic carbon, under its dissolved and particulate forms. For this purpose, we have used a coupled model combining a mechanistic biogeochemical model (Eco3M-MED and a high-resolution (eddy-resolving hydrodynamic simulation (NEMO-MED12. This is the first Basin-scale application of the biogeochemical model Eco3M-MED and is shown to reproduce the main spatial and seasonal biogeochemical characteristics of the Mediterranean Sea. Model estimations of carbon export are of the same order of magnitude as estimations from in situ observations, and their respective spatial patterns are consistent with each other. As for surface chlorophyll, nutrient concentrations, and productivity, strong differences between the Western and Eastern Basins are evidenced by the model for organic carbon export, with only 39% of organic carbon (particulate and dissolved export taking place in the Western Basin. The major result is that except for the Alboran Sea, dissolved organic carbon (DOC contribution to organic carbon export is higher than that of particulate (POC in the whole Basin, especially in the Eastern Basin. This paper also investigates the seasonality of DOC and POC exports as well as the differences in the processes involved in DOC and POC exports.

  11. Integrated survey of elemental stoichiometry (C, N, P from the Western to Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pujo-Pay

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides an extensive vertical and longitudinal description of the biogeochemistry in the whole Mediterranean Sea during the summer 2008. During this strong stratified period, the distribution of nutrients, particulate and dissolved organic carbon (DOC, nitrogen (DON and phosphorus (DOP were investigated along a 3000 km transect (BOUM cruise crossing the Western and Eastern Mediterranean basins. The partitioning of chemical C, N and P species among all these mineral and organic pools has been analysed to produce a detailed spatial and vertical extended examination of the elemental stoichiometry. Surface Mediterranean waters were depleted in nutrients and the thickness of this depleted layer increased towards the East from about 10 m in the Gulf of Lion to more than 100 m in the Levantine basin, concomitantly to the gradual deepening of the thermocline and nutriclines. We used threshold in oxygen concentration to discriminate the water column in three layers; surface (Biogenic Layer BL, intermediate (Mineralization Layer ML, and deep layer (DL and to propose a schematic representation of biogeochemical fluxes between the different compartments and to compare the functioning of the two basins. The stoichiometry revealed a clear longitudinal and vertical gradient in the mineral fraction with a P-depletion evidenced on both dimension. As a consequence of the severe deficiency in phosphorus, the C:N:P ratios in all pools within the BL largely exceed the Redfield ratios. Despite these gradients, the deep estimated fluxes in the mineral compartment tend towards the canonical Redfield values in both basins. A change in particulate matter composition has been evidenced by a C increase relative to N and P along the whole water column in the western basin and between BL and ML in the eastern one. More surprisingly, a decrease in N relative to P with depth was encountered in the whole Mediterranean Sea. We suggest that there was a more rapid

  12. Electronic tagging of Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus, L. reveals habitat use and behaviors in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pablo Cermeño

    Full Text Available We analyzed the movements of Atlantic tuna (Thunnus thynnus L. in the Mediterranean Sea using data from 2 archival tags and 37 pop-up satellite archival tags (PAT. Bluefin tuna ranging in size from 12 to 248 kg were tagged on board recreational boats in the western Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea between May and September during two different periods (2000 to 2001 and 2008 to 2012. Although tuna migrations between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean have been well reported, our results indicate that part of the bluefin tuna population remains in the Mediterranean basin for much of the year, revealing a more complex population structure. In this study we demonstrate links between the western Mediterranean, the Adriatic and the Gulf of Sidra (Libya using over 4336 recorded days of location and behavior data from tagged bluefin tuna with a maximum track length of 394 days. We described the oceanographic preferences and horizontal behaviors during the spawning season for 4 adult bluefin tuna. We also analyzed the time series data that reveals the vertical behavior of one pop-up satellite tag recovered, which was attached to a 43.9 kg tuna. This fish displayed a unique diving pattern within 16 days of the spawning season, suggesting a use of the thermocline as a thermoregulatory mechanism compatible with spawning. The results obtained hereby confirm that the Mediterranean is clearly an important habitat for this species, not only as spawning ground, but also as an overwintering foraging ground.

  13. The dispersal of ash during explosive eruptions from central volcanoes and calderas: an underestimated hazard for the central Mediterranean area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sulpizio, Roberto [CIRISIVU, c/o Dipartimento Geomineralogico, via Orabona 4, 70125, Bari (Italy); Caron, Benoit; Zanchetta, Giovanni; Santacroce, Roberto [Dipartimento di Scienze della Terra, via S. Maria 53, 56126, Pisa (Italy); Giaccio, Biagio [Istituto di Geologia Ambientale e Geoingegneria, CNR, Via Bolognola 7, 00138 Rome (Italy); Paterne, Martine [LSCE, Laboratoire Mixte CEA-CNRS-UVSQ, Avenue de la Terrasse 91198 Gif-sur-Yvette Cedex (France); Siani, Giuseppe [IDES-UMR 8148, Universite Paris-XI, 91405 Orsay Cedex (France)], E-mail: r.sulpizio@geomin.uniba.it

    2008-10-01

    The central Mediterranean area comprises some of the most active volcanoes of the northern hemisphere. Some of their names recall myths or events in human history: Somma-Vesuvius, Etna, Stromboli, Vulcano, Ischia and Campi Flegrei. These volcanoes are still active today, and produce both effusive and explosive eruptions. In particular, explosive eruptions can produce and disperse large amount of volcanic ash, which pose a threat to environment, economy and human health over a large part of the Mediterranean area. We present and discuss data of ash dispersal from some explosive eruptions of southern Italy volcanoes, which dispersed centimetre -thick ash blankets hundred of kilometres from the source, irrespective of the more limited dispersal of the respective coarse grained fallout and PDC deposits. The collected data also highlight the major role played by lower atmosphere winds in dispersal of ash from weak plumes and ash clouds that accompany PDC emplacement.

  14. Paleoenvironmental imprint on subseafloor microbial communities in Western Mediterranean Sea Quaternary sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.-C. Ciobanu

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available An interdisciplinary study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between geological and paleontological parameters and the bacterial and archaeal community structure of two contrasted subseafloor sites in the Western Mediterranean Sea (Ligurian Sea and Gulf of Lions. Since both depositional environments were well-documented in this area, large data-sets were available and allowed to calibrate the investigated cores with several reference and dated cores previously collected in the same area, and notably correlated to Quaternary climate variations. Molecular-based fingerprints showed that the Ligurian Sea sediments, characterized by an heterolithic facies with numerous turbidites from a deep-sea levee, were unexpectedly dominated by Betaproteobacteria (more than 70 %, at the base of the core mainly below five meters in the sediment. Analysis of relative betaproteobacterial abundances and turbidites frequency indicated that the microbial diversity was controlled by the important climatic changes occurring during the last 20 ka. This result was supported by statistical direct multivariate canonical correspondence analyses (CCA. In contrast, the Gulf of Lions core, characterized by a homogeneous lithology of upper-slope environment, was dominated by the Bacteroidetes group and in a lesser extent, by the Betaproteobacteria group. At both sites, the dominance of Betaproteobacteria coincided with increased terrestrial inputs, as confirmed by the geochemical measurements (Si, Sr, Ti and Ca. In the Gulf of Lions, geochemical parameters were also found to drive microbial community composition. Taken together, our data suggest that the palaeoenvironmental history of erosion and deposition recorded in the Western-Mediterranean Sea sediments has left its imprint on the structure/composition of the microbial communities during the late Quaternary.

  15. Macro- and megafauna recorded in the submarine Bari Canyon (southern Adriatic, Mediterranean Sea using different tools

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. D'ONGHIA

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Macro- and megafauna were recorded in the submarine Bari Canyon (southern Adriatic Sea, Mediterranean Sea during an oceanographic cruise carried out in May-June 2012 and an experimental fishing survey conducted in November 2013. During the former, a total of 20 benthic samples were taken using a Van Veen grab at depths between 268 and 770 m and 4 deployments of a baited lander, for about 43 hours of video records, were carried out at depths between 443 and 788 m. During the latter, 8 longline fishing operations were conducted from 338 down to 612 m. Eighty-five living benthic and benthopelagic species were recorded: 29 Porifera, 1 Cnidaria, 2 Mollusca, 11 Annelida, 1 Arthropoda, 19 Bryozoa, 3 Echinodermata and 19 Chordata. A total of 51 species are new records for the Bari Canyon, 29 new records for the Adriatic Sea. Among the Porifera Cerbaris curvispiculifer is a new addition for the Italian Sponge Fauna. The first certain record of living specimens for the bryozoan Crisia tenella longinodata is reported. A total of 6 Mediterranean endemic species have been identified: 4 Porifera and 2 Annelida. The bathymetric range of some species has been extended. New information acquired for deep sea species confirms their importance in the structure of cold-water coral communities. This study has updated the knowledge on the biodiversity of the Adriatic Sea, as well as of the Bari Canyon in particular, one of the sites designated as “jewels of the Mediterranean” for which urgent conservation measures are needed.

  16. Design of integrated and co-ordinated multimodal transport systems – North SeaMediterranean corridor

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Phil MORTIMER

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The paper discusses the North SeaMediterranean corridor, part of the Trans-European transport network. A brief discussion on the aspects of multimodality and the possible modes of transport involved in transporting inland freight is presented followed by an introduction to main IT systems that can be implemented to increase the efficiency of freight transport. Presented also is a description on the envisaged investments in freight corridors in Europe. An assessment of information flows is also offered. The study concludes that the concept of a freight corridor should be extended to a network in order for more global benefits to be experienced.

  17. Towards Acoustic Detection of UHE Neutrinos in the Mediterranean Sea - The AMADEUS Project in ANTARES

    CERN Document Server

    Graf, K; Hoessl, J; Kappes, A; Katz, U F; Lahmann, R; Naumann, C; Salomon, K

    2007-01-01

    The acoustic detection method is a promising option for future neutrino telescopes operating in the ultra-high energy regime. It utilises the effect that a cascade evolving from a neutrino interaction generates a sound wave, and is applicable in different target materials like water, ice and salt. Described here are the developments in and the plans for the research on acoustic particle detection in water performed by the ANTARES group at the University of Erlangen within the framework of the ANTARES experiment in the Mediterranean Sea. A set of acoustic sensors will be integrated into this optical neutrino telescope to test acoustic particle detection methods and perform background studies.

  18. Loss or gain? Invasive aliens and biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galil, B.S. [National Institute of Oceanography, Israel Oceanographic and Limnological Research, POB 8030, Haifa 31080 (Israel)]. E-mail: galil@post.tau.ac.il

    2007-07-01

    More than 500 alien species were listed from the Mediterranean Sea. Though no extinction of a native species is known, sudden decline in abundance, and even local extirpations, concurrent with proliferation of aliens, had been recorded. Examination of the profound ecological impacts of some of the most conspicuous invasive alien species underscores their role, among multiple anthropogenic stressors, in altering the infralittoral communities. Local population losses and niche contraction of native species may not induce immediate extirpation, but they augur reduction of genetic diversity, loss of functions, processes, and habitat structure, increase the risk of decline and extinction, and lead to biotic homogenization. The relevant environmental policy and management framework is discussed.

  19. Is coccolithophore distribution in the Mediterranean Sea related to seawater carbonate chemistry?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oviedo, A.; Ziveri, P.; Álvarez, M.; Tanhua, T.

    2015-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea is considered a "hot spot" for climate change, being characterized by oligotrophic to ultra-oligotrophic waters and rapidly increasing seasurface temperature and changing carbonate chemistry. Coccolithophores are considered a dominant phytoplankton group in these waters. As marine calcifying organisms they are expected to respond to the ongoing changes in seawater carbonate chemistry. We provide here a description of the springtime coccolithophore distribution in the Mediterranean Sea and relate this to a broad set of in situ-measured environmental variables. Samples were taken during the R/V Meteor (M84/3) oceanographic cruise in April 2011, between 0 and 100 m water depth from 28 stations. Total diatom and silicoflagellate cell concentrations are also presented. Our results highlight the importance of seawater carbonate chemistry, especially [CO32-] but also [PO43-] in unraveling the distribution of heterococcolithophores, the most abundant coccolithophore life phase. Holo- and heterococcolithophores respond differently to environmental factors. For instance, changes in heterococcolithophore assemblages were best linked to the combination of [CO32-], pH, and salinity (ρ = 0.57), although salinity might be not functionally related to coccolithophore assemblage distribution. Holococcolithophores, on the other hand, showed higher abundances and species diversity in oligotrophic areas (best fit, ρ = 0.32 for nutrients), thriving in nutrient-depleted waters. Clustering of heterococcolithophores revealed three groups of species sharing more than 65% similarities. These clusters could be assigned to the eastern and western basins and deeper layers (below 50 m), respectively. In addition, the species Gephyrocapsa oceanica, G. muellerae, and Emiliania huxleyi morphotype B/C are spatially distributed together and trace the influx of Atlantic waters into the Mediterranean Sea. The results of the present work emphasize the importance of considering

  20. The possible designation of the Mediterranean Sea as a SECA: A case study

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Panagakos, George P.; Stamatopoulou, Eirini V.; Psaraftis, Harilaos N.

    2014-01-01

    In view of the ongoing discussions concerning the possible designation of the Mediterranean Sea as a Sulphur Emission Control Area (SECA), a modal split model was applied to a case involving the transportation of consolidated cargoes between Thessaloniki, Greece and industrial hubs of northern.......1%. However, the environmental implications of the resulting modal choices, calculated through the EcoTransIT World web based tool, are positive in relation to all emissions examined. This is attributed to the longer distance of the combined-transport option in comparison to the road-only one and, the poor...

  1. Vertical distribution of radiocaesium, plutonium and americium in the Catalan Sea (northwestern Mediterranean)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Molero, J.; Sanchez-Cabeza, J.A.; Merino, J.; Pujol, Ll.; Vidal-Quadras, A. [Universidad Autonoma de Barcelona (Spain). Facultad de Ciencias; Mitchell, P.I. [University Coll., Dublin (Ireland). Lab. of Radiation Physics

    1995-07-01

    Caesium-137, {sup 239,240}Pu and {sup 241}Am concentration profiles (0-1000 m) have been determined in unfiltered large volume water samples collected from the Catalan Sea (northwestern Mediterranean). Results showed that radiocaesium concentration decreases quickly through the water column while the transuranic concentration increases with depth, showing a faster migration to the bottom layers. Comparing our results with those reported by other authors (1975-1980), radiocaesium input from Chernobyl releases has been identified through the profile. In addition, transuranic concentrations have decreased considerably in the different layers of the profile. (Author).

  2. Atmospheric patterns driving Holocene productivity in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean): a multiproxy approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ausin, Blanca; Flores, Jose-Abel; Sierro, Francisco Javier; Cacho, Isabel; Hernández-Almeida, Iván; Martrat, Belén; Grimalt, Joan

    2014-05-01

    This study is aimed to reconstruct productivity during the Holocene in the Western Mediterranean as well as to investigate what processes account for its short-term variability. Fossil coccolithophore assemblages have been studied along with Mg/Ca and Uk'37-estimated Sea Surface Temperature (SST) and other paleoenvironmental proxies. The study site is located in a semi-permanent area of upwelling in the Alboran Sea. This productive cell is of special interest since is closely related to local hydrological dynamics driven by the entering Atlantic Jet (AJ). The onset of this productive cell is suggested at 7.7 ka cal. B.P. and linked to the establishment of the anticyclonic gyres. From 7.7 ka cal. BP to present, the N ratio and accumulation rate of Florisphaera profunda show successive upwelling and stratification events. This alternation is simultaneous to changes in the Western Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW) formation rate in the Gulf of Lions [Frigola et al., 2007], along with changes in Mg/Ca-estimated SST, relative abundance of reworked nannoliths, pollen grains record [Fletcher et al., 2012] and n-hexacosan-1-ol index. Two scenarios are proposed to explain short-term climatic and oceanographic variability: [1] Wetter climate and weaker north-westerlies blowing over the Gulf of Lions trigger a slackening of the WMDW formation. Consequently, a minor AJ inflows the Alboran Sea leading to less vertical mixing and a deepening of the nutricline and hence, long-term stratification events. [2] Arid climate and stronger north-westerlies enable WMDW reinforcement. In turn, increased AJ triggers vertical mixing and nutricline shoaling, and therefore, productive periods. Finally, changes in atmospheric patterns (e.g. the winter North Atlantic Oscillation; [Olsen et al., 2012]) prove to be useful in explaining the WMDW formation in the Gulf of Lions and associated short-term productivity variations in the Alboran Sea. References Fletcher, W. J., M. Debret, and M. F

  3. Hydrogen peroxide in deep waters from the Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopwood, Mark J.; Rapp, Insa; Schlosser, Christian; Achterberg, Eric P.

    2017-03-01

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is present ubiquitously in marine surface waters where it is a reactive intermediate in the cycling of many trace elements. Photochemical processes are considered the dominant natural H2O2 source, yet cannot explain nanomolar H2O2 concentrations below the photic zone. Here, we determined the concentration of H2O2 in full depth profiles across three ocean basins (Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans). To determine the accuracy of H2O2 measurements in the deep ocean we also re-assessed the contribution of interfering species to ‘apparent H2O2’, as analysed by the luminol based chemiluminescence technique. Within the vicinity of coastal oxygen minimum zones, accurate measurement of H2O2 was not possible due to interference from Fe(II). Offshore, in deep (>1000 m) waters H2O2 concentrations ranged from 0.25 ± 0.27 nM (Mediterranean, Balearics-Algeria) to 2.9 ± 2.2 nM (Mediterranean, Corsica-France). Our results indicate that a dark, pelagic H2O2 production mechanism must occur throughout the deep ocean. A bacterial source of H2O2 is the most likely origin and we show that this source is likely sufficient to account for all of the observed H2O2 in the deep ocean.

  4. Hydrogen peroxide in deep waters from the Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopwood, Mark J.; Rapp, Insa; Schlosser, Christian; Achterberg, Eric P.

    2017-01-01

    Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is present ubiquitously in marine surface waters where it is a reactive intermediate in the cycling of many trace elements. Photochemical processes are considered the dominant natural H2O2 source, yet cannot explain nanomolar H2O2 concentrations below the photic zone. Here, we determined the concentration of H2O2 in full depth profiles across three ocean basins (Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic and South Pacific Oceans). To determine the accuracy of H2O2 measurements in the deep ocean we also re-assessed the contribution of interfering species to ‘apparent H2O2’, as analysed by the luminol based chemiluminescence technique. Within the vicinity of coastal oxygen minimum zones, accurate measurement of H2O2 was not possible due to interference from Fe(II). Offshore, in deep (>1000 m) waters H2O2 concentrations ranged from 0.25 ± 0.27 nM (Mediterranean, Balearics-Algeria) to 2.9 ± 2.2 nM (Mediterranean, Corsica-France). Our results indicate that a dark, pelagic H2O2 production mechanism must occur throughout the deep ocean. A bacterial source of H2O2 is the most likely origin and we show that this source is likely sufficient to account for all of the observed H2O2 in the deep ocean. PMID:28266529

  5. Ozone over the Western Mediterranean Sea – results from two years of shipborne measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Velchev

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Ozone, along with other air pollutants, has been measured for two years from a monitoring station placed on a cruise ship that follows a regular track in the Western Mediterranean between April and October. Conditions favouring high ozone levels have been studied by analysis of weather maps and back trajectories. This analysis was focused on a transect over the open sea in the South Western Mediterranean between Tunis and Palma de Mallorca. High ozone levels were found in situations with an anticyclonic circulation over the Western Mediterranean when subsidence brings air masses down from altitudes between 1000 and 3500 m a.s.l. Analysis of composite meteorological maps suggests a relevant contribution of breeze circulation to subsidence during events with high surface ozone concentrations; this points to an important contribution from local ozone formation. A detailed back trajectory analysis of the origin of air masses with high ozone concentrations was carried out for two "hot spots" for ozone pollution, in the Gulf of Genoa and between Naples and Palermo, respectively. The main cause of high ozone levels in the Gulf of Genoa was found to be outflow from the Po Valley and the Genoa area while such episodes along the Naples-Palermo transect were most often associated with trajectories from the Rome or Naples areas. Analysis of the relationship between measured concentrations of Black Carbon and ozone allowed to evaluate the degree of photochemical "ageing" of the air masses encountered along the route of the cruise ship.

  6. Ozone over the Western Mediterranean Sea – results from two years of shipborne measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Velchev

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Ozone, along with other air pollutants, has been measured for two years from a monitoring station placed on a cruise ship that follows a regular track in the Western Mediterranean between April and October. Conditions favoring high ozone levels have been studied by analysis of weather maps and back trajectories. This analysis was focused on a transect over the open sea in the South Western Mediterranean between Tunis and Palma de Mallorca. High ozone levels were found in situations with an anticyclonic circulation over the Western Mediterranean when subsidence brings air masses down from altitudes between 1000 and 3500 m a.s.l. Analysis of composite meteorological maps suggest a relevant contribution of breeze circulation to subsidence during events with high surface ozone concentrations; this points to an important contribution from local ozone formation. A detailed back trajectory analysis of the origin of air masses with high ozone concentrations was carried out for two "hot spots" for ozone pollution, found along the coast south of Genova and between Napoli and Palermo, respectively. While it was found that the influence of plumes from areas with high pollutant levels might explain most episodes in the Northwestern transect, such "local" influences appeared to be of minor importance within the Napoli-Palermo transect.

  7. On the Impacts of Different Surface Forcing Regimes for Deep Water Formation in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Josey, S.; Tsimplis, M.; Gomis, D.; Ruiz, S.; Marcos, M.; Somot, S.

    2009-04-01

    Deep water formation is known to occur at 3 major sites (the Gulf of Lions, Adriatic and Aegean Seas) in the Mediterranean basin. However, the role played by air-sea interaction in setting the frequency and strength of formation events (including major transient episodes such as that experienced in the Aegean sea in the early 1990s) is not well understood. We will explore this relationship using air-sea heat, freshwater and density flux fields, including output from downscaled versions (HIPOCAS and ARPERA) of the NCEP/NCAR and ECMWF reanalyses. The downscaled fields reveal small scale forcing features (including jet-like structures over the dense water formation sites) that are not present in the coarser resolution reanalysis datasets. They also show greater variability in the forcing of the Aegean and the Gulf of Lions than the Adriatic Sea. The differences between the forcing distributions of the Aegean and Adriatic will be discussed in detail and will be advanced as a potential cause for variations in frequency of dense water formation in these two regions.

  8. Environmental security of the coastal seafloor in the sea ports and waterways of the Mediterranean region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Obhodas, Jasmina, E-mail: jobhodas@irb.h [Institute Ruder Boskovic, Bijenicka c.54, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Valkovic, Vladivoj [A.C.T.d.o.o., Prilesje 4, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Sudac, Davorin [Institute Ruder Boskovic, Bijenicka c.54, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Matika, Dario [Institute for Researches and Development of Defense Systems, Ilica 256b, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia); Pavic, Ivica [Ministry of Defense, Croatian Navy, Dubrovacka 49, 21000 Split (Croatia); Kollar, Robert [A.C.T.d.o.o., Prilesje 4, 10000 Zagreb (Croatia)

    2010-07-21

    The Mediterranean coastal seafloor is littered with man-made objects and materials, including a variety of ammunition in many areas. In addition, sediments in ports, harbors and marinas are contaminated with elevated concentrations of chemicals used as biocides in antifouling paints. In order to reach a satisfactory level of environmental security of the coastal sea areas, fast neutron activation analysis with detection of associated alpha particles and energy dispersive X-ray fluorescence, both in laboratory and inside an autonomous underwater vehicle for in-situ measurements, has been used for the characterization of the objects on the seafloor. Measurements have shown that gamma ray spectra are able to distinguish threat material from the surrounding material. Analysis of more than 700 coastal sea sediment samples has resulted in concentration distribution maps indicating the locations of 'hot spots', which might interfere with threat material identification.

  9. Cetacean response to summer maritime traffic in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campana, I; Crosti, R; Angeletti, D; Carosso, L; David, L; Di-Méglio, N; Moulins, A; Rosso, M; Tepsich, P; Arcangeli, A

    2015-08-01

    Maritime traffic is one of many anthropogenic pressures threatening the marine environment. This study was specifically designed to investigate the relationship between vessels presence and cetacean sightings in the high sea areas of the Western Mediterranean Sea region. We recorded and compared the total number of vessels in the presence and absence of cetacean sightings using data gathered during the summer season (2009-2013) along six fixed transects repeatedly surveyed. In locations with cetacean sightings (N = 2667), nautical traffic was significantly lower, by 20%, compared to random locations where no sightings occurred (N = 1226): all cetacean species, except bottlenose dolphin, were generally observed in locations with lower vessel abundance. In different areas the species showed variable results likely influenced by a combination of biological and local environmental factors. The approach of this research helped create, for the first time, a wide vision of the different responses of animals towards a common pressure.

  10. Pelagia benovici sp. nov. (Cnidaria, Scyphozoa): a new jellyfish in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piraino, Stefano; Aglieri, Giorgio; Martell, Luis; Mazzoldi, Carlotta; Melli, Valentina; Milisenda, Giacomo; Scorrano, Simonetta; Boero, Ferdinando

    2014-05-07

    A bloom of an unknown semaestome jellyfish species was recorded in the North Adriatic Sea from September 2013 to early 2014. Morphological analysis of several specimens showed distinct differences from other known semaestome species in the Mediterranean Sea and unquestionably identified them as belonging to a new pelagiid species within genus Pelagia. The new species is morphologically distinct from P. noctiluca, currently the only recognized valid species in the genus, and from other doubtful Pelagia species recorded from other areas of the world. Molecular analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) and nuclear 28S ribosomal DNA genes corroborate its specific distinction from P. noctiluca and other pelagiid taxa, supporting the monophyly of Pelagiidae. Thus, we describe Pelagia benovici sp. nov. Piraino, Aglieri, Scorrano & Boero.

  11. Severe rainfall events over the western Mediterranean Sea: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riesco Martín, Jesús; Mora García, Manuel; de Pablo Dávila, Fernando; Rivas Soriano, Luis

    2013-06-01

    A study of severe rainfall (≥ 100 mm in 24 h) over the Spanish provinces of Malaga, Granada y Almeria (close to the Alboran Sea, the westernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea) has been performed using 5 years (2006-2010) of data. The episodes of heavy rainfall were classified using the moisture flux at the 850 hPa pressure level and the lifted index. This gave three types, associated with situations of intense moisture flux and little static instability, moderate moisture flux and static instability, and moderate moisture flux and strong static instability. Representative cases of each type were analyzed, and it was found that both non-convective (41% of cases) and convective (59% of cases) systems caused the episodes of severe precipitation considered in this study. The convective structures included isolated and persistent convective systems, multicellular convective systems, and mesoscale convective systems.

  12. Sedimentology and geochemistry of mud volcanoes in the Anaximander Mountain Region from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talas, Ezgi; Duman, Muhammet; Küçüksezgin, Filiz; Brennan, Michael L; Raineault, Nicole A

    2015-06-15

    Investigations carried out on surface sediments collected from the Anaximander mud volcanoes in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea to determine sedimentary and geochemical properties. The sediment grain size distribution and geochemical contents were determined by grain size analysis, organic carbon, carbonate contents and element analysis. The results of element contents were compared to background levels of Earth's crust. The factors that affect element distribution in sediments were calculated by the nine push core samples taken from the surface of mud volcanoes by the E/V Nautilus. The grain size of the samples varies from sand to sandy silt. Enrichment and Contamination factor analysis showed that these analyses can also be used to evaluate of deep sea environmental and source parameters. It is concluded that the biological and cold seep effects are the main drivers of surface sediment characteristics from the Anaximander mud volcanoes.

  13. Mediterranean versus Red sea corals facing climate change, a transcriptome analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maor-Landaw, Keren; Waldman Ben-Asher, Hiba; Karako-Lampert, Sarit; Salmon-Divon, Mali; Prada, Fiorella; Caroselli, Erik; Goffredo, Stefano; Falini, Giuseppe; Dubinsky, Zvy; Levy, Oren

    2017-02-01

    The anthropogenic increase in atmospheric CO2 that drives global warming and ocean acidification raises serious concerns regarding the future of corals, the main carbonate biomineralizers. Here we used transcriptome analysis to study the effect of long-term gradual temperature increase (annual rate), combined with lowered pH values, on a sub-tropical Red Sea coral, Stylophora pistillata, and on a temperate Mediterranean symbiotic coral Balanophyllia europaea. The gene expression profiles revealed a strong effect of both temperature increase and pH decrease implying for synergism response. The temperate coral, exposed to a twice as high range of seasonal temperature fluctuations than the Red Sea species, faced stress more effectively. The compensatory strategy for coping apparently involves deviating cellular resources into a massive up-regulation of genes in general, and specifically of genes involved in the generation of metabolic energy. Our results imply that sub-lethal, prolonged exposure to stress can stimulate evolutionary increase in stress resilience.

  14. Occurrence of organochlorine contaminants (PCBs, PCDDs and PCDFs) and pathologic findings in loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta, from the Adriatic Sea (Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storelli, Maria M; Zizzo, Nicola

    2014-02-15

    Livers of 12 loggerhead sea turtles, Caretta caretta from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea (Adriatic Sea) were analyzed for the presence of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCDDs) and dibenzofurans (PCDFs). Pathological and microbiological studies were also carried out in order to provide a contribution to the knowledge of causes of Mediterranean turtle death. Boat-strike injuries, entanglement in derelict fishing nets and ingestion of hooks and monofilament lines are the causes of death most frequently observed. PCBs (average: 1,399 ng g(-1) fat basis) were the dominant chemicals, followed by PCDFs (average: 61 pg g(-1) fat basic) and PCDDs (average: 16 pg g(-1) fat basis). Hexachlorobiphenyl 153 accounted for the greatest proportion of the total PCBs, followed in order by PCB 138 and PCB 180 (14.1%). Mid-chlorinated, penta-through hepta-PCBs were among the top contributors to the sum of total PCBs, while the homolog pattern of PCCD/Fs was dominated by the tetra- to hexa-substituted congeners. In general the contamination level observed here was comparable with that reported in literature for specimens from different marine areas. Average TEQPCDD/Fs+Dl-PCBs concentration was 27.02 pg g(-1) wet weight (305.1 pg g(-1) lipid weight), with dioxin like-PCBs (93.4%) contributing much more to the total than PCDFs (3.9%) and PCDDs (2.7%). The appreciable concentration of TEQ would at first suggest that there are signs of potential threats to the health of these marine reptiles. Apart from PCBs, this is the first study documenting concentrations of PCDD/Fs in marine turtles from the Mediterranean Sea. Further investigations are urgently needed to characterize their contamination level for a better future protection and conservation of this endangered animal.

  15. Towards climatological study on the characteristics of aerosols in Central Africa and Mediterranean sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Benkhalifa, Jamel; Chaabane, Mabrouk

    2016-02-01

    The atmosphere contains molecules, clouds and aerosols that are sub-millimeter particles having a large variability in size, shape, chemical composition, lifetime and contents. The aerosols concentration depends greatly on the geographical situation, meteorological and environmental conditions, which makes aerosol climatology difficult to assess. Setting up a solar photometer (automatic, autonomous and portable instrument) on a given site allows carrying out the necessary measurements for aerosol characterization. The particle microphysical and optical properties are obtained from photometric measurements. The objective of this study is to analyze the spatial variability of aerosol optical thickness (AOT) in several Mediterranean regions and Central Africa, we considered a set of simultaneous data in the AErosol RObotic NETwork (AERONET) from six sites, two of which are located in Central Africa (Banizoumbou and Zinder Airport) and the rest are Mediterranean sites (Barcelona, Malaga, Lampedusa, and Forth Crete). The results have shown that the physical properties of aerosols are closely linked to the climate nature of the studied site. The optical thickness, single scattering albedo and aerosols size distribution can be due to the aging of the dust aerosol as they are transported over the Mediterranean basin.

  16. Microbial food webs and metabolic state across oligotrophic waters of the Mediterranean Sea during summer

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Christaki

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The abundance and activity of the major members of the heterotrophic microbial community – from viruses to ciliates – were studied along a longitudinal transect across the Mediterranean Sea in the summer of 2008. The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by a west to-east gradient of deepening of DCM (deep chlorophyll maximum and increasing oligotrophy reflected in gradients of biomass and production. However, within this well documented longitudinal trend, hydrological mesoscale features exist and likely influence microbial dynamics. Here we present data from a W-E transect of 17 stations during the period of summer stratification. Along the transect the production and fate of organic matter was investigated at three selected sites each one located in the centre of an anticyclonic eddy: in the Algero-Provencal Basin (St. A, the Ionian Basin (St. B, and the Levantine Basin (St. C. The 3 geographically distant eddies showed low values of the different heterotrophic compartments of the microbial food web, and except for viruses in site C, all integrated (0–150 m stocks were higher in reference stations located in the same basin outside the eddies. During our study the 3 eddies showed equilibrium between GPP (Gross Primary Production and DCR (Dark Community Respiration. Integrated PPp (Particulate Primary Production values at A, B and C varied from ~140 to ~190 mg C m−2.

  17. Is Posidonia oceanica regression a general feature in the Mediterranean Sea?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. BONACORSI

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Over the last few years, a widespread regression of Posidonia oceanica meadows has been noticed in the Mediterranean Sea. However, the magnitude of this decline is still debated. The objectives of this study are (i to assess the spatio-temporal evolution of Posidonia oceanica around Cap Corse (Corsica over time comparing available ancient maps (from 1960 with a new (2011 detailed map realized combining different techniques (aerial photographs, SSS, ROV, scuba diving; (ii evaluate the reliability of ancient maps; (iii discuss observed regression of the meadows in relation to human pressure along the 110 km of coast. Thus, the comparison with previous data shows that, apart from sites clearly identified with the actual evolution, there is a relative stability of the surfaces occupied by the seagrass Posidonia oceanica. The recorded differences seem more related to changes in mapping techniques. These results confirm that in areas characterized by a moderate anthropogenic impact, the Posidonia oceanica meadow has no significant regression and that the changes due to the evolution of mapping techniques are not negligible. However, others facts should be taken into account before extrapolating to the Mediterranean Sea (e.g. actually mapped surfaces and assessing the amplitude of the actual regression.

  18. Evaluation of wind energy potential and electricity generation on the coast of Mediterranean Sea in Egypt

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ahmed Shata, A.S.; Hanitsch, R. [Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Institute of Energy and Automation Technology, Technical University, Einsteinufer 11, EM4, Berlin 10587 (Germany)

    2006-07-15

    Wind data from 10 coastal meteorological stations along the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt have been used for statistical analysis to determine the wind characteristics. It was found that three stations show annual mean wind speed greater than 5.0m/s. In order to identify the Weibull parameters for all stations two different methods were applied. The methodical analysis for all stations was done for the corrected monthly and annual mean wind power at a height of 10m, over roughness class 0 (water). The recommended correlation equation was also stated for Mediterranean Sea zone in Egypt. Also the wind power densities for heights of 30-50m were calculated for all stations. Three of them are the best locations, namely: Sidi Barrani, Mersa Matruh, and El Dabaa, where these contiguous stations have great abundantly wind energy density. A technical assessment has been made of the electricity generation using WASP program for two commercial turbines (300kW and 1MW) considering at the three promising sites. The wind turbine of capacity 1MW was found to produce an energy output per year of 2718MWh at El Dabaa station, and the production costs was found 2|cent/kWh. (author)

  19. Modelling the state of the Mediterranean Sea under contemporary and future climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solidoro, Cosimo; Lazzari, Paolo; Cossarini, Gianpiero; Melaku Canu, Donata; Lovato, Tomas

    2016-04-01

    A validated 3D coupled transport-biogeochemical model is used to assess the impact of future climatic and management scenarios on biogeochemical and ecological properties of the Mediterranean Sea. Results are discussed in term of temporal and spatial distribution of parameters and indicators related to the carbonate system and the cycles of carbon and inorganic nutrients through dissolved and particulate phases, as simulated by a multi nutrient multi plankton numerical model under current and future conditions. Simulations span the period 1990-2040 and are performed by forcing a three-dimensional off-line coupled eco-hydrodynamical model (BFM and OPA-tracer model) with current fields produced by ad hoc implementation of the NEMO modelling system and with river input of nutrient and freshwater computed in recent European fp7 projects. The model properly describes available experimental information on contemporary seasonal dynamic and spatial distribution at the basin and sub-basin scale of major biogeochemical parameters, as well as primary production and carbon fluxes at the air-ocean interface. Model projections suggest that future Mediterranean sea will be globally warmer, more productive, and more acidic, but with significant space variability. Consequences in terms of ecological and higher trophic level organisms dynamics are discussed as well, also in reference with impact on space distribution of suitable site for aquaculture activity and future space distributions of suitability habitats for habitat building organisms (e.g. Poseidonia, Coralligenous)

  20. Eukarya associated with the stony coral Oculina patagonica from the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rubio-Portillo, Esther; Souza-Egipsy, Virginia; Ascaso, Carmen; de Los Rios Murillo, Asunción; Ramos-Esplá, Alfonso A; Antón, Josefa

    2014-10-01

    Oculina patagonica is a putative alien scleractinian coral from the Southwest Atlantic that inhabits across the Mediterranean Sea. Here, we have addressed the diversity of Eukarya associated with this coral and its changes related to the environmental conditions and coral status. A total of 46 colonies of O. patagonica were taken from Alicante coast (Spain) and Pietra Ligure coast (Italy) and analyzed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of the small-subunit 18S rRNA and 16S plastid rRNA genes, internal transcribed spacer region 2 (ITS 2) analyses, and electron microscopy. Our results show that Eukarya and plastid community associated to O. patagonica change with environmental conditions and coral status. Cryptic species, which can be difficult to identify by optical methods, were distinguished by 18S rRNA gene DGGE: the barnacle Megatrema anglicum, which was detected at two locations, and two boring sponges related to Cliona sp. and Siphonodictyon coralliphagum detected in samples from Tabarca and Alicante Harbour, respectively. Eukaryotic phototrophic community from the skeletal matrix of healthy corals was dominated by Ochrosphaera sp. while bleached corals from the Harbour and Tabarca were associated to different uncultured phototrophic organism. Differences in ultrastructural morphologies of the zooxanthellae between healthy and bleached corals were observed. Nevertheless, no differences were found in Symbiodinium community among time, environments, coral status and location, showing that O. patagonica hosted only one genotype of Symbiodinium belonging to clade B2. The fact that this clade has not been previously detected in other Mediterranean corals and is more frequent in the tropical Western Atlantic, is a new evidence that O. patagonica is an alien species in the Mediterranean Sea.

  1. LATE PLIOCENE-HOLOCENE DEBRIS FLOW DEPOSITS IN THE IONIAN SEA (EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    GIOVANNI ALOISI DE LARDEREL

    1997-11-01

    Full Text Available Widespread coring of the Eastern Mediterranean Basin has outlined the existence of a systematic relation between lithology of debris flow deposits and physiographic setting. Whilst the topographic highs are characterized by pelagic sedimentation, the basin floors are alternatively subject to pelagic sedimentation and re-sedimentation pro cesses. Amongst the latters, turbidity flows and debris flows are the most common transport mechanisms.In this paper we present the study of the debris flow pro cess in the Ionian Sea using visual description of cores, grain size, carbonate content and smear slide analysis carried out on gravity and piston cores recovered over the past 20 years. A distinction has been made between debris flow deposits originating from the continental margins (North Africa and Malta Escarpment and those emplaced in the small basins amidst the Calabrian and Mediterranean ridges "Cobblestone Topography". As a result of the difference in setting, the former debris flow deposits include a great variety of lithologies and ages whilst the latter involve the pelagic sediments forming the typical Eastern Mediterranean Plio-Quaternary succession. A detailed study of clast and matrix structures makes it possible to describe the flows in terms of existing classifications of sediment gravity flows and to assume a clast support mechanism. Finally, biostratigraphy coupled with the presence of widespread marker beds enabled us to estimate the age of emplacement of the deposits and to hypothesize a triggering mechanism for flow initiation. Three flows are strictly related to the pelagic turbidite named homogenite, triggered by the explosive eruption of the Santorini volcano (Minoan eruption and therefore have an estimated age of 3,500 BP. The other deposits have ages ranging from 9,000 BP to about 70,000 BP and were originated by debris flows triggered by events such as earthquakes and glacial low sea level stands.    

  2. Sedimentological imprint on subseafloor microbial communities in Western Mediterranean Sea Quaternary sediments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M.-C. Ciobanu

    2012-09-01

    Full Text Available An interdisciplinary study was conducted to evaluate the relationship between geological and paleoenvironmental parameters and the bacterial and archaeal community structure of two contrasting subseafloor sites in the Western Mediterranean Sea (Ligurian Sea and Gulf of Lion. Both depositional environments in this area are well-documented from paleoclimatic and paleooceanographic point of views. Available data sets allowed us to calibrate the investigated cores with reference and dated cores previously collected in the same area, and notably correlated to Quaternary climate variations. DNA-based fingerprints showed that the archaeal diversity was composed by one group, Miscellaneous Crenarchaeotic Group (MCG, within the Gulf of Lion sediments and of nine different lineages (dominated by MCG, South African Gold Mine Euryarchaeotal Group (SAGMEG and Halobacteria within the Ligurian Sea sediments. Bacterial molecular diversity at both sites revealed mostly the presence of the classes Alphaproteobacteria, Betaproteobacteria and Gammaproteobacteria within Proteobacteria phylum, and also members of Bacteroidetes phylum. The second most abundant lineages were Actinobacteria and Firmicutes at the Gulf of Lion site and Chloroflexi at the Ligurian Sea site. Various substrates and cultivation conditions allowed us to isolate 75 strains belonging to four lineages: Alpha-, Gammaproteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. In molecular surveys, the Betaproteobacteria group was consistently detected in the Ligurian Sea sediments, characterized by a heterolithic facies with numerous turbidites from a deep-sea levee. Analysis of relative betaproteobacterial abundances and turbidite frequency suggested that the microbial diversity was a result of main climatic changes occurring during the last 20 ka. Statistical direct multivariate canonical correspondence

  3. Spatial variability in the trophic ecology and biology of the deep-sea shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cartes, J. E.; Fanelli, E.; Kapiris, K.; Bayhan, Y. K.; Ligas, A.; López-Pérez, C.; Murenu, M.; Papiol, V.; Rumolo, P.; Scarcella, G.

    2014-05-01

    The trophic ecology, energy and reproductive states of the deep-water shrimp Aristaeomorpha foliacea, widely distributed along the slopes of the Mediterranean Sea Basins, were analysed in eight areas spread along ca. 3000 km in order to identify patterns in the habitat conditions supporting the species. From W to E the areas were situated between the north side of Eivissa (39°12‧N, 1°20‧E, in the Balearic Basin) and off Mersin, Turkey (36°15‧N, 34°19‧E, in the Levantine Sea). Trends identified mainly as a function of longitude from west to east were: (i) higher δ15N, parallel to δ15N shifts in the top 200 m of the water column for particulate organic N (Pantoja et al., 2002). The δ15N trend indicates that the deep trophic web, i.e. A. foliacea at 400-600 m, reflects the δ15N signal of the photic zone; (ii) a similar significant trend of δ13C, related with exploitation of pelagic versus benthic resources by A. foliacea in each area (i.e. by local variability of terrigenous inputs via submarine canyons). More depleted δ13C was found at mid-longitudes (Tyrrhenian Sea and Sicily Channel) linked to higher consumption of macroplankton prey (Pasiphaea spp., euphausiids and mesopelagic fishes). The feeding intensity (gut fullness, F) and prey diversity (J) of A. foliacea were related, according to generalized linear models, with the temperature and salinity of intermediate waters, variables in turn associated with latitude and longitude. Both F and J were higher in areas with greater shrimp density. The optimal ecological habitat of A. foliacea appears to be located in the Tyrrhenian Sea and the Sicily Channel, where we found the highest F, the greatest trophic diversity and A. foliacea in the best biological condition (i.e. with higher hepato-somatic index, HSI). These are also the areas with the highest densities of A. foliacea. In contrast, in the western Mediterranean Sea (Balearic Basin and the southern Balearic Islands), where A. foliacea has low

  4. Spatial and seasonal variability of particulate matter optical and size properties in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karageorgis, A. P.; Georgopoulos, D.; Kanellopoulos, T. D.; Mikkelsen, O. A.; Pagou, K.; Kontoyiannis, H.; Pavlidou, A.; Anagnostou, Ch.

    2012-12-01

    Particulate matter plays a paramount role in the biogeochemical processes taking place in the marine environment. We report seasonal (spring and summer 2008) distribution of particulate matter in the Eastern Mediterranean, along a transect extending from the open Ionian Sea to the North Aegean Sea, including measurements in the Levantine Sea. A suite of optical instruments measuring beam attenuation (beam cp), fluorescence and particle size, the latter obtained with the innovative in-situ laser particle sizer LISST-Deep are used in concert with traditional measurements of particulate matter concentration (PMC), and total chlorophyll α from bottle samples. PMCs were generally low during both seasons (range: 0.02-0.85 mg L- 1), with values substantially higher in the euphotic zone during spring. The deep waters (> 200 m) in the Eastern Mediterranean exhibit extremely low PMCs, well-below 0.1 mg L- 1. Total chlorophyll α concentrations ranged from 0.003 to 0.28 μg L- 1 in spring and from 0.08 to 0.19 μg L- 1 in summer, verifying the ultra-oligotrophic character of the area. A significant correlation of beam cp and fluorescence in spring suggests that sources of particles are primarily biogenic in the surface waters. Deep water formation triggered the development of a ~ 900-m thick benthic nepheloid layer in the N. Aegean Sea. LISST-Deep revealed valuable information on the particle volume concentrations and the median particle size. It is striking that large particles (range: 31-230 μm; median ~ 85 μm) predominate in the entire region, from the surface up to the deep waters. In addition, accumulation of particles in the pycnocline is observed during summer; however, it is possible that schlieren (increase in beam attenuation due to scattering off of density gradients) could be responsible for the high particle volume concentrations and large median particle diameters recorded. These measurements, conducted for the first time in the Eastern Mediterranean

  5. Underwater Acoustic Measurements to Estimate Wind and Rainfall in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sara Pensieri

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Oceanic ambient noise measurements can be analyzed to obtain qualitative and quantitative information about wind and rainfall phenomena over the ocean filling the existing gap of reliable meteorological observations at sea. The Ligurian Sea Acoustic Experiment was designed to collect long-term synergistic observations from a passive acoustic recorder and surface sensors (i.e., buoy mounted rain gauge and anemometer and weather radar to support error analysis of rainfall rate and wind speed quantification techniques developed in past studies. The study period included combination of high and low wind and rainfall episodes and two storm events that caused two floods in the vicinity of La Spezia and in the city of Genoa in 2011. The availability of high resolution in situ meteorological data allows improving data processing technique to detect and especially to provide effective estimates of wind and rainfall at sea. Results show a very good correspondence between estimates provided by passive acoustic recorder algorithm and in situ observations for both rainfall and wind phenomena and demonstrate the potential of using measurements provided by passive acoustic instruments in open sea for early warning of approaching coastal storms, which for the Mediterranean coastal areas constitutes one of the main causes of recurrent floods.

  6. The non-indigenous Paranthura japonica Richardson, 1909 in the Mediterranean Sea: travelling with shellfish?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. MARCHINI

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available An anthurid isopod new to the Mediterranean Sea has recently been observed in samples from three localities of the Italian coast: the Lagoon of Venice (North Adriatic Sea, La Spezia (Ligurian Sea and Olbia (Sardinia, Tyrrhenian Sea. The specimens collected showed strong affinity to a species originally described from the NW Pacific Ocean: Paranthura japonica Richardson, 1909. The comparison with specimens collected from the Bay of Arcachon (Atlantic coast of France, where P. japonica had been recently reported as non-indigenous, confirmed the identity of the species. This paper reports the most relevant morphological details of the Italian specimens, data on the current distribution of the species and a discussion on the pathways responsible for its introduction. The available data suggest that the presence of this Pacific isopod in several regions of coastal Europe might be due to a series of aquaculture-mediated introduction events that occurred during the last decades of the 1900s. Since then, established populations of P. japonica, probably misidentified, remained unnoticed for a long time.

  7. Theoretical investigation and mathematical modelling of a wind energy system case study for Mediterranean and Red Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shata, Ahmed Shata Ahmed

    2008-06-26

    Fossil fuel is getting more and more expensive every year, and is not readily available in some remote locations. Today, wind power can be harnessed to provide some or all of the power for many useful tasks such as generating electricity, pumping water and heating a house or barn. Egypt has two coastal areas that show significant promise for wind energy exploitation; the north coast on the Mediterranean Sea and the east coast on the Red Sea. The wind energy is utilized along the coast of Mediterranean Sea in Egypt on few occasions, while from national programs for wind energy utilization in Egypt, at the Red Sea coast, the master plan calls for 600 MW which are expected to be achieved by the year 2005. The contribution of fossil fuels (oil and natural gas) to electricity production in Egypt accounts for about 79% of total production, while 21% is hydropower. The demand is expected to grow rapidly to meet the large requirements of future projects. Studies showed that there is an additional need of annual electricity generation capacity around 1000 MW/year up to 2017 [14]. The purpose of this thesis is to present a new analytical method for the calculation of the wind energy potential available along the north coast of the Mediterranean Sea and the east coast of Red Sea in Egypt and moreover, it estimates the possible electrical power generated by large wind turbines and the expected cost in Euro cent/kWh for the power level of 2000 kW. It is hoped that the data analysis will help to identify good sites in Egypt for new wind turbine installations. This evaluation is hoped to trigger the use of large wind turbines at the selected sites along the coasts of Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea in Egypt. (orig.)

  8. Progress of KOERI Tsunami Warning System for the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Necmioglu, Ocal; Meral Ozel, Nurcan; Ozer Sozdinler, Ceren; Yilmazer, Mehmet; Cokacar, Tulay; Comoglu, Mustafa; Pinar, Ali; Kekovali, Kivanc

    2016-04-01

    This presentation provides a progress report on the activities of the Bogazici University / Kandilli Observatory and Earthquake Research Institute - Regional Earthquake and Tsunami Monitoring Center (KOERI-RETMC) which provides services as a Candidate Tsunami Service Provider (CTSP) of ICG/NEAMTWS in the Eastern Mediterranean, Aegean and Black Seas since 1 July 2012. KOERI continues to operate 178 BB and 97 strong motion and 6 short period sensors and the regional coverage includes 77 stations from GFZ and additional 16 stations through bilateral agreements. One radar-type tide-gauge has been installed in Fethiye within the framework of "Inexpensive Device for Sea-Level Measurement" (IDSL) initiative offered as donation by the EC/JRC and planning is in progress for the possible installation of three more IDSLs in selected locations in the Aegean Sea coast of Turkey. The capabilities and the limitations of HF Radar technology for the purpose of tsunami detection in the Eastern Mediterranean has been identified and the maturity and the applicability of these systems for the possible use under the Tsunami Warning System has been determined. The development of the TsuComp as a user-friendly interface to be used in the assessment of tsunamigenic potential and as a single-point entry for message dissemination has been finalized. The work towards the creation of Tsunami Inundation Maps at the Tsunami Forecast Points in Turkey is near finalization. This work is partially funded by project ASTARTE - Assessment, Strategy And Risk Reduction for Tsunamis in Europe - FP7-ENV2013 6.4-3, Grant 603839. The authors would like to thank EC/JRC and Mr. Alessandro Annunziato for their continuous support in the operational activities of RETMC and IDSL initiative.

  9. Distribution and geological control of mud volcanoes and other fluid/free gas seepage features in the Mediterranean Sea and nearby Gulf of Cadiz

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mascle, Jean; Mary, Flore; Praeg, Daniel; Brosolo, Laetitia; Camera, Laurent; Ceramicola, Silvia; Dupré, Stéphanie

    2014-06-01

    Existing knowledge on the distribution of mud volcanoes (MVs) and other significant fluid/free gas-venting features (mud cones, mud pies, mud-brine pools, mud carbonate cones, gas chimneys and, in some cases, pockmark fields) discovered on the seafloor of the Mediterranean Sea and in the nearby Gulf of Cadiz has been compiled using regional geophysical information (including multibeam coverage of most deepwater areas). The resulting dataset comprises both features proven from geological sampling, or in situ observations, and many previously unrecognized MVs inferred from geophysical evidence. The synthesis reveals that MVs clearly have non-random distributions that correspond to two main geodynamic settings: (1) the vast majority occur along the various tectono-sedimentary accretionary wedges of the Africa-Eurasia subduction zone, particularly in the central and eastern Mediterranean basins (external Calabrian Arc, Mediterranean Ridge, Florence Rise) but also along its westernmost boundary in the Gulf of Cadiz; (2) other MVs characterize thick depocentres along parts of the Mesozoic passive continental margins that border Africa from eastern Tunisia to the Levantine coasts, particularly off Egypt and, locally, within some areas of the western Mediterranean back-arc basins. Meaningfully accounting for MV distribution necessitates evidence of overpressured fluids and mud-rich layers. In addition, cross-correlations between MVs and other GIS-based data, such as maps of the Messinian evaporite basins and/or active (or recently active) tectonic trends, stress the importance of assessing geological control in terms of the presence, or not, of thick seals and potential conduits. It is contended that new MV discoveries may be expected in the study region, particularly along the southern Ionian Sea continental margins.

  10. Did the A.D. 365 Crete earthquake/tsunami trigger synchronous giant turbidity currents in the Mediterranean Sea?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polonia, A.; Vaiani, S.C.; De Lange, G.J.

    2016-01-01

    In the Ionian Sea, one of the most seismically active regions in the Mediterranean, subduction is commonly associated with uplift of coastal mountains, enhanced erosion, and seismic activity along the Calabrian Arc and Hellenic Arc, thus potentially resulting in repetitive mass failures. Some of the

  11. Historical changes of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem: modelling the role and impact of primary productivity and fisheries changes over time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piroddi, Chiara; Coll, Marta; Liquete, Camino; Macias, Diego; Greer, Krista; Buszowski, Joe; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Danovaro, Roberto; Christensen, Villy

    2017-03-01

    The Mediterranean Sea has been defined “under siege” because of intense pressures from multiple human activities; yet there is still insufficient information on the cumulative impact of these stressors on the ecosystem and its resources. We evaluate how the historical (1950–2011) trends of various ecosystems groups/species have been impacted by changes in primary productivity (PP) combined with fishing pressure. We investigate the whole Mediterranean Sea using a food web modelling approach. Results indicate that both changes in PP and fishing pressure played an important role in driving species dynamics. Yet, PP was the strongest driver upon the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem. This highlights the importance of bottom-up processes in controlling the biological characteristics of the region. We observe a reduction in abundance of important fish species (~34%, including commercial and non-commercial) and top predators (~41%), and increases of the organisms at the bottom of the food web (~23%). Ecological indicators, such as community biomass, trophic levels, catch and diversity indicators, reflect such changes and show overall ecosystem degradation over time. Since climate change and fishing pressure are expected to intensify in the Mediterranean Sea, this study constitutes a baseline reference for stepping forward in assessing the future management of the basin.

  12. Deep-sea foraminifera from the Cassidaigne Canyon (NW Mediterranean): Assessing the environmental impact of bauxite red mud disposal

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fontanier, C.; Fabri, M.-C.; Buscail, R.; Biscara, L.; Koho, K.A.; Reichart, G.-J.; Cossa, D.; Galaup, S.; Chabaud, G.; Pigot, L.

    2012-01-01

    Benthic foraminiferal assemblages were investigated from two sites along the axis of the Cassidaigne Canyon (NW Mediterranean Sea). Both areas are contaminated by bauxite red mud enriched in iron, titanium, vanadium and chromium. These elemental enrichments are related to bauxite-derived minerals an

  13. Historical changes of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem: modelling the role and impact of primary productivity and fisheries changes over time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Piroddi, Chiara; Coll, Marta; Liquete, Camino; Macias, Diego; Greer, Krista; Buszowski, Joe; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Danovaro, Roberto; Christensen, Villy

    2017-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea has been defined “under siege” because of intense pressures from multiple human activities; yet there is still insufficient information on the cumulative impact of these stressors on the ecosystem and its resources. We evaluate how the historical (1950–2011) trends of various ecosystems groups/species have been impacted by changes in primary productivity (PP) combined with fishing pressure. We investigate the whole Mediterranean Sea using a food web modelling approach. Results indicate that both changes in PP and fishing pressure played an important role in driving species dynamics. Yet, PP was the strongest driver upon the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem. This highlights the importance of bottom-up processes in controlling the biological characteristics of the region. We observe a reduction in abundance of important fish species (~34%, including commercial and non-commercial) and top predators (~41%), and increases of the organisms at the bottom of the food web (~23%). Ecological indicators, such as community biomass, trophic levels, catch and diversity indicators, reflect such changes and show overall ecosystem degradation over time. Since climate change and fishing pressure are expected to intensify in the Mediterranean Sea, this study constitutes a baseline reference for stepping forward in assessing the future management of the basin. PMID:28290518

  14. Life at cold seeps : a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Werne, JP; Haese, RR; Zitter, T; Aloisi, G; Bouloubassi, L; Heijs, S; Fiala-Medioni, A; Pancost, RD; Damste, JSS; de Lange, G; Forney, LJ; Gottschal, JC; Foucher, JP; Mascle, J; Woodside, J

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the MEDINAUT

  15. Life at cold seeps: a synthesis of biogeochemical and ecological data from Kazan mud volcano, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sinninghe Damsté, J.S.; Werne, J.P.; Zitter, T.; Haese, R.R.; Aloisi, G.; Bouloubassi, I.; Heijs, S.; Fiala-Medioni, A.; Pancost, R.D.; Lange, G.J. de; Gottschal, J.; Foucher, J.-P.; Mascle, J.; Woodside, J.

    2004-01-01

    Recent field observations have identified the widespread occurrence of fluid seepage through the eastern Mediterranean Sea floor in association with mud volcanism or along deep faults. Gas hydrates and methane seeps are frequently found in cold seep areas and were anticipated targets of the MEDINAUT

  16. Numerical simulation and decomposition of kinetic energy in the Central Mediterranean: insight on mesoscale circulation and energy conversion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Sorgente

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The spatial and temporal variability of eddy and mean kinetic energy of the Central Mediterranean region has been investigated, from January 2008 to December 2010, by mean of a numerical simulation mainly to quantify the mesoscale dynamics and their relationships with physical forcing. In order to understand the energy redistribution processes, the baroclinic energy conversion has been analysed, suggesting hypotheses about the drivers of the mesoscale activity in this area. The ocean model used is based on the Princeton Ocean Model implemented at 1/32° horizontal resolution. Surface momentum and buoyancy fluxes are interactively computed by mean of standard bulk formulae using predicted model Sea Surface Temperature and atmospheric variables provided by the European Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast operational analyses. At its lateral boundaries the model is one-way nested within the Mediterranean Forecasting System operational products.

    The model domain has been subdivided in four sub-regions: Sardinia channel and southern Tyrrhenian Sea, Sicily channel, eastern Tunisian shelf and Libyan Sea. Temporal evolution of eddy and mean kinetic energy has been analysed, on each of the four sub-regions, showing different behaviours. On annual scales and within the first 5 m depth, the eddy kinetic energy represents approximately the 60 % of the total kinetic energy over the whole domain, confirming the strong mesoscale nature of the surface current flows in this area. The analyses show that the model well reproduces the path and the temporal behaviour of the main known sub-basin circulation features. New mesoscale structures have been also identified, from numerical results and direct observations, for the first time as the Pantelleria Vortex and the Medina Gyre.

    The classical kinetic energy decomposition (eddy and mean allowed to depict and to quantify the permanent and fluctuating parts of the circulation in the region, and

  17. Interplay of plate convergence and arc migration in the central Mediterranean (Sicily and Calabria)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nijholt, Nicolai; Govers, Rob; Wortel, Rinus

    2016-04-01

    Key components in the current geodynamic setting of the central Mediterranean are continuous, slow Africa-Eurasia plate convergence (~5 mm/yr) and arc migration. This combination encompasses roll-back, tearing and detachment of slabs, and leads to back-arc opening and orogeny. Since ~30 Ma the Apennnines-Calabrian and Gibraltar subduction zones have shaped the western-central Mediterranean region. Lithospheric tearing near slab edges and the accompanying surface expressions (STEP faults) are key in explaining surface dynamics as observed in geologic, geophysical and geodetic data. In the central Mediterranean, both the narrow Calabrian subduction zone and the Sicily-Tyrrhenian offshore thrust front show convergence, with a transfer (shear) zone connecting the distinct SW edge of the former with the less distinct, eastern limit of the latter (similar, albeit on a smaller scale, to the situation in New Zealand with oppositely verging subduction zones and the Alpine fault as the transfer shear zone). The ~NNW-SSE oriented transfer zone (Aeolian-Sisifo-Tindari(-Ionian) fault system) shows transtensive-to-strike slip motion. Recent seismicity, geological data and GPS vectors in the central Mediterranean indicate that the region can be subdivided into several distinct domains, both on- and offshore, delineated by deformation zones and faults. However, there is discussion about the (relative) importance of some of these faults on the lithospheric scale. We focus on finding the best-fitting assembly of faults for the transfer zone connecting subduction beneath Calabria and convergence north of Sicily in the Sicily-Tyrrhenian offshore thrust front. This includes determining whether the Alfeo-Etna fault, Malta Escarpment and/or Ionian fault, which have all been suggested to represent the STEP fault of the Calabrian subduction zone, are key in describing the observed deformation patterns. We first focus on the present-day. We use geodynamic models to reproduce observed GPS

  18. Design and validation of MEDRYS, a Mediterranean Sea reanalysis over 1992–2013

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Hamon

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available The French research community on the Mediterranean Sea modelling and the French operational ocean forecasting center Mercator Océan have gathered their skill and expertise in physical oceanography, ocean modelling, atmospheric forcings and data assimilation, to carry out a MEDiterranean sea ReanalYsiS (MEDRYS at high resolution for the period 1992–2013. The ocean model used is NEMOMED12, a Mediterranean configuration of NEMO with a 1/12° (∼ 7 km horizontal resolution and 75 vertical z levels with partial steps. At the surface, it is forced by a new atmospheric forcing dataset (ALDERA, coming from a dynamical downscaling of the ERA-Interim atmospheric reanalysis by the regional climate model ALADIN-Climate with a 12 km horizontal and 3 h temporal resolutions. This configuration is used to carry a 34 year free simulation over the period 1979–2013 (NM12-FREE which is the initial state of the reanalysis in October 1992. The first version of MEDRYS uses the existing Mercator Océan data assimilation system SAM that is based on a reduced-order Kalman filter with a 3-D multivariate modal decomposition of the forecast error. Altimeter data, satellite SST and temperature and salinity vertical profiles are jointly assimilated. This paper describes the configuration we used to perform the MEDRYS simulation. We then first validate the skills of the data assimilation system. It is shown that the data assimilation restores a good averaged temperature and salinity in intermediate layers compared to the free simulation. No particular biases are identified in the bottom layers. However, the reanalysis show slight positive biases of 0.02 psu and 0.15 °C above 150 m depth. In the validation stage, it is also shown that the assimilation allows to better reproduce water, heat and salt transports through the Strait of Gibraltar. Finally, the ability of the reanalysis to represent the sea surface high frequency variability is pointed out.

  19. Sea level changes according to data of tide gauge station and its relationship with elements of climate in eastern Mediterranean: 1972-2009

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Muhammed Zeynel Öztürk

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Mediterranean Sea is one of the areas that indicated the greatest increase in sea level rise during the 20th century. The eastern Mediterranean had also greatest increase in sea level with in the Mediterranean Sea. In this study, sea level data observed at 11 tide gauge stations located in the Levantine Sea, Cretan Sea and south of the Aegean Sea and gridded climatological data were used in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. In this frame, monthly and annual variations and trends in average, average maximum and average minimum sea levels data and mean air temperature, mean sea level pressure and total precipitation series were investigated. According to the results of analysis, there are statistically significant increase trends in temperature and all sea level series. These trend rates are of +1.57 mm/year in average sea level, +1.89 mm/year in average maximum, +1.36 mm/year in average minimum and 0.026 ºC/year in temperature. According to the long-term averages, annually amplitude is 14.9 cm, while, the highest and the lowest levels of amplitude are reached in August and March, respectively. According to the interannual average maximum and minimum sea level values, amplitude of 36.5 cm is seen.

  20. Fast evaluation of tsunami scenarios: uncertainty assessment for a Mediterranean Sea database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molinari, Irene; Tonini, Roberto; Lorito, Stefano; Piatanesi, Alessio; Romano, Fabrizio; Melini, Daniele; Hoechner, Andreas; Gonzàlez Vida, José M.; Maciás, Jorge; Castro, Manuel J.; de la Asunción, Marc

    2016-12-01

    We present a database of pre-calculated tsunami waveforms for the entire Mediterranean Sea, obtained by numerical propagation of uniformly spaced Gaussian-shaped elementary sources for the sea level elevation. Based on any initial sea surface displacement, the database allows the fast calculation of full waveforms at the 50 m isobath offshore of coastal sites of interest by linear superposition. A computationally inexpensive procedure is set to estimate the coefficients for the linear superposition based on the potential energy of the initial elevation field. The elementary sources size and spacing is fine enough to satisfactorily reproduce the effects of M> = 6.0 earthquakes. Tsunami propagation is modelled by using the Tsunami-HySEA code, a GPU finite volume solver for the non-linear shallow water equations. Like other existing methods based on the initial sea level elevation, the database is independent on the faulting geometry and mechanism, which makes it applicable in any tectonic environment. We model a large set of synthetic tsunami test scenarios, selected to explore the uncertainty introduced when approximating tsunami waveforms and their maxima by fast and simplified linear combination. This is the first time to our knowledge that the uncertainty associated to such a procedure is systematically analysed and that relatively small earthquakes are considered, which may be relevant in the near-field of the source in a complex tectonic setting. We find that non-linearity of tsunami evolution affects the reconstruction of the waveforms and of their maxima by introducing an almost unbiased (centred at zero) error distribution of relatively modest extent. The uncertainty introduced by our approximation can be in principle propagated to forecast results. The resulting product then is suitable for different applications such as probabilistic tsunami hazard analysis, tsunami source inversions and tsunami warning systems.

  1. Diversity of Micromonospora strains from the deep Mediterranean Sea and their potential to produce bioactive compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andrea Gärtner

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available During studies on bacteria from the Eastern Mediterranean deep-sea, incubation under in situ conditions (salinity, temperature and pressure and heat treatment were used to selectively enrich representatives of Micromonospora. From sediments of the Ierapetra Basin (4400 m depth and the Herodotos Plain (2800 m depth, 21 isolates were identified as members of the genus Micromonospora. According to phylogenetic analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences, the Micromonospora isolates could be assigned to 14 different phylotypes with an exclusion limit of ≥ 99.5% sequence similarity. They formed 7 phylogenetic clusters. Two of these clusters, which contain isolates obtained after enrichment under pressure incubation and phylogenetically are distinct from representative reference organism, could represent bacteria specifically adapted to the conditions in situ and to life in these deep-sea sediments. The majority of the Micromonospora isolates (90% contained at least one gene cluster for biosynthesis of secondary metabolites for non-ribosomal polypeptides and polyketides (polyketide synthases type I and type II. The determination of biological activities of culture extracts revealed that almost half of the strains produced substances inhibitory to the growth of Gram-positive bacteria. Chemical analyses of culture extracts demonstrated the presence of different metabolite profiles also in closely related strains. Therefore, deep-sea Micromonospora isolates are considered to have a large potential for the production of new antibiotic compounds.

  2. Paleodepth variations on the Eratosthenes Seamount (Eastern Mediterranean: sea-level changes or subsidence?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Spezzaferri

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The Eratosthenes Seamount (Eastern Mediterranean is interpreted as a crustal block in process of break up in response to subduction and incipient collision of the African and Eurasian Plates. Subsidence is considered to be the mechanism triggering the Messinian to Pleistocene water deepening above this unique structure. However, the application of a recently developed transfer equation of depth range distribution of benthic foraminifera indicates that sea-level changes may also have played a role, although it was generally minor. In particular, we suggest that across the Miocene/Pliocene boundary and during the Pliocene-Pleistocene, the eustatic signal is frequently coupled with uplifts and subsidence. The uplift of Cyprus across the Pliocene-Pleistocene transition is clearly recorded in the paleodepth curve. Micropaleontological studies and the use of this transfer equation based on the distribution of benthic foraminifera proves to be useful when studying the paleodepth history of complex sites, where tectonic and eustatic signals combine. We also show that marginal seas record global sea-level changes that can be identified even in tectonically active settings.

  3. Temporal nutrient dynamics in the Mediterranean Sea in response to anthropogenic inputs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moon, Ji-Young; Lee, Kitack; Tanhua, Toste; Kress, Nurit; Kim, Il-Nam

    2016-05-01

    The temporal dynamics of the concentrations of nitrate (N), phosphate (P), and the N:P ratio in the upper water column (200-600 m) of the Mediterranean (MED) Sea were investigated using observational data (~123,100 data points) collected between 1985 and 2014. The studied variables were found to evolve similarly in the western and eastern MED Sea. In both basins, the N concentration increased during the first part of the observational period (1985-1998), and the temporal trend of N was broadly consistent with the history of riverine and atmospheric nitrogen input from populated areas in Europe, with a lag period of 20 years. In subsequent years, the N concentration was high and relatively constant between 1998 and 2005, after which N decreased gradually, although the decreasing trend was indistinct in the western basin. In particular, the trend of constant then declining N after 1998 is consistent with the history of pollutant nitrogen emissions from the European continent, allowing a 20 year lag following the introduction of regulation of pollutant nitrogen in the 1970s. The three-phase temporal transition in P in both basins was more consistent with the riverine phosphorus input, with a lag period of 20 years. Our analysis indicates that the recent dynamics of N and P in the upper MED Sea has been sensitive to the dynamics of anthropogenic nitrogen and phosphorus input from atmospheric deposition and rivers.

  4. Assimilation of ocean colour data into a Biochemical Flux Model of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Triantafyllou

    2006-09-01

    Full Text Available Within the framework of the European MFSTEP project, an advanced multivariate sequential data assimilation system has been implemented to assimilate real chlorophyll data from the Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS into a three-dimensional biochemical model of the Eastern Mediterranean. The physical ocean is described through the Princeton Ocean Model (POM while the biochemistry of the ecosystem is tackled with the Biochemical Flux Model (BFM. The assimilation scheme is based on the Singular Evolutive Extended Kalman (SEEK filter, in which the error statistics were parameterized by means of a suitable set of Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOFs. A radius of influence was further selected around every data point to limit the range of the EOFs spatial correlations. The assimilation experiment was performed for one year over 1999 and forced with ECMWF 6 hour atmospheric fields. The accuracy of the ecological state identification by the assimilation system is assessed by the relevance of the system in fitting the data, and through the impact of the assimilation on non-observed biochemical processes. Assimilation of SeaWiFS data significantly improves the forecasting capability of the BFM model. Results, however, indicate the necessity of subsurface data to enhance the controllability of the ecosystem model in the deep layers.

  5. The role of the exchanges through the Strait of Gibraltar on the budget of elements in the Western Mediterranean Sea: consequences of human-induced modifications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Fernando

    2003-06-01

    The role of the Strait of Gibraltar on the exchanges of substances between Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean is reviewed. The previous estimations have been recalculated by using a similar water flux and compared with the river and atmospheric inputs to the Western Mediterranean Sea. The man-induced changes in the dimensions of the Strait of Gibraltar increasing (planning the sill) or reducing of the cross-section by a total or partial dam are discussed. A total dam will control the sea-level rise in the Mediterranean Sea, but an annual increase of major nutrient concentrations of 1-2% could be expected, lower than the rate of increase of the river and atmospheric inputs in the Western Mediterranean Sea. The increase of the cross-section of the Strait by increasing the depth (planning) at the sill could compensate the increase of the external nutrient inputs.

  6. Geographical gradients of dissolved Vitamin B12 in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sophie eBonnet

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Most eukaryotic phytoplankton require vitamin B12 to grow. However, the cycling of this organic growth factor has received substantially less attention than other bioactive substances such as trace metals in the marine environment. This is especially true in the Mediterranean Sea, where direct measurements of dissolved vitamins have never been reported. We report here the first direct measurements of dissolved vitamin B12 across longitudinal gradients in Mediterranean waters. The range of vitamin B12 concentrations measured over the whole transect was 0.5 to 6.2 pM, which is slightly higher than the range (undetectable – 4 pM of ambient concentrations measured in other open ocean basins in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The concentrations measured in the western basin were significantly higher (p<0.05 than those of the eastern basin. They were positively correlated with chlorophyll concentrations in the most western part of the basin, and did not show any significant correlation with any other biological variables in other regions of the sampling transect.

  7. Geographical gradients of dissolved Vitamin B12 in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bonnet, S.; Tovar-Sánchez, A.; Panzeca, C.; Duarte, C. M.; Ortega-Retuerta, E.; Sañudo-Wilhelmy, S. A.

    2013-01-01

    Most eukaryotic phytoplankton require vitamin B12 to grow. However, the cycling of this organic growth factor has received substantially less attention than other bioactive substances such as trace metals in the marine environment. This is especially true in the Mediterranean Sea, where direct measurements of dissolved vitamins have never been reported. We report here the first direct measurements of dissolved vitamin B12 across longitudinal gradients in Mediterranean waters. The range of vitamin B12 concentrations measured over the whole transect was 0.5–6.2 pM, which is slightly higher than the range (undetectable—4 pM) of ambient concentrations measured in other open ocean basins in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. The concentrations measured in the western basin were significantly higher (p < 0.05) than those of the eastern basin. They were positively correlated with chlorophyll concentrations in the most western part of the basin, and did not show any significant correlation with any other biological variables in other regions of the sampling transect. PMID:23772225

  8. Best available techniques (BATs) for oil spill response in the Mediterranean Sea: calm sea and presence of economic activities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidi, Giambattista; Sliskovic, Merica; Violante, Anna Carmela; Vukic, Luka

    2016-01-01

    An oil spill is the accidental or intentional discharge of petroleum products into the environment due to human activities. Although oil spills are actually just a little percent of the total world oil pollution problem, they represent the most visible form of it. The impact on the ecosystems can be severe as well as the impact on economic activities. Oil spill cleanup is a very difficult and expensive activity, and many techniques are available for it. In previous works, a methodology based on different kinds of criteria in order to come to the most satisfactory technique was proposed and the relative importance of each impact criterion on the basis of the Saaty's Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was also evaluated. After a review of the best available techniques (BATs) available for oil spill response, this work suggests criteria for BATs' selection when oil spills occur in the Mediterranean Sea under well-defined circumstances: calm sea and presence of economic activities in the affected area. A group of experts with different specializations evaluated the alternative BATs by means of AHP method taking into account their respective advantages and disadvantages.

  9. Participation in ICZM initiatives: critical aspects and lessons learnt from the Mediterranean and Black Sea experiences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soriani, Stefano; Buono, Fabrizia; Tonino, Marco; Camuffo, Monica

    2015-03-15

    Public participation is recognized as a necessary tool to ensure a successful implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) strategies and plans. This paper, based on the experiences carried out in the Mediterranean and in the Black Sea within the EU FP7 project PEGASO, presents some critical aspects and lessons learnt regarding participation in ICZM projects. The research shows that data availability, the complexity of data interpretation, an inadequate legal and cultural framework and the difficulties in promoting integration of all the components of coastal management within short term projects are all elements that if not properly considered since the beginning of the participatory process may hinder public participation effectiveness. Moreover the definition of the spatial scale of coastal phenomenon as well as the discrepancy between the local scale of coastal governance and the complex multi-scale nature of coastal systems remain highly critical aspects to be addressed.

  10. Nematode response to metal, PAHs and organic enrichment in tourist marinas of the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno, M; Albertelli, G; Fabiano, M

    2009-08-01

    The structure of nematode assemblages was investigated in the sediments of two different tourist marinas in the Mediterranean Sea and related to pollution variables. Nematode densities and generic compositions were determined, as were concentrations of heavy metals, PAHs and organic matter. Results showed different assemblages at the two marinas, with a dominance of the genera Paralongicyatholaimus and Daptonema. Significant correlations between nematodes and concentrations of environmental contaminants were found. In particular, Paralongicyatholaimus showed a significant negative correlation with Cu concentrations and was almost absent at the stations where higher Cu concentrations were found. The presence of sensitive/tolerant nematode genera represents a promising tool to identify areas subjected to a higher level of disturbance and to define the correct environmental management strategy for harbors.

  11. Coastal morphodynamic impacts induced by main storm phenomena on the Central East Tyrrhenian Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcelli, Marco; Paladini de Mendoza, Francesco; Bonamano, Simone; Scanu, Sergio; Martellucci, Riccardo

    2015-04-01

    The coastal area is a major dynamic systems of the Earth and in particular the sandy beaches are very sensitive to waves energy variation which mainly force morphological changes. Waves drive beaches morphological changes particularly when they exceed a determined threshold. In a short term (from hours to days) of storm conditions, intense erosion phenomena occur. They generate overwash, dunal erosion, loss of lands, damage to engineering structures and coastal ownerships. Several hazardous weather events take place every year in the Mediterranean region and cause relevant economic losses. The western Mediterranean Sea is an area subjected to cyclonic activity. In winter and during the negative phase of North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), cyclonic activity generates extreme events as intense precipitation, the highest waves, landslides and surges. The study area is the Latium coast, eastern side of Central Tyrrhenian Sea.Wave data were measured by three wave buoys. In order to obtain a better spatial coverage useful to take into account the waves variability over the study area, wave data also has been calculated by WAM model. On the basis of storms events selected by a threshold criteria of events greater than 2 m for a period more than 6 hour, the Mean Sea Level Pressure (MSLP) field was analysed through Empirical Orthogonal Function and cluster analysis obtaining 3 classes of barometric events. The storms are always induced by the lows of Gulf of Genoa to be formed in the Mediterranean region triggered from the middle latitude storms which center is located in the northern atlantic and scandinavian region. The different classes, with a probability of 28%, 23% and 49%, generate different circulation driving waves from different directions. The classes of storms show spatial differences in terms of main directions but show similar behavior in terms of distribution of wave direction. In this study the wave and wind field induced by the different barometric condition

  12. Near-field tsunami early warning and emergency planning in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gerassimos A. Papadopoulos

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available The new European project Near-field Tsunami Early Warning and Emergency Planning in the Mediterranean Sea (NEARTOWARN faces the need to develop operational tsunami early warning systems in near-field (local conditions where the travel time of the first tsunami wave is very short, that is less than 30 min, which is a typical case in the North East Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea region but also elsewhere around the globe. The operational condition that should be fulfilled is that the time of tsunami detection, plus the time of warning transmitting, plus the time of evacuation should not exceed the travel time of the first tsunami wave from its source to the closest evacuation zone. To this goal the time to detect of the causative earthquake should be compressed at the very minimum. In this context the core of the proposed system is a network of seismic early warning devices, which activate and send alert in a few seconds after the generation of a near-field earthquake, when a seismic ground motion exceeding a prescribed threshold is detected. Then civil protection mobilizes to manage the earthquake crisis but also to detect and manage a possible tsunami through a geographical risk management system. For the tsunami detection the system is supported by tide-gauges of radar type, a database of presimulated tsunami scenarios, and a local tsunami decision matrix. The island of Rhodes in the eastern termination of the Hellenic Arc and Trench has been selected for a pilot and operational development of the local tsunami warning system given that the island is a highly popular tourist destination, historically it was hit by large tsunamigenic earthquakes and was recently the master test-site for the pan-European FP6 tsunami research project Tsunami Risk ANd Strategies For the European Region (TRANSFER.

  13. Vertical partitioning of phosphate uptake among picoplankton groups in the low Pi Mediterranean Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Talarmin, A.

    2015-02-26

    Microbial transformations are key processes in marine phosphorus cycling. In this study, we investigated the contribution of phototrophic and heterotrophic groups to phosphate (Pi) uptake fluxes in the euphotic zone of the low-Pi Mediterranean Sea and estimated Pi uptake kinetic characteristics. Surface soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) concentrations were in the range of 6-80 nmol Lg\\'1 across the transect, and the community Pi turnover times, assessed using radiolabeled orthophosphate incubations, were longer in the western basin, where the highest bulk and cellular rates were measured. Using live cell sorting, four vertical profiles of Pi uptake rates were established for heterotrophic prokaryotes (Hprok), phototrophic picoeukaryotes (Pic) and Prochlorococcus (Proc) and Synechococcus (Syn) cyanobacteria. Hprok cells contributed up to 82% of total Pi uptake fluxes in the superficial euphotic zone, through constantly high abundances (2.7-10.2 × 105 cells mLg\\'1) but variable cellular rates (6.6 ± 9.3 amol P cellg\\'1 hg\\'1). Cyanobacteria achieved most of the Pi uptake (up to 62%) around the deep chlorophyll maximum depth, through high abundances (up to 1.4 × 105 Proc cells mLg\\'1) and high cellular uptake rates (up to 40 and 402 amol P cellg\\'1 hg\\'1, respectively for Proc and Syn cells). At saturating concentrations, maximum cellular rates up to 132 amol P cellg\\'1 hg\\'1 were measured for Syn at station (St.) C, which was 5 and 60 times higher than Proc and Hprok, respectively. Pi uptake capabilities of the different groups likely contribute to their vertical distribution in the low Pi Mediterranean Sea, possibly along with other energy limitations.

  14. Nutrient Limitation in Surface Waters of the Oligotrophic Eastern Mediterranean Sea: an Enrichment Microcosm Experiment

    KAUST Repository

    Tsiola, A.

    2015-12-01

    The growth rates of planktonic microbes in the pelagic zone of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea are nutrient limited, but the type of limitation is still uncertain. During this study, we investigated the occurrence of N and P limitation among different groups of the prokaryotic and eukaryotic (pico-, nano-, and micro-) plankton using a microcosm experiment during stratified water column conditions in the Cretan Sea (Eastern Mediterranean). Microcosms were enriched with N and P (either solely or simultaneously), and the PO4 turnover time, prokaryotic heterotrophic activity, primary production, and the abundance of the different microbial components were measured. Flow cytometric and molecular fingerprint analyses showed that different heterotrophic prokaryotic groups were limited by different nutrients; total heterotrophic prokaryotic growth was limited by P, but only when both N and P were added, changes in community structure and cell size were detected. Phytoplankton were N and P co-limited, with autotrophic pico-eukaryotes being the exception as they increased even when only P was added after a 2-day time lag. The populations of Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus were highly competitive with each other; Prochlorococcus abundance increased during the first 2 days of P addition but kept increasing only when both N and P were added, whereas Synechococcus exhibited higher pigment content and increased in abundance 3 days after simultaneous N and P additions. Dinoflagellates also showed opportunistic behavior at simultaneous N and P additions, in contrast to diatoms and coccolithophores, which diminished in all incubations. High DNA content viruses, selective grazing, and the exhaustion of N sources probably controlled the populations of diatoms and coccolithophores.

  15. The impact of anticyclonic mesoscale structures on microbial food webs in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Christaki

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The abundance and activity of the major members of the heterotrophic microbial community – from viruses to ciliates – were studied along a longitudinal transect across the Mediterranean Sea in the summer of 2008. The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by a west to the east gradient of deepening of DCM (deep chlorophyll maximum and increasing oligotrophy reflected in gradients of heterotrophic microbial biomass and production. However, within this longitudinal trend, hydrological mesoscale features exist and likely influence microbial dynamics. We show here the importance of mesoscale structures by a description of the structure and function of the microbial food web through an investigation of 3 geographically distant eddies within a longitudinal transect. Three selected sites each located in the center of an anticyclonic eddy were intensively investigated: in the Algero-Provencal Basin (St. A, the Ionian Basin (St. B, and the Levantine Basin (St. C. The 3 geographically distant eddies showed the lowest values of the different heterotrophic compartments of the microbial food web, and except for viruses in site C, all stocks were higher in the neighboring stations outside the eddies. During our study the 3 eddies showed equilibrium between GCP (Gross Community Production and DCR (Dark Community Respiration; moreover, the west-east (W-E gradient was evident in terms of heterotrophic biomass but not in terms of production. Means of integrated PPp values were higher at site B (~190 mg C m−2 d−1 and about 15% lower at sites A and C (~160 mg C m−2 d−1. Net community production fluxes were similar at all three stations exhibiting equilibrium between gross community production and dark community respiration.

  16. Feeding ecology of two demersal opportunistic predators coexisting in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Nieves; Navarro, Joan; Barría, Claudio; Albo-Puigserver, Marta; Coll, Marta; Palomera, Isabel

    2016-06-01

    The study of the feeding ecology of marine organisms is crucial to understanding their ecological roles and advancing our knowledge of marine ecosystem functioning. The aim of this study was to analyse the trophic ecology of two demersal predator species, black anglerfish (Lophius budegassa) and white anglerfish (L. piscatorius), in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Both species are important in the study area due to their high abundance and economic value, but information about their feeding behaviour is scarce. Here, we described the diet composition and ecological role of these two species, investigating whether trophic segregation exists between them and amongst fish of different sizes. In addition, by using experimental survey data we described the spatial distribution of both species to help us interpret trophic behaviour patterns. We gathered samples of two different sizes (small individuals of a total length echinoderms. We found trophic segregation between the two species and the two sizes, indicating that they feed on different prey, in line with differences in their spatial distribution within the study area. This partial partition of food resources could also be explained by the differences in rhythms of activity that were reported in previous studies. In addition, although both species occupied a high position within the food web, our results showed that white anglerfish individuals and the large-sized fish of both species held higher trophic positions. This study demonstrates the usefulness of complementary approaches for trophic studies and confirms that both anglerfish species play an important role as predators in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea food web.

  17. Concentrations of plutonium and americium in plankton from the western Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez-Cabeza, Joan-Albert; Merino, Juan; Masque, Pere [Insitut de Ciencia i Tecnologia Ambiental-Departament de Fisica, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona (Spain); Mitchell, Peter I.; Vintro, L. Leon [Department of Experimental Physics, University College Dublin, Dublin 4 (Ireland); Schell, William R. [Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA 15261 (United States); Cross, Lluisa; Calbet, Albert [Institut de Ciencies del Mar, Pg. Maritim Barceloneta, 37-49 08003, Barcelona (Spain)

    2003-07-20

    Understanding the transfer of radionuclides through the food chain leading to man and in particular, the uptake of transuranic nuclides by plankton, is basic to assess the potential radiological risk of the consumption of marine products by man. The main sources of transuranic elements in the Mediterranean Sea in the past were global fallout and the Palomares accident, although at present smaller amounts are released from nuclear establishments in the northwestern region. Plankton from the western Mediterranean Sea was collected and analyzed for plutonium and americium in order to study their biological uptake. The microplankton fractions accounted for approximately 50% of the total plutonium contents in particulate form. At Garrucha (Palomares area), microplankton showed much higher {sup 239,240}Pu activity, indicating the contamination with plutonium from the bottom sediments. Concentration factors were within the range of the values recommended by the International Atomic Energy Agency. Continental shelf mesoplankton was observed to efficiently concentrate transuranics. In open seawaters, concentrations were much lower. We speculate that sediments might play a role in the transfer of transuranics to mesoplankton in coastal waters, although we cannot discard that the difference in species composition may also play a role. In Palomares, both {sup 239,240}Pu and {sup 241}Am showed activities five times higher than the mean values observed in continental shelf mesoplankton. As the plutonium isotopic ratios in the contaminated sample were similar to those found in material related to the accident, the contamination was attributed to bomb debris from the Palomares accident. Concentration factors in mesoplankton were also in relatively good agreement with the ranges recommended by IAEA. In the Palomares station the highest concentration factor was observed in the sample that showed predominance of the dynoflagellate Ceratium spp. Mean values of the enrichment factors

  18. Tracing the Mediterranean climate influence over the central Balkans (southeast Europe) during the past 350 ka

    Science.gov (United States)

    Obreht, Igor; Zeeden, Christian; Hambach, Ulrich; Veres, Daniel; Marković, Slobodan; Boesken, Janina; Bačević, Nikola; Gavrilov, Milivoj; Lehmkuhl, Frank

    2016-04-01

    Knowledge of past climate variability based on the study of paleoclimate archives may help in better understanding the forcing mechanisms and extent of any future climate change. In some regions, such as Eastern Europe, loess-paleosol sequences (LPS) are one of the most important terrestrial archives of Quaternary paleoclimate and its spatial and temporal dynamics. Studies of LPS from the Middle and Lower Danube basins fundamentally improved understanding of the European Quaternary climate and environmental evolution. The central Balkans (central Serbia) is situated in a transition zone between the temperate-continental climate zone to the north and Mediterranean climate to the south. Up to now this area has been poorly investigated concerning the paleoclimate evolution on a longer term, albeit this region is considered more sensitive to the relative influence associated to the Mediterranean climate influence than the Carpathian basin further north. To fill this gap we conducted a high-resolution multiproxy investigation on the Stalać LPS in the central Balkan (Serbia). Located at the southern limits of European loess distribution and within the Mediterranean climate influence, the Stalać section has potential for better understanding of past regional climate dynamics. We discuss grain-size (granulometric fractions, U-ratio), environmental magnetic (χ, χfd), geochemical (major and trace elements) and colour (L*, a*, b* values) data from the Stalać section in terms of switching sediment provenance sources modulated by past environmental conditions. We can show that the Carpathian Basin and central Balkans were influenced by different environmental conditions during past ~350 ka. A general higher continentality of the climate during the late Pleistocene can be observed over the Stalać section and the Carpathian Basin, indicating that this trend is more than a regional feature. Our results indicate warmer and/or more humid last glacial cycles compared to

  19. Links of the significant wave height distribution in the Mediterranean sea with the Northern Hemisphere teleconnection patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Lionello

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available This study analyzes the link between the SWH (Significant Wave Height distribution in the Mediterranean Sea during the second half of the 20th century and the Northern Hemisphere SLP (Sea Level Pressure teleconnection patterns.

    The SWH distribution is computed using the WAM (WAve Model forced by the surface wind fields provided by the ERA-40 reanalysis for the period 1958–2001. The time series of mid-latitude teleconnection patterns are downloaded from the NOAA web site. This study shows that several mid-latitude patterns are linked to the SWH field in the Mediterranean, especially in its western part during the cold season: East Atlantic Pattern (EA, Scandinavian Pattern (SCA, North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO, East Atlantic/West Russia Pattern (EA/WR and East Pacific/ North Pacific Pattern (EP/NP. Though the East Atlantic pattern exerts the largest influence, it is not sufficient to characterize the dominant variability. NAO, though relevant, has an effect smaller than EA and comparable to other patterns. Some link results from possibly spurious structures. Patterns which have a very different global structure are associated to similar spatial features of the wave variability in the Mediterranean Sea. These two problems are, admittedly, shortcomings of this analysis, which shows the complexity of the response of the Mediterranean SWH to global scale SLP teleconnection patterns.

  20. Observability of fine-scale ocean dynamics in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morrow, Rosemary; Carret, Alice; Birol, Florence; Nino, Fernando; Valladeau, Guillaume; Boy, Francois; Bachelier, Celine; Zakardjian, Bruno

    2017-01-01

    Technological advances in the recent satellite altimeter missions of Jason-2, SARAL/AltiKa and CryoSat-2 have improved their signal-to-noise ratio, allowing us to observe finer-scale ocean processes with along-track data. Here, we analyse the noise levels and observable ocean scales in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, using spectral analyses of along-track sea surface height from the three missions. Jason-2 has a higher mean noise level with strong seasonal variations, with higher noise in winter due to the rougher sea state. SARAL/AltiKa has the lowest noise, again with strong seasonal variations. CryoSat-2 is in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mode in the Mediterranean Sea but with lower-resolution ocean corrections; its statistical noise level is moderate with little seasonal variation. These noise levels impact on the ocean scales we can observe. In winter, when the mixed layers are deepest and the submesoscale is energetic, all of the altimeter missions can observe wavelengths down to 40-50 km (individual feature diameters of 20-25 km). In summer when the submesoscales are weaker, SARAL can detect ocean scales down to 35 km wavelength, whereas the higher noise from Jason-2 and CryoSat-2 blocks the observation of scales less than 50-55 km wavelength. This statistical analysis is completed by individual case studies, where filtered along-track altimeter data are compared with co-located glider and high-frequency (HF) radar data. The glider comparisons work well for larger ocean structures, but observations of the smaller, rapidly moving dynamics are difficult to co-locate in space and time (gliders cover 200 km in a few days, altimetry in 30 s). HF radar surface currents at Toulon measure the meandering Northern Current, and their good temporal sampling shows promising results in comparison to co-located SARAL altimetric currents. Techniques to separate the geostrophic component from the wind-driven ageostrophic flow need further development in this coastal

  1. Relationships between trace elements in Posidonia oceanica shoots and in sediment fractions along Latium coasts (northwestern Mediterranean Sea).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bravo, I; Focaracci, F; Cerfolli, F; Papetti, P

    2016-03-01

    The Mediterranean endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica is widely used as a sensitive bioindicator of trace elements (TEs) in the coastal environment. Therefore, a bulk of data exist on TE levels from impacted versus unpolluted sites while only recent studies started comparing TE accumulation in plant compartments versus both water column and sediment characteristics. In this study, six TEs (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb) were analyzed in P. oceanica shoots related to depth (-10 and -20 m) and to TE concentrations in the different grain size fractions of the sediment, from two Sites of Community interest (SIC) in the central Tyrrhenian Sea. TE concentrations in both shoots and sediment were generally low, except for Cr. Cu was the only element showing significantly different concentrations at the two sites while As differed significantly between samples taken at different depths. TE concentrations in the unsieved sediment were found uncorrelated to TEs in shoots except for the important nutrient Cu (positive correlation). The finest sediment fractions were enriched in TEs and significantly correlated to Cd, Cr, Cu, and Ni concentrations in the shoots.

  2. Food web structure and vulnerability of a deep-sea ecosystem in the NW Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Tecchio, Samuele; Coll, Marta; Christensen, Villy; Company, Joan B.; Ramírez-Llodra, Eva; Sardà, Francisco

    2013-01-01

    There is increasing fishing pressure on the continental margins of the oceans, and this raises concerns about the vulnerability of the ecosystems thriving there. The current knowledge of the biology of deep-water fish species identifies potential reduced resilience to anthropogenic disturbance. However, there are extreme difficulties in sampling the deep sea, resulting in poorly resolved and indirectly obtained food-web relationships. Here, we modelled the flows and biomasses of a Mediterrane...

  3. Convective mixing in the central Irminger Sea: 2002-2010

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    de Jong, M.F.; van Aken, H.M.; Våge, K.; Pickart, R.S.

    2012-01-01

    A near-continuous time series of 8 years of daily hydrographic profiles, recorded between fall 2002 and summer 2010 by moorings located in the central Irminger Sea, is presented. This record shows that convective mixing down to 400 m depth occurs in most winters. Under favorable conditions, convecti

  4. Breaking biogeographic barriers: Molecular and morphological evidences for the Lessepsian invasion of soritid foraminifers to the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merkado, G.; Abramovich, S.; Abdu, U.; Almogi-Labin, A.; Pawlowski, J.; Holzmann, M.

    2012-04-01

    In recent years we have been witnessing a large-scale invasion (tropicalization) into the Eastern Mediterranean of many alien tropical species. The main factors that promote this process includes: 1. The ongoing warming of sea surface temperatures in the last decades. 2. The opening of the Suez Canal in 1869 that created an artificial connection between the Mediterranean and the Indo-Pacific realm of the Red Sea. This connection resulted in an ongoing unidirectional migration (termed the Lessepsian migration) of hundreds of species from Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea. 3. The closure of the Nile River by the High Aswan Dam that blocked its nutrient discharge and created hyper-oligotrophic conditions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Larger symbiont-bearing benthic foraminifera were chosen in this study as an ideal target group for documenting this process. Their main advantage is that some of these species are clearly Indo-Pacific migrants while others represent re-encountering of allopatric populations that were isolated for at least 5.5 m.y. The first stage of this study involved the genetic characterization of soritids. Living specimens of Sorites and Amphisorus morphospecies were collected from the Red Sea and the Mediterranean and their ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequences were determined in order to see the genetic relation between these two "recently connected" locations. The morphological characteristics of each specimen were documented by Scanning Electron Microscope micrographs and digital imaging. In the Red Sea, the specimens were collected from two shallow stations (5-6 m water depth) in the Gulf of Elat, representing different habitats: 1. Tur-Yam, characterizes by abundant Halophila sea grass. 2. The Inter University Institution in Elat, characterizes by pebbles with no sea grass. In the Mediterranean, specimens were collected along the shore of Northern Israel at Shikmona, Haifa, one of the few locations along the Israeli Mediterranean coast where living

  5. Reproductive biology of the Golden grey mullet Liza aurata, in the Gulf of Gabes (central Mediterranean, Tunisia in the Gulf of Gabes (central Mediterranean, Tunisia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. ABDALLAH

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available In spite of its high commercial value, very few information are available on the biological feature of the Golden grey mullet in Tunisian waters (central Mediterranean. These data would be of great help in identifying the current stock state. In this study, Gonado Somatic Index (GSI, Hepato Somatic Index (HSI, condition factor (K, Length at first sexual maturity TL50 was calculated and the fecundity was estimated using the volumetric method. The Gonado Somatic Index (GSI indicated that the spawning season of the Golden grey mullet extends from October to December. The monthly variation of Hepato-Somatic Index (HSI indicates that L. aurata saves lipid reserves in liver. The species is sexually mature at 23.73, 23.84 and 23.79 cm TL respectively for female, male and combined sexes. In the present study the sex-ratio was unbalanced, with females dominating among large size individuals (TL > 24 cm. Absolute fecundity with a mean value of 286564 varied from a minimum of 210400 eggs for age 4 and a maximum of 533600 for age 7+.

  6. Trace element levels in fish from clean and polluted coastal marine sites in the Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and North Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kress, Nurit; Herut, Barak; Shefer, Edna; Hornung, Hava

    1999-12-01

    The bioaccumulation of Hg, Cd, Zn, Cu, Mn and Fe was evaluated in the muscle and liver tissue of four fish species (Siganus rivulatus, Diplodus sargus, Lithognatus mormyrus and Plathychtis flesus) from clean and polluted marine coastal sites in the Red Sea, Mediterranean Sea and North Sea within the framework of the MARS 1 program. Representative liver samples were screened for organic contaminants (DDE, PCBs and PAHs) which exhibited very low concentrations. The levels of Cd, Cu, Zn, Fe and Mn found in the muscle tissue in this study were similar among the four species and within the naturally occurring metal ranges. However, differences were found among the sites. In the Red Sea, Cu was higher in the muscle of S. rivulatus at Ardag and Zn at the Observatory (OBS). Cu, Zn and Mn were higher in the Red Sea than in the specimens from the Mediterranean. The differences were attributed to different diets derived from distinctively different natural environments. D. sargus from Haifa Bay (HB) had higher Cd, Cu and Mn values than specimens from Jaffa (JFA), and L. mormyrus higher Cd, Fe and Mn in HB, corresponding to the polluted environmental status of the Bay. No differences in metal levels were found among the North Sea sites, except for Fe that was lower at the Eider station. Hg was low in all the specimens, but the values varied with species and sites. The lowest Hg values were found in S. rivulatus, the herbivorous species, as expected from its trophic level. Hg in P. flesus was higher than in S. rivulatus but still low. Higher Hg values were found in the muscle tissue of L. mormyrus,with the highest values in D. sargus, both carnivorous species from the same family. Hg in D. sargus was higher in HB than in JFA, as expected, but in the larger specimens of L. mormyrus from JFA values were higher, while in the small specimens there were no differences in Hg values. The levels of all metals were higher in the liver than in the muscle, with enrichment factors ranging

  7. Lonely populations in the deep: genetic structure of red gorgonians at the heads of submarine canyons in the north-western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Portela, Rocío; Cerro-Gálvez, Elena; Taboada, Sergi; Tidu, Carlo; Campillo-Campbell, Carolina; Mora, Joan; Riesgo, Ana

    2016-09-01

    The red gorgonian Paramuricea clavata plays a central role in coralligenous ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea, being relatively abundant in shallow habitats (5-35 m depth). Recently, deeper populations have been discovered at the heads of submarine canyons in the north-western Mediterranean Sea, between 50 and 70 m deep. Colonies from some of these deeper populations were exceptionally large (>1 m high), contrasting with the general prevalence of smaller size classes in shallower populations. Importantly, the high pressure of trawling activities on the nearby continental shelf could threaten these populations of large and old colonies. Although the genetic diversity and structure of populations in shallow habitats is relatively well known, very little is known about deeper populations. We aimed to assess the genetic structure, connectivity and potential demographic decline of six deep populations of P. clavata located at the heads of La Fonera, Blanes and Arenys de Mar submarine canyons, as well as potential gene flow between those and the two nearest shallow populations. A total of 188 individuals were genotyped using nine microsatellite loci. Results showed strong genetic differentiation among populations in different submarine canyons, among populations within one of the canyons and between shallow and deep populations. Gene flow among populations was very limited, estimates of effective population size in some populations were small, and evidence of recent population reductions (bottlenecks) was detected in several populations. The large genetic differentiation in populations of P. clavata among canyons is related to limited effective dispersal.

  8. A Milankovitch climate control on the Middle Miocene Mediterranean Intermediate Water: evidence from benthic microfauna and isotope geochemistry of the Ras Il-Pellegrin composite section (Malta island, central Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rocca, D.; Bellanca, A.; Neri, R.; Russo, B.; Sgarrella, F.; Sprovieri, M.

    2003-04-01

    interpreted as a tracer of high production of proto-MIW, during periods of high eccentricity and, probably, precession minima, characterized by coldest winter seasons. These results point out a direct link between selected benthic species, long term astronomical forcing, and deep water response and provide an useful tool for astronomical calibration of geological time and paleoceanographic reconstructions. REFERENCES Johnson D. (1985). Abyssal teleconnections II. Initation of Antarctic Bottom Water flow in the southwestern Atlantic. In: Hsű K. And Weissert H. eds. - South Atlantic paleoceanography, 283-325, Cambridge (Cambridge University Press). Laskar J., Joutel F. &Boudin F. (1993). Orbital precession and insolation quantities for the Earth form 20 Myr to +10 Myr. Astron. Astrophys., 270: 522-533, Washinghon. Sprovieri M., Caruso A., Foresi L., Bellanca A., Neri R., Mazzola S. &Sprovieri R. (2002). Astronomical calibration of the upper Langhian/lower Serravallian record of Ras Il-Pellegrin section (Malta Island, central Mediterranean). In: Iaccarino S.M. (ed.) Integrated Stratigraphy and Paleoceanography of the Mediterranean Middle Miocene. Riv. It. Paleont. Strat., 108: 183-193, Milano. Woodruff F. &Savin S.M. (1991). Mid-Miocene isotope stratigraphy in the deep-sea: high resolution correlations, paleoclimatic cycles, and sediment preservation. Palaeoceanography, 6: 755-806, Washington.

  9. Nutrient control of N2 fixation in the oligotrophic Mediterranean Sea and the impact of Saharan dust events

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Pujo-Pay

    2011-09-01

    Full Text Available A better understanding of the factors controlling N2 fixation is a pre-requisite for improving our knowledge on the contribution of N2 fixation process in the nitrogen cycling. Trace-metal clean nutrient/dust addition bioassays (+P, +PFe, +dust were performed at three stations located in the western, central and eastern Mediterranean Sea, in summer 2008 as part of the BOUM cruise. The main goals were (1 to investigate the nutrient factor(s limiting N2 fixation (uptake of 15N2 and (2 to evaluate the potential impact of a Saharan dust event on this biological process during the stratification period. Initially, surface waters at the three stations were DIP-depleted (2 fixation (from 130 % to 430 %. The highest dust stimulation of N2 fixation was recorded at the station located in the eastern basin. The response of diazotrophic activity to nutrient additions was variable between the sampled stations suggesting a spatial variability of the factor controlling N2 fixation over the whole basin. At all stations, N2 fixation was not limited by Fe nor co-limited by P and Fe. At the western station, N2 fixation was DIP limited while at the eastern one, N2 fixation was first DIP limited, then was limited by one or several chemical element(s released by dust. Our results demonstrated that a Saharan dust input was able to relieve these successive on going limitations. Very interestingly, at the station located in the central basin, N2 fixation was not limited by the availability of P yet it was strongly stimulated by dust addition (x3.1. A chemical element or a combination of several, released by the added dust may have been responsible for the observed stimulations of N2 fixation. These results indicated that Saharan dust pulses to the surface Mediterranean waters, in addition to P and Fe, could be a source of chemical(s element(s that are necessary for metabolic processes and therefore influence rates of N2 fixation.

  10. Oceanographic profile temperature, salinity, oxygen, and nutrients measurements collected using bottle from the Staffetta in the Mediterranean Sea (NODC Accession 0002243)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Temperature, salinity, oxygen and other profile data collected in the Mediterranean Sea received at NODC on 07/11/04 by Sydney Levitus from Trieste Institute of...

  11. Physical and chemical data collected from AXBT and bottle casts from AIRCRAFT in Mediterranean Sea from 30 September 1985 to 31 July 1992 (NODC Accession 9600058)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Physical and chemical data were collected using AXBT and bottle casts in the Mediterranean Sea from AIRCRAFT. Data were collected from 30 September 1985 to 31 July...

  12. Oceanographic profiles of temperature, salinity, nutrients, and plankton in the Mediterranean Sea from the CEAB institute (1979-1997) (NODC Accession 0044830)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Historical profile physical, chemical, and biological data collected in the Mediterranean Sea and submitted by Dr. Antonio Cruzado, head oceanography laboratory, and...

  13. Upstream control of the frontal jet regulating plankton production in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oguz, Temel; Mourre, Baptiste; Tintoré, Joaquín.

    2016-09-01

    Using a coupled physical-biological model, we document that a ˜30 km wide meandering jet constitutes a major source of biological enrichment in the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean) even in the absence of wind forcing and tidal dynamics. The level of enrichment is shown to vary markedly during the year depending on the upstream characteristics of the jet as it exits from the Gibraltar Strait. When its intensity is sufficiently low and characterized by weaker cross-frontal density gradients during winter-spring, the jet is weakly nonlinear and may not fulfill the necessary conditions for frontogenesis. It then remains weakly productive. In the case of stronger jet intensity (>1.1 Sv) accompanied by stronger cross-frontal density and velocity gradients within the Alboran Sea during summer-autumn, the frontal jet becomes strongly nonlinear and ageostrophic with large cross-frontal vorticity changes on the order of planetary vorticity. Under these conditions, upward vertical velocities in the range 10-50 m d-1 supply nutrients into the euphotic layer more effectively and support high-level frontogenesis-induced phytoplankton production on the anticyclonic side of the main jet axis. The strong eddy pumping mechanism also provides a comparable level of plankton production within strongly nonlinear elongated cyclonic eddies along the outer periphery of the frontal jet. The plankton biomass is advected partially by the jet along its trajectory and dispersed within the basin by mesoscale eddies and meanders.

  14. The Temporal Dynamics of Coastal Phytoplankton and Bacterioplankton in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ofrat Raveh

    Full Text Available This study considers variability in phytoplankton and heterotrophic bacterial abundances and production rates, in one of the most oligotrophic marine regions in the world-the Levantine Basin. The temporal dynamics of these planktonic groups were studied in the coastal waters of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea approximately every two weeks for a total of two years. Heterotrophic bacteria were abundant mostly during late summer and midwinter, and were positively correlated with bacterial production and with N2 fixation. Based on size fractionating, picophytoplankton was abundant during the summer, whereas nano-microphytoplankton predominated during the winter and early spring, which were also evident in the size-fractionated primary production rates. Autotrophic abundance and production correlated negatively with temperature, but did not correlate with inorganic nutrients. Furthermore, a comparison of our results with results from the open Levantine Basin demonstrates that autotrophic and heterotrophic production, as well as N2 fixation rates, are considerably higher in the coastal habitat than in the open sea, while nutrient levels or cell abundance are not different. These findings have important ecological implications for food web dynamics and for biological carbon sequestration in this understudied region.

  15. Factors affecting dispersion of radionuclides in north western coast of Mediterranean Sea, Egypt

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E.R. Atta

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available This study aims to analyze the principal factors affecting the interaction of 137Cs, 60Co and 89Sr with coastal sediments and their importance for migration of these ions in surface water. The second goal is to assess the acceptability of radiological consequences of proposed routine discharges of nuclear installations for radioactive materials into surface water as well as to confirm the suitability of the site to select and to establish limits for radioactive discharge into water. Uptake of the investigated ions by Mediterranean Sea bottom sediment samples have been studied as a function of liquid to solid ratio (V/m and contact time using batch technique. The suspended sediment concentration, different discharge rates of radionuclides and the distance between the source point in the sea and the beach were investigated. The obtained results show that Kd of Cs+, Co2+ and Sr2+is 20, 32 and 10 l/g, respectively. The lowest effective dose is for 89Sr, while the highest effective dose is for 137Cs, at the same distances. A mathematical model for the migration of the investigated isotopes in surface water was constructed to predict the concentration of these ions for both different distances and time periods.

  16. Holocene climate variability in the North-Western Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Lions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Jalali

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Sea surface temperatures (SSTs and land-derived input time series were generated from the Gulf of Lions inner-shelf sediments (NW Mediterranean Sea using alkenones and high-molecular-weight odd-carbon numbered n-alkanes (TERR-alkanes, respectively. The SST record depicts three main phases: a warm Early Holocene (∼ 18 ± 0.4 °C followed by a cooling of ∼ 3 °C (from 7000 to 1000 BP and rapid warming from ∼ 1850 AD onwards. Several superimposed multi-decadal cooling events of ∼ 1 °C amplitude were also identified. TERR-alkanes were also quantified to identify periods of high river discharge in relation with flood events of the Rhone River and precipitations. Their concentrations show a broad increase from the early Holocene towards present with a pronounced minimum around 2500 BP and large fluctuations during the second part of the Holocene. Comparison with Holocene flood activity reconstructions across the Alps region suggests that sediments of the inner shelf originate mainly from the Upper Rhone River catchment basin and that they are primarily delivered during positive NAO.

  17. Quaternary active tectonic structures in the offshore Bajo Segura basin (SE Iberian Peninsula - Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea, H.; Gràcia, E.; Alfaro, P.; Bartolomé, R.; Lo Iacono, C.; Moreno, X.; Masana, E.; Event-Shelf Team

    2012-10-01

    The Bajo Segura fault zone (BSFZ) is the northern terminal splay of the Eastern Betic shear zone (EBSZ), a large left-lateral strike-slip fault system of sigmoid geometry stretching more than 450 km from Alicante to Almería. The BSFZ extends from the onshore Bajo Segura basin further into the Mediterranean Sea and shows a moderate instrumental seismic activity characterized by small earthquakes. Nevertheless, the zone was affected by large historical earthquakes of which the largest was the 1829 Torrevieja earthquake (IEMS98 X). The onshore area of the BSFZ is marked by active transpressive structures (faults and folds), whereas the offshore area has been scarcely explored from the tectonic point of view. During the EVENT-SHELF cruise, a total of 10 high-resolution single-channel seismic sparker profiles were obtained along and across the offshore Bajo Segura basin. Analysis of these profiles resulted in (a) the identification of 6 Quaternary seismo-stratigraphic units bounded by five horizons corresponding to regional erosional surfaces related to global sea level lowstands; and (b) the mapping of the active sub-seafloor structures and their correlation with those described onshore. Moreover, the results suggest that the Bajo Segura blind thrust fault or the Torrevieja left-lateral strike-slip fault, with prolongation offshore, could be considered as the source of the 1829 Torrevieja earthquake. These data improve our understanding of present deformation along the BSFZ and provide new insights into the seismic hazard in the area.

  18. The dissolved yellow substance and the shades of blue in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Gentili

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available When the nominal algorithms commonly in use in Space Agencies are applied to satellite Ocean Color data, the retrieved chlorophyll concentrations in the Mediterranean Sea are recurrently notable overestimates of the field values. Accordingly, several regionally tuned algorithms have been proposed in the past to correct for this deviation. Actually, the blueness of the Mediterranean waters is not as deep as expected from the actual (low chlorophyll content, and the modified algorithms account for this peculiarity. Among the possible causes for such a deviation, an excessive amount of yellow substance (or of chromophoric dissolved organic matter, CDOM has been frequently cited. This conjecture is presently tested, by using a new technique simply based on the simultaneous consideration of marine reflectance determined at four spectral bands, namely at 412, 443, 490, and 555 nm, available on the NASA-SeaWiFS sensor (Sea–viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor. It results from this test that the concentration in yellow colored material (quantified as ay, the absorption coefficient of this material at 443 nm is about twice that one observed in the nearby Atlantic Ocean at the same latitude. There is a strong seasonal signal, with maximal ay values in late fall and winter, an abrupt decrease beginning in spring, and then a flat minimum during the summer months, which plausibly results from the intense photo-bleaching process favored by the high level of sunshine in these areas. Systematically, the ay values, reproducible from year to year, are higher in the western basin compared with those in the eastern basin (by about 50%. The relative importance of the river discharges into this semi-enclosed sea, as well as the winter deep vertical mixing occurring in the northern parts of the basins may explain the high yellow substance background. The regionally tuned [Chl] algorithms, actually reflect the

  19. Uranium-series ages of fossil corals from Mallorca, Spain: The "Neotyrrhenian" high stand of the Mediterranean Sea revisited

    Science.gov (United States)

    Muhs, Daniel R.; Simmons, Kathleen R.; Porat, Naomi

    2015-01-01

    The emergent marine deposits of the Mediterranean basin have been recognized as an important record of Quaternary sea level history for more than a century. Previous workers identified what have been interpreted to be two separate high stands of sea in the late Quaternary, namely the “Eutyrrhenian” (thought to be ~ 120 ka) and the “Neotyrrhenian” (thought to be either ~ 100 ka or ~ 80 ka). On Mallorca, Spain, both of these named deposits lie close to present sea level, implying paleo-sea levels slightly above present during both marine isotope stages (MIS) 5.5/5e and either 5.3/5c or 5.1/5a. If these interpretations are correct, they conflict, at least in part, with sea level records from far-field localities.

  20. Coccolithophores from the central Arabian Sea: Sediment trap results

    Indian Academy of Sciences (India)

    Lina P Mergulhao; Rahul Mohan; V S N Murty; M V S Guptha; D K Sinha

    2006-08-01

    Sediment trap samples collected from a depth of 1018 m in the Central Arabian Sea Trap (CAST) at 14° 28.2′N, 64° 35.8′E were analyzed for temporal variation of coccolithophore fluxes from October 1993 to August 1994.Out of the twenty species of coccolithophores encountered, \\tetit {Gephyrocapsa oceanica,Emiliania huxleyi,Umbilicosphaera sibogae} and Umbellosphaera irregularis were the most abundant.The total coccolithophore fluxes ranged from 28.5 × 106 m−2 d−1 to 50.3 × 106 m−2 d−1 showing seasonality with higher fluxes during the northeast (NE) monsoon and lower fluxes during the spring intermonsoon. The higher fluxes were attributed to the enhancement of primary production in the central Arabian Sea due to southward extent of nutrients from the northeast Arabian Sea by the prevailing surface currents. Similarly, the occurrences of relatively lower coc-colithophore fluxes during the spring intermonsoon and southwest (SW) monsoon were attributed to the low nutrients in the warm, shallow surface mixed layer and downwelling to the south of Findlater Jet respectively in the central Arabian Sea.Some of the coccolithophore species such as E.huxleyi, G.oceanica, Calcidiscus leptoporus and Umbellosphaera tenuis showed signs of dissolution.

  1. Sea surface temperatures and environmental conditions during the ;warm Pliocene; interval ( 4.1-3.2 Ma) in the Eastern Mediterranean (Cyprus)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Athanasiou, M.; Bouloubassi, I.; Gogou, A.; Klein, V.; Dimiza, M. D.; Parinos, C.; Skampa, E.; Triantaphyllou, M. V.

    2017-03-01

    Organic geochemical (alkenones) and micropaleontological (nannofossil) data from the Pissouri South section (PPS) in the island of Cyprus provided a detailed description of the paleoclimatic (sea surface temperature-SST) and paleoenvironmental conditions during the ;warm Pliocene; (c. 4.1-3.25 Ma) in the Eastern Mediterranean. We found that the suite of sapropel events recorded in the studied interval took place under conditions of increased SST, enhanced water column stratification and development of a productive deep chlorophyll maximum (DCM), as witnessed by the dominance of Florisphaera profunda species. Such conditions are similar to those prevailing during Quaternary sapropel formation, triggered by freshwater discharges from the N. African margin due to insolation-driven intensification of the African monsoon. The absence of F. profunda in Pliocene sapropels from central Mediterranean records highlights the sensitive response of the eastern basin to freshwater perturbations. Comparisons between alkenone and calcareous nannofossil assemblage patterns infer Pseudoemiliania lacunosa as the main alkenone producer in sapropel layers; yet Reticulofenestra spp. contribution cannot be ruled out. The first Pliocene alkenone-SST record in the E. Mediterranean presented here documents the ;warm Pliocene; period ( 4.1-3.25 Ma) characterized by mean SST of c. 26 °C. Distinct SST minima at 3.9 Ma, 3.58 Ma and between 3.34 and 3.31 Ma, correspond to the MIS Gi16, MIS MG12 and MIS M2 global cooling episodes, before the onset of the Northern Hemisphere glaciation. Our findings imply that the peak of the MIS M2 cooling in the Eastern Mediterranean may be up to 40 kyrs older than the age attributed before to benthic stable oxygen isotopes records of this event.

  2. The Mediterranean Sea regime shift at the end of the 1980s, and intriguing parallelisms with other European basins.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Conversi

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Regime shifts are abrupt changes encompassing a multitude of physical properties and ecosystem variables, which lead to new regime conditions. Recent investigations focus on the changes in ecosystem diversity and functioning associated to such shifts. Of particular interest, because of the implication on climate drivers, are shifts that occur synchronously in separated basins. PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: In this work we analyze and review long-term records of Mediterranean ecological and hydro-climate variables and find that all point to a synchronous change in the late 1980s. A quantitative synthesis of the literature (including observed oceanic data, models and satellite analyses shows that these years mark a major change in Mediterranean hydrographic properties, surface circulation, and deep water convection (the Eastern Mediterranean Transient. We provide novel analyses that link local, regional and basin scale hydrological properties with two major indicators of large scale climate, the North Atlantic Oscillation index and the Northern Hemisphere Temperature index, suggesting that the Mediterranean shift is part of a large scale change in the Northern Hemisphere. We provide a simplified scheme of the different effects of climate vs. temperature on pelagic ecosystems. CONCLUSIONS: Our results show that the Mediterranean Sea underwent a major change at the end of the 1980s that encompassed atmospheric, hydrological, and ecological systems, for which it can be considered a regime shift. We further provide evidence that the local hydrography is linked to the larger scale, northern hemisphere climate. These results suggest that the shifts that affected the North, Baltic, Black and Mediterranean (this work Seas at the end of the 1980s, that have been so far only partly associated, are likely linked as part a northern hemisphere change. These findings bear wide implications for the development of climate change scenarios, as synchronous shifts

  3. Constraints on the neodymium (Nd) oceanic cycle in the Mediterranean Sea using a high resolution coupled model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayache, Mohamed; Jeandel, Catherine; Dutay, Jean-claude; Arsouze, Thomas

    2015-04-01

    Neodymium isotopic composition (Nd IC) is a tracer of oceanic circulation and lithogenic inputs to the ocean. An extensive compilation of published Nd isotopic values was realized in order to establish a database and a map of ɛNd and Nd concentrations characterizing all the Mediterranean margins. This was built based on different kinds of samples: riverine solid discharge deposited on the shelf, sedimentary material collected along the margins and geological material above or close to an oceanic margin (following Jeandel et al., 2007). The margin Nd isotopic signatures vary from non-radiogenic values around the Gulf of Lions (Nd IC values between -11.5 and -10), to radiogenic values around the Aegean and the Levantine sub-basins (Nd IC up to +6). Such West-East variation was also observed in the seawater data, which are becoming more radiogenic along the eastward circulation in the Mediterranean Sea (Tachikawa et al., 2004). The Nd budget proposed by these authors raised the hypothesis that the exchange of Nd along the margins could play a significant role in driving the oceanic distribution of this tracer. On a more global scale, it was further demonstrated and modelled that dissolved/particulate exchanges between continental margin sediments and open ocean (termed boundary exchange, BE), could be the dominant source-sink terms that determine the distribution of neodymium isotopes in the global ocean (Lacan and Jeandel, 2005a, Arsouze et al 2009). But this global scale study with it low-resolution configuration ORCA2 (2° of horizontal resolution) could not resolve many local and regional-scale features Our purpose is to test this hypothesis for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea by using a high resolution regional coupled model (1/12° of horizontal resolution). In a first approach we considered that boundary exchange is the only term governing Nd distribution in the Mediterranean Sea (other sources have been neglected). This aimed to validate the "Boundary

  4. An improved real-time seismic network in the Central Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agius, Matthew; Galea, Pauline; D'Amico, Sebastiano

    2014-05-01

    The Central Mediterranean is a region of active tectonics characterised by the interaction of a number of varied and sometimes poorly understood processes. Superimposed on the convergent scenario of the African plate pushing northwestward, a NE-SW directed extensional regime is active in the Sicily Channel, expressed in the form of a seismically active east-west trending system of strike-slip lineaments and a series of pull-apart grabens. The offshore seismicity of the Sicily channel, generally limited to magnitudes below 4.5, is normally difficult to quantify precisely, due to poor station coverage, yet it is believed that its analysis will considerably improve our understanding of the processes affecting the region. We present recent improvements to real and virtual seismic networking in the Central Mediterranean, based at the Seismic Monitoring and Research Unit (SMRU), University of Malta. Within the project SIMIT (B1-2.19/11) funded by the Italia-Malta Operational Programme 2007-2013, earthquake monitoring on the Maltese Islands is being upgraded through the installation of a further two broadband stations, one of which will be on the smaller island of Gozo. A new network, ML (Malta Seismic Network), has been internationally registered with the FDSN. At the same time, the installation and implementation of SeisComP3 has enabled the setting up of a virtual, real-time Central Mediterranean network, made up of 18 stations in Southern Italy (including Sicily, Lampedusa and Pantelleria) belonging to the Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, 3 stations in Tunisia (National Institute of Meteorology of Tunisia) and the 3 stations on the Maltese Islands. This will allow us to rapidly perform more accurate hypocentral locations in the region. The virtual network, which also incorporates a number of more distant stations, has been tuned to issue SMS alerts for potentially felt events in the Sicily Channel detected by the network, and for strong earthquakes

  5. Genetic divergence between the scad subspecies Trachurus Mediterraneus (Carangidae, pisces from the Black Sea and the Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I.S. DOBROVOLOV

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of myogen and eleven enzymes (AAT, ADH, EST, GPI, IDHP, LDH, MDH, MEP, PGDH, PGM and SOD were carried out by using starch gel and isoelectric focusing electrophoresis on thinlayer and ultrathin polyacrylamide ampholine and servalite gels in scad species from the Black Sea, the Sea of Marmara, the Aegean Sea, and the Mediterranean. Data from electrophoretic investigations was used to clarify the population structure of the scad migrating in the Bulgarian aquatory of the Black Sea and consisting of two main subpopulations: a a "Black Sea" one hibernating in this sea only, and b a "Sea of Marmara" one hibernating in that sea and contiguous Black Sea regions around the Bosporus. Non-specific muscular esterases were used, because they were appropriate for identification of both subspecies: Trachurus mediterraneus ponticus Aleev and Tr.m.mediterraneus Steindachner. Nei's genetic distance (D=0,0113 was used as an indication of their isolation dated back to the Carangate Period. An attempt was made to check the hypothesis of the origin of "large" ("giant" scad in the Black Sea as a result of the heterozygotic interbreeding between Tr.m.ponticus Aleev and Tr.m.mediterraneus Steindachner. A new allele Est-1E as well as the previously known alleles Est-1A and Est-1-B, were found in Mediterranean scad Tr.m.mediterraneus caught off Nice (France. It's proposed that the presence of the large form of large scat in this area is also a consequence of the heterozytic efect from the interbreeding between a population marked by Est-1-A and Est-1-B and a population marked by Est-1-E, probably inhabiting the waters around Gibraltar in the Atlantic Ocean.

  6. Understanding the Patterns and Causes of Variability in Distribution, Habitat Use, Abundance, Survival and Reproductive Rates of Three Species of Cetacean in the Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    2014-09-30

    Distribution, Habitat Use, Abundance, Survival and Reproductive Rates of Three Species of Cetacean in the Alborán Sea, Western Mediterranean...changes in distribution, habitat use, abundance, survival and reproductive rates of three species of cetacean in the Alborán Sea (western Mediterranean...Understanding the Patterns and Causes of Variability in Distribution, Habitat Use, Abundance, Survival and Reproductive Rates of Three Species of Cetacean in

  7. Multiscale regression model to infer historical temperatures in a central Mediterranean sub-regional area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    N. Diodato

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available To reconstruct sub-regional European climate over the past centuries, several efforts have been made using historical datasets. However, only scattered information at low spatial and temporal resolution have been produced to date for the Mediterranean area. This paper has exploited, for Southern and Central Italy (Mediterranean Sub-Regional Area, an unprecedented historical dataset as an attempt to model seasonal (winter and summer air temperatures in pre-instrumental time (back to 1500. Combining information derived from proxy documentary data and large-scale simulation, a statistical methodology in the form of multiscale-temperature regression (MTR-model was developed to adapt larger-scale estimations to the sub-regional temperature pattern. The modelled response lacks essentially of autocorrelations among the residuals (marginal or any significance in the Durbin-Watson statistic, and agrees well with the independent data from the validation sample (Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient >0.60. The advantage of the approach is not merely increased accuracy in estimation. Rather, it relies on the ability to extract (and exploit the right information to replicate coherent temperature series in historical times.

  8. The use of fish metabolic, pathological and parasitological indices in pollution monitoring . II. The Red Sea and Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Diamant, A.; Banet, A.; Paperna, I.; Westernhagen, H. v.; Broeg, K.; Kruener, G.; Koerting, W.; Zander, S.

    1999-12-01

    The complex interactions between parasites, hosts and the environment are influenced by the stability of the ecosystem. Heteroxenous parasites, with complex, multiple-host life cycles, can persist only in habitats where the full range of their required hosts are present. Conversely, in impoverished environments such as those impacted by environmental stress, monoxenous species that have simple, single-host life cycles are likely to predominate. In the present study, we analyzed the ratio between heteroxenous and monoxenous (H/M) parasites as well as parasite species richness (SH/SM) and species diversity in rabbitfish (Siganus rivulatus) collected from several sites in the Red Sea. The rabbitfish is a Suez Canal immigrant, well established in the eastern Mediterranean, and fish were also collected from a site on the Mediterranean coast of Israel. Separate treatment of the micro- and macroparasite components of the rabbitfish parasite communities in the Red Sea suggested that macroparasites only - monogenea and gut parasites - were better indicators than the parasite community as a whole. Quantification of macroparasites is accurate, saves time and effort, produces more accurate data and better differentiates between sites. Higher H/M ratios and SH/SM ratios were found in the rabbitfish collected at the ecologically stable habitat of the coral reef compared to rabbitfish from sandy habitat or mariculture-impacted sandy habitat. The results of the study emphasized the negative impacts of cage mariculture on the environment. The rabbitfish collected near the mariculture farms supported the poorest and least diverse parasite communities of all sampled sites, with virtual depletion of heteroxenous species, and even reduction of gill monogenean infections on the hosts. When results from the Mediterranean sites were compared with those of the Red Sea, the data showed full representation of monoxenous parasites (all but one of Red Sea origin), while heteroxenous species

  9. Modelling the habitat suitability of cetaceans: Example of the sperm whale in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Praca, Emilie; Gannier, Alexandre; Das, Krishna; Laran, Sophie

    2009-04-01

    Cetaceans are mobile and spend long periods underwater. Because of this, modelling their habitat could be subject to a serious problem of false absence. Furthermore, extensive surveys at sea are time and money consuming, and presence-absence data are difficult to apply. This study compares the ability of two presence-absence and two presence-only habitat modelling methods and uses the example of the sperm whale ( Physeter macrocephalus) in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The data consist of summer visual and acoustical detections of sperm whales, compiled between 1998 and 2005. Habitat maps were computed using topographical and hydrological eco-geographical variables. Four methods were compared: principal component analysis (PCA), ecological niche factor analysis (ENFA), generalized linear model (GLM) and multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS). The evaluation of the models was achieved by calculating the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) of the models and their respective area under the curve (AUC). Presence-absence methods (GLM, AUC=0.70, and MARS, AUC=0.79) presented better AUC than presence-only methods (PCA, AUC=0.58, and ENFA, AUC=0.66), but this difference was not statistically significant, except between the MARS and the PCA models. The four models showed an influence of both topographical and hydrological factors, but the resulting habitat suitability maps differed. The core habitat on the continental slope was well highlighted by the four models, while GLM and MARS maps also showed a suitable habitat in the offshore waters. Presence-absence methods are therefore recommended for modelling the habitat suitability of cetaceans, as they seem more accurate to highlight complex habitat. However, the use of presence-only techniques, in particular ENFA, could be very useful for a first model of the habitat range or when important surveys at sea are not possible.

  10. Seasonal and geographical differences in cleaner fish activity in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zander, Dieter C.; Sötje, Ilka

    2002-02-01

    Investigations into symbioses may be important in order to analyse the grade of stability in ecosystems. Host-cleaner relationships were investigated in two localities of the Mediterranean Sea: Giglio (Tuscany, Italy) and Banyuls-sur-Mer (France). The cleaner wrasse, Symphodus melanocercus, was the main cleaner. Supplementary cleaners, such as the young of several wrasses, Symphodus mediterraneus, Symphodus ocellatus, Symphodus tinca, Coris julis and Ctenolabrus rupestris, are able to help out in times when there is a shortage of cleaners. Differences between the localities were obvious by a greater fish (host) density in Banyuls, which is probably due to eutrophication and might improve and increase cleaner activities. Regarding two seasons, spring and late summer, the fishes presented a lower degree of activity in Giglio, but a higher one in Banyuls - in late summer compared with spring. The main hosts were Chromis chromis, Symphodus tinca and Coris julis; additionally Diplodus sargus in Banyuls and Apogon imberbis in Giglio. Chromis chromis may be a key host species because of its distribution in large groups in the whole Mediterranean; Coris julis is of similar abundance. Symphodus melanocercus additionally came into contact with Symphodus tinca in order to partake of the food of the peacock wrasse. During cleaning activities, Diplodus sargus and other sparids present hesitant behaviour, where the cleaner probably picks more than parasites (skin, scales?) from the body surface. Apogon imberbis (which prefers dark habitats such as caves) totally rejects the main cleaner but was cleaned exclusively by Coris julis which, unlike Symphodus melanocercus, is regularly present near cave entrances. The investigations may present models of the evolutionary processes on specialised partnerships in ecosystems.

  11. Feeding ecology of Ammothella longipes (Arthropoda: Pycnogonida) in the Mediterranean Sea: A fatty acid biomarker approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soler-Membrives, Anna; Rossi, Sergio; Munilla, Tomás

    2011-05-01

    Fatty acid analysis has proved valuable in determining seasonal trophic links and the feeding behavior in organisms in which these diet and trophic links cannot be inferred from stomach content analyses. Seasonal variations in total free fatty acid content (TFFA) and fatty acid composition of seston (<250 μm), the brown macroalgae Stypocaulon spp., polychaetes (Nereididae) and the pycnogonid Ammothella longipes have been used to establish their trophic links, with particular focus on seasonality and feeding ecology of A. longipes. Samples were collected in a coastal environment (NW Mediterranean Sea) at 7-10 m depth, in five different periods (August and October 2008, February, June and September 2009). Seston and Stypocaulon spp. samples did not show significant seasonal variations in TFFA content, while nereids showed a significant variation. Analysis of fatty acid profile showed high similarities of fatty acid composition between seston and Stypocaulon spp. Nereids were closer to seston and Stypocaulon spp. than A. longipes, which seemed to follow a seasonal trend. The results of this study reveal that A. longipes may change its feeding behavior depending on the season and available food. This pycnogonid species appears to be carnivore during spring and early summer but seems to feed on detritus when availability of prey diminishes during winter. Notable high amounts of odd-chain fatty acids are found in summer-autumn for this species, which may come from bacteria acquired from the detrital diet or from de novo biosynthesis from propionate. The results obtained provide new and valuable data on the understudied feeding biology of pycnogonids in general, and contribute to the understanding of their functioning of Mediterranean shallow oligotrophic systems and their trophic links.

  12. Spatial pattern and temporal variability of runoff processes in Mediterranean Mountain environments - a case study of the Central Spanish Pyrenees

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Butzen, V.; Seeger, K.M.; Casper, M.C.

    2011-01-01

    Mediterranean mountain environments like the Central Spanish Pyrenees show a highly variable rainfall-runoff response, mainly explained by the intense intra- and inter-annual variability of precipitation yield. This leads to a highly differentiated moisture status and therefore it is assumed to lead

  13. High oxygen consumption rates in the deep layers of the North Aegean Sea (eastern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. SOUVERMEZOGLOU

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Severe winter meteorological conditions promote dense water formation over the shelves of the North Aegean Sea. The newly formed dense water fills the deep basins of the North Aegean Sea, contributing to their ventilation and the downward transport of organic and inorganic material. The great bathymetric variability imposes limitations on the deep circulation and the communication between the various basins and makes the North Aegean Sea an appropriate area for the monitoring of oxygen consumption in the deep layers. Historical hydrographic data suggest that there was extensive production of dense water in the North Aegean Sea on two occasions during the last decade, the winters of 1987 and 1992-1993. Our data series from August 1986 to September 1989 and from March 1997 to February 1999, permitted us to follow, step by step, the oxygen consumption and the nutrient regeneration in the deep basins of the northern Aegean Sea during these periods of isolation. The organic matter reaching the bottom layer just after the deep water formation event is rich in labile and easily oxidizable material and its decomposition leads to a significant oxygen uptake during the first year of stagnation. The further decomposition of the remaining semi-labile and refractory material turns over on greater time scales, by consuming lesser amounts of oxygen. A more significant oxygen decrease is recorded in the eastern basin (Lemnos Basin of the North Aegean Trough, than in the central (Athos Basin and the western (North Sporades Basin ones and is attributed to the irregular contribution of the Black Sea Water (BSW to the water masses formed on the different shelves of the North Aegean Sea. Our results and the existing data on the Turkish straits showed that dissolved organic matter is the major constituent responsible for this high oxygen consumption. The slightly different particulate organic carbon fluxes to these depressions play a secondary role.

  14. COMPARISON OF FATTY ACID PROFILES OF MALE AND FEMALE GIANT RED SHRIMPS (Aristaeomorpha foliacea RISSO, 1827) OBTAINED FROM MEDITERRANEAN SEA

    OpenAIRE

    İ.A. Olgunoglu; E. Artar; M. Gocer

    2015-01-01

    This study was carried out to detect the concentration of fatty acid in female and male specimens of commercially important giant red shrimp (Aristaeomorpha foliacea) obtained from (including 20 male shrimps and also 20 female shrimp) Mediterranean Sea. In fatty acid composition, the saturated fatty acid fraction was dominant, followed by polyunsaturated fatty acid and monounsaturated fatty acid for both sexes. The analyses indicated that PUFAs, and the MUFAs content were higher in female shr...

  15. Comparison of radiance and polarization values observed in the Mediterranean Sea and simulated in a Monte Carlo model

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Adams, J.T.; Aas, E.; Højerslev, N.K.;

    2002-01-01

    Measurements of the radiance and degree of polarization made in 1971 in the Mediterranean Sea are presented along with the simulation of all observed quantities by a Monte Carlo technique. It is shown that our independent scattering treatment utilizing a Stokes vector formalism to describe...... the polarization state of the light field produces remarkably good agreement with those values measured in situ. (C) 2002 Optical Society of America...

  16. The relevance of the North-Sea Caspian Pattern (NCP) in explaining temperature variability in Europe and the Mediterranean

    OpenAIRE

    Brunetti, M.; H. Kutiel

    2011-01-01

    The impact of the upper level (500 hPa) teleconnection between the North-Sea and the Caspian (NCP) on the temperature and precipitation regimes in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM) have been studied and reported and an index (NCPI) that measures the normalized geopotential heights' differences between the two poles of this teleconnection has been defined.

    In the present study, the impact of the NCP on the temperature regime over the entire European continent is presented. In...

  17. Interaction between seabed morphology and water masses around the seamounts on the Motril Marginal Plateau (Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean)

    OpenAIRE

    Palomino, Desirée; Vázquez, J. T.; Ercilla, Gemma; Alonso, Belén; López-González, Nieves; Díaz del Río, Víctor

    2011-01-01

    The seabed morphology in the vicinity of the seamounts on the Motril Marginal Plateau (northern Alboran Sea) was investigated using high-resolution (sparker) and very high-resolution (TOPAS) seismic reflection profiles and multibeam bathymetry. The aim of the study was to determine the recent geological processes, and in particular those that control the contourite depositional system associated with the intermediate and deep Mediterranean water masses. Six groups of morphological features we...

  18. The role of ocean acidification in Emiliania huxleyi coccolith thinning in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meier, K. J. S.; Beaufort, L.; Heussner, S.; Ziveri, P.

    2014-05-01

    Ocean acidification is a result of the uptake of anthropogenic CO2 from the atmosphere into the ocean and has been identified as a major environmental and economic threat. The release of several thousands of petagrams of carbon over a few hundred years will have an overwhelming effect on surface ocean carbon reservoirs. The recorded and anticipated changes in seawater carbonate chemistry will presumably affect global oceanic carbonate production. Coccolithophores as the primary calcifying phytoplankton group, and especially Emiliania huxleyi as the most abundant species have shown a reduction of calcification at increased CO2 concentrations for the majority of strains tested in culture experiments. A reduction of calcification is associated with a decrease in coccolith weight. However, the effect in monoclonal cultures is relatively small compared to the strong variability displayed in natural E. huxleyi communities, as these are a mix of genetically and sometimes morphologically distinct types. Average coccolith weight is likely influenced by the variability in seawater carbonate chemistry in different parts of the world's oceans and on glacial/interglacial time scales due to both physiological effects and morphotype selectivity. An effect of the ongoing ocean acidification on E. huxleyi calcification has so far not been documented in situ. Here, we analyze E. huxleyi coccolith weight from the NW Mediterranean Sea in a 12-year sediment trap series, and surface sediment and sediment core samples using an automated recognition and analyzing software. Our findings clearly show (1) a continuous decrease in the average coccolith weight of E. huxleyi from 1993 to 2005, reaching levels below pre-industrial (Holocene) and industrial (20th century) values recorded in the sedimentary record and (2) seasonal variability in coccolith weight that is linked to the coccolithophore productivity. The observed long-term decrease in coccolith weight is most likely a result of the

  19. Regional and seasonal characteristics of epipelagic mesozooplankton in the Mediterranean Sea based on an artificial neural network analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mazzocchi, M. G.; Siokou, I.; Tirelli, V.; Bandelj, V.; Fernandez de Puelles, M. L.; Ak Örek, Y.; de Olazabal, A.; Gubanova, A.; Kress, N.; Protopapa, M.; Solidoro, C.; Taglialatela, S.; Terbiyik Kurt, T.

    2014-07-01

    The cruises conducted in the spring and autumn of 2008 in the frame of the European project SESAME represented the first coordinated surveys that allowed acquiring a quasi-synoptic picture of epipelagic mesozooplankton in most regions of the Mediterranean Sea. Seasonal differences were recorded in biomass, total abundance, and community composition and structure. In both seasons, it did not appear a clear west-east decreasing gradient in total standing stock, but rather regional discontinuities. However, west or east preferences were observed in the distribution of some zooplanktonic groups and copepod species. An artificial neural network analysis (SOM) identified, in both seasons, a clear mesozooplankton regionalization, which resembled the autotrophic regimes based on color remote sensing data. The correspondence between the distribution of zooplankton communities and the trophic regimes appeared more precise in spring, when the increased concentration of chlorophyll a makes the Mediterranean Sea a more heterogeneous environment, but it was still visible in the more uniform oligotrophic autumn conditions. Three distinct types of mesozooplankton communities seem to flourish in the investigated regions: the first type is the most widespread and thrives in the "non-blooming" areas, the second type occurs in the "intermittently-blooming" areas, and the third type is a characteristic of areas with recurrent and intense phytoplankton blooms. Overall, the well defined regionalization of mesozooplankton that appears from our results corroborates the view of the Mediterranean Sea as a mosaic environment, as previously emerged from the analyses of different biological compartments.

  20. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using mussels as sentinel organisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zorita, Izaskun [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Apraiz, Itxaso [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Orbea, Amaia [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cancio, Ibon [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Soto, Manu [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Marigomez, Ionan [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cajaraville, Miren P. [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Univ. del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)]. E-mail: mirenp.cajaraville@ehu.es

    2007-07-15

    With the aim of assessing the biological effects of pollution along three gradients of pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea, a biomonitoring survey was implemented using a battery of biomarkers (lysosomal membrane stability, lysosomal structural changes, metallothionein (MT) induction and peroxisome proliferation) in mussels over a period of two years as part of the EU-funded BEEP project. Mussels from the most impacted zones (Fos, Genova and Barcelona harbours) showed enlarged lysosomes accompanied by reduced labilisation period of lysosomal membranes, indicating disturbed health. MT levels did not reveal significant differences between stations and were significantly correlated with gonad index, suggesting that they were influenced by gamete development. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was significantly inhibited in polluted stations possibly due to interactions among mixtures of pollutants. In conclusion, the application of a battery of effect and exposure biomarkers provided relevant data for the assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea. - The biomarker approach is suitable for assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea.

  1. Assessment of biological effects of environmental pollution along the NW Mediterranean Sea using red mullets as sentinel organisms

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zorita, Izaskun; Ortiz-Zarragoitia, Maren; Apraiz, Itxaso; Cancio, Ibon; Orbea, Amaia; Soto, Manu; Marigomez, Ionan [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Universidad del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain); Cajaraville, Miren P. [Biologia Zelularra eta Histologia Laborategia, Zoologia eta Biologia Zelularra Saila, Zientzia eta Teknologia Fakultatea, Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea/Universidad del Pais Vasco, 644 P.K., E-48080 Bilbao, Basque Country (Spain)], E-mail: mirenp.cajaraville@ehu.es

    2008-05-15

    A biomonitoring program was carried out in spring and autumn in three pollution hot-spots and sensitive areas of the NW Mediterranean Sea using red mullets (Mullus barbatus) as sentinel organisms and a battery of biomarkers together with gonad histology. In fish from anthropogenic impacted areas (Fos-sur-mer, Cortiou, Arenzano, Delta of Ebro) lysosomal membrane destabilization occurred indicating disturbed health. There were no significant differences in metallothionein (MT) levels among stations. Peroxisomal acyl-CoA oxidase (AOX) activity was highest in fish from Cortiou. Both MT levels and AOX activities were significantly correlated with gamete development. Prevalence of melanomacrophage centers were high in Cortiou in all samplings and in Fos-sur-mer in September samplings. In conclusion, the application of a battery of biomarkers in red mullets provided relevant data for the assessment of environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea but also showed the difficulties of using native fish as sentinels. For future studies caging strategies are recommended. - Application of biomarkers in red mullets is promising to assess environmental pollution in the NW Mediterranean Sea.

  2. Model study of the circulation of the Miocene Mediterranean Sea and Paratethys: closure of the Indian Gateway

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    A. de la Vara

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The early Mediterranean Sea and the Paratethys were both connected to the Indian Ocean until the Early/Middle Miocene, when the convergence of the Eurasian and African-Arabian plates caused the constriction and final closure of the Indian Gateway. Although little is certain concerning the timing of the closure and the consequences that it entailed, it is broadly accepted that it had a large effect on water properties and ocean dynamics on the regional and global scales and, in that way, may have also played a role in the evolution of climate. The purpose of this work is to investigate the palaeocirculation of the Mediterranean Sea and the Paratethys during different stages of closure and the impact of this event on the water exchange between the Mediterranean and the adjacent Indian and Atlantic oceans. To this extent we use a regional ocean model and an Early Miocene palaeogeographic map. In addition to varying the depth of the Indian Gateway, different sets of values for the atmospheric forcing have been applied in order to check the robustness of our results and to understand the role of the temperature and net evaporation on the marine circulation and the strait dynamics. The series of experiments performed shows that, with an Indian Gateway ranging from 1000 to 460 m deep, the Mediterranean accommodates anti-estuarine exchange to the Indian and Atlantic oceans. The shoaling of the Indian Gateway results in a progressive decrease in the water exchanged between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean basin, and increases the spatial extension of the Atlantic inflow. When the gateway is as shallow as 220 m, there is no effective water exchange between the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean basin, suggesting that the gateway may have been closed in an oceanographical sense, even while a water passage was still in existence. On a basinal scale, closure results in a rearrangement of the circulation pattern which leads to changes in salinity and

  3. Frost-acclimation of photosynthesis in overwintering Mediterranean holm oak, grown in Central Europe

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    Ellen Pflug

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available As a consequence of global change, forestry in Central Europe has to expect and be prepared for an increase of hot and dry summers in the near future. In two model plantations of the Mediterranean holm oak (Quercus ilex L. in Central Europe (Rhine-Main basin we tested its potential as a future forestry tree for drought-threatened stands by studying its overwintering strategy under harsh winter conditions. During prolonged frost periods, chronic photoinhibition was developed, which lasted until the end of the frost period. Nearly all plants survived minimum temperatures of - 16 to -18°C and their photosynthetic apparatus recovered completely during late winter. A detailed study of the temperature dependence of chlorophyll (chl fluorescence parameters of the OJIP test revealed statistically significant correlations between minimum temperature and maximum quantum yield of primary photochemistry (Fv/Fm, absorption rate/reaction centre (ABS/RC, dissipation rate/reaction centre (DI0/RC and electron transport rate/reaction centre (ET0/RC as well as with the deepoxidation state (DES of the xanthophyll pigments. The DES correlated with Fv/Fm, ABS/RC, DI0/RC and ET0/RC. It is concluded, that from the point of view of the winter hardiness of the photosynthetic apparatus, Q. ilex should be further investigated as a potential future forestry tree also for very dry and warm stands in Central Europe under the scenarios of climate change.

  4. Co-invasion of a Red Sea fish and its ectoparasitic monogenean, Polylabris cf. mamaevi into the Mediterranean: observations on oncomiracidium behavior and infection levels in both seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasternak, Zohar; Diamant, Ariel; Abelson, Avigdor

    2007-03-01

    This study investigated aspects of the biology of the monogenean gill ectoparasite Polylabris cf. mamaevi (Polyopisthocotylea: Microcotyleae) infecting rabbitfish, Siganus rivulatus (Forskal) (Teleostei: Siganidae). Both host and parasite are Lessepsian immigrants that have co-invaded the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal. The infection prevalence and mean intensity of the polyopisthocotylean was examined in both native and immigrant host populations and found to be three times greater in the new biogeographical region. In vitro observations on parasite eggs from both areas indicated that hatching occurred almost exclusively in the dark. The reaction of the larval oncomiracidia to water flow and secreted host chemicals indicated that neither Red Sea nor Mediterranean oncomiracidia exposed to waterborne host metabolites displayed any significant response or change in behavior; however, upon encountering flow, they ceased to swim and drifted passively downstream. Host specificity of P. cf. mamaevi may have co-evolved with temporal synchronization of the parasite with the host's diurnal activity. Hatching of P. cf. mamaevi eggs was rhythmical and the timing coincided with the known nocturnal resting behavior of the hosts, when their schools lie immobile on the sea bottom. After hatching, abrupt cessation of active swimming by the oncomiracidia upon sensing host inhalant gill-ventilating currents is likely to facilitate rapid, passive entry into the gill chamber of a suitable host. The greater abundance of P. cf. mamaevi in the invading (Mediterranean) populations is probably due to the changed, new environment, possibly impacting host resistance to the parasite and encouraging heavier infections.

  5. Life-history traits of temperate and thermophilic barracudas (Teleostei: Sphyraenidae) in the context of sea warming in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villegas-Hernández, H; Muñoz, M; Lloret, J

    2014-06-01

    This study indicated that the life-history traits of European barracuda Sphyraena sphyraena are apparently better suited to their environmental conditions compared to the more physically restricted life-history traits of the yellow-mouth barracuda Sphyraena viridensis, which co-habit the north-western Mediterranean Sea. The latter thermophilic species has a considerably higher reproductive potential as it invests its energy reserves in larger numbers of hydrated eggs per spawning batch. This would favour its population growth rates within the study area, especially if sea warming continues, in which case it is likely that the spawning phenology of this species would give it an advantage.

  6. Multivariate Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis of the upper thermocline structure of the Mediterranean Sea from observations and model simulations

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    S. Sparnocchia

    Full Text Available Multivariate vertical Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF are calculated for the entire Mediterranean Sea both from observations and model simulations, in order to find the optimal number of vertical modes to represent the upper thermocline vertical structure. For the first time, we show that the large-scale Mediterranean thermohaline vertical structure can be represented by a limited number of vertical multivariate EOFs, and that the "optimal set" can be selected on the basis of general principles. In particular, the EOFs are calculated for the combined temperature and salinity statistics, dividing the Mediterranean Sea into 9 regions and grouping the data seasonally. The criterion used to establish whether a reduced set of EOFs is optimal is based on the analysis of the root mean square residual error between the original data and the profiles reconstructed by the reduced set of EOFs. It was found that the number of EOFs needed to capture the variability contained in the original data changes with geographical region and seasons. In particular, winter data require a smaller number of modes (4–8, depending on the region than the other seasons (8–9 in summer. Moreover, western Mediterranean regions require more modes than the eastern Mediterranean ones, but this result may depend on the data scarcity in the latter regions. The EOFs computed from the in situ data set are compared to those calculated using data obtained from a model simulation. The main results of this exercise are that the two groups of modes are not strictly comparable but their ability to reproduce observations is the same. Thus, they may be thought of as equivalent sets of basis functions, upon which to project the thermohaline variability of the basin.

    Key words. Oceanography: general (water masses – Oceanography: physical (hydrography; instruments and techniques

  7. The Gela Basin pockmark field in the strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea: chemosymbiotic faunal and carbonate signatures of postglacial to modern cold seepage

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    M. Taviani

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The geo-biological exploration of a pockmark field located at ca. 800 m below sea level in the Gela basin (Strait of Sicily, Central Mediterranean provided a relatively diverse chemosymbiotic community and methane-imprinted carbonates. To date, this is the first occurrence of such a type of specialised deep-water cold-seep communities recorded from this key region, before documented in the Mediterranean as rather disjunct findings in its eastern and westernmost basins. The thiotrophic chemosymbiotic organisms recovered from this area include empty tubes of the vestimentiferan Lamellibrachia sp., loose and articulated shells of lucinids (Lucinoma kazani, Myrtea amorpha, vesicomyids (Isorropodon perplexum, and gastropods (Taranis moerchii. A callianassid decapod (Calliax sp. was consistently found alive in large numbers in the pockmark mud. Their post-mortem calcified parts mixed with molluscs and subordinately miliolid foraminifers form a distinct type of skeletal assemblage. Carbonate concretions display δ13C values as low as −40‰ PDB suggesting the occurrence of light hydrocarbons in the seeping fluids. Since none of the truly chemosymbiotic organisms was found alive, although their skeletal parts appear at times very fresh, some specimens have been AMS-14C dated to shed light on the historical evolution of this site. Lamellibrachiav and Lucinoma are two of the most significant chemosymbiotic taxa reported from various Mediterranean cold seep sites (Alboran Sea and Eastern basin. Specimens from station MEDCOR78 (pockmark #1, Lat. 36°46´10.18" N, Long. 14°01´31.59" E, 815 m below sea level provided ages of 11736 ± 636 yr cal BP (Lamellibrachia sp., and 9609.5 ± 153.5 yr cal BP (L. kazani. One shell of M. amorpha in core MEDCOR81 (pockmark #6, Lat 36°45´38.89" N, Long 14°00´07.58" E, 822 m below sea level provided a sub-modern age of 484 ± 54 yr cal BP. These ages document that fluid seepage at this pockmark site has been

  8. Multiple processes regulate long-term population dynamics of sea urchins on Mediterranean rocky reefs.

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    Bernat Hereu

    Full Text Available We annually monitored the abundance and size structure of herbivorous sea urchin populations (Paracentrotus lividus and Arbacia lixula inside and outside a marine reserve in the Northwestern Mediterranean on two distinct habitats (boulders and vertical walls over a period of 20 years, with the aim of analyzing changes at different temporal scales in relation to biotic and abiotic drivers. P. lividus exhibited significant variability in density over time on boulder bottoms but not on vertical walls, and temporal trends were not significantly different between the protection levels. Differences in densities were caused primarily by variance in recruitment, which was less pronounced inside the MPA and was correlated with adult density, indicating density-dependent recruitment under high predation pressure, as well as some positive feedback mechanisms that may facilitate higher urchin abundances despite higher predator abundance. Populations within the reserve were less variable in abundance and did not exhibit the hyper-abundances observed outside the reserve, suggesting that predation effects maybe more subtle than simply lowering the numbers of urchins in reserves. A. lixula densities were an order of magnitude lower than P. lividus densities and varied within sites and over time on boulder bottoms but did not differ between protection levels. In December 2008, an exceptionally violent storm reduced sea urchin densities drastically (by 50% to 80% on boulder substrates, resulting in the lowest values observed over the entire study period, which remained at that level for at least two years (up to the present. Our results also showed great variability in the biological and physical processes acting at different temporal scales. This study highlights the need for appropriate temporal scales for studies to fully understand ecosystem functioning, the concepts of which are fundamental to successful conservation and management.

  9. Atmospheric Deposition And MediterraneAN sea water productiviTy (Thales - ADAMANT) An overview

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christodoulaki, Sylvia; Petihakis, George; Triantafyllou, George; Pitta, Paraskevi; Papadimitriou, Vassileios; Tsiaras, Konstantinos; Mihalopoulos, Nikolaos; Kanakidou, Maria

    2015-04-01

    In the marine environment the salinity and biological pumps sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide. The biological pump is directly related to marine primary production which is controlled by nutrient availability mainly of iron, nitrogen and phosphorus. The Mediterranean Sea, especially the eastern basin is one of the most oligotrophic seas. The nitrogen (N) to phosphorus (P) ratio is unusually high, especially in the eastern basin (28:1) and primary production is limited by phosphorus availability. ADAMANT project contributes to new knowledge into how nutrients enter the marine environment through atmospheric deposition, how they are assimilated by organisms and how this influences carbon and nutrient fluxes. Experimental work has been combined with atmospheric and marine models. Important knowledge is obtained on nutrients deposition through mesocosm experiments on their uptake by the marine systems and their effects on the marine carbon cycle and food chain. Kinetic parameters of adsorption of acidic and organic volatile compounds in atmospheric samples of dust and marine salts are estimated in conjunction with solubility of N and P in mixtures contained in dust. Atmospheric and oceanographic models are coupled to create a system that is able to holistically simulate the effects of atmospheric deposition on the marine environment over time, beginning from the pre-industrial era until the future years (hind cast, present and forecast simulations). This research has been co-financed by the European Union (European Social Fund) and Greek national funds through the Operational Program "Education and Lifelong Learning" of the National Strategic Reference Framework - Research Funding Program: THALES, Investing in knowledge society through European Social Fund.

  10. Long term evolution of heat budget in the Mediterranean Sea from Med-CORDEX forced and coupled simulations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harzallah, Ali; Jordà, Gabriel; Dubois, Clotilde; Sannino, Gianmaria; Carillo, Adriana; Li, Laurent; Arsouze, Thomas; Cavicchia, Leone; Beuvier, Jonathan; Akhtar, Naveed

    2016-10-01

    This study evaluates the Mediterranean Sea heat budget components from a set of forced and coupled simulations performed in the frame of the Med-CORDEX project. The simulations use regional climate system models (RCSMs) dedicated to the Mediterranean area and driven by the ERA40/ERA-Interim reanalyses. The study focuses on the period 1980-2010. Interannual variations of the average net heat flux at the sea surface are consistent among models but the spread in the mean values is large (from -4.8 to +2.2 Wm-2) with the coupled models showing the lowest heat loss from the sea. For the heat flux at the Strait of Gibraltar both interannual variations and mean values show a large intermodel spread. The basin average temperature shows positive trends with highest values in the coupled models; it also shows interannual variations that are in good agreement with observations. The heat content rate is calculated based on the derivative of the average temperature and is found to be significantly correlated for most models with the net heat flux at the sea surface (average correlation ~0.5) but not with the net heat flux through the Strait of Gibraltar (average correlation ~0.2), suggesting that in the considered RCSMs the interannual variability of the heat content rate is mainly driven by the surface heat fluxes. The resemblance between the simulated and observed heat content rates is stronger in the forced models than in the coupled ones. This is explained by the stronger constraint applied to the forced models by the use of the surface temperature relaxation to observations. The temperature of the outflowing water through the Strait of Gibraltar shows positive and significant trends, also higher in the coupled models. It is suggested that the Mediterranean Sea warming found in most models and in particular in the coupled ones, induces a change of the hydrographic conditions that affects the Strait of Gibraltar.

  11. The Impact of the Little Ice Age on Coccolithophores in the Central Mediterranea Sea

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    A. Incarbona

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available The Little Ice Age (LIA is the last episode of a series of Holocene climatic anomalies. There is still little knowledge on the response of the marine environment to the pronounced cooling of the LIA and to the transition towards the 20th century global warming. Here we present decadal-scale coccolithophore data from four short cores recovered from the central Mediterranean Sea (northern Sicily Channel and Tyrrhenian Sea, which on the basis of 210Pb activity span the last 200–350 years. The lowermost part of the record of one of the cores from the Sicily Channel, Station 407, which extends down to 1650 AD, is characterized by drastic changes in productivity. Specifically, below 1850 AD, the decrease in abundance of F. profunda and the increase of placoliths, suggest increased productivity. The chronology of this change is related to the main phase of the Little Ice Age, which might have impacted the hydrography of the southern coast of Sicily and promoted vertical mixing in the water column. The comparison with climatic forcings points out the importance of stronger and prolonged northerly winds, together with decreased solar irradiance.

  12. Morphology of the triggering and evolution of a deep moist convective system in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiori, Elisabetta; Ferraris, Luca; Molini, Luca; Siccardi, Franco; Kranzlmueller, Dieter; Parodi, Antonio

    2016-04-01

    Gaining a deeper physical understanding of the high impact weather events (HIWE) which affected the Western Mediterranean Basin (WMB) in the last years (Cinqueterre 2011, Southern France 2011, Genoa 2011, Southern Spain 2012, and Genoa 2014) is strongly motivated by the social request to reduce the casualties and the economical impacts due to these highly-localized and hardly-predictable phenomena. One of the most recent HIWE observed in the WMB hit the Genoa city center, on October 2014 less than 3 years after the very similar one which already affected the city on November 2011. Taking advantage of the availability of both observational data and modelling results (WRF-ARW runs) at the micro-α meteorological scale (2 km - 0.2 km and 1 hour or less, Orlanski, 1975), this paper provides new insights about the triggering mechanism and the subsequent spatio-temporal evolution of 2014 HIWE. The major feature that emerged from the very fine grid spacing simulations is the effect of a kind of virtual topography created on the Ligurian sea by the convergence of the cold current outflowing from the Po valley and the warm and moist south-easterly flow.

  13. Anomalous distribution of fluoride and phosphorus forms in surface sediments along eastern Egyptian Mediterranean Sea coast.

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Said, Ghada F; Khalil, Mona Kh; Draz, Suzanne E O

    2016-07-01

    The study focused on the distribution of fluoride, total phosphorus, and four phosphorus fractions in some sites along the Egyptian Mediterranean Sea coast. The geochemical parameters and textures of 30 surficial sediment samples from six sectors were determined. The sediment's geochemical parameters (total carbonates (TCO3) and total organic carbon (TOC), exchangeable and carbonate-associated phosphorus (Pex), iron- and aluminum-associated phosphorus (POH), calcium-associated phosphate/apatite (PHCl), residual phosphorus (PR), total phosphorus (TP), calcium (Cas), magnesium (Mgs), and fluoride (Fs)) showed variable values. The rank of phosphorus fractions in the sediments PHCl > PR > POH > Pex reflected that the eastern Egyptian coast was still uncontaminated. Generally, Pex levels gave a gradual increase in the offshore direction, while POH values varied along the stations of each sector. Also, the presented data indicated that the apatite-P fraction was the main storage of the phosphate in the sediments with a contribution to TP ranging from 58 to 87 %. The highest and lowest average fluoride contents (0.49 ± 0.10 and 0.25 ± 0.31 mg/g) were determined in the Port Said and Damietta sectors, respectively. Interestingly, the variability of both phosphorus and fluoride levels in the investigated area seemed to be accompanied with the sediment's character beside the proximity to potential effluent sources.

  14. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in sediments and mussels of the western Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baumard, P.; Budzinski, H.; Garrigues, P. [Univ. Bordeaux I, Talence (France)

    1998-05-01

    The distribution of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) has been investigated in superficial sediments and mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) of the western Mediterranean sea. The analyses were performed by gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The PAH concentrations ranged from 1 to 20,500 ng/g in the sediments. Different molecular indices allowed differentiation between the different pollutant sources. On the French coast, PAHs originated mainly from incomplete combustion of organic matter (pyrolytic origin), whereas for some sites in Corsica and Sardinia an overimposition of petrogenic PAHs occurred. The mussel PAH concentrations ranged from 25 to 390 ng/g. The total and individual PAH bioaccumulation factors were calculated. The correlation between sediment and mussel PAH content was discussed in terms of bioavailability. It was possible to distinguish different absorption routes for the xenobiotics according to their physicochemical properties. Because the mussel distribution of phenanthrene and anthracene seems to be governed by their water solubility, these compounds were probably mainly absorbed as the water-dissolved form, whereas the heavier molecular weight PAHs (more than four aromatic rings), whose sediment and mussel concentrations are correlated with higher correlation coefficients than for phenanthrene and anthracene, were probably mainly absorbed as adsorbed on particles. Furthermore, a possible preferential biotransformation of benzo[a]pyrene over benzo[e]pyrene is discussed.

  15. Embryotoxicity and spermiotoxicity of nanosized ZnO for Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manzo, Sonia; Miglietta, Maria Lucia; Rametta, Gabriella; Buono, Silvia; Di Francia, Girolamo

    2013-06-15

    The effect of nano ZnO (nZnO) upon the fertilization and early development of embryos of the Mediterranean sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus is reported herein for the first time. Zn ion (ZnCl2) and bulk ZnO (bZnO) toxicity were assessed for comparison. The embryotoxicity tests showed a 100% effect already at 1 μM of nZnO (expressed as [Zn]) while bZnO and ZnCl2 showed EC50s of 0.98 [0.88-1.19] μM [Zn] and 2.02 [1.97-2.09] μM [Zn], respectively. Noteworthy, the frequency of developmental defects for the three compounds was dissimilar and a specific trend for larval skeletal abnormality produced by nZnO was observed. The sperm fertilization capability was only slightly affected by the tested chemicals while the effects were dramatic on the offspring quality of sperms exposed to ZnO compounds resulting in an early block of the regular larval development. ZnO toxicity seems related not only to Zinc ions but also to some surface interactions of particle/aggregates with target organisms and/or with the seawater.

  16. Diversity of apostome ciliates, Chromidina spp. (Oligohymenophorea, Opalinopsidae), parasites of cephalopods of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-01-01

    Chromidina spp. are enigmatic apostome ciliates (Oligohymenophorea, Opalinopsidae) that parasitise the renal and pancreatic appendages of cephalopods. Only four species have been described, among which only three have been formally named. No DNA sequence has been reported so far. To investigate Chromidina spp. diversity, we sampled cephalopods in the Mediterranean Sea off Tunis, Tunisia, and identified two distinct Chromidina spp. in two different host species: Loligo vulgaris and Sepia officinalis. From haematoxylin-stained slides, we described morphological traits for these parasitic species and compared them to previous descriptions. We also re-described the morphology of Chromidina elegans (Foettinger, 1881) from Chatton and Lwoff’s original materials and designated a neohapantotype and paraneohapantotypes for this species. We describe a new species, Chromidina chattoni Souidenne, Florent and Grellier n. sp., found in L. vulgaris off Tunisia, and evidence for a probable novel species, found in S. officinalis off Tunisia, although this latter species presents similarities to some morphological stages previously described for Chromidina cortezi Hochberg, 1971. We amplified, for the first time, an 18S rDNA marker for these two Chromidina species. Phylogenetic analysis supports the association of Chromidina within apostome ciliates. Genetic distance analysis between 18S rDNA sequences of representative apostomes indicates Pseudocollinia as the most closely related genus to Chromidina. PMID:27530149

  17. Diversity of apostome ciliates, Chromidina spp. (Oligohymenophorea, Opalinopsidae, parasites of cephalopods of the Mediterranean Sea

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    Souidenne Dhikra

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Chromidina spp. are enigmatic apostome ciliates (Oligohymenophorea, Opalinopsidae that parasitise the renal and pancreatic appendages of cephalopods. Only four species have been described, among which only three have been formally named. No DNA sequence has been reported so far. To investigate Chromidina spp. diversity, we sampled cephalopods in the Mediterranean Sea off Tunis, Tunisia, and identified two distinct Chromidina spp. in two different host species: Loligo vulgaris and Sepia officinalis. From haematoxylin-stained slides, we described morphological traits for these parasitic species and compared them to previous descriptions. We also re-described the morphology of Chromidina elegans (Foettinger, 1881 from Chatton and Lwoff’s original materials and designated a neohapantotype and paraneohapantotypes for this species. We describe a new species, Chromidina chattoni Souidenne, Florent and Grellier n. sp., found in L. vulgaris off Tunisia, and evidence for a probable novel species, found in S. officinalis off Tunisia, although this latter species presents similarities to some morphological stages previously described for Chromidina cortezi Hochberg, 1971. We amplified, for the first time, an 18S rDNA marker for these two Chromidina species. Phylogenetic analysis supports the association of Chromidina within apostome ciliates. Genetic distance analysis between 18S rDNA sequences of representative apostomes indicates Pseudocollinia as the most closely related genus to Chromidina.

  18. Cumulative human impacts on Mediterranean and Black Sea marine ecosystems: assessing current pressures and opportunities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fiorenza Micheli

    Full Text Available Management of marine ecosystems requires spatial information on current impacts. In several marine regions, including the Mediterranean and Black Sea, legal mandates and agreements to implement ecosystem-based management and spatial plans provide new opportunities to balance uses and protection of marine ecosystems. Analyses of the intensity and distribution of cumulative impacts of human activities directly connected to the ecological goals of these policy efforts are critically needed. Quantification and mapping of the cumulative impact of 22 drivers to 17 marine ecosystems reveals that 20% of the entire basin and 60-99% of the territorial waters of EU member states are heavily impacted, with high human impact occurring in all ecoregions and territorial waters. Less than 1% of these regions are relatively unaffected. This high impact results from multiple drivers, rather than one individual use or stressor, with climatic drivers (increasing temperature and UV, and acidification, demersal fishing, ship traffic, and, in coastal areas, pollution from land accounting for a majority of cumulative impacts. These results show that coordinated management of key areas and activities could significantly improve the condition of these marine ecosystems.

  19. Using Bones to Shape Stones: MIS 9 Bone Retouchers at Both Edges of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blasco, Ruth; Rosell, Jordi; Cuartero, Felipe; Fernández Peris, Josep; Gopher, Avi; Barkai, Ran

    2013-01-01

    A significant challenge in Prehistory is to understand the mechanisms involved in the behavioural evolution of human groups. The degree of technological and cultural development of prehistoric groups is assessed mainly through stone tools. However, other elements can provide valuable information as well. This paper presents two bone retouchers dated to the Middle Pleistocene MIS 9 used for the shaping of lithic artefacts. Originating from Bolomor Cave (Spain) and Qesem Cave (Israel), these two bone retouchers are among the earliest of the Old World. Although the emergence of such tools might be found in the latest phases of the Acheulean, their widespread use seems to coincide with independently emergent post-Acheulean cultural complexes at both ends of the Mediterranean Sea: the post-Acheulean/pre-Mousterian of Western Europe and the Acheulo Yabrudian Cultural Complex of the Levant. Both entities seem to reflect convergent processes that may be viewed in a wider cultural context as reflecting new technology-related behavioural patterns as well as new perceptions in stone tool manufacturing. PMID:24146928

  20. Performance comparison of meso-scale ensemble wave forecasting systems for Mediterranean sea states

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pezzutto, Paolo; Saulter, Andrew; Cavaleri, Luigi; Bunney, Christopher; Marcucci, Francesca; Torrisi, Lucio; Sebastianelli, Stefano

    2016-08-01

    This paper compares the performance of two wind and wave short range ensemble forecast systems for the Mediterranean Sea. In particular, it describes a six month verification experiment carried out by the U.K. Met Office and Italian Air Force Meteorological Service, based on their respective systems: the Met Office Global-Regional Ensemble Prediction System and the Nettuno Ensemble Prediction System. The latter is the ensemble version of the operational Nettuno forecast system. Attention is focused on the differences between the two implementations (e.g. grid resolution and initial ensemble members sampling) and their effects on the prediction skill. The cross-verification of the two ensemble systems shows that from a macroscopic point of view the differences cancel out, suggesting similar skill. More in-depth analysis indicates that the Nettuno wave forecast is better resolved but, on average, slightly less reliable than the Met Office product. Assessment of the added value of the ensemble techniques at short range in comparison with the deterministic forecast from Nettuno, reveals that adopting the ensemble approach has small, but substantive, advantages.

  1. Development of coccolithophore-based transfer functions in the Western Mediterranean Sea: a sea surface salinity reconstruction for the last 15.5 kyr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. Ausín

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available A new dataset of 88 marine surface sediment samples and related oceanic environmental variables (temperature, salinity, chlorophyll a, oxygen, etc. was studied to quantify the relationship between assemblages of coccolithophore species and modern environmental conditions in the Western Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, west of the Strait of Gibraltar. Multivariate statistical analyses revealed that coccolithophore species were primarily related to the sea surface salinity (SSS gradient, which explains an independent and significant proportion of variance in the coccolithophore data. A quantitative coccolithophore-based transfer function to estimate SSS was developed using the Modern Analog Technique (MAT and weighted-averaging partial-least square regression (WA-PLS. The bootstrapped regression coefficient (R2boot was 0.85MAT and 0.80WA-PLS, with root-mean square error of prediction (RMSEP of 0.29MAT and 0.30WA-PLS (psu. The resulting transfer function was applied to fossil coccolithophore assemblages in the highly resolved (∼ 65 yr sediment core CEUTA10PC08 from the Alboran Sea (Western Mediterranean in order to reconstruct SSS for the last 25 kyr. The reliability of the reconstruction was evaluated by assessing the degree of similarity between fossil and modern coccolithophore assemblage, and comparison of reconstruction with fossil ordination scores. Analogs were poor for the stadials associated with Heinrich Event 2 and 1 and part of the Last Glacial Maximum. Good analogs indicate more reliable reconstruction of the SSS for the last 15.5 kyr. During this period, several millennial and centennial SSS changes were observed and associated with variations in the Atlantic Water entering the Alboran Sea, sea-level oscillations, and arid or humid atmospheric conditions in the Western Mediterranean.

  2. Biogeochemical and physical controls on concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in water and plankton of the Mediterranean and Black Seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berrojalbiz, Naiara; Dachs, Jordi; Ojeda, MaríA. José; Valle, MaríA. Carmen; Castro-JiméNez, Javier; Wollgast, Jan; Ghiani, Michela; Hanke, Georg; Zaldivar, José Manuel

    2011-12-01

    The Mediterranean and Black Seas are unique marine environments subject to important anthropogenic pressures due to atmospheric and riverine inputs of organic pollutants. They include regions of different physical and trophic characteristics, which allow the studying of the controls on pollutant occurrence and fate under different conditions in terms of particles, plankton biomass, interactions with the atmosphere, biodegradation, and their dependence on the pollutant physical chemical properties. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) have been measured in samples of seawater (dissolved and particulate phases) and plankton during two east-west sampling cruises in June 2006 and May 2007. The concentrations of dissolved PAHs were higher in the south-western Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean than in the Western Mediterranean, reflecting different pollutant loads, trophic conditions and cycling. Particle and plankton phase PAH concentrations were higher when lower concentrations of suspended particles and biomass occurred, with apparent differences due to the PAH physical chemical properties. The surface PAH particle phase concentrations decreased when the total suspended particles (TSP) increased for the higher molecular weight (MW) compounds, consistent with controls due to particle settling depletion of water column compounds and dilution. Conversely, PAH concentrations in plankton decreased at higher biomass only for the low MW PAHs, suggesting that biodegradative processes in the water column are a major driver of their occurrence in the photic zone. The results presented here are the most extensive data set available for the Mediterranean Sea and provide clear evidence of the important physical and biological controls on PAH occurrence and cycling in oceanic regions.

  3. Marine Invasion in the Mediterranean Sea: The Role of Abiotic Factors When There Is No Biological Resistance

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-01-01

    The tropical red alga Womersleyella setacea (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) is causing increasing concern in the Mediterranean Sea because of its invasive behavior. After its introduction it has colonized most Mediterranean areas, but the mechanism underlying its acclimatization and invasion process remains unknown. To understand this process, we decided i) to assess in situ the seasonal biomass and phenological patterns of populations inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea in relation to the main environmental factors, and ii) to experimentally determine if the tolerance of W. setacea to different light and temperature conditions can explain its colonization success, as well as its bathymetric distribution range. The bathymetric distribution, biomass, and phenology of W. setacea were studied at two localities, and related to irradiance and temperature values recorded in situ. Laboratory experiments were set up to study survival, growth and reproduction under contrasting light and temperature conditions in the short, mid, and long term.Results showed that, in the studied area, the bathymetric distribution of W. setacea is restricted to a depth belt between 25 and 40 m deep, reaching maximum biomass values (126 g dw m−2) at 30 m depth. In concordance, although in the short term W. setacea survived and grew in a large range of environmental conditions, its life requirements for the mid and long term were dim light levels and low temperatures. Biomass of Womersleyella setacea did not show any clear seasonal pattern, though minimum values were reported in spring. Reproductive structures were always absent. Bearing in mind that no herbivores feed on Womersleyella setacea and that its thermal preferences are more characteristic of temperate than of tropical seaweeds, low light (50 µmol photon m−2 s−1) and low temperature (12°C) levels are critical for W. setacea survival and growth, thus probably determining its spread and bathymetric distribution across the Mediterranean

  4. Marine invasion in the Mediterranean Sea: the role of abiotic factors when there is no biological resistance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cebrian, Emma; Rodríguez-Prieto, Conxi

    2012-01-01

    The tropical red alga Womersleyella setacea (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta) is causing increasing concern in the Mediterranean Sea because of its invasive behavior. After its introduction it has colonized most Mediterranean areas, but the mechanism underlying its acclimatization and invasion process remains unknown. To understand this process, we decided i) to assess in situ the seasonal biomass and phenological patterns of populations inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea in relation to the main environmental factors, and ii) to experimentally determine if the tolerance of W. setacea to different light and temperature conditions can explain its colonization success, as well as its bathymetric distribution range. The bathymetric distribution, biomass, and phenology of W. setacea were studied at two localities, and related to irradiance and temperature values recorded in situ. Laboratory experiments were set up to study survival, growth and reproduction under contrasting light and temperature conditions in the short, mid, and long term. Results showed that, in the studied area, the bathymetric distribution of W. setacea is restricted to a depth belt between 25 and 40 m deep, reaching maximum biomass values (126 g dw m(-2)) at 30 m depth. In concordance, although in the short term W. setacea survived and grew in a large range of environmental conditions, its life requirements for the mid and long term were dim light levels and low temperatures. Biomass of Womersleyella setacea did not show any clear seasonal pattern, though minimum values were reported in spring. Reproductive structures were always absent. Bearing in mind that no herbivores feed on Womersleyella setacea and that its thermal preferences are more characteristic of temperate than of tropical seaweeds, low light (50 µmol photon m(-2) s(-1)) and low temperature (12°C) levels are critical for W. setacea survival and growth, thus probably determining its spread and bathymetric distribution across the Mediterranean

  5. Marine invasion in the Mediterranean Sea: the role of abiotic factors when there is no biological resistance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Emma Cebrian

    Full Text Available The tropical red alga Womersleyella setacea (Rhodomelaceae, Rhodophyta is causing increasing concern in the Mediterranean Sea because of its invasive behavior. After its introduction it has colonized most Mediterranean areas, but the mechanism underlying its acclimatization and invasion process remains unknown. To understand this process, we decided i to assess in situ the seasonal biomass and phenological patterns of populations inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea in relation to the main environmental factors, and ii to experimentally determine if the tolerance of W. setacea to different light and temperature conditions can explain its colonization success, as well as its bathymetric distribution range. The bathymetric distribution, biomass, and phenology of W. setacea were studied at two localities, and related to irradiance and temperature values recorded in situ. Laboratory experiments were set up to study survival, growth and reproduction under contrasting light and temperature conditions in the short, mid, and long term. Results showed that, in the studied area, the bathymetric distribution of W. setacea is restricted to a depth belt between 25 and 40 m deep, reaching maximum biomass values (126 g dw m(-2 at 30 m depth. In concordance, although in the short term W. setacea survived and grew in a large range of environmental conditions, its life requirements for the mid and long term were dim light levels and low temperatures. Biomass of Womersleyella setacea did not show any clear seasonal pattern, though minimum values were reported in spring. Reproductive structures were always absent. Bearing in mind that no herbivores feed on Womersleyella setacea and that its thermal preferences are more characteristic of temperate than of tropical seaweeds, low light (50 µmol photon m(-2 s(-1 and low temperature (12°C levels are critical for W. setacea survival and growth, thus probably determining its spread and bathymetric distribution across the

  6. Productivity changes in the Mediterranean Sea for the 21st century in response to changes in the regional atmospheric forcing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego M Macias

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea is considered as a hotspot for climate change because of its location in the temperate region and because it is a semi-enclosed basin surrounded by highly populated and developed countries. Some expected changes include an increase in air temperature and changes in the periodicity and spatial distribution of rainfall. Alongside, demographic and politics changes will alter freshwater quantity and quality. All these changes will have an impact on the ecological status of marine ecosystems in the basin. We use a 3D hydrodynamic-biogeochemical coupled model of the entire Mediterranean Sea to explore potential changes in primary productivity (mean values and spatial distribution under two emission scenarios (rcp4.5 and rcp8.5.To isolate the effects of changes in atmospheric conditions alone, in this ensemble of simulations rivers conditions (water flow and nutrient concentrations are kept unchanged and equal to its climatological values for the last 10 years. Despite the significant warming trend, the mean integrated primary production rate in the entire basin remains almost unchanged. However characteristic spatial differences are consistently found in the different simulations. The western basin becomes more oligotrophic associated to a surface density decrease (increase stratification because of the influence of the Atlantic waters which prevents surface salinity to increase. In the eastern basin, on the contrary, all model runs simulates an increase in surface production linked to a density increase (less stratification because of the increasing evaporation rate. The simulations presented here demonstrate the basic response patterns of the Mediterranean Sea ecosystem to changing climatological conditions. Although unlikely, they could be considered as a ‘baseline’ of expected consequences of climatic changes on marine conditions in the Mediterranean.

  7. First record of the moray eel Gymnothorax reticularis, Bloch, 1795 in the Mediterranean Sea, with a note on its taxonomy and distribution.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stern, Nir; Goren, Menachem

    2013-01-01

    The first Red-Sea Indo-Pacific alien moray eel in the Eastern Mediterranean is reported here. A single specimen ot Gymnothorax reticularis was captured by a commercial bottom-trawl vessel off the northern coast of Israel. Morphological and anatomical similarities with the single known Red-Sea specimen raise an old taxonomic dilemma.

  8. Interaction between seabed morphology and water masses around the seamounts on the Motril Marginal Plateau (Alboran Sea, Western Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Palomino, Desirée; Vázquez, Juan-Tomás; Ercilla, Gemma; Alonso, Belén; López-González, Nieves; Díaz-Del-Río, Víctor

    2011-12-01

    The seabed morphology in the vicinity of the seamounts on the Motril Marginal Plateau (northern Alboran Sea) was investigated using high-resolution (sparker) and very high-resolution (TOPAS) seismic reflection profiles and multibeam bathymetry. The aim of the study was to determine the recent geological processes, and in particular those that control the contourite depositional system associated with the intermediate and deep Mediterranean water masses. Six groups of morphological features were identified: structural features (seamount tops, tectonic depressions), fluid escape-related features (pockmarks), mass-movement features (gullies, slides), bottom-current features (moats, scour marks, terraces, elongated and separated drifts, plastered drifts, confined drifts, sheeted drifts), mixed features (ridges) and biogenic features (including evidence of (dead) cold water corals such as Lophelia pertusa and Madrepora oculata). The main processes controlling the formation of these features are recent tectonic activity and the interaction of Mediterranean water masses with the seafloor topography. Seamounts act as topographic barriers that affect the pathway and velocity of the deep Mediterranean water masses, which are divided into strands that interact with the surrounding seafloor. The influence of the intermediate Mediterranean water mass, by contrast, is restricted mainly to the tops of the seamounts. Sediment instability and fluid-escape processes play a minor role, their occurrence being probably related to seismicity.

  9. KM3NeT: towards a km{sup 3}-scale neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Distefano, C. [Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, Via S. Sofia 62, 95123 Catania (Italy)

    2009-05-15

    The observation of high energy neutrinos (>=1 TeV) from astrophysical sources would substantially improve our knowledge and understanding of the non-thermal processes in these sources, and would in particular pinpoint the accelerators of cosmic rays. Theoretical predictions indicate that km{sup 3}-scale detectors are needed to detect astrophysical neutrino fluxes. That is the reason why the three Mediterranean experiments, ANTARES, NEMO and NESTOR are working together on preparing KM3NeT, a large deep-sea neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea which will survey a large part of the Galactic disc, including the Galactic Centre. It will complement the IceCube telescope currently under construction at the South Pole. Furthermore, the improved optical properties of sea water, compared to Antarctic ice, will allow for a better angular resolution and hence a better background rejection. The construction of this detector will require the solution of technological problems common to many deep submarine installations, and will help paving the way for other deep-sea research facilities. In this paper the major activities and the status of KM3NeT are presented.

  10. Geomorphology of the central Red Sea Rift: Determining spreading processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustin, Nico; van der Zwan, Froukje M.; Devey, Colin W.; Ligi, Marco; Kwasnitschka, Tom; Feldens, Peter; Bantan, Rashad A.; Basaham, Ali S.

    2016-12-01

    Continental rifting and ocean basin formation is occurring today in the Red Sea, providing a possible modern analogue for the creation of mid-ocean ridges. Yet many of the seafloor features observed along the axis of the Red Sea appear anomalous compared to ancient and modern examples of mid-ocean ridges in other parts of the world, making it unclear, until recently, whether the Red Sea is truly analogous. Recent work suggests that the main morphological differences between the Red Sea Rift (RSR) and other mid-ocean ridges are due to the presence and movement of giant, submarine salt flows, which blanket large portions of the rift valley and thereby the oceanic crust. Using ship-based, high-resolution multibeam bathymetry of the central RSR between 16.5°N and 23°N we focus here on the RSR volcanic terrains not covered by salt and sediments and compare their morphologies to those observed along slow and ultra-slow spreading ridges elsewhere. Regional variations in style and intensity of volcanism can be related to variations in volcanic activity and mantle heat flow. The Red Sea oceanic seafloor shows typical features of mature (ultra)slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges, such as 2nd order discontinuities (overlapping spreading centres) and magma focussing in the segment centres (forming spreading-perpendicular volcanic ridges of thick oceanic crust). The occurrence of melt-salt interaction at locations where salt glaciers blanket the neovolcanic zone, and the absence of large detachment faults are unique features of the central RSR. These features can be related to the young character of the Red Sea and may be applicable to all young oceanic rifts, associated with plumes and/or evaporites. Thus, the RSR falls in line with (ultra)slow-spreading mid-ocean ridges globally, which makes the Red Sea a unique but highly important type example for initiation of slow rifting and seafloor spreading and one of the most interesting targets for future ocean research.

  11. T waves in Western Mediterranean Sea after the May 21, 2003 Algerian earthquake

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Eva

    2007-06-01

    Full Text Available Aim of this paper is to discuss on the T phases generated after the mb 6.5 earthquake that shook Algeria on May 21, 2003. The seismograms, recorded by a cluster of seismic stations located on the coast facing the Ligurian Sea, Northern Italy, some 800 km N-NE from the source, represent a good database able to shed some light on the recognition, propagation and characteristics of these quite uncommon phases. The occurrence and the recording of T phases are in fact due to particular conditions, and require both particular characteristics of the bathymetric slope and the existence of a clear path between the instruments and the earthquake’s source: these constraints are exactly realized in the north-western part of the Mediterranean Sea, whose coasts have been affected several times in the past by similar events. The preliminary investigations on the complex recorded seismogram show two different behaviours for stations close the coast and inland. In both cases, two distinct T phases (namely T1 and T2 are observed. In one case they have apparent velocities close to an average SOFAR channel, and are thus the recording of direct T phases. In particular, T1 is probably a precursor due to some scattering, while T2 is the direct T wave. Conversely, the recordings of the stations inland show apparent velocities that suggest back conversion of the original T to P and S waves and a crustal path. The frequency content of the T phases, as derived from the spectral analysis, reveals marked amplitude peaks also in the range 1-3 Hz, conversely to what was proposed by other authors for similar occurrences in other parts of the world. Since the geometry and shape of the SOFAR channel vary, it is highly likely that the spectrum is biased by the water conditions and the frequency content might change in different seas. Finally, the attenuation of the T phase does not depend on the actual distance of the receiver from the source but rather from the

  12. Evaluation of Mediterranean Sea water and heat budgets simulated by an ensemble of high resolution regional climate models

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez-Gomez, E. [CERFACS/CNRS, SUC URA1875, Toulouse Cedex (France); Somot, S.; Dubois, C.; Deque, M. [CNRM/GAME, Meteo-France/CNRS, Toulouse (France); Josey, S.A. [National Oceanography Centre, Southampton (United Kingdom); Elguindi, N. [LA, CNRS, Toulouse (France)

    2011-11-15

    Air-sea heat and freshwater water fluxes in the Mediterranean Sea play a crucial role in dense water formation. Here, we compare estimates of Mediterranean Sea heat and water budgets from a range of observational datasets and discuss the main differences between them. Taking into account the closure hypothesis at the Gibraltar Strait, we have built several observational estimates of water and heat budgets by combination of their different observational components. We provide then three estimates for water budget and one for heat budget that satisfy the closure hypothesis. We then use these observational estimates to assess the ability of an ensemble of ERA40-driven high resolution (25 km) Regional Climate Models (RCMs) from the FP6-EU ENSEMBLES database, to simulate the various components, and net values, of the water and heat budgets. Most of the RCM Mediterranean basin means are within the range spanned by the observational estimates of the different budget components, though in some cases the RCMs have a tendency to overestimate the latent heat flux (or evaporation) with respect to observations. The RCMs do not show significant improvements of the total water budget estimates comparing to ERA40. Moreover, given the large spread found in observational estimates of precipitation over the sea, it is difficult to draw conclusions on the performance of RCM for the freshwater budget and this underlines the need for better precipitation observations. The original ERA40 value for the basin mean net heat flux is -15 W/m{sup 2} which is 10 W/m{sup 2} less than the value of -5 W/m{sup 2} inferred from the transport measurements at Gibraltar Strait. The ensemble of heat budget values estimated from the models show that most of RCMs do not achieve heat budget closure. However, the ensemble mean value for the net heat flux is -7 {+-} 21 W/m{sup 2}, which is close to the Gibraltar value, although the spread between the RCMs is large. Since the RCMs are forced by the same

  13. Genetic Differentiation between Mullus barbatus from the Western Part of the Black Sea andMullus surmuletus (Pisces, Mullidae from the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Petya P. Ivanova

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Genetic divergence and phylogenetic relationship of two species Mullus barbatus from the western part of Black Sea (Varna and M. surmuletus from the Mediterranean Sea (Thessaloniki were investigated using the electrophoretic data from enzymatic systems, codifying for 15 putative loci, and the patterns of general muscle proteins (PROT coded from nine loci. Several loci PROT- 4*, PROT-5* and PROT-8* as well as two mMDH and two sMDH loci, and LDH-A* showed different electrophoretic patterns among species and can be used as species-specific markers. Only one esterase locus (EST-9* was found to be polymorphic for both species. The remaining enzymes and proteins were monomorphic. In this study for the first time existence of hybrids between two species were reported. Hybrids were registered in the Mediterranean Sea (Thessaloniki as well in the northeastern part of Black Sea (Balshoj Utrish using electrophoresis and isoelectric focusing methods. Genetic distance D Nei (0.526 and time of divergence (tNei = 3 215 000 years between M. barbatus (Varna Bay and M. surmuletus (Thessaloniki give evidence for existence of these two well diverged species in one genus.

  14. How climate change threats water resource: the case of the Thau coastal lagoon (Mediterranean Sea, France)

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Jeunesse, Isabelle; Sellami, Haykel; Cirelli, Claudia

    2014-05-01

    The latest reports of the intergovernmental panel on climate change explained that the Mediterranean regions are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. These latest are expected to have strong impacts on the management of water resources and on regional economies. The aim of this paper is to discuss impacts of climate changes on the Thau case study in relation to the evolution of water balance, water uses and adaptation to climate change. The Thau coastal lagoon is located in the Mediterranean coast in south of France in the Languedoc-Roussillon Region. Economic activities are diverse from shellfish farming, fertilizers industries to agriculture and tourism. However, tourism and shellfish farming are of major importance for local economy. If tourism is mainly turned to the Sea coast, shellfishes grow within the lagoon and rely on water quality. Previous studies have demonstrated the link between the coastal lagoon water quality and inputs of freshwater from the catchment. Thus, changes in rainfalls, runoff and water balance would not only affect water uses but also water quality. Climate changes projections are presented following the implementation of 4 downscaled climatic models. Impacts on water balance are modelled with SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) for 2041-2070 compared to the 1971-2000 reference period. The decrease of precipitations and water balance will impact discharges and thus decrease the freshwater inputs to the coastal lagoon. A study of water uses conducted in interactions with stakeholders within the Thau area has permitted to assess both current and evolution of water uses. It has revealed local water resources are depleting while water demand is increasing and is planned to continue to increase in the really near future. To prevent water scarcity events, mainly due to the climate change context, the Regional authorities have connected the catchment to the Rhône river to import water. The conclusion of this study is while

  15. Heat and salt redistribution within the Mediterranean Sea in the Med-CORDEX model ensemble

    Science.gov (United States)

    Llasses, J.; Jordà, G.; Gomis, D.; Adloff, F.; Macías, D.; Harzallah, A.; Arsouze, T.; Akthar, N.; Li, L.; Elizalde, A.; Sannino, G.

    2016-06-01

    Characterizing and understanding the basic functioning of the Mediterranean Sea in terms of heat and salt redistribution within the basin is a crucial issue to predict its evolution. Here we quantify and analyze the heat and salt transfers using a simple box model consisting of four layers in the vertical for each of the two (western and eastern) basins. Namely, we box-average 14 regional simulations of the Med-CORDEX ensemble plus a regional and a global reanalysis, computing for each of them the heat and salt exchanges between layers. First, we analyze in detail the mechanisms behind heat and salt redistribution at different time scales from the outputs of a single simulation (NEMOMED8). We show that in the western basin the transfer between layer 1 (0-150 m) and layer 2 (150-600 m) is upwards for most models both for heat and salt, while in the eastern basin both transfers are downwards. A feature common to both basins is that the transports are smaller in summer than in winter due to the enhanced stratification, which dampen the mixing between layers. From the comparison of the 16 simulations we observe that the spread between models is much larger than the ensemble average for the salt transfer and for the heat transfer between layer 1 and layer 2. At lower layers (below 600 m) there is a set of models showing a good agreement between them, while others are not correlated with any other. The mechanisms behind the ensemble spread are not straightforward. First, to have a coarse resolution prevents the model to correctly represent the heat and salt redistribution in the basin. Second, those models with a very different initial stratification also show a very different redistribution, especially at intermediate and deep layers. Finally, the assimilation of data seems to perturb the heat and salt redistribution. Besides this, the differences among regional models that share similar spatial resolution and initial conditions are induced by more subtle mechanisms

  16. Long-term monitoring programme of the hydrological variability in the Mediterranean Sea: a first overview of the HYDROCHANGES network

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Schroeder

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available The long-term monitoring of basic hydrological parameters (temperature and salinity, collected as time series with adequate temporal resolution (i.e. with a sampling interval allowing the resolution of all important timescales in key places of the Mediterranean Sea (straits and channels, zones of dense water formation, deep parts of the basins, constitute a priority in the context of global changes. This led CIESM (The Mediterranean Science Commission to support, since 2002, the HYDROCHANGES programme (http//www.ciesm.org/marine/programs/hydrochanges.htm, a network of autonomous conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD sensors, deployed on mainly short and easily manageable subsurface moorings, within the core of a certain water mass. The HYDROCHANGES strategy is twofold and develops on different scales. To get information about long-term changes of hydrological characteristics, long time series are needed. But before these series are long enough they allow the detection of links between them at shorter timescales that may provide extremely valuable information about the functioning of the Mediterranean Sea. The aim of this paper is to present the history of the programme and the current set-up of the network (monitored sites, involved groups as well as to provide for the first time an overview of all the time series collected under the HYDROCHANGES umbrella, discussing the results obtained thanks to the programme.

  17. Sensitivity of the Mediterranean sea level to atmospheric pressure and free surface elevation numerical formulation in NEMO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Oddo

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The sensitivity of the dynamics of the Mediterranean Sea to atmospheric pressure and free surface elevation formulation using NEMO (Nucleus for European Modelling of the Ocean was evaluated. Four different experiments were carried out in the Mediterranean Sea using filtered or explicit free surface numerical schemes and accounting for the effect of atmospheric pressure in addition to wind and buoyancy fluxes. Model results were evaluated by coherency and power spectrum analysis with tide gauge data. We found that atmospheric pressure plays an important role for periods shorter than 100 days. The free surface formulation is important to obtain the correct ocean response for periods shorter than 30 days. At frequencies higher than 15 days−1 the Mediterranean basin's response to atmospheric pressure was not coherent and the performance of the model strongly depended on the specific area considered. A large amplitude seasonal oscillation observed in the experiments using a filtered free surface was not evident in the corresponding explicit free surface formulation case which was due to a phase shift between mass fluxes in the Gibraltar Strait and at the surface. The configuration with time splitting and atmospheric pressure always performed best; the differences were enhanced at very high frequencies.

  18. Diversity and Phylogeny of Gymnodiniales (Dinophyceae) from the NW Mediterranean Sea Revealed by a Morphological and Molecular Approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reñé, Albert; Camp, Jordi; Garcés, Esther

    2015-05-01

    The diversity and phylogeny of dinoflagellates belonging to the Gymnodiniales were studied during a 3-year period at several coastal stations along the Catalan coast (NW Mediterranean) by combining analyses of their morphological features with rDNA sequencing. This approach resulted in the detection of 59 different morphospecies, 13 of which were observed for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea. Fifteen of the detected species were HAB producers; four represented novel detections on the Catalan coast and two in the Mediterranean Sea. Partial rDNA sequences were obtained for 50 different morphospecies, including novel LSU rDNA sequences for 27 species, highlighting the current scarcity of molecular information for this group of dinoflagellates. The combination of morphology and genetics allowed the first determinations of the phylogenetic position of several genera, i.e., Torodinium and many Gyrodinium and Warnowiacean species. The results also suggested that among the specimens belonging to the genera Gymnodinium, Apicoporus, and Cochlodinium were those representing as yet undescribed species. Furthermore, the phylogenetic data suggested taxonomic incongruences for some species, i.e., Gyrodinium undulans and Gymnodinium agaricoides. Although a species complex related to G. spirale was detected, the partial LSU rDNA sequences lacked sufficient resolution to discriminate between various other Gyrodinium morphospecies.

  19. The presence of Brucella ceti ST26 in a striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) with meningoencephalitis from the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alba, Patricia; Terracciano, Giuliana; Franco, Alessia; Lorenzetti, Serena; Cocumelli, Cristiano; Fichi, Gianluca; Eleni, Claudia; Zygmunt, Michel S; Cloeckaert, Axel; Battisti, Antonio

    2013-05-31

    Brucella spp. was isolated from brain, lung and intestinal lymph nodes of a dead adult male striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) found stranded on the Tyrrhenian coast (Tuscany, Italy) of the Mediterranean Sea in February 2012. Brucella spp. was associated with moderate to severe lesions of meningoencephalitis. A co-infection by Toxoplasma gondii was also demonstrated at brain level by means of molecular and histopathologic methods. The Brucella isolate was further characterized based on a fragment-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) approach, consisting of a set of five specific PCRs, targeting specific chromosomal IS711 locations for marine mammal Brucellae, as described previously. The isolate was thus classified as Brucella ceti I; V fragment-positive (or B. ceti dolphin type), according to previous studies. Multi Locus Sequence Analysis demonstrated that the isolate belongs to Sequence Type 26, while omp2 (omp2a and omp2b genes) sequence analysis further confirmed the isolate belonged to this group of strains. This is the first report of Brucella spp. from marine mammals in the Mediterranean Sea, and represents a further observation that this strain group is associated with hosts of the Family Delphinidae, and particularly with the striped dolphins, also in the Mediterranean area, thus constituting a further biological hazard of concern for this vulnerable subpopulation.

  20. Metazoan parasites in the head region of the bullet tuna Auxis rochei (Osteichthyes: Scombridae) from the western Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mele, S; Saber, S; Gómez-Vives, M J; Garippa, G; Alemany, F; Macías, D; Merella, P

    2015-11-01

    The head region of 72 bullet tuna Auxis rochei from the western Mediterranean Sea (south-east Spain and the Strait of Gibraltar) was examined for parasites. Seven metazoan species were found in the fish from south-east Spain: three monogeneans, two trematodes and two copepods, whereas only three species were isolated in the fish from the Strait of Gibraltar. A comparison of the levels of infection of the parasites according to fish size in south-east Spain showed that the prevalence of Didymozoon auxis and the mean abundance of Allopseudaxine macrova were higher in the larger hosts (range of fork length = 38-44 cm) than in the smaller ones (33-37 cm). A comparison of the parasite infections according to geographical region showed that the mean abundances of Nematobothriinae gen. sp. and Caligus bonito were higher in fish from south-east Spain than in those from the Strait of Gibraltar. A comparison of the parasite fauna of A. rochei from the Mediterranean Sea with the published data on Auxis spp. from the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans revealed the closest similarity between the Mediterranean A. rochei and the Atlantic A. thazard.

  1. Mass evolution of Mediterranean, Black, Red, and Caspian Seas from GRACE and altimetry: accuracy assessment and solution calibration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loomis, B. D.; Luthcke, S. B.

    2017-02-01

    We present new measurements of mass evolution for the Mediterranean, Black, Red, and Caspian Seas as determined by the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) GRACE time-variable global gravity mascon solutions. These new solutions are compared to sea surface altimetry measurements of sea level anomalies with steric corrections applied. To assess their accuracy, the GRACE- and altimetry-derived solutions are applied to the set of forward models used by GSFC for processing the GRACE Level-1B datasets, with the resulting inter-satellite range-acceleration residuals providing a useful metric for analyzing solution quality. We also present a differential correction strategy to calibrate the time series of mass change for each of the seas by establishing the strong linear relationship between differences in the forward modeled mass and the corresponding range-acceleration residuals between the two solutions. These calibrated time series of mass change are directly determined from the range-acceleration residuals, effectively providing regionally-tuned GRACE solutions without the need to form and invert normal equations. Finally, the calibrated GRACE time series are discussed and combined with the steric-corrected sea level anomalies to provide new measurements of the unmodeled steric variability for each of the seas over the span of the GRACE observation record. We apply ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD) to adaptively sort the mass and steric components of sea level anomalies into seasonal, non-seasonal, and long-term temporal scales.

  2. North–south palaeohydrological contrasts in the central Mediterranean during the Holocene: tentative synthesis and working hypotheses

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Magny

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available On the basis of a multi-proxy approach and a strategy combining lacustrine and marine records along a north–south transect, data collected in the central Mediterranean within the framework of a collaborative project have led to reconstruction of high-resolution and well-dated palaeohydrological records and to assessment of their spatial and temporal coherency. Contrasting patterns of palaeohydrological changes have been evidenced in the central Mediterranean: south (north of around 40° N of latitude, the middle part of the Holocene was characterised by lake-level maxima (minima, during an interval dated to ca. 10 300–4500 cal BP to the south and 9000–4500 cal BP to the north. Available data suggest that these contrasting palaeohydrological patterns operated throughout the Holocene, both on millennial and centennial scales. Regarding precipitation seasonality, maximum humidity in the central Mediterranean during the middle part of the Holocene was characterised by humid winters and dry summers north of ca. 40° N, and humid winters and summers south of ca. 40° N. This may explain an apparent conflict between palaeoclimatic records depending on the proxies used for reconstruction as well as the synchronous expansion of tree species taxa with contrasting climatic requirements. In addition, south of ca. 40° N, the first millennium of the Holocene was characterised by very dry climatic conditions not only in the eastern, but also in the central- and the western Mediterranean zones as reflected by low lake levels and delayed reforestation. These results suggest that, in addition to the influence of the Nile discharge reinforced by the African monsoon, the deposition of Sapropel 1 has been favoured (1 by an increase in winter precipitation in the northern Mediterranean borderlands, and (2 by an increase in winter and summer precipitation in the southern Mediterranean area. The climate reversal following the Holocene climate optimum appears to

  3. Evaluating the impact of atmospheric depositions on springtime dinitrogen fixation in the Cretan Sea (Eastern Mediterranean - A mesocosm approach

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eyal Rahav

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Large amounts of dust and atmospheric aerosols, originating from surrounding desert areas (e.g., Sahara and Middle East are deposited annually on the surface of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. These depositions can provide high amounts of micro (such as Fe, Zn, Co and macro nutrients (such as P and N to supplement nutrient-poor surface waters- that typically limit primary productivity and also dinitrogen (N2 fixation in many marine environments. Here, we studied the impact of the atmospheric deposition of dust and aerosols on N2 fixation in the Cretan Sea (Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Mixed polluted aerosols (hereafter A and Saharan dust (hereafter SD were added to nine mesocosms (3-m3 each containing surface mixed layer seawater (~10 m, and N2 fixation was evaluated for 6 days during May 2012 (springtime. The addition of SD triggered a rapid (30 h and robust (2-4 fold increase in N2 fixation rates that remained high for 6 days and contributed 3-8% of the primary productivity. The A addition also resulted in higher N2 fixation rates compared to the unamended control mesocosms, although the responses were less profound (1.5-2 fold and accounted for only 2-4% of the primary productivity. The microbial community responded differently to the two additions. Heterotrophic bacterial N2 fixers dominated the diazotroph community in A and the control mesocosms, while the non-filamentous cyanobacterial group Trichodesmium prevailed in the SD treatment (68% of all the operational taxonomic units, verified by qPCR analyses. Our results indicate that the aerosol source, its route prior to deposition, and its specific chemical composition, can alter the diazotrophic diversity and activity in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea and may thus impact both the N and C dynamics in this impoverished environment.

  4. Short term variability of dissolved lipid classes during summer to autumn transition in the Ligurian sea (NW Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Goutx

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Changes in concentration and composition of dissolved lipid classes (Iatroscan TLC/FID were examined at daily to month scale, in relation to the hydrological and biological situation at a central site of the Ligurian sea, NW Mediterranean during the PECHE-DYNAPROC 2 experiment (14 September to 17 October. Dissolved lipid concentrations (TLd and lipid to DOC ratios varied in the range 5.3–48.5 μ g l−1 and 0.01 to 0.08 respectively, along the 0–1000 m water column. The highest TLd concentration values were found in the 0–150 m surface layer coinciding with phytoplankton biomass. Lipid class composition provided valuable information on the origin of DOM, and the changes that occurred during the period investigated. The significant correlations (p<0.01, n=87 between glycolipids from chloroplast membrane (MGDG (38.7±8.5% of TLd, n=166, and various phytoplankton pigments (chlorophyll cs-170, violaxanthin, diadinoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and lutein, suggested that picoeucaryotes were the major source of dissolved lipids. Lipid metabolites (37.6±11.1%, n=166, the second most important compounds in TLd, showed a greater degree of degradation of lipids in this transition period than previously observed earlier in the year. A contribution of lipids to DOM in the mesopelagic zone was observed before the winter mixing: At mid time of the cruise (4–6 October, zooplankton wax esters biomarkers (WE, 5.5–13.6 μg L−1 appeared in the 0–150 m surface layer. WE were observed later and deeper in the mesopelagic layer (6 to 11 October, accompanied by re-increases of hydrocarbons (6–8 October and phospholipids concentrations (12 October in the 400–1000 m depth layer. Zooplankton migration and/or fecal pellets egestion, followed by DOM release from POM, were likely responsible for the appearance of these lipid signatures in the mesopelagic layer, which occurred during the period of low wind (<15 knots

  5. Reproduction Patterns of Scleractinian Corals in the Central Red Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Bouwmeester, Jessica

    2013-12-01

    Early work on the reproductive seasonality of corals in the Red Sea suggested that corals exhibit temporal reproductive isolation, unlike on the Great Barrier Reef where many species spawn in synchrony. More recent work has however shown high synchrony in the maturity of gametes in Acropora species, suggesting multi-specific spawning is likely to occur in the Red Sea. In this thesis I investigate the patterns of coral reproduction in the central Red Sea. The spawning season in the central Red Sea lasts four months, from April to July and spawning occurs on nights around the full moon. During this period Acropora species show a peak of spawning in April, with some species spawning again in May. The level of synchrony, quantified with a spawning synchrony index, is comparable to other locations where multi-specific spawning has been reported. Observations over two consecutive years show that the synchrony of spawning was lower in spring 2012 than in spring 2011, and thus that spawning patterns are variable from one year to the other. Coral settlement patterns on artificial substrata confirmed a main spawning season in the spring but also supported reproductive data suggesting that some Porites spawn in October-November. Settlement was studied over 2.5 years on a reef, which had suffered recently from high mortality after a local bleaching event. Settlement appeared low but post-bleaching studies from other locations indicated similar abundances and showed that recruits generally did not increase until 5 years after the bleaching event. Abundance of juvenile corals however started to increase significantly three years after the bleaching. Successful recruitment, although low suggests that the coral assemblage on the affected reef will most likely recover as long as it is not affected by another disturbance.

  6. Denitrification in the water column of the central Baltic Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Dalsgaard, Tage; De Brabandere, Loreto; Hall, Per

    2013-01-01

    Removal of fixed nitrogen in the water column of the eastern Gotland Basin, central Baltic Sea, was studied during two cruises in September 2008 and August 2010. The water column was stratified with anoxic sulfidic bottom water meeting oxic nitrate containing water at the oxic–anoxic interface...... was in some situations driven by organic matter alone. Nitrous oxide (N2O) became an increasingly important product of denitrification with increasing sulfide concentration and was >80% of the total N gas formation at 10 μM sulfide. The potential rates of denitrification measured in incubations at elevated...

  7. Establishing the identity and assessing the dynamics of invasion in the Mediterranean Sea by the dusky sweeper, Pempheris rhomboidea Kossmann & Räuber, 1877 (Pempheridae, Perciformes)

    KAUST Repository

    Azzurro, Ernesto

    2014-12-30

    © 2014, Springer International Publishing Switzerland. We investigate the genetic diversity of the sweeper Pempheris, a biological invader that entered the Mediterranean Sea via the Suez Canal. Two mitochondrial regions and one nuclear region were sequenced and topological reconstructions investigated from samples collected from the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea and three Indo-Pacific localities. Morphological and molecular analyses assigned samples from this study to three distinct species of Pempheris in the Red Sea (P. flavicyla, P. rhomboidea, and P. tominagai) and confirmed a misidentification of the Mediterranean sweepers, previously identified as P. vanicolensis and now recognized as P.rhomboidea. Pempheris rhomboidea clustered in a single clade including specimens from Madagascar and South Africa. Similarly to most other studied Lessepsian bioinvaders, no evidence of a genetic bottleneck in its invasive Mediterranean population was found. Yet, lowered gene flow levels were observed between Red Sea and Mediterranean populations in this species. These findings highlight the importance of molecular tools to the proper identification of morphologically challenging alien organisms and contribute to the understanding of the dynamics of Lessepsian invasions.

  8. Towards a detailed distal tephrostratigraphy in the Central Mediterranean: The last 20,000 yrs record of Lago Grande di Monticchio

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wulf, Sabine; Kraml, Michael; Keller, Jörg

    2008-10-01

    A detailed compilation of distal tephrostratigraphy comprising the last 20,000 yrs is given for the Central Mediterranean region. A total of 47 distinct ash layers identified in the maar lake sediments of Lago Grande di Monticchio (Basilicata, Southern Italy) are compared with proximal and distal terrestrial-marine tephra deposits in the circum-central Mediterranean region. The results of these studies provide valuable information for reconstructing the Late Pleistocene and the Holocene dispersal of pyroclastic deposits from south Italian explosive volcanoes, in particular Somma-Vesuvius, the Campi Flegrei caldera, Ischia Island and Mount Etna. Prominent tephras are discussed with respect to their reliability as dating and correlation tools in sedimentary records. Ashes from Plinian eruptions of Somma-Vesuvius (i.e. Avellino, Mercato, Greenish, Pomici di Base), for instance, are well-defined by their distribution patterns and their unique composition. The widespread Y-1 tephra from Mount Etna, on the other hand, derived most likely from two distinct Plinian events with changing wind conditions, and therefore becomes a less reliable stratigraphic marker. Statistical-numerical calculations are presented in order to discriminate between Holocene tephras from the Campi Flegrei caldera (i.e. Astroni 1-3, Agnano Monte Spina, Averno 1, Lagno Amendolare), since these ashes are characterized by an almost indistinguishable chemical fingerprint. As a highlight, numerous Campanian eruptions of proposed low-intensity have been identified in the distal site of Monticchio suggesting a revision of existing tephra dispersal maps and re-calculation of eruptive conditions. In summary, the tephra record of Monticchio is one of the key successions for linking both, terrestrial records from Central-southern Italy and marine sequences from the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

  9. Nutrient supply controls picoplankton community structure during three contrasting seasons in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Mouriño-Carballido, B

    2016-02-03

    We investigated the influence of ocean mixing and nutrient supply dynamics on picoplankton community composition in the context of Margalef’s Mandala (Margalef 1978). Simultaneous measurements of microturbulence, nutrient concentration, and autotrophic and heterotrophic picoplankton properties, were collected during 3 cruises carried out in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea in March (F1), April/May (F2) and September (F3) 2009. The 3 cruises sampled different oceanographic conditions, starting with early stages of the late winter-early spring bloom, followed by the late stage of the bloom, and finally summer stratification. As a result of the variability in vertical diffusivity and the nitrate gradient across the nitracline, nitrate vertical fluxes were higher during F1 (23 ± 35 mmol m-2 d-1), compared to F2 (0.4 ± 0.2 mmol m-2 d-1) and F3 (0.09 ± 0.09 mmol m-2 d-1). Prochlorococcus abundance was low when nitrate supply was high, Synechococcus exhibited the highest abundances at intermediate levels of nitrate supply and highest irradiance during F2, and large and small picoeukaryotic groups increased their abundance under high nutrient supply in F1. No significant relationships between the abundance of high and low nucleic acid heterotrophic bacteria and nitrate supply were found. In agreement with Margalef’s model, our results show different responses of picophytoplankton groups to nitrate supply (probably reflecting differences in nutrient uptake abilities), and that the ratio of prokaryotic to picoeukaryotic photoautotrophic biomass decreases with increasing nitrate supply.

  10. Spatio-temporal patterns of key exploited marine species in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Morfin

    Full Text Available This study analyzes the temporal variability/stability of the spatial distributions of key exploited species in the Gulf of Lions (Northwestern Mediterranean Sea. To do so, we analyzed data from the MEDITS bottom-trawl scientific surveys from 1994 to 2010 at 66 fixed stations and selected 12 key exploited species. We proposed a geostatistical approach to handle zero-inflated and non-stationary distributions and to test for the temporal stability of the spatial structures. Empirical Orthogonal Functions and other descriptors were then applied to investigate the temporal persistence and the characteristics of the spatial patterns. The spatial structure of the distribution (i.e. the pattern of spatial autocorrelation of the 12 key species studied remained highly stable over the time period sampled. The spatial distributions of all species obtained through kriging also appeared to be stable over time, while each species displayed a specific spatial distribution. Furthermore, adults were generally more densely concentrated than juveniles and occupied areas included in the distribution of juveniles. Despite the strong persistence of spatial distributions, we also observed that the area occupied by each species was correlated to its abundance: the more abundant the species, the larger the occupation area. Such a result tends to support MacCall's basin theory, according to which density-dependence responses would drive the expansion of those 12 key species in the Gulf of Lions. Further analyses showed that these species never saturated their habitats, suggesting that they are below their carrying capacity; an assumption in agreement with the overexploitation of several of these species. Finally, the stability of their spatial distributions over time and their potential ability to diffuse outside their main habitats give support to Marine Protected Areas as a potential pertinent management tool.

  11. Wind driven general circulation of the Mediterranean Sea simulated with a Spectral Element Ocean Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Molcard, A.; Pinardi, N.; Iskandarani, M.; Haidvogel, D. B.

    2002-05-01

    This work is an attempt to simulate the Mediterranean Sea general circulation with a Spectral Finite Element Model. This numerical technique associates the geometrical flexibility of the finite elements for the proper coastline definition with the precision offered by spectral methods. The model is reduced gravity and we study the wind-driven ocean response in order to explain the large scale sub-basin gyres and their variability. The study period goes from January 1987 to December 1993 and two forcing data sets are used. The effect of wind variability in space and time is analyzed and the relationship between wind stress curl and ocean response is stressed. Some of the main permanent structures of the general circulation (Gulf of Lions cyclonic gyre, Rhodes gyre, Gulf of Syrte anticylone) are shown to be induced by permanent wind stress curl structures. The magnitude and spatial variability of the wind is important in determining the appearance or disappearance of some gyres (Tyrrhenian anticyclonic gyre, Balearic anticyclonic gyre, Ionian cyclonic gyre). An EOF analysis of the seasonal variability indicates that the weakening and strengthening of the Levantine basin boundary currents is a major component of the seasonal cycle in the basin. The important discovery is that seasonal and interannual variability peak at the same spatial scales in the ocean response and that the interannual variability includes the change in amplitude and phase of the seasonal cycle in the sub-basin scale gyres and boundary currents. The Coriolis term in the vorticity balance seems to be responsible for the weakening of anticyclonic structures and their total disappearance when they are close to a boundary. The process of adjustment to winds produces a train of coastally trapped gravity waves which travel around the eastern and western basins, respectively in approximately 6 months. This corresponds to a phase velocity for the wave of about 1 m/s, comparable to an average velocity of

  12. 210Pb mass accumulation rates in the depositional area of the Magra River (Mediterranean Sea, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delbono, I.; Barsanti, M.; Schirone, A.; Conte, F.; Delfanti, R.

    2016-08-01

    Nine sediment cores were collected between 2009 and 2012 in the inner continental shelf (Mediterranean Sea, Italy) mainly influenced by the Magra River, at water depths ranging from 11 to 64 m. Mass Accumulation Rates (MARs) were calculated through 210Pb analysed by Gamma spectrometry. Three different dating models (single and two-layer CF-CS, CRS) were applied to clay normalised 210Pbxs profiles and 137Cs was used to validate the 210Pb geochronology. The maximum MAR values (>2 g cm-2 yr-1) were found in the region adjacent to the Magra River mouth and outside the Gulf of La Spezia (0.9±0.1 g cm-2 yr-1 at St. 3-C6 and 4-C4). Results from 137Cs/210Pbxs ratios calculated in Surface Mixed Layers (SMLs) evidenced the coastal boundaries of the Magra River depositional area, which is very limited towards south. Differently, in the north-west sector, fine sediments are generally driven by the Ligurian Current and move towards north-west: at the deepest and most distant station from the River mouth, the MAR value is the lowest one in the study area. Few major Magra River floods occurred during the sediment core sampling period. By using the short-lived radioisotope 7Be as a tracer of river floods, a clear 7Be signature of 2009 flood is present at St. 1-SA1C. Finally, by analyzing the clay normalised 210Pbxs profiles, a decrease of its activity dating the years 1999 and 2000 is observed in four cores, corresponding to two major Magra River floods occurring in those years.

  13. Formation of fine sediment deposit from a flash flood river in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grifoll, Manel; Gracia, Vicenç; Aretxabaleta, Alfredo L.; Guillén, Jorge; Espino, Manuel; Warner, John C.

    2014-01-01

    We identify the mechanisms controlling fine deposits on the inner-shelf in front of the Besòs River, in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. This river is characterized by a flash flood regime discharging large amounts of water (more than 20 times the mean water discharge) and sediment in very short periods lasting from hours to few days. Numerical model output was compared with bottom sediment observations and used to characterize the multiple spatial and temporal scales involved in offshore sediment deposit formation. A high-resolution (50 m grid size) coupled hydrodynamic-wave-sediment transport model was applied to the initial stages of the sediment dispersal after a storm-related flood event. After the flood, sediment accumulation was predominantly confined to an area near the coastline as a result of preferential deposition during the final stage of the storm. Subsequent reworking occurred due to wave-induced bottom shear stress that resuspended fine materials, with seaward flow exporting them toward the midshelf. Wave characteristics, sediment availability, and shelf circulation determined the transport after the reworking and the final sediment deposition location. One year simulations of the regional area revealed a prevalent southwestward average flow with increased intensity downstream. The circulation pattern was consistent with the observed fine deposit depocenter being shifted southward from the river mouth. At the southern edge, bathymetry controlled the fine deposition by inducing near-bottom flow convergence enhancing bottom shear stress. According to the short-term and long-term analyses, a seasonal pattern in the fine deposit formation is expected.

  14. Potential of Electricity Generation on the Western Coast of Mediterranean Sea in Egypt

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahmed Shata, A. S.; Abdelaty, S. M.; Hanitsch, R.

    2008-01-01

    A technical and economic assessment has been made of the electricity generation by wind turbines located at three promising potential wind sites: Sidi Barrani, Mersa Matruh and El Dabaa in the extreme northwest of Egypt along the Mediterranean Sea. These contiguous stations along the coast have an annual mean wind speed greater than 5.0 m/s at a height of 10 m. Weibull's parameters and the power law coefficient for all seasons have been estimated and used to describe the distribution and behavior of seasonal winds at these stations. The annual values of wind potential at the heights of 70-100 m above the ground level were obtained by extrapolation of the 10 m data from the results of our previous work using the power law. The three stations have a high wind power density, ranging from 340-425 to 450-555 W/m2 at the heights of 70-100 m, respectively. In this paper, an analysis of the cost per kWh of electricity generated by two different systems has been made: one using a relatively large single 2 MW wind turbine and the other - 25 small wind turbines (80 kW, total 2 MW) arranged in a wind farm. The yearly energy output of each system at each site was determined, and the electricity generation costs in each case were also calculated and compared with those at using diesel oil, natural gas and photovoltaic systems furnished by the Egyptian Electricity Authority. The single 2 MW wind turbine was found to be more efficient than the wind farm. For all the three considered stations the electricity production cost was found to be less than 2 ɛ cent/kWh, which is about half the specific cost of the wind farm.

  15. Life history of the bathyal octopus Pteroctopus tetracirrhus (Mollusca, Cephalopoda) in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quetglas, Antoni; Ordines, Francesc; González, María; Franco, Ignacio

    2009-08-01

    The life cycle of the deep-sea octopus Pteroctopus tetracirrhus was studied from monthly samples obtained throughout the year in different areas of the western Mediterranean (mainly around the Balearic Islands and along the coast of the Iberian Peninsula). A total of 373 individuals (205 females, 168 males) were analyzed; females ranged from 4.5 to 14.0 cm mantle length (ML) and males from 4.5 to 11.5 cm ML. There were few small-sized octopuses (octopus inhabits the lower continental shelf and upper slope in both areas, primarily between 200 and 500 m depth. Modal lengths were followed from autumn, when recruits were caught by trawlers, to summer, when reproduction took place. Females grew from 8 to 10 cm ML from winter to spring, but this modal size did not increase further in summer; males grew from 7 to 9 cm ML from winter to spring. The total disappearance of large individuals after summer suggests a life cycle lasting a single year. The evolution of the monthly mean sizes showed that the growth was best described by log-linear functions in both sexes. The length at first maturity was clearly higher in females (12 cm ML) than in males (8 cm ML). A total of 30 different prey items, belonging to four major taxonomic groups (crustaceans, osteichthyes, cephalopods and gastropods), were identified in the stomach contents. The diet of the octopus was based on crustaceans and teleosts, which accounted for 75% and 23% of the prey items, respectively. Cephalopods and gastropods were accessory prey as they only represented 1.6% and 0.7%, respectively, of the total. The octopus showed a marked preference for the benthic fish Symphurus nigrescens and the endobenthic crustacean Alpheus glaber. The bathymetric distribution of P. tetracirrhus coincides with those of these two main prey, which suggests that the distribution of the octopus might be strongly linked to its trophic resources.

  16. Long-term macrobioerosion in the Mediterranean Sea assessed by micro-computed tomography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Färber, Claudia; Titschack, Jürgen; Schönberg, Christine Hanna Lydia; Ehrig, Karsten; Boos, Karin; Baum, Daniel; Illerhaus, Bernhard; Asgaard, Ulla; Granville Bromley, Richard; Freiwald, André; Wisshak, Max

    2016-06-01

    Biological erosion is a key process for the recycling of carbonate and the formation of calcareous sediments in the oceans. Experimental studies showed that bioerosion is subject to distinct temporal variability, but previous long-term studies were restricted to tropical waters. Here, we present results from a 14-year bioerosion experiment that was carried out along the rocky limestone coast of the island of Rhodes, Greece, in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, in order to monitor the pace at which bioerosion affects carbonate substrate and the sequence of colonisation by bioeroding organisms. Internal macrobioerosion was visualised and quantified by micro-computed tomography and computer-algorithm-based segmentation procedures. Analysis of internal macrobioerosion traces revealed a dominance of bioeroding sponges producing eight types of characteristic Entobia cavity networks, which were matched to five different clionaid sponges by spicule identification in extracted tissue. The morphology of the entobians strongly varied depending on the species of the producing sponge, its ontogenetic stage, available space, and competition by other bioeroders. An early community developed during the first 5 years of exposure with initially very low macrobioerosion rates and was followed by an intermediate stage when sponges formed large and more diverse entobians and bioerosion rates increased. After 14 years, 30 % of the block volumes were occupied by boring sponges, yielding maximum bioerosion rates of 900 g m-2 yr-1. A high spatial variability in macrobioerosion prohibited clear conclusions about the onset of macrobioerosion equilibrium conditions. This highlights the necessity of even longer experimental exposures and higher replication at various factor levels in order to better understand and quantify temporal patterns of macrobioerosion in marine carbonate environments.

  17. New techniques on oil spill modelling applied in the Eastern Mediterranean sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zodiatis, George; Kokinou, Eleni; Alves, Tiago; Lardner, Robin

    2016-04-01

    Small or large oil spills resulting from accidents on oil and gas platforms or due to the maritime traffic comprise a major environmental threat for all marine and coastal systems, and they are responsible for huge economic losses concerning the human infrastructures and the tourism. This work aims at presenting the integration of oil-spill model, bathymetric, meteorological, oceanographic, geomorphological and geological data to assess the impact of oil spills in maritime regions such as bays, as well as in the open sea, carried out in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea within the frame of NEREIDs, MEDESS-4MS and RAOP-Med EU projects. The MEDSLIK oil spill predictions are successfully combined with bathymetric analyses, the shoreline susceptibility and hazard mapping to predict the oil slick trajectories and the extend of the coastal areas affected. Based on MEDSLIK results, oil spill spreading and dispersion scenarios are produced both for non-mitigated and mitigated oil spills. MEDSLIK model considers three response combating methods of floating oil spills: a) mechanical recovery using skimmers or similar mechanisms; b) destruction by fire, c) use of dispersants or other bio-chemical means and deployment of booms. Shoreline susceptibility map can be compiled for the study areas based on the Environmental Susceptibility Index. The ESI classification considers a range of values between 1 and 9, with level 1 (ESI 1) representing areas of low susceptibility, impermeable to oil spilt during accidents, such as linear shorelines with rocky cliffs. In contrast, ESI 9 shores are highly vulnerable, and often coincide with natural reserves and special protected areas. Additionally, hazard maps of the maritime and coastal areas, possibly exposed to the danger on an oil spill, evaluate and categorize the hazard in levels from low to very high. This is important because a) Prior to an oil spill accident, hazard and shoreline susceptibility maps are made available to design

  18. A multi-model ensemble view of winter heat flux dynamics and the dipole mode in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liguori, Giovanni; Di Lorenzo, Emanuele; Cabos, William

    2017-02-01

    Changes in surface heat fluxes affect several climate processes controlling the Mediterranean climate. These include the winter formation of deep waters, which is the primary driver of the Mediterranean Sea overturning circulation. Previous studies that characterize the spatial and temporal variability of surface heat flux anomalies over the basin reveal the existence of two statistically dominant patterns of variability: a monopole of uniform sign and an east-west dipole of opposite signs. In this work, we use the 12 regional climate model ensemble from the EU-FP6 ENSEMBLES project to diagnose the large-scale atmospheric processes that control the variability of heat fluxes over the Mediterranean Sea from interannual to decadal timescales (here defined as timescales > 6 year). Our findings suggest that while the monopole structure captures variability in the winter-to-winter domain-average net heat flux, the dipole pattern tracks changes in the Mediterranean climate that are connected to the East Atlantic/Western Russia (EA/WR) atmospheric teleconnection pattern. Furthermore, while the monopole exhibits significant differences in the spatial structure across the multi-model ensemble, the dipole pattern is very robust and more clearly identifiable in the anomaly maps of individual years. A heat budget analysis of the dipole pattern reveals that changes in winds associated with the EA/WR pattern exert dominant control through both a direct effect on the latent heat flux (i.e., wind speed) and an indirect effect through specific humidity (e.g., wind advection). A simple reconstruction of the heat flux variability over the deep-water formation regions of the Gulf of Lion and the Aegean Sea reveals that the combination of the monopole and dipole time series explains over 90 % of the heat flux variance in these regions. Given the important role that surface heat flux anomalies play in deep-water formation and the regional climate, improving our knowledge on the dynamics

  19. Oceanographic profile chemical, nutrient, and physical data from CTD and bottle casts aboard the R/V Aegaeo in the Adriatic and Mediterranean Seas from February 9, 1995 to February 10, 1995 (NODC Accession 0084544)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NODC Accession 0084544 includes oceanographic profile chemical, nutrient, and physical data collected aboard the AEGAEO in the Adriatic Sea and Mediterranean Sea...

  20. A millennium of Mediterranean climate change and forest history in central Italy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mensing, S. A.; Tunno, I.; Piovesan, G.

    2010-12-01

    A 1100 year sedimentary sequence from a lake in central Italy near Rome (Lago Lungo, Lazio, 379 m a.s.l.) was sampled for pollen and charcoal at an average interval of 26 years providing a high-resolution reconstruction of vegetation from 885 AD to the present. Pollen percentages support historical documents that describe periodic deforestation and agricultural expansion during the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA). Forests recovered about 1400 AD following depopulation associated with the black plague and socio-economic instability and a shift to cool wet climate during the Little Ice Age (LIA). Mixed deciduous forest reached a maximum in 1550 AD, approximately one century later than many sites across Western Europe. A less diverse less dense forest emerged after 1650 AD following the plague of 1656 AD. There is no evidence that excessive cutting, burning and erosion during the medieval period caused permanent degradation of the landscape. Forests appear to have recovered rapidly when land use declined and climate became favorable. Comparison of the pollen data with reconstructed Palmer Drought Severity Index (PDSI) of Morocco and North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) indicate periods of deforestation and woodland regeneration coincide with climate change. During warm dry climate, deforestation accelerated and agriculture expanded, and during extended cool wet climate, conditions for cereal cultivation deteriorated, forests and wetland expanded, and the local agricultural system collapsed. These results show that in the Mediterranean, collapse of local agricultural systems may also occur during extended periods of cool/wet climate.

  1. Biochemical biomarker responses to pollution in selected sentinel organisms across the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea

    KAUST Repository

    Tsangaris, Catherine

    2015-09-23

    Pollution effects were assessed by means of biochemical biomarkers (catalase, glutathione S-transferase and acetylcholinesterase activities, and metallothioneins content) in five species at selected coastal sites across the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, a well-established sentinel species, was investigated in the Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, and Black Sea. The mussel Brachidontes pharaonis and the striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus were used in the Levantine Sea where M. galloprovincialis is not present. The white seabream Diplodus sargus sargus and the gastropod Rapana venosa were additionally sampled in the Adriatic and the Black Sea, respectively. Mussels showed catalase, glutathione S-transferase, and acetylcholinesterase responses to pollution in most geographical areas while the response of metallothioneins was restricted to a few sites. R. venosa showed marked responses of catalase and metallothioneins whereas both fish species did not generally exhibit variations in biomarker values among sites. The approach based on the reference deviation concept using the “Integrated Biological Responses version 2” index was useful for the interpretation of overall biomarker responses.

  2. Biochemical biomarker responses to pollution in selected sentinel organisms across the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Catherine, Tsangaris; Vanessa, Moschino; Evangelia, Strogyloudi; Valentina, Coatu; Andreja, Ramšak; Rana, Abu Alhaija; Susana, Carvalho; Serena, Felline; Alisa, Kosyan; Yiota, Lazarou; Ioannis, Hatzianestis; Andra, Oros; Daniela, Tiganus

    2016-01-01

    Pollution effects were assessed by means of biochemical biomarkers (catalase, glutathione S-transferase and acetylcholinesterase activities, and metallothioneins content) in five species at selected coastal sites across the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. The mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis, a well-established sentinel species, was investigated in the Adriatic Sea, Aegean Sea, and Black Sea. The mussel Brachidontes pharaonis and the striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus were used in the Levantine Sea where M. galloprovincialis is not present. The white seabream Diplodus sargus sargus and the gastropod Rapana venosa were additionally sampled in the Adriatic and the Black Sea, respectively. Mussels showed catalase, glutathione S-transferase, and acetylcholinesterase responses to pollution in most geographical areas while the response of metallothioneins was restricted to a few sites. R. venosa showed marked responses of catalase and metallothioneins whereas both fish species did not generally exhibit variations in biomarker values among sites. The approach based on the reference deviation concept using the "Integrated Biological Responses version 2" index was useful for the interpretation of overall biomarker responses.

  3. Mitochondrial DNA STR analysis as a tool for studying the green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) populations: the Mediterranean Sea case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tikochinski, Y; Bendelac, R; Barash, A; Daya, A; Levy, Y; Friedmann, A

    2012-06-01

    The Mediterranean population of the green sea turtle Chelonia mydas is critically endangered. Genetic analysis of this population using the ordinary haplotyping system, based on sequence analysis of a segment of the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) D-loop (control region), revealed very little variation. The most common haplotype, CM-A13, was observed in all but three individuals in hundreds of samples in previous studies. In search for a more informative marker we sequenced the 3' of the mitochondrial control region which contains an AT-rich microsatellite. We found a unique pattern that consists of four AT short tandem repeats (STRs) with varying copy numbers. This allowed us to construct a new haplotyping system composed of four different STR sizes for each mtDNA sequence. Our new mitochondrial STR (mtSTR) haplotyping approach revealed 33 different haplotypes within the nesting and stranded sea turtles along the Mediterranean Israeli seashore. The Israeli coast nesting females had 10 different haplotypes that can be used for monitoring and conservation purposes. The mtSTR haplotyping system can clearly assist in fingerprinting of individual turtles. Moreover, it can be used for estimating phylogenetic distances within populations. This case study shows that the mtSTR haplotyping is applicable for the study of global green sea turtle populations and could also be considered as markers of genetic variability in other species.

  4. Temporal dynamics of demersal chondrichthyan species in the central western Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Antonello Mulas

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available The rapid expansion of fisheries and globalized trade are emerging as the principal drivers of coastal and ocean threat. Considering the important role of Chondrichthyes as predators at the top of food chain in marine ecosystems, knowledge on their biology remains scarce in the Mediterranean. In this regard, our objective is to give information on their spatial distribution, abundance and population structure. Data were collected for 25 demersal species, including batoid species, sharks and holocephalans from 1994 to 2013 during scientific bottom trawl surveys (MEDITS project carried out around the Sardinian seas. The total frequency of occurrence (f%, the Biomass Index (BI, kg/km2, and the Density Index (DI, N/km2 were estimated for the continental shelf (10-200 m, slope (200-800 m, and overall (10-800 m depth strata. Size trends were also calculated for the most abundant species considering all depth strata. The correlation among MEDITS figures (f%, BI, DI, size structure and years were assessed by species computing the Pearson linear coefficient. From f% and abundance indexes investigation, only the small spotted catshark Scyliorhinus canicula and the thornback ray Raja clavata were ubiquitous in all strata investigated, instead, all the other species showed a preferential distribution for the shelf or the slope. In general, the temporal trends of BI and DI were stable or positive for both macro-strata, except for the longnose spurdog Squalus blainville which seemed to show a statistically significant decreasing trend. All analyzed species displayed temporal stable trends in size structure analysis, apart from Raja brachyura and Dipturus oxyrinchus that showed a statistically significant increase. Despite the time series analysis revealed stable or positive trends, it appears clear the need of urgent management measures to protect the demersal chondrichthyan species extending the monitoring over time and implementing the data collected by

  5. High genetic diversity detected in olives beyond the boundaries of the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Hosseini-Mazinani

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Olive trees (Olea europaea subsp. europaea var. europaea naturally grow in areas spanning the Mediterranean basin and towards the East, including the Middle East. In the Iranian plateau, the presence of olives has been documented since very ancient times, though the early history of the crop in this area is shrouded in uncertainty. METHODS: The varieties presently cultivated in Iran and trees of an unknown cultivation status, surviving under extreme climate and soil conditions, were sampled from different provinces and compared with a set of Mediterranean cultivars. All samples were analyzed using SSR and chloroplast markers to establish the relationships between Iranian olives and Mediterranean varieties, to shed light on the origins of Iranian olives and to verify their contribution to the development of the current global olive variation. RESULTS: Iranian cultivars and ecotypes, when analyzed using SSR markers, clustered separately from Mediterranean cultivars and showed a high number of private alleles, on the contrary, they shared the same single chlorotype with the most widespread varieties cultivated in the Mediterranean. CONCLUSION: We hypothesized that Iranian and Mediterranean olive trees may have had a common origin from a unique center in the Near East region, possibly including the western Iranian area. The present pattern of variation may have derived from different environmental conditions, distinct levels and selection criteria, and divergent breeding opportunities found by Mediterranean and Iranian olives.These unexpected findings emphasize the importance of studying the Iranian olive germplasm as a promising but endangered source of variation.

  6. Operation Sophia in Uncharted Waters: European and International Law Challenges for the EU Naval Mission in the Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Butler, Graham; Ratcovich, Martin

    2016-01-01

    States alike. Even if such strictures can be avoided by a broad United Nations mandate and/or the consent of the neighbouring government(s), international refugee law and international human rights law provide limitations on measures that Operation Sophia will be tasked with. A number of avenues......This article addresses the main legal challenges facing the European Union (EU) Naval Force, EUNAVFOR Med (‘Operation Sophia’), established in 2015, to disrupt human smuggling and trafficking activities in the Mediterranean Sea. It examines a number of legal issues that have given rise...

  7. First sighting of Zebrasoma flavescens (Teleostei: Acanthuridae and Balistoides conspicillum (Teleostei: Balistidae in the Mediterranean Sea: Two likely aquarium releases

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. WEITZMANN

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Here we provide the first documented occurrence of the yellow tang Zebrasoma flavescens and of the clown triggerfish Balistoides conspicillum in the Mediterranean Sea. These tropical fishes were photographed in October 2008 off Sitges (Costa Daurada, Spain: 41°13'27.09" N; 1°47'22.35" E and in July 2012 in front of Palamós (Costa Brava, Spain: 41°50'56.19" N; 3°8'26.29" E, respectively. Their possible release from private aquaria is discussed.

  8. The atmospheric component of the Mediterranean Sea water budget in a WRF multi-physics ensemble and observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Luca, Alejandro; Flaounas, Emmanouil; Drobinski, Philippe; Brossier, Cindy Lebeaupin

    2014-11-01

    The use of high resolution atmosphere-ocean coupled regional climate models to study possible future climate changes in the Mediterranean Sea requires an accurate simulation of the atmospheric component of the water budget (i.e., evaporation, precipitation and runoff). A specific configuration of the version 3.1 of the weather research and forecasting (WRF) regional climate model was shown to systematically overestimate the Mediterranean Sea water budget mainly due to an excess of evaporation (~1,450 mm yr-1) compared with observed estimations (~1,150 mm yr-1). In this article, a 70-member multi-physics ensemble is used to try to understand the relative importance of various sub-grid scale processes in the Mediterranean Sea water budget and to evaluate its representation by comparing simulated results with observed-based estimates. The physics ensemble was constructed by performing 70 1-year long simulations using version 3.3 of the WRF model by combining six cumulus, four surface/planetary boundary layer and three radiation schemes. Results show that evaporation variability across the multi-physics ensemble (˜10 % of the mean evaporation) is dominated by the choice of the surface layer scheme that explains more than ˜70 % of the total variance and that the overestimation of evaporation in WRF simulations is generally related with an overestimation of surface exchange coefficients due to too large values of the surface roughness parameter and/or the simulation of too unstable surface conditions. Although the influence of radiation schemes on evaporation variability is small (˜13 % of the total variance), radiation schemes strongly influence exchange coefficients and vertical humidity gradients near the surface due to modifications of temperature lapse rates. The precipitation variability across the physics ensemble (˜35 % of the mean precipitation) is dominated by the choice of both cumulus (˜55 % of the total variance) and planetary boundary layer (˜32 % of

  9. The Central Valencian region in the context of the Neolithisation of the North-Western Mediterranean facade

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    García Atiénzar, Gabriel

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available The process of neolithisation of the Mediterranean facade of the Iberian Peninsula has traditionally been associated with the cardial paradigm of the french-iberian region. However, better knowledge of the material record from the north-western Mediterranean arc, the revision of various archaeological sites of the central Valencian region and observation of the patterns of occupation and exploitation of territory in the western Mediterranean allow us to propose a process of Neolithic introduction that is more complex than previously thought and be linked with the world of the Mediterranean impressed pottery.

    El proceso de neolitización de la fachada mediterránea peninsular se ha asociado tradicionalmente al paradigma cardial del ámbito franco-ibérico. No obstante, el mejor conocimiento del registro material del arco noroccidental mediterráneo, la revisión de diversos conjuntos arqueológicos de las comarcas centromeridionales valencianas y la observación de los patrones de ocupación y explotación del territorio en el Mediterráneo occidental permiten proponer un proceso de implantación neolítica más complejo del considerado hasta ahora que se puede enlazar con el mundo de la ceramica impressa mediterránea.

  10. A biomarker study of high resolution sedimentary records in the eastern Mediterranean Sea since the last glacial maximum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Katsouras, G.; Gogou, A.; Bouloubassi, I.; Emeis, K.-C.; Triantaphyllou, M. V.; Lykousis, V.

    2009-04-01

    Information stored in sedimentary records provides evidence on climate and environmental variability at decadal to centennial time scales. The eastern Mediterranean Sea and the related Aegean Sea exhibit high sedimentation rates in certain areas and are considered as sensitive regions to record paleo-environmental and -climatic changes. The aim of our study is to reconstruct high-frequency paleoclimatic variations and identify associated changes in the physical, chemical and biological environment in selected basins of the eastern Mediterranean Sea, using molecular biogeochemical proxies. Here we present a high-resolution multi-proxy study along two Aegean Sea cores (north (152SL) and southeast (NS-14)) and a Libyan Sea core (HCM2/22). An important time marker and indicator of remarkable climatic and environmental changes is sapropel S1, a sediment layer rich in organic carbon. Depending on the water column depth, the sediment accumulation rates and the proximity to freshwater and water formation sources, S1 deposited between ~9.8 to 6.4 kyr BP, with an apparent interruption in the S1 deposition that occurred from ~8.6 to 7.6 kyr BP. SSTs based on alkenone unsaturation index Uḱ 37, ^15tot, ^13Corg and various marine and terrestrial biomarkers are used to investigate the region's climatic variability, and the modifications in the biogeochemical functioning of the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Uḱ 37 SST distribution in our records reveals significant fluctuations in temperature over the last 20.000 yrs. Organic carbon stable isotopes values span a narrow range over the whole sequence, with values varying to typical marine origin. The distributions of land-plant biomarkers are indicative of variable terrigenous organic matter supply and the concomitant transport of nutrients to surface waters. Furthermore, the distribution patterns and characteristic ratios of marine biomarkers exhibit differences in the paleoproductivity trends and ventilation changes over the last

  11. Impacts of mining on Central Red Sea environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abu Gideiri, Yousif B.

    The mining of the Atlantis II deep will result in a significant input of heavy metals into the Red Sea. Quantities of dissolved compounds will result in major changes in the trace element composition of the water masses. The dissolution of minerals resulting in the release of toxic chemicals including zinc, copper, cadmium and mercury remains of fundamental concern which will require further study. The regime for discharge of tailings must be designed to minimise the dispersal of the solids, and also the fluids together with their dissolved leached constituents. If the discharges occur deep down the waste will be confined to the deep waters in the central graben, where the absence of significant upwelling combined with the natural chemical processes of removal via sorption will restrict the dispersal of the toxic substances. Research on biological activity within the epipelagic and mesopelagic zones has led to the recommendation that all wastes should be restricted to the bottom water below 1100 metres. A consideration of the likely effect upon benthos and water chemistry has demonstrated that tailings will have to be confined to the central graben, in order to protect local fisheries and the vulnerable reef and seabed environments of the coasts and the Central Trough. However, discharge of the tailings at depth would also limit the transmission of the tailing pollutants through the food web. It should, therefore, confine the effects of mining to a limited portion of the Red Sea biota. The shallower release of tailings within the zone of diel migration by plankton and nekton would expose a large community of organisms to the pollutants and result in the vertical transport of heavy metals up the water column.

  12. Development of decision support system for oil spill management in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liubartseva, Svitlana; Coppini, Giovanni; Pinardi, Nadia; De Dominicis, Michela; Marra, Palmalisa; Lecci, Rita; Turrisi, Giuseppe; Creti, Sergio; Martinelli, Sara; Agostini, Paola; Palermo, Francesco

    2016-04-01

    Possible oil spill accidents and operational pollution could have severe impacts on the Mediterranean basin. It is therefore crucial to provide decision makers, stakeholders, and public with trustworthy DSS (Decision Support System) based on the environmental monitoring, state-of-the-art modeling and innovative technology platforms. Innovative web-based decision support system, called WITOL (Where Is The Oil http://www.witoil.com), has been developed to maintain emergency management in case of oil spill accidents. WITOIL embraces (1) Lagrangian oil spill model MEDSLIK-II (De Dominicis et al., 2013 http://medslikii.bo.ingv.it) coupled with the basin-scale and regional operational oceanographic services; (2) two-modular block of oil spill forecast and uncertainty evaluation; (3) user visualization tool including web and mobile interface with visualization of geospatial information by means of Google Maps. Service-oriented approach plays a key role in the WITOIL DSS development. The system meets the real-time requirements in terms of performance and in dynamic service delivery. Client part of WITOIL is presented by a 8-language GUI (Graphical User Interface) supplied with a great variety of user services including a video tutorial (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qj_GokYy8MU). GUI allows users to configure and activate the system, visualize the results using Google Maps, and save them afterwards. Not only does a new generation of DSS require the oil spill forecast, but it also needs the evaluation of uncertainty, which is critical for efficient response, recovery, and mitigation. Uncertainty in prediction of the oil transport and transformation stems from the uncertain environment and data-sparse. A new methodology of uncertainty calculation with respect to initial conditions is incorporated in WITOIL DSS. The results are presented in probability terms. Special application to Android has been implemented to support users involved in the field operations. The system is

  13. The relevance of the North-Sea Caspian Pattern (NCP in explaining temperature variability in Europe and the Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Brunetti

    2011-10-01

    Full Text Available The impact of the upper level (500 hPa teleconnection between the North-Sea and the Caspian (NCP on the temperature and precipitation regimes in the Eastern Mediterranean (EM have been studied and reported and an index (NCPI that measures the normalized geopotential heights' differences between the two poles of this teleconnection has been defined.

    In the present study, the impact of the NCP on the temperature regime over the entire European continent is presented. In particular, the correlation between temperature and the NCPI has been evaluated, on a monthly basis, over the entire Euro-Mediterranean domain for the 1948–2007 period. The results highlight a significant positive correlation in the north-western area of the domain and a significant negative correlation in the south-eastern one. These two poles were also highlighted by comparing the temperature anomalies associated with both phases of NCP.

    The importance of this sort of NCP-induced temperature bi-pole in the context of temperature variability over Europe and the Mediterranean has been evaluated by applying a Principal Component Analysis to the temperature dataset. The results showed that the temperature bi-pole is associated with the second most important mode of temperature variability over the domain, but if the analysis is restricted to the months associated to NCP (+ and NCP (−, it becomes the first mode with 29.2 % of associated variance.

  14. Changes in the Floating Plastic Pollution of the Mediterranean Sea in Relation to the Distance to Land.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pedrotti, Maria Luiza; Petit, Stéphanie; Elineau, Amanda; Bruzaud, Stéphane; Crebassa, Jean-Claude; Dumontet, Bruno; Martí, Elisa; Gorsky, Gabriel; Cózar, Andrés

    2016-01-01

    The composition, size distribution, and abundance of floating plastic debris in surface waters of the Mediterranean Sea were analyzed in relation to distance to land. We combined data from previously published reports with an intensive sampling in inshore waters of the Northwestern Mediterranean. The highest plastic concentrations were found in regions distant from from land as well as in the first kilometer adjacent to the coastline. In this nearshore water strip, plastic concentrations were significantly correlated with the nearness to a coastal human population, with local areas close to large human settlements showing hundreds of thousands of plastic pieces per km2. The ratio of plastic to plankton abundance reached particularly high values for the coastal surface waters. Polyethylene, polypropylene and polyamides were the predominant plastic polymers at all distances from coast (86 to 97% of total items), although the diversity of polymers was higher in the 1-km coastal water strip due to a higher frequency of polystyrene or polyacrylic fibers. The plastic size distributions showed a gradual increase in abundance toward small sizes indicating an efficient removal of small plastics from the surface. Nevertheless, the relative abundance of small fragments (plastic debris in areas closest to Mediterranean coast. The presence of a high concentration of plastic including tiny plastic items could have significant environmental, health and economic impacts.

  15. The fate of Cystoseira crinita, a forest-forming Fucale (Phaeophyceae, Stramenopiles), in France (North Western Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanfuné, A.; Boudouresque, C. F.; Verlaque, M.; Thibaut, T.

    2016-11-01

    In the Mediterranean Sea, Fucales, and in particular the species of the genus Cystoseira C. Agardh, are habitat-forming species dominating several benthic assemblages from the littoral fringe down to 70-80 m depth in the clearest waters. They generate high primary production involved in the maintenance of diversified trophic levels, they provide shelter, food, habitat and nursery areas to many species, and they are long-lived species that constitute a good model for studying human impact on species diversity. Cystoseira crinita Duby is a Mediterranean endemic cespitose species, living in shallow waters (0-5 m depth), in places with little wave action and high solar irradiance. To reconstruct the long-term patterns of change in its distribution along the French Mediterranean coast (French Catalonia, Languedoc, Provence, French Riviera and Corsica), all the historical data (published articles, unpublished reports and herbarium vouchers) collected since the 18th century were searched and analysed. To assess the current status of the species, several field surveys were conducted between 2010 and 2016 by snorkelling and SCUBA diving. Cystoseira crinita is currently extinct in French Catalonia, near-extinct in Languedoc and western Provence, and functionally extinct on the French Riviera coast, while the eastern Provence and Corsican populations have remained stable. The main probable causes of decline are habitat destruction and overgrazing by herbivores.

  16. Controls, budgets and variability of riverine sediment fluxes to the Gulf of Lions (NW Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadaoui, Mahrez; Ludwig, Wolfgang; Bourrin, François; Raimbault, Patrick

    2016-09-01

    The present study investigates the spatio-temporal variability of riverine sediment fluxes to the Gulf of Lions, one of the most extensive shelf regions in the Mediterranean Sea. Small coastal rivers compete here with the Rhone River, nowadays the largest Mediterranean river in terms of water discharge. Our scientific objectives were to investigate the major controls of riverine sediment yields (SY) in this area and to quantify the role of the small coastal rivers, largely ignored in previous studies, in the total sediment budgets. Another objective concerned the source identification of the Rhone sediments with regard to the major tributary contributions, and to test whether the sediment fluxes are in equilibrium in the basin. For the calculation of representative long-term fluxes, we used a Simplified Rating Curve Approach (SiRCA) which could be validated by high resolution monitoring and existing literature data. An overall of 13 drainage basins could be distinguished, covering about 86% of the study area (6 coastal rivers, the Rhone River, and 6 of its tributaries). Representative SY range from 19 to 151 t km-2 yr-1 in the investigated drainage basins. Despite their smaller basin areas and more torrential discharge regimes, SY of the coastal rivers were generally lower compared to SY of the Rhone River and its tributaries. Confrontation with the lithological, morphological and hydroclimatic basin characteristics indicate that lithology exerts the dominant control on SY in the study region. In particular, the existence of erodible sedimentary rocks in the headwater regions yields high SY. Peak values of 135 and 151 t km-2 yr-1 were observed for the Isere and Durance tributaries of the Rhone River, where badlands exist. The coastal rivers contribute on average only to slightly more than 5% of the long-term sediment inputs to the Gulf of Lions. During individual years however, their contribution can strongly increase (up to 27% in 2011). Their contribution is

  17. To what extent can specialized species succeed in the deep sea? The biology and trophic ecology of deep-sea spiny eels (Notacanthidae) in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeu, Oriol Rodríguez; Cartes, Joan E.; Solé, Montse; Carrassón, Maite

    2016-09-01

    found related with either depth or homogenization/stratification of the water column. This lack of changes in diet is probably attributable to the greater stability of the lower slope where P. rissoanus lives. Gut fullness was mainly correlated with surface Chlorophyll a recorded simultaneously with the fish sampling. Lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity was similar in the muscle of the two notacanthids (N. bonapartei=3.72-8.75 μmol/min/mg prot; P. rissoanus=7.56 μmol/min/mg prot). Values for N. bonapartei were the highest found compared to other deep-sea fish in the deep Mediterranean. This could be related with the special feeding behaviour of this species when it removes sessile prey from substrate.

  18. Parascolymia (Scleractinia: Lobophylliidae in the Central Paratethys Sea (Vienna Basin, Austria and its possible biogeographic implications.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Markus Reuter

    Full Text Available Palaeobiogeographical and palaeodiversity patterns of scleractinian reef corals are generally biased due to uncertain taxonomy and a loss of taxonomic characters through dissolution and recrystallization of the skeletal aragonite in shallow marine limestones. Herein, we describe a fossil lobophylliid coral in mouldic preservation from the early middle Miocene Leitha Limestone of the Central Paratethys Sea (Vienna Basin, Austria. By using grey-scale image inversion and silicone rubber casts for the visualization of the original skeletal anatomy and the detection of distinct micromorphological characters (i.e. shape of septal teeth, granulation of septocostae Parascolymia bracherti has been identified as a new species in spite of the dissolved skeleton. In the recent era, Parascolymia like all Lobophylliidae is restricted to the Indo-Pacific region, where it is represented by a single species. The new species proves the genus also in the Miocene Mediterranean reef coral province. A review of the spatio-temporal relationships of fossil corals related to Parascolymia indicates that the genus was probably rooted in the Eastern Atlantic‒Western Tethys region during the Paleocene to Eocene and reached the Indo-Pacific region not before the Oligocene. The revealed palaeobiogeographical pattern shows an obvious congruence with that of Acropora and tridacnine bivalves reflecting a gradual equatorwards retreat of the marine biodiversity center parallel to the Cenozoic climate deterioration.

  19. Experimentally Based Model to Size the Geometry of a New OWC Device, with Reference to the Mediterranean Sea Wave Environment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Piero Ruol

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This note presents the Seabreath wave energy converter, basically a multi-chamber floating oscillating water column device, and the lumped model used to size its chambers, the ducts and the turbine. The model is based on extensive testing carried out in the wave flume of the University of Padova using fixed and floating models with a dummy power take off and indirect measurement of the produced power. A map with the available energy in the Mediterranean Sea is also proposed, showing possible ideal application sites. The Seabreath is finally dimensioned for a quarter scale test application in the Adriatic Sea, with a 3 kW turbine, and a capacity factor of 40%.

  20. Response of rocky shore communities to anthropogenic pressures in Albania (Mediterranean Sea): Ecological status assessment through the CARLIT method.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanfuné, Aurélie; Boudouresque, Charles François; Verlaque, Marc; Beqiraj, Sajmir; Kashta, Lefter; Nasto, Ina; Ruci, Stela; Thibaut, Thierry

    2016-08-15

    The lower mid-littoral and shallow subtidal communities were studied in the district of Vlora (Albania), three years after the establishment of a Marine Protected Area, with particular attention to the long-lived species. The bioconstructions built in the mid-littoral zone by the calcified rhodobiont Lithophyllum byssoides were in poor condition and sometimes even dead. In contrast, the brown alga Cystoseira amentacea constituted lush stands. For assessing the ecological status of the studied area, the CARLIT method, based upon macroalgal communities, was applied. The observed range of ecological status was wide ('high' through 'bad') and was overall among the lowest assessed to date in the Mediterranean Sea. The occurrence of extensive sea-urchin barren-grounds, though not taken into consideration by the CARLIT index, confirmed the poor condition of large sectors of the study area. Overall, the CARLIT index is well correlated with anthropogenic pressures, as assessed by the LUSI index.

  1. Description of the first Lessepsian squid migrant, Sepioteuthis lessoniana (CEPHALOPODA: Loliginidae, in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. LEFKADITOU

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Loliginid squids of the Sepioteuthis lessoniana complex are widely spread in the Indo-Pacific Ocean, where they constitute a commercially important resource for neritic fisheries. Sepioteuthis lessoniana is the only Lessepsian squid migrant till now, recorded for the first time in the Mediterranean in 2002 along the Turkish Levantine coasts. Two maturing males, with mantle lengths 193 mm and 244 mm, have been recently caught near the coasts of Rhodes Island (SE Aegean, extending the species distribution northward, into Hellenic waters. Their identity was confirmed by comparison of the main body, beak characteristics and morphometric measurements with those available in the literature for this species. Suspected expansion of the Lessepsian loliginid into the Aegean Sea, due to the gradual warming of the sea, is discussed.

  2. Theoretical and numerical investigations towards a new geoid model for the Mediterranean Sea - The GEOMED2 project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barzaghi, Riccardo; Vergos, Georgios S.; Albertella, Alberta; Carrion, Daniela; Cazzaniga, Noemi; Tziavos, Ilias N.; Grigoriadis, Vassilios N.; Natsiopoulos, Dimitrios A.; Bruinsma, Sean; Bonvalot, Sylvain; Lequentrec-Lalancette, Marie-Françoise; Bonnefond, Pascal; Knudsen, Per; Andersen, Ole; Simav, Mehmet; Yildiz, Hasan; Basic, Tomislav; Gil, Antonio J.

    2016-04-01

    The unique features of the Mediterranean Sea, with its large gravity variations, complex circulation, and geodynamic peculiarities have always constituted this semi-enclosed sea area as a unique geodetic, geodynamics and ocean laboratory. The main scope of the GEOMED 2 project is the collection of all available gravity, topography/bathymetry and satellite altimetry data in order to improve the representation of the marine geoid and estimate the Mean Dynamic sea surface Topography (MDT) and the circulation with higher accuracy and resolution. Within GEOMED2, the data employed are land and marine gravity data, GOCE/GRACE based Global Geopotential Models and a combination after proper validation of MISTRAL, HOMONIM and SRTM/bathymetry terrain models. In this work we present the results achieved for an inner test region spanning the Adriatic Sea area, bounded between 36o < φ < 48o and 10o < λ < 22o. Within this test region, the available terrain/bathymetry models have been evaluated in terms of their contribution to geoid modeling, the processing methodologies have been tested in terms of the provided geoid accuracy and finally some preliminary results on the MDT determination have been compiled. The aforementioned will server as the guide for the Mediterranean-wide marine geoid estimation. The processing methodology was based on the well-known remove-compute-restore method following both stochastic and spectral methods. Classic least-squares collocation (LSC) with errors has been employed, along with fast Fourier transform (FFT)-based techniques, the Least-Squares Modification of Stokes' Formula (KTH) method and windowed LSC. All methods have been evaluated against in-situ collocated GPS/Levelling geoid heights, using EGM2008 as a reference, in order to conclude on the one(s