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Sample records for central mediterranean sea

  1. 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

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27573802

  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. PMID:27540696

  4. 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

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26272502

  5. New records of the genus Pachygrapsus (Crustacea: Decapoda from the central Mediterranean Sea with a review of its Mediterranean zoogeography

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    F. CROCETTA

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The occurrence of Pachygrapsus maurus and Pachygrapsus transversus is reported from the Maltese Islands for the first time on the basis of one specimen of P. maurus collected in 1990 and numerous recent specimens, and the distribution of the two species is mapped. The controversial presence of P. maurus in Italy is confirmed and two new sites for this species are reported, including the first for the mainland of Italy. The examination of the historical specimen of P. maurus from the Genova area revealed a misidentification of P. transversus; this record could be a result of ship-mediated transport. First notes on the habitat of P. maurus in the central Mediterranean Sea are given. Updated maps of the distribution of P. maurus and P. transversus in the Mediterranean are provided and the zoogeography of these species is revisited.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Life-history traits of a commercial ray, Raja brachyura from the central western Mediterranean Sea

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    C. PORCU

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available In the present study the life history of blonde ray Raja brachyura from Sardinian waters (central-western Mediterranean was investigated and the results compared with previously published data on this species. The age, growth and reproduction were studied using 1792 specimens caught between 2005 and 2013. Females ranged from 13.1 to 105.5 cm in Total length (TL and males from 18 to 96.5 cm TL. This species was sexually dimorphic, with TL females attaining a larger size than males. Both females and males showed allometric growth (b>3 and we found significant differences in the relationship between length and weight among sexes. The von Bertalanffy growth function (3 parameters, which provided the following values: L∞ = 111.14 cm TL, k = 0.10 and t0 = -1.3 for females, and L∞ = 108.81 cm TL, k = 0.11 and t0 = -1.2 for males, was the best-fit age model. R. brachyura showed a relatively slow growth rate with males slightly more rapid than females. Length and age at maturity were 87.2 cm and 14 years for females and 80.8 cm and 10 years for males. This ray exhibited a restricted reproductive cycle from late May to August, confirmed by the seasonal evolution of GSI values. Ovarian fecundity reached a maximum of 44 yolked follicles. Given the relative abundance in the Sardinian seas, it is hoped that the results can be useful in the implementation of basic management measures in order to ensure the sustainability of catches of this species in the Mediterranean Sea.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Tectonics of the Central Anatolia Plateau between the Black Sea and the East Mediterranean

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    Bertotti, Giovanni; Fernandez-Blanco, David; Willett, Sean D.

    2013-04-01

    The Central Anatolia Plateau, focus point of the TopoEurope Vertical Anatolia Movement Project, is an elevated area (ca. 1.5km) with fairly smooth topography bounded to the N and to the S by mountain ranges (Pontides and Taurus) and flanked by marine domains (Black Sea and Cilicia Basin-Eastern Mediterranean). Towards the south the Cilicia Basin passes to the Island of Cyprus and eventually to the Cyprus subduction zone and African plate. To constrain the evolution of the CAP from its birth in the Miocene to present, we present the evolution of an upper crustal section stretching from the Black Sea to Cyprus with particular focus on a 350km long segment from the central part of the Plateau (Tüz Gölü) to the Cilicia Basin. This entire area occupies an upper plate position with respect to the Cyprus subduction zone. Tectonics from Early to Late Miocene times were fairly simple and characterized by a gently southward dipping basement experiencing generalized subsidence. Depositional environments gradually changed from continental in the north to shallow marine in the south. The overall tectonic regime during this stage is poorly constrained. In the Late Miocene the entire area of the future CAP began moving upward. At the same time, subsidence continued in the Cilicia basin. Uplift above sea level in the south is nicely recorded by the termination of marine sedimentation and the onset of erosion. Dominant tectonic structures during this stage are associated with N-S shortening. The largest structures caused the formation of the large S-dipping monocline characteristics of S Turkey. The coexistence of upward and downward movements (in the CAP and in the Cilicia basin respectively) as well as the dominant contractional regime suggest that the development of the CAP is related to dynamic changes in the Cyprus subduction zone. We validate this hypothesis with 2D thermo-mechanically coupled models. We demonstrate that the growth of the upper plate forearc basin system

  14. 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

  15. Larval fish distribution and their relationship with environmental factors in the southern Tyrrhenian Sea (central Mediterranean) during two years of sampling

    OpenAIRE

    Adriana Profeta

    2014-01-01

    The purpose of this paper was to study the community structure, in terms of species composition, abundance and spatial distribution, of fish larvae in a wide coastal area of Sicily facing the south-eastern Tyrrhenian Sea (central Mediterranean). This study analyses how species are assembled in relation to an inshore-offshore gradient and also how environmental conditions, determined by surface circulation patterns occurring in the Central Mediterranean at the local scale, determine the distri...

  16. Sedimentary record of Earthquakes and Tsunamis in the Central Mediterranean Sea

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    Polonia, A.; Romano, S.; Vaiani, S. C.; Gasparotto, G.; Gasperini, L.; Nelson, C. H.

    2014-12-01

    The Ionian Sea is a landlocked basin where convergence between Africa and Eurasia produced the emplacement of two opposite verging subduction/rollback systems (i.e. the Calabrian and the Hellenic Arcs). It is one of the most seismically active regions in the Mediterranean Sea and has been struck repeatedly by destructive historical earthquakes, often associated with tsunamis. Slab tearing in a pre-collisional setting is reflected in dynamic topography with high uplift rates of the coastal mountain belts, accompanied with a great sediment discharge to the continental margins. This increases the susceptibility to mass failures implying a strong interplay between active tectonics, seismic shaking, mass flows and tsunami generation.We investigated the effects of historic earthquakes on abyssal marine sedimentation through the analysis of the turbidite record in tectonically controlled basins. Holocene resedimented units in the deep Ionian Sea represent more than 90% of the total thickness of the sedimentary record. We dated the most recent turbidite sequences using different radiometric methods and the results suggest that turbidite emplacement was triggered by major historic earthquakes and tsunamis recorded in the region (i.e. AD 365 Crete and AD 1169, 1693 and 1908 Italian earthquakes).Textural, micropaleontological, geochemical and mineralogical signatures reveal that turbidite beds are stacked sandy units, which have different compositions suggesting coeval multiple failures. They are characterized by organic-rich sandy layers, containing a mixture of lithic clasts, plant fragments and displaced benthic foraminifera derived from several sources and bathymetric ranges. Structure and composition of each turbidite unit, combined with geochemical and isotopic analysis on organic carbon, are being refined to unravel the relative contribution of seismic shaking and tsunami wave loading on mass flow processes generation.Turbidites may be considered as the sedimentary

  17. 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.

  18. Spatial variations in feeding habits and trophic levels of two small pelagic fish species in the central Mediterranean Sea.

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    Rumolo, P; Bonanno, A; Barra, M; Fanelli, E; Calabrò, M; Genovese, S; Ferreri, R; Mazzola, S; Basilone, G

    2016-04-01

    Trophic ecology of adults of European sardine (Sardina pilchardus) and anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) was examined and compared among various regions of central Mediterranean Sea. Carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses (δ(13)C and δ(15)N) were adopted as a tool to determine changes in feeding behaviour of adults of sardines and anchovies. In the study period (summer) a clear geographical pattern was recognized in the isotopic composition of both species, with an increasing trend northward. The highest variations in isotopic signal were linked to the geographical positions of the samples and, especially, between pairs of areas: South Sicily/South Campania and Gulf of Gaeta/South Elba. Higher isotope values were found in the anchovies and sardines caught in northern Tyrrhenian Sea, while lower values were mostly estimated in the southern region. Higher carbon and nitrogen isotopes may reflect a more coastal behaviour of both species, being (13)C-enriched source from benthic primary producers in addition to phytoplankton. Variations in the nitrogen isotope ratio may reflect not only differences in the trophic level of prey species, but also variations in the baseline level of food webs. Our results support the hypothesis that feeding behaviour of both species is directly or indirectly influenced by local factors, or by resource partitioning based on zooplankton size. Findings can supply knowledge needed for improving fish stock management and promoting plans able to take into account also local ecosystem analysis. PMID:26895386

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

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    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. 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

  1. 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

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

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    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.

  3. Floating debris in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suaria, Giuseppe; Aliani, Stefano

    2014-09-15

    Results from the first large-scale survey of floating natural (NMD) and anthropogenic (AMD) debris (>2 cm) in the central and western part of the Mediterranean Sea are reported. Floating debris was found throughout the entire study area with densities ranging from 0 to 194.6 items/km(2) and mean abundances of 24.9 AMD items/km(2) and 6.9 NMD items/km(2) across all surveyed locations. On the whole, 78% of all sighted objects were of anthropogenic origin, 95.6% of which were petrochemical derivatives (i.e. plastic and styrofoam). Maximum AMD densities (>52 items/km(2)) were found in the Adriatic Sea and in the Algerian basin, while the lowest densities (litter items are currently floating on the surface of the whole Mediterranean basin. PMID:25127501

  4. 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.

  5. Prognosis of Central-Eastern Mediterranean waterspouts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keul, Alexander G.; Sioutas, Michalis V.; Szilagyi, Wade

    The North American waterspout forecasting methodology by Szilagyi is applied on a sample of 110 waterspout events for the years 2002-2006 over the Central-Eastern Mediterranean (the Adriatic, Ionian and Aegean Sea). First, the geographical distribution and frequency of the phenomena are shown. Four synoptic types of waterspout-prone circulation patterns are considered. For the Adriatic cases, five thermodynamic indices (KI, TT, SWEAT, CAPE, BRN) are used as possible predictors. The testing of the Szilagyi Waterspout Nomogram and Index (SWI), developed for the Great Lakes region, was favorable for the Mediterranean case data, validating its use as a prognostic tool. Results were presented and discussed at the 4th European Conference on Severe Storms ECSS at Trieste. Meteorologists should standardize and evaluate waterspout prognostic tools and implement a visual interface to improve the service for relevant user groups.

  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. Two-year study of lipophilic marine toxin profile in mussels of the North-central Adriatic Sea: First report of azaspiracids in Mediterranean seafood.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacchiocchi, Simone; Siracusa, Melania; Ruzzi, Angela; Gorbi, Stefania; Ercolessi, Manuela; Cosentino, Maria Anna; Ammazzalorso, Patrizia; Orletti, Roberta

    2015-12-15

    Since the late 1980s, the North-central Adriatic Sea has frequently experienced blooms of harmful algal species, producing marine lipophilic toxins (MLTs) which accumulate in mussels and pose a serious threat to consumer health. Here, we present a 2-year LC-MS/MS study (2012-2014) of the MLT profile in mussels from the North-central Adriatic Sea in the context of the presence of toxic phytoplankton concentrations in seawater. Okadaic acid increased in mussels from all areas during the summer and autumn-winter periods with a rising trend between 2012 and 2014. In the same periods, Dinophysis sp. increased in abundance in seawater, but the highest densities of algae did not always coincide with the highest levels of toxins in mussels. Yessotoxins (YTXs) content in mussel increased sharply in the autumn-winter periods even exceeding the legal limit; although this accumulation did not always correlated with the YTX-producers in water (such as Lingulodinium polyedrum and Protoceratium reticulatum) a massive bloom of Gonyaulax spinifera was reported in November 2013, suggesting the role of this species in YTXs shellfish contamination. Traces of Azaspiracid 2 (AZA-2) were observed often in mussels during the study period, confirming for the first time the presence of this biotoxin in Mediterranean seafood. PMID:26455996

  9. 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.

  10. Immunohistochemical localization of CYP1A, vitellogenin and Zona radiata proteins in the liver of swordfish (Xiphias gladius L.) taken from the Mediterranean Sea, South Atlantic, South Western Indian and Central North Pacific Oceans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cytochrome P4501A (CYP1A) monoxygenase, vitellogenin (Vtg) and Zona radiata proteins (Zrp) are frequently used as biomarkers of fish exposure to organic contaminants. In this work, swordfish liver sections obtained from the Mediterranean Sea, the South African coasts (South Atlantic and South Western Indian Oceans) and the Central North Pacific Ocean were immunostained with antisera against CYP1A, Zrp, and Vtg. CYP1A induction was found in hepatocytes, epithelium of the biliary ductus and the endothelium of large blood vessels of fish from the Mediterranean Sea and South African waters, but not from the Pacific Ocean. Zrp and Vtg were immunolocalized in hepatocytes of male swordfish from the Mediterranean Sea and from South African waters. Plasma Dot-Blot analysis, performed in Mediterranean and Pacific specimens, revealed the presence of Zrp and Vtg in males from Mediterranean but not from Pacific. These results confirm previous findings about the potential exposure of Mediterranean swordfish to endocrine, disrupting chemicals and raise questions concerning the possible presence of xenobiotic contaminants off the Southern coasts of South Africa in both the South Atlantic and South Western Indian Oceans

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsikliras, Athanassios C; Dinouli, Anny; Tsiros, Vasileios-Zikos; Tsalkou, Eleni

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:25793975

  14. Plastic accumulation in the mediterranean sea

    OpenAIRE

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

    2015-01-01

    Copyright: © 2015 Cózar et al. 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 ...

  15. Plastic Accumulation in the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    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...

  16. A seven year record of Saharan dust outbreaks over the Central Mediterranean Sea:chemical characterization, size distribution and optical properties

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becagli, Silvia; Marconi, Miriam; Sferlazzo, Damiano; Bommarito, Carlo; Calzolai, Giulia; Chiari, Massimo; di Sarra, Alcide; Gomez-Amo, Jose Louis; Lucarelli, Franco; Meloni, Daniela; Pace, Giandomenico; Traversi, Rita; Severi, Mirko; Udisti, Roberto

    2013-04-01

    Saharan dust largely affects air pollution and climate. This study aims at determining the mineral contribution to PM10 in the Central Mediterranean Sea based on 7 years of PM10 chemical composition measurements at the island of Lampedusa (35.5°N, 12.6° E). Total content and soluble fractions of selected elements and metals are used to characterize the dust events. The soluble + insoluble contribution is determined by PIXE, (Particles Induced X-ray Emission), while the composition of the soluble fraction by ICP-AES, (Inductively coupled plasma - atomic emission spectroscopy) after extraction with HNO3 at pH1.5. The solubility of each element and its size distribution are analyzed with the aim of obtaining information on their sources, mixing processes, and availability for the environment. The Saharan dust contribution to the total PM was estimated by considering Al, Si, Ca, non-sea-salt Na, K and Fe oxides. During strong Saharan dust events PM10 is often higher than 50μg m-3, and the dust contribution is about 50%. The crustal aerosol amount and contribution to PM10 shows a very small seasonal dependence; conversely, the dust optical depth displays an evident annual cycle, with a strong summer maximum (monthly average aerosol optical depth at 500 nm as large as 0.28 in June-August). We found that only 49% of the events identified from optical properties over the air column display a high dust content at the ground level, demonstrating that Saharan dust transport frequently occurs above the marine boundary layer, with negligible or small impact on the surface aerosol properties. The average size distribution obtained by Optical Particle Counter during the days with high mineral content comprises three modes, whose median radii are at about 0.29 um, 2.2 um, and 7.2 um, respectively. Solubility of each elements present a large variability in the condition of extraction, but usually in Saharan dust events the solubility is lower than in non-Saharan dust events

  17. Observing Volcanoes from the Seafloor in the Central Mediterranean Area

    OpenAIRE

    Gabriele Giovanetti; Stephen Monna; Nadia Lo Bue; Davide Embriaco; Francesco Frugoni; Giuditta Marinaro; Mariagrazia De Caro; Tiziana Sgroi; Caterina Montuori; Angelo De Santis; Gianfranco Cianchini; Laura Beranzoli; Paolo Favali

    2016-01-01

    The three volcanoes that are the object of this paper show different types of activity that are representative of the large variety of volcanism present in the Central Mediterranean area. Etna and Stromboli are sub-aerial volcanoes, with significant part of their structure under the sea, while the Marsili Seamount is submerged, and its activity is still open to debate. The study of these volcanoes can benefit from multi-parametric observations from the seafloor. Each volcano was studied with ...

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Saharan dust aerosol over the central Mediterranean Sea: optical columnar measurements vs. aerosol load, chemical composition and marker solubility at ground level

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Marconi

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available This study aims at the determination of the mineral contribution to PM10 in the central Mediterranean Sea on the basis of 7 yr of PM10 chemical composition daily measurements made on the island of Lampedusa (35.5° N, 12.6° E. Aerosol optical depth measurements are carried out in parallel while sampling with a multi-stage impactor, and observations with an optical particle counter were performed in selected periods. Based on daily samples, the total content and soluble fraction of selected metals are used to identify and characterize the dust events. The total contribution is determined by PIXE (particle-induced X-ray emission while the composition of the soluble fraction by ICP-AES (inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectroscopy after extraction with HNO3 at pH 1.5. The average PM10 concentration at Lampedusa calculated over the period June 2004–December 2010 is 31.5 μg m−3, with low interannual variability. The annual means are below the EU annual standard for PM10, but 9.9% of the total number of daily data exceed the daily threshold value established by the European Commission for PM (50 μg m−3, European Community, EC/30/1999. The Saharan dust contribution to PM10 was derived by calculating the contribution of Al, Si, Fe, Ti, non-sea-salt (nss Ca, nssNa, and nssK oxides in samples in which PIXE data were available. Cases with crustal content exceeding the 75th percentile of the crustal oxide content distribution were identified as dust events. Using this threshold we identify 175 events; 31.6% of them (55 events present PM10 higher than 50 μg m−3, with dust contributing by 33% on average. The annual average crustal contribution to PM10 is 5.42 μg m−3, reaching a value as high as 67.9 μg m−3, 49% of PM10, during an intense Saharan dust event. The crustal aerosol amount and contribution to PM10 shows a very small seasonal dependence; conversely, the dust columnar burden displays an evident annual cycle, with a strong

  2. Internal wave - zooplankton interactions in the Alboran Sea (W-Mediterranean)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Haren, H.

    2014-01-01

    An upward looking 75 kHz ADCP (Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler) was moored at 100 m above the bottom in 912 m water depth in the central-north Alboran Sea (W-Mediterranean Sea). The ADCP sampled current and acoustic echo-amplitude at a rate of once per minute for 9 days, thereby revealing particul

  3. 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. PMID:26563234

  4. 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

  5. Characterization of PM10 sources in the central Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calzolai, G.; Nava, S.; Lucarelli, F.; Chiari, M.; Giannoni, M.; Becagli, S.; Traversi, R.; Marconi, M.; Frosini, D.; Severi, M.; Udisti, R.; di Sarra, A.; Pace, G.; Meloni, D.; Bommarito, C.; Monteleone, F.; Anello, F.; Sferlazzo, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    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 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 sulfate, 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 sulfate, 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 sulfate due to ship emissions was estimated and found to contribute by about one-third to the total sulfate mass. Results for the sea-salt and mineral dust sources were compared with estimates of the same contributions obtained from independent approaches, leading to an

  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. Sea Level Variability in the Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zerbini, S.; Bruni, S.; del Conte, S.; Errico, M.; Petracca, F.; Prati, C.; Raicich, F.; Santi, E.

    2015-12-01

    Tide gauges measure local sea-level relative to a benchmark on land, therefore the interpretation of these measurements can be limited by the lack of appropriate knowledge of vertical crustal motions. The oldest sea-level records date back to the 18th century; these observations are the only centuries-old data source enabling the estimate of historical sea-level trends/variations. In general, tide gauge benchmarks were not frequently levelled, except in those stations where natural and/or anthropogenic subsidence was a major concern. However, in most cases, it is difficult to retrieve the historical geodetic levelling data. Space geodetic techniques, such as GNSS, Doris and InSAR are now providing measurements on a time and space-continuous basis, giving rise to a large amount of different data sets. The vertical motions resulting from the various analyses need to be compared and best exploited for achieving reliable estimates of sea level variations. In the Mediterranean area, there are a few centennial tide gauge records; our study focuses, in particular, on the Italian time series of Genoa, Marina di Ravenna, Venice and Trieste. Two of these stations, Marina di Ravenna and Venice, are affected by both natural and anthropogenic subsidence, the latter was particularly intense during a few decades of the 20th century because of ground fluids withdrawal. We have retrieved levelling data of benchmarks at and/or close to the tide gauges from the end of 1800 and, for the last couple of decades, also GPS and InSAR height time series in close proximity of the stations. By using an ensemble of these data, modelling of the long-period non-linear behavior of subsidence was successfully accomplished. After removal of the land vertical motions, the linear long period sea-level rates of all stations are in excellent agreement. Over the last two decades, the tide gauge rates were also compared with those obtained by satellite radar altimetry data.

  8. 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...... manta trawl was used for surface water sampling. Physical and chemical characterization of plastic particles was performed with regard to size (1-5mm), shape (fragment, line, thin film, foam and pellets), color (transparent, white, black and colored), density and chemical composition according...... the dominant shape of plastics with 86% and 75% of 5mm sizes, respectively. Transparent plastics comprised the majority of total plastic particles obtained with 65% and 56% of 5mm sizes, respectively. Despite their small number, plastics of >5mm weighed more than particles

  9. 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

  10. Genetic Structure of Bluefin Tuna in the Mediterranean Sea Correlates with Environmental Variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riccioni, Giulia; Stagioni, Marco; Landi, Monica; Ferrara, Giorgia; Barbujani, Guido; Tinti, Fausto

    2013-01-01

    Background Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ABFT) shows complex demography and ecological variation in the Mediterranean Sea. Genetic surveys have detected significant, although weak, signals of population structuring; catch series analyses and tagging programs identified complex ABFT spatial dynamics and migration patterns. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the genetic structure of the ABFT in the Mediterranean is correlated with mean surface temperature and salinity. Methodology We used six samples collected from Western and Central Mediterranean integrated with a new sample collected from the recently identified easternmost reproductive area of Levantine Sea. To assess population structure in the Mediterranean we used a multidisciplinary framework combining classical population genetics, spatial and Bayesian clustering methods and a multivariate approach based on factor analysis. Conclusions FST analysis and Bayesian clustering methods detected several subpopulations in the Mediterranean, a result also supported by multivariate analyses. In addition, we identified significant correlations of genetic diversity with mean salinity and surface temperature values revealing that ABFT is genetically structured along two environmental gradients. These results suggest that a preference for some spawning habitat conditions could contribute to shape ABFT genetic structuring in the Mediterranean. However, further studies should be performed to assess to what extent ABFT spawning behaviour in the Mediterranean Sea can be affected by environmental variation. PMID:24260341

  11. Genetic structure of bluefin tuna in the mediterranean sea correlates with environmental variables.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Giulia Riccioni

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (ABFT shows complex demography and ecological variation in the Mediterranean Sea. Genetic surveys have detected significant, although weak, signals of population structuring; catch series analyses and tagging programs identified complex ABFT spatial dynamics and migration patterns. Here, we tested the hypothesis that the genetic structure of the ABFT in the Mediterranean is correlated with mean surface temperature and salinity. METHODOLOGY: We used six samples collected from Western and Central Mediterranean integrated with a new sample collected from the recently identified easternmost reproductive area of Levantine Sea. To assess population structure in the Mediterranean we used a multidisciplinary framework combining classical population genetics, spatial and Bayesian clustering methods and a multivariate approach based on factor analysis. CONCLUSIONS: FST analysis and Bayesian clustering methods detected several subpopulations in the Mediterranean, a result also supported by multivariate analyses. In addition, we identified significant correlations of genetic diversity with mean salinity and surface temperature values revealing that ABFT is genetically structured along two environmental gradients. These results suggest that a preference for some spawning habitat conditions could contribute to shape ABFT genetic structuring in the Mediterranean. However, further studies should be performed to assess to what extent ABFT spawning behaviour in the Mediterranean Sea can be affected by environmental variation.

  12. 3D seismic geomorphology of mass transport complexes in a foredeep basin: Examples from the Pleistocene of the Central Adriatic Basin (Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalla Valle, Giacomo; Gamberi, Fabiano; Rocchini, Patrizia; Minisini, Daniel; Errera, Alessia; Baglioni, Luca; Trincardi, Fabio

    2013-08-01

    Three-dimensional (3D) seismic-reflection data has shed light on the character of a series of mass transport complexes (MTCs) emplaced during the Pleistocene in the Pescara Basin (Central Adriatic Sea, Italy). The Pescara Basin is the Plio-Pleistocene inner foredeep of the Central Apennines orogen, which was filled by a rapidly prograding, margin-scale clinoforms system. Three MTCs punctuate the normal turbiditic and hemipelagic sedimentary succession of the Pescara Basin foredeep. MTC_0 is the oldest one and covers an area of around 74 km2. It is composed of three different mass transport deposits (MTDs) resulting from individual collapses that involved a shelf-edge delta during a period of relative sea level rise. MTC_1, the intermediate age MTC, is the largest one, with an area of 90 km2. It has a 10 km wide cookie-bite headwall region that indents the upper slope and, in places, reaches the continental shelf-break. MTC_1 is made up of four laterally and vertically stacked MTDs which are the result of a composite set of failures that migrated progressively upslope in a sedimentary setting dominated by contourite deposits. MTC_2 is the youngest and the smallest one, with an area of 55 km2. It has a 5 km long headwall confined in correspondence with a sedimentary bulge developed in the upper slope. Its geomorphic setting leads us to consider two different episodes of failure rooted at different depths. The investigation of the MTCs, through the coupling of 3D seismic geomorphology, seismic facies analysis and rollover trajectory analysis, reveals that the type of sedimentary environment, the rate of sediment accumulation, the source region and the depth of rooting of the failure, are the major controlling factors on MTC evolution and emplacement. Each MTC of the Pescara Basin foredeep is generally confined within a discrete clinotheme. Finally, the rollover trajectory analysis has shown that, in the PB foredeep, a sediment failure can possibly occur at any

  13. Recent nutrient dynamics in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Kitack; Moon, Ji-Young

    2016-04-01

    The concentrations of nitrate (N) and phosphate (P), and the N:P ratio in the upper water column of the Mediterranean Sea (MED) were examined using observational data (~173,000 data points) collected since 1980s. The observed trends were found to distinctly evolve in the western and eastern MED. In the western MED the N and P concentrations have rapidly increased over time and was broadly consistent with the riverine input history from the populated areas surrounding the western MED. Contrarily, the N and P concentrations in the eastern MED markedly increased up until the mid-1995 and briefly remained high between 1995 and 2000. The N concentration rapidly decreased thereafter. In particular, the three-phase temporal transition of N and P in the eastern MED (increase-constant-decline) was more consistent with the emission history of pollutant nitrogen from the western European continent, in which regulation of emissions of pollutant nitrogen has been in place since 1970s. Our analysis implies that the recent N dynamics in the upper MED appeared to be sensitive to input dynamics of anthropogenic N, via atmospheric deposition and river. This conclusion is further strengthened by good agreement between the integrated rate of increase in the upper-water N inventory and the total anthropogenic N input during the past 30 years.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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)

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Setting priorities for regional conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Micheli, Fiorenza; Levin, Noam; Giakoumi, Sylvaine; Katsanevakis, Stelios; Abdulla, Ameer; Coll, Marta; Fraschetti, Simonetta; Kark, Salit; Koutsoubas, Drosos; Mackelworth, Peter; Maiorano, Luigi; Possingham, Hugh P

    2013-01-01

    Spatial prioritization in conservation is required to direct limited resources to where actions are most urgently needed and most likely to produce effective conservation outcomes. In an effort to advance the protection of a highly threatened hotspot of marine biodiversity, the Mediterranean Sea, multiple spatial conservation plans have been developed in recent years. Here, we review and integrate these different plans with the goal of identifying priority conservation areas that represent the current consensus among the different initiatives. A review of six existing and twelve proposed conservation initiatives highlights gaps in conservation and management planning, particularly within the southern and eastern regions of the Mediterranean and for offshore and deep sea habitats. The eighteen initiatives vary substantially in their extent (covering 0.1-58.5% of the Mediterranean Sea) and in the location of additional proposed conservation and management areas. Differences in the criteria, approaches and data used explain such variation. Despite the diversity among proposals, our analyses identified ten areas, encompassing 10% of the Mediterranean Sea, that are consistently identified among the existing proposals, with an additional 10% selected by at least five proposals. These areas represent top priorities for immediate conservation action. Despite the plethora of initiatives, major challenges face Mediterranean biodiversity and conservation. These include the need for spatial prioritization within a comprehensive framework for regional conservation planning, the acquisition of additional information from data-poor areas, species or habitats, and addressing the challenges of establishing transboundary governance and collaboration in socially, culturally and politically complex conditions. Collective prioritised action, not new conservation plans, is needed for the north, western, and high seas of the Mediterranean, while developing initial information-based plans

  1. Alien fish species in the Mediterranean – Black Sea Basin

    OpenAIRE

    ORAL, Muammer

    2010-01-01

    Abstract Alien Fish (Synonyms: non-native, non-indigenous, allochthonous, and exotic) species have been introduced to the Mediterranean-Black Sea Basin via the Suez Canal, Gibraltar or in ballast water. The number of alien fish species increased recently in the Black Sea-Mediterranean Basin because of the opening of the Suez Canal, climate change and international shipping activities. The aim of this review is to compile all relevant data for the alien fish species in both the Black and the M...

  2. 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.

  3. First in situ observations of the deep-sea carnivorous ascidian Dicopia antirrhinum Monniot C., 1972 in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mecho, A.; Aguzzi, J.; Company, J. B.; Canals, M.; Lastras, G.; Turon, X.

    2014-01-01

    Dicopia antirrhinum C. Monniot, 1972 is a rare species of deep-sea ascidian belonging to the Family Octacnemidae, reported at depths of 1000-2500 m in European Atlantic waters. Adult individuals have never been reported before in the Mediterranean Sea, where only seven juvenile specimens were found in 1975 at 500 m water depth in the Central basin (Malta). The affinities of these specimens with D. antirrhinum were noted, but lack of some typical characters of the species in juveniles prevented a definite taxonomical identification. No other member of the Octacnemidae has ever been found in the Mediterranean. In this study we describe the sampling of an adult specimen of D. antirrhinum at around 1100 m water depth on the flank of the La Fonera (Palamós) canyon, Northwestern Mediterranean, confirming their presence in the Mediterranean Sea. We also observed 5 individuals of this species on their natural habitat with a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). Our results highlight the potential occurrence of Octacnemidae, the presence of which has been largely overlooked, in several deep-sea canyon areas within the Western Mediterranean basin. These observations are important because they indicate the need for increased sampling effort with new technologies, such as ROVs, in ecologically relevant habitats such as canyons, in order to obtain a more accurate picture of deep-sea biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Dolphin Morbillivirus Epizootic Resurgence, Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Raga, Juan-Antonio; Banyard, Ashley; Domingo, Mariano; Corteyn, Mandy; Van Bressem, Marie-Françoise; Fernández, Mercedes; Aznar, Francisco-Javier; Barrett, Thomas

    2008-01-01

    In July 2007, >100 striped dolphins, Stenella coeruleoalba, were found dead along the coast of the Spanish Mediterranean. Of 10 dolphins tested, 7 were positive for a virus strain closely related to the dolphin morbillivirus that was isolated during a previous epizootic in 1990.

  9. 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.

  10. Observing Volcanoes from the Seafloor in the Central Mediterranean Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriele Giovanetti

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The three volcanoes that are the object of this paper show different types of activity that are representative of the large variety of volcanism present in the Central Mediterranean area. Etna and Stromboli are sub-aerial volcanoes, with significant part of their structure under the sea, while the Marsili Seamount is submerged, and its activity is still open to debate. The study of these volcanoes can benefit from multi-parametric observations from the seafloor. Each volcano was studied with a different kind of observation system. Stromboli seismic recordings are acquired by means of a single Ocean Bottom Seismometer (OBS. From these data, it was possible to identify two different magma chambers at different depths. At Marsili Seamount, gravimetric and seismic signals are recorded by a battery-powered multi-disciplinary observatory (GEOSTAR. Gravimetric variations and seismic Short Duration Events (SDE confirm the presence of hydrothermal activity. At the Etna observation site, seismic signals, water pressure, magnetic field and acoustic echo intensity are acquired in real-time thanks to a cabled multi-disciplinary observatory (NEMO-SN1 . This observatory is one of the operative nodes of the European Multidisciplinary Seafloor and water-column Observatory (EMSO; www.emso-eu.org research infrastructure. Through a multidisciplinary approach, we speculate about deep Etna sources and follow some significant events, such as volcanic ash diffusion in the seawater.

  11. Dioxin compounds in the deep-sea rose shrimp Aristeus antennatus (Risso, 1816) throughout the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rotllant, Guiomar; Abad, Esteban; Sardà, Francisco; Ábalos, Manuela; Company, Joan B.; Rivera, Josep

    2006-12-01

    Polychlorodibenzo- p-dioxins (PCDDs) and polychlorodibenzofurans (PCDFs) are among the more toxic anthropogenic contaminants. They are fat-soluble and accumulate in animal tissues. Exposure to PCDD/Fs can cause several endocrine, reproductive and developmental problems in animals, including human beings. Several studies have demonstrated that fish and invertebrates living in association with sediments are exposed to and accumulate contaminants, but to date there have been no studies of PCDD/Fs contamination in deep-sea regions. Specimens of Aristeus antennatus (Risso, 1816) were collected from depths of 600-2500 m at different points in the Mediterranean Sea, from the western basin off the coast of Barcelona to the central basin off the Peloponnesian Peninsula, with otter trawl gear. Amounts of PCDD/Fs were measured in different animal tissues by high resolution gas chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (HRGC-HRMS). This is the first study to report the presence of PCDD/Fs in deep-sea organisms dwelling at depths below 600 m. A. antennatus presented levels of PCDD/Fs of the same order of magnitude, or slightly higher, as those found in shallow-water species ( Melicertus kerathurus) with respect to land-generated contamination. This highlights the widespread distribution of these pollutants and the potential threat posed to the biodiversity of fragile and vulnerable ecosystems such as the deep-sea. PCDD/F levels detected in the edible parts (muscle) of the commercial shrimp A. antennatus were clearly below the toxic limit value established by European legislation. Levels followed the trend musclecrustaceans. PCDD/Fs were found in the shrimp A. antennatus throughout the Mediterranean Sea. Total PCDD/Fs burdens were higher in shrimps caught in the western Mediterranean than in those caught at eastern Mediterranean sites. There was a tendency for higher levels of PCDD/F contamination in samples obtained from deeper (2500 m) than from shallower

  12. 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.

  13. 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. PMID:26637933

  14. Input of transuranic elements through rivers into the Mediterranean Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Measurements of 137Cs, 238Pu, sup(239+240)Pu and 241Am were carried out on river water as well as its suspended matter collected seasonally in 1977 from two Mediterranean rivers, the Var and the Rhone. The results show that although the concentrations of the soluble fractions of these radionuclides are higher in the Rhone than in the Var, even the elevated concentrations of soluble 137Cs (approximately 40 fCi.ltr-1) and sup(239+240)Pu (approximately 0.1 fCi.ltr-1) in the Rhone are much lower than the average concentrations of these nuclides in Mediterranean surface waters. On the other hand, the concentrations of the nuclides measured in suspended matter are roughly an order of magnitude higher in the Rhone than in the Var. Based on the results of measurements on the two rivers, and assuming that the annual average concentrations of the radionuclides in the Var and the Rhone respectively represent those in radiologically uncontaminated and contaminated Mediterranean rivers, the total inputs of 137Cs, 238Pu, sup(239+240)Pu and 241Am through rivers into the Mediterranean Sea have been estimated. Comparison of these estimated values with the inputs of fallout radionuclides by rain indicates that although local accumulation of transuranic nuclides may be observed on sediments taken from some limited estuarine areas, the geochemical behaviour of transuranic elements in the Mediterranean, as a whole, is exclusively governed today by the fallout input of these elements. (author)

  15. Characterization of aerosol episodes in the greater Mediterranean Sea area from satellite observations (2000-2007)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gkikas, A.; Hatzianastassiou, N.; Mihalopoulos, N.; Torres, O.

    2016-03-01

    An algorithm able to identify and characterize episodes of different aerosol types above sea surfaces of the greater Mediterranean basin (GMB), including the Black Sea and the Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Iberia and northwest Africa, is presented in this study. Based on this algorithm, five types of intense (strong and extreme) aerosol episodes in the GMB are identified and characterized using daily aerosol optical properties from satellite measurements, namely MODIS-Terra, Earth Probe (EP)-TOMS and OMI-Aura. These aerosol episodes are: (i) biomass-burning/urban-industrial (BU), (ii) desert dust (DD), (iii) dust/sea-salt (DSS), (iv) mixed (MX) and (v) undetermined (UN). The identification and characterization is made with our algorithm using a variety of aerosol properties, namely aerosol optical depth (AOD), Ångström exponent (α), fine fraction (FF), effective radius (reff) and Aerosol Index (AI). During the study period (2000-2007), the most frequent aerosol episodes are DD, observed primarily in the western and central Mediterranean Sea, and off the northern African coasts, 7 times/year for strong episodes and 4 times/year for extreme ones, on average. The DD episodes yield 40% of all types of strong aerosol episodes in the study region, while they account for 71.5% of all extreme episodes. The frequency of occurrence of strong episodes exhibits specific geographical patterns, for example the BU are mostly observed along the coasts of southern Europe and off the Atlantic coasts of Portugal, the MX episodes off the Spanish Mediterranean coast and over the Adriatic and northern Aegean Sea, while the DSS ones over the western and central Mediterranean Sea. On the other hand, the extreme episodes for all but DD aerosol display more patchy spatial patterns. The strong episodes exhibit AOD at 550 nm as high as 1.6 in the southernmost parts of central and eastern Mediterranean Sea, which rise up to 5 for the extreme, mainly DD and DSS, episodes. Although more

  16. Sea level and climate forcing of the Sr isotope composition of late Miocene Mediterranean marine basins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schildgen, T. F.; Cosentino, D.; Frijia, G.; Castorina, F.; Dudas, F. Ö.; Iadanza, A.; Sampalmieri, G.; Cipollari, P.; Caruso, A.; Bowring, S. A.; Strecker, M. R.

    2014-07-01

    isotope records from marginal marine basins track the mixing between seawater and local continental runoff, potentially recording the effects of sea level, tectonic, and climate forcing in marine fossils and sediments. Our 110 new 87Sr/86Sr analyses on oyster and foraminifera samples from six late Miocene stratigraphic sections in southern Turkey, Crete, and Sicily show that 87Sr/86Sr fell below global seawater values in the basins several million years before the Messinian Salinity Crisis, coinciding with tectonic uplift and basin shallowing. 87Sr/86Sr from more centrally located basins (away from the Mediterranean coast) drop below global seawater values only during the Messinian Salinity Crisis. In addition to this general trend, 55 new 87Sr/86Sr analyses from the astronomically tuned Lower Evaporites in the central Apennines (Italy) allow us to explore the effect of glacio-eustatic sea level and precipitation changes on 87Sr/86Sr. Most variation in our data can be explained by changes in sea level, with greatest negative excursions from global seawater values occurring during relative sea level lowstands, which generally coincided with arid conditions in the Mediterranean realm. We suggest that this greater sensitivity to lowered sea level compared with higher runoff could relate to the inverse relationship between Sr concentration and river discharge. Variations in the residence time of groundwater within the karst terrain of the circum-Mediterranean region during arid and wet phases may help to explain the single (robust) occurrence of a negative excursion during a sea level highstand, but this explanation remains speculative without more detailed paleoclimatic data for the region.

  17. Variations of zooplankton in the frontal area of the Alboran sea (Mediterranean sea) in winter 1997

    OpenAIRE

    Youssara, F; Gaudy, R

    2001-01-01

    Zooplankton from the upper 200 m of the Almeria-Oran frontal region, (east of the Alboran sea, western Mediterranean) was sampled during winter 1997, using two nets equipped with 200 and 80 mum mesh. Eight sites representative of the different hydrodynamic structures (Mediterranean water, geostrophic Atlantic jet, associated anticyclonic gyre) were investigated over 2 d, using two day- and two night-samples per site. Zooplankton biomass was correlated to chlorophyll abundance, with lowest val...

  18. Vortices generation mechanisms in North western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fraunie, P.; Redondo, J. M.; Schaeffer, A.; Molcard, A.; Forget, P.; Garreau, P.

    2012-04-01

    Mesoscale eddies have been observed in Northwestern Mediterranean Sea from satellites, RV cruises and more recently using HF radars. Different non linear mechanisms have been identified and investigated using process oriented high resolution numerical modelling. In particular, wind induced inertial motion and baroclinic instability cases have been illustrated and documented. Statistics of vortices occurence allow a better accounting for coherent structures for pollutants and nutriments dispersion and retention. Acknowledgements : GIRAC project (FUI - CG83 -TPM), ESA, HYMEX programme

  19. Bioindicators of pollutant exposure in the northwestern Mediterranean sea

    OpenAIRE

    Burgeot, Thierry; Bocquene, Gilles; Porte, C.; Dimeet, Joel; Santella, RM; Garcia De La Parra, L.m.; Pihol-leszkowicz, A.; Raoux, C; Galgani, Francois

    1996-01-01

    Several bioindicators were used to evaluate the biological and genotoxic effects of marine pollutants near large coastal cities in the northwestern part of the Mediterranean Sea. Three target species of teleosts were selected: red mullet Mullus barbatus and 2 types of comber (Serranus hepatus and S. cabrilla). Induction of ethoxyresorufin-O-deethylase (EROD) activity specific for polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCB) was measured in the livers of the fish,...

  20. Environmental assessment of rosetta area,mediterranean sea coast - egypt

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study is titled (Environmental Assessment of Rosetta Area,Mediterranean Sea Coast, Egypt). The environmental assessment can be defined here as the process of assessing the potential impacts (positive or negative) of the presence of certain influential on a particular ecosystem. Samples were collected from Abu Khashaba beach area, Rosetta on the Mediterranean Sea coast. Samples of the beach sediments, sea-water and the scattered shells in this coastal region were collected. Sediments in this region are characterized by its large content of heavy metals, which added to these sediments its black color. It is known that these black sands occurred along the Mediterranean Sea coast from Alexandria to Rafah. The advantage of these black sand deposits is their contents from multiple economic metals which have important industrial uses, such as magnetite, ilmenite, rutile, monazite, zircon, garnet and other important minerals. Ten sampling profiles spaced in-between by about 600 m distance, and extending into the land from the shoreline for about 50 m or less. Along each profile, three sediment samples were collected; the first sample from the surface at the beach line, the second sample from the end of the foreshore area at a depth of about 50 cm and the third sample was taken from the backshore area at a depth of about 1 m. Extending from each profile into the sea, marine-water samples were taken at a distance of about 3 m from the beach line, and from a depth of about 1 m below the sea surface. The shells samples were collected from the scattered shells on the beach. By examination of these samples a 15 different shells types were defined.

  1. Common littoral pycnogonids of the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Marta; Piroddi, Chiara; Steenbeek, Jeroen; Kaschner, Kristin; Ben Rais Lasram, Frida; Aguzzi, Jacopo; Ballesteros, Enric; Bianchi, Carlo Nike; Corbera, Jordi; Dailianis, Thanos; Danovaro, Roberto; Estrada, Marta; Froglia, Carlo; Galil, Bella S; Gasol, Josep M; Gertwagen, Ruthy; Gil, João; Guilhaumon, François; Kesner-Reyes, Kathleen; Kitsos, Miltiadis-Spyridon; Koukouras, Athanasios; Lampadariou, Nikolaos; Laxamana, Elijah; López-Fé de la Cuadra, Carlos M; Lotze, Heike K; Martin, Daniel; Mouillot, David; Oro, Daniel; Raicevich, Sasa; Rius-Barile, Josephine; Saiz-Salinas, Jose Ignacio; San Vicente, Carles; Somot, Samuel; Templado, José; Turon, Xavier; Vafidis, Dimitris; Villanueva, Roger; Voultsiadou, Eleni

    2010-01-01

    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, the Strait of

  4. 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. PMID:27314632

  5. The largescaled terapon Terapon theraps: a new Indo-Pacific fish in the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Jakov DULČIĆ; Mavrič, Borut; Lipej, Lovrenc; Žiža, Valter

    2015-01-01

    A specimen of the largescaled terapon Terapon theraps was recorded for the first time from the Mediterranean Sea. The finding of T. theraps in the northernmost part of the Mediterranean Sea raises a number of Lessepsian migrant species to al least 68 and in the Adriatic Sea to at least 11.

  6. Contribution of climate forcing to sea level variations in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Natsiopoulos, Dimitrios A.; Vergos, Georgios S.; Tziavos, Ilias N.

    2016-04-01

    With the availability of an abundance of earth observation data from satellite altimetry missions as well as those from the ENVISAT and CRYOSAT-2 satellites, monitoring of the sea level variations is gaining increased importance. In this work, altimetric data sets from the satellite remote sensing missions of ENVISAT and CRYOSAT-2 have been used to study the variations of the Mediterranean sea level. Alongside, a correlation analysis of Sea Level Anomalies (SLAs) with global and regional climatic indexes that influence the ocean state, has been carried out as well. The raw data used were SLAs from the respective altimetric missions, acquired by the on-board altimeters from the ENVISAT satellite for seven consecutive years (2003-2009) and from the CRYOSAT-2 satellite for six consecutive years (2010-2015). Three oscillation indexes have been investigated, as representative of climate-change and seasonal forcing on the sea level. The first one was the well-known Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), the next one the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index and the third, being primarily more representative of the Mediterranean sea state, was the Mediterranean Oscillation Index (MOI). The possible correlation is investigated in both monthly and annual scales, while a regional multiple regression and a principal component analysis (PCA) between the SLAs and oscillation indexes is carried out. Multiple regression and PCA have been used as tools in order to deduce possible correlations between the Mediterranean sea level variations and the aforementioned oscillation indexes, under the assumption that SLA variations are driven by steric forcing. Finally, evidence of the sea level cyclo-stationarity in the Mediterranean Sea is deduced from the analysis of empirically derived covariance functions at monthly intervals from the available SLA data.

  7. 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

  8. The Presence of the invasive Lionfish Pterois miles in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. BARICHE

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available Here we report the occurrence of Pterois miles in the Mediterranean Sea, based on the capture of two specimens along the coast of Lebanon. Previously, only one record of the species from the Mediterranean Sea had been documented. The new records highlight the arrival of new propagules of P. miles, more than two decades later, hinting to a future potential invasion of the Mediterranean Sea.

  9. The Presence of the invasive Lionfish Pterois miles in the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    M. BARICHE; Torres, M.; E. AZZURRO

    2013-01-01

    Here we report the occurrence of Pterois miles in the Mediterranean Sea, based on the capture of two specimens along the coast of Lebanon. Previously, only one record of the species from the Mediterranean Sea had been documented. The new records highlight the arrival of new propagules of P. miles, more than two decades later, hinting to a future potential invasion of the Mediterranean Sea.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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).

  13. Wave Height Incidence on Mediterranean Short Sea Shipping Routes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  14. The Mediterranean fruit fly in Central America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Various methods of controlling the medfly are available and include the use of insecticides, bait sprays and the sterile insect technique (SIT). Each of these control strategies may be used alone or in sequence. With regard to the application of the SIT, the Joint FAO/IAEA Division of Atomic Energy in Food and Agriculture through its Insect and Pest Control Section and Entomology Laboratory is in an excellent position to assist in containing the medfly in Central America. For the past 12 years, the laboratory has participated in all phases of medfly control by sterile insect releases in various climates. This involvement has included planning of medfly campaigns, development of pre-release techniques (bait spraying, trapping, etc.) and shipment and release of sterilized medflies. Small-scale field tests utilizing the SIT have been carried out by nine countries: Italy (Procida, Capri), Spain, Cyprus, Israel, Tunisia, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica and Nicaragua. Other field projects presently being counselled and serviced are located in Argentina, Venezuela and the Canary Islands. The research and development that are still needed to effectively stabilize and gain control of the medfly situation in Central America include: The development and use of effective quarantine procedures in various countries; Development of effective conventional medfly control procedures under the conditions found in Central America; Development of methods to determine the geographic origin of medflies introduced into new areas; Medfly mass production (viz. all aspects of rearing Central American strains); Assessing the performance (competitiveness, etc.) of various strains; Logistics, including the development of systems for releasing pre-adult stages; Genetic rearing methods: developmental research in this area is particularly promising since the preferential production of males would allow considerable savings in the rearing costs of medflies for release; Development of adequate surveillance

  15. 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

  16. 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. PMID:27262827

  17. Study of radioelements drained by Rhone stream to Mediterranean Sea: Strategy of sampling and methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper describes the methods used for water and sediments sampling in rivers and sea. The purpose is the study of radionuclide migration (Cesium 134, Cesium 137) in Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Lion). 20 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab

  18. 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.

  19. A Quantitative Assessment of the Sea Level Drop in the Messinian Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartol, J.; Topper, R. P.

    2014-12-01

    In the Late Miocene progressive restriction of the gateway(s) between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean initiated the Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC). The restriction caused a salinity rise and the formation of extremely thick evaporite deposits within the Mediterranean basin. Subsequently, the closure of the connection between the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean resulted in a dramatic sea level drop. The lithosphere adepts to changes in loads (sediments and water) on the surface by flexural adjustment of the Earth's surface. This can have a significant impact on the connectivity of basins and the temporal evolution of the sea level drop in each basin. The Mediterranean Sea is characterized by two deep basins with different amounts of river input (western/eastern Mediterranean basin) separated by the relatively shallow Sicily sill. The temporal evolution of the sea level drop in the western/eastern Mediterranean basin is therefore very sensitive to the temporal and spatial evolution of the Sicily gateway and hence flexure response of the earth surface due to the changes in waterload. However, studies of the MSC sea level drop haven't taken this flexural response into consideration (e.g. Meijer and Krijgsman, 2005). Here we use an elastic model (TISC) coupled with a simple hydrology model to calculate the temporal evolution of the sea level drop in and the flexural response of the western and eastern Mediterranean basins. Preliminary results show that when sea level drops below the Sicily sill, the rate of sea level increases in the western but decreases in the eastern Mediterranean. Following a relative sea level drop of ~1300 m, resulting in a flexural uplift of ~700m, the eastern Mediterranean reaches equilibrium. At the time the western Mediterranean (flexural uplift of ~900m) reaches an equilibrium it is almost completely desiccated. The magnitudes of the sea level drops and flexural response are, however, highly dependent on the hypsometry

  20. 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.

  1. Solar pacing of storm surges, coastal flooding and agricultural losses in the Central Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kaniewski, David; Marriner, Nick; Morhange, Christophe; Faivre, Sanja; Otto, Thierry; van Campo, Elise

    2016-04-01

    Storm surges, leading to catastrophic coastal flooding, are amongst the most feared natural hazards due to the high population densities and economic importance of littoral areas. Using the Central Mediterranean Sea as a model system, we provide strong evidence for enhanced periods of storminess leading to coastal flooding during the last 4500 years. We show that long-term correlations can be drawn between storminess and solar activity, acting on cycles of around 2200-yr and 230-yr. We also find that phases of increased storms and coastal flooding have impacted upon mid- to late Holocene agricultural activity on the Adriatic coast. Based on the general trend observed during the second half of the 20th century, climate models are predicting a weakening of Mediterranean storminess. By contrast, our new data suggest that a decrease in solar activity will increase and intensify the risk of frequent flooding in coastal areas.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. The northernmost record of the blue-spotted cornetfish from the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Occhipinti-Ambrogi, A.; Galil, B.S.

    2012-01-01

    A school of Fistularia commersonii was sighted off Laigueglia (Italy), Northwestern Ligurian Sea, inAugust 2008. This fast spreading invasive Indo-Pacific fish was first recorded in the Mediterranean fromIsrael, and it has since spread clear across the sea. This is the northernmost record from the Mediterranean.

  5. 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.

  6. Diversity, distribution and population size structure of deep Mediterranean gorgonian assemblages (Menorca Channel, Western Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grinyó, Jordi; Gori, Andrea; Ambroso, Stefano; Purroy, Ariadna; Calatayud, Clara; Dominguez-Carrió, Carlos; Coppari, Martina; Lo Iacono, Claudio; López-González, Pablo J.; Gili, Josep-Maria

    2016-06-01

    Gorgonians are a key group of organisms in benthic marine communities with a wide bathymetric and geographical distribution. Although their presence on continental shelves and slopes has been known for more than 100 years, knowledge concerning the ecology of deep gorgonian species is still in a very preliminary stage. To overcome this situation, gorgonian assemblages located at 40-360 m depth were studied over a large geographical area on the continental shelf and upper slope of the Menorca Channel (Western Mediterranean Sea). A quantitative analysis of video transects recorded by a manned submersible and a remotely operated vehicle, were used to examine the diversity, distribution and demography of gorgonian species. Results showed high gorgonian diversity within this depth range (a total of nine species were observed) compared to Mediterranean coastal areas. Gorgonian assemblages on the continental shelf and upper slope were mostly monospecific (respectively 73% and 76% of occupied sampling units contained one single species), whereas shelf edge assemblages were highly multispecific (92% of occupied sampling units contained several species). This contrasts with the monospecificity of Mediterranean coastal gorgonian assemblages. Gorgonian populations on the continental shelf were mostly dominated by small colonies (88% of measured colonies) with few intermediate and large colonies (12% of measured colonies). In deeper areas small colonies were still dominant (60% of measured colonies), but intermediate and large colonies were much more abundant (40% of measured colonies). This suggests high recruitment rates on the continental shelf, but perturbations (trammel nets, long lines and strong storms) may limit the presence of intermediate and large colonies. Conversely, on the shelf edge and upper slope a more stable environment may allow colonies to reach larger dimensions. The identification and ecological characterization of these deep assemblages further extends

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Difference of mercury bioaccumulation in red mullets from the north-western Mediterranean and Black seas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The relationships between total mercury (Hg) concentration and stable nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) were evaluated in Mullus barbatus barbatus and M. surmuletus from the Mediterranean Sea and M. barbatus ponticus from the Black Sea. Mercury concentration in fish muscle was six times higher in the two Mediterranean species than in the Black Sea one for similar sized animals. A positive correlation between Hg concentration and δ15N occurred in all species. Increase in Hg concentration with δ15N was high and similar in the two Mediterranean fishes and much lower in the Black Sea species. Since this was neither related to trophic level difference between species nor to methylmercury (MeHg) concentration differences between the north-western Mediterranean and the Black Sea waters, we suggested that the higher primary production of the Black Sea induced a dilution of MeHg concentration at the base of the food webs.

  12. Contrasting habitat selection amongst cephalopods in the Mediterranean Sea: When the environment makes the difference.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauria, V; Garofalo, G; Gristina, M; Fiorentino, F

    2016-08-01

    Conservation of fish habitat requires a deeper knowledge of how species distribution patterns are related to environmental factors. Habitat suitability modelling is an essential tool to quantify species' realised niches and understand species-environment relationships. Cephalopods are important players in the marine food web and a significant resource for fisheries; they are also very sensitive to environmental changes. Here a time series of fishery-independent data (1998-2011) was used to construct habitat suitability models and investigate the influence of environmental variables on four commercial cephalopods: Todaropsis eblanae, Illex coindetii, Eledone moschata and Eledone cirrhosa, in the central Mediterranean Sea. The main environmental predictors of cephalopod habitat suitability were depth, seafloor morphology, chlorophyll-a concentration, sea surface temperature and surface salinity. Predictive maps highlighted contrasting habitat selection amongst species. This study identifies areas where the important commercial species of cephalopods are concentrated and provides significant information for a future spatial based approach to fisheries management in the Mediterranean Sea. PMID:27371813

  13. Distribution and assessment of marine debris in the deep Tyrrhenian Sea (NW Mediterranean Sea, Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Angiolillo, Michela; di Lorenzo, Bianca; Farcomeni, Alessio; Bo, Marzia; Bavestrello, Giorgio; Santangelo, Giovanni; Cau, Angelo; Mastascusa, Vincenza; Cau, Alessandro; Sacco, Flavio; Canese, Simonepietro

    2015-03-15

    Marine debris is a recognized global ecological concern. Little is known about the extent of the problem in the Mediterranean Sea regarding litter distribution and its influence on deep rocky habitats. A quantitative assessment of debris present in the deep seafloor (30-300 m depth) was carried out in 26 areas off the coast of three Italian regions in the Tyrrhenian Sea, using a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV). The dominant type of debris (89%) was represented by fishing gears, mainly lines, while plastic objects were recorded only occasionally. Abundant quantities of gears were found on rocky banks in Sicily and Campania (0.09-0.12 debris m(-2)), proving intense fishing activity. Fifty-four percent of the recorded debris directly impacted benthic organisms, primarily gorgonians, followed by black corals and sponges. This work provides a first insight on the impact of marine debris in Mediterranean deep ecosystems and a valuable baseline for future comparisons. PMID:25604749

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Changes in ventilation of the Mediterranean Sea during the past 25 yr

    OpenAIRE

    Schneider, A.; T. Tanhua; W. Roether; Steinfeldt, R.

    2013-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea has a fast overturning circulation and the deep water masses are well ventilated in comparison to the deep waters of the world ocean. Significant changes in the overturning circulation has been observed during the last few decades, the most prominent phenomena being the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT) in the early 1990s and the Western Mediterranean Transit (WMT) near the mid of the decade following. During both of these events unusually large amounts of deep wa...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  1. Potential Impact of the Greenhouse Effect on the Mediterranean Sea: Overview

    OpenAIRE

    Zavatarelli, M.

    1988-01-01

    One of the objectives of IIASA's Study, "The Future Environments for Europe: Some Implications of Alternative Development Paths", is to foresee long-term, broad-scale environmental transformations before they actually occur. Toward this goal, this paper focuses on the potential changes in the Mediterranean Sea owing to climatic change and chemical pollution. Hitherto, the Mediterranean Sea, especially the deeper, western half, has been relatively resilient to environmental changes. This is tr...

  2. Unexplored documentary sources to assess climate variability in the Mediterranean sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The CLIWOC project has recently shown the potential of 18. and 19. century logbooks to reconstruct wind climatology in the open oceans. This paper examines the availability of non-digitised logbooks covering the Mediterranean Sea during the same period. It is shown that the combination of logbooks kept in British, French and Spanish archives would provide a high density of observations which could result in a significant wind climatology for the Mediterranean Sea

  3. Seismic Interpretation of the Messinian Salinity Crisis in the Levant Basin, Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Solem, Heidrun Breiset

    2014-01-01

    Kilometer-thick sequences of evaporites were deposited in the Mediterranean Sea during the Late Miocene (5.96-5.33 Ma). The event is known as the Messinian Salinity Crisis and was a result of progressive restriction of the marine gateways between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. The event lasted for approximately 600,000 years until normal marine conditions were re-established.Three-dimensional, depth converted seismic data from the northeastern Levant Basin (offshore Lebanon, ea...

  4. ULIXES, unravelling and exploiting Mediterranean Sea microbial diversity and ecology for xenobiotics’ and pollutants’ clean up

    OpenAIRE

    Daffonchio, D.; F. Mapelli; Cherif, A.; Malkawi, H.I.; Yakimov, M.M.; Y.R. Abdel-Fattah; M. Blaghen; Golyshin, P.N.; Ferrer, M.; Kalogerakis, N.; Boon, N.; M. Magagnini; Fava, F.

    2012-01-01

    The civilizations in the Mediterranean Sea have deeply changed the local environment, especially with the extraction of subsurface oil and gas, their refinery and transportation. Major environmental impacts are affecting all the sides of the basin with actual and potential natural and socio-economic problems. Events like the recent BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico would have a tremendous impact on a close basin like the Mediterranean Sea. The recently EU-funded project ULIXES (http://w...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. New Crustal Stress Map of the Mediterranean and Central Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heidbach, Oliver; Custodio, Susana; Kingdon, Andrew; Mariucci, Maria Teresa; Montone, Paola; Müller, Birgit; Pierdominicini, Simona; Rajabi, Mojtaba; Reinecker, John; Reiter, Karsten; Tingay, Mark; Williams, John; Ziegler, Moritz

    2016-04-01

    The World Stress Map (WSM) Project was initiated in 1986 under the auspices of the International Lithosphere Program in order to compile globally the information on the contemporary crustal stress state. For the 30th anniversary the WSM database has been updated and increased the number of data records from 21,750 to 42,410 worldwide. For the Mediterranean and Central European stress map the number of data records has increased from 3877 to 8192. The data come from a wide range of stress indicators such as borehole data (e.g. hydraulic fracturing, drilling induced tensile fractures, borehole breakouts), earthquake focal mechanism solutions and stress inversions from these, engineering methods (overcoring, borehole slotter) and geological data (e.g. volcanic alignment, inversion of fault slip data). To guarantee the comparability of the different stress indicator the resulting data are quality-ranked using the WSM quality ranking scheme. The new data set has a better coverage and enables us to identifying the regional and local variability of the stress pattern. For the Mediterranean and Central Europe we analysed the wave-length of the stress pattern by determining the mean orientation of the maximum horizontal stress SHmax on a regular grid using an updated version of the hybrid approach of Heidbach et al. [2010]. The preliminary results show that the Africa-Eurasia plate convergence is a key control of the overall stress pattern. However, given the complex tectonic setting in particular due to the indentation/collision of the Adriatic micro block, the Alpine topography as well as forces that control the movement of the Anatolian and Aegean block, the stress pattern shows in these regions significant changes in the mean SHmax orientation as well as in the tectonic regime.

  8. Mediterranean-Paratethys connectivity during the late Miocene to Recent : Unraveling geodynamic and paleoclimatic causes of sea-level change

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Baak, C.G.C. van

    2015-01-01

    The Black Sea and Caspian Sea are the present-day remnants of the former Paratethys, a large epicontinental sea that spanned large parts of continental Eurasia. Hydrological interactions between these seas in the Eurasian continental interior and with adjacent seas (e.g. Mediterranean Sea) are deter

  9. Black Sea and Mediterranean Sea interaction: influence of the North Aegean dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Androulidakis, Yannis; Krestenitis, Yannis; Kourafalou, Vassiliki

    2013-04-01

    The brackish Black Sea Waters outflow to the Aegean Sea, through the Dardanelles Straits, affects and determines significantly the hydrodynamic and physical characteristics of the Aegean Sea. At the same time, it affects several biological parameters, like chl-a concentrations, and, therefore, the general quality of the marine environment. The investigation and mathematical simulation of the North Aegean's physical oceanography contributes to the knowledge and understanding of the buoyant waters' circulation initial conditions in the wider East Mediterranean region. The implementation and adaptation of the 3-d hydrodynamic mathematical model HYCOM (Hybrid Coordinate Ocean Model) in the North Aegean Sea (1/50οx1/50o), significantly contributes to the investigation of the area's hydrodynamic circulation. HYCOM, due to its hybrid coordinate operation, can describe at a satisfactory level, all the different topography and mixing cases of the complicated N. Aegean region. In addition, the high resolution atmospheric forcing and the nesting with a data assimilated broader Mediterranean HYCOM model along the southern open boundary of the North Aegean model, benefit the quality of the results and constitutes an important tool on the description and understanding of the Black Sea influence to the region's dynamics. A fundamental objective is the application and comparison of different Dardanelles outflow parameterizations based a) on the Black Sea water budget, b) on current measurements from a telemetric station in Limnos Island, and c) on historical time series. The Black Sea Waters plume evolution and the circulation patterns are dependant on the outflow rate magnitude, the flow distribution inside the straits and the prevailing winds. The long-term simulation covers the period of the last 20 years (1990-2010), investigating several physical characteristics of the North Aegean Sea, such as the deep water masses evolution, the major Black Sea waters circulation patterns

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

    OpenAIRE

    Judith Ullmann; Michael Stachowitsch

    2015-01-01

    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 cu...

  11. Biodiversity data requirements for systematic conservation planning in the Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Levin, Noam; Coll, Marta; Fraschetti, Simonetta;

    2014-01-01

    that the availability and spatial resolution of information required for setting conservation goals largely varies among and within the countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, with more and better quality data often available for the European countries located in the western Mediterranean Sea. Additionally......, the Mediterranean Sea is lagging behind other marine regions where conservation planning adopting rigorous criteria has been applied in the past 20 years. Therefore, we call upon scientists, governments and international governmental and non-governmental conservation organizations to harmonize current approaches...... in marine mapping and to develop a framework applicable throughout the Mediterranean region before more countries undertake further extensive habitat mapping, so that future conservation planning can use integrated spatial data sets....

  12. First evidence of a distal early Holocene ash layer in Eastern Mediterranean deep-sea sediments derived from the Anatolian volcanic province

    OpenAIRE

    Y. Hamann; Sabine Wulf; O. Ersoy; Ehrmann, W.; E. Aydar; Schmiedl, G.;  ,

    2010-01-01

    A hitherto unknown distal volcanic ash layer has been detected in a sediment core recovered from the southeastern Levantine Sea (Eastern Mediterranean Sea). Radiometric, stratigraphic and sedimentological data show that the tephra, here termed as S1 tephra, was deposited between 8970 and 8690 cal yr BP. The high-silica rhyolitic composition excludes an origin from any known eruptions of the Italian, Aegean or Arabian volcanic provinces but suggests a prevailing Central Anatolian provenance. W...

  13. 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.

  14. Sea level changes along the Turkish coasts of the Black Sea, the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    B. ALPAR

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Short, tidal, subtidal, seasonal, secular sea-level variations, sea-level differences and interactions between the basins have been studied, based on the data collected at some permanent and temporary tide gauges located along the Turkish coasts, mostly along the Straits connecting the Marmara Sea to outer seas. Even though the deficiency of sufficient information prevented us to reach the desired results, many pre-existed studies have been improved. Short-period oscillations were clearly identified along the Turkish Strait System and related to their natu-ral periods. The tidal amplitudes are low along the Turkish coasts, except northern Aegean and eastern Mediterranean. The stability of harmonic constants of Samsun and Antalya were examined and most of the long period constituents were found to be unstable. Even the Marmara Sea is not affected from the tidal oscillations of Black and Aegean Seas, some interactions in low frequency band have been detected. Subtidal sea level fluctuations (3-14 day have relations with the large-scale cyclic atmospheric patterns passing over the Turkish Straits System. Short-term effects of wind on sea level are evident.Seasonal sea-level fluctuations along the Turkish Straits System are in accord with Black Sea's hydrological cycle. The differential range of the monthly mean sea levels between the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea is highly variable; high during spring and early summer and low during fall and winter.On the average, there is a pronounced sea-level difference (55 cm along the Turkish Straits System. However, the slope is nonlinear, being much steeper in the Strait of Istanbul. This barotrophic pressure difference is one of the most important factors causing the two-layer flow through the system. The topography and hydrodynamics of the straits, the dominant wind systems and their seasonal variations make this flow more complicated. For secular sea level changes, a rise of 3.2 mm/a was computed for

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  16. Vertical distribution of marine cyanobacteria Synechococcus spp. in the Black, Marmara, Aegean, and eastern Mediterranean seas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Uysal, Zahit

    2006-08-01

    The vertical distributions of the unicellular cyanobacteria Synechococcus were studied in several highly contrasting seas: the Black Sea, Sea of Marmara, Aegean Sea, and Mediterranean Sea. Cell abundances varied significantly on both vertical and horizontal scales in all physically and spatially discrete water masses. Epifluorescence microscope cell counts from all seas clearly showed that majority of the population remains suspended in the surface-mixed layer and decreases gradually towards the base of the euphotic zone. Surface spatial distributions in the Black Sea were heterogeneous. Salinity, rather than temperature, seemed to have the greatest impact on the surface distribution of cells in this highly eutrophic sea. Changes in abundance in the mixed layer were small compared to the abrupt changes below the halocline, especially in the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. In contrast to the Black Sea, the major population remains suspended above the depth of fluorescence maximum in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean seas. Significant correlations ( r>P0.01) were observed between cell counts and physical and chemical parameters with depth in the Black Sea. In all seas, cells at subsurface chlorophyll- a maximum layer (SCML) reflected brighter and longer fluorescence than those present at the surface and below. Cell size derived from flow cytometry indicated the presence of larger cells at the surface mixed layer compared to those at depth.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

  18. WMOP: The SOCIB Western Mediterranean Sea OPerational forecasting system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renault, Lionel; Juza, Mélanie; Garau, Bartolomé; Sayol, Juan Manuel; Orfila, Alejandro; Tintoré, Joaquín

    2013-04-01

    Development of science based ocean-forecasting systems at global, regional, sub-regional and local scales is needed to increase our understanding of ocean processes and to support knowledge based management of the marine environment. In this context, WMOP (Western Mediterranean sea /Balearic OPerational system) is the forecasting subsystem component of SOCIB, the new Balearic Islands Coastal Observing and Forecasting System. The WMOP system is operational since the end of 2010. The ROMS model is forced every 3 hours with atmospheric forcing derived from AEMET/Hirlam and daily boundary conditions provided by MFS2 from MyOcean/MOON. Model domain is implemented over an area extending from Gibraltar strait to Corsica/Sardinia (from 6°W to 9°E and from 35°N to 44.5°N), including Balearic Sea and Gulf of Lion. The grid is 631 x 539 points with a resolution of ~1.5km, which allows good representation of mesoscale and submesoscale features (first baroclinic Rossby radius ~10-15 km) of key relevance in this region. The model has 30 sigma levels, and the vertical s coordinate is stretched for boundary layer resolution, also essential to capture extreme events water masses formation and dynamical effects. Bottom topography is derived from a 2' resolution database. Online validation procedures based on inter-comparison of model outputs against observing systems and reference models such as MFS and Mercator are used to assess at what level the numerical models are able to reproduce the features observed from in-situ systems and remote sensing. The intrinsic three-dimensional variability of the coastal ocean and open-ocean exchanges imply the need of muti-plaform observing systems covering a variety of scales. Fixed moorings provide a good temporal resolution but poor spatial coverage, while satellite products provide a good spatial coverage but just on the surface layer. Gliders can provide a reasonable spatial variability in both horizontal and vertical axes. Thus, inter

  19. 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.

  20. Role of Marine Gateways in the Paleoceanography of the Miocene Mediterranean Sea; A Model Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    de la Vara, A.; Meijer, P. T.

    2015-12-01

    During the Miocene, due to the convergence of the African plate and the Eurasian plate, the Mediterranean region was subject to profound paleogeographic changes. The evolving coastline and bathymetry of the Mediterranean Sea and, in particular, the opening and closure of the marine connections between the Mediterranean and the outside oceans, triggered important changes in Mediterranean circulation and, indirectly, also affected the global-scale ocean circulation. Until about the Middle Miocene the proto-Mediterranean Sea was open to the Indo-Pacific Ocean through the so-called Indian Gateway. Although the exact age of closure of this gateway is still debated, it is accepted that it substantially affected the paleoceanography of the Mediterranean Sea. Later in time, during the Late Miocene, the Mediterranean was only connected to the Atlantic Ocean but by two marine corridors: the Betic and Rifian corridors. Closure of these narrow passages resulted in the Messinian Salinity Crisis, during which a sequence of evaporites was deposited throughout the Mediterranean basin. In this work we use a regional-scale ocean general circulation model (the Princeton Ocean Model) to gain insight into the role of the evolving gateways. The analysis focuses on large-scale (overturning) circulation, patterns of exchange in the gateways and properties of the Mediterranean water. By comparing our model results to geological data we are able to propose new scenarios or rule out previously proposed ones, and determine the conditions evidenced by the geological observations. More specifically we investigate two different topics: (i) the effects of shoaling and closure of the Indian Gateway and (ii) the functioning of the Late Miocene double gateway to the Atlantic.

  1. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    K. Velchev; Cavalli, F; Hjorth, J.; Marmer, E.; Vignati, E.; Dentener, F.; Raes, F.

    2011-01-01

    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 a...

  3. Sound speed in the Mediterranean Sea: an analysis from a climatological data set

    OpenAIRE

    S. Salon; A. Crise; P. Picco; Marinis, E; O. Gasparini

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents an analysis of sound speed distribution in the Mediterranean Sea based on climatological temperature and salinity data. In the upper layers, propagation is characterised by upward refraction in winter and an acoustic channel in summer. The seasonal cycle of the Mediterranean and the presence of gyres and fronts create a wide range of spatial and temporal variabilities, with relevant differences between the western and eastern basins. It is shown tha...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  5. Reproductive biology of three gadiform fish species through the Mediterranean deep-sea range (147-1850 m)

    OpenAIRE

    Rotllant, Guiomar; Massutí, Enric; Morales-Nin, Beatriz; Moranta, Joan; Sardà, Francisco

    2002-01-01

    Knowledge of deep-sea reproductive biology is slight and interpretations of reproductive strategies in deep-sea fishes are controversial. Since the Mediterranean is a fairly stable and constant sea, we might expect a consistent pattern of reproduction of deep-sea species. Three gadiforms species with a succesive bathymetric and an ecological and economical importance in the Mediterranean fishing industry, Phycis blennoides, Mora moro and Lepidion lepidion, were selected for the present study....

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  7. 137Cs baseline levels in the Mediterranean and Black Sea: A cross-basin survey of the CIESM Mediterranean Mussel Watch programme

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 137Cs 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 137Cs levels were found to be very low (usually -1 wet wt) 137Cs 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

  8. {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.

  9. 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

  10. Nematode diversity patterns at different spatial scales in bathyal sediments of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchelli, S.; Gambi, C.; Mea, M.; Pusceddu, A.; Danovaro, R.

    2013-08-01

    Understanding biodiversity patterns and how they are driven at different spatial scales is a crucial issue in ecological studies. This is particularly evident for the deep sea, the largest biome of the biosphere, where information on the scales of spatial variation is very scant. Here, we investigated deep-sea nematodes species richness, turnover and functional diversity, and life strategies at different spatial scales (from local to macro-regional) to identify the factors that shape regional (γ) and macro-regional (ɛ) deep-sea diversity. This study was conducted in several deep-sea habitats (canyons, open slopes, deep-water corals, and bathyal plains) over > 2000 km across the whole Mediterranean Basin, at a bathymetric range comprised between ca. 600 and 1300 m. Our results indicate that the patterns of local (α) diversity across the deep Mediterranean follow the gradients of the trophic conditions, which decrease from the western to the eastern basins. For all of the sites and habitats, the α diversity is generally low. Conversely, the turnover diversity changes significantly among habitats (β diversity) and between regions (δ diversity), showing values of dissimilarity (based on species presence/absence matrixes) between 59 and 90% for β diversity and between 81 and 89% for δ diversity. This suggests that patterns and values of γ and ɛ diversities in the deep Mediterranean Sea are related to turnover diversity among habitats and between regions (β and δ diversities), rather than to the local biodiversity (α diversity). These results indicate also that the differences in β and δ diversities are even more important than those in α diversity for the comprehension of the drivers of biodiversity in the deep Mediterranean Sea. We conclude that the presence of different habitats and gradients in environmental conditions, by promoting a high turnover diversity across the Mediterranean Sea, may play a crucial role in the levels of γ diversity of deep-sea

  11. 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.

  12. Spatio-temporal population structuring and genetic diversity retention in depleted Atlantic Bluefin tuna of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Riccioni, Giulia; Landi, Monica; Ferrara, Giorgia; Milano, Ilaria; Cariani, Alessia; Zane, Lorenzo; Sella, Massimo; Barbujani, Guido; Tinti, Fausto

    2010-01-01

    Fishery genetics have greatly changed our understanding of population dynamics and structuring in marine fish. In this study, we show that the Atlantic Bluefin tuna (ABFT, Thunnus thynnus), an oceanic predatory species exhibiting highly migratory behavior, large population size, and high potential for dispersal during early life stages, displays significant genetic differences over space and time, both at the fine and large scales of variation. We compared microsatellite variation of contemporary (n = 256) and historical (n = 99) biological samples of ABFTs of the central-western Mediterranean Sea, the latter dating back to the early 20th century. Measures of genetic differentiation and a general heterozygote deficit suggest that differences exist among population samples, both now and 96–80 years ago. Thus, ABFTs do not represent a single panmictic population in the Mediterranean Sea. Statistics designed to infer changes in population size, both from current and past genetic variation, suggest that some Mediterranean ABFT populations, although still not severely reduced in their genetic potential, might have suffered from demographic declines. The short-term estimates of effective population size are straddled on the minimum threshold (effective population size = 500) indicated to maintain genetic diversity and evolutionary potential across several generations in natural populations. PMID:20080643

  13. Dolphin morbillivirus infection in different parts of the Mediterranean Sea

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    M.F. van Bressem; I.K.G. Visser (Ilona); R.L. de Swart (Rik); C. Örvell; L. Stanzani; E. Androukaki (Eugenia); K. Siakavara; A.D.M.E. Osterhaus (Albert)

    1993-01-01

    textabstractMorbillivirus were isolated from Mediterranean striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba) dying along the coasts of Italy and Greece in 1991. They were antigenically identical to the morbilliviruses isolated from striped dolphins in Spain in 1990.

  14. 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

  15. New developments in spatial interpolation methods of Sea-Level Anomalies in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troupin, Charles; Barth, Alexander; Beckers, Jean-Marie; Pascual, Ananda

    2014-05-01

    The gridding of along-track Sea-Level Anomalies (SLA) measured by a constellation of satellites has numerous applications in oceanography, such as model validation, data assimilation or eddy tracking. Optimal Interpolation (OI) is often the preferred method for this task, as it leads to the lowest expected error and provides an error field associated to the analysed field. However, the numerical cost of the method may limit its utilization in situations where the number of data points is significant. Furthermore, the separation of non-adjacent regions with OI requires adaptation of the code, leading to a further increase of the numerical cost. To solve these issues, the Data-Interpolating Variational Analysis (DIVA), a technique designed to produce gridded from sparse in situ measurements, is applied on SLA data in the Mediterranean Sea. DIVA and OI have been shown to be equivalent (provided some assumptions on the covariances are made). The main difference lies in the covariance function, which is not explicitly formulated in DIVA. The particular spatial and temporal distributions of measurements required adaptation in the Software tool (data format, parameter determinations, ...). These adaptation are presented in the poster. The daily analysed and error fields obtained with this technique are compared with available products such as the gridded field from the Archiving, Validation and Interpretation of Satellite Oceanographic data (AVISO) data server. The comparison reveals an overall good agreement between the products. The time evolution of the mean error field evidences the need of a large number of simultaneous altimetry satellites: in period during which 4 satellites are available, the mean error is on the order of 17.5%, while when only 2 satellites are available, the error exceeds 25%. Finally, we propose the use sea currents to improve the results of the interpolation, especially in the coastal area. These currents can be constructed from the bathymetry

  16. Multi-proxy constraints on sapropel formation during the late Pliocene of central Mediterranean (southwest Sicily)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plancq, Julien; Grossi, Vincent; Pittet, Bernard; Huguet, Carme; Rosell-Melé, Antoni; Mattioli, Emanuela

    2015-06-01

    The late Pliocene (Piacenzian) in the Mediterranean region was punctuated by short-lived episodes of widespread deposition of organic-rich sedimentary layers known as sapropels. The causes of their formation remain a long-standing debate in the science community, and require disentangling the roles of climatic/oceanographic processes that triggered higher primary productivity or enhanced organic matter preservation. The lack of data, especially of sea temperatures at sufficient temporal resolution, is one of the main challenges to solve this debate. Here, we present new organic geochemistry and micropaleontological data from the late Pliocene at Punta Grande/Punta Piccola sections (southwest Sicily) that allow untangling the mechanisms that favored the formation of two sapropel series (noted S and A) in the central Mediterranean area during this period. Sea surface (SSTs) and subsurface temperatures were estimated using three distinct organic geochemical proxies namely the alkenone unsaturation index (UK‧37), the long-chain diol index (LDI) and the tetraether index (TEX86). Reconstructed SSTs are relatively stable throughout the late Pliocene and ∼4 °C higher than modern Mediterranean SSTs, which is consistent with the climatic conditions inferred for this period from paleoclimate modeling. An increase in SST is, however, recorded by UK‧37 and LDI proxies across each sapropel horizon, supporting that the two sapropel series S and A were formed during warmer climate conditions. The comparison of SST data with variations in accumulation rates of total organic carbon and lipid-biomarkers (alkenones, long-chain alkyl diols, archaeal and bacterial tetraethers), and with changes in calcareous nannofossil assemblages, indicates that the studied sapropels might have formed under different environmental conditions. The first series of sapropels (S), deposited between 3.1 and 2.8 Ma, is likely due to a better preservation of organic matter, induced by the development

  17. Turnover diversity drives large-scale biodiversity patterns in bathyal sediments of the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bianchelli, S.; Gambi, C.; Mea, M.; Pusceddu, A.; Danovaro, R.

    2012-12-01

    Understanding biodiversity patterns and how they are driven at different spatial scales is a crucial issue in ecological studies. This is particularly evident for the deep sea, the largest biome of the biosphere, where information on the scales of spatial variation is very scant. Here, we investigated deep-sea nematodes species richness, turnover and functional diversity, and life strategies at different spatial scales (from local to macro-regional) to identify the factors that shape regional (γ) and macro-regional (ϵ) deep-sea diversity. This study was conducted in several deep-sea habitats (canyons, open slopes, deep-water corals, and bathyal plains) over > 2000 km across the whole Mediterranean basin, at a fixed depth of ca. 1000 m. Our results indicate that the patterns of local (α) diversity across the deep Mediterranean follow the gradients of the trophic conditions, which decrease from the Western to the Eastern basins. For all of the sites and habitats, the α-diversity is generally low. Conversely, the turnover diversity changes significantly among habitats (β-diversity) and between regions (δ-diversity), showing values of dissimilarity (based on species presence/absence) between 59% and 90% for β-diversity and between 81% and 89% for δ-diversity. This suggests that patterns and values of regional (γ) and macro-regional (ϵ) diversity in the deep Mediterranean Sea are related to turnover diversity among habitats and between regions (β- and δ-diversity), rather than to the local biodiversity (α-diversity). These results indicate that the differences in β-diversity and δ-diversity are even more important than those for the α-diversity for the understanding of the drivers of biodiversity in the deep Mediterranean Sea. These data also allow us to conclude that habitat heterogeneity (and type) and gradients in environmental conditions, by promoting a high turnover diversity across the deep Mediterranean Sea, are crucial players

  18. Mitochondrial DNA reveals genetic structuring of Pinna nobilis across the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daria Sanna

    Full Text Available 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.

  19. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Irene Rivetti

    Full Text Available 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.

  1. Ventilation of the Mediterranean Sea constrained by multiple transient tracer measurements

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Stöven

    2013-10-01

    Full Text Available Ventilation is the prime pathway for ocean surface perturbations, such as temperature anomalies, to be relayed to the ocean interior. It is also the conduit for gas exchange between atmosphere and ocean and thus the mechanism whereby, for instance, the interior ocean is oxygenated and enriched in anthropogenic carbon. The ventilation of the Mediterranean Sea is fast in comparison to the world ocean and has large temporal variability, so that quantification of Mediterranean Sea ventilation rates is challenging and very relevant for Mediterranean oceanography and biogeochemistry. Here we present transient tracer data from a field-campaign in April 2011 that sampled a unique suite of transient tracers (SF6, CFC-12, tritium and 3He in all major basins of the Mediterranean. We apply the Transit Time Distribution (TTD model to the data which then constrain the mean age, the ratio of the advective/diffusive transport mechanism, and the presence, or not, of more than one significant (for ventilation water mass. We find that the eastern part of the Eastern Mediterranean can be reasonable described with a one dimensional Inverse Gaussian (1IG TTD, and thus constrained with two independent tracers. The ventilation of the Ionian Sea and the Western Mediterranean can only be constrained by a multidimensional TTD. We approximate the ventilation with a two-dimensional Inverse Gaussian (2IG TTD for these areas and demonstrate one way of constraining a 2IG-TTD from the available transient tracer data. The deep water in the Ionian Sea has higher mean ages than the deep water of the Levantine Basin despite higher transient tracer concentrations. This is partly due to the deep water of Adriatic origin having more diffusive properties in the transport and formation, i.e. a high ratio of diffusion over advection, compared to the deep water of Aegean Sea origin that still dominates the deep Levantine Basin deep water after the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT in

  2. Migration, residency, and homing of bluefin tuna in the western Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Fromentin, Jean-Marc; Lopuszanski, Daniel

    2014-01-01

    This study presents the results of an electronic tagging programme on mature Atlantic bluefin tuna (ABFT) that has been conducted since 2007 offshore of the French Mediterranean Coast. The spatial distributions of ABFT showed little year-to-year variation and the fish concentrated in a small area of the central northwestern Mediterranean, where they may stay for several months. The individual tracks display sinuous trajectories in this area, indicating the possibility of feeding behaviour. No...

  3. Messinian evaporite deposition during sea level rise in the Gulf of Lions (Western Mediterranean)

    OpenAIRE

    Bache, François; Gargani, Julien; Suc, Jean-Pierre; Gorini, Christian; Rabineau, Marina; Popescu, Speranta-Maria; Leroux, Estelle; Do Couto, Damien; Rubino, Jean-Loup; Olivet, Jean-Louis; Clauzon, Georges; Dos Reis, Antonio Tadeu; Aslanian, Daniel

    2015-01-01

    International audience The Messinian Salinity Crisis resulted from desiccation of the Mediterranean Sea after its isolation from the Atlantic Ocean at the end of the Miocene. Stratal geometry tied to borehole data in the Gulf of Lions show that the pre-crisis continental shelf has been eroded during a major sea-level fall and that sedi-ments from this erosion have been deposited in the basin. This detrital package is onlapped by high amplitude seismic reflectors overlain by the "Messinian ...

  4. 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.

  5. A nested Atlantic-Mediterranean Sea general circulation model for operational forecasting

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Oddo

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available A new numerical general circulation ocean model for the Mediterranean Sea has been implemented nested within an Atlantic general circulation model within the framework of the Marine Environment and Security for the European Area project (MERSEA, Desaubies, 2006. A 4-year twin experiment was carried out from January 2004 to December 2007 with two different models to evaluate the impact on the Mediterranean Sea circulation of open lateral boundary conditions in the Atlantic Ocean. One model considers a closed lateral boundary in a large Atlantic box and the other is nested in the same box in a global ocean circulation model. Impact was observed comparing the two simulations with independent observations: ARGO for temperature and salinity profiles and tide gauges and along-track satellite observations for the sea surface height. The improvement in the nested Atlantic-Mediterranean model with respect to the closed one is particularly evident in the salinity characteristics of the Modified Atlantic Water and in the Mediterranean sea level seasonal variability.

  6. Defining Mediterranean and Black Sea biogeochemical subprovinces and synthetic ocean indicators using mesoscale oceanographic features

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Nieblas, Anne-Elise; Drushka, Kyla; Reygondeau, Gabriel;

    2014-01-01

    The Mediterranean and Black Seas are semi-enclosed basins characterized by high environmental variability and growing anthropogenic pressure. This has led to an increasing need for a bioregionalization of the oceanic environment at local and regional scales that can be used for managerial applica...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Guidetti, P.; Dulčić, J.

    2007-01-01

    Relationships among predatory fish, sea urchins and barrens in Mediterranean rocky reefs across a latitudinal gradient correspondance: Corresponding author. Tel.: +39/0832/298935; Fax: +39/0832/298626. (Guidetti, P.) (Guidetti, P.) Laboratory of Zoology and Marine Biology--> , DiSTeBA--> , University of Lecce--> , via prov.le Monteroni--> , 73100 Lecce--> - ITALY (Guidetti, ...

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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. 

  12. Repeat hydrography in the Mediterranean Sea, data from the Meteor cruise 84/3 in 2011

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Tanhua

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Here we report on data from an oceanographic cruise on the German research vessel Meteor covering large parts of the Mediterranean Sea during spring of 2011. The main objectives of this cruise was to conduct measurements of physical, chemical and biological variables on a section across the Mediterranean Sea with the goal of producing a synoptic picture of the distribution of relevant physical and biogeochemical properties, in order to compare those to historic data sets. During the cruise, a comprehensive data set of relevant variables following the guide lines for repeat hydrography outlined by the GO-SHIP group (http://www.go-ship.org/ was collected. The measurements include; salinity and temperature (CTD, an over-determined carbonate system, inorganic nutrients, oxygen, transient tracers (CFC-12, SF6, Helium isotopes and tritium, and carbon isotopes. The cruise sampled all major basins of the Mediterranean Sea following roughly an east-to-west section from the coast of Lebanon to through the Strait of Gibraltar, and to the coast of Portugal. Also a south-to-north section from the Ionian Sea to the Adriatic Sea was carried out. Additionally, sampling in the Aegean, Adriatic and Tyrrhenian Seas were carried out. The sections roughly followed lines and positions that have been sampled previously during other programs, thus providing the opportunity for comparative investigations of the temporal development of various parameters.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Aerosol sources and their contribution to the chemical composition of aerosols in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea during summertime

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Sciare

    2003-01-01

    Full Text Available A detailed study on the temporal variability of compounds important in controlling aerosol chemical composition was performed during a one-month experiment conducted during summer 2000 at a background site on Crete, in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Contribution of different aerosol sources in the Eastern Mediterranean Basin could be investigated at this location since the site is influenced by a wide range of air masses originating mainly in Europe and Africa. Chemical apportionment was performed for various air mass origins and showed a strong impact of anthropogenic emissions in the Turkey and Central Europe sectors, with black carbon (BC and non-sea-salt sulfate (nss-SO4 concentrations higher than observed in the Eastern and Western Europe sectors. High levels of non-sea-salt calcium (nss-Ca were associated with air masses from Africa but also from Central Turkey. Evidence was found that BC calculation based on light absorbance during dust events was biased. This quality-controlled high temporal resolution dataset allowed to investigate in detail the source-receptor relationships responsible for the levels of BC, nss-SO4 and sulfur dioxide (SO2, observed in Crete. Among the results obtained from this model, the major contribution of Turkey and Central Europe was confirmed in terms of anthropogenic emissions. Comparisons with remote optical properties obtained from Satellite observations (SEAWIFS north of Crete indicates that our ground based aerosol characterization was suitable for describing aerosol properties in the atmospheric column for most of the time during the campaign.

  17. Modeling of the circulation in the Northwestern Mediterranean Sea with the Princeton Ocean Model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Ahumada

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The Princeton Ocean Model – POM (Blumberg and Mellor, 1987 has been implemented in the Northwestern Mediterranean nested (in one-way off-line mode to a general circulation model of the Mediterranean Sea – OGCM (Pinardi and Masetti, 2000; Demirov and Pinardi, 2002 in order to investigate if this model configuration is capable of reproducing the major features of the circulation as known from observations and to improve what has been made by previous numerical modeling works. According to the model results, the large-scale cyclonic circulation in the northern part of the Northwestern Mediterranean is, at least in the upper layers, less coherent in winter and spring than in summer and autumn. Furthermore, there is evidence that the mesoscale structure (eddies and meanders is, during all year, a significant dynamic characteristic in this region of the Mediterranean Sea. Finally, concerning the circulation in the lower layers, the model results have confirmed that Levantine Intermediate Water (LIW and Western Mediterranean Deep Water (WMDW follow essentially a cyclonic path during all year.

  18. Geographic variation of whistles of the striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) within the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Azzolin, Marta; Papale, Elena; Lammers, Marc O; Gannier, Alexandre; Giacoma, Cristina

    2013-07-01

    The striped dolphin is a cosmopolitan species distributed worldwide. Morphological and genetic studies strongly suggest that the Mediterranean and eastern North Atlantic populations are isolated from each other. The Mediterranean population is considered a distinct conservation unit by International Union for the Conservation of Nature experts, classified as "vulnerable." This study describes the geographical variation of the striped dolphin whistles within the Mediterranean Sea. Recordings were collected from 1996 to 2003 throughout the basin, employing multiple platforms. Thirty-seven independent sightings with acoustic data collection were made, and 599 whistles were extracted and considered for statistical analysis. Whistle analysis enabled the identification of sub-populations of striped dolphins within the Mediterranean Sea. The acoustic diversity observed reflects the genetic differences recently found among striped dolphins inhabiting different Mediterranean regions. The results of this study support the hypothesis that gene flow reduction plays an important role in determining variation in whistle duration and frequency parameters, while ecological and social factors influence parameters of the modulation domains. The ability to acoustically identify distinct geographic sub-populations could provide a useful tool for the management of this protected species. PMID:23862842

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Abrupt climate shift in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

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

    2016-01-01

    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 w...

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Data from investigation on seismic Sea waves events in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1800 to 1900 A.D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. ANTONOPOULOS

    1980-06-01

    Full Text Available Tsunamis from 1800-1900 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.

  10. Data from investigation on seismic Sea waves events in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1900 to 1980 A.D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. ANTONOPOULOS

    1980-06-01

    Full Text Available Tsunamis from 1900 to 1980 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.

  11. Data from investigation on seismic Sea waves events in the Eastern Mediterranean from 1500 to 1800 A.D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. ANTONOPOULOS

    1980-06-01

    Full Text Available Tsunamis from 1500-1800 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Changes in ventilation of the Mediterranean Sea during the past 25 yr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Schneider

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available The Mediterranean Sea has a fast overturning circulation and the deep water masses are well ventilated in comparison to the deep waters of the world ocean. Significant changes in the overturning circulation has been observed during the last few decades, the most prominent phenomena being the Eastern Mediterranean Transient (EMT in the early 1990s and the Western Mediterranean Transit (WMT near the mid of the decade following. During both of these events unusually large amounts of deep water were formed, and in the case of the EMT, the deep water formation area shifted from the Adriatic to the Aegean Sea. This variability is important to understand and to monitor, because ventilation is the main process to propagate surface perturbations, such as uptake of anthropogenic CO2, into the ocean interior. Here we synthesize a unique collection of transient tracer (CFC-12, SF6 and tritium data from nine cruises conducted between 1987 and 2011 and use these data to determine temporal variability of Mediterranean ventilation. We also discuss biases and technical problems with transient tracer-based ages arising from their different input histories over time; particularly in the case of time-dependent ventilation. We observe a period of stagnation in the deep eastern (Levantine basin after it was ventilated by the EMT so that the age of the deep water is increasing with time. In the Ionian Sea, on the other hand, we see evidence of increased ventilation after year 2001, indicating the restarted deep water formation in the Adriatic Sea. This is also reflected in the increasing age of the Cretan Sea deep water and decreasing age of Adriatic Sea deep water since the end of the 1980s. In the western Mediterranean deep basin we see the massive input of recently ventilated waters during the WMT. This signal is not yet apparent in the Tyrrhenian Sea, where the ventilation seems to be fairly constant since the EMT. Also the western Alboran Sea does not show any

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Neotectonic rotations in the Calabrian Arc; implications for a Pliocene-Recent geodynamic scenario for the Central Mediterranean

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dijk, J.P. van; Scheepers, P.J.J.

    2007-01-01

    Recently, new data have been presented which imply that major block rotations took place in the Central Mediterranean during the Pleistocene, between 1.0 and 0.7 Ma. Kinematic solutions for the spatial and temporal distribution of rotational data in the Central Mediterranean such as oroclinal bendin

  17. Simulation of bombe radiocarbon transient in the Mediterranean Sea using a high-resolution regional model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ayache, Mohamed; Dutay, Jean-claude; Mouchet, Anne; Tisnérat-Laborde, Nadine; Houma-Bachari, Fouzia; Louanchi, Ferial; jean-baptiste, Philippe

    2016-04-01

    The radiocarbon isotope of carbon "14C", which a half-life of 5730 years, is continually formed naturally in the atmosphere by the neutron bombardment of 14N atoms. However, in the 1950s and early1960s, the atmospheric testing of thermonuclear weapons added a large amount of 14C into the atmosphere. The gradual infusion and spread of this "bomb" 14C through the oceans has provided a unique opportunity to gain insight into the specific rates characterizing the carbon cycle and ocean ventilations on such timescales. This numerical study provides, for the first time in the Mediterranean Sea, a simulation of the anthropogenic 14C invasion covers a 70-years period spanning the entire 14C generated by the bomb test, by using a high resolution regional model NEMO-MED12 (1/12° of horizontal resolution). This distribution and evolution of Δ14C of model is compared with recent high resolution 14C measurements obtained from surface water corals (Tisnérat-Laborde et al, 2013). In addition to providing constraints on the air-sea transfer of 14C, our work provides information on the thermohaline circulation and the ventilation of the deep waters to constrain the degree to which the NEMO-MED12 can reproduce correctly the main hydrographic features of the Mediterranean Sea circulation and its variations estimated from corals 14C time series measurements. This study is part of the work carried out to assess the robustness of the NEMO-MED12 model, which will be used to study the evolution of the climate and its effect on the biogeochemical cycles in the Mediterranean Sea, and to improve our ability to predict the future evolution of the Mediterranean Sea under the increasing anthropogenic pressure.

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 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

    2016-01-01

    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.

  1. Decadal variability of the Turner Angle in the Mediterranean Sea and its implications for double diffusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meccia, Virna L.; Simoncelli, Simona; Sparnocchia, Stefania

    2016-08-01

    The physical reanalysis component of the Mediterranean Forecasting System is used to construct a high-resolution three-dimensional atlas of the Turner Angle. An assessment of the model quality shows a maximum degree of agreement with observations in the water column between 150 and 1000 m depth. The mean state of the favourable conditions for double diffusion processes is evaluated and the recent decadal variability is studied in terms of changes in the water mass properties. The results show that approximately 50% of the Mediterranean Sea is favourable to double diffusion processes, from which around 47% is associated with salt fingering. The Tyrrhenian, Ionian and southwestern Mediterranean are the most vulnerable basins to salt fingering, and the strongest processes can occur in the Tyrrhenian deep waters. Diffusive convection is most likely to occur in the Ionian, Aegean and eastern Mediterranean at vertical levels deeper than 1000 m. The observed gradual warming and salinification of the Mediterranean after 1997 decreased and increased the possibilities of the occurrence of salt fingers and double diffusive convections, respectively. The climatological atlas that is presented in this paper provides a three-dimensional picture of the regions that are either doubly stable or favourable to double diffusion instability and allows for the characterization of the diffusive properties of the water masses.

  2. A new blue-pigmented hasleoid diatom, Haslea provincialis, from the Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gastineau, Romain; Hansen, Gert; Davidovich, Nikolai;

    2016-01-01

    Haslea provincialis Gastineau, Hansen & Mouget, sp. nov., is a new, morphologically semicryptic blue diatom discovered on the French shores of the Mediterranean Sea. Like H. ostrearia and H. karadagensis, H. provincialis shares the capacity to synthesize a marennine-like blue pigment. Sexual....... This indicates that the synthesis pathways and excretion mechanisms among the three ‘blue’ Haslea may be species-specific. Molecular taxonomy and phylogeny (based on rbcL, cox1 and SSU V4 DNA sequences) confirmed the distinct position of this species among the blue Haslea species. Haslea provincialis occurs...... in environments from which H. ostrearia has already been reported (mostly based on the presence of the blue cell vacuoles). Possible species misidentifications and the impact of the complex geological history of the Mediterranean Sea on blue diatom diversification are also discussed....

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Progress from 1989 to 1992 in understanding the circulation of the western mediterranean-sea

    OpenAIRE

    Lehucher, P.M.; Beautier, L; Chartier, M.; Martel, F.; Mortier, L.; Brehmer, P.; Millot, C.; Alberola, C; Benzhora, M.; Taupierletage, I.; Dhieres, G.C.; Didelle, H.; Gleizon, P; Obaton, D.; M. Crepon

    1995-01-01

    The present paper describes the major results obtained from 1989 to 1992 by the EUROMODEL group in studying the circulation in the Western Mediterranean Sea. Particular emphasis has been given to the physical processes responsible for seasonal and mesoscale variabilities. Observations (in situ and satellite), together with theoretical, physical and numerical models, have been widely used in the course of these studies. Attention has been focused on the dynamics of the northern basin (deep wat...

  6. Global Warming and Mass Mortalities of Benthic Invertebrates in the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 ...

  7. Occurrences of large sharks in the open waters of the southeastern Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    DAMALAS DIMITRIOS; MEGALOFONOU Persefoni

    2012-01-01

    Based on the most recently updated literature, 25 species of large pelagic sharks inhabit the south-eastern Mediterranean Sea. However, analyzing data collected during 1998 to 2005, we failed to identify even half the number of these species. At least 10 species of large pelagic sharks were observed. Sharks were the most abundant incidental catch (landed but 6 not specifically targeted, or discarded). Blue shark Prionace glauca was the predominant species, comprising approximately 70% of a...

  8. Eastern Mediterranean Sea circulation inferred from the conditions of S1 sapropel deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    K. Tachikawa

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Holocene Eastern Mediterranean Sea sediments contain an organic-rich sapropel S1 layer that was formed in oxygen-depleted waters. The spatial distribution of this layer revealed that during S1 deposition deep waters were permanently anoxic below 1800 m in water depth. To provide further insight into past Eastern Mediterranean Sea circulation, a multi-proxy approach was applied to a core retrieved close to the 1800 m boundary (at 1780 m. We measured the bulk sediment elemental composition, the stable isotopic composition of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides ruber, and the abundance of benthic foraminifera since the last deglaciation. The result indicates that authigenic U and Mo accumulation began around 13–12 cal ka BP, in concert with surface water freshening estimated from the G. ruber δ18O record. The onset of bottom/pore water oxygen depletion occurred prior to S1 deposition inferred from barium enrichment. In the middle of the S1 deposition period, between 9 and 8 cal ka BP, reduced authigenic V, Fe and As contents and Br / Cl ratio indicated short-term bottom water re-oxygenation. A sharp Mn peak and maximal abundance for benthic foraminifera marked a total recovery for circulation at approximately 7 cal ka BP. Based on our results and existing data, we suggest that S1 formation withinthe upper 1780 m of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea was preconditioned by reduced ventilation, resulting from excess fresh water inputs due to insolation changes under deglacial conditions, that initiated between 15 and 12 ka. Short-term re-oxygenation in the Levantine Basin is estimated to have affected bottom water below and above the anoxic boundary. We tentatively propose that complete ventilation recovery at the S1 termination was attained earlier within the upper 1780 m than at deeper water depths. Our results provided new constraints for eastern Mediterranean Sea thermohaline circulation.

  9. Physiological features of Halomonas lionensis sp. nov., a novel bacterium isolated from a Mediterranean Sea sediment

    OpenAIRE

    Gaboyer, Frederic; Vandenabeele-Trambouze, Odile; Cao, Junwei; Ciobanu, Maria-Cristina; Jebbar, Mohamed; Le Romancer, Marc; Alain, Karine

    2014-01-01

    A novel halophilic bacterium, strain RHS90T, was isolated from marine sediments from the Gulf of Lions, in the Mediterranean Sea. Its metabolic and physiological characteristics were examined under various cultural conditions, including exposure to stressful ones (oligotrophy, high pressure and high concentrations of metals). Based on phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene, the strain was found to belong to the genus Halomonas in the class Gammaproteobacteria. Its closest relatives are H....

  10. 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.

  11. Multiple Processes Regulate Long-Term Population Dynamics of Sea Urchins on Mediterranean Rocky Reefs

    OpenAIRE

    Bernat Hereu; Cristina Linares; Enric Sala; Joaquim Garrabou; Antoni Garcia-Rubies; David Diaz; Mikel Zabala

    2012-01-01

    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 vertica...

  12. 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...... environmental performance of the Ro-Pax vessels basically due to the need to maintain a relatively high speed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved....

  13. Eastern Mediterranean Sea circulation inferred from the conditions of S1 sapropel deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tachikawa, K.; Vidal, L.; Cornuault, M.; Garcia, M.; Pothin, A.; Sonzogni, C.; Bard, E.; Menot, G.; Revel, M.

    2014-12-01

    Holocene Eastern Mediterranean Sea sediments contain an organic-rich sapropel S1 layer that was formed in oxygen-depleted waters. The spatial distribution of this layer revealed that during S1 deposition deep waters were permanently anoxic below 1800 m in water depth. To provide further insight into past Eastern Mediterranean Sea circulation, a multi-proxy approach was applied to a core retrieved close to the 1800 m boundary (at 1780 m). We measured the bulk sediment elemental composition, the stable isotopic composition of the planktonic foraminifer Globigerinoides ruber, and the abundance of benthic foraminifera since the last deglaciation. The result indicates that authigenic U and Mo accumulation began around 13-12 cal ka BP, in concert with surface water freshening estimated from the G. ruber δ18O record. The onset of bottom/pore water oxygen depletion occurred prior to S1 deposition inferred from barium enrichment. In the middle of the S1 deposition period, between 9 and 8 cal ka BP, reduced authigenic V, Fe and As contents and Br / Cl ratio indicated short-term bottom water re-oxygenation. A sharp Mn peak and maximal abundance for benthic foraminifera marked a total recovery for circulation at approximately 7 cal ka BP. Based on our results and existing data, we suggest that S1 formation withinthe upper 1780 m of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea was preconditioned by reduced ventilation, resulting from excess fresh water inputs due to insolation changes under deglacial conditions, that initiated between 15 and 12 ka. Short-term re-oxygenation in the Levantine Basin is estimated to have affected bottom water below and above the anoxic boundary. We tentatively propose that complete ventilation recovery at the S1 termination was attained earlier within the upper 1780 m than at deeper water depths. Our results provided new constraints for eastern Mediterranean Sea thermohaline circulation.

  14. The gill microbiota of invasive and indigenous Spondylus oysters from the Mediterranean Sea and northern Red Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roterman, Yahala Rina; Benayahu, Yehuda; Reshef, Lea; Gophna, Uri

    2015-12-01

    The gill tissue of bivalve mollusks hosts rich symbiotic microbial communities that may contribute to the animal's metabolism. Spondylus spinosus is an invasive oyster that has become highly abundant along the eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) coastline, but is scarce in the northern Red Sea (NRS), its indigenous region. The composition and seasonal dynamics of the gill microbial communities of S. spinosus were examined in both regions, using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing. Additionally, two Red Sea Spondylus species, S. avramsingeri and S. pickeringae, were investigated using the same approach. Significant differences were found between microbial communities of the EMS S. spinosus and the three NRS species. Bacteria from the family Hahellaceae dominated the communities of the EMS S. spinosus and the NRS S. avramsingeri, oysters that are dominant in their habitat, yet were rare in the NRS S. spinosus and S. pickeringae, which are only seldom encountered. Bacterial communities of EMS S. spinosus were more similar to those of NRS S. spinosus than to those of other NRS Spondylus species, indicating that either part of the microbiota had co-invaded with their host into the Mediterranean Sea, or that there are species-specific selective constraints on microbial composition. PMID:26111733

  15. 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.

  16. 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. PMID:26881847

  17. Radiological Impact on EC Member States of Routine Discharges into the Mediterranean Sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The radiological impact of liquid discharges released into the Mediterranean Sea from European civil nuclear plants in the period 1980-1991 has been assessed. This assessment was part of the achievement of a group of experts set up in 1992 by the Commission of the European Communities to examine the overall radiological impact on the European population from natural and man-made nuclides in the Mediterranean Sea (Project MARINA-MED). A mathematical model, ATOMED, was used to predict the dispersion of radionuclides in the Mediterranean Sea, the transfers to the biota and sediments, and to assess the radiological exposure of the population of the European Community. Annual liquid discharges from each site and seafood catch statistics were provided by experts involved in the MARINA-MED project. The total collective dose commitment truncated at 500 years delivered to the EC population following the discharge of liquid radioactive effluents in the period 1980-1991 has been calculated to be 1.96 man Sv. (author)

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

    OpenAIRE

    G. D'ONGHIA; F. Capezzuto; F. CARDONE; Carlucci, R.; Carluccio, A.; G. CHIMIENTI; G. CORRIERO; C. LONGO; Maiorano, P.; F Mastrototaro; P. PANETTA; Rosso, A; R. SANFILIPPO; Sion, L.; A. TURSI

    2015-01-01

    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 longlin...

  19. 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)...

  20. 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

  1. Contemporary genetic structure and postglacial demographic history of the black scorpionfish, Scorpaena porcus, in the Mediterranean and the Black Seas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boissin, E; Micu, D; Janczyszyn-Le Goff, M; Neglia, V; Bat, L; Todorova, V; Panayotova, M; Kruschel, C; Macic, V; Milchakova, N; Keskin, Ç; Anastasopoulou, A; Nasto, I; Zane, L; Planes, S

    2016-05-01

    Understanding the distribution of genetic diversity in the light of past demographic events linked with climatic shifts will help to forecast evolutionary trajectories of ecosystems within the current context of climate change. In this study, mitochondrial sequences and microsatellite loci were analysed using traditional population genetic approaches together with Bayesian dating and the more recent approximate Bayesian computation scenario testing. The genetic structure and demographic history of a commercial fish, the black scorpionfish, Scorpaena porcus, was investigated throughout the Mediterranean and Black Seas. The results suggest that the species recently underwent population expansions, in both seas, likely concomitant with the warming period following the Last Glacial Maximum, 20 000 years ago. A weak contemporaneous genetic differentiation was identified between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. However, the genetic diversity was similar for populations of the two seas, suggesting a high number of colonizers entered the Black Sea during the interglacial period and/or the presence of a refugial population in the Black Sea during the glacial period. Finally, within seas, an east/west genetic differentiation in the Adriatic seems to prevail, whereas the Black Sea does not show any structured spatial genetic pattern of its population. Overall, these results suggest that the Black Sea is not that isolated from the Mediterranean, and both seas revealed similar evolutionary patterns related to climate change and changes in sea level. PMID:26989881

  2. Surface connection between different areas in Mediterranean Sea derived from drifter data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celentano, Paolo; Carlson, Daniel F.; Falco, Pierpaolo; Zambianchi, Enrico

    2016-04-01

    The surface connection of five study areas in the Mediterranean Sea (Sicily Strait, Gulf of Lyon, Ionian Sea, Alborán Sea and Crete Passage) is studied by looking at the statistical properties of near-surface lagrangian trajectories. The choice of the areas is due to the geographical distribution of data and the key role of these sub-basins in the dynamics of the Mediterranean. We used Lagrangian drifter data taken from the Mediterranean Surface Velocity Programme (http://nettuno.ogs.trieste.it/sire/medsvp/). The most common surface drifter used is the CODE-type drifter (Davis, 1985), designed to follow the vertical average velocity of the upper 1 m layer of the water column. The dataset consist of 1547 trajectories, deployed between 1986 and 2015 in all Mediterranean sub basins. By examining the drifter paths through the study areas, we computed transit and residence time, pseudo-Eulerian statistics and connection probabilities. Given the small number of drifters and the non-normal distribution of transit times, it is possible to use a bootstrap method (Efron and Tibshirani, 1986) to estimate the average transit time. In particular, we divided it into forward and backward transit times to consider the time taken by drifters respectively, from the exit of study area to end of its trajectory and from the deployment position to the study area. The main results indicate that the transit time between Sicily Strait and coast of Libya is about 83-103 days and between the Strait and the Gulf of Lyon is approximately 134 days. The time to reach the Adriatic Sea from the Ionian is around 30-40 days; the drifters take around 70 days to go from Alborán Sea to Sardinia channel and 43 days between Crete and the Ionian Sea. The Ionian Sea due has the highest number of drifter trajectories and the highest residence time, about 42 days. Also the Crete Passage has a high value of residence time, approximately 35 days; the other study areas are characterized by residence times of

  3. High Meiofaunal and Nematodes Diversity around Mesophotic Coral Oases in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Silvia Bianchelli

    Full Text Available Although the mesophotic zone of the Mediterranean Sea has been poorly investigated, there is an increasing awareness about its ecological importance for its biodiversity, as fish nursery and for the recruitment of shallow water species. Along with coastal rocky cliffs, isolated coralligenous concretions emerging from muddy bottoms are typical structures of the Mediterranean Sea mesophotic zone. Coralligenous concretions at mesophotic depths in the South Tyrrhenian Sea were investigated to assess the role of these coralligenous oases in relation to the biodiversity of surrounding soft sediments. We show here that the complex structures of the coralligenous concretions at ca. 110 m depth influence the trophic conditions, the biodiversity and assemblage composition in the surrounding sediments even at considerable distances. Coral concretions not only represent deep oases of coral biodiversity but they also promote a higher biodiversity of the fauna inhabiting the surrounding soft sediments. Using the biodiversity of nematodes as a proxy of the total benthic biodiversity, a high turnover biodiversity within a 200 m distance from the coralligenous concretions was observed. Such turnover is even more evident when only rare taxa are considered and seems related to specific trophic conditions, which are influenced by the presence of the coralligenous structures. The presence of a high topographic complexity and the trophic enrichment make these habitats highly biodiverse, nowadays endangered by human activities (such as exploitation of commercial species such as Corallium rubrum, or trawling fisheries, which directly causes habitat destruction or indirectly causes modification in the sedimentation and re-suspension rates. We stress that the protection of the coralligenous sea concretions is a priority for future conservation policies at the scale of large marine ecosystems and that a complete census of these mesophotic oases of biodiversity should be a

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  8. Chemical contamination baseline in the Western basin of the Mediterranean Sea based on transplanted mussels.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andral, Bruno; Galgani, François; Tomasino, Corinne; Bouchoucha, Marc; Blottiere, Charlotte; Scarpato, Alfonso; Benedicto, José; Deudero, Salud; Calvo, Monica; Cento, Alexandro; Benbrahim, Samir; Boulahdid, Moustapha; Sammari, Cherif

    2011-08-01

    The MYTILOS project aimed at drawing up a preliminary report on coastal chemical contamination at the scale of the Western Mediterranean (continental coasts of the Balearic Islands, Sicily, Sardinia, Corsica and Maghreb) based on a transplanted mussels methodology validated along the French coasts since 1996 by Ifremer and the Rhône Méditerranée & Corsica water board. MYTILOS is backed up by the INTERREG III B/MEDOC programme, the PNUE/PAM-MEDPOL and Rhône Méditerranée & Corsica water board. Three cruises (2004, 2005, 2006) have taken place to assess the first state of chemical contamination along the Western Mediterranean shores with the same methodology. Approximately 120 days were spent at sea deploying and retrieving 123 mussel bags. The results obtained for all studied contaminants were equivalent to those obtained along the French coast according the RINBIO network. These similarities relate to both the highest measured levels and background levels throughout the 123 stations. The areas of greatest impact were mainly urban and industrial centers and the outlets of major rivers, with a far higher midsea impact on the dilution of organic compounds than on metals. Metal levels measured in midsea zones were found to be similar to those in natural shellfish populations living along the coast. On a global scale we can observe that the contaminants levels in the Mediterranean Sea are in the same range as in other areas worldwide. Overall, the research demonstrates the reliability of this methodology for marine pollution monitoring, especially in the Mediterranean sea. PMID:20862467

  9. Data from investigation on seismic Sea waves events in the Eastern Mediterranean from 500 to 1000 A.D.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. ANTONOPOULOS

    1980-06-01

    Full Text Available Tsunamis from 500 to 1000 A.D. in the Eastern Mediterranean
    between 31-44 N and 18-36 E excluding Black Sea and the
    Italian coasts of the Adriatic Sea is the object of the present
    paper.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  11. Organic micropollutants in coastal waters from NW Mediterranean Sea: sources distribution and potential risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sánchez-Avila, Juan; Tauler, Romà; Lacorte, Silvia

    2012-10-01

    This study provides a first estimation on the sources, distribution and risk of organic micropollutants (OMPs) in coastal waters from NW Mediterranean Sea. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, organochlorinated pesticides, polybrominated diphenyl ethers, phthalates and alkylphenols were analyzed by solid phase extraction and gas chromatography coupled to tandem mass spectrometry (SPE-GC-EI-MS/MS). River waters and wastewater treatment plant effluents discharging to the sea were identified as the main sources of OMPs to coastal waters, with an estimated input amount of around of 25,800 g d(-1). The concentration of ΣOMPs in coastal areas ranged from 17.4 to 8442 ng L(-1), and was the highest in port waters, followed by coastal and river mouth seawaters. A summarized overview of the patterns and sources of OMP contamination on the investigated coastal sea waters of NW Mediterranean Sea, as well as of their geographical distribution was obtained by Principal Component Analysis of the complete data set after its adequate pretreatment. Alkylphenols, bisphenol A and phthalates were the main contributors to ΣOMPs and produced an estimated significant pollution risk for fish, algae and the sensitive mysid shrimp organisms in seawater samples. The combination of GC-MS/MS, chemometrics and risk analysis is proven to be useful for a better control and management of OMP discharges. PMID:22706016

  12. 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.

  13. Vertical distribution of the prokaryotic cell size in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Ferla, R.; Maimone, G.; Azzaro, M.; Conversano, F.; Brunet, C.; Cabral, A. S.; Paranhos, R.

    2012-12-01

    Distributions of prokaryotic cell size and morphology were studied in different areas of the Mediterranean Sea by using image analysis on samples collected from surface down to bathypelagic layers (max depth 4,900 m) in the Southern Tyrrhenian, Southern Adriatic and Eastern Mediterranean Seas. Distribution of cell size of prokaryotes in marine ecosystem is very often not considered, which makes our study first in the context of prokaryotic ecology. In the deep Mediterranean layers, an usually-not-considered form of carbon sequestration through prokaryotic cells has been highlighted, which is consistent with an increase in cell size with the depth of the water column. A wide range in prokaryotic cell volumes was observed (between 0.045 and 0.566 μm3). Increase in cell size with depth was opposed to cell abundance distribution. Our results from microscopic observations were confirmed by the increasing HNA/LNA ratio (HNA, cells with high nucleic acid content; LNA, cells with low nucleic acid content) along the water column. Implications of our results on the increasing cell size with depth are in the fact that the quantitative estimation of prokaryotic biomass changes along the water column and the amount of carbon sequestered in the deep biota is enhanced.

  14. 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. PMID:26686980

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  19. Numerical reconstruction of trajectory of small-size surface drifter in the Mediterranean sea. Reconstruction of surface drift in the Mediterranean sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shchekinova, Elena Y.; Kumkar, Yogesh; Coppini, Giovanni

    2016-02-01

    In this study, we addressed the effects of wind-induced drift on Lagrangian trajectories of surface sea objects using high-resolution ocean forecast and atmospheric data. Application of stochastic Leeway model for prediction of trajectories drift was considered for the numerical reconstruction of the Elba accident that occurred during the period 21.06.2009-22.06.2009: a person on an inflatable raft was lost in the vicinity of the Elba Island coast; from the initial position, the person on a raft drifted southwards in the open sea and later he was found on a partially deflated raft during rescue operation. For geophysical forcing, we used high-resolution currents from the Mediterranean Forecasting System and atmospheric wind from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts. To investigate the effect of wind on trajectory behavior, numerical simulations were performed using different categories of drifter-like particles similar to a person on an inflatable raft. An algorithm of spatial clustering was used to differentiate the most probable search areas with a high density of particles. Our results showed that the simulation scenarios using particles with characteristics of draft-limited sea drifters provided better prediction of an observed trajectory in terms of the probability density of particles.

  20. 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

  1. 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,...

  2. 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...... that the scatterometer is able to provide similar long-term statistics as available from buoy data, such as annual and monthly wind indexes. Such statistics is useful to give an overview of the climatology in the different areas. The correlation between QuikScat and in situ observations is degraded towards the coast......, giving indication of how well the scatterometer can represent the coastal winds. The degradation is stronger in areas with strong spatial variability. The QuikScat winds are gridded into a 0.25° by 0.25° grid to produce seasonal and annual means of the offshore wind conditions over the Mediterranean...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Influence of chemosynthetic ecosystems on nematode community structure and biomass in the deep eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampadariou, N.; Kalogeropoulou, V.; Sevastou, K.; Keklikoglou, K.; Sarrazin, J.

    2013-08-01

    Mud volcanoes are a~special type of cold seeps where life is based on chemoautotrophic processes. They are considered to be extreme environments and are characterized by unique megafaunal and macrofaunal communities. However, very few studies on mud volcanoes taking into account the smaller meiobenthic communities have been carried out. Two mud volcanoes were explored during the MEDECO (MEditerranean Deep-sea ECOsystems) cruise (2007) with the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Victor-6000: Amsterdam, located south of Turkey between 1700 and 2000 m depth (Anaximander mud field); and Napoli, south of Crete, located along the Mediterranean Ridge at about 2000 m depth (Olimpi mud field). The major aim of this study was to describe distributional patterns of meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages from different seep microhabitats. Meiofaunal taxa and nematode assemblages at both mud volcanoes differed significantly from other Mediterranean sites in terms of standing stocks, dominance and species diversity. Density and biomass values were significantly higher at the seep sites, particularly at Amsterdam. Patterns of nematode diversity, the dominant meiofaunal taxon, varied, displaying both very high or very low species richness and dominance, depending on the microhabitat studied. The periphery of the Lamellibrachia and bivalve shell microhabitats of Napoli exhibited the highest species richness, while the reduced sediments of Amsterdam yielded a species-poor nematode community dominated by two successful species, one belonging to the genus Aponema and the other to the genus Sabatieria. Analysis of β-diversity showed that microhabitat heterogeneity of mud volcanoes contributed substantially to the total nematode species richness in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. These observations indicate a strong influence of mud volcanoes and cold-seep ecosystems on the meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Movements of grey mullet Liza aurata and Chelon labrosus associated with coastal fish farms in the western Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    P. ARECHAVALA-LOPEZ; Uglem, Ingebrigt; Sanchez-Jerez, P.; Fernandez-Jover, D.; Bayle-Sempere, J. T.; Nilsen, Rune

    2010-01-01

    Grey mullet occur in abundance around sea bream and sea bass farms where they forage on waste fish feed, a behaviour that could modify their natural movement pattern and distribution. In this study, we used visual census to record grey mullet aggregations at fish farms in the western Mediterranean Sea. We also mapped the movements of 2 species (Liza aurata and Chelon labrosus) between farms and adjacent coastal fishing areas, using acoustic telemetry. Grey mullet were frequently observed in t...

  12. Pliocene Transgression in the Western Mediterranean Sea: Strontium Isotopes from Cuevas Del Almanzora (Se Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller, Daniel W.

    1993-02-01

    The deposition of marine sediments in the deep Mediterranean basins following the Messinian salinity crisis ("Zanclean Deluge") began at 4.9 Ma and continued until normal marine conditions prevailed at 4.6 Ma. The Betic Strait of southeast Spain, the Rif Strait of northern Morocco, and the Strait of Gibraltar have been postulated as possible entry ways for the marine waters into the Mediterranean. Two possible explanations have been offered for the timing of the deposition of marine hemipelagic marls in the Vera Basin (Cuevas del Almanzora section) within the Betic Strait: (1) early Pliocene, representing the "Zanclean Deluge" (Cita et al., 1980), (2) Messinian (˜5.7 Ma), representing the last marine stage before the Messinian salinity crisis (Benson and Rakic-El Bied, 1991; Benson et al., 1991). The strontium isotopic ratio on mixed assemblages of foraminifers from these marine marls was determined in order to assess their ages. The average 87Sr/86Sr (0.709033±24) of the seven measured samples is, compared to the base of the Miocene/Pliocene boundary stratotype at Capo Rossello, Sicily, higher by 38 × 10-6 and yields an age of 4.6±0.5 Ma when compared to the established open ocean Sr seawater curve. The determined age indicates that (1) the first 3.6 m of marine deposits of the Cuevas del Almanzora section sensu Cita et al. (1980) including the passage zone are Pliocene, (2) the earliest marine Pliocene might not be represented at Cuevas del Almanzora indicating that this marginal basin at the edge of the Mediterranean Sea, yet within the former Betic Strait, was filled progressively by a marine transgression originating from the Mediterranean Sea around 4.6 Ma. The absence of lowermost Pliocene sediments could suggest that the Betic Strait did not serve as a conduit for the water masses entering the Mediterranean basins during the early Pliocene; and (3) the presence of an early evolutionary stage of Globorotalia margaritae in the Moroccan Bou Regreg section

  13. Subduction, volcanism, collision, orogenesis and faults: How do they shape the central Mediterranean region?

    OpenAIRE

    Baccheschi, P.; Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Sezione CNT, Roma, Italia; D’Amico, S.; University of Malta

    2014-01-01

    From a geological and geodynamical point of view, the central Mediterranean area represents one of the most intriguing and enigmatic regions in the world and it still continues to capture Earth scientists’ attention. The region is characterized by spectacular surface geological features due to the complex mechanisms in the lithosphere and mantle of this fascinating region. Long-term geodynamical processes as well as active tectonics are testified by high mountain belts (up to 4000 m) thous...

  14. Radionuclides and trace metals in eastern Mediterranean Sea algae

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Al-Masri, M.S. E-mail: msmasri@aec.org.sy; Mamish, S.; Budier, Y

    2003-07-01

    Three types of sea alga distributed along the Syrian coast have been collected and analyzed for radioactivity and trace elements. Results have shown that {sup 137}Cs concentrations in all the analyzed sample were relatively low (less than 1.2 Bq kg{sup -1} dry weight) while the levels of naturally occurring radionuclides, such as {sup 210}Po and {sup 210}Pb, were found to be high in most samples; the highest observed value (27.43 Bq kg{sup -1} dry weight) for {sup 210}Po being in the red Jania longifurca alga. In addition, most brown alga species were also found to accumulate {sup 210}Po, which indicates their selectivity to this isotope. On the other hand, brown alga (Cystoseira and Sargassum Vulgare) have shown a clear selectivity for some trace metals such as Cr, As, Cu and Co, this selectivity may encourage their use as biomonitor for pollution by trace metals. Moreover, the red alga species were found to contain the highest levels of Mg while the brown alga species were found to concentrate Fe, Mn, Na and K and nonmetals such as Cl, I and Br.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Inghilesi, R.; Catini, F.; Bellotti, G.; Franco, L.; Orasi, A.; Corsini, S.

    2012-02-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. Changes in the non-crustacean zooplankton community in the middle Adriatic Sea during the Eastern Mediterranean Transient

    OpenAIRE

    Batistić, Mirna; Garić, Rade; MOROVIĆ, Mira

    2016-01-01

    Background and Purpose: Here we presented changes in the non-crustacean zooplankton community in the years characterized by the large scale changes in the thermohaline circulation in the East Mediterranean known as the Eastern Mediterranean transient (EMT) and stronger inflow of colder and less saline Modified Atlantic Water (MAW) into the Adriatic Sea. Material and Method: Monthly samplings from February 1995 to February 1996, were performed at fixed station Stončica near the Island of V...

  20. Clavellotis briani (Copepoda, Lernaeopodidae) Infestation on Striped Seabream, Lithognathus mormyrus (Sparidae) from the Northeast Mediterranean Sea, Turkey

    OpenAIRE

    KOYUNCU, Cafer Erkin; ROMERO, Raul Castro; GENÇ, Ercüment

    2014-01-01

    There is increasing interest in the striped seabream, Lithognathus mormyrus (Linnaeus, 1758) as an alternative fish species in aquaculture in the Mediterranean region. This paper provided information on the infestation of species of Clavellotis briani Benmansour et al (2001) (Lernaeopodidae) collected from striped seabream in Northeast Mediterranean Sea waters off the Turkish coast. A total of 234 fish were examined between May 2011 and April 2012 and female parasites were collected from the ...

  1. Effects of deep-water coral banks on the abundance and size structure of the megafauna in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Onghia, G.; Maiorano, P.; Sion, L.; Giove, A.; Capezzuto, F.; Carlucci, R.; Tursi, A.

    2010-03-01

    The Santa Maria di Leuca (SML) coral banks represent a rare example of living Lophelia-Madrepora-bearing coral mounds in the Mediterranean Sea. They are located between 350 and 1100 m in depth, in the northern Ionian Sea (eastern-central Mediterranean). Using a multi-beam echo sounder, side-scan sonar, high-resolution seismics and underwater video, the zones were identified for the sampling demersal fauna without damaging the coral colonies. During September-October 2005 experimental samplings were carried out with longlines and trawl nets inside the coral habitat and outside, where fishery exploitation occurs. No significant differences were shown between the abundance of fish recorded using longlines in the coral and non-coral habitat even though some selachians and teleosts were more abundant in the former than in the latter. Large specimens of rockfish ( Helicolenus dactylopterus) and blackspot seabream ( Pagellus bogaraveo) were commonly caught using longlines in the coral habitat. Data from trawling revealed refuge effects in the coral habitat and fishing effects outside. Significant differences were detected between the recorded abundances in the two study areas. Greater densities and biomasses were obtained inside the coral area, and fish size spectra and size distributions indicate a greater abundance of large fish inside the coral habitat. The SML coral habitat is a spawning area for H. dactylopterus. The remarkable density of the young-of-the-year of the deep-water shark Etmopterus spinax as well as of Merluccius merluccius, Micromesistius poutassou, Phycis blennoides and H. dactylopterus, indicates that the coral habitat also acts as nursery area for these demersal species, which are exploited outside. Considering the evidence of the negative impact of bottom trawling and, to a lesser extent, of longlining, the coral banks can provide a refuge for the conservation of unique species and habitats as well as in providing benefit to adjacent fisheries

  2. 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.

  3. Role of photoacclimation on phytoplankton's seasonal cycle in the Mediterranean Sea through satellite ocean color data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bellacicco, Marco; Volpe, Gianluca; Colella, Simone; Santoleri, Rosalia

    2014-05-01

    Photoacclimation changes the intracellular chlorophyll-a concentration (Chl), a process that is not currently taken into account by standard ocean colour algorithms. The cellular Chl production is an energy-demanding process, so that it occurs when nutrients are available and under light limiting conditions. Historically, Chl has been used as a proxy for marine algal biomass. This work aims at comparing Chl-based with Carbon-based estimates calculated from the particulate backscattering coefficient, bbp (Λ) (Behrenfeld et al., 2005). The equation for the phytoplankton carbon biomass is C = (bbp(443) - bbpNAP(443))SF , where bbpNAP(443) represents the contribution of non algal particles to bbp(443) and is a constant value, and SF a scalar factor (13,000 mg C m-2) to match the carbon biomass units. Here we allow bbpNAP to vary monthly over the Mediterranean SeaWiFS time series, and use the 555 nm channel for coherence with the method used to derive SF (Loisel et al., 2001). The comparison between the two methods yields the Mediterranean Sea to be 2 to 7 times lower, and closer to the real system variability as measured by in situ observations. In both methods, the Chl:C ratio is the footprint showing that phytoplankton cells enhance the major photosynthetic pigment production to optimize photosynthesis under low light regime and high nutrients (e.g., winter). Minimum Chl:C ratio values are observed during summer when photoinhibition is the dominant intracellular process. We suggest that a new proxy for phytoplankton biomass is strongly needed, particularly for the Mediterranean Sea, where Chl:C ratio varies of 1 order of magnitude, clearly highlighting dominance of photoacclimation at seasonal and basin scales.

  4. 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.

  5. Heat flow in the Alboran Sea, western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polyak, B. G.; Fernàndez, M.; Khutorskoy, M. D.; Soto, J. I.; Basov, I. A.; Comas, M. C.; Khain, V. Ye.; Alonso, B.; Agapova, G. V.; Mazurova, I. S.; Negredo, A.; Tochitsky, V. O.; de la Linde, J.; Bogdanov, N. A.; Banda, E.

    1996-10-01

    The results of the first regional heat flow survey carried out in the Alboran Basin are presented. The survey consists of 98 heat flow measurements obtained using a violin type probe, 697 nautic miles of gravity profiles, 1446 nautic miles of bathymetric survey, and 22 gravity cores. A remarkable difference in heat flow patterns exists between the western (WAB) and eastern (EAB) parts of the Alboran Basin. The average heat flow in the WAB is 69 ± 6 mW m -2 with a generally increasing trend towards the centre and to the east. In contrast, the heat flow pattern in the EAB shows an average value of 124 ± 8 mW m -2 and it is maintained rather constant for the overall area. Superimposed on this general pattern there are some local thermal anomalies, associated with hydrothermal activity, which have been detected in the central WAB (up to 123 mW m -2), in the South Alboran Basin (SAB) (up to 153 mW m -2) and in the Djibouti Bank (DB) (up to 254 mW m -2). After corrections for thermal refraction, sedimentation and cooling of volcanic bodies, the resulting heat flow distribution in the WAB is smoother, but still shows the increasing trend towards the centre and to the east. In the EAB, the application of these corrections did not lead to any noticeable changes. A 1-D approach that combines heat flow data, crustal structure and elevation shows a dramatic decrease in lithospheric thickness from the WAB (50-90 km) to the EAB (38-40 km). Likewise, the resulting crustal thickness is around 14-16 km in the central part of the WAB, increasing towards the borders of the basin, whereas in the EAB the crustal thickness varies between 12.5 and 14.5 km in its western part, and between 10 and 11.5 km in its eastern part.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Rare earth element distributions and fractionation in plankton from the northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Strady, Emilie; Kim, I; Radakovitch, O; Kim, G.

    2015-01-01

    Rare earth element (REE) concentrations were measured for the first time in plankton from the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The REE concentrations in phytoplankton (60-200 mu m) were 5-15 times higher than those in four size fractions of zooplankton: 200-500 mu m, 500-1000 mu m, 1000-2000 mu m and >2000 mu m. The concentrations within these zooplankton fractions exhibited the same ranges with some variation attributed to differences in zooplankton taxonomy. The REE concentrations in plankto...

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. 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.

  13. The Kufrah paleodrainage system in Libya: A past connection to the Mediterranean Sea?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paillou, Philippe; Tooth, Stephen; Lopez, Sylvia

    2012-08-01

    Paillou et al. (2009) mapped a 900 km-long paleodrainage system in eastern Libya, the Kufrah River, that could have linked the southern Kufrah Basin to the Mediterranean coast through the Sirt Basin, possibly as long ago as the Middle Miocene. We study here the potential connection between the terminal part of the Kufrah River and the Mediterranean Sea through the Wadi Sahabi paleochannel, which may have constituted the northern extension of the lower Kufrah River paleodrainage system. New analysis of SRTM-derived topography combined with Synthetic Aperture Radar images from the Japanese PALSAR orbital sensor allowed the mapping of seven main paleochannels located west of the Kufrah River, each of which is likely to have formed a tributary that supplied water and sediment to the main paleodrainage system. The northernmost four paleochannels probably originated from the Al Haruj relief, a Pliocene alkaline basaltic intracontinental volcanic field, and potentially connected to the Wadi Sahabi paleochannel. The remaining three paleochannels are in the more southerly location of the Sarir Calanscio, North-East of the Tibesti mountains, and barely present a topographic signature in SRTM data. They end in the dunes of the Calanscio Sand Sea, forming alluvial fans. The most southern paleochannel, known as Wadi Behar Belama, was previously mapped by Pachur (1996) using LANDSAT-TM images, and was interpreted by Osborne et al. (2008) as representing part of an uninterrupted sediment pathway from the Tibesti mountains to the Mediterranean Sea. Processing of SRTM topographic data revealed local depressions which allow to connect the seven paleochannels and possibly the terminal alluvial fan of the Kufrah River to the Wadi Sahabi paleochannel, through a 400 km-long, south-north oriented, paleocorridor. These new findings support our previous hypothesis that proposed a connection between the lower Kufrah River in the region of the Sarir Dalmah and the Wadi Sahabi paleochannel

  14. Protected and Threatened Components of Fish Biodiversity in the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Mouillot, D.; Albouy, C; Guilhaumon, F.; Lasram, F. B. R.; Coll, M.; Devictor, V.; Meynard, C.N.; Pauly, D.; Tomasini, J. A.; Troussellier, Marc; Velez, L; R. Watson; Douzery, E. J. P.; Mouquet, N.

    2011-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea (0.82% of the global oceanic surface) holds 4%-18% of all known marine species (similar to 17,000), with a high proportion of endemism [1, 2]. This exceptional biodiversity is under severe threats [1] but benefits from a system of 100 marine protected areas (MPAs). Surprisingly, the spatial congruence of fish biodiversity hot spots with this MPA system and the areas of high fishing pressure has not been assessed. Moreover, evolutionary and functional breadth of species a...

  15. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the Mediterranean Sea: Atmospheric occurrence, deposition and decoupling with settling fluxes in the water column

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    ∑30PAH gas phase concentrations (13–86 and 22–40 ng m−3 in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, respectively) dominated the atmospheric levels due to the high contribution of phenanthrene, dibenzothiophene and their alkylated derivates. The high variability of PAH atmospheric concentrations in the different sub-basins is due to several factors (i.e. air-mass trajectory, proximity to sources and losses by deposition). The ∑30PAH atmospheric deposition (dominated by low MW PAH net air–water diffusive fluxes) is estimated to be ∼3100 ton y−1 (Mediterranean) and ∼500 ton y−1 (Black Sea). Net volatilization for certain PAHs was estimated. Deposition fluxes (1–2 orders of magnitude higher than reported PAH settling fluxes in the water column) confirm an important depletion/sink of water column PAH in the photic zone, especially for low MW PAHs. Degradation processes in the water column may be responsible for this decoupling. Conversely, high MW PAHs dry deposition fluxes are similar to their settling fluxes. Highlights: ► First comprehensive assessment of atmospheric PAH levels and deposition across the Mediterranean Sea. ► PAH atmospheric concentrations are highly variable across the Mediterranean Sea. ► Mediterranean Sea open waters receive ∼3100 ton of PAHs each year from the atmosphere. ► Important depletion of low MW PAH water column concentrations in the photic zone. ► Degradation processes most likely responsible of the atmospheric deposition – settling fluxes decoupling. - Capsule: Mediterranean Sea open waters receive ∼3100 ton of PAHs each year from the atmosphere but only a small fraction of this input settle down in the water column due to degradation processes.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Ozone over the Western Mediterranean Sea - results from two years of shipborne measurements

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velchev, K.; Cavalli, F.; Hjorth, J.; Marmer, E.; Vignati, E.; Dentener, F.; Raes, F.

    2010-03-01

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Life history of the deep-sea cephalopod family Histioteuthidae in the western Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quetglas, Antoni; de Mesa, Aina; Ordines, Francesc; Grau, Amàlia

    2010-08-01

    The life cycle of the two species of the deep-sea family Histioteuthidae inhabiting the Mediterranean Sea ( Histioteuthis reversa and Histioteuthis bonnellii) was studied from monthly samples taken throughout the year during daytime hours by bottom trawl gears. A small sample of individuals found floating dead on the sea surface was also analyzed. Both species were caught exclusively on the upper slope at depths greater than 300 m. Their frequency of occurrence increased with depth and showed two different peaks, at 500-600 m and 600-700 m depth in H. bonnellii and H. reversa, respectively, which might indicate spatial segregation. Maturity stages were assigned using macroscopic determination and confirmed with histological analyses. Although mature males were caught all year round, no mature females were found, which suggests that their sexual maturation in the western Mediterranean takes place deeper than the maximum depth sampled (800 m). In fact, the increase in mean squid size with increasing depth in H. reversa indicates an ontogenetic migration to deeper waters. The individuals of both species found floating dead on the sea surface were spent females which had a relatively large cluster of small atresic eggs and a small number of remaining mature eggs scattered in the ovary and mantle cavity. The sizes of these females were clearly larger than the largest individuals caught with bottom trawls. A total of 12 and 7 different types of prey, belonging to three major taxonomic groups (crustaceans, osteichthyes and cephalopods), were identified in the stomach contents of H. reversa and H. bonnellii, respectively. In both species fishes were by far the main prey followed by crustaceans, whereas cephalopods were found only occasionally. The preys identified, mainly myctophids and natantian crustaceans, indicate that both histioteuthids base their diet on pelagic nictemeral migrators.

  4. Physical and underway data collected aboard the OCEANUS during cruise OC454-02 in the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea - Eastern Basin from 2009-07-28 to 2009-08-05 (NODC Accession 0104319)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — NODC accession 0104319 includes physical and underway data collected aboard the OCEANUS during cruise OC454-02 in the Aegean Sea and Mediterranean Sea - Eastern...

  5. Vertical partitioning of phosphate uptake among picoplankton groups in the P-depleted Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talarmin, A.; Van Wambeke, F.; Lebaron, P.; Moutin, T.

    2014-10-01

    Radiolabeled orthophosphate (Pi) incubations coupled with cell sorting were conducted in the Mediterranean Sea to assess the contribution of picoplanktonic groups to total Pi uptake and to potentially explain their spatial distribution. Under natural Pi concentrations (P-deficient and stratified conditions during the survey), total Pi uptake was dominated in the surface by heterotrophic prokaryotes (Hprok; up to 82%) and shifted to a cyanobacterial dominance around the deep chlorophyll maximum depth. These experiments were completed with concentration bioassays at 4 stations to determine Pi uptake kinetic constants (maximum cell-normalized uptake rates Vmax and the half-saturation constant plus natural concentration K +Sn) in picophytoeukaryotes (Pic), Synechococcus (Syn), Prochlorococcus (Proc) and Hprok. Syn cells were the most efficient in the uptake of Pi at the cellular level at saturating concentration (100 nmol L-1). Indeed, Syn displayed the highest Vmax (up to 132 amol P cell-1 h-1) compared to other groups like Hprok (Vmax up to 2 amol P cell-1 h-1), and the lowest K + Sn. This suggests that they could be quickly reactive to a pulsed supply of Pi. Hprok and Proc cells seemed more adapted to take up Pi at low concentrations, with low K + Sn values (2.9 to 22.7 nmol P L-1), conferring them a nutritional advantage under P-deficient conditions. Such characteristics may explain the successful year-long coexistence of osmotrophic autotrophs and heterotrophs in the Mediterranean Sea and their vertical distribution in the photic zone.

  6. Validation and intercomparison of two vertical-mixing schemes in the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Fernández

    2006-11-01

    Full Text Available In this study, two types of vertical turbulence closure models are tested in the Mediterranean Sea in a one-dimensional configuration. The numerical experiments are performed at different locations in the Mediterranean for which the year 2004 is simulated. The model results are then compared and validated with in-situ temperature observations. For the model simulations, initial profiles of temperature and salinity come from the ARGO (Array for Real-time Geostrophic Oceanography profiles. The surface forcing (momentum, heat is calculated from bulk formulae using 6-hourly atmospheric data from the European Center for Medium Range Weather Forecast (ECMWF. The vertical mixing schemes tested in this study are a second-order statistical model (k-ε and the non-local K-profile parameterization (KPP. Both schemes yield similar results in terms of reproducing the water column dynamics. A major source of discrepancy between model and observations comes from the uncertainties in the atmospheric forcing parameterization. At this point, net shortwave radiation data from NCEP atmospheric reanalysis has been used obtaining a more realistic Sea Surface Temperature (SST compared with satellite observations for the summer months.

  7. Modelling physical and biogeochemical 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; Vichi, Marcello

    2014-05-01

    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 2000-2040 and are performed by forcing a three-dimensional off-line coupled eco-hydrodynamical model (BFM and OPA-tracer model, http://bfm-community.eu/) with marine circulation 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. The relative importance of different biotic and abiotic parameters in defining such a change is explored through several numerical experiments. Potential implications in terms of ecological and higher trophic level organisms dynamics are explored as well, by integrating niche properties of selected organisms and suggestions provided by food web models.

  8. Sound speed in the Mediterranean Sea: an analysis from a climatological data set

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Salon

    Full Text Available This paper presents an analysis of sound speed distribution in the Mediterranean Sea based on climatological temperature and salinity data. In the upper layers, propagation is characterised by upward refraction in winter and an acoustic channel in summer. The seasonal cycle of the Mediterranean and the presence of gyres and fronts create a wide range of spatial and temporal variabilities, with relevant differences between the western and eastern basins. It is shown that the analysis of a climatological data set can help in defining regions suitable for successful monitoring by means of acoustic tomography. Empirical Orthogonal Functions (EOF decomposition on the profiles, performed on the seasonal cycle for some selected areas, demonstrates that two modes account for more than 98% of the variability of the climatological distribution. Reduced order EOF analysis is able to correctly represent sound speed profiles within each zone, thus providing the a priori knowledge for Matched Field Tomography. It is also demonstrated that salinity can affect the tomographic inversion, creating a higher degree of complexity than in the open oceans.

    Key words. Oceanography: general (marginal and semi-enclosed seas; ocean acoustics

  9. Feeding and production of zooplankton in the Catalan Sea (NW Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiz, Enric; Calbet, Albert; Atienza, Dacha; Alcaraz, Miquel

    2007-08-01

    Zooplankton are key components of the structure and functioning of marine planktonic food webs. They are the main link of planktonic primary production towards top pelagic consumer levels (fish), and play a relevant role on the nutrient recycling in the water column and on the export of particulate matter out of the photic zone. In this paper, we review the present knowledge on the feeding and production of zooplankton in the Catalan Sea (NW Mediterranean), with special emphasis on copepods. Feeding of zooplankton in the Catalan Sea appears typically food limited, with average daily rations on a yearly basis in the order of 48% body C d -1. Heterotrophic prey constitute a relevant fraction of their diet, as an alternative to the scarce phytoplankton in the area. From a structural point of view, the trophic impact and control of their prey populations are low on standing stocks but, at certain times, zooplankton can exert a meaningful effect on their prey production. Regarding zooplankton production, the available estimates of growth rates in the area are based on the egg production rate of copepods. Egg production rates appear to be limited, especially in summer. Tentative estimates of copepod production in the area are in the order of 20-40 mg C m -2 d -1. In conclusion, this review confirms that the oligotrophic character of the NW Mediterranean constrains the feeding activity and production of zooplankton.

  10. Origin and Bioavailability of PAHs in the Mediterranean Sea from Mussel and Sediment Records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baumard, P.; Budzinski, H.; Michon, Q.; Garrigues, P.; Burgeot, T.; Bellocq, J.

    1998-07-01

    The distribution of selected polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in surface sediments and in mussels ( Mytilus galloprovincialis) of the western Mediterranean Sea (French, Spanish and Balearic coasts) has been investigated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). The sediment PAH concentrations ranged from less than 1 to 8500 ng g -1. The most contaminated sediments have been sampled in harbours while the mean concentration of the Balearic Island sediments, far away from contamination sources, is low (≈30 ng g -1). The main pollution source is pyrolytic with an overimposition of petrogenic/diagenetic PAHs in a few sediments. The mussels are contaminated at very low levels (25-80 ng g -1) with the exception of those collected in two harbours (Port Vendres and Barcelona) and whose tissue PAH content is medium. In the Mediterranean Sea, the bioavailability from sediment of adsorbed hydrophobic organic compounds such as PAHs seems to be mainly governed by the origin of the contaminants. Pyrolytic compounds (penta- and hexa-aromatics) are not readily available. In contrast, petroleum hydrocarbons (some tetra-aromatics, methylated PAHs) are accumulated by mussels to a great extent.

  11. Pre-operational short-term forecasts for the Mediterranean Sea biogeochemistry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Lazzari

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Operational prediction of the marine environment is recognised as a fundamental research issue for Europe. We present a pre-operational implementation of a biogeochemical model for pelagic waters of the Mediterranean Sea, as developed within the framework of the MERSEA-IP European project. The OPATM-BFM coupled model is the core of a fully automatic system that weekly delivers analysis and forecast maps for the Mediterranean Sea biogeochemistry. The system in the present configuration has been working since April 2007 with successful execution of the fully automatic operational chain in the 87% of the cases, and in the remaining cases the runs were successfully accomplished after operator intervention. A description of the system developed and a comparison of the model results with satellite data are also presented, with Spearman correlation on surface chlorophyll temporal evolution equal to 0.71. Future studies will be addressed to the implementations of a data assimilation scheme for the biogeochemical compartment in order to increase the skill of the model performances.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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)

  15. Tetrodotoxin levels in pufferfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus) caught in the Northeastern Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosker, Ali Rıza; Özogul, Fatih; Durmus, Mustafa; Ucar, Yılmaz; Ayas, Deniz; Regenstein, Joe M; Özogul, Yesim

    2016-11-01

    The toxicity of tetrodotoxin (TTX) in pufferfish (Lagocephalus sceleratus) from Mersin Bay in the Northeastern Mediterranean Sea was measured using a mouse bioassay (MBA) and LC-MS-MS. Pufferfish were caught by trawl fishing, longlining and fishing line from December 2012 to October 2013. Changes in the levels of TTX in the gonads, livers, intestines, skins and muscles as a function of season and sex were determined. The gonads of female fish were toxic in all seasons (>2μg/g), whereas the gonads of male fish were only toxic in the spring and autumn. The highest TTX levels in gonads, livers, intestines and skins of female fish were 52.1, 46.2, 7.64 and 3.43μg/g, respectively, using LC-MS-MS. The TTX level in the muscle of female fish in winter was 2.83μg/g but was otherwise below the toxic limit. Consequently, it can be dangerous to consume pufferfish, including the edible muscle, from the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. PMID:27211655

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Obtaining the correct sea surface temperature: bias correction of regional climate model data for the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias, Diego; Garcia-Gorriz, Elisa; Dosio, Alessandro; Stips, Adolf; Keuler, Klaus

    2016-02-01

    Here, the COSMO Climate Limited-area Modelling (CCLM) regional climate model (RCM) is used as external forcing for a Mediterranean basin-scale ocean model based on the general estuarine transport model (GETM). CCLM is forced by different global climate models (GCMs) (MPI and EcEarth) and by the ERA-interim (ERAin) reanalysis. Sea surface temperatures (SST) simulated by the different runs of the ocean model are compared with satellite measurements. As a substantial cold bias in simulated SST is found, a simple bias-correction methodology is applied to the RCM atmospheric variables, namely (1) air temperature (which is usually underestimated for the region by RCMs runs), (2) cloud cover (typically overestimated) and (3) wind intensity (as zonal wind intensity is usually overestimated). The performed analysis identifies wind velocity as the most important variable to correct in order to satisfactorily obtain Mediterranean SST. For many of the RCM realizations significant improvement in the simulated SST are only achieved when wind intensity values were bias-corrected towards observed values. Air temperature and cloud cover had a more marginal importance in reducing the SST bias observed in RCM-forced runs of the ocean model. By comparing the ERAin-driven run and the GCMs driven runs, our analyses suggest that the main source of observed bias is related with the GCMs being used as lateral boundary condition for the RCM realizations. However, a relative simple bias-correction methodology is sufficient to reduce a large part of the induced bias in SST and to improve the vertical water stratification characteristics within the Mediterranean basin that will allow to analyze current and future biogeochemical conditions of the studied basin.

  20. Distribution of bioluminescent organisms in the Mediterranean Sea and predicted effects on a deep-sea neutrino telescope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The density of bioluminescent organisms was measured using an ISIT camera profiler in the eastern and western Mediterranean, from the subsurface layer to the seafloor; in the Ligurian, Tyrrhenian, Ionian, Adriatic Seas and the Strait of Sicily, including neutrino telescope sites at ANTARES and NESTOR. A west-east gradient in the density of bioluminescent animals in deep water (1500-2500 m) was observed, with the average density in the Ligurian (ANTARES) Sea (0.65±0.13 m-3) an order of magnitude greater than the E Ionian (NESTOR) Sea (0.06±0.04 m-3). Additionally, an exponential relationship was found between the density of near-bed bioluminescence (0-400 mab) and depth, with greatest divergence from the trend at the extreme west and easterly sites. For small scale effects we applied flash kinetics of bioluminescent organisms to map the bioluminescent field around a sphere; we predict most light emission downstream of an optical module.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Human-climate interactions in the central Mediterranean region during the last millennia: The laminated record of Lake Butrint (Albania)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Morellón, Mario; Anselmetti, Flavio S.; Ariztegui, Daniel; Brushulli, Brunhilda; Sinopoli, Gaia; Wagner, Bernd; Sadori, Laura; Gilli, Adrian; Pambuku, Arben

    2016-03-01

    Lake Butrint (39°47 N, 20°1 E) is a ca. 21 m deep, coastal lagoon located in SW Albania where finely-laminated sediments have been continuously deposited during the last millennia. The multi-proxy analysis (sedimentology, high-resolution elemental geochemistry and pollen) of a 12 m long sediment core, supported by seven AMS radiocarbon dates and 137Cs dating, enable a precise reconstruction of the environmental change that occurred in the central Mediterranean region during the last ∼4.5 cal kyrs BP. Sediments consist of triplets of authigenic carbonates, organic matter and clayey laminae. Fluctuations in the thickness and/or presence of these different types of seasonal laminae indicate variations in water salinity, organic productivity and runoff in the lake's catchment, as a result of the complex interplay of tectonics, anthropogenic forcing and climate variability. The progradation of the Pavllo river delta, favoured by variable human activity from the nearby ancient city of Butrint, led to the progressive isolation of this hydrological system from the Ionian Sea. The system evolved from an open bay to a restricted lagoon, which is consistent with archaeological data. An abrupt increase in mass-wasting activity between 1515 and 1450 BC, likely caused by nearby seismic activity, led to the accumulation of 24 homogenites, up to 17 cm thick. They have been deposited during the onset of finely laminated sedimentation, which indicates restricted, anoxic bottom water conditions and higher salinity. Periods of maximum water salinity, biological productivity, and carbonate precipitation coincide with warmer intervals, such as the early Roman Warm Period (RWP) (500 BC-0 AD), the Medieval Climate Anomaly (MCA) (800-1400 AD) and recent times (after 1800 AD). Conversely, lower salinity and more oxic conditions, with higher clastic input were recorded during 1400-500 BC, the Late Roman and the Early Medieval periods (0-800 AD) and during the Little Ice Age (1400-1800 AD

  4. 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.)

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Mass variation in the Mediterranean Sea from GRACE and its validation by altimetry, steric and hydrologic fields

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fenoglio-Marc, L.; Kusche, J.; Becker, M.

    2006-01-01

    The seasonal seawater mass variation in the Mediterranean Sea is estimated between April 2002 and July 2004 from GRACE and altimetry data and from hydrologic and oceanographic models. A smoothed spatial averaging kernel is applied to each field, in order to obtain comparable basin averages. The GRAC

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Influence of chemosynthetic ecosystems on nematode community structure and biomass in the deep eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lampadariou, N.; Kalogeropoulou, V.; Sevastou, K.; Keklikoglou, K.; Sarrazin, J.

    2012-12-01

    Mud volcanoes are a special type of cold seeps where life is based on chemoautotrophic processes. They are considered as extreme environments and are characterised by unique megafaunal and macrofaunal communities. However, very few studies on mud volcanoes taking into account the smaller meiobenthic communities have been carried out. Two mud volcanoes were explored during the MEDECO cruise (2007) with the Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) Victor-6000; Amsterdam, located south of Turkey between 1700 and 2000 m depth (Anaximander mud field) and Napoli, south of Crete, located along the Mediterranean Ridge at about 2000 m depth (Olimpi mud field). The major aim of this study was to describe distributional patterns of meiofaunal communities and nematode assemblages from different seep microhabitats. Meiofaunal taxa and nematode assemblages at both mud volcanoes differed significantly from other Mediterranean sites in terms of standing stocks, dominance and species diversity. Density and biomass values were significantly higher at the seep sites, particularly at Amsterdam. Nematodes, the dominant meiofaunal taxon, displayed deeper penetration vertically into the sediment at the seep areas, indicating that biological rather than physicochemical factors are responsible for their vertical distribution. Patterns of nematode diversity varied, displaying both very high or very low species richness and dominance, depending on the habitat studied. The Lamellibrachia periphery and mussel bed of Napoli exhibited the highest species richness while the reduced sediments of Amsterdam yielded a species-poor nematode community, dominated by two successful species; one belonging to the genus Aponema and the other to the genus Sabatieria. Analysis of β-diversity showed that habitat heterogeneity of mud volcanoes contributed substantially to the total nematode species richness in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. These observations indicate a strong influence of mud volcanoes and cold

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Habitat Selection and Temporal Abundance Fluctuations of Demersal Cartilaginous Species in the Aegean Sea (Eastern Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maravelias, Christos D.; Tserpes, George; Pantazi, Maria; Peristeraki, Panagiota

    2012-01-01

    Predicting the occurrence of keystone top predators in a multispecies marine environment, such as the Mediterranean Sea, can be of considerable value to the long-term sustainable development of the fishing industry and to the protection of biodiversity. We analysed fisheries independent scientific bottom trawl survey data of two of the most abundant cartilaginous fish species (Scyliorhinus canicula, Raja clavata) in the Aegean Sea covering an 11-year sampling period. The current findings revealed a declining trend in R. clavata and S. canicula abundance from the late ′90 s until 2004. Habitats with the higher probability of finding cartilaginous fish present were those located in intermediate waters (depth: 200–400 m). The present results also indicated a preferential species' clustering in specific geographic and bathymetric regions of the Aegean Sea. Depth appeared to be one of the key determining factors for the selection of habitats for all species examined. With cartilaginous fish species being among the more biologically sensitive fish species taken in European marine fisheries, our findings, which are based on a standardized scientific survey, can contribute to the rational exploitation and management of their stocks by providing important information on temporal abundance trends and habitat preferences. PMID:22536389

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Biogeographical homogeneity in the eastern Mediterranean Sea - I: the opisthobranchs (Mollusca: Gastropoda from Lebanon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. CROCETTA

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available A reviewed knowledge of the opisthobranch species from Lebanon (eastern Mediterranean Sea, based on literature records (scattered throughout various papers published over a period of more than 150 years and recently collected material (1999-2002 within the CEDRE framework and other samples, is presented, yielding a total number of 35 taxa recorded from the Lebanese shores identified to species level. Special emphasis has mainly been given to the alien species, for which scattered notes are also given. The known opisthobranch biota is composed of 22 native (~ 63%, 12 alien (~ 34% and one cryptogenic (~ 3% taxa. Eleven of these (Berthella aurantiaca, B. ocellata, Aplysia fasciata, Felimare picta, Felimida britoi, F. luteorosea, F. purpurea, Phyllidia flava, Dendrodoris grandiflora, D. limbata and Aeolidiella alderi constitute new records for the Lebanese fauna, whilst the examined material of a further seven species (Elysia grandifolia, Pleurobranchus forskalii, Aplysia dactylomela, Bursatella leachii, Syphonota geographica, Goniobranchus annulatus, Flabellina rubrolineata anecdotally cited from Lebanon on the basis of the samples here studied, is here first explained. One additional taxon belonging to the genus Haminoea has been identified to genus level only. Despite the searching effort poning the basis of the material analyzed here, data reported clearly suggest that strong investments are still needed for a better understanding of the eastern Mediterranean opisthobranch fauna.

  19. 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.

  20. Sensitivity to UV radiation in early life stages of the Mediterranean sea urchin Sphaerechinus granularis (Lamarck)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nahon, Sarah [UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7621, LOBB, Observatoire Oceanologique, F-66651, Banyuls/mer (France); CNRS, UMR 7621, LOBB, Observatoire Oceanologique, F-66651, Banyuls/mer (France); Castro Porras, Viviana A. [UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7621, LOBB, Observatoire Oceanologique, F-66651, Banyuls/mer (France); Pruski, Audrey M. [UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7621, LOBB, Observatoire Oceanologique, F-66651, Banyuls/mer (France); CNRS, UMR 7621, LOBB, Observatoire Oceanologique, F-66651, Banyuls/mer (France); Charles, Francois [UPMC Univ Paris 06, UMR 7621, LOBB, Observatoire Oceanologique, F-66651, Banyuls/mer (France); CNRS, UMR 7621, LOBB, Observatoire Oceanologique, F-66651, Banyuls/mer (France)], E-mail: charles@obs-banyuls.fr

    2009-03-01

    The sea urchin Sphaerechinus granularis was used to investigate the impact of relevant levels of UV-B radiation on the early life stages of a common Mediterranean free spawning benthic species. Sperm, eggs and embryos were exposed to a range of UV radiation doses. The resulting endpoints were evaluated in terms of fertilisation success, development and survival rates. Above a weighted UV radiation dose of 0.0029 kJ m{sup -2}, fertilisation capability of irradiated sperm decreased rapidly. The exposure of the eggs to 0.0175 kJ m{sup -2} and more led to delayed and inhibited development with ensuing embryonic morphological abnormalities. One-day old larvae remained strongly sensitive to UV radiation as shown by the 50% decrease of the larval survival rate for a dose of 0.025 kJ m{sup -2} UVR. The elevated sensitivity of embryos to experimental UVR went along with a lack of significant amount of sunscreen compounds (e.g., mycosporine-like amino acids) in the eggs. The present results demonstrated that gamete viability and embryonic development may be significantly impaired by solar UV radiation in S. granularis, compromising in this way the reproduction of the species. Unless adaptive behavioural reproductive strategies exist, the influence of ambient UV radiation appears as a selective force for population dynamics of broadcast spawners in the shallow benthic Mediterranean environment.

  1. Macrobenthic community structure over the continental margin of Crete (South Aegean Sea, NE Mediterranean)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tselepides, Anastasios; Papadopoulou, Konstantia-N.; Podaras, Dimitris; Plaiti, Wanda; Koutsoubas, Drosos

    2000-08-01

    Macrobenthic faunal composition, abundance, biomass and diversity together with a suite of sedimentary environmental parameters were investigated on a seasonal basis in order to determine factors regulating faunal distribution over the oligotrophic continental margin of the island of Crete (South Aegean Sea, North Eastern Mediterranean). Macrofaunal species composition was similar to that of the western Mediterranean and the neighboring Atlantic having several common dominant species. Mean benthic biomass, abundance and diversity decreased with depth, with a major transition zone occurring at 540 m, beyond which values declined sharply. At comparable depths biomass and abundance values were considerably lower to those found in the Atlantic, high-lighting the extreme oligotrophy of the area. The continental margin of Crete was characterised by a high diversity upper continental shelf environment (dominated by surface deposit feeding polychaetes) and a very low diversity slope and deep-basin environment (dominated by carnivorous and filter feeding polychaetes). Classification and ordination analyses revealed the existence of four principle clusters divided by a faunal boundary between 200 and 540 m, as well as beyond 940 m depth. Significant correlations between macrofauna and sediment parameters led to the conclusion that besides depth, food availability (as manifested by the concentration of chloroplastic pigments) is the principle regulating factor in the system. Such being the case, the prevailing hydrographic features that structure the pelagic food web and are directly responsible for the propagation of organic matter to the benthos also affect its community structure.

  2. 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.

  3. Mediterranean deep-sea ecosystems: Biodiversity, functioning and vulnerability = Ecosistemes profunds de la Mediterrània: Biodiversitat, funcionament i vulnerabilitat

    OpenAIRE

    Tecchio, Samuele

    2013-01-01

    Tesi realitzada a l'Institut de Ciències del Mar (ICM - CSIC) The Mediterranean Sea can be considered an excellent natural laboratory for benthic ecologists, due to its peculiar environmental conditions, its broad-scale gradients, and its deep-sea fauna. Primary production levels in the Mediterranean follow a longitudinal gradient, decreasing from west to east. The present thesis focused on the fine-mud benthos habitat of the Mediterranean Sea, on its bathyal and abyssal zones, and the com...

  4. Record of an established population of Palaemon macrodactylus Rathbun, 1902 (Decapoda, Palaemonidae in the Mediterranean Sea: confirming a prediction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. A. CUESTA

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The capture of larvae of Palaemon macrodactylus off Mallorca (Balearic Islands has been recently reported as evidence of a potential presence of a population of this species in the Mediterranean Sea. Photos of this species, taken during dives in the Sacca di Goro (northern Adriatic were published in the same year, but no specimen could be collected at that time. Herein we report the capture in 2013 of numerous individuals of the oriental shrimp, including ovigerous females, both in the Sacca di Goro and in the Lagoon of Marano and Grado (northern Adriatic Sea, Italy, confirming the existence of a well-established population of this species in the Mediterranean Sea.

  5. 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 SIA) of nitrogen and carbon with isotopic mixing models. Our results revealed that both anglerfish species are opportunistic predators, showing a diet composed mainly of fishes and, to a lesser extent, of crustaceans, with a small proportion of cephalopods, gastropods, bivalves and 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talarmin, A.; Van Wambeke, F.; Lebaron, P.; Moutin, T.

    2015-02-01

    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 L-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 mL-1) but variable cellular rates (6.6 ± 9.3 amol P cell-1 h-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 mL-1) and high cellular uptake rates (up to 40 and 402 amol P cell-1 h-1, respectively for Proc and Syn cells). At saturating concentrations, maximum cellular rates up to 132 amol P cell-1 h-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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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 diet composed mainly of fishes and, to a lesser extent, of crustaceans, with a small proportion of cephalopods, gastropods, bivalves and 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.

  10. Improved near real time surface wind resolution over the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bentamy

    2006-06-01

    Full Text Available Several scientific programs, including the Mediterranean Forecasting System Toward Environmental Predictions (MFSTEP project, request high space and time resolutions of surface wind speed and direction. The purpose of this paper is to focus on surface wind improvements over the global Mediterranean Sea, based on the blending near real time remotely sensed wind observations and ECMWF wind analysis. Ocean surface wind observations are retrieved from QuikSCAT scatterometer and from SSM/I radiometers available at near real time at Météo-France. Using synchronous satellite data, the number of remotely sensed data available for each analysis epoch (00:00 h; 06:00 h; 12:00 h; 18:00 h is not uniformly distributed as a function of space and time. On average two satellite wind observations are available for each analysis time period. The analysis is performed by optimum interpolation (OI based on the kriging approach. The needed covariance matrixes are estimated from the satellite wind speed, zonal and meridional component observations. The quality of the 6-hourly resulting blended wind fields on 0.25° grid are investigated trough comparisons with the remotely sensed observations as well as with moored buoy wind averaged wind estimates. The blended wind data and remotely wind observations, occurring within 3 h and 0.25° from the analysis estimates, compare well over the global basin as well as over the sub-basins. The correlation coefficients exceed 0.95 while the rms difference values are less than 0.30 m/s. Using measurements from moored buoys, the high-resolution wind fields are found to have similar accuracy as satellite wind retrievals. Blended wind estimates exhibit better comparisons with buoy moored in open sea than near shore.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tsiola, A; Pitta, P; Fodelianakis, S; Pete, R; Magiopoulos, I; Mara, P; Psarra, S; Tanaka, T; Mostajir, B

    2016-04-01

    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. PMID:26626911

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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......-scale international approach. In-water studies in specific zones are identified as a research priority for improving the current knowledge and inform conservation plans....... The Levantine zone may be particularly key for the conservation of the Mediterranean populations of both species, since it may host the highest concentration of individuals. Subregional management units identified by dispersal patterns may facilitate turtle conservation through a relatively small...

  18. Role of the Alboran Sea volcanic arc choking the Mediterranean to the Messinian salinity crisis and foundering biota diversification in North Africa and Southeast Iberia

    OpenAIRE

    Guillermo, Booth-Rea; Ranero, Cesar; Grevemeyer, Ingo

    2016-01-01

    The Mediterranean Sea desiccated 5.96 million years ago when it became isolated from the world oceans during the Messinian salinity crisis. This event permitted the exchange of terrestrial biota between Africa and Iberia contributing to the present rich biodiversity of the Mediterranean region. The cause chocking the Mediterranean has been proposed to be tectonic uplift and dynamic topography but the driving mechanism still remains debated. We present a new wide-angle seismic profile that pr...

  19. 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

  20. A new contribution to the Late Quaternary tephrostratigraphy of the Mediterranean: Aegean Sea core LC21

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satow, C.; Tomlinson, E. L.; Grant, K. M.; Albert, P. G.; Smith, V. C.; Manning, C. J.; Ottolini, L.; Wulf, S.; Rohling, E. J.; Lowe, J. J.; Blockley, S. P. E.; Menzies, M. A.

    2015-06-01

    Tephra layers preserved in marine sediments can contribute to the reconstruction of volcanic histories and potentially act as stratigraphic isochrons to link together environmental records. Recent developments in the detection of volcanic ash (tephra) at levels where none is macroscopically visible (so-called 'crypto-tephra') have greatly enhanced the potential of tephrostratigraphy for synchronising environmental and archaeological records by expanding the areas over which tephras are found. In this paper, crypto-tephra extraction techniques allow the recovery of 8 non-visible tephra layers to add to the 9 visible layers in a marine sediment core (LC21) from the SE Aegean Sea to form the longest, single core record of volcanic activity in the Aegean Sea. Using a novel, shard-specific methodology, sources of the tephra shards are identified on the basis of their major and trace element single-shard geochemistry, by comparison with geochemical data from proximal Mediterranean volcanic stratigraphies. The results indicate that the tephra layers are derived from 14 or 15 separate eruptions in the last ca 161 ka BP: 9 from Santorini; 2 or 3 from Kos, Yali, or Nisyros; 2 from the Campanian province; and one from Pantelleria. The attributions of these tephra layers indicate that 1) inter-Plinian eruptions from Santorini may have produced regionally significant tephra deposits, 2) marine tephrostratigraphies can provide unique and invaluable data to eruptive histories for island volcanoes, and 3) tephra from both Pantelleria and Campania may be used to correlate marine records from the Aegean Sea to those from the Tyrrhenian, Adriatic and Ionian Seas.

  1. Characterization of PM10 chemical composition and its variability in relation to different sources in the central Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Calzolai, Giulia; Nava, Silvia; Chiari, Massimo; Lucarelli, Franco; Becagli, Silvia; Traversi, Rita; Marconi, Miriam; Rugi, Francesco; Udisti, Roberto; di Sarra, Alcide; Pace, Giovanni; Meloni, Daniela; Bommarito, Carlo; Sferlazzo, Damiano

    2013-04-01

    Atmospheric aerosols are estimated to play a relevant role in climate change, also in relation to global warming and to the hydrological cycle; information on aerosol sources and impact are among the data needed to constrain uncertainties in climate change models. This is particularly important in the Mediterranean basin, whose atmosphere is heavily polluted and characterized by strong influences from both natural and anthropogenic emissions. An investigation aimed at assessing the aerosol sources affecting the Central Mediterranean basin has been carried out by applying the Positive Matrix Factorization (PMF) model to a 2-year long data set of PM10 mass concentration and chemical composition of samples collected on the island of Lampedusa (35.5° N, 12.6° E, 45 m a.s.l.). Lampedusa is an ideal site for this kind of studies, as it is far from continental pollution sources (the nearest coast, in Tunisia, is more than 100 km away). Samples were collected on a daily basis; after mass gravimetric measurements, different portions of the samples were analyzed for the ionic content by Ion Cromatography (IC), for soluble metals by Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP-AES), and for the total (soluble + insoluble) elemental composition by Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE). Data from years 2007 and 2008 are used in this study. Seven sources were resolved: sea-salt, mineral dust, biogenic emissions, primary ship emissions, secondary sulphate, secondary nitrate, and biomass burning emissions. The chemical profiles of each source were identified and compared with literature data; the temporal evolution of each source was studied, in relation to seasonal changes and influence of different source regions. Air mass backward trajectories were also used in the analysis. Daily absolute and relative contributions of the aerosol produced by each of the seven resolved sources to the PM10 in Lampedusa were also obtained. On average, each of the sources

  2. The sea breeze circulation during the Land Sea Breeze Experiment (LASBEX) in central California.

    OpenAIRE

    Fagan, Michael

    1988-01-01

    The sea breeze circulation was investigated using a combination of acoustic Doppler sodar, Doppler lidar and conventional observations in central California on the coast of Monterey Bay in September 1987. The study was called LASBEX (Land Sea Breeze EXperiment) and used the combined effort and resources of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), NOAA Wave Propagation Lab (WPL) and Naval Environmental Prediction Research Facility (NEPRF). A monostatic three-axis phased-array Doppler sodar was...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Holocene climate variability in the North-Western Mediterranean Sea (Gulf of Lions)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jalali, B.; Sicre, M.-A.; Bassetti, M.-A.; Kallel, N.

    2016-01-01

    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 between 7000 and 1000 BP, and rapid warming from ˜ 1850 AD onwards. Several superimposed multi-decadal to centennial-scale cold events of ˜ 1 °C amplitude were also identified. TERR-alkanes were quantified in the same sedimentary horizons to identify periods of high Rhone River discharge and compare them with regional flood reconstructions. Concentrations show a broad increase from the Early Holocene towards the present with a pronounced minimum around 2500 BP and large fluctuations during the Late 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 North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO).

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Development of super-ensemble techniques for ocean analyses: the Mediterranean Sea case

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pistoia, Jenny; Pinardi, Nadia; Oddo, Paolo; Collins, Matthew; Korres, Gerasimos; Drillet, Yann

    2016-08-01

    A super-ensemble methodology is proposed to improve the quality of short-term ocean analyses for sea surface temperature (SST) in the Mediterranean Sea. The methodology consists of a multiple linear regression technique applied to a multi-physics multi-model super-ensemble (MMSE) data set. This is a collection of different operational forecasting analyses together with ad hoc simulations, created by modifying selected numerical model parameterizations. A new linear regression algorithm based on empirical orthogonal function filtering techniques is shown to be efficient in preventing overfitting problems, although the best performance is achieved when a simple spatial filter is applied after the linear regression. Our results show that the MMSE methodology improves the ocean analysis SST estimates with respect to the best ensemble member (BEM) and that the performance is dependent on the selection of an unbiased operator and the length of training. The quality of the MMSE data set has the largest impact on the MMSE analysis root mean square error (RMSE) evaluated with respect to observed satellite SST. The MMSE analysis estimates are also affected by training period length, with the longest period leading to the smoothest estimates. Finally, lower RMSE analysis estimates result from the following: a 15-day training period, an overconfident MMSE data set (a subset with the higher-quality ensemble members) and the least-squares algorithm being filtered a posteriori.

  11. Wind forcing and fate of Sardinella aurita eggs and larvae in the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torri, M.; Corrado, R.; Falcini, F.; Cuttitta, A.; Palatella, L.; Lacorata, G.; Patti, B.; Arculeo, M.; Mazzola, S.; Santoleri, R.

    2015-09-01

    Multidisciplinary studies are recently seeking to define diagnostic tools for fishery sustainability by coupling ichthyoplanktonic datasets, physical and bio-geochemical oceanographic measurements, and ocean modelling. The main goal of these efforts is the understanding of those processes that control fate and dispersion of fish larvae and eggs and thus tune the inter-annual variability of biomass of fish species. We here analyzed eggs and larvae distribution and biological features of Sardinella aurita in the northeast sector of the Sicily Channel (Mediterranean Sea) collected during the 2010 and 2011 summer cruises. We make use of satellite sea surface temperature, wind, and chlorophyll data to recognize the main oceanographic patterns that mark eggs and larvae transport processes and we pair these data with Lagrangian runs. To provide a physical explanation of the transport processes that we observe, we hire a potential vorticity (PV) model that takes into account the role of wind stress in generating those cold filaments responsible for the offshore delivery of eggs and larvae. Our results show that the strong offshore transport towards Malta occurring in 2010 is related to a persistent wind forcing along the southern Sicilian coast that generated an observable cold filament. Such a pattern is not found in the 2011 analysis, which indeed shows a more favorable condition for sardinella larvae recruiting with a weak offshore transport. Our results want to add some insights regarding operational oceanography for sustainable fishery.

  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,...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. A success story of regional projects implemented for the management of marine environment. Turkish experience related to the black sea and the mediterranean sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: A wide scope Regional Technical Co-operation Project RER/2/003 'Marine Environmental Assessment of the Black Sea Region' is implemented by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the period 1995-2001. This project was initiated in response to the needs of participating Member States - the six Black Sea coastal countries (Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russian Federation, Georgia and Turkey) to establish capabilities for reliably assessing radionuclides in the Black Sea environment and applying tracer techniques to marine pollution studies The project has various important aspects: Scientifically; one of the major environmental issue radioactivity pollution is addressed. Technically; laboratory capability for transuranic analysis is being developed. Economically; the reversing the ecological deterioration and developing sustainable uses of the Black Sea and its natural resources is one of the major interests. Politically; responsibility of pollution control and rehabilitation plans of six Black Sea countries are addressed through various convention and declarations. Socio-economically, fisheries and tourism sectors are expected to benefit. Highlights from the joint radioactivity-monitoring program of the project among six Black Sea countries are outlined. Examples from the Turkish monitoring work consist of the routine sampling of seawater, algae, mussels, fish samples and beach sand from the selected stations along the Black Sea coast are presented for illustration. The success of the Black Sea regional project has given rise to a new regional project 'Marine Environmental Assessment of the Mediterranean Region' based on the request of the member countries, which will be initiated in 2005 by the IAEA. The initial phase the project, its objectives and the schedule will be summarized. Key words: marine radioactivity, environmental management, Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea, regional cooperation

  20. Strandings of the beaked whales, Risso’s dolphins, and a minke whale on the Turkish coast of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    ÖZTÜRK, AYAKA AMAHA; Dede, Arda M. Tonay and Ayhan

    2011-01-01

    Abstract Stranding information of nine Cuvier‟s beaked whale (Ziphius cavirostris) and one Mesoplodon sp., five Risso‟s dolphin (Grampus griseus), and one minke whale (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) on the Turkish coast of the Aegean and Mediterranean Sea was compiled, based on the published and unpublished data between 1964 and 2011. Mesoplodon sp. and the minke whale were rare, possibly visitors, in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  1. Distribution of trace elements in organs of six species of cetaceans from the Ligurian Sea (Mediterranean), and the relationship with stable carbon and nitrogen ratios

    OpenAIRE

    Capelli, R.; Das, Krishna; Pellegrini, R.; Drava, G.; Lepoint, Gilles; Miglio, Cristiana; Minganti, V.; R. Poggi

    2008-01-01

    Mercury (total and organic), cadmium, lead, copper, iron, manganese, selenium and zinc concentrations were measured in different organs of 6 different cetacean species stranded in an area of extraordinary ecological interest (Cetaceans' Sanctuary of the Mediterranean Sea) along the coast of the Ligurian Sea (North-West Mediterranean). Stable-isotopes ratios of carbon (13C/12C) and nitrogen (15N/14N) were also measured in the muscle. A significant relationship exists between 15N/14N, mercury c...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. Biogeochemical control of marine productivity in the Mediterranean Sea during the last 50 years

    Science.gov (United States)

    Macias, Diego; Garcia-Gorriz, Elisa; Piroddi, Chiara; Stips, Adolf

    2014-08-01

    The temporal dynamics of biogeochemical variables derived from a coupled 3-D model of the Mediterranean Sea are evaluated for the last 50 years (1960-2010) against independent data on fisheries catch per unit effort (CPUE) for the same time period. Concordant patterns are found in the time series of all of the biological variables (from the model and from fisheries statistics), with low values at the beginning of the series, a later increase, with maximum levels reached at the end of the 1990s, and a posterior stabilization. Spectral analysis of the annual biological time series reveals coincident low-frequency signals in all of them. The first, more energetic signal peaks around the year 2000, while the second, less energetic signal peaks near 1982. Almost identical low-frequency signals are found in the nutrient loads of the rivers and in the integrated nutrient levels in the surface marine ecosystem. Nitrate concentration shows a maximum level in 1998, with a later stabilization to present-day values, coincident with the first low-frequency signal found in the biological series. Phosphate shows maximum concentrations around 1982 and a posterior sharp decline, in concordance with the second low-frequency signal observed in the biological series. That result seems to indicate that the control of marine productivity (plankton to fish) in the Mediterranean is principally mediated through bottom-up processes that could be traced back to the characteristics of riverine discharges. The high sensitivity of CPUE time series to environmental conditions might be another indicator of the overexploitation of this marine ecosystem.

  5. Blastodinium spp. infect copepods in the ultra-oligotrophic marine waters of the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Skovgaard

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Blastodinium are chloroplast-containing dinoflagellates which infect a wide range of copepods. They develop inside the gut of their host, where they produce successive generations of sporocytes that are eventually expelled through the anus of the copepod. Here, we report on copepod infections in the oligotrophic to ultra-oligotrophic waters of the Mediterranean Sea sampled during the BOUM cruise. Based on a DNA-stain screening of gut contents, 16% of copepods were possibly infected in samples from the Eastern Mediterranean, with up to 51% of Corycaeidae, 33% of Calanoida, but less than 2% of Oithonidae and Oncaeidae. Parasites were classified into distinct morphotypes, with some tentatively assigned to species B. mangini, B. contortum, and B. cf. spinulosum. Based upon the SSU rDNA gene sequence analyses of 15 individuals, the genus Blastodinium was found to be polyphyletic, containing at least three independent clusters. The first cluster grouped all sequences retrieved from parasites of Corycaeidae and Oncaeidae during this study, and included sequences of Blastodinium mangini (the "mangini" cluster. Sequences from cells infecting Calanoida belonged to two different clusters, one including B. contortum (the "contortum" cluster, and the other uniting all B. spinulosum-like morphotypes (the "spinulosum" cluster. Cluster-specific oligonucleotidic probes were designed and tested by FISH in order to assess the distribution of dinospores, the Blastodinium dispersal and infecting stage. Probe-positive cells were all small thecate dinoflagellates, with lengths ranging from 7 to 18 μm. Maximal abundances of Blastodinium dinospores were detected at the Deep Chlorophyll Maximum (DCM or slightly below. This was in contrast to distributions of autotrophic pico- and nanoplankton, microplanktonic dinoflagellates, and nauplii which showed maximal concentrations above the DCM. The distinct distributions of dinospores and nauplii argues against infection

  6. Meltwater events and the Mediterranean reconnection at the Saalian-Eemian transition in the Black Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wegwerth, Antje; Dellwig, Olaf; Kaiser, Jérôme; Ménot, Guillemette; Bard, Edouard; Shumilovskikh, Lyudmila; Schnetger, Bernhard; Kleinhanns, Ilka C.; Wille, Martin; Arz, Helge W.

    2014-10-01

    The last glacial-interglacial transition or Termination I (T I) is well documented in the Black Sea, whereas little is known about climate and environmental dynamics during the penultimate Termination (T II). Here we present a multi-proxy study based on a sediment core from the SE Black Sea covering the penultimate glacial and almost the entire Eemian interglacial ((133.5±0.7)-(122.5±1.7) ka BP). Proxies comprise ice-rafted debris (IRD), O and Sr isotopes as well as Sr/Ca, Mg/Ca, and U/Ca ratios of benthic ostracods, organic and inorganic sediment geochemistry, as well as TEX86 and UK‧37 derived water temperatures. The ending penultimate glacial (MIS 6, 133.5 to 129.9±0.7 ka BP) is characterised by mean annual lake surface temperatures of about 9 °C as estimated from the TEX86 palaeothermometer. This period is impacted by two Black Sea melt water pulses (BSWP-II-1 and 2) as indicated by very low Sr/Caostracods but high sedimentary K/Al values. Anomalously high radiogenic 87Sr/86Srostracod values (max. 0.70945) during BSWP-II-2 suggest a potential Himalayan source communicated via the Caspian Sea. The T II warming started at 129.9±0.7 ka BP, witnessed by abrupt disappearance of IRD, increasing δ18Oostracod values, and a first TEX86 derived temperature rise of about 2.5 °C. A second, abrupt warming step to ca. 15.5 °C as the prelude of the Eemian warm period is documented at 128.3 ka BP. The Mediterranean-Black Sea reconnection most likely occurred at 128.1±0.7 ka BP as demonstrated by increasing Sr/Caostracods and U/Caostracods values. The disappearance of ostracods and TOC contents >2% document the onset of Eemian sapropel formation at 127.6 ka BP. During sapropel formation, TEX86 temperatures dropped and stabilised at around 9 °C, while UK‧37 temperatures remain on average 17 °C. This difference is possibly caused by a habitat shift of Thaumarchaeota communities from surface towards nutrient-rich deeper and colder waters located above the gradually

  7. Aerosol Typing by 3-Wavelength Elastic Lidar Signals Over the Central Mediterranean

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrone, Maria Rita; Burlizzi, Pasquale

    2016-06-01

    Elastic lidar signals at 355, 532, and 1064 nm combined with aerosol optical thicknesses (AOTs) from sunphotometer measurements collocated in space and time have been used to retrieve columnar lidar ratio (LR) values at the lidar wavelengths by a constrained iterative inversion procedure. Then, the relationships of LRs with AOTs, Ångström exponents, fine mode fractions (η), and fine mode radii (Rf) have been investigated for the aerosol typing. η and Rf values have been retrieved from a graphical framework. It is shown that the implemented methodology has allowed identifying three main aerosol types over the Central Mediterranean which are designed as urban/industrial, marine-polluted, and mixed-dust. Results on the relationships of LRs with AOTs, Å, η, and Rf for each aerosol type represent main paper results.

  8. 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

  9. Mediterranean climate patterns and wine quality in North and Central Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dalu, John David; Baldi, Marina; Marta, Anna Dalla; Orlandini, Simone; Maracchi, Gianpiero; Dalu, Giovanni; Grifoni, Daniele; Mancini, Marco

    2013-09-01

    Results show that the year-to-year quality variation of wines produced in North and Central Italy depends on the large-scale climate variability, and that the wine quality improvement in the last four decades is partially due to an increase of temperature and to a decrease of precipitation in West and Central Mediterranean Europe (WME; CME). In addition, wine quality is positively correlated with air temperature throughout the entire active period of the grapevine, weakly negatively correlated with precipitation in spring, and well negatively correlated in summer and fall. The month-to-month composites of the NAO anomaly show that, in years of good quality wine, this anomaly is negative in late spring, oscillates around zero in summer, and is positive in early fall; while, in years of bad quality wine, it is positive in late spring and summer, and negative in early fall, i.e. its polarity has an opposite sign in spring and fall in good versus bad years. The composite seasonal maps show that good wines are produced when the spring jet stream over the Atlantic diverts most of the weather perturbations towards North Europe, still providing a sufficient amount of rainwater to CME; when summer warming induced by southerly winds is balanced by the cooling induced by westerly winds; and when a positive geopotential anomaly over WME shelters CME from fall Atlantic storms. Bad quality wines are produced when the jet stream favors the intrusion of the Atlantic weather perturbations into the Mediterranean. Results suggest that atmospheric pattern persistencies can be used as precursors for wine quality forecast. PMID:23152193

  10. 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...

  11. Bacterial Diversity and Bioremediation Potential of the Highly Contaminated Marine Sediments at El-Max District (Egypt, Mediterranean Sea)

    OpenAIRE

    Amer, Ranya A.; Francesca Mapelli; El Gendi, Hamada M.; Marta Barbato; Goda, Doaa A.; Anna Corsini; Lucia Cavalca; Marco Fusi; Sara Borin; Daniele Daffonchio; Abdel-Fattah, Yasser R.

    2015-01-01

    Coastal environments worldwide are threatened by the effects of pollution, a risk particularly high in semienclosed basins like the Mediterranean Sea that is poorly studied from bioremediation potential perspective especially in the Southern coast. Here, we investigated the physical, chemical, and microbiological features of hydrocarbon and heavy metals contaminated sediments collected at El-Max bay (Egypt). Molecular and statistical approaches assessing the structure of the sediment-dwelling...

  12. Variations in a shallow rocky reef fish community at different spatial scales in the western Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Ordines, Francesc; Moranta, Joan; Palmer, Miquel; Lerycke, Albert; Suau, Antoni; Morales-Nin, Beatriz; Grau, Antoni Maria

    2005-01-01

    Fishing grounds off the northern coast of Mallorca Island (western Mediterranean Sea) are subject to very different fishing efforts as a result of both commercial and recreational activities. We analysed the variability at different spatial scales of the fishable community associated with shallow littoral rocky bottoms. Underwater visual censuses (UVC) were carried out in 3 localities that have different fishing pressure. Three sites were sampled within each locality, and nine 50 m long UVC t...

  13. 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...

  14. Incidental catch and estimated discards of pelagic sharks from the swordfish and tuna fisheries in the Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    MEGALOFONOU Persefoni

    2005-01-01

    Large pelagic sharks are caught incidentally in the swordfish and tuna fisheries of the Mediterranean Sea. In our study, twelve shark species were documented as bycatch over three years from 1998 to 2000. Blue shark (Prionace glauca) was the predominant species in all gears and areas examined. Shortfin mako (Isurus oxyrinchus), common thresher shark (Alopias vulpinus), and tope shark (Galeorhinus galeus) were the next most abundant shark species—found in more than half of the areas samp...

  15. Variability of spatial and temporal distribution of zooplankton communities at Matrouh beaches, south-eastern Mediterranean Sea, Egypt

    OpenAIRE

    Sawsan M. Aboul Ezz; Ahmed M.M. Heneash; Gharib, Samiha M.

    2014-01-01

    The objectives of this work are to determine the main environmental drivers of zooplankton variability in water of Matrouh beach, south-eastern Mediterranean Sea and to evaluate the differences in zooplankton abundance and population structure in relation to chemical and biological parameters. Samples were collected seasonally from summer 2009 to summer 2010 at 10 sampling beaches. The zooplankton community was characterized by its high variability, and lower diversity. Zooplankton variabilit...

  16. Frost-acclimation of photosynthesis in overwintering Mediterranean holm oak, grown in Central Europe

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 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.

  3. Sedimentary processes and resulting continental margin configuration during large-scale sea-level drawdown: The Messinian Salinity Crisis in the Western Mediterranean Sea

    OpenAIRE

    Lago Cameselle, Alejandra

    2015-01-01

    [eng] At the end of the Miocene (5.97-5.33 Ma), the Mediterranean basins underwent deep morphological and sedimentological changes as a result of the large-scale sea-level fall during the so-called Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) and subsequent fast sea-level rise in the 3 Zanclean. Whereas deep basins accumulated more than 1 million km of evaporites, continental margins recorded several erosion surfaces. Through the analysis of 2D and 3D seismic reflection data and 2D numerical modelling, th...

  4. Hydromorphic to subaqueous soils transitions in the central Grado lagoon (Northern Adriatic Sea, Italy)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vittori Antisari, Livia; De Nobili, Maria; Ferronato, Chiara; Natale, Marco; Pellegrini, Elisa; Vianello, Gilmo

    2016-05-01

    The Grado lagoon is among the largest in the Mediterranean sea and is characterized by salt marshes, where tides influenced the development of a complex micromorphology coupled to a micromosaic of vegetation covers. This study represents the first contribution to the understanding of the main processes governing formation, development and spatial transitions between hydromorphic and subaqueous soils in an Adriatic lagoon ecosystem. Physicochemical characteristics and development of soils were investigated in three salt marshes differing for their proximity to the open sea, textural composition and age of formation. Soils of back barrier salt marshes had A/C profiles and were mostly characterized by a sandy coarse texture that allows rapid drainage and subsurface oxygen exchanges. Soil sequences from the inner salt marsh to its submerged border slope or to a brackish waterhole do not simply represent a hydrosequence, but also reflect erosion/sorting/accumulation processes. The soils in the central part of the lagoon have finer texture and in displayed transition or cambic horizons. Silty clay loam textures and low positions allowed the development of more severe anoxic conditions and accumulation of sulphides. The tide oscillation strongly contributed to formation of redoximorphic features, intensity of anaerobic conditions but also colonization by different plant communities. Discriminant analysis was performed to identify physicochemical properties which discriminate the different soils according to geo-morphological position and prevailing plants. It confirmed that differentiation of plant communities occurred according to distinct morphological and physicochemical soil properties, but also acted as a primary affecting factor of pedogenesis.

  5. The Impact of the Little Ice Age on Coccolithophores in the Central Mediterranea Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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.

  6. The Mediterranean Sea 1985-2007 re-analysis: validation results

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adani, Mario; Dobricic, Srdjan; Pinardi, Nadia

    2010-05-01

    Re-analyses are different from analyses because they are consistent for the whole period since the oceanic state estimates are produced without changes in the modelling assumptions and they are usually done with systems which are more advance then the available systems at the time of the observations collection. A fundamental part of a re-analysis system is the data assimilation scheme which minimizes the cost function penalizing the time-space misfits between the data and the numerical solutions, with the constraint of the model equations and their parameters. In this work we will compare ocean circulation estimates provided by pure simulation, a system in which the assimilation scheme is based on a sequential algorithm: Optimal Interpolation (OI) and a three-dimensional variational scheme (3dvar). The OGCM used in this work is based on OPA 8.1 code (Madec et al. 1998), which has been implemented in the Mediterranean Sea by Tonani et al.(2008). The model has 1/16th horizontal resolution and 71 unevenly spaced vertical levels. The present model formulation uses a realistic water flux with river runoffs which improves the realism of the simulation. One re-analysis is produced with the Reduced Order Optimal Interpolation (ROOI) (De Mey and Benkiran, 2002) and the other with OceanVar (Dobricic and Pinardi, 2008). The observational data sets assimilated for both reanalysis are: • the historical data archive of MedATLAS (Maillard et al., 2003) which contains vertical in situ profiles of temperature and salinity from bottles, XBT, MBT and CTD sensors • temperature and salinity profiles collected in the framework of MFSPP and MFSTEP projects • CLS along track satellite sea level anomaly data from ERS1, ERS2, Envisat, Topex/Poseidon, Jason1 satellites (Pujol and Larnicol,2005) Reanalyzed daily mean fields of Sea Surface Temperature (SST) from Medspiration (Marullo et al., 2007) and the Delayed-Time operational product of CNR-ISAC have been used to relax the model SST

  7. Multivariate Empirical Orthogonal Function analysis of the upper thermocline structure of the Mediterranean Sea from observations and model simulations

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Multiple processes regulate long-term population dynamics of sea urchins on Mediterranean rocky reefs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hereu, Bernat; Linares, Cristina; Sala, Enric; Garrabou, Joaquim; Garcia-Rubies, Antoni; Diaz, David; Zabala, Mikel

    2012-01-01

    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. PMID:22606306

  11. Coastal and mesoscale dynamics characterization combining glider and altimetry: case study over the Western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerome, Bouffard; Pascual, Ananda; Ruiz, Simon; Isabelle Pujol, Marie; Faugere, Yannice; Larnicol, Gilles; Tintore, Joaquin

    Satellite altimetry allows a direct computation of geostrophic velocity anomalies. However, conventional altimetry measurements remain largely spurious in coastal zone, due to several factors such as inaccurate geophysical corrections (e.g. atmospheric and tidal signals) as well as environmental issues (land contamination in the altimetric and radiometric footprints). At the present time and in the attempt of future relevant technologies (cf. SWOT satellite), experimen-tal coastal altimeter products are under development (XTRACK, PISTACH, COASTALT. . . ). The main efforts consist in the application of coastal-oriented corrections and the review of the data recovery strategies near the coast. The new coastal altimetric products need to be assessed with independent data before to be used in synergy with other measurements and fully exploited for scientific applications. This is the frame of this study as part of an intensive observational program conducted in the Western Mediterranean Sea. We present here the main outcomes resulting from the combination of coastal altimetry and gliders. Gliders -autonomous underwater vehicles -allow to provide precise and high resolution data complementary to altimetry (temperature, salinity, pressure, velocity. . . ) both at surface and over the whole water column. Since July 2007, several glider missions have been performed along Jason-1, Jason-2 and ENVISAT altimeters. The altimetric sea level anomalies have been processed from both standard and coastal-oriented strategies. Furthermore, new methodologies have also been developed in order to combine surface glider geostrophic velocities (derived from CTD measurements) with integrated currents estimated by the glider (derived from GPS locations every 6 hours). These approaches prove to be very efficient to improve the budget errors and homogenize the physical contents of altimetry and glider data. Further, the combined analysis of the two datasets provides interesting insights of

  12. Forecasting database for the tsunami warning regional center for the western Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gailler, A.; Hebert, H.; Loevenbruck, A.; Hernandez, B.

    2010-12-01

    Improvements in the availability of sea-level observations and advances in numerical modeling techniques are increasing the potential for tsunami warnings to be based on numerical model forecasts. Numerical tsunami propagation and inundation models are well developed, but they present a challenge to run in real-time, partly due to computational limitations and also to a lack of detailed knowledge on the earthquake rupture parameters. Through the establishment of the tsunami warning regional center for NE Atlantic and western Mediterranean Sea, the CEA is especially in charge of providing rapidly a map with uncertainties showing zones in the main axis of energy at the Mediterranean scale. The strategy is based initially on a pre-computed tsunami scenarios database, as source parameters available a short time after an earthquake occurs are preliminary and may be somewhat inaccurate. Existing numerical models are good enough to provide a useful guidance for warning structures to be quickly disseminated. When an event will occur, an appropriate variety of offshore tsunami propagation scenarios by combining pre-computed propagation solutions (single or multi sources) may be recalled through an automatic interface. This approach would provide quick estimates of tsunami offshore propagation, and aid hazard assessment and evacuation decision-making. As numerical model accuracy is inherently limited by errors in bathymetry and topography, and as inundation maps calculation is more complex and expensive in term of computational time, only tsunami offshore propagation modeling will be included in the forecasting database using a single sparse bathymetric computation grid for the numerical modeling. Because of too much variability in the mechanism of tsunamigenic earthquakes, all possible magnitudes cannot be represented in the scenarios database. In principle, an infinite number of tsunami propagation scenarios can be constructed by linear combinations of a finite number of

  13. The Gela Basin pockmark field in the strait of Sicily (Mediterranean Sea: chemosymbiotic faunal and carbonate signatures of postglacial to modern cold seepage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  14. 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.

  15. Rare earth element distributions and fractionation in plankton from the northwestern Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strady, Emilie; Kim, Intae; Radakovitch, Olivier; Kim, Guebuem

    2015-01-01

    Rare earth element (REE) concentrations were measured for the first time in plankton from the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. The REE concentrations in phytoplankton (60-200 μm) were 5-15 times higher than those in four size fractions of zooplankton: 200-500 μm, 500-1000 μm, 1000-2000 μm and >2000 μm. The concentrations within these zooplankton fractions exhibited the same ranges with some variation attributed to differences in zooplankton taxonomy. The REE concentrations in plankton were poorly related to the reported REE concentrations of seawater, but they correlated well with the calculated REE(3+), concentrations especially with regard to middle REE (MREEs) and heavy REEs (HREEs). Plankton and seawater revealed different PAAS-normalised REE distributions, with the greatest differences observed in the light REEs. Interestingly, a comparison of PAAS-normalized sediment particles from the study of Fowler et al. (1992) showed concentrations of the same order of magnitude and a similar REE distribution without MREE enrichment. Based on this comparison, we propose a conceptual model that emphasizes the importance of biological scavenging of REEs (especially LREEs) in surface waters. PMID:24972173

  16. Diel variability of the beam attenuation and backscattering coefficients in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea (BOUSSOLE site)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kheireddine, Malika; Antoine, David

    2014-08-01

    The diel variability of the particulate beam attenuation coefficient, cp, and of the particulate backscattering coefficient, bbp, were investigated during five seasonal cycles at an oceanic site in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, covering contrasting physical and trophic situations. We observed a diel cycle in cp and bbp, related to changes in phytoplankton properties (i.e., size and refractive index) induced by the accumulation of carbon within phytoplankton cells associated with photosynthetic processes, during the winter mixing of the water column, the development of the spring phytoplankton bloom, its decline, and during the summer oligotrophy. The relative amplitude of the cp diel variability was much larger during the spring bloom (20-50%) than during other seasons (10-20%), whereas that of bbp is steadily around 20% and does not show significant seasonal variability. The minimal cp and bbp occurred at sunrise and are synchronized, whereas maximum bbp values are often reached 3-6 h before those for cp (except during bloom conditions), which occur near sunset. These different amplitudes and timing are tentatively explained using Mie computations, which allow discerning the respective roles of changes in the particle size distribution and refractive index. The differences observed here in the diel cycles of cp and bbp show that they cannot be used interchangeably to determine the daily increase of the particle pool. This result has implications on the feasibility to determine net community production from the bbp diel changes, when only bbp is measured in situ or available from ocean color observations.

  17. Trace elements in loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta) from the eastern Mediterranean Sea: overview and evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Concentrations of trace elements (Hg, Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, Fe, and Se) in different organs and tissues (liver, kidney, muscle tissue, spleen, heart, lung, and fat tissue) of loggerhead turtles Caretta caretta from eastern Mediterranean Sea were determined. The highest levels of mercury and cadmium were found in liver (Hg: 0.43 μg g-1 wet weight; Cd: 3.36 μg g-1 wet weight) and kidney (Hg: 0.16 μg g-1 wet weight; Cd: 8.35 μg g-1 wet weight). For lead the overall concentrations were low and often below the limit of detection. Copper and selenium tended to be higher in liver than in other tissues and organs, while for zinc the concentrations were quite homogenous in the different organs and tissues, except fat tissue (64.7 μg g-1 wet weight) which showed a higher accumulation of this element. For iron the greatest concentrations were observed in liver (409 μg g-1 wet weight) and spleen (221 μg g-1 wet weight). - Cadmium concentrations in samples from turtles may be high enough to affect their health

  18. Spanish economic exclusive zone (zeee) project: valencia trough and balearic sea (western mediterranean) results.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez Carrillo, F.; Palomo, C.; Martín Davila, J.; Carbó, A.; Acosta, J.; Catalán, M.; Herranz, P.; Muñoz Martín, A.; Muñoz Recio, A.; Marín, J. A.

    2003-04-01

    On 1993, the Spanish Government decided to perform a systematic hydrographic/oceanographic study of the so called "Spanish Exclusive Economic Zone" (ZEEE), that is, the marine area surrounding Spanish coast within the 200 nm limit. To achieve it, the oceanographic ship "Hespérides" would be at disposal of the Defense Ministry during one moth a year. A "ZEEE-Plan" was established on 1994 with the main objective to improve cartography of the ZEEE zone and acquire different geophysical parameters to characterize it. A "ZEEE-group" was conformed by personnel coming from the Hydrographic Institute of the Spanish Navy (IHM) and the Spanish Oceanographic Institute (IEO), the Institutions responsible of the campaigns, as well as San Fernando Naval Observatory (ROA), University Complutense of Madrid (UCM), and others. From 1995 to 1997 systematic marine campaigns were carried out at the Valencia Trough and Balearic Sea (Western Mediterranean), complemented by two additional campaigns, carried out on 1999 and 2000. As a result of those campaigns maps of Bathymetry, Geomagnetic Anomalies and Free Air/Bouguer Gravity Anomalies have been published, six maps of 1:200.000 scale and one additional map, of 1:500.000 scale, for the whole area (the maps are available at IEO: Juan.acosta@md.ieo.es, fax: +34 914135597, and IHM: fax: +34 956599396). In this work the above mentioned results will be presented, together with the main characteristics of the surveys.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Presence of trace metals in aquaculture marine ecosystems of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea (Italy).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Squadrone, S; Brizio, P; Stella, C; Prearo, M; Pastorino, P; Serracca, L; Ercolini, C; Abete, M C

    2016-08-01

    Information regarding chemical pollutant levels in farmed fish and shellfish, along with the risks associated with their consumption is still scarce. This study was designed to assess levels of exposure to 21 trace elements in fish (Dicentrarchus labrax), mussels (Mytilus galloprovincialis) and oysters (Crassostrea gigas) collected from aquaculture marine ecosystems of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea. Metal concentrations showed great variability in the three species; the highest values of the nonessential elements As and Cd were found in oysters while the highest levels of Al, Pb and V were found in mussels. The essential elements Cu, Mn and Zn were highest in oysters, but Fe, Cr, Ni, Se, Co and Mo levels were highest in mussels. Fish had the lowest concentrations for all trace elements, which were at least one order of magnitude lower than in bivalves. The rare earth elements cerium and lanthanum were found at higher levels in mussels than in oysters, but undetectable in fish. The maximum values set by European regulations for Hg, Cd and Pb were never exceeded in the examined samples. However, comparing the estimated human daily intakes (EHDIs) with the suggested tolerable copper and zinc intakes suggested a potential risk for frequent consumers of oysters. Similarly, people who consume high quantities of mussels could be exposed to concentrations of Al that exceed the proposed TWI (tolerable weekly intake). PMID:27179326

  2. 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.

  3. Time variability of the north-western Mediterranean Sea pH over 1995-2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marcellin Yao, Koffi; Marcou, Olivier; Goyet, Catherine; Guglielmi, Véronique; Touratier, Franck; Savy, Jean-Philippe

    2016-05-01

    Factors controlling ocean acidification and its temporal variations were studied over the 1995-2011 period at the Dyfamed site at 10 m depth, in the North Mediterranean Sea. The results indicated a mean annual decrease of 0.003 ± 0.001 pH units on the seawater scale. The seasonal variability was characterized by a pH decrease during springtime and a strong pH increase in late fall. Anthropogenic CO2 (CANT) absorption by the ocean was the key driver of seawater acidification in this region, accounting for about 70% of the observed drop in pH, followed by water temperature (about 30%). The total inorganic carbon (CT) data showed a CT increase of 30.0 ± 1.0 μmol kg(-1) per decade. This decadal increase is mainly due to the CANT penetration (43.2 μmol kg(-1) per decade) in surface waters, which is mitigated for by relatively small opposing changes in CT due to physical and biological processes. PMID:26994464

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  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. Diversity of cultivated and metabolically active aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic bacteria along an oligotrophic gradient in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanthon, C.; Boeuf, D.; Dahan, O.; Le Gall, F.; Garczarek, L.; Bendif, E. M.; Lehours, A.-C.

    2011-07-01

    Aerobic anoxygenic phototrophic (AAP) bacteria play significant roles in the bacterioplankton productivity and biogeochemical cycles of the surface ocean. In this study, we applied both cultivation and mRNA-based molecular methods to explore the diversity of AAP bacteria along an oligotrophic gradient in the Mediterranean Sea in early summer 2008. Colony-forming units obtained on three different agar media were screened for the production of bacteriochlorophyll-a (BChl-a), the light-harvesting pigment of AAP bacteria. BChl-a-containing colonies represented a low part of the cultivable fraction. In total, 54 AAP strains were isolated and the phylogenetic analyses based on their 16S rRNA and pufM genes showed that they were all affiliated to the Alphaproteobacteria. The most frequently isolated strains belonged to Citromicrobium bathyomarinum, and Erythrobacter and Roseovarius species. Most other isolates were related to species not reported to produce BChl-a and/or may represent novel taxa. Direct extraction of RNA from seawater samples enabled the analysis of the expression of pufM, the gene coding for the M subunit of the reaction centre complex of aerobic anoxygenic photosynthesis. Clone libraries of pufM gene transcripts revealed that most phylotypes were highly similar to sequences previously recovered from the Mediterranean Sea and a large majority (~94 %) was affiliated to the Gammaproteobacteria. The most abundantly detected phylotypes occurred in the western and eastern Mediterranean basins. However, some were exclusively detected in the eastern basin, reflecting the highest diversity of pufM transcripts observed in this ultra-oligotrophic region. To our knowledge, this is the first study to document extensively the diversity of AAP isolates and to unveil the active AAP community in an oligotrophic marine environment. By pointing out the discrepancies between culture-based and molecular methods, this study highlights the existing gaps in the understanding

  8. A LEPS approach to the predictability of intense rain storms in the Central Mediterranean basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Federico

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates a method for best member selection of a Limited area model Ensemble Prediction System (LEPS with the goal to increase quantitative precipitation forecast. A case study that occurred between 22-24 May 2002 over Calabria, southern Italy, is discussed.

    Mediterranean storms often develop under upper level disturbances which are usually associated with high values of potential vorticity. Anomalously high values of potential vorticity can be identified by the METEOSAT water vapor channel centered around 6.3 μm because they are associated with dark band on the METEOSAT image. This signature offers a chance to identify the upper level disturbance that can be exploited in data void countries as Calabria.

    The working hypothesis is that the uncertainty in the representation of the upper-level disturbance has a major impact on the precipitation forecast. This issue is utilized in an ensemble forecast where member forecasts are compatible with the analysis and forecast errors. These members are grouped in five clusters by a hierarchical clustering technique which utilizes the height of the dynamical tropopause to compute distances between members. Therefore the members of a cluster have a similar representation of the upper level disturbance. For each cluster a representative member is selected and its pseudo water vapor image is compared with the corresponding METEOSAT 7 water vapor image at a specific time, antecedent to the rain occurrence over Calabria. The subjective evaluation of the comparison allows to gain physical insight in the storm evolution and to select representative members which are more in agreement with the METEOSAT image.

    Results, even if for a case study, show the feasibility of the methodology that, if confirmed by further investigations, could be valuable in data void countries as the central Mediterranean basin.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Plastic mistaken for prey by a colony-breeding Eleonora's falcon (Falco eleonorae) in the Mediterranean Sea, revealed by camera-trap.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steen, Ronny; Torjussen, Cathrine S; Jones, Dean W; Tsimpidis, Thodoris; Miliou, Anastasia

    2016-05-15

    Discarded plastic is known to be harmful for marine animals through ingestion and entanglement. Here we report the first documentation of Eleonora's falcons providing plastic waste to dependent nestlings. Eleonora's falcons breed colonially on sea cliffs and islets in areas of the Mediterranean Sea and the Canary Islands in which they normally feed their nestlings exclusively with small migratory birds. PMID:26971232

  12. 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 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) to be used for the basin-wide geoid evaluation.

  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. Certified reference material IAEA-418: I-129 in Mediterranean sea water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    , production of reference materials and certified reference materials, and training. More than 40 reference materials have been produced, which include a wide range of marine sample matrices and radionuclide concentrations. As part of these activities, a new interlaboratory comparison was organized to provide the participating laboratories with the possibility to test the performance of their analytical methods for 129I on a Mediterranean sea water sample. The material was designed for the analysis of low level 129I in sea water. The sample, after successful certification, has been issued as a certified reference material for 129I in sea water. Laboratories were informed that, after the completion of the exercise, an IAEA report describing the results of the interlaboratory comparison would be issued, including their identities, but that the results would remain anonymous

  15. Uncovering a Salt Giant. Deep-Sea Record of Mediterranean Messinian Events (DREAM) multi-phase drilling project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camerlenghi, Angelo; Aoisi, Vanni; Lofi, Johanna; Hübscher, Christian; deLange, Gert; Flecker, Rachel; Garcia-Castellanos, Daniel; Gorini, Christian; Gvirtzman, Zohar; Krijgsman, Wout; Lugli, Stefano; Makowsky, Yizhaq; Manzi, Vinicio; McGenity, Terry; Panieri, Giuliana; Rabineau, Marina; Roveri, Marco; Sierro, Francisco Javier; Waldmann, Nicolas

    2014-05-01

    In May 2013, the DREAM MagellanPlus Workshop was held in Brisighella (Italy). The initiative builds from recent activities by various research groups to identify potential sites to perform deep-sea scientific drilling in the Mediterranean Sea across the deep Messinian Salinity Crisis (MSC) sedimentary record. In this workshop three generations of scientists were gathered: those who participated in formulation of the deep desiccated model, through DSDP Leg 13 drilling in 1973; those who are actively involved in present-day MSC research; and the next generation (PhD students and young post-docs). The purpose of the workshop was to identify locations for multiple-site drilling (including riser-drilling) in the Mediterranean Sea that would contribute to solve the several open questions still existing about the causes, processes, timing and consequences at local and planetary scale of an outstanding case of natural environmental change in the recent Earth history: the Messinian Salinity Crisis in the Mediterranean Sea. The product of the workshop is the identification of the structure of an experimental design of site characterization, riser-less and riser drilling, sampling, measurements, and down-hole analyses that will be the core for at least one compelling and feasible multiple phase drilling proposal. Particular focus has been given to reviewing seismic site survey data available from different research groups at pan-Mediterranean basin scale, to the assessment of additional site survey activity including 3D seismics, and to ways of establishing firm links with oil and gas industry. The scientific community behind the DREAM initiative is willing to proceed with the submission to IODP of a Multi-phase Drilling Project including several drilling proposals addressing specific drilling objectives, all linked to the driving objectives of the MSC drilling and understanding . A series of critical drilling targets were identified to address the still open questions

  16. 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

  17. An adjusted one year sea surface heat and water budget for the Northwestern Mediterranean basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caniaux, Guy; Prieur, Louis; Giordani, Hervé

    2015-04-01

    The problem of heat and salt budget closure is an important subject in operational and research oceanography. The closure depends crucially on surface fluxes, as they are one of the most important processes in terms of the evolution of the heat and salt content in the oceanic top layers. However, in this problem, two points have to be considered. First, surface fluxes are affected by a variety of errors: those associated with the algorithms used for computing the turbulent fluxes, those due to the data used as input of bulk algorithms and the errors associated with the time and space resolution of the fluxes themselves. The second problem is that no surface flux dataset exists, that can be used as the truth, or as a reference, i.e. that can be used for closing observed heat and water budgets at various time and space scales. Here we address the question of adjusting surface heat and water fluxes so that they are in agreement with the evolution of the thermal and salt contents deduced from the extended dataset collected during the HyMex campaigns. These experiments were conducted in the North-western Mediterranean basin in 2012 and 2013. The method is based: (1) on the one-dimensional column modelling of the experimental area, by solving specific temperature and salinity equations and (2) on the optimization of adjustable coefficients with a genetic algorithm. The surface forcings, calculated from a mix of satellite retrievals, in-situ data, numerical weather prediction model observables and a bulk algorithm are also adjusted with the genetic algorithm. Finally, the adjusted fluxes allows to simulate the domain average sea surface temperature and salinity with errors less than 0.2 percent (or 0.03°C) and 0.08 percent (or 0.03 psu) respectively over one year. The adjusted fluxes are finally compared with various NWP models over the North-western Mediterranean basin and also locally with fluxes estimated at a mooring site (LION buoy).

  18. 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

  19. Effects of natural and anthropogenic processes in the distribution of marine litter in the deep Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramirez-Llodra, Eva; De Mol, Ben; Company, Joan B.; Coll, Marta; Sardà, Francesc

    2013-11-01

    The distribution, type and quantity of marine litter accumulated on the bathyal and abyssal Mediterranean seafloor has been studied in the framework of the Spanish national projects PROMETEO and DOS MARES and the ESF-EuroDEEP project BIOFUN. Litter was collected with an otter trawl and Agassiz trawl while sampling for megafauna on the Blanes canyon and adjacent slope (Catalan margin, north-western Mediterranean) between 900 and 2700 m depth, and on the western, central and eastern Mediterranean basins at 1200, 2000 and 3000 m depth. All litter was sorted into 8 categories (hard plastic, soft plastic, glass, metal, clinker, fabric, longlines and fishing nets) and weighed. The distribution of litter was analysed in relation to depth, geographic area and natural (bathymetry, currents and rivers) and anthropogenic (population density and shipping routes) processes. The most abundant litter types were plastic, glass, metal and clinker. Lost or discarded fishing gear was also commonly found. On the Catalan margin, although the data indicated an accumulation of litter with increasing depth, mean weight was not significantly different between depths or between the open slope and the canyon. We propose that litter accumulated in the canyon, with high proportions of plastics, has predominantly a coastal origin, while litter collected on the open slope, dominated by heavy litter, is mostly ship-originated, especially at sites under major shipping routes. Along the trans-Mediterranean transect, although a higher amount of litter seemed to be found on the Western Mediterranean, differences of mean weight were not significant between the 3 geographic areas and the 3 depths. Here, the shallower sites, also closer to the coast, had a higher proportion of plastics than the deeper sites, which had a higher proportion of heavy litter and were often affected by shipping routes. The weight of litter was also compared to biomass of megafauna from the same samples. On the Blanes slope

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

    2016-09-01

    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.

  5. Temporal and spatial variations in provenance of Eastern Mediterranean Sea sediments: Implications for Aegean and Aeolian arc volcanism

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaver, Martijn; Djuly, Thomas; de Graaf, Stefan; Sakes, Alex; Wijbrans, Jan; Davies, Gareth; Vroon, Pieter

    2015-03-01

    The Eastern Mediterranean Sea (EMS) is the last remnant of the Tethys Ocean that has been subducted to the north since the Jurassic. Subduction has led to the formation of multiple island arcs in the EMS region where the Aeolian and Aegean arcs are currently active. The EMS is surrounded by continents and receives a large sediment input, part of which is transported down with the subducting slab into the mantle and potentially contributes a major flux to the arc volcanism. An along-arc gradient in the composition of subducting sediment has been evoked to explain the distinct geochemical signature of the easternmost volcanic centre of the Aegean arc, but direct evidence for this proposal is lacking. We present a detailed study of the mineralogical, major-, trace elements and Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotope composition of 45 Neogene EMS sediment samples obtained from Deep Sea Drilling Project (DSDP) and Ocean Drilling Program (ODP) drill sites and box cores to characterise their geochemical composition, distinguish provenance components and investigate the temporal and spatial variation in provenance to evaluate the potential changing contribution of subducted EMS sediment to Aegean and Aeolian arc volcanism. Based on trace element characteristics of EMS sediments, we can distinguish four provenance components. Nile sediment and Sahara dust are the main components, but contributions from the Tethyan ophiolite belt and arc volcanic rocks in the north are also recognised. Pliocene and Quaternary EMS sediment records a strong geochemical gradient where Nile River sediment entering the EMS in the east is progressively diluted by Sahara Desert dust towards the west. Pre-Messinian samples, however, have a remarkably homogeneous composition with Nile sediment characteristics. We relate this rapid increase in Sahara dust contribution to a late Miocene climate shift leading to decreased Nile runoff and aridification of the Sahara region. EMS sediment has a restricted range in Pb isotopes

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

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    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

  7. The Pen Shell, Pinna nobilis: A Review of Population Status and Recommended Research Priorities in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Basso, Lorena; Vázquez-Luis, Maite; García-March, José R; Deudero, Salud; Alvarez, Elvira; Vicente, Nardo; Duarte, Carlos M; Hendriks, Iris E

    2015-01-01

    The pen shell Pinna nobilis (also known as the fan mussel) is an endemic bivalve of the Mediterranean Sea. Threatened by human activities, it has been listed as an endangered and protected species under the European Council Directive 92/43/EEC since 1992. The ecological role of this species is of importance because it filters and retains large amounts of organic matter from suspended detritus contributing to water clarity. In addition, as a hard substrate in the soft-bottom seafloor, it provides a surface that can be colonized by other (floral and faunal) benthic species. Here, we provide an overview of all available published studies on the pen shell, compiling available data and summarizing current knowledge on the conservation status and viability of populations over the full range of the Mediterranean Basin. Additionally, we discuss the different practices in applied methodology and identify gaps and new research areas in order to render conservation programmes of the species more effective. PMID:26320617

  8. 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.

  9. Impact of tropical cyclone on biogeochemistry of the central Arabian Sea

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Naik, H.; Naqvi, S.W.A.; Suresh, T.; Narvekar, P.V.

    Remotely sensed data are combined with shipboard measurements to investigate biogeochemical changes caused by a moderate tropical cyclone in the central Arabian Sea in December 1998. The sea surface temperature decreased by approx. 4 degrees C...

  10. 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.

  11. Distribution of organochlorine compounds in superficial sediments from the Gulf of Lion, northwestern Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salvadó, Joan A.; Grimalt, Joan O.; López, Jordi F.; Durrieu de Madron, Xavier; Pasqual, Catalina; Canals, Miquel

    2013-11-01

    Superficial sediments from Cap de Creus to the Rhone Delta, in the Gulf of Lion, Northwestern Mediterranean Sea, including the mid-shelf mud belt and the continental slope were collected between 2005 and 2008 to assess the levels, main sources and distribution patterns of organochlorine pollutants. Discharges from the Rhone River are the main source for all these compounds around the area. The spatial distribution of organochlorine pollutants was also related to their physicochemical properties and to sediment grain size and composition. The concentrations of polychlorobiphenyls (PCBs), dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and its metabolites (DDD and DDE), and the chlorobenzenes (CBzs) - pentachlorobenzene (PeCB) and hexachlorobenzene (HCB) - decreased westwards along the mid-shelf mud belt. In contrast, hexachlorocyclohexane isomers (HCHs), namely lindane (γ-HCH), followed another concentration pattern suggesting a different transport mode. The major concentrations of organochlorine compounds were observed off the Rhone River mouth, in the prodelta, where PCB, DDT and CBz concentrations reached 38, 29 and 8.3 ng g-1, respectively. These average concentrations in the mid continental shelf were two to ten times lower than those found in a study performed about 20 years ago, albeit in almost all the sites the values of PCBs and DDTs still exceed the NOAA’s Sediment Quality Guidelines. In contrast, the concentrations in the continental slope were nearly the same as 20 years ago, which may evidence that even most of these compounds were banned decades ago, their background concentrations associated to diffuse pollution have not decreased in the deep continental margin.

  12. Spatial distribution and abundance of the megabenthic fauna community in Gabes gulf (Tunisia, eastern Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. EL LAKHRACH

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this paper is to bring to light the knowledge of marine diversity of invertebrates in Gabes gulf. The spatial distribution of the megabenthic fauna community in Gabes gulf (Tunisia, Eastern Mediterranean Sea, together with the bottom type and vegetation cover, were studied. The abundance of the megabenthic fauna was represented by eight groups: Echinodermata (38%, Crustacea (21%, Tunicata (19%, Mollusca (13%, Porifera (4%, Cnidaria (3%, Bryozoa, and Annelida (2%. It was spatially more concentrated in the coast area of the gulf than in the offshore waters. This area, especially, in Southern Kerkennah, North-est of Gabes and North-east of Djerba appeared to be in a good ecological condition  hosting a variety of species like the paguridsPaguristes eremita and Pagurus cuanensis, the brachyura Medorippe lanata, Inachus doresttensis, the Gastropoda Hexaplex trunculus, Bolinus brandaris, Aporrhais pespelecani, andErosaria turdus, the Bivalvia Fulvia fragilis, the Echinoidea Psammechinus microtuberculatus, Holothuria polii,Ophiothrix fragilis and Antedon mediterranea, and the AscidiaceaAplidium cf. conicum, Didemnum spp, and Microcosmus exasperatus.The species’ compositions of the megabentic fauna community showed clearly that the spatial analysis represented the differences between the community of these two regions (inshore waters and offshore waters. These differences were closely related to peculiar characters of the fauna and biotopes (depth, bottom type and vegetation cover community. The results of the present study should be considered as a necessary starting point for a further analysis of priceless benthic fauna contribution to the marine environment and its organisms.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Distribution and host diversity of Amoebophryidae parasites across oligotrophic waters of the Mediterranean Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Guillou

    2010-10-01

    Full Text Available Sequences affiliated to Syndiniales (Marine alveolate, MALV regularly dominate 18S rDNA genetic libraries of nearly all marine ecosystems investigated so far. Among them, Amoebophryidae (MALV group II is composed of numerous and genetically distant environmental sequences, where Amoebophrya is the only known and formally described genus. Amoebophrya species include virulent pathogens for a wide range of dinoflagellate species. Beside their regular occurrence in marine ecosystems, their quantitative distribution and the environmental factors triggering host infection have barely been studied in open oligotrophic waters. In order to understand the functional role of these parasites in natural environments, we studied the distribution and contribution to the eukaryotic community of the small free-living stage of Amoebophryidae (the dinospores along a transect in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as their host diversity at three oligotrophic stations. Dinospores were more abundant at a coastal station (max. 1.5 × 103 cells ml−1 than in oligotrophic waters (max. 51 ± 16.3 cells ml−1, where they represented 10.3 to 34.9% of the total eukaryotic community at 40 and 30 m depth, respectively and 21.2% on average along the water column. Positive correlation was found between dinospore occurrence and higher concentration of NO3 + NO2 at the coastal station. At selected stations, out of 38 different dinoflagellates taxa identified, 15 were infected, among which a majority were not recognized as Amoebophryidae host so far. Prevalences (percentage of infected cells generally varied between 2% and 10%, with a notable exception for Blepharocysta paulsenii for which 25% of cells were infected at the station C. The present study shows that dinospores are able to thrive, infects and most probably exert a control on host populations both in coastal and ultra-oligotrophic open waters. Our results emphasize the role of parasitism in microbial food web dynamics and

  16. 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.

  17. Ostreopsis cf. ovata dynamics in the NW Mediterranean Sea in relation to biotic and abiotic factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carnicer, Olga; Guallar, Carles; Andree, Karl B; Diogène, Jorge; Fernández-Tejedor, Margarita

    2015-11-01

    An expansion of the distribution of Ostreopsis cf. ovata, a dinoflagellate which produces palytoxin-like compounds, has been reported in recent years. Economical and social interests are affected by blooms, as they are responsible for respiratory and skin problems in humans and may cause damage to marine organisms. In order to identify the most influential environmental factors that trigger proliferations of O. cf. ovata in the area of the adjacent shallow rocky coast of the Ebro Delta (NW Mediterranean Sea) a three-year survey was performed on the metaphytic microalgae community growing on the macrophytes Jania rubens and Corallina elongata. Small-size diatoms were more abundant than dinoflagellates; O. cf. ovata was identified as the only species present from the genus. Seawater temperature was the primary driver defining the ecological niche of O. cf. ovata. Freshwater and groundwater fluxes were more pronounced in southern than in northern sites, which may have resulted in a distinct O. cf. ovata spatial distribution, with the highest records of abundance and more frequent blooms in the north. In consequence, negative correlations between the abundance of O. cf. ovata and nitrate concentrations and significant positive correlation with salinity were observed. The temporal pattern of O. cf. ovata dynamics from mid-July to early-November is probably due to the fact that this species is observed only above a certain threshold temperature of seawater. Metaphytic cells of O. cf. ovata were smaller in the northern site than in the south, possibly as a result of an increase in cell division, coinciding with higher abundance, and this could be an indicator of favorable conditions. Toxicity in planktonic cells was negatively correlated with cell abundance in the water column, achieving maximum concentrations of 25pg. PLTX eqcell(-1). PMID:26365038

  18. Fireball on 6 July 2002 over the Mediterranean Sea is a fragment of the comet's nucleus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Churyumov, Klim; Kruchinenko, Vitaly G.; Churyumova, Tetyana; Mozgova, Alyona

    2015-03-01

    Today has been known for a considerable number of cases, the explosion of large meteoroids in Earth's atmosphere. This is confirmed by the data of registrations of fireballs by devices and the results of measurements in the atmosphere of bright light flashes by photodiodes Corporation ``Sandia Laboratories", which were installed on geostationary satellites of the United States, and also by data of measurements of acoustic-gravitational waves from the thermal explosions of meteoroids [ReVelle D.O. Historical detection of atmospheric impacts by large bolides using acoustic-gravity waves, Near-Earth Objects, Ed. Remo J. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 882, 284-302, 1997]. The work [Brown P., Spalding R.E., ReVelle D.O. et al. The flux of small near-Earth objects colliding with the Earth, Nature 420, 314-316, 2002.] shows the results of processing the observations of flashes of large meteoroids in Earth's atmosphere, obtained with the help of geostationary satellites of the United States. Over 8.5 years (from February 1994 to September 2002) 300 such events were registered. On July 6, 2002 r over the Mediterranean Sea a bright fireball was registered. The energy of the meteoroid explosion that caused the phenomenon of the car, was 26 kilotons of TNT [Brown et al., 2002]. We believe that this energy refers to the height of the full bracking of the meteoroid. At a speed of 20.3 km/s adopted by the authors, body mass at this height is 5 × 108 g, and when entering the Earth's atmosphere, it was about 7 × 108 g. Based on the obtained values of the mass, we conclude that the exploded meteoroid, causing a phenomenon of the fireball was a fragment of the comet nucleus. In processing the density of the body were taken 1 g/cm 3 and the initial velocity (~30 km/s).

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Mud volcanoes in the Mediterranean Sea are hot spots of exclusive meiobenthic species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeppilli, Daniela; Mea, Marianna; Corinaldesi, Cinzia; Danovaro, Roberto

    2011-11-01

    Mud volcanoes are cold seeps, in which the escape of gas and fluids associated with mud creates 3-D bottom structures that enhance the spatial heterogeneity and potentially alter the functioning of the benthic ecosystems. We investigated a complex system of mud volcanoes of the Mediterranean Sea characterised by the presence of different structures (i.e., isolated domes, domes surrounded by moats, clustered domes, and ridges) displaying different levels of seepage. We hypothesize that the combined effects of seafloor heterogeneity (i.e., different 3-D structures as revealed by detailed topographic analysis), fluid emissions and trophic characteristics of these systems can influence the structural and functional biodiversity of meiofauna (with special focus on the nematodes). We found that sediments affected by intensive seepage displayed the lowest faunal abundances and number of higher taxa. However, mud volcanoes without emissions, but characterized by a high structural complexity (such as the ridges), were associated with the highest meiofaunal abundances and number of higher taxa. Mud volcanoes hosted also a remarkable abundance of rare taxa specifically associated with these structures (e.g., acarians, cumaceans, tanaids, cladocerans and hydroids) and absent in slope sediments (used as a control). Each mud-volcano area displayed a different nematode species composition. Overall 76 nematode species (from a total of 235) were exclusively associated with mud-volcano structures, whilst 29 were exclusively encountered in slope sediments. We conclude that the presence of mud volcanoes, for their contribution to increase spatial heterogeneity and for the extreme conditions associated with gas emissions, promotes higher levels of beta diversity, thus enhancing the regional (gamma) benthic diversity. These findings provide new insights on the factors controlling meiobenthic biodiversity in mud volcanoes and clues for future action of conservation of the biodiversity

  2. Marine litter from circalittoral and deeper bottoms off the Maltese islands (Central Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. MIFSUD

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available During the 2005 leg of the MEDITS trawl survey, benthic anthropogenic debris around the Maltese Islands (central Mediterranean was quantified for the first time, with the aim of studying its abundance and distribution in the area. 357 items were sampled from 3.5 km2 of swept area. Each item was recorded, measured and its planar and surface areas were estimated. Plastic (47%, metal and glass (13% respectively were the most prevalent types of litter in terms of number. Limestone slabs, sacks and fabric were the items with the highest planar and surface area per item. This suggests that it is also important to consider the size of debris items as well as numerical abundance in assessing impact of litter on benthic organisms. An attempt was made to correlate anthropogenic and environmental variables, including fishing activities and wave parameters, to litter abundance and distribution but no interpretable correlations were found, implying that litter abundance and distribution depends on factors other than those considered.

  3. Relationship between lightning and model simulated microphysical parameters over the central and eastern Mediterranean

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. K. Katsanos

    2009-10-01

    Full Text Available In this study the relationship between lightning and simulated microphysical parameters of clouds, is examined. In order to investigate such a relationship, a number of cases with significant lightning activity that occurred during the wet period of the year over the central and eastern Mediterranean have been selected, based on the lightning activity reported by the ZEUS lighting detection network, operated by the National Observatory of Athens. For the same cases, simulations with the non-hydrostatic MM5 model were performed with the aim of reproducing the dynamical and microphysical parameters associated with the weather systems that produced lightning. The analysis showed that the temporal distribution of convective rainfall is not well correlated with that of lightning, while on the contrary, the temporal distribution of the simulated concentrations of solid hydrometeors correlates well with lightning and there is also a general coincidence of their maxima. Further, it was shown that the best correlation was found during the development stage of the storms, while during the decay phase the number of lightning decreases much faster that the simulated concentrations of solid hydrometeors.

  4. Soil quality and vulnerability in a Mediterranean natural ecosystem of Central Italy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Francaviglia, R; Gataleta, L; Marchionni, M; Trinchera, A; Aromolo, R; Benedetti, A; Nisini, L; Morselli, L; Brusori, B; Olivieri, P; Bernardi, E

    2004-04-01

    Wet and dry atmospheric depositions and soil chemical and microbiological properties were determined in a Mediterranean natural ecosystem of Central Italy near Rome (Castelporziano Estate). The monitoring of depositions permitted us to quantify the exceedances of S and N compounds (expressed as eqH(+)ha(-1)year(-1)) over the critical loads of acidity. Critical loads, i.e. the quantity of a substance which a part of the environment can tolerate without adverse effects occurring, were determined adopting the level 0 methodology following the UN/ECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution. Deposition data were available for the period 1992-1997, and acidity exceedances were referred to the main vegetation types present in the area. Results showed that most part of the Estate has a medium degree of vulnerability to acidification, and the corresponding risk of acidification deriving from the exceedances of atmospheric deposition was rather low. The study of soil chemical and microbiological properties included mainly total soil organic carbon (SOC), microbial biomass-C, biomass-C/SOC, soil respiration, and metabolic quotient (qCO2). Soil organic C metabolism has been discussed on the basis of the results from eight sampling sites.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Sorgente, R.; A. Olita; P. Oddo; L. Fazioli; A. Ribotti

    2011-01-01

    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 us...

  6. Impacts of hydrological changes in the Mediterranean zone : environmental modifications and rural development in the Merguellil catchment, central Tunisia

    OpenAIRE

    Leduc, Christian; Ben Ammar, S.; Favreau, Guillaume; Beji, R.; Virrion, R.; Lacombe, G.; Tarhouni, J.; Aouadi, C.; Chelli, B. Z.; Jebnoun, N.; Oi, M.; Michelot, J. L.; Zouari, K.

    2007-01-01

    The Merguellil catchment (central Tunisia), which is typical of the Mediterranean situation, has undergone rapid hydrological changes over the last decades. The most visible signs are a marked decrease in surface runoff in the upstream catchment and a complete change in the recharge processes of the Kairouan aquifer downstream. Fluctuations in rainfall have had a limited hydrological impact. Much more important have been the consequences of human activities, such as soil and water conservatio...

  7. Long-term forest dynamic after land abandonment in a fire prone Mediterranean landscape (central Corsica, France)

    OpenAIRE

    Mouillot, Florent; Ratte, J. P.; Joffre, R.; Mouillot, D.; S. Rambal

    2005-01-01

    Two hundred years of landscape changes were studied on a 3,760 ha area of central Corsica (France) representing a typical Mediterranean environment. Different historical sources, including an accurate land-cover map from 1774 and statistics on land cover from 1848 and 1913, were used. Three additional maps (1960, 1975 and 1990) were drawn, and a complete fire history from 1957 to 1997 was created. Forests expanded slowly by a border effect. Forest expansion was more rapid in unburnt sites (0....

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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. PMID:26396017

  11. 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

    2016-04-01

    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

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Abundance and distribution of Tursiops truncatus in the Western Mediterranean Sea: an assessment towards the Marine Strategy Framework Directive requirements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lauriano, Giancarlo; Pierantonio, Nino; Donovan, Greg; Panigada, Simone

    2014-09-01

    The Mediterranean Sea common bottlenose dolphin population has been assessed as Vulnerable according to the IUCN Red List Criteria. The species is also included in several International Agreements, European Union Regulations and Directives. Amongst them, a strict protection and identification of special conservation areas are requested by the EU Habitats Directive. Despite direct takes, by-catch, chemical and acoustic pollution, and prey depletion, general habitat degradation and fragmentation have been indicated as detrimental for the species, the degree to which these threats pose population risk is still largely unknown. At present it is thus not possible to depict the actual status of the population and to assess prospective trends. To address this gap in the current knowledge, line transect distance sampling aerial surveys were conducted in a wide portion of the Western Mediterranean Sea between the summer of 2010 and winter 2011. A total of 165 parallel transects equally spaced at 15 km were designed providing homogeneous coverage probability. Overall, 21,090 km were flown on effort and 16 bottlenose dolphin sightings were recorded and used for the analysis. The surface abundance and density estimates resulted in 1676 animals (CV = 38.25; 95% CI = 804-3492) with a density of 0.005 (CV = 38.25%). These results represent the first ever estimates for the common bottlenose dolphin over a wide portion of the Western Mediterranean Sea Subregion, with the potential to be useful baseline data to inform conservation. Specifically, they could be used as indicators under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive requirements, in conjunction with other study methods. PMID:24784442

  15. Ecosystem structure and fishing impacts in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea using a food web model within a comparative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corrales, Xavier; Coll, Marta; Tecchio, Samuele; Bellido, José María; Fernández, Ángel Mario; Palomera, Isabel

    2015-08-01

    We developed an ecological model to characterize the structure and functioning of the marine continental shelf and slope area of the northwestern Mediterranean Sea, from Toulon to Cape La Nao (NWM model), in the early 2000s. The model included previously modeled areas in the NW Mediterranean (the Gulf of Lions and the Southern Catalan Sea) and expanded their ranges, covering 45,547 km2, with depths from 0 to 1000 m. The study area was chosen to specifically account for the connectivity between the areas and shared fish stocks and fleets. Input data were based on local scientific surveys and fishing statistics, published data on stomach content analyses, and the application of empirical equations to estimate consumption and production rates. The model was composed of 54 functional groups, from primary producers to top predators, and Spanish and French fishing fleets were considered. Results were analyzed using ecological indicators and compared with outputs from ecosystem models developed in the Mediterranean Sea and the Gulf of Cadiz prior to this study. Results showed that the main trophic flows were associated with detritus, phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthic invertebrates. Several high trophic level organisms (such as dolphins, benthopelagic cephalopods, large demersal fishes from the continental shelf, and other large pelagic fishes), and the herbivorous salema fish, were identified as keystone groups within the ecosystem. Results confirmed that fishing impact was high and widespread throughout the food web. The comparative approach highlighted that, despite productivity differences, the ecosystems shared common features in structure and functioning traits such as the important role of detritus, the dominance of the pelagic fraction in terms of flows and the importance of benthic-pelagic coupling.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Ultraphytoplankton basin-scale distribution in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in winter: link to hydrodynamism and nutrients

    Science.gov (United States)

    Denis, M.; Thyssen, M.; Martin, V.; Manca, B.; Vidussi, F.

    2010-07-01

    The basin-scale distribution of ultraphytoplankton (hydrodynamic structures (fronts, gyres, transition between western and eastern basins). The effect of the main hydrodynamic structures and nutrients on the ultraphytoplankton distribution was investigated. No positive correlation between nutrients and phytoplankton could be established when considering large scales. However, below 50 m depth, nutrient ratios between particular stations were correlated to corresponding density ratios. In contrast, significant relationships were found between Synechococcus abundance and density, resulting from the impact of a gyre in southern Adriatic basin and a thermohaline front in the Ionian basin. A significant relationship was also found between picoeukaryotes and salinity in the comparison of western and eastern Mediterranean Sea.

  19. Ultraphytoplankton basin-scale distribution in the eastern Mediterranean Sea in winter: link to hydrodynamism and nutrients

    OpenAIRE

    Denis, M; M. Thyssen; Martin, V.; Manca, B; F. Vidussi

    2010-01-01

    The basin-scale distribution of ultraphytoplankton (<10 μm) was determined in the upper 200 m of the eastern Mediterranean Sea during the winter season. Four clusters were resolved by flow cytometry on the basis of their optical properties and identified as Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, pico- (<3 μm) and nanoeukaryotes (3–10 μm). Synechococcus was the most abundant population (maximum abundance of about 37 000 cells cm

  20. First evidence of presence of plastic debris in stomach of large pelagic fish in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romeo, Teresa; Pietro, Battaglia; Pedà, Cristina; Consoli, Pierpaolo; Andaloro, Franco; Fossi, Maria Cristina

    2015-06-15

    This study focuses, for the first time, on the presence of plastic debris in the stomach contents of large pelagic fish (Xiphias gladius, Thunnus thynnus and Thunnus alalunga) caught in the Mediterranean Sea between 2012 and 2013. Results highlighted the ingestion of plastics in the 18.2% of samples. The plastics ingested were microplastics (25mm). These preliminary results represent an important initial phase in exploring two main ecotoxicological aspects: (a) the assessment of the presence and impact of plastic debris on these large pelagic fish, and (b) the potential effects related to the transfer of contaminants on human health. PMID:25936574

  1. Exposure of the population of countries within the European Union to radioactivity in the mediterranean sea: Project MARINA-MED

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The discharges examined in the Project MARINA-MED were from nuclear installations in France, Italy and Spain, over the period 1980-1991; those from the Marcoule fuel reprocessing plant were found to contribute most of the collective dose arising from radioactivity in the Mediterranean Sea. Over 90% of beta-gamma discharges were of tritium and the remainder comprised some 80% 106Ru + 106Rh, 7% 90Sr + 90Y, 6% 137Cs, and 1% each of 134Cs, 58Co and 54Mn. The alpha emitters were dominated by 241Am, 239+240Pu and natural uranium, each representing 30% of the total. The contribution from Chernobyl had largely disappeared by 1990, except in the northern Aegean Sea, where continuing input came from the Black Sea. The corresponding exposure of the critical group in the Mediterranean Sea area from 137Cs (for an annual consumption of 73 kg fish and 35 kg shellfish) was estimated to be 7.5 μSv in 1990; the exposure of the critical group in the Black Sea area would have been about 40 μSv. These values are much lower than that estimated for 210Po, which corresponds to about 0.5 mSv. Data were obtained on catches and consumption rates of fish, crustaceans and molluscs for the relevant countries within the European Union, including import and export. Using data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, it was possible to extend the data to other countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea. Peak annual collective doses were estimated at less than 0.2 man·Sv for the period considered. For discharges over the entire period (1980-1991) the total collective dose commitment, truncated at 500 years, was estimated to be about 2 man·Sv. The most significant radionuclides, especially in the first few years, were found to be 106Ru (0.76 man·Sv) and 241Am (0.25 man·Sv). (author). 7 refs, 3 tabs

  2. Artificial radioactivity and marine environment. Study of 238Pu, 239Pu+240Pu, 241Pu and 241Am in the Mediterranean sea

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper is in two parts. Part one is about the methods for analyzing transuranium elements particularly the development of an analytical process for plutonium and for perfecting an Americium analyzing method, capable of treating samples of 200 litres of sea water, 100 grams of sediment and 100 grams of biological matter. Part two concerns the in situ determinations carried out within the scope of the study on the distribution and behaviour of transuranium elements in the Mediterranean sea. The high sea studies concerned the effects of atmospheric fall out and the vertical distribution of Pu and Am. Studies along the coasts enabled a quantitative study to be made of the contribution of rivers to the Mediterranean and to study the distribution of Pu along the French Mediterranean coast line

  3. Parascolymia (Scleractinia: Lobophylliidae) in the Central Paratethys Sea (Vienna Basin, Austria) and its possible biogeographic implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reuter, Markus; Wiedl, Thomas; Piller, Werner E

    2015-01-01

    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. PMID:26201071

  4. Heterogeneities of in- and out-flows in the Mediterranean Sea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millot, Claude

    2014-01-01

    mix; thus, accurately predicting the outflow characteristics in the Atlantic Ocean appears almost impossible. Herein, we first propose a fully objective description of the AWs and MWs during two GIBEX campaigns. Where the AWs and the MWs do not markedly mix, they are defined in terms of density and temperature ranges. Where a MW mixes with one of the AWs down to the bottom, the mixing line characteristics allow for that MW to be followed from one section to one downstream and for the validation of our concept: while superimposed east of the Strait, the MWs come to be juxtaposed within the Strait before becoming superimposed again. We also analysed additional CTD time series collected by the University of Malaga on the south and north sides of the southern sill of Espartel. We demonstrate the following: (a) even though the MWs at the sill (E) and on the south side (ES) were roughly the same, the densest ones out-flowed at ES, i.e., at depths shallower than at E, (b) the MWs on the north side (EN) were very different from those at E and each mixed with different AWs, and (c) using the mixing lines computed from each time series, the data recorded at E and ES allow for the retrieval, with good accuracy, of those recorded at Camarinal (C), which is not the case for the data recorded at EN. Finally we emphasise how different the AWs' heterogeneities are from the MWs' heterogeneities. The inflow is sucked into the Mediterranean Sea, due to the water budget (E-P) deficit there, and it can be composed of any type of AW present west of the Strait at any time and any specific location. The outflow is a product of the Mediterranean Sea, which is like a machine producing a series of MWs that first circulate as alongslope density currents before entering the Strait in a specific order and at specific locations. Consequently, we attempt to schematise the AWs-MWs mixing processes and our understanding of the outflow dynamics. Notwithstanding the difficulty of the working conditions

  5. Population genetics of the invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi in Europe reveal source-sink dynamics and secondary dispersal to the Mediterranean Sea

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bolte, Sören; Fuentes, Veronica; Haslob, Holger;

    2013-01-01

    that all Mediterranean M. leidyi result from a secondary introduction originating in the Black Sea. Our study contributes to growing evidence that multiple invasions of the same species can vary in their degree of genetic diversity and demonstrates how genetic markers can help to resolve whether gelatinous......Repeated invasions of European waters by the ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi offer a unique opportunity to study population dynamics and dispersal in gelatinous zooplankton. Here we followed population establishment in two recently invaded areas, the North and Baltic Sea, and analysed changes...... in population structure during a 3-yr interval using 7 highly polymorphic microsatellites (representing 191 alleles). A second goal was to reconstruct routes of recent invasive range expansion into the Mediterranean Sea. During the study period (2008-2010) populations in North Sea and Western Baltic Sea...

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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 (water strip, suggesting a rapid fragmentation down along the shoreline, likely related with the washing ashore on the beaches. This study constitutes a first attempt to determine the impact of 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. PMID:27556233

  9. 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 cor