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Sci Total Environ ; 676: 455-468, 2019 Aug 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31048175


Rhodolith beds, like many other marine ecosystems, are affected by climate change that is causing an increase in the magnitude and frequency of extreme high temperature events (heat waves). Unfortunately, this does not represent the sole peril for these communities, as coastal urbanization in conjunction with altered precipitation patterns can increase terrestrial-derived nutrient input. In Brazil, rhodolith beds are among the most extensive coastal benthic ecosystems, but despite their vast distribution and great ecological and economic importance, studies on the productivity of these communities and the impact of changing environmental conditions are almost non-existent. This study addressed the individual and combined effects of increases in temperature and nutrient concentration on the physiological performance of two widely distributed rhodolith species, Lithothamnion crispatum and Melyvonnea erubescens. The results showed species-specific responses in net photosynthetic performance, with no response in L. crispatum, while M. erubescens responded negatively to both increase in temperature and nutrients. In contrast, calcification in both species showed a significant decline at high temperature. No interactive effects were found between temperature and nutrients, yet their combined negative effects were additive, resulting in negative daily-integrated net productivity and a large decline in daily carbonate production in both species. This has strong implications for rhodolith bed primary productivity and carbonate production, as heat waves may potentially cause a strong decline in carbonate production (ca. 50% loss), accompanied by a severe drop in primary productivity that will be even more pronounced under high-nutrient conditions. Also, the species-specific responses to changes in temperature and nutrient concentration suggest that the magnitude of impact of these factors on rhodolith bed productivity will depend on the species dominating the community and may finally result in changes in rhodolith community composition.

Mudança Climática , Ecossistema , Rodófitas/fisiologia , Brasil , Carbonatos , Monitoramento Ambiental , Concentração de Íons de Hidrogênio , Nitrogênio/análise , Oceanos e Mares , Fósforo/análise , Fotossíntese , Água do Mar/química , Temperatura Ambiente
PLoS One ; 10(6): e0127176, 2015.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-26061735


The Southwestern Atlantic harbors unique and relatively understudied reef systems, including the only atoll in South Atlantic: Rocas atoll. Located 230 km off the NE Brazilian coast, Rocas is formed by coralline red algae and vermetid mollusks, and is potentially one of the most "pristine" areas in Southwestern Atlantic. We provide the first comprehensive and integrative description of the fish and benthic communities inhabiting different shallow reef habitats of Rocas. We studied two contrasting tide pool habitats: open pools, which communicate with the open ocean even during low tides, thus more exposed to wave action; and closed pools, which remain isolated during low tide and are comparatively less exposed. Reef fish assemblages, benthic cover, algal turfs and fish feeding pressure on the benthos remarkably varied between open and closed pools. The planktivore Thalassoma noronhanum was the most abundant fish species in both habitats. In terms of biomass, the lemon shark Negaprion brevirostris and the omnivore Melichtys niger were dominant in open pools, while herbivorous fishes (mainly Acanthurus spp.) prevailed in closed pools. Overall benthic cover was dominated by algal turfs, composed of articulated calcareous algae in open pools and non-calcified algae in closed pools. Feeding pressure was dominated by acanthurids and was 10-fold lower in open pools than in closed pools. Besides different wave exposure conditions, such pattern could also be related to the presence of sharks in open pools, prompting herbivorous fish to feed more in closed pools. This might indirectly affect the structure of reef fish assemblages and benthic communities. The macroalgae Digenea simplex, which is uncommon in closed pools and abundant in the reef flat, was highly preferred in herbivory assays, indicating that herbivory by fishes might be shaping this distribution pattern. The variations in benthic and reef fish communities, and feeding pressure on the benthos between open and closed pools suggest that the dynamics in open pools is mostly driven by physical factors and the tolerance of organisms to harsh conditions, while in closed pools direct and indirect effects of species interactions also play an important role. Understanding the mechanisms shaping biological communities and how they scale-up to ecosystem functioning is particularly important on isolated near-pristine systems where natural processes can still be studied under limited human impact.

Recifes de Corais , Ecossistema , Comportamento Alimentar , Peixes/fisiologia , Animais , Oceano Atlântico , Brasil , Pressão
Mar Pollut Bull ; 64(11): 2380-90, 2012 Nov.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23010654


Urbanization leads to the expansion of ephemeral seaweed species and the decline of important perennial, canopy-forming seaweed species. Understanding the mechanisms that lead to these changes is a current challenge. In the present study, laboratory assays and field transplantations were performed with two seaweed species: the perennial, canopy-forming seaweed Sargassum stenophyllum and the ephemeral seaweed Ulva lactuca. Photosynthetic efficiency was assessed using modulated chlorophyll fluorometry. Brief exposure to urban waters does not appear to be a major stressor to the photosynthetic efficiency of either species. However, after 26 days of transplantation in urban waters, S. stenophyllum declined, whereas U. lactuca had enhanced photosynthetic efficiency. This difference reflects their divergent abilities to regulate the energy distribution at the PSII and shows that urban stressors alter these mechanisms. Our results provide evidence of the physiological causes for the decline of Sargassum species and the expansion of Ulva species in impacted urban areas.

Adaptação Fisiológica/fisiologia , Fotossíntese/fisiologia , Alga Marinha/fisiologia , Clorofila/metabolismo , Ecossistema , Monitoramento Ambiental , Fotossíntese/efeitos dos fármacos , Urbanização
J Fish Biol ; 79(7): 1984-2006, 2011 Dec.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22141900


The community structure of the reef fish fauna of Trindade Island, a volcanic oceanic island located 1160 km off the coast of Brazil, is described based on intensive visual censuses. Seventy-six species were encountered in 252 censuses, with mean ± S.E. of 99 ± 3 individuals and 15.7 ± 0.3 species 40 m(-2) transect. The average fish biomass, calculated from length-class estimation, was 22.1 kg 40 m(-2) transect. The species contributing most to biomass were, in decreasing order, Melichthys niger, Cephalopholis fulva, Kyphosus spp., Holocentrus adscensionis, Sparisoma amplum, Sparisoma axillare, Acanthurus bahianus and Epinephelus adscensionis. Carnivorous fishes were the largest trophic group in terms of biomass, followed by omnivores and roving herbivores. The two predominant types of reef habitat, fringing reefs built by coralline algae and rocky reefs made of volcanic boulders, showed significant differences in the biomass and the abundance of the trophic guilds. Within each habitat type, significant differences in species richness, density and biomass were detected among crest, slope and interface zones. Although similar in overall species composition to coastal reefs in Brazil, the fish fauna of Trindade Island shares certain characteristics, such as a high abundance of planktivores, with other Brazilian oceanic islands. Despite comparatively high fish biomass, including the macro-carnivorous species habitually targeted by fisheries, signs of overfishing were evident. These findings highlight the urgency for a conservation initiative for this isolated, unique and vulnerable reef system.

Biodiversidade , Peixes/fisiologia , Clima Tropical , Animais , Oceano Atlântico , Ecossistema , Geografia , Densidade Demográfica