Rural populations often depend on small reservoirs for their water supply. These are not natural aquatic system but are designed to serve specific purposes and provide the means to utilize water in a variety of useful and efficient ways. Water from these sources is not only utilized for drinking purposes, but also for commercial and industrial use. Though reservoirs are constructed, they are considered as an intermediate between a river and a lake. Thus limnological characteristics of this hybrid system have been of great interest to ecologists and researchers. Several limnological attributes regarding water quality, plankton abundance, fish population are been discussed in this review article. Ecological studies on global and Indian perspective are the major highlight of this review. A few modeling approaches are also discussed which are commonly used globally to preserve and manage the pristine aquatic nature of this hybrid ecosystem.
Small waterbodies, including ponds and small lakes, low-order streams, ditches and springs, are the most numerous freshwater environments globally, are critical for freshwater biodiversity and are increasingly recognised for their role in ecosystem service delivery. Small waters often represent the best remaining examples of intact freshwater habitats and are the most likely to remain unpolluted, often being a refuge for species which have disappeared from larger, more damaged, waterbodies. Practically all water-related ecosystem services are initially mediated by small waters and some, such as carbon cycling, may be dominated by them. Small waters are exposed to all the threats affecting larger waters, and some experienced only by small waters. Despite this, small waters remain the least investigated part of the water environment and are largely excluded from water management planning. We identify the priorities for research to underpin better protection of small waters and recommend policy actions needed to better integrate small waters into the management of catchments and landscapes. The primary requirements are to identify reliable monitoring programmes for small waters, develop effective measures to protect the biodiversity and ecosystem services they provide and ensure that regulators take full account of this critical part of the water environment.
Chlamys farreri is an economically important mollusk that can accumulate excessive amounts of cadmium (Cd). Studying the molecular mechanism of Cd accumulation in bivalves is difficult because of the lack of genome background. Transcriptomic analysis based on high-throughput RNA sequencing has been shown to be an efficient and powerful method for the discovery of relevant genes in non-model and genome reference-free organisms. Here, we constructed two cDNA libraries (control and Cd exposure groups) from the digestive gland of C. farreri and compared the transcriptomic data between them. A total of 227 673 transcripts were assembled into 105 071 unigenes, most of which shared high similarity with sequences in the NCBI non-redundant protein database. For functional classification, 24 493 unigenes were assigned to Gene Ontology terms. Additionally, EuKaryotic Ortholog Groups and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes analyses assigned 12 028 unigenes to 26 categories and 7 849 unigenes to five pathways, respectively. Comparative transcriptomics analysis identified 3 800 unigenes that were differentially expressed in the Cd-treated group compared with the control group. Among them, genes associated with heavy metal accumulation were screened, including metallothionein, divalent metal transporter, and metal tolerance protein. The functional genes and predicted pathways identified in our study will contribute to a better understanding of the metabolic and immune system in the digestive gland of C. farreri. In addition, the transcriptomic data will provide a comprehensive resource that may contribute to the understanding of molecular mechanisms that respond to marine pollutants in bivalves.
Myostatin (MSTN) is a member of the transforming growth factor-β gene superfamily that negatively regulates skeletal muscle development and growth. In the present study, partial genomic fragments of Myostatin-1 (MSTN-1) in two commercial hatchery populations of Ancherythroculter nigrocauda, an economically important freshwater fish, were screened for single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and then genotyped by direct sequencing of PCR products. Five SNPs were identified in intron 1 and exon 2, including a non-synonymous mutation causing an amino acid change (Val to Ile) at position 180. Association analyses based on 300 individuals revealed that the g.1129T>C SNP locus was significantly associated with total length (TL), body length (BL), body height (BH) and body weight (BW) in 6- and 18-month-old populations, while the g.1289G>A locus was significantly associated with BH and BW in the 6-month-old population. Haplotype analyses revealed that fish with the genotype combinations TC/TC or TC/GA showed better growth performance. Our results suggest that g.1129T>C and g.1289G>A have positive effects on growth traits and may be candidate gene markers for marker-assisted selection in A. nigrocauda.
For centuries, the primary manner in which humans have interacted with sharks has been fishing. A combination of their slow-growing nature and high use-values have resulted in population declines for many species around the world, and to date the vast majority of fisheries-related work on sharks has focused on the commercial sector. Shark recreational fishing remains an overlooked area of research despite the fact that these practices are popular globally and could present challenges to their populations. Here we provide a topical overview of shark recreational fisheries, highlighting their history and current status. While recreational fishing can provide conservation benefits under certain circumstances, we focus our discourse on the relatively understudied, potentially detrimental impacts these activities may have on shark physiology, behavior, and fitness. We took this angle given the realized but potentially underestimated significance of recreational fishing for shark conservation management plans and stock assessments, in hopes of creating a dialogue around sustainability. We also present a series of broad and focused research questions and underpin areas of future research need to assist with the development of this emergent area of research.
Fishing activities can alter the structure of marine food webs by the selective removal of some species. The changes in the marine food webs of the Hormuzgan waters of the Persian Gulf, Iran were assessed, based on estimates of the mean trophic index (MTI) and Fishing in Balance index (FiB), and on landing profile of the exploited marine community (49 species) during the period, 2002–2011. The total landings (Y t) (R=0.88, P<0.001) increased gradually while the Y t of carnivores has slightly declined, and the Y t of herbivores, detritivores and omnivores has increased. Consequently, the MTI significantly decreased (R =-0.69, P<0.05) at a rate of 0.11 during this decade. The MTI showed a decreasing trend, which indicates exploitation of marine resources. The FiB index also showed a downward trend and negative values from 2002 to 2009, which may be associated with unbalanced structure in the fisheries, but an upward trend from 2009 to 2011. The time variation of the landing profile showed two periods with significant diff erences in their species composition (R=0.88; P =0.005), and based on analysis of similarity, species have been identified as discriminator species, namely Thunnus albacores and Benthosema pterotum. Results indicate that changes in MTI reflected changes in the Hormuzgan landing structure. The examination of the MTI, FBI, and landing profile (LP) temporal pattern suggests that the status of fishery resources in Hormuzgan inshore waters is overexploited, and provides evidence of the probability that a fishing down process is occurring in this area, and that this trend may continue in the long-term. Therefore, environmental fisheries management and conservation programs should be prioritized for these valuable resources.
The Niyang River, a main tributary of the Yarlung Zangbo River, is an important and typical plateau river ecosystem in Tibet, China. At present, few studies have focused on its aquatic living resources and river ecology. In this study, the composition, abundance, and diversity of periphytic protozoa were investigated across four seasons from 2008 to 2009 to better understand their spatio-temporal patterns and relationship to the environment. Our investigation shows that periphytic protozoa in the Niyang River contained 15 genera, belonged to Tubulinea, Alveolata, Discosea and Rhizaria, Alveolata possessed most genera, up to nine, with highest share in abundance, exceeding 50%, Difflugia and Glaucoma were dominant genera. Moreover, four diversity indices of periphytic protozoa, including species richness, total abundance, Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Pielou’s evenness index, displayed a significant descending trend as the seasons continued, in the order of winter, spring, summer and autumn; with a significant difference existing between winter and summer (or autumn) for Shannon-Wiener diversity index and species richness (P<0.05). Four of these diversity indices also presented a V-shaped pattern between the upper middle course of the Niyang River and the confluence of the Niyang River and Yarlung Zangbo River, with the lowest value occurred in the middle course of the Niyang River. However, no significant variation was found through the Niyang River (P>0.05). In addition, canonical correlation analysis (CCA) shows that the densities of Difflugia, Glaucomais, Enchelydium, Cyphoderia, and Enchelys correlate with water temperature, alkalinity, hardness, pH, and dissolved oxygen, respectively. Lastly, the relationship between periphytic protozoa diversity and the environmental factors of the Niyang River can be predicted using classification and regression trees (CART) annalysis, which suggests that the total abundance and Shannon-Wiener diversity index would be higher when the elevation is above 3 308 m. On the other hand, the Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Pielou’s evenness index would be lower when pH and ammoniacal nitrogen have lower or higher values. Finally yet importantly, close attention should be paid to periphytic protozoa and its environment to ensure sustainable development of the Niyang River ecosystem.
Globally, blue carbon (i.e., carbon in coastal and marine ecosystems) emissions have been seriously augmented due to the devastating effects of anthropogenic pressures on coastal ecosystems including mangrove swamps, salt marshes, and seagrass meadows. The greening of aquaculture, however, including an ecosystem approach to Integrated Aquaculture-Agriculture (IAA) and Integrated Multi-Trophic Aquaculture (IMTA) could play a significant role in reversing this trend, enhancing coastal ecosystems, and sequestering blue carbon. Ponds within IAA farming systems sequester more carbon per unit area than conventional fish ponds, natural lakes, and inland seas. The translocation of shrimp culture from mangrove swamps to offshore IMTA could reduce mangrove loss, reverse blue carbon emissions, and in turn increase storage of blue carbon through restoration of mangroves. Moreover, offshore IMTA may create a barrier to trawl fishing which in turn could help restore seagrasses and further enhance blue carbon sequestration. Seaweed and shellfish culture within IMTA could also help to sequester more blue carbon. The greening of aquaculture could face several challenges that need to be addressed in order to realize substantial benefits from enhanced blue carbon sequestration and eventually contribute to global climate change mitigation.
The spillway gates of the Petitcodiac Causeway, a hydraulic structure ~35 km upstream of the mouth of the Petitcodiac River in New Brunswick, Canada, were permanently opened in April 2010. The short-term effect opening the spillway gates had on downstream intertidal mudflats of the upper Bay of Fundy was investigated. Specifically, a multivariate before-after-control-impact design was used to determine if opening the spillway gates affected the invertebrate community (crustaceans, polychaetes, and molluscs), abiotic sediment conditions (sediment water content, mean particle size, penetrability, and depth of the apparent redox potential discontinuity), or resource availability (sediment chlorophyll a concentration and organic matter content) of five intertidal mudflats (two impacted sites, three reference sites) spanning Chignecto Bay, the northern arm of the upper Bay of Fundy, up to 5 months post-opening. No biologically or statistically meaningful differences were detected between impacted and reference sites for any of the measured variables. This suggests that opening the causeway did not have a quantifiable impact on these intertidal mudflats, at least within half a year of the opening. This is likely a result of the macrotidal nature of the Bay of Fundy that overwhelmed any immediate changes to hydrodynamics that occurred after the opening of the causeway gates.
Field monitoring was conducted to assess fish gonad maturation and health in relation to water temperature, downstream of the Andong and Imha Dams, South Korea. Throughout the eleven-year survey period (2004–2014), the water temperature immediately downstream of the dam was lower than that at the other survey sites because the temperature of the dam-released water was much lower than that of the natural stream water. Gonad maturation of the fish living downstream of the Andong Dam occurred later than that of fish in the natural streams (Gilan Stream and the control). For instance, Zacco platypus spawning behavior (involving the issuance of eggs and sperm) was not observed downstream of Andong Dam in May, although it was evident in Gilan Stream. In July, toward the end of the spawning season, some spawning individuals were observed in Gilan Stream but none was found downstream of Andong Dam. From the observations, we concluded that when water temperature is not within the suitable range, it negatively affects fish health. Although this has been previously reported in aquaculture, only a few studies have been conducted in natural environments. To ensure sustainability of the Nakdong River downstream of the Andong Dam, suitable river management plans and ecological requirements are proposed based on the results of the present study.
Impressive numbers of global and regional governmental and non-governmental organizations are working in the field of the marine environment and its resources. Many of these organizations operate within international legal frameworks ranging from comprehensive global conventions, such as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea to regional agreements aiming at protection and development of regional seas. Characteristic for the management of these seas, both at the national and international level, is that sectoral approaches predominate. Over time, several initiatives have been taken to improve cooperation, coordination and integration to achieve greater coherence of policies and strategies between different organizations dealing with marine and maritime management, within and outside the United Nation system. However, the success has been limited. The weaknesses of international organizations depend fundamentally on problems at the national level. The international organizations are no stronger than their Contracting Parties allow them to be.
Ten microsatellite markers were used to analyze the levels of genetic diversity and inbreeding in a hatchery release population of Rhopilema esculentum Kishinouye (Scyphozoa: Rhizostomatidae). A total of 85 alleles were detected in 600 individuals. Within-population levels of observed (H o) and expected (H e) heterozygosity ranged from 0.152 to 0.839 (mean=0.464) and from 0.235 to 0.821 (mean=0.618), respectively. The polymorphism information content (PIC) of each marker ranged from 0.207 to 0.795 with an average of 0.580, indicating that the hatchery population maintained a high level of genetic diversity. Inbreeding levels were estimated in the hatchery population and the inbreeding coefficient was 0.203. This result revealed that a certain level of inbreeding occurred within the population. Meanwhile, we also determined genetic diversity at the clone level. Several polyps from the same scyphistomae were genotyped at the ten microsatellite loci and there was virtually no difference in their genotypes. Furthermore, we calculated the probabilities of exclusion. When both parents were known, the average exclusion probability of ten loci was 99.99%. Our data suggest that the ten microsatellite markers can not only be used to analyze the identity of individuals but they can also be applied to parentage identification. Our research provides a theoretical basis and technical support for genetic diversity detection and reasonable selection of R. esculentum hatchery populations. These findings support the use of releasing studies and conservation of R. esculentum germplasm resources.
Animals in a population consistently differ from one another in behavioural types over time and this difference can affect intra- and interspecific relationships. However, empirical studies about roles of behavioural individual variation in interspecific interactions are scarce. Here, we provide evidence that inter-individual variation of a cichlid in aggression affects access to its territory by a heterospecific cichlid. In Lake Tanganyika, a zoobenthivorous cichlid Neolamprologus mustax (Nm) is admitted into territories of an algivorous Variabilichromis moorii (Vm) to prey on benthic invertebrates, while other zoobenthivorous fishes are chased from the territories. We conducted an experiment in which caged Nm fish were exposed twice to each Vm fish in natural habitats. Results indicated repeatable individual variations in Vm aggression towards Nm. Moreover, diving observations indicated that Nm fish frequently used some of Vm territories inside their own territories, but rarely or never used others. This uneven use of Vm territories by the Nm fish was negatively correlated with individual variations in Vm aggression. We conclude that the preferential access of Nm to Vm territory is gained by Nm’s recognising more tolerant Vm fish or discriminating among sites for their territories.
We present the results of eyestalk extirpation experiments performed on the fiddler crab, Uca triangularis at seasons of molting and reproduction, with a view to have a better understanding of the regulatory mechanisms of these two highly energy-demanding processes. Bilateral eyestalk ablation resulted in precocious acceleration of both molting and reproduction, irrespective of the season at which each experiment was conducted. The rate of accelerated ovarian growth, however, was maximum if the eyestalk ablation was conducted during August–January, the breeding season in the wild, or in February–May (molting-reproductive season), wherein a section of the wild population would be engaged in molting and another section in breeding. The highest degree of precocious molt acceleration, on the other hand, was obtained during June–July when the population was primarily engaged in molting, but with no reproductive activity. The precocious oocyte maturation (due to de-eyestalking) was minimal in June–July. Significantly, the eyestalk ablation also resulted in a dramatic increase in the hemolymph ecdysteroid titer, revealing that a high ecdysteroid titer would have no restraining influence on vitellogenesis. No spawning was, however, observed among de-eyestalked females, even though their final oocyte size surpassed the size of the normal mature oocytes, implying that spawning is not exclusively under the control of eyestalk hormones. A comparative study performed on the vitelline components of the experimentals and the controls revealed that the precociously incorporated yolk under eyestalk ablation was biochemically impoverished. These results indicate that throughout the annual cycle, both the somatic and the reproductive growth of U. triangularis are under the influence of inhibitory principles from the eyestalks. It is also revealing that mere deprival of the inhibitory principles does not culminate into successful vitellogenesis. Arguably, the inhibitory influence from the eyestalks could be a prerequisite for normal healthy maturation of the oocytes and spawning.
The aim of the present study was to investigate the long-term effects of 17β-estradiol (E2) exposure on gonadal development in the tiger puff er (Takifugu rubripes), which has a genetic sex determination system of male homogametic XY-XX. Tiger puff er larvae were exposed to 1, 10 and 100 μg/L E2 from 15 to 100 days post-hatch (dph) and then maintained in clean seawater until 400 dph. Changes in sex ratio, gonadal structure and gonadosomatic index (GSI) were monitored at 100, 160, 270 and 400 dph. Sex-associated single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were used to analyze the genetic sex of samples, except those at 100 dph. Exposure had a positive effect on the conversion of genetically male gonads into phenotypically female gonads at 100 dph. However, gonads from 60% of genetic XY males in the 1-μg/L E2 group and 100% in the 10-μg/L E2 group developed intersexual gonads at 160 dph; gonads of all genetic XY males in the two treatment groups reverted to testis by 270 dph. While 38%, 57% and 44% of gonads of XY fish in the 100-μg/L E2 group reverted to intersexual gonads at 160, 270 and 400 dph, respectively, none reverted to testis after E2 treatment. In addition, E2 exposure inhibited gonadal growth of both genetic sexes, as indicated by the clear dose-dependent decrease in GSI at 270 and 400 dph. The results showed that exposure to E2 during the early life stages of tiger puff er disrupted gonadal development, but that fish recovered after migration to clean seawater. The study suggests the potential use of tiger puff er as a valuable indicator species to evaluate the effects of environmental estrogens on marine fish, thereby protecting valuable fishery resources.
Coral reefs in the Xisha Islands (also known as the Paracel Islands in English), South China Sea, have experienced dramatic declines in coral cover. However, the current regional scale hard coral distribution of geomorphic and ecological zones, essential for reefs management in the context of global warming and ocean acidification, is not well documented. We analyzed data from field surveys, Landsat-8 and GF-1 images to map the distribution of hard coral within geomorphic zones and reef flat ecological zones. In situ surveys conducted in June 2014 on nine reefs provided a complete picture of reef status with regard to live coral diversity, evenness of coral cover and reef health (live versus dead cover) for the Xisha Islands. Mean coral cover was 12.5% in 2014 and damaged reefs seemed to show signs of recovery. Coral cover in sheltered habitats such as lagoon patch reefs and biotic dense zones of reef flats was higher, but there were large regional differences and low diversity. In contrast, the more exposed reef slopes had high coral diversity, along with high and more equal distributions of coral cover. Mean hard coral cover of other zones was <10%. The total Xisha reef system was estimated to cover 1 060 km2, and the emergent reefs covered ~787 m2. Hard corals of emergent reefs were considered to cover 97 km2. The biotic dense zone of the reef flat was a very common zone on all simple atolls, especially the broader northern reef flats. The total cover of live and dead coral can reach above 70% in this zone, showing an equilibrium between live and dead coral as opposed to coral and algae. This information regarding the spatial distribution of hard coral can support and inform the management of Xisha reef ecosystems.
The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of anthropogenic pollution on DNA damage and the fatty acid profile of the bottom dweller fish (Cirrhinus mrigala), collected from the River Chenab, in order to assess the effect of the toxicants on the quality of the fish meat. The levels of Cd, Hg, Cu, Mn, Zn, Pb, Cr and Sn and of phenols from this river were significantly higher than the permissible limits set by the USEPA. Comet assays showed DNA damage in Cirrhinus mrigala collected from three different sampling sites in the polluted area of the river. Significant differences were observed for DNA damage through comet assay in fish collected from polluted compared to control sites. No significant differences were observed for DNA damage between farmed and fish collected from upstream. The micronucleus assay showed similar trends. Fish from the highly polluted sites showed less number of fatty acids and more saturated fatty acids in their meat compared to fish from less polluted areas. Several fatty acids were missing in fish with higher levels of DNA in comet tail and micronucleus induction. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) was found missing in the fish from polluted environment while it was found in considerable amount in farmed fish 7.8±0.4%. Docosahexaenoic acid (22:6n-3) also showed significant differences as 0.1±0.0 and 7.0±0.1% respectively, in wild polluted and farmed fishes.
Blooms of Phaeocystis globosa have been frequently reported in Chinese coastal waters, causing serious damage to marine ecosystems. To better understand the ecological characteristics of P. globosa in Chinese coastal waters that facilitate its rapid expansion, the effects of temperature, salinity and irradiance on the growth of P. globosa from the South China Sea were examined in the laboratory. The saturating irradiance for the growth of P. globosa (I s) was 60 μmol/(m2∙s), which was lower than those of other harmful algal species (70–114 μmol/(m2∙s)). A moderate growth rate of 0.22/d was observed at 2 μmol/(m2∙s) (the minimum irradiance in the experiment), and photo-inhibition did not occur at 230 μmol/(m2∙s) (the maximum irradiance in the experiment). Exposed to 42 different combinations of temperatures (10–31°C) and salinities (10–40) under saturating irradiance, P. globosa exhibited its maximum specific growth rate of 0.80/d at the combinations of 24°C and 35, and 27°C and 40. The optimum growth rates (>0.80/d) were observed at temperatures ranging from 24 to 27°C and salinities from 35 to 40. While P. globosa was able to grow well at temperatures from 20°C to 31°C and salinities from 20 to 40, it could not grow at temperatures lower than 15°C or salinities lower than 15. Factorial analysis revealed that temperature and salinity has similar influences on the growth of this species. This strain of P. globosa not only prefers higher temperatures and higher salinity, but also possesses a flexible nutrient competing strategy, adapted to lower irradiance. Therefore, the P. globosa population from South China Sea should belong to a new ecotype. There is also a potentially high risk of blooms developing in this area throughout the year.
The bacterial community in the fish gut is very dense compared to surrounding water, which suggests that gastrointestinal tract (GIT) provides a favorable ecological niche for survival. GIT bacteria can be broadly divided into two groups; autochthonous (able to colonize on the mucosal surface) and allochthonous (free living). From the host’s point of view, autochthonous bacteria are considered to be more important than allochthonous, as they provide both nutritional as well as disease prevention support to the host. Among their several functions, the autochthonous bacteria are believed to produce several types of extracellular enzymes, block the attachment site for pathogens and secrete a wide range of bacteriocins. Most of the bacterial species in the gut are non-culturable and thus several types of sophisticated techniques such as Denaturing Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE), Temperature Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (TGGE) and Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) have been introduced to explore the microbial communities in gut. In this present review, we have summarized the impact of gut bacteria in fish with special emphasis on extracellular enzyme production by gut microbiota, bacterial composition, mechanism of attachment in epithelial surface and their role in disease prevention.
Viruses are ubiquitous in nature, however, very few have been identified that are associated with Antarctic animals. Here we report the identification of a polyomavirus in the kidney tissue of a deceased Weddell seal from the Ross Sea, Antarctica. The circular genome (5186 nt) has typical features of polyomaviruses with a small and larger T-antigen open reading frames (ORFs) and three ORFs encoding VP1, VP2 and VP3 capsid proteins. The genome of the Weddell seal polyomavirus (WsPyV) shares 85.4% genome-wide pairwise identity with a polyomavirus identified in a California sea lion. To our knowledge WsPyV is the first viral genome identified in Antarctic pinnipeds and the third polyomavirus to be identified from an Antarctic animal, the other two being from Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) and a sharp-spined notothen (Trematomus pennellii), both sampled in the Ross sea.
The GenBank accession number: KX533457.