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The study of paleoclimates enables us to improve and better constrain climate models in order to forecast future climate variations. Marine Isotope Stage 11 (MIS11), which began around 425,000 yr BP and lasted about 65,000 yr, is a warm isotope stage of paramount importance, because the astronomical configuration was similar to the one characterizing the Holocene. Therefore, this warm isotope stage is the most appropriate analog to present-day climate known to date. This study aims to provide new data on sea-surface temperatures (SSTs) inferred from the carbon and oxygen isotope compositions of skeletal carbonates of marine invertebrates preserved in two marine deposits of the Canary Islands located at Piedra Alta, Lanzarote, and Arucas, Gran Canaria. According to published isotopic fractionation equations the marine deposit from Arucas recorded SSTs of 15.9 ± 2.2°C on average, while the tsunamite from Piedra Alta recorded SSTs of 21.2 ± 1.9°C on average. Absolute dating, mollusc assemblages, and calculated marine temperatures suggest that the Arucas marine deposit corresponds to the beginning of MIS11, while the Piedra Alta tsunamite was formed during MIS11c. These results show that low latitudes also experienced sizable SST changes during interglacial stages.
This chapter argues that a logic of fiduciary exchangeability finds its most sustained and versatile expressions in the work of the celebrated London writer Iain Sinclair. Sinclair’s work of the 1990s is both a crucial signal of a deepening intimacy between experimental and genre writing that has become all the more pronounced over the past two decades, and a leading-edge example of the techniques of market metafiction so prevalent today. The chapter reads Sinclair’s novel Downriver (1991), published in the wake of the Thatcherite transformation of the City of London’s financial services sector, as exploring what happens to structures of fiduciary circulation when they are pushed to – and beyond – their limits. The reading of the ostensibly non-fictional Lights Out for the Territory (1997) as an exercise in the “hermeneutics of speculation,” meanwhile, argues for the constitutive roles of faith and belief even in texts that apparently ground themselves in the real and material, in the process challenging the homology between literary realism and precious metal that is a basic premise of much key work in the New Economic Criticism.
This chapter argues that we might better understand postmodernism’s ambivalent appropriation of genre models by theorizing it in terms of a logic of quasi- or “as if” belief that cuts across structures of financial and literary market exchange. Taking recent work in economic sociology and the “New Economic Criticism,” as jumping-off points it shows how a deep-rooted kinship between fiction and finance as forms of writing that mediate value in the modern credit economy (in Mary Poovey’s terms) are becoming newly visible today. The shared condition of fictional texts’ and financial and monetary instruments’ successful market circulation is their solicitation of tacit faith or trust in imaginary things. A desire both to exploit and to subvert this condition of “fiduciary exchangeability” shapes the experiments in supernatural narrative form offered by Bret Easton Ellis’s American Psycho (1991) and Lunar Park (2005), Anne Billson’s Suckers (1993), Stephen Marche’s The Hunger of the Wolf (2015), and Jonathan Coe’s The Terrible Privacy of Maxwell Sim (2010). In the work of these writers we see many of the crucial elements of market metafiction in action.
The appearances of palaeosurfaces intercalated into palaeo-dune fields on Fuerteventura are multifaceted. Although reddened layers in these dune sediments might suggest that strong soil-formation processes have taken place, the combination of aridity and parent material, namely biogenic carbonate sand of shelf origin, reveals that strong soil formation seems unlikely. These sediments rather represent de- and recalcification processes only. Solely in the case of admixed material of volcanic origin and dust deposits further soil-forming processes seem to be possible. Hematite-rich Saharan dust contributes to reddish colouration of the palaeosurfaces. In addition, CaCO3-coated iron particles appear to be ingredients of dust being leached after deposition and transformed to hematite. Overall, we propose much weaker soil-forming processes during the Pleistocene than previously postulated. Our findings support the relevance of local environments. Carbonate sands of shelf origin hinder strong soil formation and the reddish layers separating dune generations are palaeosurfaces, which mainly consist of Saharan dust. After deposition of allochthonous material, these layers are overprinted by weak soil-forming processes. The formation of palaeosurfaces primarily depends on morphodynamically stable periods during limited sand supply. Our data suggest a cyclicity of processes in the following order: (1) sand accumulation, (2) dust accumulation and weak soil formation, and (3) water-induced erosion. For the Canary Islands, we support the assumption of glacial maxima being periods of increased levels of moisture. In combination with rising sea level, we propose that favorable conditions of surface stability occur immediately after glacial maxima during periods of starting transgression, whereas regression periods immediately after sea-level high stands seem to yield the highest sand supply for the study area.
The island of Gran Canaria is regularly affected by dust falls due to its proximity to the Saharan desert. Climatic oscillations may affect the Saharan dust input to the island. Geochemical, mineralogical, and textural analysis was performed on a well-developed and representative early Pleistocene paleosol to examine Saharan dust contribution to Gran Canaria. Significant and variable Saharan dust content was identified in addition to weathering products such as iron oxides and clay minerals. Variations in quartz and iron oxide concentrations in the paleosol likely reflect different Saharan dust input in more/less-contrasted rhexistasic/biostatic climatic conditions. Linking the quartz content in Canarian soils, the Ingenio paleosol, and two Canarian loess-like deposits to different ages from the Quaternary, we hypothesized that the dust input should be lower (about 33–38%) throughout the early to middle Pleistocene than during the late Quaternary. The Saharan dust input to the Gran Canaria profile in the Pleistocene persisted in spite of climatic variations.
Despite efforts to combat invasive species, further measures are still required to prevent their arrival and translocation, especially into biodiverse island ecosystems. Although many governments worldwide have already established protocols to control alien species, the European outermost regions have yet to implement fully effective prevention or rapid response procedures. The numerous translocations of the invasive Barbary ground squirrel Atlantoxerus getulus within the Canary Islands illustrate this problem. From 1996 to 2016 at least 2.1 individuals per year have been moved from Fuerteventura to other islands. If movements of these medium-sized vertebrates are taking place regularly, the number of smaller species transported within the archipelago could potentially be greater. We argue that it is essential to implement stricter strategies for invasive species control in these remote biodiversity-rich islands, including early detection and rapid response, to minimize impacts on native biodiversity.
Intrathalline phycobiont diversity was investigated in a rosette-forming lichen, Parmotrema pseudotinctorum, using a combination of Sanger sequencing, 454-pyrosequencing, conventional light and confocal microscopy, and transmission electron microscopy. A total of 39 thalli sampled in five Canary Island populations were investigated. Three novel lineages of lichen phycobionts were detected, all being inferred within the Trebouxia clade G. The most abundant phycobiont lineage, occurring in all lichen populations investigated, is described here as Trebouxia crespoana sp. nov. This species produces spherical to pyriform cells possessing a crenulate chloroplast with lobes elongated at their ends, and one corticola-type pyrenoid with very thin, unbranched tubules of curved profile. Trebouxia crespoana is clearly distinguished from all other Trebouxia species by a characteristic cap-like cell wall thickening produced on one side of vegetative cells, and the larger size of vegetative cells that reach 21(–26) µm in diameter.
Molluscs are subjected to intense harvesting in many areas around the world. Conservation measures have been developed to preserve populations of an overexploited gastropod species, the abalone Haliotis tuberculata coccinea. This species was surveyed in subtidal localities throughout coastal Tenerife, Canary Islands over the last two decades (1994–2014). A clear indicator of non-recovery was observed in the decrease of mean size throughout the last two decades, even after the inclusion of this species in the Regional Catalogue of Endangered Species. The mean size of abalones decreased from 33.5 mm (1994) to 28–29 mm (2002 and 2014), corresponding to sub-adult individuals. The structure of size classes was typical of an overexploited species, with reduced occurrence of large individuals (>50 mm). Several factors might explain this pattern such as illegal harvesting, proliferation of featureless benthos and a decrease of suitable habitats for colonization and settlement. Complementary conservation actions are urgently needed to preserve this species in the area studied.
Cetaceans of Morocco have been poorly studied to date, and only sporadic information comes from scientific cruises for this group. In an attempt to learn more on the occurrence, distribution and relative abundances of cetaceans in Morocco, a stranding database was reconstructed from various sources (stranding reports from state agencies and newspaper clippings). This inventory documented 205 cases of stranding between 1980 and 2009. Most of the strandings and most confirmed cases of interactions with human activity (fishing, for dolphins; collisions, for whales) were reported in the Strait of Gibraltar and adjacent areas from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Sixteen species were identified from the stranding database, of which seven species were the most abundant. These were striped dolphins, common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, fin whales, sei whales, sperm whales and long-finned pilot whales. The fin and sei whales were present throughout the year and stranding of common and striped dolphins were minimal between September and December. The fin, sei and sperm whales seem to be present in Moroccan waters at birth and at different stages of their life cycle. Establishing an observation network of sufficient and sustainable density in Morocco is the most likely way to collect robust data for the calculation of credible population indicators for cetaceans. Monitoring will certainly improve through better collaboration among Moroccan institutions and a greater awareness in Moroccan civil society of environmental issues.
In the present work, we carried out a comparative molecular study of Stenoponia tripectinata tripectinata isolated from Mus musculus from the Canary Islands, Spain. The Internal Transcribed Spacers 1 and 2 (ITS1, ITS2) and 18S ribosomal RNA partial gene and cytochrome c-oxidase 1 (cox1) mitochondrial DNA partial gene sequences of this subspecies were determined to clarify the taxonomic status of this subspecies and to assess inter-population variation and inter-specific sequence differences. In addition, we have carried out a comparative phylogenetic study with other species of fleas using Bayesian, Maximum Parsimony, Maximum Likelihood and Neighbor-Joining analysis. A geographical signal was detected between the cox1 partial gene sequences of S. t. tripectinata isolated from M. musculus from different islands and those isolated from Apodemus sylvaticus from the Iberian Peninsula. Our results assess the monophyletic origin of Stenoponiinae and a different genetic lineage from Ctenophthalmidae. Thus, the elevation of subfamily Stenoponiinae to family level (Stenoponiidae) is suggested.
Sea-cage fish farms impact the seabed within their immediate vicinity, potentially affecting recipient communities. We assessed whether proximity to three sea-cage fish farms at the Canary Islands altered patterns in the abundance, assemblage structure and richness of soft-bottom macrofauna. We related among-farm variability in dissimilarities in macrofaunal assemblage structure between seabeds beneath cages and controls to differences in hydrodynamics, production and seabed topography. Contrasting patterns of species abundances with varying proximity to fish farms were observed: some species decreased while other species increased their abundances with increasing distance at some farms. Although faunal assemblages at 0 m (i.e. beneath the cages) were different, in terms of assemblage structure, from those found at controls, pairwise differences in assemblage structure among distances away varied among the studied fish farms. Species richness showed inconsistent patterns with proximity to cages among fish farms. In summary, inconsistent patterns of macrofaunal assemblages with varying proximity to aquaculture facilities preclude confident predictions on the way offshore aquaculture alters macrofauna in the study region.
The sea urchin Diadema africanum is considered a key
herbivore in sublittoral ecosystems of the Canary Islands. Spatial and
temporal variability in population structure was carried out at Gran
Canaria. We performed a morphometric and population density analysis during
2005, 2006 and 2007 at four sites in zones of Gran Canaria. The study
considered a vertical gradient (5, 10 and 20 m depth) during both seasons,
the cold season (February and March) and the warm season (October and
November). The sea urchin D. africanum in Gran Canaria
exhibited an overall density of 7.59 ± 2.92 urchin m−2. A two-way
ANOVA evidenced spatial differences in mean abundance of the species, while
seasonality was not relevant. The vertical analysis of the abundance of
D. africanum showed differences, the smaller sizes
appeared at greater depths. The Aristotle's lantern width decreased in a
vertical gradient, being remarkable between 10 and 20 m. Findings of
uniformity in size over time, a stable range of high densities and the lack
of a relationship between the size of the sea urchins and the season reveals
that the density–size strategy displayed by D. africanum
which explains in turns the high stability of the urchin barrens, which,
once developed, remain as areas of permanent desertification in subtidal
depths throughout the Canary Archipelago.
Three specimens of Platyscelus armatus (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Hyperiidea: Platyscelidae) are reported from coastal waters of the Canary Islands, Spain; these are the first records from these waters. The specimens were collected south-west of Tenerife and El Hierro Islands during the ‘CETOBAPH 2012' (April 2012) oceanographic cruise. Morphological and morphometric measurements of the specimens, geographical and bathymetric distribution of this species and a key to species of the genus reported in the Canary Islands are provided.
The African brown snapper Lutjanus dentatus is a fish native of the West African coastal zone of the Atlantic Ocean. Here we document the first recorded capture of this species in the Canary Islands, an archipelago close to Africa, in August 2013.
Epifaunal invertebrates are sensitive to changes in the identity of the dominant host plant, so assessing differences in the structure of epifaunal assemblages is particularly pertinent in areas where seagrasses have been replaced by alternative vegetation (e.g. green seaweeds). In this study, we aimed to compare the diversity, abundance and structure of epifaunal assemblages, particularly amphipods, between meadows dominated by the seagrass Cymodocea nodosa and the green rhizophytic algae Caulerpa prolifera on shallow soft bottoms of Gran Canaria Island, determining whether patterns were temporally consistent between two times. The epifaunal assemblage structure (abundance and composition) consistently differed between both plants, those assemblages associated with C. prolifera-dominated beds being more diverse and abundant relative to C. nodosa meadows. Amphipods constituted ~70% of total crustaceans for the overall study, including 37 species belonging to 16 families. The amphipod abundance was ~3 times larger in C. prolifera-dominated beds than in C. nodosa meadows. We detected species-specific affinities; for example, Microdeutopus stationis, Dexamine spinosa, Aora spinicornis, Ischyrocerus inexpectatus and Apherusa bispinosa were more abundant in C. prolifera-dominated beds; while the caprellid Mantacaprella macaronensis dominated in C. nodosa meadows. However, some species, such as Pseudoprotella phasma and Ampithoe ramondi, were found in both habitats with varying abundances between times.
Non-random assemblages have been described as a common pattern of flea co-occurrence across mainland host species. However, to date, patterns of flea co-occurrence on islands are unknown. The present work investigates, on one hand, whether the decrease in the number of species on islands affects the pattern of flea co-occurrence, and on the other hand, how the cost of higher flea burdens affects host body mass. The study was carried out in the Canary Islands (Spain) using null models to analyse flea co-occurrence on Rattus rattus and Mus musculus. Results supported aggregation of flea species in Mus but not in Rattus, probably due to the relationship between abundance and both prevalence and intensity of infection of the main flea species parasitizing Mus. In addition, heavy individuals of both rodent species showed the highest flea burdens as well as higher species richness, probably due to the continued accumulation of fleas throughout life and/or immunological resistance mechanisms. Whatever the mechanisms involved, it is clear that co-occurrence and high parasite intensities do not imply a detrimental biological cost for the rodents of the Canary Islands.
Land snail shell δ13C value is often used as a paleovegetation proxy assuming that snails ingest all plants in relation to their abundance, and that plants are the only source of carbon. However, carbonate ingestion and variable metabolic rates complicate these relationships. We evaluate if live-collected snails from Lanzarote (Canary Islands) reflect the abundance of C3 and CAM plants. Snails were collected on either CAM or C3 plants for isotope analysis of shell and body, and shell size. Respective shell and body δ13C values of snails collected on CAM plants averaged − 8.5 ± 1.7‰ and − 22.8 ± 1.6‰, whereas specimens from C3 plants averaged − 10.1 ± 0.7‰ and − 24.9 ± 1.1‰. A flux balance model suggests snails experienced comparable metabolic rates. A two-source mass balance equation implies that snails consumed ~ 10% of CAM, which agrees with their abundance in the landscape. Snails collected on CAM plant were smaller than those on C3 plants. Conclusively: 1) snails consume CAM plants when they are available; 2) migration of snails among C3 and CAM plants is a common phenomenon; and 3) C3 plants may be a more energetic food for growth than CAM plants. This study shows that shell δ13C values offer approximate estimates of plants in C3–CAM mixed environments.
The flagellated parasite Giardia duodenalis is known as one of the most common causes of protozoal diarrhoea in both humans and animals worldwide. The aim of the present work was to perform the first study of G. duodenalis in rodents in the Canary Islands (Spain) and analyse the level of genetic variation and the potential zoonotic role of the isolates. Stool samples were collected from 284 wild rodents and Giardia cysts were detected by light microscopy. The overall prevalence of giardiasis was 25·4% and ranged from 19·4% in El Hierro to 34% in Gran Canaria. Positive samples were further characterized by PCR and nucleotide sequencing of the triose phosphate isomerase (TPI), β-giardin (BG) and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) genes. Our study revealed assemblage G as the most frequent genotype and identified two rodent-infecting G. duodenalis haplotypes of this assemblage, HI and HII. Phylogenetic analysis supported the monophyly of haplotype HI, which we suggest to be considered as a novel G. duodenalis sub-assemblage GII, due to the high genetic distances among this sub-genotype and assemblage G. Furthermore, G. duodenalis assemblage B was detected in an inhabited area in La Palma, a fact that may pose a potential risk of G. duodenalis transmission from rodents to humans.