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In shell-secreting molluscs, age and growth rate of individuals and hence their performance can normally be measured using growth lines that are deposited in the shell throughout their lives. An annual periodicity of growth line formation of the warm-water limpet Patella depressa was established using marked and recaptured individuals from north Wales, UK. Length at age from suitably prepared shell sections was determined in limpets from non-range-edge populations and at two range edges, where different demographic attributes have been recorded. Individuals collected from their poleward range-edge in north Wales were older when compared with individuals at their range-edge in southern England. Shells collected from southern England were characterized by rapid growth with most individuals reaching >30 mm in maximum length by the fourth or fifth year, contrasting with those from north Wales, where most shells only reached this size at 7–10 years of age. Von Bertalanffy growth coefficients (K-values) were negatively related to P. depressa density, showing faster growth in lower total densities of both P. depressa and Patella vulgata combined. Higher intra-specific effects on K-values were found in P. depressa compared with its congener P. vulgata, with stronger effects in north Wales than in southern England. These results confirm differences in population patterns and individual traits between the two leading edges of P. depressa. Understanding annual growth in P. depressa over large scales could help to disentangle the processes determining differences in shell growth and age structure seen at the two range edges of this limpet species.
Patients with single-ventricle CHD undergo a series of palliative surgeries that culminate in the Fontan procedure. While the Fontan procedure allows most patients to survive to adulthood, the Fontan circulation can eventually lead to multiple cardiac complications and multi-organ dysfunction. Care for adolescents and adults with a Fontan circulation has begun to transition from a primarily cardiac-focused model to care models, which are designed to monitor multiple organ systems, and using clues from this screening, identify patients who are at risk for adverse outcomes. The complexity of care required for these patients led our centre to develop a multidisciplinary Fontan Management Programme with the primary goals of earlier detection and treatment of complications through the development of a cohesive network of diverse medical subspecialists with Fontan expertise.
Rocky shore ecology has been studied for a long time, starting with qualitative descriptions and becoming more quantitative and experimental over time. Some of the earliest manipulative experimental ecological studies were undertaken on rocky shores. Many, over time, have made considerable contributions to ecological theory, especially highlighting the importance of biological interactions at the community level. The suitability of rocky shores as convenient test systems for ecological experimentation is outlined. Here we consider contributions from rocky shores to the emerging concepts of supply-side ecology, the roles of competition, predation and grazing, disturbance and succession and positive interactions in structuring communities along environmental gradients. We then address alternative stable states, relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and bottom-up and top-down control of ecosystems. We briefly consider the feedback and synergies between ecological concepts and experimental work on rocky shores, whilst still emphasizing the traditional values of marine natural history upheld in JMBA since its first publication. The importance of rigorous experimental designs championed by Underwood and co-workers is emphasized. Recent progress taking advantage of new technologies and emerging approaches is considered. We illustrate how experimental studies have shown the importance of biological interactions in modulating species and assemblage-level responses to climate change and informed conservation and management of coastal ecosystems.
Limpets and barnacles are important components of intertidal assemblages worldwide. This study examines the effects of barnacles on the foraging behaviour of the limpet Patella vulgata, which is the main algal grazer in the North-west Atlantic. The behaviour of limpets on a vertical seawall on the Isle of Man (UK) was investigated using autonomous radio-telemetry, comparing their activity patterns on plots characterized by dense barnacle cover and plots from which the barnacles had been removed. Limpet behaviour was investigated at mid-shore level, but two different elevations were considered. This experiment revealed a significant effect of barnacle cover on the activity of P. vulgata. Limpets on smooth surfaces spent a greater proportion of total time active than did limpets on barnacles. Movement activity was also greater in areas that were lower down in the tidal range. In general, limpets were either predominantly active during diurnal high or nocturnal low tides and always avoided nocturnal high tides. Individuals on barnacles at the higher elevation concentrated their activity during nocturnal low water. All the other groups of limpets (smooth surfaces on the upper level and all individuals on the lower shore) had more excursions centred around daylight hours with an equal distribution of activity between periods of low and high water. Inter-individual variability was, however, pronounced.
This volume has achieved a large coverage of the experimentally well-studied areas of the temperate and subtropical coasts of the world (see Figure 1.1) – venturing into the tropics in some regions (Chapter 14, South-East Asia) and including mangroves (Chapter 17). Coral reef systems have not been considered. Much of the emphasis has been on rocky habitats as this is where the majority of experimental work on interactions has been done (but see Chapter 6). As well as reviewing regions where there has been a long history of experimental research (e.g., Chapters 2–4, 6, 10, 11, 13, 15, 16), areas of emerging experimental research in the last twenty-five years (e.g., Chapter 8, western Mediterranean; Chapter 12, south-east Pacific) and understudied regions (e.g., Chapter 7, Argentina; Chapter 14, South-East Asia) have also been included, allowing more comprehensive insights into the processes important for shaping these communities. In this short synthesis chapter, we first consider the main processes determining patterns covered by the previous chapters. We then consider major human impacts in these regions. Finally, we identify gaps in knowledge and make some suggestions for the way forward. We make the case for combining phylogeographic studies with macro-ecology and biogeography, coupled with well-designed hypothesis testing experiments, to better understand processes generating patterns on micro-evolutionary (hundreds to thousands of years) and ecological (up to hundreds of years) time scales.
The rocky shores of the north-east Atlantic have been long studied. Our focus is from Gibraltar to Norway plus the Azores and Iceland. Phylogeographic processes shape biogeographic patterns of biodiversity. Long-term and broadscale studies have shown the responses of biota to past climate fluctuations and more recent anthropogenic climate change. Inter- and intra-specific species interactions along sharp local environmental gradients shape distributions and community structure and hence ecosystem functioning. Shifts in domination by fucoids in shelter to barnacles/mussels in exposure are mediated by grazing by patellid limpets. Further south fucoids become increasingly rare, with species disappearing or restricted to estuarine refuges, caused by greater desiccation and grazing pressure. Mesoscale processes influence bottom-up nutrient forcing and larval supply, hence affecting species abundance and distribution, and can be proximate factors setting range edges (e.g., the English Channel, the Iberian Peninsula). Impacts of invasive non-native species are reviewed. Knowledge gaps such as the work on rockpools and host–parasite dynamics are also outlined.
Canopy-forming fucoid algae have an important role as ecosystem engineers on rocky intertidal shores, where they increase the abundance of species otherwise limited by exposure during low tide. The facilitative relationship between Ascophyllum nodosum and associated organisms was explored using a frond breakage experiment (100%, 50%, 25%, 0% intact-frond treatments) in southern England, to assess the consequences of disturbance. Understorey substratum temperature was on average 3°C higher in 0% and 25% intact-frond treatments than in plots with 50% and 100% intact fronds. Light (as PAR during low tide) doubled in 0% intact-frond treatments in comparison to other treatments (which had similar light levels). Mobile invertebrate species richness declined by on average 1 species per m2 in the treatments with only 25% and 0% intact fronds, and the abundance of Littorina obtusata declined by 2.4–4.2 individuals per m2 in the treatments with 25 and 0% intact fronds. Sessile taxa, including Osmundea pinnatifida and encrusting coralline algae, declined by half on average in the 0% intact-frond treatment. These results suggest that the ability of Ascophyllum to mediate environmental conditions to the understorey is the mechanism responsible for species distributed in the understorey (autogenic ecosystem engineering). The results of this study imply that a pulse disturbance resulting in a 50% breakage of Ascophyllum fronds significantly increases temperature and decreases the abundance of mobile invertebrates usually associated with Ascophyllum. Sessile taxa associated with Ascophyllum can, however, withstand disturbances down to 25% intact Ascophyllum fronds.
Realization that hard coastal infrastructures support lower biodiversity than natural habitats has prompted a wealth of research seeking to identify design enhancements offering ecological benefits. Some studies showed that artificial structures could be modified to increase levels of diversity. Most studies, however, only considered the short-term ecological effects of such modifications, even though reliance on results from short-term studies may lead to serious misjudgements in conservation. In this study, a seven-year experiment examined how the addition of small pits to otherwise featureless seawalls may enhance the stocks of a highly-exploited limpet. Modified areas of the seawall supported enhanced stocks of limpets seven years after the addition of pits. Modified areas of the seawall also supported a community that differed in the abundance of littorinids, barnacles and macroalgae compared to the controls. Responses to different treatments (numbers and size of pits) were species-specific and, while some species responded directly to differences among treatments, others might have responded indirectly via changes in the distribution of competing species. This type of habitat enhancement can have positive long-lasting effects on the ecology of urban seascapes. Understanding of species interactions could be used to develop a rule-based approach to enhance biodiversity.
There is clear evidence that marine reserves can be used as effective tools to foster the recovery of disturbed ecosystems. In the Azores, intense exploitation of the patellid limpets Patella candei and P. aspera has led to a rapid decline in their populations and subsequent collapse of the fishery in 1985. In 1993, legislation was passed to protect limpets, including the establishment of limpet protected zones (LPZs) where harvesting was completely prohibited. Outside LPZs, a seasonal fishing closure prohibited the harvesting of limpets from October to May. Here we examine the effect of such measures 16 years after they were put into practice. In each of the 3 years examined, limpet density, biomass and size were generally similar both inside and outside the LPZs. In addition, there were clear signs of exploitation as most individual limpets inside the LPZ were smaller than the legal catch size suggesting that illegal harvesting was taking place. Observations confirmed that illegal harvesting of limpets was common both inside and outside LPZs. Lack of enforcement of regulations is therefore a likely reason for the failure of legislation to protect limpet populations and facilitate stock recovery.
The distribution and abundance of Ascophyllum nodosum, Fucus serratus and F. vesiculosus were described at four sheltered, rocky shores in the south of the Isle of Man. Canopy removal experiments were performed at mid tide level of one sheltered, canopy dominated shore to investigate the interactions between the dominant canopy alga, Ascophyllum nodosum and the competitively inferior canopy species of Fucus serratus and F. vesiculosus. Ascophyllum was removed from replicated plots, 2×2 m in size, in both winter and summer; the early growth and survival of fucoids in the presence and absence of the Ascophyllum canopy were monitored and the eventual development of a new canopy described. Juveniles of F. serratus originally present beneath the undisturbed canopy of Ascophyllum died following canopy removal but new recruitment resulted in some canopy development, principally in the winter experiment. Fucus vesiculosus, despite being completely excluded from the Ascophyllum zone of all four shores described, dominated the canopy removal plots of both winter and summer experiments. The Ascophyllum canopy did not recover over a five year period of observation, although a considerable increase in the abundance of Ascophyllum juveniles occurred.
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