J. Mar. Sci. Eng.2015, 3(1), 111-127; doi:10.3390/jmse3010111 (registering DOI) - published 4 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The continuous degradation of coral reef ecosystems on a global level, the disheartening expectations of a gloomy future for reefs’ statuses, the failure of traditional conservation acts to revive most of the degrading reefs and the understanding that it is unlikely that future reefs will return to historic conditions, all call for novel management approaches. Among the most effective approaches is the “gardening” concept of active reef restoration, centered, as in silviculture, on a two-step restoration process (nursery and transplantation). In the almost two decades that passed from its first presentation, the “gardening” tenet was tested in a number of coral reefs worldwide, revealing that it may reshape coral reef communities (and associated biota) in such a way that novel reef ecosystems with novel functionalities that did not exist before are developed. Using the “gardening” approach as a climate change mediator, four novel ecosystem engineering management approaches are raised and discussed in this article. These include the take-home lessons approach, which considers the critical evaluation of reef restoration outcomes; the genetics approach; the use of coral nurseries as repositories for coral and reef species; and an approach that uses novel environmental engineering tactics. Two of these approaches (take-home lessons and using coral nurseries as repositories for reef dwelling organisms) already consider the uncertainty and the gaps in our knowledge, and they are further supported by the genetic approach and by the use of novel environmental engineering tactics as augmenting auxiliaries. Employing these approaches (combined with other novel tactics) will enhance the ability of coral reef organisms to adaptably respond to climate change.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng.2015, 3(1), 100-110; doi:10.3390/jmse3010100 (registering DOI) - published 4 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Slides generating impulse waves are currently generated using either block models or free granular material impacting a water body. These procedures were mainly developed to study plane impulse waves, i.e., wave generation in a rectangular channel. The current VAW, ETH Zurich, research is directed to the spatial impulse wave features, i.e., waves propagating in a wave basin. The two wave generation mechanisms mentioned above complicate this process for various reasons, including experimental handling, collection of slide material in the wave basin, poor representation of prototype conditions for the block model, and excessive temporal duration for free granular slides. Impulse waves originating from slides with free granular material and mesh-packed slides are compared in this paper. Detailed test series are presented, so that the resulting main wave features can be compared. The results highlight whether the simplified procedure involving mesh-packed slides really applies in future research, and specify advantages in terms of impulse wave experimentation.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng.2015, 3(1), 87-99; doi:10.3390/jmse3010087 - published 2 March 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: Generalised reviews of RNA interference (RNAi) in invertebrates, and for use in aquaculture, have taken for granted that RNAi pathways operate in molluscs, but inspection of such reviews show little specific evidence of such activity in molluscs. This review was to understand what specific research had been conducted on RNAi in molluscs, particularly with regard to aquaculture. There were questions of whether RNAi in molluscs functions similarly to the paradigm established for most eukaryotes or, alternatively, was it more similar to the ecdozoa and how RNAi may relate to disease control in aquaculture? RNAi in molluscs appears to have been only investigated in about 14 species, mostly as a gene silencing phenomenon. We can infer that microRNAs including let-7 are functional in molluscs. The genes/proteins involved in the actual RNAi pathways have only been rudimentarily investigated, so how homologous the genes and proteins are to other metazoa is unknown. Furthermore, how many different genes for each activity in the RNAi pathway are also unknown? The cephalopods have been greatly overlooked with only a single RNAi gene-silencing study found. The long dsRNA-linked interferon pathways seem to be present in molluscs, unlike some other invertebrates and could be used to reduce disease states in aquaculture. In particular, interferon regulatory factor genes have been found in molluscs of aquacultural importance such as Crassostrea, Mytilus, Pinctada and Haliotis. Two possible aquaculture scenarios are discussed, zoonotic norovirus and ostreid herpesvirus 1 to illustrate the possibilities. The entire field of RNAi in molluscs looks ripe for scientific exploitation and practical application.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng.2015, 3(1), 73-86; doi:10.3390/jmse3010073 - published 12 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: The present study extends the applicability of a statistical model for prediction of storm surge originally developed for The Battery, NY in two ways: I. the statistical model is used as a biascorrection for operationally produced dynamical surge forecasts, and II. the statistical model is applied to the region of the east coast of the U.S. susceptible to winter extratropical storms. The statistical prediction is based on a regression relation between the “storm maximum” storm surge and the storm composite significant wave height predicted ata nearby location. The use of the statistical surge prediction as an alternative bias correction for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) operational storm surge forecasts is shownhere to be statistically equivalent to the existing bias correctiontechnique and potentially applicable for much longer forecast lead times as well as for storm surge climate prediction. Applying the statistical model to locations along the east coast shows that the regression relation can be “trained” with data from tide gauge measurements and near-shore buoys along the coast from North Carolina to Maine, and that it provides accurate estimates of storm surge.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng.2015, 3(1), 52-72; doi:10.3390/jmse3010052 - published 10 February 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: In mangrove ecosystems, strong reciprocal interactions exist between plant and substrate. Under semi-arid climate, Rhizophora spp. are usually predominant, colonizing the seashore, and Avicennia marina develops at the edge of salt-flats, which is the highest zone in the intertidal range. Along this zonation, distribution and speciation of C, Fe, S, N, and P in sediments and pore-waters were investigated. From the land-side to the sea-side of the mangrove, sediments were characterized by I/ increase in: (i) water content; (ii) TOC; (iii) mangrove-derived OM; II/ and decrease in: (i) salinity; (ii) redox; (iii) pH; (iv) solid Fe and solid P. Beneath Avicennia and Rhizophora, TS accumulated at depth, probably as a result of reduction of iron oxides and sulfate. The loss of total Fe observed towards the sea-side may be related to sulfur oxidation and to more intense tidal flushing of dissolved components. Except the organic forms, dissolved N and P concentrations were very low beneath Avicennia and Rhizophora stands, probably as a result of their uptake by the root systems. However, in the unvegetated salt-flat, NH4+ can accumulate in organic rich and anoxic layers. This study shows: (i) the evolution of mangrove sediment biogeochemistry along the intertidal zone as a result of the different duration of tidal inundation and organic enrichment; and (ii) the strong links between the distribution and speciation of the different elements.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng.2015, 3(1), 23-51; doi:10.3390/jmse3010023 - published 15 January 2015 Show/Hide Abstract
Abstract: We propose a methodological approach for a comprehensive and total probabilistic tsunami hazard assessment (TotPTHA), in which many different possible source types concur to the definition of the total tsunami hazard at given target sites. In a multi-hazard and multi-risk perspective, the approach allows us to consider all possible tsunamigenic sources (seismic events, slides, volcanic eruptions, asteroids, etc.). In this respect, we also formally introduce and discuss the treatment of interaction/cascade effects in the TotPTHA analysis and we demonstrate how the triggering events may induce significant temporary variations in short-term analysis of the tsunami hazard. In two target sites (the city of Naples and the island of Ischia in Italy) we prove the feasibility of the TotPTHA methodology in the multi—source case considering near submarine seismic sources and submarine mass failures in the study area. The TotPTHA indicated that the tsunami hazard increases significantly by considering both the potential submarine mass failures and the submarine seismic events. Finally, the importance of the source interactions is evaluated by applying a triggering seismic event that causes relevant changes in the short-term TotPTHA.