Special Issue "Ecological Fluid Dynamics"

A special issue of Fluids (ISSN 2311-5521).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Houshuo Jiang
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Applied Ocean Physics & Engineering Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
Interests: small-scale biological–physical interactions in the plankton; behavioral, physical, and sensory ecology of marine organisms; plankton fluid dynamics; biofluid dynamics; ecological fluid dynamics; applied computational fluid dynamics; mesoscale atmospheric numerical modeling over the ocean

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ecological fluid dynamics deals with organism-flow interactions in ecological contexts that impact organisms’ three main tasks in life, namely, to acquire resources (food, prey, nutrients, light), to avoid adverse conditions (predators, parasites, dangers, damages), and to reproduce (mate finding, fertilization, ontogenetic transition, development, recruitment). The subject is broadly defined, concerning a variety of organisms (bacteria, protists, animals, plants), two primary natural fluid media (water and air), and a broad range of flow regimes (creeping, laminar, unsteady, wavy, vortical, and turbulent flows). This Special Issue of Fluids is dedicated to recent observational, experimental, theoretical, and computational contributions to this inherently multidisciplinary subject.

Dr. Houshuo Jiang
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • organism-flow interaction
  • biologically generated flow
  • biological propulsion system and efficiency
  • biological flow control
  • flow sensing and signaling
  • sensory ecology
  • form and function
  • biological encounter
  • transport, stirring, and mixing
  • diffusion, advection, and dispersion

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Overcoming Drag at the Water-Air Interface Constrains Body Size in Whirligig Beetles
Fluids 2021, 6(7), 249; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6070249 - 06 Jul 2021
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Abstract
Whirligig beetles (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae) are among the best swimmers of all aquatic insects. They live mostly at the water’s surface and their capacity to swim fast is key to their survival. We present a minimal model for the viscous and wave drags they [...] Read more.
Whirligig beetles (Coleoptera: Gyrinidae) are among the best swimmers of all aquatic insects. They live mostly at the water’s surface and their capacity to swim fast is key to their survival. We present a minimal model for the viscous and wave drags they face at the water’s surface and compare them to their thrust capacity. The swimming speed accessible is thus derived according to size. An optimal size range for swimming at the water’s surface is observed. These results are in line with the evolutionary trajectories of gyrinids which evolved into lineages whose members are a few milimeter’s long to those with larger-sized genera being tens of millimeters in length. The size of these beetles appears strongly constrained by the fluid mechanical laws ruling locomotion and adaptation to the water-air interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Fluid Dynamics)
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Article
Anguilliform Locomotion across a Natural Range of Swimming Speeds
Fluids 2021, 6(3), 127; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6030127 - 20 Mar 2021
Viewed by 861
Abstract
Eel-like fish can exhibit efficient swimming with comparatively low metabolic cost by utilizing sub-ambient pressure areas in the trough of body waves to generate thrust, effectively pulling themselves through the surrounding water. While this is understood at the fish’s preferred swimming speed, little [...] Read more.
Eel-like fish can exhibit efficient swimming with comparatively low metabolic cost by utilizing sub-ambient pressure areas in the trough of body waves to generate thrust, effectively pulling themselves through the surrounding water. While this is understood at the fish’s preferred swimming speed, little is known about the mechanism over a full range of natural swimming speeds. We compared the swimming kinematics, hydrodynamics, and metabolic activity of juvenile coral catfish (Plotosus lineatus) across relative swimming speeds spanning two orders of magnitude from 0.2 to 2.0 body lengths (BL) per second. We used experimentally derived velocity fields to compute pressure fields and components of thrust along the body. At low speeds, thrust was primarily generated through positive pressure pushing forces. In contrast, increasing swimming speeds caused a shift in the recruitment of push and pull propulsive forces whereby sub-ambient pressure gradients contributed up to 87% of the total thrust produced during one tail-beat cycle past 0.5 BL s−1. This shift in thrust production corresponded to a sharp decline in the overall cost of transport and suggests that pull-dominated thrust in anguilliform swimmers is subject to a minimum threshold below which drag-based mechanisms are less effective. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Fluid Dynamics)
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Article
Hydrodynamics of Prey Capture and Transportation in Choanoflagellates
Fluids 2021, 6(3), 94; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6030094 - 27 Feb 2021
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Abstract
Choanoflagellates are unicellular microscopic organisms that are believed to be the closest living relatives of animals. They prey on bacteria through the act of the continuous beating of their flagellum, which generates a current through a crown-like filter. Subsequently, the filter retains bacterial [...] Read more.
Choanoflagellates are unicellular microscopic organisms that are believed to be the closest living relatives of animals. They prey on bacteria through the act of the continuous beating of their flagellum, which generates a current through a crown-like filter. Subsequently, the filter retains bacterial particles from the suspension. The mechanism by which the prey is retained and transported along the filter remains unknown. We report here on the hydrodynamic effects on the transportability of bacterial prey of finite size using computational fluid dynamics. Here, the loricate choanoflagellate Diaphaoneca grandis serves as the model organism. The lorica is a basket-like structure found in only some of the species of choanoflagellates. We find that although transportation does not entirely rely on hydrodynamic forces, such forces positively contribute to the transportation of prey along the collar filter. The aiding effects are most possible in non-loricate choanoflagellate species, as compared to loricate species. As hydrodynamic effects are strongly linked to the beat and shape of the flagellum, our results indicate an alternative mechanism for prey transportation, especially in biological systems where having an active transport mechanism is costly or not feasible. This suggests an additional potential role for flagella in addition to providing propulsion and generating feeding currents. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Fluid Dynamics)
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Review

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Review
Wave-Energy Dissipation: Seaweeds and Marine Plants Are Ecosystem Engineers
Fluids 2021, 6(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/fluids6040151 - 09 Apr 2021
Viewed by 610
Abstract
Ocean waves deliver an immense amount of energy to coasts around the planet, powering high-velocity flows that interact with nearshore marine plants and animals. Although some of these interactions are beneficial, it is often advantageous for subtidal and intertidal ecological communities if wave-induced [...] Read more.
Ocean waves deliver an immense amount of energy to coasts around the planet, powering high-velocity flows that interact with nearshore marine plants and animals. Although some of these interactions are beneficial, it is often advantageous for subtidal and intertidal ecological communities if wave-induced water velocities can be reduced by safely dissipating wave energy. This function is often fulfilled by seaweeds and marine plants, which thereby act as ecosystem engineers, modifying the environment to the benefit of the community. Recent advances in hydro-mechanical theory help to explain the mechanisms by which vegetation dissipates wave energy, highlighting the role that organisms’ tendency to bend in flow—their structural flexibility—plays in their ability to engineer wave-induced flows. Here, I review these theories and their application to salt marsh plants, seagrasses, mangroves, and seaweeds, focusing on the ways that marine vegetation serves a foundational role in community function. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecological Fluid Dynamics)
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