Bio: Igor Brautović is an academic researcher from University of Dubrovnik. The author has contributed to research in topics: Zooplankton & Trophic level. The author has an hindex of 7, co-authored 14 publications receiving 171 citations.
TL;DR: Significant correlation determined between Acartia clausi and oligotrich ciliates indicates predator–prey relationship and the importance of the ciliate community in the energy transfer through the trophic web of this area.
Abstract: Mesozooplankton was sampled during one year in the eutrophicated Vranjic Basin and the influence of environmental variables on its abundance and distribution was analysed. Parallel microzooplankton samples were collected in order to asses trophic relationships within the zooplankton community. Total mesozooplankton abundances were high, exceeding 2 x 104 ind. m-3 in the warmer part of the year, but the biodiversity was low. The annual variability of this assemblage was mostly influenced by temperature. Copepods were dominant among net plankton groups, while ciliates dominated the protozoan community. The key species of the copepod community were Acartia clausi, Oithona nana and Euterpina acutifrons, occurring simultaneously throughout the year. High abundances of small copepod Oithona nana were determined in both meso- and microzooplankton samples, and comparisons of the catches from 125 μ m net and 5 l Niskin bottles revealed no significant differences between them. Significant correlation determined between Acartia clausi and oligotrich ciliates indicates predator-pray relationship and the importance of the ciliate community in the energy transfer through the trophic web of this area.
TL;DR: The total tintinnid abundance, the dominant species abundance and the dominance grade increased significantly with increasing trophic state, while the diversity indices decreased, and it is concluded that abundance and dominance may be straight indicators of ecosystem troPHic state.
Abstract: Changes in the tintinnid community were studied in the neritic area of the middle Adriatic Sea from January 1998 until November 1999. Variability in tintinnid abundance showed a clear seasonal pattern with winter–spring and autumn maxima. The vertical distribution of tintinnid populations was affected by their taxonomic structure. A total of 51 taxa belonging to 11 families and 20 genera were identified. Helicostomella subulata, Codonellopsis schabi, Stenosemella nivalis and Salpingella decurtata were the dominant species. The species richness was positively related to overall abundance on the temporal scale at each station, and it was also affected by environmental trophic state. The total tintinnid abundance, the dominant species abundance and the dominance grade increased significantly with increasing trophic state, while the diversity indices decreased. Hence we conclude that abundance and dominance may be straight indicators of ecosystem trophic state. In addition to environmental trophic state and food availability, tintinnid species distribution was strongly affected by temperature, which was the most important environmental factor determining their seasonality.
TL;DR: It is suggested that a significant amount of bacterial production, phytoplankton and HNF biomass could be transferred to higher trophic levels through the microbial food web.
Abstract: Interactions among phytoplankton, bacterioplankton, heterotrophic nanoflagellates (HNF), ciliated protozoa and copepod nauplii were studied in the eutrophicated part of Kas?tela Bay from May 1998 to November 1999. Special emphasis was placed on relationships between size categories of nonloricate ciliates (NLC) and other microbial food web components. Biomasses of phytoplankton and bacteria were primarily influenced by abiotic parameters. Temperature indirectly controlled variation in HNF biomass through the changes in biomass of bacteria and the smaller phytoplankton fraction. Besides HNF, bacterial biomass was affected by the NLC 3 (Cell Length 3 , CL 104 µm 3 (CL >40 µm) had a strong mutual correlation and they seemed to be controlling the microphytoplankton fraction. During the colder part of the year, HNF abundance was regulated by ciliate grazing. The high impact of ciliates in summer 1998 could have been influenced by the taxonomic composition of the phytoplankton community changing, as well as the higher eutrophication level in the study area. Predation by copepod nauplii on ciliates and carbon transfer to higher trophic levels appear to be of relative importance only in the period when they are most abundant. This paper outlines the dominant relationships within the microbial food web and suggests that a significant amount of bacterial production, phytoplankton and HNF biomass could be transferred to higher trophic levels through the microbial food web.
TL;DR: The zooplankton community was analyzed in ten Adriatic ports as part of the port biological baseline surveys carried out within the framework of the BALMAS project and recorded a total of 76 indigenous copepod species and five NIS, among which Parvocalanus crassirostris detected in Šibenik and Rijeka ports and Oithona davisae in Venice port, are new for the AdRIatic.
Abstract: The zooplankton community was analyzed in ten Adriatic ports as part of the port biological baseline surveys carried out within the framework of the BALMAS project. We provide the first inventory of resident zooplankton taxa and five detected non-indigenous zooplankton species (NIS), and their spatial and seasonal distribution patterns. Copepoda and meroplankton larvae, particularly of Mollusca, dominated the zooplankton in all sampled ports. We recorded a total of 76 indigenous copepod species and five NIS, among which Parvocalanus crassirostris detected in Sibenik and Rijeka ports and Oithona davisae in Venice port, are new for the Adriatic. All detected NIS were widely distributed within the recipient ports. Co-occurrences of NIS were observed in the ports of Venice, Bari, Ancona and Trieste. The results are expected to contribute to the quality of practical monitoring of zooplankton NIS and facilitate the synchronization of efforts in creating NIS-related policies for the Adriatic sub-region.
TL;DR: Zooplankton numerical variability primarily responded to seasonal variation in water temperature and spatial variation in salinity, but spatial distribution of the collected data showed that abundances were also linked to chemical and biological parameters generally used as descriptors of water quality.
Abstract: The objectives of this paper were to determine the main environmental drivers of zooplankton variability in coastal waters adjacent to urban areas and to evaluate the differences in zooplankton abundance and population structure in relation to chemical and biological parameters in the water column Samples were collected seasonally from May 2006 to January 2009 at 8 sampling sites in the bays and channels along the eastern Adriatic coast Zooplankton population structure showed high similarity within the investigated region, especially evident in the homogeneity of copepod community composition, where relative importance of the individual species showed characteristic high ranking of small and medium-sized taxa Zooplankton numerical variability primarily responded to seasonal variation in water temperature and spatial variation in salinity, but spatial distribution of the collected data showed that abundances were also linked to chemical and biological parameters generally used as descriptors of water quality This indicates that zooplankton community size reflects the trophic status of an area and supports the use of zooplankton studies as an auxiliary method in the evaluation of the trophic state of coastal waters
TL;DR: An overview of the plankton studies conducted during the last 25 years in the epipelagic offshore waters of the Mediterranean Sea is presented, finding a "multivorous web" is shown by the great variety of feeding modes and preferences and by the significant and simultaneous grazing impact on phytoplankton and ciliates by mesozooplankon.
Abstract: . We present an overview of the plankton studies conducted during the last 25 years in the epipelagic offshore waters of the Mediterranean Sea. This quasi-enclosed sea is characterized by a rich and complex physical dynamics with distinctive traits, especially in regard to the thermohaline circulation. Recent investigations have basically confirmed the long-recognised oligotrophic nature of this sea, which increases along both the west-east and the north-south directions. Nutrient availability is low, especially for phosphorous (N:P up to 60), though this limitation may be buffered by inputs from highly populated coasts and from the atmosphere. Phytoplankton biomass, as chl a, generally displays low values (less than 0.2 μg chl a l−1) over large areas, with a modest late winter increase. A large bloom (up to 3 μg l−1) is observed throughout the late winter and spring exclusively in the NW area. Relatively high biomass values are recorded in fronts and cyclonic gyres. A deep chlorophyll maximum is a permanent feature for the whole basin, except during the late winter mixing. It is found at increasingly greater depths ranging from 30 m in the Alboran Sea to 120 m in the easternmost Levantine basin. Primary production reveals a west-east decreasing trend and ranges between 59 and 150 g C m−2 y−1 (in situ measurements). Overall, the basin is largely dominated by small autotrophs, microheterotrophs and egg-carrying copepod species. The microorganisms (phytoplankton, viruses, bacteria, flagellates and ciliates) and zooplankton components reveal a considerable diversity and variability over spatial and temporal scales, although the latter is poorly studied. Examples are the wide diversity of dinoflagellates and coccolithophores, the multifarious role of diatoms or picoeukaryotes, and the distinct seasonal or spatial patterns of the species-rich copepod genera or families which dominate the basin. Major dissimilarities between western and eastern basins have been highlighted in species composition of phytoplankton and mesozooplankton, but also in the heterotrophic microbial components and in their relationships. Superimposed to these longitudinal differences, a pronounced biological heterogeneity is also observed in areas hosting deep convection, fronts, cyclonic and anti-cyclonic gyres or eddies. In such areas, the intermittent nutrient enrichment promotes a switching between a small-sized microbial community and diatom-dominated populations. A classical food web readily substitutes the microbial food web in these cases. These switches, likely occurring within a continuum of trophic pathways, may greatly increase the flux towards higher trophic levels, in spite of the apparent heterotrophy. Basically, the microbial system seems to be both bottom-up and top-down controlled. A "multivorous web" is shown by the great variety of feeding modes and preferences and by the significant and simultaneous grazing impact on phytoplankton and ciliates by mesozooplankton.
TL;DR: DNA metabarcoding was shown to be helpful for the monitoring of non-indigenous marine metazoans and spawning areas of commercial fish species and the benefits of combining the datasets from two genetic markers.
Abstract: Zooplankton plays a pivotal role in marine ecosystems and the characterisation of its biodiversity still represents a challenge for marine ecologists. In this study, mesozooplankton composition from 46 samples collected in summer along the western Adriatic Sea, was retrieved by DNA metabarcoding analysis. For the first time, the highly variable fragments of the mtDNA COI and the V9 region of 18S rRNA genes were used in a combined matrix to compile an inventory of mesozooplankton at basin scale. The number of sequences retrieved after quality filtering were 824,148 and 223,273 for COI and 18S (V9), respectively. The taxonomical assignment against reference sequences, using 95% (for COI) and 97% (for 18S) similarity thresholds, recovered 234 taxa. NMDS plots and cluster analysis divided coastal from offshore samples and the most representative species of these clusters were distributed according to the dominant surface current pattern of the Adriatic for the summer period. For selected sampling sites, mesozooplankton species were also identified under a stereo microscope providing insights on the strength and weakness of the two approaches. In addition, DNA metabarcoding was shown to be helpful for the monitoring of non-indigenous marine metazoans and spawning areas of commercial fish species. We defined pros and cons of applying this approach at basin scale and the benefits of combining the datasets from two genetic markers.
TL;DR: Changes in species diversity were greatest on interannual scales, intermediate on seasonal scales, and smallest across regions, in contrast to abundance patterns, suggesting that zooplankton diversity may be a more sensitive indicator of ecosystem response to inter annual climate variation than zoo plankton abundance.
Abstract: This paper forms part of a broader overview of biodiversity of marine life in the Gulf of Maine area (GoMA), facilitated by the GoMA Census of Marine Life program. It synthesizes current data on species diversity of zooplankton and pelagic nekton, including compilation of observed species and descriptions of seasonal, regional and cross-shelf diversity patterns. Zooplankton diversity in the GoMA is characterized by spatial differences in community composition among the neritic environment, the coastal shelf, and deep offshore waters. Copepod diversity increased with depth on the Scotian Shelf. On the coastal shelf of the western Gulf of Maine, the number of higher-level taxonomic groups declined with distance from shore, reflecting more nearshore meroplankton. Copepod diversity increased in late summer, and interdecadal diversity shifts were observed, including a period of higher diversity in the 1990s. Changes in species diversity were greatest on interannual scales, intermediate on seasonal scales, and smallest across regions, in contrast to abundance patterns, suggesting that zooplankton diversity may be a more sensitive indicator of ecosystem response to inter annual climate variation than zoo plankton abundance. Local factors such as bathymetry, proximity of the coast, and advection probably drive zooplankton and pelagic nekton diversity patterns in the GoMA, while ocean-basin scale diversity patterns probably contribute to the increase in diversity at the Scotian Shelf break, a zone of mixing between the cold-temperate community of the shelf and the warm-water community offshore. Pressing research needs include establishment of a comprehensive system for observing change in zooplankton and pelagic nekton diversity, enhanced observations of "underknown" but important functional components of the ecosystem, population and metapopulation studies, and development of analytical modeling tools to enhance understanding of diversity patterns and drivers. Ultimately, sustained observations and modeling analysis of biodiversity must be effectively communicated to managers and incorporated into ecosystem approaches for management of GoMA living marine resources.
TL;DR: The Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) offline database has been used for a continuous literature search and update of the Mediterranean marine non-indigenous species (NIS) inventory for the period 2017-2019.
Abstract: The current amendments to the Mediterranean marine Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) inventory for the period 2017-2019 are the result of a continuous literature search and update of the Hellenic Centre for Marine Research (HCMR) offline database. They take into account recent findings, previously missed records, back-dated records based on the re-examination of existing material or phylogenetic studies and changes in nomenclature. During the period 2017-2019, 70 new species were added to the inventory of established species, 25 that had escaped our attention in the past and 23 newly introduced, which have already established self-sustaining populations. Meanwhile, 22 species previously known only with casual records have established viable populations and a total of 36 species have expanded their distribution into new Marine Strategy Framework Directive regions, primarily the Central Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea. Intensified research efforts, prompted by the reporting obligations created by recent legislation, complemented by ever expanding networks and initiatives involving citizen scientists have certainly contributed to higher rates of discovery of alien species presences. However, the expansion of tropical and sub-tropical species into the cooler waters of the Aegean, the Adriatic and the western Mediterranean indicates that the warming of Mediterranean waters due to climate change is also facilitating the geographic expansion of NIS in the region. The rate of new introductions in this 3-year period is 8 species per year for the whole Mediterranean, without taking into account casual records or species with reporting lags. Only 4 species per year enter through the Suez Canal, while a considerable number of species are introduced through shipping vectors and the aquarium trade. Acknowledging the dynamic nature of invasions and the uncertainty inherent in compiling check lists, we consider the present work as the most accurate and up-to-date NIS list to inform policy, management and decision-making.
TL;DR: The authors in this paper presented a re-examination of marine alien species or non-indigenous species (NIS) reported in Italian Seas by December 2018, particularly focusing on establishment success, year of first record, origin, potential invasiveness, and likely pathways.
Abstract: The re-examination of marine alien species or Non-indigenous species (NIS) reported in Italian Seas by December 2018, is here provided, particularly focusing on establishment success, year of first record, origin, potential invasiveness, and likely pathways. Furthermore, their distribution is assessed according to marine subregions outlined by the European Union (EU) Marine Strategy Framework Directive: Adriatic Sea (ADRIA), Ionian Sea and Central Mediterranean Sea (CMED), and Western Mediterranean Sea (WMED). In Italy, 265 NIS have been detected with the highest number of species being recorded in the CMED (154 species) and the WMED (151 species), followed by the ADRIA (143). Most of these species were recorded in more than one subregion. The NIS that have established stable populations in Italian Seas are 180 (68%), among which 26 have exhibited invasive traits. Among taxa involved, Macrophyta rank first with 65 taxa. Fifty-five of them are established in at least one subregion, mostly in the ADRIA and the CMED. Crustacea rank second with 48 taxa, followed by Polychaeta with 43 taxa, Mollusca with 29 taxa, and Pisces with 28 taxa, which were mainly reported from the CMED. In the period 2012-2017, 44 new alien species were recorded, resulting in approximately one new entry every two months. Approximately half of the NIS (~52%) recorded in Italy have most likely arrived through the transport-stowaway pathway related to shipping traffic (~28% as biofoulers, ~22% in ballast waters, and ~2% as hitchhikers). The second most common pathway is the unaided movement with currents (~19%), followed by the transport-contaminant on farmed shellfishes pathway (~18%). Unaided is the most common pathway for alien Fisshes, especially in CMED. Escapes from confinement account for ~3% and release in nature for ~2% of the NIS. The present NIS distribution hotspots for new introductions were defined on the first recipient area/location in Italy. In ADRIA the hotspot is Venice which accounts for the highest number of alien taxa introduced in Italy, with 50 newly recorded taxa. In the CMED, hotspots of introduction are the Taranto and Catania Gulfs, hosting 21 first records each. The Strait of Sicily represents a crossroad between the alien taxa from the Atlantic Ocean and the Indo-Pacific area. In the WMED, hotspots of bioinvasions include the Gulfs of Naples, Genoa and Livorno. This review can serve as an updated baseline for future coordination and harmonization of monitoring initiatives under international, EU and regional policies, for the compilation of new data from established monitoring programs, and for rapid assessment surveys.