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  • Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 38 See the link below for public details on this project. From the abstracts of the referenced papers: The origin of echinoderms from Macquarie Island in the Southern Ocean is analysed through a novel application of multivariate statistics. Ordinations are produced from a combination of species distribution, bathymetric, habitat and life history data in order to assess patterns of migration. The analyses distinguish groups of species derived from the Kerguelen Plateau, New Zealand and eastern Antarctica. These groups correlate with attributes expected for epiplanktonic dispersal and range expansion along the North and South Macquarie Ridges respectively. There is no convincing evidence for long-distance pelagic dispersal, migration from the abyssal plain or for human translocation of species. The results indicate that taxonomic groups differ in their ability to disperse, and emphasise the importance of depth in biogeographical analyses. Dispersal by range expansion appears to have been more significant than epiplanktonic dispersal and vicariant rather than long-distance dispersal mechanisms are the preferred explanation for some disjunct distribution patterns. Fifty two echinoderm species are recorded from off Macquarie Island and the Macquarie Ridge in the Southern Ocean. One new asteroid Odontohenricia anarea sp. nov. and one new holothurian Trachythyone nelladana sp. nov. are described. The asteroid genus Calvasterias is synonymised with Anasterias. The asteroids Cycethra macquariensis and Asterina hamiltoni are synonymised with Asterina frigida and placed in the same genus Cycethra. The asteroid Ceramaster lennoxkingi is synonymised with C. patagonicus, Solaster dianae with S. notophrynus, and Anasterias sphoerulatus with A. mawsoni. The asteroids Psilaster charcoti, Odontaster penicillatus, Ceramaster patagonicus, Crossaster multispinus, Solaster notophrynus, Pteraster affinis, Henricia studeri, the ophiuroid Ophioplocus incipiens, and the holothurians Paelopatides ovalis, Synallactes challengeri, Laetmogone sp, Taeniogyrus sp are recorded from the island for the first time. The following species previously recorded from Macquarie Island have been re-identified: the asteroids Odontaster auklandensis (=O. penicillatus), Henricia aucklandiae (=H. studeri), Henricia lukinsi (=H. obesa), Smilasterias irregularis (=S. clarkailsa), Anasterias antarctica (=A. directa), and the ophiuroid Ophiacantha pentagona (=O. vilis). The existence at Macquarie Island of the species Hymenaster sp, Goniocidaris umbraculum and Ocnus calcareus require confirmation. The asteroids Anasterias mawsoni, Pteraster affinis, Porania antarctica and Odonaster meridionalis are reported from the shore around Heard Island. The ecology and relationships of echinoderms from Macquarie Island are discussed.

  • Environmental variables in the region of the Kerguelen Plateau compiled from different sources and provided in the ascii raster format. Mean surface and seafloor temperature, salinity and their respective amplitude data are available on the time coverage 1955-2012 and over five decades: 1955 to 1964, 1965 to 1974, 1975 to 1984, 1985 to 1994 and 1995 to 2012. N/A was set as the no data reference. Future projections are provided for several parameters: they were modified after the Bio-ORACLE database (Tyberghein et al. 2012). They are based on three IPCC scenarii (B1, AIB, A2) for years 2100 and 2200 (IPCC, 4th report).

  • Metadata record for data from AAS (ASAC) project 3051. Public Environmental change is by far one of the major crises facing our planet in recent times. This project will contribute specifically to understanding the effects of climate change and other human-induced impacts on marine species in Antarctica. Through studying key ecological and biological processes in marine benthic invertebrates we will better understand the spatial scale of populations, the nature of the processes that maintain those populations, how environmental change will affect those processes, and the levels of genetic diversity and resilience in Antarctic marine communities. Taken together this information will enable better, more informed management of Antarctic marine ecosystems. Project objectives: The project objectives, as stated in the project application round 2008/09, appear below: This project will combine experimental tests of demographic change with genetic tests of population isolation and diversity to enable predictions of the resilience of Antarctic marine invertebrates to current and predicted environmental change. The specific objectives of the project are; 1. Effects of change. Understand the effects of environmental change on reproduction (fecundity, reproductive success) and the early life history (larval behaviour, survivorship, and recruitment) of key Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates. 2. Isolation. Determine the degree of isolation/connectivity among populations as well as the levels of genetic diversity of key Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates. 3. Resilience. Assess the resilience (ability to cope with or adapt) of Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates to environmental change. 4. Practical Outcomes. Develop improved predictive capacity to contribute towards the development of management strategies for the conservation of Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates. Taken from the 2008-2009 Progress Report: Progress against objectives: This project commenced in 2008/9. Objective 1 - Effects of change - Collected live echinoderms (Abatus spp, Sterechinus numeyeri, Diploasterias) from around Casey Station and transported these on the A319 back to Kingston. A preliminary fertilisation trial has been run using Sterechinus individuals, and the remaining individuals are now being maintained in aquaria for future reproductive studies. Objective 2 - Isolation - Tissue samples from over 200 Sterechinus numeyeri were collected from 5 sites around Casey Station. These will form the foundation for genetic connectivity studies, and will complement exisiting Abatus samples from the same location. Laboratory processing of these samples has commenced, and development of microsatellite markers for both species is underway. Objectives 3 and 4 represent late-stage components of the project, so no progress can be reported on these at this stage. Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report: Progress against the objectives: Objective 1 - Effects of change - Collected live urchins (Abatus spp and Sterechinus numeyeri) from around Davis Station. Ran a series of spawning trials, although these were largely unsuccessful, with most individuals having spawned prior to the beginning of the season. We ran one successful fertilisation trial with S. neumeyeri to look at the effects of water temperature and salinity on fertilisation success. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates these environmental parameters do have an effect on fertilisation. Objective 2 - Isolation - Tissue samples from over 350 Sterechinus numeyeri were collected from 12 sites around Davis Station. These will be used for genetic connectivity studies, and will complement samples collected from Casey in the previous season. Larval Sterechinus were also collected from the water column and preserved for genetic analysis along with adult and juvenile Abatus ingens. Microsatellite markers (11 polymorphic loci) have now been developed for Sterechinus, and microsatellite deveopment is partially completed for Abatus ingens; the library has been created but optimisation of loci still needs to be done. We have completed DNA sequencing for Sterechinus and Abatus from Casey Station for 1 gene region (16S) and are optimising an additional 2 regions. This will be used to compare populations from Davis and Casey to understand large-scale connectivity. Objectives 3 and 4 represent late-stage components of the project. As this is only the second year of a 5-year programme, no progress can be reported on these at this stage.

  • Data stored in a Dryad package (doi:10.5061/dryad.c75sj) associated with the publication: Genetic monitoring of open ocean biodiversity: an evaluation of DNA metabarcoding for processing continuous plankton recorder samples Authors: Bruce Deagle , Laurence Clarke , John Kitchener, Andrea Polanowski, Andrew Davidson. Molecular Ecology Resources. The Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) has been used to characterise zooplankton biodiversity along transects covering hundreds of thousands of kilometres in the Southern Ocean CPR survey. Plankton collected by the CPR is currently identified using is classical taxonomy (i.e. using a microscope and morphological features). We investigated the potential to use DNA metabarcoding (species identification from DNA mixtures using high-throughput DNA sequencing) as a tool for rapid collection of taxonomic data from CPR samples. In our study, zooplankton were collected on CPR silks along two transects between Tasmania and Macquarie Island. Plankton were identified using standard microscopic methods and by sequencing a mitochondrial COI marker. Data provided in the Dryad Data entry include the DNA sequences (Illumina MiSeq) recovered, the morphological identifications and the R-code used to analyse these data. The results from our study show that a DNA-based approach increased the number of metazoan species identified and provided high resolution taxonomy of groups problematic in conventional surveys (e.g. larval echinoderms and hydrozoans). Metabarcoding also generally produced more detections than microscopy, but this sensitivity may make cross-contamination during sampling a problem. In some samples, the prevalence of DNA from larger plankton (such as krill) masked the presence of smaller species. Overall, the genetic data represents a substantial shift in perspective, making direct integration into current long-term time-series challenging. We discuss a number of hurdles that exist for progressing this powerful DNA metabarcoding approach from the current snapshot studies to the requirements of a long-term monitoring program.

  • Sampling strategy: Samples from trawls or sledges are sieved on the trawl deck then sorted in the wet lab per taxonomic group. Sorting may vary from high taxonomic levels (order, family) to specific ones according to expertise on board. For some taxa, sampling includes: up to 10 voucher specimens with a unique batch number; photos; tissue samples in 80% ethanol for DNA analysis (Barcoding and Phylogeny); 30 samples minimum for population genetics (for abundant species); sampling for isotopic measures; fish chromosomes preparations; primary fish cell lines and cryopreservation of fish tissues for permanent cell lines The database was intended to contain information about stations, events, gear, all material collected and associated samples listed above. currently only contains information on material collected and samples. Data was recorded on log sheets then transcribed into an Oracle database called cabo. Tailor made user interace for entering data. No export functionality. SQL database dump has been provided but there was no-one on the voyage to elaborate on the structure, this was promised post voyage along with some simple data exports to match the log sheets, so we have access to the data without the unfriendly database.

  • The natural world is a mosaic of different habitats and biological communities; the tiles of this mosaic may be small but the patterns formed can be measured at many scales from metres to thousands of kilometres. Understanding these patterns is important to protecting biodiversity. We will identify major scales of variability in Antarctic coastal habitats, biological communities and processes that create them. We will also document scales of impacts caused by humans in Antarctica and potential impacts of future climate change driven by key processes (changes in sea-ice). This information will contribute to environmental management to protect Antarctic coastal ecosystems. This record is the parent record for all metadata records relating to ASAC project 2201. See the child metadata records for access to the data arising from this project. See the project link for a full listing of personnel involved in this project.

  • This record describes the collection of marine fauna sampled from coastal areas of the Vestfold Hills in 1999. The project was undertaken to compile morphometric data on Weddell seal prey species. Benthic prawns i.e. Chorismus antarcticus and Notocrangon antarcticus, are common Weddell prey species at the Vestfold Hills. We fished for prawns using mesh traps (40 x 20 x 20 cm3). The traps were set at Magnetic Island in May, and in Ellis Fjord in December. The site near Magnetic Island was chosen when the fast-ice fractured enabling the gear to be set in natural tracts of open water. The site in Ellis Fjord was chosen on the basis of published information regarding bathymetry and the range of depths inhabited by prawn species. We waited until December to sample in Ellis Fjord so that the fishing hole did not refreeze. Prawns were caught only in Ellis Fjord and only when the traps were deployed open i.e. with zips on the doors to get the catch out left undone. Approximately 50 prawns of various sizes were caught over three days at the same location, 200 m east of the crossing at Ellis Narrows. The catch has been stored whole in the Australian Antarctic Division freezer in Hobart. Bycatch included amphipods and Notothenid fish at Magnetic Island, and echinoderms, holothurians and Notothenid fish in Ellis Fjord. Some of the bycatch were retained and are stored frozen with the prawns. The linked dataset contains the measurements of length, mass, carapace length and sex (juvenile, male, female) of the prawn catch. All of the prawns were Chorismus antarcticus. The adult females were brooding eggs. The best fit linear regressions were y = 0.3529x - 2.4824, (R2 = 0.9504) for carapace length to predict body mass, and y = 3.5267x + 4.5846 (R2 = 0.9544) for carapace length to body length. The associated URLs contain all of the data, including spreadsheet of data, a scatterplot of the length mass relationship, and a mass frequency histogram of the catch. The fields in this dataset are: Chorismus ID carapace length (mm) body length (mm) mass (g) sex

  • Metadata record for data from ASAC Project 1229 See the link below for public details on this project. ---- Public Summary from Project ---- This project will develop a method to monitor human impacts in the shallow marine environment of Antarctica. Artificial substratum units, placed at polluted and unpolluted sites, will be recovered after a specific time interval and resident animal communities will be compared to identify the type and magnitude of impacts. Data are community abundance data from artificial substrate units comprised of three nylon mesh pot scourers. Taxa are identified to morphospecies. Substrates were deployed in nearshore waters of Casey Station. Standard deployment was 1 year at 14m depth. Four main sites were used - Brown Bay, Newcombe Bay, O'Brien Bay and Browning Peninsula. Brown Bay is a known contaminated site. Experiments were designed to investigate natural variation on spatial and temporal scales, habitat area and potential impacts of a contaminated site, Brown Bay.

  • Metadata record for data from AAS (ASAC) project 3134. Data from this project will be available via the child records. Public Ocean acidification and warming are global phenomena that will impact marine biota through the 21st century. This project will provide urgently needed predictive information on the likely survivorship of benthic invertebrates in near shore Antarctic environments that is crucial for risk assessment of potential future changes to oceans. As oceans acidify carbonate saturation decreases, reducing the material required to produce marine skeletons. By examining the effects of increased ocean temperature and acidification on planktonic and benthic life stages of both calcifying and non-calcifying ecologically important organisms, predictions can be made on the potential vulnerability of marine biota to climatic change. Project Objectives: This project aims to deliver one of the first assessments of the impacts that ocean warming and acidification through rising CO2 levels will have on Antarctic benthic marine invertebrates and of the adaptive capacity of common Antarctic biota to climate change. The developmental success of species that have a skeleton will be compared to those that do not under controlled conditions of increased sea water temperature and CO2. A comparison of the responses and sensitivity of developmental stages of calcifiers (echinoids, bivalves) and non-calcifiers (asteroids) to elevated CO2 and temperature will generate much needed empirical data for assessment of risk and adaptive capacity of Antarctica's marine biota and will enable predictions of how benthic invertebrates will fare with respect to climate change scenarios. The specific aims of the project are to: 1 - examine the impacts of predicted future elevated ocean temperatures and CO2 on fertilisation success, embryonic and larval development of Antarctic molluscs and echinoderms 2 - document skeletal calcification and morphology and growth in larvae under controlled conditions of increased sea water temperature and CO2. 3 - compare the dynamics of biomineralisation with respect to the elemental composition in response to increased temperature and CO2 in species with aragonite and calcite exoskeletons (bivalves) and porous high magnesium calcite endoskeletons (echinoids) to assess the potential for an in-built adaptive response in calcification 4 - used as a biomarker measure of stress and impaired calcification. 5 - compare biomineralisation and elemental signatures in skeletons in larvae of Antarctic molluscs and echinoderms under climate change scenarios with that determined for related species at lower latitudes to assess the relative sensitivity and vulnerability of Antarctic biota. Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report: Progress against objectives: 1. Unsuccessful as target species, Sterechinus neumayeri had already passed its spawning period, and attempts to spawn and fertilise the Antarctic bivalve, Laternula ellipticaskeleta failed. 2. Skeletal calcification and morphology of juveniles of Abatus nimrodi were successfully documented under controlled conditions of ocean warming and acidification. 3. Juveniles of A. nimrodi were preserved and returned to Australia in order to compare the dynamics of biomineralisation and skeletal mineralogy. 4. No heat shock protein experiments were carried out. 5. Air-dried tests of S. neumayeri and A. nimrodi were RTA'd in order to compare the dynamics of biomineralisation and skeletal mineralogy. Taken from some project abstracts written by two students working on the project: Impacts of ocean acidification and increasing seawater temperature on the early life history of the Antarctic echinoderm Sterechinus neumayeri. Simultaneous effects of ocean acidification and temperature change in Antarctic environments warrant investigation as little is known about the synergistic consequences of these parameters on Antarctic benthic species. Fertilisation success, embryo cleavage, blastulation and gastrulation were documented in the sea urchin Sterechinus neumayeri, reared for up to 12 days under experimental pCO2 and elevated temperature scenarios predicted by the IPCC (2007) over the next century. Experimental treatments included controls (-1 degrees C, pH 8.0), elevated temperature (1 degrees C, 3 degrees C) and decreased pH (7.8, 7.6) in all combinations in a multi-factorial design. Preliminary results suggest that fertilisation and development up to the gastrula stages are robust to increases in pCO2 and temperature predicted by the year 2100. Percentages of normally developing blastula and gastrula were also slightly higher in temperatures 2 degrees C above ambient. Impacts of ocean acidification and increasing seawater temperature on juveniles of two Antarctic heart urchins, Abatus ingens and Abatus shackletoni. Simultaneous effects of ocean acidification and temperature change in Antarctic environments warrant investigation as little is known about the synergistic consequences of these factors on Antarctic benthic species. Juvenile Abatus ingens and Abatus shackletoni were incubated under experimental pCO2 and elevated temperature scenarios reflective of those predicted by the IPCC (2007). Direct development from embryos to juveniles occurs in these species without a pelagic larval phase and the developing young are lecithotrophic for an extended period. Adult urchins were collected near Davis Station during the Austral summer season (January-February 2011). Juveniles were extracted from the parental brood pouch and reared in flow-through experimental treatments for 4 weeks. CO2-enriched air was supplied to seawater in which pCO2 was regulated at the target levels of 448 plus or minus 6.51 (pH 8.01 plus or minus 0.005), 846 plus or minus 6.58 (pH 7.83 plus or minus 0.005) and 1371 plus or minus 7.34 (pH 7.63 plus or minus 0.007) ppm and seawater temperature was set at -1 plus or minus 0.03 degrees C (Control) and 1 plus or minus 0.32 degrees C. Preliminary results from this investigation showed significant increases in spine growth in juveniles of both A.ingens and A. shackletoni over the experimental period. However, juveniles reared in 1 degrees C significantly exhibited more incidences of epithelial separation in the spines compared to those reared in -1 degrees C. This suggests that, although there is an inherent capacity for tolerance of varying levels of pH in seawater in the absence of the protection afforded by the maternal brood pouch, these juveniles are still at risk from increasing temperatures.

  • Our aim was to compare water and sediment as sources of environmental DNA (eDNA) to better characterise Antarctic benthic communities and further develop practical approaches for DNA-based biodiversity assessment in remote environments. We used a cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) metabarcoding approach to characterise metazoan communities in 26 nearshore sites across 12 locations (including Ellis Fjord, Warriner Channel, Hawker Channel, Abatus Bay, Powell Point, Shirokaya Bay, and Weddell Arm) in the Vestfold Hills (East Antarctica) based on DNA extracted from either sediment cores or filtered seawater. We detected a total of 99 metazoan species from 12 phyla (including nematodes, cnidaria, echinoderms, chordates, arthropods, annelids, rotifers and molluscs) across 26 sites, with similar numbers of species detected in sediment and water eDNA samples. Please cite: Clarke LJ et al. (2021). Environmental DNA metabarcoding for monitoring metazoan biodiversity in Antarctic nearshore ecosystems. PeerJ, DOI: 10.7717/peerj.12458 This work was completed as part of the Davis Aerodrome Project (DAP).