Achievements for each user project

Mats Björk

Due to the intrinsic photosynthetic activity pH and inorganic carbon in the mesocosms setting varied over the day. The parameters changed more greatly throughout the peak period of photosynthesis in the intertidal setting for Zostera noltii (approximately a 0.8 increase). In the subtidal settings for Zostera marina and Cymodocia nodosa, the changes were more subtle (approximately 0.1 pH unit increase). These variations are in the same patterns which are expected to happen in the natural environment. Moreover, the pH and pCO2 in the enriched circuit remained lower and higher respectively throughout the day. The chlorophyll fluorescence parameters; electron transport rate through PSII (ETR) and the maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm), showed that the photosynthetic activity increased as the light intensity increased during the day and there was no sign of photosynthesis depression caused by photoinhibition. There is no difference between normal circuit and enriched circuit.

From the data obtained, there seems to be no increase in photosynthetic activity due to carbon enrichment. This can be, in part, attributed to the fact that these seagrasses possess efficient carbon acquisition mechanisms, and therefore not carbon-limited and will not benefit from an increase in CO2 level. However, other parameters e.g. growth, carbohydrate and sugar contents in above and below ground tissue should also be investigated to support these results.

Sven Beer

A first possible identification of competitive advantages between two seagrass species residing within the Ria Formosa lagoon. Insights into how such measurements should be performed in the future.

Thomas Wichard

In the first place we have located various field sites in order to conduct our experiments in the Ria Formosa (Faro, Portugal). In the framework of the ASSEMBLE  program (first call) we are able
to detect changes in the algal exometabolom profile of tide pools during the spring season in 2010. We have sampled extensively Ulva species and its associated bacteria. These are essential experiments for the planning of ongoing collaborations with scientist at CCMAR (Centre of Marine Science, University of
Algarve). Indeed we were also very successful in setting up new collaborations.
The outcome of the project sheds light on the chemical ecology of marine ecosystems heavily influenced by human beings. In particular, the study will help to understand the role of bacterialcommunities in algal habitats (tide pools). Understanding thedynamics of algal development will help to implement strategies to control and monitor the species. Thereby major efforts of manual eradication might not be required on the long run.
Underwater surfaces are instantly and readily covered by biofouling processes. First a thin layer of biopolymers, bacteria, and unicellular algae is formed, then macroalgae will build up thicker layers. This biofouling becomes a serious issue for the shipping industry because the builds
up of biofouling organisms on the hulls of ships causes increased drag and higher fuel consumption. In the long term this proposed project will help to develop novel antifouling reagents and to reduce application of eco toxic substances in paintings for the hulls of ships.

Jamie Stevens

During our stay at the CCMAR, we spent three days diving (26-28th May 2010) as planned and were able to collect 5 populations of Eunicella verrucosa:
1) 26.5.10 Diving from Portimão, site: Armação de Pêra. Collected 2 populations of Eunicella verucosa
2) 27.5.10 Diving from Portimão, site: West of Portimão. Collected 2 populations of Eunicella verucosa
3) 28.5.10 Diving from Faro, site: Pedra da Greta. Collected 2 populations of Eunicella verucosa
No Alcyonium digitatum samples were collected; they did not appear tobe present within this region.
We presented our research to CCMAR and University of Algarve staff and students on Tuesday 25th May; talk entitled: Marine connectivity in temperate systems: a molecular approach. The samples collected will provide important data points for both our population genetic and phylogeographic research. The genetic identity of the samples will be particularly interesting as this site is much further south than any other samples we have collected to date. We reaffirmed our contacts with Dr Rita Castilho and have discuss plans and opportunities for future collaboration. We appreciate the
organization and hospitality of Dr. Ana Amaral and Dr. Rita Casthilo who made sure we had a productive and enjoyable stay at CCMAR.