Month: November 2014

[Lab News] Exploratory trip to Stellwagen Bank

Sand lance caught on Stellwagen Bank in November 2014
Sand lance caught on Stellwagen Bank in November 2014

On November 10th Chris traveled to Stellwagen Bank Marine Sanctuary to test sample sand lance Ammodytes dubius, arguably the sanctuary’s most important resource. He joined a collaboration of researchers from the USGS and SBNMS to assist in their efforts to better understand sand lance distributions within the sanctuary. Given the vital importance of sand lance in many coastal systems, our lab is interested in evaluating how anthropogenic stressors, i.e. ocean acidification and hypoxia, may impact early life stages. The trip was an opportunity for Chris to observe field-sampling techniques aboard the R/V Auk, which confirmed the feasibility of sampling healthy, fertile adults. A special thanks to Ben Haskell, Dave Slocum, Brad Cabe, Michael Thompson from SBNMS; Page Valentine and Dann Blackmore from the USGS; and the crew of the R/V Auk for a great trip.

[Talk] 5th International Otolith Symposium

Combining otolith microstructure + microchemistry: What can we learn about juvenile Pacific Bluefin Tuna migration?

Baumann et al. Otolith Symposium
H.Baumann presented findings about juvenile tuna otolith microstructure & -chemistry
From 19 – 24 October 2014, H. Baumann participated in the 5th International Otolith Symposium (Mallorca, Spain), a focused gathering of researchers worldwide analyzing calcified structures of fishes (otoliths = ear bones, scales, spines fin rays), mollusks and corals to infer age in days or years, isotopic or trace elemental composition, or to review the quality control measures in place in various production aging labs.
Dr. Baumann presented a study that combined daily ring analyses (=microstructure) in juvenile tuna otoliths with trace elemental analysis, showing that the otoliths likely record the entry of these fish into the California Current Ecosystem after their transpacific migration as juveniles.

[Talk] “Restore America’s Estuaries” Conference

“Combined effects of low pH and low O2 on coastal organisms”

Baumann et al. talked about combined effects of acidification and hypoxia on coastal marine organisms
Baumann et al. talked about combined effects of acidification and hypoxia on coastal marine organisms
H.Baumann was invited to be one of four panel speakers during a session called “Acidifying our Estuaries – Global Problems, local effects” chaired by Dr. Denise Breitburg (SERC) during the “7th National Summit on Coastal and Estuarine Restoration” in Washington D.C. (1-5 November 2014, Gaylord Hotel & Convention Center). The talk covered recent results from work on early larval silversides and bivalves, showing that the combined negative effects of acidification and hypoxia need to be better understood and can at times be greater than additive (i.e., synergistic).In biology, sometimes 1 + 1 is greater than 2.

[Publication] “Detecting the unexpected: A research framework for ocean acidification”

Pfister et al. Detecting the Unexpected ES & T
During a meeting of Principal Investigators of Ocean Acidification Research projects – a number of diverse minds came together and discussed for 3 days the state of the art and the future of Ocean Acidification Research. The result is a principled framework of directions based on three key observations and lessons learned from previous similar research challenges. (1) the response of individuals does not necessarily predict the response of ecosystems, (2) the structure and function of ecosystems may respond differently to OA, and (3) much of our current research thrust is still going towards understanding individual species responses to the predicted changes in ocean carbon chemistry, whereas much needed attention to interactions between organism and ecosystems and ecosystem and ocean chemistry is still wanting.

Pfister, C., Esbaugh, A., Frieder, C., Baumann, H., Bockmon, E., White, M., Carter, B., Benway, H., Blanchette, C. Carrington, E., McClintock, J., McCorkle, D., McGillis, W., Mooney, T., Zivieri, P. (2014). Detecting the unexpected: A research framework for ocean acidification. Environmental Science & Technology 48: 9982-9994

[Publication] “Offspring sensitivity to ocean acidification changes seasonally in a coastal marine fish”

MEPS Feature Cover
Novel experiments on wild Atlantic silversides Menidia menidia suggest that parents are capable of pre-conditioning their offspring to the naturally occurring, seasonal acidification in their spawning habitat (shape depicts the annual pattern of pH mean, minimum and maximum.)
How vulnerable are marine organisms to unfolding ocean acidification? Apart from being species- and habitat-specific, the answer may even differ between times of the year. Other than open ocean species, most coastal organisms naturally experience large seasonal pH fluctuations, to which they have adapted. Murray and co-workers monitored pH conditions in the spawning habitat of a common coastal marine fish, while sampling wild spawning adults repeatedly over the season and conducting standardized CO2 exposure experiments on their offspring. This demonstrated that offspring CO2 sensitivity is not constant, but decreases seasonally with the increasing acidification in their habitat. These findings imply that realistic assessments of species CO2 sensitivities should account for the pH/CO2 variability in the parental environment.

Murray, C.M., Malvezzi, A., Gobler, C.J., and Baumann, H.(2014) Offspring sensitivity to ocean acidification changes seasonally in a coastal marine fish. Marine Ecology Progress Series 504: 1-11 (Open Access)

[Seminar] Status and challenges of ocean acidification research

“Ocean Acidification Research 2.0: Moving beyond the average open ocean”

Ocean acidification research – exponential growth

H. Baumann gave an overview of the status and challenges ahead of ocean acidification research (Public Prezi)

  • Storrs, CT (UConn, 4/15/14),
  • Hamburg/Germany (IHF, 6/6/14),
  • Kiel/Germany (Geomar, 6/12/14),
  • Avery Point, CT (UConn MDS, 9/19/14),
  • Edgewater, MD (SERC, 10/3/14),
  • Sandy Hook, NJ (NOAA, 10/9/14).