Measuring dispersal -- how well are soft-sediment invertebrate communities connected on the seafloor?December 13, 2012
Different types of disturbances to the seafloor can affect both the invertebrates inhabiting them and the critical ecosystem functions they provide us (e.g. nutrient cycling, oxygenation, food for fish). Sebastian Valanko working at the Marine Research Centre of the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) has together with colleagues investigated dispersal of invertebrates, critical in both the recovery process following a disturbance and in maintaining patterns of diversity on the seafloor. Sebastian's PhD thesis will be defended at 12.00 on Wednesday 19.12.2012 at Åbo Akademi University in Finland. The research project has partly been funded by the Academy of Finland.
Measuring dispersal underwater
Valanko's thesis deals with connectivity, by investigating dispersal strategies and mechanisms of benthic invertebrates. Such knowledge on dispersal is scarce, due to the difficulties in actually measuring dispersal directly in nature, and dispersal has not previously been quantified in the Baltic Sea. Different trap-types were used to capture dispersing invertebrates at different sites, while in parallel measuring waves and currents. This required some 1015 dives by Sebastian and his research team in the archipelago close to Tvärminne Zoological Station, in the south of Finland.
Dispersal is essential for recovery of diversity after disturbance
In one experiment recovery was investigated over a year at several sites. In response to small-scale disturbance, initial recruitment is by nearby-dominant species after which other species will arrive from successively further away. Species also differ in their dispersal potential. In practice, this implies that if only one locality is protected it may not be sufficient to ensure that diversity is maintained. Equally important are the other source locations from which individuals continuously arrive from, and therefore maintaining overall patterns of diversity.
Importance of PhD thesis findings
Sebastian's thesis complements more theoretical studies in ecology in demonstrating that having an understanding of how and when individuals are dispersing relative to underlying environmental heterogeneity is key to interpreting how patterns of diversity change across different spatial scales. Such information from nature is critical when predicting responses to, for example, different types of disturbances or management actions in conservation.
-end-The PhD defence:
- The defense will take place on Wednesday the 19th December at 12 o'clock at Åbo Akademi University in aud. Armfelt, Arken (Tehtaankatu 2, Turku, Finland)
- Examiner will be Professor Paul Snelgrove from Memorial University of Newfoundland, Canada and chairman Professor Erik Bonsdorff, Åbo Akademi University.
- Sebastian Valanko, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE), Marine Research Centre, tel. +358 40 529 6145, email@example.com
- Pictures for the press available at following internet addresses (Photographer Alf Norkko should be mentioned):
- In underwater experiments recovery was investigated by carefully removing plastic sheets that had been laid down on the seafloor killing 1 m2 areas at different sites. Dispersal from surrounding healthy localities is key in the recovery process, which may take as long as 2 years even for these small-sized disturbances. http://web.abo.fi/pressmaterial/Sebastian_Valanko_experiment_plastic.jpg
- A dead seafloor after plastic sheets were removed, littered with clams that used to inhabit the sediment. http://web.abo.fi/pressmaterial/Sebastian_Valanko_dead_seafloor.jpg
- Dead clam. http://web.abo.fi/pressmaterial/Sebastian_Valanko_dead_seafloor_shell.jpg
- Picture of Sebastian Valanko: http://web.abo.fi/pressmaterial/Sebastian_Valanko.jpg
- The doctoral dissertation electronically: http://www.doria.fi/handle/10024/86172
Academy of Finland
Related Diversity Articles from Brightsurf:More plant diversity, less pesticides
Increasing plant diversity enhances the natural control of insect herbivory in grasslands.
Insect diversity boosted by combination of crop diversity and semi-natural habitats
To enhance the number of beneficial insect species in agricultural land, preserving semi-natural habitats and promoting crop diversity are both needed, according to new research published in the British Ecological Society's Journal of Applied of Ecology.
Ethnolinguistic diversity slows down urban growth
Where various ethnic groups live together, cities grow at a slower rate.
Protecting scientific diversity
The COVID-19 pandemic means that scientists face great challenges because they have to reorient, interrupt or even cancel research and teaching.
Cultural diversity in chimpanzees
Termite fishing by chimpanzees was thought to occur in only two forms with one or multiple tools, from either above-ground or underground termite nests.
Bursts of diversity in the gut microbiota
The diversity of bacteria in the human gut is an important biomarker of health, influences multiple diseases, such as obesity and inflammatory bowel diseases and affects various treatments.
Underestimated chemical diversity
An international team of researchers has conducted a global review of all registered industrial chemicals: some 350,000 different substances are produced and traded around the world -- well in excess of the 100,000 reached in previous estimates.
New world map of fish genetic diversity
An international research team from ETH Zurich and French universities has studied genetic diversity among fish around the world for the first time.
Biological diversity as a factor of production
Can the biodiversity of ecosystems be considered a factor of production?
Fungal diversity and its relationship to the future of forests
Stanford researchers predict that climate change will reduce the diversity of symbiotic fungi that help trees grow.
Read More: Diversity News and Diversity Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.