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Article Reference Ancient and modern DNA track temporal and spatial population dynamics in the European fallow deer since the Eeemian interglacial
Anthropogenic factors have impacted the diversity and evolutionary trajectory of various species. This can be through factors such as pressure on population size or range, habitat fragmentation, or extensive manipulation and translocation. Here we use time-calibrated data to better understand the pattern and processes of evolution in the heavily manipulated European fallow deer (Dama dama). During the Pleistocene, fallow deer had a broad distribution across Europe and were found as far north as Britain during the Eemian interglacial. The last glacial period saw fallow deer retreat to southern refugia and they did not disperse north afterwards. Their recolonisation was mediated by people and, from northern Europe and the British Isles, fallow deer were transported around the world. We use ancient and modern mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and mitogenomic data from Eemian Britain to assess the pattern of change in distribution and lineage structure across Europe over time. We find founder effects and mixed lineages in the northern populations, and stability over time for populations in southern Europe. The Eemian sample was most similar to a lineage currently in Italy, suggesting an early establishment of the relevant refuge. We consider the implications for the integration of anthropogenic and natural processes towards a better understanding of the evolution of fallow deer in Europe.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference The tympanoperiotic complex of the blue whale, Balaenoptera musculus
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Microbiomes of aquatic animals
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Sedimentary evidence of the Late Holocene tsunami in the Shetland Islands (UK) at Loch Flugarth, northern Mainland
Tsunami deposits around the North Sea basin are needed to assess the long-term hazard of tsunamis. Here, we present sedimentary evidence of the youngest tsunami on the Shetland Islands from Loch Flugarth, a coastal lake on northern Mainland. Three gravity cores show organic-rich background sedimentation with many sub-centimetre-scale sand layers, reflecting recurring storm overwash and a sediment source limited to the active beach and uppermost subtidal zone. A basal 13-cm-thick sand layer, dated to 426–787 cal. a CE based on 14C, 137Cs and Bayesian age–depth modelling, was found in all cores. High-resolution grain-size analysis identified four normally graded or massive sublayers with inversely graded traction carpets at the base of two sublayers. A thin organic-rich ‘mud’ drape and a ‘mud’ cap cover the two uppermost sublayers, which also contain small rip-up clasts. Grain-size distributions show a difference between the basal sand layer and the coarser and better sorted storm layers above. Multivariate statistical analysis of X-ray fluorescence core scanning data also distinguishes both sand units: Zr, Fe and Ti dominate the thick basal sand, while the thin storm layers are high in K and Si. Enriched Zr and Ti in the basal sand layer, in combination with increased magnetic susceptibility, may be related to higher heavy mineral content reflecting an additional marine sediment source below the storm-wave base that is activated by a tsunami. Based on reinterpretation of chronological data from two different published sites and the chronostratigraphy of the present study, the tsunami seems to date to c. 1400 cal. a BP. Although the source of the tsunami remains unclear, the lack of evidence for this event outside of the Shetland Islands suggests that it had a local source and was smaller than the older Storegga tsunami (8.15 cal. ka BP), which affected most of the North Sea basin.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference No difference between critical and sprint swimming speeds for two galaxiid species
Researchers have used laboratory experiments to examine how fish might be affected by anthropogenic alterations and conclude how best to adjust fish passage and culvert remediation designs in response. A common way to document swimming performance for this purpose is measuring fish critical swimming speed (Ucrit). Nonetheless, the Ucrit protocol as defined by Brett [(1964) Journal of the Fisheries Research Board of Canada, 21, 1183–1226] may be inappropriate for studying swimming performance and determining how it relates to upstream migration in benthic fish, as they may not actively swim throughout the entire Ucrit test. An alternative method to estimate swimming performance is sprint swimming speed (Usprint), which is suggested to be a measure of the burst speed of fish rather than maximum sustained swimming speed. The authors conducted comparative swimming performance experiments to evaluate whether Usprint can be used to compare swimming performance of benthic species to that of pelagic, actively swimming species. They measured individual swimming speeds of īnanga (Galaxias maculatus), an actively swimming pelagic species, and banded kōkopu (Galaxias fasciatus), a fish that exhibits benthic station-holding behaviour, using both the Usprint and Ucrit test. Experiments revealed that no significant statistical difference between swimming speeds was estimated using the Ucrit and Usprint test protocols for both G. maculatus and G. fasciatus. The result of this study suggests that fish swimming speeds obtained using these two methods are comparable for the species used in this study. By using Usprint for benthic-associated fish and Ucrit for pelagic fish, we may be able to compare a broader range of species' swimming abilities for use in a fish passage context.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference A 1500-year record of North Atlantic storm flooding from lacustrine sediments, Shetland Islands (UK)
Severe storm flooding poses a major hazard to the coasts of north-western Europe. However, the long-term recurrence patterns of extreme coastal flooding and their governing factors are poorly understood. Therefore, high-resolution sedimentary records of past North Atlantic storm flooding are required. This multi-proxy study reconstructs storm-induced overwash processes from coastal lake sediments on the Shetland Islands using grain-size and geochemical data, and the re-analysis of historical data. The chronostratigraphy is based on Bayesian age–depth modelling using accelerator mass spectrometry 14C and 137Cs data. A high XRF-based Si/Ti ratio and the unimodal grain-size distribution link the sand layers to the beach and thus storm-induced overwash events. Periods with more frequent storm flooding occurred 980–1050, 1150–1300, 1450–1550, 1820–1900 and 1950–2000 ce, which is largely consistent with a positive North Atlantic Oscillation mode. The Little Ice Age (1400–1850 ce) shows a gap of major sand layers suggesting a southward shift of storm tracks and a seasonal variance with more storm floods in spring and autumn. Warmer phases shifted winter storm tracks towards the north-east Atlantic, indicating a possible trend for future storm-track changes and increased storm flooding in the northern North Sea region.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Opportunistic feeding habits of two African freshwater clupeid fishes: DNA metabarcoding unravels spatial differences in diet and microbiome, and identifies new prey taxa
The African Lake Tanganyika clupeids play an important role in the lake's ecosystem and have a high regional economic and nutritional value. Using DNA metabarcoding, we analysed the prey item composition and microbiome of these two clupeid species, Stolothrissa tanganicae and Limnothrissa miodon. We sequenced the mitochondrial COI region of the gut content for prey analysis and the 16S rRNA region of the hindgut content for microbiome analysis of 140 fish sampled at five locations across Lake Tanganyika. Our research confirmed previously reported prey items and discovered prey items that were not reported before, including the jellyfish Limnocnida tanganjicae. The hindgut of the fish harboured 15 bacterial phyla, with the most common being Firmicutes and Proteobacteria. The two clupeid species differed in diet, but not in microbiome. Further, the diet of S. tanganicae, but not its microbiome, varied on a spatial scale, whereas the microbiome, but not the diet, of L. miodon showed spatial variation. Our findings suggest that the Lake Tanganyika clupeids are opportunists, with a diet reflecting the local zooplankton community's composition. These results can serve as a useful reference for monitoring the health status of economically important fish stocks.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Two celebrations and the Sustainable Development Goals
This year 2023, we have two milestones to celebrate for Hydrobiologia. Firstly, as Hydrobiologia was launched in March 1948, our journal is now 75 years young. Secondly, this is the first issue of volume 850. The second celebration requires a little nuance. Up to and including 2019, each of the 21 issues of Hydrobiologia was considered a separate volume and we ended 2019 with volume 846. Since 2020, Springer Nature standardized its journal portfolio in that one volume now covers a full year. For Hydrobiologia this means that we now have one volume and 21 issues annually. If the publication schedule would have remained unchanged, we would have started 2023 with volume 910 and we would have celebrated volume 1000 in 2027! Now we will have to wait 150 years to celebrate that event, in 2183 no less!
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Predicted changes in the distribution of Ostracoda (Crustacea) from river basins in the southern cone of South America, under two climate change scenarios
While many studies predict changes in the distribution of individual species as a result of climate change, few studies have assessed such changes at the community level for aquatic invertebrates. We used ostracods (bivalved micro-crustaceans) to assess the effects of climate change on regional species richness, (re-) distribution and community composition across the river basins of the Southern Cone of South America. Using a range of niche-based models, we present projections of changes in diversity components in the light of two scenarios on increased carbon emissions: the moderate-optimistic (RCP 4.5) and the pessimistic (RCP 8.5) scenarios from four climate models on 2050 and 2080 scenarios. Future projections show increase in the number of (mapped) cells with a richness up to five species as compared to present-day situations. La Plata basin (LPLA) presents the highest species loss, mainly in the Paraguay and Paraná rivers, while the species gain occurred mainly in the La Puna Region, North Chile-Pacific Coast and southern LPLA basins. Global change might impact ostracod communities even on a medium term (2050). Despite losses of local species in all future scenarios, a small portion of the LPLA was identified as a potential future climatic refugia for ostracod communities, while the distribution area in Patagonia was predicted to be extremely small for some ostracods at the southernmost parts of South Argentina-South Atlantic Coast and South Chile-Pacific Coast basins in both futures. These results indicate that non-model organisms can also contribute greatly to formulate evidence-based management plans for aquatic ecosystems under climate change scenarios.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference DNA taxonomy reveals high species diversity among the stygobiont genus Metastenasellus (Crustacea, Isopoda) in African groundwater
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023