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Article Reference Givetian brachiopods from the Trois-Fontaines Formation at Marenne (Belgium, Dinant Synclinorium)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Article Reference Restudy of the Lower Carboniferous Scaphopoda described by de Koninck (1843, 1883)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications
Book Reference Octet Stream Grondbemonstering. Noorderterras, archeologische opgraving, Mattestraat, spoor 55 (voor Stadsarcheologie Antwerpen)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Book Reference Annotated Iconography of the fossil Chondrichthyan Fishes in the collection of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, Brussels
This book is an extensive iconography of all types of material of Elasmobranchii (mostly teeth) of which the type specimens were found in the collections of the RBINS, in total there are 119 species. Unfortunately, 11 type series were incomplete and 17 were no longer found in the collection at all. The latter are listed in the book, but of course not depicted. It is often about Holocephali from the Paleozoic, but also about some species from the Cenozoic (e.g. Mustelus vanderhoeft, the type of which was never deposited by the author in the RBINS). All species are listed in systematic order, according to the original name, followed by the collection number. The authors have searched the original literature to the type locality and the type stratum as they were specified at the time. Since many species were defined in the19th and early20th centuries, much of that data was outdated, but they were completely revised and adapted to modern nomenclature, a titanic work. Furthermore, the original publication is given species by species and the modern systematic status is given in the notes. The photographs are of high quality and often with more views per copy so that more details are now visible than was possible in older publications. Usually one page per species is provided. It contains an extensive bibliography and the index (with both the old and modern species names) makes searching easier. Thanks to the excellent iconography, the book can also be used as a determination work, but of course only for the types in the RBINS collection.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Data Needs for Hyperspectral Detection of Algal Diversity Across the Globe
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2020
Article Reference Priorities for ocean microbiome research
Microbial communities have essential roles in ocean ecology and planetary health. Microbes participate in nutrient cycles, remove huge quantities of carbon dioxide from the air and support ocean food webs. The taxonomic and functional diversity of the global ocean microbiome has been revealed by technological advances in sampling, DNA sequencing and bioinformatics. A better understanding of the ocean microbiome could underpin strategies to address environmental and societal challenges, including achievement of multiple Sustainable Development Goals way beyond SDG 14 ‘life below water’. We propose a set of priorities for understanding and protecting the ocean microbiome, which include delineating interactions between micro- biota, sustainably applying resources from oceanic microorganisms and creating policy- and funder-friendly ocean education resources, and discuss how to achieve these ambitious goals.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Climate change effects on the ecophysiology and ecological functioning of an offshore wind farm artificial hard substrate community
In the effort towards a decarbonised future, the local effects of a proliferating offshore wind farm (OWF) industry add to and interact with the global effects of marine climate change. This study aimed to quantify potential ecophysiolog- ical effects of ocean warming and acidification and to estimate and compare the cumulative clearance potential of suspended food items by OWF epifauna under current and future climate conditions. To this end, this study combined ecophysiological responses to ocean warming and acidification of three dominant colonising species on OWF artificial hard substrates (the blue mussel Mytilus edulis, the tube-building amphipod Jassa herdmani and the plumose anemone Metridium senile). In general, mortality, respiration rate and clearance rate increased during 3- to 6-week experimental exposures across all three species, except for M. senile, who exhibited a lower clearance rate in the warmed treatments (+3 °C) and an insensitivity to lowered pH (−0.3 pH units) in terms of survival and respiration rate. Ocean warming and acidification affected growth antagonistically, with elevated temperature being beneficial for M. edulis and lowered pH being beneficial for M. senile. The seawater volume potentially cleared from suspended food particles by this AHS colonising community increased significantly, extending the affected distance around an OWF foundation by 9.2% in a future climate scenario. By using an experimental multi-stressor approach, this study thus demonstrates how ecophysiology underpins functional responses to climate change in these environments, highlighting for the first time the integrated, cascading potential effects of OWFs and climate change on the marine ecosystem.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Small suspension-feeding amphipods play a pivotal role in carbon dynamics around offshore man-made structures
The establishment of artificial hard substrates (i.e. offshore wind farms and oil and gas platforms) on marine soft sediments increases the available habitat for invertebrate communities that would otherwise be restricted to natural hard bottoms. Suspension feeding invertebrates clear a significant amount of particles from the water column and release organic matter in the form of feces, influencing the basis of marine food webs and affecting surrounding environments. Artificial structures in the southern North Sea are dominated by a suspension-feeding crustacean in terms of abundance and sometimes even biomass: the amphipod Jassa herdmani. Animal densities of this tiny biofouler are known to exceed 1 million individuals per m2. Despite their small body sizes and their simple filter apparatus, we hypothesized that J. herdmani is a highly effective suspension feeder with a significant impact on neighboring communities due to its high abundances. In a feeding experiment, individuals of J. herdmani were provided with either an algal or an animal diet under two different temperature regimes. Clearance rates and fecal-pellet carbon (FPC) were measured. The results revealed high clearance rates and subsequent FPC, which were more pronounced at the higher temperature. Furthermore, clearance rates and FPC varied insignificantly with different food items. We further used the current findings for upscaling calculations to the total number of offshore windfarms and oil and gas platforms in the southern North Sea. Our calculations indicated that J. herdmani alone clears 0.33 – 4.71 km3 water per year in the southern North Sea. At the same time, these amphipods release 255 – 547 tons of carbon per year by means of defecation, thus enriching the surrounding soft sediments with organic matter. Our study highlights that tiny amphipods can mediate indirect effects of man- made structures in the North Sea, which could have a profound impact on pelagic and benthic habitats.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Mastersthesis Reference Protecting the marine environment whilst installing offshore windfarms: the effect of scour protection layers on benthic biodiversity
The North Sea will soon see the installation of a higher number of wind turbine foundations, greatly expanding the habitat options for reef species. These offshore structures constitute a new, artificial, hard substratum habitat on the Belgian continental shelf, where the seafloor is primarily made up of muddy and sandy sediment. The possibility of co-designing offshore wind farms with more microhabitats through increasing habitat complexity is one method for the multiple uses of wind farms. This method is known as nature-inclusive building. The structure and dynamics of ecological communities are significantly influenced by habitat complexity. Hence, an increased complexity frequently results in greater species variety and abundance. The objective of this study was to investigate whether adding complexity to the scour protection layer (SPL) increased the diversity and functionality of the ecosystem already present at the bottom of wind turbines (macrobenthos community). To study this, three different variables of 76 species were analysed: richness, biomass, and abundance. Despite being the first time to manipulate the SPL of wind farms, it has been possible to observe and demonstrate that the complexity of these structures affects the ecosystem’s richness. Of the four different treatments, a greater number of species were observed in the most complex ones (3 and 4) compared to the others. In addition, although there were no significant differences, trends of higher biomass of certain species (belonging to decapods and sea anemones) were observed in the presence of higher complexity. Conversely, the constant presence of amphipods was observed across all the treatments. With this study, we wanted to emphasise the importance of the artificial reef effect of the SPL and, together with the microhabitats that it can provide, if at the time of its construction, an attempt is made from an “eco-friendlier” perspective, combining the knowledge of ingested together with the biological. In addition, it provides more knowledge and understanding of this methodology by improving it and obtaining results more similar to those expected in the future.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Physiological response to seawater pH of the bivalve Abra alba, a benthic ecosystem engineer, is modulated by low pH
The presence and behaviour of bivalves can affect the functioning of seafloor sediments through the irrigation of deeper strata by feeding and respiring through siphonal channels. Here, we investigated the physiological response and consecutive impact on functioning and body condition of the white furrow shell Abra alba in three pH treatments (pH = 8.2, pH = 7.9 and pH = 7.7). Although no pH effect on survival was found, lowered respiration and calcification rates, decreased energy intake (lower absorption rate) and increased metabolic losses (increased excretion rates) occurred at pH ~ 7.7. These physiological responses resulted in a negative Scope for Growth and a decreased condition index at this pH. This suggests that the physiological changes may not be sufficient to sustain survival in the long term, which would undoubtedly translate into consequences for ecosystem functioning.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022