Response of Thalassia Testudinum Morphometry and Distribution to Environmental Drivers in a Pristine Tropical Lagoon.
ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to determine the relationships between the biomass, morphometry, and density of short shoots (SS) of the tropical seagrass Thalassia testudinum and the physical-environmental forcing in the region. Seasonal sampling surveys were undertaken four times in Bahia de la Ascension, a shallow estuary in the western Mexican Caribbean, to measure plant morphology and environmental variables. The estuary has a fresh water-influenced inner bay, a large central basin and a marine zone featuring a barrier reef at the seaward margin. Leaf size was positively correlated with increasing salinity, but total biomass was not, being similar across most of the sites. Aboveground biomass exhibited seasonal differences in dry and rainy seasons along the bay, most markedly in the brackish inner bay where an abrupt decline in biomass coincided with the rainy season. The relationship between nutrients and biomass indicates that the aboveground/belowground biomass ratio increases as nutrient availability increases. Areal cover was inversely correlated with SS density during both dry and rainy seasons. Maximum SS recruitment coincided with the rainy season. Peaks in SS density were recorded in the freshwater-influenced inner bay during an ENSO cold phase in 2007 ("La Niña") which is associated with a wetter dry season and following a strong storm (Hurricane Dean). The onset of the rainy season influences both shoot density and T. testudinum biomass by controlling the freshwater input to the bay and thus, the system's salinity gradient and external nutrients supply from the coastal wetland.
Project description:Spatial and temporal density and biomass of the infaunal mollusk Anomalocardia flexuosa (Linnaeus, 1767) evaluated a tidal plain at Goiana estuary (Northeast Brazil). Three hundred and sixty core samples were taken during an annual cycle from three intertidal habitats (A, B and C). Shell ranged from 2.20 to 28.48 mm (15.08 ± 4.08 mm). Recruitment occurred more intensely from January to March. Total (0-1,129 g m-2) differed seasons (rainy and dry), with highest values in the early rainy season (221.0 ± 231.44 g m-2); and lowest values in the late dry season (57.34 ± 97 g m-2). The lowest occurred during the late rainy (319 ± 259 ind m-2) and early dry (496 ± 607 ind m-2) seasons. Extreme environmental situations (e.g., river flow, salinity and water temperature) at the end of each season also affected density ranges (late dry: 0-5,798 ind m-2; late rainy: 0-1,170 ind m-2). A. flexuosa in the Goiana estuary presented a dominance of juvenile individuals (shell length < 20 mm), with high biomass main the recruitment period. Average shell length, density and biomass values suggest overfishing of the stock unit. A. flexuosa is an important food and income resource along its whole distribution range. The species was previously also known as Anomalocardia brasiliana (Gmelin, 1791).
Project description:Epiphytes on seagrass (Zostera marina) growing in the lower intertidal were examined along an estuarine gradient within Yaquina Bay, Oregon over a period of 4 years. The Yaquina Estuary receives high levels of nutrients from the watershed during the wet season and from the ocean during the dry season. Mean epiphyte biomass per unit seagrass leaf surface area (epiphyte load) peaked during the summer, and thus epiphyte load was higher during dry season than wet season in both marine and riverine dominated regions. Epiphyte load was greater in marine than in riverine dominated areas in both wet and dry seasons, although only dry season differences were significant. There was no evidence that grazers controlled epiphyte load differences. Annual DIN concentration was inversely related to epiphyte load, principally because of elevated wet season dissolved inorganic nitrogen from river inputs. While there was a positive annual relation of epiphyte load to PO4 concentration, it is not clear that phosphorus becomes a limiting nutrient for epiphyte growth. Water column light attenuation tends to increase linearly with distance from the estuary mouth, while both epiphyte load and Z. marina biomass tend to decrease. Both seagrass and seagrass epiphytes may be increasingly light limited in the upper estuary, and thus, epiphyte loads may have proportionally more impact on seagrass occurrence in this estuarine region.
Project description:This study assessed the species composition, distribution, and functional profiles of cyanobacteria in Camamu Bay, a tropical oligotrophic estuarine system on the northeast coast of Brazil, using shotgun metagenomic sequencing. Surface-water samples were evaluated in two different rainfall periods (rainy and dry seasons), at nine stations in the three hydrodynamic regions of the bay. At a fixed sampling station, on each season, samples were taken over a tidal cycle at 3-h intervals over 12 h. A total of 219 cyanobacterial taxa were identified, demonstrating a diverse community of freshwater, euryhaline, and marine cyanobacteria. The genera of greater relative abundance, Synechococcus and Prochlorococcus, corresponded to the picoplankton fraction. Although Camamu Bay has conspicuous marine characteristics, the contribution of freshwater during the rainy season caused variation in cyanobacteria community, with an increase in species richness. Due the high prevalence of Synechococcus (90% of the sequences), the functional analysis revealed only minor differences in gene content between the dry and rainy seasons. In both rainy and dry seasons, an increase in Prochlorococcus relative abundance occurred during high tide, demonstrating the tidal influence in the bay. The environmental characteristics of the bay provide niche conditions for a wide variety of cyanobacteria, including freshwater, euryhaline, and marine strains.
Project description:Rice-rice system and rice fallows are no longer productive in Southeast Asia. Crop and varietal diversification of the rice based cropping systems may improve the productivity and profitability of the systems. Diversification is also a viable option to mitigate the risk of climate change. In Eastern India, farmers cultivate rice during rainy season (June-September) and land leftovers fallow after rice harvest in the post-rainy season (November-May) due to lack of sufficient rainfall or irrigation amenities. However, in lowland areas, sufficient residual soil moistures are available in rice fallow in the post-rainy season (November-March), which can be utilized for raising second crops in the region. Implementation of suitable crop/varietal diversification is thus very much vital to achieve this objective. To assess the yield performance of rice varieties under timely and late sown conditions and to evaluate the performance of dry season crops following them, three different duration rice cultivars were transplanted in July and August. In dry season several non-rice crops were sown in rice fallow to constitute a cropping system. The results revealed that tiller occurrence, biomass accumulation, dry matter remobilization, crop growth rate, and ultimately yield were significantly decreased under late transplanting. On an average, around 30% yield reduction obtained under late sowing may be due to low temperature stress and high rainfall at reproductive stages of the crop. Dry season crops following short duration rice cultivars performed better in terms of grain yield. In the dry season, toria was profitable when sown earlier and if sowing was delayed greengram was suitable. Highest system productivity and profitability under timely sown rice may be due to higher dry matter remobilization from source to sink. A significant correlation was observed between biomass production and grain yield. We infer that late transplanting decrease the tiller occurrence and assimilate remobilization efficiency, which may be responsible for the reduced grain yield.
Project description:OBJECTIVES: To study the manifestations of Plasmodium infection, and its relations with the malaria disease, especially when comparing dry and rainy seasons in a hyperendemic area of West Africa. METHODS: The study was carried out in an area where malaria transmission is high, showing important seasonal variations. One thousand children, representing the total child population (1-12 year old), were observed transversally at the end of three consecutive seasons (dry/rainy/dry). The usual indicators, such as parasite density, splenomegaly, anaemia, or febrile disease were recorded and analysed. RESULTS: The prevalence of Plasmodium falciparum was high in all age groups and seasons, constantly around 60%. The high transmission season (rainy) showed higher rates of anaemia and spleen enlargement and, in the youngest children only, higher parasite densities. There were also differences between the two dry seasons: in the first one, there was a higher rate of fever than in the second one (p < 0.001). Low parasite density (<2,000 p/?l) was never associated with fever during any season, raising some concern with regard to the usefulness of parasite detection. The possible origins of fever are discussed, together with the potential usefulness of analyzing these indices on a population sample, at a time when fever incidence rises and malaria is one potential cause among others. The distinction to be made between the Plasmodium infection and the malaria disease is highlighted. CONCLUSIONS: These data confirm previous hypotheses of a strong difference in malaria infection and disease between dry and rainy seasons. The most relevant seasonal indicator was not mainly parasite rate and density but anaemia, spleen enlargement, prevalence and possible origin of fever. RECOMMENDATIONS: In any situation (i.e. fever or not) and especially during the dry season, one must consider that detection of parasites in the blood is only evidence of a Plasmodium infection and not necessarily of a malaria disease. In such a situation, it seems suitable to obtain, through national malaria teams, a well-defined situation of transmission and prevalence of Plasmodium infection following zones and seasons, in order to adapt control strategies. For researchers, a systematic management of data separately for dry and rainy season appears mandatory.
Project description:Background and Aims:The relationship between fruiting phenology and seed dispersal syndrome is widely recognized; however, the interaction of dormancy classes and plant life-history traits in relation to fruiting phenology and seed dispersal is understudied. Here we examined the relationship between fruiting season and seed dormancy and how this relationship is modulated by dormancy classes, dispersal syndromes, seed mass and seed moisture content in a Brazilian savanna (cerrado). Methods:Dormancy classes (non-dormancy and physical, morphological, morphophysiological, physiological and physiophysical dormancy) of 34 cerrado species were experimentally determined. Their seed dispersal syndrome (autochory, anemochory, zoochory), dispersal season (rainy, dry, rainy-to-dry and dry-to-rainy transitions), seed mass and moisture contents, and the estimated germination date were also determined. Log-linear models were used to evaluate how dormancy and dormancy classes are related to dispersal season and syndrome. Key Results:The proportions of dormant and non-dormant species were similar in cerrado. The community-estimated germination date was seasonal, occurring at the onset of rainy season. Overall, anemochorous non-dormant species released seeds during the dry-to-rainy transition; autochorous physically dormant species dispersed seeds during the dry season and rainy-to-dry transition; zoochorous species dispersed non-dormant seeds during the dry and rainy seasons, while species with morphological, morphophysiological or physiological dormancy dispersed seeds in the transitional seasons. Seed mass differed among dispersal seasons and dormancy classes, but seed moisture content did not vary with dispersal syndrome, season or dormancy class. Conclusions:The beginning of the rainy season was the most favourable period for seed germination in cerrado, and the germination phenology was controlled by both the timing of seed dispersal and seed dormancy. Dormancy class was influenced by dispersal syndrome and season. Moreover, dormancy avoided seed germination during the rainy-to-dry transition, independently of dispersal syndrome. The variability of dormancy classes with dispersal syndrome allowed animal-dispersed species to fruit all year round, but seeds germinated only during the rainy season. Conversely, seasonally restricted wind-dispersal species dispersed and germinated their non-dormant seeds only in the rainy season.
Project description:We report organic and inorganic carbon distributions and fluxes in a large (>2000 km2) oligotrophic, tropical lake (Lake Kivu, East Africa), acquired during four field surveys, that captured the seasonal variations (March 2007-mid rainy season, September 2007-late dry season, June 2008-early dry season, and April 2009-late rainy season). The partial pressure of CO2 (pCO2) in surface waters of the main basin of Lake Kivu showed modest spatial (coefficient of variation between 3% and 6%), and seasonal variations with an amplitude of 163 ppm (between 579±23 ppm on average in March 2007 and 742±28 ppm on average in September 2007). The most prominent spatial feature of the pCO2 distribution was the very high pCO2 values in Kabuno Bay (a small sub-basin with little connection to the main lake) ranging between 11,213 ppm and 14,213 ppm (between 18 and 26 times higher than in the main basin). Surface waters of the main basin of Lake Kivu were a net source of CO2 to the atmosphere at an average rate of 10.8 mmol m(-2) d(-1), which is lower than the global average reported for freshwater, saline, and volcanic lakes. In Kabuno Bay, the CO2 emission to the atmosphere was on average 500.7 mmol m(-2) d(-1) (?46 times higher than in the main basin). Based on whole-lake mass balance of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) bulk concentrations and of its stable carbon isotope composition, we show that the epilimnion of Lake Kivu was net autotrophic. This is due to the modest river inputs of organic carbon owing to the small ratio of catchment area to lake surface area (2.15). The carbon budget implies that the CO2 emission to the atmosphere must be sustained by DIC inputs of geogenic origin from deep geothermal springs.
Project description:Plants bearing extrafloral nectaries (EFNs) are common in the Brazilian cerrado savanna, where climatic conditions having marked seasonality influence arboreal ant fauna organization. These ant-plant interactions have rarely been studied at community level. Here, we tested whether: 1) EFN-bearing plants are more visited by ants than EFN-lacking plants; 2) ant visitation is higher in the rainy season than in dry season; 3) plants producing young leaves are more visited than those lacking young leaves in the rainy season; 4) during the dry season, plants with old leaves and flowers are more visited than plants with young leaves and bare of leaves or flowers; 5) the composition of visiting ant fauna differs between plants with and without EFNs. Field work was done in a cerrado reserve near Uberlândia, MG State, Brazil, along ten transects (total area 3,000 m2), in the rainy (October-January) and dry seasons (April-July) of 2010-2011. Plants (72 species; 762 individuals) were checked three times per season for ant presence. Results showed that 21 species (29%) and 266 individuals (35%) possessed EFNs. These plants attracted 38 ant species (36 in rainy, 26 in dry season). In the rainy season, plants with EFNs had higher ant abundance/richness than plants without EFNs, but in the dry season, EFN presence did not influence ant visitation. Plant phenology affected ant richness and abundance in different ways: plants with young leaves possessed higher ant richness in the rainy season, but in the dry season ant abundance was higher on plants possessing old leaves or flowers. The species composition of plant-associated ant communities, however, did not differ between plants with and without EFNs in either season. These findings suggest that the effect of EFN presence on a community of plant-visiting ants is context dependent, being conditioned to seasonal variation.
Project description:In many African countries, child mortality is higher in the rainy season than in the dry season. We investigated the effect of season on child mortality by time periods, sex and age in rural Guinea-Bissau.Bandim health project follows children under-five in a health and demographic surveillance system in rural Guinea-Bissau. We compared the mortality in the rainy season (June to November) between 1990 and 2013 with the mortality in the dry season (December to May) in Cox proportional hazards models providing rainy vs. dry season mortality rate ratios (r/d-mrr). Seasonal effects were estimated in strata defined by time periods with different frequency of vaccination campaigns, sex and age (<1 month, 1-11 months, 12-59 months). Verbal autopsies were interpreted using InterVa-4 software.From 1990 to 2013, overall mortality was declined by almost two-thirds among 81 292 children (10 588 deaths). Mortality was 51% (95% ci: 45-58%) higher in the rainy season than in the dry season throughout the study period. The seasonal difference increased significantly with age, the r/d-mrr being 0.94 (0.86-1.03) among neonates, 1.57 (1.46-1.69) in post-neonatal infants and 1.83 (1.72-1.95) in under-five children (P for same effect <0.001). According to the InterVa, malaria deaths were the main reason for the seasonal mortality difference, causing 50% of all deaths in the rainy season, but only if the InterVa included season of death, making the argument self-confirmatory.The mortality declined throughout the study, yet rainy season continued to be associated with 51% higher overall mortality.
Project description:We compared dry and rainy season water sources and their quality in the urban region of Port Harcourt, Nigeria. Representative sampling indicated that municipal water supplies represent < 1% of the water sources. Residents rely on privately constructed and maintained boreholes that are supplemented by commercially packaged bottled and sachet drinking water. Contamination by thermotolerant coliforms increased from 21% of drinking water sources in the dry season to 42% of drinking water sources in the rainy season (N = 356 and N = 397). The most significant increase was in sachet water, which showed the lowest frequencies of contamination in the dry season compared with other sources (15%, N = 186) but the highest frequencies during the rainy season (59%, N = 76). Only half as many respondents reported drinking sachet water in the rainy season as in the dry season. Respondents primarily used flush or pour-flush toilets connected to septic tanks (85%, N = 399). The remainder relied on pit latrines and hanging (pier) latrines that drained into surface waters. We found significant associations between fecal contamination in boreholes and the nearby presence of hanging latrines. Sanitary surveys of boreholes showed that more than half were well-constructed, and we did not identify associations between structural or site deficiencies and microbial water quality. The deterioration of drinking water quality during the rainy season is a serious public health risk for both untreated groundwater and commercially packaged water, highlighting a need to address gaps in monitoring and quality control.