Sessions are listed in the order that they were submitted, rather than by topic. Please go through the entire list to find your ideal place. Requests can be made by session chairs to have sessions follow consecutively, although we cannot promise that we can accomodate all requests. Such requests should be addressed to the co-chairs.
This session is designed for undergraduate and beginning graduate students to give their first talk at an ASLO meeting. It is sponsored by the ASLO Multicultural Program (ASLOMP), but students not affiliated with the ASLOMP are also welcome. The atmosphere of the session is open and affirming, so students will be expected to receive useful and friendly advice in addition to fielding regular questions after their presentations.
Conveners: Frank Muller-Karger, University of South Florida, email@example.com; Michael Lomas, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences (Bermuda), firstname.lastname@example.org; Matthew Church; University of Hawaii, email@example.com; Laura Lorenzoni, University of South Florida, firstname.lastname@example.org
Much of our understanding of temporal variability associated with ocean biogeochemistry derives from sustained, systematic, shipboard time-series observations. Time-series science programs provide the oceanographic community with multi-year, high-quality data needed for characterizing ocean climate, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem variability. We invite contributions from studies which use ocean carbon and biogeochemistry time-series data, and especially encourage studies that examine time-series observations and datasets to elucidate changes in ocean biogeochemical processes, ecosystem structure and function, and linkages and feedbacks with the Earth’s climate system.
Three decades ago (1981) evidence that microbial abundance, production and metabolism, and thus the role of microbes in organic carbon cycling, was larger than hitherto believed was presented at a NATO conference series, summarized in the book “Heterotrophic Activity in the Sea” (J. Hobbie and P.J. le b. Williams, eds.1984). Today new findings and developments continue to appear that challenge our understanding of heterotrophic activity in aquatic ecosystems, including the role of solar radiation, both visible and UV, in conditioning and fueling heterotrophic activity, continued difficulties to reconcile estimates of autotrophic production and heterotrophic activity, the discovery of new pathways of organic matter supply to aquatic ecosystems, including allochthonous and non-photosynthetic authochonous inputs of organic carbon, the role of heterotrophic activity in biogeochemical cycles, and the response of heterotrophic activity to global environmental change. This session will present, revise and discuss novel developments in the mechanisms supporting and controlling heterotrophic activity in aquatic ecosystems; the rates, environmental controls, and biogeochemical implications of heterotrophic activity; and its response to global environmental changes with the associated consequences for the functioning of the biosphere.
Conveners: Joseph Salisbury, University of New Hampshire, email@example.com; Doug Vandemark, University of New Hampshire, firstname.lastname@example.org; Nico Reul, Laboratoire d’Oceanographie Spatiale, Institut Francais de recherche et d’Exploitation de la Mer (France), Nicolas.Reul@ifremer.fr; Bertran Chapron, Laboratoire d’Oceanographie Spatiale, Institut Francais de recherche et d’Exploitation de la Mer (France), Bertrand.Chapron@ifremer.fr
Two new satellite missions are poised to revolutionize surface oceanography. The NASA/CONAE Aquarius Salinity and ESA’s Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity sensors will soon provide global scale surface salinity maps at ~weekly frequencies. These data will enable new opportunities for researchers requiring time series of spatially explicit salinity fields. It is envisioned that global-to-regional scale research in phytoplankton dynamics, constituent cycling and air-sea dynamics will all benefit from these new data streams. Researchers in the biological and biogeochemical sciences that are planning to use, or could benefit from, mapped salinity data are welcome to submit. Research involving large-scale land-ocean interactions the temporal dynamics of production, nutrient cycling, and carbon cycling and air-sea exchange is particularly encouraged.
We seek contributions related to satellite, aircraft and in situ measurement of ocean color radiance and its interpretation for the coastal ocean and for inland waters. Topics covered by this session include the use of ocean color radiometry (OCR) for understanding processes in the coastal ocean and inland waters, applications for societal benefit including commercial applications, algorithm development including atmospheric correction, and OCR applications that support education and public engagement.
Conveners: Barbara Cade-Menun, Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada,Barbara.Cade-Menun@agr.gc.ca; George S. Bullerjahn, Bowling Green State University, email@example.com; J. Thad Scott, University of Arkansas, firstname.lastname@example.org
Managing nonpoint source phosphorus (P) is still a difficult challenge for decision-makers. One source of difficulty is that soil and aquatic scientists studying P loadings and cycling use disparate terminology, and their research programs often have dissimilar objectives. Furthermore, terrestrial and aquatic scientists rarely attend the same meetings to discuss their research, so a cohesive message for decision-makers has never been developed. Nonpoint source P enrichment is most common in developed countries experiencing animal agriculture intensification, and there is an increasing sentiment that agriculture should bear the cost of implementing expensive control measures. Regulatory decisions are usually based on water quality measurements; however, the link between soil P management and downstream in-situ water quality criteria is difficult to quantify. This session will bring together soil, freshwater and marine scientists to bridge a key gap in our understanding of the processes underlying eutrophication. We seek presentations on P cycling in terrestrial, wetland and aquatic environments and are particularly interested in studies focused on P movement from terrestrial to fresh water and marine environments with direct links to aquatic eutrophication. The overall goal of the session is to develop a dialogue between soil and aquatic scientists that could lead to a comprehensive scientific framework for understanding and managing nonpoint sources of P and their impacts on all aquatic ecosystems.
Conveners: Ryan P. Moyer, US Geological Survey Saint Petersburg Coastal and Marine Science Center, email@example.com; James E. Bauer, Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, Dept. of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, The Ohio State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fluxes of organic and inorganic matter between land and the coastal ocean are important components of global biogeochemical cycles. Our understanding of the inputs and fates of these materials remains poorly constrained, as most studies have focused on temperate rivers, with measurements from tropical rivers being dominated by the Amazon. Small mountainous rivers (SMRs) transport globally significant amounts of terrestrial materials to the coastal ocean, yet the factors controlling their fluxes and character are not well understood. Additionally, dramatic land-use change in the tropics has altered losses of terrestrial materials and their biogeochemical cycling in rivers, estuaries and coastal waters. The relative lack of information on the biogeochemistry of organic and inorganic materials exported by tropical SMRs thus represents a major gap in our understanding of global land-ocean carbon fluxes and biogeochemical cycles. This session encourages contributions on biogeochemical studies of tropical SMR catchments and associated estuarine and coastal waters, as well as paleo-records of temporal and/or spatial changes in these fluxes and processes. Of particular interest are contributions documenting alterations in SMR fluxes and biogeochemistry due to changes in land-use, hydrology, and climate, and studies evaluating tropical SMRs relative to their temperate and larger tropical counterparts.
Ecologists are becoming increasingly aware and interested in adaptive variation within species and how this variation affects our understanding of interactions among species and the environment. Individuals within a population or a species do not all possess identical traits (else there would be no raw material for adaptive change), even after accounting for familiar trait-determinants such as age and sex. With respect to the ecology of harmful phytoplankton (i.e., taxa that cause so-called HABs), we now know that there can be substantial variation in growth rate and specific toxin production across genotypes of the toxigenic cyanobacterium, Microcystis aeruginosa, across populations (lakes) and possibly within populations as well. We also know that genotypes of a single grazer species (both freshwater and marine) can vary a lot in their ability to tolerate phytoplankton toxins, a finding that would seem to have major implications for top-down control of HABs. This session will bring together researchers with an interest in any aspect of intraspecific trait variation as it pertains to the growth, maintenance or control of harmful phytoplankton in both marine and freshwater ecosystems.
Conveners: Frank Wenzhoefer, HGF-MPG Group for Deep Sea Ecology and Technology; Alfred-Wegener Institute for Polar- and Marine Research & Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology (Germany), email@example.com; Ronnie N. Glud, The Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS) (United Kingdom), Ronnie.Glud@sams.ac.uk
The session will discuss the importance of benthic environments for global biogeochemical cycles. The sediment water interface is an important transition zone and is characterized by a (often) thin oxic horizon with steep geochemical gradients and an extensive spatial and temporal heterogeneity. Fauna activity, patchy distribution of settling organic matter and benthic primary producers may introduce a mosaic-like pattern of microzones and microniches. On larger scales, landscape size topographic features and unique habitats related to seepage, vents or intrusions may introduce another level of complexity. The investigation of benthic processes and exchange rates represents a challenge in resolving temporal and spatial variations on scales covering several orders of magnitude. The effort requires the use of several complementary measuring techniques, extrapolation and modeling approaches. This session seek submissions that use state-of-the-art as well as new and innovative approaches to investigate benthic ecosystems. Further, we welcome contributions addressing small-scale variability as well as habitat, regional and global mineralization budgets.
Freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems are becoming increasingly connected by human activities, often resulting in the translocation of aquatic species between habitats by various commercial and recreational pathways. Significant biodiversity and economic impacts have been documented for a variety of fish, invertebrate and plant introductions in multiple habitats. Prevention is widely recognized as the best method to reduce further impacts. In line with the goals of this year’s conference, submissions on the following topics are encouraged: i) early detection strategies; ii) rapid response strategies; iii) aquatic nonindigenous species as part of multiple stressors affecting aquatic ecosystems; and iv) reducing uncertainty in prediction and management.
Conveners: Aria Amirbahman, University of Maine, firstname.lastname@example.org; Laurie S. Balistrieri, U.S. Geological Survey and University of Washington, email@example.com; Karen A. Merritt, ENVIRON International Corp., firstname.lastname@example.org
In situ diffusional techniques, including diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) and diffusive equilibration in thin films (DET), provide high resolution measurements of chemical concentrations and fluxes and are used to evaluate the lability and bioavailability of inorganic analytes in water, soils and sediments. Since these techniques have become widely established in recent years, they are increasingly being used not only in research, but also by regulatory agencies and industry. The aim of this session is to bring together scientists and practitioners from academia, governmental agencies and private industry to discuss the most recent developments in theory and application of DGT and DET in the environment. For this session, we invite papers on the fundamentals and application of DGT and DET, including use of these techniques in determination of solution chemical speciation as well as chemical flux and lability in sediments and soils, use of these techniques as proxies for assessing chemical bioavailability and plant uptake, theoretical modeling, development of gels and reactive resins for specific applications, monitoring and passive sampling, and application as regulatory tools.
Conveners: Irene Gregory-Eaves, Dept. of Biology, McGill University (Canada), email@example.com; Beatrix Beisner, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal (Canada), firstname.lastname@example.org
Internationally, scientists and policy makers have recognized that global biodiversity is declining as a consequence of human-induced environmental changes and that this loss is occurring at a rate of up to 1000x faster than in the past. Clearly, paleoecological data have played an important role in providing a comparative framework for interpreting recent biodiversity changes. However, paleoecological data can also be instrumental in identifying drivers of biodiversity over both large spatial and temporal scales. The study of aquatic biodiversity using paleoecological data has numerous advantages and thus, the potential to make great advancements in biodiversity science. The wide range of organisms that are preserved in sediment records provide scientists with a spectrum of model organisms that differ in dispersal capabilities, generation times, and sensitivities to environmental variables. In addition, paleoecological studies commonly quantify the optima and tolerances of organisms to a suite of environmental variables, and as a result, these data lend themselves strongly to functional diversity approaches: an emerging area in biodiversity research and understanding. In this session, we plan to bring together aquatic scientists from paleoecology and community ecology backgrounds to forge new research pathways for understanding biodiversity patterns in aquatic ecosystems.
Conveners: Sarah Kolesar, Oregon State University, email@example.com; James Pierson, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; firstname.lastname@example.org; Jeremy Testa, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science; email@example.com
Hypoxia and anoxia have direct and indirect effects on aquatic living resources at the organismic and ecosystem level. Recent work has given us new insights on species and population-level responses to low oxygen conditions in both benthic and pelagic habitats and across the freshwater-marine continuum. Although our fundamental understanding of the controls on the natural and anthropogenic causes of low dissolved oxygen in the environment is solid, the multiple consequences of hypoxia within ecosystems are not always linked or well-understood. Synthesizing results across temporal and spatial scales, between benthic and pelagic habitats, and among disciplines is an essential next step toward furthering the state of knowledge of how hypoxia affects food webs and biogeochemical cycles in freshwater, coastal, and marine areas. Modeling, comparative research initiatives or other mechanisms will enhance our ability as a community to relate hypoxia science to management decisions, natural resource economics, and public awareness of the issue. We seek presentations that synthesize ecosystem-wide responses to hypoxia or analyze specific effects of hypoxia on particular components (species, communities, habitats) of marine and freshwater ecosystems.
Conveners: Thomas Potter, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, firstname.lastname@example.org; Candiss Williams,USDA-Agricultural Research Service; email@example.com; David Whitall, NOAA-CCMA, firstname.lastname@example.org; Angel Dieppa, Jobos Bay NERR, email@example.com
Coastal water quality decline due to point and non-point source pollution from terrestrial sources is a serious concern throughout the Caribbean basin and worldwide. Toxic and noxious algal blooms, declines in mangrove forests and seagrass meadows, depletion of fishery stocks, coral reef die-off, public health threats and loss of recreational resources and livelihoods of coastal communities may result. To design cost effective solutions, comprehensive watershed scale investigations are needed that delineate contaminant types, sources, transport pathways and impacts. This session will focus on a) contaminant characterization (pesticides, novel and emerging pollutants, petroleum, heavy metals, and nutrients), b) fate and transport evaluation (ground and surface water discharges, atmospheric deposition), c) land-based mitigation measures (buffers), d) simulation modeling (field, farm and watershed scales), and e) risk and impact assessments in coastal ecosystems. We seek presentations of original research and relevant case studies.
Conveners: Jorge E. Corredor, UPR - Dept. Marine Sciences, firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Langdon, University of Miami RSMAS, email@example.com; Dwight Gledhill, NOAA AOML /University of Miami RSMAS CIMAS; Dwight.Gledhill@noaa.gov
Anthropogenic carbon emission is driving worldwide decline of surface ocean pH (e.g. ocean acidification). Laboratory and field studies of coral calcification rates indicate that community-scale calcification declines in response to this ocean acidification. Informed management of coral reef ecosystems, thus threatened by anthropogenic ocean acidification, requires constraint of short-term natural variability and range in near-reef carbonate chemistry to better infer the long-term acidification effects to coral reef communities. Sustained measurement of near-reef carbonate chemistry is a critical prerequisite in order to secure the baselines for future reference, to constrain natural variability, both seasonal and episodic, and to assess acidification trends on pertinent time frames of decades to centuries. We invite contributions addressing the chemistry and biogeochemistry of ocean acidification as it pertains to coral reef ecosystems. We welcome contributions describing seasonal and inter-annual variability of pH, alkalinity and pCO2, papers describing the response of reef organisms to sustained or episodic acidification events and papers addressing carbonate budgets on reefs including gas exchange, organic carbon dynamics and mineral buffering.
Conveners: Angelicque E. White, Oregon State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Adina Paytan, University of California Santa Cruz, email@example.com; Sonya Dyhrman, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, firstname.lastname@example.org
The primary elemental ingredients for life, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are assembled, disassembled, transformed, and consumed by marine microorganisms resulting in a steady cycling of elements between intracellular, inorganic and organic reservoirs. Of these elements, we understand the least about the cycling of P in the sea. However, in recent years, our knowledge of oceanic P transformations has undergone a revolution of sorts, with a growing body of work revealing the molecular composition of dissolved organic phosphorus, novel pathways for the uptake and decomposition of reduced P, the presence of a microbially-mediated P redox cycle in nature and evidence for P control of primary production in select marine habitats. Each of these research findings reiterate the crucial role of microorganisms as mediators of P cycling and emphasize the need to address elemental coupling (C-N-P-x) by biology. We invite submissions that address novel methodology or research centered on any of these emerging topics in the surface ocean and in sediments from a genomic, biogeochemical or numerical model perspective.
Ecosystem and biogeochemical processes in the mesopelagic layer (or twilight zone), the ocean region between ~200 and 1000m, and the euphotic zone are coupled at a large range of time and space scales. However, these connections are not well understood or quantified. In recent years, more formal descriptions (often correlative) have been proposed. For example, the decrease in the vertical mass flux with depth in the mesopelagic layer has been related to the size structure of the phytoplankton community in the surface layer. Conversely, the rate of N2-fixation in surface waters has been associated to the rate of denitrification in the mesopelagic oxygen minimum zone. There are many more. This session will examine connectivity between surface and mesopelagic ecosystem processes at various spatial and temporal scales. We invite papers that consider connectivity during field, modeling or laboratory studies. Combining the results from different approaches will suggest new avenues of research on a topic that is developing rapidly as a consequence of new observation tools and improved physical-biogeochemical models. This is timely topic considering the role of ocean climate interactions and feedbacks.
Conveners: Gillian Stewart, Queens College, CUNY, email@example.com; S. Bradley Moran, Graduate School of Oceanography, URI, firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Lomas, Bermuda Institute for Ocean Sciences, Michael.Lomas@bios.edu
Phytoplankton and zooplankton species in the surface ocean can impact particulate organic carbon (POC) export via processes such as aggregation, digestion, and packaging. Until recently, the plankton ecologists and carbon geochemists worked separately, with the former focusing on seasonality, migration, and dynamics of populations and the latter focusing on composition, sinking rate, and remineralization depths of particles. It is now clear that the most promising path forward in modeling and quantifying POC export, and therefore assessing the ocean’s capacity as a sink for atmospheric carbon, is to understand the direct and indirect effects of plankton community composition on the formation of sinking particles. To gather this information, the complete breadth of the ecology and geochemistry toolboxes must be employed. We encourage submissions from interdisciplinary teams and individuals who have attempted to quantify and qualify the linkages between plankton community composition and POC export in the surface ocean.
Conveners: Astrid Schnetzer, University of Southern California, email@example.com; Darcy Lonsdale, Stony Brook University, firstname.lastname@example.org; David Caron, University of Southern California, email@example.com
Metazoan trophic relationships play a pivotal role for energy and material flux through aquatic food webs. Studying the nature of these prey-predator dynamics can quickly become a daunting task factoring in the enormous diversity within microbial prey populations and the variety of feeding modes employed by different metazoan grazers. Combining traditional methods (e.g. microscopy) with modern molecular techniques (e.g. genetics) is a powerful approach that has begun to provide new insight into prey-predator interactions at lower and mid-trophic levels. However, significant challenges remain and emerge when both qualitative and quantitative information is to be acquired. We invite presentations on field and/or laboratory-based studies that employ molecular techniques to examine microbe-metazoan dynamics and hope the session will stir ample discussion on current and future challenges.
Silicifiers and calcifiers dominate the biological carbon pump in the worlds ocean because they biomineralize and therefore significantly contribute to carbon sequestration. Evolution, niche differentiation, and biology of these two groups differ significantly although both belong to the group of chlorophyll-c-containing algae (chromists). Our session is aiming to compare both groups of organisms with specific emphasis on new data coming from genetic and genomic approaches in an environmental context. We hope to bring together talks on evolution and fundamental biology to shed light on how the evolutionary success of these groups has been shaped by interactions with the environment (e.g. nutrient limitation, pH, CO2, light) and with other organisms (e.g. viruses, bacteria).
Watershed-coastal ocean ecosystems around the world are faced with increased population and development, changing landscapes, and increasing nutrient loads. The flux of materials from the watershed increases or decreases at different rates resulting in altered nutrient loads (N, P, Si) and nutrient ratios to coastal waters. These changes often result in eutrophication, noxious and toxic algal blooms, hypoxia, altered communities, and altered trophic interactions. Over time the rate of change of specific macronutrients may differ from other forms so that nutrient ratios also change over time. Primary production in coastal systems may therefore be limited by single or multiple nutrients and shifting nutrient ratios over time and space and result in different phytoplankton community composition with consequences to trophic structure. Further complexity comes with blooms of N2-fixing phytoplankton and release of nutrients from hypoxic/anoxic sediments. Should nutrient abatement occur, coastal systems may subsequently be exposed to shifting loads and nutrient ratios and therefore limitation by different nutrient(s) in a trajectory to ‘recovery.’ The response or predicted response of coastal systems from increases in nutrient loads or decreases should be considered in nutrient management schemes that seek a balanced nutrient composition as well as nutrient supply dynamics.
Conveners: Chih-hao Hsieh, National Taiwan University, firstname.lastname@example.org, Juan-Carlos Molinero, Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences; email@example.com; Hui-Yu Wang, University of Massachusetts, firstname.lastname@example.org
Fishing impacts on life history, i.e. size and age at maturation, age at sex change, fecundity, and spatial distribution, are pressing concerns in sustainability science. Recent studies suggest that such fishing-induced life history variation may involve both plastic and evolutionary mechanisms. As a result, such impacts may be irreversible. In addition, these changes in life history traits likely will cascade to influence population dynamics, community structures and ultimately alter ecosystem functioning. The scenario is further complicated in a changing ocean. For example, climate change may induce nonlinear physical and biological responses, and these changes may interact with fishing effects to alter stability and sustainability of biological resources. In this session, we wish to invite both empirical and theoretical studies concerning this broad issue of fishing impacts, encompassing vertebrate and invertebrate stocks and marine and freshwater systems. The aim of this session is to provide a forum of contemporary research approaches, i.e. theoretical modeling, manipulative experiments, and retrospective analysis and/or meta-analysis on existing data, as well as identifying crucial gaps in our knowledge. The output of this section will provide an exploratory framework as well as a recommendation for long-term sustainability of resources.
Conveners: Russell L. Cuhel, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Center for Great Lakes Studies, email@example.com; Carmen Aguilar, University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee Center for Great Lakes Studies, firstname.lastname@example.org
Increasingly complex, large-scale studies of aquatic ecosystems require broadly trained yet disciplinarily expert scientists for the 21st Century. A variety of laboratory research opportunities, from grant-supported undergraduate assistants to programmatic offerings such as the NSF-OCE Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Sites offer a valuable introduction to research activities and lifestyles. Distributed among a wide variety of aquatic research institutions, REU Sites in particular provide diverse project and informational experiences. This session specifically offers ANY undergraduates an opportunity to present their research findings in a collegial but lower-stress poster session amid the showcase of full-spectrum aquatic science presentations. Engaged in one of the premier aquatic science meetings of the year, networking and personal interaction facilitate recruitment of top candidates into the career path progression. Research experiences play very important roles in coalescence of a student’s classroom learning with real world practice. This poster session showcases project results of mostly upper-division undergraduates working in aquatic science laboratories. All disciplines and many interdisciplinary topics are represented. The presentations provide a fine opportunity for scientists to establish interactions with potential graduate students or employees in a professional setting.
Conveying scientific research to the public is increasing in importance to scientists and society. Scientists are required to include broader impact activities to obtain or leverage funding, strengthen status within peer groups, and enhance graduate student professional development. In addition, scientists are often intrinsically motivated to share their research with the world. This session will solicit contributions that provide examples of transferable and tractable activities, which broaden the awareness of outreach activities such as work with citizen scientists groups, the media, and formal and informal science education institutions. Suggested areas for presenters to address can include but are not limited to: 1) on-line educational activities and/or resources; 2) activities that may inspire and empower other scientists to reach out to diverse audiences; and 3) examples of broader impact activity successes, effective practices and value to the scientific community.
Aquatic microbial eukaryotes exhibit a wide array of interactions that influence community diversity, trophic structure, and ultimately biogeochemical cycles. These interactions, which include competition, allelopathy, predation, parasitism, and symbiosis, are complex phenomena that can be difficult to assess. Aquatic protists in particular are extremely phylogenetically diverse, span a wide spectrum in cell size and encompass a broad range of nutritional modes from phototrophy to heterotrophy. Mixotrophy plays an important nutritional role in many protist groups, and represents a wide array of microbial interactions. In this session we encourage investigators from both laboratory and field settings, in either marine or freshwater systems, to present their research on interactions between aquatic microbial eukaryotes. Research emphasizing the ecological role of cellular interactions, and involving aspects of diversity, cellular biology, functional genomics, cell-cell signaling, or biochemical and physiological processes are welcomed.
Conveners: Carol Robinson, University of East Anglia (United Kingdom), email@example.com; Veronique Garcon, Laboratoire d’Etudes en Géophysique et Océanographie Spatiales, CNRS, LEGOS (France); firstname.lastname@example.org
Coastal upwelling significantly influences marine plankton community structure, biogeochemistry and atmospheric chemistry. The input of nutrient rich deep water creates some of the ocean’s most productive systems, representing < 1% of the surface area but 20% of the global fish catch. Midwater oxygen minimum zones facilitate nitrous oxide and methane production, and elevated carbon dioxide concentrations and decreased pH can impact pelagic and benthic ecosystem structure. High rates of primary production and a shift in plankton community structure enhance dimethylsulphide and halocarbon production, while photodegradation of upwelled dissolved organic matter influences bacterial activity and the production of carbon monoxide. The intensity and timing of coastal upwelling is influenced by wind and current patterns yet the response of these systems to potential climatic shifts, and the impact this might have on biogeochemical fluxes, is unclear. In the last 5 years several major observational and modelling initiatives have been undertaken as part of international programs such as SOLAS, GLOBEC and IMBER. This session will bring together aspects of the dynamics, structure and functioning of eastern boundary upwelling systems including ocean physics, air-sea exchange, photochemistry, suboxic and anaerobic biogeochemistry and microbial community structure and activity.
The temporal evolution and spatial distribution of phytoplankton and zooplankton abundance result from complex interactions between organisms and their physical environment. From these interactions, which are regulated by metabolically-constrained traits and trade-offs among traits, emerge macro-scale patterns in community metrics such as diversity. Field observational work refines our knowledge of how planktonic diversity varies in space and time and how it is associated with changes in physical conditions or ecosystem properties. Models of planktonic ecosystems are now beginning to include a more diverse array of functional groups or species and help provide a more mechanistic understanding for the regulation of diversity. Laboratory studies, such as mesocosm experiments, allow for direct, complementary experimentation not possible in the field or in mechanistic models. This session will examine patterns of diversity in both marine and freshwater plankton communities and will consider the fundamental physiological, ecological, and physical mechanisms that combine to produce the observed patterns. We encourage laboratory, observational, and modeling submissions that discuss: 1) relationships between plankton diversity and physical conditions and ecosystem properties, 2) the underlying mechanisms that lead to patterns in diversity, and 3) the functional role of diversity.
Conveners: Pamela Hallock, University of South Florida, email@example.com; Bernhard Riegl, Nova Southeastern University, firstname.lastname@example.org, Edwin A. Hernández-Delgado, University of Puerto Rico, email@example.com
In the mid-20th Century, coral reefs were best known where clear ocean waters bathed tropical shorelines. Today roughly half of the world’s shallow-water reefs have been lost or seriously degraded. Human activities are sending agricultural, industrial and urban wastes and chemicals, along with increased sediment loads, into coastal waters. As a result, waters have become more turbid and fringing reefs have been buried in sediment or overgrown by algae. Rapidly rising human populations have increasingly exploited fisheries, in some places with Malthusian overfishing. Beginning in the 1970s, even corals in clear-water offshore reefs began to decline – from diseases and bleaching. More recently, increasing sea-surface temperature and ocean acidification have emerged as critical threats to the potential of corals to even build reefs. Do shallow-water coral reefs have a future? Will future coral populations be limited to shallow hardbottom or deeper mesophotic communities? Can ecological functions be sustained in changing coral reefs? We invite scientists dealing with any aspect of the response of coral reefs to environmental change, whether to local, regional or global change processes, to participate in this session. We invite not only coral researchers, but also others working with reef-related species, populations or communities, or environmental factors that may impact these communities.
Freshwater inputs through rivers, glaciers and groundwater can have great influences on biological and biogeochemical processes in coastal marine systems. Variations in the timing and magnitude of the freshwater inputs can significantly affect the coastal ocean. It is becoming increasingly clear that climate variability and change are impacting river and glacial flows across a spectrum of temporal and spatial scales. As sea level rises, the location of the subsurface freshwater/saltwater interface varies, and water table elevation and salt water intrusion occur further inland. This influences recirculation patterns and the magnitude of brackish ground water discharge. The effects of changes in fresh and brackish water flow, timing and source on coastal systems, now and in the future, are not clear. In this session, we will explore all aspects of fresh and brackish water inputs on coastal marine systems but will emphasize talks that highlight changes in these inputs and the impact of such changes on biological communities and biologically mediated processes within coastal marine systems.
Conveners: Chip Small, University of Minnesota, firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill McDowell, University of New Hampshire, email@example.com; Johan Six, University of California-Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org; Catherine Pringle, University of Georgia, email@example.com
Recent syntheses have shown that the flux of carbon in freshwater ecosystems constitutes a significant proportion of the global carbon cycle, and that carbon from both watersheds and in-stream sources is actively processed and CO2 evaded during its transit through drainage networks. Although global estimates of carbon flux in freshwater ecosystems are poorly constrained and continue to increase, it is clear that tropical aquatic ecosystems are especially important contributors to carbon flux, due to higher rates of microbial respiration and terrestrial net primary productivity associated with warm, wet climates. Many areas in the tropics are also experiencing the effects of global change including rapidly growing cities, conversions of forest to agricultural land, construction of dams, and climate-induced changes in hydrologic regime. The purpose of this session is to explore how these stressors may alter carbon transport and processing in tropical freshwater ecosystems. The co-chairs of this session are part of an NSF Research Coordination Network (RCN)-funded Working Group on Carbon Transport and Processing in Tropical Streams and Rivers. A synthesis paper from the working group will be presented.
Conveners: Michael Latz, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, firstname.lastname@example.org; Fernando Gilbes-Santaella, University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, email@example.com; Miguel Sastre, University of Puerto Rico at Humacao; firstname.lastname@example.org
Puerto Rico is home to some of the healthiest and best examples of bioluminescent bays in the world. Even so, there is little scientific study of the bays despite their ecological significance, popularity for ecotourism, and providing an important contribution to the local economy. Thus there is insufficient understanding of the ecosystem dynamics that result in the dramatic bioluminescence displays, in which the dominant source is the dinoflagellate Pyrodinium bahamense. These bays are fragile ecosystems sensitive to the effects of overdevelopment, contamination, and overuse. This session welcomes presentations spanning the natural history, science, economics, educational aspects, management, and conservation of the bays.
Hypoxia (< 2 mg O2 L-1) has been reported with increasing frequency from a variety of coastal and estuarine ecosystems. Hypoxia develops as a result of complex interactions of physical and biological processes, which often cannot be fully understood, based on observations alone. In recent years, modeling has emerged as a major research tool to study dynamics of hypoxia and predict system responses to variations in climate and anthropogenic nutrient loading. While recent advances in three-dimensional coupled hydrodynamic-ecological models have allowed better representation of physical and ecological processes over large spatial domains, the forecasting power of these models remains fairly limited because of the critical roles of local wind and buoyancy forcing in the development of hypoxia. This session will explore recent advances in coastal hypoxia modeling. We invite oral and poster presentations focused on diverse modeling topics including mechanisms of hypoxia development, anthropogenic and climatic influences on hypoxia, and ecological effects of hypoxia. Applicable models range from purely empirical models to complex three-dimensional mechanistic models.
Conveners: David J Suggett, Coral Reef Research Unit, University of Essex (United Kingdom); email@example.com; Andrea G Grottoli, School of Earth Sciences, Ohio State University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mark E. Warner, College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment, University of Delaware, email@example.com
Coral reefs are considered flagship aquatic ecosystems given their disproportionately high diversity and productivity but also their apparent extreme sensitivity to environmental change. Intensive research efforts in recent years have largely focused on how reefs and reef organisms respond to broad scale (regional to global) changes in climate or smaller scale (local) changes in eutrophication, sedimentation, and over- exploitation. Most experimentally based studies have targeted the influence of individual environmental factors in isolation (e.g. light, temperature, pH, or nutrients). However, observationally based studies implicitly account for the influence of multiple environmental perturbations acting simultaneously and/or repeatedly. As such, our ability to effectively predict future reef form and function remain fundamentally limited. It is increasingly recognized that interactive or repeat exposure effects of environmental perturbations can (i) cumulatively lower net reef resilience by acting synergistically at any one time or repeatedly over time; and/or (ii) maintain or even promote net reef resilience by acting antagonistically by dampening the gross influence of each factor. Such key multivariate effects remain poorly understood. Therefore, this session will consider the net influence of multiple and/or repeat exposure to environmental perturbations upon reef process, at scales from individual organisms (the molecular to holobiont) to entire reef systems.
Conveners: Sam Dupont, University of Gothenburg (Sweden), firstname.lastname@example.org; Mike Thorndyke, University of Gothenburg (Sweden), email@example.com; Frank Melzner, Leibniz-Institute of Marine Sciences (Germany), firstname.lastname@example.org
Among anthropogenic stressors, global warming and ocean acidification – the decrease in the pH of the oceans caused by their uptake of anthropogenic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere – are of great concern and are believed to be a major threat for near-future ecosystem health. Rates of climate change are increasingly fast and we can only guess at the kinds of organisms that will suffer (“losers”) or benefit (“winners”) from this mayhem that is radically altering ecosystem structure. A variety of life history strategies exist that enable marine species to reproduce successfully across a wide range of environmental conditions such as planktotrophy, lecitothrophy, brooding, asexual reproduction, hybridization, etc. The relative success of each strategy is believed to be a consequence of a range of selective pressures. Recent findings further suggest that these rules may change in the near future. To understand consequences of climate change, we need to understand these new evolutionary rules that will shape ocean ecosystem structure. The aim of this session is to therefore summarize recent findings suggesting that life-history strategy is a major parameter determining species sensitivity.
Nutrient enrichment of our water resources poses one of the most serious threats to these systems’ community structure, ecosystem function, conservation, and aesthetics. The damaging effects of eutrophication are likely to be amplified by concurrent climate change, exotic species introductions, and explosive human population growth. Understanding the sources of excess nutrients, either natural or anthropogenic, is a critical aspect of ecosystem management, particularly in view of recent studies highlighting the synergistic effects of eutrophication on the ecology of food-web interactions. The current scientific debate on the causes of eutrophication focuses on either excess phosphorus or a combination of nitrogen and phosphorus. To properly manage our water resources, it is critical to understand both the sources and consequences of eutrophication. In this session, we will bring together experts in eutrophication science to further flesh out the causes, effects, and management of eutrophication in diverse aquatic systems.
Conveners: Kimberly Puglise, NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, email@example.com; David Hilmer, NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, firstname.lastname@example.org; Michael Dowgiallo, NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, email@example.com; Larry Pugh, NOAA Center for Sponsored Coastal Ocean Research, firstname.lastname@example.org
Coastal resource management has traditionally focused on individual resources and stressors. As resource managers shift from single species to an ecosystem approach to management, research-informing management must also shift to looking at ecosystems at the regional scale. Such research takes into account multiple uses and stressors, various habitat types, and differing levels of ecosystem health to provide managers with a more complete picture of the resources under their purview. Regional-scale ecosystem research utilizes information from resource assessments, monitoring, and prediction of ecosystem interactions (including human drivers and outcomes) to evaluate alternative policy and management options. This session will provide a forum to highlight regional ecosystem studies that have or will result in management action. We are particularly interested in studies that have 1) been successful in navigating across traditional political and scientific boundaries, 2) set program priorities, goals, and outcomes in collaboration with regional stakeholders and management or political end-product users, 3) identified best practices for translating program outputs to non-scientific ecosystem managers and policy makers/politicians, and 4) improved management or policy decisions resulting in significant environmental or societal benefit. We also encourage presentations that explore the challenges and opportunities that generally apply to such an integrative ecosystem research approach.
Conveners: Daniel Roelke, Texas A&M University, email@example.com; Sofie Spatharis, University of the Aegean, Mytilene (Greece), firstname.lastname@example.org, Simon Mitrovic, University of Technology, Sydney, (Australia), email@example.com
With climate change, it is anticipated that patterns of precipitation and overland flows will change, where regions becoming more arid will experience decreased inflow magnitude and increased period between inflow events, the opposite trend occurring for regions becoming wetter. Such changes will affect system-level characteristics, such as hydraulic flushing, renewal time, current circulation, salt content, and loading of nutrients and sediments. In theory, such changes influence ecosystem form and functioning, including biodiversity maintenance, energy transfer to higher trophic levels, carbon sequestration and the incidence of harmful algal blooms. This session encourages papers that focus on the relationship between inflow characteristics (frequency, magnitude, duration and period between events) and the structure and functioning of freshwater and marine systems, where increased understanding of this relationship will also increase our understanding of potential effects of climate change.
Conveners: Raleigh R. Hood, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, Horn Point Laboratory, firstname.lastname@example.org; Christopher W. Brown, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NESDIS, email@example.com; David S. Green, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration NWS, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ecological forecasts, or the prediction of the impacts of physical, chemical, biological, and human-induced change on ecosystems and their components, encompass a wide range of space and time scales, and subject matter. They vary from predicting the occurrence and/or transport of certain species, such harmful algal blooms, or biogeochemical constituents, such as dissolved oxygen concentrations, to large-scale ecosystem responses and higher trophic levels. The timescales of ecological forecasts range from nowcasts and short-term forecasts (days), to hundreds of years in climate change scenarios, and the spatial scales range from coastal inlets to basin and global forecasts. The models that have been used include conceptual, empirical, mechanistic and hybrid approaches. Substantial progress has been made in recent years in developing new marine ecological forecasts that can help guide management and mitigation efforts, but many challenges remain especially in the realm of mechanistic biogeochemical and ecosystem forecasting. Ecological data assimilation techniques are also applicable, though only a few data assimilating ecological forecast models exist today. We invite presentations that highlight recent advances in efforts to forecast marine biogeochemical properties, ecosystem dynamics and individual aquatic species as well as cutting edge techniques to enable the next generation of ecological forecasting models.
Conveners: Janet Reimer, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California and Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Facultada de Ciencias Marinas (Mexico), email@example.com; Miguel Huerta-Diad, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California, Instituto de Investigaciones Oceanologicas(Mexico), firstname.lastname@example.org
This session aims to highlight the importance of hypersaline environments (found all over the world and hosting endemic species) and how different they are from “normal” salinity waters and lakes. This would be the first time a session will convene specifically related to the uniqueness of hypersaline regions, including the specific challenges involved in studying these areas. Not only is the biology found within these regions different from their “normal” counterparts, but also the sediment geochemistry. Modern hypersaline regions may provide opportunities to study paleoceanography and paleolimnology, as these zones were considerably more abundant during the geologic past. These areas may store important quantities of organic carbon and it has been established that studies of microbial mats and hypersaline regions can be applied to paleobiology and exobiology problems such as life in Mars. Inland hypersaline regions (i.e. Lake Chiprana (Spain), Salton Sea (USA), and the Dead Sea (Israel/Jordan)) tend to be somewhat different from their coastal counterparts (i.e. Cabo Rojo (Puerto Rico), Shark Bay (Australia), and Guerrero Negro (Mexico)). Therefore, we wish to invite abstracts that focus on both environments, bringing together limnologists and oceanographers and the opportunity to compare and contrast characteristics of these diverse hypersaline environments.
Conveners: Kylie Pitt, Griffith University, K.Pitt@griffith.edu.au; Rob Condon, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences, email@example.com; Andrew Sweetman, Norwegian Institute for Water Research (Norway), firstname.lastname@example.org
Jellyfish (defined as medusae, ctenophores and pelagic tunicates) are renowned for their spectacular population blooms. Recently, substantial changes in jellyfish populations have been reported in estuarine, coastal and open-ocean regions worldwide, including increases in the frequency and magnitude of blooms, range expansions, and species introductions. Sudden increases in the biomass of jellyfish have major consequences for ecosystem functioning and biogeochemical cycling, but also impose socio-economic costs on tourism, fishing and power generation industries. The apparent success of jellyfish in both the modern and prehistoric ocean has been attributed to their perceived ability to thrive in waters that are eutrophic, warmer, hypoxic and/or over-harvested for fish. Empirical data on the causes of blooms, and how jellyfish populations will respond to continuing changes in the ocean on relevant regional- and global-scales, however, are rare, and resulted in the formation of the NCEAS jellyfish working group to address these issues. This session will explore the current and future ecological, biogeochemical, and socio-economic impacts of jellyfish blooms, assess how jellyfish populations will respond to predicted climate, food web, physico-chemical and ecological changes in the future ocean, and discuss strategies for managing, and adapting to, projected spatial increases and temporal shifts in jellyfish populations.
Conveners: Virginia Edgcomb, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, email@example.com; Slava Epstein, Northeastern University, firstname.lastname@example.org; William Orsi, Northeastern University, email@example.com
Over the last decade molecular methods have provided stunning insights into the diversity of marine and freshwater protozoa. Investigators of protist communities are now embracing interdisciplinary field and laboratory studies with new methods that are providing the context for interpretation of that large diversity and much greater insights into their ecological role. It is now known that protists are present in significant numbers in many habitats previously thought to be almost the exclusive domain of bacteria and archaea. Protists likely play an important role in aquatic biogeochemical cycles directly and/or through their various interactions with aquatic bacteria and archaea. This exciting session presents research on microbial eukaryotes in extreme environments (both marine and freshwater) that takes us beyond mere collections of sequences to give us insights into such themes as a) their distribution along geochemical gradients, b) grazing activities and other impacts on aquatic bacterial and archaeal populations c) impact on major biogeochemical cycles, d) evidence of endemism, and e) symbiosis as a means of adaptation to local conditions.
Conveners: Jan Karlsson, Department of Ecology and Environmental Science (Sweden), firstname.lastname@example.org; Rob Striegl, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, email@example.com; Lars Tranvik, Dept. of Ecology and Evolution (Sweden) firstname.lastname@example.org
Inland water is a major component of the boreal biome. These systems have an important role in carbon cycling by both storing and emitting terrestrial carbon. Terrestrial carbon is either mineralized in lakes and released as CO2 and CH4 to the atmosphere, buried in lake sediments, or transported downstream. Carbon derived from soil respiration is also exported and released to the atmosphere from lakes and streams. Hence, in order to quantify the carbon balance of the circumpolar zone, it is crucial to integrate terrestrial and aquatic carbon cycles. The session invites contributions that aim to quantify the role of inland waters in this respect. We particularly encourage presentations addressing scaling and other approaches such as remote sensing to address the role of inland waters at regional and larger scales.
Conveners: Emma Kritzberg, Lund University (Sweden), email@example.com; Jesus Arrieta, Institut Mediterrani d´Estudis Avançats (IMEDEA) (Spain), firstname.lastname@example.org; Dolors Vaque, Institut de Ciencies del Mar (Spain), email@example.com; Raquel Vaquer Suñer, Institut Mediterrani d´Estudis Avançats (IMEDEA) (Spain), firstname.lastname@example.org
Global warming is especially pronounced in the Arctic with records indicating a heating rate of 0.4°C per decade - twice as fast as for the rest of the planet. A clear sign of the ongoing warming is the reduction in the extent and thinning of ice cover. The function of Arctic marine ecosystems is intimately linked to ice dynamics, stratification and warming that may result in new structural and functional states. Structural shifts may arise from range changes of sub-polar species or the loss of Arctic key species. In addition, temperature, light and freshwater inputs drive key organism functions such as primary and secondary production and respiration rates and the physiological and life history traits of the organisms present may change. Apart from the response on the separate levels of the food web, e.g. the microbial community, copepods, benthos and fish, mammal and bird predators, changes in productivity on different trophic levels will compound with separate responses and may affect the flux of organic matter and nutrients through the food web. Arctic waters are considered to turn highly productive in the near future. Moreover, areas of deep-water convection that facilitate the export of organic carbon into the deep sea make the system an important feature of the biological pump. To this session, we invite contributions that address how ice retreat may affect the productivity and food webs of the Arctic marine system. We encourage contributions that shed light on all aspects – e.g. metabolism, physiology, species distributions, cycling of elements, physical features – that ultimately relate to productivity. Experimental, modeling, and monitoring based studies are invited.
Despite significant experimental, field and modeling work over the past decade, the links between atmospheric deposition, nutrient availability, ocean productivity, carbon cycling and feedback to climate are still poorly understood. In consequence, the role of atmospheric inputs remains underrepresented in marine biogeochemical models. SOLAS (www.solas-int.org) is encouraging contributions to this session as part of a new initiative to address these issues. New results on key aspects such as the bioavailability of atmospheric inorganic and organic nutrients, impact on marine community structure, future variation of atmospheric nutrient deposition and its impact on carbon and nitrogen fixation at different time scales are welcomed. By bringing together broad multidisciplinary expertise, this session will be a step forward in the comprehension of the complex atmosphere/ocean interactions and their evolution in the context of anthropogenic and global change.
Conveners: Jeremy Werdell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, email@example.com; Collin S. Roesler, Bowdoin College, firstname.lastname@example.org; Hubert Loisel, Universite du Littoral Cote D’Opale (France), email@example.com
Ocean color measured from satellites provides daily global, synoptic views of marine optical properties, namely the spectral absorption and scattering characteristics of ocean water and its dissolved and particulate constituents. These properties describe the contents of the upper ocean mixed layer, information critical to furthering scientific understanding of biogeochemical ocean processes such as carbon exchanges, phytoplankton dynamics, and responses to climatic disturbances. The international community has invested significant effort in improving the regional and global quality of satellite-derived marine optical properties and in understanding how these observations can be used to study marine biogeochemical processes. In 2011, the continuous record of ocean color from satellites enters its unprecedented 15th year – a time-series that includes 11 missions from 7 countries, including the ongoing 12-year data record of the NASA Sea-viewing Wide Field-of-view Sensor (SeaWiFS). This internationally attended session will feature presentations of state-of-the-art, innovative research to help lead the community forward through the second decade of global ocean color studies. Because of the breadth of recent accomplishments and new methods and philosophies, both coastal/inland and oceanic components will be considered. This session will hopefully provide the foundation for an ongoing presence of satellite ocean color research at future ASLO Aquatic Sciences Meetings.
Rapid and accurate characterization of phytoplankton communities is critical to understanding how ecosystems respond to perturbations in this “changing world”. This session will focus on novel technologies for the detection, characterization, and quantification of phytoplankton communities in aquatic environments. We seek abstract submissions that focus on the development and application of new approaches and/or instrumentation, or those that address the application of instruments already in use. Presentations that describe novel insights into phytoplankton community responses in a changing world (ocean acidification, climate, eutrophication, etc.) are especially welcome. Technologies of interest include, but are not limited to, optical and molecular approaches including both laboratory methods and those that could be used as part of an ocean observing system or in monitoring of lakes and estuaries.
As the consequences of increasing air pollution, anthropogenic activities and climate variability are becoming more immediate and profound; understanding the interactions between the atmosphere and ocean components of the Earth System becomes increasingly important. Atmospheric inputs of aerosols from urban activities, industrial expansion and agricultural intensification, and deposition of biologically-important nutrients to near-shore waters, are known to affect biogeochemical cycles and coastal ecosystem processes. Ocean waters have been shown to act as sources of trace gases (e.g., dimethylsulfide and halogenated volatile organic compounds) and aerosols (e.g. sea salts and organic aerosols of both primary and secondary origin) to the atmosphere. Despite the importance of these processes, there are still many challenges in observations (in-situ and remotely-sensed) and modeling approaches required to understand and predict ocean-atmosphere interactions in coastal regions. This session is intended to bring together scientists from a wide range of disciplines in both the atmospheric and oceanic communities, to exchange information and understanding, highlighting: i) atmospheric fluxes to marine ecosystems, ii) marine fluxes to the atmosphere, and iii) meteorological and biogeochemical influences on those fluxes. We welcome contributions that address the above issues through laboratory studies, modeling approaches and, particularly, integrated observations in the atmosphere-ocean system.
Conveners: Linda Duguay, University of Southern California, firstname.lastname@example.org; James Moffett, University of Southern California, email@example.com; Douglas Capone, University of Southern California, firstname.lastname@example.org
This session will explore the matrix of processes occurring in lakes, rivers, estuaries, and coasts unique to those systems within or adjacent to urban settings. Topics include fate and transport processes pertaining to water quality, ecosystem sustainability, and episodic climatic events like storms. Can science predict how these systems will likely respond to urban and natural pressures such as increasing population, discharge of anthropogenic materials, habitat modifications and climate change? Presentations arising from basic research are encouraged, as well as collaborative research and interactions among scientists, regulatory agencies, and outreach projects that inform local stakeholders of potential impacts and potential mitigation or adaptation strategies.
Conveners: Liesl Hotaling, Centers for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence, email@example.com; Deidre Gibson, Hampton University, Marine and Environmental Science, firstname.lastname@example.org ; Linda Duguay, University of Southern California Sea Grant Program and Wrigley Institute, email@example.com
Conveying scientific research to the public is increasing in importance to scientists and society. Students preparing for a career in science also need to hone their abilities to convey their research to non-expert audiences. Since scientists are required to include education and outreach activities to obtain or leverage funding and strengthen status within peer groups, these skills will increase career potential. In addition, students are often intrinsically motivated to share their research with the world. This session will solicit contributions from students (high school through postdoctoral) that provide examples of transferable and tractable activities, which broaden the awareness of outreach activities such as work with citizen scientists groups, and formal and informal science education institutions. Presentation proposals should include how the student experiences benefitted the local population and how the experiences could benefit their careers in science. Suggested areas for presenters to address can include but are not limited to: 1) on-line educational activities and/or resources and their successful use with non-expert audiences; and 2) activities that may inspire and empower other students to reach out into the community
Conveners: Gerhard Kattner, Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research (Germany), Gerhard.Kattner@awi.de; Nianzhi Jiao, State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Sciences at Xiamen University (China), firstname.lastname@example.org; Farooq Azam, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, email@example.com; Steven Wilhelm, University of Tennessee, firstname.lastname@example.org
The majority of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in the ocean has an average age of 4000 to 6000 years. These substances must be extremely resistant against biotic and abiotic degradation and/or almost unusable for microorganisms. DOM, produced via a number of food web processes, undergoes multiple transformations to semi-labile and finally to recalcitrant DOM. Bacterial/microbial processes govern some of those transformations. The specific mechanisms that generate recalcitrant DOM are largely unknown. Moreover, with limited ability to characterize the molecular structures of DOM it is difficult to discern why some is resistant to biotic and abiotic decomposition. The interaction between microbes and the production and removal of recalcitrant DOM requires further information of both microbial function and molecular level determination of DOM to assess the impact of DOM on global carbon cycles. This session seeks to develop a close co-operation between chemists and microbiologists that is indispensible to understand the cycling and storage of DOM.
Sediment generation, transfer and burial on the continental margin have been strongly influenced by anthropogenic activities with a profound impact on geochemical cycling (e.g., carbon, nutrients), ecosystem change, and resource management. Climate and land-use changes, groundwater withdrawal, and river management have fundamentally altered the nature of river sediment delivery to flood- and delta-plains, estuarine, coastal and offshore environments, leaving a recognizable change in the sedimentary record across the margin to the deep sea. This session welcomes contributions that describe or model changes in margin sedimentation or sediment-hosted geochemical parameters resulting from anthropogenic activities. Particular emphasis will be on: 1) alterations in the generation, transfer and burial efficiency of sediments; 2) the historical sedimentary record; and 3) environmental implications of such changes. This session is intended to bring together the diverse group of communities working on sediment related issues as they pertain to human activity and climate change.
Conveners: Michele Casini, Swedish Board of Fisheries (Sweden), email@example.com; Kenneth T. Frank, Bedford Institute of Oceanography (Canada), Kenneth.Frank@dfo-mpo.gc.ca; Jonathan Fisher, Queen’s University (Canada), firstname.lastname@example.org
Spatial connectivity has the potential to impact local populations, communities and ecosystems in heterogeneous landscapes, bearing large implications for management and conservation. Self-functioning aquatic systems can be linked by active movements of organisms, as seasonal migration of invertebrates, fish and mammals, or wind-driven passive transport of plankton and fish larvae. The migrations of catadromous/anadromous fish between marine and freshwater habitats, or the spillover of organisms from marine protected areas, are particular examples of processes behind connectivity among systems. Moreover, previously isolated ecosystems can become connected by the geographical expansion of some species, whereas previously linked systems may become disconnected due to the contraction of the distribution of previously abundant species, due to for example climate changes and fishing. All these processes can alter local dynamics such as predator-prey and competitive interactions, community assembly, as well as entire food-web structure and functioning. Changes in connectivity may channel energy fluxes along different pathways, and ultimately have the potential to alter in situ dynamics. This session welcomes contributions focusing on different aspects of spatial connectivity in aquatic landscapes, as meta-populations, organisms’ dispersal and migrations, spillover processes and source-sink dynamics, and their effect on the ecosystem at different spatial scales.
The importance of biological nitrogen fixation in ocean ecology and biogeochemistry has only recently become apparent. While early results from field studies, largely undertaken at mid-latitudes and in marginal tropical and subtropical seas, indicated a relatively limited role for nitrogen fixation in the oceanic N cycle, several lines of geochemical evidence emerged in the late 1990s which suggested otherwise. This prompted a resurgence in field efforts examining this process, which in turn has provided direct evidence to support the biogeochemical significance of nitrogen fixation in the oligotrophic ocean. However, there are still major puzzles to be solved. Fully assessing the phylogenetic diversity of marine diazotrophs is an ongoing process as is the expansion of the marine habitat in which they occur. Controls on marine nitrogen fixation are also being explored more thoroughly. Field observations and experimental and modeling results suggest that diazotrophs, which are not limited by nitrogen availability, may be limited by other macro and micronutrient factors in different ocean basins. Indeed, a mosaic of factors, which may constrain nitrogen fixation in situ, is emerging. Recent evidence indicates that the relative dominance of different diazotrophic groups may also vary among ocean basins, perhaps as a result of varying nutrient constraints. In the near future, upper ocean warming, ocean acidification, increases in dissolved inorganic carbon and atmospheric N deposition are all likely to affect the extent and distribution of oceanic nitrogen fixation. This session therefore encourages abstracts on all aspects of nitrogen fixation in marine systems.
Peter Verity was one of the great plankton ecologists of our time and an expert in microzooplankton ecology. He had a special talent for integrating diverse field and laboratory observations with his own gut instincts and imagination to advance the field of marine plankton ecology. In this regard his work significantly contributed to the understanding of the ecology of broad continental shelf environments. Peter’s insights also pointed towards the ecological importance of life cycle processes of planktonic microbes, including the remarkable life transformation of the globally significant haptophyte algae Phaeocystis spp. Later in his career Peter became gravely concerned about the status and future of the oceans. With his own work pointing towards accelerating declines in coastal ecosystems, Peter was experimenting with the delicate balance between scientist and environmental activist. His concern for the future of the oceans led him to prioritize education activities and he was especially interested in educating teachers. This special session is a tribute to the scientific and social legacy of Peter Gordon Verity. Participants are challenged to pay tribute to Peter’s legacy by highlighting the influence of his work and to imagine future breakthroughs that Peter would undoubtedly have contributed to.
Conveners: Ralph N. Mead, University of North Carolina Wilmington, email@example.com; Stephen A. Skrabal, University of North Carolina Wilmington, firstname.lastname@example.org; G. Brooks Avery, Jr., University of North Carolina Wilmington, email@example.com
Sediment-water interactions during re-suspension events can significantly impact a number of biogeochemical processes such as trace metal mobilization, nutrient and organic matter cycling, and release of anthropogenic contaminants. We invite papers on any biogeochemical aspect of sediments re-suspension in coastal marine and aquatic environments. In particular we encourage contributions on how these processes might be influenced by global climate change (e.g. rising sea level) and land use changes.
Conveners: Lauren McDaniel, University of South Florida. College of Marine Science, firstname.lastname@example.org ; John H. Paul, University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, email@example.com; Ernesto Otero, University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, firstname.lastname@example.org; Luis Felipe Artigas, Université de Lille Nord de France - Université du Littoral Côte d'Opale, Felipe.Artigas@univ-littoral.fr
The aim of this session is to create a lively discussion on how microbes have and may in the future adapt to global change. The session will merge observational reports with theoretical and modeling papers on how microbes will be affected by increases in greenhouse gases, temperature, water content, nutrients, etc. Results of long-term studies of freshwater and marine systems in environments from tropical to polar are appropriate for this session. Submissions on genetic mechanisms of adaptation including genome evolution and horizontal gene transfer (HGT) are encouraged as well as papers on how microbes might contribute to adaptation or resilience of ecosystems.
The consequences of an increased presence of phycotoxins in aquatic systems are relatively poorly known on scales other than those of acute, short-term exposures of individual animals or populations. Other consequences could include, for example, sub lethal effects on individuals that lead to impaired immune systems, reductions in fitness, and to exodus of vulnerable, mobile species from communities. On longer time scales, the structure of communities likely would change with increasing toxin exposure, including to dominance of tolerant species, as well as reductions in overall animal diversity. Chronic versus sporadic exposures to phycotoxins also could lead to different outcomes for individual species and communities. Additionally, reduction in grazing on toxic phytoplankton could result in enhanced phytodetritus levels and reduction of secondary and tertiary production relative to primary production. Our goal for this session is to provide a forum to broaden the discussion of the consequences of an increasing presence of toxin-producing algae in aquatic communities, including topics that historically have been a focus of terrestrial ecologists. These include a range of subjects from individual fitness to plant-herbivore interactions to broader community-level changes, and include short-term to evolutionary-scale consequences of the likely-increasing presence of toxic algae in aquatic systems.
Conveners: Malinda Sutor, Louisiana State University, email@example.com; Harry Nelson, Fluid Imaging Technologies, firstname.lastname@example.org; Marc Picheral, Laboratoire d’Oceanlogie de Villefranche (France), Marc.Picheral@obs-vlfr.fr
The analysis of plankton samples has traditionally been time consuming and required personnel with extensive taxonomic expertise. A large amount of effort has been devoted to technology and software development to make this process more efficient and to allow the use of personnel with more limited taxonomic expertise. While it is recognized that there is a great need make plankton sample analysis more rapid and efficient, there remain questions about the accuracy of automated methods. Technological improvements in imaging instrumentation have afforded the aquatic researcher with new sample analysis tools. Many instruments and software have been developed and used for over 10 years and a great deal has been learned. The goal of this session will be to look at the various imaging instruments and software packages that are being used for the analysis of phytoplankton and zooplankton, with the intent of examining the benefits and limitations of these new technologies through the experiences of the users. We will encourage users to present research with data gathered with any and all automated imaging devices, and to discuss what methods and protocols work, and do not work, to assure quality data.
Conveners: Alonso Ramirez, University of Puerto Rico, email@example.com; Tim Moulton, Universidade do Estado do Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), firstname.lastname@example.org ; Rebeca De Jesus, University of Georgia, email@example.com
With more than half of the world’s human population now living in urban areas, urbanization is now a dominant land use form. In recent years, ecologists have made major advances toward understanding the general impacts that urbanization has on aquatic ecosystems. Our understanding of stream ecosystem response to urbanization was summarized in the “Urban Stream Syndrome” and subsequent publications. However, there is still a major lack of information for certain geographic locations (e.g., tropical streams), types of ecosystem (e.g., estuaries), and on the mechanisms behind observed ecosystem responses to urbanization. This session highlights our current understanding of the effects of urbanization on tropical aquatic ecosystems, including streams and estuaries.
Infectious diseases in terrestrial systems, especially relating to humans, are relatively well studied. However, they are relatively poorly understood in marine environments, although important drivers of marine populations. Both anecdotal and quantitative studies have identified a changing ocean, i.e., an increase in the prevalence and severity of marine diseases. In addition to the role of the oceans in human diseases, this proposed session will highlight advances in this emerging field of diseases and ocean systems. The session will bring together scientists from historically distinct disciplines to focus on disease and marine systems. This topic is particularly pertinent in tropical oceans, where many diseases continue to emerge, thereby making the locale for the 2011 meeting ideal. This session also meets the conference goal to advance “Aquatic Science in a Changing World.” Possible talk topics are emerging infectious disease in marine environments, ongoing marine infectious disease studies, effects of climate change and associated extreme events on pathogen dynamics and transmission, physical forcing and population dynamics, modeling of disease, to name a few. The topic is not related to any specific host organism and open to consideration of any type of disease in marine systems.
Conveners: Erik Cordes, Temple University, firstname.lastname@example.org; Chuck Fisher, Pennsylvania State University, email@example.com; Amanda Demopoulos, Southeast Ecological Science Center/USGS, firstname.lastname@example.org; Cheryl Morrison, Leetown Science Center/USGS, email@example.com
There is a growing level of human activity in deep waters worldwide. Oil industry exploration and extraction activities as well as commercial fishing efforts have extended well beyond the continental shelf in the exclusive economic zones of a great number of countries. Mineral extraction in the deep sea is now economically and technologically feasible and is very likely to begin in the very near future. In addition, the rise in anthropogenic CO2 in the atmosphere is impacting deep-sea communities via ocean acidification and the shoaling of the aragonite saturation horizon. The effects of these human activities on deep-sea communities are only beginning to be understood. Hydrothermal vent habitats will be affected by extraction of massive sulfide deposits in the vicinity of active sites. Hydrocarbon seeps are directly linked to the distribution of oil reserves and are therefore vulnerable to oil industry activities. Deep-water coral communities are often found on topographic highs that are a common target of deep-water commercial fisheries. Deep-sea corals may also be found on the hard substrates remaining at relict hydrocarbon seep and hydrothermal vent sites that may be areas of interest for energy and mineral extraction. All of these deep-sea communities are highly sensitive to disturbance due to the rarity of these habitats, the typically low level of genetic connectivity among the habitat patches, and the longevity of some of the foundation species that structure these communities. Although this session is targeting researchers studying oil seeps and the coral communities that colonize associated carbonates, contributions from scientists working on any of the related habitats are welcome and will contribute to a greater understanding of potential anthropogenic impacts, both direct and indirect, in the deep sea.
Conveners: Jill Sohm, University of Southern California, firstname.lastname@example.org; Gabrielle Rocap, University of Washington, email@example.com; Eric Webb, University of Southern California, firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyanobacteria are one of the most widespread, successful and ancient lineages on the planet. The cyanobacterial evolution of oxygenic photosynthesis has had a profound effect on global biogeochemistry and the evolution of both prokaryotic and eukaryotic diversity. Today cyanobacteria continue to play critical roles, typically as primary producers, in both freshwater and marine systems, and importantly there are some species that are capable of fixing atmospheric nitrogen as well. While the cyanobacteria are important to the biogeochemical cycling of elements, they can also be nuisance species that pose risks to human and ecosystem health through production of toxins and other metabolites. Thus the presence and activity of cyanobacteria have both global and local ramifications and will be the topic of discussion for this session. We especially encourage abstracts on aspects of cyanobacterial physiology, both in the laboratory and in situ, that have implications for biogeochemical cycles, concern responses to the predicted impacts of climate change, make linkages with genomic and metagenomic data and use a comparative approach to study the physiological diversity among species of cyanobacteria.
Corals are known to be associated with a dynamic group of microorganisms, including fungi, bacteria, archaea, and protists. These microbial associates span the gradient between mutualistic symbionts (e.g. zooxanthellae) and opportunistic pathogens (e.g. Vibrio spp.). Although advances in molecular techniques have generated an abundance of data on the identity and diversity of coral-associated microbes, only recently have we begun to identify the functional roles they play in healthy and compromised (bleached, diseased) hosts. Given the potential for microbial communities to rapidly respond to changing environmental conditions, coral- microbe interactions are likely to play a key role in the functioning of the coral holobiont, and ultimately the fate of reef environments worldwide. This session will focus on cutting-edge advances in the field of coral-microbe biogeochemistry, such as stable isotope geochemistry, secondary-ion mass spectrometry, metagenomics, metaproteomics, metabolomics, etc. Topics are expected to include the role of coral-associated microbes in nutrient cycling, the impact of environmental stressors (nutrient enrichment, thermal stress, ocean acidification) on the functioning of the coral holobiont, and the biogeochemistry of coral symbiosis and disease.
Microbial ecology in coastal ecosystems--such as boundary currents, reefs, estuaries, and marshes--presents many challenging problems owing to intense spatial and temporal complexity in the physical and chemical environment. As a consequence, the composition and function of coastal microbial communities are only beginning to be understood and appreciated. However, coastal ecosystems are, at the same time, likely to be disproportionately affected by multiple forms of global change, including increased nutrient inputs, warming temperatures, reduced oxygen concentrations, and ocean acidification. This session will explore both the diversity and function of coastal microbial communities, broadly defined to include viruses, autotrophic and heterotrophic bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes in pelagic and benthic environments. We encourage field, laboratory, and/or modeling studies with a particular emphasis on interdisciplinary approaches to understanding microbial roles the coastal environment.
A key process to be understood in the study of aquatic food webs is the regulation of energy transfer efficiency across trophic levels. Considerable variation in the energy transfer efficiency from primary production to higher levels in the food web exists. In earlier studies this was mainly attributed to the variation in the availability of mineral nutrients. However, for the past decade, we are aware that several biochemicals can have strong impacts on trophic interactions. Biochemicals can play important roles for the nutrition of organisms at different levels of the food web (e.g. fatty acids and sterols) and they can act as repellents and attractants (infochemicals). This session aims to collect studies and syntheses on the multiple actions which biochemicals play in trophic interactions, and on the consequences of these compounds for individuals, populations and complex communities across aquatic ecosystems.
Conveners: Nasseer Idrisi, University of the Virgin Islands, email@example.com; Simon Pittman, NOAA Center for Coastal Monitoring and Assessment, firstname.lastname@example.org; Zdenka Willis, NOAA IOOS Program, email@example.com
The goal of this session is to explore the means of integrating the necessary scientific, management, and policy requirements to assist representatives from various global regions in the utilization of Coastal and Marine Spatial Planning (CMSP) as a tool for the protection, maintenance, and restoration of the oceans, coasts and major aquatic systems and for assuring sustainable usages for humankind’s health and welfare within their ecosystems. Within the US Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) Regional Associations, for example, this planning is to be implemented by federal, state, and tribal experts and authorities within each regional association. After certification by the National Ocean Council, CMSP will thereafter provide the criteria for evaluating proposed activities within regional ecosystems. Since CMSP is data-driven and ecosystem-based, this session is expected to assemble marine and coastal ecologists, ocean observing scientists, natural resource managers and policy- makers to identify current needs, best practices and persistent challenges in CSMP. In the US, IOOS RAs have taken an active role in driving the CMSP concept. Invited presenters will define the background and framework for the discussion with additional speakers providing geographic, scientific and organizational diversity to the session.
Conveners: Ashanti Johnson, Institute for Broadening Participation, firstname.lastname@example.org; Vivian Whitney-Williamson, Institute for Broadening Participation, email@example.com; Deidre Gibson, Hampton University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Increasing the number of students who successfully pursue careers in ocean sciences is key to addressing the growing demand for professionals in our fields who genuinely understand and make a contribution to cutting edge research. We will host a session on enhancing recruitment and mentoring skills designed to help faculty increase the number and diversity of students actively engaged in this work. The session will be an interactive activity providing faculty and students with a chance to identify, discuss and explore strategies that are effective including: 1) Creating a supportive environment within which to develop strategies and professional skills necessary to pursue meaningful careers in various STEM fields; 2) Utilizing outreach (virtual and face-to-face) and complimentary digital tools; 3) Introducing students to new career opportunities; 4) Enhancing professional skills including monitoring and evaluation of student progress; 5) Identifying and pursuing resources for future funding for students, post-doc and other career opportunities; 6) Increasing awareness of the need to recognize, respect, and value diverse societal backgrounds in today’s workplace; 7) Providing networking opportunities with other faculty, staff and students (both underrepresented minority and non-minority) including interactions with program officers and staff from industry and government agencies; and 8) Utilizing mentoring resources profiled on the new created IBP mentor focused webpage including written materials, listserv and mentor forums that provide access to recognized leaders in mentoring.
Conveners: Tyler B. Smith, University of the Virgin Islands, email@example.com; Richard Appeldoorn, University of Puerto Rico, firstname.lastname@example.org; David Ballantine, University of Puerto Rico, email@example.com; Kimberly Puglise, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Kimberly.Puglise@noaa.gov
Light-dependent Mesophotic Coral Ecosystems (MCEs) that form on deep walls, shelves, and banks remain among the least studied and most poorly understood reefs systems in the world. Despite their historical anonymity, it has been suggested that MCEs may represent important refuge for shallow water coral reef species. This hypothesis is based on observational evidence that MCEs are extensive, diverse, and experience oceanographic regimes that are buffered from the effects of climactic extremes, such as high sea surface temperatures. However, it is not clear whether MCEs will be able to serve as refugia due to multiple interacting, and possibly synergistic stressors. To examine the refuge hypothesis, this session will take advantage of MCE studies that have been conducted in the last ten years. We further encourage submissions that explore physical processes, geomorphology and biological characteristics that shape the structure, extent, and health of MCEs and their connectivity to shallow water coral reef ecosystems. We also encourage comparative studies examining the differing vulnerability of MCEs within and between regions and ocean basins.
In many ways, we know relatively little about the structure of microbial populations, as compared to other groups of organisms. Because microbes reproduce primarily through asexual division, it was thought that their populations were largely homogeneous. In the past decade, however, we have seen a rapid acceleration in the pace of research in the field of microbial population genetics, which has begun to reveal the extensive genetic and phenotypic diversity that is present in microbial populations, as well as the implications of this diversity for their ecology, physiology, and evolution. The intent of this session is to bring together research on the genetics of microbial populations, at all scales. This includes topics such as biogeography, population structure, genetic diversity, phenotypic diversity, and cryptic speciation, and their changes in both time (daily to geological scales) and space (local to global scales).
Tropical aquatic systems have been less studied than their temperate and subtropical counterparts because many of them are located in developing countries with limited resources. However, the need to better understand the natural and anthropogenic factors impacting tropical watershed and coastal waters is imperative as one-third of the world’s population lives in the tropics and the majority of this population is within 60 km of the coast. The drivers of tropical aquatic ecosystem dynamics are different from those in temperate areas. Paradigms established in temperate systems do not necessarily fit similar tropical systems, and new paradigms need to be discovered. In addition, global warming is changing the climate in tropical areas, affecting their hydrology and consequently their aquatic ecosystem dynamics. Our session is designed to bring together researchers working on tropical aquatic systems across continents, oceans, and nations. Appropriate topics for this session include: fluxes of organic matter, nutrients, and sediments from tropical rivers and groundwater, biological and chemical responses of tropical estuaries to these fluxes, and the role of biota in tropical stream and estuarine nutrient cycles.
Increased ocean CO2 uptake driven by fossil fuel emissions and land-use change is driving fundamental changes in ocean carbon chemistry, including measurable changes in surface ocean pH (0.1 units) and calcium carbonate saturation (~0.4 Ω) since the Industrial Revolution, with further decreases (0.3–0.4 pH units and up to 1.5 Ω) anticipated by 2100. Key uncertainties at present are how organisms and ecosystems will respond to these altered conditions, both in regulation of physiological processes and in species distributions, and how these responses might in turn feedback on future carbon cycling. The goal of this session is to showcase recent progress in ocean acidification (OA) research across a range of spatial and temporal scales, including, but not limited to: 1) laboratory and field experiments examining responses to simulated future OA conditions at the molecular, organism, population, or community scale, 2) present-day and paleoceanographic studies in regions that provide natural analogues to a high-CO2 world, and 3) models of future OA impacts to ecosystem function on decadal to centennial scales. We particularly welcome studies seeking to identify thresholds and mechanisms involved in organism responses, studies providing unique insight into scaling short-term responses to the longer-term, and studies examining the coupled effects of OA and other anthropogenic stresses (e.g., climate, eutrophication, hydrologic) that will feed back on future ocean CO2 uptake.
Microbes mediate global biogeochemical cycles through their metabolism. All metabolic processes begin with the interaction of microbial cell wall or membrane with the external environment. For all heterotrophs and many autotrophs, critical growth substrates and factors are present within the dilute and heterogeneous mixture of compounds that constitutes dissolved organic matter (DOM). In short, the microbe-molecule interaction is one of the fundamental reactions within the global carbon cycle. In order to explore these interactions more fully, organic biogeochemists and microbiologists need to integrate their disparate datasets. Here we invite presentations that address the microbe-DOM interaction from the biological or chemical perspectives in all aquatic environments. We particularly encourage presentations that attempt to integrate these perspectives through novel applications of ‘-omics’ techniques such as transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics.
This session will focus on the potential impacts of global warming and secular (decadal to multidecadal) climate variability on the Caribbean region and bordering regions in the tropical North and South Americas. Climate change is likely to affect this region in unique and particularly sensitive ways, owing to changes in hurricane and tropical cyclone activity, regional sea level and precipitation trends, and changes in ocean circulation associated with a projected weakening of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. Adaptation and management responses to these changes will require a state of the art assessment of the likely regional changes associated with anthropogenic warming as well as secular climate fluctuations such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Variability (AMV). Session contributions are encouraged in a wide range of areas, including: large-scale coupled climate model simulations, regional and downscaled atmospheric circulation, tropical cyclone predictability and trends, projections of ocean circulation changes, and potential impacts on regional biogeochemical processes, coral reefs, and aquatic resources.
A cocktail of volatile compounds emitted from the oceans affect atmospheric chemistry including aerosol formation, generation of cloud condensation nuclei and ozone levels. Many of these compounds are derived from planktonic cyanobacteria and microalgae, and from macroalgae; including dimethylsulphide (DMS), reactive halogens, non-methane hydrocarbons (isoprene and ethene) and organic nitrogen compounds. Even for the most studied of these compounds, there remains considerable uncertainty regarding the controls on their production rates; although physiological processes are considered to play an important role. For instance, the putative anti-oxidant role of DMS and its precursor DMSP in microalgae may explain seasonal and spatial trends in DMS concentrations, algal haloperoxidases may be responsible for significant production of reactive halogens and isoprene production by phytoplankton may be related to diel variability in irradiance. This session aims to bring together physiologists, phycologists, biochemists, biogeochemists and mathematical modelers in order to develop improved understanding of how environmental forcing on physiological processes affects the production of climate-relevant trace gases. These trace gases potentially interact in the atmosphere and understanding the physiological links in their production may help to predict the temporal and spatial variations in their emissions and hence, affects on climate.
The past few decades have seen a growing appreciation of the vital role of micronutrient trace metals in the ocean carbon cycle. With the launch of the international GEOTRACES program and the rapid development of molecular techniques, now is an opportune time to strengthen linkages between the geochemists and biologists who focus on trace metals and metalloproteins in the ocean. For this session, we invite presentations on geochemical, physiological, biochemical and modeling studies that address the complex interactions between trace micronutrients and marine microbiota on scales ranging from global to molecular.
Beaches along the Puerto Rican coastal shores are a primary recreational destination, attracting thousands of visitors throughout the year. During recent years, elevated levels of biological contaminants such as pathogenic and fecal bacteria, viruses, and protozoans have been reported in various beaches and tributaries of some of the most visited recreational locations prompting advisories by the local government. Coastal recreational waters have been a major focal point for the public health protection program that was initiated in 2000 by the BEACH (Beaches Environmental Assessment, Closure and Health) Act. During the past few years various approaches have been developed to evaluate and predict the concentrations and sources of biological contaminants in recreational waters. This session will highlight current research on the sources, fate, monitoring and predictive modeling of pathogens and fecal indicators (including chemical indicators) at coastal areas and related tributaries of Puerto Rico. Papers on relevant processes such as hydrologic transport also would be relevant contributions.
Hypoxia, a shortage of dissolved oxygen, develops in the bottom waters of coastal aquatic ecosystems when biological oxygen demand exceeds the resupply of oxygen from surface waters. The occurrence of hypoxia can be natural, human influenced, or result from interactions of natural and human-induced processes. The frequency, intensity, and duration of coastal hypoxia has been expanding in recent decades coincident with eutrophication of the coastal zone and changes in oceanographic conditions due to climate change. There is strong interest globally in reducing the size and duration of hypoxia in coastal waters because of the numerous deleterious effects it causes for many organisms and ecosystem processes. Despite this growing interest, there has been surprisingly little research emphasis on quantifying oxygen production and consumption rates or understanding the mechanisms regulating these critical processes in the bottom waters and sediments of coastal hypoxic zones. The goal of this special session is to bring together researchers making these critical process rate measurements in diverse coastal ecosystems in order to improve our understanding of the mechanisms regulating oxygen dynamics during hypoxia development and maintenance.
Human and ecosystem welfare is linked to the major biogeochemical cycles, most notably that of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus. Changes to each of these cycles may shift the structure and function of a diversity of ecosystems. It is difficult to understand disruptions to biogeochemical cycles, and the consequences that ensue, because these elements do not cycle independently of each other. Moreover, ecophysiographic differences among systems make it difficult to integrate system-specific conditions into broader conceptual frameworks that can be broadly applied. Yet, approaches rooted in first-principle precepts of elemental dynamics hold promise to integrate biogeochemical processes and interactions across a variety of ecosystems. Recent examples include applications of the metabolic theory of ecology and ecological stoichiometry, which have seen great success in unifying elemental dynamics across spatial scales and biomes. This session will explore how thermodynamic, kinetic and stoichiometric controls emerge within and between scales of ecological organization, with a focus on how these principles can serve to build a coherent model of biogeochemical dynamics across systems. We anticipate contributions based on empirical and modeling findings from a diversity of ecosystems distributed along a hydrologic continuum from inland waters to the open ocean.
Urban aquatic ecosystems provide important ecological services to urban dwellers, some 85% of Americans. Throughout the world, urban aquatic systems are often highly stressed, yet they also are poorly understood. In the U.S., new regulatory programs to restore impaired waters and manage urban stormwater require better knowledge of the functioning of urban aquatic systems but it is unclear if the present state of the science is sufficient to guide these management decisions. This special session will bring researchers together who are interested in the functioning of urban aquatic ecosystems to examine biogeochemical pathways of nutrients in urban landscapes, explore the relationships between watershed characteristics and the condition of lakes and streams, develop improved models of thermal and road salt impacts, and address questions of how urban aquatic systems (lakes, ponds, streams, and wetlands) differ from much more heavily studied non-urban counterparts.
Conveners: Daniel Conley, Lund University (Sweden), firstname.lastname@example.org; Felix Janssen, Max-Planck-Institute for Marine Microbiology (Germany), email@example.com; Don Boesch, University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science, firstname.lastname@example.org; Nancy Rabalais, Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium, email@example.com
The expansion of areas with reduced oxygen concentrations in marine environments and in the North American Great Lakes is an emerging issue of major concern, primarily due to the direct adverse impacts on ecosystem health. In addition, biogeochemical cycles are altered in low oxygen systems with hypoxia regulating the mechanisms and pathways of nutrient cycles. Large zones of the shallow ocean margins, such as in the Gulf of Mexico, and restricted basins, such as the Baltic Sea, today experience increasing oxygen stress related to anthropogenic nutrient loadings. Along deeper upwelling margins such as the Oregon coast oxygen minimum zones are vulnerable to expansion as the oceans respond to climate change. Understanding how oxygen stress influences biogeochemical cycles on a regional to global scale is the overriding theme of this session. We encourage contributions along the land-ocean continuum from freshwater, estuarine, coastal and marine environments.