Oceanologia No. 51 (3) / 09


Invited paper


Invited paper

Do toxic cyanobacteria blooms pose a threat to the Baltic ecosystem?
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 293-319

Hanna Mazur-Marzec*, Marcin Pliński
Department of Marine Biology and Ecology,
Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk,
al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 46, PL-81-378 Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: biohm@univ.gda.pl
*corresponding author

Keywords: Cyanobacteria, harmful blooms, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Nodularia spumigena, nodularin, Baltic Sea

Received 19 August 2009, revised 27 August 2009, accepted 1 September 2009.

This work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland (project number 2651/P01/2008/34).
Cyanobacteria, otherwise known as blue-green algae, are oxygenic, photosynthetic prokaryotes. They occur naturally in many fresh, marine and brackish waters worldwide and play an important role in global carbon and nitrogen cycles. In their long history, cyanobacteria have developed structures and mechanisms that enable them to survive and proliferate under different environmental conditions. In the Baltic Sea, the mass development of cyanobacteria is compounded by a high level of eutrophication. The dominant species in the Baltic, the filamentous Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and Nodularia spumigena, can fix dissolved atmospheric N2, as a result of which they can outcompete other phytoplankton organisms. Heterocystous, filamentous cyanobacteria also make a significant contribution to the internal nutrient loading in the Baltic. The blooms of N. spumigena are of particular concern, as this cyanobacterium produces nodularin (NOD), a hepatotoxic peptide. The concentration of the toxin in the sea is regulated mainly by dilution with uncontaminated water, photolysis, sorption to sediments and microbial degradation. The transfer of the toxin in the Baltic trophic chain through zooplankton, mussels, fish and birds has been reported, but biodilution rather than bioconcentration has been observed. Cyanobacterial blooms are thought to pose a serious threat to the ecosystem. Their harmful effects are related to the occurrence of a high biomass, oxygen depletion, a reduction in biodiversity, and the production of toxic metabolites.

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Inflow of Atlantic-origin waters to the Barents Sea along glacial troughs
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 321-340

Gennady G. Matishov1,2, Dmitry G. Matishov1,2, Denis V. Moiseev1,*
1 Murmansk Marine Biological Institute,
Kola Science Centre of Russian Academy of Sciences,
Vladimirskaya St. 17, 183010 Murmansk, Russia;
e-mail: Denis_Moiseev@mmbi.info
2 South Science Centre,
Russian Academy of Sciences,
Chekhova Av. 41, 344006 Rostov-on-Don, Russia
*corresponding author

Keywords: Bathymetry, troughs, climate, circulation, thermohaline, water masses

Received 4 March 2009, revised 8 June 2009, accepted 18 June 2009.
This paper discusses the role of glacial shelf topography in the formation of general oceanological and biological mechanisms in the Barents Sea. Analysis of geomorphological data and oceanographic observations obtained on board MMBI research vessels in 2001-08 has shown that: fluxes of Atlantic-origin waters pass along glacial troughs; the inflow of Atlantic waters to the Barents Sea from the west increased from 2001 till 2007, although this advection began to weaken in 2008; vertical and horizontal thermohaline gradients intensified during the investigated period; a warm period similar to that of the 1930s was observed in the Barents Sea at the beginning of the 21st century.

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Recent distribution and stock assessment of the red alga Furcellaria lumbricalis on an exposed Baltic Sea coast: combined use of field survey and modelling methods
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 341-359

Martynas Bučas1,*, Darius Daunys1, Sergej Olenin1,2
1 Coastal Research and Planning Institute,
University of Klaipėda,
H. Manto 84, LT-5808 Klaipėda, Lithuania;
e-mail: martynas@corpi.ku.lt
2 Unifob Environmental Research,
University of Bergen,
Fosswincklesgt 6, N-5007 Bergen, Norway
*corresponding author

Keywords: phytobenthos, sublittoral, depth limits, occupied area

Received 4 February 2009, revised 14 July 2009, accepted 30 July 2009.

This research was supported by the EU FP6 project MARBEF (GOCE-CT-2003-505446), EU Life Nature "Marine protected areas in the eastern Baltic Sea" (LIFE05NAT/LV/000100) and the EU BONUS + project PREHAB "Spatial PREdiction of benthic HABitats in the Baltic Sea: incorporating anthropogenic pressures and economic evaluation" (BONUS-163).
Recent results of field studies on the exposed coast of Lithuania were used to model the area occupied by the red alga Furcellaria lumbricalis using the Natural Neighbor interpolation technique, while linear regression was applied to estimate the species' standing stock. The area covered by F. lumbricalis extended for 26 km along the coast between depths of 1 and 15 m. The maximum species cover in the study area ranged between 4 and 10 m depth, which is one of the widest in the Baltic Sea. The modelled area of F. lumbricalis covered 35 ± 11 km2 with a total biomass of 7554 ± 3813 t.

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full, complete article (PDF - compatibile with Acrobat 4.0), 227.4 kB

Feeding ecology of the American crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii (Crustacea, Decapoda) in the coastal waters of the Baltic Sea
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 361-375

Joanna Hegele-Drywa*, Monika Normant
Department of Experimental Ecology of Marine Organisms,
Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk,
al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 46, PL-81-378 Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: asiahd@ocean.univ.gda.pl
*corresponding author

Keywords: Rhithropanopeus harrisii, non-native species, feeding ecology, stomach content, Baltic Sea

Received 12 September 2008, revised 16 January 2009, accepted 19 August 2009.

This research was funded by the Department of Experimental Ecology of Marine Organisms, grant No. DS/1350-4-0150-8.
The feeding ecology of the American crab Rhithropanopeus harrisii Gould, 1841 from brackish waters of the Baltic Sea was studied by analyses of the stomach repletion index (SRI) and stomach content with regard to sex, size and habitat (Dead Vistula River and the Gulf of Gdańsk). Neither the sex nor the size of an individual crab had a significant (P > 0.05) influence on the SRI or on the diversity of food items found in the stomachs of R. harrisii. But the type of food consumed was significantly (P < 0.05) dependent on the locality inhabited: the greater the biodiversity of the habitat, the richer the dietary composition. In Baltic coastal waters this species feeds on detritus, and also on animal and plant matter. Remains of Chlorophyta, Amphipoda, Ostracoda, Polychaeta, Gastropoda and Bivalvia were found in the stomachs of the specimens analysed.

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Adsorption of natural surfactants present in sea waters at surfaces of minerals: contact angle measurements
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 377-403

Adriana Mazurek1, Stanisław J. Pogorzelski1,*, Katarzyna Boniewicz-Szmyt2
1 Institute of Experimental Physics,
University of Gdańsk,
Wita Stwosza 57, PL-80-952 Gdańsk, Poland;
e-mail: dokama@ug.edu.pl
e-mail: fizsp@ug.edu.pl
* corresponding author
2 Physics Department,
Gdynia Maritime University,
Morska 81-87, PL-81-225 Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: kbon@am.gdynia.pl

Keywords: solid-liquid interface, film-covered surface, sea water, contact angle hysteresis, film pressure, work of spreading

Received 18 March 2009, revised 8 June 2009, accepted 15 July 2009.

The study was supported by grants BW/5200-5-0214-06 and 828/BW/GU/2008 (provided to K. B-Sz.) from the Polish Council for Scientific Research (KBN), and carried out in part within the framework of the scientific activity of the University of Gdańsk (supported from DS/5200-4-0024-09).
The wetting properties of solid mineral samples (by contact angles) in original surfactant-containing sea water (Gulf of Gdańsk, Baltic) were characterised under laboratory conditions on a large set (31 samples) of well-classified stones of diverse hydrophobicity using the sessile drop (ADSA-P approach), captive bubble and inclined plate methods. An experimental relation between the static contact angle θeq and stone density ρ was obtained in the form θeq = Bρ + C, where B = 12.23 ± 0.92, C = - (19.17 ± 0.77), and r2 = 0.92. The histogram of θeq distribution for polished stone plates exhibited a multimodal feature indicating that the most abundant solid materials (hydrophilic in nature) have contact angles θeq = 7.2, 10.7, 15.7 and 19.2º, which appear to be applicable to unspecified field stones as well. The contact angle, a pH-dependent quantity, appears to be a sensitive measure of stone grain size, e.g. granite. The captive bubble method gives reproducible results in studies of porous and highly hydrophilic surfaces such as stones and wood.
    The authors consider the adsorption of natural sea water surfactants on stone surfaces to be the process responsible for contact angle hysteresis. In the model, an equation was derived for determining the solid surface free energy from the liquid's surface tension γLV it also enabled the advancing θA and receding θR contact angles of this liquid to be calculated. Measurements of contact angle hysteresis Δθ (=θA - θR) with surfactant-containing sea water and distilled water (reference) on the same stone surfaces allowed the film pressure ΔΠ (1.22 to 8.80 mJ m-2), solid surface free energy ΔγS (-17.03 to -23.61 mJ m-2) and work done by spreading ΔWS (-1.23 to -11.52 mJ m-2) to be determined. The variability in these parameters is attributed to autophobing, an effect operative on a solid surface covered with an adsorptive layer of surfactants.
    The wetting behaviour of solid particles is of great importance in numerous technological processes including froth flotation, demulgation, anti-foaming procedures and the coal industries. It is believed that the approach presented here and the examples of its application to common sea water/solid mineral systems could be successfully adapted to optimise several surfactant-mediated adsorption processes (see below) of practical value in natural water ecology.

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Light scattering in Baltic crude oil - seawater emulsion
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 405-414

Adam Stelmaszewski*, Tadeusz Król, Henryk Toczek
Physics Department,
Gdynia Maritime University,
Morska 81-87, PL-81-225 Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: stel@am.gdynia.pl
*corresponding author

Keywords: emulsion, light scattering, petroleum, seawater

Received 18 March 2009, revised 14 July 2009, accepted 31 July 2009.
The paper discusses the scattering of radiation by a Baltic crude oil - seawater emulsion. The scattering spectrum calculated using the Mie solution in the spectral range from 380 nm to 730 nm is compared with the measured spectrum of light scattered through a right angle. Spectra in the wavelength range from 210 nm to 730 nm were measured using a spectrofluorimeter for fresh and stored samples of the Baltic crude oil emulsion. Scattering increases with wavelength in the UV range and then decreases slightly with the wavelength of visible light. The result of the calculation is similar to the measured spectra. Both the calculated and measured spectra display numerous relative extremes throughout the spectral area. Light scattering in the emulsion decreases during storage as the oil concentration in the medium diminishes. The results also demonstrate that the single scattering model describes the phenomenon correctly.

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Biological valorisation of the southern Baltic Sea (Polish Exclusive Economic Zone)
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 415-435

Jan Marcin Węsławski1,*, Jan Warzocha2, Józef Wiktor1, Jacek Urbański3, Katarzyna Bradtke3, Lucyna Kryla3, Agnieszka Tatarek1, Lech Kotwicki1, Joanna Piwowarczyk1
1 Institute of Oceanology, Polish Academy of Sciences,
Powstańców Warszawy 55, PL-81-712 Sopot, Poland;
e-mail: weslaw@iopan.gda.pl
* corresponding author
2 Sea Fisheries Institute,
Kołłątaja 1, PL-81-332 Gdynia, Poland
3 Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk,
al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 46, PL-81-378 Gdynia, Poland

Keywords: valuation, biodiversity, Baltic, marine habitats

Received 24 March 2009, revised 8 June 2009, accepted 15 June 2009.

This project was supported by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism Grant 2007-08 (Habitat mapping in Polish Marine Areas with special reference to Natura 2000 areas).

A biological valuation system to assess the value associated with ecosystem stability and richness (and not that from the point of view of users) is proposed to provide scientific decision support for marine protected areas and marine spatial planning. The system is based on the assessment of individual species and habitat/species assemblages. An extensive set of recently collected (2007-08) and archival (1970-2000) data on the occurrence of marine benthos was analysed for the Polish Marine Areas. Based on matching data sets of sediments, the euphotic zone, temperature and salinity, as well as fetch and sea current values, a GIS model was used to visualise the results; a map indicates the two areas which are considered to be biologically the most valuable (Puck Bay and the stony shallows of the central coast).

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Comparative studies on the morphometry and physiology of European populations of the lagoon specialist Cerastoderma glaucum (Bivalvia)
Oceanologia 2009, 51(3), 437-458

Katarzyna Tarnowska1,2,*, Maciej Wołowicz1, Anne Chenuil2, Jean-Pierre Féral2
1 Laboratory of Estuarine Ecology,
Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk
al. Marszałka Piłsudskiego 46, PL-81-378 Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: katarzyna.tarnowska@univmed.fr
*corresponding author
2 CNRS-Université de la Méditerranée,
UMR 6540 DIMAR, COM-Station Marine d`Endoume,
13007 Marseille, France

Keywords: ecophysiology, morphometry, Bivalve, lagoon, adaptation

Received 13 May 2009, revised 30 July 2009, accepted 6 August 2009.

This research was supported by research grants BW/13AO-5-0089-6 from the University of Gdańsk in Poland and N304 047 32/2162 from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education in Poland.
Seasonal changes in the morphometric and physiological parameters of the cockle Cerastoderma glaucum (Bivalvia) from the Baltic Sea (GD), the North Sea (LV), and the Mediterranean Sea (BL) were investigated. The cockles from GD were much smaller than those from other populations due to osmotic stress. The female to male ratios did not differ significantly from 1:1. The northern populations (GD, LV) had a monocyclic reproductive pattern, whereas the southern population (BL) seemed to reproduce throughout the year. Seasonal changes in the contents of biochemical components appeared to be correlated with changes in trophic conditions and the reproductive cycle. Protein content was the highest in spring for all the populations. The highest lipid contents and lowest carbohydrate contents were noted in GD and BL in spring, while no marked differences were noted among seasons in LV (probably because the data from both sexes were pooled). Respiration rates in GD were the highest among the populations, which could have been due to osmotic stress. High metabolic rates expressed by high respiration rates in GD and LV in spring and autumn could have resulted from gamete development (in spring) and phytoplankton blooms (in spring and autumn).

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