Oceanologia No. 57 (3) / 15


Original research article

Short communications

Original research article

Spatial and temporal variability of sea surface temperature in the Baltic Sea based on 32-years (1982–2013) of satellite data
Oceanologia 2015, 57(3), 223-235

Malgorzata Stramska1,2,*, Jagoda Białogrodzka1
1Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
Sopot, Poland;
e-mail: mstramska@wp.pl, mstramska@yahoo.com
*corresponding author
2Department of Earth Sciences, Szczecin University,
Szczecin, Poland;

keywords: Satellite sensing; Sea surface temperature; Physical oceanography; Baltic Sea; Annual cycle; Climate change

Received 21 November 2014, Accepted 14 April 2015, Available online 19 May 2015


Satellite measurements provide synoptic view of sea surface temperature (SST) and can be used to trace global and regional climate trends. In this study we have examined the multiyear trends and variability of the Baltic Sea SST using 32-years (1982–2013) of satellite data. Our results indicate that there is a statistically significant trend of increasing SST in the entire Baltic Sea, with values ranging from 0.03 to 0.06°C year−1, depending on the location. SSTs averaged over the entire Baltic Sea increase at the rate of 0.05°C year−1. Higher values of SST trend are generally present in the summer months, while trend is not statistically significant in the winter months. The seasonal cycle of SST in the Baltic Sea is characterized by well-defined winter and summer seasons. The average amplitude (16–18°C) of this cycle is significantly larger than in the North Sea waters located at the same latitudes as the Baltic Sea. The analyzed data set also highlights considerable interannual SST variability, which is coherent in different regions of the Baltic Sea and significantly correlated with interannual variability of the air temperature. SST variability in the Baltic Sea in winter can be linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation index.
full, complete article - PDF (3454 K)

Heavy metals contamination and distribution of benthic foraminifera from the Red Sea coastal area, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
Oceanologia 2015, 57(3), 236-250

Mohamed Youssef
Department of Geology and Geophysics, College of Science, King Saud University,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,
Department of Geology, Faculty of Science, South Valley University,
Qena, Egypt,
e-mail: mymohamed@ksu.edu.sa
e-mail: myousefgeology@gmail.com

keywords: Benthic foraminifera; Heavy metals; Red Sea; Saudi Arabia

Received 1 March 2015, Accepted 14 April 2015, Available online 29 April 2015


The distribution of benthic foraminifera was studied in two stations in the coastal area, located around Jeddah, Red Sea coast, Saudi Arabia. Thirty-three species belonging to 15 genera, 14 families and three suborders were recorded in twenty samples. Some foraminiferal tests display abnormalities in their coiling, general shape of chambers and apertures. On the other hand, concentrations of Fe, Mn, Zn, Cu, Pb, Ni, Cr, and Cd were measured in the tests of the two most common living species of benthic foraminifera (Sorites marginalis and Peneroplis planatus). Significant spatial differences in the metal concentrations of benthic foraminifera were recorded at the two sites. Benthic foraminifera yielded significantly high concentrations of Fe, Mn, Pb and Cu, which may attribute to anthropogenic activities at the studied coastal areas. The anthropogenic activities have a considerable impact, besides other factors, in the abnormalities of foraminiferal test.
full, complete article - PDF (4105 K)

Seasonal changes in phytoplankton on the north-eastern shelf of Kangaroo Island (South Australia) in 2012 and 2013
Oceanologia 2015, 57(3), 251-262

Sergio Balzano1,*, Amanda V. Ellis2, Charlotte Le Lan1, Sophie C. Leterme1,*
1School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University,
Adelaide, Australia;
e-mail: sergio.balzano@flinders.edu.au
e-mail: sophie.leterme@flinders.edu.au
*corresponding author
2Flinders Centre for Nanoscale Science and Technology, School of Chemical and Physical Sciences, Flinders University,
Adelaide, Australia

keywords: Bacteria; Picoplankton; Phytoplankton; Oligotrophic conditions; Penneshaw desalination plant

Received 4 June 2014, Accepted 20 April 2015, Available online 2 May 2015


This work investigates for the first time the seasonal changes in phytoplankton, bacteria, and photosynthetic picoplankton as well as nutrient concentrations on the North-western shelf of Kangaroo Island, South Australia. Seawater samples were collected off Penneshaw desalination plant, where waters from the Investigator Straight, Gulf Saint Vincent and Backstairs Passage meet. Low nutrient values were measured throughout the period of study (July 2012–July 2013) suggesting the occurrence of oligotrophic conditions on the region. The phytoplankton community was dominated by Bacillariophyceae, Dinoflagellata and Cryptophyta. Prochlorococcus Cyanobacteria prevailed among picophytoplankton during most of the period of study (July 2012–July 2013). Previous studies indicate that oligotrophic environments are indeed typically dominated by Prochlorococcus. The dominant species found here seem either adapted to grow under low nutrient concentrations, possessing high surface/volume ratios, or have a mixotrophic behaviour allowing them to complement photosynthesis with predation. This study provides base knowledge on the microbial communities north of Kangaroo Island that is needed to sustain the ecosystem and associated economic activities in the future.
full, complete article - PDF (1063 K)

Impact of Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis on blue mussel Mytilus edulis trossulus – laboratory studies of claw strength, handling behavior, consumption rate, and size selective predation
Oceanologia 2015, 57(3), 263-270

Dagmara Wójcik1,*, Monika Normant1, Barbara Dmochowska1, Amy Fowler2
1Department of Experimental Ecology of Marine Organisms, Institute of Oceanography, University of Gdańsk,
Gdynia, Poland;
e-mail: d.wojcik@ug.edu.pl
*corresponding author
2Marine Resources Research Institute, South Carolina Department of Natural Resources,
Charleston, USA

keywords: Non-indigenous species; Invasive; Introduced; Native; Mortality

Received 19 May 2014, Accepted 25 March 2015, Available online 9 April 2015


We examined the claw strength, handling behavior, consumption rate, and size selective predation of the invasive Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis feeding on native Baltic Sea blue mussels Mytilus edulis trossulus during 24 h laboratory experiments. Single starved crabs were offered 15 mussels (five mussels in three length classes) at a time. The total number of mussels consumed by a single crab increased significantly (P < 0.05) with the experimental time from 1.7 ± 0.7 # mussels crab−1 h−1 after 4 h to 0.2 ± 0.7 # mussels crab−1 h−1 after 24 h. The highest consumption rate was observed within the first 4 h, and it decreased significantly (P < 0.05) during the experiment. This was most likely due to the crabs being starved before the start of the experiment.
E. sinensis can also harm blue mussel shells by crushing them without further consumption. The mean daily damage, and not consumption, by a single crab was 0.9 ± 1.4 of 11–40 mm mussels. The claw strength of E. sinensis ranged from 1.50 to 20.43 N (mean 8.51 ± 5.93 N) and was significantly correlated (P < 0.05) with sex and both claw size and carapace size. The study showed that E. sinensis may be able to impact the native M. edulis trossulus population abundance in the coastal Baltic waters either through direct predation or indirect mortality by damaging (crushing) the shell.
full, complete article - PDF (674 K)

Engineering effect of Pinna nobilis shells on benthic communities
Oceanologia 2015, 57(3), 271-279

Lotfi Rabaoui1,2,3,*, Walid Belgacem1, Dorsaf Ben Ismail1, Lamjed Mansour1,4, Sabiha Tlig-Zouari1
1Research Unit of Integrative Biology and Evolutionary and Functional Ecology of Aquatic Systems, Faculty of Science of Tunis, University of Tunis El Manar,
Tunis, Tunisia;
*corresponding author
e-mail: lrabaoui@gmail.com
e-mail: lrabaoui@kfupm.edu.sa
2 Higher Institute of Applied Biology of Medenine, University of Gabes,
Medenine, Tunisia
3 Marine Studies Section, Center for Environment and Water – King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals,
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia
4 Zoology Department, College of Science, King Saud University,
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

keywords: Pinna nobilis; Ecosystem engineer; Associated species; Restoration; Conservation

Received 14 August 2014, Accepted 25 March 2015, Available online 9 April 2015

Support for this study was partly provided by the project ‘Satellite Monitoring of the Baltic Sea Environment – SatBałtyk’ funded by European Union through European Regional Development Fund contract no. POIG 01.01.02-22-011/09.


Within the framework of the possibility of using the Mediterranean pen shell Pinna nobilis in restoration and conservation plans of benthic habitats, an in situ experiment was conducted using empty P. nobilis shells. The latter were transplanted in a bare soft-bottomed area and their associated fauna were followed along 120 days and compared at different temporal points and with the assemblages living in the surrounding soft-sediment area. Compared to soft-sediment communities, an evidently increasing succession of species richness, abundance, and diversity descriptors (Shannon-Wiener H′ and Pielou's evenness J′) was observed with the community inhabiting empty Pinna shells. Among the forty-five (45) species found in association with the transplanted empty shells, seventeen (17) were found constantly in the three temporal points; the other twenty-eight (28) species appeared in the samples collected in the second and/or third sampling time. While motile and sessile species associated to Pinna shells showed an increasing pattern of appearance and abundance along the experiment time, those of soft sediment remained almost constant. The comparison between Pinna shells and soft-sediment associated communities showed that the species richness was slightly different between the two different sample types (49 for soft sediment versus 45 for empty Pinna shells); however the total abundance was found more important with empty Pinna shells. The results obtained herein argue in favor of the important engineering effect of P. nobilis in soft benthic habitats and therefore for the necessity of its conservation.
full, complete article - PDF (1924 K)

Changes in the parasite communities as one of the potential causes of decline in abundance of the three-spined sticklebacks in the Puck Bay
Oceanologia 2015, 57(3), 280-287

Jolanta Morozińska-Gogol
nstitute of Health Sciences, Pomeranian University in Słupsk,
Słupsk, Poland;
e-mail: morgo@onet.eu

keywords: Parasites; Three-spined stickleback; Puck Bay; Baltic Sea

Received 24 November 2014, Revised 4 February 2015, Accepted 24 March 2015, Available online 10 April 2015


In the past, the Puck Bay was a very important area for freshwater and marine ichthyofauna. Due to anthropogenic degradation of the environment, especially eutrophication, commercially important fish species have lost spawning grounds and their distribution and abundance fell significantly. A sharp increase in the number of Gasterosteus aculeatus was recorded since the mid-seventies of the twentieth century. Sticklebacks had become the dominant species and were distributed evenly in the coastal waters. But now, the numbers of sticklebacks are decreasing. In this paper, the parasite community of the three-spined sticklebacks was studied. The values of parasitological indices are counted and compared with previous data. Possible consequences of the harboured parasites for body condition, fecundity and changes in host behaviour are described. Also the other possible reasons for the current reduction in the number of sticklebacks in the Puck Bay are analyzed.
full, complete article - PDF (781 K)

Short communications

Sea spray aerosol flux estimation based on long-term variation of wave statistics
Oceanologia 2015, 57(3), 288-292

Dag Myrhaug*, Hong Wang, Lars Erik Holmedal
Department of Marine Technology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU),
Trondheim, Norway;
e-mail: dag.myrhaug@ntnu.no
*corresponding author
e-mail: hong.wang@ntnu.no
e-mail: lars.erik.holmedal@ntnu.no

keywords: Sea spray aerosol flux; Whitecap coverage; Significant wave height; Spectral peak period; Mean zero-crossing wave period; Bivariate distributions

Received 6 February 2015, Accepted 9 April 2015, Available online 23 April 2015


This note provides estimates of the mean sea spray aerosol flux based on long-term wave statistics using the whitecap method based on the limiting steepness and threshold vertical acceleration criteria. The aim is to present a procedure demonstrating how global wave statistics can be used to give estimates of the long-term aerosol flux. These estimates are obtained by using bivariate distributions of significant wave height and characteristic wave period, representing open ocean deep water waves in the Northern North Sea and the North Atlantic.
full, complete article - PDF (366 K)