Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Research Identifies 'Hot Spots' Of Ocean Productivity

Date:
August 24, 2005
Source:
Oregon State University
Summary:
A study of barnacles on the central Oregon Coast has revealed significant "hot spots" of ocean productivity where marine life has much greater reproductive potential - information that could be a key to the successful siting of marine reserves.

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A study of barnacles on the central Oregon Coasthas revealed significant "hot spots" of ocean productivity where marinelife has much greater reproductive potential - information that couldbe a key to the successful siting of marine reserves.

Research by Oregon State University scientists showed that near CapePerpetua, an ocean area of high primary productivity, barnaclepopulations produced five times as many offspring as those living nearCape Foulweather, a region of lower productivity. In controlledexperiments, the scientists found an even larger effect of nearshoreocean conditions - Cape Perpetua barnacles produced more than 120 timesas many babies as those in the Cape Foulweather area.

The study highlights the importance of including information onecological processes when designing reserves and other types of marineprotected areas, the scientists said. It is one of the first studies tolink reproductive variation with key ecological processes on a scalethat's relevant to management and conservation. The findings werepublished today in a professional journal, Proceedings of the NationalAcademy of Sciences.

"This study demonstrates that not all ocean places are equivalent,and that some populations are more likely than others to contribute tofuture generations," said Heather Leslie, a marine ecologist at OSU."This could serve as a model for how to link information onbiodiversity patterns with underlying ecological processes."

Variability in ocean currents and bottom topography, as well asbiological interactions, all can contribute to differences in theproductivity of marine ecosystems. Biodiversity protection andenhancement of nearby fisheries are among the goals of marine reserves,the researchers said, and an important aspect of siting effectivereserves would be understanding how the productivity of key populationsvary.

"Not all ocean areas are the same, and the likelihood of fulfillingthe objectives of reserves and other area-based management effortswould increase if we understand the ecological processes responsiblefor biodiversity patterns," Leslie said.

Integrating this information is particularly important, Leslie said,given the forecasts of changes in ocean currents and other biologicaland physical processes due to climate change.

Barnacles, Leslie said, have a life history similar to many othermarine species and could serve as a useful model of how variation inocean productivity affects higher trophic levels, all the way up thefood chain to major fisheries. Barnacles also play an important role inrocky shore dynamics, serve as prey for many predators, provide habitatfor other organisms and help some species such as mussels getestablished.

Using these barnacles as an indicator of larger processes, thisresearch demonstrated that variation in primary productivity and otherkey processes can translate into significantly greater or lesserreproductive potential. The barnacles at Cape Perpetua produced manymore offspring, both individually and per unit area. The higherproductivity, researchers say, is probably linked to the widercontinental shelf and more complex bottom topography near Cape Perpetua.

"Scientists have traditionally assumed that ocean conditions werefairly uniform on the scale of tens or hundreds of miles," Leslie said."We know now that isn't the case. There are very significantdifferences in the productivity of marine populations in areas even afew miles apart."

This research is part of the work being done through PISCO, thePartnership for Interdisciplinary Study of Coastal Oceans, and wassupported by grants from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, theAndrew W. Mellon Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. PISCOfocuses on understanding the nearshore ecosystems of the West Coast ofthe United States through interdisciplinary research, student trainingand outreach programs.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Oregon State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Oregon State University. "Research Identifies 'Hot Spots' Of Ocean Productivity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819123347.htm>.
Oregon State University. (2005, August 24). Research Identifies 'Hot Spots' Of Ocean Productivity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819123347.htm
Oregon State University. "Research Identifies 'Hot Spots' Of Ocean Productivity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050819123347.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

Visitors Feel Part of the Pack at Wolf Preserve

AP (July 31, 2014) Seacrest Wolf Preserve on the northern Florida panhandle allows more than 10,000 visitors each year to get up close and personal with Arctic and British Columbian Wolves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers

AP (July 31, 2014) With Florida's panther population rebounding, some ranchers complain the protected predators are once again killing their calves. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Big Waves In Arctic Ocean Threaten Polar Ice

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Big waves in parts of the Arctic Ocean are unprecedented, mainly because they used to be covered in ice. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle

AP (July 30, 2014) Thousands of people are trekking to a Bavarian farmer's field to check out a mysterious set of crop circles. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins