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Oceans, Volume 2, Issue 3 (September 2021) – 13 articles

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Article
Demonstration of the Temporal Evolution of Tropical Cyclone “Phailin” Using Gray-Zone Simulations and Decadal Variability of Cyclones over the Bay of Bengal in a Warming Climate
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 648-674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030037 - 10 Sep 2021
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Abstract
The intensity and frequency variability of cyclones in the North Indian Ocean (NIO) have been amplified over the last few decades. The number of very severe cyclonic storms (VSCSs) over the North Indian Ocean has increased over recent decades. “Phailin”, an extreme severe [...] Read more.
The intensity and frequency variability of cyclones in the North Indian Ocean (NIO) have been amplified over the last few decades. The number of very severe cyclonic storms (VSCSs) over the North Indian Ocean has increased over recent decades. “Phailin”, an extreme severe cyclonic storm (ESCS), occurred during 8–13 October 2013 over the Bay of Bengal and made landfall near the Gopalpur coast of Odisha at 12 UTC on 12 October. It caused severe damage here, as well as in the coastal Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and adjoining regions due to strong wind gusts (~115 knot/h), heavy precipitation, and devastating storm surges. The fidelity of the WRF model in simulating the track and intensity of tropical cyclones depends on different cloud microphysical parameterization schemes. Thus, four sensitivity simulations were conducted for Phailin using double-moment and single-moment microphysical (MP) parameterization schemes. The experiments were conducted to quantify and characterize the performance of such MP schemes for Phailin. The simulations were performed by the advanced weather research and forecasting (WRF-ARW) model. The model has two interactive domains covering the entire Bay of Bengal and adjoining coastal Odisha on 25 km and 8.333 km resolutions. Milbrandt–Yau (MY) double-moment and WRF single-moment microphysical schemes, with 6, 5, and 3 classes of hydrometeors, i.e., WSM6, WSM5, and WSM3, were used for the simulation. Experiments for Phailin were conducted for 126 h, starting from 00 UTC 08 October to 06 UTC 13 October 2013. It was found that the track, intensity, and structure of Phailin are highly sensitive to the different microphysical parameterization schemes. Further, the precipitation and cloud distribution were studied during the ESCS stage of Phailin. The microphysics schemes (MY, WSM3, WSM5, WSM6), along with Grell–Devenyi ensemble convection scheme predicted landfall of Phailin over the Odisha coast with significant track errors. Supply of moisture remains a more crucial component than SST and wind shear for rapid intensification of the Phailin 12 h before landfall over the Bay of Bengal. Finally, the comparison of cyclone formation between two decades 2001–2010 and 2011–2020 over the Bay of Bengal inferred that the increased numbers of VSCS are attributed to the supply of abundant moisture at low levels in the recent decade 2011–2020. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Tropical Cyclone Future Projections)
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Article
Reef Fish Associations with Natural and Artificial Structures in the Florida Keys
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 634-647; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030036 - 08 Sep 2021
Viewed by 437
Abstract
Throughout the Caribbean, coral reefs are transitioning from rugose, coral-dominated communities to flat, soft coral-dominated habitats, triggering declines in biodiversity. To help mitigate these losses, artificial structures have been used to re-create substrate complexity and support reef inhabitants. This study used natural and [...] Read more.
Throughout the Caribbean, coral reefs are transitioning from rugose, coral-dominated communities to flat, soft coral-dominated habitats, triggering declines in biodiversity. To help mitigate these losses, artificial structures have been used to re-create substrate complexity and support reef inhabitants. This study used natural and artificial structures to investigate the factors influencing the use of habitat by reef fish. During 2018 and 2019, divers added artificial structures and monitored the fish assemblages associating with both the artificial structures and naturally occurring corals. Overall, there were more fish on natural structures than on artificial structures. While structure shape did not influence fish use, there was a non-significant trend for increased use of larger structures. Fish observations did not differ across a gradient of shallow, complex reefs to deeper, flatter reefs; however, analyses of feeding guilds revealed clearer patterns: herbivores and omnivores were positively associated with low rugosity reefs where macroalgal abundance was higher, whereas invertivores preferred more rugose reefs. These results suggest that as reefs lose structural complexity, fish communities may become dominated by herbivores and omnivores. It also appears that the addition of artificial structures of the type used here may not mitigate the effects of structure loss on reef fish assemblages. Full article
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Article
Relationship between Body and Otolith Morphological Characteristics of Sabre Squirrelfish (Sargocentron spiniferum) from the Southern Red Sea: Difference between Right and Left Otoliths
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 624-633; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030035 - 07 Sep 2021
Viewed by 211
Abstract
Otolith morphology analysis is one of the main tools used for fish or fish stock identification. Moreover, otolith shape can also be used in animal dietary studies (stomach content) for the identification of prey fishes and their size according to the relationship between [...] Read more.
Otolith morphology analysis is one of the main tools used for fish or fish stock identification. Moreover, otolith shape can also be used in animal dietary studies (stomach content) for the identification of prey fishes and their size according to the relationship between fish and otolith sizes. In the present study, the relationship between fish length and otolith morphological dimensions was investigated for the sabre squirrelfish, Sargocentron spiniferum (Forsskål, 1775) (family: Holocentridae). Samples of 185 fish were collected from the coast of the Red Sea, Egypt. To analyze the relationship between fish and otolith, otolith morphometric measurements (length, width, area, perimeter, weight, sulcus, and ostium) and shape factors (aspect ratio, compactness, form factor, rectangularity, roundness, ellipticity, squareness) describing the outline shape were extracted using image analysis. Generalized linear models were applied for the relationship between body length and each otolith morphology feature. From the relationships between the total length of fish and fourteen morphology features, only otolith length, caudal length, and squareness were significantly correlated with fish size. Our results provide more information for the relationship between fish length and otolith morphometric features. Full article
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Article
Reef Structural Complexity Influences Fish Community Metrics on a Remote Oceanic Island: Serranilla Island, Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, Colombia
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 611-623; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030034 - 03 Sep 2021
Viewed by 878
Abstract
Serranilla is a protected island of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, far from dense human population. These characteristics could help sustain structurally complex coral reefs, often associated with higher biodiversity, abundance, and biomass of reef-associated organisms, including reef fish. However, the multiple threats present [...] Read more.
Serranilla is a protected island of the Seaflower Biosphere Reserve, far from dense human population. These characteristics could help sustain structurally complex coral reefs, often associated with higher biodiversity, abundance, and biomass of reef-associated organisms, including reef fish. However, the multiple threats present in Serranilla, including intense illegal fishing, can impact coral ecosystems generally and also specific key groups, such as the parrotfish, in particular. During the “Seaflower Research Expedition 2017”, we assessed how structural habitat complexity influences reef fish assemblages. In addition, we explored differences in parrotfish species (family: Scaridae) between Serranilla and San Andrés, the most populated island in the Archipelago. On Serranilla, we found that habitat structure, rugosity, and coral cover accounted for up to 66% of variation in reef fish diversity, abundance, and biomass, with values being higher on more complex reefs. Parrotfish species differed between the islands, with larger species supporting higher biomasses at Serranilla, by comparison with San Andrés; however, the abundance, biomass, and lengths of parrotfish species were low in both areas compared with those reported from other protected Caribbean reefs. Our study indicates that despite the evident relationship between structurally complex habitats and reef fish, other threats in Serranilla could be affecting parrotfish populations, such as illegal fishing, a widespread activity in the area. Full article
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Article
Cold-Water Coral Reefs in the Langenuen Fjord, Southwestern Norway—A Window into Future Environmental Change
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 583-610; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030033 - 25 Aug 2021
Viewed by 372
Abstract
Ocean warming and acidification pose serious threats to cold-water corals (CWCs) and the surrounding habitat. Yet, little is known about the role of natural short-term and seasonal environmental variability, which could be pivotal to determine the resilience of CWCs in a changing environment. [...] Read more.
Ocean warming and acidification pose serious threats to cold-water corals (CWCs) and the surrounding habitat. Yet, little is known about the role of natural short-term and seasonal environmental variability, which could be pivotal to determine the resilience of CWCs in a changing environment. Here, we provide continuous observational data of the hydrodynamic regime (recorded using two benthic landers) and point measurements of the carbonate and nutrient systems from five Lophelia pertusa reefs in the Langenuen Fjord, southwestern Norway, from 2016 to 2017. In this fjord setting, we found that over a tidal (<24 h) cycle during winter storms, the variability of measured parameters at CWC depths was comparable to the intra-annual variability, demonstrating that single point measurements are not sufficient for documenting (and monitoring) the biogeochemical conditions at CWC sites. Due to seasonal and diurnal forcing, parts of the reefs experienced temperatures up to 4 °C warmer (i.e., >12 °C) than the mean conditions and high CT concentrations of 20 µmol kg−1 over the suggested threshold for healthy CWC reefs (i.e., >2170 µmol kg−1). Combined with hindcast measurements, our findings indicate that these shallow fjord reefs may act as an early hotspot for ocean warming and acidification. We predict that corals in Langenuen will face seasonally high temperatures (>18 °C) and hypoxic and corrosive conditions within this century. Therefore, these fjord coral communities could forewarn us of the coming consequences of climate change on CWC diversity and function. Full article
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Article
Optimal Life Extension Management of Offshore Wind Farms Based on the Modern Portfolio Theory
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 566-582; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030032 - 24 Aug 2021
Viewed by 311
Abstract
The present study aims to develop a risk-based approach to finding optimal solutions for life extension management for offshore wind farms based on Markowitz’s modern portfolio theory, adapted from finance. The developed risk-based approach assumes that the offshore wind turbines (OWT) can be [...] Read more.
The present study aims to develop a risk-based approach to finding optimal solutions for life extension management for offshore wind farms based on Markowitz’s modern portfolio theory, adapted from finance. The developed risk-based approach assumes that the offshore wind turbines (OWT) can be considered as cash-producing tangible assets providing a positive return from the initial investment (capital) with a given risk attaining the targeted (expected) return. In this regard, the present study performs a techno-economic life extension analysis within the scope of the multi-objective optimisation problem. The first objective is to maximise the return from the overall wind assets and the second objective is to minimise the risk associated with obtaining the return. In formulating the multi-dimensional optimisation problem, the life extension assessment considers the results of a detailed structural integrity analysis, a free-cash-flow analysis, the probability of project failure, and local and global economic constraints. Further, the risk is identified as the variance from the expected mean of return on investment. The risk–return diagram is utilised to classify the OWTs of different classes using an unsupervised machine learning algorithm. The optimal portfolios for the various required rates of return are recommended for different stages of life extension. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Marine Structures)
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Article
A Conflict between the Legacy of Eutrophication and Cultural Oligotrophication in Hiroshima Bay
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 546-565; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030031 - 16 Aug 2021
Viewed by 388
Abstract
Although the water quality in Hiroshima Bay has improved due to government measures, nutrient reduction has sharply decreased fisheries production. The law was revised in 2015, where the nutrient effluents from the sewage treatment plants were relaxed, yet no increase in fishery production [...] Read more.
Although the water quality in Hiroshima Bay has improved due to government measures, nutrient reduction has sharply decreased fisheries production. The law was revised in 2015, where the nutrient effluents from the sewage treatment plants were relaxed, yet no increase in fishery production was observed. Herein, we investigate the distribution of C, N, S, and P within Hiroshima Bay. Material loads from land and oyster farming activity influenced the C and S distributions in the bay sediments, respectively. Natural denitrification caused N reduction in areas by the river mouths and the landlocked areas whose sediments are reductive. The P content was high in the areas under aerobic conditions, suggesting metal oxide-bound P contributes to P accumulation. However, it was low in the areas with reducing conditions, indicating P is released from the sediments when reacting with H2S. In such reductive sediments, liberated H2S also consumes dissolved oxygen causing hypoxia in the bottom layer. It was estimated that 0.28 km3 of muddy sediment and 1.8 × 105 ton of P accumulated in Hiroshima Bay. There remains conflict between the ‘Legacy of Eutrophication’ in the sediment and ‘Cultural Oligotrophication’ in the surface water due to 40 years of reduction policies. Full article
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Article
The Last 1200 Years of Rainfall/Runoff Variability along the Central Mexico Pacific Coast Associated with the North American Monsoon
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 530-545; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030030 - 02 Aug 2021
Viewed by 396
Abstract
This study presents new evidence for long-term variability in the late Holocene North American Monsoon (NAM), Pacific coast of Mexico. We have carried out a rock magnetic study on two deep-sea sediment cores from the Pacific coast Pescadero Basin. The magnetic intensities estimate [...] Read more.
This study presents new evidence for long-term variability in the late Holocene North American Monsoon (NAM), Pacific coast of Mexico. We have carried out a rock magnetic study on two deep-sea sediment cores from the Pacific coast Pescadero Basin. The magnetic intensities estimate total magnetic material and are a proxy for total clastic sediment. Ratios of magnetic intensities estimate the grain size of magnetic material. The rock magnetic data show a decimeter scale, multi-decadal oscillation with fourteen cycles (A-N) over the last 1200 years. These oscillations reflect alternating intervals of stronger/coarser magnetic/clastic flux to the coastal ocean and intervals of weaker/finer magnetic flux. We think these variations are caused by variations in long-term dominance of the NAM; summer (wet) monsoons produce rainy conditions (with runoff) while winter (dry) monsoons produce significant offshore winds, increased upwelling/biological productivity. We can correlate our variability to two other published studies southeast of Pescadero Basin, coastal lake sediments in Laguna de Juanacatlan and a Juxtlahuaca Cave stalagmite. Both of these studies estimate local rainfall. We see evidence of the same pattern of multi-decadal rainfall-runoff variability in these records as we see in Pescadero Basin, which is synchronous to within ±25 years over the last 1200 years. The multi-dacadal pattern of hydrologic variability in all three records varies in cycle duration from ~90-years wet/dry cycles in the Little Ice Age (1400–1850 AD) to ~60-years cycles in the Medieval Climate Optimum (1100–1400 AD). This variability in cycle duration suggests some chaotic nature to the regional NAM climate pattern or some long-term non-linear forcing (PDO?). Full article
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Article
The Status of the Coral Reefs of the Jaffna Peninsula (Northern Sri Lanka), with 36 Coral Species New to Sri Lanka Confirmed by DNA Bar-Coding
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 509-529; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030029 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
Sri Lanka, an island nation located off the southeast coast of the Indian sub-continent, has an unappreciated diversity of corals and other reef organisms. In particular, knowledge of the status of coral reefs in its northern region has been limited due to 30 [...] Read more.
Sri Lanka, an island nation located off the southeast coast of the Indian sub-continent, has an unappreciated diversity of corals and other reef organisms. In particular, knowledge of the status of coral reefs in its northern region has been limited due to 30 years of civil war. From March 2017 to August 2018, we carried out baseline surveys at selected sites on the northern coastline of the Jaffna Peninsula and around the four largest islands in Palk Bay. The mean percentage cover of live coral was 49 ± 7.25% along the northern coast and 27 ± 5.3% on the islands. Bleaching events and intense fishing activities have most likely resulted in the occurrence of dead corals at most sites (coral mortality index > 0.33). However, all sites were characterised by high values of diversity (H’ ≥ 2.3) and evenness (E ≥ 0.8). The diversity index increased significantly with increasing coral cover on the northern coast but showed the opposite trend on the island sites. One hundred and thirteen species of scleractinian corals, representing 16 families and 39 genera, were recorded, as well as seven soft coral genera. Thirty-six of the scleractinian coral species were identified for the first time on the island of Sri Lanka. DNA barcoding using the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I gene (COI) was employed to secure genetic confirmation of a few difficult-to-distinguish new records: Acropora aspera, Acropora digitifera, Acropora gemmifera, Montipora flabellata, and Echinopora gemmacea. Full article
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Article
Minor Contribution by Biomineralizing Phytoplankton to Surface Ocean Biomineral Pools in the Late Stratified Period
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 489-508; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030028 - 21 Jul 2021
Viewed by 488
Abstract
Vertical distributions of biogenic silica (bSi), particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) and key biomineral-forming phytoplankton indicate vertical zoning, or partitioning, during the late summer stratified period in the northeast Atlantic. Coccolithophores were generally more numerous in the surface mixed layer, whilst PIC concentrations were [...] Read more.
Vertical distributions of biogenic silica (bSi), particulate inorganic carbon (PIC) and key biomineral-forming phytoplankton indicate vertical zoning, or partitioning, during the late summer stratified period in the northeast Atlantic. Coccolithophores were generally more numerous in the surface mixed layer, whilst PIC concentrations were more homogenous with depth throughout the euphotic zone. Diatoms were notably more abundant and more diverse in the lower euphotic zone beneath the mixed layer in association with subsurface maxima in chlorophyll-a, bSi and oxygen concentrations. The four dominant coccolithophore species (Emiliania huxleyi, Gephyrocapsa muellerae, Syracosphera spp., and Rhabdosphaera clavigera) represented 78 ± 20% (range 31–100%) of the observed community across all sampled depths yet simultaneously contributed an average of only 13% to measured PIC pools. The diatom community, which was dominated by Pseudo-nitzschia spp. and by a species tentatively identified as Nanoneis longta, represented only ~1% of the bSi pool on average, with contributions increasing within the chlorophyll maximum. Despite a slow gradual deepening of the surface mixed layer in the period prior to observation, and adequate nutrient availability beneath the mixed layer, biomineral pools at this time consisted largely of detrital rather than cellular material. Full article
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Article
Shallow-Water Species Diversity of Common Intertidal Zoantharians (Cnidaria: Hexacorallia: Zoantharia) along the Northeastern Coast of Trinidad, Southern Caribbean
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 477-488; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030027 - 20 Jul 2021
Viewed by 578
Abstract
Zoantharians are colonial cnidarians commonly found in shallow tropical Caribbean coral reefs, and are known to be globally distributed. Common species in genera Zoanthus and Palythoa occur at Toco, Trinidad, where they are more abundant than their Scleractinia counterparts relative to benthic coverage. [...] Read more.
Zoantharians are colonial cnidarians commonly found in shallow tropical Caribbean coral reefs, and are known to be globally distributed. Common species in genera Zoanthus and Palythoa occur at Toco, Trinidad, where they are more abundant than their Scleractinia counterparts relative to benthic coverage. In this study, distribution, morphological and molecular data were collected to determine species and symbiont identification to provide more insight on zoantharians. The Line Intercept Point (LIT) transect method recorded coverage at three sites: Salybia (SB), Pequelle (PB), and Grande L’Anse (GA) Bays along the northeastern coast. Variations in morphology, such as tentacle count, oral disk color and diameter were collected from colonies in situ. All specimens were zooxanthellate, and molecular and phylogenetic analyses were done by sequencing the cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene, and the internal transcribed spacer (ITS) region for species and symbiont identification, respectively. Results showed mean Zoantharia percentage cover was 32.4% ± 5.1 (X ± SE) at SB, 51.3% ± 6.5 (PB), and 72.2% ± 6.1 at GA. Zooxanthellate zoantharians were identified as Palythoa caribaeorum, Palythoa grandiflora, Zoanthus pulchellus, and Zoanthus sociatus. Symbiodiniaceae genera were identified as Cladocopium and Symbiodinium in Palythoa and Zoanthus spp., respectively. Although this is the first molecular examination of zoantharians, and their symbionts in Trinidad, more research is needed to identify and document species distribution and symbiont biodiversity to understand their ecology in these dynamic ecosystems. Full article
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Article
Otolith δ18O Composition as a Tracer of Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares) Origin in the Indian Ocean
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 461-476; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030026 - 14 Jul 2021
Viewed by 604
Abstract
Yellowfin tuna of the Indian Ocean is overfished, and a better understanding of the stock structure is needed to enable sustainable management. Here, otolith δ18O values of young-of-the-year fish from known nursery areas of the equatorial Indian Ocean (West, Central and [...] Read more.
Yellowfin tuna of the Indian Ocean is overfished, and a better understanding of the stock structure is needed to enable sustainable management. Here, otolith δ18O values of young-of-the-year fish from known nursery areas of the equatorial Indian Ocean (West, Central and East) were used to establish a reference isotopic signature to predict the origin of sub-adult and adult individuals. Sub-adult tuna otolith δ18O values from Reunion Island were similar to the West nursery signature, but otolith δ18O values of sub-adults from Pakistan were unlike any of the nurseries sampled. Therefore, δ18O values from the Pakistan area samples were considered an additional nursery source for predicting the origin of adult tuna, using a multinomial logistic regression classification method. The western equatorial area was the most productive nursery for three fishing grounds sampled, with a minor contribution of Pakistan-like origin fish. Contribution of Central or East nurseries to the adult population was negligible. One adult otolith was analysed by secondary ion mass spectrometry along the otolith growth transect and results were compared with an isoscape approach to infer lifetime movements. This study is an important first step towards understanding the spatial structure and connectivity of the species. Full article
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Article
Heatwave Effects on the Photosynthesis and Antioxidant Activity of the Seagrass Cymodocea nodosa under Contrasting Light Regimes
Oceans 2021, 2(3), 448-460; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/oceans2030025 - 25 Jun 2021
Viewed by 594
Abstract
Global climate change, specifically the intensification of marine heatwaves, affect seagrasses. In the Ria Formosa, saturating light intensities may aggravate heatwave effects on seagrasses, particularly during low spring tides. However, the photophysiological and antioxidant responses of seagrasses to such extreme events are poorly [...] Read more.
Global climate change, specifically the intensification of marine heatwaves, affect seagrasses. In the Ria Formosa, saturating light intensities may aggravate heatwave effects on seagrasses, particularly during low spring tides. However, the photophysiological and antioxidant responses of seagrasses to such extreme events are poorly known. Here, we evaluated the responses of Cymodocea nodosa exposed at 20 °C and 40 °C and 150 and 450 μmol quanta m−2 s−1. After four-days, we analyzed (a) photosynthetic responses to irradiance, maximum photochemical efficiency (Fv/Fm), the effective quantum yield of photosystem II (ɸPSII); (b) soluble sugars and starch; (c) photosynthetic pigments; (d) antioxidant responses (ascorbate peroxidase, APX; oxygen radical absorbance capacity, ORAC, and antioxidant capacity, TEAC); (d) oxidative damage (malondialdehyde, MDA). After four days at 40 °C, C. nodosa showed relevant changes in photosynthetic pigments, independent of light intensity. Increased TEAC and APX indicated an “investment” in the control of reactive oxygen species levels. Dark respiration and starch concentration increased, but soluble sugar concentrations were not affected, suggesting higher CO2 assimilation. Our results show that C. nodosa adjusts its photophysiological processes to successfully handle thermal stress, even under saturating light, and draws a promising perspective for C. nodosa resilience under climate change scenarios. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Seagrass Ecosystems in a Changing World)
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