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Citation
Miller, K. (2009) Resilience of Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates and the ecological consequences of environmental change, Ver. 1, Australian Antarctic Data Centre - https://data.aad.gov.au/metadata/records/ASAC_3051, Accessed: 2022-07-04
Title
Resilience of Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates and the ecological consequences of environmental change
Data Centre
Australian Antarctic Data Centre, Australia
Created Date
2009-04-28
Revision Date
2017-05-11
Parent record
None
Child record
AAS_3051_AbatusMicrosatellites
AAS_3051_amphipod_genetics
AAS_3051_amphipod_sequences
AAS_3051_urchin_genetics

Description

Metadata record for data from AAS (ASAC) project 3051.

Public
Environmental change is by far one of the major crises facing our planet in recent times. This project will contribute specifically to understanding the effects of climate change and other human-induced impacts on marine species in Antarctica. Through studying key ecological and biological processes in marine benthic invertebrates we will better understand the spatial scale of populations, the nature of the processes that maintain those populations, how environmental change will affect those processes, and the levels of genetic diversity and resilience in Antarctic marine communities. Taken together this information will enable better, more informed management of Antarctic marine ecosystems.

Project objectives: The project objectives, as stated in the project application round 2008/09, appear below:
This project will combine experimental tests of demographic change with genetic tests of population isolation and diversity to enable predictions of the resilience of Antarctic marine invertebrates to current and predicted environmental change.

The specific objectives of the project are;
1. Effects of change. Understand the effects of environmental change on reproduction (fecundity, reproductive success) and the early life history (larval behaviour, survivorship, and recruitment) of key Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates.
2. Isolation. Determine the degree of isolation/connectivity among populations as well as the levels of genetic diversity of key Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates.
3. Resilience. Assess the resilience (ability to cope with or adapt) of Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates to environmental change.
4. Practical Outcomes. Develop improved predictive capacity to contribute towards the development of management strategies for the conservation of Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates.

Taken from the 2008-2009 Progress Report:
Progress against objectives:
This project commenced in 2008/9.
Objective 1 - Effects of change - Collected live echinoderms (Abatus spp, Sterechinus numeyeri, Diploasterias) from around Casey Station and transported these on the A319 back to Kingston. A preliminary fertilisation trial has been run using Sterechinus individuals, and the remaining individuals are now being maintained in aquaria for future reproductive studies.

Objective 2 - Isolation - Tissue samples from over 200 Sterechinus numeyeri were collected from 5 sites around Casey Station. These will form the foundation for genetic connectivity studies, and will complement exisiting Abatus samples from the same location. Laboratory processing of these samples has commenced, and development of microsatellite markers for both species is underway.

Objectives 3 and 4 represent late-stage components of the project, so no progress can be reported on these at this stage.

Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report:
Progress against the objectives:
Objective 1 - Effects of change - Collected live urchins (Abatus spp and Sterechinus numeyeri) from around Davis Station. Ran a series of spawning trials, although these were largely unsuccessful, with most individuals having spawned prior to the beginning of the season. We ran one successful fertilisation trial with S. neumeyeri to look at the effects of water temperature and salinity on fertilisation success. Preliminary analysis of the data indicates these environmental parameters do have an effect on fertilisation.

Objective 2 - Isolation - Tissue samples from over 350 Sterechinus numeyeri were collected from 12 sites around Davis Station. These will be used for genetic connectivity studies, and will complement samples collected from Casey in the previous season. Larval Sterechinus were also collected from the water column and preserved for genetic analysis along with adult and juvenile Abatus ingens. Microsatellite markers (11 polymorphic loci) have now been developed for Sterechinus, and microsatellite deveopment is partially completed for Abatus ingens; the library has been created but optimisation of loci still needs to be done. We have completed DNA sequencing for Sterechinus and Abatus from Casey Station for 1 gene region (16S) and are optimising an additional 2 regions. This will be used to compare populations from Davis and Casey to understand large-scale connectivity.

Objectives 3 and 4 represent late-stage components of the project. As this is only the second year of a 5-year programme, no progress can be reported on these at this stage.

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Quality

The values provided in temporal and spatial coverage are approximate only.

Taken from the 2008-2009 Progress Report:
Variations to work plan or objectives:
The Field season was held at Casey rather than Davis as originally planned. In addition, as we had no diving capability during the summer season, this limited our ability to collect a lot of the samples and species as we had originally planned. Despite this, we feel good progress was made towards reaching the key objectives.

Difficulties affecting project:
The change of field location from Davis to Casey in 08/09 shouldn't effect the overall outcomes of the project.
The short field season in 2008/09 did limit our ability to undertake pilot experiments on location, which means much of this will need to be deferred to the 09/10 season which may delay ongoing experiments as well as reduce the total number of experiments achievable throughout the duration of the project.
The lack of a diving program in 2008/09 severely limited our ability to collect spatially replicated samples for genetic analysis. Although we were successful in collecting many samples, the final data set will not be as rigorous as initially hoped.

Taken from the 2009-2010 Progress Report:
Field Work:
We spent 3 months at Davis station collecting echinoderms for this project. We worked at sites ranging from Ellis Fjord to the south and Long Fjord in the north. Sampling locations included Ellis narrows, Suter Island, Heidemann Bay, Trigwell Island and Zappert Point. At each of these sites we collected animals using either snorkel or scuba diving.

The project has 6 key tasks (of the 15 outlined in the original proposal) to be completed over the duration of the project that are linked to field work;

1. Early life-history component
a) Pilot studies of experimental species and systems including optimisation of spawning methods, reproductive state assessments and early life history culturing and bioassay procedures.
b) Environmental affects on reproduction; field collections for fecundity/reproductive output estimates and physical parameters
d) Laboratory assays to determine the effects of environmental parameters and exposure to contaminants on early life history stages and larval development
e) Field surveys of settlement/recruitment (if possible); testing and deployment of artificial settlement habitats (where practical)

2. Molecular Component
b) Collection of spatially replicated samples from a range of habitats for Abatus sp. and Sterechinus neumayeri
d) Collection of adults and broods to estimate outcrossing and paternity for Abatus sp.

Progress of field work
The planned field tasks for 2009/10 (Davis) were 1b, 1d and 2d. Samples were collected for 1d, and relevant experiments run in the laboratory (see below) Field collections relating to 1b were not completed due to time constraints and the high demand for collected material to be used in conjunction with other projects. Task 2d was completed, with approximately 100 adult abatus and their broods preserved for genetic analysis. Additionally we completed 2b at Davis station, collecting over 350 Sterechinus neumayeri and 150 Abatus for population genetic analysis as well as the collection of larval Sterechinus for genetic analysis of dispersal.

Planned timing of future major field work tasks
2010-11 (Davis) - 1b, 1d, 1e
2011-12 (Casey) - 1b, 1d, 1e, 2d

Laboratory activity/analysis:
We have begun the experimental phase involving understanding the effects of environmental parameters on the early life history of Antarctic echinoderms. We have also finished the development of microsatellite DNA markers for Sterechinus neumeyeri and are most of the way through development of microsatellites for Abatus ingens. DNA has been extracted from all Abatus spp and Sterechinus numeyeri samples collected in the previous season and DNA sequencing and microsatellite genotyping is underway for these samples.

The project has 7 key tasks (of the 15 outlined in the original proposal) to be completed over the duration of the project that are linked to laboratory work;

1. Early life-history component
a) Pilot studies of experimental species and systems including optimisation of spawning methods, reproductive state assessments and early life history culturing and bioassay procedures.
b) Environmental affects on reproduction; field collections for fecundity/reproductive output estimates and physical parameters
c) Processing of histological samples to assess fecundity
d) Laboratory assays to determine the effects of environmental parameters and exposure to contaminants on early life history stages and larval development

2. Molecular Component
a) Development and optimisation of microsatellite markers for Abatus sp. and Sterechinus neumayeri
c) Genotyping samples of Abatus sp. and Sterechinus neumayeri at 6-10 polymorphic loci
e) Genotyping adults and broods of Abatus at 6-10 polymorphic microsatellite loci

Progress of laboratory work
The planned laboratory tasks for the 2009/10 were linked to 1b, 1d, 1c and 2e. Experiments contributing to 1d were done although due to the low spawning success (despite trying to spawn around 200 individuals) we only able to run a single fertilisation trial to assess the effects of the environmental parameters temperature and salinity on fertilisation success. Because no field collections were done associated with 1b, the lab components of 1b and 1c have also not been completed. The genotyping of Abatus samples (2e) has not yet commenced as we are still developing the microsatellite markers (delayed until after the 2009/10 field season because fresh samples were required to finish the analysis due to poor quality of frozen material collected in 2007). However we have extracted DNA from most Sterechinus and Abatus samples from Casey Station (collected 2008/9) and microsatellite genotyping and DNA sequencing of these samples has commenced (2c).

Planned timing of future laboratory tasks
2010-11 1b, 1d, 1e, 1c
2011-12 1b, 1d, 1e, 1c, 2e

Difficulties affecting project:
The fact that most Sterechinus had already spawned prior to the 2009/10 field season commencing limited our ability to undertake fertilisation experiments. For this to be achievable in the future, we would need the capacity for field collections to commence in early November at Davis Station - which may be a limiting factor for this component.

Completion of the development of microsatellite markers for Abatus ingens has been delayed due to poor quality DNA. Because we were unable to collect fresh Abatus samples at Casey in 2008/9 (as there was no diving programme), we had to rely on older frozen material for marker development. Unfortunately the quality of the DNA in the old samples was poor and so we could not finish the marker optimisation. This will be finished now that we have properly preserved genetic material collected this season at Davis.

Because of the size of the team working at Davis in 2009/10 and particularly the high demand for echinoderm samples, we did not manage to collect sufficient samples for the project component relating to estimating fecundity/reproductive output and how this varies with environmental effects. This may be possible in future seasons, but will depend on the demand across all projects for urchin samples.

Access

See the child record for access to data.

Temporal Coverages

Spatial Coverages

Science Keywords

Additional Keywords

  • climate change
  • marine benthic invertebrates
  • Antarctic marine ecosystems

Locations

  • OCEAN > SOUTHERN OCEAN
  • CONTINENT > ANTARCTICA
  • GEOGRAPHIC REGION > POLAR

Platforms

  • FIELD SURVEYS
  • FIELD INVESTIGATION

Instruments

    None

Researchers

  • miller, karen (INVESTIGATOR,TECHNICAL CONTACT)
  • connell, dave (DIF AUTHOR)

Use Constraints

This data set conforms to the CCBY Attribution License
(http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

Please follow instructions listed in the citation reference provided at http://data.aad.gov.au/aadc/metadata/citation.cfm?entry_id=ASAC_3051 when using these data.

Creative Commons License