Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Ocean invaders in deep time

14.10.2005


Much has been made of the economic impacts of recent biological invasions, but what are the implications of invasions in deep time? Luiz Rocha leads geneticists who time travel through ocean environments. The results of their travels, published online in Molecular Ecology, tell us that during warm, interglacial periods, reef-associated fish (goby genus Gnatholepis), leapt around the horn of Africa into the Atlantic, where their range expanded as the world warmed.



"We found that global warming events correspond clearly with major range expansions of gobies from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean and subsequently into the Eastern Atlantic," summarizes Rocha. A chilly Antarctic current--the Benguela upwelling system-- surges up along the western coast of Africa acting as a natural barrier, and has prevented most warm water organisms from the Indian Ocean from making it in to the Atlantic for the last 2 million years. But when the world warmed about 150,000 years ago, gobies slipped around the corner of the continent.

Researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Hofstra University and the University of Hawaii, sequenced goby DNA (774 pb of the mtDNA of cytochrome b, to be exact) from the western, central and eastern Atlantic Ocean. They also sequenced DNA from gobies in the same genus from South Africa, from the Cocos Keeling Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and from the Cook Islands in the South Pacific. They calculate the approximate amount of time that isolated groups of fish have been separate based on the differences in the DNA between groups.


What evidence do they have that makes them think that Atlantic gobies are invaders? "The Atlantic goldspot goby certainly is a prime candidate-it’s the only species of the genus in the Atlantic and there are eight species and subspecies in the Indo-Pacific. It’s really similar to a sister taxon in the Indian Ocean," Rocha continues. "We nailed down the timeline of the invasion by sequencing--the last time there was tropical ocean connecting these two areas was 2 million years ago. We calculate that these fish invaded the Atlantic Ocean during a warm period about 150,000 years ago and arrived in the eastern Atlantic only 30,000 years ago."

What future effects of climate change might we expect in the marine realm? "Genetic analysis told us that fish from the Indian Ocean breached the Benguela barrier in the past, and this barrier seems to open intermittently. It would be reasonable to expect that other organisms limited by cold water barriers will continue to expand their ranges during warm periods."

Beth King | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.si.edu

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Successful calculation of human and natural influence on cloud formation
04.11.2016 | Goethe-Universität Frankfurt am Main

nachricht Invasive Insects Cost the World Billions Per Year
04.10.2016 | University of Adelaide

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>