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 Preservation of floodplains is flood protection
27.09.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht Conservationists are sounding the alarm: parrots much more threatened than assumed
15.09.2017 | Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NRL clarifies valley polarization for electronic and optoelectronic technologies

20.10.2017 | Interdisciplinary Research

Metallic nanoparticles will help to determine the percentage of volatile compounds

20.10.2017 | Materials Sciences

Shallow soils promote savannas in South America

20.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>