First record of straight-needle pteropod Creseis acicula Rang, 1828 bloom in the Çanakkale Strait (NE Aegean Sea, Turkey)

Sezginer Tunçer, Nazik Öğretmen, Fikret Çakır, Alkan Öztekin, Ayhan Oral, Salih Can Suner

Paper category: Original research paper
Corresponding author: Sezginer Tunçer, Nazik Öğretmen (n.ogretmen@mpic.de)
DOI: 10.2478/oandhs-2021-0026
Received: 30/11/2020
Accepted: 01/02/2021
Full text: here

Citation: Tunçer,S.,Öğretmen,N.,Çakır,F.,Öztekin,A.,Oral,A. & Suner,S.(2021).First record of straight-needle pteropod Creseis acicula Rang, 1828 bloom in the Çanakkale Strait (NE Aegean Sea, Turkey). Oceanological and Hydrobiological Studies,50(3) 310-324. https://doi.org/10.2478/oandhs-2021-0026

Abstract

Pteropods are marine pelagic calcifier mollusks sensitive to chemical changes in seawater due to their highly soluble aragonite shells. Increased acidity (reduced pH) of seawater causes difficulties in precipitating their shells and/or results in their dissolution, which is related to increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations and warming of seawater. They are therefore indicators of environmental changes. In this paper, we present the first record of the straight-needle pteropod Creseis acicula Rang, 1828 bloom in the surface waters of the Ҫanakkale Strait, Turkey (NE Aegean Sea), encountered in July 2020, when the highest sea surface temperatures and pH levels since 2007 were recorded. In coastal zones, such as the Ҫanakkale Strait, anthropogenic activity contributes significantly to environmental changes. Consequently, the increase in pH at elevated temperatures indicates an auxiliary factor (i.e. anthropogenic activity) that triggered the C. acicula bloom, rather than global atmospheric CO2 levels.

Conclusions

This study reports the first occurrence and bloom of C. acicula Rang, 1828 in the Northeast Aegean Sea (Çanakkale Strait, Turkey) observed in July 2020. We presented the first detailed data on morphological characteristics of C. acicula specimens collected along the Turkish coast together with measured marine environmental parameters. We further interpreted the possible causes that may have favored this first monospecific bloom of C. acicula. Our findings indicate a reduced anthropogenic impact in the waters of the Çanakkale Strait following reduced maritime traffic during the COVID-19 lockdowns along with generally increased SSTs. Given that C. acicula is one of the most common pteropod species in the tropics and subtropics, including the Mediterranean Region, it is important to expand our knowledge of this species due to its abundance as it serves as an indicator of environmental change. Our study emphasizes the importance of systematic seasonal sampling and data collection to investigate the effects of the interaction between climate change and anthropogenic contribution in sensitive marine ecosystems.

Funding

This research was funded by Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University-Scientific Research Projects (BAP), grant No. 2019-2986.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Author Contribution

ST and NÖ designed and conceptualized this research. ST, FÇ, AÖ, AO and SCS conducted the fieldwork. ST and FÇ performed sample measurements. ST, NÖ, FÇ and AÖ accomplished data collection. NÖ completed data analysis with important inputs from ST and AÖ. NÖ visualized the results and wrote the original manuscript. All authors contributed to the discussion and editing of the manuscript.

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to D. Anıl Odabaşı, G. Erman Uğur, Osman Odabaşı, Umut Tuncer and the crew of R/V BILIM I. We are thankful to Şimal Özen for providing us with the maritime vessel statistics. The authors gratefully acknowledge the anonymous reviewer whose comments helped to improve the manuscript. We thank Dr. Anna Dziubińska for editorial handling and Ewa Kaźmierczak for language improvement.

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