• Climate change, global warming and coral reefs: modelling the effects of temperature

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Elsevier, 2008)
      Climate change and global warming have severe consequences for the survival of scleractinian (reef-building) corals and their associated ecosystems. This review summarizes recent literature on the influence of temperature on coral growth, coral bleaching, and modelling the effects of high temperature on corals. Satellite-based sea surface temperature (SST) and coral bleaching information available on the internet is an important tool in monitoring and modelling coral responses to temperature. Within the narrow temperature range for coral growth, corals can respond to rate of temperature change as well as to temperature per se. We need to continue to develop models of how non-steady-state processes such as global warming and climate change will affect coral reefs.
    • Cytoskeleton proteins F-actin and tubulin distribution and interaction with mitochondria in the granulosa cells surrounding stage III zebrafish (Danio rerio) oocytes

      Zampolla, Tiziana; Spikings, Emma; Rawson, David M.; Zhang, Tiantian; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2011-10-01)
      The distributional arrangement of mitochondria in the granulosa cells surrounding stage III zebrafish oocyte has been reported as a contiguous aggregation of mitochondria at the margin of the each granulosa cell. The aim of the present study was to further investigate the mitochondrial distribution in the granulosa cell layer in stage III ovarian follicles and the interaction between mitochondria and cytoskeleton elements actin and tubulin. To determine mitochondrial distribution/transport, immunocytochemistry analysis of tubulin and mitochondrial COX-I was carried out along with phalloidin staining of polymerised F-actin. The follicles were also exposed to a range of conditions that are known to affect mitochondria and the cytoskeleton proteins actin and tubulin. The mitochondrial inhibitor FCCP, the anti-mitotic drug nocodazole, and actin polymerisation inhibitor cytochalasin B were used. Levels of ATP, mtDNA copy number, and viability assessed by Trypan blue were also studied after exposure to inhibitors in order to determine the relationship between mitochondrial distribution/activity and ATP production. F-actin showed a hexagonal-polygonal distribution surrounding the mitochondria in granulosa cells, with the F-actin network adjacent to the plasma membrane of each granulosa cell. Tubulin structure presented a less organised distribution than F-actin, it was sparse in the cytosol. Interaction between mitochondria and tubulin was found indicating that mitochondria and tubulin are colocalised in zebrafish ovarian follicles. The exposure of ovarian follicles to inhibitors induced the loss of mitochondrial structural integrity showing that mitochondria distribution in granulosa cells of stage III zebrafish ovarian follicles is determined by the microtubules network.
    • Effect of chilling on sox2, sox3 and sox19a gene expression in zebrafish (Danio rerio) embryos

      Desai, Kunjan; Spikings, Emma; Zhang, Tiantian; University of Bedfordshire (Elsevier, 2011-10)
      Zebrafish embryos have not been cryopreserved due to their structural limitations. Although embryo survival rates have been used as the measured outcome for most of the cryopreservation protocols studied, there are very limited data available at the molecular level. This study focused on the effect of chilling and subsequent warming on gene expression of sox2, sox3 and sox19a which play vital roles in the development of zebrafish embryos. A quantitative RT-PCR approach was used to investigate gene expression following chilling at 0°C for up to 180 min. The effect on gene expression was also studied during a 180 min warming period after chilling for 30 or 60 min. There were significant decreases in sox2 (up to 4-fold) and sox3 (up to 3-fold) expressions following chilling. Significant increases in gene expressions of sox2 (up to 2-fold), sox3 (up to 33-fold) and sox19a (up to 25-fold) were observed during warming in the embryos that had been chilled for 30 min. Similarly, significant increases were observed in sox2 (up to 3-fold) and sox3 (up to 2-fold) during warming in embryos that had been chilled for 60 min. These increases may be explained by compensation for the suppression observed during chilling and/or to activate repair mechanisms or maintain homeostasis.
    • Effect of methanol on mitochondrial organization in zebrafish (Danio rerio) ovarian follicles.

      Spikings, Emma; Zampolla, Tiziana; Rawson, David M.; Wang, Y.; Zhang, Tiantian; University of Bedfordshire; China Agricultural University (Elsevier, 2012-01-01)
      Successful cryopreservation is usually measured in terms of cell survival. However, there may also be more subtle effects within cells that survive. Previous studies on zebrafish have produced evidence of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) damage in cryopreserved embryonic blastomeres and, after exposure to cryoprotectants, alterations in mtDNA replication in embryos and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, mtDNA and ATP production in ovarian follicles. This study shows that the decreased ATP levels previously observed in stage III zebrafish ovarian follicles exposed to ≥3 M methanol persisted in those follicles that subsequently developed to stage IV. However, the decreased mtDNA levels were restored in those follicles. In order to determine whether mitochondrial distribution and/or their transport network was affected by the methanol exposure, immunocytochemistry analysis of tubulin and mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I (COX-I) was performed, along with phalloidin staining of polymerized actin. Neat arrangements of all proteins were observed in control follicles, with COX-I and tubulin being colocalized near granulosa cell nuclei, while actin formed hexagonal and/or polygonal structures nearer granulosa cell membranes and projected into the oocyte surface. Exposure to methanol (2 to 4 M) disrupted the COX-I and tubulin arrangements and the hexagonal and/or polygonal actin distribution and actin projections into the oocyte. These effects were still observed in those follicles that developed to stage IV, although the severity was reduced. In summary, the disruption to function and distribution of mitochondria in ovarian follicles exposed to >2 M methanol may be mediated via disruption of the mitochondrial transport system. Some recovery of this disruption may take place after methanol removal and subsequent follicle maturation.
    • Effect of slope on development of pahoehoe flow fields: evidence from Mount Etna

      Guest, John E.; Duncan, Angus M.; Stofan, Ellen R.; Anderson, Steve W. (Elsevier, 2012-03-15)
    • Environmental regulation of reproductive phase change in Agaricus bisporus by 1-octen-3-ol, temperature and CO2

      Eastwood, Daniel C.; Herman, Bram; Noble, Ralph; Dobrovin-Pennington, Andreja; Sreenivasaprasad, Surapareddy; Burton, Kerry S.; University of Swansea; University of Warwick; East Malling Research; University of Bedfordshire; et al. (Elsevier, 2013)
      Reproductive phase change from vegetative mycelium to the initiation of fruiting in Agaricus bisporus is regulated in large part by the sensing of environmental conditions. A model is proposed in which three separate environmental factors exert control at different stages of the reproductive developmental process change. The eight carbon volatile 1-octen-3-ol controls the early differentiation from vegetative hyphae to multicellular knots; temperature reduction is essential for the later differentiation of primodia; and carbon dioxide level exerts quantitative control on the number of fruiting bodies developed. Analysis of transcriptomic changes during the reproductive phase change was carried out with initiation-specific microarrays, and the newly published A. bisporus genome was used to analyse the promoter regions of differentially regulated genes. Our studies have shown there to be both early and late initiation responses relating to sensing of eight carbon volatiles and temperature respectively. A subset of 45 genes was transcriptionally regulated during the reproductive phase change which exhibited a range of functions including cell structure, nitrogen and carbon metabolism, and sensing and signalling. Three gene clusters linking increased transcription with developmental stage were identified. Analysis of promoter regions revealed cluster-specific conserved motifs indicative of co-ordinated regulation of transcription
    • Evidence for contemporary evolution during Darwin's lifetime

      Hart, Adam G.; Stafford, Richard; Smith, Angela L.; Goodenough, Anne Elizabeth (Elsevier, 2010-02-09)
    • Global warming and coral reefs: modelling the effect of temperature on Acropora Palmata colony growth

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Elsevier, 2007)
      Data on colony growth of the branching coral Acropora palmata from fringing reefs off Discovery Bay on the north coast of Jamaica have been obtained over the period 2002-2007 using underwater photography and image analysis by both SCUBA and remotely using an ROV incorporating twin lasers. Growth modelling shows that while logarithmic growth is an approximate model for growth, a 3:3 rational polynomial function provides a significantly better fit to growth data for this coral species. Over the period 2002-2007, involving several cycles of sea surface temperature (SST) change, the rate of growth of A. palmata was largely proportional to rate of change of SST, with R(2)=0.935. These results have implications for the influence of global warming and climate change on coral reef ecosystems.
    • A hard instrument goes soft: the implications of the Convention on Biological Diversity's current trajectory

      Harrop, Stuart R.; Pritchard, Diana J. (Elsevier, 2011)
      The relentless loss of biological diversity, which will have a direct impact on human society and degrade ecosystem buffers against the extremes of climate perturbation, requires a strong global governance response. Of the numerous international legal instruments relating to the protection of nature, the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is the most comprehensive. This paper examines its current emphasis on global biodiversity targets to extend our understanding of its trajectory, and its evolving nature as an instrument of global governance. We review CBD documents, and early examinations of its emergent character, in the context of the distinction between hard and soft law approaches, and combine analysis on the issue of targets from the literature on development, climate change and conservation biology. We emphasise that the CBD, created as a hard law instrument with a framework character, had the clear facility to develop subsidiary hard law instruments in the form of protocols but has not significantly followed this route.
    • Hurricanes and coral bleaching linked to changes in coral recruitment in Tobago

      Mallela, Jennie; Crabbe, M. James C. (Elsevier, 2009)
      Knowledge of coral recruitment patterns helps us understand how reefs react following major disturbances and provides us with an early warning system for predicting future reef health problems. The authors have reconstructed and interpreted historical and modern-day recruitment patterns, using a combination of growth modelling and in situ recruitment experiments, in order to understand how hurricanes, storms and bleaching events have influenced coral recruitment on the Caribbean coastline of Tobago. Whilst Tobago does not lie within the main hurricane belt results indicate that regional hurricane events negatively impact coral recruitment patterns in the Southern Caribbean. The results indicate that despite multiple large-scale disturbances corals are still recruiting on Tobago’s marginal reef systems, albeit in low numbers.
    • The importance of religion in shaping volcanic risk perception in Italy, with special reference to Vesuvius and Etna

      Chester, David K.; Duncan, Angus M.; Dibben, Christopher J.L.; University of Liverpool; University of Bedfordshire; University of St. Andrews (Elsevier, 2008)
      With the exception of societies that are relatively untouched by modernism, the academic consensus holds that since the Eighteenth Century Enlightenment popular perception of divine responsibility for disasters has been progressively replaced by a perspective that views losses as resulting from the effects of extreme natural events upon vulnerable human populations. Nature is considered to be de-moralised. By means of examples of volcanic eruptions that have occurred over the past one hundred and fifty years and which transcend place, culture and faith tradition, the present authors have maintained a contrasting position, by arguing that religious perspectives are still important features of the ways in which people in many societies perceive volcanic eruptions. In the present paper it is argued that religious terms of reference have been and remain vital elements in the perceptions held by a significant proportion of the population in southern Italy when confronted by volcanic eruptions, particularly those that have occurred on Vesuvius and Etna. Within the context of what is termed popular Catholicism, the development of distinctive religious responses in pre-industrial times is first described.
    • A novel method for the transport and analysis of genetic material from polyps and zooxanthellae of scleractinian corals

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Elsevier, 2003)
      We have developed a new simple method for transport, storage, and analysis of genetic material from the corals Agaricia agaricites, Dendrogyra cylindrica, Eusmilia ancora, Meandrina meandrites, Montastrea annularis, Porites astreoides, Porites furcata, Porites porites, and Siderastrea siderea at room temperature. All species yielded sufficient DNA from a single FTA® card (19 μg–43 ng) for subsequent PCR amplification of both coral and zooxanthellar DNA. The D1 and D2 variable region of the large subunit rRNA gene (LSUrDNA) was amplified from the DNA of P. furcata and S. siderea by PCR. Electrophoresis yielded two major DNA bands: an 800-base pair (bp) DNA, which represented the coral ribosomal RNA (rRNA) gene, and a 600-bp DNA, which represented the zooxanthellar srRNA gene. Extraction of DNA from the bands yielded between 290 μg total DNA (S. siderea coral DNA) and 9 μg total DNA (P. furcata zooxanthellar DNA). The ability to transport and store genetic material from scleractinian corals without resort to laboratory facilities in the field allows for the molecular study of a far wider range and variety of coral sites than have been studied to date.
    • Scleractinian coral population size structures and growth rates indicate coral resilience on the fringing reefs of North Jamaica

      Crabbe, M. James C. (Elsevier, 2009)
      This paper quantifies the size structure of populations and the growth rates of corals from 2000 to 2008 to test whether the Discovery Bay coral colonies showed resilience in the face of multiple acute stressors of hurricanes and bleaching. These studies indicate good levels of coral resilience on the fringing reefs around Discovery Bay in Jamaica.