Carriço, Rita; Amorim, Maria Clara Pessoa; Fonseca, Paulo Jorge
Male reproductive success often depends on male attributes and resource quality. Here, we examined male
preference for nest size in the Lusitanian toadfish, a nest-guarding fish with parental care.We also investigated
the combined effect of male length and nest size in male breeding success. Approximately 80 shelters with five
different sizes were placed on an intertidal zone of the Tagus estuary. Nests were checked every fortnight at
spring low tides for occupation, nest-holder length, and number of eggs. Males did not select for the larger
nests despite their availability but showed size assortative nest choice. Only nest size was a significant predictor
of clutch size in...
Santos, Manuel Eduardo dos
Santos, Carla Sousa; Robalo, Joana Isabel; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
This study presents the first ethological description
of the reproductive behaviour of the cyprinid Squalius
pyrenaicus, endemic to the Iberian Peninsula. The behavioural
pattern of this endangered species during the breeding season
is non-communal and includes the preparation of a spawning
pit (depressions in the substratum) by males, a behaviour not
described for Iberian cyprinids so far but already reported for
North American cyprinids. The courting behaviour of males
displaying in spawning pits has a strong signalling component
towards females. Males from this species also showed agonistic
behaviours against other males, related with the defence
of their spawning pits. A positive association between male
dominance and courtship activity is discussed, as well...
McGregor, Peter K.; Oliveira, Rui Filipe
Santos, Carla Sousa; Gante, Hugo F.; Cunha, Pedro Proença da; Martins, António Antunes; Arruda, Marco; Alves, Maria Judite
The use of molecular techniques has shown that
hybridization and introgression have significant impacts in
evolution, by means of transfer of genetic variation and
formation of hybrid species. In this paper we use mitochondrial
and nuclear sequence data to investigate the
evolutionary history, levels of genetic diversity and population
differentiation of a rare and endangered fish species.
Our results suggest that a hybrid origin scenario of Chondrostoma
olisiponensis is a likely explanation for the
shared genetic and morphological traits with Iberochondrostoma
and Achondrostoma ? Pseudochondrostoma. The
basal positioning of C. olisiponensis alleles in all loci
analyzed indicates that hybridization events occurred
before differentiation within each of these groups, most
likely during Middle–Late Miocene. Originally...
Millot, Sandie; Cerqueira, Marco; Castanheira, Maria Filipa; Overli, Oyvind; Martins, Catarina I. M.; Oliveira, Rui Filipe
Animal welfare has been defined as the balance between positive and negative experiences or affective states. Despite the growing evidence of complex cognitive abilities and the expression of affective states such as pain and fear, very little is known about ability to experience memory based affective states in non-mammalian animal models. The goal of this study was to validate conditioned place preference/avoidance (CPP/CPA) tests as a method to assess the affective valence of environmental stimuli in teleost fishes. Physiological and behavioural indicators of affective state were used to characterise the response to a priori appetitive and aversive stimuli in CPP/CPA...
Mestre, Frederico; Bragança, Marco P.; Nunes, Antonieta; Santos, Manuel Eduardo dos
Rehabilitation is an important part of sea turtle conservation, and post-release tracking of the animals is both a way of obtaining information on their movements and behaviour and, at least temporarily, monitoring the success of the rehabilitation process. Two green turtles, Chelonia mydas, and one loggerhead turtle, Caretta caretta, were rehabilitated after long periods in captivity, and their movements followed by satellite tracking after their release near the south of Portugal. Location data were obtained for an average of 688 days after release. All three animals showed a directional movement and the last observed locations coincided with known feeding areas...
Phillips, John B. Phillips; Jorge, Paulo
Granadeiro, José Pedro; Brickle, Paul; Catry, Paulo
Fisheries can have profound impacts on the structure and functioning of marine
ecosystems and affect seabird populations. For seabirds, impacts can include
direct mortality in fishing gear, but fisheries also represent an abundant source of
food that may otherwise be inaccessible. Previous studies with seabirds have
revealed the occurrence of individual foraging specializations, and therefore in
scavenging species some individuals may have a higher propensity to feed on
fisheries discharges than the rest of the population. Here we used recently developed
techniques (spatio-temporal match of positions) to detect interactions
between black-browed albatrosses Thalassarche melanophris and fishing vessels,
and also stable isotope analysis of tissues with different turnovers, to investigate
Costa, Bárbara Horta e; Gonçalves, Leonel; Gonçalves, Emanuel João
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly proposed as a fisheries management tool besides theirconservation purposes. When assessing the ecological, economic, and social-cultural impacts of protec-tion, the dynamics of fisheries and fishers reallocation within and around multiple-use MPAs should beanalyzed. Despite this, few studies incorporate the baseline information of fisheries distribution, there-fore compromising an understanding of fishers’ preferences, choices and constrains before losing fishinggrounds through the establishment of zoning and protection measures. To fulfil this gap, here we assessthe spatial and seasonal fishers’ preferences from local artisanal fisheries (nets, traps, jigs and longlines)before the implementation of a MPA management plan (the...
Dias, Maria P.; Lecoq, Miguel; Moniz, Filipe; Rabaça, João E.
Estuarine areas worldwide are under intense
pressure due to human activities such as upstream dam
building. Shorebirds strongly depend on estuarine intertidal
flats during migration and wintering periods and so are
particularly vulnerable to such impacts, whose magnitude
will depend on the availability of alternative feeding habitats.
In this study we analyze if man-made saltpans can
represent an alternative habitat for wintering and migrating
shorebirds in the Guadiana estuary, a wetland that is
already experiencing environmental changes due to the
building of the Alqueva reservoir, the largest in Western
Europe. We compared the use of mudflats and saltpans as
feeding areas by several shorebird species before the construction
of the dam. A dataset...
Xavier, José C.; Barbosa, Andrés; Agustí, Susana; Alonso-Sáez, Laura; Alvito, Pedro; Ameneiro, Julia; Ávila, Conxita; Baeta, Alexandra; Canário, João; Carmona, Raquel; Catry, Paulo; Ceia, Filipe; Clark, Melody S.; Cristobo, Francisco J.; Cruz, Bruno; Duarte, Carlos M.; Figuerola, Blanca; Gili, Josep-Maria; Gonçalves, Ana R.; Gordillo, Francisco J. L.; Granadeiro, José Pedro; Guerreiro, Miguel; Isla, Enrique; Jiménez, Carlos; López-González, Pablo J.; Lourenço, Sílvia; Marques, João C.; Moreira, Elena; Mota, Ana M.; Nogueira, Marta; Núñez-Pons, Laura; Orejas, Covadonga; Paiva, Vitor H.; Palanques, Albert; Pearson, Gareth A.; Pedrós-Alió, Carlos; Peña Cantero, Álvaro L.; Power, Deborah M.; Ramos, Jaime; Rossi, Sergi; Seco, José; Sañé, Elisabet; Serrão, Ester A.; Taboada, Sergi; Tavares, Sílvia; Teixidó, Núria; Vaqué, Dolors; Valente, Tiago; Vázquez, Elsa; Vieira, Rui P.; Viñegla, Benjamin
Polar marine ecosystems have global ecological and economic importance because of their unique biodiversity and their major role in climate processes and commercial fisheries, among others. Portugal and Spain have been highly active in a wide range of disciplines in marine biology of the Antarctic and the Arctic. The main aim of this paper is to provide a synopsis of some of the results and initiatives undertaken by Portuguese and Spanish polar teams within the field of marine sciences, particularly on benthic and pelagic biodiversity (species diversity and abundance, including microbial, molecular, physiological and chemical mechanisms in polar organisms), conservation...
Carreira, Bruno M.; Dias, Maria P.; Rebelo, Rui
Crayfish are major herbivores in freshwaters,
and their activity may change invaded freshwater
ecosystems. Macrophyte removal by crayfish results
from consumption and fragmentation of plant material
and may depend upon the palatability of each species.
We studied the impact of Procambarus clarkii on the
macrophyte community of Mediterranean temporary
ponds, testing in laboratory if consumption and
fragmentation of five macrophyte species were correlated
in palatability tests and in a preference test. We
performed an experiment in a natural pond, where we
introduced crayfish and estimated its effects on
macrophyte biomass, number of rooted stalks and
number of floating cut stalks. P. clarkii consumed
preferably Juncus heterophyllus in both tests and
avoided Carex divisa and Ranunculus...
Malone, Thomas C.; DiGiacomo, Paul M.; Gonçalves, Emanuel João; Knap, Anthony H.; Talaue-McManus, Liana; Mora, Stephen de
Sustainable development depends on maintaining ecosystem services which are concentrated in coastal marine and estuarine ecosystems. Analyses of the science needed to manage human uses of ecosystem services have concentrated on terrestrial ecosystems. Our focus is on the provision of multidisciplinary data needed to inform adaptive, ecosystem-based approaches (EBAs) for maintaining coastal ecosystem services based on comparative ecosystem analyses. Key indicators of pressures on coastal ecosystems, ecosystem states and the impacts of changes in states on services are identified for monitoring and analysis at a global coastal network of sentinel sites nested in the ocean-climate observing system. Biodiversity is targeted...
Brito, Ana C.; Benyoucef, Ismaїl; Jesus, Bruno; Brotas, Vanda; Gernez, Pierre; Mendes, Carlos Rafael; Launeau, Patrick; Dias, Maria P.; Barillé, Laurent
The spatio-temporal variation of microphytobenthos (MPB) at the scale of a large estuary (Tagus estuary,
Portugal) was studied using a combination of field and satellite remot esensing data during 2003.This is
the first attempt to use remote sensing to study MPB in an ecosystem with a Mediterranean -like climate.
Satellite pour l'Observation de la Terre(SPOT) and Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer(MERIS)
images were used to map benthic microalgae through the application of a Normalized Difference
Vegetation index (NDVI).A significant relationship between in-situ benthic chlorophyll a measurements
and SPOT NDVI values was used to derive a map for biomass spatial distribution.
At the scale of the whole intertidal area,...
Vasconcelos, Raquel Ornelas; Ladich, Friedrich
The ontogenetic development of acoustic communication has so far only been investigated in one fish species. In order to
determine whether detectability of conspecific sounds changes during growth in a species with limited hearing abilities
(generalist), we investigated the development of auditory sensitivity and agonistic vocalizations in the Lusitanian toadfish
Halobatrachus didactylus. Agonistic grunts were recorded, their sound pressure levels determined, and auditory sensitivities
measured in five different size groups ranging from 3 to 32·cm standard length. Hearing thresholds were obtained using the
auditory evoked potentials (AEP) recording technique. Dominant frequency, sound duration and number of pulses decreased,
whereas pulse period and sound level increased with...
Vasconcelos, Raquel Ornelas; Amorim, Maria Clara Pessoa; Ladich, Friedrich
Underwater noise pollution is an increasing
environmental problem which might affect
communication, behaviour, fitness and consequently
species’ survival. The most common anthropogenic noises
in aquatic habitats derive from shipping. In the present
study we investigated the implications of noise pollution
from a ship on the sound detectability, namely of
conspecific vocalizations in the Lusitanian toadfish,
Halobatrachus didactylus. Ambient and ferry-boat noises
were recorded in the Tagus River estuary (Portugal), as
well as toadfish sounds, and their sound pressure levels
determined. Hearing sensitivities were measured under
quiet lab conditions and in the presence of these masking
noises at levels encountered in the field, using the auditory
evoked potentials (AEP) recording technique. The
Lusitanian toadfish is a...
Godley, Brendan J.; Barbosa, Castro; Bruford, Michael; Broderick, Annette C.; Catry, Paulo; Coyne, Michael S.; Formia, Angela; Hays, Graeme C; Witt, Matthew J.
1. Comprehensive knowledge of the fundamental spatial ecology of marine species is critical to
allow the identification of key habitats and the likely sources of anthropogenic threats, thus informing
effective conservation strategies.
2. Research on migratory marine vertebrates has lagged behind many similar terrestrial animal
groups, but studies using electronic tagging systems and molecular techniques offer great insights.
3. Marine turtles have complex life history patterns, spanning wide spatio-temporal scales. As a
result of this multidimensional complexity, and despite extensive effort, there are no populations for
which a truly holistic understanding of the spatial aspects of the life history has been attained. There
is a particular lack of...
Catry, Paulo; Phillips, Richard A.; Forster, Isaac P.; Matias, Rafael; Lecoq, Miguel; Granadeiro, José Pedro; Strange, Ian J.
In birds, the period spent brooding or guarding young chicks is highly variable, but such variation has seldom been
studied. Previous single-year studies of Antarctic petrels Thalassoica antarctica and grey-headed albatrosses Thalassarche
chrysostoma revealed a pronounced seasonal decline in brood-guarding duration and gave rise to the ‘synchronisation
hypothesis’, which suggests that some of the variation in the length of the brood-guarding stage is related to predictable
seasonal changes in the risk of chick predation. We tested the predictions of this and three other hypotheses in a two-site,
four-year study of the black-browed albatross T. melanophris. The existence of a pronounced seasonal decline in broodguarding
Pérez-Portela, Rocío; Villamor, A.; Almada, Vítor Carvalho
We explore the phylogeography of the broadcast
spawner Marthasterias glacialis along south Europe
and Azores. Sequences of the cytochrome c oxidase gene
from 225 specimens, belonging to 10 localities, were
analysed. We found 73 haplotypes grouped within two
lineages (divergence 2.9%). One lineage was Atlanto–
Mediterranean, whereas another one was exclusively
Mediterranean. Estimation of lineages split goes back to
830,000–580,000 (±120,000) years ago. This suggests that
sea-level oscillations during the Pleistocene glaciations
promoted gene flow interruption, lineage divergence
between basins and cryptic speciation. Secondary contact
between populations allowed a recolonization of the
Mediterranean by the Atlantic lineage. When animals of
the Atlanto–Mediterranean lineage were considered separately,
Fst index and AMOVA did not show significant