Browsing by Author "Kregting, Louise"
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ItemThe accumulation of microplastic pollution in a commercially important fishing ground.(Nature Research, 2022-03-10) Cunningham, Eoghan M.; Ehlers, Sonja M.; Kiriakoulakis, Konstadinos; Schuchert, Pia; Jones, Nia H.; Kregting, Louise; Woodall, Lucy C.; Dick, Jaimie T.A.The Irish Sea is an important area for Norway Lobster Nephrops norvegicus fisheries, which are the most valuable fishing resource in the UK. Norway lobster are known to ingest microplastic pollution present in the sediment and have displayed reduced body mass when exposed to microplastic pollution. Here, we identified microplastic pollution in the Irish Sea fishing grounds through analysis of 24 sediment samples from four sites of differing proximity to the Western Irish Sea Gyre in both 2016 and 2019. We used µFTIR spectroscopy to identify seven polymer types, and a total of 77 microplastics consisting of fibres and fragments. The mean microplastics per gram of sediment ranged from 0.13 to 0.49 and 0 to 1.17 MP/g in 2016 and 2019, respectively. There were no differences in the microplastic counts across years, and there was no correlation of microplastic counts with proximity to the Western Irish Sea Gyre. Considering the consistently high microplastic abundance found in the Irish Sea, and the propensity of N. norvegicus to ingest and be negatively impacted by them, we suggest microplastic pollution levels in the Irish Sea may have adverse impacts on N. norvegicus and negative implications for fishery sustainability in the future. ItemRhamnolipids Mediate the Effects of a Gastropod Grazer in Regards to Carbon–Nitrogen Stoichiometry of Intertidal Microbial Biofilms(MDPI, 2022-12-12) Gill, Stephanie P.; Kregting, Louise; Banat, Ibrahim M.; Arnscheidt, Joerg; Hunter, BillyMicrobial biofilms have co-evolved with grazing animals, such as gastropods, to develop mutually beneficial relationships. Although microbial biofilms demonstrate resilience and resistance to chemical exposure, pre-existing relationships can be negatively affected by chemical input. In this study, we determined how the grazer, Littorina littorea (common periwinkle sea snail), and a biological surfactant (rhamnolipid) interact on a phototrophic marine biofilm. Biofilms were cultured in 32 twenty-liter buckets at the Queen’s University Marine Laboratory in Portaferry, Northern Ireland on clay tiles that were either exposed to 150 ppm of a rhamnolipid solution or that had no chemical exposure. L. littorea were added into half of the buckets, and biofilms were developed over 14 days. Biofilms exposed to grazing alone demonstrated high tolerance to the disturbance, while those growing on rhamnolipid-exposed substrate demonstrated resistance but experienced slight declines in carbon and stoichiometric ratios. However, when exposed to both, biofilms had significant decreases in stoichiometry and declined in productivity and respiration. This is problematic, as continuing marine pollution increases the likelihood that biofilms will be exposed to combinations of stressors and disturbances. Loss of biofilm productivity within these areas could lead to the loss of an important food source and nutrient cycler within the marine ecosystem. ItemUsing Coupled Hydrodynamic Biogeochemical Models to Predict the Effects of Tidal Turbine Arrays on Phytoplankton Dynamics(MDPI, 2018-05-22) Schuchert, Pia; Kregting, Louise; Pritchard, Daniel; Savidge, Graham; Elsasser, BjornThe effects of large scale tidal energy device (TED) arrays on phytoplankton processes owing to the changes in hydrodynamic flows are unknown. Coupled two-dimensional biogeochemical and hydrodynamic models offer the opportunity to predict potential effects of large scale TED arrays on the local and regional phytoplankton dynamics in coastal and inshore environments. Using MIKE 21 Software by DHI (https://www.dhigroup.com), coupled two-dimensional biogeochemical and hydrodynamic models were developed with simulations including no turbines or an array of 55 turbines with four solar radiation scenarios to assess the temporal and spatial changes of phytoplankton dynamics in an idealised domain. Results suggest that the effect of TEDs on phytoplankton dynamics accounted for up to 25% of the variability in phytoplankton concentrations, most likely associated with an increased residence time in an inshore basin. However, natural variation, such as the intensity of photosynthetically active radiation, had a larger effect on phytoplankton dynamics than an array of TEDs