• 57Fe Mössbauer spectroscopy investigations of iron oxidation states in the Harmattan dust nutrient contribution to West African soils

      Adetunji, Jacob; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2014-09-09)
      A variety of investigations have been carried out on Harmattan dust over many decades demonstrating the continuing importance of the Harmattan dust phenomenon. The investigations have included elemental enrichment factors, mineralogical nutrient input through dust deposition on the soil, meteorological studies, etc. Harmattan dust is important, not only for its impact on radio communication and low visibility in the shipping lanes over the Atlantic, but also on the livelihood and health of people living in countries over which the dust-laden Harmattan wind blows. However, so far, the aspect of nutrient mineral deposition on the soil has not been thoroughly investigated and requires attention, since the majority of people living in West Africa rely heavily on agriculture. It is therefore relevant to know the useful nutrients in the Harmattan dust deposited on soils of the region. This study is therefore aimed at determining the ferric-ferrous ratio of the iron-bearing minerals contained in the Harmattan dust, so their nutritional contribution can be considered. The Mössbauer technique is a powerful tool for studying the ferric-ferrous ratio and has therefore been used, for the first time, to determine the oxidation states of iron in the dust samples. The results of the analysis show that the Harmattan dust is seriously deficient in ferrous iron, which is the more soluble Fe-ion, needed in the soil for healthy crops and plants in general.
    • All that Glisters is not Gold: Sensory Bias, Sexual Conflict and Nuptial Feeding in Insects and Spiders

      Vahed, Karim; University of Derby (Wiley, 2007-02)
      It is becoming increasingly clear that the evolutionary interests of the sexes are often in conflict when it comes to mating. Sexual encounters involving nuptial gifts, however, have often been viewed as prime examples of sexual co-operation, rather than conflict. In this review, I explore the proposition that nuptial gifts act as sensory traps: by exploiting the female's gustatory responses, the male may be able to entice females to accept superfluous matings and/or transfer greater volumes of ejaculate than are in the female's reproductive interests. Evidence suggests that the females' sensory biases may have played an important role in shaping gift characteristics in at least four different systems, although relatively few forms of nuptial feeding have so far been examined from this perspective. I argue that gift composition is more likely to be tailored to increasing the attractiveness of the gift to the female and/or maximizing gift handling time than to suit the female's nutritional needs and that the fecundity-enhancing benefits of nuptial gifts are often questionable and have been over-stated in the literature. Fertilization biases associated with the female's attraction to the nuptial gift, however, could lead to in-direct benefits for the female. On the other hand, nuptial feeding may also lead to significant costs to the female. Evidence suggests that some types of gift entice the female to mate, but it is not clear whether the resultant degree of polyandry is higher than optimal for the female. In other cases, evidence suggests that the gift enables the male to overcome the resistance of the female to accepting an extra large ejaculate and that large ejaculates are associated with longer post-mating sexual refractory periods in the female. This could represent a cost to the female by delaying or preventing her from receiving the genetic benefits of polyandry. At present, it is not clear, however, whether such costs outweigh the potential benefits of nuptial feeding for the female.
    • Anti-predation strategy, growth rate and extinction amongst Pliocene scallops of the US eastern seaboard

      Johnson, Andrew L. A.; Valentine, Annemarie; Leng, Melanie J.; Sloane, Hilary J.; Schoene, Bernd; Surge, Donna; University of Derby; University of Loughborough; British Geological Survey; University of Mainz; et al. (2017-06-29)
      Placopecten, Chesapecten and Carolinapecten are scallop genera occurring in the Pliocene of the US eastern seaboard. The first (extant) is a smooth, streamlined form, adept at escaping predators by swimming (‘flight’ strategy). The other two (extinct) are plicate forms. Plication facilitates a ‘resistance’ strategy towards predators which is benefited by large size and high shell thickness - maximally so if these states are achieved early in life. Oxygen isotope profiles show that in early ontogeny, Pliocene Placopecten grew at the same moderate rate as modern Placopecten. By contrast, Chesapecten grew as fast as the fastest-growing modern scallop and developed an unusually thick shell, while Carolinapecten grew substantially faster still, this probably enabled by high primary productivity. Extinction of these genera, and survival of Placopecten, can be attributed to a decline in productivity which prevented a maximally effective ‘resistance’ strategy towards predators but had no deleterious impact on a ‘flight’ strategy.
    • Anti-predation strategy, growth rate and extinction amongst Pliocene scallops of the US eastern seaboard

      Johnson, Andrew L. A.; Valentine, Annemarie; Leng, Melanie J.; Sloane, Hilary J.; Schoene, Bernd; Surge, Donna; University of Derby; University of Loughborough; British Geological Survey; University of Mainz; et al. (2017-07-07)
      Placopecten, Chesapecten and Carolinapecten are scallop (pectinid bivalve) genera occurring in the Pliocene of the US eastern seaboard. The first, present in the area today, is a smooth, streamlined form, adept at escaping predators by swimming (‘flight’ strategy). The other two, which are extinct, are plicate (‘ribbed’) forms. Plication facilitates a ‘resistance’ strategy towards predators which is benefited by large size and high shell thickness - maximally so if these states are achieved early in life. Oxygen isotope (δ18O) profiles show that early ontogenetic extensional growth in Pliocene Placopecten was at the same moderate rate as in modern Placopecten. By contrast, in Chesapecten it was as fast as in the fastest-growing modern scallop (c. 80 mm/annum), and accompanied by development of an unusually thick shell, while in Carolinapecten it was substantially faster still (<140 mm/annum). Rapid growth in Chesapecten and Carolinapecten may have been enabled by high primary productivity, which is indicated by the abundance, diversity and large size of co-occurring vertebrates. The extinction of Chesapecten and Carolinapecten, and the survival of Placopecten, can be attributed to a decline in primary productivity which prevented a maximally effective ‘resistance’ strategy towards predators but had no deleterious impact on a ‘flight’ strategy.
    • Anti-predation strategy, growth rate and extinction amongst Pliocene scallops of the US eastern seaboard

      Johnson, Andrew L. A.; Valentine, Annemarie; Leng, Melanie J.; Sloane, Hilary J.; Schöne, Bernd R.; Surge, Donna; University of Derby; University of Loughborough; British Geological Survey; University of Mainz; et al. (European Geosciences Union, 2017-04-28)
      Placopecten, Chesapecten and Carolinapecten are scallop (pectinid bivalve) genera occurring in the Pliocene of the US eastern seaboard. The first, present in the area today, is a smooth, streamlined form, adept at escaping predators by swimming (‘flight’ strategy). The other two, which are extinct, are plicate (‘ribbed’) forms. Plication facilitates a ‘resistance’ strategy towards predators which is benefited by large size and high shell thickness - maximally so if these states are achieved early in life. Oxygen isotope profiles show that early ontogenetic extensional growth in Pliocene Placopecten was at the same moderate rate as in modern Placopecten. By contrast, in Chesapecten it was as fast as in the fastest-growing modern scallop (c. 80 mm/annum), and accompanied by development of an unusually thick shell, while in Carolinapecten it was substantially faster still (<150 mm/annum). Rapid growth in Chesapecten and Carolinapecten was probably enabled by high primary productivity, for which there is evidence from sediment composition and the associated biota. The extinction of Chesapecten and Carolinapecten, and the survival of Placopecten, can be attributed to a decline in primary productivity which prevented a maximally effective ‘resistance’ strategy towards predators but had no deleterious impact on a ‘flight’ strategy.
    • The application of games in higher education

      Robinson, Louise; University of Derby (Keele University, 2016-08-10)
    • Archaean chromitites show constant Fe 3+ /ΣFe in Earth's asthenospheric mantle since 3.8 Ga

      Rollinson, Hugh; Adetunji, Jacob; Lenaz, Davide; Szilas, Kristoffer; University of Derby; University of Trieste; Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (Elsevier, 2017-03-29)
      Theoretical and planetary studies show that the Earth’s upper mantle is more oxidised than it should be. The mechanism by which this took place and the timing of the oxidation is contested. Here we present new Mössbauer spectroscopy measurements of the ionic ratio Fe3+/(Fe3++Fe2+) in the mineral chromite hosted in mantle-derived melts to show that there is no change in mantle Fe3+/(Fe3++Fe2+) ratio before and after the oxidation of the Earth’s atmosphere at ca. 2.4 Ga and over Earth history from 3.8 Ga to 95 Ma. Our finding supports the view that the oxidation of the asthenospheric mantle was very early and that the oxygenation of the Earth’s atmosphere was not directly coupled to mantle processes.
    • Archaean crustal evolution in West Africa: A new synthesis of the Archaean geology in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast

      Rollinson, Hugh; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2016-05-12)
      A new synthesis of the geology and geochronology of the little-known Archaean rocks in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast is presented in order to better understand the processes of Archaean crustal evolution in this region, and to attempt to interpret these data in the light of our current understanding of Archaean crustal evolution. In addition, this study seeks to identify those aspects of Archaean crustal evolution which are currently not known in this area and which need to become the subject of future studies, given the economic importance of this region in terms of the mineral deposits hosted in the Archaean rocks. These include greenstone-belt hosted iron ore, lode gold, chromite and columbite-tantalite and younger diamondiferous kimberlites intrusive into Archaean felsic gneisses. The new results show that this cratonic nucleus comprises of four main geological units: 1. The oldest crust is made up of 3.5-3.6 Ga TTG (tonalite-trondjemite-granodiorite) gneisses. These only outcrop in the east of the craton in Guinea but their presence is indicated elsewhere in the central part of the craton though xenocrystic zircon cores in younger rocks. 2. The major rock type found throughout the craton is 3.26-2.85 Ga TTG gneiss. In detail these magmas are thought to have formed in two episodes one between 3.05-3.26 Ga and the other between 2.85-2.96 Ga. The presence of inherited zircons in the younger suite indicate that this event represents the partial reworking of the older gneisses. 3.4 Ga eclogite xenoliths in kimberlite derived from the sub-continental lithospheric mantle are thought to be the restite after the partial melting of a basaltic protolith in the production of the TTG magmas. 3. Supracrustal rocks form linear belts infolded into the TTG gneisses and metamorphosed to amphibolite and granulite grade. They are of different sizes, contain a variety of lithological sequences and may be of several different ages. The larger supracrustal belts in Sierra Leone contain a thick basalt-komatiite sequence derived by the partial melting of two different mantle sources, unconformably overlain by a sedimentary formation. They are seen as an important resource for gold, iron-ore, chromite and columbite-tantalite. 4. A suite of late Archaean granitoids formed by the partial melting of the TTG gneisses in a craton wide deformation-metamorphic-partial melting event at 2800 +/- 20 Ma. This thermal event is thought to be responsible for the stabilisation of the craton. This new synthesis highlights major geological and geochronological similarities between the Archaean rocks of Sierra Leone, Liberia, Guinea and Ivory Coast and those in the Reguibat Shield in the northern part of the West African Craton suggesting that the two regions were once more closely related.
    • The assessment of dog barking noise from kennels

      Brosnan, Damian; Pritchard, John; University of Derby (Institute of Acoustics, 2016-05-01)
      In light of the plethora of guidance documents available for a wide range of noise sources and activities, the absence of a document specific to dog barking is unfortunate, and a glaring omission in the noise guidance library. In the absence of any existing guidance documents, approaches adopted by Noise Consultants and Local Authority EHOs in the British Isles are highly variable, and no emerging trends are readily apparent, apart from widespread misapplication of BS 4142:1997 when assessing impacts. Although the 2014 version of the standard specifically precludes application to domestic animal noise, several interviewed Consultants indicate that they intend to apply same due to the absence of any other guidance. All Consultants interviewed acknowledged the need for a kennel noise guidance document which will allow a consistent approach to be adopted by Consultants and planning authorities alike. Such a document might include guidance on measurement methodology, predictive modelling, noise limits, and advice on kennel design and noise management, and would benefit Planning Departments, Environmental Health personnel, kennel operators and Noise Consultants. It is considered that the derivation of suitable noise limits would require some element of social annoyance studies relating to barking noise, in order to identify (a) a suitable noise descriptor and (b) thresholds of annoyance. A barking noise guidance document may benefit from inclusion of an assessment methodology based on a specified number of barks to be measured, similar to the method set out in the CIEH clay target shooting guidance document.
    • Azara's owl monkeys in the Humid Chaco: Primatological long-term studies in Argentina.

      Juárez, Cecilia P.; Huck, Maren; Fernandez-Duque, Eduardo; Universidad Nacional de Formosa; Proyecto Mirikiná; University of Derby; Yale University (Sociedad Argentina para el Estudio de los Mamíferos (SAREM), 2017)
      The Owl Monkey Project started in 1996 as a multi-disciplinary program on the Azara's owl monkey of the Argentinian Chaco. The main goals of the project have been to investigate the evolution of the monogamous mating system and parental care of this species. The project has expanded and, for many years, we have also been exploring the potential relationship between demography, the spatial and temporal distribution of food resources, and the monogamous social organization of the species. Additionally, since 2007, we expanded our studies to include the examination of groups that inhabit two different natural habitat types in the humid Chaco of Formosa Province. In this chapter, we use data from 20 years of study, to elucidate factors underlying the demographic structure of different owl monkey groups inhabiting different types of habitats. The study was conducted in the Estancia Guaycolec (a private 25,000-ha cattle ranch) and in Río Pilcomayo National Park (a 52,000-ha protected area). In each study area, two sub-sets of owl monkey groups could be identified: those within the gallery forests (continuous habitat), and groups in forest patches. Our results confirm that the estimated densities for the private ranch are higher than in the National Park. In contrast, group size, birth rates and age structure were similar between sites. Group sizes, birth rates, and specific densities were larger for gallery forests than for forest patches at both study sites. Our studies contribute to the understanding of the evolution of social monogamy and male care, and also provides information on the demography and habitat use of a species that has been declared a Natural Monument in the Province of Formosa.
    • Baseline coral disease surveys within three marine parks in Sabah, Borneo

      Sweet, Michael J.; Wood, Elizabeth; Miller, Jennifer; Bythell, John C.; University of Derby; School of Biology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; School of Biology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; Marine Conservation Society, Ross-On-Wye, UK; School of Biology, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK (PeerJ Inc., 2015-11-03)
      Two of the most significant threats to coral reefs worldwide are bleaching and disease. However, there has been a scarcity of research on coral disease in South-East Asia, despite the high biodiversity and the strong dependence of local communities on the reefs in the region. This study provides baseline data on coral disease frequencies within three national parks in Sabah, Borneo, which exhibit different levels of human impacts and management histories. High mean coral cover (55%) and variable disease frequency (mean 0.25 diseased colonies m−2) were found across the three sites. Highest disease frequency (0.44 diseased colonies per m 2) was seen at the site closest to coastal population centres. Bleaching and pigmentation responses were actually higher at Sipadan, the more remote, offshore site, whereas none of the other coral diseases detected in the other two parks were detected in Sipadan. Results of this study offer a baseline dataset of disease in these parks and indicate the need for continued monitoring, and suggest that coral colonies in parks under higher anthropogenic stressors and with lower coral cover may be more susceptible to contracting disease.
    • Baseline reef health surveys at Bangka Island (North Sulawesi, Indonesia) reveal new threats

      Fratangeli, Francesca; Dondi, Nicolò; Segre Reinach, Marco; Serra, Clara; Sweet, Michael J.; Ponti, Massimo; University of Derby; Dipartimento di Scienze Biologiche, Geologiche e Ambientali, University of Bologna, Ravenna, Italy; Reef Check Italia onlus, Ancona, Italy; Reef Check Italia onlus, Ancona, Italy; et al. (PeerJ Inc., 2016-10-25)
      Worldwide coral reef decline appears to be accompanied by an increase in the spread of hard coral diseases. However, whether this is the result of increased direct and indirect human disturbances and/or an increase in natural stresses remains poorly understood. The provision of baseline surveys for monitoring coral health status lays the foundations to assess the effects of any such anthropogenic and/or natural effects on reefs. Therefore, the objectives of this present study were to provide a coral health baseline in a poorly studied area, and to investigate possible correlations between coral health and the level of anthropogenic and natural disturbances. During the survey period, we recorded 20 different types of coral diseases and other compromised health statuses. The most abundant were cases of coral bleaching, followed by skeletal deformations caused by pyrgomatid barnacles, damage caused by fish bites, general pigmentation response and galls caused by cryptochirid crabs. Instances of colonies affected by skeletal eroding bands, and sedimentation damage increased in correlation to the level of bio-chemical disturbance and/or proximity to villages. Moreover, galls caused by cryptochirid crabs appeared more abundant at sites affected by blast fishing and close to a newly opened metal mine. Interestingly, in the investigated area the percentage of corals showing signs of ‘common’ diseases such as black band disease, brown band disease, white syndrome and skeletal eroding band disease were relatively low. Nevertheless, the relatively high occurrence of less common signs of compromised coral-related reef health, including the aggressive overgrowth by sponges, deserves further investigation. Although diseases appear relatively low at the current time, this area may be at the tipping point and an increase in activities such as mining may irredeemably compromise reef health.
    • Bioavailability of iodine in the UK-Peak District environment and its human bioaccessibility: an assessment of the causes of historical goitre in this area

      Mehra, Aradhana; Saikat, Sohel Quaderi; Carter, Joy E.; University of Derby (Springer, 2014-02)
      Iodine is an essential micronutrient for human health. Its deficiency causes a number of functional and developmental abnormalities such as goitre. The limestone region of Derbyshire, UK was goitre-endemic until it declined from the 1930s and the reason for this has escaped a conclusive explanation. The present study investigates the cause(s) of goitre in the UK-Peak District area through an assessment of iodine in terms of its environmental mobility, bioavailability, uptake into the food chain and human bioaccessibility. The goitre-endemic limestone area is compared with the background millstone grit area of the UK-Peak District. The findings of this study show that 'total' environmental iodine is not linked to goitre in the limestone area, but the governing factors include iodine mobility, bioavailability and bioaccessibility. Compared with the millstone grit area, higher soil pH and calcium content of the limestone area restrict iodine mobility in this area, also soil organic carbon in the limestone area is influential in binding the iodine to the soil. Higher calcium content in the limestone area is an important factor in terms of strongly fixing the iodine to the soil. Higher iodine bioaccessibility in the millstone grit than the limestone area suggests that its oral bioaccessibility is restricted in the limestone area. Iodine taken up by plant roots is transported freely into the aerial plant parts in the millstone grit area unlike the limestone area, thus providing higher iodine into the human food chain in the millstone grit area through grazing animals unlike the goitre-prevalent limestone area.
    • The cause of late Cenozoic mass extinction in the western Atlantic: insights from sclerochronology

      Johnson, Andrew L. A.; Valentine, Annemarie; Leng, Melanie J.; Surge, Donna; Williams, Mark; University of Derby (The Palaeontological Association, 2014-12)
      Heavy late Cenozoic extinction amongst marine molluscs in the western Atlantic has traditionally been interpreted as a consequence of climatic deterioration. However, the pattern of extinction was not the same in the eastern Atlantic, where conditions also became colder. A fall in primary productivity, suggested by a decline in phosphate deposition, may be the real explanation for western Atlantic extinctions. Evidence in support comes from isotopic- and increment-based (sclerochronological) indications of growth rate in Pliocene scallops. A western Atlantic genus that has survived to the present (Placopecten) had the same moderate growth rate in the Pliocene as now, while two genera that became extinct (Carolinapecten and Chesapecten) had growth rates as fast as any known amongst living scallops. Such rapid growth implies abundant food. Selective extinction of a fast-growing species has also been documented amongst Pliocene oysters in the Caribbean region and attributed to a decline in primary productivity. The likely cause of this is the development of the Central American Isthmus and the consequent reorganization of oceanic circulation in the Gulf of Mexico and wider North Atlantic.
    • Cetacean frustration: the representation of whales and dolphins in picture books for young children

      Beaumont, Ellen S.; Mudd, Phillipa; Turner, Ian J.; Barnes, Kate M.; University of Derby (Springer, 2016-09-03)
      To enable children to develop towards becoming part of the solution to environmental problems, it is essential that they are given the opportunity to become familiar with the natural world from early childhood. Familiarity is required to develop understanding of, care for and, ultimately, action in terms of protecting the natural world. As adult-led reading of picture books is a common form of indirect exposure to the natural world for young children, this study examines the biological accuracy of the representation of whales and dolphins in the images and text of picture books. Of the total of 116 books examined, 74 (63.8 %) had errors in the representation of cetaceans in the images and/or text. Errors were identified in both fictional (mean = 8.0 errors/book, SD = 11.1, n = 55) and nonfictional (mean = 2.3 errors/book, SD = 4.9, n = 61) books. The potential impact of the errors is discussed, and suggestions are made as to how the impact could be reduced and how the biological accuracy of picture books could be improved.
    • Characterisation of the environmental impact of the Rodalquilar Mine, Spain by ground-based reflectance spectroscopy

      Ferrier, Graham; Hudson-Edwards, K.; Pope, Richard J. J.; University of Hull; Birkbeck University; University of Derby (Elsevier Ltd., 2008-05)
      This study has investigated the utility of using field-based reflectance spectroscopy to characterise the distribution and nature of the dispersion of tailings material from the Rodalquilar mine, Spain. Field spectral measurements covering the visible to shortwave infrared wavelengths (0.35 to 2.5 m) and laboratory analyses were performed on samples collected along the length of the main river within the Rodalquilar valley. The nature and degree of contamination at locations within the river channel were calculated by a range of spectrometric analyses. The resulting mineral maps identified that tailings material with significant amounts of hematite with minor jarosite, ferrihydrite and goethite, and clays, primarily alunite and kaolinite, with minor smectite and illite, had been dispersed along the length of the river. These results have been used to improve understanding of the erosion and remediation history of the Rodalquilar mine. This study has shown the potential of field-based reflectance spectroscopy, integrated with ground positioning and digital mapping systems, as a real-time mapping methodology enabling immediate, accurate characterisation of the nature and scale of tailings material dispersion.
    • Characterising the vulnerability of fishing households to climate and environmental change: Insights from Ghana

      Koomson, Daniel; Davies-Vollum, K. Siân; Raha, Debadayita; University of Derby (Elseiver, 2020-07-27)
      Rural coastal communities in the global south are mostly natural resource-dependent and their livelihoods are therefore vulnerable to the impacts of climate and environmental changes. Efforts to improve their adaptive capacity often prove mal-adaptive due to misunderstanding the dynamics of the unique socioeconomic factors that shape their vulnerability. By integrating theories from climate change vulnerability and the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach, this study draws upon household survey data from a fishing community in Ghana to assess the vulnerability of fishing households to climate change and explore how their vulnerability is differentiated within the community. The findings suggest that household incomes in the last decade have reduced significantly, attributable to an interaction of both climatic and non-climatic factors. Analysis of the characteristics of three vulnerability groups derived by quantile clustering showed that the most vulnerable household group is not necessarily women or poorer households as expected. Rather, it is dynamic and includes all gender and economic class categories in varying proportions depending on the success or failure of the fishing season. The findings suggest furthermore that the factors that significantly differentiates vulnerability between households differ, depending on whether households are categorised by economic class, gender of household-head or vulnerability group. Consequently, the study highlights the importance of looking beyond existing social categorizations like gender and economic classes when identifying and prioritizing households for climate change adaptive capacity building.
    • Chromite in the mantle section of the Oman Ophiolite: Implications for the tectonic evolution of the Oman Ophiolite

      Rollinson, Hugh; Adetunji, Jacob; University of Derby (Wiley, 2015-12)
      Chromite in the Oman ophiolite is located in the mantle section of the ophiolite sequence and forms abundant small podiformdeposits throughout the length of the ophiolite (Rollinson, 2005).The Oman ophiolite has an exposed mantle section of ca 10 000 km2, and contains ca 200 chromitite bodies. Most are less than 10 000 tonnes and a only a few are >30 000 tonnes (Boudier and Al-Rajhi, 2014). We have examined these deposits in eight different areas of the ophiolite (Figure 1, Rollinson and Adetunji, 2013a), two of which we have studied in great detail – in WadiRajmi in the north of Oman (Rollinson, 2008) and atMaqsad in the south(Rollinson and Adetunji, 2013b).
    • A chronology of alluvial fan response to Late Quaternary sea level and climate change, Crete

      Pope, Richard J.J.; Candy, Ian; Skourtsos, Emmanuel; University of Derby; Royal Holloway, University of London; University of Athens (2017-01-20)
      To better understand how fluvial systems respond to late Quaternary climatic forcing OSL and U-series dating was applied to stratigraphically significant sedimentary units within a small (<6.5 km) alluvial fan system (the Sphakia fan) in southwest Crete. The resultant chronology (comprising 32 OSL and U-series ages) makes Sphakia fan one of the best dated systems in the Mediterranean and suggests that Cretan fans responded to climate in two ways. First, during the transitions between Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5a/4 and MIS 2/1 Sphakia fan was characterised by significant entrenchment and distal shift in the zone of deposition. It is proposed that the phases of entrenchment were driven by sea level induced base level fall during MIS 5a/4 and landscape stabilisation during the onset of the current interglacial (MIS 2/1). Second, with the exception of these two entrenchment episodes fan alluviation occurred across the entire last interglacial/glacial cycle in all climatic settings i.e. interglacials, interstadials and stadials. It is likely that the topographic setting of the catchment supplying sediment to Sphakia fan maintained high sediment transfer rates during most climatic settings enabling fan aggradation to occur except during major climatic driven transitions i.e. major sea level fall and postglacial vegetation development.
    • Ciliate communities consistently associated with coral diseases

      Sweet, Michael J.; Séré, Mathieu G.; University of Derby (Elsevier, 2015-06)
      Incidences of coral disease are increasing. Most studies which focus on diseases in these organisms routinely assess variations in bacterial associates. However, other microorganism groups such as viruses, fungi and protozoa are only recently starting to receive attention. This study aimed at assessing the diversity of ciliates associated with coral diseases over a wide geographical range. Here we show that a wide variety of ciliates are associated with all nine coral diseases assessed. Many of these ciliates such as Trochilia petrani and Glauconema trihymene feed on the bacteria which are likely colonizing the bare skeleton exposed by the advancing disease lesion or the necrotic tissue itself. Others such as Pseudokeronopsis and Licnophora macfarlandi are common predators of other protozoans and will be attracted by the increase in other ciliate species to the lesion interface. However, a few ciliate species (namely Varistrombidium kielum, Philaster lucinda, Philaster guamense, a Euplotes sp., a Trachelotractus sp. and a Condylostoma sp.) appear to harbor symbiotic algae, potentially from the coral themselves, a result which may indicate that they play some role in the disease pathology at the very least. Although, from this study alone we are not able to discern what roles any of these ciliates play in disease causation, the consistent presence of such communities with disease lesion interfaces warrants further investigation.