Clams Speak of Threatened Ocean Biodiversity

SeaDiscovery.com
Sunday, October 06, 2013
Photo courtesy of SDSM&T

Chemosymbiosis, the association of bacteria that fix carbon and supply it to their hosts in the absence of sunlight, remains largely unexplored in coastal environments.

Laurie Anderson, Ph.D., head and professor of the Department of Geology & Geological Engineering and director of the Museum of Geology at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, has received a $405,080 National Science Foundation grant to examine the functional biodiversity of chemosymbiosis in clams and its role in supporting sensitive coastal biomes.  A collaboration among three universities – SDSM&T, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and Clemson University – the project’s total award tops $1.63 million over five years.

 

Lucinids, the clams to be studied, are the most taxonomically diverse clade of bivalve clams that exploit chemosymbionts to gain energy and avoid toxins. Recent molecular studies by this research team reveal novel genetic and metagenomic diversity typically unassociated with lucinid endosymbionts – an effort that reveals just how little is known of chemosymbiotic associations in these environments.

Anderson’s portion of the project investigates how the morphology of the living bivalve hosts might reveal the presence of endosymbionts or the degree or type of symbiotic dependence. “If we find a link, it gives us a way to track this relationship in the fossil record. Fossils of this bivalve family are common in the Cretaceous rocks of West River and are especially associated with fossil hydrocarbon seeps that dot the landscape out on the prairies,” she explained.

The research will fill gaps in understanding about lucinid biodiversity loss that may occur in habitats sensitive to natural and anthropogenic disturbances – essential to coastal resource management decisions.

Though her project is set to begin Jan. 1, 2014, Anderson’s work on these systems has spanned more than two decades as a paleobiologist and expert in bivalve systematics, especially for the New World subtropics and tropics.
The grant includes significant field work in Florida, the Bahamas and California.

She added: "We will also be working with collections in museums in Florida and California. In addition, we will do lab work here in the Paleontology Research Laboratory, and the field collections we make will become part of the museum’s collections.”

About SDSM&T
‚Ä®Founded in 1885, the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology is a science and engineering research university located in Rapid City, S.D., offering bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.

Maritime Reporter May 2015 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

People & Company News

2 Americans Rescued North of Cuba

A Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter crew rescued two American sailors whose vessel ran aground approximately 25 miles north of Gibara, Cuba, Friday. Watchstanders

Shell CEO Backs Fossil Fuels, Climate Change Warnings

The world's fossil fuel reserves cannot be burned unless some way is found to capture their carbon emissions, Royal Dutch Shell Plc Chief Executive Officer Ben van Beurden said on Friday.

Severe Flooding Cuts Off Lone Road to Alaska's Oilfield

Alaska's lone road to North Slope oil field operations remains closed for the third time in two months while emergency crews continue to redirect flooding from an adjacent river,

Marine Science

Severe Flooding Cuts Off Lone Road to Alaska's Oilfield

Alaska's lone road to North Slope oil field operations remains closed for the third time in two months while emergency crews continue to redirect flooding from an adjacent river,

Miller is VP - Government and Political Affairs, NOIA

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has promoted Megan Bel Miller to Vice President for Government and Political Affairs. She will lead NOIA's Congressional

IMO Adopts Polar Code Environmental Provisions

United Nations' International Maritime Organization (IMO) has adopted the environmental part of the Polar Code. Hereby, internationally binding regulations on

Ocean Observation

Miller is VP - Government and Political Affairs, NOIA

The National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) has promoted Megan Bel Miller to Vice President for Government and Political Affairs. She will lead NOIA's Congressional

India-ASEAN Naval Cooperation On

The Indian Navy's indigenous offshore patrol vessel, INS Saryu, will participate in a week-long ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) Disaster Relief Exercise (DiREx).   According to an official statement,

Volume Up in Dutch Maritime Technology Sector

The Dutch maritime technology sector has had a good year. Turnover increased by 17%, from EUR 6.4 billion in 2013 to EUR 7.5 billion in 2014. The sector employed 31,680 FTEs, up from 29,361 in 2013.

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Salvage Ship Repair Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.4250 sec (2 req/sec)