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

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.


People & Company News

STX to Slash Jobs, Sell Yard

To stat above water by restructuring, South Korean Shipbuilder STX Offshore & Shipbuilding Co. plans to lay off about a third of its workforce and sell a yard in France, says a report in WSJ.

Kongsberg Performs Well in Q2

Norwegian defence and marine technology company Kongsberg Gruppen's second quarter 2016 (Q2) financial results shows sales performance broadly in line with recent trends,

Rickmers Holding, E.R. Capital Drop Merger Plan

Rickmers Holding AG and E.R. Capital Holding have jointly decided not to pursue the merger of their ship management activities.   For many years the companies

Ocean Observation

South Asia Meet on Oil, Chemical Spill Contingency Plan

A meeting to update South Asia’s regional plan for oil and chemical pollution preparedness and response is underway in Male, Maldives (22-25 August), informs  International

Global Climate Change Threatens Papahānaumokuākea Marine

Despite its remote location in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument faces a looming threat of global climate change that

Indonesia to Change Name of South China Sea to Natuna Sea

President of Indonesia Joko Widodo, commonly known as Jokowi,  has vowed to transform Indonesia, which includes 17,000 islands into a ‘maritime power’, and also

 
 
Maritime Careers / Shipboard Positions Maritime Security Navigation Pipelines Pod Propulsion Port Authority Salvage 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: 0.1017 sec (10 req/sec)