Advertisement

Marine Biodiversity

, Volume 46, Issue 4, pp 879–887 | Cite as

Shallow subtidal octocorals in an Irish marine reserve

  • Cynthia D. Trowbridge
  • Colin Little
  • Lukas S. Ferrenburg
  • Hayley M. Resk
  • Katy Kachmarik
  • Caitlin Q. Plowman
  • Penny Stirling
  • Rob McAllen
Original Paper

Abstract

Alcyonacean octocorals are anthozoans which are found in many coastal benthic habitats, where they can be sensitive to environmental and/or anthropogenic stress. As part of a two-decade monitoring study of Lough Hyne (Europe’s first marine reserve and Ireland’s only one), we documented benthic communities at rocky-shore sites. As a fully marine, semi-enclosed, tidal ‘lake’ connected to the Atlantic Ocean via tidal rapids, Lough Hyne has long been noted for its high species and habitat diversity. One of the noteworthy guilds we report here was the alcyonacean octocorals: (1) the soft coral Alcyonium hibernicum under shallow subtidal rocks at monitoring sites in the lough from 2002 to 2015 and (2) the first known records (2013 to present) of the red soft coral A. glomeratum inside the lough (above the rapids). Furthermore, in August/September 2014 and 2015, we rediscovered the stoloniferous octocoral Sarcodictyon catenatum, last reported in the lough in the 1930s. We documented the distribution and abundance of these species in shallow subtidal areas of the lough as a baseline in the face of rapidly degrading conditions due to extreme oxygen fluctuations from eutrophication.

Keywords

Lough Hyne Marine reserve Ireland Octocorallia Alcyonium Sarcodictyon Marine protected area 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We are grateful to D. O’Donnell and P. Graham of the National Parks and Wildlife Service for permission to carry out scientific research in Lough Hyne Marine Reserve. The authors were supported in part by NSF grant INT-1130978 awarded to CDT. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. We thank J. Nunn for her valuable help locating past octocoral records of the lough; B. Picton for his advice and suggestions for many years; and B. Dlouhy-Massengale for her cheerful field assistance lifting rocks.

References

  1. Allen EJ (1889) On the fauna and bottom-deposits near the thirty-fathom line from the Eddystone Grounds to Start Point. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 5:365–542CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey WH (1865) Notes on marine invertebrata, collected on Portmarnock Strand. Nat Hist Soc Dublin 4:251–258Google Scholar
  3. Bassindale R, Ebling FJ, Kitching JA, Purchon RD (1948) The ecology of the Lough Ine rapids with special reference to water currents I. Introduction and hydrography. J Ecol 36:305–322CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Beldam GA, Robins MW (1971) The soft-corals of Skomer. Nat Wales 12:207–212Google Scholar
  5. Bell JJ (2001) The influence of flow rate, depth and surface inclination on the density and the distribution of temperate Anthozoa. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 81:883–884CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bell JJ, Shaw C, Turner JR (2006) Factors controlling the tentacle and polyp expansion behaviour of selected temperate Anthozoa. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 86:977–992CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bourne GC (1890) Report of a trawling cruise in H.M.S. “Research” off the south-west coast of Ireland. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 1:306–323CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Buzer JS (1981) Diatom analyses of sediments from Lough Ine, Co. Cork, southwest Ireland. New Phytol 89:511–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Conway VM (1937a) Summer meeting in south-west Ireland, 12–21 August 1936. J Ecol 25:271–274Google Scholar
  10. Conway VM (1937b) Summer meeting in south-west Ireland, 12–21 August 1936. J Anim Ecol 6:222–225Google Scholar
  11. Couch J (1866) XI. Additions to the fauna of Cornwall. 48th Annual Report of the Royal Institution of Cornwall 2:154–162Google Scholar
  12. Ebling FJ, Sleigh MA, Sloane JF, Kitching JA (1960) The ecology of Lough Ine: VII. Distribution of some common plants and animals of the littoral and shallow sublittoral regions. J Ecol 48:29–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Goodwin C, Edwards H, Breen J, Picton B (2011) Rathlin Island - A survey report from the Nationally Important Marine Features Project 2009–2011. Northern Ireland Environment Agency Research and Development Series No. 11/03Google Scholar
  14. Gosse PH (1858) On Sarcodictyon catenata (Forbes). Ann Mag Nat Hist 3(2):276–280Google Scholar
  15. Gray JE (1865) 12. Notice on Rhodophyton, a new genus of Alcyoniadæ, found on the coast of Cornwall. Proc Zool Soc Lond 33:705–707CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Groot S, Weinberg S (1982) Biogeography, taxonomical status and ecology of Alcyonium (Parerythropodium) coralloides (Pallas, 1766). Mar Ecol 3:293–312CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hartnoll RG (1975) The annual cycle of Alcyonium digitatum. Estuar Coast Shelf Sci 3:71–78CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hartnoll RG (1977) Reproductive strategy in two British species of Alcyonium. In: Keegan BF, Ceidigh PO, Boaden PJS (eds) Biology of benthic organisms. Pergamon, New York, pp 321–328CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hassall AH (1841) Supplement to a catalogue of Irish zoophytes. Ann Mag Nat Hist 7:363–373Google Scholar
  20. Hassall AH (1843) Remarks on three species of marine zoophytes. Ann Mag Nat Hist 11:111–113Google Scholar
  21. Herdman WA (1885) 1. On the structure of Sarcodictyon. Proc R Soc Edinb 8:31–51Google Scholar
  22. Herdman WA (1895) Note upon the yellow variety of Sarcodictyon catenata, Forbes, with remarks upon the genus and its species. Proc Trans Liverpool Biol Soc 9:163–168Google Scholar
  23. Hickson SJ (1895) The anatomy of Alcyonium digitatum. Q J Microsc Sci 37:343–388Google Scholar
  24. Hiscock K (2005) A re-assessment of rocky sublittoral biota at Hilsea Point Rock after 50 years. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 85:1009–1010CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hiscock K, Southward A, Tittley I, Hawkins S (2004) Effects of changing temperature on benthic marine life in Britain and Ireland. Aquat Conserv: Mar Freshw Ecosyst 14:333–362CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hiscock K, Sharrock S, Highfield J, Snelling D (2010) Colonization of an artificial reef in south-west England—ex-HMS ‘Scylla’. J Mar Biol Assoc UK 90:69–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Johnston G (1847) A history of the British zoophytes. Vol. 1, 2nd edn. Van Voorst, LondonGoogle Scholar
  28. Keegan BF, Mercer JP (1986) An oceanographical survey of Killary Harbour on the west coast of Ireland. Proc R Ir Acad B 86:1–70Google Scholar
  29. Kitching JA, Thain VM (1983) The ecological impact of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck) in Lough Ine, Ireland. Philos Trans R Soc Lond B 300:513–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Könnecker G (1973) Littoral and benthic investigations on the west coast of Ireland—I. (section a: faunistic and ecological studies). The sponge fauna of Kilkieran Bay and adjacent areas. Proc R Ir Acad B 73:451–472Google Scholar
  31. Könnecker GF, Keegan BF (1983) Littoral and benthic investigations on the west coast of Ireland—XVII. The epibenthic animal associations of Kilkieran Bay. Proc R Ir Acad B 83:309–324Google Scholar
  32. Lilly SJ, Sloane JF, Bassindale R, Ebling FJ, Kitching JA (1953) The ecology of the Lough Ine rapids with special reference to water currents. IV. The sedentary fauna of sublittoral boulders. J Anim Ecol 22:87–122CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Little C, Morritt D, Stirling P (1992) Changes in the shore fauna and flora of Lough Hyne. Irish Nat J 24:87–95Google Scholar
  34. Maggs CA, Guiry MD (1982) Notes on Irish marine algae: 5. Preliminary observations on deep water vegetation off west Donegal. Ir Nat J 20:357–361Google Scholar
  35. Manuel RL (1981) British Anthozoa. Synop Br Fauna 18:1–241Google Scholar
  36. McFadden CS, Hutchinson MB (2004) Molecular evidence for the hybrid origin of species in the soft coral genus Alcyonium (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Octocorallia). Mol Ecol 13:1495–505CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. McFadden CS, Donahue R, Hadland BK, Weston R (2001) A molecular phylogenetic analysis of reproductive trait evolution in the soft coral genus Alcyonium. Evolution 55:54–67CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. McFadden CS, Sánchez JA, France SC (2010) Molecular phylogenetic insights into the evolution of Octocorallia: a review. Integr Comp Biol 50:389–410CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. Minchin D (1987) Swiftia pallida Madsen (Coelenterata: Gorgonacea) in Irish waters, with a note on Pseudanthessius thorelli (Brady) (Crustacea: Copepoda) new to Ireland. Ir Nat J 22:183–185Google Scholar
  40. Myers AA, Little C, Costello MJ, Partridge JC (1991) The ecology of Lough Hyne. Proceedings of a conference 4–5 September, 1990. Royal Irish Academy, DublinGoogle Scholar
  41. Norton TA (1971) An ecological study of the fauna inhabiting the sublittoral marine alga Saccorhiza polyschides (Lightf.) Batt. Hydrobiologia 37:215–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Norton TA, Hiscock K, Kitching JA (1977) The ecology of Lough Ine: XX. The Laminaria forest at Carrigathorna. J Ecol 65:919–941CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ocaña O, López-González PJ, Núñez J, García-Gómez JC (2000) A survey of the genus Sarcodictyon Forbes, 1847, and Rolandia Lacaze-Duthiers, 1900, (Anthozoa: Octocorallia) in the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Zool Meded Leiden 73:413–426Google Scholar
  44. Picton BE (1985) Anthozoans (Coelenterata: Anthozoa) new to Ireland and new records of some rarely recorded species. Ir Nat J 21:484–488Google Scholar
  45. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015a) Alcyonium digitatum Linnaeus, 1758. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10240. Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  46. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015b) Alcyonium glomeratum (Hassall, 1843). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10250. Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  47. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015c) Alcyonium hibernicum (Renouf, 1931). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10300. Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  48. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015d) Eunicella verrucosa (Pallas, 1766). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10430. Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  49. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015e) Funiculina quadrangularis (Pallas, 1766). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10500. Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  50. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015f) Pennatula phosphorea Linnaeus, 1758. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10670. Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  51. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015g) Sarcodictyon catenatum Forbes, 1847. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10170 . Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  52. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015h) Swiftia pallida Madsen, 1970. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10170 Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  53. Picton BE, Morrow CC (2015i) Virgularia mirabilis (O. F. Müller, 1776). [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland. http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=D10560. Accessed 15 Oct 2015
  54. Quintanilla E, Gili J-M, López-González PJ, Tsounis G, Madurell T, Fiorillo I, Rossi S (2013) Sexual reproductive cycle of the epibiotic soft coral Alcyonium coralloides (Octocorallia, Alcyonacea). Aquat Biol 18:113–124CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Renouf LPW (1931a) On a new species of alcyonarian, Parerthropodium hibernicum. Acta Zool 12:205–223CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Renouf LPW (1931b) Preliminary work of a new biological station (Lough Ine, Co. Cork, I.F.S.). J Ecol 19:410–438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Rhoushdy HM, Hansen VK (1961) Filtration of phytoplankton by the octocoral Alcyonium digitatum L. Nature 190:649–650CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Ryland JS, Nelson-Smith A (1975) Littoral and benthic investigations on the west coast of Ireland—IV. (section a: faunistic and ecological studies). Some shores in Counties Clare and Galway. Proc R Ir Acad B 75:245–266Google Scholar
  59. Stephens J (1905) A list of Irish Coelenterata, including the Ctenophora. Proc R Ir Acad B 25:25–92Google Scholar
  60. Van Soest RWM, Weinberg S (1980) A note on the sponges and octocorals from Sherkin Island and Lough Ine, Co Cork. Ir Nat J 20:1–15Google Scholar
  61. Wood C (2013) Sea anemones and corals of Britain and Ireland, 2nd edn. SeaSearch, Wild Nature, PlymouthGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Senckenberg Gesellschaft für Naturforschung and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cynthia D. Trowbridge
    • 1
  • Colin Little
    • 2
  • Lukas S. Ferrenburg
    • 1
  • Hayley M. Resk
    • 1
  • Katy Kachmarik
    • 1
  • Caitlin Q. Plowman
    • 1
  • Penny Stirling
    • 2
  • Rob McAllen
    • 3
  1. 1.Oregon Institute of Marine BiologyCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Beggars KnollNewtownUK
  3. 3.School of Biological Earth and Environmental SciencesUniversity College Cork, Enterprise CentreCork CityRepublic of Ireland

Personalised recommendations