Baco Amy R.

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Amy R.

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  • Article
    Reproductive morphology of three species of deep-water precious corals from the Hawaiian Archipelago : Gerardia Sp., Corallium secundum, and Corallium lauuense
    (University of Miami - Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, 2007-11-01) Waller, Rhian G. ; Baco, Amy R.
    Three species of deep-sea corals were collected from several locations in the Hawaiian Archipelago. These species have been called "precious corals" because of their extensive use in the jewelry industry. Two octocorals Corallium lauuense Bayer, 1956 (red coral) and Corallium secundum Dana, 1846 (pink coral), and a zoanthid, Gerardia sp. (gold coral) collected between August and November in 1998-2004, were all histologically analysed for reproductive tissues. All three species of precious corals appear to be gonochoric (both males and females of all species being identified—though with C. lauuense more reproductive polyps are needed to conclusively confirm this), with the two species of Corallium having reproductive material contained within siphonozooids rather than the main polyp (autozoid). Maximum oocyte sizes were: Gerardia sp. ∼300 μm, C. secundum ∼600 μm, and C. lauuense ∼660 μm. All three species are hypothesized to have spawned during the collection season. Gerardia was observed spawning during collection, and histological sections of the two Corallium species show areas where gametes appear to be missing. Gerardia sp. has a single cohort of gametes developing, which may suggest seasonal reproduction, and the two Corallium species show multiple sizes present in single individuals, suggesting a periodic or quasi-continuous reproductive periodicity.
  • Article
    Major impacts of climate change on deep-sea benthic ecosystems
    (University of California Press, 2017-02-23) Sweetman, Andrew K. ; Thurber, Andrew R. ; Smith, Craig R. ; Levin, Lisa A. ; Mora, Camilo ; Wei, Chih-Lin ; Gooday, Andrew J. ; Jones, Daniel O. B. ; Rex, Michael ; Yasuhara, Moriaki ; Ingels, Jeroen ; Ruhl, Henry A. ; Frieder, Christina A. ; Danovaro, Roberto ; Würzberg, Laura ; Baco, Amy R. ; Grupe, Benjamin ; Pasulka, Alexis ; Meyer, Kirstin S. ; Dunlop, Katherine Mary ; Henry, Lea-Anne ; Roberts, J. Murray
    The deep sea encompasses the largest ecosystems on Earth. Although poorly known, deep seafloor ecosystems provide services that are vitally important to the entire ocean and biosphere. Rising atmospheric greenhouse gases are bringing about significant changes in the environmental properties of the ocean realm in terms of water column oxygenation, temperature, pH and food supply, with concomitant impacts on deep-sea ecosystems. Projections suggest that abyssal (3000–6000 m) ocean temperatures could increase by 1°C over the next 84 years, while abyssal seafloor habitats under areas of deep-water formation may experience reductions in water column oxygen concentrations by as much as 0.03 mL L–1 by 2100. Bathyal depths (200–3000 m) worldwide will undergo the most significant reductions in pH in all oceans by the year 2100 (0.29 to 0.37 pH units). O2 concentrations will also decline in the bathyal NE Pacific and Southern Oceans, with losses up to 3.7% or more, especially at intermediate depths. Another important environmental parameter, the flux of particulate organic matter to the seafloor, is likely to decline significantly in most oceans, most notably in the abyssal and bathyal Indian Ocean where it is predicted to decrease by 40–55% by the end of the century. Unfortunately, how these major changes will affect deep-seafloor ecosystems is, in some cases, very poorly understood. In this paper, we provide a detailed overview of the impacts of these changing environmental parameters on deep-seafloor ecosystems that will most likely be seen by 2100 in continental margin, abyssal and polar settings. We also consider how these changes may combine with other anthropogenic stressors (e.g., fishing, mineral mining, oil and gas extraction) to further impact deep-seafloor ecosystems and discuss the possible societal implications. 
  • Article
    Marine genetic resources in areas beyond national jurisdiction: promoting marine scientific research and enabling equitable benefit sharing
    (Frontiers Media, 2021-03-31) Rogers, Alex D. ; Baco, Amy R. ; Escobar Briones, Elva ; Currie, Duncan ; Gjerde, Kristina M. ; Gobin, Judith ; Jaspars, Marcel ; Levin, Lisa A. ; Linse, Katrin ; Rabone, Muriel ; Ramirez-Llodra, Eva ; Sellanes, Javier ; Shank, Timothy M. ; Sink, Kerry ; Snelgrove, Paul V. R. ; Taylor, Michelle L. ; Wagner, Daniel ; Harden-Davies, Harriet
    Growing human activity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ) is driving increasing impacts on the biodiversity of this vast area of the ocean. As a result, the United Nations General Assembly committed to convening a series of intergovernmental conferences (IGCs) to develop an international legally-binding instrument (ILBI) for the conservation and sustainable use of marine biological diversity of ABNJ [the biodiversity beyond national jurisdiction (BBNJ) agreement] under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. The BBNJ agreement includes consideration of marine genetic resources (MGR) in ABNJ, including how to share benefits and promote marine scientific research whilst building capacity of developing states in science and technology. Three IGCs have been completed to date with the fourth delayed by the Covid pandemic. This delay has allowed a series of informal dialogues to take place between state parties, which have highlighted a number of areas related to MGR and benefit sharing that require technical guidance from ocean experts. These include: guiding principles on the access and use of MGR from ABNJ; the sharing of knowledge arising from research on MGR in ABNJ; and capacity building and technology transfer for developing states. In this paper, we explain what MGR are, the methods required to collect, study and archive them, including data arising from scientific investigation. We also explore the practical requirements of access by developing countries to scientific cruises, including the sharing of data, as well as participation in research and development on shore whilst promoting rather than hindering marine scientific research. We outline existing infrastructure and shared resources that facilitate access, research, development, and benefit sharing of MGR from ABNJ; and discuss existing gaps. We examine international capacity development and technology transfer schemes that might facilitate or complement non-monetary benefit sharing activities. We end the paper by highlighting what the ILBI can achieve in terms of access, utilization, and benefit sharing of MGR and how we might future-proof the BBNJ Agreement with respect to developments in science and technology.