Hydrozoa course 2022 version – as informed by our MSc scholar Ana González


Final month, our undertaking NorHydro (along with ForBio Analysis College of Biosystematics and undertaking MEDUSA) organized a course on variety, systematics and biology of Hydrozoa on the Marine Organic Station in Espegrend. Fifteen contributors from 9 totally different nations got here all the best way to Bergen to study extra about these intriguing animals, share their concepts and tasks, and begin new collaborations. We requested one of many youngest members of the group –our extremely motivated scholar Ana González– to share with us her ideas in regards to the course and her experiences together with her MSc undertaking. That is what she needed to say:

Once I began my Grasp’s Diploma of Marine Ecology on the College of the Balearic IslandsI already knew in regards to the existence of hydrozoans, however I had no concept how fascinating these animals really have been. After some discussions, loads of studying, and a good quantity of footage of hydroids and hydromedusae, I made a decision to work with these inconspicuous invertebrates for my MSc undertaking beneath the supervision of Dr Luis Martell (College Museum of Bergen) and Dr. Maria Capa (College of the Balearic Islands). My undertaking goals to judge whether or not we are able to use the benthic communities of hydrozoans as bioindicators of anthropogenic impression on the easternmost coasts of Mallorca Island, within the Mediterranean Sea.

Me on a sampling day on the lookout for benthic hydrozoans on the marine reserve of Cala Gat (high). A more in-depth view of the laborious substrates I pattern within the marine reserve (backside left). The widespread hydroid Monotheca obliqua rising on Posidonia oceanica (backside proper). Image credit: Maria Capa and Ana González.

Coastal areas are a beautiful place to dwell, and these habitats present ecosystem companies that contribute significantly to the financial system of the world, however a nasty administration of them can generate necessary damages and drastic modifications within the ecosystem. One technique to monitor environmental impacts in these habitats is by observing the response of their organic communities, so for this undertaking I made a decision to review the assemblages of benthic hydrozoans in two reverse websites with totally different ranges of anthropogenic impression: a harbor and a marine reserve. Furthermore, I’m evaluating the communities in numerous seasons of the 12 months, and I’ll analyze the assemblages rising on laborious substrates (like rocks) and in addition these rising on an important Mediterranean mushy substrate: the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

Some hydroids widespread in my examine space are these belonging to genera Clytia (household Campanulariidae, left), Sertularella (household Sertularellidae, center), and Aglaophenia (household Aglaopheniidae, proper). Image credit: Ana González.

At first, working with benthic hydrozoans was very difficult for me because the specimens I discover are simply ignored if one will not be looking out fastidiously for them. However the extra time I dedicate to watch these organisms, the extra curious I turned about their identification and dynamics, and the better it was to acknowledge them within the samples. Nevertheless, figuring out hydrozoans is a tough activity and I noticed early that I wanted some assist, so I used to be very joyful when the chance arose to use for the course “Variety, Systematics and Biology of Hydrozoa” in Bergen. There, I had the possibility to fulfill among the main scientific specialists within the discipline that helped me perceive higher the taxonomy and ecology of those animals. I couldn’t have imagined how a lot I used to be going to study in the course of the totally different actions of the course, however on the finish these organisms have been in a position to catch my consideration and time flew between lectures, sampling journeys, and laboratory work. One facet of the course that I notably loved is the truth that it introduced collectively contributors with totally different trajectories in science, and all people was joyful to share their experiences on this planet of hydrozoan science.

We had every kind of climate in the course of the course: rain, solar, wind, and even snow! Image credit: Lara Beckmann and Joan J Soto Àngel.

We had the possibility to pattern on board the UiB analysis vessel Hans Brattström and we collected a number of planktonic and benthic hydrozoans within the fjords across the Marine Station. After every sampling occasion, we went again to the lab to type the samples, discover the hydrozoans and determine them to species. The plankton samples have been often the primary ones to be processed, since hydromedusae are fairly fragile they usually are likely to endure morphological damages after being sampled with a internet. We tried to determine all specimens to species stage, with the help of the stereomicroscopes and scientific literature with identification keys that the curse supplied. The benthic samples have been positioned in aquariums to maintain the organisms alive after which every of us had the chance to watch the specimens in our personal stereomicroscope.

A sampling day on board of RV Hans Brattström. Prime left: deploying the plankton internet. Prime proper: a full cod-end with plankton pattern. Center proper: college students and academics prepared to depart the pier. Backside: benthos sampling with the triangular dredge. Image credit: Lara Beckmann, Sabine Holst, Luis Martell

Prime proper and left: college students and academics on the laboratory, figuring out hydrozoans. Backside left: looking for hydromedusae and siphonophores within the plankton pattern. Image credit: Sabine Holst and Lara Beckmann.

All collectively, we have been capable of finding and determine greater than 40 species from all the principle teams of hydrozoans, together with siphonophores, trachylines, leptothecathes, and anthoathecates. Working with hydromedusae was new for me and I found that observing them was more difficult than figuring out the polyps, but it surely was additionally fascinating in its personal method. The hydrozoans that caught my consideration essentially the most have been the polyps from the suborder Capitata, as a result of their morphology may be very totally different from the hydroids that I’ve noticed in my MSc undertaking thus far. Capitate hydroids don’t have a protecting theca, they possess tentacles that find yourself in a ball of nematocysts (so-called capitate tentacles), and they’re absent from virtually all my samples from Mallorca, that are as an alternative dominated by hydroids belonging to the Order Lepthothecata.

Prime: Colony of Sarsia lovenii (Anthoathecata: Corynidae) with gonophores (i.e. reproductive buds on the polyp physique). You may as well see the capitate tentacles, which finish in a ball of nematocysts and are typical for suborder Capitata. Backside: Colony of Clava multicornis exhibiting additionally gonophores on the polyp physique, however with filiform (non-capitate) tentacles. Image credit: Lara Beckmann (high), Joan J. Soto Àngel (backside).

My curiosity for hydrozoans, the good set of specialists we had as academics, and the charismatic animals that we collected have been the right mixture for me to have an unimaginable expertise on this course. I believe that programs like these are a superb alternative for novices to study with specialists from totally different components of the world. Interacting with all of those superb folks was very rewarding at each cultural and scientific ranges, and this entire expertise motivated me to maintain on finding out these fascinating animals which might be part of the advanced functioning of our oceans.



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