Shipbuilding Docks as Experimental Systems for Realistic Assessments of Anthropogenic Stressors on Marine Organisms
Oxford University Press (OUP) for American Institute of Biological Sciences
© The Author(s) 2017. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the American Institute of Biological Sciences. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Empirical investigations of the impacts of anthropogenic stressors on marine organisms are typically performed under controlled laboratory conditions, onshore mesocosms, or via offshore experiments with realistic (but uncontrolled) environmental variation. These approaches have merits, but onshore setups are generally small sized and fail to recreate natural stressor fields, whereas offshore studies are often compromised by confounding factors. We suggest the use of flooded shipbuilding docks to allow studying realistic exposure to stressors and their impacts on the intra- and interspecific responses of animals. Shipbuilding docks permit the careful study of groups of known animals, including the evaluation of their behavioral interactions, while enabling full control of the stressor and many environmental conditions. We propose that this approach could be used for assessing the impacts of prominent anthropogenic stressors, including chemicals, ocean warming, and sound. Results from shipbuilding-dock studies could allow improved parameterization of predictive models relating to the environmental risks and population consequences of anthropogenic stressors.
Funding was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC, Marine Renewable Energy Knowledge Exchange Grant) and the GW4 Alliance (no. GW4-IF-040). RB was supported by a NERC-Innovate UK Knowledge Transfer Partnerships Grant (no. KTP 9254), FB by a Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) Research Experience Placement Grant (no. BB/J014400/1), JL by a Fisheries Society of the British Isles (FSBI) undergraduate summer internship grant, and SDS by a NERC Knowledge Exchange Fellowship (no. NE/J500616/2).
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from OUP via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 67 (9), pp. 853 - 859