Ana Colaco

Ana Colaco
University of the Azores | UAc · Institute of Marine Research - IMAR

PhD

About

155
Publications
44,722
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3,565
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2007 - December 2010
University of the Azores
October 1997 - January 1999
Vrije Universiteit Brussel
Position
  • PhD Student

Publications

Publications (155)
Article
Full-text available
The unique ecosystems and biodiversity associated with mid-ocean ridge (MOR) hydrothermal vent systems contrast sharply with surrounding deep-sea habitats, however both may be increasingly threatened by anthropogenic activity (e.g., mining activities at massive sulphide deposits). Climate change can alter the deep-sea through increased bottom tempe...
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea mining may be just a few years away and yet society is struggling to assess the positive aspects, such as increasing the supply of metals for battery production to fuel the green revolution, versus the potentially large environmental impacts. Mining of polymetallic (manganese) nodules from the deep ocean is likely to be the first mineral r...
Article
Full-text available
We examine the main drivers that may elevate biomass and biodiversity of non-chemosynthetic benthic megafauna of the lower bathyal (800-3500m depth) of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the North Atlantic Ocean (MAR). Specifically: 1. Primary production in surface waters (10°-48°N) from remote sensing data 2002-2020 over the MAR was not significantly diffe...
Article
In the Barents Sea, extensive aggregations of sponges are known to occur, especially in the southwestern portion dominated by large species of Geodia spp. The distribution of deep-sea sponge grounds, considered vulnerable marine ecosystems, often coincides with high fishing efforts targeting demersal fish species and benthic invertebrates using bot...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The joint ICES/NAFO Working Group on Deep-water Ecology (WGDEC) collates new information on the distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) for use in annual ICES advisory processes and the development of new methods/techniques to further our understanding of deep-sea ecosystems, and further suggests novel management tools to ensure human a...
Article
While the Mid-Atlantic Region is a frequented migration route for multiple cetacean species, to date no whale falls have been encountered or studied in the area. In 2015, a juvenile sperm whale was sunk south of Faial (Azores, Portugal), implanted at 760m depth and its decomposition was monitored for a year with seven submersible dives. Based on im...
Article
Deep-sea hydrothermal vent fields are globally rare (abundant in numbers, but extremely small in area) and are rich in extraordinary life based on chemosynthesis rather than photosynthesis. Vent fields are also sources of polymetallic sulfides rich in copper and other metals. Mineral resources of the international seabed beyond national jurisdictio...
Article
Full-text available
Highly specialised biota occurring at hydrothermally active vents on the northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge (nMAR: from south of Iceland to the Equator) have been the subject of numerous research projects over the 36-year period since these habitats were first discovered in the region. When hydrothermal activity ceases, biota endemic to hydrothermally act...
Article
Octocorals are prominent habitat builders in deep-sea ecosystems. The octocorals Dentomuricea aff. meteor and Viminella flagellum are common deep-sea octocoral species in the Azores Archipelago, where they form dense, structurally complex and diverse communities between 150 and 600 m of depth. The objective of this study was to determine the reprod...
Article
Full-text available
Lithistid sponges are globally distributed in temperate and subtropical areas, constituting an important component of deep-sea benthic communities where they form structurally complex and vulnerable marine ecosystems (VMEs). In this study, we assess the diversity and investigate the spatial and bathymetric distribution of the lithistid sponges of t...
Presentation
Full-text available
Community ecology based on biological and/or functional traits rather than taxonomic criteria informs general ecological patterns through the study of ecological niches, function, and resistance and resilience to perturbations. There are no repositories for diverse species traits from non-chemosynthetic deep-sea ridges and associated seamounts, whe...
Article
Full-text available
Few studies have described the effects of physical disturbance and post-recovery of deep-sea benthic communities. Here, we explore the status of deep-sea sponge ground communities four years after being impacted by an experimental bottom trawl. The diversity and abundance of epibenthic megafauna of two distinct benthic communities in disturbed vers...
Presentation
Full-text available
Community ecology based on biological and/or functional traits rather than taxonomic criteria informs general ecological patterns through the study of ecological niches, function, and resistance and resilience to perturbations. There are no repositories for species traits from non-chemosynthetic deep-sea ridges and associated seamounts, where the i...
Article
Full-text available
The United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development presents an exceptional opportunity to effect positive change in ocean use. We outline what is required of the deep-sea research community to achieve these ambitious objectives.
Article
Full-text available
The ocean plays a crucial role in the functioning of the Earth System and in the provision of vital goods and services. The United Nations (UN) declared 2021–2030 as the UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The Roadmap for the Ocean Decade aims to achieve six critical societal outcomes (SOs) by 2030, through the pursuit of four o...
Article
Full-text available
Polymetallic sulfide (PMS) deposits produced at hydrothermal vents in the deep sea are of potential interest to miners. Hydrothermally active sulfide ecosystems are valued for the extraordinary chemosynthetic communities that they support. Many countries, including Canada, Portugal, and the United States, protect vent ecosystems in their Exclusive...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific misconceptions are likely leading to miscalculations of the environmental impacts of deep-seabed mining. These result from underestimating mining footprints relative to habitats targeted and poor understanding of the sensitivity, biodiversity, and dynamics of deep-sea ecosystems. Addressing these misconceptions and knowledge gaps is need...
Article
Full-text available
Climate change manifestation in the ocean, through warming, oxygen loss, increasing acidification and changing particulate organic carbon flux (one metric of altered food supplies), is projected to affect most deep‐ocean ecosystems concomitantly with increasing direct human disturbance. Climate drivers will alter deep‐sea biodiversity and associate...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The joint ICES/NAFO Working Group on Deep-water Ecology (WGDEC) collates new information on the distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) for use in annual ICES advisory processes and the development of new methods/techniques to further our understanding of deep-sea ecosystems, and further suggests novel management tools to ensure human a...
Article
Full-text available
Seamounts are abundant and prominent features on the deep-sea floor and intersperse with the nodule fields of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ). There is a particular interest in characterising the fauna inhabiting seamounts in the CCZ because they are the only other ecosystem in the region to provide hard substrata besides the abundant no...
Article
Highly migratory marine species pose a challenge for the identification of management units due to the absence of clear oceanographic barriers. The population structure of North Atlantic fin whales has been investigated since the start of whaling operations but is still the subject of an ongoing scientific debate. Here we measured stable isotopes o...
Poster
EMSO is a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) with 8 member countries. It is coordinated by a central management o_ce and promotes monitoring services offered by 11 Cxed- point deep-sea and water column observatories around Europe, from the Atlantic, through the Mediterranean, and to the anoxic Black Sea. EMSO aims are to advance mar...
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea sponge grounds are vulnerable marine ecosystems, which through their benthic-pelagic coupling of nutrients, are of functional relevance to the deep-sea realm. The impact of fishing bycatch is here evaluated for the first time at a bathyal, sponge-dominated ecosystem in the high seas managed by the Northwest Atlantic Fisheries Organization....
Article
Full-text available
Knowing the migratory movements and behaviour of baleen whales is fundamental to understanding their ecology. We compared δ 15 N and δ 13 C values in the skin of blue (Balaenoptera musculus), fin (Balaenoptera physalus) and sei (Balaenoptera borealis) whales sighted in the Azores in spring with the values of potential prey from different regions wi...
Article
Full-text available
Seamounts are abundant and prominent features on the deep-sea floor and intersperse with the nodule fields of the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture Zone (CCZ). There is a particular interest in characterising the fauna inhabiting seamounts in the CCZ because they are the only other ecosystem in the region to provide hard substrata besides the abundant no...
Article
Full-text available
br/>Motivation Traits are increasingly being used to quantify global biodiversity patterns, with trait databases growing in size and number, across diverse taxa. Despite growing interest in a trait‐based approach to the biodiversity of the deep sea, where the impacts of human activities (including seabed mining) accelerate, there is no single repo...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The joint ICES/NAFO Working Group on Deep-water Ecology (WGDEC) collates new information on the distribution of Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems (VMEs) for use in annual ICES advisory processes and the development of new methods/techniques to further our understanding of deep-sea ecosystems, and further suggests novel management tools to ensure human a...
Article
Full-text available
The deep ocean below 200 m water depth is the least observed, but largest habitat on our planet by volume and area. Over 150 years of exploration has revealed that this dynamic system provides critical climate regulation, houses a wealth of energy, mineral, and biological resources, and represents a vast repository of biological diversity. A long h...
Article
Full-text available
Deep-sea mining (DSM) may become a significant stressor on the marine environment. The DSM industry should demonstrate transparently its commitment to preventing serious harm to the environment by complying with legal requirements, using environmental good practice, and minimizing environmental impacts. Here existing environmental management approa...
Article
A low-temperature shallow-water hydrothermal vent field was discovered during the summer of 2010 in the Faial-Pico channel off the Espalamaca headland, Faial Island, Azores, Portugal, NE Atlantic. The present study analyses bacterial communities present in shallowwater hydrothermal vent of Espalamaca using SSU rRNA-based clone library approach. Clo...
Article
Full-text available
Mining impacts will affect local populations to different degrees. Impacts range from removal of habitats and possible energy sources to pollution and smaller-scale alterations in local habitats that, depending on the degree of disturbance, can lead to extinction of local communities. While there is a shortage or even lack of studies investigating...
Article
Full-text available
Development of guidance for environmental management of the deep-sea mining industry is important as contractors plan to move from exploration to exploitation activities. Two priorities for environmental management are monitoring and mitigating the impacts and effects of activities. International regulation of deep-sea mining activities stipulates...
Article
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Mineral exploitation has spread from land to shallow coastal waters and is now planned for the offshore, deep seabed. Large seafloor areas are being approved for exploration for seafloor mineral deposits, creating an urgent need for regional environmental management plans. Networks of areas where mining and mining impacts are prohibited are key ele...
Article
The vent blood-red commensal polynoid polychaete Branchipolynoe seepensis is commonly found in the pallial cavity of the vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus, the dominant bivalve species along the Mid-Atlantic-Ridge (MAR) and is known to be kleptoparasitic. Mussels were collected from three hydrothermal vent fields in the MAR: Menez Gwen (850 m dept...
Article
Full-text available
Sharks are a diverse group of mobile predators that forage across varied spatial scales and have the potential to influence food web dynamics. The ecological consequences of recent declines in shark biomass may extend across broader geographic ranges if shark taxa display common behavioural traits. By tracking the original site of photosynthetic fi...
Article
Full-text available
The assessment and comparison of food webs across various hydrothermal vent sites can enhance our understanding of ecological processes involved in the structure and function of biodiversity. The Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Rainbow vent fields are located on the Azores triple junction of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. These fields have distinct depths (f...
Article
Over the past years, several studies have been dedicated to understanding the physiological ability of the vent mussel Bathymodiolus azoricus to overcome the high metal concentrations present in their surrounding hydrothermal environment. Potential deep-sea mining activities at Azores Triple junction hydrothermal vent deposits would inevitably lead...
Article
Many fish species are well-known obligatory inhabitants of shallow-water tropical coral reefs but such associations are difficult to study in deep-water environments. We address the association between two deep-sea fish with low mobility and large sessile invertebrates using a compilation of 20 years of unpublished in situ observations. Data were c...
Presentation
In recent decades, deep-sea ecosystems have been suffering under different anthropogenic pressures such as fishing, oil and gas extraction, climate change and, more recently, the prospect of deep seabed mining. The potential mining areas are located where specialized habitats are often present. Species can cope with impacts and changes if they are...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Mussels, Bathymodiolus azoricus, limpets, Lepetodrillus atlanticus and a crab, Segonzacia mesatlantica were kept alive in aquaria supplied with methane and sulphide for over 5 months. They were observed under red light using time-lapse video in tanks or in a respirometer. All showed periodicities in their behavior. Mussels showed individual periodi...
Chapter
Full-text available
Deep‐sea environments are, in some cases, largely unexplored ecosystems, where life thrives driven by the geochemical features of each location. Among these environments, chemosynthesis‐based ecosystems, in the Mid Atlantic Ridge, have an exclusive combi‐ nation of high depth, high sulfur, and high methane concentrations. This is believed to modula...
Article
With increasing demand for mineral resources, extraction of polymetallic sulphides at hydrothermal vents, cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts at seamounts, and polymetallic nodules on abyssal plains may be imminent. Here, we shortly introduce ecosystem characteristics of mining areas, report on recent mining developments, and identify potential stres...
Poster
Assessing and comparing ecosystem functioning across hydrothermal-vent fields enhance our understanding of how natural environmental conditions affect faunal communities and ecological processes, a prerequisite in the perspective of deep-sea mining. Menez Gwen, Lucky Strike and Rainbow hydrothermal-vent fields from the North Mid-Atlantic ridge are...
Article
Full-text available
Background Recent years have seen a rapid increase in survey and sampling expeditions to the Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) abyssal plain, a vast area of the central Pacific that is currently being actively explored for deep-sea minerals (ISA, 2016). Critical to the development of evidence-based environmental policy in the CCZ are data on the bioge...
Article
Full-text available
Although initially viewed as oases within a barren deep ocean, hydrothermal vents and methane seep chemosynthetic communities are now recognized to interact with surrounding ecosystems on the sea floor and in the water column, and to affect global geochemical cycles. The importance of understanding these interactions is growing as the potential ris...
Article
Full-text available
In the Archipelago of the Azores, over 110,000 km2 of marine areas presently benefit from some form of protection, including a suite of coastal habitats, offshore areas, seamounts, hydrothermal vents and large parcels of mid-ocean ridge. These areas are integrated in the recently established network of marine protected areas (MPAs), which stands as...
Article
Full-text available
A Gram-stain negative, non-motile, non-spore forming, aerobic and rod or narrow lemon-shaped bacterial strain, VSW210T, was isolated from surface seawater in a shallow water hydrothermal vent region in Espalamaca (Azores). Strain VSW210T was found to grow optimally at 30 °C, at pH 7 and in the presence of 2–6 % (w/v) NaCl. A neighbour-joining phylo...