Anastasija Zaiko

Anastasija Zaiko
Cawthron Institute | CI · Coastal and Freshwater

PhD

About

122
Publications
36,604
Reads
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2,502
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2018 - present
University of Auckland
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
July 2015 - present
Cawthron Institute
Position
  • Marine Scientist
May 2004 - September 2018
Klaipeda University
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (122)
Article
Full-text available
To enable successful management of marine bioinvasions, timely and robust scientific advice is required. This knowledge should inform managers and stakeholders on the magnitude of a pressure (rate of human-mediated introductions), the environmental state of an ecosystem (impacts of non-indigenous species), and the success of management response (pr...
Article
In this study, the evolution of ballast water (BW) assemblages across different trophic levels was characterized over a 21-day cross-latitudinal vessel transit using a combination of molecular methods. Triplicate ballast water (BW) samples were collected every second day and size fractionated (<2.7 µm, 10 µm, >50 µm). Measurements of adenosine trip...
Article
Full-text available
Incidental detection of species of concern (e.g., invasive species, pathogens, threatened and endangered species) during biodiversity assessments based on high-throughput DNA sequencing holds significant risks in the absence of rigorous, fit-for-purpose data quality and reporting standards. Molecular biodiversity data are predominantly collected fo...
Article
Advances in high-throughput sequencing (HTS) are revolutionizing monitoring in marine environments by enabling rapid, accurate and holistic detection of species within complex biological samples. Research institutions worldwide increasingly employ HTS methods for biodiversity assessments. However, variance in laboratory procedures, analytical workf...
Article
Full-text available
he field of eDNA is growing exponentially in response to the need for detecting rare and invasive species for management and conservation decisions. Developing technologies and standard protocols within the biosecurity sector must address myriad challenges associated with marine environments, including salinity, temperature, advective and depositio...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has shown great promise as an effective, non-invasive monitoring method for marine biomes. However, long filtration times and the need for state-of- the- art laboratories are restricting sample replication and in situ species detections. Methodological innovations, such as passive filtration and self-contained...
Article
Sea surface planktonic assemblages were sampled using environmental DNA at 1.5° latitudinal increments (from 39.5-11.5°S) following the 110°E meridian in the Eastern Indian Ocean to reveal factors structuring eukaryotic diversity. Metabarcoding the v4 region of the 18S rRNA gene revealed a eukaryotic assemblage over-dominated by amplicon sequence v...
Article
The vast majority of globally traded cargo is transported via maritime shipping. Whilst in port for loading and unloading, these ships can pick up local marine organisms with internal ballast water or as external biofouling assemblages and subsequently move these to destination far beyond their natural ranges. Over the past decades, this mechanism...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) and RNA (eRNA) methods is a rapidly advancing field that provides fast, cost-effective, non-invasive methods to identify the presence of target species. These methods can be used, for example, to screen for pest species as part of biosecurity measures and risk management, to screen for threatened species as part...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The use of molecular assays to assess the presence of species using environmental DNA (eDNA) and RNA (eRNA) as analytes has diversified as the field of environmental surveillance advances. These methods can be used, for example, to screen for pest species as part of biosecurity measures and risk management, to screen for threatened species as part...
Article
Full-text available
The invasive Mediterranean fanworm Sabella spallanzanii (Gmelin, 1791) is a notifiable organism under New Zealand’s Biosecurity Act and is recognized as a marine pest of particular concern, that must be reported to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), New Zealand. Since its first detection in 2008, great effort and financial resources are put...
Article
Full-text available
Impacts of Marine Plastic Debris (MPD) on marine ecosystems are among the most critical environmental concerns of the past three decades. Virgin plastic is often cheaper to manufacture than recycled plastics, increasing rates of plastic released into the environment and thereby impacting ecosystem health and functioning. Along with other environmen...
Article
Full-text available
Biofouling invasive species cause economic harm to shellfish aquaculture and require effective management strategies. Therefore, a better understanding of the life cycle and spread of key pest species for more efficient surveillance approaches is needed. The main purpose of this study was to assess effectiveness of detecting the invasive Mediterran...
Article
Full-text available
1. Growing interest and affordability of environmental DNA and RNA (eDNA and eRNA) approaches for biodiversity assessments and monitoring of complex ecosystems have led to the emergence of manifold protocols for nucleic acids (NAs) isolation and processing. Although there is no consensus on a standardized workflow, the common practice for water sam...
Preprint
Environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses are powerful for describing marine biodiversity but must be optimized for their effective use in routine monitoring. To maximize eDNA detection probabilities of sparsely distributed populations, water samples are usually concentrated from larger volumes and filtered using fine-pore membranes, often a significant co...
Article
Full-text available
Lake sediments hold a wealth of information from past environments that is highly valuable for paleolimnological reconstructions. These studies increasingly apply modern molecular tools targeting sedimentary DNA (sedDNA). However, sediment core sampling can be logistically difficult, making immediate subsampling for sedDNA challenging. Sediment cor...
Article
Full-text available
Around the world, coastal urbanization continues to replace natural marine habitats with engineered structures, resulting in wholesale changes to shallow-water ecosystems and associated socioecological impacts. This process is expected to continue over the coming decades. The development of meaningful strategies to minimize future impacts requires...
Article
Full-text available
Globally, movements of commercial vessels can facilitate the spread of marine non-indigenous species (NIS) beyond their current biogeographic ranges. Authorities at potential destination locations employ a number of biosecurity risk assessment strategies to estimate threat levels from potential origin locations, vulnerability levels of specific des...
Experiment Findings
A two-tier experimental set-up was applied in this study. In the first experimental round, the performance of different filter membranes for capturing various fractions of eDNA/eRNA was assessed. We selected cellulose acetate (CA) membranes (repeatedly reported performing well in eDNA studies) of three pore sizes (5 μm, 1.2 μm, 0.45 μm) and a posit...
Article
Opportunities to study community level responses to extreme natural pulse disturbances in unaltered ecosystems are rare. Lake sediment records that span thousands of years can contain well resolved sediment pulses, triggered by earthquakes. These paleo-records provide a means to study repeated pulse disturbance and processes of resistance (insensit...
Article
Millions of tons of water cross the oceans inside ships' ballast tanks every day. Planktonic species hitch-hike with water and some may pose risks to ecosystems and economies if get released and establish outside their native range. We monitored ballast water in different trans-equatorial travels, visually and using molecular techniques, and found...
Presentation
Chironomids are among few macrofauna taxa that are able to thrive in the highly-reduced conditions typical of eutrophic freshwater sediments such as in the Curonian Lagoon (Lithuania). In these environments, chironomids can reach high densities up to 11,000 ind. m-2, and thus act as keystone species. Here we measured rate of N transformation in who...
Article
Full-text available
It can be challenging to differentiate community changes caused by human activities from the influence of natural background variability. Using gradient forest analysis, we explored the relative importance of environmental factors, operating across multiple spatio-temporal scales, in influencing patterns of compositional turnover in estuarine benth...
Article
The introduction of non-indigenous species (NIS) is a major driver for global change in species biogeography, often associated with significant consequences for recipient ecosystems and services they provide for humans. Despite mandated by several high-level international legislative instruments, comprehensive quantitative evaluation on ecosystem i...
Preprint
Full-text available
Coastal lagoons are important sites for nitrogen (N) removal via sediment burial and denitrification. Blooms of heterocystous cyanobacteria may diminish N retention as dinitrogen (N2) fixation offsets atmospheric losses via denitrification. We measured N2 fixation in the Curonian Lagoon, Europe's largest coastal lagoon, to better understand the fac...
Article
Full-text available
Coastal lagoons are important sites for nitrogen (N) removal via sediment burial and denitrification. Blooms of heterocystous cyanobacteria may diminish N retention as dinitrogen (N2) fixation offsets atmospheric losses via denitrification. We measured N2 fixation in the Curonian Lagoon, Europe’s largest coastal lagoon, to better understand the fac...
Article
Full-text available
Following the recent leap in biotechnologies and particularly in high-throughput sequencing techniques, environmental DNA and RNA (eDNA and eRNA) are increasingly being used for biodiversity assessments and monitoring of complex ecosystems – lakes, streams and coastal waters. Growing interest and affordability of eDNA/eRNA based tools have led to t...
Article
Tube‐dwelling chironomid larvae are among the few taxa that can withstand and thrive in the organic‐rich sediments typical of eutrophic freshwater ecosystems. They can have multiple effects on microbial nitrogen (N) cycling in burrow environments, but such effects cease when chironomid larvae undergo metamorphosis into flying adults and leave the s...
Article
Full-text available
Seasonally nitrogen-limited and phosphorus-replete temperate coastal waters generally host dense and diverse diazotrophic communities. Despite numerous studies in marine systems, little is known about diazotrophs and their functioning in oligohaline estuarine environments. Here we applied a combination of nifH transcript and metagenomic shotgun seq...
Article
In marine settings, anthropogenic disturbances and climate change increase the rate of biological invasions. Predicting still undescribed invasive alien species (IAS) is needed for preparing timely management responses. We tested a strategy for discovering new potential IAS using DNA in a trans-equatorial expedition onboard RV Polarstern. During on...
Article
Full-text available
Bivalves are ubiquitous filter-feeders able to alter ecosystems functions. Their impact on nitrogen (N) cycling is commonly related to their filter-feeding activity, biodeposition, and excretion. A so far understudied impact is linked to the metabolism of the associated microbiome that together with the host constitute the mussel’s holobiont. Here...
Article
Full-text available
Plankton are central to planetary ecology, generating 50% of Earth's atmospheric oxygen and forming the largest system of interconnected life at the base of the marine food chain. Yet, current oceanographic models aimed at predicting global climate change lack high-resolution biological data, emphasizing the need for innovative approaches to collec...
Article
The introduction and spread of marine non-indigenous species (NIS) and pathogens into new habitats are a major threat to biodiversity, ecosystem services, human health, and can have substantial economic consequences. Shipping is considered the main vector for marine biological invasions; less well understood is the increased spread of marine NIS an...
Article
Full-text available
Marine sediments contain a high diversity of micro-and macro-organisms which are important in the functioning of biogeochemical cycles. Traditionally, anthropogenic perturbation has been investigated by identifying macro-organism responses along gradients. Environmental DNA (eDNA) analyses have recently been advocated as a rapid and cost-effective...
Article
Full-text available
Globalization has increased connectivity between countries enhancing the spread of marine nonindigenous species (NIS). The establishment of marine NIS shows substantial negative effects on the structure and functioning of the natural ecosystems by competing for habitats and resources. Ports are often hubs for the spread of NIS via commercial and re...
Article
Nutrient loading is a major threat to estuaries and coastal environments worldwide, therefore, it is critical that we have good monitoring tools to detect early signs of degradation in these ecologically important and vulnerable ecosystems. Traditionally, bottom-dwelling invertebrates have been used for ecological health assessment but recent advan...
Experiment Findings
An aquarium study to investigate eDNA and eRNA shedding rates and degradation for two sessile marine invertebrates. The copy numbers for eDNA and eRNA were assessed using droplet digital PCR targeting the mitochondrial Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit 1 (COI) gene.
Article
Molecular-based approaches can provide timely biodiversity assessments, showing an immense potential to facilitate decision-making in marine environmental management. However, the uptake of molecular data into environmental policy remains minimal. Here, we showcase a selection of local to global scale studies applying molecular-based methodologies...
Poster
Full-text available
Summer school on “Microbes-Macrofauna Assiociations and their role in the Nitrogen Cycle” will be held in the modern laboratories of the Marine Research Institute at Klaipeda University, Lithuania. This summer school will provide participants with sound theoretical and practical foundation on geochemical and molecular approaches used to investigate...
Presentation
At present, health of our coastal environments is primarily determined by assessing changes in the abundance and diversity of the larger animals inhabiting the sediments. The current method involves morphological identification of these animals under microscopes, a time consuming and expensive process that relies on expert taxonomic knowledge. Focu...
Presentation
At present, health of our coastal environments is primarily determined by assessing changes in the abundance and diversity of the larger animals inhabiting the sediments. The current method involves morphological identification of these animals under microscopes, a time consuming and expensive process that relies on expert taxonomic knowledge. Focu...
Article
Over the last decade, there has been growing interest in the analysis of environmental DNA (eDNA) to infer the presence of organisms in aquatic environments. The efficacy of eDNA/eRNA based tools are highly depend on the turnover rate of the molecule (their release and degradation). Environmental DNA has been shown to persist for days, weeks or yea...
Article
Full-text available
The Systems Approach Framework with an integrated Ecological-Social-Economic assessment was applied to address the issue of zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) farming in the large Oder (Szczecin) Lagoon, southern Baltic Sea. Heavy eutrophication hampers the use of the lagoon and zebra mussel farming is considered as new use and potential measure t...
Article
Full-text available
Environmental DNA is increasingly being used in marine invasive species surveillance despite the inability to discriminate between contemporary intracellular (i.e., living) and extracellularly persistent (i.e., legacy) DNA fragments. Environmental RNA is emerging as a powerful alternative when distinguishing the living portion of a community is ess...
Article
Full-text available
The combination of biogeochemical methods and molecular techniques has the potential to uncover the black-box of the nitrogen (N) cycle in bioturbated sediments. Advanced biogeochemical methods allow the quantification of the process rates of different microbial processes, whereas molecular tools allow the analysis of microbial diversity (16S rRNA...
Article
Targeted species‐specific and community‐wide molecular diagnostics tools are being used with increasing frequency to detect invasive or rare species. Few studies have compared the sensitivity and specificity of these approaches. In the present study environmental DNA from 90 filtered seawater and 120 biofouling samples was analyzed with quantitativ...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract Marine infrastructure can favor the spread of non-indigenous marine biofouling species by providing a suitable habitat for them to proliferate. Cryptic organisms or those in early life stages can be difficult to distinguish by conventional morphological taxonomy. Molecular tools, such as metabarcoding, may improve their detection. In this...
Article
Full-text available
Molecular techniques may provide effective tools to enhance marine biosecurity surveillance. Prior to routine implementation, evidence-based consideration of their benefits and limitations is needed. In this study, we assessed the efficiency and practicality of visual diver surveys and real-time PCR assays (targeting DNA and RNA) for detecting two...
Article
Full-text available
Metabarcoding and metabolomics were used to explore the taxonomic composition and functional diversity of eukaryotic biofouling communities on plates with antifouling paints at two French coastal sites: Lorient (North Eastern Atlantic Ocean; temperate and eutrophic) and Toulon (North-Western Mediterranean Sea; mesotrophic but highly contaminated)....
Presentation
In response to the need to assess ecological status or health of marine benthic habitats many indicators have been developed. These measures of ecosystem response range from simple univariate measures (e.g. number of individuals, species richness), to more complex univariate measures that integrate information on taxa sensitivities to stress throug...
Article
Farming of shellfish and seaweeds is a tested tool for mitigating eutrophication consequences in coastal environments, however as many other marine economic activities it should be a subject of marine spatial planning for designating suitable sites. The present study proposes site selection framework for provisional zebra mussel farming in a eutrop...
Article
Full-text available
The human-mediated introduction of marine non-indigenous species is a centuries-if not millennia-old phenomenon, but was only recently acknowledged as a potent driver of change in the sea. We provide a synopsis of key historical milestones for marine bioinva-sions, including timelines of (a) discovery and understanding of the invasion process, focu...
Article
Full-text available
Different environmental factors could induce epigenetic changes, which are likely involved in the biological invasion process. Some of these factors are driven by humans as, for example, the pollution and deliberate or accidental introductions and others are due to natural conditions such as salinity. In this study, we have analysed the relationshi...
Presentation
Many indicators have been developed in response to the need to assess the ecological status or health of marine benthic habitats. These measures of ecosystem response range from simple univariate measures, to more complex univariate measures that integrate information on taxa sensitivities to stress through to multivariate approaches that incorpora...
Technical Report
Due to its unique characteristics with substantial drainage area and limited water exchange with the North Sea, considerable salinity gradient, permanent stratification as well as a combination of numerous, strong anthropogenic and climatic pressures the Baltic Sea environment is under constant stress. Considering the intensity of exploitation and...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The goal of BONUS BIO-C3 was to investigate the causes and consequences of changes in biodiversity on all its biological scales-genetic, taxonomic, functional, habitat and ecosystem diversity-in the Baltic Sea system. We wanted to move away from a static to a dynamic system view incorporating environmental change as well as the potential for specie...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Identification and quantification of pressure‐state links of biodiversity indicators is one of the major scientific challenges ahead. This task aimed at identifying and quantifying the pressure-state links of selected biodiversity indicators, their relevance and response to management measures. Relevant indicators have been selected based on their...
Article
The introduction of invasive species into a new environment is one of the most important factors implicated in loss of native biodiversity. Their early detection is indispensable to efficient control and management response, because after their incursion and establishment the eradication is nearly impossible. The Mediterranean Sea is one of the wor...
Article
Vessel hulls and underwater infrastructure can be severely impacted by marine biofouling. Knowledge on which abiotic conditions of artificial structures influence bacterial and eukaryotic community composition is limited. In this study, settlement plates with differing surface texture, orientation and copper-based antifouling coatings were deployed...