Simon A Morley

Simon A Morley
British Antarctic Survey | BAS · Biodiversity Evolution and Adaptation

PhD fish physiology

About

157
Publications
26,188
Reads
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3,741
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2004 - present
British Antarctic Survey
Description
  • Ecophysiologist investigating latitudinal thermal physiology
January 2001 - December 2003
British Antarctic Survey
Description
  • Senior wintering biologist at the King Edward Point Applied Fisheries Biologist.
May 1998 - January 2001
University of Wales
Description
  • Ecophysiologist investigating effect of temperature and oxygen concentration on life history characteristics of a bryozoan
Education
February 1994 - December 1998
University of Liverpool
Field of study
  • Fish Ecophysiology
October 1991 - October 1992
University of Plymouth
Field of study
  • Applied Fish Biology
October 1988 - July 2001
University of Liverpool
Field of study
  • Marine Biology

Publications

Publications (157)
Article
Full-text available
Living specimens of the macroalga Palmaria decipiens were collected from 100 m depth, representing a new confirmed depth record, considerably exceeding the previous record of 42 m depth. Previous deeper collections (below conventional SCUBA depths) have relied on dredge/grab samples or drop camera surveys. Remote techniques cannot conclusively prov...
Article
The Antarctic Circumpolar Current imparts significant structure to the Southern Ocean biota. The Antarctic Polar Front is a major barrier to dispersal, with separate species (or sometimes intraspecific clades) normally occurring either side of this feature. We examined the biogeographic structure of an apparent exception to this rule in a widesprea...
Article
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Climate-driven changes in disturbance are a major threat to ecosystem Functional diversity. The selective mechanisms underlying ecosystem response to disturbance are far from universal and remain the subject of scientific debate. Ice scouring of the shallow Antarctic benthos is one of the largest disturbance gradients in the natural environment and...
Article
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The importance of cold-water blue carbon as biological carbon pumps that sequester carbon into ocean sediments is now being realised. Most polar blue carbon research to date has focussed on deep water, yet the highest productivity is in the shallows. This study measured the functional biodiversity and carbon standing stock accumulated by shallow-wa...
Article
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The Western Antarctic Peninsula (WAP) is a hotspot for environmental change and has a strong environmental gradient from North to South. Here, for the first time we used adult individuals of the bivalve Aequiyoldia eightsii to evaluate large-scale spatial variation in the biochemical composition (measured as lipid, protein and fatty acids) and ener...
Article
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Carbon-rich habitats can provide powerful climate mitigation if meaningful protection is put in place. We attempted to quantify this around the Tristan da Cunha archipelago Marine Protected Area. Its shallows (<1000 m depth) are varied and productive. The 5.4 km2 of kelp stores ~60 tonnes of carbon (tC) and may export ~240 tC into surrounding depth...
Article
Physiological comparisons are fundamental to quantitative assessments of the capacity of species to persist within their current distribution and to predict their rates of redistribution in response to climate change. Yet, the degree to which physiological traits are conserved through evolutionary history may fundamentally constrain the capacity fo...
Article
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Climate-related disturbance regimes are changing rapidly with profound consequences for ecosystems. Disturbance is often perceived as detrimental to biodiversity; however, the literature is divided on how they influence each other. Disturbance events in nature are diverse, occurring across numerous interacting trophic levels and multiple spatial an...
Article
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Marine mammal sightings were recorded during research cruises to three remote, mid-ocean British Overseas Territories in the South Atlantic and Southern Ocean. In March to April 2018 and 2019, the Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) of tropical St Helena and temperate Tristan da Cunha were surveyed. The sub-polar waters of South Georgia and the South S...
Article
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Local drivers are human activities or processes that occur in specific locations, and cause physical or ecological change at the local or regional scale. Here, we consider marine and land-derived pollution, non-indigenous species, tourism and other human visits, exploitation of marine resources, recovery of marine mammals, and coastal change as a r...
Article
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St Helena is an isolated oceanic island located in the tropical South Atlantic, and knowledge of broadscale oceanography and productivity in its surrounding waters is limited. This study used model outputs (2007-2017), remote sensing data (1998-2017) and survey measurements (April 2018 and 2019) to determine background conditions for nutrients, chl...
Article
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The global lockdown to mitigate COVID-19 pandemic health risks has altered human interactions with nature. Here, we report immediate impacts of changes in human activities on wildlife and environmental threats during the early lockdown months of 2020, based on 877 qualitative reports and 332 quantitative assessments from 89 different studies. Hundr...
Article
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Knowledge of life on the Southern Ocean seafloor has substantially grown since the beginning of this century with increasing ship-based surveys and regular monitoring sites, new technologies and greatly enhanced data sharing. However, seafloor habitats and their communities exhibit high spatial variability and heterogeneity that challenges the way...
Article
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All coastal systems experience disturbances and many across the planet are under unprecedented threat from an intensification of a variety of stressors. The West Antarctic Peninsula is a hotspot of physical climate change and has experienced a dramatic loss of sea‐ice and glaciers in recent years. Among other things, sea‐ice immobilizes icebergs, r...
Article
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Extrapolating patterns from individuals to populations informs climate vulnerability models, yet biological responses to warming are uncertain at both levels. Here we contrast data on the heating tolerances of fishes from laboratory experiments with abundance patterns of wild populations. We find that heating tolerances in terms of individual physi...
Article
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Environmental conditions of the Southern Ocean around Antarctica have varied little for >5 million years but are now changing. Here, we investigated how warming affects competition for space. Little considered in the polar regions, this is a critical component of biodiversity response. Change in competition in response to environment forcing might...
Article
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Bluenose warehou ( Hyperoglyphe antarctica ) is a popular commercial fish in Australia and New Zealand, but its biology and ecology are very poorly known in other regions where it is found. We present here the first life history data for this species from the south Atlantic, focusing upon the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of the United Kingdom Over...
Article
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While there is now strong evidence that many factors can shape dispersal, the mechanisms influencing connectivity patterns are species‐specific and remain largely unknown for many species with a high dispersal potential. The rock lobsters Jasus tristani and Jasus paulensis have a long pelagic larval duration (up to 20 months) and inhabit seamounts...
Article
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Members of the trochoidean genus Margarella (Calliostomatidae) are broadly distributed across Antarctic and sub-Antarctic ecosystems. Here we used novel mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences to clarify species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships among seven nominal species distributed on either side of the Antarctic Polar Front (APF). Mole...
Article
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The manuscript assesses the current and expected future global drivers of Southern Ocean (SO) ecosystems. Atmospheric ozone depletion over the Antarctic since the 1970s, has been a key driver, resulting in springtime cooling of the stratosphere and intensification of the polar vortex, increasing the frequency of positive phases of the Southern Annu...
Article
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The Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC) dominates the open-ocean circulation of the Southern Ocean, and both isolates and connects the Southern Ocean biodiversity. However, the impact on biological processes of other Southern Ocean currents is less clear. Adjacent to the West Antarctic Peninsula (WAP), the ACC flows offshore in a northeastward dire...
Article
Studying the influence of changing environmental conditions on Antarctic marine benthic invertebrates is strongly constrained by limited access to the region, which poses difficulties to performing long-term experimental studies. Ecological modelling has been increasingly used as a potential alternative to assess the impact of such changes on speci...
Article
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Disturbance is a key factor in most natural environments and, globally, disturbance regimes are changing, driven by increased anthropogenic influences, including climate change. There is, however, still a lack of understanding about how disturbance interacts with species dispersal capacity to shape marine assemblage structure. We examined the impac...
Article
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Whole organism function is underpinned by physiological and biological processes, which respond to temperature over a range of time scales. Given that environmental temperature controls biological rates within ectotherms, different experimental protocols are needed to assess the ability of organisms to withstand extreme weather events versus gradua...
Article
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The levels of pollutants in polar regions is gaining progressively more attention from the science community. This is especially so for pollutants that persist in the environment and can reach polar latitudes via a wide range of routes, such as persistent organic pollutants (POPs). In this study samples of Antarctic marine benthic organisms were an...
Article
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The Antarctic is considered to be a pristine environment relative to other regions of the Earth, but it is increasingly vulnerable to invasions by marine, freshwater and terrestrial non-native species. The Antarctic Peninsula region (APR), which encompasses the Antarctic Peninsula, South Shetland Islands and South Orkney Islands, is by far the most...
Article
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For many types of seaweeds in Polar Regions, open questions remain about how their life cycle contributes to their overall adaptation to the extreme abiotic environment. This applies in particular to the major canopy-forming brown algae in much of the Antarctic Peninsula of the genus Desmarestia, which was investigated here. Diving surveys around R...
Article
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The dynamics of microfilament (<5 mm) ingestion were evaluated in three species of snooks. The ingestion of different colours and sizes of microfilaments were strongly associated with the spatio-temporal estuarine use and ontogenetic shifts of snooks. Their feeding ecology was also analysed to assess dietary relationships with patterns of contamina...
Article
Documenting and explaining global patterns of biodiversity in time and space have fascinated and occupied biologists for centuries. Investigation of the importance of these patterns, and their underpinning mechanisms, has gained renewed vigour and importance, perhaps becoming pre-eminent, as we attempt to predict the biological impacts of global cl...
Article
It has been suggested that giant Antarctic marine invertebrates will be particularly vulnerable to declining O 2 levels as our ocean warms in line with current climate change predictions. Our study provides some support for this oxygen limitation hypothesis, with larger body sizes being generally more sensitive to O 2 reductions than smaller body s...
Article
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Background: Marine soft sediments are some of the most widespread habitats in the ocean, playing a vital role in global carbon cycling, but are amongst the least studied with regard to species composition and ecosystem functioning. This is particularly true of the Polar Regions, which are currently undergoing rapid climate change, the impacts of w...
Article
Aim To test if physiological acclimation can buffer species against increasing extreme heat due to climate change. Location Global. Time period 1960 to 2015. Major taxa studied Amphibians, arthropods, brachiopods, cnidarians, echinoderms, fishes, molluscs, reptiles. Methods We draw together new and existing data quantifying the warm acclimation...
Article
Aim: To test if physiological acclimation can buffer species against increasing extreme heat due to climate change. Location: Global Time period: 1960 to 2015 Major taxa studied: amphibians, arthropods, brachiopods, cnidarians, echinoderms, fishes, molluscs, reptiles Methods: We draw together new and existing data quantifying the warm acclimat...
Article
Full-text available
Understanding the mechanisms which determine the capacity of any species to adapt to changing environmental conditions is one of the foremost requirements in accurately predicting which populations, species and clades are likely to survive ongoing, rapid climate change. The polar oceans are amongst the most rapidly changing environments on Earth wi...
Article
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There has been a recent shift in global perception of plastics in the environment, resulting in a call for greater action. Science and the popular media have highlighted plastic as an increasing stressor [1,2]. Efforts have been made to confer protected status to some remote locations, forming some of the world's largest Marine Protected Areas, inc...
Article
The species of the genus Aequiyoldia Soot-Ryen, 1951, previously known as Yoldia, are common, soft-substratum, sareptid bivalves. In the Southern Ocean, Aequiyoldia eightsii (Jay, 1839) was originally described from the Antarctic Peninsula and has also been reported in southern South America. The species A. woodwardi (Hanley, 1960) was reported for...
Article
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The waters of the Southern Ocean exhibit extreme seasonality in primary production, with marine life living below 0 °C for much of the year. The metabolic cold adaptation (MCA) hypothesis suggests that polar species need elevated basal metabolic rates to enable activity in such cold which should result in higher metabolic rates, or at least rates s...
Article
We assess biogeographical patterns, population structure and the range of species in the pulmonate genus Siphonaria across the sub-Antarctic. We hypothesized that locally endemic cryptic species will be found across the distribution of these direct-developing limpets in the sub-Antarctic. The sub-Antarctic coasts of the Southern Ocean including Sou...
Article
In our recent Current Biology paper [1], we describe an ocean warming experiment in which we manipulated the temperature of panels set on the seafloor to provide a realistic and relevant indication of how benthic communities may change under future ocean warming. We describe increases in growth associated with warming by 1°C, with growth rates up t...
Conference Paper
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What little we know of high latitude southern continental shelves suggests that they provide globally important carbon capture and storage. As well as oceanographic CO2 absorption, biological fixation and trophic cascading are important but the latter are little understood or quantified. Most foodweb carbon is pelagic, recycled through microbial lo...
Article
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The proportion of body mass devoted to skeleton in marine invertebrates decreases along latitudinal gradients from large proportions in the tropics to small proportions in polar regions. A historical hypothesis—that latitudinal differences in shell production costs explain these trends—remains untested. Using field-collected specimens spanning a 79...
Article
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Forecasting assemblage-level responses to climate change remains one of the greatest challenges in global ecology [1, 2]. Data from the marine realm are limited because they largely come from experiments using limited numbers of species [3], mesocosms whose interior conditions are unnatural [4], and long-term correlation studies based on historical...
Article
Recent studies have improved our understanding of nearshore marine ecosystems surrounding Ascension Island (central Atlantic Ocean), but little is known about Ascension's benthic environment beyond its shallow coastal waters. Here, we report the first detailed physical and biological examination of the seabed surrounding Ascension Island at 100–100...
Article
Thermal acclimation capacity was investigated in adults of three tropical marine invertebrates, the subtidal barnacle Striatobalanus amaryllis, the intertidal gastropod Volegalea cochlidium and the intertidal barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite. To test the relative importance of transgenerational acclimation, the developmental acclimation capacity of...
Article
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Understanding species' responses to environmental change underpins our abilities to make predictions on future biodiversity under any range of scenarios. In spite of the huge biodiversity in most ecosystems, a model species approach is often taken in environmental studies. To date, we still do not know how many species we need to study to input int...
Article
This study investigated the effects of long-term incubation to near-future combined warming (+2 °C) and ocean acidification (−0.3 and −0.5 pH units) stressors, relative to current conditions (−0.3 °C and pH 8.0), on the energetics of food processing in the Antarctic sea urchin, Sterechinus neumayeri. After an extended incubation of 40 months, energ...
Article
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Seasonal measurements of the metabolic physiology of four Antarctic demosponges and their associated assemblages, maintained in a flow through aquarium facility, demonstrated one of the largest differences in seasonal strategies between species and their associated sponge communities. The sponge oxygen consumption measured here exhibited both the l...
Data
This study investigated the effects of long-term incubation to near-future combined warming (+2 °C) and ocean acidification (-0.3 and -0.5 pH units) stressors, relative to current conditions (-0.3 °C and pH 8.0), on the energetics of food processing in the Antarctic sea urchin, Sterechinus neumayeri. After an extended incubation of 40 months, energ...
Article
The Southern Ocean archipelago, the South Orkney Islands (SOI), became the world's first entirely high seas marine protected area (MPA) in 2010. The SOI continental shelf (~44 000 km(2) ), was less than half covered by grounded ice sheet during glaciations, is biologically rich and a key area of both sea surface warming and sea-ice losses. Little w...
Article
Selection acts on individuals, specifically on their differences. To understand adaptation and responses to change therefore requires knowledge of how variation is generated and distributed across traits. Variation occurs on different biological scales, from genetic through physiological to morphological, yet it is unclear which of these carries th...
Data
This study examined the effects of long-term culture under altered conditions on the Antarctic sea urchin, Sterechinus neumayeri. Sterechinus neumayeri was cultured under the combined environmental stressors of lowered pH (-0.3 and -0.5 pH units) and increased temperature (+2 °C) for 2 years. This time-scale covered two full reproductive cycles in...
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of long-term culture under altered conditions on the Antarctic sea urchin, Sterechinus neumayeri. Sterechinus neumayeri was cultured under the combined environmental stressors of lowered pH (-0·3 and -0·5 pH units) and increased temperature (+2 °C) for 2 years. This time-scale covered two full reproductive cycles in...
Article
Full-text available
The distribution of the Southern Ocean nearshore marine benthic fauna is the consequence of major geologic, oceanographic, and climatic changes during the last 50 Ma. As a result, a main biogeographic principle in the Southern Ocean is the clear distinction of the Antarctic biota. The Antarctic Polar Front (APF) represents an important barrier betw...
Article
Patterns of environmental spatial structure lie at the heart of the most fundamental and familiar patterns of diversity on Earth. Antarctica contains some of the strongest environmental gradients on the planet and therefore provides an ideal study ground to test hypotheses on the relevance of environmental variability for biodiversity. To answer th...
Article
Full-text available
Thermal reaction norms are fundamental relationships for geographic comparisons of organism response to temperature. They are shaped by an organism's environmental history and provide insights into both the global patterns of thermal sensitivity and the physiological mechanisms underlying temperature response. In this study we conducted the first m...