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

Final month, our venture NorHydro (along with ForBio Analysis College of Biosystematics and venture MEDUSA) organized a course on variety, systematics and biology of Hydrozoa on the Marine Organic Station in Espegrend. Fifteen contributors from 9 completely different nations got here all the best way to Bergen to study extra about these intriguing animals, share their concepts and initiatives, 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 concerning the course and her experiences along with her MSc venture. 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 concerning the existence of hydrozoans, however I had no concept how fascinating these animals truly had been. After some discussions, numerous studying, and a good quantity of footage of hydroids and hydromedusae, I made a decision to work with these inconspicuous invertebrates for my MSc venture beneath the supervision of Dr Luis Martell (College Museum of Bergen) and Dr. Maria Capa (College of the Balearic Islands). My venture goals to judge whether or not we are able to use the benthic communities of hydrozoans as bioindicators of anthropogenic influence on the easternmost coasts of Mallorca Island, within the Mediterranean Sea.

Me on a sampling day searching for benthic hydrozoans on the marine reserve of Cala Gat (prime). A better 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 pretty place to dwell, and these habitats present ecosystem companies that contribute vastly to the financial system of the world, however a nasty administration of them can generate vital damages and drastic modifications within the ecosystem. One solution to monitor environmental impacts in these habitats is by observing the response of their organic communities, so for this venture I made a decision to check the assemblages of benthic hydrozoans in two reverse websites with completely different ranges of anthropogenic influence: 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 likewise these rising on an important Mediterranean mushy substrate: the endemic seagrass Posidonia oceanica.

Some hydroids widespread in my research 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 shouldn’t be looking fastidiously for them. However the extra time I dedicate to watch these organisms, the extra curious I grew to become about their identification and dynamics, and the simpler it was to acknowledge them within the samples. Nonetheless, figuring out hydrozoans is a tough job and I noticed early that I wanted some assist, so I used to be very completely happy when the chance arose to use for the course “Range, Systematics and Biology of Hydrozoa” in Bergen. There, I had the possibility to fulfill a number of the main scientific consultants 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 through the completely different actions of the course, however on the finish these organisms had been capable of catch my consideration and time flew between lectures, sampling journeys, and laboratory work. One side of the course that I notably loved is the truth that it introduced collectively contributors with completely different trajectories in science, and everyone was completely happy to share their experiences on the earth of hydrozoan science.

We had every kind of climate through 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 had been normally the primary ones to be processed, since hydromedusae are fairly fragile and so they are inclined to endure morphological damages after being sampled with a web. We tried to determine all specimens to species stage, with the help of the stereomicroscopes and scientific literature with identification keys that the curse offered. The benthic samples had 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 web. Prime proper: a full cod-end with plankton pattern. Center proper: college students and lecturers prepared to go away the pier. Backside: benthos sampling with the triangular dredge. Image credit: Lara Beckmann, Sabine Holst, Luis Martell

Prime proper and left: college students and lecturers 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 had 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 tougher than figuring out the polyps, nevertheless it was additionally fascinating in its personal approach. The hydrozoans that caught my consideration probably the most had been the polyps from the suborder Capitata, as a result of their morphology may be very completely different from the hydroids that I’ve noticed in my MSc venture up to now. 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 (prime), Joan J. Soto Àngel (backside).

My curiosity for hydrozoans, the nice set of consultants we had as lecturers, and the charismatic animals that we collected had been the proper mixture for me to have an unimaginable expertise on this course. I feel that programs like these are a wonderful alternative for newcomers to study with consultants from completely different components of the world. Interacting with all of those wonderful 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 complicated functioning of our oceans.


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