Scale-dependent variation in competitive ability among encrusting Arctic species

first_imgFinding evidence for climate change in the sea has been less easy than on land. As ice-loading of nearshore waters (through ice sheet collapses) seems a most likely signal of climate warming, we looked at communities likely to be affected by changing disturbance, i.e. those encrusting boulders in shallow water. The structures of such assemblages at high latitude are highly hierarchical in which if uninterrupted by disturbance (ice-scour) succession would lead to domination by just a single species. However, unless pecking orders from place to place involve the same specific species, with the same competitive rankings, monopolisation will remain only local. To see how pecking orders varied, we examined variability in competitive performance of common species in a high Arctic lithophillic assemblage at several spatial scales. These were sampled 101, 103 and 105 m apart on the west coast of Spitsbergen, and 106 m apart, achieved by sampling southern Iceland and the Faeroe islands. We found that higher taxonomic membership was the major factor determining overgrowth performance of species. Overgrowth performance of each study species changed relatively little between samples, the same good competitors being top performers in any samples where they occurred. Overgrowth performance of each study species was also most similar in samples at the smallest spatial scale. Apart from this, the performance of each study species did not, however, become more dissimilar with increasing distance between samples. Most noteworthy was that susceptibility to variation in overgrowth performance at the regional 105 m scale altered with competitive ranking, i.e. pioneer and dominant species lost and won nearly all encounters respectively, wherever they were. The performance of mid-ranking species was much more variable. These results suggest that whilst the patterns of succession may differ from place to place, the end results will not. Our study provides data to support the theory that appreciation of scale is crucial to understanding community structure, diversity and potential for response to climate change. If ice-loading (disturbance) in polar waters does decrease, we suggest from our findings that a very small number of encrusting species may monopolise large areas of the shallows. Before this, though, we predict that different mid-ranked species will become more common from site to site, with limited reduction of ice (disturbance) increasing regional diversity.last_img read more

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Press release: UK-LATAC trade in the spotlight: Exports Minister visits Brazil and Argentina

first_imgMinister of State for Trade and Export Promotion, Baroness Fairhead, travelled to Brazil and Argentina last week (8-10 April) to meet with key Brazilian and Argentinian businesses and government ministers to discuss the UK’s commitment to trade and investment in both countries and the wider Latin American and Caribbean (LATAC) region.Baroness Fairhead met with businesses across a range of sectors including finance, life sciences and energy to reflect on both the challenges and opportunities available between the countries.Trade with Brazil, the world’s 9th largest economy, increased by 4.7% in 2018, reaching £5.8bn, while UK exports to Argentina rose by 4.1% to £807m. With trade with the two countries at healthy levels, there are significant opportunities for UK businesses to establish and build on strong trading ties far beyond Europe.Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion Baroness Fairhead said: Visit to ArgentinaIn Argentina, the Minister met with businesses and government officials to discuss ways in which the two countries can improve market access for business. While in Argentina the Minister highlighted the UK’s capability in a number of sectors including infrastructure, mining, agriculture, energy and financial services.The Minister also co-chaired the fourth meeting of the UK-Argentina Commercial Dialogue. Established in Spring 2017, it is the main forum for bilateral trade discussions between the two nations, and the latest talks focused on addressing market access issues faced by companies trading between the UK and Argentina. The meeting was hosted by Mariano Mayer, Secretary for SMEs and Entrepreneurship, on behalf of the Ministry of Production and Labour.Following the meeting, a new Better Regulation forum was agreed between the UK and Argentine governments, promoting direct regulator-to-regulator exchanges to share best practice and promote regulatory reform. These efforts will assist UK firms to enter the Argentine market, and support the Government of Argentina in its mission to modernise and streamline the Argentine regulatory environment, as well as improve Argentina’s standing as a destination for international business.Visit to BrazilMinister Fairhead visited Sao Paolo between 9-10 April, to attend an International Green Bond Market event. The Minister gave opening remarks at the event, highlighting the City of London as the global capital for Green Finance and reaffirm the UK government’s commitment to working with Brazil to improve trade and investment flows.The event was followed by a visit to Life Sciences company Aché’s manufacturing plant in Guarulhos to learn more about the Brazilian Life Sciences sector and potential opportunities for further collaboration with the UK.LATAC engagementBaroness Fairhead’s visit follows on the back of a week-long LATAC Roadshow across the UK that was promoted by DIT, which aimed to drive more UK businesses to export opportunities in the region. The roadshow engaged with more than 600 companies, visiting five cities in five days.The visit also follows the launch last week of DIT’s a dedicated Latin American Investors Club, created to help support Latin American and Caribbean companies invested in the UK. Roughly 100 investors attended the event.Latin America and the Caribbean combined is equivalent to the world’s third largest economy after China and the USA, offering vast potential for UK businesses across sectors such as food and drink, oil and gas, infrastructure and financial services. Home to over 650 million people, LATAC includes 48 countries and territories with a growing middle-class population, resulting in greater demand for high-quality products and services. This visit is a great opportunity to meet with businesses and members of government in both Brazil and Argentina to discuss how we can work together to improve our trading relationship and support more UK firms secure success in the region. Brazil and Argentina are significant markets in their own rights, and while British businesses are seeing increased demand from these vibrant economies, there is still more to do to ensure our leading sectors capitalise on the many opportunities and the growing demand for British brands across both countries. The Department for International Trade is committed to supporting British businesses of all sizes export more and break into new markets, as outlined in the government’s Export Strategy.last_img read more

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Layoffs in Lake Worth Beach to Help Finance Electric Utility Upgrade

first_imgThe city of Lake Worth Beach is laying off 5 city employees effective immediately, eliminating 35 jobs, and cutting $800,000 from its budget according to reports. For years, the city has been taking money from its city electric utility and using that money to run the city and not putting it back into the utility, and City Manager Michael Bornstein says something has to be done so that the city can upgrade its utility.“And we’re reversing 40-50 years of that benign neglect. If you’re not constantly maintaining and fixing and rebuilding and upgrading your electric utility, it’s deteriorating,” Bornstein said.The system is deteriorating power outages are common for customers in Lake Worth Beach.Dave Palombo owns Dave’s Last Resort and Raw Bar in downtown Lake Worth Beach.“It was bad. I mean we had power outages all the time, power surges, spikes, shorting out equipment,” Palombo told CBS12.The layoffs were effective yesterday, and the employees did not receive a severance package. “I was very surprised and a little disappointed. I had no warning. It came as a big surprise,” said Vickie Joslin, the city’s head librarian who was laid off from the city after 20 years on the job.last_img read more

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