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  • Seafloor massive sulfide (SMS) deposits are important deep-sea mineral resources expected to occur predominantly on slow- and ultraslow-spreading mid-ocean ridges. Resource estimates are already available for some of the largest SMS deposits on slow-spreading ridges but not on ultraslow-spreading ridges. Based on geological mapping and sampling, this study investigates the distribution and content of sulfide-rich deposits in the Yuhuang-1 hydrothermal field (YHF), located on the ultraslow-spreading Southwest Indian Ridge. The sulfide-rich deposits in the YHF are composed of two areas ∼500 m apart: the southwest sulfide area (SWS) and the northeast sulfide area (NES). We calculated the volume of sulfide-rich mounds in the YHF and arrived at a total accumulation of ∼10.6 × 106 tons, including at least ∼7.5 × 105 tons of copper and zinc and ∼18 tons of gold. Furthermore, considering the coverage of layered hydrothermal sediment mixed with sulfide-rich breccias, which may have underlying massive sulfide deposits, the maximum total mass was estimated at ∼45.1 × 106 tons. This suggests that the YHF is one of the largest SMS deposits worldwide and confirm that ultraslow-spreading ridges have the greatest potential to form large-scale SMS deposits.

  • Abstract Much controversy has occurred in the past few decades regarding the nature of the sources, the petrogenetic processes, and the tectonic regime(s) of the Jurassic magmatism within the Southeast China magmatic belt. This study aims to contribute to the discussion with mineral chemistry, and whole-rock element and Sr-Nd-Hf-Pb isotopic geochemical data from granitic rocks and microgranular mafic enclaves from Macao, where two discrete groups of I-type biotite granites have been identified (referred to as Macao Group I [MGI] and Macao Group II [MGII]). It is proposed that the granitic magmas were generated by partial melting of infracrustal medium- to high-K, basaltic Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic protoliths (Nd depleted mantle model age [TDM2] = 1.7–1.6 Ga and Hf TDM2 = 1.8–1.6 Ga), triggered by underplating of hot mantle-derived magmas in an extensional setting related to the foundering of a previously flat slab (paleo–Pacific plate) beneath the SE China continent. The main differences between the two groups of Macao granites are attributed to assimilation and fractional crystallization processes, during which upper-crustal Paleozoic metasediments were variably assimilated by MGI magmas. This is evidenced by an increase in initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios with degree of evolution, presence of metasedimentary enclaves, and high percentage of zircon xenocrysts with Paleozoic ages. In addition, other processes like late-stage fluid/melt interaction and magma mixing also left some imprints on granite compositions (rare earth element tetrad effect plus non–charge-and-radius-controlled behavior of trace elements and decoupling between different isotope systems, respectively). The distribution of isotopically distinct granites in SE China reflects the nature of the two Cathaysia crustal blocks juxtaposed along the Zhenghe-Dapu fault.

  • A 1:12,000 geological map of the Macao Special Administrative Region has been produced through detailed field work supported by petrographic, mineralogical, geochronological and geochemical data obtained in previous studies. This map aims to represent a reliable tool to understand the geological evolution of the region and for management of the territory. The geology of Macao is dominated by two groups of Jurassic granitic rocks belonging to an intrusive suite located along the coast of Southeast China: Macao Group I (MGI: 164.5 ± 0.6 to 162.9 ± 0.7 Ma) and Macao Group II (MGII: 156.6 ± 0.2 to 155.5 ± 0.8 Ma), including the associated microgranite, aplite and pegmatite dikes and quartz veins. Remnants of the metasedimentary wall-rock are present as Devonian xenoliths enclosed within the granites. Younger Jurassic to Cretaceous andesite to dacite dikes (150.6 ± 0.6 to <120 Ma) intrude the granitic rocks. Additionally, Quaternary sedimentary deposits cover the older lithologies.

  • The widespread W-(Mo)-Sn-Nb-Ta polymetallic mineralization in Southeast (SE) China is genetically associated with Mesozoic highly fractionated granitic rocks. Such rocks have enigmatic mineralogical and geochemical features, making its petrogenesis an intensely debated topic. To better understand the underlying magma evolution processes, petrography, garnet chemistry and whole-rock major and trace element data are reported for Jurassic highly fractionated granitic rocks and associated microgranite and aplitepegmatite dikes from Macao and compared with coeval similar granitic rocks from nearby areas in SE China. Despite the fact that the most evolved rocks in Macao are garnet-bearing aplite-pegmatite dikes, the existence of coeval two-mica and garnet-bearing biotite and muscovite granites displaying more evolved compositions (e.g, lower Zr/Hf ratios) indicates that the differentiation sequence reached higher degrees of fractionation at a regional scale. Although crystal fractionation played an important role, late-stage fluid/melt interactions, involving F-rich fluids, imparted specific geochemical characteristics to Macao and SE China highly fractionated granitic rocks such as the non-CHARAC (CHArge-and-RAdius-Controlled) behavior of trace elements, leading, for example, to non-chondritic Zr/Hf ratios, Rare Earth Elements (REE) tetrad effects and Nb-Ta enrichment and fractionation. Such process contributed to the late-stage crystallization of accessory phases only found in these highly evolved facies. Among the latter, two populations of garnet were identified in MGI (Macao Group I) highly fractionated granitic rocks: small grossular-poor euhedral grains and large grossular-rich skeletal garnet grains with quartz inclusions. The first group was mainly formed through precipitation from highly evolved Mn-rich slightly peraluminous melts under low-pressure and relatively low temperature (∼700 °C) conditions. Assimilation of upper crust metasedimentary materials may have contributed as a source of Mn and Al to the formation of garnet. The second group has a metasomatic origin related to the interaction of magmatic fluids with previously crystallized mineral phases and, possibly, with assimilated metasedimentary enclaves or surrounding metasedimentary strata. The highly fractionated granitic rocks in Macao represent the first stage in the development of granite-related W-(Mo)-Sn-Nb-Ta mineralization associated with coeval more evolved lithotypes in SE China.

  • Fishes show remarkably diverse aggressive behaviour. Aggression is expressed to secure resources; adjusting aggression levels according to context is key to avoid negative consequences for fitness and survival. Nonetheless, despite its importance, the physiological basis of aggression in fishes is still poorly understood. Several reports suggest hormonal modulation of aggression, particularly by androgens, but contradictory studies have been published. Studies exploring the role of chemical communication in aggressive behaviour are also scant, and the pheromones involved remain to be unequivocally characterized. This is surprising as chemical communication is the most ancient form of information exchange and plays a variety of other roles in fishes. Furthermore, the study of chemical communication and aggression is relevant at the evolutionary, ecological and economic levels. A few pioneering studies support the hypothesis that aggressive behaviour, at least in some teleosts, is modulated by “dominance pheromones” that reflect the social status of the sender, but there is little information on the identity of the compounds involved. This review aims to provide a global view of aggressive behaviour in fishes and its underlying physiological mechanisms including the involvement of chemical communication, and discusses the potential use of dominance pheromones to improve fish welfare. Methodological considerations and future research directions are also outlined.

  • The on-board identification of ore minerals during a cruise is often postponed until long after the cruise is over. During the M127 cruise, 21 cores with deep-seafloor sediments were recovered in the Trans-Atlantic Geotraverse (TAG) field along the Mid Atlantic Ridge (MAR). Sediments were analyzed on-board for physicochemical properties such as lightness (L*), pH and Eh. Selected samples were studied for mineral composition by X-ray powder diffraction (XRD). Based on XRD data, sediment samples were separated into high-, low- and non-carbonated. Removal of carbonates is a common technique in mineralogical studies in which HCl is used as the extraction agent. In the present study, sequential extraction was performed with sodium acetate buffer (pH 5.0) to remove carbonates. The ratio between the highest calcite XRD reflection in the original samples (Iorig) vs its XRD-reflection in samples after their treatment with the buffer (Itreat) was used as a quantitative parameter of calcite removal, as well as to identify minor minerals in carbonated samples (when Iorig/Itreat > 24). It was found that the lightness parameter (L*) showed a positive correlation with calcite XRD reflection in selected TAG samples, and this could be applied to the preliminary on-board determination of extraction steps with acetate buffer (pH 5.0) in carbonated sediment samples. The most abundant minerals detected in carbonated samples were quartz and Al- and Fe-rich clays. Other silicates were also detected (e.g., calcic plagioclase, montmorillonite, nontronite). In non-carbonated samples, Fe oxides and hydroxides (goethite and hematite, respectively) were detected. Pyrite was the dominant hydrothermal mineral and Cu sulfides (chalcopyrite, covellite) and hydrothermal Mn oxides (birnessite and todorokite) were mineral phases identified in few samples, whereas paratacamite was detected in the top 20 cm of the core. The present study demonstrates that portable XRD analysis makes it possible to characterize mineralogy at cored sites, in particular in both low- and high-carbonated samples, before the end of most cruises, thus enabling the quick modification of exploration strategies in light of new information as it becomes available in near-real time.

  • Zebrafish is a well-established model organism in hearing research. Although the acoustic environment is known to shape the structure and sensitivity of auditory systems, there is no information on the natural soundscape of this species. Moreover, zebrafish are typically reared in large-scale housing systems (HS), although their acoustic properties and potential effects on hearing remain unknown. We characterized the soundscape of both zebrafish natural habitats and laboratory captive conditions, and discussed possible impact on auditory sensitivity. Sound recordings were conducted in five distinct zebrafish habitats (Southwest India), from quieter stagnant environments with diverse biological/abiotic sounds to louder watercourses characterized by current and moving substrate sounds. Sound pressure level (SPL) varied between 98 and 126 dB re 1 μPa. Sound spectra presented most energy below 3000 Hz and quieter noise windows were found in the noisiest habitats matching the species best hearing range. Contrastingly, recordings from three zebrafish HS revealed higher SPL (122-143 dB) and most energy below 1000 Hz with more spectral peaks, which might cause significant auditory masking. This study establishes an important ground for future research on the adaptation of zebrafish auditory system to the natural soundscapes, and highlights the importance of controlling noise conditions in captivity.

  • Skip to Next Section Acoustic communication is an important part of social behaviour of fish species that live or breed in shallow noisy waters. Previous studies have shown that some fish species exploit a quiet window in the background noise for communication. However, it remains to be examined whether hearing abilities and sound production of fish are adapted to marine habitats presenting high hydrodynamism. Here, we investigated whether the communication system of the painted (Pomatoschistus pictus) and the marbled (Pomatoschistus marmoratus) gobies is adapted to enhance sound transmission and reception in Atlantic shallow water environments. We recorded and measured the sound pressure levels of social vocalisations of both species, as well as snapshots of ambient noise of habitats characterised by different hydrodynamics. Hearing thresholds (in terms of both sound pressure and particle acceleration) and responses to conspecific signals were determined using the auditory evoked potential recording technique. We found that the peak frequency range (100–300 Hz) of acoustic signals matched the best hearing sensitivity in both species and appeared well adapted for short-range communication in Atlantic habitats. Sandy/rocky exposed beaches presented a quiet window, observable even during the breaking of moderate waves, coincident with the main sound frequencies and best hearing sensitivities of both species. Our data demonstrate that the hearing abilities of these gobies are well suited to detect conspecific sounds within typical interacting distances (a few body lengths) in Atlantic shallow waters. These findings lend support to the acoustic adaptive hypothesis, under the sensory drive framework, proposing that signals and perception systems coevolve to be effective within local environment constraints.

  • Distinct patterns of gene expression often underlie intra- and intersexual differences, and the study of this set of coregulated genes is essential to understand the emergence of complex behavioural phenotypes. Here, we describe the development of a de novo transcriptome and brain gene expression profiles of wild-caught peacock blenny, Salaria pavo, an intertidal fish with sex-role reversal in courtship behaviour (i.e., females are the courting sex) and sequential alternative reproductive tactics in males (i.e., larger and older nest-holder males and smaller and younger sneaker males occur). Sneakers mimic both female's courtship behaviour and nuptial coloration to get access to nests and sneak fertilizations, and later in life transition into nest-holder males. Thus, this species offers the unique opportunity to study how the regulation of gene expression can contribute to intersex phenotypes and to the sequential expression of male and female behavioural phenotypes by the same individual. We found that at the whole brain level, expression of the sneaker tactic was paralleled by broader and divergent gene expression when compared to either females or nest-holder males, which were more similar between themselves. When looking at sex-biased transcripts, sneaker males are intersex rather than being either nest-holder or female-like, and their transcriptome is simultaneously demasculinized for nest-holder-biased transcripts and feminized for female-biased transcripts. These results indicate that evolutionary changes in reproductive plasticity can be achieved through regulation of gene expression, and in particular by varying the magnitude of expression of sex-biased genes, throughout the lifetime of the same individual.

  • Studies addressing structure-function relationships of the fish auditory system during development are sparse compared to other taxa. The Batrachoididae has become an important group to investigate mechanisms of auditory plasticity and evolution of auditory-vocal systems. A recent study reported ontogenetic improvements in the inner ear saccule sensitivity of the Lusitanian toadfish, Halobatrachus didactylus, but whether this results from changes in the sensory morphology remains unknown. We investigated how the macula and organization of auditory receptors in the saccule and utricle change during growth in this species. Inner ear sensory epithelia were removed from the end organs of previously PFA-fixed specimens, from non-vocal posthatch fry (<1.4 cm, standard length) to adults (>23 cm). Epithelia were phalloidin-stained and analysed for area, shape, number and orientation patterns of hair cells (HC), and number and size of saccular supporting cells (SC). Saccular macula area expanded 41x in total, and significantly more (relative to body length) among vocal juveniles (2.3–2.9 cm). Saccular HC number increased 25x but HC density decreased, suggesting that HC addition is slower relative to epithelial growth. While SC density decreased, SC apical area increased, contributing to the epithelial expansion. The utricule revealed increased HC density (striolar region) and less epithelial expansion (5x) with growth, contrasting with the saccule that may have a different developmental pattern due to its larger size and main auditory functions. Both macula shape and HC orientation patterns were already established in the posthatch fry and retained throughout growth in both end organs. We suggest that previously reported ontogenetic improvements in saccular sensitivity might be associated with changes in HC number (not density), size and/or molecular mechanisms controlling HC sensitivity. This is one of the first studies investigating the ontogenetic development of the saccule and utricle in a vocal fish and how it potentially relates to auditory enhancement for acoustic communication.

  • Alternative reproductive tactics (ARTs) evolve when there is strong intra-sexual competition between conspecifics for access to mates. Typically, larger “bourgeois” males reproduce by securing the access to reproductive resources while smaller “parasitic” males reproduce by stealing fertilizations from larger males. A number of factors can influence the reproductive success of each tactic, including intrinsic (e.g. size) and extrinsic (e.g. tactic relative frequency) variables. An example where plastic ARTs occur is the peacock blenny Salaria pavo, with large males reproducing by defending nests and attracting females (bourgeois tactic) and small males reproducing by achieving sneaked fertilizations (parasitic tactic). In this study, we conducted field observations on individually tagged animals to determine their social network and collected eggs from 11 nests to determine the fertilization success of each male tactic. Paternity estimates for 550 offspring indicated an average fertilization success for nest-holder males of 95%. Nest-holder male morphological traits and social network parameters were tested as predictors of fertilization success, but only the number of sneakers present in the nest-holder’s social networks was found to be a predictor of paternity loss. Although male morphological traits had been previously found to be strongly correlated with reproductive success of nest-holder males, as measured by the number of eggs collected in the male’s nest, no correlation was found between any of the measured morphological traits and fertilization success for these males. The results suggest a stronger influence of the social environment than of morphological variables in the proportion of lost fertilizations by nest-holder males of this species.

  • In this study, components of the food-web in Macao wetlands were quantified using stable isotope ratio techniques based on carbon and nitrogen values. The δ13C and δ15N values of particulate organic matter (δ13CPOM and δ15NPOM, respectively) ranged from −30.64 ± 1.0 to −28.1 ± 0.7 ‰, and from −1.11 ± 0.8 to 3.98 ± 0.7 ‰, respectively. The δ13C values of consumer species ranged from −33.94 to −16.92 ‰, showing a wide range from lower values in a freshwater lake and inner bay to higher values in a mangrove forest. The distinct dietary habits of consumer species and the location-specific food source composition were the main factors affecting the δ13C values. The consumer 15N-isotope enrichment values suggested that there were three trophic levels; primary, secondary, and tertiary. The primary consumer trophic level was represented by freshwater herbivorous gastropods, filter-feeding bivalves, and plankton-feeding fish, with a mean δ15N value of 5.052 ‰. The secondary consumer level included four deposit-feeding fish species distributed in Fai Chi Kei Bay and deposit-feeding gastropods in the Lotus Flower Bridge flat, with a mean δ15N value of 6.794 ‰. The tertiary consumers group consisted of four crab species, one shrimp species, and four fish species in the Lotus Flower Bridge Flat, with a mean δ15N value of 13.473 ‰. Their diet mainly comprised organic debris, bottom fauna, and rotten animal tissues. This study confirms the applicability of the isotopic approach in food web studies.

  • Macao ( 30 Km2) is a territory characterized by small granitic intrusions, located along the coastal region of Southeast China (Cathaysia Block). Granitoids occur as different facies, including microgranite dykes, with distinct textural, mineralogical and geochemical features, for which a middle-upper Jurassic age ( 164 Ma) has been proposed. New data suggest that these granitoids are mostly high-K calc-alkaline metaluminous (A/CNK = 0.8 - 1.1) biotite granites, consistent with total absence of primary muscovite. They show variable amounts of SiO2 (67-77%), reflecting different degrees of magmatic evolution. There is also variability in terms of trace elements, particularly Rare Earth Elements (REEs), evidenced by decreasing (La/Sm)N, (Gd/Lu)N, (Ce/Yb)N and (Eu/Eu*)N towards the more evolved samples, which can be partly attributed to fractional crystallization processes. Most of the granitoids are characterized by (La/Yb)N = 3 - 10.8, showing negative Ba, Nb, Sr, Zr, P, Ti and Eu anomalies. On the other hand, microgranite dykes, along with a few more evolved granites, show an opposite tendency, being usually enriched in HREEs relatively to LREEs with (La/Yb)N = 0.4 - 1.1. Our data suggests intermediate genetic affinities between I-type and A-type granites. Although these granitoids are mostly metaluminous (characteristic of I-types), Ga/Al ratios, usually used to identify A-types, are close to the accepted boundary between A-type and other granite types. The affinities with A-type granites are more marked for the more evolved facies, which depict higher values of FeOt/MgO (14 - 60) and K2O/MgO (60 - 250). Their trace element characteristics are also transitional between WPG (Within-plate granites) and Syn-COLG (Collision Granites). We interpret those transitional characteristics (A/I and WPG/Syn-COLG) of Macao granitoids as reflecting an origin by melting of infracrustal sources over a period of high heat transfer from mantle to crust during an extensional tectonic setting probably contemporaneous with the subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate beneath the Eurasia, whose paleo-suture is thought to be located in the east flank of the Central Range, Taiwan.

Last update from database: 11/16/21, 4:17 AM (UTC)