Recent Submissions

  • Antimicrobial activities of bacteria associated with the brown alga Padina pavonica.

    Ismail, Amel; Ktari, Leila; Ahmed, Mehboob; Bolhuis, Henk; Boudabbous, Abdellatif; Stal, Lucas J.; Cretoiu, Mariana Silvia; Elbour, Monia (2016)
    Frontiers in Microbiology
  • Effects of depth and initial fragment weights of Gracilaria gracilis on the growth, agar yield, quality, and biochemical composition.

    Ben Said, Rafik; Mensi, Fethi; Majdoub, Hatem.; Majdoub, Hatem; Ben Said, Amine; Ben Said, Badii; Bouraoui, Abderrahman (2018)
    Journal of Applied Phycology
    Gracilaria gracilis farming was conducted in the Bizerte lagoon (North of Tunisia) at two depths (0.5 and 2.5 m) using various initial fragment weights (5, 20, and 40 g) in order to investigate the alga growth, agar yield, and quality. IR spectra of agar were performed in comparison to the commercial one. Moreover, the proximate biochemical composition of seaweeds was investigated. The results showed that the highest daily growth rate and agar yield were recorded at 0.5 m, using 5 g as initial fragment weight (5.98 ± 1.98% day−1, 14.87 ± 1.91% dw, respectively). Maximum gel strength was 356.67 ± 15.25 g cm−2 at 2.5 m using an initial weight of 20 g. Gelling and melting temperatures varied from 34.33 ± 0.57 to 35.50 ± 0.57 °C and from 77.00 ± 1.00 to 85.00 ± 0.50 °C, respectively. IR analysis revealed that some spectra were similar, while others were different. The highest dry matter (22.68 ± 1.77%) and ash content (35.25 ± 0.02% of dw) were recorded at 2.5 m, using initial weights of 20 and 5 g, respectively. The maximum carbohydrate and the crude protein contentswere obtained at 0.5m, using 5 g as initialweight (9.52 ± 0.36 and 5.83 ± 0.7% dw, respectively). The highest R-phycoerythrin content was recorded at 0.5m(0.050 ± 0.007 mg g−1 dw), while the maximum of total lipid content was recorded at 2.5 m with initial weight of 5 g (3.58 ± 0.63% dw). Our findings indicated that growth and biochemical composition of G. gracilis depend on the depth and initial fragment weights.
  • Habitat suitability modeling to identify the potential nursery grounds of the Atlantic mackerel and its relation to oceanographic conditions in the Mediterranean sea.

    Giannoulaki, M.; Pyrounaki, MM.; Bourdeix, J-H.; Ben Abdallah, L.; Bonanno, A.; Basilone, G.; Iglesias, M.; Ventero, A.; De Felice, A.; Leonori, I.; et al. (2017)
    Frontiers in Marine Science
  • Acoustic fish biomass assessment in a deep Tunisian reservoir: effects of season and diel rhythm on survey results.

    Djemali, Imed; Laouar, Houcine (2017)
    African Journal of Aquatic Science [In Press]
    To determine the best acoustic sampling period for obtaining fish biomass estimates of a Mediterranean deep reservoir in Tunisia, we carried out day and night surveys in each of four seasons [spring (April), summer (September), autumn (December) and winter (March)]. A Simrad EK60 echosounder, equipped with two 120 kHz split-beam transducers for simultaneous horizontal and vertical beaming, was used to sample the entire water column. Data collected in December were not usable because fish merged with methane gas bubbles. However, fish abundance varied across the other seasons with a peak in acoustic biomass observed during summer nighttime hours that was associated with high water temperatures. Across seasons, the fish occupied the entire water column, and fish schools were rarely observed. The preferential timeframe (i.e. maximum fish detectability and low gas flux) for acoustic sampling was nighttime hours in summer and daytime hours during spring and winter. Our findings highlight the importance of collecting data across seasons and photoperiods when determining an acoustic sampling strategy.
  • MED-CORDEX initive for Mediterranean climate studies.

    Ruti, P. M.; Somot, S.; Dubois, C.; Flaounas, E.; Obermann, A.; Dell’Aquila, A.; Pisacane, G.; Harzallah, A.; Lombardi, E.; Ahrens, B.; et al. (2016)
    American Meteorological Society (BAMS)
    The Mediterranean is expected to be one of the most prominent and vulnerable climate change “hotspots” of the twenty-first century, and the physical mechanisms underlying this finding are still not clear. Furthermore, complex interactions and feedbacks involving ocean–atmosphere–land–biogeochemical processes play a prominent role in modulating the climate and environment of the Mediterranean region on a range of spatial and temporal scales. Therefore, it is critical to provide robust climate change information for use in vulnerability–impact–adaptation assessment studies considering the Mediterranean as a fully coupled environmental system. The Mediterranean Coordinated Regional Downscaling Experiment (Med-CORDEX) initiative aims at coordinating the Mediterranean climate modeling community toward the development of fully coupled regional climate simulations, improving all relevant components of the system from atmosphere and ocean dynamics to land surface, hydrology, and biogeochemical processes. The primary goals of Med-CORDEX are to improve understanding of past climate variability and trends and to provide more accurate and reliable future projections, assessing in a quantitative and robust way the added value of using high-resolution and coupled regional climate models. The coordination activities and the scientific outcomes of Med-CORDEX can produce an important framework to foster the development of regional Earth system models in several key regions worldwide.
  • Long-term monitoring programme of the hydrological variability in the Mediterranean Sea: a first overview of the HYDROCHANGES network.

    Schroeder, K.; Millot, C.; Bengara, L.; Ben Ismail, S.; Bensi, M.; Borghini, M.; Budillon, G.; Cardin, V.; Coppola, L.; Curtil, C.; et al. (2013)
    Ocean Science
    The long-term monitoring of basic hydrological parameters (temperature and salinity), collected as time series with adequate temporal resolution (i.e. with a sampling interval allowing the resolution of all important timescales) in key places of the Mediterranean Sea (straits and channels, zones of dense water formation, deep parts of the basins), constitute a priority in the context of global changes. This led CIESM (The Mediterranean Science Commission) to support, since 2002, the HYDROCHANGES programme (http//, a network of autonomous conductivity, temperature, and depth (CTD) sensors, deployed on mainly short and easily manageable subsurface moorings, within the core of a certain water mass. The HYDROCHANGES strategy is twofold and develops on different scales. To get information about long-term changes of hydrological characteristics, long time series are needed. But before these series are long enough they allow the detection of links between them at shorter timescales that may provide extremely valuable information about the functioning of the Mediterranean Sea. The aim of this paper is to present the history of the programme and the current set-up of the network (monitored sites, involved groups) as well as to provide for the first time an overview of all the time series collected under the HYDROCHANGES umbrella, discussing the results obtained thanks to the programme.
  • Surface circulation in the Eastern Mediterranean using drifters (2005–2007).

    Gerin, R.; Poulain, P.-M.; Taupier-Letage, I.; Millot, C.; Ben Ismail, Sana; Sammari, Cherif (2009)
    Ocean Science
    Within the framework of the EGITTO/EGYPT programs, the spatial structure and the temporal variability of the surface circulation in the eastern basin of the Mediterranean Sea was studied with satellite-tracked drifters. A total of 97 drifters drogued to 15-m nominal depth were released between September 2005 and March 2007, regularly along ship-of-opportunity routes in the Sicily Channel and within specific structures during dedicated campaigns in the Levantine sub-basin. This study complements previous ones in the former and in the Ionian, but it is the first one in the latter. After editing and low-pass filtering, the drifter trajectories were used to estimate pseudo-Eulerian statistics: mean current, variance ellipses, mean and eddy kinetic energies. A statistical analysis was also performed dividing the dataset in two extended seasons (winter and summer). A branching behaviour of the surface water after passing through the Sicily Channel is evidenced, together with a seasonal variability inducing a reversal of the circulation in the southern part of the Ionian. In the Levantine, the surface circulation describes an eastward flow along the Libyan and Egyptian slopes (the Libyo-Egyptian Current: LEC) that continues in a cyclonic circuit along the Middle East and Turkish slopes. This general alongslope circuit can be perturbed locally and temporally by the numerous anticyclonic eddies that co-exist in the Levantine, mainly created by the instability of the LEC in the south (Libyo-Egyptian Eddies: LEEs), but also by the wind (Ierapetra and Pelops), and by the topography (over the Eratosthenes Seamount and off Latakia). The most frequent perturbation is the entrainment of part of the flow seaward: the LEEs close to the slope can interact with the LEC, which then spreads more or less around them, so that a series ofcontiguous LEEs (paddle-wheel effect) can possibly result in an eastward offshore transport (the so-called Mid Mediterranean Jet). Additionally, when LEEs are close enough to the slope, most of the surface flow is spread seaward. Along the slope the current is then induced by the LEEs southern side which results in a westward current. Locally and temporally the circulation along the slope can thus be reversed.
  • Using General linear model, Bayesian networks and Naive Bayes classifier for prediction of Karenia selliformis occurrences and blooms.

    Feki-Sahnoun, Wafa; Njah, Hasna; Hamza, Asma; Barraj, Nouha; Mahfoudi, Mabrouka; Rebai, Ahmed; Belhassen, Malika (2018)
    Ecological Informatics [In Press]
    The prediction of the dinoflagellate red tide forming Karenia selliformis is a relevant task to aid optimized management decisions in marine coastal water. The objective of the present study is to compare different modeling approaches for prediction of Karenia selliformis occurrences and blooms. A set of physical parameters (salinity, temperature and tide amplitude), meteorological constraints (evaporation, air temperature, insolation, rainfall, atmospheric pressure and humidity), sampling months and sampling sites are used. The model prediction included General Linear Model (GLM), Bayesian Network (BN) and the simplest BN type which is, Naive Bayes classifier (NB). The results showed that three models incriminated high salinity in Karenia selliformis blooms and the sampling sites, mainly Boughrara lagoon, in the occurrences. The BN performed better than linear models (NB and GLM) for both Karenia selliformis occurrences and blooms prediction. This later is related to the facts that BN considered the inter-independency between predictive variables and that the relationships between the variables and the outcome are often non-linear such us; the transition to bloom situations appeared to be triggered by a salinity threshold. This study is useful in the management of this ecosystem so as to use the best disposal options in the early prediction of the toxic blooms.
  • Abrupt climate shift in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

    Schroeder, K.; Chiggiato, J.; Bryden, H. L.; Borghini, M.; Ben Ismail, Sana (2016)
    Scientific Reports
    One century of oceanographic measurements has evidenced gradual increases in temperature and salinity of western Mediterranean water masses, even though the vertical stratification has basically remained unchanged. Starting in 2005, the basic structure of the intermediate and deep layers abruptly changed. We report here evidence of reinforced thermohaline variability in the deep western basin with significant dense water formation events producing large amounts of warmer, saltier and denser water masses than ever before. We provide a detailed chronological order to these changes, giving an overview of the new water masses and following their route from the central basin interior to the east (toward the Tyrrhenian) and toward the Atlantic Ocean. As a consequence of this climate shift, new deep waters outflowing through Gibraltar will impact the North Atlantic in terms of salt and heat input. In addition, modifications in the Mediterranean abyssal ecosystems and biogeochemical cycles are to be expected.
  • Seasonal inter-calibration between acoustic and multi-mesh gillnets sampling for fish biomass assessment in reservoirs.

    Laouar, Houcine; Djemali, Imed (2018)
    Journal of Applied Ichthyology [In Press]
    This paper presents the results of an inter‐calibration between acoustic and gillnets sampling in two North African reservoirs according to seasons. Gillnets with multi‐mesh were designed for sampling fish in lakes while acoustic surveys were performed with a split beam Simrad EK60 echosounder. Sampling events were carried out during summer (September 2015), autumn (December 2015), winter (March 2016) and spring (June 2016) in two Tunisian reservoirs (Kasseb and Siliana) with different depths and shapes. Gillnet catches showed a high proportion of barbell whatever the seasons in Kasseb Reservoir, while at Siliana Reservoir, significant seasonal changes in relative abundances have been evidenced. The highest fish biomass of the entire water column was observed in winter daytime (103 kg/ha) in Kasseb Reservoir and in summer daytime (283 kg/ha) in Siliana Reservoir. Average biomass observed in autumn (December) for the two reservoirs were lower than the other seasons. During spring, density daytime values in Kasseb were higher than during nighttime while it was the opposite in summer and autumn. Fish densities detected in Kasseb Reservoir in vertical beaming was higher than those detected in horizontal beaming (p < .05). The longitudinal distribution of fish in the reservoirs showed that there is no clear trend in fish densities according to strata. High numbers of fish were detected in deep strata and big fish were located in the surface water near the dam of Kasseb Reservoir. A significant linear correlation was showed between acoustic density/ NPUE and acoustic biomass/BPUE but the perfect correlation with the 1:1 fit was showed only between acoustic biomass/BPUE.