Viewport Size Code:
Login | Create New Account


About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot

About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot


Bibliography Options Menu

Hide Abstracts   |   Hide Additional Links
Long bibliographies are displayed in blocks of 100 citations at a time. At the end of each block there is an option to load the next block.

Bibliography on: Invasive Species

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 26 Jan 2020 at 01:37 Created: 

Invasive Species

Standard Definition: Invasive species are plants, animals, or pathogens that are non-native (or alien) to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause harm. Although that definition allows a logical possibility that some species might be non-native and harmless, most of time it seems that invasive species and really bad critter (or weed) that should be eradicated are seen as equivalent phrases. But, there is a big conceptual problem with that notion: every species in every ecosystem started out in that ecosystem as an invader. If there were no invasive species, all of Hawaii would be nothing but bare volcanic rock. Without an invasion of species onto land, there would be no terrestrial ecosystems at all. For the entire history of life on Earth, the biosphere has responded to perturbation and to opportunity with evolutionary innovation and with physical movement. While one may raise economic or aesthetic arguments against invasive species, it is impossible to make such an argument on scientific grounds. Species movement — the occurrence of invasive species — is the way the biosphere responds to perturbation. One might even argue that species movement is the primary, short-term "healing" mechanism employed by the biosphere to respond to perturbation — to "damage." As with any healing process, the short-term effect may be aesthetically unappealing (who thinks scabs are appealing?), but the long-term effects can be glorious.

Created with PubMed® Query: "invasive species" OR "invasion biology" OR "alien species" OR "introduced species" NOT pmcbook NOT ispreviousversion

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2020-01-25

Stuart P, Paredis L, Henttonen H, et al (2020)

The hidden faces of a biological invasion: parasite dynamics of invaders and natives.

International journal for parasitology pii:S0020-7519(20)30003-5 [Epub ahead of print].

One of the primary drivers of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) is human intervention via host or parasite translocations. A unique opportunity to study host and parasite dispersal during a bio-invasion currently exists in Ireland due to the introduction of the bank vole (Myodes glareolus) in the 1920s. The continuing range expansion of M. glareolus within Ireland presents a natural large-scale perturbation experiment. This study used the Irish M. glareolus model to conduct a spatiotemporal study analysing the parasite dynamics of native and invasive species throughout their range. Myodes glareolus and native Apodemus sylvaticus were trapped in woodlands across Ireland and surveyed for their helminth parasites. Myodes glareolus in Ireland were found to have lower parasite diversity in comparison to records of M. glareolus from across Europe and A. sylvaticus in Ireland. Increased density of M. glareolus resulted in a dilution effect, with significantly lower levels of parasitism overall in native hosts, where M. glareolus has been established longest. However, three helminth parasite species of A. sylvaticus increased in abundance in the presence of M. glareolus. Furthermore, M. glareolus at the expansion front were less parasitised (lower abundance and prevalence of certain parasites and lower parasite diversity) than M. glareolus from the core population. This "enemy release" is believed to be mediating the continued successful spread of the invader across Ireland. Our results identify two important variables, seasonality and the stage of the invasion, which should not be overlooked when investigating or managing the changing distribution of hosts and their parasites. Studies of bio-invasions and parasite transmission have primarily focused on the invasive host species or the native host species in cases where virulent pathogen spillover is observed. Our results demonstrate how the concurrent study of invasive and native hosts, and the careful identification of their parasite communities, allows the dynamic processes influencing the parasite component and intracommunity to be identified.

RevDate: 2020-01-25

Brown SC, Wells K, Roy-Dufresne E, et al (2020)

Models of spatiotemporal variation in rabbit abundance reveal management hotspots for an invasive species.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America [Epub ahead of print].

The European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) is a notorious economic and environmental pest species in its invasive range. To better understand the population and range dynamics of this species, 41 years of abundance data have been collected from 116 unique sites across a broad range of climatic and environmental conditions in Australia. We analyzed this time series of abundance data to determine whether inter-annual variation in climatic conditions can be used to map historic, contemporary, and potential future fluctuations in rabbit abundance from regional to continental scales. We constructed a hierarchical Bayesian regression model of relative abundance that corrected for observation error and seasonal biases. The corrected abundances were regressed against environmental and disease variables in order to project high spatiotemporal resolution, continent-wide rabbit abundances. We show that rabbit abundance in Australia is highly variable in space and time, being driven primarily by inter-annual variation in temperature and precipitation in concert with the prevalence of a non-pathogenic virus. Moreover, we show that inter-annual variation in local spatial abundances can be mapped effectively at a continental scale using highly resolved spatiotemporal predictors, allowing "hotspots" of persistently high rabbit abundance to be identified. Importantly, cross-validated model performance was fair to excellent within and across distinct climate zones. Long-term monitoring data for invasive species can be used to map fine-scale spatiotemporal fluctuations in abundance patterns when accurately accounting for inherent sampling biases. Our analysis provides ecologists and pest managers with a clearer understanding of the determinants of rabbit abundance in Australia, offering an important new approach for predicting spatial abundance patterns of invasive species at the near-term temporal scales that are directly relevant to resource management.

RevDate: 2020-01-25

Chwedorzewska KJ, Korczak-Abshire M, A Znój (2020)

Invasive non-native species likely to threaten biodiversity and ecosystems in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change substantially alters biodiversity, causing changes in phenology, genetic composition, and species ranges, which in turn affect species interactions and ecosystem processes (e.g. Root et al. 2003). Species outside of their natural ranges alter colonized ecosystems by introducing new biological interactions, causing even native species extinctions, and changing whole habitats. Progressive climate change is directly interconnected to biological invasions and may amplify the negative impact of alien species in many regions (Ricciardi et al. 2013).

RevDate: 2020-01-25

Carpes RM, Corrêa Fernandes D, Coelho MGP, et al (2020)

Anti-inflammatory potential of invasive sun corals (Scleractinia: Tubastraea spp.) from Brazil: alternative use for management?.

The Journal of pharmacy and pharmacology [Epub ahead of print].

AIM: The objective was to analyse the anti-inflammatory potential of the invasive coral species Tubastraea coccinea and Tubastraea tagusensis.

METHODS: Methanolic extracts, fractions and synthesized compounds were evaluated for their anti-inflammatory ability, and their composition was elucidated through chemical analysis.

KEY FINDINGS: The genus Tubastraea (Order Scleractinia, Family Dendrophylliidae) (known as sun corals) presents compounds with pharmacological value. The introduction of these azooxanthellate hard corals into Brazil, initially in Rio de Janeiro state, occurred through their fouling of oil and gas platforms from the Campos oil Basin. The two invasive species have successfully expanded along the Brazilian coast and threaten endemic species and biodiversity. The HPLC-MS and GC-MS data suggest the presence of aplysinopsin analogues (alkaloids). Anti-inflammatory activity was observed in all samples tested in in-vivo assays, especially in T. coccinea. The ethyl acetate fraction from this sample was more effective in in-vitro assays for anti-inflammatory activity. Depending on the concentration, this fraction showed cytotoxic responses.

CONCLUSIONS: These species have potential pharmacological use, and considering their invasive nature, this study presents a potential alternative use, which may enhance the management of this biological invasion.

RevDate: 2020-01-25

Cuthbertson AGS (2020)

Special Issue: Integrated Pest Management in Arable and Open Field Horticultural Crops.

Insects, 11(2): pii:insects11020082.

Invertebrate pest control within both agricultural and horticultural production systems continues to present many challenges. Over the past decades the commonly used method for pest control has been the direct application of chemical products. However, in response to environmental, economic, and other problems associated with the over-reliance on chemical insecticides there has been an increasing drive towards the development of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches. Many IPM strategies are now well developed under protected environments. However, within the open field in many situations targeted success is yet to be achieved. This special issue will seek to showcase original articles and reviews by leading research entomologists and associated experts. Articles presented will focus on the development and implementation of IPM strategies against various major arable and horticultural invertebrate pests (both indigenous and invasive species).

RevDate: 2020-01-25

Hussain MI, Shackleton RT, El-Keblawy A, et al (2020)

Invasive Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora), an Allergy and Health Challenge.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:plants9020141.

Mesquite (Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC), is an medium-sized tree (family Fabaceae, subfamily Mimosoideae), that has been intorcuded around the world. It is a noxious invasive species in Africa, Asia, and the Arabian Peninsula and a source of highly allergenic pollen in. The present article reviews the adverse allergenic effects of P. juliflora pollen on human and animal health. Several studies have diagnosed that allergenic pollens from Prosopis spp. can provoke respiratory problems. Prosopis pollen extracts have 16 allergenic components of which nine proteins were recognized as major allergens with some of them showing cross-reactivity. Clinically, understanding Prosopis pollen production, flowering seasonality, pollen load, and dispersal in the atmosphere are important to avoid allergic consequences for local inhabitants. Climate change and other pollution can also help to further facilitate allergenic issues. Furthermore, we document other human and animal health problems caused by invasive Prosopis trees. This includes flesh injuries, dental and gastric problems, and the facilitation of malaria. This review summarizes and enhances the existing knowledge about Prosopis flowering phenology, aeroallergen, and other human and animal health risks associated with this noxious plant.

RevDate: 2020-01-24

Tait G, Park K, Nieri R, et al (2020)

Reproductive Site Selection: Evidence of an Oviposition Cue in a Highly Adaptive Dipteran, Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae).

Environmental entomology pii:5715688 [Epub ahead of print].

Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is a vinegar fly species that originates from Eastern Asia and has spread throughout Europe and the Americas since its initial detection in United States in 2008. Its relatively large, sclerotized, and serrated ovipositor enables the ability to penetrate ripening fruits, providing a protected environment for its egg and larval stages. Because the mechanism of oviposition site selection of D. suzukii is a matter of hypothesis, the aim of the present study was to elucidate behavioral and chemical aspects of short-range ovipositional site selection within the context of D. suzukii reproductive biology. The preference of D. suzukii to lay eggs on artificially pierced, previously infested, or intact fruits was tested. Video recordings and photographic evidence documented the release of an anal secretion over the fruit surface near the oviposition sites. Gas chromatographic analysis revealed the presence of 11 compounds detected only on the skin of egg-infested berries. Electroantennographic experiments with both sexes of D. suzukii highlighted the importance of six volatile compounds: methyl myristate, methyl palmitate, myristic acid, lauric acid, palmitic acid, and palmitoleic acid. Finally, a synthetic blend composed of the six compounds in a ratio similar to that found on the skin of egg-infested berries increased the oviposition rate of conspecific females. Data from our work suggest that the identified volatiles are cues for reproductive site selection. We discuss how these oviposition cues may affect the fitness of D. suzukii. The knowledge gained from this study may accelerate establishment of control strategies based on the interference and disruption of D. suzukii communication during the oviposition processes.

RevDate: 2020-01-24

Stich H, Just F, Bothe K, et al (2020)

[The Asian Tiger Mosquito (Aedes albopictus) as a Challenge for the Public Health Service: An Example of a Risk Management Strategy Adapted to the Situation at the Local Level].

Gesundheitswesen (Bundesverband der Arzte des Offentlichen Gesundheitsdienstes (Germany)) [Epub ahead of print].

AIM OF THE STUDY: Case report on risk management for the epidemiology of an infectious disease threat scenario at the municipal level using the example of the Asian tiger mosquito (ATM) with communication of figures based on experience to stakeholders in the public health service METHODS: Formal and substantive presentation of a list of defined control measures together with site-specific modification and evaluation of efficacy RESULTS: Based on a timely education campaign, establishment of a population of ATM first observed in the fall of 2016 could be prevented at the local level. With favourable low temperatures during the 2016/2017 winter months, primarily physical control methods were effective. In the spring of 2017, ATM was no longer detected by a total of 4 monitoring units, each with a suction trap and 3 passive traps. In the following period, up to and including the spring of 2019, no invasive species of mosquito were identified in the cemetery originally involved or in the adjacent residential areas or recreational grounds Overall, cooperation among external experts and stakeholders from the public health service at the level of individualised medicine were able to prevent an insect-borne infection of the local population; a gradual approach following defined criteria for insect control proved to be effective and efficient.

CONCLUSION: The occurrence of the ATM is primarily a local event that requires a differentiated weighing-up between a specific and abstract hazard potential by the regional health authorities. In addition to an objective and prompt education campaign for the population involved as a trust-building action, primary physical control measures in terms of barrier measures are effective; if necessary, chemical and biological controls can be used as complementary measures.

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Sanson AL, Cosenza-Contreras M, DeMarco R, et al (2020)

The golden mussel proteome and its response to niclosamide: Uncovering rational targets for control or elimination.

Journal of proteomics pii:S1874-3919(20)30019-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The Asian invasive species Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker, 1857), known as the golden mussel, causes great economic and environmental damage due to its fixative capacity and accelerated proliferation. Molecular studies for the control of larval and adult forms are of great economic, scientific and technological interest. Here, we first report on the compositional analysis of the L. fortunei proteome obtained through shotgun analysis using LC-MS/MS. Among those 2790 proteins identified, many of them related to secretory processes and membrane receptors. Our second approach consisted in exposing the mollusc to the molluscicide niclosamide to evaluate the induced proteomic alterations. Exposure to niclosamide at 0.25 mg/L for 24 h resulted in a pronounced in differentially abundant proteins when compared to those obtained when exposure was reduced to 4 h at 2.3 mg/L. In total, 342 proteins were found differentially expressed in the responsive individuals by label-free quantitative proteomics. Regarding the affected cell processes were: cell division and differentiation, cytoskeletal organization and compartment acidification (upregulated), and energy metabolism (downregulated). Our findings constitute the first inventory of the expressed proteome of the golden mussel and have the potential to contribute with a more rational proposition of molecular targets for control and monitoring of this species. SIGNIFICANCE: With the recent availability of transcriptomic and genomic data applied to L. fortunei the timing is right to interrogate its putative gene repertoire using proteomic techniques. These have the potential to validate the existence of the predicted genes, infer their relative abundance and quantify their levels as a response to environmental stressors or various agents. Here we provided an inventory of the golden mussel proteome and evaluated its response to the molluscicide niclosamide. The obtained results open new avenues for intervention aimed at its control or elimination, particularly by targeting the various cellular processes that were uncovered.

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Cavender-Bares J, Padullés Cubino J, Pearse WD, et al (2020)

Horticultural availability and homeowner preferences drive plant diversity and composition in urban yards.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the factors that influence biodiversity in urban areas is important for informing management efforts aimed at enhancing the ecosystem services in urban settings and curbing the spread of invasive introduced species. We determined the ecological and socioeconomic factors that influence patterns of plant richness, phylogenetic diversity and composition in 133 private household yards in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metropolitan area, Minnesota, USA. We compared the composition of spontaneously occurring plant species and those planted by homeowners with composition in natural areas (at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve) and in the horticulture pool of species available from commercial growers. Yard area and fertilizer frequency influenced species richness of the spontaneous species but expressed homeowner values did not. In contrast, the criteria that homeowners articulated as important in their management decisions-including aesthetics, wildlife, neatness and food provision-significantly predicted cultivated species richness. Strikingly, the composition of plant species that people cultivated in their yards resembled the taxonomic and phylogenetic composition of species available commercially. In contrast, the taxonomic and phylogenetic composition of spontaneous species showed high similarity to natural areas. The large fraction of introduced species that homeowners planted was a likely consequence of what was available for them to purchase. The study links the composition and diversity of yard flora to their natural and anthropogenic sources and sheds light on the human factors and values that influence the plant diversity in residential areas of a major urban system. Enhanced understanding of the influences of the sources of plants-both native and introduced-that enter urban systems and the human factors and values that influence their diversity is critical to identifying the levers to manage urban biodiversity and ecosystem services.

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Johnson NS, Lewandoski SA, Alger BJ, et al (2020)

Behavioral Responses of Sea Lamprey to Varying Application Rates of a Synthesized Pheromone in Diverse Trapping Scenarios.

Journal of chemical ecology pii:10.1007/s10886-020-01151-z [Epub ahead of print].

Use of the first fish pheromone biopesticide, 3-keto petromyzonol sulfate (3kPZS) in sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) control requires an understanding of both how the amount 3kPZS applied to a trap relates to catch, and how that relationship varies among stream types. By conducting 3kPZS dose-response experiments over two years and across six varied trapping contexts, we conclude (1) that 3kPZS application is best standardized by how much is emitted from the trap instead of the fully mixed concentration achieved downstream, and (2) that 3kPZS is more effective in wide streams (>30 m). In wide streams, emission of 3kPZS at 50 mg hr.-1 from the trap increased capture rate by 10-15% as sea lamprey were 25-50% more likely to enter the trap after encounter. However, in narrow streams (< 15 m), 50 mg hr.-1 3kPZS generally reduced probabilities of upstream movement, trap encounter, and entrance. While 3kPZS significantly influenced upstream movement, encounter, and capture probabilities, these behaviors were also highly influenced by water temperature, stream width, sea lamprey length, and sex. This study highlights that a pheromone component in a stream environment does not ubiquitously increase trap catch in all contexts, but that where, how, and when the pheromone is applied has major impacts on whether it benefits or hinders trapping efforts.

RevDate: 2020-01-23

Contardi M, Montano S, Liguori G, et al (2020)

Treatment of Coral Wounds by Combining an Antiseptic Bilayer Film and an Injectable Antioxidant Biopolymer.

Scientific reports, 10(1):988 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-57980-1.

Coral reefs are vital for the marine ecosystem and their potential disappearance can have unequivocal consequences on our environment. Aside from pollution-related threats (changes in water temperature, plastics, and acidity), corals can be injured by diseases, predators, humans and other invasive species. Diseases play an important role in this decline, but so far very few mitigation strategies have been proposed and developed to control this threat. In this work, we demonstrate that recently developed bi-layer human skin wound treatment patches containing antiseptics and natural antioxidants with controlled-release capacity can be adapted to treat scleractinian coral wounds effectively. A hydrophilic bilayer film based on polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP) and hyaluronic acid was used to cover the open wounds while delivering the antiseptics for rapid action. Afterwards, the hydrophilic bi-layer covered wound was sealed with an antioxidant and hydrophobic ε-caprolactone-p-coumaric acid copolymer by melt injection at low temperatures. Treated coral injuries were monitored both in aquaria system and in natural environment in Maldives for over 4 months to reduce the number of entry points for organisms that could lead to diseases. The corals well-tolerated both biomaterials as well as the antiseptics incorporated in these materials. The treatments displayed self-adhering properties, tuneable dissolution time, and biocompatibility and stimulated regeneration properties within the coral wound. As such, this work demonstrates that certain human skin wound treatment materials can be successfully adapted to the curing of coral wounds and delivery of specific drugs to slow down, reduce or even stop the spread of diseases in scleractinian corals as well as in all other benthic organisms affected by uncontrolled pathologies.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Li KC, Shieh BS, Chiu YW, et al (2016)

Growth, Diet Composition and Reproductive Biology of the Invasive Freshwater Fish Chevron snakehead Channa striata on a Subtropical Island.

Zoological studies, 55:e53.

Kuan-chung Li, Bao-sen Shieh, Yuh-wen Chiu, Da-ji Huang, and Shih-hsiung Liang (2016) The Chevron snakehead (Channa striata) has been invading Taiwan for over 30 years, and it is currently widely distributed across diverse aquatic habitats within the island. Due to its strong environmental adaptability and carnivorous diet, C. striata has caused great negative impacts to the biodiversity of native fishes and aquatic organisms in Taiwan. To effectively restrain its spatial distribution and population, the objective of this study was to investigate the growing conditions, diet composition, and reproductive biology of C. striata in the field. In total, 294 individuals were collected from wetlands, irrigation canals, streams, and reservoirs in southern Taiwan from September 2008 to December 2010. Among 272 sex-identified individuals, more females (164) were collected than males (108). The morphological differences between the sexes could not be distinguished by the 10 body measurements recorded. Diverse food items, including snails, odonates, fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, were identified in the stomachs of 35 individuals. The minimum body length of sexually mature C. striata females exhibited at a standard length of 24.5 cm (total length 28 cm). The appearance of mature oocytes were mainly observed from July to November in 2009 and from April to October in 2010. Greater absolute fecundity (oocyte/individual) was estimated in Taiwan for C. striata than in its original distribution range possibly due to less water level fluctuation in the sampling habitats of Taiwan. The relative fecundity (oocyte/g) for C. striata was considered lower but within the documented range in Taiwan when compared with its original habitat in Malaysia. To effectively manage C. striata in Taiwan, regionally eradiating young and adult individuals, especially during the reproductive season and educating people to stop releasing it in the wild are possible ways to restrain and control the further spread of this exotic fish in Taiwan.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Madalozzo B, Both C, S Cechin (2016)

Can Protected Areas with Agricultural Edges Avoid Invasions? The Case of Bullfrogs in the Southern Atlantic Rainforest in Brazil.

Zoological studies, 55:e51.

Bruno Madalozzo, Camila Both, and Sonia Cechin (2016) The American bullfrog, Lithobates catesbeianus, is one of the 100 most harmful invasive species of the planet. Climatic and topographic models predict that the Atlantic Forest regions of southern Brazil are favorable for the establishment of invasive bullfrog populations. The predicted increase of temperature and concentration of gases associated with the greenhouse effect will augment the vulnerability of protected areas of the Atlantic forest to bullfrog invasions in the coming years. In this study we investigated to what extent protected areas of the Atlantic Forest surrounded by anthropogenic landscapes are vulnerable to bullfrog invasions. We conducted surveys in 36 waterbodies located either in a protected area or in anthropogenically modified adjacent locations on a forest-edge-agriculture gradient. We collected data on abundance and breeding to identify the main descriptors (local and landscape variables) that explain the distribution of bullfrogs along this gradient. The variance partitioning analysis showed a strongest association of bullfrog abundance with local waterbody descriptors (area-depth-hydroperiod) and secondarily with a forest-edge-agriculture gradient, i.e., the landscape. The observed distribution pattern suggests that protected areas are likely to be invaded by bullfrogs. Therefore, management strategies should focus on both scales: landscape and waterbody. Supervising the construction of large (permanent or deep) waterbodies in edge habitats of the park and adjacent areas can be effective and agriculture and forest management could importantly complement the prevention of invasions.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Kumar R, Muhid P, Dahms HU, et al (2015)

Biological mosquito control is affected by alternative prey.

Zoological studies, 54:e55.

BACKGROUND: Mosquitofish were introduced to several countries of the tropics and subtropics as biological agents for the control of mosquito larvae. Meanwhile, they became a threat to native communities and fish worldwide, similar to other invasive species through resource competition, overexploitation, or habitat alteration. We investigated prey selectivity patterns of Gambusia affinis (mosquitofish) preying on larvae of the two Indian major carps (Catla catla and Labeo rohita) in the presence of varied proportions of alternative prey (rotifers, cladocerans, chironomid and mosquito larvae) under laboratory conditions.

RESULTS: The patterns of prey selectivity in mosquitofish were influenced by the presence of alternative prey and theirrelative abundance in the environment. Carp larvae, when present in equal proportions, were randomly selected by mosquitofish, however, positively selected when present in higher proportions.Inthe presence of Hexarthramira, Daphnia similoides or the mosquito larval instar-IV as an alternative prey, the mosquitofish preferred fish larvae regardless of prey proportions. In the medium where either mosquito larval instar-I or chironomid larvae were givenas alternative prey, the mosquitofish either rejected or randomly selected the carp larvae. Given a multispecies prey combination, mosquitofish primarily selected the larvae of L.rohita and mosquito larval instar-I. We also found a prey switching ability of mosquitofish in relation to varying abundances of prey species in the environment.

CONCLUSIONS: Thepresent results suggest that mosquito immatures are not the preferred food of mosquitofish when fish larvae are present in their natural habitats. Since mosquitofish and carp larvae have overlapping natural habitats and prey preferences are the invasive mosquitofish may have a substantial impact on native communities of invertebrates and fish. This way, they are equally important for extensive fisheries and conservation management.

RevDate: 2020-01-23
CmpDate: 2020-01-23

Liao ZY, Scheepens JF, Li QM, et al (2020)

Founder effects, post-introduction evolution and phenotypic plasticity contribute to invasion success of a genetically impoverished invader.

Oecologia, 192(1):105-118.

Multiple mechanisms may act synergistically to promote success of invasive plants. Here, we tested the roles of three non-mutually exclusive mechanisms-founder effects, post-introduction evolution and phenotypic plasticity-in promoting invasion of Chromolaena odorata. We performed a common garden experiment to investigate phenotypic diversification and phenotypic plasticity of the genetically impoverished invader in response to two rainfall treatments (ambient and 50% rainfall). We used ancestor-descendant comparisons to determine post-introduction evolution and the QST-FST approach to estimate past selection on phenotypic traits. We found that eight traits differed significantly between plants from the invasive versus native ranges, for two of which founder effects can be inferred and for six of which post-introduction evolution can be inferred. The invader experienced strong diversifying selection in the invasive range and showed clinal variations in six traits along water and/or temperature gradients. These clinal variations are likely attributed to post-introduction evolution rather than multiple introductions of pre-adapted genotypes, as most of the clinal variations were absent or in opposite directions from those for native populations. Compared with populations, rainfall treatments explained only small proportions of total variations in all studied traits for plants from both ranges, highlighting the importance of heritable phenotypic differentiation. In addition, phenotypic plasticity was similar for plants from both ranges although neutral genetic diversity was much lower for plants from the invasive range. Our results showed that founder effects, post-introduction evolution and phenotypic plasticity may function synergistically in promoting invasion success of C. odorata.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Yang QQ, XP Yu (2019)

A New Species of Apple Snail in the Genus Pomacea (Gastropoda: Caenogastropoda: Ampullariidae).

Zoological studies, 58:e13.

Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculata, two species of freshwater apple snails native to South America, have been introduced to and become invasive in many tropical wetlands around the world. Among their invaded regions in mainland China, we discovered a new species (Pomacea occulta nov. sp.), which has > 5.8% inter-specific genetic divergence with its closely-related species. The present study provides a morphological description of this new species. This new species can be distinguished from the other recognized species of Pomacea by a combination of the following features: a thick shell with generally smooth, fine axial growth lines and frequent periodic growth arrests, an angulated body whorl shoulder, and a yellow-orange-red inner pallial lip; a flexible operculum, thinning dorsally towards the edge; broad kidney anterior leaflets and posterior leaflets with a deep tapering cleft; a concave rachidian base; a penis sheath with apical and medial glands, with the medial gland located in the sheath channel; and 87 to ~1000 eggs per clutch, an average egg diameter of 2.38 mm, a mean hatching height of 2.23 mm, and a mean first whorl width of 1-day-old hatchlings of 2.11 mm.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Moulin N (2020)

When Citizen Science highlights alien invasive species in France: the case of Indochina mantis, Hierodula patellifera (Insecta, Mantodea, Mantidae).

Biodiversity data journal, 8:e46989 pii:46989.

Background: Originally from Asia, Hierodula patellifera (Serville, 1839) occurs several Mediterranean countries, such as Italy. These arrivals could come from many factors: new pets or commercial human transport.

New information: The presence of Hierodula patellifera (Serville, 1839) is here reported for the first time in France. A well settled and probably widespread population of this species is here discussed as its adaptability to the Mediterranean climate. Some considerations on the potential impacts on the local ecosystems and its future spreading in Europe as an invasive species are given.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Thawley CJ, JJ Kolbe (2020)

Artificial light at night increases growth and reproductive output in Anolis lizards.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1919):20191682.

Since the invention of electric lighting, artificial light at night (ALAN) has become a defining, and evolutionary novel, feature of human-altered environments especially in cities. ALAN imposes negative impacts on many organisms, including disrupting endocrine function, metabolism, and reproduction. However, we do not know how generalized these impacts are across taxa that exploit urban environments. We exposed brown anole lizards, an abundant and invasive urban exploiter, to relevant levels of ALAN in the laboratory and assessed effects on growth and reproduction at the start of the breeding season. Male and female anoles exposed to ALAN increased growth and did not suffer increased levels of corticosterone. ALAN exposure induced earlier egg-laying, likely by mimicking a longer photoperiod, and increased reproductive output without reducing offspring quality. These increases in growth and reproduction should increase fitness. Anoles, and potentially other taxa, may be resistant to some negative effects of ALAN and able to take advantage of the novel niche space ALAN creates. ALAN and both its negative and positive impacts may play a crucial role in determining which species invade and exploit urban environments.

RevDate: 2020-01-22

Feás X, Vázquez-Tato MP, Seijas JA, et al (2020)

Extraction and Physicochemical Characterization of Chitin Derived from the Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina Lepeletier 1836 (Hym.: Vespidae).

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 25(2): pii:molecules25020384.

Fifteen years ago, at least one multimated female yellow-legged Asian hornet (Vespa velutina Lepeletier 1836) arrived in France, which gave rise to a pan-European invasion. In this study, the isolation and characterization of chitin (CHI) that was obtained from Vespa velutina (CHIVV) is described. In addition, an easy procedure is carried out to capture the raw insect, selectively and with high rates of success. The chitin contents of dry VV was observed to be 11.7%. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy (FTIR), solid-state NMR (ssNMR), elemental analysis (EA), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), and thermogravimetric analysis (TG) characterized the physicochemical properties of CHIVV. The obtained CHIVV is close to pure (43.47% C, 6.94% H, and 6.85% N), and full acetylated with a value of 95.44%. Additionally, lifetime and kinetic parameters such as activation E and the frequency factor A using model-free and model-fitting methods, were determined. For CHIVV the solid state mechanism that follows the thermodegradation is of type F2 (random nucleation around two nuclei). The invasive Asian hornet is a promising alternative source of CHI, based on certain factors, such as the current and probable continued abundance of the quantity and quality of the product obtained.

RevDate: 2020-01-21

Swoboda-Bhattarai KA, HJ Burrack (2020)

Diurnal and Seasonal Activity Patterns of Drosophilid Species (Diptera: Drosophilidae) Present in Blackberry Agroecosystems With a Focus on Spotted-Wing Drosophila.

Environmental entomology pii:5713188 [Epub ahead of print].

Drosophilid species with different life histories have been shown to exhibit similar behavioral patterns related to locating and utilizing resources such as hosts, mates, and food sources. Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is an invasive species that differs from other frugivorous drosophilids in that females lay eggs in ripe and ripening fruits instead of overripe or rotten fruits. We hypothesized that there may be diurnal and/or seasonal patterns associated with the movement of drosophilid species into and out of crop fields and their attraction to fermentation-odor-based monitoring traps, and that D. suzukii would conform to similar patterns. To test these hypotheses, we deployed passive, 2-headed Malaise traps between crop fields and wooded edges to simultaneously catch flies moving into and out of crop fields. We also deployed monitoring traps with a fermentation-based bait between crop fields and wooded edges and within crop rows. Traps were deployed weekly in June-August in 2014 and 2015 at two commercial blackberry farm in Cleveland County, NC, and were checked hourly for 24 h, except during darkness. Both D. suzukii and other drosophilid species moved between crop fields and wooded edges and were attracted to monitoring traps primarily during the morning and evening hours. Whereas other drosophilids were captured in traps throughout the season, few D. suzukii were caught in traps until early to mid-July in both years and increased as the season progressed. Understanding D. suzukii movement and activity patterns is essential for the development of effective management strategies.

RevDate: 2020-01-21

Gliniewicz A (2019)

Development of land transport connections between Asia and Europe and their possible impact on vector introductions into European Countries.

Roczniki Panstwowego Zakladu Higieny, 70(4):415-422.

RevDate: 2020-01-21

Rahmanikhah Z, Esmaili-Sari A, N Bahramifar (2020)

Total mercury and methylmercury concentrations in native and invasive fish species in Shadegan International Wetland, Iran, and health risk assessment.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-019-07218-z [Epub ahead of print].

Human exposure to mercury (Hg) mainly occurs through consumption of aquatics, especially fish. In aquatic systems, the bioaccumulation of Hg across trophic levels could be altered by invasive species through changing community composition. The present study is aimed at measuring total mercury (T-Hg) and methylmercury (MeHg) concentrations in non-native (redbelly tilapia (Tilapia zillii)) and native (Benni (Mesopotamichthys sharpeyi) and common carp (Cyprinus carpio)) fish species throughout Shadegan International Wetland and comparing health risk of their mercury contents to the local population. The concentrations were measured using a direct mercury analyzer (DMA 80). The average values of T-Hg and MeHg for native fishes were 19.8 and 10.49 μg/kg. These concentrations for the invasive fish were 28 and 14.62 μg/kg respectively. Despite having less length and weight than the native fish species, tilapia showed significantly higher T-Hg content, yet the lowest concentration of MeHg was observed in common carp with larger body length and weight. Concerning mercury health risk to consumers, tilapia demonstrated the highest estimated weekly intake (EWI) and percentages of tolerable weekly intake (%TWI) for both T-Hg and MeHg, while the highest hazard quotient (HQ) values were obtained for tilapia and Benni. Taken together, the mercury concentrations in the two native and non-native fishes were acceptable according to the international safety guidelines although the local people shall be warned for consumption of tilapia. Furthermore, the low calculated value of tissue residue criterion (TRC) for the wetland fishes sounds a warning.

RevDate: 2020-01-21
CmpDate: 2020-01-21

Tsai MH, Lin LC, Hsu JF, et al (2019)

Rapid identification of invasive fungal species using sensitive universal primers-based PCR and restriction endonuclease digestions coupled with high-resolution melting analysis.

Journal of microbiology, immunology, and infection = Wei mian yu gan ran za zhi, 52(5):728-735.

BACKGOUND: Conventional diagnosis of invasive fungal disease from blood cultures is often notoriously delayed and inadequately sensitive. We aimed to develop a universal primers-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay and restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLP) for rapid identification of invasive fungal disease (IFD).

METHODS: We evaluated 16 clinical fungal species using a combination of PCR assays with 3 different restriction endonucleases targeting various internal transcribed spacer (ITS) regions and high resolution melting analysis (HRMA). Serial samples from 75 patients suspected to have IFD were analyzed for clinical verification.

RESULTS: We have designed a universal PCR capable of amplifying a portion of the 18S rRNA gene of 16 clinically important fungal species. The restriction patterns of most PCR products generated by EcoRI or double digested by ClaI and AvaI were different, except Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus flavus had a similar pattern, and Aspergillus fumigatus and Aspergillus terreus had a similar pattern. All these species had a unique melting curve shape using the HRMA. Both HRMA and universal PCR had adequate sensitivity, and all sixteen reference fungal species can be clearly distinguished by the universal PCR-RFLP-HRMA assay. With a reference library of 176 clinically relevant fungal strains, and 75 clinical samples from patients with suspicious IFD were tested, our assay identified 100% and 61.1% of isolates from the reference library and clinical samples, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: Universal PCR and RFLP coupled with HRMA could be a highly discriminative and useful molecular diagnostic that could enhance the current diagnostic, treatment, and surveillance methods of invasive fungal disease.

RevDate: 2020-01-21
CmpDate: 2020-01-21

Sokol NW, Kuebbing SE, Karlsen-Ayala E, et al (2019)

Evidence for the primacy of living root inputs, not root or shoot litter, in forming soil organic carbon.

The New phytologist, 221(1):233-246.

Soil organic carbon (SOC) is primarily formed from plant inputs, but the relative carbon (C) contributions from living root inputs (i.e. rhizodeposits) vs litter inputs (i.e. root + shoot litter) are poorly understood. Recent theory suggests that living root inputs exert a disproportionate influence on SOC formation, but few field studies have explicitly tested this by separately tracking living root vs litter inputs as they move through the soil food web and into distinct SOC pools. We used a manipulative field experiment with an annual C4 grass in a forest understory to differentially track its living root vs litter inputs into the soil and to assess net SOC formation over multiple years. We show that living root inputs are 2-13 times more efficient than litter inputs in forming both slow-cycling, mineral-associated SOC as well as fast-cycling, particulate organic C. Furthermore, we demonstrate that living root inputs are more efficiently anabolized by the soil microbial community en route to the mineral-associated SOC pool (dubbed 'the in vivo microbial turnover pathway'). Overall, our findings provide support for the primacy of living root inputs in forming SOC. However, we also highlight the possibility of nonadditive effects of living root and litter inputs, which may deplete SOC pools despite greater SOC formation rates.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Xiao Q, Zhang MT, Wu Y, et al (2020)

[Prediction of potential distribution of the invasive species Procambarus clarkii in China based on ecological niche models].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 31(1):309-318.

Procambarus clarkii was introduced into China as an important aquatic product in early 20th century. It has characteristics of high fertility, rapid growth, adaptability and digging burrows, which could cause damage of crops, cropland and facilities, decrease local biodiversity and thus threaten local ecosystem. Thus, predicting the potential distribution of P. clarkii in response to climate change was essential for preventing and monitoring this species. Based on the distribution of P. clarkii, the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) and genetic algorithm for rule-set production (GARP) models were used to predict its distribution in China under current climate and four climate scenarios (RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0, RCP 8.5) in two periods, 2041-2060 and 2061-2080. Then, the modeling results were tested by ROC curves. The results showed that under current climate, the highly suitable region for distribution predicted by the MaxEnt and GARP models were Shanghai, Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Anhui along the Yangtze River. The main environmental variables affecting its distribution were mean temperature of the coldest quarter, minimum temperature of the warmest month, and temperature seasonality, maximum temperature of the warmest month, precipitation of the driest month. Under the future climate scenarios, the suitable area of P. clarkii distribution varied in 2061-2080. The total suitable area of P. clarkii would increase under RCP2.6 and RCP 4.5, whereas under RCP 8.5 the suitable area of P. clarkii would increase, and then decrease. In RCP 6.0, there was no change. The suitable areas of P. clarkii would disperse to different latitude areas and migrate toward high altitude.

RevDate: 2020-01-20

Faulkner KT, Robertson MP, JRU Wilson (2020)

Stronger regional biosecurity is essential to prevent hundreds of harmful biological invasions.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions often transcend political boundaries, but the capacity of countries to prevent invasions varies. How this variation in biosecurity affects the invasion risks posed to the countries involved is unclear. We aimed to improve the understanding of how the biosecurity of a country influences that of its neighbours. We developed six scenarios that describe biological invasions in regions with contiguous countries. Using data from alien species databases, socio-economic and biodiversity data, and species distribution models, we determined where 86 of 100 of the world's worst invasive species are likely to invade and have a negative impact in the future. Information on the capacity of countries to prevent invasions was used to determine whether such invasions could be avoided. For the selected species, we predicted 2,523 discrete invasions, most of which would have significant negative impacts and are unlikely to be prevented. Of these invasions, approximately a third were predicted to spread from the country in which the species first establishes to neighbouring countries where they would cause significant negative impacts. Most of these invasions are unlikely to be prevented as the country of first establishment has a low capacity to prevent invasions or has little incentive to do so as there will be no impact in that country. Regional biosecurity is therefore essential to prevent future harmful biological invasions. In consequence, we propose that the need for increased regional co-operation to combat biological invasions be incorporated in global biodiversity targets.

RevDate: 2020-01-20
CmpDate: 2020-01-20

Wilman B, Bełdowska M, M Normant-Saremba (2019)

Labile and stable mercury in Harris mud crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii) from the southern Baltic Sea - Considerations for a role of non-native species in the food web.

Marine pollution bulletin, 148:116-122.

Mercury is a potent neurotoxin. Its main source of entry into the human body is the consumption of fish and seafood. Within the past few decades a new species of crab has appeared in the food web of the southern Baltic: Rhithropanopeus harrisii. The aim of the present study was to estimate the level of total and labile mercury concentrations in this species collected from the southern Baltic Sea. Analyses were performed using the thermodesorption method. The share of organic mercury fraction, as well as the Hgtot, increased with the size class of the crabs. Due to the increasingly common occurrence of R. harrisii and the low HgTOT concentration in its body, and assuming that it is bound to become a more and more common component of the diet of fish, it can be supposed that the load of toxic mercury entering the food web is likely to decrease.

RevDate: 2020-01-20
CmpDate: 2020-01-20

Mamet SD, Redlick E, Brabant M, et al (2019)

Structural equation modeling of a winnowed soil microbiome identifies how invasive plants re-structure microbial networks.

The ISME journal, 13(8):1988-1996.

The development of microbial networks is central to ecosystem functioning and is the hallmark of complex natural systems. Characterizing network development over time and across environmental gradients is hindered by the millions of potential interactions among community members, limiting interpretations of network evolution. We developed a feature selection approach using data winnowing that identifies the most ecologically influential microorganisms within a network undergoing change. Using a combination of graph theory, leave-one-out analysis, and statistical inference, complex microbial communities are winnowed to identify the core organisms responding to external gradients or functionality, and then network development is evaluated against these externalities. In a plant invasion case study, the winnowed microbial network became more influential as the plant invasion progressed as a result of direct plant-microbe links rather than the expected indirect plant-soil-microbe links. This represents the first use of structural equation modeling to predict microbial network evolution, which requires identification of keystone taxa and quantification of the ecological processes underpinning community structure and function patterns.

RevDate: 2020-01-20
CmpDate: 2020-01-20

Ehlman SM, Trimmer PC, A Sih (2019)

Prey Responses to Exotic Predators: Effects of Old Risks and New Cues.

The American naturalist, 193(4):575-587.

Exotic predators can have major negative impacts on prey. Importantly, prey vary considerably in their behavioral responses to exotic predators. Factors proposed to explain variation in prey response to exotic predators include the similarity of new predators to familiar, native predators, the prevalence and diversity of predators in a prey's past, and variation in a prey's innate ability to discriminate between predators and safety. While these factors have been put forth verbally in the literature, no theory exists that combines these hypotheses in a common conceptual framework using a unified behavioral model. Here, we formalize existing verbal arguments by modeling variation in prey responses to new predators in a state-dependent detection theory framework. We find that while some conventional wisdom is upheld, novel predictions emerge. As expected, prey respond poorly to exotic predators that do not closely resemble familiar predators. Furthermore, a history with more abundant or diverse native predators can lessen effects of some exotic predators on prey; however, under some conditions, the opposite prediction emerges. Also, prey that evolved in situations where they easily discriminate between safe and dangerous situations can be more susceptible to novel predators.

RevDate: 2020-01-18

Batavia C, Nelson MP, AD Wallach (2020)

The moral residue of conservation.

Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology [Epub ahead of print].

Should conservationists use lethal management to control introduced wildlife populations? Should they kill individual animals to protect endangered species? Are tradeoffs that prioritize some values at the expense of others morally appropriate? These sorts of ethical questions are common in conservation. In debating such questions, conservationists often seem to presume one of two possible answers: the act in question is right, or it is wrong. But morality in conservation is considerably more complex than this simple binary suggests. A robust conservation ethic requires a vocabulary that gives voice to the uncertainty and unease that arise when what seems to be the best available course of action also seems to involve a measure of wrongdoing. The philosophical literature on moral residue and moral dilemmas supplies this vocabulary. Moral dilemmas arise when one must neglect certain moral requirements to fulfill others. Under such circumstances, even the best possible decision leaves a "moral residue," which is experienced emotionally as some form of grief. In this essay we introduce the concept of moral residue, offering three philosophical accounts to explain its origins and implications, and illustrating each with a conservation example. We argue that moral residue is integral to the moral experience of conservationists today, and we suggest grief is an appropriate response to many decisions conservationists must make. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-01-18

Liu B, Yan J, Li W, et al (2020)

Mikania micrantha genome provides insights into the molecular mechanism of rapid growth.

Nature communications, 11(1):340 pii:10.1038/s41467-019-13926-4.

Mikania micrantha is one of the top 100 worst invasive species that can cause serious damage to natural ecosystems and substantial economic losses. Here, we present its 1.79 Gb chromosome-scale reference genome. Half of the genome is composed of long terminal repeat retrotransposons, 80% of which have been derived from a significant expansion in the past one million years. We identify a whole genome duplication event and recent segmental duplications, which may be responsible for its rapid environmental adaptation. Additionally, we show that M. micrantha achieves higher photosynthetic capacity by CO2 absorption at night to supplement the carbon fixation during the day, as well as enhanced stem photosynthesis efficiency. Furthermore, the metabolites of M. micrantha can increase the availability of nitrogen by enriching the microbes that participate in nitrogen cycling pathways. These findings collectively provide insights into the rapid growth and invasive adaptation.

RevDate: 2020-01-18

Phambala K, Tembo Y, Kasambala T, et al (2020)

Bioactivity of Common Pesticidal Plants on Fall Armyworm Larvae (Spodoptera frugiperda).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:plants9010112.

The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) is a recent invasive pest species that has successfully established across sub-Saharan Africa where it continues to disrupt agriculture, particularly smallholder cereal production. Management of FAW in its native range in the Americas has led to the development of resistance to many commercial pesticides before its arrival in Africa. Pesticide use may therefore be ineffective for FAW control in Africa, so new and more sustainable approaches to pest management are required that can help reduce the impact of this exotic pest. Pesticidal plants provide an effective and established approach to pest management in African smallholder farming and recent research has shown that their use can be cost-beneficial and sustainable. In order to optimize the use of botanical extracts for FAW control, we initially screened ten commonly used plant species. In laboratory trials, contact toxicity and feeding bioassays showed differential effects. Some plant species had little to no effect when compared to untreated controls; thus, only the five most promising plant species were selected for more detailed study. In contact toxicity tests, the highest larval mortality was obtained from Nicotiana tabacum (66%) and Lippia javanica (66%). Similarly, in a feeding bioassay L. javanica (62%) and N. tabacum (60%) exhibited high larval mortality at the highest concentration evaluated (10% w/v). Feeding deterrence was evaluated using glass-fibre discs treated with plant extracts, which showed that Cymbopogon citratus (36%) and Azadirachta indica (20%) were the most potent feeding deterrents among the pesticidal plants evaluated. In a screenhouse experiment where living maize plants infested with fall armyworm larvae were treated with plant extracts, N. tabacum and L. javanica were the most potent species at reducing foliar damage compared to the untreated control whilst the synthetic pesticide chlorpyrifos was the most effective in reducing fall armyworm foliar damage. Further field trial evaluation is recommended, particularly involving smallholder maize fields to assess effectiveness across a range of contexts.

RevDate: 2020-01-17
CmpDate: 2020-01-17

Jia Y, Kennard MJ, Liu Y, et al (2019)

Understanding invasion success of Pseudorasbora parva in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau: Insights from life-history and environmental filters.

The Science of the total environment, 694:133739.

Understanding mechanisms of fish invasion success is crucial to controlling existing invasions and preventing potential future spread. Despite considerable advances in explaining successful fish invasions, little is known about how non-native fish successfully invade alpine freshwater ecosystems. Here, we explore the role of fish life history and environmental factors in contributing to invasion success of Pseudorasbora parva on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. We compared life history trait differences between native populations in lowland China with introduced populations in lowland Europe and the high elevation Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Linear mixed-effects models were used to analyse life-history trait variation across elevation gradients. A random forest model was developed to identify the key environmental filters influencing P. parva invasion success. Life history characteristics differed substantially between native and introduced populations. Compared with native Chinese populations, introduced populations in lowland Europe had smaller body size, higher fecundity, smaller oocytes and earlier maturation. Introduced populations in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau had smaller body size, lower fecundity, smaller oocytes and later maturation compared with native populations. 1-Year-Length and fecundity in all age classes of females significantly increased with increasing elevation. 2-Year-Length and 3-Year-Length of male significantly increased while maximal longevity and length at first maturity were significantly decreased with the elevation gradient. Habitat type, annual mean temperature, elevation, annual precipitation and precipitation seasonality, were the 5 most important predictors for the occurrence of the P. parva. Our study indicates that invasive P. parva adopt different life history strategies on the plateau compared with invasive populations at low elevations, highlighting that more studies are required for a better understanding of biological invasion under extreme conditions. Considering the ongoing hydrologic alteration and climate change, our study also highlighted that P. parva may expand their distribution range in the future on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

DeVore JL, Shine R, S Ducatez (2020)

Urbanization and translocation disrupt the relationship between host density and parasite abundance.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The species interactions that structure natural communities are increasingly disrupted by radical habitat change resulting from the widespread processes of urbanization and species translocations. Although many species are disadvantaged by these changes, others thrive in these new environments, achieving densities that exceed those in natural habitats. Often the same species that benefit from urbanization are successful invaders in introduced habitats, suggesting that similar processes promote these species in both environments. Both processes may especially benefit certain species by modifying their interactions with harmful parasites ("enemy release"). To detect such modifications, we first need to identify the mechanisms underlying host-parasite associations in natural populations, then test whether they are disrupted in cities and introduced habitats. We studied the interaction between the cane toad (Rhinella marina), a globally invasive species native to South America, and its Amblyomma ticks. Our field study of 642 cane toads across 46 sites within their native range in French Guiana revealed that 56% of toads carried ticks, and that toads with ticks were in poor body condition relative to uninfected conspecifics. Across natural and disturbed habitats tick prevalence and abundance increased with toad density, but this association was disrupted in the urban environment, where tick abundance remained low even where toad densities were high, and prevalence decreased with density. Reductions in the abundance of ticks in urban habitats may be attributable to pesticides (which are sprayed for mosquito control, but are also lethal to ticks), and our literature review shows that tick abundance is generally lower in cane toads from urban habitats across South America. In the invasive range, ticks were either absent (in 1,960 toads from Puerto Rico, Hawai'i, Japan, and Australia) or less abundant (in Florida and the Caribbean; literature review). The positive relationship between host density and parasite abundance is thought to be a key mechanism through which parasites regulate host populations; anthropogenic processes that disrupt this relationship may allow populations in urban and introduced habitats to persist at densities that would otherwise lead to severe impacts from parasites.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Siljamo P, Ashbrook K, Comont RF, et al (2020)

Do atmospheric events explain the arrival of an invasive ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) in the UK?.

PloS one, 15(1):e0219335 pii:PONE-D-19-17222.

Species introduced outside their natural range threaten global biodiversity and despite greater awareness of invasive species risks at ports and airports, control measures in place only concern anthropogenic routes of dispersal. Here, we use the Harlequin ladybird, Harmonia axyridis, an invasive species which first established in the UK from continental Europe in 2004, to test whether records from 2004 and 2005 were associated with atmospheric events. We used the atmospheric- chemistry transport model SILAM to model the movement of this species from known distributions in continental Europe and tested whether the predicted atmospheric events were associated with the frequency of ladybird records in the UK. We show that the distribution of this species in the early years of its arrival does not provide substantial evidence for a purely anthropogenic introduction and show instead that atmospheric events can better explain this arrival event. Our results suggest that air flows which may assist dispersal over the English Channel are relatively frequent; ranging from once a week from Belgium and the Netherlands to 1-2 times a week from France over our study period. Given the frequency of these events, we demonstrate that atmospheric-assisted dispersal is a viable route for flying species to cross natural barriers.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

Rohal CB, Cranney C, Hazelton ELG, et al (2019)

Invasive Phragmites australis management outcomes and native plant recovery are context dependent.

Ecology and evolution, 9(24):13835-13849.

The outcomes of invasive plant removal efforts are influenced by management decisions, but are also contingent on the uncontrolled spatial and temporal context of management areas. Phragmites australis is an aggressive invader that is intensively managed in wetlands across North America. Treatment options have been understudied, and the ecological contingencies of management outcomes are poorly understood. We implemented a 5-year, multi-site experiment to evaluate six Phragmites management treatments that varied timing (summer or fall) and types of herbicide (glyphosate or imazapyr) along with mowing, plus a nonherbicide solarization treatment. We evaluated treatments for their influence on Phragmites and native plant cover and Phragmites inflorescence production. We assessed plant community trajectories and outcomes in the context of environmental factors. The summer mow, fall glyphosate spray treatment resulted in low Phragmites cover, high inflorescence reduction, and provided the best conditions for native plant recruitment. However, returning plant communities did not resemble reference sites, which were dominated by ecologically important perennial graminoids. Native plant recovery following initial Phragmites treatments was likely limited by the dense litter that resulted from mowing. After 5 years, Phragmites mortality and native plant recovery were highly variable across sites as driven by hydrology. Plots with higher soil moisture had greater reduction in Phragmites cover and more robust recruitment of natives compared with low moisture plots. This moisture effect may limit management options in semiarid regions vulnerable to water scarcity. We demonstrate the importance of replicating invasive species management experiments across sites so the contingencies of successes and failures can be better understood.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Pornon A, Baksay S, Escaravage N, et al (2019)

Pollinator specialization increases with a decrease in a mass-flowering plant in networks inferred from DNA metabarcoding.

Ecology and evolution, 9(24):13650-13662 pii:ECE35531.

How native mass-flowering plants affect the specialization of insects at individual and species levels and the consequences for pollination networks have received much less attention than for mass-flowering crops or alien species and basically remain unexplored.Using existing DNA metabarcoding data on the pollen loads of 402 flower-visiting insects, we assessed the effects of a native mass-flowering plant of high reward quality, the shrub Rhododendron ferrugineum, on pollination networks by investigating: (a) the food niches of individual pollinators and pollinator species and (b) the structure of individual and species networks in subalpine heathland patches with extremely contrasted densities of R. ferrugineum.Relative to its high abundance in high-density patches, the shrub was greatly underrepresented and did not dominate individual's or species' generalized networks, rather individual and species specialization increased with a decrease in R. ferrugineum density. Furthermore, individuals of the more generalist dipteran Empididae species tended to extend exclusive interactions with rare plant species in low-density networks. The same trend was observed in the more specialist Apidea but toward rare species in high-density networks. Our results reveal a quite paradoxical view of pollination and a functional complementarity within networks. Niche and network indices mostly based on the occurrence of links showed that individual pollinators and pollinator species and networks were highly generalized, whereas indices of link strength revealed that species and above all individuals behave as quite strict specialists. Synthesis. Our study provides insights into the status of a native mass-flowering plant in individual's and insect species' food niches and pollination networks. It revealed that a generalist pollinator species can be highly specialized at the individual level and how rare plant species coexisting with mass-flowering plants may nevertheless be visited.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Chen ML, Huang YH, Qiu BY, et al (2020)

Changes in life history traits and transcriptional regulation of Coccinellini ladybirds in using alternative prey.

BMC genomics, 21(1):44 pii:10.1186/s12864-020-6452-0.

BACKGROUND: Ladybird beetles (Coleoptera, Coccinellidae) are highly diverse in their feeding habits. Most of them are specialist feeders, while some can have a broad spectrum of prey. As a representative group of generalists, the tribe Coccinellini includes many aphidophagous species, but members of this tribe also feed on other hemipterous insects including coccids, psyllids and whiteflies. As a result, several species are effective biological control agents or invasive species with serious non-target effects. Despite their economic importance, relatively little is known about how they adapt to new prey.

RESULTS: In this study, comparisons of the life history traits and transcriptomes of ladybirds fed initial (aphids) and alternative prey (mealybugs) were performed in three Coccinellini species. The use of alternative prey greatly decreased performance, implied by the significantly prolonged development time and decreased survival rate and adult weight. Prey shifts resulted in a set of differentially expressed genes encoding chemosensory proteins and digestive and detoxifying enzymes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that these generalists do not perform well when they use alternative prey as the sole nutrition source. Although their capacity for predation might have created an opportunity to use varied prey, they must adapt to physiological obstacles including chemosensing, digestion and detoxification in response to a prey shift. These findings challenge the effect of Coccinellini predators on the biological control of non-aphid pests and suggest the possibility of non-target attacks by so-called specialists.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Swaminathan P, Ohrtman M, Carinder A, et al (2020)

Water Deficit Transcriptomic Responses Differ in the Invasive Tamarix chinensis and T. ramosissima Established in the Southern and Northern United States.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:plants9010086.

Tamarix spp. (saltcedar) were introduced from Asia to the southern United States as windbreak and ornamental plants and have spread into natural areas. This study determined differential gene expression responses to water deficit (WD) in seedlings of T. chinensis and T. ramosissima from established invasive stands in New Mexico and Montana, respectively. A reference de novo transcriptome was developed using RNA sequences from WD and well-watered samples. Blast2GO analysis of the resulting 271,872 transcripts yielded 89,389 homologs. The reference Tamarix (Tamaricaceae, Carophyllales order) transcriptome showed homology with 14,247 predicted genes of the Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris (Amaranthaceae, Carophyllales order) genome assembly. T. ramosissima took longer to show water stress symptoms than T. chinensis. There were 2068 and 669 differentially expressed genes (DEG) in T. chinensis and T. ramosissima, respectively; 332 were DEG in common between the two species. Network analysis showed large biological process networks of similar gene content for each of the species under water deficit. Two distinct molecular function gene ontology networks (binding and transcription factor-related) encompassing multiple up-regulated transcription factors (MYB, NAC, and WRKY) and a cellular components network containing many down-regulated photosynthesis-related genes were identified in T. chinensis, in contrast to one small molecular function network in T. ramosissima.

RevDate: 2020-01-15

Duchicela J, Bever JD, PA Schultz (2020)

Symbionts as Filters of Plant Colonization of Islands: Tests of Expected Patterns and Environmental Consequences in the Galapagos.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:plants9010074.

The establishments of new organisms that arrive naturally or with anthropogenic assistance depend primarily on local conditions, including biotic interactions. We hypothesized that plants that rely on fungal symbionts are less likely to successfully colonize remote environments such as oceanic islands, and this can shape subsequent island ecology. We analyzed the mycorrhizal status of Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos flora compared with the mainland Ecuador flora of origin. We experimentally determined plant responsiveness and plant-soil feedback of the island flora and assessed mycorrhizal density and soil aggregate stability of island sites. We found that a greater proportion of the native island flora species belongs to families that typically do not associate with mycorrhizal fungi than expected based upon the mainland flora of origin and the naturalized flora of the island. Native plants benefited significantly less from soil fungi and had weaker negative soil feedbacks than introduced species. This is consistent with the observation that field sites dominated by native plant species had lower arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal density and lower soil aggregate stability than invaded field sites at the island. We found support for a mycorrhizal filter to the initial colonization of the Galapagos.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Guyton JA, Pansu J, Hutchinson MC, et al (2020)

Trophic rewilding revives biotic resistance to shrub invasion.

Nature ecology & evolution pii:10.1038/s41559-019-1068-y [Epub ahead of print].

Trophic rewilding seeks to rehabilitate degraded ecosystems by repopulating them with large animals, thereby re-establishing strong top-down interactions. Yet there are very few tests of whether such initiatives can restore ecosystem structure and functions, and on what timescales. Here we show that war-induced collapse of large-mammal populations in Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park exacerbated woody encroachment by the invasive shrub Mimosa pigra-considered one of the world's 100 worst invasive species-and that one decade of concerted trophic rewilding restored this invasion to pre-war baseline levels. Mimosa occurrence increased between 1972 and 2015, a period encompassing the near extirpation of large herbivores during the Mozambican Civil War. From 2015 to 2019, mimosa abundance declined as ungulate biomass recovered. DNA metabarcoding revealed that ruminant herbivores fed heavily on mimosa, and experimental exclosures confirmed the causal role of mammalian herbivory in containing shrub encroachment. Our results provide mechanistic evidence that trophic rewilding has rapidly revived a key ecosystem function (biotic resistance to a notorious woody invader), underscoring the potential for restoring ecological health in degraded protected areas.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Xue Q, CS Ma (2020)

Aged virgin adults respond to extreme heat events with phenotypic plasticity in an invasive species, Drosophila suzukii.

Journal of insect physiology pii:S0022-1910(19)30307-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate warming has increased the frequency of extreme heat events. Alien species usually invade new areas with a low-density population and often have limited mating opportunities due to the unsynchronized emergence of adults. Early-emerging virgin adults often have to wait to mate with later-emerging partners at the cost of aging, which reduces thermal tolerance. To understand the adaptive strategies of virgin males/females versus those of mated males/females in response to heat stress during aging, we conducted a fully factorial experiment to test the basal and plastic heat tolerance (CTmax, critical thermal maximum) of males and females with different mating statuses (virgin and mated) at different ages (5, 10, and 15 days after eclosion) after different acclimation regimes (null, rapid and developmental heat acclimation) in a well-known invasive species, Drosophila suzukii. We found that mating could change the heat tolerance of adults during aging. Mated females had higher basal heat tolerance than virgin females, while mated males had lower tolerance than virgin males. Mating could generally decrease the acclimation capacity (i.e., plasticity of heat tolerance) during aging. Aged virgin adults had a much higher acclimation capacity than aged mated adults. Our findings suggest that phenotypic plasticity of heat tolerance may be a main strategy used by virgin adults to cope with heat events. The phenotypic plasticity of thermal tolerance could increase the invasion success of alien species in new areas by allowing them to rapid respond to local temperature changes.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Hughes KA, Pescott OL, Peyton J, et al (2020)

Invasive non-native species likely to threaten biodiversity and ecosystems in the Antarctic Peninsula region.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

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 invaded part of the Antarctica continent. The risk of introduction of invasive non-native species to the APR is likely to increase with predicted increases in the intensity, diversity and distribution of human activities. Parties that are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty have called for regional assessments of non-native species risk. In response, taxonomic and Antarctic experts undertook a horizon scanning exercise using expert opinion and consensus approaches to identify the species that are likely to present the highest risk to biodiversity and ecosystems within the APR over the next 10 years. One hundred and three species, currently absent in the APR, were identified as relevant for review, with 13 species identified as presenting a high risk of invading the APR. Marine invertebrates dominated the list of highest risk species, with flowering plants and terrestrial invertebrates also represented; however, vertebrate species were thought unlikely to establish in the APR within the 10 year timeframe. We recommend (a) the further development and application of biosecurity measures by all stakeholders active in the APR, including surveillance for species such as those identified during this horizon scanning exercise, and (b) use of this methodology across the other regions of Antarctica. Without the application of appropriate biosecurity measures, rates of introductions and invasions within the APR are likely to increase, resulting in negative consequences for the biodiversity of the whole continent, as introduced species establish and spread further due to climate change and increasing human activity.

RevDate: 2020-01-17

van Loo M, Lazic D, Chakraborty D, et al (2019)

North American Douglas-fir (P. menziesii) in Europe: establishment and reproduction within new geographic space without consequences for its genetic diversity.

Biological invasions, 21(11):3249-3267.

Genetic admixture and plasticity along with propagule pressure, large seed dispersal distances and fast adaptation support successful establishment and spread of introduced species outside their native range. Consequently, introductions may display climatic niche shifts in the introduced range. Douglas-fir, a controversial forest and ornamental conifer represented by two ecologically different and hybridising varieties, was transferred multiple times outside the native range in North America. Here, we compare climatic and genetic patterns of 38 native populations from North America with six old Pseudotsuga menziesii populations with natural regeneration in the introduced range in Central Europe. Following variety and geographic origin assessment of introduced populations, genotypic and climatic data were examined for signatures of inter-varietal gene flow, reduced genetic diversity, presence of fine-scale spatial genetic structure (SGS), dispersal patterns, and climate similarities between native and introduced range. In the introduced range, dominating coastal variety originated from a restricted area in the US, whereas the interior variety, with limited presence in the European sites, displayed wider geographic origin. Variety hybrids with contributing coastal, but not the interior parent were identified. Differences in genetic diversity between both ranges, but also among the parent and their respective offspring populations in Europe were not found. Old populations in general lacked any SGS, whereas natural regeneration revealed different patterns of SGS. Distances of propagule dispersal ranged between 2.5 and 92 m. The climate of the studied European introduced range was most similar to the climate of the coastal variety from the western Cascade range from which the majority of the analysed coastal European Douglas-fir, but not the European interior variety, was assigned to originate. The results we present here shed not only light on dynamics of invasive species in the introduced range in general, but also allow for refinement of climatic niche modeling when using lower than species level.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Wyckhuys KAG, Hughes AC, Buamas C, et al (2019)

Biological control of an agricultural pest protects tropical forests.

Communications biology, 2(1):10 pii:10.1038/s42003-018-0257-6.

Though often perceived as an environmentally-risky practice, biological control of invasive species can restore crop yields, ease land pressure and thus contribute to forest conservation. Here, we show how biological control against the mealybug Phenacoccus manihoti (Hemiptera) slows deforestation across Southeast Asia. In Thailand, this newly-arrived mealybug caused an 18% decline in cassava yields over 2009-2010 and an escalation in prices of cassava products. This spurred an expansion of cassava cropping in neighboring countries from 713,000 ha in 2009 to > 1 million ha by 2011: satellite imagery reveals 388%, 330%, 185% and 608% increases in peak deforestation rates in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar and Vietnam focused in cassava crop expansion areas. Following release of the host-specific parasitoid Anagyrus lopezi (Hymenoptera) in 2010, mealybug outbreaks were reduced, cropping area contracted and deforestation slowed by 31-95% in individual countries. Hence, when judiciously implemented, insect biological control can deliver substantial environmental benefits.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

Peralta G, Dickie IA, Yeates GW, et al (2020)

Community- and trophic-level responses of soil nematodes to removal of a non-native tree at different stages of invasion.

PloS one, 15(1):e0227130 pii:PONE-D-19-17858.

Success of invasive non-native plant species management is usually measured as changes in the abundance of the invasive plant species or native plant species following invader management, but more complex trophic responses to invader removal are often ignored or assumed. Moreover, the effects of invader removal at different stages of the invasion process is rarely evaluated, despite a growing recognition that invader impacts are density or stage-dependent. Therefore, the effectiveness of invasive species management for restoring community structure and function across trophic levels remains poorly understood. We determined how soil nematode diversity and community composition respond to removal of the globally invasive tree species Pinus contorta at different stages of invasion by reanalysing and expanding an earlier study including uninvaded vegetation (seedlings removed continuously), early invader removal (saplings removed), late removal (trees removed), and no removal (invaded). These treatments allowed us to evaluate the stage-dependent belowground trophic responses to biological invasion and removal. We found that invaded plots had half the nematode taxa richness compared to uninvaded plots, and that tree invasion altered the overall composition of the nematode community. Differences in nematode community composition between uninvaded nematode communities and those under the tree removal strategy tended to dilute higher up the food chain, whereas the composition of uninvaded vs. sapling removal strategies did not differ significantly. Conversely, the composition of invaded compared to uninvaded nematode communities differed across all trophic levels, altering the community structure and function. Specifically, invaded communities were structurally simplified compared to uninvaded communities, and had a higher proportion of short life cycle nematodes, characteristic of disturbed environments. We demonstrate that a shift in management strategies for a globally invasive tree species from removing trees to earlier removal of saplings is needed for maintaining the composition and structure of soil nematode communities to resemble uninvaded conditions.

RevDate: 2020-01-10

González-Acosta C, Correa-Morales F, Canche-Aguilar I, et al (2019)

First Report of Aedes albopictus in Guerrero State, Mexico.

Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 35(4):285-287.

In 1988, Aedes albopictus was first described in Mexico. Since then, it has been recorded in most of the coastal states that have a shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico, 3 states in Central Mexico and 2 states on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. This is the first report documenting the presence of this invasive species in Guerrero, a state with coastlines on the Pacific Ocean. This evidence suggests that the distribution of Ae. albopictus is expanding throughout Mexico. It remains unknown the extent to which Ae. albopictus contributes to vector-borne disease transmission in this country; however, the risk should not be neglected.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Colihueque N, Estay FJ, Crespo JE, et al (2019)

Genetic Differentiation and Origin of Naturalized Rainbow Trout Populations From Southern Chile, Revealed by the mtDNA Control Region Marker.

Frontiers in genetics, 10:1212.

Numerous self-sustaining naturalized or introduced populations of rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) are widely distributed throughout the freshwaters of southern Chile. In this study, analysis of the mitochondrial DNA control region (CR) marker was conducted to investigate the level of genetic divergence among populations and their phylogenetic relationships with respect to native lineages. This information provided a framework to interpret the genetic structure and origin that was shaped during historical trout introduction efforts. To this end, we analyzed eleven naturalized populations of lakes and rivers from five basins. The CR marker revealed five haplotypes. The overall haplotype (H) and nucleotide (Π) diversities were 0.684 ± 0.030 and 0.00460 ± 0.00012, respectively. Global FST was 0.169, with several pairwise FST estimates showing significant differences (P < 0.05). The exact test of population differentiation corroborated this result (P < 0.001). Significant geographic structure was found (P < 0.05), with variations explained primarily by differences within populations (61.65%) and among group basins (20.82%). Maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis resolved two distinct clades with medium bootstrap support when naturalized populations were aligned in conjunction with reference native lineages. The haplotype network revealed a close association between naturalized populations and four main haplotypes representative of three native ecotypes or lineages from western North America (rainbow trout, steelhead trout and redband trout). These results indicate a genetic population structuring for naturalized rainbow trout from southern Chile and an origin probably represented by multiple lineages sources. Thus, mitochondrial DNA data strongly suggest that stocking of rainbow trout from different origins may have occurred during or after the initial introduction efforts.

RevDate: 2020-01-13

Wang C, Wei M, Wang S, et al (2019)

Cadmium influences the litter decomposition of Solidago canadensis L. and soil N-fixing bacterial communities.

Chemosphere, 246:125717 pii:S0045-6535(19)32958-3 [Epub ahead of print].

It is important to illuminate the effects of litter decomposition of invasive alien species on soil N-fixing bacterial communities (SoNiBa), especially under heavy metal pollution to better outline the mechanisms for invasion success of invasive alien species. This study attempts to identify the effects of litter decomposition of Solidago canadensis L. on SoNiBa under cadmium (Cd) pollution with different concentrations (i.e., low concentration, 7.5 mg/kg soil; high concentration, 15 mg/kg soil) via a polyethylene litterbags-experiment. Electrical conductivity and total N of soil were the most important environmental factors for determining the variations of SoNiBa composition. S. canadensis did not significantly affect the alpha diversity of SoNiBa but significantly affect the beta diversity of SoNiBa and SoNiBa composition. Thus, SoNiBa composition, rather than alpha diversity of SoNiBa, was the most important determinant of the invasion success of S. canadensis. Cd with 15 mg/kg soil did not address distinct effects on alpha diversity of SoNiBa, but Cd with 7.5 mg/kg soil noticeably raised the number of species and species richness of SoNiBa mainly due to the hormonal effects. The combined S. canadensis and Cd with 15 mg/kg soil obviously decreased cumulative mass losses and the rate of litter decomposition (k) of S. canadensis, but the combined S. canadensis and Cd with 7.5 mg/kg soil evidently accelerated cumulative mass losses and k of S. canadensis. Thus, Cd with 7.5 mg/kg soil can accelerate litter decomposition of S. canadensis, but Cd with 15 mg/kg soil can decline litter decomposition of S. canadensis.

RevDate: 2020-01-12

Hauger AN, Hollis-Etter KM, Etter DR, et al (2020)

Use of environmental DNA (eDNA) in streams to detect feral swine (Sus scrofa).

PeerJ, 8:e8287.

Invasive feral swine can damage ecosystems, disrupt plant and animal populations, and transmit diseases. Monitoring of feral swine populations requires expensive and labor-intensive techniques such as aerial surveys, field surveys for sign, trail cameras, and verifying landowner reports. Environmental DNA (eDNA) provides an alternative method for locating feral swine. To aid in detection of this harmful invasive species, a novel assay was developed incorporating molecular methods. From August 2017 to April 2018, water samples and stream data were collected along 400 m transects in two different stream types where swine DNA was artificially introduced to investigate potential factors affecting detection. A generalized linear model (family binomial) was used to characterize environmental conditions affecting swine DNA detection; detection was the dependent variable and stream measurements included stream type, distance downstream, water temperature, velocity, turbidity, discharge, and pH as independent variables. Parameters from the generalized linear model were deemed significant if 95% confidence intervals did not overlap 0. Detection probability for swine DNA negatively related to water temperature (β = - 0.21, 95% CI [-0.35 to -0.09]), with the highest detection probability (0.80) at 0 °C and lowest detection probability (0.05) at 17.9 °C water temperature. Results indicate that sampling for swine eDNA in free-flowing stream systems should occur at lower water temperatures to maximize detection probability. This study provides a foundation for further development of field and sampling techniques for utilizing eDNA as a viable alternative to monitoring a terrestrial invasive species in northern regions of the United States.

RevDate: 2020-01-09

Hraoui G, Bettinazzi S, Gendron AD, et al (2020)

Mitochondrial thermo-sensitivity in invasive and native freshwater mussels.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:jeb.215921 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is impacting many, if not all, forms of life. Increases in extreme temperature fluctuations and average temperatures can cause stress, particularly in aquatic sessile ectotherms such as freshwater mussels. However, some species seem to thrive more than others in face of temperature-related stressors. Thermal tolerance may for example explain invasive species success. It is also known that mitochondria can play a key role in setting an ectothermic species' thermal tolerance. In this study, we aimed to characterize the mitochondrial thermo-tolerance in invasive and endemic freshwater mussels. With the use of high-resolution respirometry, we analyzed the mitochondrial respiration of two freshwater bivalve species exposed to a broad range of temperatures. We noticed that the invasive dreissenid Dreissena bugensis possessed a less thermo-tolerant mitochondrial metabolism than the endemic unionid Elliptio complanata This lack of tolerance was linked with a more noticeable aerobic metabolic depression at elevated temperatures. This decrease in mitochondrial metabolic activity was also linked with an increase in leak oxygen consumption as well as a stable maintenance of the activity of cytochrome c oxidase in both species. These findings may be associated both with species' life history characteristics, as D. bugensis is more adapted to unstable habitats, in which selection pressures for resistance adaptations are reduced. Our findings add to the growing body of literature characterizing the mitochondrial metabolism of many aquatic ectotherms in our changing world.

RevDate: 2020-01-12

Liao C, Xavier JB, Z Zhu (2020)

Enhanced inference of ecological networks by parameterizing ensembles of population dynamics models constrained with prior knowledge.

BMC ecology, 20(1):3.

BACKGROUND: Accurate network models of species interaction could be used to predict population dynamics and be applied to manage real world ecosystems. Most relevant models are nonlinear, however, and data available from real world ecosystems are too noisy and sparsely sampled for common inference approaches. Here we improved the inference of generalized Lotka-Volterra (gLV) ecological networks by using a new optimization algorithm to constrain parameter signs with prior knowledge and a perturbation-based ensemble method.

RESULTS: We applied the new inference to long-term species abundance data from the freshwater fish community in the Illinois River, United States. We constructed an ensemble of 668 gLV models that explained 79% of the data on average. The models indicated (at a 70% level of confidence) a strong positive interaction from emerald shiner (Notropis atherinoides) to channel catfish (Ictalurus punctatus), which we could validate using data from a nearby observation site, and predicted that the relative abundances of most fish species will continue to fluctuate temporally and concordantly in the near future. The network shows that the invasive silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) has much stronger impacts on native predators than on prey, supporting the notion that the invader perturbs the native food chain by replacing the diets of predators.

CONCLUSIONS: Ensemble approaches constrained by prior knowledge can improve inference and produce networks from noisy and sparsely sampled time series data to fill knowledge gaps on real world ecosystems. Such network models could aid efforts to conserve ecosystems such as the Illinois River, which is threatened by the invasion of the silver carp.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Srivastava V, Griess VC, MA Keena (2020)

Assessing the Potential Distribution of Asian Gypsy Moth in Canada: A Comparison of Two Methodological Approaches.

Scientific reports, 10(1):22.

Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) is one of the world's worst hardwood defoliating invasive alien species. It is currently spreading across North America, damaging forest ecosystems and posing a significant economic threat. Two subspecies L. d. asiatica and L. d. japonica, collectively referred to as Asian gypsy moth (AGM) are of special concern as they have traits that make them better invaders than their European counterpart (e.g. flight capability of females). We assessed the potential distribution of AGM in Canada using two presence-only species distribution models, Maximum Entropy (MaxEnt) and Genetic Algorithm for Rule-set Prediction (GARP). In addition, we mapped AGM potential future distribution under two climate change scenarios (A1B and A2) while implementing dispersal constraints using the cellular automation model MigClim. MaxEnt had higher AUC, pAUC and sensitivity scores (0.82/1.40/1.00) when compared to GARP (0.70/1.26/0.9), indicating better discrimination of suitable versus unsuitable areas for AGM. The models indicated that suitable conditions for AGM were present in the provinces of British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The human influence index was the variable found to contribute the most in predicting the distribution of AGM. These model results can be used to identify areas at risk for this pest, to inform strategic and tactical pest management decisions.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Frelich LE, Blossey B, Cameron EK, et al (2019)

Side-swiped: Ecological cascades emanating from earthworm invasion.

Frontiers in ecology and the environment, 17(9):502-510.

Non-native, invasive earthworms are altering soils throughout the world. Ecological cascades emanating from these changes stem from earthworm-caused changes in detritus processing occurring at a mid-point in the trophic pyramid, rather than the more familiar bottom-up or top-down cascades. They include fundamental changes (microcascades) in soil morphology, bulk density, nutrient leaching, and a shift to warmer, drier soil surfaces with loss of organic horizons. In North American temperate and boreal forests, microcascades cause effects of concern to society (macrocascades), including changes in CO2 sequestration, disturbance regimes, soil quality, water quality, forest productivity, plant communities, and wildlife habitat, and facilitation of other invasive species. Interactions among these changes create cascade complexes that interact with climate change and other environmental changes. The diversity of cascade effects, combined with the vast area invaded by earthworms, lead to regionally important changes in ecological functioning.

RevDate: 2020-01-07

Harvey JA, Heinen R, Armbrecht I, et al (2020)

International scientists formulate a roadmap for insect conservation and recovery.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Teixeira LH, Yannelli FA, Ganade G, et al (2020)

Functional Diversity and Invasive Species Influence Soil Fertility in Experimental Grasslands.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:plants9010053.

Ecosystem properties can be positively affected by plant functional diversity and compromised by invasive alien plants. We performed a community assembly study in mesocosms manipulating different functional diversity levels for native grassland plants (communities composed by 1, 2 or 3 functional groups) to test if functional dispersion could constrain the impacts of an invasive alien plant (Solidagogigantea) on soil fertility and plant community biomass via complementarity. Response variables were soil nutrients, soil water nutrients and aboveground biomass. We applied linear mixed-effects models to assess the effects of functional diversity and S. gigantea on plant biomass, soil and soil water nutrients. A structural equation model was used to evaluate if functional diversity and invasive plants affect soil fertility directly or indirectly via plant biomass and soil pH. Invaded communities had greater total biomass but less native plant biomass than uninvaded ones. While functional diversity increased nutrient availability in the soil solution of uninvaded communities, invasive plants reduced nutrient concentration in invaded soils. Functional diversity indirectly affected soil water but not soil nutrients via plant biomass, whereas the invader reduced native plant biomass and disrupted the effects of diversity on nutrients. Moreover, invasive plants reduced soil pH and compromised phosphate uptake by plants, which can contribute to higher phosphate availability and its possible accumulation in invaded soils. We found little evidence for functional diversity to constrain invasion impacts on nutrients and plant biomass. Restoration of such systems should consider other plant community features than plant trait diversity to reduce establishment of invasive plants.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Tang XT, Cai L, Shen Y, et al (2019)

Competitive Displacement between Bemisia tabaci MEAM1 and MED and Evidence for Multiple Invasions of MED.

Insects, 11(1): pii:insects11010035.

Despite the severe ecological damage and economic loss caused by invasive species, the factors contributing to successful invasion or displacement remain elusive. The whitefly, Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius), is an important invasive agricultural pest worldwide, causing severe damage to numerous crops by feeding or transmitting plant viruses. In this study, we monitored the dynamics of two invasive whitefly cryptic species, Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED), in Jiangsu, China, from 2005-2016. We found that B. tabaci MED quickly established and asserted dominance over MEAM1, resulting in their population displacement in Jiangsu in only three years (from 2005 to 2008). We further investigated the possible mechanisms underlying the successful invasion and competitive displacement from a genetic perspective. Based on sequencing of mitochondrial gene sequences from large numbers of whitefly samples, multiple invasion events of MED were validated by our genetic analyses. MED invaded Jiangsu starting from multiple introduction sites with secondary and/or subsequent invasive events. This may favor their invasion and displacement of MEAM1. This study advances our understanding of the mechanisms that enabled the successful invasion of MED.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Hopkins MC, Zink SD, Paulson SL, et al (2019)

Influence of Forest Disturbance on La Crosse Virus Risk in Southwestern Virginia.

Insects, 11(1): pii:insects11010028.

Forest disturbance effects on La Crosse virus (LACV) are currently unknown. We determined the abundance of three LACV accessory vectors (Aedes albopictus, Ae. canadensis, and Ae. vexans) and the primary amplifying host (Eastern chipmunk; Tamias striatus), and tested for LACV prevalence in both vectors and chipmunks, across a gradient of experimental forest disturbance treatments in southwest Virginia. Forest disturbance significantly affected the abundance of LACV accessory vectors, with a higher abundance on disturbed sites for Ae. canadensis and Ae.vexans. However, there was no significant disturbance effect on chipmunk abundance. Forest disturbance significantly affected LACV prevalence in mosquito vectors, with most (80%) detections on unlogged control sites, which past work showed harbor the highest abundance of the two most common LACV vectors (the primary vector Aedes triseriatus, and Ae. japonicus). Interestingly, LACV nucleic acid was only detected in Ae. japonicus and Culex pipiens/restuans, with no detections in the primary vector, Ae. triseriatus. In contrast to the vector results, antibodies were only found in chipmunks on logged sites, but this result was not statistically significant. Overall, our results suggest that human LACV risk should generally decline with logging, and reveal the potential importance of accessory vectors in LACV maintenance in Appalachian forests.

RevDate: 2020-01-06

Alford A, Kuhar TP, Hamilton GC, et al (2020)

Baseline Toxicity of the Insecticides Bifenthrin and Thiamethoxam on Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Collected From the Eastern United States.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5697180 [Epub ahead of print].

Brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is an invasive species in the United States that attacks a wide variety of agricultural commodities including fruits, vegetables, agronomic crops, and ornamental plants. Populations of H. halys adults were collected from four and six states in 2017 and 2018, respectively, and tested using topical applications to establish baseline levels of susceptibility to two commonly used insecticides, bifenthrin and thiamethoxam. A Probit-estimated (95% fiducial limits) LD50 and LD99 of 2.64 g AI/L (1.2-3.84 g AI/L) and 84.96 g AI/L (35.76-716.16 g AI/L) for bifenthrin, and a LD50 and LD99 of 0.05 g AI/liter (1.14E-5-0.27 g AI/L) and 150.11 g AI/L (27.35-761,867 g AI/L) for thiamethoxam, respectively. These baseline levels can be used for future insecticide resistance monitoring in H. halys.

RevDate: 2020-01-03

Barjhoux I, Rioult D, Geffard A, et al (2019)

A new protocol for the simultaneous flow cytometric analysis of cytotoxicity and immunotoxicity on zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) hemocytes.

Fish & shellfish immunology pii:S1050-4648(19)31231-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Immunotoxicity analysis receives a strong interest in environmental a priori and a posteriori risk assessment procedures considering the direct involvement of the immune system in the health status of organisms, populations and thus ecosystems. The freshwater mussel Dreissena polymorpha is an invasive species widely used in ecotoxicology studies and biomonitoring surveys to evaluate the impacts of contaminants on aquatic fauna. Bivalve hemocytes are the immunocompetent cells circulating in the open circulatory system of the organism. However, there is nowadays no consensus on a protocol to evaluate the immunocompetent state of this particular cell type using flow cytometry. Wild species such as D. polymorpha present several technical barriers complicating their analyze including (i) the quality and the purity of the hemolymph sample, (ii) the controversial characterization of hemocyte subpopulations and their diversity, (iii) the quantity of biological material, and (iv) the high inter-individual variability of hemocyte responses. The present work proposes several technical and analytical improvements to control the above-mentioned issues. The inclusion of sedimentation and cell detachment steps in the pre-analytical phase of the protocol substantially ameliorate the quality of the hemolymph sample as well as the accuracy of the cytometric measurements, by selecting the analyzed cells on their adhesion ability and by increasing the concentration of the analyzed events. The development of an effective triple-labeling procedure including the cellular probe Hoechst® 33,342, the membrane impermeant dye propidium iodide and yellow-green fluorescent microspheres allowed the simultaneous analysis of cytotoxicity and phagocytosis activity in hemocytes. It also significantly enhanced the accuracy of hemocyte endpoint measurements by eliminating non-target events from the analysis and allowing relevant gating strategies. Finally, the use of pooled samples of hemolymph noticeably reduced inter-sample variability while providing more plasticity in the experimental design and improving the discriminating potency between treatments. The developed protocol is suitable for ex vivo exposure of hemocyte in a chemical/environmental toxicity assessment as well as for in vivo exposure in the laboratory or in situ biomonitoring surveys with few adaptations.

RevDate: 2020-01-03

Hamelin RC, AD Roe (2020)

Genomic biosurveillance of forest invasive alien enemies: A story written in code.

Evolutionary applications, 13(1):95-115.

The world's forests face unprecedented threats from invasive insects and pathogens that can cause large irreversible damage to the ecosystems. This threatens the world's capacity to provide long-term fiber supply and ecosystem services that range from carbon storage, nutrient cycling, and water and air purification, to soil preservation and maintenance of wildlife habitat. Reducing the threat of forest invasive alien species requires vigilant biosurveillance, the process of gathering, integrating, interpreting, and communicating essential information about pest and pathogen threats to achieve early detection and warning and to enable better decision-making. This process is challenging due to the diversity of invasive pests and pathogens that need to be identified, the diverse pathways of introduction, and the difficulty in assessing the risk of establishment. Genomics can provide powerful new solutions to biosurveillance. The process of invasion is a story written in four chapters: transport, introduction, establishment, and spread. The series of processes that lead to a successful invasion can leave behind a DNA signature that tells the story of an invasion. This signature can help us understand the dynamic, multistep process of invasion and inform management of current and future introductions. This review describes current and future application of genomic tools and pipelines that will provide accurate identification of pests and pathogens, assign outbreak or survey samples to putative sources to identify pathways of spread, and assess risk based on traits that impact the outbreak outcome.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Falzon G, Lawson C, Cheung KW, et al (2019)

ClassifyMe: A Field-Scouting Software for the Identification of Wildlife in Camera Trap Images.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 10(1): pii:ani10010058.

We present ClassifyMe a software tool for the automated identification of animal species from camera trap images.ClassifyMe is intended to be used by ecologists both in the field and in the office. Users can download a pre-trained model specific to their location of interest and then upload the images from a camera trap to a laptop or workstation.ClassifyMe will identify animals and other objects (e.g., vehicles) in images, provide a report file with the most likely species detections, and automatically sort the images into sub-folders corresponding to these species categories. False Triggers (no visible object present) will also be filtered and sorted. Importantly, the ClassifyMe software operates on the user's local machine (own laptop or workstation)-not via internet connection. This allows users access to state-of-the-art camera trap computer vision software in situ, rather than only in the office. The software also incurs minimal cost on the end-user as there is no need for expensive data uploads to cloud services. Furthermore, processing the images locally on the users' end-device allows them data control and resolves privacy issues surrounding transfer and third-party access to users' datasets.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Wang YS, Dai TM, Tian H, et al (2019)

Comparative analysis of eight DNA extraction methods for molecular research in mealybugs.

PloS one, 14(12):e0226818.

For molecular research, the quality and integrity of DNA obtained will affect the reliability of subsequent results. Extracting quality DNA from scale insects, including mealybugs, can be difficult due to their small body size and waxy coating. In this study, we evaluate eight commonly used DNA extraction methods to determine their efficacy in PCR analysis across life stages and preservation times. We find that fresh samples, immediately upon collection or after 2 wks, resulted in the most effective DNA extraction. Methods using the DNeasy Blood & Tissue kit, NaCl, SDS-RNase A, and SDS isolated DNA of sufficient quality DNA. The SDS method gave high DNA yield, while the NaCl and SDS-RNase A methods gave lower yield. NaCl, SDS-RNase A, SDS, chloroform-isopentyl alcohol, and the salting-out methods all resulted in sufficient DNA for PCR, and performed equal to or better than that of the DNeasy Blood & Tissue kit. When time and cost per extraction were considered, the SDS method was most efficient, especially for later life stages of mealybug, regardless of preservation duration. DNA extracted from a single fresh sample of a female adult mealybug was adequate for more than 10,000 PCR reactions. For earlier stages, including the egg and 1st instar nymph samples, DNA was most effectively extracted by the Rapid method. Our results provide guidelines for the choice of effective DNA extraction method for mealybug or other small insects across different life stages and preservation status.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

de la Sancha NU, SA Boyle (2019)

Predictive sampling effort and species-area relationship models for estimating richness in fragmented landscapes.

PloS one, 14(12):e0226529.

Loss of habitat, specifically deforestation, is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Species-area relationship (SAR) models traditionally have been used for estimating species richness, species loss as a function of habitat loss, and extrapolation of richness for given areas. Sampling-species relationships (SSRs) are interrelated yet separate drivers for species richness estimates. Traditionally, however, SAR and SSR models have been used independently and not incorporated into a single approach. We developed and compared predictive models that incorporate sampling effort species-area relationships (SESARS) along the entire Atlantic Forest of South America, and then applied the best-fit model to estimate richness in forest remnants of Interior Atlantic Forest of eastern Paraguay. This framework was applied to non-volant small mammal assemblages that reflect different tolerances to forest loss and fragmentation. In order to account for differences in functionality we estimated small mammal richness of 1) the entire non-volant small mammal assemblage, including introduced species; 2) the native species forest assemblage; and 3) the forest-specialist assemblage, with the latter two assemblages being subsets of the entire assemblage. Finally, we geospatially modeled species richness for each of the three assemblages throughout eastern Paraguay to identify remnants with high species richness. We found that multiple regression power-law interaction-term models that only included area and the interactions of area and sampling as predictors, worked best for predicting species richness for the entire assemblage and the native species forest assemblage, while several traditional SAR models (logistic, power, exponential, and ratio) best described forest-specialist richness. Species richness was significantly different between assemblages. We identified obvious remnants with high species richness in eastern Paraguay, and these remnants often were geographically isolated. We also found relatively high predicted species richness (in relation to the entire range of predicted richness values) in several geographically-isolated, medium-size forest remnants that likely have not been considered as possible priority areas for conservation. These findings highlight the importance of using an empirical dataset, created using sources representing diverse sampling efforts, to develop robust predictive models. This approach is particularly important in geographic locations where field sampling is limited yet the geographic area is experiencing rapid and dramatic land cover changes. When combined, area and sampling are powerful modeling predictors for questions of biogeography, ecology, and conservation, especially when addressing habitat loss and fragmentation.

RevDate: 2020-01-02

Maslin BR, Ho BC, Sun H, et al (2019)

Revision of Senegalia in China, and notes on introduced species of Acacia, Acaciella, Senegalia and Vachellia (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae).

Plant diversity, 41(6):353-466.

The present work represents the first comprehensive taxonomic revision of Acacia sens. lat. (Leguminosae: Mimosoideae) in China, focusing on the indigenous species. Critical reassessments of specimens and re-definition of previously recorded species have resulted in recognising 21 indigenous species under Senegalia, a segregate of the former Acacia sens. lat. Detailed botanical profiles are provided for these species, together with a diagnostic line drawing and distribution map; photographs of living plants are provided for more than half the species. Terser treatments are also provided for the 15 species from four genera that are regarded as major introductions of Acacia sens. lat. to the country: Acacia Mill. (12 spp.), Acaciella Britton & Rose (1 sp.), Senegalia Raf. (1 sp.) and Vachellia Wight & Arn. (1 sp.). An identification key to all Acacia sens. lat. species in China is provided. The indigenous species of Senegalia in China belong to sect. Monacanthea (Vassal) Maslin, comb. nov., and the introduced ones to sect. Senegalia. As a consequence of this study, the number of Senegalia species now recognised for China has almost doubled. Six new species are described: Senegalia clandestina Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, sp. nov.; Senegalia guangdongensis Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, sp. nov.; Senegalia obliqua Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, sp. nov.; Senegalia orientalis Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, sp. nov.; Senegalia prominens Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, sp. nov.; Senegalia stipitata Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, sp. nov. Four new combinations are established: Senegalia garrettii (I.C.Nielsen) Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, comb. & stat. nov.; Senegalia kerrii (I.C.Nielsen) Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, comb. & stat. nov.; Senegalia kunmingensis (C.Chen & H.Sun) Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, comb. & stat. nov.; Senegalia macrocephala (Lace) Maslin, B.C.Ho, H.Sun & L.Bai, comb. nov. Senegalia andamanica (I.C.Nielsen) Maslin, Seigler & Ebinger and S. macrocephala are new records for China. A lectotype is designated for Acacia teniana Harms and 2nd step lectotypifications effected for Acacia delavayi Franch., Acacia insuavis Lace, Acacia pruinescens Kurz and Acacia yunnanensis Franch. Former holotype citations are corrected to lectotype for Acacia hainanensis Hayata, Acacia macrocephala Lace, Acacia oxyphylla Graham ex Benth. and Acacia philippinarum Benth. A neotype is designated for Acacia arrophula D.Don. China is a principal area of species-richness for Senegalia in Asia. Senegalia displays a high degree of endemism within China and almost half the species are endemic or near-endemic, with Yunnan the most species-rich and species-diverse Province.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Lei G, Fu Y, W Wu (2019)

Fine structure of mouthparts and forelegs of Euplatypus parallelus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) with emphasis on the behavior of gallery excavation.

Micron (Oxford, England : 1993), 130:102815 pii:S0968-4328(19)30300-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Euplatypus parallelus (F.) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is one of the most invasive species of all the Platypodinae. It penetrates the xylem and oviposits in its host trees thereby weakening the trunk causing them to break under extreme conditions. Since the beetle has evolved effective drilling mouthparts enough to make wood tunnels, we used a field emission scanning electron microscopy to describe the sexual difference in mouthparts and forelegs morphology of the beetle. E. parallelus has chewing type mouthparts composed of a labrum, a pair of mandibles, a pair of maxillae, and a labium. In females, the size of maxillary palpi, submentum, prementum, and labial palpi are significantly larger than males. E. parallelus forelegs were walking type composed of procoxa, protrochanter, profemur, protibia, protarsus, and propretarsus. We observed no significant differences between the forelegs of males and females, but the procoxa of the males was slightly larger than that of females. The structural differences in mouthparts and forelegs between females and males indicated that females invest more time in gallery excavation than males. Possible functional relationships of these structures are discussed. These studies revealed the mechano-dynamic characteristics of E. parallelus and provided a theoretical basis for exploring the behavior of this beetle.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Romero A, Aranguren R, Moreira R, et al (2019)

Integrated transcriptomic and functional immunological approach for assessing the invasiveness of bivalve alien species.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19879.

Biological invasions started when humans moved species beyond their normal geographic limits. Bivalves are the most notoriously invasive species in subtidal aquatic environments. Next-generation sequencing technologies are applied to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the invasion. The ecological immunology focuses on the role of immunity in invasion, and its magnitude could help to predict the invasiveness of alien species. A remarkable case of invasion has been reported in the Ría de Vigo (Spain) by the black pygmy mussel Xenostrobus securis. In Galicia, the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis is the predominant cultured bivalve species. Can we predict the invasiveness of alien bivalve species by analyzing their immune response? Can X. securis represent a risk for the autochthonous mussel? We evaluated the suitability of the immune-related hypotheses in our model by using an integrated transcriptomic and functional immunological approach. Our analysis suggests lower immune capabilities in X. securis compared to M. galloprovincialis, probably due to the relocation of energetic resources from the immune response to vital physiological processes to cope with salinity stress. This multidisciplinary approach will help us understand how the immune response can be influenced by the adaptive process and how this immune response can influence the invasion process.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Fried G, Chauvel B, Munoz F, et al (2019)

Which Traits Make Weeds More Successful in Maize Crops? Insights from a Three-Decade Monitoring in France.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(1): pii:plants9010040.

A major aim in invasion biology is identifying traits distinguishing alien invasive and alien non-invasive plants. Surprisingly, this approach has been, so far, poorly used to understand why some arable weeds are abundant and widespread while others are rare and narrowly distributed. In the present study, we focused on the characteristics of successful weeds occurring in maize fields, one of the most important crops worldwide. Two national weed surveys conducted in France were used to identify increasing and decreasing species based on 175 and 484 surveyed fields in the 1970s and the 2000s, respectively. Weed trait values related to regional frequency, local abundance, and specialization to maize were identified with phylogenetic generalized least-squares (PGLS). We found a positive relationship between regional frequency and local abundance, i.e., the most widespread weeds were also locally more abundant. We highlighted that weeds with the C4 photosynthetic pathway and summer emergence were more abundant, more frequent, and more specialized to maize crops. More generally, we highlighted two successful strategies: On the one hand, traits related to a general weediness syndrome with rapid resource acquisition (high SLA and Ellenberg-N) and high colonization capacity (seed longevity, fecundity, and wind dispersal); on the other hand, traits related to specific adaptation to spring cultivation (thermophilous species with summer emergence, late flowering, and C4 photosynthetic pathway). Deviations from the abundancy-frequency relationships also indicated that species of the Panicoideae sub-family, species with Triazine-resistant populations, and neophyte species were more abundant than expected by their regional frequency. To some extent, it is therefore possible to predict which species can be troublesome in maize crops and use this information in weed risk assessment tools to prevent new introductions or favor early detection and eradication. This study showed how tools developed in functional and macro-ecology can be used to improve our understanding of weed ecology and to develop more preventive management strategies.

RevDate: 2020-01-16

Petrovskaya N, W Zhang (2019)

When seeing is not believing: Comparative study of various spatial distributions of invasive species.

Journal of theoretical biology, 488:110141 pii:S0022-5193(19)30510-7 [Epub ahead of print].

We address the problem of pattern recognition and comparison when spatial patterns of biological invasions are studied. A model of biological invasion is employed to simulate spatio-temporal dynamics of invasive species and generate a variety of spatial patterns including so called 'no front' patchy spatial distributions. We introduce several topological indices to understand whether various spatial distributions of invasive species can be compared to each other based on information about their topology. We also investigate how topological indices used to make conclusions about the spatial pattern are related to controlling parameters in the underlying process of biological invasion. Our analysis reveals that a small increment in the model parameters results in a small increment in topological indices when the topology of continuous front spatial pattern with no patches behind the front is considered. Meanwhile, 'no front' patchy spatial distributions present a different case where a small change in the model parameters results in random fluctuations of topological indices. The 'random' behaviour of patchy patterns is further studied to understand whether a patchy spatial structure can transform itself into a continuous front spatial distribution over time. In the paper it will be argued that apart from the topological quantities used to classify spatial distributions, the transition time required to establish topological properties of the spatial pattern must be taken into account in pattern recognition and analysis. Furthermore, it will be demonstrated that for some parameter values it is impossible to conclude about the topological type of spatial pattern, i.e. continuous front spatial distributions cannot be distinguished from 'no front' patchy distributions of invasive species, no matter what their topological indices are.

RevDate: 2019-12-30

Ngamniyom A, Sriyapai T, Sriyapai P, et al (2019)

Contributions to the knowledge of Pseudolevinseniella (Trematoda: Digenea) and temnocephalans from alien crayfish in natural freshwaters of Thailand.

Heliyon, 5(12):e02990.

Redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus) is a decapod species originating from Australian freshwater. For more than two decades, these crayfish have been re-distributing to environments in many countries, including Thailand. Moreover, they can carry endosymbionts and/or ectosymbionts into new environments. The aim of this study was to introduce a morphological description of Pseudolevinseniella anenteron as a metacercaria of the endoparasites of redclaw crayfish collected from natural water sources in Thailand. The occurrence of two ectosymbiotic temnocephalans (Diceratocephala boschmai and Temnosewellia sp.) in C. quadricarinatus was also reported. The internal morphology of P. anenteron, D. boschmai and Temnosewellia were described and discussed. The surface ultrastructure of the multidentate spines on the body and the metacercarial cyst wall of P. anenteron was investigated by scanning electron microscopy (SEM). By performing a search of the GenBank nucleotide database of partial sequences of 18S, 28S rDNA and cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (cox1), P. anenteron was found to be related to Maritrema, and Temnosewellia was found to be related to T. fasciata. However, according to the cox1 gene, Temnosewellia was found to be similar to T. minor. These results reveal that redclaw crayfish that inhabit natural freshwaters in Thailand may harbour endoparasites and ecto- and endosymbionts. Furthermore, these findings may be able to monitor invasive or non-invasive species in an ecosystem.

RevDate: 2019-12-25

Beaury EM, Finn JT, Corbin JD, et al (2019)

Biotic resistance to invasion is ubiquitous across ecosystems of the United States.

The biotic resistance hypothesis predicts that diverse native communities are more resistant to invasion. However, past studies vary in their support for this hypothesis due to an apparent contradiction between experimental studies, which support biotic resistance, and observational studies, which find that native and non-native species richness are positively related at broad scales (small-scale studies are more variable). Here, we present a novel analysis of the biotic resistance hypothesis using 24 456 observations of plant richness spanning four community types and seven ecoregions of the United States. Non-native plant occurrence was negatively related to native plant richness across all community types and ecoregions, although the strength of biotic resistance varied across different ecological, anthropogenic and climatic contexts. Our results strongly support the biotic resistance hypothesis, thus reconciling differences between experimental and observational studies and providing evidence for the shared benefits between invasive species management and native biodiversity conservation.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Kukuła K, Ortyl B, A Bylak (2019)

Habitat selection patterns of a species at the edge - case study of the native racer goby population in Central Europe.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19670.

Invasive alien species are regarded a nuisance. This extends into a lack of conservation efforts in their native range. As a consequence, conservation of e.g. range-edge populations is neglected. Gobiidae have many representatives of alien species in European freshwaters, and therefore they have a bad reputation. Objectives of this study were to: define the habitat selection patterns of a species at the edge, and examine the ontogenetic variation in its distributions, i.e. spatial distribution of different size classes. A racer goby Babka gymnotrachelus (syn. Neogobius gymnotrachelus) population was selected for the model. In numerous European river basins, Ponto-Caspian racer goby has been an invasive alien species of interest to researchers for many years. Recently, however, native populations of the species have been described in the Polish tributary of the upper Dniester River (Black Sea basin). We used habitat data and densities of racer goby to disentangle the habitat selection patterns of the species at a river reach at the edge of its native range. Evident preferences towards habitats with large submerged objects serving as hiding places were characteristic of the largest gobies. Adult, largest gobies were very likely to choose the 'boulders' site, while forcing smaller individuals to occupy places with faster water current, i.e. less suitable in terms of saving energy. At a larger geographic scale, a significant portion of the submountain river was unsuitable for racer gobies. At the edge of the racer goby range, patches providing habitats suitable for the species were scarce and scattered. With regard to invasive populations, the presence of stony bottoms, quite certainly cannot be considered as a factor excluding potential colonisation by racer goby, and in submountain rivers it might be the preferred kind of bottom.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Simons RRL, Croft S, Rees E, et al (2019)

Using species distribution models to predict potential hot-spots for Rift Valley Fever establishment in the United Kingdom.

PloS one, 14(12):e0225250.

Vector borne diseases are a continuing global threat to both human and animal health. The ability of vectors such as mosquitos to cover large distances and cross country borders undetected provide an ever-present threat of pathogen spread. Many diseases can infect multiple vector species, such that even if the climate is not hospitable for an invasive species, indigenous species may be susceptible and capable of transmission such that one incursion event could lead to disease establishment in these species. Here we present a consensus modelling methodology to estimate the habitat suitability for presence of mosquito species in the UK deemed competent for Rift Valley fever virus (RVF) and demonstrate its application in an assessment of the relative risk of establishment of RVF virus in the UK livestock population. The consensus model utilises observed UK mosquito surveillance data, along with climatic and geographic prediction variables, to inform six independent species distribution models; the results of which are combined to produce a single prediction map. As a livestock host is needed to transmit RVF, we then combine the consensus model output with existing maps of sheep and cattle density to predict the areas of the UK where disease is most likely to establish in local mosquito populations. The model results suggest areas of high suitability for RVF competent mosquito species across the length and breadth of the UK. Notable areas of high suitability were the South West of England and coastal areas of Wales, the latter of which was subsequently predicted to be at higher risk for establishment of RVF due to higher livestock densities. This study demonstrates the applicability of outputs of species distribution models to help predict hot-spots for risk of disease establishment. While there is still uncertainty associated with the outputs we believe that the predictions are an improvement on just using the raw presence points from a database alone. The outputs can also be used as part of a multidisciplinary approach to inform risk based disease surveillance activities.

RevDate: 2019-12-21

Uyà M, Bulleri F, Wright JT, et al (2019)

Facilitation of an invader by a native habitat-former increases along interacting gradients of environmental stress.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Native habitat-forming species can facilitate invasion by reducing environmental stress or consumer pressure. However, the intensity of one stressor along a local gradient may differ when expanding the scale of observation to encompass major variations in background environmental conditions. In this study, we determined how facilitation of the invasive porcelain crab, Petrolisthes elongatus, by the native tube-forming serpulid, Galeolaria caespitosa, varied with environmental gradients at local (tidal height) and larger (wave exposure) spatial scales. G. caespitosa constructs a complex calcareous matrix on the underside of intertidal boulders and we predicted that its positive effects on P. elongatus density would increase in intensity with shore height and be stronger at wave-sheltered than wave-exposed locations. To test these predictions, we conducted two experiments. First, we determined the effects of serpulid presence (boulders with live or dead serpulid matrix vs bare boulders) at six shore heights that covered the intertidal distribution of P. elongatus. Second, we determined the effects of serpulid presence (present vs absent), shore height (high vs low) and wave exposure (sheltered vs exposed) on crabs across six locations within the invaded range in northern Tasmania, Australia. In Experiment 1, the presence of serpulids (either dead or alive) enhanced P. elongatus densities at all shore heights, with facilitation intensity (as determined by a Relative Interaction Index; RII) tending to increase with shore height. In Experiment 2, serpulids facilitated P. elongatus across shore heights and wave-exposures, although crab densities were lower at high shore levels of wave-sheltered locations. However, the intensity of crab facilitation by serpulids was greater on wave-sheltered than on wave-exposed shores, but only at the high shore level. This study demonstrates that local effects of native habitat-formers on invasive species are dependent on prevailing environmental conditions at larger spatial scales and that, under more stressful conditions, invaders become increasingly reliant on positive interactions with native habitat-formers. Increased strength of local-scale facilitation by native species, dampening broader scale variations in environmental stressors, could enhance the ability of invasive species to establish self-sustaining populations in the invaded range.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Žunič-Kosi A, Stritih-Peljhan N, Zou Y, et al (2019)

A male-produced aggregation-sex pheromone of the beetle Arhopalus rusticus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae, Spondylinae) may be useful in managing this invasive species.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19570.

The longhorned beetle Arhopalus rusticus (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae, Spondylinae) is a common species in conifer forests of the Northern Hemisphere, but with global trade, it has invaded and become established in New Zealand, Australia, and South America. Arhopalus rusticus is a suspected vector of the phytopathogenic nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, the causative agent of pine wilt disease, which is a major threat to pine forests worldwide. Here, we report the identification of a volatile, male-produced aggregation-sex pheromone for this species. Headspace odours from males contained a major male-specific compound, identified as (2 S, 5E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-ol (common name (S)-fuscumol), and a minor component (E)-6,10-dimethyl-5,9-undecadien-2-one (geranylacetone). Both compounds are known pheromone components for species in the same subfamily. In field trials in its native range in Slovenia, (S)-fuscumol was significantly more attractive to beetles of both sexes, than racemic fuscumol and a blend of host plant volatiles commonly used as an attractant for this species. Fuscumol-baited traps also caught significant numbers of another spondylidine species, Spondylis buprestoides (L.), and a rare click beetle, Stenagostus rufus (De Geer). The pheromone can be exploited as a cost-effective and environmentally safe tool for detection and monitoring of this invasive species at ports of entry, and for monitoring the beetle's distribution and population trends in both endemic and invasive populations.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Kim IR, Choi W, Kim A, et al (2019)

Genetic Diversity and Population Structure of Nutria (Myocastor coypus) in South Korea.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9(12):.

The nutria (Myocastor coypus) is an invasive alien species that have had major adverse effects on biodiversity and the agricultural economy in wetland habitats. Since 2014, the Ministry of Environment in South Korea has been carrying out the Nutria Eradication Project, and we investigated nutria distribution and genetic diversity of nutria populations in South Korea. We estimated that 99.2% of nutria habitats are in the mid-lower Nakdong River regions. To further analyze the genetic diversity in eight major nutria populations, we performed a genetic analysis using microsatellite markers. Genetic diversity levels of the eight nutria populations in South Korea were relatively lower than those in other countries. The probability of migration direction among nutria populations was predicted from genetic distance analysis. Genetic structure analysis showed little difference among the nutria populations in South Korea. These results suggest that nutrias in South Korea originated from a single population. Our results provide important data for establishing management strategies for the successful eradication of nutria populations in South Korea, as well as in other countries with alien invasive species.

RevDate: 2019-12-23

García-Díaz P, Anderson DP, M Lurgi (2019)

Evaluating the effects of landscape structure on the recovery of an invasive vertebrate after population control.

Landscape ecology, 34(3):615-626.

Context: Effective landscape control of invasive species is context-dependent due to the interplay between the landscape structure, local population dynamics, and metapopulation processes. We use a modelling approach incorporating these three elements to explore the drivers of recovery of populations of invasive species after control.

Objectives: We aim to improve our understanding of the factors influencing the landscape-level control of invasive species.

Methods: We focus on the case study of invasive brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula) control in New Zealand. We assess how 13 covariates describing the landscape, patch, and population features influence the time of population recovery to a management density threshold of two possums/ha. We demonstrate the effects of those covariates on population recovery under three scenarios of population growth: logistic growth, strong Allee effects, and weak Allee effects.

Results: Recovery times were rapid regardless of the simulated population dynamics (average recovery time < 2 years), although populations experiencing Allee effects took longer to recover than those growing logistically. Our results indicate that habitat availability and patch area play a key role in reducing times to recovery after control, and this relationship is consistent across the three simulated scenarios.

Conclusions: The control of invasive possum populations in patchy landscapes would benefit from a patch-level management approach (considering each patch as an independent management unit), whereas simple landscapes would be better controlled by taking a landscape-level view (the landscape as the management unit). Future research should test the predictions of our models with empirical data to refine control operations.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Tsykun T, Javal M, Hölling D, et al (2019)

Fine-scale invasion genetics of the quarantine pest, Anoplophora glabripennis, reconstructed in single outbreaks.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19436.

The xylophagous cerambycid Anoplophora glabripennis, the Asian long-horned beetle (ALB), is highly polyphagous and can colonize a wide range of broadleaved host trees causing significant economic damage. For this reason, it is considered a quarantine pest in Europe and North America. Although the global spread of ALB has been depicted recently, no comprehensive studies exist on the genetic pattern of populations' establishment and dynamics at fine-scale (i.e. within invasive outbreaks), before eradication measures are applied. This information may, however, be particularly important for an efficient management and control of invasive pests. Here, we characterized population genetic diversity and patterns of spread of ALB within and among the four outbreaks detected in Switzerland between 2011 and 2015. For this, we genotyped 223 specimens at 15 nuclear microsatellite loci and conducted specific population-based analyses. Our study shows: (1) At least three independent introductions and a, human-mediated, secondary dispersal event leading to the four outbreaks in the country; (2) An overall low intra-population genetic diversity in the viable and several years active invasive populations; (3) A colonization of single trees by homogeneous ALB genotypes; And (4) an establishment of populations several generations prior to its official discovery.

RevDate: 2019-12-22

Kaim D, Szwagrzyk M, K Ostafin (2020)

Mid-19th century road network dataset for Galicia and Austrian Silesia, Habsburg Empire.

Data in brief, 28:104854.

In this paper, we present the vector dataset of the historical road network of Galicia and Austrian Silesia (>80 000 km2) in the mid-19th century - two regions of the former Habsburg Empire, located in Central Europe. The data were acquired manually from 455 map sheets of the Austrian second military survey map (1:28,800) for the four main road categories, according to the map legend. All the road categories present the roads passable at any time of the year, which was strategic information from the military point of view and build a network of 15 461 km. Currently, the data can be used by various researchers studying migrations, regional development, but also human impact on the environment, like land use change, invasive species introduction or landscape fragmentation. The dataset presents the times just before the most dynamic economic changes of the 19th century, which had a great impact on the region. On the other hand, the road network presented here was developed in the conditions of one country, the Habsburg Empire, which collapsed after the First World War, triggering the rise of new states and remodelling the transport network connections in Central Europe. Additionally, the data are accompanied by the layer of towns and villages with more than 2000 inhabitants, based on the 1857 Austrian census data.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Arnemann JA, Roxburgh S, Walsh T, et al (2019)

Multiple incursion pathways for Helicoverpa armigera in Brazil show its genetic diversity spreading in a connected world.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19380.

The Old World cotton bollworm Helicoverpa armigera was first detected in Brazil with subsequent reports from Paraguay, Argentina, Bolivia, and Uruguay. This pattern suggests that the H. armigera spread across the South American continent following incursions into northern/central Brazil, however, this hypothesis has not been tested. Here we compare northern and central Brazilian H. armigera mtDNA COI haplotypes with those from southern Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina, and Paraguay. We infer spatial genetic and gene flow patterns of this dispersive pest in the agricultural landscape of South America. We show that the spatial distribution of H. armigera mtDNA haplotypes and its inferred gene flow patterns in the southwestern region of South America exhibited signatures inconsistent with a single incursion hypothesis. Simulations on spatial distribution patterns show that the detection of rare and/or the absence of dominant mtDNA haplotypes in southern H. armigera populations are inconsistent with genetic signatures observed in northern and central Brazil. Incursions of H. armigera into the New World are therefore likely to have involved independent events in northern/central Brazil, and southern Brazil/Uruguay-Argentina-Paraguay. This study demonstrates the significant biosecurity challenges facing the South American continent, and highlights alternate pathways for introductions of alien species into the New World.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Lopes RP, Lima JBP, AJ Martins (2019)

Insecticide resistance in Culex quinquefasciatus Say, 1823 in Brazil: a review.

Parasites & vectors, 12(1):591.

Culex quinquefasciatus is a successful invasive species broadly distributed in subtropical regions, including Brazil. It is an extremely annoying mosquito due to its nocturnal biting behavior, in high-density populations and it is a potential bridge between sylvatic arbovirus from birds to man in urban territories. Herein, we present a review concerning the methods of chemical control employed against Cx. quinquefasciatus in Brazil since the 1950's and insecticide resistance data registered in the literature. As there is no specific national programme for Cx. quinquefasciatus control in Brazil, the selection of insecticide resistance is likely due in part to the well-designed chemical campaigns against Aedes aegypti and the elevated employment of insecticides by households and private companies. There are very few publications about insecticide resistance in Cx. quinquefasciatus from Brazil when compared to Ae. aegypti. Nevertheless, resistance to organophosphates, carbamate, DDT, pyrethroids and biolarvicides has been registered in Cx. quinquefasciatus populations from distinct localities of the country. Concerning physiological mechanisms selected for resistance, distinct patterns of esterases, as well as mutations in the acetylcholinesterase (ace-1) and voltage-gated sodium channel (NaV) genes, have been identified in natural populations. Given environmental changes and socioeconomical issues in the cities, in recent years we have been experiencing an increase in the number of disease cases caused by arboviruses, which may involve Cx. quinquefasciatus participation as a key vector. It is urgent to better understand the efficiency and susceptibility status to insecticides, as well as the genetic background of known resistant mechanisms already present in Cx. quinquefasciatus populations for an effective and rapid chemical control when eventually required.

RevDate: 2020-01-03

Popovic I, C Riginos (2019)

Comparative genomics reveals divergent thermal selection in warm- and cold-tolerant marine mussels.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Investigating the history of natural selection among closely related species can elucidate how genomes diverge in response to disparate environmental pressures. Molecular evolutionary approaches can be integrated with knowledge of gene functions to examine how evolutionary divergence may affect ecologically relevant traits such as temperature tolerance and species distribution limits. Here, we integrate transcriptome-wide analyses of molecular evolution with knowledge from physiological studies to develop hypotheses regarding the functional classes of genes under positive selection in one of the world's most widespread invasive species, the warm-tolerant marine mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. Based on existing physiological information, we test the hypothesis that genomic functions previously linked to divergent temperature adaptation at the whole-organism level show accelerated molecular divergence between warm-adapted M. galloprovincialis and cold-adapted congeners. Combined results from codon model tests and analyses of polymorphism and divergence reveal that divergent selection has affected genomic functions previously associated with species-specific expression responses to heat stress, namely oxidative stress defence and cytoskeletal stabilization. Examining specific loci implicated in thermal tolerance among Mytilus species (based on interspecific biochemical or expression patterns), we find close functional similarities between known thermotolerance candidate genes under positive selection and positively selected loci under predicted genomic functions (those associated with divergent expression responses). Taken together, our findings suggest a contribution of temperature-dependent selection in the molecular divergence between warm- and cold-adapted Mytilus species that is largely consistent with results from physiological studies. More broadly, this study provides an example of how independent experimental evidence from ecophysiological investigations can inform evolutionary hypotheses about molecular adaptation in closely related nonmodel species.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Selechnik D, Richardson MF, Shine R, et al (2019)

Increased Adaptive Variation Despite Reduced Overall Genetic Diversity in a Rapidly Adapting Invader.

Frontiers in genetics, 10:1221.

Invasive species often evolve rapidly following introduction despite genetic bottlenecks that may result from small numbers of founders; however, some invasions may not fit this "genetic paradox". The invasive cane toad (Rhinella marina) displays high phenotypic variation across its introduced Australian range. Here, we used three genome-wide datasets to characterize their population structure and genetic diversity. We found that toads form three genetic clusters: 1) native range toads, 2) toads from the source population in Hawaii and long-established areas near introduction sites in Australia, and 3) toads from more recently established northern Australian sites. Although we find an overall reduction in genetic diversity following introduction, we do not see this reduction in loci putatively under selection, suggesting that genetic diversity may have been maintained at ecologically relevant traits, or that mutation rates were high enough to maintain adaptive potential. Nonetheless, toads encounter novel environmental challenges in Australia, and the transition between genetic clusters occurs at a point along the invasion transect where temperature rises and rainfall decreases. We identify environmentally associated loci known to be involved in resistance to heat and dehydration. This study highlights that natural selection occurs rapidly and plays a vital role in shaping the structure of invasive populations.

RevDate: 2019-12-20

Shang L, Li LF, Song ZP, et al (2019)

High Genetic Diversity With Weak Phylogeographic Structure of the Invasive Spartina alterniflora (Poaceae) in China.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:1467.

Biological invasion represents a global issue of concern due to its large negative impacts on native ecosystems and society. Elucidating the evolutionary history and genetic basis underpinning invasiveness is critical to understanding how alien species invade and adapt to novel environments. Smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora, 2n = 6x = 62) is a notorious invasive species that causes heavily negative effects on native ecosystems worldwide. Here we addressed the evolutionary mechanisms underlying the invasion and dispersal history of this species along the China coast in the past decades. We employed nine microsatellites and three chloroplast fragments to investigate phylogeographic structure and genetic diversity of 11 native US and 11 invasive Chinese S. alterniflora populations. Demographic history simulation was also performed for both the native and invasive populations, respectively. Comparative genetic analyses of these natural populations revealed that although all the Chinese populations were introduced only once, high level of genetic diversity with weak geographic structure was observed. In particular, both the genetic features and mathematical simulation illustrated very recent population expansion in the Chinese populations. We found that genetic variants identified in native US populations were mixed in the Chinese populations, suggesting the recombination of these original variants during the invasion process. These genetic attributes indicate that Chinese populations might not have experienced a genetic bottleneck during the invasion process. High genetic diversity and genetic admixture might have contributed to the success of invasion of S. alterniflora in China. Our study provides a framework of how the smooth cordgrass spreads along the China coast as well as its potential genetic mechanisms underlying the invasion.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Wedell N, Price TAR, AK Lindholm (2019)

Gene drive: progress and prospects.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1917):20192709.

Gene drive is a naturally occurring phenomenon in which selfish genetic elements manipulate gametogenesis and reproduction to increase their own transmission to the next generation. Currently, there is great excitement about the potential of harnessing such systems to control major pest and vector populations. If synthetic gene drive systems can be constructed and applied to key species, they may be able to rapidly spread either modifying or eliminating the targeted populations. This approach has been lauded as a revolutionary and efficient mechanism to control insect-borne diseases and crop pests. Driving endosymbionts have already been deployed to combat the transmission of dengue and Zika virus in mosquitoes. However, there are a variety of barriers to successfully implementing gene drive techniques in wild populations. There is a risk that targeted organisms will rapidly evolve an ability to suppress the synthetic drive system, rendering it ineffective. There are also potential risks of synthetic gene drivers invading non-target species or populations. This Special Feature covers the current state of affairs regarding both natural and synthetic gene drive systems with the aim to identify knowledge gaps. By understanding how natural drive systems spread through populations, we may be able to better predict the outcomes of synthetic drive release.

RevDate: 2019-12-17

Macquarrie CJK, Gray M, Lavallée R, et al (2019)

Assessment of the Systems Approach for the Phytosanitary Treatment of Wood Infested With Wood-Boring Insects.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5679551 [Epub ahead of print].

Addressing the risk from pests present in wood and wood products destined for international trade is an essential step towards minimizing the movement, introduction and establishment of invasive species. One method of managing the pest risk associated with wood commodities is the use of a systems approach that incorporates multiple independent measures applied along a production pathway. However, quantifying the reduction of risk can be difficult because the approach requires raw material infested with the pest of interest at a sufficient density to be able to quantify changes in pest abundance. We tested a systems approach for the production of sawn wood using green ash, Fraxinus pennsylvanica Marshall (Lamiales: Oleaceae), infested with emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire (Coleoptera: Buprestidae), by quantifying the change in pest density during the milling process and the precise effect of heat treatment on insects in situ. Greater than 90% of emerald ash borer were removed at the first step of the milling process (debarking) and >99% were removed before the production of green sawn wood. No insects survived kilning or heat treatment. All life stages of emerald ash borer were killed at 56°C and above. Heat, however, had no sublethal effect on emerald ash borer performance. These results show that the application of a systems approach to mitigate emerald ash borer in heat-treated, sawn wood is effective. Moreover, the model-system approach developed in this study can be a template for investigating the effect of systems approaches for other phloem-feeding insects.

RevDate: 2019-12-19

Bomanowska A, Adamowski W, Kirpluk I, et al (2019)

Invasive alien plants in Polish national parks-threats to species diversity.

PeerJ, 7:e8034.

Due to the relevance of protected areas to the conservation of native biota, the magnitude of invasions and threats posed by alien plants are currently important issues for the preservation of these areas. The paper summarises data on invasive alien plant species presence in the most valuable protected areas in Poland, i.e. national parks (NPs). We investigated the distribution of invasive alien plant species and management attempts concerning those species. We analysed data obtained from 23 national parks originating from published and unpublished sources. Invasive plants were present in all protected areas analysed, from two to 42 species in a particular national park, and 68 in total. The most widely distributed species were: Impatiens parviflora (present in 19 NPs), I. glandulifera (17), Solidago gigantea (17), Reynoutria japonica (17), and Robinia pseudoacacia (16). The conducted analyses showed that the number of invasive species decreased with the higher altitude (asl) of the national park. The most often managed species were Impatiens glandulifera (being removed in seven NPs), I. parviflora (six), Padus serotina (four) and Quercus rubra (four). In the majority of NPs, control activities are limited to small areas and singular species, thus having an incidental character. Only in five objects (Białowieża NP, Biebrza NP, Kampinos NP, Tuchola NP, Wigry NP), management has been focused on several species. We conclude that a lack of comprehensive management of invasive plant species in the majority of national parks currently limits the effectiveness of IAS (invasive alien species) eradication. Exchange of expertise among protected areas, documenting best practice examples, synthesising lessons learnt in IAS management, as well as the development of minimum standards for invasive plants surveillance and management are pivotal.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Gallego-Tévar B, Grewell BJ, Drenovsky RE, et al (2019)

Transgressivity in Key Functional Traits Rather Than Phenotypic Plasticity Promotes Stress Tolerance in A Hybrid Cordgrass.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 8(12): pii:plants8120594.

Hybridization might promote offspring fitness via a greater tolerance to environmental stressors due to heterosis and higher levels of phenotypic plasticity. Thus, analyzing the phenotypic expression of hybrids provides an opportunity to elucidate further plant responses to environmental stress. In the case of coastal salt marshes, sea level rise subjects hybrids, and their parents, to longer tidal submergence and higher salinity. We analyzed the phenotypic expression patterns in the hybrid Spartina densiflora x foliosa relative to its parental species, native S. foliosa, and invasive S. densiflora, from the San Francisco Estuary when exposed to contrasting salinities and inundations in a mesocosm experiment. 37% of the recorded traits displayed no variability among parents and hybrids, 3% showed an additive inheritance, 37% showed mid-parent heterosis, 18% showed best-parent heterosis, and 5% presented worst-parent heterosis. Transgressivity, rather than phenotypic plasticity, in key functional traits of the hybrid, such as tiller height, conveyed greater stress tolerance to the hybrid when compared to the tolerance of its parents. As parental trait variability increased, phenotypic transgressivity of the hybrid increased and it was more important in response to inundation than salinity. Increases in salinity and inundation associated with sea level rise will amplify the superiority of the hybrid over its parental species. These results provide evidence of transgressive traits as an underlying source of adaptive variation that can facilitate plant invasions. The adaptive evolutionary process of hybridization is thought to support an increased invasiveness of plant species and their rapid evolution.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Szilassi P, Szatmári G, Pásztor L, et al (2019)

Understanding the Environmental Background of an Invasive Plant Species (Asclepias syriaca) for the Future: An Application of LUCAS Field Photographs and Machine Learning Algorithm Methods.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 8(12): pii:plants8120593.

For developing global strategies against the dramatic spread of invasive species, we need to identify the geographical, environmental, and socioeconomic factors determining the spatial distribution of invasive species. In our study, we investigated these factors influencing the occurrences of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca L.), an invasive plant species that is of great concern to the European Union (EU). In a Hungarian study area, we used country-scale soil and climate databases, as well as an EU-scale land cover databases (CORINE) for the analyses. For the abundance data of A. syriaca, we applied the field survey photos from the Land Use and Coverage Area Frame Survey (LUCAS) Land Cover database for the European Union. With machine learning algorithm methods, we quantified the relative weight of the environmental variables on the abundance of common milkweed. According to our findings, soil texture and soil type (sandy soils) were the most important variables determining the occurrence of this species. We could exactly identify the actual land cover types and the recent land cover changes that have a significant role in the occurrence the common milkweed in Europe. We could also show the role of climatic conditions of the study area in the occurrence of this species, and we could prepare the potential distribution map of common milkweed for the study area.

RevDate: 2019-12-15

Sinclair JS, Reisinger AJ, Bean E, et al (2019)

Stormwater ponds: An overlooked but plentiful urban designer ecosystem provides invasive plant habitat in a subtropical region (Florida, USA).

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(19)35125-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Designed ecosystems are built as part of ongoing urban expansion, providing a suite of valued ecosystem services. However, these new ecosystems could also promote disservices by facilitating the colonization and spread of invasive species. We conduct the first assessment of the quantity and invasion of an overlooked designed ecosystem: stormwater ponds. These ponds are commonly recommended for managing urban hydrology, but little is known about their ecology or extent of proliferation. Using a broad-scale survey of pond coverage in Florida, USA, we found that over 76,000 stormwater ponds have been built just in this state, forming 2.7% of total urban land cover. This extensive pondscape of manufactured habitats could facilitate species spread throughout urban areas and into nearby natural waterbodies. We also conducted a survey of the severity of plant invasion in 30 ponds in Gainesville, FL, US across two pond types (dry vs. wet), and a gradient of management intensities (low, medium, high) and pond ages. We unexpectedly found a high number of invasive plant species (28 in just 30 ponds). Ninety-six percent of surveyed ponds contained from one to ten of these species, with ponds exhibiting high turnover in invader composition (i.e., high beta diversity). The bank sections of dry unmanaged ponds exhibited the highest mean invasive species richness (5.8 ± 1.3) and the inundated centers of wet medium managed ponds exhibited the highest mean invasive species cover (34 ± 12%). Invasive plant richness and cover also tended to be greater in dry ponds with higher soil nutrient levels, and in older wet ponds. Therefore, we found that highly maintained and younger wet ponds were the least invaded. Nevertheless, common management practices that limit plant invasions may also limit native species establishment and invasion may increase in the decades following pond construction.

RevDate: 2020-01-01

García-Gómez JC, Sempere-Valverde J, González AR, et al (2020)

From exotic to invasive in record time: The extreme impact of Rugulopteryx okamurae (Dictyotales, Ochrophyta) in the strait of Gibraltar.

The Science of the total environment, 704:135408.

In 2015, the exotic seaweed Rugulopteryx okamurae was detected for the first time on the south side of the Strait of Gibraltar, in Ceuta (northern Africa). This highly sensitive area is ideal for monitoring local environmental impacts arising from global warming, as well as the intrusion of alien species. Within one year, R. okamurae became an invasive species with an overflowing competitive capacity and growth. In 2015, more than 5000 tons of upstream biomass was extracted from beaches in Ceuta, and it has since spread irrepressibly on rocky illuminated bottoms of the subtidal zone to a maximum observed depth of 40 m. The highest coverage (80-90%) of R. okamurae in Ceuta was observed between 10 and 20 m depth in illuminated habitats, where it was having a severe impact on local benthic communities which were displaced. Between 5 and 30 m depth, coverage of R. okamurae exceeded 70% over a wide variety of substrate types. A submarine sentinel sessile bioindicators permanent quadrats (SBPQ) station installed in 2013 on poorly lit, vertical, and shady substrate in the El Estrecho Natural Park, on the north side of the Strait of Gibraltar (Tarifa), detected the presence of R. okamurae in July 2016 and recorded the subsequent increase in coverage. These findings reveal the useful role of this type of monitoring SBPQ sentinel station for the detection of impacts and exotic species in marine protected areas, and for the monitoring of global warming based on indicator species. We conclude that the catastrophic bloom of R. okamurae exhibited an initial geographical expansion (2015-2017) to the northern coastal area of the Strait of Gibraltar (Tarifa-Gibraltar) and subsequent extension in the south of the Iberian Peninsula, towards the Atlantic coast (2018) and the Mediterranean coast (2019). This bloom could have been associated with the temperature peak in July 2015 and was thus possibly linked to global warming.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Johnson PJ, Adams VM, Armstrong DP, et al (2019)

Consequences Matter: Compassion in Conservation Means Caring for Individuals, Populations and Species.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9(12):.

Human activity affecting the welfare of wild vertebrates, widely accepted to be sentient, and therefore deserving of moral concern, is widespread. A variety of motives lead to the killing of individual wild animals. These include to provide food, to protect stock and other human interests, and also for sport. The acceptability of such killing is widely believed to vary with the motive and method. Individual vertebrates are also killed by conservationists. Whether securing conservation goals is an adequate reason for such killing has recently been challenged. Conventional conservation practice has tended to prioritise ecological collectives, such as populations and species, when their interests conflict with those of individuals. Supporters of the 'Compassionate Conservation' movement argue both that conservationists have neglected animal welfare when such conflicts arise and that no killing for conservation is justified. We counter that conservationists increasingly seek to adhere to high standards of welfare, and that the extreme position advocated by some supporters of 'Compassionate Conservation', rooted in virtue ethics, would, if widely accepted, lead to considerable negative effects for conservation. Conservation practice cannot afford to neglect consequences. Moreover, the do-no-harm maxim does not always lead to better outcomes for animal welfare.

RevDate: 2020-01-11

Liu W, Zhang Y, Chen X, et al (2019)

Contrasting plant adaptation strategies to latitude in the native and invasive range of Spartina alterniflora.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions offer model systems of contemporary evolution. We examined trait differences and evolution across geographic clines among continents of the intertidal grass Spartina alterniflora within its invasive and native ranges. We sampled vegetative and reproductive traits in the field at 20 sites over 20° latitude in China (invasive range) and 28 sites over 17° in the US (native range). We grew both Chinese and US plants in a glasshouse common garden for 3 yr. Chinese plants were c. 15% taller, c. 10% denser, and set up to four times more seed than US plants in both the field and common garden. The common garden experiments showed a striking genetic cline of seven-fold greater seed set at higher latitudes in the introduced but not the native range. By contrast, there was a slight genetic cline in some vegetative traits in the native but not the introduced range. Our results are consistent with others showing that introduced plants can evolve rapidly in the new range. S. alterniflora has evolved different trait clines in the native and introduced ranges, showing the importance of phenotypic plasticity and genetic control of change during the invasion process.

RevDate: 2019-12-13

Zittra C, Schoener ER, Wagner R, et al (2019)

Unnoticed arrival of two dipteran species in Austria: the synanthropic moth fly Clogmia albipunctata (Williston, 1893) and the parasitic bird louse fly Ornithoica turdi (Olivier in Latreille, 1811).

Parasitology research pii:10.1007/s00436-019-06563-9 [Epub ahead of print].

In the framework of a mosquito-monitoring program conducted from 2014 to 2018, non-culicid dipteran bycatch was identified to species-level with a focus on Diptera of medical and veterinary importance as part of a biodiversity initiative and barcoding project ("Austrian Barcode of Life"). Two species hitherto not known from Austria, the regularly sampled synanthropic moth fly Clogmia albipunctata (Psychodidae) and a single specimen of the louse fly Ornithoica turdi (Hippoboscidae), were collected in Vienna and Lower Austria. We confirmed identification results using a barcoding approach and provide the first reference sequence for O. turdi.

RevDate: 2019-12-13

Lennox RJ, Bravener GA, Lin HY, et al (2019)

Potential changes to the biology and challenges to the management of invasive sea lamprey Petromyzon marinus in the Laurentian Great Lakes due to climate change.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Control programs are implemented to mitigate the damage caused by invasive species worldwide. In the highly invaded Great Lakes, the climate is expected to become warmer with more extreme weather and variable precipitation, resulting in shorter iced-over periods and variable tributary flows as well as changes to pH and river hydrology and hydrogeomorphology. We review how climate change influences physiology, behaviour, and demography of a highly damaging invasive species, sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), in the Great Lakes, and the consequences for sea lamprey control efforts. Sea lamprey control relies on surveys to monitor abundance of larval sea lamprey in Great Lakes tributaries. The abundance of parasitic, juvenile sea lampreys in the lakes are calculated by surveying wounding rates on lake trout (Salvelinus namaycush), and trap surveys are used to enumerate adult spawning runs. Chemical control using lampricides (i.e. lamprey pesticides) to target larval sea lamprey, plus barriers to prevent adult lamprey from reaching spawning grounds are the most important tools used for sea lamprey population control. We describe how climate change could affect larval survival in rivers, growth and maturation in lakes, phenology and the spawning migration as adults return to rivers, and the overall abundance and distribution of sea lamprey in the Great Lakes. Our review suggests that Great Lakes sea lamprey may l benefit from climate change with longer growing seasons, more rapid growth, and greater access to spawning habitat, but uncertainties remain about the future availability and suitability of larval habitats. Consideration of the biology of invasive species and adaptation of the timing, intensity and frequency of control efforts are critical to the management of biological invasions in a changing world, such as sea lamprey in the Great Lakes.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Hepditch SLJ, Tessier LR, Wilson JM, et al (2019)

Mitigation of lampricide toxicity to juvenile lake sturgeon: the importance of water alkalinity and life stage.

Conservation physiology, 7(1):coz089.

The pesticide, 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM), is used to control invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) populations in the Laurentian Great Lakes. Applied to infested tributaries, it is most toxic to larval sea lamprey, which have a low capacity to detoxify TFM. However, TFM can be toxic to lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens), whose populations are at risk throughout the basin. They are most vulnerable to TFM in early life stages, with the greatest risk of non-target mortality occurring in waters with high alkalinity. We quantified TFM toxicity and used radio-labelled TFM (14C-TFM) to measure TFM uptake rates in lake sturgeon in waters of different pH and alkalinity. Regardless of pH or alkalinity, TFM uptake was 2-3-fold higher in young-of-the-year (YOY) than in age 1-year-plus (1+) sturgeon, likely due to higher mass-specific metabolic rates in the smaller YOY fish. As expected, TFM uptake was highest at lower (pH 6.5) versus higher (pH 9.0) pH, indicating that it is taken up across the gills by diffusion in its unionized form. Uptake decreased as alkalinity increased from low (~50 mg L-1 as CaCO3) to moderate alkalinity (~150 mg L-1 as CaCO3), before plateauing at high alkalinity (~250 mg L-1 as CaCO3). Toxicity curves revealed that the 12-h LC50 and 12-h LC99.9 of TFM to lake sturgeon were in fact higher (less toxic) than in sea lamprey, regardless of alkalinity. However, in actual treatments, 1.3-1.5 times the minimum lethal TFM concentration (MLC = LC99.9) to lamprey is applied to maximize mortality, disproportionately amplifying TFM toxicity to sturgeon at higher alkalinities. We conclude that limiting TFM treatments to late summer/early fall in waters of moderate-high alkalinity, when lake sturgeon are larger with lower rates of TFM uptake, would mitigate non-target TFM effects and help conserve populations of these ancient, culturally important fishes.

RevDate: 2019-12-18

Mech AM, Thomas KA, Marsico TD, et al (2019)

Evolutionary history predicts high-impact invasions by herbivorous insects.

Ecology and evolution, 9(21):12216-12230.

A long-standing goal of invasion biology is to identify factors driving highly variable impacts of non-native species. Although hypotheses exist that emphasize the role of evolutionary history (e.g., enemy release hypothesis & defense-free space hypothesis), predicting the impact of non-native herbivorous insects has eluded scientists for over a century.Using a census of all 58 non-native conifer-specialist insects in North America, we quantified the contribution of over 25 factors that could affect the impact they have on their novel hosts, including insect traits (fecundity, voltinism, native range, etc.), host traits (shade tolerance, growth rate, wood density, etc.), and evolutionary relationships (between native and novel hosts and insects).We discovered that divergence times between native and novel hosts, the shade and drought tolerance of the novel host, and the presence of a coevolved congener on a shared host, were more predictive of impact than the traits of the invading insect. These factors built upon each other to strengthen our ability to predict the risk of a non-native insect becoming invasive. This research is the first to empirically support historically assumed hypotheses about the importance of evolutionary history as a major driver of impact of non-native herbivorous insects.Our novel, integrated model predicts whether a non-native insect not yet present in North America will have a one in 6.5 to a one in 2,858 chance of causing widespread mortality of a conifer species if established (R2 = 0.91) Synthesis and applications. With this advancement, the risk to other conifer host species and regions can be assessed, and regulatory and pest management efforts can be more efficiently prioritized.

RevDate: 2020-01-14

Dawson Pell FSE, Hatchwell BJ, Ortega-Segalerva A, et al (2020)

Microsatellite characterisation and sex-typing in two invasive parakeet species, the monk parakeet Myiopsitta monachus and ring-necked parakeet Psittacula krameri.

Molecular biology reports, 47(2):1543-1550.

Invasive species can have wide-ranging negative impacts, and an understanding of the process and success of invasions can be vital to determine management strategies, mitigate impacts and predict range expansions of such species. Monk parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) and ring-necked parakeets (Psittacula krameri) are both widespread invasive species, but there has been little research into the genetic and social structure of these two species despite the potential links with invasion success. The aim of this study was to isolate novel microsatellite loci from the monk parakeet and characterise them in both monk and ring-necked parakeets in order to facilitate future investigations into their behaviour and population ecology. Sex-typing markers were also tested in both species. Of the 20 microsatellite loci assessed in 24 unrelated monk parakeets, 16 successfully amplified and were polymorphic displaying between 2 and 14 alleles (mean = 8.06). Expected heterozygosity ranged from 0.43 to 0.93 and observed heterozygosity ranged from 0.23 to 0.96. Nine of the 20 loci also successfully amplified and were polymorphic in the ring-necked parakeet, displaying between 2 and 10 alleles. Suitable markers to sex both species and a Z-linked microsatellite locus were identified. A multiplex marker set was validated for monk parakeets. These novel microsatellite loci will facilitate fine and broad-scale population genetic analyses of these two widespread invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-01-08

Tang F, DC Aldridge (2019)

Microcapsulated biocides for the targeted control of invasive bivalves.

Scientific reports, 9(1):18787.

Invasive alien species (IAS) are one of the greatest drivers of ecological change. Typically, control uses chemical agents that often are ineffective, harmful to non-target organisms, and environmentally persistent. Bivalves are frequently high impact IAS, but have proven particularly hard to control due to their valve-closing response when exposed to conventional control agents. Microencapsulation of biocides with edible coatings represents a highly targeted delivery route, bypassing avoidance responses and accumulating in bivalves through their prodigious filter feeding. Uneaten microcapsules degrade and become biologically inactive within hours thus reducing potential impacts on non-target biota. We manufactured two new formulations of microcapsules (BioBullets). Particles were designed to mimic natural food particles (algae) in terms of size (9.5 ± 0.5 to 19.4 ± 1.3 SE µm diameter), buoyancy (near neutral) and shape (spherical). Laboratory exposures demonstrated that two formulations effectively controlled the Gulf wedge clam Rangia cuneata, an IAS currently spreading rapidly through Europe. A single dose of 2-6 mg L-1 of the active ingredient in a static system achieved 90% mortality after 30 days of exposure. Microencapsulation offers an effective and targeted management tool for rapid responses following the early detection of both Gulf wedge clams and many other filter-feeding IAS, and may be especially effective in closed systems or where populations remain very localised.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.


Order from Amazon

This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in invasion biology. The full title of the book lays out the author's premise — The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation. Not only is species movement not bad for ecosystems, it is the way that ecosystems respond to perturbation — it is the way ecosystems heal. Even if you are one of those who is absolutely convinced that invasive species are actually "a blight, pollution, an epidemic, or a cancer on nature", you should read this book to clarify your own thinking. True scientific understanding never comes from just interacting with those with whom you already agree. R. Robbins

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )