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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 25 Sep 2022 at 01:55 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: 2022-09-24

Li F, Qin S, Wang Z, et al (2022)

Environmental DNA metabarcoding reveals the impact of different land use on multitrophic biodiversity in riverine systems.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)06057-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Human-induced changes in land use drive an alarming decline in river biodiversity and related ecosystem services worldwide. However, how different land use shapes aquatic multitrophic communities is still not well understood. Here, we used the biodiversity dataset from bacteria to fish captured by the environmental DNA (eDNA) approach in the four riverine systems with spatially different land use (i.e., Slightly disturbed group, Upstream disturbed group, Downstream disturbed group, and Strongly disturbed group) to reveal the changes in multitrophic biodiversity in relation to human land use. Firstly, our data showed that spatially different land use determined the pollutant loads of the riverine systems, most pollutants (e.g., TN and NH3-N) had significant differences among the four riverine systems. Secondly, taxonomic α diversity across multitrophic levels did not necessarily change significantly, yet the change in community structure can be considered as a more sensitive indicator to reflect different land use, because different land use shaped the unique structure of multitrophic communities, and the dissimilarity of community structure was closely associated with land use gradient (e.g., positive relationships in the Slightly disturbed group, negative relationships in the Strongly disturbed group). Thirdly, different land use induced the shifts of key taxa, resulting in the variation of community structure and the change of co-occurrence network. Overall, these findings suggest that spatially different land use plays a critical role in shaping aquatic multitrophic communities, and an in-depth understanding of the interdependences between biodiversity and land use is a critical prerequisite for formulating river management strategies.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Daversa DR, Bosch J, Manica A, et al (2022)

Host Identity Matters-Up to a Point: The Community Context of Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Transmission.

The American naturalist, 200(4):584-597.

AbstractThe level of detail on host communities needed to understand multihost parasite invasions is an unresolved issue in disease ecology. Coarse community metrics that ignore functional differences between hosts, such as host species richness, can be good predictors of invasion outcomes. Yet if host species vary in the extent to which they maintain and transmit infections, then explicitly accounting for those differences may be important. Through controlled mesocosm experiments and modeling, we show that interspecific differences between host species are important for community-wide infection dynamics of the multihost fungal parasite of amphibians (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis [Bd]), but only up to a point. The most abundant host species in our system, fire salamander larvae (Salamandra salamandra), did not maintain or transmit infections. Rather, two less abundant "auxiliary" host species, Iberian tree frog (Hyla molleri) and spiny toad (Bufo spinosus) larvae, maintained and transmitted Bd. Frogs had the highest mean rates of Bd shedding, giving them the highest contributions to the basic reproduction number, R0. Toad contributions to R0 were substantial, however, and when examining community-level patterns of infection and transmission, the effects of frogs and toads were similar. Specifying more than just host species richness to distinguish salamanders from auxiliary host species was critical for predicting community-level Bd prevalence and transmission. Distinguishing frogs from toads, however, did not improve predictions. These findings demonstrate limitations to the importance of host species identities in multihost infection dynamics. Host species that exhibit different functional traits, such as susceptibility and infectiousness, may play similar epidemiological roles in the broader community.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Park J, Cheon S, Park SM, et al (2022)

Complete mitochondrial genome of the river cooter (Pseudemys concinna, Testudines: Emydidae) in Korea.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 7(9):1659-1661 pii:2119820.

The complete mitochondrial genome of Pseudemys concinna in Korea was sequenced and characterized. The mitochondrial genome is constituted of 37 genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes, and two ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes) and a noncoding region. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete mitochondrial genome showed that P. concinna has closer relationship with Chrysemys picta than Trachemys scripta elegans. This is the first case for complete mitochondrial genome from P. concinna in Korea, which will provide information for biogeographical studies and management plan for invasive species.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Humphries T, S Florentine (2022)

Assessing Seedbank Longevity and Seed Persistence of the Invasive Tussock Grass Nassella trichotoma Using in-Field Burial and Laboratory-Controlled Ageing.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(18): pii:plants11182377.

The ability to produce highly dense and persistent seedbanks is a major contributor to the successful widespread establishment of invasive plants. This study seeks to identify seed persistence and seedbank longevity for the invasive tussock grass Nassella trichotoma (Nees.) Hack. ex Arechav in order to recommend management strategies for preventing re-emergence from the seedbank. To determine the seedbank longevity and persistence, two experiments were conducted: (i) seeds were buried at four depths (0, 1, 2, and 4 cm) and collected and assessed for viability, seed decay, and in-field germination after 6, 9, 12, 15, and 18 months of field burial; and (ii) seeds were exposed to artificial ageing conditions (60% RH and 45 °C) for 1, 2, 5, 9, 20, 30, 50, 75, 100, and 120 days, and viability was determined through germination tests and tetrazolium tests. Less than 10% of the seeds collected after 12 months of in-field burial were viable. The artificial ageing treatment found germination declined to 50% after 5.8 days, further suggesting that N. trichotoma seeds are short lived. The results from both experiments indicate that N. trichotoma has a transient seedbank, with less than 10% of the seeds demonstrating short-term persistence. It is likely the persistent seeds beyond 12 months were exhibiting secondary dormancy as viable seeds did not germinate under optimal germination conditions. The "Best Practice Guidelines" recommend monitoring for seedbank recruitment for at least three years after treating N. trichotoma infestations. The results of this study support this recommendation as a small proportion of the seeds demonstrated short-term persistence.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Welgama A, Florentine S, J Roberts (2022)

A Global Review of the Woody Invasive Alien Species Mimosa pigra (Giant Sensitive Plant): Its Biology and Management Implications.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(18): pii:plants11182366.

Populations of invasive alien plants create disruptive plant communities that are extremely adaptable, imposing severe ecological impacts on agriculture, biodiversity and human activities. To minimise these impacts, prevention and effective weed management strategies are urgently required, including the identification of satellite populations before they invade new areas. This is a critical element that allows weed management practices to become both successful and cost-effective. Mimosa pigra L. (Giant sensitive plant) is an invasive weed that has spread across various environments around the world and is considered one of the world's top 100 most invasive plant species. Being adaptable to a wide range of soil types, in addition to its woody protective prickles and low palatability, M. pigra has quickly spread and established itself in a range of habitats. Current control methods of this species include biological, chemical and physical methods, together with attempts of integrated application. Reports suggest that integrated management appears to be the most effective means of controlling M. pigra since the use of any single method has not yet proved suitable. In this regard, this review synthesises and explores the available global literature and current research gaps relating to the biology, distribution, impacts and management of M. pigra. The contribution of this work will help guide land managers to design appropriate and sustainable management programs to control M. pigra.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Glasnović P, Cernich S, Peroš J, et al (2022)

Diversity and Typology of Land-Use Explain the Occurrence of Alien Plants in a Protected Area.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(18): pii:plants11182358.

Plant life history and functional characteristics play an important role in determining the invasive potential of plant species and have implications for management approaches. We studied the distribution of 24 alien plant taxa in a protected area in relation to different land-uses by applying ordination analyses and generalized linear models. Taxa richness is best explained by the presence of built-up areas, followed by residential areas, marshlands, and agricultural lands with semi-natural formations. The diversity of land-use within the grid cell proved to be an important explanatory factor, being the only significant variable explaining the richness of wood perennials and vines. The richness of annual herbs and seed-dispersed taxa is explained by a similar set of variables, with the exception of residential areas. The richness of invasive species is explained only by agricultural land and the diversity of land-use. The richness of taxa with predominant vegetative dispersal is best explained by built-up, marshland, and seminatural areas along with land-use diversity. When we consider only the presence of plant groups within grid cells, the results are similar. The results of similar studies may provide an important tool for defining sustainable practices and overall conservation management in protected areas.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Tanase C, Nicolescu A, Nisca A, et al (2022)

Biological Activity of Bark Extracts from Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubra L.): An Antioxidant, Antimicrobial and Enzymatic Inhibitory Evaluation.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(18): pii:plants11182357.

The northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.) is an ornamental oak species native to eastern America, being an invasive species in Europe, with increasing coverage. The aim of this work was to evaluate the biological potential of red oak bark extracts. Aqueous and ethanolic preparations were obtained by two extraction methods: ultrasonic-assisted extraction (UAE) and microwave assisted extraction (MAE). The total phenolic and tannin contents were measured using spectrophotometric methods. The antioxidant activity was evaluated by two complementary methods (DPPH and ABTS). Antimicrobial potential was tested against five bacteria and three Candida species, and the effect on biofilm formation and synergism with gentamicin was also evaluated. Finally, enzyme inhibitory properties were assessed for α-glucosidase, tyrosinase, and acetylcholinesterase. The results indicated a higher phenolic content for the extracts obtained through MAE, while UAE bark extracts were rich in tannins. All the extracts exhibited antioxidant, anti-glucosidase, and anti-tyrosinase activity, while the antibacterial potential was mostly observed for the MAE extracts, especially against S. aureus, C. parapsilopsis, and C. krusei; inhibition of biofilm formation was observed only for MRSA. These findings show that the red oak bark might be an important source of bioactive compounds with antioxidant and antimicrobial properties.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Goncalves E, Herrera I, Alexander J, et al (2022)

The Upper Range Limit of Alien Plants Is Not in Equilibrium with Climate in the Andes of Central Chile.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(18): pii:plants11182345.

Alien plant species are colonizing high-elevation areas along roadsides. In this study, we evaluated whether the distributions of alien plants in the central Chilean mountains have reached climatic equilibrium (i.e., upper distribution limits consistent with their climatic requirements). First, we evaluated whether the upper elevational limits of alien plants changed between 2008 and 2018 based on the Mountain Invasion Research Network (MIREN) database. Second, we compared the observed upper elevational limits with the upper limits predicted by each species' global climatic niche. On average across species, the upper elevation limit did not change between 2008 and 2018. However, most species maintained the same limit or shifted downward, while only 23% of the species shifted upwards. This lack of change does not mean that the species' distributions are in equilibrium with the climate, because the observed upper limit was lower than the limit predicted by the global niche model for 87% of species. Our results suggest that alien species in this study region may not only be climate-limited, but could also be limited by other local-scale factors, such as seed dispersal, intermittent disturbance rates, soil type and biotic interactions.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Shang S, Li L, Zhang Z, et al (2022)

The Effects of Secondary Growth of Spartina alterniflora after Treatment on Sediment Microorganisms in the Yellow River Delta.

Microorganisms, 10(9): pii:microorganisms10091722.

As a typical invasive species, Spartina alterniflora is widely recognized as one of the primary threats to biodiversity in various habitats, including wetlands. Although the invasion by S. alterniflora has been managed in multiple ways, it may reappear after treatment. How S. alterniflora affects the soil microbial community in coastal wetlands during its regeneration process has not yet been clarified. Here, rhizosphere soil samples (RSPs) and bulk soil samples (SSPs) were collected in the S. alterniflora community and a high-throughput sequencing method was conducted to analyze the composition and diversity of soil microorganisms. Meanwhile, we also obtain the soil physicochemical properties. In the present study, there was no significant difference in the alpha diversity of both bacterial and fungal communities in the SSP and RSP groups. The PCoA (principal coordinate analysis) also showed that the microbial community structure did not differ significantly between the SSP and RSP groups. The results showed that except for pH, the total sulfur (TS) content, total nitrogen (TN) content, and electrical conductivity (EC) did not differ significantly (p > 0.05) between the SSP and RSP groups. The composition of the bacterial and fungal community in the rhizosphere of S. alterniflora was similar to that found in the surrounding soils. The top two dominant bacterial phyla were Proteobacteria and Desulfobacterota in the present study. Venn diagram results also support this view; most OTUs belong to the common OTUs of the two groups, and the proportion of unique OTUs is relatively small. The LEfSe (LDA effect size) analysis showed that Campylobacterota (at the phylum level) and Sulfurimonas (at the genus level) significantly increased in the RSP group, implying that the increased Sulfurimonas might play an essential role in the invasion by S. alterniflora during the under-water period. Overall, these results suggest that the bacterial and fungal communities were not significantly affected by the S. alterniflora invasion due to the short invasion time.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Ash AK, S Patterson (2022)

Reporting of Freshwater Cyanobacterial Poisoning in Terrestrial Wildlife: A Systematic Map.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(18): pii:ani12182423.

Global warming and over-enrichment of freshwater systems have led to an increase in harmful cyanobacterial blooms (cyanoHABs), affecting human and animal health. The aim of this systematic map was to detail the current literature surrounding cyanotoxin poisonings in terrestrial wildlife and identify possible improvements to reports of morbidity and mortality from cyanotoxins. A systematic search was conducted using the electronic databases Scopus and Web of Science, yielding 5059 published studies identifying 45 separate case reports of wildlife poisonings from North America, Africa, Europe, and Asia. Currently, no gold standard for the diagnosis of cyanotoxin intoxication exists for wildlife, and we present suggested guidelines here. These involved immunoassays and analytical chemistry techniques to identify the toxin involved, PCR to identify the cyanobacterial species involved, and evidence of ingestion or exposure to cyanotoxins in the animals affected. Of the 45 cases, our recommended methods concurred with 48.9% of cases. Most often, cases were investigated after a mortality event had already occurred, and where mitigation was implemented, only three cases were successful in their efforts. Notably, only one case of invasive cyanobacteria was recorded in this review despite invasive species being known to occur throughout the globe; this could explain the underreporting of invasive cyanobacteria. This systematic map highlights the perceived absence of robust detection, surveillance, and diagnosis of cyanotoxin poisoning in wildlife. It may be true that wildlife is less susceptible to these poisoning events; however, the true rates of poisoning are likely much more than is reported in the literature.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Granatosky MC, Young MW, Herr V, et al (2022)

Positional Behavior of Introduced Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) in an Urban Landscape.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(18): pii:ani12182372.

Positional behaviors have been broadly quantified across the Order Primates, and in several other mammalian lineages, to contextualize adaptations to, and evolution within, an arboreal environment. Outside of Mammalia, however, such data are yet to be reported. In this study, we present the first quantitative report of positional behavior within Aves, presenting 11,246 observations of scan sampling data from a colony of Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) from Brooklyn, New York City. Each scan recorded locomotor and postural behavior and information about weather condition, temperature, and substrate properties (e.g., type, size, orientation). A distinction was also recorded between natural and artificial substrates. Parrots exhibited a strong preference for small and terminal branches, a selection which may reflect targeted foraging of new fruit growth and leaf-buds. We further observed that the gait transition from walking to sidling appears primarily driven by substrate size, with the former preferred on the ground and on large, broad substrates and the latter used to navigate smaller branches. Finally, we observed an increase in locomotor diversity on artificial versus naturally occurring substrates. This demonstrates the importance of a flexible behavioral repertoire in facilitating a successful transition towards an urban landscape in introduced species.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Botella C, Bonnet P, Hui C, et al (2022)

Dynamic Species Distribution Modeling Reveals the Pivotal Role of Human-Mediated Long-Distance Dispersal in Plant Invasion.

Biology, 11(9): pii:biology11091293.

Plant invasions generate massive ecological and economic costs worldwide. Predicting their spatial dynamics is crucial to the design of effective management strategies and the prevention of invasions. Earlier studies highlighted the crucial role of long-distance dispersal in explaining the speed of many invasions. In addition, invasion speed depends highly on the duration of its lag phase, which may depend on the scaling of fecundity with age, especially for woody plants, even though empirical proof is still rare. Bayesian dynamic species distribution models enable the fitting of process-based models to partial and heterogeneous observations using a state-space modeling approach, thus offering a tool to test such hypotheses on past invasions over large spatial scales. We use such a model to explore the roles of long-distance dispersal and age-structured fecundity in the transient invasion dynamics of Plectranthus barbatus, a woody plant invader in South Africa. Our lattice-based model accounts for both short and human-mediated long-distance dispersal, as well as age-structured fecundity. We fitted our model on opportunistic occurrences, accounting for the spatio-temporal variations of the sampling effort and the variable detection rates across datasets. The Bayesian framework enables us to integrate a priori knowledge on demographic parameters and control identifiability issues. The model revealed a massive wave of spatial spread driven by human-mediated long-distance dispersal during the first decade and a subsequent drastic population growth, leading to a global equilibrium in the mid-1990s. Without long-distance dispersal, the maximum population would have been equivalent to 30% of the current equilibrium population. We further identified the reproductive maturity at three years old, which contributed to the lag phase before the final wave of population growth. Our results highlighted the importance of the early eradication of weedy horticultural alien plants around urban areas to hamper and delay the invasive spread.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Rayner S, Vitkauskaite A, Healy K, et al (2022)

Worldwide Web: High Venom Potency and Ability to Optimize Venom Usage Make the Globally Invasive Noble False Widow Spider Steatoda nobilis (Thorell, 1875) (Theridiidae) Highly Competitive against Native European Spiders Sharing the Same Habitats.

Toxins, 14(9): pii:toxins14090587.

Venom compositions include complex mixtures of toxic proteins that evolved to immobilize/dissuade organisms by disrupting biological functions. Venom production is metabolically expensive, and parsimonious use is expected, as suggested by the venom optimisation hypothesis. The decision-making capacity to regulate venom usage has never been demonstrated for the globally invasive Noble false widow Steatoda nobilis (Thorell, 1875) (Theridiidae). Here, we investigated variations of venom quantities available in a wild population of S. nobilis and prey choice depending on venom availability. To partially determine their competitiveness, we compared their attack rate success, median effective dose (ED50) and lethal dose (LD50), with four sympatric synanthropic species: the lace webbed spider Amaurobius similis, the giant house spider Eratigena atrica, the missing sector orb-weaver Zygiella x-notata, and the cellar spider Pholcus phalangioides. We show that S. nobilis regulates its venom usage based on availability, and its venom is up to 230-fold (0.56 mg/kg) more potent than native spiders. The high potency of S. nobilis venom and its ability to optimize its usage make this species highly competitive against native European spiders sharing the same habitats.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Avila C, Buñuel X, Carmona F, et al (2022)

Would Antarctic Marine Benthos Survive Alien Species Invasions? What Chemical Ecology May Tell Us.

Marine drugs, 20(9): pii:md20090543.

Many Antarctic marine benthic macroinvertebrates are chemically protected against predation by marine natural products of different types. Antarctic potential predators mostly include sea stars (macropredators) and amphipod crustaceans (micropredators) living in the same areas (sympatric). Recently, alien species (allopatric) have been reported to reach the Antarctic coasts, while deep-water crabs are suggested to be more often present in shallower waters. We decided to investigate the effect of the chemical defenses of 29 representative Antarctic marine benthic macroinvertebrates from seven different phyla against predation by using non-native allopatric generalist predators as a proxy for potential alien species. The Antarctic species tested included 14 Porifera, two Cnidaria, two Annelida, one Nemertea, two Bryozooa, three Echinodermata, and five Chordata (Tunicata). Most of these Antarctic marine benthic macroinvertebrates were chemically protected against an allopatric generalist amphipod but not against an allopatric generalist crab from temperate waters. Therefore, both a possible recolonization of large crabs from deep waters or an invasion of non-native generalist crab species could potentially alter the fundamental nature of these communities forever since chemical defenses would not be effective against them. This, together with the increasing temperatures that elevate the probability of alien species surviving, is a huge threat to Antarctic marine benthos.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

Querner P, Szucsich N, Landsberger B, et al (2022)

Identification and Spread of the Ghost Silverfish (Ctenolepisma calvum) among Museums and Homes in Europe.

Insects, 13(9): pii:insects13090855.

Ctenolepisma calvum was first described in Sri Lanka (Ceylon) in 1910, and this island is probably the origin of this species. Later, it was also found in the Caribbean (Cuba and Trinidad and Tobago). Up until the present, it has only been identified within buildings (a synanthropic species), and its natural habitat is unknown. In 2007, it was discovered in Germany and was considered a neobiotic species of Lepismatidae in Europe. It has rapidly spread throughout Europe and beyond in recent years. This led us to analyze the available data of the first occurrences in Germany, Austria, and other European countries. Furthermore, we compared the spread inside of museums in Vienna (Austria) and Berlin (Germany). These museums have been monitored for a long period with sticky traps, representing the best source of information on the dispersion dynamics of Ctenolepisma calvum. We found a scattered occurrence of this species in 18 countries in Europe (including Russia and Ukraine). The first record for Poland has not previously been published; however, this species has been present there since 2014. Surprisingly, it was found in Hungary in 2003, but a record was only published online in 2021. Additionally, in Germany and Austria, where most data are available, the spread of the species does not follow any clear pattern. In museums in Berlin, the species has only been found in one location. In contrast, the species rapidly spread in museums in Vienna between 2014 and 2021, from four to 30 locations, and it is now a well-established species with occasional high abundance. We examined the spread of the species at three spatial scales: (i) Europe, (ii) national, and (iii) regional. Our observations indicate that it is possibly distributed with materials (packaging material, hygiene articles, paper, cardboard, and collection items). Little is yet known about the biology of this introduced pest. We describe its preferred habitat within buildings, its climate requirements, and its potential to act as a new museum pest in Central Europe. This species seems to thrive at room temperature in buildings. Further impact on the species due to climate change in the future is also discussed. We offer a simple morphological key and a detailed identification table to help correct species identification.

RevDate: 2022-09-23

López C, Las Heras S, Garrido-Jurado I, et al (2022)

Survey of Natural Enemies of the Invasive Boxwood Moth Cydalima perspectalis in Southwestern Mediterranean Europe and Biocontrol Potential of a Native Beauveria bassiana (Bals.-Criv.) Vuill. Strain.

Insects, 13(9): pii:insects13090781.

Cydalima perspectalis (Lepidoptera: Crambidae), a species native to East Asia, has been especially devastating in the Mediterranean region and Catalonia, northeast Spain, where Buxus sempervirens is an essential component of the natural forest. As an invasive species, the lack of biotic mortality factors in the arrival region has been one of the main factors allowing its expansion. Therefore, this study aimed to collect and identify possible indigenous natural enemies adapting to the new species in the boxwood of the southwest Mediterranean region. Later, the efficacy of some of the collected species for controlling C. perspectalis larvae was tested in laboratory conditions. The larval collection was carried out in successive years in the boxwood of the region. Several collected larvae were infected with an entomopathogen, Beauveria bassiana, or parasitized by Compsilura concinnata, both common in native Lepidoptera caterpillars. The B. bassiana strain was found to be highly virulent against the developed larvae of C. perspectalis, which suggests that B. bassiana may be an effective treatment in parks and gardens when the first overwintering larvae are detected. The biology of the parasitoid identified is not very well known in Europe, which suggests the necessity of studying its biology and alternative hosts in the region in order to improve its population.

RevDate: 2022-09-22

Chen H, Jing Q, Liu X, et al (2022)

Microbial respiratory thermal adaptation is regulated by r-/K-strategy dominance.

Microbial thermal adaptation is considered to be one of the core mechanisms affecting soil carbon cycling. However, the role of microbial community composition in controlling thermal adaptation is poorly understood. Using microbial communities from the rhizosphere and bulk soils in an 8-year warming experiment as a model, we experimentally demonstrate that respiratory thermal adaptation was much stronger in microbial K-strategist-dominated bulk soils than in microbial r-strategist-dominated rhizosphere soils. Soil carbon availability exerted strong selection on the dominant ecological strategy of the microbial community, indirectly influencing respiratory thermal adaptation. Our findings shed light on the linchpin of the dominant ecological strategy exhibited by the microbial community in determining its respiratory thermal adaptation, with implications for understanding soil carbon losses under warming.

RevDate: 2022-09-22

Latombe G, Catford JA, Essl F, et al (2022)

GIRAE: a generalised approach for linking the total impact of invasion to species' range, abundance and per-unit effects.

Biological invasions, 24(10):3147-3167.

The total impact of an alien species was conceptualised as the product of its range size, local abundance and per-unit effect in a seminal paper by Parker et al. (Biol Invasions 1:3-19, 1999). However, a practical approach for estimating the three components has been lacking. Here, we generalise the impact formula and, through use of regression models, estimate the relationship between the three components of impact, an approach we term GIRAE (Generalised Impact = Range size × Abundance × per-unit Effect). We discuss how GIRAE can be applied to multiple types of impact, including environmental impacts, damage and management costs. We propose two methods for applying GIRAE. The species-specific method computes the relationship between impact, range size, abundance and per-unit effect for a given species across multiple invaded sites or regions of different sizes. The multi-species method combines data from multiple species across multiple sites or regions to calculate a per-unit effect for each species and is computed using a single regression model. The species-specific method is more accurate, but it requires a large amount of data for each species and assumes a constant per-unit effect for a species across the invaded area. The multi-species method is more easily applicable and data-parsimonious, but assumes the same relationship between impact, range size and abundance for all considered species. We illustrate these methods using data about money spent managing plant invasions in different biomes of South Africa. We found clear differences between species in terms of money spent per unit area invaded, with per-unit expenditure varying substantially between biomes for some species-insights that are useful for monitoring and evaluating management. GIRAE offers a versatile and practical method that can be applied to many different types of data to better understand and manage the impacts of biological invasions.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10530-022-02836-0.

RevDate: 2022-09-23
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Montarsi F, Rosso F, Arnoldi D, et al (2022)

First report of the blood-feeding pattern in Aedes koreicus, a new invasive species in Europe.

Scientific reports, 12(1):15751.

Aedes koreicus is an invasive mosquito species which has been introduced into several European countries. Compared to other invasive Aedes mosquitoes, little is known of its biology and ecology. To determine Ae. koreicus' vectorial capacity, it is essential to establish its feeding patterns and level of anthropophagy. We report on the blood-feeding patterns of Ae. koreicus, examining the blood meal origin of engorged females and evaluating the influence of different biotic and abiotic factors on feeding behavior. Mosquitoes were collected in 23 sites in northern Italy by manual aspiration and BG-sentinel traps; host availability was estimated by survey. The source of blood meals was identified using a nested PCR and by targeting and sequencing the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene. In total, 352 Ae. koreicus engorged females were collected between 2013 and 2020 and host blood meals were determined from 299 blood-fed mosquitoes (84.9%). Eleven host species were identified, with the highest prevalences being observed among roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) (N = 189, 63.2%) and humans (N = 46, 15.4%). Blood meals were mostly taken from roe deer in forested sites and from humans in urban areas, suggesting that this species can feed on different hosts according to local abundance. Two blood meals were identified from avian hosts and one from lizard. Ae. koreicus' mammalophilic feeding pattern suggests that it may be a potential vector of pathogens establishing transmission cycles among mammals, whereas its role as a bridge vector between mammals and birds could be negligible.

RevDate: 2022-09-23
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Negrini VM, Lonati D, Pappalardo A, et al (2022)

Case series of Chlorophyllum molybdites intoxication in Sicily: an "alien" mushroom species in Europe.

Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita, 58(3):213-217.

INTRODUCTION: Mushroom poisoning is an important cause of intoxication worldwide. The toxic mechanism remains frequently unknown and the diffusion of non-endemic species may cause the emergence of new syndromes. An example is the widespread of Chlorophyllum molybdites in Sicily.

CASE SERIES: Pavia Poison Centre was recently involved in the management of 10 intoxications caused by the ingestion of Chlorophyllum molybdites, which was not considered part of the Italian mycological species. The clinical syndrome was characterized by severe gastrointestinal symptoms. In paediatric or vulnerable patients, it may bring to hypovolemic shock that necessitate intensive support. The possibly confusion with amatoxins-containing mushrooms may complicate the management.

CONCLUSIONS: Chlorophyllum molybdites is widespread on the oriental coast of Sicily and it could be confused with "parasol mushrooms". Cooperation between emergency physicians, clinical toxicologist and mycologist, supported by improving of laboratory tests, is essential for the appropriate clinical management. Climate changes and migration flows can interfere with the diffusion of new species and the development of novel syndromes.

RevDate: 2022-09-23
CmpDate: 2022-09-23

Mosca A, Perna MF, Giovannozzi M, et al (2022)

First report of two Asian invasive mosquito species, Aedes japonicus and Aedes koreicus, in Piedmont, northwest Italy.

Annali dell'Istituto superiore di sanita, 58(3):162-165.

INTRODUCTION: Aedes japonicus japonicus and Aedes koreicus are two invasive mosquitoes recently reported in various parts of Europe, including areas very close to Piedmont where, since 2012, specific tools have been implemented to allow the early detection of invasive mosquitoes, through the surveillance of the main points of entry.

RESULTS: Thanks to the regional surveillance system, Ae. j. japonicus was intercepted in Piedmont for the first time in 2019, in the northernmost part of the region and now it is reported in six provinces. Ae. koreicus was intercepted for the first time in 2012 in three provinces.

DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: The spread of these two invasive mosquitoes in Europe is still ongoing. Where Aedes albopictus is abundant, probably their presence goes undetected, therefore, it is crucial to begin surveillance early in the season. Due to their competence for several arboviruses and tolerance to the cold temperatures Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. koreicus represent a further concern for Public Health. A longer seasonal period for surveillance and response to mosquito-borne diseases, as well as a shift up of these activities to previously uncovered altitudes are indeed needed.

RevDate: 2022-09-22
CmpDate: 2022-09-13

Wang X, Yan F, Lyne V, et al (2022)

Restore China's coastline from the ground up.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 377(6611):1164.

RevDate: 2022-09-22
CmpDate: 2022-09-22

Řezáčová V, Michalová T, Řezáč M, et al (2022)

The root-associated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal assemblages of exotic alien plants are simplified in invaded distribution ranges, but dominant species are retained: A trans-continental perspective.

Environmental microbiology reports, 14(5):732-741.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) provide crucial support for the establishment of plants in novel environments. We hypothesized that the OTU/genus richness and diversity of soil- and root-associated AMF associated with alien plant species in their exotic ranges are lower than those in their native ranges. We examined the root-associated and soil-dwelling AMF of 11 invasive plant species in their native and exotic ranges in the United States and Europe by DNA sequencing of the ITS2 locus. Examined root-associated AMF assemblages were simplified, which manifested as the loss of several AMF genera in the exotic ranges of the plants. These fungal assemblages were also characterized by greater dominance and simplification of the fungal assemblages. The dominant fungal genera were present regardless of whether their host plants were in their native or exotic ranges. Interestingly, both the native and invaded soils hosted diverse local AMF assemblages. Therefore, alien plant invasions were not limited to soils with low AMF diversity. Some AMF taxa could be context-dependent passengers rather than drivers of alien plant invasions. Further studies should identify functions of AMF missing or less abundant in roots of plants growing in exotic ranges.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Sugiura S, T Date (2022)

Bombardier beetles repel invasive bullfrogs.

PeerJ, 10:e13805 pii:13805.

Invasive non-native predators negatively affect native species; however, some native species can survive the predation pressures of invasive species by using pre-existing antipredator strategies or evolving defenses against invasive predators. The American bullfrog Lithobates catesbeianus (Anura: Ranidae) has been intentionally introduced to many countries and regions, and has impacted native animals through direct predation. Bombardier beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae: Brachininae: Brachinini) discharge chemicals at a temperature of approximately 100 °C from the tip of the abdomen when they are attacked by predators. This "bombing" can successfully repel predators. However, adults of a native bombardier beetle Pheropsophus (Stenaptinus) occipitalis jessoensis have been reportedly found in the gut contents of the introduced bullfrog L. catesbeianus in Japan. These records suggest that the invasive bullfrog L. catesbeianus attacks the native bombardier beetle P. occipitalis jessoensis under field conditions in Japan; however, the effectiveness of the bombing defense against invasive bullfrogs is unclear. To test the effectiveness of the bombing defense against bullfrogs, we investigated the behavioral responses of L. catesbeianus juveniles to P. occipitalis jessoensis adults under laboratory conditions. Contrary to previous gut content results, almost all the bullfrogs (96.3%) rejected bombardier beetles before swallowing them; 88.9% rejected the beetles after being bombed, and 7.4% stopped attacking the beetles before being bombed. Only 3.7% successfully swallowed and digested the beetle. All of the beetles collected from non-bullfrog-invaded sites could deter bullfrogs, suggesting that the pre-existing defenses of bombardier beetles played an essential role in repelling bullfrogs. When treated beetles that were unable to discharge hot chemicals were provided, 77.8% of bullfrogs successfully swallowed and digested the treated beetles. These results indicate that bombing is important for the successful defense of P. occipitalis jessoensis against invasive bullfrogs. Although invasive bullfrogs have reportedly impacted native insect species, P. occipitalis jessoensis has an existing defense mechanism strong enough to repel the invasive predators.

RevDate: 2022-09-19

Frost ER, Ford EA, Peters AE, et al (2022)

A New Understanding, Guided by Single-Cell Sequencing, of the Establishment and Maintenance of the Ovarian Reserve in Mammals.

Sexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation pii:000526426 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Oocytes are a finite and non-renewable resource that are maintained in primordial follicle structures. The ovarian reserve is the totality of primordial follicles, present from birth, within the ovary and its establishment, size, and maintenance dictates the duration of the female reproductive lifespan. Understanding the cellular and molecular dynamics relevant to the establishment and maintenance of the reserve provides the first steps necessary for modulating both individual human and animal reproductive health as well as population dynamics.

SUMMARY: This review details the key stages of establishment and maintenance of the ovarian reserve, encompassing germ cell nest formation, germ cell nest breakdown, and primordial follicle formation and activation. Furthermore, we spotlight several formative single-cell sequencing studies that have significantly advanced our knowledge of novel molecular regulators of the ovarian reserve, which may improve our ability to modulate female reproductive lifespans.

KEY MESSAGES: The application of single-cell sequencing to studies of ovarian development in mammals, especially when leveraging genetic and environmental models, offers significant insights into fertility and its regulation. Moreover, comparative studies looking at key stages in the development of the ovarian reserve across species has the potential to impact not just human fertility, but also conservation biology, invasive species management, and agriculture.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Lovelock B, Ji Y, Carr A, et al (2022)

Should tourists care more about invasive species? International and domestic visitors' perceptions of invasive plants and their control in New Zealand.

Biological invasions [Epub ahead of print].

Tourism has been implicated in the spread of invasive species, not only through physical means but through invasive species being perpetuated in destinations as part of the tourism landscape. This study reports on a survey of 238 domestic and international tourists visiting the south of New Zealand, with a focus on their knowledge of and attitudes to the management of two invasive plants: wild conifers and Russell lupins. Both plants have profound ecological, economic and environmental impacts but are also increasingly a part of the tourist landscapes in the study region. The survey found significant differences between domestic and international visitors in their levels of ecological knowledge about the invasive plants, with domestic visitors having greater awareness. However, there were also significant differences between international visitors according to origin and ethnicity, with Asian visitors showing lower awareness and also lower willingness to support eradication of the invasives, even after being provided information on the ecological impact of the species. Participants also responded differently to the two species, being less willing to support eradication of the attractive Russell lupin, compared to wild conifers. There are implications for management in terms of the messaging that may be required for different visitor groups around invasive species control. The study also points to the challenge of developing support for the management of charismatic plant species such as Russell lupin that are now firmly located within the tourism domain.

RevDate: 2022-09-20
CmpDate: 2022-09-20

Wang J, Chen X, Hou X, et al (2022)

"Omics" data unveil early molecular response underlying limb regeneration in the Chinese mitten crab, Eriocheir sinensis.

Science advances, 8(37):eabl4642.

Limb regeneration is a fascinating and medically interesting trait that has been well preserved in arthropod lineages, particularly in crustaceans. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying arthropod limb regeneration remain largely elusive. The Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis shows strong regenerative capacity, a trait that has likely allowed it to become a worldwide invasive species. Here, we report a chromosome-level genome of E. sinensis as well as large-scale transcriptome data during the limb regeneration process. Our results reveal that arthropod-specific genes involved in signal transduction, immune response, histone methylation, and cuticle development all play fundamental roles during the regeneration process. Particularly, Innexin2-mediated signal transduction likely facilitates the early stage of the regeneration process, while an effective crustacean-specific prophenoloxidase system (ProPo-AS) plays crucial roles in the initial immune response. Collectively, our findings uncover novel genetic pathways pertaining to arthropod limb regeneration and provide valuable resources for studies on regeneration from a comparative perspective.

RevDate: 2022-09-16

Zhang Q, Dou W, Taning CNT, et al (2022)

miR-309a is a regulator of ovarian development in the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis.

PLoS genetics, 18(9):e1010411 pii:PGENETICS-D-22-00686 [Epub ahead of print].

Fecundity is arguably one of the most important life history traits, as it is closely tied to fitness. Most arthropods are recognized for their extreme reproductive capacity. For example, a single female of the oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis, a highly invasive species that is one of the most destructive agricultural pests worldwide, can lay more than 3000 eggs during its life span. The ovary is crucial for insect reproduction and its development requires further investigation at the molecular level. We report here that miR-309a is a regulator of ovarian development in B. dorsalis. Our bioinformatics and molecular studies have revealed that miR-309a binds the transcription factor pannier (GATA-binding factor A/pnr), and this activates yolk vitellogenin 2 (Vg 2) and vitellogenin receptor (VgR) advancing ovarian development. We further show that miR-309a is under the control of juvenile hormone (JH) and independent from 20-hydroxyecdysone. Thus, we identified a JH-controlled miR-309a/pnr axis that regulates Vg2 and VgR to control the ovarian development. This study has further enhanced our understanding of molecular mechanisms governing ovarian development and insect reproduction. It provides a background for identifying targets for controlling important Dipteran pests.

RevDate: 2022-09-20
CmpDate: 2022-09-20

Jeannin C, Perrin Y, Cornelie S, et al (2022)

An alien in Marseille: investigations on a single Aedes aegypti mosquito likely introduced by a merchant ship from tropical Africa to Europe.

Parasite (Paris, France), 29:42.

Control of invasive species relies partly on permanent surveillance at international points of entry. We report the exceptional trapping of one adult mosquito (Diptera: Culicidae) in the port of Marseille, France, in July 2018, during a routine survey conducted according to International Health Regulations. Morphological and molecular identification classified the specimen as a female Aedes (Stegomyia) aegypti (L.), vector of many arboviruses, absent from Europe and the Mediterranean rim since the 1950s. A world reference panel of approximately 23,000 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms determined that the mosquito originated from Cameroon, west Africa. Cross-reference of this geographic location with boats traveling from Central Africa to Marseille during the trapping period suggests that the mosquito travelled within an identified merchant ship, a vehicles carrier connecting Douala, Cameroon to Marseille, France. This ship left Douala on June 25, 2018 and arrived 20 days later in Marseille on July 15. The mosquito was captured 350 m away from the dock. The interception of a propagule of an invasive species is a rare event that must be considered a priority to prevent its successful establishment.

RevDate: 2022-09-17

Uebi T, Sakita T, Ikeda R, et al (2022)

Chemical identification of an active component and putative neural mechanism for repellent effect of a native ant's odor on invasive species.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:844084.

The invasive Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) and the red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) constitute a worldwide threat, causing severe disruption to ecological systems and harming human welfare. In view of the limited success of current pest control measures, we propose here to employ repellents as means to mitigate the effect of these species. We demonstrate that cuticular hydrocarbons (CHCs) used as nestmate-recognition pheromone in the Japanese carpenter ant (Camponotus japonicus), and particularly its (Z)-9-tricosene component, induced vigorous olfactory response and intense aversion in these invasive species. (Z)-9-Tricosene, when given to their antennae, caused indiscriminate glomerular activation of antennal lobe (AL) regions, creating neural disarray and leading to aversive behavior. Considering the putative massive central neural effect, we suggest that the appropriate use of certain CHCs of native ants can facilitate aversive withdrawal of invasive ants.

RevDate: 2022-09-19
CmpDate: 2022-09-19

Bláha M, Weiperth A, Patoka J, et al (2022)

The pet trade as a source of non-native decapods: the case of crayfish and shrimps in a thermal waterbody in Hungary.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 194(10):795.

Ornamental aquaculture and the related pet industry are known to be important sources of non-native species worldwide. In the temperate zone, thermal waterbodies are attractive places for irresponsible owners to release unwanted freshwater pets including decapod crustaceans. Several non-native ornamental species have been reported in the thermal locality of Miskolctapolca (a suburb of Miskolc, Hungary). So we surveyed this site in March 2019-November 2021 to update local occurrence records and detect potentially newly released species. A well-established population of Neocaridina denticulata and the occurrence of Caridina cf. babaulti had previously been noted. However, for the first time at this site, we found the shrimps Atyopsis moluccensis, Caridina gracilirostris and C. multidentata, as well as the crayfish Procambarus virginalis, P. clarkii, Cherax quadricarinatus, C. boesemani and C. snowden, and several formally undescribed Cherax species originating from New Guinea. Furthermore, in most species, gravid females carrying eggs were also noticed. Three shrimps, A. moluccensis, C. gracilirostris and C. multidentata, were recorded for the first time in European wild. Further monitoring of this locality and better education of the general public regarding the risks associated with the release of non-native species are strongly recommended.

RevDate: 2022-09-15

Alena H, Jan D, D Jana (2022)

Threats, biodiversity drivers and restoration in temperate floodplain forests related to spatial scales.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)05842-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Floodplain forests offer a diversity of habitats and resources for a very wide range of plant and animal species. They also offer many benefits to humankind and are considered essential to the mitigation of the effects of climate change. Nevertheless, throughout the world they are suffering the most intense of anthropogenic pressures so are, of all ecosystems, among the most endangered. Here, we bring together and synthesise existing ecological understanding of the mechanisms underlying the high heterogeneity and diversity of temperate floodplain forests and of the pressures threatening their high biological value due to habitat homogenisation. Floodplain forests depend on the periodic disturbances under which they evolved, including fluvial dynamics, traditional management practices and the activities of herbivores. However, they have been heavily degraded by climate change, invasion of exotic species, river-flow regulation, landscape fragmentation, eutrophication and the cessation of traditional management. We can now observe two general trends in temperate floodplain forests: (1) Due to intensive landscape exploitation, they are now more open and thus prone to the spread of competitive species, including of invasive exotics and (2) Due to the cessation of traditional management, along with modified hydrological conditions, they are composed of species in the later successional stages (i.e., more shade-tolerant and mesic) while light-demanding species are quickly vanishing. Restoration practices have brought about contrasting results when restoration of floodplains to their natural states has been problematic. This is likely because of interplay between various natural and artificial processes not previously taken into proper consideration. We would like to draw attention to the fact that restoration projects or the preservation of existing floodplain forest ecosystems should combine the restoration of watercourses with the mitigation of other important threats acting at different scales of the landscape (spread of invasive species, eutrophication of watersheds and inappropriate forest management).

RevDate: 2022-09-20
CmpDate: 2022-09-16

Mu X, Liu Y, Liu C, et al (2022)

Identification of candidate sex-specific genomic regions in male and female Asian arowana genomes.

GigaScience, 11:.

BACKGROUND: Asian arowana, Scleropages formosus, is one of the most expensive aquarium fish species worldwide. Its sex, however, cannot be distinguished clearly at any development stage, which impedes captive breeding and species protection for this endangered aquarium fish.

RESULTS: To discover molecular clues to the sex of Asian arowana, we sequenced 26.5 Gb of PacBio HiFi reads and 179.2 Gb of Hi-C reads for 1 male fish and also sequenced 106.5 Gb of Illumina reads, 36.0 Gb of PacBio Sequel reads, and 80.7 Gb of Hi-C reads for 1 female individual. The final male and female genome assemblies were approximately 756.8 Mb and 781.5 Mb in length and contained 25,262 and 25,328 protein-coding genes, respectively. We also resequenced the genomes of 15 male and 15 female individuals with approximately 722.1 Gb of Illumina reads. A genome-wide association study identified several potentially divergent regions between male and female individuals. In these regions, cd48 and cfap52 could be candidate genes for sex determination of Asian arowana. We also found some structural variations in few chromosomes between male and female individuals.

CONCLUSION: We provided an improved reference genome assembly of female arowana and generated the first sequenced genome of 1 male individual. These valuable genetic resources and resequencing data may improve global aquarium fish research.

RevDate: 2022-09-17

Okada S, Shoshi Y, Takashima Y, et al (2022)

Role of landscape context in Toxoplasma gondii infection of invasive definitive and intermediate hosts on a World Heritage Island.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 19:96-104.

Free-ranging cats are invasive species threatening biodiversity worldwide. They may also impose an environmental risk to humans and livestock through the transmission of zoonotic diseases. We investigated antibody levels against Toxoplasma gondii in free-ranging cats and black rats (definitive and representative intermediate hosts) by ELISA and determined their relationships with landscape environmental factors on Tokunoshima Island, Japan, the Natural World Heritage site. We found a higher seroprevalence (>70%) in both cats and black rats in landscapes where the cattle barn density was high. This was consistent with higher density of rats revealed in our trapping survey. The spatial scale of landscape factors affecting infection was broader in cats (1 km buffer radius) than in black rats (100 m buffer radius). Both cats and rats showed an increasing trend in optical density (OD) values with increasing body weight and landscape cattle barn density, suggesting that the antibody concentration increases as the chance of exposure to T. gondii in the environment increases. Thus, management actions to stop humans from feeding cats and to control rat populations without using cats are both necessary to reduce the human health risk as well as to conserve endangered species on the island.

RevDate: 2022-09-17

Mu X, Yang Y, Sun J, et al (2022)

FishPIE: A universal phylogenetically informative exon markers set for ray-finned fishes.

iScience, 25(9):105025.

Understanding the evolutionary history of the highly diverse ray-finned fishes has been challenging, and the development of more universal primers for phylogenetic analyses may help overcoming these challenges. We developed FishPIE, a nested PCR primer set of 82 phylogenetically informative exon markers, and tested it on 203 species from 31 orders of Actinopterygii. We combined orthologous sequences of the FishPIE markers obtained from published genomes and transcriptomes and constructed the phylogeny of 710 species belonging to 190 families and 60 orders. The resulting phylogenies had topologies comparable to previous phylogenomic studies. We demonstrated that the FishPIE markers could address phylogenetic questions across broad taxonomic levels. By incorporating the newly sequenced taxa, we were able to shed new light on the phylogeny of the highly diverse Cypriniformes. Thus, FishPIE holds great promise for generating genetic data for broad taxonomic groups and accelerating our understanding of the fish tree of life.

RevDate: 2022-09-15

Yan Y, Oduor AMO, Li F, et al (2022)

Opposite effects of nutrient enrichment and an invasive snail on the growth of invasive and native macrophytes.

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

Many ecosystems are now co-invaded by alien plant and herbivore species. The evolutionary naivety of native plants to alien herbivores can make the plants more susceptible to detrimental effects of herbivory than co-occurring invasive plants, in accordance with the apparent competition hypothesis. Moreover, the invasional meltdown hypothesis predicts that in multiply invaded ecosystems, invasive species can facilitate each other's impacts on native communities. Although there is growing empirical support for these hypotheses, facilitative interactions between invasive plants and herbivores remain underexplored in aquatic ecosystems. Many freshwater ecosystems are co-invaded by aquatic macrophytes and mollusks and simultaneously experience nutrient enrichment. However, the interactive effects of these ecological processes on native macrophyte communities remain an underexplored area. To test these effects, we performed a freshwater mesocosm experiment in which we grew a synthetic native community of three macrophyte species under two levels of invasion by an alien macrophyte Myriophyllum aquaticum (invasion vs. no-invasion) and fully crossed with two levels of nutrient enrichment (enrichment vs. no-enrichment) and herbivory by an invasive snail Pomacea canaliculata (herbivory vs. no-herbivory). In line with the invasional meltdown and apparent competition hypotheses, we found that the proportional above-ground biomass yield of the invasive macrophyte, relative to that of the native macrophyte community, was significantly greater in the presence of the invasive herbivore. Evidence of a reciprocal facilitative effect of the invasive macrophyte on the invasive herbivore is provided by the results showing that the herbivore produced greater egg biomass in the presence than in the absence of M. aquaticum. However, nutrient enrichment reduced the mean proportional above-ground biomass yield of the invasive macrophyte. Our results suggested that herbivory by invader P. canaliculata may enhance invasiveness of M. aquaticum. However, nutrient enrichment of habitats that already harbor M. aquaticum may slow down invasive spread of the macrophyte. Broadly, our study underscores the significance of considering several factors and their interactions when assessing the impact of invasive species, especially considering that many habitats experience co-invasion by plants and herbivores and simultaneously undergo various other disturbances, including nutrient enrichment.

RevDate: 2022-09-14

Piccardi P, Alberti G, Alexander JM, et al (2022)

Microbial invasion of a toxic medium is facilitated by a resident community but inhibited as the community co-evolves.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Predicting whether microbial invaders will colonize an environment is critical for managing natural and engineered ecosystems, and controlling infectious disease. Invaders often face competition by resident microbes. But how invasions play out in communities dominated by facilitative interactions is less clear. We previously showed that growth medium toxicity can promote facilitation between four bacterial species, as species that cannot grow alone rely on others to survive. Following the same logic, here we allowed other bacterial species to invade the four-species community and found that invaders could more easily colonize a toxic medium when the community was present. In a more benign environment instead, invasive species that could survive alone colonized more successfully when the residents were absent. Next, we asked whether early colonists could exclude future ones through a priority effect, by inoculating the invaders into the resident community only after its members had co-evolved for 44 weeks. Compared to the ancestral community, the co-evolved resident community was more competitive toward invaders and less affected by them. Our experiments show how communities may assemble by facilitating one another in harsh, sterile environments, but that arriving after community members have co-evolved can limit invasion success.

RevDate: 2022-09-18
CmpDate: 2022-09-16

Effah E, Svendsen L, Barrett DP, et al (2022)

Exploring plant volatile-mediated interactions between native and introduced plants and insects.

Scientific reports, 12(1):15450.

In invasion scenarios, native and introduced species co-occur creating new interactions and modifying existing ones. Many plant-plant and plant-insect interactions are mediated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), however, these have seldom been studied in an invasion context. To fill this knowledge gap, we explored some interactions mediated by VOCs between native and introduced plants and insects in a New Zealand system. We investigated whether a native plant, Leptospermum scoparium (mānuka), changes its volatile profile when grown adjacent to two European introduced plants, Calluna vulgaris (heather) and Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom), in a semi-field trial using potted plants without above- or below-ground physical contact. We also investigated the influence of plant cues on the host-searching behaviour of two beetles, the native Pyronota festiva (mānuka beetle), and the introduced biocontrol agent Lochmaea suturalis (heather beetle), by offering them their host-plant and non-host volatiles versus clean air, and their combination in a Y-tube olfactometer. As a follow-up, we performed preference/feeding tests in Petri dishes with fresh plant material. Results of the semi-field experiment show a significant reduction in green leaf volatiles, sesquiterpenes and total volatile emissions by mānuka plants neighbouring heather. In the Y-tube assays, the native beetle P. festiva performed poorly in discriminating between host and non-host plants based on plant volatile cues only. However, it performed relatively well in the Petri dish tests, where other cues (i.e., visual, gustatory or tactile) were present. In contrast, the introduced beetle L. suturalis showed high host-specificity in both Y-tube and Petri dish assays. This study illustrates the importance of VOCs in mediating interactions between introduced and native species, suggesting that invasive plants can disrupt native plants' communication and affect the host-searching behaviour of native insects. It also reinforces the relevance of regular host testing on introduced weed biocontrol agents to avoid unwanted host shifts or host-range expansion.

RevDate: 2022-09-15
CmpDate: 2022-09-15

Cieplok A, Anderson R, Gawlak M, et al (2022)

Morphological diversification of alien and native aquatic snails of the genus Physa and Aplexa (Gastropoda: Physidae) of Western and Central European range.

Zootaxa, 5168(2):101-118.

This is the first comparative study on alien and native Physidae (Gastropoda: Heterobranchia) from Western and Central Europe. Morphology, ecological features and distribution are presented for each physid species. We analysed taxonomical features of physid snails from Europe in great detail. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) methods were used to elucidate the external morphology of the shells of physid gastropods that occur in Western and Central Europe. On comparison we found significant differences in the external morphology among the species. Morphological analyses facilitate the recognition of variations of physid shells. An interspecific similarities were noted within Physidae while interspecific differences were identified in the morphology of apex and spires. The lowest intraspecific variability in shells was noted between particular individuals of P. fontinalis and A. hypnorum. The most characteristic features and differences of representatives of Physidae are presented and discussed. This is especially important for the identification of Physa gyrina and the worldwide invasive species Physa acuta which resemble each other in shape and are difficult to distinguish. We also present a new identification key for physid species, including the results of ecological assessment and discuss current distribution of these species in Europe.

RevDate: 2022-09-15
CmpDate: 2022-09-15

Esmaeili HR, Jufaili SA, Masoumi AH, et al (2022)

Ichthyodiversity in southeastern Arabian Peninsula: Annotated checklist, taxonomy, short description and distribution of Inland fishes of Oman.

Zootaxa, 5134(4):451-503.

Oman, a country in Southwest Asia, situated on the southeastern quarter of the Arabian Peninsula presents a high level of biological diversity especially marine elements. Although arid habitats cover most parts of Oman (82%), the region has several freshwater systems that are vital for the survival of people as well as for different groups of animals and plants. Research works on Oman biodiversity including terrestrial and marine, have been steadily increasing over the last few decades, but freshwater ecosystems have not been well investigated. Oman comprises parts of three freshwater ecoregions including the Oman Mountains, Southwestern Arabian Coast, and Arabian Interior having xeric freshwaters and endorheic (closed) basins which support a variety of inland fishes. The current checklist provides for each species of inland waters of Oman all recognized and named taxa, documenting recent changes and controversies in nomenclature, its records, taxonomic status, synonyms, etymology, common English name, short description, range expansion, and detailed distribution map based on several field surveys throughout the country. We also provide native, endemic, and introduced species. The diversity of inland fishes of Oman included in this annotated checklist consists of 23 recognized species in 15 genera, 10 families, seven orders, and a class. Also, for the first time, we report and confirm the presence of four species in the inland waters of Oman. The most diverse order is Cypriniformes (nine species, 39.13%), followed by Gobiiformes (six species, 26.09%), Cyprinodontiformes (three species, 13.04%), Cichliformes (two species, 8.69%), and Centrarchiformes, Gonorynchiformes and Mugiliformes (one species, 4.35% each). 21 native species (91.3%) in nine families and two exotic species (8.7%) in two families are listed here. Out of 21 native species, eight species (16.8%) in two families are endemic elements that are restricted to the Oman territory only. Identification of all recognized species was confirmed by DNA barcoding (mitochondrial COI). Oman Mountains Ecoregion (OME), Southwestern Arabian Coast Ecoregion (SACE), and Arabian Interior Ecoregion (AIE) harbor 15, 12, and one species, respectively. The provided data will be necessary for increasing the fish knowledge, the development of competent and pragmatic management plans and effective conservation policies.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Gauff RPM, Lejeusne C, Greff S, et al (2022)

Impact of in Situ Simulated Climate Change on Communities and Non-Indigenous Species: Two Climates, Two Responses.

Journal of chemical ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change constitutes a major challenge for marine urban ecosystems and ocean warming will likely strongly affect local communities. Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) have been shown to often have higher heat resistance than natives, but studies investigating how forthcoming global warming might affect them in marine urban environments remain scarce, especially in Situ studies. Here we used an in Situ warming experiment in a NW Mediterranean (warm temperate) and a NE Atlantic (cold temperate) marina to see how global warming might affect recruited communities in the near future. In both marinas, warming resulted in significantly different community structure, lower biomass, and more empty space compared to control. However, while in the warm temperate marina, NIS showed an increased surface cover, it was reduced in the cold temperate one. Metabolomic analyses on Bugula neritina in the Atlantic marina revealed potential heat stress experienced by this introduced bryozoan and a potential link between heat stress and the expression of a halogenated alkaloid, Caelestine A. The present results might indicate that the effects of global warming on the prevalence of NIS may differ between geographical provinces, which could be investigated by larger scale studies.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Gazzola A, Guadin B, Balestrieri A, et al (2022)

Effects of predation risk on the sensory asymmetries and defensive strategies of Bufotes balearicus tadpoles.

Animal cognition [Epub ahead of print].

Lateralization consists of the differential use of bilateral organs or limbs and is well described in many taxa and in several contexts. Common ecological frameworks where it can be observed are foraging and predatory ones, with benefits related to both visual and auditory lateralization such as faster response or increasing neural processing ability. Anuran amphibians are considered relevant models for investigating lateralization, due to their great ecological variety and the possibility of easily being raised under laboratory conditions. By adopting the "rotational preference test", we used Balearic green toad tadpoles to test the effects of behavioural defensive responses triggered by different predator types (native vs alien, i.e. dragonfly larvae Aeshna cyanea and adult red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii) and diets (fasted vs. tadpole-fed predators) on their lateralization. We recorded tadpoles' responses to five different chemical cues: clean water (control treatment), fasted dragonfly larvae and crayfish, and tadpole-fed dragonfly larvae and crayfish. Green toad tadpoles did not show a bias in a predominant direction, although lateralization occurred at the individual level, as shown by the intensity index (LA). Perceived predation risk was the highest in tadpoles exposed to the combined chemical cues of conspecific prey and native predators, which elicited both changes in the intensity of lateralization and a marked reduction in tadpoles' activity level. Our results suggest that contextual predation threat may induce very rapid changes in the expression of asymmetries at the individual level, and might play a role as part of the complex defensive strategies adopted by prey in the attempt to escape predators.

RevDate: 2022-09-17
CmpDate: 2022-09-15

Vizentin-Bugoni J, Sperry JH, Kelley JP, et al (2022)

Mechanisms underlying interaction frequencies and robustness in a novel seed dispersal network: lessons for restoration.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1982):20221490.

As human-caused extinctions and invasions accumulate across the planet, understanding the processes governing ecological functions mediated by species interactions, and anticipating the effect of species loss on such functions become increasingly urgent. In seed dispersal networks, the mechanisms that influence interaction frequencies may also influence the capacity of a species to switch to alternative partners (rewiring), influencing network robustness. Studying seed dispersal interactions in novel ecosystems on O'ahu island, Hawai'i, we test whether the same mechanisms defining interaction frequencies can regulate rewiring and increase network robustness to simulated species extinctions. We found that spatial and temporal overlaps were the primary mechanisms underlying interaction frequencies, and the loss of the more connected species affected networks to a greater extent. Further, rewiring increased network robustness, and morphological matching and spatial and temporal overlaps between partners were more influential on network robustness than species abundances. We argue that to achieve self-sustaining ecosystems, restoration initiatives can consider optimal morphological matching and spatial and temporal overlaps between consumers and resources to maximize chances of native plant dispersal. Specifically, restoration initiatives may benefit from replacing invasive species with native species possessing characteristics that promote frequent interactions and increase the probability of rewiring (such as long fruiting periods, small seeds and broad distributions).

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Papach A, Beaurepaire A, Yañez O, et al (2022)

Multiple mating by both sexes in an invasive insect species, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae).

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Multiple mating by both sexes is common among sexually reproducing animals. Small hive beetles (SHB), Aethina tumida, are parasites of bee nests endemic to sub-Saharan Africa and have become a widespread invasive species. Despite the considerable economic damages they can cause, their basic biology remains poorly understood. Here we show that male and female small hive beetles can mate multiple times, suggesting that costs for mating are low in this species. In an invasive A. tumida population in the USA, a combination of laboratory experiments for males and paternity analysis with eight polymorphic DNA microsatellite markers for field-caught females were used to estimate the number of mating by both sexes. The data show that females and males can mate multiple times - females mated with up to eight males, whereas males mated with at least seven females. The results also showed that A. tumida displayed a skewed paternity, although this was not consistent among the tested females. Thus, first or last male advantage seem to be unlikely in A. tumida. Our observations that individuals of both sexes of A. tumida can mate multiple times opens new research avenues for examining drivers of multiple mating and determining the role it may play in promoting biological invasions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-14

Niño EL, Yokota S, Stacy WHO, et al (2022)

Dietary phytochemicals alter hypopharyngeal gland size in honey bee (Apis mellifera L.) workers.

Heliyon, 8(9):e10452.

Honey bees are the most efficient pollinators of several important fruits, nuts and vegetables and are indispensable for the profitable production of these crops. Health and performance of honey bee colonies have been declining for decades due to a combination of factors including poor nutrition, agrochemicals, pests and diseases. Bees depend on a diversity of plants for nutrition as pollen is the predominant protein and lipid source, and nectar, the source of carbohydrates for larval development. Additionally, pollen and nectar also contain small amounts of plant secondary metabolites or phytochemicals that are primarily plant defense compounds. Bees have coevolved to benefit from these compounds as seen by the improved longevity, pathogen tolerance and gut microbiome abundance in worker bees whose diets were supplemented with select phytochemicals. Here we investigate the impact of four phytochemicals, known to benefit bees, - caffeine, kaempferol, gallic acid and p-coumaric acid, on hypopharyngeal gland (HPG) size of nurse bees. Newly emerged bees were provided with 25 ppm of each of the four phytochemicals in 20% (w/v) sucrose solution and the size of HPGs were measured after a 10 d period. Bees that received p-coumaric acid or kaempferol showed a significant increase in HPG size. A significant decrease in HPG size was seen in bees receiving caffeine or gallic acid. The implication of our findings on worker bee ontogeny, transitioning from nurses to foragers and relevance to foraging related competencies are discussed. It is critical that bees have access to phytochemicals to ensure colony health and performance. Such access could be through natural habitats that provide a diversity of pollen and nectar sources or through dietary supplements for bee colonies.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Byers JE, Blaze JA, Dodd AC, et al (2022)

Exotic asphyxiation: interactions between invasive species and hypoxia.

Biological reviews of the Cambridge Philosophical Society [Epub ahead of print].

Non-indigenous species (NIS) and hypoxia (<2 mg O2 l-1) can disturb and restructure aquatic communities. Both are heavily influenced by human activities and are intensifying with global change. As these disturbances increase, understanding how they interact to affect native species and systems is essential. To expose patterns, outcomes, and generalizations, we thoroughly reviewed the biological invasion literature and compiled 100 studies that examine the interaction of hypoxia and NIS. We found that 64% of studies showed that NIS are tolerant of hypoxia, and 62% showed that NIS perform better than native species under hypoxia. Only one-quarter of studies examined NIS as creators of hypoxia; thus, NIS are more often considered passengers associated with hypoxia, rather than drivers of it. Paradoxically, the NIS that most commonly create hypoxia are primary producers. Taxa like molluscs are typically more hypoxia tolerant than mobile taxa like fish and crustaceans. Most studies examine individual-level or localized responses to hypoxia; however, the most extensive impacts occur when hypoxia associated with NIS affects communities and ecosystems. We discuss how these influences of hypoxia at higher levels of organization better inform net outcomes of the biological invasion process, i.e. establishment, spread, and impact, and are thus most useful to management. Our review identifies wide variation in the way in which the interaction between hypoxia and NIS is studied in the literature, and suggests ways to address the number of variables that affect their interaction and refine insight gleaned from future studies. We also identify a clear need for resource management to consider the interactive effects of these two global stressors which are almost exclusively managed independently.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Mandeville EG, Hall RO, CA Buerkle (2022)

Ecological outcomes of hybridization vary extensively in Catostomus fishes.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution [Epub ahead of print].

Hybridization outcomes vary geographically and can depend on the environment. Hybridization can also reshape biotic interactions, leading to ecological shifts. If hybrids function differently ecologically in ways that enhance or reduce fitness, and those ecological roles vary geographically, ecological factors might explain variation in hybridization outcomes. However, relatively few studies have focused on ecological traits of hybrids. We compared the feeding ecology of Catostomus fish species and hybrids by using stable isotopes (C and N) as a proxy for diet and habitat use, and compared two native species, an introduced species, and three interspecific hybrid crosses. We included hybrids and parental species from seven rivers where hybridization outcomes vary. Relative isotopic niches of native species varied geographically, but native species did not fully overlap in isotopic space in any river sampled, suggesting little overlap of resource use between historically sympatric species. The introduced species overlapped with one or both native species in every river, suggesting similar resource use and potential competition. Hybrids occupied intermediate, matching, or more transgressive isotopic niches, and varied within and among rivers. Ecological outcomes of hybridization varied across locations, implying that hybridization might have unpredictable, idiosyncratic ecological effects. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-14
CmpDate: 2022-09-14

Bass A, Needham K, AMR Bennett (2022)

First record of Vespa crabro Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in western North America with a review of recorded species of Vespa Linnaeus in Canada.

Zootaxa, 5154(3):305-318.

Vespa crabro Linnaeus is newly reported as an adventive species in British Columbia, Canada which is the first record of this invasive species in western North America. The specimen of V. crabro was identified using morphological diagnostic keys and by comparison to authoritatively identified specimens. DNA barcoding provided support that the British Columbia specimen is conspecific with sequenced specimens of V. crabro. It is not possible to be certain of the origin of the specimen, but the DNA barcode was identical to sequence from specimens of V. crabro from South Korea. DNA barcoding was also performed on morphologically identified specimens of Vespa simillima and Vespa soror collected previously in British Columbia and the sequences were closest to V. simillima and V. soror Genbank sequences, respectively. There is no evidence that any of these species have established populations in the province. We provide diagnostic morphological characters to distinguish Canadian Vespa species from each other including Vespa mandarinia which has recently established populations in British Columbia and Washington State, USA. The potential detrimental impacts of each species are discussed.

RevDate: 2022-09-14
CmpDate: 2022-09-14

Man P (2022)

The family Melicharidae (Acari, Mesostigmata) in Slovakia, with description of new species, annotated faunal synopsis and identification keys of species from Europe.

Zootaxa, 5172(1):1-449.

The mites of the family Melicharidae (Acari: Mesostigmata) collected in Slovakia are reviewed. Sixty-one species belonging to five genera were recorded, of which thirty-three are new to science and fifteen are new to the Slovak fauna. All species are revised and rediagnosed, and an extensive set of photomicrographs (more than 1,300 images arranged in 337 Plates) is provided for their identification. Information on habitat and regional distribution is provided for each species. Proctolaelaps (fifty-three species) is the most species-rich and morphologically heterogeneous genus in the family. The following thirty-three new species are proposed and described: Mycomelichares triplacis sp. nov., Proctolaelaps appendiculatus sp. nov., Proctolaelaps bivalvifer sp. nov., Proctolaelaps bombi sp. nov., Proctolaelaps bucinator sp. nov., Proctolaelaps calycinus sp. nov., Proctolaelaps carnifex sp. nov., Proctolaelaps conifericola sp. nov., Proctolaelaps coralifer sp. nov., Proctolaelaps cryptopteryx sp. nov., Proctolaelaps dendroctonoides sp. nov., Proctolaelaps dorci sp. nov., Proctolaelaps dorcisimilis sp. nov., Proctolaelaps fagi sp. nov., Proctolaelaps falcarius sp. nov., Proctolaelaps fragilis sp. nov., Proctolaelaps fusifer sp. nov., Proctolaelaps hemisphaericus sp. nov., Proctolaelaps laeviusculus sp. nov., Proctolaelaps myrmecophilus sp. nov., Proctolaelaps orolaelapoides sp. nov., Proctolaelaps oxyodon sp. nov., Proctolaelaps pcolai sp. nov., Proctolaelaps pelticola sp. nov., Proctolaelaps populi sp. nov., Proctolaelaps quadridens sp. nov., Proctolaelaps sacculiger sp. nov., Proctolaelaps sagittarius sp. nov., Proctolaelaps serpentarius sp. nov., Proctolaelaps spanius sp. nov., Proctolaelaps speluncarum sp. nov., Proctolaelaps tubisaccus sp. nov., and Proctolaelaps tulipifer sp. nov. Nineteen new species are recognized in the present work, which were previously thought to belong to a single species, Proctolaelaps pygmaeus (J. Mller, 1859). The species boundaries of these species are often only weakly determined by some external morphological characters, but well definable and recognizable by the morphology of the internal structures of the sperm access system in the female (the same is true for the species related to Proctolaelaps hystrix). Proctolaelaps bulbicolus (Oudemans, 1929), Proctolaelaps convivus (Berlese, 1916), Proctolaelaps fissuratus (Berlese, 1916), Proctolaelaps laevisternus (Berlese, 1916), Proctolaelaps sopalit (Samik, 1958), Proctolaelaps vulgaris (Pinchuk, 1972), and Proctolaelaps ovatus (Ma, Ning Wei, 2003), previously suspected to be junior synonyms of Proctolaelaps pygmaeus (J. Mller, 1859), are here considered as unrecognizable species, relegated to the species incertae sedis, or species related within the invalid genus Proctofissus Karg, 1979. The very broad concept of the genus Proctolaelaps does not reflect the phylogenetic relationships within the apparently morphologically heterogeneous species, and it needs a thorough revision. As documented in present work, the genus includes species with different types of sperm access system: for example, species in the hystrix group possess the laelapoid-type of the sperm access system, whereas species related to Proctolaelaps pygmaeus (here placed in the pygmaeus group) have a highly modified sperm access system derived from the phytoseioid-type, with two separate parts each associated with coxa III and clearly not connected by a medial structure called the sacculus foemineus (a specific component of the laelapoid-type sperm access system). The taxonomy includes four new specific synonyms as follows: Proctolaelaps arctorotundus Nikolsky, 1984 = Proctolaelaps epuraeae Hirschmann, 1962, Proctolaelaps pruni Karg, 1988 = Proctolaelaps eccoptogasteris (Vitzthum, 1923), Proctolaelaps pseudofiseri Nikolsky, 1984 = Proctolaelaps fiseri Samik, 1960, and Proctolaelaps ventrianalis Karg, 1971 = Proctolaelaps intermedius Athias-Henriot, 1959. Melichares biebrzae Gwiazdowicz, 2005 is newly placed in Proctolaelaps Berlese, 1923. The genus Orolaelaps De Leon, 1963, previously known from North and South America, is reported from Europe for the first time, introduced by an invasive cosmopolitan species Stelidota geminata (Say), the strawberry sap beetle of the family Nitidulidae. The following species are reported from Slovakia for the first time, namely Orolaelaps quisqualis De Leon, 1963, Proctolaelaps bickleyi (Bram, 1956), Proctolaelaps biebrzae (Gwiazdowicz, 2005), Proctolaelaps cossi (Dugs, 1834), Proctolaelaps cossoides Faraji, Sakenin-Chelav Karg, 2007, Proctolaelaps hystricoides Lindquist Hunter, 1965, Proctolaelaps izabelae Faraji, 2011, Proctolaelaps jueradeus (Schweizer, 1949), Proctolaelaps longanalis (Westerboer, 1963), Proctolaelaps rotundus Hirschmann, 1962, and Proctolaelaps xyloteri Samik, 1960. The records of Proctolaelaps bombophilus (Westerboer, 1963), Proctolaelaps epuraeae Hirschmann, 1962, Proctolaelaps pomorum (Oudemans, 1929), and Proctolaelaps scolyti Evans, 1958 were previously based on misidentified specimens and are now supported by new reliable findings [in contrast to Proctolaelaps hystrix (Vitzthum, 1923) and Proctolaelaps pini Hirschmann, 1963, which were not definitely confirmed by the present work in Slovakia]. New dichotomous keys are given for the identification of sixty-eight species from seven genera found so far in Europe (Melichares Hering, 1838, Mucroseius Lindquist, 1962, Mycolaelaps Lindquist, 1995, Mycomelichares Man Joharchi, 2021, Orolaelaps De Leon, 1963, Orthadenella Athias-Henriot, 1973, and Proctolaelaps Berlese, 1923).

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Battaglia V, Agostini V, Moroni E, et al (2022)

The worldwide spread of Aedes albopictus: New insights from mitogenomes.

Frontiers in genetics, 13:931163.

The tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) is one of the most invasive species in the world and a competent vector for numerous arboviruses, thus the study and monitoring of its fast worldwide spread is crucial for global public health. The small extra-nuclear and maternally-inherited mitochondrial DNA represents a key tool for reconstructing phylogenetic and phylogeographic relationships within a species, especially when analyzed at the mitogenome level. Here the mitogenome variation of 76 tiger mosquitoes, 37 of which new and collected from both wild adventive populations and laboratory strains, was investigated. This analysis significantly improved the global mtDNA phylogeny of Ae. albopictus, uncovering new branches and sub-branches within haplogroup A1, the one involved in its recent worldwide spread. Our phylogeographic approach shows that the current distribution of tiger mosquito mitogenome variation has been strongly affected by clonal and sub-clonal founder events, sometimes involving wide geographic areas, even across continents, thus shedding light on the Asian sources of worldwide adventive populations. In particular, different starting points for the two major clades within A1 are suggested, with A1a spreading mainly along temperate areas from Japanese and Chinese sources, and A1b arising and mainly diffusing in tropical areas from a South Asian source.

RevDate: 2022-09-15

Burlakova LE, Karatayev AY, Hrycik AR, et al (2022)

Six decades of Lake Ontario ecological history according to benthos.

Journal of Great Lakes research, 48(2):274-288.

The Laurentian Great Lakes have experienced multiple anthropogenic changes in the past century, including cultural eutrophication, phosphorus abatement initiatives, and the introduction of invasive species. Lake Ontario, the most downstream lake in the system, is considered to be among the most impaired. The benthos of Lake Ontario has been studied intensively in the last six decades and can provide insights into the impact of environmental changes over time. We used multivariate community analyses to examine temporal changes in community composition over the last 54 years, and to assess the major drivers of long-term changes in benthos. The benthic community of Lake Ontario underwent significant transformations that correspond with three major periods. The first period, termed the pre/early Dreissena period (1964-1990), was characterized by high densities of Diporeia, Sphaeriidae, and Tubificidae. During the next period defined by zebra mussel dominance (the 1990s) the same groups were still prevalent, but at altered densities. In the most recent period (2000s to present), which is characterized by the dominance and proliferation of quagga mussels deeper into the lake, the community has changed dramatically: Diporeia almost completely disappeared, Sphaeriidae have greatly declined, and densities of quagga mussels, Oligochaeta and Chironomidae have increased. The introduction of invasive dreissenids has changed the Lake Ontario benthic community, historically dominated by Diporeia, Oligochaeta and Sphaeriidae, to a community dominated by quagga mussels and Oligochaeta. Dreissenids, especially the quagga mussel, were the major drivers of these changes over the last half century.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Schmeller DS, Urbach D, Bates K, et al (2022)

Scientists' warning of threats to mountains.

The Science of the total environment, 853:158611 pii:S0048-9697(22)05710-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Mountains are an essential component of the global life-support system. They are characterized by a rugged, heterogenous landscape with rapidly changing environmental conditions providing myriad ecological niches over relatively small spatial scales. Although montane species are well adapted to life at extremes, they are highly vulnerable to human derived ecosystem threats. Here we build on the manifesto 'World Scientists' Warning to Humanity', issued by the Alliance of World Scientists, to outline the major threats to mountain ecosystems. We highlight climate change as the greatest threat to mountain ecosystems, which are more impacted than their lowland counterparts. We further discuss the cascade of "knock-on" effects of climate change such as increased UV radiation, altered hydrological cycles, and altered pollution profiles; highlighting the biological and socio-economic consequences. Finally, we present how intensified use of mountains leads to overexploitation and abstraction of water, driving changes in carbon stock, reducing biodiversity, and impacting ecosystem functioning. These perturbations can provide opportunities for invasive species, parasites and pathogens to colonize these fragile habitats, driving further changes and losses of micro- and macro-biodiversity, as well further impacting ecosystem services. Ultimately, imbalances in the normal functioning of mountain ecosystems will lead to changes in vital biological, biochemical, and chemical processes, critically reducing ecosystem health with widespread repercussions for animal and human wellbeing. Developing tools in species/habitat conservation and future restoration is therefore essential if we are to effectively mitigate against the declining health of mountains.

RevDate: 2022-09-10

Lowie A, De Kegel B, Wilkinson M, et al (2022)

The anatomy of the head muscles in caecilians (Amphibia: Gymnophiona): Variation in relation to phylogeny and ecology?.

Journal of anatomy [Epub ahead of print].

In limbless fossorial vertebrates such as caecilians (Gymnophiona), head-first burrowing imposes severe constraints on the morphology and overall size of the head. As such, caecilians developed a unique jaw-closing system involving the large and well-developed m. interhyoideus posterior, which is positioned in such a way that it does not significantly increase head diameter. Caecilians also possess unique muscles among amphibians. Understanding the diversity in the architecture and size of the cranial muscles may provide insights into how a typical amphibian system was adapted for a head-first burrowing lifestyle. In this study, we use dissection and non-destructive contrast-enhanced micro-computed tomography (μCT) scanning to describe and compare the cranial musculature of 13 species of caecilians. Our results show that the general organization of the head musculature is rather constant across extant caecilians. However, the early-diverging Rhinatrema bivittatum mainly relies on the 'ancestral' amphibian jaw-closing mechanism dominated by the m. adductores mandibulae, whereas other caecilians switched to the use of the derived dual jaw-closing mechanism involving the additional recruitment of the m. interhyoideus posterior. Additionally, the aquatic Typhlonectes show a greater investment in hyoid musculature than terrestrial caecilians, which is likely related to greater demands for ventilating their large lungs, and perhaps also an increased use of suction feeding. In addition to three-dimensional interactive models, our study provides the required quantitative data to permit the generation of accurate biomechanical models allowing the testing of further functional hypotheses.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Li H, Wang X, Peng S, et al (2022)

Seasonal variation of temperature affects HMW-PAH accumulation in fishery species by bacterially mediated LMW-PAH degradation.

The Science of the total environment, 853:158617 pii:S0048-9697(22)05716-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Currently, the specific mechanism generating seasonal variation in polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) via bacterial biodegradation remains unclear, and whether this alteration affects PAH bioaccumulation is unknown. Therefore, we performed a study between 2015 and 2020 to investigate the effects of seasonal variation on bacterial communities and PAH bioaccumulation in the Pearl River Estuary. Significantly high PAH concentrations in both aquatic and fishery species were determined in dry seasons (the mean ∑16PAH concentration: water, 37.24 ng/L (2015), 30.83 ng/L (2020); fish, 51.01 ng/L (2015) and 72.60 ng/L (2020)) compared to wet seasons (the mean ∑16PAH concentration: water, 22.38 ng/L (2015), 19.40 ng/L(2020); fish, 25.28 ng/L (2015) and 32.59 ng/L (2020)). Distinct differences in taxonomic and functional composition of bacterial communities related to biodegradation of low molecular weight PAHs (LMW-PAHs) were observed between seasons, and the concentrations of PAHs were negatively correlated with seasonal variation in temperature. Temperature-related specific bacterial taxa (e.g., Stenotrophomonas) directly or indirectly participated in LMW-PAH degradation via encoding PAH degradation enzymes (e.g., protocatechuate 4,5-dioxygenase) that subsequently led to bioaccumulation of high molecular weight PAHs (HMW-PAHs) in wild and fishery species due to LMW-PAHs in the water. Based on this alteration, the ecological risk posed by PAHs decreased in wet seasons, and an unbalanced spatio-temporal distribution of PAHs was observed in this estuary. These results suggest that seasonal variation of temperature affects HMW-PAH accumulation in fishery species via bacterially mediated LMW-PAH biodegradation.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Lubke RA (2022)

Current State of Ammophila arenaria (Marram Grass) Distribution in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, and the Possible Effect of the Grass on the Dune System Dynamics.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(17):.

The principal aim of this paper is to show that marram grass is not an invasive alien in South Africa although it affects the dune dynamics as a useful pioneer species in the dune successional process. The historical perspective of marram introduction as a dune stabiliser and the studies and conclusions reached from our European Union funded project, INVASS, in the 1990s and early 2000s is presented. Although these studies showed that marram was non-invasive, this was not clearly carried through to the authorities, and the use of the grass as a dune stabiliser was limited without a special permit. This prompted a survey of the current situation of marram on dune sites in the Eastern Cape. Along with earlier (1980s) data on the dunes, 69 relevés with 66 species abundance from sites along the Eastern Cape shoreline were assembled. These data were analysed with Detrended Correspondence Analysis to show the relationships of the samples (relevés) and species in a 2-dimensional scatter diagram. The survey showed that there are four dune sites where marram grass is no longer present, due to either marram being out of its climatic range, erosion of sand under storm conditions which made the habitat unsuitable, or in one case where marram simply disappeared. Marram often remains in other sites where three to five dune pioneer species were recorded. On some dunes, although marram is the most abundant dune pioneer, it is never dominant in the dune environment but has a presence of as much as 75% at any site. The eight pioneer species are widely dispersed on the DCA scatter diagram, while the shrub species characterising the Coastal Scrub are tightly clustered, showing that all the pioneer dune communities behave similarly in the dune successional series. The conclusion from these studies is that marram grass does not always persist in the dune systems. If marram does persist, it does not compete and behaves identically to the indigenous species as a dune pioneer. These studies show that marram grass is a non-invasive species that can be successfully used in dune stabilisation on Cape dunes.

RevDate: 2022-09-13

Díaz RA, Sevillano V, MH Cassini (2022)

Do People Care about the Origin of Wildlife? The Role of Social Stereotypes on Public Preference for Exotic Animals.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(17):.

People's attitudes to animals are becoming increasingly important for the success of invasive species management. We asked college students from Argentina to fill a questionnaire that included a question about their favorite free-living animal. A total of 159 responses were obtained. Native species were significantly less preferred than non-native species. We tested if these preferences were associated with animal stereotypes. The stereotype hypothesis predicts that animals from the contemptible stereotype (invertebrate, rodents, and reptiles) should be the least preferred taxa, and animals from the protective stereotype (pets, horses, and primates) should be the most preferred taxa; animals from the subordination (lagomorphs and birds) and threatening-awe stereotype (large carnivores) should show intermediate preferences. The first prediction was supported. However, students showed significant preference for non-native taxa included in the threatening-awe stereotype. We proposed that people prefer large carnivores (stereotypically strong, intelligent, and beautiful animals) when they are exotic, because they did not represent a risk.

RevDate: 2022-09-13
CmpDate: 2022-09-12

Kong WL, Wen TY, Wang YH, et al (2022)

Physiological and Transcriptome Analyses Revealed the Mechanism by Which Deferoxamine Promotes Iron Absorption in Cinnamomum camphora.

International journal of molecular sciences, 23(17):.

Iron deficiency causes chlorosis and growth inhibition in Cinnamomum camphora, an important landscaping tree species. Siderophores produced by plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria have been widely reported to play an indispensable role in plant iron nutrition. However, little to date has been determined about how microbial siderophores promote plant iron absorption. In this study, multidisciplinary approaches, including physiological, biochemical and transcriptome methods, were used to investigate the role of deferoxamine (DFO) in regulating Fe availability in C. camphora seedlings. Our results showed that DFO supplementation significantly increased the Fe2+ content, SPAD value and ferric-chelate reductase (FCR) activity in plants, suggesting its beneficial effect under Fe deficiency. This DFO-driven amelioration of Fe deficiency was further supported by the improvement of photosynthesis. Intriguingly, DFO treatment activated the metabolic pathway of glutathione (GSH) synthesis, and exogenous spraying reduced glutathione and also alleviated chlorosis in C. camphora. In addition, the expression of some Fe acquisition and transport-related genes, including CcbHLH, CcFRO6, CcIRT2, CcNramp5, CcOPT3 and CcVIT4, was significantly upregulated by DFO treatment. Collectively, our data demonstrated an effective, economical and feasible organic iron-complexing agent for iron-deficient camphor trees and provided new insights into the mechanism by which siderophores promote iron absorption in plants.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Leite PAM, Castellanos AE, Wilcox BP, et al (2022)

Contrasting effects of native and exotic vegetation on soil infiltrability in the Sonoran Desert.

The Science of the total environment, 852:158544 pii:S0048-9697(22)05643-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasion by exotic grasses is transforming drylands across the planet, but the ecohydrological feedbacks of such invasions are not fully understood. For example, in the Sonoran Desert, previous studies have shown that buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris) alters the spatial patterns of soil moisture, leading researchers to hypothesize that such alterations are related to the plants' effects on soil infiltrability. To evaluate this hypothesis, we compared field-saturated hydraulic conductivity (Kfs) in a native shrubland with that in a neighboring savanna extensively dominated by exotic buffelgrass. We measured Kfs during the dormant and growing seasons in both canopy and intercanopy zones. We found that Kfs was generally lower during the dormant season than during the growing season. There were no significant differences between sites during the dormant season, and at both sites, Kfs was 6-7 times higher under shrubs than in the intercanopies. During the growing season, Kfs for the exotic intercanopy was comparable to that for shrub cluster edges (140 mm h-1) and was more than twice that for the native intercanopy. Both shrubs and buffelgrass improved Kfs by reducing soil bulk density (thus increasing porosity). Additionally, surface roughness in the exotic intercanopy was nearly 3 times higher than in the native intercanopy. The combination of greater surface roughness and higher infiltration rates during the growing season most likely alters hydrological connectivity in savannas invaded by exotic grasses such as buffelgrass. By capturing portions of the runoff generated in the intercanopy, these grasses reduce runon into shrub patches, with potentially substantial impacts on native vegetation dynamics and stability.

RevDate: 2022-09-10

Prenzel F, Treudler R, Lipek T, et al (2022)

Invasive Growth of Ailanthus altissima Trees is Associated with a High Rate of Sensitization in Atopic Patients.

Journal of asthma and allergy, 15:1217-1226.

Purpose: Ailanthus altissima is one of the world's most invasive species with a globally problematic spread. Pollen is dispersed locally and partially airborne. We aimed at investigating if (i) A. altissima pollen can be detected in relevant quantity in the air and if (ii) sensitization to A. altissima can be detected in patients with seasonal exacerbation of atopic diseases.

Patients and Methods: We recorded distribution of A. altissima in Leipzig, Germany. In 2019 and 2020, pollen was collected with a Hirst-type pollen trap placed on the roof of the University Hospital. Specific IgE investigations were performed in children and adults with history of atopic diseases with deterioration between May and July. We analysed specific IgE for A. altissima, Alternaria sp., birch, grasses, profilins, polcalcins and crossreacting carbohydrates.

Results: We found abundant growth of A. altissima and pollen was detected from early June to mid-July with a maximum pollen concentration of 31 pollen/m3. Out of 138 patients (63 female, 69 children/adolescents), 95 (69%) had seasonal allergic rhinitis, 84 (61%) asthma, and 43 (31%) atopic dermatitis. Sensitization to A. altissima was shown in 59 (42%). There were no significant differences between age groups. In 59% of patients sensitized (35/59), there was no sensitization to possibly cross-reacting structures.

Conclusion: Sensitization to A. altissima pollen could be detected in 42% of our patients with atopic diseases, suggesting allergenic potential of this neophyte. In the context of further spread with climate change, eradication strategies and population-based sensitization studies are needed.

RevDate: 2022-09-21

Duffaut C, Versini PA, N Frascaria-Lacoste (2022)

Are really Nature-Based Solutions sustainable solutions to design future cities in a context of global change? Discussion about the vulnerability of these new solutions and their probable unsustainable implementation.

The Science of the total environment, 853:158535 pii:S0048-9697(22)05634-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The urban ecosystem is a very challenging environment that faces many problems such as various pollutions, higher temperatures than its surroundings or flooding risks due to soil sealing. Nature-based solutions (NBS) seem to be good option to address these problems, while simultaneously offering benefits for facing climate change and the biodiversity crisis. Despite their potential, NBS can be threatened by various urban disturbance, namely: land use change, pollution, or invasive species. These disturbances can have multiple consequences on urban NBS, such as causing changes in plant characteristics/traits, altering the services they provide, and even make certain plant populations disappear, etc. In turn, these consequences may even jeopardize the solutions themselves, which then may no longer solve the problems they originally targeted. To avoid this, NBS should be eco-designed, i.e. designed in function of their environment. Their management should be adaptive and should also take into consideration the evolution of climatic and anthropogenic factors. The choice of species should not be left to chance or random: In this sense, is it better to plant native species for biodiversity conservation or exotic species that are more likely to resist global changes? Is it better to find resistant or ruderal species that have proven themselves in the face of certain disturbances? In any case, it would be good to diversify any NBS to have a better chance of survival in the face of global changes.

RevDate: 2022-09-10
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Marini G, Arnoldi D, Inama E, et al (2022)

Diapause characterization in the invasive alien mosquito species Aedes koreicus: a laboratory experiment.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):315.

Aedes koreicus is an invasive alien mosquito species native to Asia now introduced in several European countries, including northern Italy. In this temperate region, mosquito populations survive cold winter temperatures thanks to diapausing eggs or adults, depending on the species. In its native area, Ae. koreicus was reported to overwinter in the egg stage, but to the best of our knowledge, it is not confirmed whether overwintering eggs are actually diapausing or only in a quiescence stage, i.e., they might hatch as soon as external conditions are favorable. Based on previous laboratory studies, we established a diapausing Ae. koreicus colony, maintained at 21 °C with a photoperiod of 12L:12D. Females were allowed to lay eggs, which were consequently placed in water at different time intervals after oviposition, from 30 days to 5 months. We found that diapausing eggs younger than 3 months have a poor hatching rate, while after about 100 days we observed that almost all eggs hatched. Our findings highlight that water immersion alone did not lead to the hatching of eggs, as age was found to be a significantly important factor. We thus confirm effective diapause, occurring at the egg stage, for Ae. koreicus in a recently invaded area. Moreover, our quantification of diapause duration and hatching success might help in better designing future experiments and improving modeling efforts.

RevDate: 2022-09-10

Wells K, R Flynn (2022)

Managing host-parasite interactions in humans and wildlife in times of global change.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

Global change in the Anthropocene has modified the environment of almost any species on earth, be it through climate change, habitat modifications, pollution, human intervention in the form of mass drug administration (MDA), or vaccination. This can have far-reaching consequences on all organisational levels of life, including eco-physiological stress at the cell and organism level, individual fitness and behaviour, population viability, species interactions and biodiversity. Host-parasite interactions often require highly adapted strategies by the parasite to survive and reproduce within the host environment and ensure efficient transmission among hosts. Yet, our understanding of the system-level outcomes of the intricate interplay of within host survival and among host parasite spread is in its infancy. We shed light on how global change affects host-parasite interactions at different organisational levels and address challenges and opportunities to work towards better-informed management of parasite control. We argue that global change affects host-parasite interactions in wildlife inhabiting natural environments rather differently than in humans and invasive species that benefit from anthropogenic environments as habitat and more deliberate rather than erratic exposure to therapeutic drugs and other control efforts.

RevDate: 2022-09-03

Linhares BA, L Bugoni (2022)

Seabirds subsidize terrestrial food webs and coral reefs in a tropical rat-invaded archipelago.

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

Allochthonous resource fluxes mediated by organisms crossing ecosystem boundaries may be essential for supporting the structure and function of resource-limited environments, such as tropical islands and surrounding coral reefs. However, invasive species, such as black rats, thrive on tropical islands and disrupt the natural pathways of nutrient subsidies by reducing seabird colonies. Here, we used stable isotopes of nitrogen and carbon to examine the role of seabirds in subsidizing the terrestrial food webs and adjacent coral reefs in the Abrolhos archipelago, southwest Atlantic Ocean. By sampling invasive rats and multiple ecosystem compartments (soil, plants, grasshoppers, tarantulas and lizards) within and outside seabird colonies, we showed that seabirds' subsidies led to an overall enrichment in 15 N across the food web in islands. However, contrary to other studies, δ15 N values were consistently lower within the seabird colonies, suggesting that a higher seabird presence may potentially produce a localized depletion in 15 N in small islands influenced by seabirds. In contrast, the %N in plants and soils was higher inside the colonies, corresponding to a higher effect of seabirds at the base of the trophic web. Among consumers, lizards and invasive rats seemed to obtain allochthonous resources from subsidized terrestrial organisms outside the colony. Inside the colony, however, they showed a more direct consumption of marine matter, suggesting that subsidies benefit these native and invasive animals both directly and indirectly. Nonetheless, in coral reefs, the scleractinian corals assimilated seabird-derived nitrogen only around the two smaller and lower-elevation islands, as demonstrated by the substantially higher δ15 N values in relation to the reference areas. This provides evidence that island morphology may influence the incorporation of seabird nutrients in coral reefs around rat-invaded islands, likely because guano lixiviation toward seawater is facilitated in small and low-elevation terrains. Overall, these results showed that seabirds affect small islands across all trophic levels within and outside colonies, and that these effects spread outward to coral reefs, evidencing resiliency of seabird subsidies even within a rat-invaded archipelago. As consumers of seabird chicks and eggs, however, rat eradication could potentially benefit the terrestrial and nearshore ecosystems through increased subsides carried by seabirds. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-03

Frank DA, Becklin KM, Penner JF, et al (2022)

Feast or famine: How is global change affecting forage supply for Yellowstone's ungulate herds?.

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

The ecological integrity of US national parks and other protected areas are under threat in the Anthropocene. For Yellowstone National Park (YNP), the impacts that global change has already had on the park's capacity to sustain its large migratory herds of wild ungulates is incompletely understood. Here we examine how two understudied components of global change, the historical increase in atmospheric CO2 and the spread of non-native, invasive plant species, may have altered the capacity of YNP to provide forage for ungulates over the last 200-plus years. We performed two experiments: (1) a growth chamber study that determined growth rates of important invasive and native YNP grasses that are forages for ungulates under pre-industrial (280 ppm) vs modern (410 ppm) CO2 levels, and (2) a field study that compared the effect of defoliation (clipping) on shoot growth of invasive and native mesic grassland plants under ambient CO2 conditions in 2019. The growth chamber experiment revealed that modern CO2 increased the growth rates of both invasive and native grasses, and invasive grasses grew faster regardless of CO2 conditions. The field results showed a continuum of positive to negative responses of shoot growth to defoliation, with a subgroup of invasive species responding most positively. Together the results indicated that the historical increase in CO2 and the spread of invasive species, some of which were planted to provide forage for ungulates in the early- and mid-1900s, have likely increased the capacity of forage production in YNP. However, rising CO2 has also resulted in regional warming and increased aridity in YNP, which will likely reduce grassland productivity. The challenge for global change biologists and park managers is to determine how competing components of global change have already and will increasingly affect forage dynamics and the sustainability of Yellowstone's iconic ungulate herds in the Anthropocene. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-03

Weber S, Junk I, Brink L, et al (2022)

Molecular diet analysis in mussels and other metazoan filter feeders and an assessment of their utility as natural eDNA samplers.

Molecular ecology resources [Epub ahead of print].

Molecular gut content analysis is a popular tool to study food web interactions and was recently suggested as an alternative source for DNA-based biomonitoring. However, the overabundant consumer's DNA often outcompetes that of its diet during PCR. Lineage-specific primers are an efficient means to reduce consumer amplification while retaining broad specificity for dietary taxa. We here designed an amplicon sequencing assay to monitor the eukaryotic diet of mussels and other metazoan filter feeders and explore the utility of mussels as natural eDNA samplers to monitor planktonic communities. We designed several lineage-specific rDNA primers with broad taxonomic suitability for eukaryotes. The primers were tested using DNA extracts of different limnic and marine mussel species and the results compared to eDNA water samples collected next to the mussel colonies. In addition, we analyzed several 25-year time series samples of mussels from German rivers. Our primer sets efficiently prevent the amplification of mussels and other metazoans. The recovered DNA reflects a broad dietary preference across the eukaryotic tree of life and considerable taxonomic overlap with filtered water samples. We also show the utility of a reversed version of our primers, which prevents amplification of non-metazoan taxa from complex eukaryote community samples, by enriching fauna associated with the marine brown algae Fucus vesiculosus. Our protocol will enable large-scale dietary analysis in metazoan filter feeders, facilitate aquatic food web analysis and allow surveying of aquacultures for pathogens. Moreover, we show that mussels and other aquatic filter feeders can serve as complementary DNA source for biomonitoring.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Mahon AR, Grey EK, CL Jerde (2022)

Integrating invasive species risk assessment into environmental DNA metabarcoding reference libraries.

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

Environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding has shown promise as a tool for estimating biodiversity and early detection of invasive species. In aquatic systems, advantages of this method include the ability to concurrently monitor biodiversity and detect incipient invasions simply through the collection and analysis of water samples. However, depending on the molecular markers chosen for a given study, reference libraries containing target sequences from present species may limit the usefulness of eDNA metabarcoding. To explore the extent of this issue and how it may be resolved to aid biodiversity and invasive species early detection goals, we focus on fishes in the well-studied Laurentian Great Lakes region. First, we provide a synthesis of species currently known from the region and of non-indigenous species identified as threats by international, national, regional, and introduction pathway-specific fish risk assessments. With these species lists, we then evaluate 23 primer pairs commonly used in fish eDNA metabarcoding with available databases of sequence coverage and species specificity. Finally, we identify established and potentially invasive non-indigenous fish that should be prioritized for genetic sequencing to ensure robust eDNA metabarcoding for the region. Our results should increase confidence in using eDNA metabarcoding for fisheries conservation and management in the Great Lakes region and help prioritize reference sequencing efforts. The ultimate utility of eDNA metabarcoding approaches will come when conservation management of existing fish communities is integrated with early detection efforts for invasive species surveillance to assess total fish biodiversity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Illán JG, Zhu G, Walgenbach JF, et al (2022)

Evaluating invasion risk and population dynamics of the brown marmorated stink bug across the contiguous United States.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Invasive species threaten the productivity and stability of natural and managed ecosystems. Predicting the spread of invaders, which can aid in early mitigation efforts, is a major challenge, especially in the face of climate change. While ecological niche models are effective tools to assess habitat suitability for invaders, such models have rarely been created for invasive pest species with rapidly expanding ranges. Here, we leveraged a national monitoring effort from 543 sites over 3 years to assess factors mediating the occurrence and abundance of brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB, Halyomorpha halys), an invasive insect pest that has readily established throughout much of the United States.

RESULTS: We used maximum entropy models to estimate the suitable habitat of BMSB under several climate scenarios, and generalized boosted models to assess environmental factors that regulated BMSB abundance. Our models captured BMSB distribution and abundance with high accuracy, and predicted a 70% increase in suitable habitat under future climate scenarios. However, environmental factors that mediated the geographical distribution of BMSB were different from those driving abundance. While BMSB occurrence was most affected by winter precipitation and proximity to populated areas, BMSB abundance was influenced most strongly by evapotranspiration and solar photoperiod.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that linking models of establishment (occurrence) and population dynamics (abundance) offers a more effective way to forecast the spread and impact of BMSB and other invasive species than simply occurrence-based models, allowing for targeted mitigation efforts. Implications of distribution shifts under climate change are discussed. © 2022 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Rojas-Nossa SV, Dasilva-Martins D, Mato S, et al (2022)

Effectiveness of electric harps in reducing Vespa velutina predation pressure and consequences for honey bee colony development.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Vespa velutina has become a species of concern in invaded regions of Europe and Asia, due to its impacts on biodiversity, apiculture and society. This hornet, a ferocious hunter of pollinating insects, poses a serious threat to biodiversity and pollination services. Despite ongoing efforts, its extermination in continental Europe is hampered by a lack of effective control methods, thus effective mitigation measures are primary concerns. The aims of this work were: (i) to study the effects of V. velutina predating on honey bee colonies, and (ii) to assess the effectiveness of electric harps in reducing hunting pressure and predation. We assessed the predation pressure and compared honey bee colony performance, body weight of workers, and winter survivorship for protected versus unprotected colonies in 36 experimental hives across three apiaries.

RESULTS: Electric harps protected honey bees by reducing predation pressure and therefore mitigating foraging paralysis. Consequently, foraging activity, pollen income, brood production and worker body weight were higher in protected colonies which in turn showed greater winter survivorship than those that were unprotected, especially at sites with intermediate to high levels of predation.

CONCLUSION: The predation of V. velutina affects foraging activity, breeding, body weight and colony survivorship of Apis mellifera. Electric harps contribute significantly to mitigate the impact of this invasive hornet on apiaries; however, they should be deployed in tandem with additional measures to preserve honey bee colony stocks, such as facilitating access to food sources for colonies during the periods of highest predation pressure. © 2022 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Fuller HW, Frey S, JT Fisher (2022)

Integration of aerial surveys and resource selection analysis indicates human land-use supports boreal deer expansion.

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

Landscape change is a driver of global biodiversity loss. In the western Nearctic petroleum exploration and extraction is a major contributor to landscape change, with concomitant effects on large mammal populations. One of those effects is the continued expansion of invasive white-tailed deer populations into the boreal forest, with ramifications for the whole ecosystem. We explored deer resource selection within the oil sands region of the boreal forest using a novel application of aerial ungulate survey data (AUS). Deer locations from AUS were "used" points and together with randomly allocated "available" points informed deer resource selection in relation to landscape variables in the boreal. We created a candidate set of generalized linear models representing competing hypotheses about the role of natural landscape features, forest harvesting, cultivation, roads, and petroleum features. We ranked these in an information-theoretic framework. A combination of natural and anthropogenic landscape features best explained deer resource selection. Deer strongly selected seismic lines and other linear features associated with petroleum exploration and extraction, likely as movement corridors and resource subsidies. Forest harvesting and cultivation, important contributors to expansion in other parts of white-tailed deer range, where not as important here. Stemming deer expansion to conserve native ungulates and maintain key predator-prey processes will likely require landscape management to restore the widespread linear features crossing the vast oil sands region.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Acharya R, Lee JY, Hwang HS, et al (2022)

Identification of entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium rileyi infested in fall armyworm in the cornfield of Korea, and evaluation of its virulence.

Archives of insect biochemistry and physiology [Epub ahead of print].

The fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda is an important invasive pest in Africa and Asia. It is a polyphagous pest with at least 353 recorded host plant species, including corn. Chemical control of this pest is unsuccessful because of a developed resistance and harmful effects on the environment. Entomopathogenic fungi are potential biological control agents for FAW. In this study, the native strain of Metarhizium rileyi (KNU-Ye-1), collected from a cornfield at Yeongcheon, Korea, was identified by morphological and molecular characterization. The susceptibility of the fourth-instar larvae of FAW to the native strain M. rileyi was examined in the laboratory. The results showed that the Korean strain of M. rileyi (KNU-Ye-1) was highly virulent to FAW larvae, causing 89% mortality 7 days posttreatment. Therefore, M. rileyi (KNU-Ye-1) identified in this study is highly valuable for the biological control of FAW in the field.

RevDate: 2022-09-07

Azzurro E, Smeraldo S, M D'Amen (2022)

Spatio-temporal dynamics of exotic fish species in the Mediterranean Sea: Over a century of invasion reconstructed.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

With over a thousand of introduced species, the Mediterranean is the most heavily invaded marine region in the world. Yet, the spatio-temporal dynamics of this bioinvasion has never been analysed. Examination of a comprehensive dataset of 4015 georeferenced observations, extracted from the scientific literature, allowed (i) reconstructing the invasion and the introduction and post-introduction dynamics of exotic fish species, (ii) calculating introduction and spread rates, and (iii) investigating the time correlates since introduction. Our analysis encompasses 188 fish species that entered the Mediterranean from 1896 to 2020, including 25 Atlantic species that naturally expanded their range through the Strait of Gibraltar. Cumulative occurrences, reported in 264 distribution maps, documented the progressive expansion of the most represented species and the spatio-temporal patterns associated with three introduction routes: the Suez Canal (CAN); other human-mediated vectors (HM) and the Strait of Gibraltar (NRE). The arrival rate of the species introduced through all three routes increased steeply after 1990, without a sign of saturation. Data analysis highlighted some temporal and geographical patterns, such as the effect and eventual weakening of the biogeographical barriers represented by the Strait of Sicily and the North Aegean Sea and the asymmetrical distribution of occurrences along the northern and southern Mediterranean coasts. Finally, there was an exponential increase in the secondary spread rates of CAN and NRE immigrants, as the more recent introductions achieved the fastest geographical expansions. Our findings provide a detailed and spatially explicit summary of a massive invasion that has changed the history of the Mediterranean biota and represent a remarkable example of rapid biotic homogenization in the global ocean.

RevDate: 2022-09-01

Healy BD, Budy P, Yackulic CB, et al (2022)

Exploring metapopulation-scale suppression alternatives for a global invader in a river network experiencing climate change.

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

Invasive species can dramatically alter ecosystems, but eradication is difficult, and suppression is expensive once they are established. Uncertainties in the potential for expansion and impacts by an invader can lead to delayed and inadequate suppression, allowing for establishment. Metapopulation viability models can aid in planning strategies to improve responses to invaders and lessen invasive species' impacts, which may be particularly important under climate change. We used a spatially-explicit metapopulation viability model to explore suppression strategies for ecologically-damaging invasive brown trout (Salmo trutta), established in the Colorado River and a tributary within Grand Canyon National Park. Our goals were to: 1) estimate the effectiveness of strategies targeting different life stages and subpopulations within a metapopulation, 2) quantify the effectiveness of a rapid response to a new invasion relative to delaying action until establishment; and 3) estimate whether future hydrology and temperature regimes related to climate change and reservoir management affect metapopulation viability and alter the optimal management response. We included scenarios targeting different life-stages with spatially-varying intensities of electrofishing, redd destruction, incentivized angler harvest, piscicides, and a weir. Quasi-extinction (QE) was obtainable only with metapopulation-wide suppression targeting multiple life-stages; subpopulations were most sensitive to age-0 and large adult mortality. The duration of suppression needed to reach QE for a large established subpopulation was triple compared to a rapid response to a new invasion. Isolated subpopulations were vulnerable to suppression; however, connected tributary subpopulations enhanced metapopulation persistence by serving as climate refuges. Water shortages driving changes in reservoir storage and subsequent warming would cause brown trout declines, but metapopulation QE was only achieved by re-focusing and increasing suppression. Our modeling approach improved our understanding of invasive brown trout metapopulation dynamics, which could lead to more focused and effective invasive species suppression strategies, and ultimately, maintenance of populations of endemic fishes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2022-09-20

Perales Macedo DMB, Díaz Pernett SC, Díaz González MG, et al (2022)

Autochthonous transmission of the Indomalayan parasite, Transversotrema patialense, in the Caribbean: Molecular, morphological, and experimental evidence.

Experimental parasitology, 242:108368 pii:S0014-4894(22)00162-X [Epub ahead of print].

The Asian freshwater snail Melanoides tuberculata has been established since the 1960s in the Americas, where it transmits cercariae of a small number of digenetic trematode species from its native range. In 2021-2022, 24 M. tuberculata were discovered shedding transversotrematid cercariae in Puerto Rico, where parasites of this snail have not been previously studied. Adult transversotrematids (in some cases, gravid) were found on field-caught fish and on fish exposed to shedding snails, including on fish species native to Puerto Rico. Adults and cercariae were identified as Transversotrema patialense (Soparkar, 1924), a species native to the Indomalayan region. Morphological identification was supported with 28S rDNA sequences closely matching that from unidentified transversotrematid cercariae in Thailand. The absence of T. patialense in snails collected prior to 2021, increasing prevalence of infection in snails collected thereafter, and lack of variation in parasite DNA sequences (28S, internal transcribed spacer 2, cytochrome c oxidase I) from three isolates are consistent with a recently introduced and possibly expanding parasite population. Transversotrema patialense has been recorded outside its native range before, but most studies (including a prior record in the Americas) reported the parasite from captive hosts from commercial sources such as pet shops. The present results thus provide the first demonstration of natural transmission of T. patialense in the Americas. Phylogenetic analysis of 28S but not of ITS2 show the transversotrematid genus Transversotrema Witenberg, 1944 is paraphyletic, with Crusziella Cribb, Bray and Barker 1992 nested within it.

RevDate: 2022-09-01
CmpDate: 2022-09-01

Shi YX, Li Y, Meng Y, et al (2022)

[Pattern evolution and impact factor of Jiuduansha Wetland at the Yangtze Estuary during 1989-2020].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 33(8):2229-2236.

Affected by the changes of drainage basin and marine environment and human activities, estuarine wetland is fragile, sensitive, and complex in evolution. Jiuduansha Wetland is the largest estuarine shoal wetland in the Yangtze Estuary, and is undergoing rapid changes due to the reduction of sediment inputs and the invasion of alien species Spartina alterniflora. In this study, the changes of Jiuduansha Wetland from 1989 to 2020 were analyzed through remote sensing interpretation, field investigation, and topographic data analysis. The impacts of watershed sediment reduction and S. alterniflora invasion on Jiuduansha Wetland were analyzed based on the hydrological data of Datong station and the invasion history of S. alterniflora. The results showed that the total area of Jiuduansha Wetland (above -5 m) first increased and then decreased since 1991, reaching its maximum in 2005 (421.16 km2). The area of tidal flat wetland (above 0 m) and wetland vegetation increased continuously from 1989 to 2020, with 1.5 times and 47.1 times increases, respectively. The decreases of sediment supply led to a decrease in the total area of Jiuduansha Wetland (above -5 m) and a decrease growth rate of tidal flat wetland area above 0 m and vege-tation area. The invasive species S. alterniflora had expanded rapidly, occupied the space of native species, and became the dominant species in Jiuduansha Wetland since it was introduced in 1997. Sediment reduction and S. alterniflora invasion had led to the rapid changes of Jiuduansha Wetland structure. In order to avoid the degradation of ecological service, wetland protection and restoration should be taken to maintain the stability and health of Jiu-duansha Wetland.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Hulagappa T, Baradevanal G, Surpur S, et al (2022)

Diagnosis and potential invasion risk of Thrips parvispinus under current and future climate change scenarios.

PeerJ, 10:e13868.

Background and Objective: Invasive thrips, Thrips parvispinus Karny recently reported in India, causing a widespread severe infestation in more than 0.4 million ha of chilli (Capsicum annum L.) growing areas. This species is native to Thailand and most prevalent in other South East Asian countries. Large scale cultivation of the major host plants (chilli and papaya), and favourable climatic conditions in India and other countries similar to native range of Thrips parvispinus expected to favour its further spread and establishment to new areas.

Materials and Methods: The present study was undertaken to confirm invasive thrips species identity through both morphological and molecular approaches and predict its potential invasion using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm.

Results: The model predicted species range in respect of discrimination of suitable and unsuitable areas for its occurrence both in current and future climatic scenarios. The model provided a good fit for species distribution with a high value of area under the curve (0.957). The jackknife test indicated annual mean temperature and precipitation were found to be the most important bioclimatic variable in determining the distribution of T. parvispinus. High suitability areas were predicted in the countries wherever its occurrence was reported with high discrimination ability of suitable and unsuitable areas. Key distinguishing morphological characters of T. parvispinus were illustrated through high-resolution scanning electron microscopic images.

Conclusion: The identity of the thrips causing wide spread damage in chilli confirmed through morphological and molecular approaches. Key identifying characters were described through high resolution scanning electron microscopic images for accurate identification of the species. MaxEnt model identified high suitability regions for the potential establishment of T. parvispinus in India and other parts of the world. This study facilitates forecasting of further spread and also suggests imposing strict domestic quarantine measures to curtail its establishment in the new areas.

RevDate: 2022-09-02

Salgado R, Barja I, Hernández MDC, et al (2022)

Activity patterns and interactions of rodents in an assemblage composed by native species and the introduced black rat: implications for pathogen transmission.

BMC zoology, 7(1):48.

Background: The degree of temporal overlap between sympatric wild hosts species and their behavioral interactions can be highly relevant to the transmission of pathogens. However, this topic has been scantly addressed. Furthermore, temporal overlap and interactions within an assemblage of wild rodents composed of native and introduced species have been rarely discussed worldwide. We assessed the nocturnal activity patterns and interactions between rodent taxa of an assemblage consisting of native species (Oligoryzomys longicaudatus, Abrothrix hirta, and Abrothrix olivaceus) and the introduced black rat (Rattus rattus) in a temperate forest from southern Chile. All rodent species in this study are known hosts for various zoonotic pathogens.

Results: We found a high nocturnal temporal overlap within the rodent assemblage. However, pairwise comparisons of temporal activity patterns indicated significant differences among all taxa. Rattus rattus showed aggressive behaviors against all native rodents more frequently than against their conspecifics. As for native rodents, agonistic behaviors were the most common interactions between individuals of the same taxon and between individuals of different taxa (O. longicaudatus vs Abrothrix spp.).

Conclusions: Our findings reveal several interactions among rodent taxa that may have implications for pathogens such as hantaviruses, Leptospira spp., and vector-borne pathogens. Furthermore, their transmission may be facilitated by the temporal overlap observed between rodent taxa.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s40850-022-00152-7.

RevDate: 2022-09-03
CmpDate: 2022-09-02

Zhou L, Sheng B, Zhang T, et al (2022)

madd-4 plays a critical role in light against Bursaphelenchus xylophilus.

Scientific reports, 12(1):14796.

Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is a notorious invasive species, causing extensive losses to pine ecosystems globally. Previous studies had shown that the development of B. xylophilus was seriously suppressed by light. However, the mechanism involved in the inhibition is unknown. Here, it is the first report that Bxy-madd-4 is a light-regulated gene, plays a potential role in B. xylophilus in responding to the blue light. Transcriptome sequencing revealed that the expression level of Bxy-madd-4 declined by 86.39% under blue light. The reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR results were in accord with the transcriptome sequencing, confirming the expression level of Bxy-madd-4 was suppressed by blue light. Bxy-madd-4 promoter::mCherry reporter constructed in Caenorhabditis elegans were utilized to mimic the spatiotemporal expression patterns of Bxy-madd-4. Bxy-madd-4A promoter activity had a strong continuity throughout all development stages in C. elegans. Further RNA interference indicated that only 36.8% of the Bxy-madd-4 dsRNA treated embryos were hatched. Moreover, 71.6% of the hatched nematodes were abnormal, such as particles on the body surface and concave tissues. Our findings contribute towards a better understanding of the mechanism of light against the destructive invasive nematode, providing a promising hint for control of the destructive invasive nematode.

RevDate: 2022-09-12

Lue CH, Abram PK, Hrcek J, et al (2022)

Metabarcoding and applied ecology with hyperdiverse organisms: Recommendations for biological control research.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Metabarcoding is revolutionizing fundamental research in ecology by enabling large-scale detection of species and producing data that are rich with community context. However, the benefits of metabarcoding have yet to be fully realized in fields of applied ecology, especially those such as classical biological control (CBC) research that involve hyperdiverse taxa. Here, we discuss some of the opportunities that metabarcoding provides CBC and solutions to the main methodological challenges that have limited the integration of metabarcoding in existing CBC workflows. We focus on insect parasitoids, which are popular and effective biological control agents (BCAs) of invasive species and agricultural pests. Accurately identifying native, invasive and BCA species is paramount, since misidentification can undermine control efforts and lead to large negative socio-economic impacts. Unfortunately, most existing publicly accessible genetic databases cannot be used to reliably identify parasitoid species, thereby limiting the accuracy of metabarcoding in CBC research. To address this issue, we argue for the establishment of authoritative genetic databases that link metabarcoding data to taxonomically identified specimens. We further suggest using multiple genetic markers to reduce primer bias and increase taxonomic resolution. We also provide suggestions for biological control-specific metabarcoding workflows intended to track the long-term effectiveness of introduced BCAs. Finally, we use the example of an invasive pest, Drosophila suzukii, in a reflective "what if" thought experiment to explore the potential power of community metabarcoding in CBC.

RevDate: 2022-09-02
CmpDate: 2022-08-31

Ferreira FC, Videvall E, Seidl CM, et al (2022)

Transcriptional response of individual Hawaiian Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes to the avian malaria parasite Plasmodium relictum.

Malaria journal, 21(1):249.

BACKGROUND: Plasmodium parasites that cause bird malaria occur in all continents except Antarctica and are primarily transmitted by mosquitoes in the genus Culex. Culex quinquefasciatus, the mosquito vector of avian malaria in Hawai'i, became established in the islands in the 1820s. While the deadly effects of malaria on endemic bird species have been documented for many decades, vector-parasite interactions in avian malaria systems are relatively understudied.

METHODS: To evaluate the gene expression response of mosquitoes exposed to a Plasmodium infection intensity known to occur naturally in Hawai'i, offspring of wild-collected Hawaiian Cx. quinquefasciatus were fed on a domestic canary infected with a fresh isolate of Plasmodium relictum GRW4 from a wild-caught Hawaiian honeycreeper. Control mosquitoes were fed on an uninfected canary. Transcriptomes of five infected and three uninfected individual mosquitoes were sequenced at each of three stages of the parasite life cycle: 24 h post feeding (hpf) during ookinete invasion; 5 days post feeding (dpf) when oocysts are developing; 10 dpf when sporozoites are released and invade the salivary glands.

RESULTS: Differential gene expression analyses showed that during ookinete invasion (24 hpf), genes related to oxidoreductase activity and galactose catabolism had lower expression levels in infected mosquitoes compared to controls. Oocyst development (5 dpf) was associated with reduced expression of a gene with a predicted innate immune function. At 10 dpf, infected mosquitoes had reduced expression levels of a serine protease inhibitor, and further studies should assess its role as a Plasmodium agonist in C. quinquefasciatus. Overall, the differential gene expression response of Hawaiian Culex exposed to a Plasmodium infection intensity known to occur naturally in Hawai'i was low, but more pronounced during ookinete invasion.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first analysis of the transcriptional responses of vectors to malaria parasites in non-mammalian systems. Interestingly, few similarities were found between the response of Culex infected with a bird Plasmodium and those reported in Anopheles infected with human Plasmodium. The relatively small transcriptional changes observed in mosquito genes related to immune response and nutrient metabolism support conclusions of low fitness costs often documented in experimental challenges of Culex with avian Plasmodium.

RevDate: 2022-09-14
CmpDate: 2022-08-31

Wrońska-Pilarek D, Sowelo M, Antkowiak W, et al (2022)

Pollen morphology and variability of native and alien, including invasive, species of the genus Spiraea L. (Rosaceae) in Poland.

PloS one, 17(8):e0273743.

The pollen morphology was studied in 25 taxa of the genus Spiraea L. The aims of this study were to describe the pollen morphology and variability and to determine whether the pollen features of alien, expansive or invasive Spiraea species differ from those of other taxa. The species of Spiraea were analysed for nine quantitative pollen traits as well as the following qualitative traits: the outline, shape and exine ornamentation. In total, 750 pollen grains were measured. Based on the pollen key exine ornamentation features, then individual Spiraea species were distinguished, while the other species formed groups of usually 2-3, up to 8 species. The most important pollen features included length, width and course of grooves and striae, presence or absence of perforations, as well as their number and diameter. The most variable taxa for all the nine biometric traits jointly were S. ×billardii, S. veitchii, S. nipponica and S. cana. The pollen of the invasive S. tomentosa differed from the other taxa studied, unlike the other invasive species (S. douglasii and S. japonica).

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Lane SL (2022)

Using marsh organs to test seed recruitment in tidal freshwater marshes.

Applications in plant sciences, 10(4):e11474.

Premise: Seed recruitment niches along estuarine elevation gradients are seldom experimentally field-tested under tidal regimes of the Pacific Northwest of North America. Addressing this knowledge gap is important to better understand estuary restoration and plant community response to sea level rise.

Methods: Germination was tested in marsh organ mesocosms across an elevation gradient (0.5-1.7 m above mean sea level). Seeds were sown on sterile peat moss, and the tops of pipes were secured with horticultural "frost cloth" to ensure no experimental seeds were washed out and no new seeds were introduced. The trials tested artificial and overwinter chilling regimes, as well as the presence and/or absence of a near-neighbor transplant.

Results: Carex lyngbyei had significant elevation-driven germination after overwinter and artificial chilling. Schoenoplectus tabernaemontani had near-significant germination across elevation after overwinter chilling, and germination in the absence of competition was significantly greater than with a near-neighbor transplant.

Discussion: Carex lyngbyei had the highest germination rate at higher elevations, which suggests restricted seed recruitment potential and required clonal expansion to extend into lower marsh elevations. Identifying species-specific recruitment niches provides insight for restoration opportunities or invasive species monitoring, as well as for estuary migration under sea level rise.

RevDate: 2022-08-30
CmpDate: 2022-08-30

Gao Z, Liu S, W Li (2022)

Biological control for predation invasion based on pair approximation.

Mathematical biosciences and engineering : MBE, 19(10):10252-10274.

Biological invasions have been paid more attention since invasive species may cause certain threats to local ecosystems. When biological control is adopted, selecting control species for effect better becomes the focus of latest studies. A food web system, with one native species, one invasive species as predator, and one introduced control species preying on both native and invasive species, is established based on pair approximation, in which the spatial landscape of biological invasion and control is concerned, and the local and global dispersal strategies of invasive species, in addition to the predation preferences of control species for native and invasive species, are considered. The influence of the initial density and initial spatial structures of the control species is investigated and the effects of control species releasing time are analyzed. Generally, the earlier the species introduction, the better the control effect, especially for invasive species dispersing globally. Interestingly, too low control species predation preference for native species can lead to unsuccessful introduction, while too much predation preference will have a weak control effect. The larger the control species predatory preference for invasive species is, the more conducive it is to biological control. The extinction of the invasive species is closely related to the initial density and concentration of the control species. This study gives some insights on selecting control species, its appropriate releasing time, and the density and spatial aggregation of it. Some real-life examples are elaborated on, which provides references for biological invasion control.

RevDate: 2022-08-30
CmpDate: 2022-08-30

Weldon CW, Terblanche JS, Bosua H, et al (2022)

Male Mediterranean fruit flies prefer warmer temperatures that improve sexual performance.

Journal of thermal biology, 108:103298.

Females and males have divergent strategies of energy investment, so the thermal preference of each sex in insects may differ because energetic conversion of metabolic reserves is dependent on temperature. We determined the thermal preference of virgin, sexually mature Mediterranean fruit flies, Ceratitis capitata, and found that males preferred a significantly higher temperature (23.8 ± 0.3 °C) than that of females (22.1 ± 0.3 °C). We then tested predictions for the difference in thermal preference related to the energetic demands of reproduction over a range of temperatures. The frequency and duration of calling bouts by male C. capitata were optimal at 26 °C. Mating propensity and latency, and copula duration, were optimal over the range of 22-28 °C. When mating occurred, temperature had little effect on the incidence of sperm storage by females, but there was a notable decline in the number stored at 28 °C. Female lifespan was highest at 18 °C, but lifetime egg production was optimal at 24 °C. These results illustrate temperature-related differences in the reproductive fitness of the sexes in C. capitata, although the optima for male traits align best with their thermal preference. They also support the theoretical prediction that insect thermal preference should be lower than the optimum for fitness.

RevDate: 2022-09-08
CmpDate: 2022-09-08

Zhong S, Xu Z, Yu Y, et al (2022)

Acid deposition at higher acidity weakens the antagonistic responses during the co-decomposition of two Asteraceae invasive plants.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 243:114012.

Co-invasion by two invasive plant species (IPS) can occur in the same habitat. Diversified acid deposition may change the co-invasion process by altering litter decomposition and plant-soil feedback signalling. This study examined the co-decomposition of two Asteraceae IPS (Solidago canadensis L. and Bidens pilosa L.) on litter decomposition rate, soil enzyme activities, and soil N-fixing bacterial communities under diversified acid deposition (mixed acid deposition at pH 5.6 and at pH 4.5, sulfuric acid at pH 4.5, and nitric acid at pH 4.5). B. pilosa litter degraded faster than S. canadensis litter. Acid deposition at higher acidity accelerated the decomposition rate of both pure S. canadensis litter and the equally mixed litters from the two Asteraceae IPS. Antagonistic responses may occur during the co-decomposition of the two Asteraceae IPS with mixed acid deposition, regardless of the pH, as well as with nitric acid deposition at pH 4.5; in contrast, there may be neutral responses for the co-decomposition process with sulfuric acid at pH 4.5. The type of acid deposited may be one of the key factors affecting the intensity of the mixing effect affecting the co-decomposition. Acid deposition at higher acidity weakened the antagonistic responses for the co-decomposition of the two Asteraceae IPS compared with the response to weak acids. Together, these results indicate that acid deposition at higher acidity could facilitate the co-invasion of the two Asteraceae IPS mainly through accelerated litter decomposition as well as weakened antagonistic responses for co-decomposition.

RevDate: 2022-08-30
CmpDate: 2022-08-30

Swan T, Russell TL, Staunton KM, et al (2022)

A literature review of dispersal pathways of Aedes albopictus across different spatial scales: implications for vector surveillance.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):303.

BACKGROUND: Aedes albopictus is a highly invasive species and an important vector of dengue and chikungunya viruses. Indigenous to Southeast Asia, Ae. albopictus has successfully invaded every inhabited continent, except Antarctica, in the past 80 years. Vector surveillance and control at points of entry (PoE) is the most critical front line of defence against the introduction of Ae. albopictus to new areas. Identifying the pathways by which Ae. albopictus are introduced is the key to implementing effective vector surveillance to rapidly detect introductions and to eliminate them.

METHODS: A literature review was conducted to identify studies and data sources reporting the known and suspected dispersal pathways of human-mediated Ae. albopictus dispersal between 1940-2020. Studies and data sources reporting the first introduction of Ae. albopictus in a new country were selected for data extraction and analyses.

RESULTS: Between 1940-2020, Ae. albopictus was reported via various dispersal pathways into 86 new countries. Two main dispersal pathways were identified: (1) at global and continental spatial scales, maritime sea transport was the main dispersal pathway for Ae. albopictus into new countries in the middle to late 20th Century, with ships carrying used tyres of particular importance during the 1980s and 1990s, and (2) at continental and national spatial scales, the passive transportation of Ae. albopictus in ground vehicles and to a lesser extent the trade of used tyres and maritime sea transport appear to be the major drivers of Ae. albopictus dispersal into new countries, especially in Europe. Finally, the dispersal pathways for the introduction and spread of Ae. albopictus in numerous countries remains unknown, especially from the 1990s onwards.

CONCLUSIONS: This review identified the main known and suspected dispersal pathways of human-mediated Ae. albopictus dispersal leading to the first introduction of Ae. albopictus into new countries and highlighted gaps in our understanding of Ae. albopictus dispersal pathways. Relevant advances in vector surveillance and genomic tracking techniques are presented and discussed in the context of improving vector surveillance.

RevDate: 2022-08-27

Byrne D, Scheben A, Scott JK, et al (2022)

Genomics reveals the history of a complex plant invasion and improves the management of a biological invasion from the South African-Australian biotic exchange.

Ecology and evolution, 12(8):e9179.

Many plants exchanged in the global redistribution of species in the last 200 years, particularly between South Africa and Australia, have become threatening invasive species in their introduced range. Refining our understanding of the genetic diversity and population structure of native and alien populations, introduction pathways, propagule pressure, naturalization, and initial spread, can transform the effectiveness of management and prevention of further introductions. We used 20,221 single nucleotide polymorphisms to reconstruct the invasion of a coastal shrub, Chrysanthemoides monilifera ssp. rotundata (bitou bush) from South Africa, into eastern Australia (EAU), and Western Australia (WAU). We determined genetic diversity and population structure across the native and introduced ranges and compared hypothesized invasion scenarios using Bayesian modeling. We detected considerable genetic structure in the native range, as well as differentiation between populations in the native and introduced range. Phylogenetic analysis showed the introduced samples to be most closely related to the southern-most native populations, although Bayesian analysis inferred introduction from a ghost population. We detected strong genetic bottlenecks during the founding of both the EAU and WAU populations. It is likely that the WAU population was introduced from EAU, possibly involving an unsampled ghost population. The number of private alleles and polymorphic SNPs successively decreased from South Africa to EAU to WAU, although heterozygosity remained high. That bitou bush remains an invasion threat in EAU, despite reduced genetic diversity, provides a cautionary biosecurity message regarding the risk of introduction of potentially invasive species via shipping routes.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Gudžinskas Z, L Taura (2022)

Do Reproductive Traits of Invasive Populations of Scotch Broom, Cytisus scoparius (Fabaceae), Outperform Native Populations?.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(16):.

Reproductive traits are among the most important factors in determining the success of species establishment and invasion in a new area. Studies on transcontinental invasions have revealed that invasive species perform better in the invasive range than in their native ranges. We assumed that the same regularity exists in intracontinental invasions and thus investigated whether the reproductive traits of Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius, perform better in the alien invasive range in Europe compared to its native range in the same continent. The aim of this research was to reveal the potential and realised fecundity of C. scoparius in its native and invasive ranges, as well as relationships with the size of pods, habitat type, and how these traits vary at the same site in different years. The results of this study were not able to unambiguously confirm our hypothesis that C. scoparius in the invasive range in Lithuania, specifically in the southern part of the Boreal biogeographical region, outperform plants in the native range with regard to the analysed reproductive traits. Potential fecundity of C. scoparius in the native range was significantly higher than in the invaded range; however, realised fecundity was not significantly different between the native and invasive ranges. The pod length was similar in both ranges, whereas the pod width was significantly greater in the invasive range than in the native range. The results suggest that the number of ovules per pod, number of matured seeds, and the size of pods are related with the type of habitat and local environmental conditions in the habitat. Although many studies on other species have confirmed higher fecundity and overall better performance of plants in the invasive range than in the native range on other continents, this rule probably cannot be applied for intracontinental invasive species occurring in relatively close geographical regions to their native ranges.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Iamonico D (2022)

Biodiversity in Urban Areas: The Extraordinary Case of Appia Antica Regional Park (Rome, Italy).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(16):.

The first inventory of the flora of Appia Antica Regional Park (Italy), one of the largest protected urban areas in Europe (4580 ha), its biological, ecological and biogeographical composition, and notes of the vegetation physiognomies and landscape are presented; physical characteristics of the territory (geomorphology, lithotypes, and phytoclimate) are also given. The landscape is defined by an agricultural matrix with natural and seminatural areas as patches, and riparian vegetation communities as corridors. The vegetation physiognomies are represented by types linked to the Mediterranean climate (mixed, Mediterranean, and riparian forests; scrubby, rocky, aquatic, and helophytic vegetation; anthropogenic communities). The floristic list includes 714 taxa (104 families and 403 genera). Therophytes prevail over hemicryptophytes; woody flora comprises about 30% of alien species. As regards chorotypes, together with a considerable number of Mediterranean species, there are many exotic species with wide distribution areas testifying to a long-lasting anthropic impact. Floristic novelties (european, national, and regional levels) for 21 taxa are reported. The extraordinary species diversity discovered (43% of flora of Rome and 20% of regional flora) is linked to the landscape heterogeneity, the characteristics of which are: (1) persistence of residual natural patches, (2) occurrence of quite well-preserved aquatic habitats and humid meadows, (3) a rich anthropogenic flora, (4) an interesting flora of archeological sites, (5) occurrence of species not common in Latium, (6) occurrence of populations of aliens in crops (which cause economic impact), (7) presence of aliens on archeological ruins (which cause economic-social impacts). The extensive set of data provided represents a general base framework for guiding future research efforts and landscape action plans consistent with environmental sustainability.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Retief L, Chimimba CT, Oosthuizen MC, et al (2022)

Haemoplasma Prevalence and Diversity in Three Invasive Rattus Species from Gauteng Province, South Africa.

Microorganisms, 10(8):.

Invasive Rattus species are carriers of haemotropic Mycoplasmas (haemoplasmas) globally, but data from Africa are lacking. Using a PCR-sequencing approach, we assessed haemoplasma prevalence and diversity in kidney and buccal swabs collected from three invasive Rattus species (Rattus rattus, R. norvegicus and R. tanezumi) in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Whilst the overall sequence-confirmed haemoplasma prevalence was 38.4%, infection rates in R. rattus (58.3%) were significantly higher (χ2 = 12.96; df = 2; n = 99 p < 0.05) than for R. tanezumi (14.3%). Differences between host sex (χ2 = 3.59 × 10-31; df = 1; n = 99; p = 1.00) and age (χ2 = 4.28; df = 2; n = 99; p = 0.12) were not significant. Whilst buccal (1.01%) and ectoparasite positivity (2.13%) were low, these results suggest that multiple transmission routes are possible. Three phylogenetically distinct lineages, consistent with global rat-associated strains described to date, were detected, namely, 'Candidatus Mycoplasma haemomuris subsp. Ratti', and two Rattus-specific haemoplasmas that are yet to be formally described. These results expand the known distribution of invasive rat-associated haemoplasmas and highlight the potential for pathogen co-invasion of new territories together with invading rodent hosts.

RevDate: 2022-08-30
CmpDate: 2022-08-29

Salvatore G, Palombo V, Esposito S, et al (2022)

Identification of Ancestry Informative Markers in Mediterranean Trout Populations of Molise (Italy): A Multi-Methodological Approach with Machine Learning.

Genes, 13(8):.

Brown trout (Salmo trutta), like many other freshwater species, is threated by the release in its natural environment of alien species and the restocking with allochthonous conspecific stocks. Many conservation projects are ongoing and several morphological and genetic tools have been proposed to support activities aimed to restore genetic integrity status of native populations. Nevertheless, due to the complexity of degree of introgression reached up after many generations of crossing, the use of dichotomous key and molecular markers, such as mtDNA, LDH-C1* and microsatellites, are often not sufficient to discriminate native and admixed specimens at individual level. Here we propose a reduced panel of ancestry-informative SNP markers (AIMs) to support on field activities for Mediterranean trout management and conservation purpose. Starting from the genotypes data obtained on specimens sampled in the main two Molise's rivers (Central-Southern Italy), a 47 AIMs panel was identified and validated on simulated and real hybrid population datasets, mainly through a Machine Learning approach based on Random Forest classifier. The AIMs panel proposed may represent an interesting and cost-effective tool for monitoring the level of introgression between native and allochthonous trout population for conservation purpose and this methodology could be also applied in other species.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Cheng A, Lim WY, Lim PE, et al (2022)

Marine Autotroph-Herbivore Synergies: Unravelling the Roles of Macroalgae in Marine Ecosystem Dynamics.

Biology, 11(8):.

Species invasion is a leading threat to marine ecosystems worldwide, being deemed as one of the ultimate jeopardies for biodiversity along with climate change. Tackling the emerging biodiversity threat to maintain the ecological balance of the largest biome in the world has now become a pivotal part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Marine herbivores are often considered as biological agents that control the spread of invasive species, and their effectiveness depends largely on factors that influence their feeding preferences, including the specific attributes of their food-the autotrophs. While the marine autotroph-herbivore interactions have been substantially discussed globally, many studies have reported contradictory findings on the effects of nutritional attributes and novelty of autotrophs on herbivore feeding behaviour. In view of the scattered literature on the mechanistic basis of autotroph-herbivore interactions, we generate a comprehensive review to furnish insights into critical knowledge gaps about the synergies based largely on the characteristics of macroalgae; an important group of photosynthetic organisms in the marine biome that interact strongly with generalist herbivores. We also discuss the key defence strategies of these macroalgae against the herbivores, highlighting their unique attributes and plausible roles in keeping the marine ecosystems intact. Overall, the feeding behaviour of herbivores can be affected by the nutritional attributes, morphology, and novelty of the autotrophs. We recommend that future research should carefully consider different factors that can potentially affect the dynamics of the marine autotroph-herbivore interactions to resolve the inconsistent results of specific attributes and novelty of the organisms involved.

RevDate: 2022-08-30

Esposito G, Di Tizio L, Prearo M, et al (2022)

Non-Native Turtles (Chelydridae) in Freshwater Ecosystems in Italy: A Threat to Biodiversity and Human Health?.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(16):.

Marketed globally, freshwater turtles are popular pets. Two species of the Chelydridae family are increasingly reported in Italy: the snapping turtle (Chelydra serpentina) and the alligator snapping turtle (Macrochelys temminckii). Both pose potential threats to public safety and habitat biodiversity. This update reports on their distribution and impact on biodiversity and human health. The recent increase in the number of C. serpentina in urban and rural areas suggests illegal importation into the country. Findings are reported for the north (35% and 100% for C. serpentina and M. temminckii, respectively) and the central-northern regions (60% for C. serpentina), predominantly Umbria and Latium, and the Tiber River catchment area in particular. Because omnivorous, Chelydridae species can affect native biodiversity; because they are carriers of pathogens, they endanger public health. Monitoring plans need to take account of this neglected threat.

RevDate: 2022-09-14
CmpDate: 2022-09-14

Theron KJ, Pryke JS, Latte N, et al (2022)

Mapping an alien invasive shrub within conservation corridors using super-resolution satellite imagery.

Journal of environmental management, 321:116023.

Alien invasive plant species are one of the main drivers of global biodiversity loss. Methods for monitoring the spread of alien invasive plants are needed to improve management and mitigate impact on local biodiversity. Recent advances in deep learning and image fusion holds great potential for mapping and managing alien invasive plants. One such method is super-resolution image reconstruction, where a neural network learns to downscale images from coarse to fine resolution. Within the commercial timber production landscape of KwaZulu-Natal, endangered grassland corridors are threatened by American bramble invasion, impacting plants, birds, arthropods, and soil restoration. Here we aim to improve our understanding of bramble invasion dynamics through using super-resolved satellite mosaics. Bramble was classified with very high accuracies (85%) from the super-resolved satellite mosaic, compared to other conventional satellite imagery with different spectral and spatial resolutions. Using landscape analyses, we identified plantation tree harvesting and prescribed burning to be major drivers increasing bramble cover within the landscape. Bramble cover was highest one year following plantation tree harvesting. Continuous prescribed burning positively influenced bramble. Bramble cover was also high close to streams, and under future invasion projections, bramble will severely impact Ensifera species alongside low priority grasshopper species habitat. Results also indicate that bramble has a significant negative impact on intermediate priority grasshoppers and plant species richness. For controlling bramble invasion within commercial timber production landscapes, we recommend the adoption rotational harvesting, as harvesting entire plantation blocks throughout the landscape will dramatically increase invasion potential of bramble. Current bramble removal programmes should prioritize riparian areas. Special attention is needed to control bramble one year after timber harvesting, as this is when bramble cover is highest. We show the benefits of using super-resolved mosaics to gain new insights into alien invasive species dynamics, while further development of this technique will aid in managing invasive alien plant species at local scales.

RevDate: 2022-08-25

Gaiarsa MP, J Bascompte (2022)

Hidden effects of habitat restoration on the persistence of pollination networks.

Past and recent studies have focused on the effects of global change drivers such as species invasions on species extinction. However, as we enter the United Nations Decade of Ecosystem Restoration the aim must switch to understanding how invasive-species management affects the persistence of the remaining species in a community. Focusing on plant-pollinator interactions, we test how species persistence is affected by restoration via the removal of invasive plant species. Restoration had a clear positive effect on plant persistence, whereas there was no difference between across treatments for pollinator persistence in the early season, but a clear effect in late season, with higher persistence in unrestored sites. Network structure affected only pollinator persistence, while centrality had a strong positive effect on both plants and pollinators. Our results suggest a hidden effect of invasive plants-although they may compete with native plant species, invasive plants may provide important resources for pollinators, at least in the short term.

RevDate: 2022-08-28

Meseguer R, Lumbierres B, X Pons (2022)

Establishment and Expansion of Harmonia axyridis Pallas (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in Urban Green Areas in the Iberian Peninsula: From 2015 to 2021.

Insects, 13(8):.

In the Western Palearctic region, Harmonia axyridis (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) is mainly established in urban areas. In this study, we update its occurrence in urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula and determine its expansion after 2014. Changes in the ladybird species assemblage are also evaluated. We compile information about the records of H. axyridis in Spain from 2015 to 2021. In addition, we sample different locations to determine the relative abundances of the species composing the aphidophagous ladybird complex. The expansion of H. axyridis mainly occurred in Catalonia (Iberian Peninsula), where it is possible to identify two clear areas: one that has already been invaded and another that has not yet been invaded. Harmonia axyridis became the dominant species in the invaded area two years after it was first identified. This dominance is clearly shown on Liriodendron tulipifera and Tilia platyphyllos, where it accounted for more than 75% of the total collected individuals in the last year of the study. In the not-yet invaded area, Adalia bipunctata overcame Oenopia conglobata and became the prevalent species from 2020 onwards, likely due to its regular releases for aphid biocontrol. This study reveals that changes in ladybird species assemblages may not only be caused by invasive species, but also by biological control practices.

RevDate: 2022-08-28

Ananko GG, Kolosov AV, VV Martemyanov (2022)

Rock Microhabitats Provide Suitable Thermal Conditions for Overwintering Insects: A Case Study of the Spongy Moth (Lymantria dispar L.) Population in the Altai Mountains.

Insects, 13(8):.

Many insect species overwinter in various rock shelters (cavities and crevices), but the microclimates of rock biotopes remain poorly understood. We investigated the temperature dynamics in rock microhabitats where clusters of egg masses of the wintering spongy moth Lymantria dispar L. (SM) were observed. Our research objective was to find the relation between the ovipositing behaviour of females and the landscape features in different parts of this species' range. Studies of the ecology of the SM are important from a practical point of view, as the moth causes significant economic damage to forests of the Holarctic. We found that the average monthly temperature of rock surfaces in the studied microhabitats was 2-5 °C above the average air temperature. More importantly, the minimum temperatures in these microhabitats were 4-13 °C higher than the minimum air temperature. These results help to reassess the role of the mountain landscape in the spread of insect species. Rock biotopes provided a significant improvement in the conditions for wintering insects. We believe that, when modelling the spread of invasive species (such as the SM), it is necessary to account for the influence of rock biotopes that may facilitate shifts in the northern boundaries of their range.

RevDate: 2022-08-28

Carney RM, Mapes C, Low RD, et al (2022)

Integrating Global Citizen Science Platforms to Enable Next-Generation Surveillance of Invasive and Vector Mosquitoes.

Insects, 13(8):.

Mosquito-borne diseases continue to ravage humankind with >700 million infections and nearly one million deaths every year. Yet only a small percentage of the >3500 mosquito species transmit diseases, necessitating both extensive surveillance and precise identification. Unfortunately, such efforts are costly, time-consuming, and require entomological expertise. As envisioned by the Global Mosquito Alert Consortium, citizen science can provide a scalable solution. However, disparate data standards across existing platforms have thus far precluded truly global integration. Here, utilizing Open Geospatial Consortium standards, we harmonized four data streams from three established mobile apps-Mosquito Alert, iNaturalist, and GLOBE Observer's Mosquito Habitat Mapper and Land Cover-to facilitate interoperability and utility for researchers, mosquito control personnel, and policymakers. We also launched coordinated media campaigns that generated unprecedented numbers and types of observations, including successfully capturing the first images of targeted invasive and vector species. Additionally, we leveraged pooled image data to develop a toolset of artificial intelligence algorithms for future deployment in taxonomic and anatomical identification. Ultimately, by harnessing the combined powers of citizen science and artificial intelligence, we establish a next-generation surveillance framework to serve as a united front to combat the ongoing threat of mosquito-borne diseases worldwide.

RevDate: 2022-08-26

Duell ME, Gray MT, Roe AD, et al (2022)

Plasticity drives extreme cold tolerance of emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis) during a polar vortex.

Current research in insect science, 2:100031.

Invasive species must often survive combinations of environmental conditions that differ considerably from their native range; however, for a given species it is unclear whether improved tolerance is the result of phenotypic plasticity or genetic adaptation (or both). Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera: Buprestidae; the emerald ash borer) is an invasive pest of Fraxinus trees in North America and Europe. Previous studies in SW Ontario, Canada, showed that A. planipennis is freeze avoidant, preventing internal ice formation by accumulating Molar concentrations of glycerol in its hemolymph and depressing its supercooling point (SCP, the temperature at which it freezes). The cold tolerance of these SW Ontario animals was used to predict potential distribution, revealing that some Canadian cities should be too cold to allow populations to persist. However, a small population of A. planipennis has persisted in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, through several severe 'polar vortex' events. In 2018/19, we collected A. planipennis larvae and prepupae from Winnipeg, MB and Southern Ontario, and found that individuals from Winnipeg were extremely cold tolerant - with SCPs as low as -52°C in prepupae (compared to -32°C in SW Ontario), and observed survival of unfrozen individuals exposed to -50°C for one hour. This cold tolerance was accompanied by higher hemolymph osmolality and glycerol concentration than in the SW Ontario individuals. To distinguish between phenotypic plasticity and local adaptation, in 2020/21 we overwintered Winnipeg-sourced individuals either outdoors in SW Ontario or in a simulated Winnipeg winter. Simulated Winnipeg winter individuals had cold tolerance similar to those overwintered in Winnipeg, while SW Ontario overwintered individuals had cold tolerance similar to those collected previously in the region. The simulated winter individuals had higher hemolymph glycerol concentrations than SW Ontario overwintered animals, at least in part due to greater dehydration. Thus, A. planipennis are cold-tolerant enough to survive some of the harshest winters where their host trees can grow, and most likely attain this cold tolerance via phenotypic plasticity. These findings raise the importance of delineating sensitivity of conclusions to unexpected phenotypic plasticity when predicting potential distributions of new invasives or responses to climate change.

RevDate: 2022-08-24

López-Legentil S, Palanisamy SK, Smith KF, et al (2022)

Prokaryotic symbiont communities in three ascidian species introduced in both Ireland and New Zealand.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-022-22652-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Ascidians or sea squirts are among the marine taxa with the most introduced species worldwide. These animals have a suite of biological characteristics that contribute to their successful establishment, including long reproductive seasons, rapid growth rates, and resistance to pollution. Here, we sequenced a fragment of the 16S ribosomal RNA gene to characterize symbiont diversity and host-specificity in the solitary species Syela clava and Ascidiella aspersa, and the colonial species Didemnum vexillum. Samples were collected from introduced populations in several marinas and mussel facilities around Ireland, and a marina in New Zealand. Two additional colonial species Botrylloides violaceus and Didemnum sp. were collected in Ireland, and ambient seawater was sampled from both countries for comparison. Data revealed a strong effect of host species and location on prokaryote symbiont composition, consistent with recent ascidian microbiome literature. However, a location effect did not manifest in alpha diversity metrics (e.g., the same ascidian species at different locations exhibited similar diversity) but was evident in beta diversity metrics (greater intra-specific differences across locations than within locations). Location effects were stronger than species effects only for the solitary species (i.e., A. aspersa from New Zealand was more similar to S. clava from New Zealand than to A. aspersa from Ireland). D. vexillum and A. aspersa hosted a high abundance of prokaryotic symbionts that were previously found in other ascidian species, while S. clava symbiotic community was more closely related to bacteria common in the marine environment. Further studies should aim to unravel host-microbe coevolutionary patterns and the microbial role in facilitating host establishment in different habitats.

RevDate: 2022-09-14
CmpDate: 2022-08-26

Bieker VC, Battlay P, Petersen B, et al (2022)

Uncovering the genomic basis of an extraordinary plant invasion.

Science advances, 8(34):eabo5115.

Invasive species are a key driver of the global biodiversity crisis, but the drivers of invasiveness, including the role of pathogens, remain debated. We investigated the genomic basis of invasiveness in Ambrosia artemisiifolia (common ragweed), introduced to Europe in the late 19th century, by resequencing 655 ragweed genomes, including 308 herbarium specimens collected up to 190 years ago. In invasive European populations, we found selection signatures in defense genes and lower prevalence of disease-inducing plant pathogens. Together with temporal changes in population structure associated with introgression from closely related Ambrosia species, escape from specific microbial enemies likely favored the plant's remarkable success as an invasive species.


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.


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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 )