Viewport Size Code:
Login | Create New Account


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

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


Bibliography Options Menu

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

Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 08 Feb 2023 at 01:46 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: 2023-02-07

Gioria M, Hulme PE, Richardson DM, et al (2022)

Why Are Invasive Plants Successful?.

Annual review of plant biology [Epub ahead of print].

Plant invasions, a byproduct of globalization, are increasing worldwide. Because of their ecological and economic impacts, considerable efforts have been made to understand and predict the success of non-native plants. Numerous frameworks, hypotheses, and theories have been advanced to conceptualize the interactions of multiple drivers and context dependence of invasion success with the aim of achieving robust explanations with predictive power. We review these efforts from a community-level perspective rather than a biogeographical one, focusing on terrestrial systems, and explore the roles of intrinsic plant properties in determining species invasiveness, as well as the effects of biotic and abiotic conditions in mediating ecosystem invasibility (or resistance) and ecological and evolutionary processes. We also consider the fundamental influences of human-induced changes at scales ranging from local to global in triggering, promoting, and sustaining plant invasions and discuss how these changes could alter future invasion trajectories. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Plant Biology, Volume 74 is May 2023. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2023-02-07
CmpDate: 2023-02-07

Giunti G, Becker N, G Benelli (2023)

Invasive mosquito vectors in Europe: From bioecology to surveillance and management.

Acta tropica, 239:106832.

Invasive mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) play a key role in the spread of a number of mosquito-borne diseases worldwide. Anthropogenic changes play a significant role in affecting their distribution. Invasive mosquitoes usually take advantage from biotic homogenization and biodiversity reduction, therefore expanding in their distribution range and abundance. In Europe, climate warming and increasing urbanization are boosting the spread of several mosquito species of high public health importance. The present article contains a literature review focused on the biology and ecology of Aedes albopictus, Ae. aegypti, Ae. japonicus japonicus, Ae. koreicus, Ae. atropalpus and Ae. triseriatus, outlining their distribution and public health relevance in Europe. Bioecology insights were tightly connected with vector surveillance and control programs targeting these species. In the final section, a research agenda aiming for the effective and sustainable monitoring and control of invasive mosquitoes in the framework of Integrated Vector Management and One Health is presented. The WHO Vector Control Advisory Group recommends priority should be given to vector control tools with proven epidemiological impact.

RevDate: 2023-02-07

Echeverri A, Furumo PR, Moss S, et al (2023)

Colombian biodiversity is governed by a rich and diverse policy mix.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

We lack an understanding of how diverse policymakers interact to govern biodiversity. Taking Colombia as a focal case, we examined six decades of biodiversity governance (1959-2018). Here we analysed the composition of the policy mix, and how it has evolved over time, how policies differ among lead actors and ecosystems, and whether the policy mix addresses the primary threats to biodiversity. We identified 186 biodiversity-related policies that govern multiple ecosystems, use different instruments and address the main threats to biodiversity (that is, agriculture and aquaculture, and biological resource use). We found policy gaps in the governance of invasive species and wildlife trade. Biodiversity policy integration into some sectoral policies, such as climate change, poverty and pollution, has become more common in the past decade. Our results point to an increased need for effective coordination across sectors and actors, as new ones influence and implement the policy mix.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Martel SI, Zamora CA, Behrens CA, et al (2023)

Phenotypic specialization of the pea aphid in its southern limit of distribution.

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology pii:S1095-6433(23)00021-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The success of biological invasions ultimately relies on phenotypic traits of the invasive species. Aphids, which include many important pests worldwide, may have been successful invading new environments partly because they can maximize reproductive output by becoming parthenogenetic and losing the sexual phase of their reproductive cycle. However, invasive populations of aphids invading wide ranges can face contrasting environmental conditions and requiring different phenotypic strategies. Besides transitions in their reproductive cycle, it is only partially known which phenotypic traits might be associated to the invasion success of aphid populations in extended novel ranges. Here, we used four genotypes of the pea aphid Acyrthosiphon pisum from two localities in Chile to test for phenotypic specialization that might explain their establishment and spread in habitats exhibiting contrasting environmental conditions. We show that lineages living at a higher latitude with low temperatures show, in addition to facultative sexual reproduction, smaller body sizes, lower metabolic rates and a higher tolerance to the cold than the obligate asexual lineages living in a mild weather, at the expense of fecundity. Conversely, at higher temperatures only asexual lineages were found, which exhibit larger body sizes, higher reproductive outputs and consequently enhanced demographic ability. As a result, in conjunction with the reproductive mode, lineage specialization in physiological and life-history traits could be taken into account as an important strategy for populations of pea aphid to effectively invade extended novel ranges comprising different climatic conditions.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Florianová A, Hanzelková V, Drtinová L, et al (2023)

Plant-soil interactions in the native range of two congeneric species with contrasting invasive success.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

The aim of this study was to compare plant-soil interactions in the native range of two congeneric European species differing in their invasive success in the world: a globally invasive Cirsium vulgare and non-invasive C. oleraceum. We assessed changes in soil nutrients and soil biota following soil conditioning by each species and compared performance of plants grown in self-conditioned and unconditioned soil, from which all, some or no biota was excluded. The invasive species depleted more nutrients than the non-invasive species and coped better with altered nutrient levels. The invasive species had higher seedling establishment which benefited from the presence of unconditioned biota transferred by soil filtrate. Biomass of both species increased in soil with self-conditioned soil filtrate and decreased in soil with self-conditioned whole-soil inoculum compared to unconditioned filtrate and inoculum. However, the increase was smaller and the decrease greater for the invasive species. The invasive species allocated less biomass to roots when associated with harmful biota, reducing negative effects of the biota on its performance. The results show that in the native range the invasive species is more limited by self-conditioned pathogens and benefits more from unconditioned mutualists and thus may benefit more from loss of effectively specialized soil biota in a secondary range. Our study highlights the utility of detailed plant-soil feedback research in species native range for understanding factors regulating species performance in their native range and pinpointing the types of biota involved in their regulation.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Weitzman CL, Kaestli M, Rose A, et al (2023)

Geographic variation in bacterial assemblages on cane toad skin is influenced more by local environments than by evolved changes in host traits.

Biology open, 12(2):.

Bacterial assemblages on amphibian skin may play an important role in protecting hosts against infection. In hosts that occur over a range of environments, geographic variation in composition of bacterial assemblages might be due to direct effects of local factors and/or to evolved characteristics of the host. Invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) are an ideal candidate to evaluate environmental and genetic mechanisms, because toads have evolved major shifts in physiology, morphology, and behavior during their brief history in Australia. We used samples from free-ranging toads to quantify site-level differences in bacterial assemblages and a common-garden experiment to see if those differences disappeared when toads were raised under standardised conditions at one site. The large differences in bacterial communities on toads from different regions were not seen in offspring raised in a common environment. Relaxing bacterial clustering to operational taxonomic units in place of amplicon sequence variants likewise revealed high similarity among bacterial assemblages on toads in the common-garden study, and with free-ranging toads captured nearby. Thus, the marked geographic divergence in bacterial assemblages on wild-caught cane toads across their Australian invasion appears to result primarily from local environmental effects rather than evolved shifts in the host.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Piazza YG, Lozano IE, Vegh SL, et al (2023)

Integrative study of the reproductive biology and growth of Acestrorhynchus pantaneiro Menezes, 1992 (Characiformes, Acestrorhynchidae).

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

In this contribution, we studied the reproductive strategy, sexual system and growth of dientudo paraguayo Acestrorhynchus pantaneiro. After two years of monitoring in shallow areas of a floodplain lake from the lower Paraná basin (Argentina), it was evidenced that water temperature modulated gonadal maturation, but it was river water level the synchronizing stimulus that triggered spawning. This species exhibited a single annual breeding period from October to January, with most spawning activity in November. According to the von Bertalanffy growth curve, fish would reach autumn to winter months with approximately 120 mm LS , already being mature males. The first mature females were found at 210 mm LS being sexually mature between the second and third breeding seasons. This is the first integrative study that includes the body-length frequency distribution, sex differential size at first maturity and growth; and reports the presence of intersex gonads questioning its status from gonochoristic to sequential hermaphrodite species. The sexual pattern, the multiple spawning behavior, and a medium to high absolute fecundity support the opportunistic description that goes along with the invasive behavior observed in previous contributions for this characiform species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Hsu YF, Shen ZY, Huang HC, et al (2023)

Alien species revises systematic status: integrative species delimitation of two similar taxa of Symbrenthia Hübner, [1819] (Lepidoptera, Nymphalidae).

PeerJ, 11:e14644.

Introduction of organisms to new range may impose detrimental effects on local organisms, especially when closely related species are involved. Species delimitation employing an integrative taxonomy approach may provide a quick assessment for the species status between taxa of interest, and to infer ecological competition and/or introgression that may be associated with the introduction. A nymphalid butterfly, Symbrenthia lilaea lunica, was recently introduced to Taiwan, where a closely related local taxon, S. l. formosanus, can be found. We employed multiple species delimitation methods to study the species status between the two taxa, and the results revealed that they can be recognized as two distinct species, revised to S. l. lilaea (syn. nov.) and S. formosanus (stat. rev.) respectively. We further performed a niche modeling approach to investigate the ecological interaction between the two species. The taxonomic status of the two taxa, now elevated to species, has been revised and conservation facing rapid expansion of the introduced species discussed.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Hoelmer KA, Sforza RFH, M Cristofaro (2023)

Accessing biological control genetic resources: the United States perspective.

BioControl (Dordrecht, Netherlands) [Epub ahead of print].

The USA has been actively involved in classical biological control projects against invasive insect pests and weeds since 1888. Classical (importation) biological control relies upon natural enemies associated through coevolution with their target species at their geographic origin to also provide long-term, self-sustaining management where the pest/weed has become invasive. Biological control agents are a form of genetic resources and fall under the purview of the 1993 Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and its Nagoya Protocol (NP), which entered into force in 2014 to address equitable sharing of benefits arising from utilization of genetic resources. Safe and effective classical biological control agents have historically been shared among countries experiencing problems with invasive species. However, a feature of the Nagoya Protocol is that countries are expected to develop processes governing access to their genetic resources to ensure that the benefits are shared equitably-a concept referred to as "access and benefit sharing" (ABS). Although the USA is not party to the CBD nor the NP, US biological control programs are affected by these international agreements. Surveying, collecting, exporting and importing of natural enemies may be covered by new ABS regulatory processes. Challenges of ABS have arisen as various countries enact new regulations (or not) governing access to genetic resources, and the processes for gaining access and sharing the benefits from these resources have become increasingly complex. In the absence of an overarching national US policy, individual government agencies and institutions follow their own internal procedures. Biological control practitioners in the USA have been encouraged in recent years to observe best practices developed by the biological community for insect and weed biological control.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Weir JL, Vacura K, Bagga J, et al (2022)

Big data from a popular app reveals that fishing creates superhighways for aquatic invaders.

PNAS nexus, 1(3):pgac075.

Human activities are the leading cause of biological invasions that cause ecologic and economic damage around the world. Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are often spread by recreational anglers who visit two or more bodies of water within a short time frame. Movement data from anglers are, therefore, critical to predicting, preventing, and monitoring the spread of AIS. However, the lack of broad-scale movement data has restricted efforts to large and popular lakes or small geographic extents. Here, we show that recreational fishing apps are an abundant, convenient, and relatively comprehensive source of "big" movement data across the contiguous United States. Our analyses revealed a dense network of angler movements that was dramatically more interconnected and extensive than the network that is formed naturally by rivers and streams. Short-distanced movements by anglers combined to form invasion superhighways that spanned the contiguous United States. We also identified possible invasion fronts and invaded hub lakes that may be superspreaders for two relatively common aquatic invaders. Our results provide unique insight into the national network through which AIS may be spread, increase opportunities for interjurisdictional coordination that is essential to addressing the problem of AIS, and highlight the important role that anglers can play in providing accurate data and preventing invasions. The advantages of mobile devices as both sources of data and a means of engaging the public in their shared responsibility to prevent invasions are probably general to all forms of tourism and recreation that contribute to the spread of invasive species.

RevDate: 2023-02-06

Hernández-Brito D, Tella JL, Blanco G, et al (2022)

Nesting innovations allow population growth in an invasive population of rose-ringed parakeets.

Current zoology, 68(6):617-626.

Certain traits of recipient environments, such as the availability of limiting resources, strongly determine the establishment success and spread of non-native species. These limitations may be overcome through behavioral plasticity, allowing them to exploit alternative resources. Here, we show how a secondary cavity nester bird, the rose-ringed parakeet Psittacula krameri, innovates its nesting behavior as a response to the shortage of tree cavities for nesting in its invasive range in Tenerife (Canary Islands). We observed that some breeding pairs excavated their own nest cavities in palms, thus becoming primary cavity nester, whereas others occupied nests built with wood sticks by another invasive species, the monk parakeet Myiopsitta monachus. The use of these novel nesting strategies increased the number of breeding pairs by up to 52% over 6 years, contributing to a 128.8% increase of the whole population. Innovative nests were located at greater heights above ground and were more aggregated around conspecifics but did not result in greater breeding success than natural cavities. Occupation of monk parakeet colonies by rose-ringed parakeets also benefited the former species through a protective-nesting association against nest predators. Our results show how an invasive species innovate nesting behaviors and increase nest-site availability in the recipient environment, thus facilitating its population growth and invasion process. Potential behavioral innovations in other invasive rose-ringed parakeet populations may be overlooked, and should be considered for effective management plans.

RevDate: 2023-02-04

Estêvão J, Osorio H, Costas B, et al (2023)

Search for new biomarkers of tolerance to Perkinsus olseni parasite infection in Ruditapes decussatus clams.

Fish & shellfish immunology, 134:108566 pii:S1050-4648(23)00052-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The grooved carpet shell (Ruditapes decussatus) is a clam species with high economic and social importance in several European and Mediterranean countries. Production of this species suffered a decline caused by biotic (parasite infection) and abiotic factors (environmental factors, stress, poor management methods and intensive culture of the introduced species Ruditapes philippinarum). The protozoan parasite Perkinsus olseni is also responsible for the decline of production, being nowadays one of the major issues for clam culture. Molecular biomarkers that might represent tolerance of R. decussatus to P. olseni have already been uncovered, shedding light in a possible production improvement by selecting those clams with a strongest immune response. In the present study, new tolerance biomarkers to P. olseni infection in R. decussatus were identified. The haemolymph proteomic profiles of naturally non/low-infected (tolerant) and highly-infected (susceptible) clams by the parasite across several heavy affected areas of Europe were characterized through a shotgun proteomics approach. Also, the mechanisms that might be involved in the responses against the disease in chronic infections were explored. Proteins related to energy restoration and balance, metabolic regulation, energy accumulation, ROS production, lysosomal activity, amino acid synthesis, proteolytic activity, iron regulation, iron withholding, and immune response modulation were significantly regulated in susceptible clams. In the tolerant group, proteins related to phagocytosis regulation, control of cell growth and proliferation, gonadal maturation, regulation of apoptosis, growth modulation, response to oxidative stress, iron regulation, shell development and metabolic regulation were significantly expressed. In summary, the protein expression profile of tolerant individuals suggests that an efficient pathogen elimination mechanism coupled to a better metabolic regulation leads to a tolerance to the parasite infection by limiting the spread through the tissues.

RevDate: 2023-02-04

Hoeksema BW, Meijer Zu Schlochtern MP, Samimi-Namin K, et al (2023)

In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma: Colonization of a 4-year-old shipwreck by native and non-native corals, including a new cryptogenic species for the Caribbean.

Marine pollution bulletin, 188:114649 pii:S0025-326X(23)00080-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Little is known about early coral settlement on shipwrecks with regard to their species and size compositions. Hurricanes in the Caribbean have a long history of sinking ships but a link with new coral settlement is understudied. In 2017, Hurricane Irma caused the sinking of over 300 vessels in the coastal waters of Saint Martin, eastern Caribbean. In 2021, coral settlement was studied on one of them, which included two native, one non-native, and two cryptogenic species. The corals were smaller than 8 cm in diameter. The invasive Tubastraea coccinea was the most abundant scleractinian and was predominantly represented by juveniles. A cryptogenic species, Stragulum bicolor, new for the Caribbean, was the most common octocoral. Because they can be harmful to the environment, shipwrecks should be monitored frequently for the occurrence of non-native species, especially when they are only a few years old.

RevDate: 2023-02-03

Carrillo CC, Charbonneau BR, Altman S, et al (2023)

Patterns of dreissenid mussel invasions in western US lakes within an integrated gravity model framework.

Journal of environmental management, 332:117383 pii:S0301-4797(23)00171-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Freshwater invasive species, such as the quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis), are causing over $1 billion USD annually in damages to water infrastructure, recreation, and the environment. Once established, quagga and other dreissenid mussels are extremely difficult to eradicate. Preventing the spread of these invasives is critical and of high management concern. Invasive dreissenid establishment is predicated upon both successful dispersal from a source and suitable habitat in the uninfested waterbody to which they are transported. Recreational boaters have become predominant dispersal vectors making it possible to forecast the risk of invasion of waterbodies for more targeted management and prevention. We developed an integrated mussel dispersal model that couples a constrained gravity model and habitat suitability model to forecast future invasions. The model simulates boater movement between lakes, the likelihood of boats transporting mussels, and the likelihood that those mussels survive in the environmental conditions of the new lake. Model output was most sensitive to changes in boater threshold, then buffer zones, while not as sensitive to changes in habitat suitability. From an initial infested source pool of 11 among 402 Western inland US lakes, we forecast additional lakes infested in several possible simulation scenarios. Constraining movement reduced connectivity between waterbodies with amplifying effects at different distance levels. This model can be used to determine waterbodies most at risk for dreissenid mussel invasion and to highlight the importance of multifactor integrated models in environmental management.

RevDate: 2023-02-03

Bennett JJR, Gomes AS, Ferré MA, et al (2023)

Evidence for scale-dependent root-antation feedback and its role in halting the spread of a pantropical shrub into an endemic sedge.

PNAS nexus, 2(1):pgac294.

Vegetation pattern formation is a widespread phenomenon in resource-limited environments, but the driving mechanisms are largely unconfirmed empirically. Combining results of field studies and mathematical modeling, empirical evidence for a generic pattern-formation mechanism is demonstrated with the clonal shrub Guilandina bonduc L. (hereafter Guilandina) on the Brazilian island of Trindade. The mechanism is associated with water conduction by laterally spread roots and root augmentation as the shoot grows-a crucial element in the positive feedback loop that drives spatial patterning. Assuming precipitation-dependent root-shoot relations, the model accounts for the major vegetation landscapes on Trindade Island, substantiating lateral root augmentation as the driving mechanism of Guilandina patterning. Guilandina expands into surrounding communities dominated by the Trindade endemic, Cyperus atlanticus Hemsl. (hereafter Cyperus). It appears to do so by decreasing the water potential in soils below Cyperus through its dense lateral roots, leaving behind a patchy Guilandina-only landscape. We use this system to highlight a novel form of invasion, likely to apply to many other systems where the invasive species is pattern-forming. Depending on the level of water stress, the invasion can take two distinct forms: (i) a complete invasion at low stress that culminates in a patchy Guilandina-only landscape through a spot-replication process, and (ii) an incomplete invasion at high stress that begins but does not spread, forming isolated Guilandina spots of fixed size, surrounded by bare-soil halos, in an otherwise uniform Cyperus grassland. Thus, drier climates may act selectively on pattern-forming invasive species, imposing incomplete invasion and reducing the negative effects on native species.

RevDate: 2023-02-03
CmpDate: 2023-02-03

Londe DW, Joshi O, York BC, et al (2023)

Climate Change and Wetlands in the Southern Great Plains: How Are Managers Dealing with an Uncertain Future?.

Environmental management, 71(2):379-392.

Little guidance is available to assist wetland managers in developing climate adaptation plans. To facilitate development of recommendations for adaptation strategies, it is essential to first determine if or how wetland managers are addressing these challenges. We used an online survey to solicit feedback from wetland managers and biologists in the Southern Great Plains of North America to gain information on perceptions of wetland managers regarding climate change; assess how the effects of climate change are being addressed through management; and identify barriers to implementing climate change adaptation. The majority of wetland managers (63%) agreed they are currently experiencing effects of climate change in wetlands, and most respondents (76%) reported that changes in the timing of water availability throughout the year was the most likely impact. Managers reported using a diversity of approaches in managing for changing precipitation, with management of native and invasive plant species being the two most common practices. Lack of funding and personnel were the most commonly identified factors limiting manager's response to changing precipitation patterns. In addition, >50% of managers indicated uncertainty about the effects of climate change on wetlands as a barrier to management, which may relate to limited access to peer-reviewed science. While most of the management practices reported were short-term measures and may not reflect long-term adaptation for climate change, the fact that many managers are considering climate change in their management suggests that there is considerable opportunities to continue developing capacity for climate change adaptation in the region.

RevDate: 2023-02-02

Valles SM, Zhao C, Rivers AR, et al (2023)

RNA virus discoveries in the electric ant, Wasmannia auropunctata.

Virus genes pii:10.1007/s11262-023-01969-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite being one of the most destructive invasive species of ants, only two natural enemies are known currently for Wasmannia auropunctata, commonly known as the electric ant or little fire ant. Because viruses can be effective biological control agents against many insect pests, including ants, a metagenomics/next-generation sequencing approach was used to facilitate discovery of virus sequences from the transcriptomes of W. auropunctata. Five new and complete positive sense, single-stranded RNA virus genomes, and one new negative sense, single-stranded RNA virus genome were identified, sequenced, and characterized from W. auropunctata collected in Argentina by this approach, including a dicistrovirus (Electric ant dicistrovirus), two polycipiviruses (Electric ant polycipivirus 1; Electric ant polycipivirus 2), a solinvivirus (Electric ant solinvivirus), a divergent genome with similarity to an unclassified group in the Picornavirales (Electric ant virus 1), and a rhabdovirus (Electric ant rhabdovirus). An additional virus genome was detected that is likely Solenopsis invicta virus 10 (MH727527). The virus genome sequences were absent from the transcriptomes of W. auropunctata collected in the USA (Hawaii and Florida). Additional limited field surveys corroborated the absence of these viruses in regions where the electric ant is invasive (the USA and Australia). The replicative genome strand of four of the viruses (Electric ant polycipivirus 2, Electric ant solinvivirus, Electric ant virus 1, and Solenopsis invicta virus 10 (in the electric ant) was detected in Argentinean-collected W. auropunctata indicating that the ant is a host for these viruses. These are the first virus discoveries to be made from W. auropunctata.

RevDate: 2023-01-31

Beleri S, Balatsos G, Tegos N, et al (2023)

Winter survival of adults of two geographically distant populations of Aedes albopictus in a microclimatic environment of Athens, Greece.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(23)00034-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Overwintering capacity is a major step towards establishment of invasive mosquitoes from the tropics in temperate zone areas and one of the main elements determining next seasons' population size that regulates disease transmission of competent invasive vector species. The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus (Skuse) (Diptera: Culiciidae) is an aggressive invasive species that has greatly expanded its geographical boundaries over the last few decades. The species' ability to induce photoperiodic-based egg diapause allows its overwintering in temperate regions, which favors its establishment in higher latitudes. In warmer temperate areas winter survival can be accomplished in the adult stage as well especially in human-made shelters. Aedes albopictus is already showing signs of adaptation to colder climates which may result in disease transmission in new areas. Although the Asian tiger mosquito has invaded Greece since 2003-4, little is known regarding its overwintering capacity in the country, especially as far as adults are regarded. We studied the survival of Ae. albopictus adults during winter in a protected shelter in Athens, the capital city of Greece. The study involved two geographically isolated populations originating from Chania (Crete, most southern part of Greece), and Palaio Faliro (Athens, Central Greece). We exposed different cohorts of F3 adults of the above two populations that emerged from field collected eggs to "winter condition" from November 2018 to beginning of January 2019. in a protected microclimatic environment. Adult mortality was recorded systematically until the death of the last individual in the cohort. Results demonstrated evidence of winter survival of adults for both populations. Longevity of both females and males of the Palaio Faliro population was longer than that of the Chania population for almost all installation dates. Survival curves, regardless of the date of installation, were steeper for females of the Chania population compared to those from Palaio Faliro. In conclusion, overwinter survival of both populations in the adult stage highlights the need for future studies, considering local and microclimatic condition that vary significantly between regions. Winter climatic conditions play vital role in adult survival of this highly important public health species concerning distribution limits and knowledge on winter survival of Ae. albopictus transmitted viruses.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Meiborg AB, Faber NR, Taylor BA, et al (2023)

The suppressive potential of a gene drive in populations of invasive social wasps is currently limited.

Scientific reports, 13(1):1640.

Social insects are very successful invasive species, and the continued increase of global trade and transportation has exacerbated this problem. The yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax (henceforth Asian hornet), is drastically expanding its range in Western Europe. As an apex insect predator, this hornet poses a serious threat to the honey bee industry and endemic pollinators. Current suppression methods have proven too inefficient and expensive to limit its spread. Gene drives might be an effective tool to control this species, but their use has not yet been thoroughly investigated in social insects. Here, we built a model that matches the hornet's life history and modelled the effect of different gene drive scenarios on an established invasive population. To test the broader applicability and sensitivity of the model, we also incorporated the invasive European paper wasp Polistes dominula. We find that, due to the haplodiploidy of social hymenopterans, only a gene drive targeting female fertility is promising for population control. Our results show that although a gene drive can suppress a social wasp population, it can only do so under fairly stringent gene drive-specific conditions. This is due to a combination of two factors: first, the large number of surviving offspring that social wasp colonies produce make it possible that, even with very limited formation of resistance alleles, such alleles can quickly spread and rescue the population. Second, due to social wasp life history, infertile individuals do not compete with fertile ones, allowing fertile individuals to maintain a large population size even when drive alleles are widespread. Nevertheless, continued improvements in gene drive technology may make it a promising method for the control of invasive social insects in the future.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Paolo Barzanti G, Enkerli J, Benvenuti C, et al (2023)

Genetic variability of Metarhizium isolates from the Ticino Valley Natural Park (Northern Italy) as a possible microbiological resource for the management of Popillia japonica.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(23)00008-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The natural occurrence of entomopathogenic fungi (EPF) was investigated along the Ticino River (Ticino River Natural Park, Novara Province, Piedmont, Italy), at the center of the area of the first settlement of the invasive alien pest Popillia japonica. Using Zimmermann's "Galleria bait method", EPF were successfully isolated from 83 out of 155 soil samples from different habitats (perennial, cultivated, or uncultivated meadows, woodlands, and riverbanks). Sequencing of the 5' end of the Translation Elongation Factor 1 alfa (5'-TEF) region allowed the assignment of 94% of the isolates to Metarhizium spp., while 8% and 7% were assigned to Beauveria spp. and Paecilomyces spp., respectively. Four Metarhizium species were identified: Metarhizium robertsii was the most common one (61.5% of the isolates), followed by M. brunneum (24.4%), M. lepidiotae (9%), and M. guizhouense (5.1%). Microsatellite marker analysis of the Metarhizium isolates revealed the presence of 27 different genotypes, i.e., 10 genotypes among M. robertsii, 8 among M. brunneum, 5 among M. lepidiotae, and 4 among M. guizhouense. Metarhizium brunneum appeared to be associated with woodlands and more acid soils, while the other species showed no clear association with a particular habitat. Laboratory virulence tests against P. japonica 3[rd] instar larvae allowed the identification of one M. robertsii isolate that showed efficacy as high as 80.3%. The importance of this kind of study in the frame of eco-friendly microbiological control is discussed.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Lum JY, Chiu MC, Tseng SP, et al (2023)

Anthropogenic Influence on the Distribution of the Longlegged Ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

Journal of economic entomology pii:7009197 [Epub ahead of print].

The longlegged ant Anoplolepis gracilipes (Smith) is a highly invasive tramp ant species known for its deleterious effects on native ecosystems. While tramp ants are associated with human activity, information on how different intensities of human activity affect their distribution is limited. This study investigated how anthropogenic activities affected the distribution of A. gracilipes in Penang, a tropical island in northern peninsular Malaysia. Three study sites (Youth Park, Sungai Ara, and Bukit Jambul/Relau) were selected, containing four sub-locations corresponding to different levels of human activity (low, moderate, high, and very high), determined by the average number of passersby observed over 30 min. Baited index cards were placed at each sub-location to evaluate ant abundance and distribution. The results demonstrated that A. gracilipes worker abundance was highest in areas of moderate human activity, as opposed to areas with low and higher human activity. The low abundance of A. gracilipes in comparatively undisturbed localities may be attributed to unsuitable microclimate, lack of propagule pressure, and diminished honeydew availability. In contrast, its exclusion from more urbanized localities could be explained by high interspecific competition with other tramp species and the absence of preferred nesting sites.

RevDate: 2023-01-30

Bonthond G, Neu AK, Bayer T, et al (2023)

Non-native hosts of an invasive seaweed holobiont have more stable microbial communities compared to native hosts in response to thermal stress.

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9753.

Seaweeds are colonized by a microbial community, which can be directly linked to their performance. This community is shaped by an interplay of stochastic and deterministic processes, including mechanisms which the holobiont host deploys to manipulate its associated microbiota. The Anna Karenina principle predicts that when a holobiont is exposed to suboptimal or stressful conditions, these host mechanisms may be compromised. This leads to a relative increase of stochastic processes that may potentially result in the succession of a microbial community harmful to the host. Based on this principle, we used the variability in microbial communities (i.e., beta diversity) as a proxy for stability within the invasive holobiont Gracilaria vermiculophylla during a simulated invasion in a common garden experiment. Independent of host range, host performance declined at elevated temperature (22°C) and disease incidence and beta diversity increased. Under thermally stressful conditions, beta diversity increased more in epibiota from native populations, suggesting that epibiota from non-native holobionts are thermally more stable. This pattern reflects an increase in deterministic processes acting on epibiota associated with non-native hosts, which in the setting of a common garden can be assumed to originate from the host itself. Therefore, these experimental data suggest that the invasion process may have selected for hosts better able to maintain stable microbiota during stress. Future studies are needed to identify the underlying host mechanisms.

RevDate: 2023-01-28

Dong R, Dong BC, Fu QY, et al (2023)

Cultivated alien plants with high invasion potential are more likely to be traded online in China.

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

Biological invasions have become a worldwide problem, and measures to efficiently prevent and control invasions are still being developed. Like many other parts of the world, China is undergoing a dramatic increase in plant invasions. Most of the currently 933 established (i.e., naturalized) plant species, of which 214 are categorized as invasive, have been introduced into China for cultivation. It is likely that many of those species are still being traded, particularly online, by plant nurseries. However, studies assessing whether naturalized and invasive species are currently being traded more or less than non-naturalized aliens are rare. We extracted online-trade information for 13,718 cultivated alien plant taxa on, the largest website for domestic B2B in China. We analyzed how the presence in online-nursery catalogues, the number of online nurseries that offer the species for sale, and the product type (i.e., seeds, live plants and vegetative organs) differed among non-naturalized, naturalized non-invasive and invasive species. Compared to non-naturalized taxa, naturalized non-invasive and invasive taxa were 3.7 to 5.2 times more likely available for sale. Naturalized non-invasive and invasive taxa were more frequently offered as seeds by online nurseries, whereas non-naturalized taxa were more frequently offered as live plants. Based on these findings, we propose that, to reduce the further spread of invasive and potentially invasive plants, implementation of plant-trade regulations and a monitoring system of the online horticultural supply chain will be essential.

RevDate: 2023-01-28

Ning Z, Cui B, Chen C, et al (2023)

Tidal channel meanders serve as stepping-stones to facilitate cordgrass landward spread by creating invasion windows.

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

Understanding the mechanisms by which the geomorphic structures affect habitat invasibility by mediating various abiotic and biotic factors is essential for predicting whether these geomorphic structures may provide spatial windows of opportunity to facilitate range-expansion of invasive species in salt marshes. Many studies have linked geomorphic landscape features such as tidal channels to invasion by exotic plants, but the role of tidal channel meanders (i.e., convex and concave sides) in regulating the Spartina alterniflora invasion remains unclear. Here, we examined the combined effects of tidal channel meander-mediated hydrodynamic variables, soil abiotic stresses and propagule pressure on the colonization of Spartina in the Yellow River Delta, China, by conducting field observations and experiments. The results showed that lower hydrodynamic disturbance, bed shear stress, and higher propagule pressure triggered by eddies due to the convex structure of channel meanders facilitated Spartina seedling establishment and growth, whereas the concave side considerably inhibited the Spartina invasion. Lower soil abiotic stresses also significantly promoted the invasibility of the channel meanders by Spartina. Based on these findings, we propose a conceptual framework to illustrate the effects of the meandering geomorphology of tidal channels on the mechanisms that might allow the landward spread of Spartina and related processes. Our results demonstrate that the meandering geomorphic structures of tidal channels could act as stepping-stones to significantly facilitate the landward invasion of Spartina along tidal channels. This implies that geomorphic characteristics of tidal channels should be integrated into invasive species control and salt marsh management strategies.

RevDate: 2023-01-28

Wang N, Song M, Zhang Y, et al (2023)

Physiological responses of Quercus acutissima and Quercus rubra seedlings to drought and defoliation treatments.

Tree physiology pii:7008455 [Epub ahead of print].

Ongoing global climate change is increasing the risk of drought stress in some areas, which may compromise forest health. Such drought events also increase outbreaks of insect herbivores, resulting in plant defoliation. Interactions between drought and defoliation are poorly understood. In a greenhouse experiment, we selected a native species, Quercus acutissima, and an alien species, Quercus rubra, to explore their physiological responses to drought and defoliation treatments. After the treatments, we determined the seedlings' physiological responses on days 10 and 60. Our results showed that the defoliation treatment accelerated the carbon reserve consumption of plants under drought stress and inhibited the growth of both seedling types. Under the drought condition, Q. rubra maintained normal stem-specific hydraulic conductivity and normal growth parameters during the early stage of stress, while Q. acutissima used less water and grew more slowly during the experiment. Sixty days after defoliation treatment, the stem starch concentration of Q. acutissima was higher than that of the control group, but the stem biomass was lower. This indicates that Q. acutissima adopted a 'slow strategy' after stress, and more resources were used for storage rather than growth, which was conducive to the ability of these seedlings to resist recurrent biotic attack. Thus, Q. acutissima may be more tolerant to drought and defoliation than Q. rubra. The resource acquisition strategies of Quercus in this study suggest that the native Quercus species may be more successful at a long-term resource-poor site than the alien Quercus species.

RevDate: 2023-01-27

Brandler KG, JT Carlton (2023)

First report of marine debris as a species dispersal vector in the temperate Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

Marine pollution bulletin, 188:114631 pii:S0025-326X(23)00062-0 [Epub ahead of print].

We provide the first report of the role of marine debris in transporting native and introduced species in the temperate Northwest Atlantic Ocean. Plastic was the most frequent biofouled material. Thirty-three attached species (five non-native) were found on rafted debris, 16 of which have not been previously reported as rafters. Forty-six percent of the attached invertebrate rafters (including three of the introduced species, the bryozoans Fenestrulina delicia and Tricellaria inopinata and the spirorbid Janua heterostropha) detected in this study reproduce by either direct development or produce larvae of short-term planktonic existence, suggesting that rafting on long-term, non-biodegradable debris may enhance their dispersal potential. We suggest that a prominent non-native species, the green alga Codium fragile fragile, may play a previously undetected role in the transport of marine debris and associated biofouling. Marine debris may further be a potentially significant source of biodiversity records; we detected two bryozoan species in our study region that were either previously unknown or had not been found for >75 years.

RevDate: 2023-01-27
CmpDate: 2023-01-27

Qu X, Olden JD, Xia W, et al (2023)

Hydrology and water quality shape macroinvertebrate patterns and facilitate non-native species dispersals in an inter-basin water transfer system.

Journal of environmental management, 329:117111.

Understanding biotic assemblage variations resulting from water diversions and other pressures is critical for aquatic ecosystem conservation, but hampered by limited research. Mechanisms driving macroinvertebrate assemblages were determined across five lakes along China's South-to-North Water Diversion Project, an over 900-km water transfer system connecting four river basins. We assessed macroinvertebrate patterns from 59 sites in relation to water quality, climatic, spatial, and hydrologic factors. Macroinvertebrate density, biomass, and species richness increased from upriver to downriver lakes, and were higher during the water transfer period than in the non-water transfer period. Non-native species including Nephtys sp., Paranthura japonica, Potamillacf acuminata, Capitekkidae spp. and Novaculina chinensis, were distributed along the entire study system, some become dominant in upriver lakes. High species turnover occurred in two upriver lakes. Hydrology and water quality are critical factors in shaping these macroinvertebrate patterns. Hydrological disturbance by water transfer boosted macroinvertebrate abundance during the water transfer period while facilitated non-native species dispersals and increased biotic homogenization. This study indicates the need for: 1) an effective ecosystem monitoring system; 2) unified system management standards; 3) external pollution controls; and 4) limiting the dispersal of non-native species.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Liu W, An S, Cheng P, et al (2023)

Whole-transcriptome profiling across different developmental stages of Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) provides insights into chitin-related non-coding RNA and competing endogenous RNA networks.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):33.

BACKGROUND: The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is one of the most invasive species and a vector of numerous arboviruses. The deleterious effects of long-term and inappropriate use of chemical pesticides have stimulated the exploration of new, environmentally friendly control strategies. Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) have been proven to participate in almost all biological processes of insects.

METHODS: In this study, circular RNAs (circRNAs) and microRNAs (miRNAs) covering five developmental stages [egg, early larvae, late larvae, pupae, adult (female and male)] of A. albopictus were obtained using whole-transcriptome sequencing technology. Combined with long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) from previous research, circRNA/lncRNA‒miRNA‒mitochondrial RNA (mRNA) networks were constructed.

RESULTS: A total of 1434 circRNAs and 208 miRNAs were identified. More differentially expressed circRNAs (DE circRNAs) and miRNAs (DE miRNAs) were found in the egg versus early larvae comparison group. Functional enrichment analysis demonstrated that most of the circRNA/lncRNA‒miRNA‒mRNA networks were involved in chitin metabolism. Hub genes of each circRNA/lncRNA‒miRNA‒mRNA network were screened out, which can be used as novel targets to disturb the molting process of A. albopictus.

CONCLUSIONS: Regulatory relationships obtained from competing endogenous RNA (ceRNA) networks provide more information to manipulate the metamorphosis process and are helpful for developing effective and sustainable methods to control mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Oficialdegui FJ, Zamora-Marín JM, Guareschi S, et al (2023)

A horizon scan exercise for aquatic invasive alien species in Iberian inland waters.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)00413-8 [Epub ahead of print].

As the number of introduced species keeps increasing unabatedly, identifying and prioritising current and potential Invasive Alien Species (IAS) has become essential to manage them. Horizon Scanning (HS), defined as an exploration of potential threats, is considered a fundamental component of IAS management. By combining scientific knowledge on taxa with expert opinion, we identified the most relevant aquatic IAS in the Iberian Peninsula, i.e., those with the greatest geographic extent (or probability of introduction), severe ecological, economic and human health impacts, greatest difficulty and acceptability of management. We highlighted the 126 most relevant IAS already present in Iberian inland waters (i.e., Concern list) and 89 with a high probability of being introduced in the near future (i.e., Alert list), of which 24 and 10 IAS, respectively, were considered as a management priority after receiving the highest scores in the expert assessment (i.e., top-ranked IAS). In both lists, aquatic IAS belonging to the four thematic groups (plants, freshwater invertebrates, estuarine invertebrates, and vertebrates) were identified as having been introduced through various pathways from different regions of the world and classified according to their main functional feeding groups. Also, the latest update of the list of IAS of Union concern pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 1143/2014 includes only 12 top-ranked IAS identified for the Iberian Peninsula, while the national lists incorporate the vast majority of them. This fact underlines the great importance of taxa prioritisation exercises at biogeographical scales as a step prior to risk analyses and their inclusion in national lists. This HS provides a robust assessment and a cost-effective strategy for decision-makers and stakeholders to prioritise the use of limited resources for IAS prevention and management. Although applied at a transnational level in a European biodiversity hotspot, this approach is designed for potential application at any geographical or administrative scale, including the continental one.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Siddiqui JA, Fan R, Naz H, et al (2022)

Insights into insecticide-resistance mechanisms in invasive species: Challenges and control strategies.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:1112278.

Threatening the global community is a wide variety of potential threats, most notably invasive pest species. Invasive pest species are non-native organisms that humans have either accidentally or intentionally spread to new regions. One of the most effective and first lines of control strategies for controlling pests is the application of insecticides. These toxic chemicals are employed to get rid of pests, but they pose great risks to people, animals, and plants. Pesticides are heavily used in managing invasive pests in the current era. Due to the overuse of synthetic chemicals, numerous invasive species have already developed resistance. The resistance development is the main reason for the failure to manage the invasive species. Developing pesticide resistance management techniques necessitates a thorough understanding of the mechanisms through which insects acquire insecticide resistance. Insects use a variety of behavioral, biochemical, physiological, genetic, and metabolic methods to deal with toxic chemicals, which can lead to resistance through continuous overexpression of detoxifying enzymes. An overabundance of enzymes causes metabolic resistance, detoxifying pesticides and rendering them ineffective against pests. A key factor in the development of metabolic resistance is the amplification of certain metabolic enzymes, specifically esterases, Glutathione S-transferase, Cytochromes p450 monooxygenase, and hydrolyses. Additionally, insect guts offer unique habitats for microbial colonization, and gut bacteria may serve their hosts a variety of useful services. Most importantly, the detoxification of insecticides leads to resistance development. The complete knowledge of invasive pest species and their mechanisms of resistance development could be very helpful in coping with the challenges and effectively developing effective strategies for the control of invasive species. Integrated Pest Management is particularly effective at lowering the risk of chemical and environmental contaminants and the resulting health issues, and it may also offer the most effective ways to control insect pests.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Chiu JH, Chong KY, Lum SKY, et al (2023)

Trends in the direction of global plant invasion biology research over the past two decades.

Ecology and evolution, 13(1):e9690.

Invasive plants are a growing ecological problem worldwide, but biases and patterns within invasive plant research may affect our understanding of invasive plant ecology. In this study, we analyzed 458 invasive plant papers sampled from the two journals dedicated entirely to the field of invasion biology, i.e., Biological Invasions and Neobiota. From these papers, we collected information on geographic coverage, climate, habitat, taxonomic coverage, plant functional type, and research topic to examine trends across a 21-year time period from 1999 to 2020. Our analysis found that invasive plant research was consistently biased toward temperate grassland and forest ecosystems particularly within the Americas, Europe, and Australia, and toward smaller, herbaceous invasive plant species (i.e., forbs, grasses, and shrubs), with an increase in interest in invasive nitrogen-fixing legumes over time. Our analysis also identified "hot" research topics in invasive plant research at specific time periods, such as a peak in the use of genetic analysis methods in 2014-2015 and a more recent focus on plant physiological and functional traits. While current models, concepts, and understanding of plant invasion ecology are still driven by such biases, this has been partially offset by recent increased research in understudied systems, as well as increasing awareness that plant invasion is heavily affected by their growth types, physiological traits, and soil interactions. As the field of invasion biology becomes ever increasingly important over time, focusing invasive plant research on understudied ecosystems and plant groups will allow us to develop a more holistic understanding of the ecology of invasive plants. In particular, given the outsized importance of the tropics to global biodiversity, the threats they face, and the dearth of studies, it is of critical importance that more invasive plant research is conducted within the tropics to develop a more globally representative understanding of invasive plant ecology.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Konopiński MK, Fijarczyk AM, A Biedrzycka (2023)

Complex patterns shape immune genes diversity during invasion of common raccoon in Europe - Selection in action despite genetic drift.

Evolutionary applications, 16(1):134-151.

Rapid adaptation is common in invasive populations and is crucial to their long-term success. The primary target of selection in the invasive species' new range is standing genetic variation. Therefore, genetic drift and natural selection acting on existing variation are key evolutionary processes through which invaders will evolve over a short timescale. In this study, we used the case of the raccoon Procyon lotor invasion in Europe to identify the forces shaping the diversity of immune genes during invasion. The genes involved in the defence against infection should be under intense selection pressure in the invasive range where novel pathogens are expected to occur. To disentangle the selective and demographic processes shaping the adaptive immune diversity of its invasive and expanding populations, we have developed species-specific single-nucleotide polymorphism markers located in the coding regions of targeted immune-related genes. We characterised the genetic diversity of 110 functionally important immune genes in two invasive and one native raccoon genetic clusters, each presenting a different demographic history. Despite the strong effect of demographic processes in the invasive clusters, we detected a subset of genes exhibiting the diversity pattern suggestive of selection. The most likely process shaping the variation in those genes was balancing selection. The selected genes belong to toll-like receptors and cytokine-related genes. Our results suggest that the prevalence of selection depends on the level of diversity, that is - less genetically diverse invasive population from the Czech Republic displayed fewer signs of selection. Our results highlight the role of standing genetic variation in adapting to new environment. Understanding the evolutionary mechanisms behind invasion success would enable predicting how populations may respond to environmental change.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

Deschepper P, Vanbergen S, Zhang Y, et al (2023)

Bactrocera dorsalis in the Indian Ocean: A tale of two invasions.

Evolutionary applications, 16(1):48-61.

An increasing number of invasive fruit fly pests are colonizing new grounds. With this study, we aimed to uncover the invasion pathways of the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis into the islands of the Indian Ocean. By using genome-wide SNP data and a multipronged approach consisting of PCA, ancestry analysis, phylogenetic inference, and kinship networks, we were able to resolve two independent invasion pathways. A western invasion pathway involved the stepping-stone migration of B. dorsalis from the east African coast into the Comoros, along Mayotte and into Madagascar with a decreasing genetic diversity. The Mascarene islands (Reunion and Mauritius), on the contrary, were colonized directly from Asia and formed a distinct cluster. The low nucleotide diversity suggests that only a few genotypes invaded the Mascarenes. The presence of many long runs of homozygosity (ROH) in the introduced populations is indicative of population bottlenecks, with evidence of a more severe bottleneck for populations along the western migration pathway than on the Mascarene islands. More strict phytosanitary regulations are recommended in order to prevent the further spread of B. dorsalis.

RevDate: 2023-01-26

EFSA Panel on Plant Health (PLH), Bragard C, Baptista P, et al (2023)

Pest categorisation of Nipaecoccus viridis.

EFSA journal. European Food Safety Authority, 21(1):e07770.

The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Nipaecoccus viridis (Hemiptera: Sternorrhyncha: Pseudococcidae), the spherical scale, for the EU. It is of Asian origin and occurs widely in southern Asia, Africa and tropical Australia. It has been introduced to a few countries in the Americas. In the Mediterranean basin it is found in Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Syria and Turkey, where it is limited to the Marmara region. It has not been reported within the EU. It is not listed in Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072. It reproduces sexually, has three generations each year in citrus orchards in South Africa, and all stages can overwinter. First instar nymphs may move to neighbouring plants by crawling or be passively dispersed by wind or hitchhiking on clothing, equipment or animals. It is highly polyphagous, feeding on plants in 115 genera and 46 families. It is an important pest of citrus (Citrus spp.), cotton (Gossypium spp.), mango (Mangifera indica), avocado (Persea americana) and stored potatoes (Solanum tuberosum). It also feeds on a wide range of other fruit (apple Malus domestica, olive Olea europea, pear Pyrus communis and grape Vitis vinifera) and vegetable crops (tomato Solanum lycopersicum), and ornamental plants (roses, Rosa spp.) that are widely grown in the EU. Plants for planting, fruits, vegetables, and cut flowers are the main potential pathways for entry of N. viridis into the EU. Climatic conditions and availability of host plants in southern parts of the EU where there are few days of frost each year would likely allow this species to successfully establish and spread. Reductions in yield and quality of cultivated hosts including avocado, citrus, cotton and mango is anticipated if establishment occurs. Phytosanitary measures are available to reduce the likelihood of entry and spread. N. viridis meets the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for this species to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.

RevDate: 2023-01-25
CmpDate: 2023-01-25

Hu SY, Gao H, Li J, et al (2023)

The latitudinal and longitudinal allelopathic patterns of an invasive alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) in China.

PloS one, 18(1):e0280866.

Allelopathy has been considered a good explanation for the successful invasion of some invasive plants. However, the real latitudinal and longitudinal allelopathic effects on native species have rarely been documented since many exotics have spread widely. We conducted a Petri dish experiment to determine the latitudinal and longitudinal allelopathic patterns of an invasive alligator weed (Alternanthera philoxeroides) on a common crop (Lactuca sativa) in China, and find what determines the allelopathic intensity. The results showed that the allelopathic effects of A. philoxeroides increased with the latitude while decreased with the longitude. This indicated that A. philoxeroides used its allelopathy to gain competitive advantages more in its recent invaded communities than that in its early invaded ones as A. philoxeroides is expanding from southeast China to northwest China. Furthermore, we found that the allelopathic intensity of A. philoxeroide was negatively correlated to the leaf contents of soluble carbohydrate (SC), carbon (C) and nitrogen (N), but that was positively correlated to the leaf contents of soluble protein (SP), free amino acids (FAA), plant polyphenol (PP), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). These results suggested that the allelopathic intensity of A. philoxeroide was more determined by the limited P and K nutrients as well as the intermediate allelochemicals (SP, FAA, PP) rather than the unlimited C, N and SC. Thus, we can speculate that the negative or positive effects of plant aqueous extracts are a function of not only the extract concentrations but also the trade-offs between inhibition and promotion of all components in the extracts. Then we could reduce the allelopathic effects of A. philoxeroide by controlling the component contents in the plant tissues, by fertilization or other managements, especially in the plant recent invaded communities.

RevDate: 2023-01-25
CmpDate: 2023-01-25

Nahrung HF, Liebhold AM, Brockerhoff EG, et al (2023)

Forest Insect Biosecurity: Processes, Patterns, Predictions, Pitfalls.

Annual review of entomology, 68:211-229.

The economic and environmental threats posed by non-native forest insects are ever increasing with the continuing globalization of trade and travel; thus, the need for mitigation through effective biosecurity is greater than ever. However, despite decades of research and implementation of preborder, border, and postborder preventative measures, insect invasions continue to occur, with no evidence of saturation, and are even predicted to accelerate. In this article, we review biosecurity measures used to mitigate the arrival, establishment, spread, and impacts of non-native forest insects and possible impediments to the successful implementation of these measures. Biosecurity successes are likely under-recognized because they are difficult to detect and quantify, whereas failures are more evident in the continued establishment of additional non-native species. There are limitations in existing biosecurity systems at global and country scales (for example, inspecting all imports is impossible, no phytosanitary measures are perfect, knownunknowns cannot be regulated against, and noncompliance is an ongoing problem). Biosecurity should be a shared responsibility across countries, governments, stakeholders, and individuals.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Hoffmann BD, Tessmann A, Quinn G, et al (2023)

Quantification of flight times of aerial treatments targeting invasive species: The interplay of helicopter or drone with bait delivery systems, flight speed and bait form.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Aerial treatments for invasive species management are now common, but we are unaware of any work published in the scientific literature quantifying how the interplay of numerous factors affects flight times and therefore operational costs. Here we analyse aerial treatment data collected from two ant eradication programs, quantifying how the relationships between flight time and area are influenced by numerous aircraft/delivery system/bait/flight speed combinations.

RESULTS: For bait dispersal by helicopters, and when swath widths are equivalent, using side-mounted Isolair was significantly more efficient than simultaneous use of two underslung buckets, and using two buckets was slightly but not significantly more efficient than using just one bucket. In this scenario delivery by Isolair was, on average, 39.8% and 31.5% more efficient than the use of either one or two buckets respectively. But when the swath width used with the Isolair was halved to 10 m and the flight speed increased slightly, the flight time was significantly greater compared to both other configurations. For bait dispersed by drone, flights conducted using an upgraded flight management system (FMS) and higher flight speed but smaller swath width were significantly more efficient than those using the older FMS and lower flight speed. Over 10 ha and 50 ha the helicopter was 2.87 and 4.82 times more time efficient than the drone.

CONCLUSION: We highly encourage practitioners to publish data of their aerial treatments, as well as to try new methods, to enable an acceleration of improving efficiencies and reducing costs of aerial treatments. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Stock A, Murray CC, Gregr E, et al (2023)

Exploring multiple stressor effects with Ecopath, Ecosim, and Ecospace: Research designs, modeling techniques, and future directions.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)00334-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the cumulative effects of multiple stressors is a research priority in environmental science. Ecological models are a key component of tackling this challenge because they can simulate interactions between the components of an ecosystem. Here, we ask, how has the popular modeling platform Ecopath with Ecosim (EwE) been used to model human impacts related to climate change, land and sea use, pollution, and invasive species? We conducted a literature review encompassing 166 studies covering stressors other than fishing mostly in aquatic ecosystems. The most modeled stressors were physical climate change (60 studies), species introductions (22), habitat loss (21), and eutrophication (20), using a range of modeling techniques. Despite this comprehensive coverage, we identified four gaps that must be filled to harness the potential of EwE for studying multiple stressor effects. First, only 12% of studies investigated three or more stressors, with most studies focusing on single stressors. Furthermore, many studies modeled only one of many pathways through which each stressor is known to affect ecosystems. Second, various methods have been applied to define environmental response functions representing the effects of single stressors on species groups. These functions can have a large effect on the simulated ecological changes, but best practices for deriving them are yet to emerge. Third, human dimensions of environmental change - except for fisheries - were rarely considered. Fourth, only 3% of studies used statistical research designs that allow attribution of simulated ecosystem changes to stressors' direct effects and interactions, such as factorial (computational) experiments. None made full use of the statistical possibilities that arise when simulations can be repeated many times with controlled changes to the inputs. We argue that all four gaps are feasibly filled by integrating ecological modeling with advances in other subfields of environmental science and in computational statistics.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Wolf S, Collatz J, Enkerli J, et al (2023)

Assessing potential hybridization between a hypothetical gene drive-modified Drosophila suzukii and nontarget Drosophila species.

Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis [Epub ahead of print].

Genetically engineered gene drives (geGD) are potentially powerful tools for suppressing or even eradicating populations of pest insects. Before living geGD insects can be released into the environment, they must pass an environmental risk assessment to ensure that their release will not cause unacceptable harm to non-targeted entities of the environment. A key research question concerns the likelihood that nontarget species will acquire the functional GD elements; such acquisition could lead to reduced abundance or loss of those species and to a disruption of the ecosystem services they provide. The main route for gene flow is through hybridization between the geGD insect strain and closely related species that co-occur in the area of release and its expected dispersal. Using the invasive spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii, as a case study, we provide a generally applicable strategy on how a combination of interspecific hybridization experiments, behavioral observations, and molecular genetic analyses can be used to assess the potential for hybridization.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Zaninotto V, Thebault E, I Dajoz (2023)

Native and exotic plants play different roles in urban pollination networks across seasons.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Urban areas often host exotic plant species, whether managed or spontaneous. These plants are suspected of affecting pollinator diversity and the structure of pollination networks. However, in dense cityscapes, exotic plants also provide additional flower resources during periods of scarcity, and the consequences for the seasonal dynamics of networks still need to be investigated. For two consecutive years, we monitored monthly plant-pollinator networks in 12 green spaces in Paris, France. We focused on seasonal variations in the availability and attractiveness of flower resources, comparing native and exotic plants at both the species and community levels. We also considered their respective contributions to network properties over time (specialization and nestedness). Exotic plants provided more abundant and diverse flower resources than native plants, especially from late summer on. However, native plants received more visits and attracted more pollinator species at the community level; and during certain times of the year at the species level as well. Exotic plants were involved in more generalist interactions, increasingly so over the seasons. In addition, they contributed more to network nestedness than native plants. These results show that exotic plants are major components of plant-pollinator interactions in a dense urban landscape, even though they are less attractive than natives. They constitute a core of generalist interactions that increase nestedness and can participate in the overall stability of the network. However, most exotic species were seldom visited by insects. Pollinator communities may benefit from including more native species when managing urban green spaces.

RevDate: 2023-01-24

Li Y, X Xu (2023)

No evidence that modification of soil microbiota by woody invader facilitates subsequent invasion by herbaceous species.

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

Many terrestrial ecosystems are co-invaded by multiple exotic species. The "invasional meltdown" hypothesis predicts that an initial invasive species will facilitate secondary invasions. In the plant kingdom, the potential underlying mechanisms of this hypothesis may be that modification of the soil properties by the initial invaders benefits for the subsequent exotic species invasion. In this study, we analyzed the composition of soil microbial communities and soil chemical properties from sites invaded by woody Rhus typhina, as well as uninvaded sites, to assess the impact of R. typhina invasion. Furthermore, we conducted a greenhouse experiment with multiple native-invasive pairs of herbaceous species to test whether R. typhina invasion facilitates subsequent exotic herb invasion. Our results showed that R. typthian invasion significantly altered the composition of soil fungal communities, especially pathogenic, endophytic, and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. However, this change in microbial composition led to neither direction nor magnitude changes in negative plant-soil feedback effects on both native and invasive species. This indicates that initial R. typhina invasion does not facilitate subsequent herb invasion, which does not support the "invasional meltdown" hypothesis. Additionally, R. typthian invasion significantly decreased soil total nitrogen and organic carbon contents, which may explain the significantly lower biomass of herbaceous roots grown in invaded soils than uninvaded soils. Alternately, although invasive herb growth was significantly more inhibited by soil microbiota than native herb growth, such inhibition cannot completely eliminate the risk of exotic herb invasion because of their innate growth advantages. Therefore, microbial biocontrol agents for plant invasion management should be combined with another approach to suppress the innate growth advantages of exotic species.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Deshpande P, Sharma R, Lehikoinen A, et al (2023)

Native fauna interact differently with native and alien trees in a tropical megacity.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)00298-X [Epub ahead of print].

The negative effects of invasive alien plant species on natural ecosystems are well known. However, in rapidly growing cities, alien plants can provide native fauna with resources otherwise lost due to the biotic homogenization, which is common to urban ecosystems. Interactions of native fauna with alien flora have thus far focused largely on invertebrate pollinators in temperate cities in the northern hemisphere. Cities in tropical areas, however, are larger and are growing more rapidly, and host a variety of vertebrate pollinators. Understanding how birds and mammals interact with native and alien flora in these megacities could improve management of urban ecosystems in highly biodiverse regions while limiting invasion potential. Therefore, here we investigate whether native diurnal birds and mammals interact differently with native versus alien trees in Bengaluru, India where historical planting has led to an abundance of alien tree species. We find that tree origin alone was not an important predictor for bird species richness and abundance, but taller native trees with large floral display sizes were more species rich than alien trees of similar floral displays. As expected from their shared evolutionary history, nectarivorous birds fed from native trees more often in a manner that could facilitate pollination, but engaged in nectar theft more often with alien trees. Squirrels (the mammal observed most frequently to interact with flowers) were more likely, however, to depredate flowers of native trees. Our results suggest alien trees can be an important resource for fauna in expanding urban areas, and that nectar theft by birds could reduce the seed set of alien trees.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Bae S, Kim P, CH Yi (2023)

Biodiversity and spatial distribution of ascidian using environmental DNA metabarcoding.

Marine environmental research, 185:105893 pii:S0141-1136(23)00021-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Monitoring studies are necessary to understand the biodiversity of marine ecosystems and are useful for identifying and managing rare or invasive species. Because monitoring has traditionally relied only on visual surveys (e.g., trapping, netting, electrofishing, and SCUBA diving) with limited time and physical resources, environmental DNA (eDNA) analysis is being applied as an efficient monitoring method. This study compared whether the eDNA metabarcoding technique can replace the traditional visual survey in an ascidian fauna study. We designed ascidian-specific primers and identified a clear gap (3.75%) by barcoding gap analysis. Then, we collected seawater samples for eDNA analysis during the summer (August-September) of 2021 at three sites (Mokpo, Yeosu, and Uljin) in South Korea. In the survey sites of this study, 25 species were observed through literature and visual survey, among which 9 species were detected by metabarcoding and 16 species were not detected. On the other hand, 10 species were detected only by metabarcoding, and one of them was identified as Pyura mirabilis, an unrecorded species in South Korea. This study succeeded in detecting cryptic or rare species with one seawater collection, which can be used to determine their unexplored habitat. Therefore, we conclude that monitoring using eDNA is more efficient than visual surveys for detecting rare or cryptic ascidian species. We also suggest that, when combined with traditional monitoring methods, it could be a tool to complement ascidian fauna studies.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Peter N, Dörge DD, Cunze S, et al (2023)

Raccoons contraband - The metazoan parasite fauna of free-ranging raccoons in central Europe.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 20:79-88.

The invasive raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an abundant carnivore and considered as an important potential vector of infectious diseases and parasites in Europe. Raccoons show a broad, opportunistic, omnivorous food spectrum. Food supply and habitat quality in urban areas are very attractive for the generalist raccoon. This inevitably leads to increased interaction with humans, domestic animals and livestock, making the raccoon a potentially suitable zoonosis vector. In its autochthonous range, especially in the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the raccoon has been studied very intensively since the beginning of the 20th century. Whereas, basic field biology and parasitology studies in Germany and Europe are lacking and have only been conducted sporadically, regionally and on small sample sizes. In the presented study 234 raccoons from central Germany were comprehensively examined for their metazoan parasite fauna. The present study shows for the first time an extremely diverse parasite fauna in raccoons outside their native range and proves their essential role as intermediate hosts and hosts for ecto- and endoparasites. A total of 23 different parasite species were identified, five of which are human pathogens, 14 of which are new for the parasite fauna of raccoons in Europe. The human pathogenic raccoon roundworm Baylisascaris procyonis is the most common parasite species in this study, with a prevalence of up to 95%. The digenetic trematode Plagiorchis muris, another human pathogenic parasite species, was detected for the first time in raccoons. The ongoing spread of invasive carnivores and the associated spread and transmission of their parasites and other pathogens increases the potential health risk of wild and farmed animals as well as humans. An increase in parasitic diseases in humans (e.g. raccoon roundworm) is to be expected, especially in urban areas, where raccoons are becoming more and more abundant.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Seok S, Jacobsen CM, Romero-Weaver AL, et al (2023)

Complete mitogenome sequence of Aedes (Hulecoeteomyia) japonicus japonicus from Hawai'i Island.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 8(1):64-68.

We report the first complete mitogenome (Mt) sequence of Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae). The sequence was extracted from one adult from the Big Island of Hawai'i Island. The length of the Ae. japonicus japonicus Mt was 16,528bp with 78.1% AT content. Its sequence is most similar to the Mt sequence of Aedes koreicus with 90.81% sequence identity. This is the first full Mt sequence available for this species and provides important genetic resource for studying population genetics and dynamics of this important invasive mosquito species.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Garcia-Rueda AL, Mascaro M, Rodriguez-Fuentes G, et al (2022)

Moderate hypoxia mitigates the physiological effects of high temperature on the tropical blue crab Callinectes sapidus.

Frontiers in physiology, 13:1089164.

Dissolved oxygen (DO) and water temperature vary in coastal environments. In tropical regions, the ability of aquatic ectotherms to cope with hypoxia and high-temperature interactive effects is fundamental for their survival. The mechanisms underlying both hypoxia and thermal tolerance are known to be interconnected, therefore, the idea of cross-tolerance between both environmental stressors has been put forward. We investigated the combined role of hypoxia and temperature changes on the physiological responses of blue crab Callinectes sapidus living in the southern Gulf of Mexico. We measured oxygen consumption, plasmatic biochemical indicators, total hemocyte count (THC), and antioxidant activity biomarkers in muscle and gill tissues of blue crab acclimated to moderate hypoxia or normoxia and exposed to a thermal fluctuation or a constant temperature, the former including a temperature beyond the optimum range. Animals recovered their routine metabolic rate (RMR) after experiencing thermal stress in normoxia, reflecting physiological plasticity to temperature changes. In hypoxia, the effect of increasing temperature was modulated as reflected in the RMR and plasmatic biochemical indicators concentration, and the THC did not suggest significant alterations in the health status. In both DO, the antioxidant defense system was active against oxidative (OX) damage to lipids and proteins. However, hypoxia was associated with an increase in the amelioration of OX damage. These results show that C. sapidus can modulate its thermal response in a stringent dependency with DO, supporting the idea of local acclimatization to tropical conditions, and providing insights into its potential as invasive species.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Liu YY, Yang QF, Li Z, et al (2022)

Parallel genetic and phenotypic differentiation of Erigeron annuus invasion in China.

Frontiers in plant science, 13:994367.

INTRODUCTION: The factors that determine the growth and spread advantages of an alien plant during the invasion process remain open to debate. The genetic diversity and differentiation of an invasive plant population might be closely related to its growth adaptation and spread in the introduced range. However, little is known about whether phenotypic and genetic variation in invasive plant populations covary during the invasion process along invaded geographic distances.

METHODS: In a wild experiment, we examined the genetic variation in populations of the aggressively invasive species Erigeron annuus at different geographical distances from the first recorded point of introduction (FRPI) in China. We also measured growth traits in the wild and common garden experiments, and the coefficient of variation (CV) of populations in the common garden experiments.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: We found that E. annuus populations had better growth performance (i.e., height and biomass) and genetic diversity, and less trait variation, in the long-term introduced region (east) than in the short-term introduced region (west). Furthermore, population growth performance was significantly positively or negatively correlated with genetic diversity or genetic variation. Our results indicate that there was parallel genetic and phenotypic differentiation along the invaded geographic distance in response to adaptation and spread, and populations that entered introduced regions earlier had consistently high genetic diversity and high growth dominance. Growth and reproduction traits can be used as reliable predictors of the adaptation and genetic variation of invasive plants.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Huisamen EJ, Karsten M, JS Terblanche (2022)

Are Signals of Local Environmental Adaptation Diluted by Laboratory Culture?.

Current research in insect science, 2:100048.

Insects have the ability to readily adapt to changes in environmental conditions, however the strength of local environmental adaptation signals under divergent conditions and the occurrence of trait inertia after relaxation of selection, remains poorly understood, especially for traits of climate stress resistance (CSR) and their phenotypic plasticity. The strength of environmental adaptation signals depend on several selection pressures present in the local environment, while trait inertia often occurs when there is a weakening or removal of a source of selection. Here, using Drosophila melanogaster, we asked whether signals of adaptation in CSR traits (critical thermal limits, heat and chill survival and, desiccation and starvation resistance) persist after exposure to laboratory culture for different durations (two vs. ten generations) across four climatically distinct populations. We show that culture duration has large effects on CSR traits and can both amplify or dilute signals of local adaptation. Effects were however dependent upon interactions between the source population, acclimation (adult acclimation at either 18 °C, 23 °C or 28 °C) conditions and the sex of the flies. Trait plasticity is markedly affected by the interaction between the source population, the specific acclimation conditions employed, and the duration in the laboratory. Therefore, a complex matrix of dynamic CSR trait responses is shown in space and time. Given these strong interaction effects, 'snapshot' estimates of environmental adaptation can result in misleading conclusions about the fitness consequences of climate variability.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Beet CR, Hogg ID, Cary SC, et al (2022)

The Resilience of Polar Collembola (Springtails) in a Changing Climate.

Current research in insect science, 2:100046.

Assessing the resilience of polar biota to climate change is essential for predicting the effects of changing environmental conditions for ecosystems. Collembola are abundant in terrestrial polar ecosystems and are integral to food-webs and soil nutrient cycling. Using available literature, we consider resistance (genetic diversity; behavioural avoidance and physiological tolerances; biotic interactions) and recovery potential for polar Collembola. Polar Collembola have high levels of genetic diversity, considerable capacity for behavioural avoidance, wide thermal tolerance ranges, physiological plasticity, generalist-opportunistic feeding habits and broad ecological niches. The biggest threats to the ongoing resistance of polar Collembola are increasing levels of dispersal (gene flow), increased mean and extreme temperatures, drought, changing biotic interactions, and the arrival and spread of invasive species. If resistance capacities are insufficient, numerous studies have highlighted that while some species can recover from disturbances quickly, complete community-level recovery is exceedingly slow. Species dwelling deeper in the soil profile may be less able to resist climate change and may not recover in ecologically realistic timescales given the current rate of climate change. Ultimately, diverse communities are more likely to have species or populations that are able to resist or recover from disturbances. While much of the Arctic has comparatively high levels of diversity and phenotypic plasticity; areas of Antarctica have extremely low levels of diversity and are potentially much more vulnerable to climate change.

RevDate: 2023-01-23

Guiaşu RC, CW Tindale (2023)

Logical fallacies persist in invasion biology and blaming the messengers will not improve accountability in this field: a response to Frank et al.

Biology & philosophy, 38(1):3.

We analyze the "Logical fallacies and reasonable debates in invasion biology: a response to Guiaşu and Tindale" article by Frank et al., and also discuss this work in the context of recent intense debates in invasion biology, and reactions by leading invasion biologists to critics of aspects of their field. While we acknowledge the attempt by Frank et al., at least in the second half of their paper, to take into account more diverse points of view about non-native species and their complex roles in ecosystems, we also find the accusations of misrepresenting invasion biology, for instance by "cherry-picking" and "constructing 'straw people'", directed at the Guiaşu and Tindale study to be unwarranted. Despite the sometimes harsh responses by leading invasion biologists to critics of their field, we believe that persistent and fundamental problems remain in invasion biology, and we discuss some of these problems in this article. Failing to recognize these problems, and simply dismissing or minimizing legitimate criticisms, will not advance the cause, or enhance the general appeal, of invasion biology and will prevent meaningful progress in understanding the multiple contributions non-native species can bring to various ecosystems worldwide. We recommend taking a more open-minded and pragmatic approach towards non-native species and the novel ecosystems they are an integral part of.

RevDate: 2023-01-22

Rochlin I, Egizi A, Narvaez Z, et al (2023)

Microhabitat modeling of the invasive Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) in New Jersey, USA.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 14(2):102126 pii:S1877-959X(23)00008-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The Asian longhorned tick (Haemaphysalis longicornis) is a vector of multiple arboviral and bacterial pathogens in its native East Asia and expanded distribution in Australasia. This species has both bisexual and parthenogenetic populations that can reach high population densities under favorable conditions. Established populations of parthenogenetic H. longicornis were detected in the eastern United States in 2017 and the possible range of this species at the continental level (North America) based on climatic conditions has been modeled. However, little is known about factors influencing the distribution of H. longicornis at geographic scales relevant to local surveillance and control. To examine the importance of local physiogeographic conditions such as geology, soil characteristics, and land cover on the distribution of H. longicornis we employed ecological niche modeling using three machine learning algorithms - Maxent, Random Forest (RF), and Generalized Boosting Method (GBM) to estimate probability of finding H. longicornis in a particular location in New Jersey (USA), based on environmental predictors. The presence of H. longicornis in New Jersey was positively associated with Piedmont physiogeographic province and two soil types - Alfisols and Inceptisols. Soil hydraulic conductivity was the most important predictor explaining H. longicornis habitat suitability, with more permeable sandy soils with higher hydraulic conductivity being less suitable than clay or loam soils. The models were projected over the state of New Jersey creating a probabilistic map of H. longicornis habitat suitability at a high spatial resolution of 90×90 meters. The model's sensitivity was 87% for locations sampled in 2017-2019 adding to the growing evidence of the importance of soil characteristics to the survival of ticks. For the 2020-2022 dataset the model fit was 57%, suggestive of spillover to less optimal habitats or, alternatively, heterogeneity in soil characteristics at the edges of broad physiographic zones. Further modeling should incorporate abundance and life-stage information as well as detailed characterization of the soil at collection sites. Once critical parameters that drive the survival and abundance of H. longicornis are identified they can be used to guide surveillance and control strategies for this invasive species.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Diller JGP, Hüftlein F, Lücker D, et al (2023)

Allelochemical run-off from the invasive terrestrial plant Impatiens glandulifera decreases defensibility in Daphnia.

Scientific reports, 13(1):1207.

Invasive species are a major threat for native ecosystems and organisms living within. They are reducing the biodiversity in invaded ecosystems, by outcompeting native species with e. g. novel substances. Invasive terrestrial plants can release allelochemicals, thereby reducing biodiversity due to the suppression of growth of native plants in invaded habitats. Aside from negative effects on plants, allelochemicals can affect other organisms such as mycorrhiza fungi and invertebrates in terrestrial ecosystems. When invasive plants grow in riparian zones, it is very likely that terrestrial borne allelochemicals can leach into the aquatic ecosystem. There, the often highly reactive compounds may not only elicit toxic effects to aquatic organisms, but they may also interfere with biotic interactions. Here we show that the allelochemical 2-methoxy-1,4-naphthoquinone (2-MNQ), produced by the ubiquitously occurring invasive terrestrial plant Impatiens glandulifera, interferes with the ability of Daphnia to defend itself against predators with morphological defences. Daphnia magna and Daphnia longicephala responded with morphological defences induced by chemical cues released by their corresponding predators, Triops cancriformis or Notonecta sp. However, predator cues in combination with 2-MNQ led to a reduction in the morphological defensive traits, body- and tail-spine length, in D. magna. In D. longicephala all tested inducible defensive traits were not significantly affected by 2-MNQ but indicate similar patterns, highlighting the importance to study different species to assess the risks for aquatic ecosystems. Since it is essential for Daphnia to adapt defences to the current predation risk, a maladaptation in defensive traits when simultaneously exposed to allelochemicals released by I. glandulifera, may therefore have knock-on effects on population dynamics across multiple trophic levels, as Daphnia is a key species in lentic ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Gauff RPM, Joubert E, Curd A, et al (2022)

The elephant in the room: Introduced species also profit from refuge creation by artificial fish habitats.

Marine environmental research, 185:105859 pii:S0141-1136(22)00304-X [Epub ahead of print].

Increasingly, ecological rehabilitation is envisioned to mitigate and revert impacts of ocean sprawl on coastal marine biodiversity. While in the past studies have demonstrated the positive effects of artificial fish habitats in port areas on fish abundance and diversity, benthic colonization of these structures has not yet been taken into consideration. This could be problematic as they may provide suitable habitat for Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) and hence facilitate their spreading. The present study aimed to examine communities developing on artificial fish habitats and to observe if the number of NIS was higher than in surrounding equivalent habitats. The structures were colonized by communities that were significantly different compared to those surrounding the control habitat, and they were home to a greater number of NIS. As NIS can cause severe ecological and economical damages, our results imply that in conjunction with the ecosystem services provided by artificial fish habitats, an ecosystem disservice in the form of facilitated NIS colonization may be present. These effects have not been shown before and need to be considered to effectively decide in which situations artificial structures may be used for fish rehabilitation.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Nicolosi G, Mammola S, Verbrugge L, et al (2023)

Aliens in caves: the global dimension of biological invasions in subterranean ecosystems.

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

Alien species are a significant threat to natural ecosystems and human economies. Despite global efforts to address this challenge, the documented number of alien species is rapidly increasing worldwide. However, the magnitude of the impact of alien species may vary significantly across habitats. For example, some habitats are naturally less prone to biological invasions due to stringent abiotic and biotic characteristics, selecting for a limited number of introduced species possessing traits closely related to the native organisms. Subterranean ecosystems are quintessential examples of habitats with strong environmental filters (e.g. lack of light and scarcity of food), driving convergent adaptations in species that have successfully adapted to life in darkness. Despite these stringent environmental constraints, the number of records of alien species in subterranean ecosystems has increased in recent decades, but the relevant literature remains largely fragmented and mostly anecdotal. Therefore, even though caves are generally considered very fragile ecosystems, their susceptibility to impacts by alien species remains untested other than for some very specific cases. We provide the first systematic literature survey to synthesise available knowledge on alien species in subterranean ecosystems globally. This review is supported by a database summarising the available literature, aiming to identify gaps in the distribution and spread of alien invertebrate species in subterranean habitats, and laying the foundations for future management practices and interventions. First, we quantitatively assessed the current knowledge of alien species in subterranean ecosystems to shed light on broader questions about taxonomic biases, geographical patterns, modes of dispersal, pathways for introductions and potential impacts. Secondly, we collected species-specific traits for each recorded alien species and tested whether subterranean habitats act as ecological filters for their establishment, favouring organisms with pre-adaptive traits suitable for subterranean life. We found information on the presence of 246 subterranean alien species belonging to 18 different classes. The dominant alien species were invertebrates, especially insects and arachnids. Most species were reported in terrestrial subterranean habitats from all continents except Antarctica. Palaearctic and Nearctic biogeographic regions represented the main source of alien species. The main routes of introductions into the recipient country are linked to commercial activities (84.3% of cases for which there was information available). Negative impacts have been documented for a small number of case studies (22.7%), mostly related to increased competition with native species. For a limited number of case studies (6.1%), management strategies were reported but the effectiveness of these interventions has rarely been quantified. Accordingly, information on costs is very limited. Approximately half of the species in our database can be considered established in subterranean habitats. According to our results, the presence of suitable traits grants access to the stringent environmental filter posed by subterranean environments, facilitating establishment in the new habitat. We recommend that future studies deepen the understanding of invasiveness into subterranean habitats, raising public and scientific community awareness of preserving these fragile ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Pacioni C, Hall RN, Strive T, et al (2022)

Comparative Epidemiology of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus Strains from Viral Sequence Data.

Viruses, 15(1): pii:v15010021.

Since their introduction in 1859, European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) have had a devastating impact on agricultural production and biodiversity in Australia, with competition and land degradation by rabbits being one of the key threats to agricultural and biodiversity values in Australia. Biocontrol agents, with the most important being the rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 1 (RHDV1), constitute the most important landscape-scale control strategies for rabbits in Australia. Monitoring field strain dynamics is complex and labour-intensive. Here, using phylodynamic models to analyse the available RHDV molecular data, we aimed to: investigate the epidemiology of various strains, use molecular data to date the emergence of new variants and evaluate whether different strains are outcompeting one another. We determined that the two main pathogenic lagoviruses variants in Australia (RHDV1 and RHDV2) have had similar dynamics since their release, although over different timeframes (substantially shorter for RHDV2). We also found a strong geographic difference in their activities and evidence of overall competition between the two viruses.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Cordero S, Gálvez F, FE Fontúrbel (2023)

Ecological Impacts of Exotic Species on Native Seed Dispersal Systems: A Systematic Review.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(2): pii:plants12020261.

Exotic species are one of the main threats to biodiversity, leading to alterations in the structure and functioning of natural ecosystems. However, they can sometimes also provide ecological services, such as seed dispersal. Therefore, we assessed the ecological impacts of exotic species on native dispersal systems and the mechanisms underlying the disruption of mutualistic plant-disperser interactions. Exotic species negatively affect dispersal mutualisms by (i) altering dispersal behavior and visitation rates of native dispersers, (ii) predating native dispersers, (iii) transmitting forest pathogens, and (iv) predating seeds. Conversely, positive impacts include the dispersal of native plants, forest regeneration, and native habitat restoration via (i) increasing the visitation rates of frugivorous birds, (ii) facilitating the colonization and establishment of native forest trees, (iii) enhancing forest species seedling survival, and (iv) facilitating seed rain and seedling recruitment of early and late successional native plants. The reviewed studies provide similar results in some cases and opposite results in others, even within the same taxa. In almost all cases, exotic species cause negative impacts, although sometimes they are necessary to ensure native species' persistence. Therefore, exotic species management requires a comprehensive understanding of their ecological roles, since the resulting effects rely on the complexity of native-exotic species interactions.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Prado-Tarango DE, Mata-Gonzalez R, M Hovland (2022)

Drought and Competition Mediate Mycorrhizal Colonization, Growth Rate, and Nutrient Uptake in Three Artemisia Species.

Microorganisms, 11(1): pii:microorganisms11010050.

The genus Artemisia includes several keystone shrub species that dominate the North American sagebrush steppe. Their growth, survival, and establishment are negatively affected by exotic invasive grasses such as Taeniatherum caput-medusae. While the outcomes of symbiotic relationships between Artemisia spp. and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are ambiguous, the benefits of ameliorated nutrient and drought stress may be cryptic and better revealed under competition. We evaluated the effects of a commercial AMF inoculum on ameliorating biotic (competition with T. caput-medusae) and abiotic (drought) stress of Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis, Artemisia arbuscula, and Artemisia nova when grown in sterile and microbially active field soil. Stress amelioration was measured as an increase in biomass production and nutrient acquisition. Mycorrhizal colonization of roots was lower in Artemisia plants grown in competition, while T. caput-medusae colonization was higher in plants with greater moisture. Both types of stress negatively affected plant biomass. Commercial AMF inoculation did not increase biomass. Colonization from field soil increased average phosphorous concentration under drought for A. tridentata ssp. wyomingensis by 36% and A. nova by 125%. While commercial inoculum and live soil led to AMF colonization of T. caput-medusae, only the commercial inoculum increased average phosphorus uptake by 71%.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

King C (2023)

Abundance and Dynamics of Small Mammals in New Zealand: Sequential Invasions into an Island Ecosystem Like No Other.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 13(1): pii:life13010156.

New Zealand had no people or four-footed mammals of any size until it was colonised by Polynesian voyagers and Pacific rats in c. 1280 AD. Between 1769 and 1920 AD, Europeans brought three more species of commensal rats and mice, and three predatory mustelids, plus rabbits, house cats hedgehogs and Australian brushtail possums. All have in turn invaded the whole country and many offshore islands in huge abundance, at least initially. Three species are now reduced to remnant populations, but the other eight remain widely distributed. They comprise an artificial but interacting and fully functional bottom-up predator-prey system, responding at all levels to interspecific competition, habitat quality and periodic resource pulsing.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Alekseev V, N Sukhikh (2022)

Ust-Luga Seaport of Russia: Biological Invasions and Resting Stages Accumulation.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 13(1): pii:life13010117.

This article describes the results of a three-year study of invasive species of aquatic ecosystems in the vicinity of Ust-Luga, the largest Russian seaport in the Baltic. Taking into account the great importance of the participation of marine vessels in the dispersal of invasive species, an experimental study of the seasonality of accumulation of resting stages of aquatic invertebrates in the ballast compartments of a vessel located in the Baltic Sea of the Gulf of Finland was carried out. Experiments show that the time of filling the ballast compartments in late summer and autumn poses the greatest risk for the spread of aquatic invertebrates with ship ballast water. In the Baltic Russian port, 11 invasive species of zooplankton and zoobenthos were found, which comprises 15% of the biodiversity in the samples. Copepoda demonstrated the highest presence of invasive species in class among zooplankton groups (14%) and Malacostraca among benthos groups (80%). Alien species findings correspond to the main vectors of invasive species dispersal for the Baltic Sea: North America, Indochina, and the Ponto-Caspian region.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Yu G, Lai S, Liao S, et al (2023)

Complete Mitochondrial Genome of Scolytoplatypodini Species (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) and Phylogenetic Implications.

Genes, 14(1): pii:genes14010162.

The complete mitochondrial genomes (mitogenomes) of beetles in the tribe Scolytoplatypodini (genus Scolytoplatypus) were sequenced and annotated. These included Scolytoplatypus raja (15,324 bp), Scolytoplatypus sinensis (15,394 bp), Scolytoplatypus skyliuae (15,167 bp), and Scolytoplatypus wugongshanensis (15,267 bp). The four mitogenomes contained 37 typical genes, including 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs), 22 transfer RNA genes (tRNAs), and 2 ribosomal RNA genes (rRNAs). The gene orientation and arrangement of the four mitogenomes were similar to other Coleoptera mitogenomes. PCGs mostly started with ATN and terminated with TAA. The Ka/Ks ratio of 13 PCGs in the four species revealed that cox1 had the slowest evolutionary rate and atp8 and nad6 had a higher evolutionary rate. All tRNAs had typical cloverleaf secondary structures, but trnS1 lacked dihydrouridine arm. Partial tRNAs lost the discriminator nucleotide. The trnY did not possess the discriminator nucleotide and also lost three bases, showing a special amino-acyl arm. Bayesian inference (BI) and maximum likelihood (ML) methods were conducted for phylogenetic analyses using 13 PCGs. Scolytoplatypodini was clustered with Hylurgini and Hylastini, and the monophyly of Scolytoplatypodini was supported. The four newly sequenced mitogenomes increase understanding of the evolutionary relationships of Scolytoplatypodini and other Scolytinae species.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Shan B, Yu G, Wang L, et al (2023)

Genetic Signature of Pinctada fucata Inferred from Population Genomics: Source Tracking of the Invasion in Mischief Reef of Nansha Islands.

Biology, 12(1): pii:biology12010097.

Among the anthropogenic stresses that marine ecosystems face, biological invasions are one of the major threats. Recently, as a result of increasingly intense anthropogenic disturbance, numerous marine species have been introduced to their non-native ranges. However, many introduced species have uncertain original sources. This prevents the design and establishment of methods for controlling or preventing these introduced species. In the present study, genomic sequencing and population genetic analysis were performed to detect the geographic origin of the introduced Pinctada fucata population in the Mischief Reef of the South China Sea. The results of population genetic structure analysis showed a close relationship between the Mischief Reef introduced population and the Lingshui population, indicating that Lingshui may be the potential geographical origin. Furthermore, lower heterozygosity and nucleotide diversity were observed in the introduced population in Mischief Reef, indicating lower genetic diversity than in other native populations. We also identified some selected genomic regions and genes of the introduced population, including genes related to temperature and salinity tolerance. These genes may play important roles in the adaptation of the introduced population. Our study will improve our understanding of the invasion history of the P. fucata population. Furthermore, the results of the present study will also facilitate further control and prevention of invasion in Mischief Reef, South China Sea.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Adhikari P, Lee YH, Poudel A, et al (2023)

Predicting the Impact of Climate Change on the Habitat Distribution of Parthenium hysterophorus around the World and in South Korea.

Biology, 12(1): pii:biology12010084.

The global climate change, including increases in temperature and precipitation, may exacerbate the invasion by P. hysterophorus. Here, MaxEnt modeling was performed to predict P. hysterophorus distribution worldwide and in South Korea under the current and future climate global climate changes, including increases in temperature and precipitation. Under the current climate, P. hysterophorus was estimated to occupy 91.26%, 83.26%, and 62.75% of the total land area of Australia, South America, and Oceania, respectively. However, under future climate scenarios, the habitat distribution of P. hysterophorus would show the greatest change in Europe (56.65%) and would extend up to 65°N by 2081-2100 in South Korea, P. hysterophorus currently potentially colonizing 2.24% of the land area, particularly in six administrative divisions. In the future, P. hysterophorus would spread rapidly, colonizing all administrative divisions, except Incheon, by 2081-2100. Additionally, the southern and central regions of South Korea showed greater habitat suitability than the northern region. These findings suggest that future climate change will increase P. hysterophorus distribution both globally and locally. Therefore, effective control and management strategies should be employed around the world and in South Korea to restrict the habitat expansion of P. hysterophorus.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Schubart CD, Deli T, Mancinelli G, et al (2022)

Phylogeography of the Atlantic Blue Crab Callinectes sapidus (Brachyura: Portunidae) in the Americas versus the Mediterranean Sea: Determining Origins and Genetic Connectivity of a Large-Scale Invasion.

Biology, 12(1): pii:biology12010035.

The American blue crab Callinectes sapidus is a particularly successful invader in estuarine ecosystems worldwide. Despite increasing awareness of its potential harm, the invasion history and underlying genetic diversity of this species within the Mediterranean Sea remain unknown. This study constitutes the first large-scale approach to study phylogeographic patterns of C. sapidus in Europe, facilitated by the first comparison of all currently available COI sequence data. For this investigation, 71 individuals of C. sapidus were newly analyzed and the entire COI gene was sequenced and used for a comparative phylogeographic analyses. For the first time, two separately used adjacent regions of this gene were combined in a single dataset. This allowed emphasizing the prevalence of three geographically defined lineages within the native range: (1) eastern North America, including the Gulf of Mexico, (2) the Caribbean, and (3) Brazil. New data from the Mediterranean reveal that non-native populations of C. sapidus are characterized by a conspicuously low genetic diversity (except for Turkey, where stocking took place), and that there is surprisingly low connectivity among established populations. The occurrence of strong genetic bottlenecks suggests few founder individuals. This confirms that, even under a scenario of restricted large-scale gene flow, a very limited number of invasive individuals is sufficient for a massive impact.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Awad M, Ben Gharsa H, ElKraly OA, et al (2022)

COI Haplotyping and Comparative Microbiomics of the Peach Fruit Fly, an Emerging Pest of Egyptian Olive Orchards.

Biology, 12(1): pii:biology12010027.

The peach fruit fly, Bactrocera zonata (Tephritidae), is economically relevant as a highly polyphagous pest infesting over 50 host plants including commercial fruit and horticultural crops. As an invasive species, B. zonata was firmly established in Egypt and holds potential to spread further across the Mediterranean basin. The present study demonstrated that the peach fruit fly was found multiplying in olive orchards at two distant locations in Egypt. This is the first report of B. zonata developing in olives. COI barcoding has revealed evidence for high diversity across these peach fruit fly populations. These data are consistent with multiple rather than a single event leading to both peach fruit fly invasion to Egypt and its adaptation to olive. Comparative microbiomics data for B. zonata developing on different host plants were indicative for microbiome dynamics being involved in the adaptation to olive as a new niche with a potential adaptive role for Erwinia or Providencia bacteria. The possibility of symbiont transfer from the olive fruit fly to the peach fruit fly is discussed. Potentially host switch relevant bacterial symbionts might be preferred targets of symbiosis disruption strategies for integrated pest management or biological control of B. zonata.

RevDate: 2023-01-21

Stope MB (2023)

The Raccoon (Procyon lotor) as a Neozoon in Europe.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(2): pii:ani13020273.

The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is a North American half-bear that is present in much of Europe and Asia as a result of both accidental and planned releases. In Europe, raccoons were introduced primarily as a source of fur for the fur industry. In the 1930s, raccoons were released into the wild in Central Europe. At the same time, animals from fur farms and private holdings continued to enter the wild. In the following decades, the raccoon spread over large parts of Europe. In addition to the invasive spread of the Central European initial population, individual releases of raccoons occurred frequently, mainly in Southern Europe. The high adaptability of the raccoon favors its expansion into new habitats. It has a high reproductive rate, is very mobile, and encounters few predators in Europe. Raccoons have recently become a topic of interest when large raccoon populations have colonized suburban and urban areas. Despite the proximity of raccoons and humans, however, there have been hardly any conflicts to date, unlike in North America. A significant negative impact on the native fauna has been suspected but not proven. Raccoons have been identified as vectors of zoonotic diseases. Nevertheless, monitoring of the increasing numbers of raccoons in Europe seems advisable.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Ivanescu LM, Bodale I, Grigore-Hristodorescu S, et al (2023)

The Risk of Emerging of Dengue Fever in Romania, in the Context of Global Warming.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 8(1): pii:tropicalmed8010065.

(1) Background: Few studies to date have assessed the influences induced by climate change on the spatial distribution and population abundance of Aedes albopictus using the latest climate scenarios. In this study, we updated the current distribution of Ae. albopictus mosquitoes and evaluated the changes in their distribution under future climate conditions, as well as the risk of dengue virus emergence in Romania. (2) Methods: Under the two scenarios: High scenario (HS) when no drastic measures to reduce the effects of global warming will be taken, or they are not effective and low scenario (LS) when very stringent greenhouse control measures will be implemented. (3) Results: The results estimate an increase in temperatures in Romania of up to 2.6 °C in HS and up to 0.4 °C in LS, with an increase in the period of virus replication within the vector from June to October in HS and from May to September in LS. Moreover, in 2022, Ae. albopictus was reported in a new county, where it was not identified at the last monitoring in 2020. (4) Conclusions: The rapid spread of this invasive species and the need to implement monitoring and control programs for the Aedes population in Romania are emphasized.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Ng YL, Lee WC, Lau YL, et al (2023)

The Impact of Geographical Variation in Plasmodium knowlesi Apical Membrane Protein 1 (PkAMA-1) on Invasion Dynamics of P. knowlesi.

Tropical medicine and infectious disease, 8(1): pii:tropicalmed8010056.

Plasmodium knowlesi has emerged as an important zoonotic parasite that causes persistent symptomatic malaria in humans. The signs and symptoms of malaria are attributed to the blood stages of the parasites, which start from the invasion of erythrocytes by the blood stage merozoites. The apical membrane protein 1 (AMA-1) plays an important role in the invasion. In this study, we constructed and expressed recombinant PkAMA-1 domain II (PkAMA-1-DII) representing the predominant haplotypes from Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo and raised specific antibodies against the recombinant proteins in rabbits. Despite the minor amino acid sequence variation, antibodies raised against haplotypes from Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo demonstrated different invasion inhibition (46.81% and 39.45%, respectively) to P. knowlesi A1-H.1, a reference strain derived from Peninsular Malaysia. Here, we demonstrated how a minor variation in a conserved parasite protein could cast a significant impact on parasite invasion biology, suggesting a complex host-switching of P. knowlesi from different locations. This may challenge the implementation of a standardized One Health approach against the transmission of knowlesi malaria.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Barcellos L, Pham CK, Menezes G, et al (2023)

A Concise Review on the Potential Applications of Rugulopteryx okamurae Macroalgae.

Marine drugs, 21(1): pii:md21010040.

The brown macroalgae of the species Rugulopteryx okamurae has reached European waters and the Strait of Gibraltar as an invasive species. The proliferation and colonization of the species in subtidal and intertidal zones of these regions imposes significant threats to local ecosystems and additionally represents a significant socioeconomic burden related to the large amounts of biomass accumulated as waste. As a way to minimize the effects caused by the accumulation of algae biomass, investigations have been made to employ this biomass as a raw material in value-added products or technologies. The present review explores the potential uses of R. okamurae, focusing on its impact for biogas production, composting, bioplastic and pharmaceutical purposes, with potential anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and α-glucosity inhibitory activities being highlighted. Overall, this species appears to present many attributes, with remarkable potential for uses in several fields of research and in various industries.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Vega J, Catalá TS, García-Márquez J, et al (2022)

Molecular Diversity and Biochemical Content in Two Invasive Alien Species: Looking for Chemical Similarities and Bioactivities.

Marine drugs, 21(1): pii:md21010005.

The biochemical composition, molecular diversity, and two different bioactivities of Asparagopsis armata and Rugulopteryx okamurae (two alien species with different invasive patterns in the southern Iberian Peninsula) were analyzed through spectrophotometric methods and Fourier transform ion cyclotron mass spectroscopy (FT-ICR-MS). A total of 3042 molecular formulas were identified from the different extracts. The dH2O extracts were the most molecularly different. A. armata presented the highest content of nitrogenous compounds (proteins, CHON) and sulphur content, whereas R. okamurae was rich in carbonated compounds (total carbon, lipids, CHO, and CHOP). Antioxidant capacity and phenolic content were higher in R. okamurae than in A. armata. Antimicrobial activity was detected from both species. A. armata showed capacity to inhibit human and fish pathogens (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus or Vibrio anguillarum), whereas R. okamurae only showed inhibition against human bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus and Cutibacterium acnes). In R. okamurae, molecules with a great number of pharmaceutical activities (e.g., anti-inflammatory or antitumoral), antibacterial, biomaterial, and other utilities were found. The main molecules of A. armata had also pharmaceutical applications (e.g., antimalarian, antithrombotic, anti-inflammatory, or antiarthritis). The valorization of these species can help to counteract the environmental effects of the bioinvasions.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

de la Hera O, Alonso ML, RM Alonso (2023)

Behaviour of Vespa velutina nigrithorax (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) under Controlled Environmental Conditions.

Insects, 14(1): pii:insects14010059.

From its introduction in Europe, Vespa velutina nigrithorax has become an invasive species, since it is a predator of native fruits and insects, most of the latter being honeybees. Despite the knowledge on the life cycle of this hornet, Asian hornet behaviour is not well understood, since in vivo studies on this species are quite difficult to perform. In this work, an observational study of the behaviour of this invasive species in captivity has been carried out. Two secondary and one embryo nests were caught and kept under controlled environmental conditions, up to 13 weeks for the secondary nest and 6 weeks for the embryo nest. Captivity adaptation, defence against perturbations, evolution of the colony and overwintering were the different behaviours studied. The study has shown the importance of avoiding disturbances to the nest from the beginning of the experiments, since they tend to destroy the colony. The aggressive behaviour observed in the embryo nest was lower than in the secondary nests. Results of this research will allow obtaining additional information on this species, which is crucial to develop effective control methods.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Di Sora N, Mannu R, Rossini L, et al (2023)

Using Species Distribution Models (SDMs) to Estimate the Suitability of European Mediterranean Non-Native Area for the Establishment of Toumeyella Parvicornis (Hemiptera: Coccidae).

Insects, 14(1): pii:insects14010046.

The pine tortoise scale, Toumeyella parvicornis, is an insect native to the Nearctic region that is able to infest several Pinus species. It can cause weakening, defoliation and, at high infestation levels, tree death. After its first report in Italy in 2015, the pest spread rapidly over the surrounding areas and was reported in France in 2021. Due to the threat that this pest poses to pine trees, the suitability of European Mediterranean basin areas for T. parvicornis at different spatial scales was estimated by constructing species distribution models (SDMs) using bioclimatic variables. Our results showed that several coastal areas of the Mediterranean basin area could be suitable for T. parvicornis. Based on performance assessment, all the SDMs tested provided a good representation of the suitability of European Mediterranean non-native area for T. parvicornis at different spatial scales. In particular, most of the areas with a medium or high level of suitability corresponded to the geographical range of distribution of different Pinus spp. in Europe. Predicting the suitability of European Mediterranean areas for T. parvicornis provides a fundamental tool for early detection and management of the spread of this pest in Europe.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Mastore M, Quadroni S, Rezzonico A, et al (2022)

The Influence of Daily Temperature Fluctuation on the Efficacy of Bioinsecticides on Spotted Wing Drosophila Larvae.

Insects, 14(1): pii:insects14010043.

Global climate change is allowing the invasion of insect pests into new areas without natural competitors and/or predators. The dipteran Drosophila suzukii has invaded both the Americas and Europe, becoming a serious problem for fruit crops. Control methods for this pest are still based on the use of pesticides, but less invasive and more sustainable methods, such as biocontrol, are needed. Variations in environmental conditions can affect the efficacy of bioinsecticides influencing their behavior and physiology besides that of the target insects. In this work, we developed a system that simulates the daily temperature fluctuations (DTFs) detected in the environment, with the aim of studying the influence of temperature on biocontrol processes. We investigated the effects of DTFs on the efficacy of four bioinsecticides. Results showed that DTFs modify the efficacy of some entomopathogens while they are ineffective on others. Specifically, the bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis is the most effective bioinsecticide under all conditions tested, i.e., low DTF (11-22 °C) and high DTF (17-33 °C) compared to constant temperature (25 °C). In contrast, nematodes are more sensitive to changes in temperature: Steinernema carpocapsae loses efficacy at low DTF, while Steinernema feltiae and Heterorhabditis bacteriophora are not effective in controlling the target dipteran. This work provides a basis for reviewing biological control methods against invasive species in the current context of climate change.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Wright C, Helms AM, Bernal JS, et al (2022)

Aphelinus nigritus Howard (Hymenoptera: Aphelinidae) Preference for Sorghum Aphid, Melanaphis sorghi (Theobald, 1904) (Hemiptera: Aphididae), Honeydew Is Stronger in Johnson Grass, Sorghum halepense, Than in Grain Sorghum, Sorghum bicolor.

Insects, 14(1): pii:insects14010010.

How aphid parasitoids of recent invasive species interact with their hosts can affect the feasibility of biological control. In this study, we focus on a recent invasive pest of US grain sorghum, Sorghum bicolor, the sorghum aphid (SA), Melanaphis sorghi. Understanding this pest's ecology in the grain sorghum agroecosystem is critical to develop effective control strategies. As parasitoids often use aphid honeydew as a sugar resource, and honeydew is known to mediate parasitoid-aphid interactions, we investigated the ability of SA honeydew to retain the parasitoid Aphelinus nigritus. Since SAs in the US have multiple plant hosts, and host-plant diet can modulate parasitoid retention (a major component in host foraging), we measured SA honeydew sugar, organic acid, and amino acid profiles, then assessed via retention time A. nigritus preference for honeydew produced on grain sorghum or Johnson grass, Sorghum halepense. Compared to a water control, A. nigritus spent more time on SA honeydew produced on either host plant. Despite similar honeydew profiles from both plant species, A. nigritus preferred honeydew produced on Johnson grass. Our results suggest the potential for SA honeydew to facilitate augmentation strategies aimed at maintaining A. nigritus on Johnson grass to suppress SAs before grain sorghum is planted.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Rodríguez-Flores MS, Mazzei M, Felicioli A, et al (2022)

Emerging Risk of Cross-Species Transmission of Honey Bee Viruses in the Presence of Invasive Vespid Species.

Insects, 14(1): pii:insects14010006.

The increase in invasive alien species is a concern for the environment. The establishment of some of these species may be changing the balance between pathogenicity and host factors, which could alter the defense strategies of native host species. Vespid species are among the most successful invasive animals, such as the genera Vespa, Vespula and Polistes. Bee viruses have been extensively studied as an important cause of honey bee population losses. However, knowledge about the transmission of honey bee viruses in Vespids is a relevant and under-researched aspect. The role of some mites such as Varroa in the transmission of honey bee viruses is clearer than in the case of Vespidae. This type of transmission by vectors has not yet been clarified in Vespidae, with interspecific relationships being the main hypotheses accepted for the transmission of bee viruses. A majority of studies describe the presence of viruses or their replicability, but aspects such as the symptomatology in Vespids or the ability to infect other hosts from Vespids are scarcely discussed. Highlighting the case of Vespa velutina as an invader, which is causing huge losses in European beekeeping, is of special interest. The pressure caused by V. velutina leads to weakened hives that become susceptible to pathogens. Gathering this information is necessary to promote further research on the spread of bee viruses in ecosystems invaded by invasive species of Vespids, as well as to prevent the decline of bee populations due to bee viruses.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Yang CH, Qiao FJ, Lu Z, et al (2022)

Interspecific Competitions between Frankliniella intonsa and Frankliniella occidentalis on Fresh Lentil Bean Pods and Pepper Plants.

Insects, 14(1): pii:insects14010001.

BACKGROUND: Flower thrips (Frankliniella intonsa, IFT) and west flower thrips (Frankliniella occidentalis, WFT) are often found together on the host plant in China. WFT is an important invasive species that seems to outcompete the native IFT. In order to clarify the interspecific competitions between the two thrips, this study measured the population development of IFT and WFT under sexual and parthenogenetic reproductive modes on two hosts (fresh lentil bean pods with/without honey and pepper plants at seedling/flowering stages) in the laboratory.

RESULTS: When reared on fresh lentil bean pods (with/without honey), WFT population size was lower in mixed species populations compared to single species populations but the presence of WFT had nor negative effect on IFT population size. These results were dependent of the reproductive mode. When honey was supplied, the ratio of female-to-male in the progeny of WFT produced under sexual reproductive mode increased significantly in the presence of IFT. On pepper seedlings, mixed populations were more favorable to the population development of IFT at the seedling stage, but more favorable to WFT at the flowering stage.

CONCLUSIONS: In the early stage of WFT invasion and colonization, the emergence of flowering and honey (nectar) sources may have a positive effect on the population development of WFT.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Philippe-Lesaffre M, Thibault M, Caut S, et al (2023)

Recovery of insular seabird populations years after rodent eradication.

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

Seabirds have been particularly affected by invasive alien species (IAS), which has led to the implementation of numerous eradication campaigns for the conservation of these keystone and highly vulnerable species. Although the benefits of IAS eradications for seabird conservation have been demonstrated, the recovery kinetics of different seabird populations on islands after eradication remains poorly evaluated. Here we present the results of an original long-term monitoring of the number of breeding pairs of seven seabird species on a small atoll, Surprise Island, New Caledonia (southwestern tropical Pacific). This long-term monitoring consists in a yearly core survey of the marine avifauna of the island conducted from 4 years before to 4 years after rodent eradication (conducted in 2005) combined with multiple one-time surveys from ∼10 years before and ∼15 years after eradication. This study was designed to evaluate how different seabird species responded to the eradication of invasive rodents in an insular environment. We found that three species responded positively to eradication with differences in lag-timing and sensitivity. The number of breeding pairs increased for two species in the four year post eradication due to immigration while one species showed a longer response time with an increase in pairs more than 10 years after eradication. Furthermore, we showed that long-term sampling is necessary to observe the responses of the seabird populations on the island. Our study confirms the positive effects of IAS eradication on seabirds and emphasizes both the importance of mid/long-term pre- and post-eradication surveys to decipher the mechanisms of seabird recovery and confirm the benefits of eradication for conservation purposes. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-01-20

Pretorius I, Schou WC, Richardson B, et al (2023)

In the wind: Invasive species travel along predictable atmospheric pathways.

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

Invasive species such as insects, pathogens and weeds reaching new environments by travelling with the wind, represents unquantified and difficult-to-manage biosecurity threats to human, animal, and plant health in managed and natural ecosystems. Despite the importance of these invasion events, their complexity is reflected by the lack of tools to predict them. Here, we provide the first known evidence showing that the long-distance aerial dispersal of invasive insects and wildfire smoke, a potential carrier of invasive species, is driven by atmospheric pathways known as Lagrangian coherent structures (LCS). An aerobiological modelling system combining LCS modelling with species biology and atmospheric survival has the potential to transform the understanding and prediction of atmospheric invasions. The proposed modelling system run in forecast or hindcast modes can inform high-risk invasion events and invasion source locations, making it possible to locate them early, improving the chances of eradication success. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Ladin ZS, Eggen DA, Trammell TLE, et al (2023)

Human-mediated dispersal drives the spread of the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula).

Scientific reports, 13(1):1098.

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is a novel invasive insect from Asia now established and spreading throughout the United States. This species is of particular concern given its ability to decimate important crops such as grapes, fruit trees, as well as native hardwood trees. Since its initial detection in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014, spotted lanternfly infestations have been detected in 130 counties (87 under quarantine) within Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Virginia, and West Virginia. Compounding this invasion is the associated proliferation and widespread distribution of the spotted lanternfly's preferred host plant, the tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima). While alternate host plant species have been observed, the tree-of-heaven which thrives in disturbed and human-dominated areas (e.g., along roads and railways) is likely facilitating the population growth rates of spotted lanternfly. We simulated the population and spread dynamics of the spotted lanternfly throughout the mid-Atlantic USA to help determine areas of risk and inform continued monitoring and control efforts. We tested the prediction that spotted lanternfly spread is driven by human-mediated dispersal using agent-based models that incorporated information on its life-history traits, habitat suitability, and movement and natural dispersal behavior. Overwhelmingly, our results suggest that human-mediated dispersal (e.g., cars, trucks, and trains) is driving the observed spread dynamics and distribution of the spotted lanternfly throughout the eastern USA. Our findings should encourage future surveys to focus on human-mediated dispersal of egg masses and adult spotted lanternflies (e.g., attachment to car or transported substrates) to better monitor and control this economically and ecologically important invasive species.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Fazekas S, Livoti D, L Reeves (2023)


Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association pii:490324 [Epub ahead of print].

Continuous surveillance, trained personnel, and coordination with other agencies are critical elements of effective nuisance and vector mosquito control. Palm Beach County Mosquito Control, FL, has used routine surveillance to make control decisions and note changes in mosquito populations since the 1940s. In the fall and winter of 2021-2022, Palm Beach County Mosquito Control's surveillance program detected the presence of Aedeomyia squamipennis. This represented the first collection of specimens of Ad. squamipennis in Palm Beach County and the second finding of this species beyond the initial site of detection in Miami-Dade County, FL. Identity was confirmed by morphology and DNA sequencing. Sequenced Ad. squamipennis specimens collected in Palm Beach County were identical (100% sequence similarity) to specimens collected and sequenced from Homestead, Miami-Dade County in 2016. It is suspected that Ad. squamipennis has expanded its range northward from Miami-Dade County into Palm Beach County, a distance of approximately 140 km.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Gugliuzzo A, Giuliano G, Rizzo R, et al (2023)

Lethal and sublethal effects of synthetic and bioinsecticides toward the invasive ambrosia beetle Xylosandrus compactus.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Exotic ambrosia beetles are emerging widespread pests of several wild and managed trees and shrubs. Xylosandrus compactus (Eichhoff) is one of the most invasive species causing damage to a broad range of host plants. Little information is available on its control including the impact of insecticides. Bioassays were conducted for evaluating the potential of four bioinsecticides and seven synthetic insecticides in controlling X. compactus. The beetle mortality and the sublethal effects on tunneling, cultivation of the mutualist fungus and reproduction were assessed.

RESULTS: Concentration-mortality curves were determined for all tested insecticides. Lambda-cyhalothrin was the most toxic insecticide showing the lowest estimated lethal concentrations (LC90 and LC50), followed by deltamethrin and thiamethoxam. Acetamiprid caused the highest levels of mortality and brood size reduction under extended laboratory conditions. Moreover, acetamiprid, thiamethoxam and lambda-cyhalothrin caused the highest mortalities and, together with deltamethrin, strongly affected the progeny occurrence inside infested galleries and the beetle brood size. Among bioinsecticides, pyrethrins significantly affected the beetle survival under laboratory conditions, but not the brood size in extended laboratory bioassays. Some of the tested insecticides caused significant lethal and sublethal effects only when beetles were exposed to fresher residues, highlighting differences in the toxicity persistence.

CONCLUSION: This study provides first baseline toxicity data of synthetic insecticides and bioinsecticides with different Modes of Action and origin toward X. compactus and the first evidence that several insecticides can cause multiple sublethal effects to this pest. These findings can help building suitable Integrated Pest Management packages against this pest.

RevDate: 2023-01-19

Wang X, Xiao X, Zhang X, et al (2023)

Rapid and large changes in coastal wetland structure in China's four major river deltas.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Coastal wetlands provide essential ecosystem goods and services but are extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise, extreme climate, and human activities, especially the coastal wetlands in large river deltas, which are regarded as "natural recorders" of changes in estuarine environments. In addition to the area (loss or gain) and quality (degradation or improvement) of coastal wetlands, the information on coastal wetland structure (e.g., patch size and number) are also major metrics for coastal restoration and biodiversity protection, but remain very limited in China's four major river deltas. In this study, we quantified the spatial-temporal dynamics of total area (TA) and patch number (PN) of coastal wetlands with different sizes in the four deltas and the protected areas (PAs) and assessed the effects of major driving factors during 1984-2020. We also investigated the effectiveness of PAs through the comparison of TA and PN of coastal wetlands before and after the years in which PAs were listed as Ramsar Sites. We found both TA and PN experienced substantial losses in the Liaohe River Delta and Yellow River Delta but recent recoveries in the Yangtze River Delta. The coastal wetlands had a relatively stable and variable trend in TA but had a continually increasing trend in PN in the Pearl River Delta. Furthermore, reduced coastal reclamation, ecological restoration projects, and rapid expansion of invasive plants had great impacts on the coastal wetland structure in various ways. We also found that PAs were effective in halting the decreasing trends in coastal wetland areas and slowing the expansion of reclamation, but the success of PAs is being counteracted by soaring exotic plant invasions. Our findings provide vital information for the government and the public to address increasing challenges of coastal restoration, management, and sustainability in large river deltas.

RevDate: 2023-01-19
CmpDate: 2023-01-19

Nie S, Mo S, Gao T, et al (2023)

Coupling effects of nitrate reduction and sulfur oxidation in a subtropical marine mangrove ecosystem with Spartina alterniflora invasion.

The Science of the total environment, 862:160930.

The mangrove ecosystem has a high nitrate reduction capacity, which significantly alleviates severe nitrogen pollution. However, current research on nitrate reduction mechanisms in the mangrove ecosystem is limited. Furthermore, Spartina alterniflora invasion has disrupted the balance of the mangrove ecosystem and the effect of S. alterniflora on nitrate reduction has not yet been fully elucidated. Nitrate reduction was comprehensively investigated in a subtropical mangrove ecosystem in this study, which has been invaded by S. alterniflora for 40 years. Results showed that S. alterniflora significantly increased the relative and absolute abundance of nitrate reduction genes, especially nirS (nitrite reductase), in the mangrove ecosystem. Dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium was the main pathway of nitrate reduction in the mangrove ecosystem. Nitrate reduction was mainly performed by Desulfobacterales and occurred in the shallow layers (0-10 cm) of mangrove sediments. A strong positive correlation was found between nitrate reduction and sulfur oxidation (especially sulfide oxidation), and the sulfide content was significantly positively correlated with the relative abundance of nitrate reduction genes. Moreover, 207 metagenomic assembled genomes (MAGs) were constructed, including 50 MAGs with high numbers (≥ 10) of nitrate reduction genes. This finding indicates that the dominant microbes had strong nitrate reduction potential in mangrove sediments. Our findings highlight the impact of S. alterniflora invasion on nitrate reduction in a subtropical marine mangrove ecosystem. This study provides new insights into our understanding of nitrogen pollution control and contributes to the exploration of new nitrogen-degrading microbes in mangrove ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-01-19
CmpDate: 2023-01-19

Haoxiang Z, Xiaoqing X, Nianwan Y, et al (2023)

Insights from the biogeographic approach for biocontrol of invasive alien pests: Estimating the ecological niche overlap of three egg parasitoids against Spodoptera frugiperda in China.

The Science of the total environment, 862:160785.

Spodoptera frugiperda, the fall armyworm, causes major damage to maize and >80 other crops worldwide. Since S. frugiperda successfully invaded China in 2018 via long-distance migration from Myanmar, it has caused major maize yield losses and posed a severe threat to maize production and food security. The biocontrol approach for S. frugiperda using natural enemies is environmentally safe and effective. Estimating the potential suitable area (PSA) for S. frugiperda and its natural enemies can provide insights for its biocontrol and management. Therefore, based on the global distribution records and bioclimatic variables, we modeled the PSA of S. frugiperda and three egg parasitoids in China using an ensemble model (EM). We found that the prediction results of the EM were more reliable than those of a single model. The PSAs of S. frugiperda and its three egg parasitoids were mainly attributed to temperature variables. The PSA of S. frugiperda was divided into migratory and overwintering areas using the mean January 10 °C isotherm from 2018 to 2022. In the overwintering area, Trichogramma chilonis had the largest PSA overlap with S. frugiperda (94.57 %), followed by Telenomus remus (68.64 %) and Trichogramma dendrolimi (67.53 %). Telenomus remus and Tr. chilonis were the most effective egg parasitoids against S. frugiperda in the overwintering area. In the migratory area, Tr. chilonis had the largest PSA overlap with S. frugiperda (91.36 %), followed by Tr. dendrolimi (81.70 %) and Te. remus (15.23 %). Trichogramma dendrolimi would be the most effective egg parasitoid against S. frugiperda in the Yangtze River Basin and northeastern China. Trichogramma chilonis was the most effective egg parasitoid against S. frugiperda in central China. Our findings indicate that the three native egg parasitoids would be "good regulators" of S. frugiperda outbreaks in China.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Godfrey EJ, Cameron EZ, GJ Hickling (2023)

Social learning in a nocturnal marsupial: is it a possum-ability?.

Biology letters, 19(1):20220460.

Social learning can reduce the costs associated with trial-and-error learning. There is speculation that social learning could contribute to trap and bait avoidance in invasive species like the common brushtail possum (Trichosurus vulpecula)-a marsupial for which social learning has not previously been investigated. In large outdoor pens, we presented wild-caught 'demonstrator' possums with puzzle devices containing an attractive food reward; 2 of 8 demonstrators accessed the reward the first night the puzzle was presented and another three succeeded on later nights. Meanwhile, 'observer' possums in adjacent pens watched the demonstrators for five nights and then were given the opportunity to solve the puzzle themselves; 15 of 15 succeeded on their first night (a highly significant improvement). This experiment thus provides strong evidence of social learning by common brushtail possums. Future research should investigate whether information about aversive stimuli (such as traps and toxic baits) can similarly be transmitted between possums by social learning; if so, this could have important implications for possum pest control.

RevDate: 2023-01-18

Dobelmann J, Felden A, PJ Lester (2023)

An invasive ant increases deformed wing virus loads in honey bees.

Biology letters, 19(1):20220416.

The majority of invasive species are best known for their effects as predators. However, many introduced predators may also be substantial reservoirs for pathogens. Honey bee-associated viruses are found in various arthropod species including invasive ants. We examined how the globally invasive Argentine ant (Linepithema humile), which can reach high densities and infest beehives, is associated with pathogen dynamics in honey bees. Viral loads of deformed wing virus (DWV), which has been linked to millions of beehive deaths around the globe, and black queen cell virus significantly increased in bees when invasive ants were present. Microsporidian and trypanosomatid infections, which are more bee-specific, were not affected by ant invasion. The bee virome in autumn revealed that DWV was the predominant virus with the highest infection levels and that no ant-associated viruses were infecting bees. Viral spillback from ants could increase infections in bees. In addition, ant attacks could pose a significant stressor to bee colonies that may affect virus susceptibility. These viral dynamics are a hidden effect of ant pests, which could have a significant impact on disease emergence in this economically important pollinator. Our study highlights a perhaps overlooked effect of species invasions: changes in pathogen dynamics.

RevDate: 2023-01-17

Street SE, Gutiérrez JS, Allen WL, et al (2023)

Human activities favour prolific life histories in both traded and introduced vertebrates.

Nature communications, 14(1):262.

Species' life histories determine population demographics and thus the probability that introduced populations establish and spread. Life histories also influence which species are most likely to be introduced, but how such 'introduction biases' arise remains unclear. Here, we investigate how life histories affect the probability of trade and introduction in phylogenetic comparative analyses across three vertebrate classes: mammals, reptiles and amphibians. We find that traded species have relatively high reproductive rates and long reproductive lifespans. Within traded species, introduced species have a more extreme version of this same life history profile. Species in the pet trade also have long reproductive lifespans but lack 'fast' traits, likely reflecting demand for rare species which tend to have slow life histories. We identify multiple species not yet traded or introduced but with life histories indicative of high risk of future trade, introduction and potentially invasion. Our findings suggest that species with high invasion potential are favoured in the wildlife trade and therefore that trade regulation is crucial for preventing future invasions.

RevDate: 2023-01-17

Cêtre-Sossah C, Lebon C, Rabarison P, et al (2023)

Evidence of Eretmapodites subsimplicipes and Aedes albopictus as competent vectors for Rift Valley fever virus transmission in Mayotte.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(23)00022-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Rift Valley fever (RVF) recently re-emerged in Mayotte. We described, for the first time, that the mosquito species Eretmapodites subsimplicipes, a highly abundant species in Mayotte, is a competent vector for the transmission of RVF virus using three distinct populations native to Mayotte. We also showed that Aedes albopictus specimens are able to transmit RVF virus (RVFV) as previously observed in mosquito populations of other countries emphasizing the need of the increase vigilance for this highly invasive species of global distribution. Altogether, these results underline the epidemiological importance of both species for RVFV transmission in Mayotte and contribute to better understand the RVF epidemiological cycle and help to implement efficient prevention measures.

RevDate: 2023-01-17
CmpDate: 2023-01-17

Rane R, Walsh TK, Lenancker P, et al (2023)

Complex multiple introductions drive fall armyworm invasions into Asia and Australia.

Scientific reports, 13(1):660.

The fall armyworm (FAW) Spodoptera frugiperda is thought to have undergone a rapid 'west-to-east' spread since 2016 when it was first identified in western Africa. Between 2018 and 2020, it was recorded from South Asia (SA), Southeast Asia (SEA), East Asia (EA), and Pacific/Australia (PA). Population genomic analyses enabled the understanding of pathways, population sources, and gene flow in this notorious agricultural pest species. Using neutral single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) DNA markers, we detected genome introgression that suggested most populations in this study were overwhelmingly C- and R-strain hybrids (n = 252/262). SNP and mitochondrial DNA markers identified multiple introductions that were most parsimoniously explained by anthropogenic-assisted spread, i.e., associated with international trade of live/fresh plants and plant products, and involved 'bridgehead populations' in countries to enable successful pest establishment in neighbouring countries. Distinct population genomic signatures between Myanmar and China do not support the 'African origin spread' nor the 'Myanmar source population to China' hypotheses. Significant genetic differentiation between populations from different Australian states supported multiple pathways involving distinct SEA populations. Our study identified Asia as a biosecurity hotspot and a FAW genetic melting pot, and demonstrated the use of genome analysis to disentangle preventable human-assisted pest introductions from unpreventable natural pest spread.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Schneider I, Rannow B, Gupta A, et al (2023)

What Really Works? Testing Augmented and Virtual Reality Messaging in Terrestrial Invasive Species Management Communications to Impact Visitor Preferences and Deter Visitor Displacement.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Natural resource management is rapidly shifting to incorporate a deeper understanding of ecological processes and functioning, including attention to invasive species. The shift to understand public perceptions of resource management and invasives is much slower. Information influences both landscape preference and behaviors. Theory suggests that increasingly engaging information should have concurrently greater impacts. This research tested the effect of increasingly engaging information on visitor preferences and intentions to return to landscapes treated in response to emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis). Park visitors in a midwestern-U.S. state randomly received one of four messages about forest management in response to EAB (control, photo, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR)). Messaging impacted preferences for three of the four management approaches, but significant changes in displacement intentions emerged in only one of the four. Specifically, VR and AR increased preferences for complete harvest compared to photos/text, but not differently from those who received no information. VR significantly lowered preferences for select harvest with natural regeneration. The photo/text treatment increased preference for select harvest with planted trees over no information. Any information reduced displacement in response to a photo depicting "select harvest, planted trees." Subsequently judicious use of advanced communications like VR can optimize increasing scarce resources and maintain or optimize ecological services. Future research directions across geographic and content areas are recommended.

RevDate: 2023-01-16

Collado GA, Salvador RB, Vidal M, et al (2023)

Distribution, conservation status and proposed measures for preservation of Radiodiscus microgastropods in Chile.

PeerJ, 11:e14027.

The genus Radiodiscus includes minute terrestrial snails occurring throughout the American continent. We assessed the conservation status of eight poorly known Chilean Radiodiscus species using the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and NatureServe categories and criteria. Under the IUCN guidelines the species were assessed using the Criterion B of geographic range, which considers the extent of occurrence (EOO) and area of occupancy (AOO) as subcriteria. For NatureServe we used these two parameters plus the number of occurrences, ecological viability, and threats. Considering species rarity and possible sampling bias, we also used ecological niche modeling to determine climate and environmental tolerances and predict potential species distributions analyzing bioclimatic and geographical layers. Radiodiscus australis, R. coarctatus and R. quillajicola were listed as Critically Endangered by IUCN and NatureServe standards; R. coppingeri, R. flammulatus, R. magellanicus and R. villarricensis as Endangered by both methods; while R. riochicoensis as Endangered by IUCN standards and Vulnerable by NatureServe standards. Niche modeling results indicated that Radiodiscus species respond to different environmental conditions and that the predicted distribution areas contain suitable habitats beyond the current ranges, which may be helpful for future management plans. Nature-based sport tourism, forestry activities, urbanization, roads, pollution, mining, forest fires, livestock, volcanism, tsunamis, soil erosion and introduced species are among the major threats affecting these snails. Based on the low number of occurrences and the threats identified, the most at-risk species are R. coarctatus and R. quillajicola (one record), R. australis (two records) and R. villarricensis (three records); the latter two lacking occurrences within protected areas. Compiling our findings, we propose a list of actions to preserve Chilean Radiodiscus species.

RevDate: 2023-01-16
CmpDate: 2023-01-16

Kraaij T, Msweli ST, AJ Potts (2022)

Fuel trait effects on flammability of native and invasive alien shrubs in coastal fynbos and thicket (Cape Floristic Region).

PeerJ, 10:e13765.

In June 2017, extreme fires along the southern Cape coast of South Africa burnt native fynbos and thicket vegetation and caused extensive damage to plantations and residential properties. Invasive alien plants (IAPs) occur commonly in the area and were thought to have changed the behaviour of these fires through their modification of fuel properties relative to that of native vegetation. This study experimentally compared various measures of flammability across groups of native and alien invasive shrub species in relation to their fuel traits. Live plant shoots of 30 species (10 species each of native fynbos, native thicket, and IAPs) were sampled to measure live fuel moisture, dry biomass, fuel bed porosity and the proportions of fine-, coarse- and dead fuels. These shoots were burnt experimentally, and flammability measured in terms of maximum temperature (combustibility), completeness of burn (consumability), and time-to-ignition (ignitability). Multiple regression models were used to assess the relationships between flammability responses and fuel traits, while the Kruskal-Wallis H test was used to establish if differences existed in flammability measures and fuel traits among the vegetation groups. Dry biomass significantly enhanced, while live fuel moisture significantly reduced, maximum temperature, whereas the proportion of fine fuels significantly increased completeness of burn. Unlike other similar studies, the proportion of dead fuels and fuel bed porosity were not retained by any of the models to account for variation in flammability. Species of fynbos and IAPs generally exhibited greater flammability in the form of higher completeness of burn and more rapid ignition than species of thicket. Little distinction in flammability and fuel traits could be made between species of fynbos and IAPs, except that fynbos species had a greater proportion of fine fuels. Thicket species had higher proportions of coarse fuels and greater dry biomass (~fuel loading) than species of fynbos and IAPs. Live fuel moisture did not differ among the vegetation groups, contrary to the literature often ascribing variation in flammability to fuel moisture differences. The fuel traits investigated only explained 21-53% of the variation in flammability and large variation was evident among species within vegetation groups suggesting that species-specific and in situ community-level investigations are warranted, particularly in regard fuel moisture and chemical contents.

RevDate: 2023-01-14

Filip T, Michal Š, Radoslava J, et al (2023)

The impact of the striped field mouse's range expansion on communities of native small mammals.

Scientific reports, 13(1):753.

Understanding species expansion as an element of the dispersal process is crucial to gaining a better comprehension of the functioning of the populations and the communities. Populations of the same species that are native in one area could be considered nonindigenous, naturalised or invasive somewhere else. The striped field mouse has been expanding its range in south-western Slovakia since 2010, although the origin of the spread has still not been clarified. In light of the striped field mouse's life history, the recent range expansion is considered to be the expansion of a native species. This study analyses the impact of the striped field mouse's expansion on the native population and small mammal communities and confronts the documented stages of striped field mouse expansion with the stages of invasion biology. Our research replicates the design and compares results from past research of small mammals prior to this expansion at the same three study areas with the same 20 study sites and control sites. Several years after expansion, the striped field mouse has a 100% frequency of occurrence in all study sites and has become the dominant species in two of the study areas. The native community is significantly affected by the striped field mouse's increasing dominance, specifically: (i) we found a re-ordering of the species rank, mainly in areas with higher dominance, and (ii) an initial positive impact on diversity and evenness during low dominance of the striped field mouse turned markedly negative after crossing the 25% dominance threshold. Results suggested that the variation in the striped field mouse's dominance is affected by the northern direction of its spread. Our findings show that establishment in a new area, spread and impact on the native community are stages possibly shared by both invasive and native species during their range expansion.

RevDate: 2023-01-12

Holcomb KM, Mathis S, Staples JE, et al (2023)

Evaluation of an open forecasting challenge to assess skill of West Nile virus neuroinvasive disease prediction.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):11.

BACKGROUND: West Nile virus (WNV) is the leading cause of mosquito-borne illness in the continental USA. WNV occurrence has high spatiotemporal variation, and current approaches to targeted control of the virus are limited, making forecasting a public health priority. However, little research has been done to compare strengths and weaknesses of WNV disease forecasting approaches on the national scale. We used forecasts submitted to the 2020 WNV Forecasting Challenge, an open challenge organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to assess the status of WNV neuroinvasive disease (WNND) prediction and identify avenues for improvement.

METHODS: We performed a multi-model comparative assessment of probabilistic forecasts submitted by 15 teams for annual WNND cases in US counties for 2020 and assessed forecast accuracy, calibration, and discriminatory power. In the evaluation, we included forecasts produced by comparison models of varying complexity as benchmarks of forecast performance. We also used regression analysis to identify modeling approaches and contextual factors that were associated with forecast skill.

RESULTS: Simple models based on historical WNND cases generally scored better than more complex models and combined higher discriminatory power with better calibration of uncertainty. Forecast skill improved across updated forecast submissions submitted during the 2020 season. Among models using additional data, inclusion of climate or human demographic data was associated with higher skill, while inclusion of mosquito or land use data was associated with lower skill. We also identified population size, extreme minimum winter temperature, and interannual variation in WNND cases as county-level characteristics associated with variation in forecast skill.

CONCLUSIONS: Historical WNND cases were strong predictors of future cases with minimal increase in skill achieved by models that included other factors. Although opportunities might exist to specifically improve predictions for areas with large populations and low or high winter temperatures, areas with high case-count variability are intrinsically more difficult to predict. Also, the prediction of outbreaks, which are outliers relative to typical case numbers, remains difficult. Further improvements to prediction could be obtained with improved calibration of forecast uncertainty and access to real-time data streams (e.g. current weather and preliminary human cases).

RevDate: 2023-01-12

Taszakowski A, Masłowski A, Daane KM, et al (2023)

Closer view of antennal sensory organs of two Leptoglossus species (Insecta, Hemiptera, Coreidae).

Scientific reports, 13(1):617.

Detailed description of antennal sensory organs of Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann, 1910 (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Coreidae) and a comparison with L. zonatus (Dallas, 1852) are presented. A novel approach that combines the advantages of field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM) and atomic force microscope (AFM) was used to detail micromorphological structures. A simplified classification system for sensilla that eliminates the subjective aspects of morphology, such as their shape, is proposed. Fourteen sensory organs have been classified into three main groups: (a) aporous sensilla with a flexible socket, (b) porous sensilla with a flexible socket and (c) porous sensilla with an inflexible socket. A large variety of sensory organs (nine types) with olfactory functions are described. The antennal sensory organs have been recognized as one of the factors responsible for the evolutionary success of Leptoglossus spp. and their status as important pests and invasive species.

RevDate: 2023-01-12

Zhang Y, Li JT, Xu X, et al (2023)

Temperature fluctuation promotes the thermal adaptation of soil microbial respiration.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The magnitude of the feedback between soil microbial respiration and increased mean temperature may decrease (a process called thermal adaptation) or increase over time, and accurately representing this feedback in models improves predictions of soil carbon loss rates. However, climate change entails changes not only in mean temperature but also in temperature fluctuation, and how this fluctuation regulates the thermal response of microbial respiration has never been systematically evaluated. By analysing subtropical forest soils from a 2,000 km transect across China, we showed that although a positive relationship between soil microbial biomass-specific respiration and temperature was observed under increased constant incubation temperature, an increasing temperature fluctuation had a stronger negative effect. Our results further indicated that changes in bacterial community composition and reduced activities of carbon degradation enzymes promoted the effect of temperature fluctuation. This adaptive response of soil microbial respiration suggests that climate warming may have a lesser exacerbating effect on atmospheric CO2 concentrations than predicted.

RevDate: 2023-01-12

Ben-Haddad M, Abelouah MR, Hajji S, et al (2023)

The halophyte Cakile maritima Scop. 1772 as a trap of plastic litter on the Moroccan coast.

Marine pollution bulletin, 187:114574 pii:S0025-326X(23)00005-X [Epub ahead of print].

Some plant communities of coastal dunes may affect the magnitude and distribution of litter on the ecosystem. In this study, the aim is to assess the aptitude of the halophyte Cakile maritima Scop. 1772 to be a trap and sink of plastic litter on the Moroccan Atlantic coast. Overall, a significant difference was noted between plastic litter trapped in C. maritima patches (1173 items) and control plots (502 items). Food containers and ropes were the most common trapped items. Shoreline and recreational activities, followed by dumping and ocean/waterway activities are the main sources of the trapped plastic items. The findings suggest the expansion of the cleaning operations to include coastal dunes, the need to change behavior among beachgoers in regard to food plastics disposal, as well the control of C. maritima distribution in the study area, and similar plant species in other regions.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Carrera-Játiva PD, Torres C, Figueroa-Sandoval F, et al (2023)

Gastrointestinal parasites in wild rodents in Chiloé Island-Chile.

Revista brasileira de parasitologia veterinaria = Brazilian journal of veterinary parasitology : Orgao Oficial do Colegio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinaria, 32(1):e017022 pii:S1984-29612023000100300.

Gastrointestinal parasites are well-documented in small mammals from north-central Chile, but little is known about endoparasites of rodents in southern Chile. A survey was conducted between January and February 2018 to evaluate gastrointestinal parasites and risk factors of wild rodents that live in rural areas in Northern Chiloé Island, Chile. A total of 174 fecal samples from rodents of six native and one introduced species were collected and examined using the Mini-FLOTAC method. Also, 41 individuals of four native wild rodent species were examined furtherly to determinate adult parasites from gastrointestinal tracts. The overall prevalence of endoparasites was 89.65% (156). Helminth egg types included: Rodentolepis spp., Capillariidae, Trichuris sp., Syphacia sp., oxyurid-type eggs, Strongyloides sp., Spirurid-type eggs, Strongilid-type eggs, Moniliformis sp., and an unidentified nematode egg and larvae. Protozoa comprised coccidia, amoeba, and unidentified cysts. From necropsies, adult parasites involved Syphacia sp. Trichuris sp., Protospirura sp. and Physaloptera sp. In Abrothrix olivacea, individuals with low-body-mass index exhibited reduced infection probability for Spirurid-type and Strongilid-type eggs. Some parasites in this study may affect human health. In rural settings where environmental conditions are changing, more research should be undertaken to understand parasitic infections in wildlife and implications for public health and conservation.

RevDate: 2023-01-11

Santana-Garcon J, Bennett S, Marbà N, et al (2023)

Tropicalization shifts herbivore pressure from seagrass to rocky reef communities.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1990):20221744.

Climate-driven species redistributions are reshuffling the composition of marine ecosystems. How these changes alter ecosystem functions, however, remains poorly understood. Here we examine how impacts of herbivory change across a gradient of tropicalization in the Mediterranean Sea, which includes a steep climatic gradient and marked changes in plant nutritional quality and fish herbivore composition. We quantified individual feeding rates and behaviour of 755 fishes of the native Sarpa salpa, and non-native Siganus rivulatus and Siganus luridus. We measured herbivore and benthic assemblage composition across 20 sites along the gradient, spanning 30° of longitude and 8° of latitude. We coupled patterns in behaviour and composition with temperature measurements and nutrient concentrations to assess changes in herbivory under tropicalization. We found a transition in ecological impacts by fish herbivory across the Mediterranean from a predominance of seagrass herbivory in the west to a dominance of macroalgal herbivory in the east. Underlying this shift were changes in both individual feeding behaviour (i.e. food choice) and fish assemblage composition. The shift in feeding selectivity was consistent among temperate and warm-affiliated herbivores. Our findings suggest herbivory can contribute to the increased vulnerability of seaweed communities and reduced vulnerability of seagrass meadows in tropicalized ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Pandey HP, Aryal K, Aryal S, et al (2023)

Understanding local ecosystem dynamics in three provinces of the lowlands of Nepal.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)00116-X [Epub ahead of print].

Incidences of failure of sustainable ecosystem management policies, especially in the developing world are partly attributable due to a lack of political will and inadequate understanding of ecosystem dynamics (ED) at the local levels. In this study, we endeavor to comprehend the dynamics of two ecosystems - forest and agriculture - by employing a resource-friendly participatory approach based on stake-taking the experiences of indigenous and forest-dependent local stakeholders in three lowland provinces of Nepal and is guided by the theory of socio-ecological concept. An in-depth survey (n = 136) was conducted using semi-structured questionnaires, key informant interviews (n = 9), and focus group discussions (n = 4) for data generation, and generalized linear models were used to test whether understanding of ED is uniform across the socio-ecological landscape. We identified that various attributes of forests and agricultural ecosystems have altered substantially earlier than 30 years (hereafter, earlier decade) relative to the present (hereafter, later decade). Apart from the natural processes including anthropogenic and climatic factors, technological innovations played a significant role in altering ecosystems in the later decade. Understanding of ED among forest-dependent stakeholders significantly varied with respect to gender, occupation, age group, gender-based water fetching responsibility, and water-fetching duration, however, no significant correlation was observed with their level of education across the landscape. The studied ecosystem attributes significantly correlate with water regime changes, signifying that water-centric ecosystem management is crucial. The attributes that observed significant dynamics in the forest ecosystem include changes in forest cover, structure and species composition, the severity of invasive species, wildfires, water regimes, and abundance and behavioral changes in mammals and avifauna. The alteration of crop cultivation and harvesting season which results in a decrease in yield, increased use of chemicals (fertilizers and pesticides) an increase in fallow land, and the proliferation of hybrid variety cultivation in the later decade are significant disparities in the dynamics of the agriculture ecosystem. To withstand the accelerated ED, stakeholders adopt various strategies, however, these strategies are either obtained from unsustainable sources entail high costs and technology, or are detrimental to the ecosystems. In relation, we present specific examples of ecosystem attributes that significantly experience changes in the later decade compared to the earlier decade along with plausible future pathways for policy decisions sustaining and stewardship of dynamic ecosystems across the socio-ecological landscape.

RevDate: 2023-01-10

Le Hen G, Balzani P, Haase P, et al (2023)

Alien species and climate change drive shifts in a riverine fish community and trait compositions over 35 years.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)00101-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Alien fish substantially impact aquatic communities. However, their effects on trait composition remain poorly understood, especially at large spatiotemporal scales. Here, we used long-term biomonitoring data (1984-2018) from 31 fish communities of the Rhine river in Germany to investigate compositional and functional changes over time. Average total community richness increased by 49 %: it was stable until 2004, then declined until 2010, before increasing until 2018. Average abundance decreased by 9 %. Starting from 198 individuals/m[2] in 1984 abundance largely declined to 23 individuals/m[2] in 2010 (-88 %), and then consequently increased by 678 % up to 180 individuals/m[2] until 2018. Increases in abundance and richness starting around 2010 were mainly driven by the establishment of alien species: while alien species represented 5 % of all species and 0.1 % of total individuals in 1993, it increased to 30 % (7 species) and 32 % of individuals in 2018. Concomitant to the increase in alien species, average native species richness and abundance declined by 26 % and 50 % respectively. We identified increases in temperature, precipitation, abundance and richness of alien fish driving compositional changes after 2010. To get more insights on the impacts of alien species on fish communities, we used 12 biological and 13 ecological traits to compute four trait metrics each. Ecological trait dispersion increased before 2010, probably due to diminishing ecologically similar native species. No changes in trait metrics were measured after 2010, albeit relative shares of expressed trait modalities significantly changing. The observed shift in trait modalities suggested the introduction of new species carrying similar and novel trait modalities. Our results revealed significant changes in taxonomic and trait compositions following alien fish introductions and climatic change. To conclude, our analyses show taxonomic and functional changes in the Rhine river over 35 years, likely indicative of future changes in ecosystem services.


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.


SUPPORT ESP: Order from Amazon
The ESP project will earn a commission.

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 )