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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Jan 2019 at 01:40 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: 2019-01-15

Alves DFR, López Greco LS, Barros-Alves SP, et al (2019)

Sexual system, reproductive cycle and embryonic development of the red-striped shrimp Lysmata vittata, an invader in the western Atlantic Ocean.

PloS one, 14(1):e0210723 pii:PONE-D-18-20094.

Several decapod crustaceans are invaders, but little is known about the biological characteristics that potentiate the success of these decapods in invaded ecosystems. Here, we evaluate and describe some aspects of the reproductive biology and development of Lysmata vittata, an invasive shrimp species in the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, we intend to provide important insights into the biology of invasion by comparing the reproductive traits of this shrimp with some of the predictions about aquatic invasive species. We used experimental and laboratory observations to evaluate the functionality of protandric simultaneous hermaphroditism (PSH), the macro and microscopic development of the ovarian portion of the ovotestes, the reproductive cycle, and the embryonic development of L. vittata. We confirm the functionality of PSH in L. vittata. This shrimp has a rapid reproductive cycle; the ovarian portion of the ovotestes develops (mean ± SD) 6.28 ± 1.61 days after spawning. Embryonic development also occurs over a short time, with a mean (± SD) of 8.37 ± 0.85 days. The larvae hatch without macroscopically visible yolk reserves. Our study provides evidence that the invasive shrimp L. vittata has reproductive and embryonic developmental characteristics (i.e., short generation time and high reproductive capacity) that may be favorable to the establishment of populations during invasive processes.

RevDate: 2019-01-15

Dong Z, Morandini AC, Schiariti A, et al (2019)

First record of Phyllorhiza sp. (Cnidaria: Scyphozoa) in a Chinese coastal aquaculture pond.

PeerJ, 7:e6191 pii:6191.

Background: It has been suggested that aquaculture ponds on the Chinese coast could act as breeding grounds for scyphozoans. Here, we present the first record of the scyphomedusa Phyllorhiza sp. in an aquaculture pond on the coast of the southern Yellow Sea, based on a combination of morphological characteristics and mitochondrial 16S DNA sequence data.

Methods: A field survey was performed on June 29, 2017 in a pond used for culturing the shrimp Penaeus japonicus, located in the southern Yellow Sea, China. Jellyfish specimens were collected for morphological and genetic analysis. The morphological characters of the jellyfish specimens were compared to taxonomic literature. Additionally, phylogenetic analysis of the mitochondrial 16S fragments of these specimens were also conducted.

Results: These specimens had the following morphological characters: hemispherical umbrella without scapulets; J-shaped oral arms; a single larger terminal club on each arm; bluish colored with a slightly expanded white tip; and mouthlets present only in the lower half to one-third of each arm. These morphological features of the medusae indicated that the specimens found in the shrimp culture ponds belong to the genus Phyllorhiza Agassiz, 1862, but did not match with the description of any of the known species of the genus Phyllorhiza. Phylogenetic analyses of the mtDNA 16S regions revealed that these specimens, together with Phyllorhiza sp. from Malaysian coastal waters, belong to a sister group of Phyllorhiza punctata. Juveniles and ephyrae of Phyllorhiza sp. were observed in the aquaculture pond. The mean density of Phyllorhiza sp. medusa in the surface water within the pond was estimated to be 0.05 individuals/m2.

Discussion: Based on our observations of the gross morphology and molecular data, we state that the specimens collected in the aquaculture pond can be identified as Phyllorhiza sp. This is the first record of Phyllorhiza sp. in Chinese seas. Large scale dispersal through ballast water or the expansion of jellyfish aquarium exhibitions are possible pathways of invasion, but this needs to be confirmed in further studies.

RevDate: 2019-01-15

Campbell CD, Pecon-Slattery J, Pollak R, et al (2019)

The origin of exotic pet sugar gliders (Petaurus breviceps) kept in the United States of America.

PeerJ, 7:e6180 pii:6180.

The demand for exotic non-domesticated animals kept as pets in the United States of America (USA) is increasing the exportation rates of these species from their native ranges. Often, illegal harvesting of these species is used to boost captive-bred numbers and meet this demand. One such species, the sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps), endemic to Australia and New Guinea is a popular domestic pet due to its small size and "cute" demeanour. Despite a legal avenue for trade existing in Indonesia, concerns have been raised that sugar gliders may be entering the USA from other parts of their native range where exportation is prohibited such as Australia, Papua New Guinea and the surrounding Indonesian islands. We compared previously published DNA sequences from across the native range of sugar gliders with samples collected from domestically kept sugar gliders within the USA to determine provenance and gene flow between source and introduced populations. Here we show that as predicted, the USA sugar glider population originates from West Papua, Indonesia with no illegal harvesting from other native areas such as Papua New Guinea or Australia evident in the samples tested within this study.

RevDate: 2019-01-14

Beasley I, Cherel Y, Robinson S, et al (2019)

Stomach contents of long-finned pilot whales, Globicephala melas mass-stranded in Tasmania.

PloS one, 14(1):e0206747 pii:PONE-D-18-10710.

New data are reported from analyses of stomach contents from 114 long-finned pilot whales mass-stranded at four locations around Tasmania, Australia from 1992-2006. Identifiable prey remains were recovered from 84 (74%) individuals, with 30 (26%) individuals (17 females and 13 males) having empty stomachs. Prey remains comprised 966 identifiable lower beaks and 1244 upper beaks, belonging to 17 families (26 species) of cephalopods. Ommastrephidae spp. were the most important cephalopod prey accounting for 16.9% by number and 45.6% by reconstructed mass. Lycoteuthis lorigera was the next most important, followed by Ancistrocheirus lesueurii. Multivariate statistics identified significant differences in diet among the four stranding locations. Long-finned pilot whales foraging off Southern Australia appear to be targeting a diverse assemblage of prey (≥10 species dominated by cephalopods). This is compared to other similar studies from New Zealand and some locations in the Northern Hemisphere, where the diet has been reported to be primarily restricted to ≤3 species dominated by cephalopods. This study emphasises the importance of cephalopods as primary prey for Southern long-finned pilot whales and other marine vertebrates, and has increased our understanding of long-finned pilot whale diet in Southern Ocean waters.

RevDate: 2019-01-14

Guareschi S, PJ Wood (2019)

Taxonomic changes and non-native species: An overview of constraints and new challenges for macroinvertebrate-based indices calculation in river ecosystems.

The Science of the total environment, 660:40-46 pii:S0048-9697(19)30008-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Freshwater ecosystems face many threats in the form of reduced water quantity, poor water quality and the loss of biodiversity. As a result, aquatic biomonitoring tools are required to enable the evaluation of these critical changes. Currently, macroinvertebrate-based indices are globally the most widely used biomonitoring tools in fluvial ecosystems. However, very little is known about the potential effects of changes in taxonomic understanding (updating of classification and nomenclature) or the presence of new non-native species for biotic indices calculation. This is especially relevant given that errors, incorrect classification or exclusion of new/updated nomenclature may affect ecological status evaluations and have direct consequences for the management and conservation of freshwater systems. In this discussion paper the main constraints, challenges and implications of these issues are outlined and case studies from a range of European countries are discussed. However, similar challenges affect rivers and managers globally and will potentially be amplified further in the future. Bioassessment science needs to be open to improvements, and current tools and protocols need to be flexible so that they can be updated and revised rapidly to allow new scientific developments to be integrated. This discussion highlights specific examples and new ideas that may contribute to the future development of aquatic biomonitoring using macroinvertebrates and other faunal and floral groups in riverine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-01-14

Li Q, Wang N, Liu X, et al (2019)

Growth and physiological responses to successional water deficit and recovery in four warm-temperate woody species.

Physiologia plantarum [Epub ahead of print].

Plant responses to drought and their subsequent rehydration can provide evidence for forest dynamics within the context of climate change. In this study, the seedlings of two native species (Vitex negundo var. heterophylla, Quercus acutissima) and two exotic species (Robinia pseudoacacia, Amorpha fruticosa) in China were selected in a greenhouse experiment. The gas exchange, stem hydraulic parameters, plant osmoprotectant contents and antioxidant activities of the seedlings that were subjected to sustained drought and rehydration (test group) as well as those of well-irrigated seedlings (control group) were measured. The two native species exhibited a greater degree of isohydry with drought because they limited the stomatal opening timely from the onset of the drought. However, the two exotic species showed a more "water spender"-like strategy with R. pseudoacacia showing anisohydric responses and A. fruticosa showing isohydrodynamic responses to drought. Severe drought significantly decreased the leaf gas exchange rates and hydraulic properties, whereas the instantaneous water use efficiency and osmoprotectant contents increased markedly. Most of the physiological parameters recovered rapidly after mild drought rehydration, but the water potential and/or supply of nonstructural carbohydrates did not recover after severe drought rehydration. The results demonstrate that the xylem hydraulic conductivity and shoot water potential jointly play a crucial role in the drought recovery of woody plants. In brief, the native species may play a dominant role in the future in warm-temperate forests because they employ a better balance between carbon gain and water loss than the alien species under extreme drought conditions. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-01-14
CmpDate: 2019-01-14

Liwanag HEM, Haro D, Callejas B, et al (2018)

Thermal tolerance varies with age and sex for the nonnative Italian Wall Lizard (Podarcis siculus) in Southern California.

Journal of thermal biology, 78:263-269.

Temperature has a substantial effect on both the physiology and behavior of ectothermic animals such as lizards. Physiology and behavior can also be influenced by ontogenetic and sex differences, but these effects are largely understudied in lizards. We examined ontogenetic and sex-based differences in thermal tolerances, preferred temperature, and temperature-dependent evaporative water loss rates in Italian Wall Lizards, Podarcis siculus, collected from an introduced population near Los Angeles, California, USA that were acclimated to laboratory conditions. Podarcis siculus has been introduced to multiple localities in the USA and the Mediterranean region and has demonstrated remarkable ability to adapt to novel climatic conditions. In the California population, adults of both sexes had a higher critical thermal maximum (CTmax) than juveniles, and adult females had a lower critical thermal minimum (CTmin) than juveniles and adult males. Thus, adult females had a significantly wider thermal breadth (CTmax - CTmin) compared to adult males and juveniles. Mass-specific evaporative water loss was higher in juveniles compared to adult males at intermediate temperatures. There was no significant difference among groups for preferred temperature. This implies that thermal tolerance, a physiological characteristic, varies with age and sex for this population, whereas thermal preference, a behavioral characteristic, does not. Interestingly, CTmin for all age and sex classes was above temperatures likely experienced by some nonnative populations in winter, suggesting individuals need to find urban thermal retreats. These results add to the growing literature demonstrating that thermal tolerances and breadths can vary between sexes and across age classes in squamate species.

RevDate: 2019-01-14
CmpDate: 2019-01-14

Graham NAJ, Wilson SK, Carr P, et al (2018)

Seabirds enhance coral reef productivity and functioning in the absence of invasive rats.

Nature, 559(7713):250-253.

Biotic connectivity between ecosystems can provide major transport of organic matter and nutrients, influencing ecosystem structure and productivity1, yet the implications are poorly understood owing to human disruptions of natural flows2. When abundant, seabirds feeding in the open ocean transport large quantities of nutrients onto islands, enhancing the productivity of island fauna and flora3,4. Whether leaching of these nutrients back into the sea influences the productivity, structure and functioning of adjacent coral reef ecosystems is not known. Here we address this question using a rare natural experiment in the Chagos Archipelago, in which some islands are rat-infested and others are rat-free. We found that seabird densities and nitrogen deposition rates are 760 and 251 times higher, respectively, on islands where humans have not introduced rats. Consequently, rat-free islands had substantially higher nitrogen stable isotope (δ15N) values in soils and shrubs, reflecting pelagic nutrient sources. These higher values of δ15N were also apparent in macroalgae, filter-feeding sponges, turf algae and fish on adjacent coral reefs. Herbivorous damselfish on reefs adjacent to the rat-free islands grew faster, and fish communities had higher biomass across trophic feeding groups, with 48% greater overall biomass. Rates of two critical ecosystem functions, grazing and bioerosion, were 3.2 and 3.8 times higher, respectively, adjacent to rat-free islands. Collectively, these results reveal how rat introductions disrupt nutrient flows among pelagic, island and coral reef ecosystems. Thus, rat eradication on oceanic islands should be a high conservation priority as it is likely to benefit terrestrial ecosystems and enhance coral reef productivity and functioning by restoring seabird-derived nutrient subsidies from large areas of ocean.

RevDate: 2019-01-14
CmpDate: 2019-01-14

Callaway E (2018)

Controversial CRISPR 'gene drives' tested in mammals for the first time.

Nature, 559(7713):164.

RevDate: 2019-01-14
CmpDate: 2019-01-14

Su Y, Huang L, Wang Z, et al (2018)

Comparative chloroplast genomics between the invasive weed Mikania micrantha and its indigenous congener Mikania cordata: Structure variation, identification of highly divergent regions, divergence time estimation, and phylogenetic analysis.

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution, 126:181-195.

Mikania micrantha and Mikania cordata are the only two species in genus Mikania (Asteraceae) in China. They share very similar morphological and life-history characteristics but occupy quite different habitats. Most importantly, they generate totally different ecological consequences. While M. micrantha has become an exotic invasive weed, M. cordata exists as an indigenous species with no harmful effects on native plants or habitats. As a continuous study of our previously reported M. micrantha chloroplast (cp) genome, in this study we have further sequenced the M. cordata cp genome to (1) conduct a comparative genome analysis to gain insights into the mechanism of invasiveness; (2) develop cp markers to examine the population genetic adaptation of M. micrantha; and (3) screen variable genome regions of phylogenetic utility. The M. cordata chloroplast genome is 151,984 bp in length and displays a typical quadripartite structure. The number and distribution of protein coding genes, tRNA genes, and rRNA genes of M. cordata are identical to those of M. micrantha. The main difference lays in that the pseudogenization of ndhF and a 118-bp palindromic repeat only arises in M. cordata. Fourteen highly divergent regions, 235 base substitutions, and 58 indels were identified between the two cp genomes. Phylogenetic inferences revealed a sister relationship between M. micrantha and M. cordata whose divergence was estimated to occur around 1.78 million years ago (MYA). Twelve cpSSR loci were detected to be polymorphic and adopted to survey the genetic adaptation of M. micrantha populations. No cpSSR loci were found to undergo selection. Our results build a foundation to examine the invasive mechanism of Mikania weed.

RevDate: 2019-01-11

Williams J, Lambert AM, Long R, et al (2019)

Does hybrid Phragmites australis differ from native and introduced lineages in reproductive, genetic, and morphological traits?.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE OF THE STUDY: Hybridization between previously isolated species or lineages can stimulate invasiveness because of increased genetic diversity and inherited traits facilitating competitive and reproductive potential. We evaluated differences in stand characteristics and sexual and vegetative reproduction among native, introduced, and hybrid Phragmites australis lineages in the southwestern United States. We also assessed the degree of hybridization among lineages and backcrossing of hybrids with parental lineages.

METHODS: Growth and morphological characteristics were measured in native, introduced, and hybrid Phragmites stands to evaluate relative cover and dominance in associated plant communities. Panicles were collected from stands to evaluate germination, dormancy, and differences in seed traits. Seedlings from germination trials were genotyped to determine frequency of crossing and backcrossing among lineages.

KEY RESULTS: Introduced and hybrid Phragmites stands had significantly greater stem and panicle densities than native stands and were more likely to be dominant members of their respective plant communities. Hybrid seed outputs were significantly greater, but hybrid seeds had lower germination rates than those from native and introduced lineages. We detected a novel hybridization event between native and introduced lineages, but found no strong evidence of hybrids backcrossing with parental lineages.

CONCLUSIONS: Hybrid Phragmites in the Southwest exhibits reproductive, genetic, and morphological characteristics from both parental lineages that facilitate dispersal, establishment, and aggressive growth, including high reproductive output, rhizome viability, and aboveground biomass, with smaller seeds and greater genetic diversity than its progenitors. Our results show hybrids can inherit traits that confer invasiveness and provide insight for managing this species complex and other cryptic species with native and introduced variants with potential for intraspecific hybridization.

RevDate: 2019-01-11
CmpDate: 2019-01-11

Wan JZ, Zhang ZX, CJ Wang (2018)

Identifying potential distributions of 10 invasive alien trees: implications for conservation management of protected areas.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 190(12):739.

Tree invasion has the potential to negatively affect biodiversity and ecosystems, with invasive alien trees (IATs) expanding widely in protected areas (PAs) across different habitats. Thus, the effectiveness of PAs might be reduced. Investigation of the distributions of IAT is urgently required to improve the effective conservation management of PAs. We projected the potential distributions of 10 IATs, which included Acacia mearnsii, Ardisia elliptica, Cecropia peltata, Cinchona pubescens, Leucaena leucocephala, Melaleuca quinquenervia, Miconia calvescens, Morella faya, Prosopis glandulosa, and Spathodea campanulata, that have a serious influence on global biodiversity and assessed the distribution possibilities of these IATs in PAs based on the PA categories of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The overall potential distributions of these 10 IATs included Latin America, central and southern Africa, southeastern Asia, eastern Australia and New Zealand, and western Europe. Annual mean temperature, temperature seasonality, annual precipitation, and soil bulk density were found to be important environmental variables for the potential distributions of these IATs. Overall, A. mearnsii, A. elliptica, C. peltata, L. leucocephala, M. quinquenervia, M. calvescens, and S. campanulata were distributed mainly in the IUCN PA categories of national parks and PAs with sustainable use of natural resources. We proposed the following for conservation management of PAs: (1) completion of species inventories for PAs, (2) better understanding of factors driving invasions in PAs, (3) assessment of the efficiency of management within particular PAs, and (4) evaluation of changes in trends regarding plant invasions in PAs under climate change conditions.

RevDate: 2019-01-11
CmpDate: 2019-01-11

Sauvard D, Imbault V, É Darrouzet (2018)

Flight capacities of yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax, Hymenoptera: Vespidae) workers from an invasive population in Europe.

PloS one, 13(6):e0198597.

The invasive yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax Lepeletier, 1836 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), is native to Southeast Asia. It was first detected in France (in the southwest) in 2005. It has since expanded throughout Europe and has caused significant harm to honeybee populations. We must better characterize the hornet's flight capacity to understand the species' success and develop improved control strategies. Here, we carried out a study in which we quantified the flight capacities of V. velutina workers using computerized flight mills. We observed that workers were able to spend around 40% of the daily 7-hour flight tests flying. On average, they flew 10km to 30km during each flight test, although there was a large amount of variation. Workers sampled in early summer had lower flight capacities than workers sampled later in the season. Flight capacity decreased as workers aged. However, in the field, workers probably often die before this decrease becomes significant. During each flight test, workers performed several continuous flight phases of variable length that were separated by rest phases. Based on the length of those continuous flight phases and certain key assumptions, we estimated that V. velutina colony foraging radius is at least 700 m (half that in early summer); however, some workers are able to forage much farther. While these laboratory findings remain to be confirmed by field studies, our results can nonetheless help inform V. velutina biology and control efforts.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Rodriguez-Saona C, Vincent C, R Isaacs (2019)

Blueberry IPM: Past Successes and Future Challenges.

Annual review of entomology, 64:95-114.

Blueberry is a crop native to North America with expanding production and consumption worldwide. In the historical regions of production, integrated pest management (IPM) programs have been developed and provided effective control of key insect pests. These have integrated monitoring programs with physical, cultural, biological, behavioral, and chemical controls to meet the intense demands of consumers and modern food systems. Globalization of the blueberry industry has resulted in new pest-crop associations and the introduction of invasive pests into existing and new blueberry-growing areas. Invasive pests-in particular spotted wing drosophila-have been highly disruptive to traditional IPM programs, resulting in increased use of insecticides and the potential to disrupt beneficial insects. Moreover, regulatory agencies have reduced the number of broad-spectrum insecticides available to growers while facilitating registration and adoption of reduced-risk insecticides that have a narrower spectrum of activity. Despite these new tools, increasing international trade has constrained insecticide use because of maximum residue limits, which are often not standardized across countries. Great potential remains for biological, behavioral, cultural, and physical methods to contribute to blueberry IPM, and with more regions investing in blueberry research, we expect regionally relevant IPM programs to develop in the new production regions.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Carlucci R, Mentino D, Semeraro D, et al (2019)

Comparative histochemical analysis of intestinal glycoconjugates in the blunthead pufferfish Sphoeroides pachygaster and grey triggerfish Balistes capriscus (Teleostei: Tetraodontiformes).

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

The localization of intestinal glycoconjugates of the blunthead pufferfish Sphoeroides pachygaster and the grey triggerfish Balistes capriscus from the north-western Ionian Sea was analysed by histochemical methods (PAS, AB pH 2.5, HID) and lectin binding experiments (WGA, LFA, SBA, sialidase-SBA, PNA, sialidase-PNA, ConA, AAA, UEA-I, LTA) to assess how evolutionary loss of a functional stomach in S. pachygaster affects intestinal secretions relative to the B. capriscus, which retains the plesiomorphic gastric condition. Sphoeroides pachygaster had a lower content of acid mucins but more complex sialylation patterns than B. capriscus. GalNAc and GlcNAc residuals were present in both, but GalNAc residuals in S. pachygaster were subterminal to sialic acid. Balistes capriscus lacked galactosylated residuals and its enterocytes had a glycocalyx that differed in composition between the small intestine and the rectum and was missing from S. pachygaster. Functional and ecological implications of these findings are discussed.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Junge X, Hunziker M, Bauer N, et al (2019)

Invasive Alien Species in Switzerland: Awareness and Preferences of Experts and the Public.

Environmental management pii:10.1007/s00267-018-1115-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species (IAS) can cause ecological and economic damages. To reduce or prevent these damages different management and prevention strategies aim to impede new establishments or a further spreading of IAS. However, for these measures to be successful, public knowledge of risks and threats of IAS as well as public support for eradication measures are important prerequisites. We conducted a survey to examine (i) public and experts' awareness and knowledge of IAS, (ii) their preferences for six invasive plant species and (iii) their preferences for and trade-offs among management alternatives in Switzerland. In addition, a choice experiment was applied to analyse preferences concerning the intensity, priority and costs of interventions. Both, the Swiss public and the experts have a preference for intervening against invasive alien species. However, the public and the experts differ in their priorities of combatting particular species, resulting in a different ranking of intervention necessities. Further, differences were found in the willingness to pay for interventions between the German-, French- and Italian-speaking parts of Switzerland. The results suggest that a higher problem awareness increases the willingness to pay for countermeasures. We conclude that education programs or information campaigns are promising instruments to raise public awareness and to avoid conflicts concerning the management of invasive alien species.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Xue Q, Wu XQ, Zhang WJ, et al (2019)

Cathepsin L-like Cysteine Proteinase Genes Are Associated with the Development and Pathogenicity of Pine Wood Nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus.

International journal of molecular sciences, 20(1): pii:ijms20010215.

The pine wood nematode (PWN), Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, is the pathogen of pine wilt disease (PWD), resulting in huge losses in pine forests. However, its pathogenic mechanism remains unclear. The cathepsin L-like cysteine proteinase (CPL) genes are multifunctional genes related to the parasitic abilities of plant-parasitic nematodes, but their functions in PWN remain unclear. We cloned three cpl genes of PWN (Bx-cpls) by rapid amplification of cDNA ends (RACE) and analyzed their characteristics using bioinformatic methods. The tissue specificity of cpl gene of PWN (Bx-cpl) was studied using in situ mRNA hybridization (ISH). The functions of Bx-cpls in development and pathogenicity were investigated using real-time quantitative PCR (qPCR) and RNA interference (RNAi). The results showed that the full-length cDNAs of Bx-cpl-1, Bx-cpl-2, and Bx-cpl-3 were 1163 bp, 1305 bp, and 1302 bp, respectively. Bx-cpls could accumulate specifically in the egg, intestine, and genital system of PWN. During different developmental stages of PWN, the expression of Bx-cpls in the egg stage was highest. After infection, the expression levels of Bx-cpls increased and reached their highest at the initial stage of PWD, then declined gradually. The silencing of Bx-cpl could reduce the feeding, reproduction, and pathogenicity of PWN. These results revealed that Bx-cpls play multiple roles in the development and pathogenic processes of PWN.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Brewer MJ, Peairs FB, NC Elliott (2019)

Invasive Cereal Aphids of North America: Ecology and Pest Management.

Annual review of entomology, 64:73-93.

Aphid invasions of North American cereal crops generally have started with colonization of a new region or crop, followed by range expansion and outbreaks that vary in frequency and scale owing to geographically variable influences. To improve understanding of this process and management, we compare the invasion ecology of and management response to three cereal aphids: sugarcane aphid, Russian wheat aphid, and greenbug. The region exploited is determined primarily by climate and host plant availability. Once an area is permanently or annually colonized, outbreak intensity is also affected by natural enemies and managed inputs, such as aphid-resistant cultivars and insecticides. Over time, increases in natural enemy abundance and diversity, improved compatibility among management tactics, and limited threshold-based insecticide use have likely increased resilience of aphid regulation. Application of pest management foundational practices followed by a focus on compatible strategies are relevant worldwide. Area-wide pest management is most appropriate to large-scale cereal production systems, as exemplified in the Great Plains of North America.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Jones CM, Parry H, Tay WT, et al (2019)

Movement Ecology of Pest Helicoverpa: Implications for Ongoing Spread.

Annual review of entomology, 64:277-295.

The recent introduction and spread of Helicoverpa armigera throughout South America highlight the invasiveness and adaptability of moths in the Helicoverpa genus. Long-range movement in three key members, H. armigera, H. zea, and H. punctigera, occurs by migration and international trade. These movements facilitate high population admixture and genetic diversity, with important economic, biosecurity, and control implications in today's agricultural landscape. This is particularly true for the spread of resistance alleles to transgenic crops expressing Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) toxins that are planted over vast areas to suppress Helicoverpa spp. The ability to track long-distance movement through radar technology, population genetic markers, and/or long-distance dispersal modeling has advanced in recent years, yet we still know relatively little about the population trajectories or migratory routes in Helicoverpa spp. Here, we consider how experimental and theoretical approaches can be integrated to fill key knowledge gaps and assist management practices.

RevDate: 2019-01-10

Lester PJ, JR Beggs (2019)

Invasion Success and Management Strategies for Social Vespula Wasps.

Annual review of entomology, 64:51-71.

Three species of Vespula have become invasive in Australia, Hawai'i, New Zealand, and North and South America and continue to spread. These social wasp species can achieve high nest densities, and their behavioral plasticity has led to substantial impacts on recipient communities. Ecologically, they affect all trophic levels, restructuring communities and altering resource flows. Economically, their main negative effect is associated with pollination and the apicultural industry. Climate change is likely to exacerbate their impacts in many regions. Introduced Vespula spp. likely experience some degree of enemy release from predators or parasites, although they are exposed to a wide range of microbial pathogens in both their native and introduced range. Toxic baits have been significantly improved over the last decade, enabling effective landscape-level control. Although investigated extensively, no effective biological control agents have yet been found. Emerging technologies such as gene drives are under consideration.

RevDate: 2019-01-09

Munro D, Steer J, W Linklater (2019)

On allegations of invasive species denialism.

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

Science denialism retards evidenced-based policy and practice and should be challenged. It has been a particular concern for mitigating global environmental issues, like anthropogenic climate change. But allegations of science denialism must also be well founded and evidential or they risk eroding public-trust in science and scientists. Recently, 67 scholars, scientists and science writers were accused of 'invasive species denialism' (ISD) - the rejection of well-supported facts about invasive species, particularly the global scientific consensus about their negative impacts. We re-evaluated the ISD literature but could find no examples where scientific facts were refuted and just five articles with text perhaps consistent with one of the five characteristics of science denialism. We found, therefore, that allegations of ISD were misplaced. To understand why these accusations of science denialism have occurred we make two observations. First, invasion biology defines its subjects - invasive species - using multiple subjective and normative judgements. Thus, more than other applied sciences its consensus is one of shared values as much as agreed knowledge. Second, criticisms of invasion biology have largely targeted those subjective and normative judgments and their global imposition, not the discipline's knowledge. Regrettably, a few invasion biologists have misinterpreted the critique of their values-based consensus as a denial of their science when it is not. We provide some recommendations for making invasion biology a more robust and widely accepted, conservation science. A key recommendation is that invasion biology could avoid unnecessary misunderstandings and conflicts by being more accepting of perspectives originating from other disciplines, and more open to values-based critique from other scholars and scientists. This recommendation applies to all conservation sciences, especially those addressing global challenges, because they must serve and be relevant to communities with an extraordinary diversity of cultures and values.

RevDate: 2019-01-09

Vo NTK, Seymour CB, CE Mothersill (2018)

The common field lampricide 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol is a potential radiosensitizer in fish cells.

Environmental research, 170:383-388 pii:S0013-9351(18)30697-2 [Epub ahead of print].

PURPOSE: To evaluate if the common field lampricide 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) that is intended to eradicate the invasive species sea lampreys in the Great Lakes has the potential to sensitize radiation responses in cells from non-targeted native fish MATERIALS AND METHODS: The TFM toxicity was assessed acutely and chronically with the clonogenic fish cell line eelB. The acute toxicity (24-h exposure) was determined by the fluorescent cell viability probe Alamar Blue. The chronic toxicity was determined either by Alamar Blue (7-d exposure) or the clonogenic survival assay (14-d exposure). Pre- and post-exposure of fish cells to environmentally relevant TFM concentrations following gamma irradiation were performed. Clonogenic survival was determined to assess the damage level of radiation-induced reproductive cell death.

RESULTS: The chronic toxicity tests were more sensitive than the acute toxicity tests. The 14-d EC50 using the clonogenic survival endpoint was 2.09 ± 0.28 μg/mL and was statistically similar to the 7-d EC50 (1.85 ± 0.07 μg/mL) based on the Alamar Blue-based cytotoxicity endpoint. Post-exposure of cells to environmentally relevant TFM concentrations following irradiation did not have any effect as compared to the irradiation alone group. In contrast, pre-exposure of cells to TFM following irradiation had a negative additive effect when the total radiation dose was 2 Gy, but not 0.1 or 0.5 Gy.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that the common field lampricide TFM is a potential radiation sensitizer in cells from non-targeted native fish. This could be a health problem of concern for non-targeted native fish if a large accidental radioactive release occurs.

RevDate: 2019-01-09

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

Biological control of an agricultural pest protects tropical forests.

Communications biology, 2:10 pii:257.

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

RevDate: 2019-01-09

Zhu GL, Tang YY, Limpanont Y, et al (2019)

Zoonotic parasites carried by invasive alien species in China.

Infectious diseases of poverty, 8(1):2 pii:10.1186/s40249-018-0512-6.

BACKGROUND: The invasive alien species may lead to great environmental and economic crisis due to its strong capability of occupying the biological niche of native species and altering the ecosystem of the invaded area. However, its potential to serve as the vectors of some specific zoonotic pathogens, especially parasites, has been neglected. Thus, the damage that it may cause has been hugely underestimated in this aspect, which is actually an important public health problem. This paper aims to discuss the current status of zoonotic parasites carried by invasive alien species in China.

MAIN BODY: This review summarizes the reported zoonotic parasites carried by invasive alien species in China based on the Database of Invasive Alien Species in China. We summarize their prevalence, threat to human health, related reported cases, and the roles of invasive alien species in the life cycle of these parasites, and the invasion history of some invasive alien species. Furthermore, we sum up the current state of prevention and control of invasive alien species in China, and discuss about the urgency and several feasible strategies for the prevention and control of these zoonoses under the background of booming international communications and inevitable globalization.

CONCLUSIONS: Information of the zoonotic parasites carried by invasive alien species neither in China or worldwide, especially related case reports, is limited due to a long-time neglection and lack of monitoring. The underestimation of their damage requires more attention to the monitoring and control and compulsory measures should be taken to control the invasive alien species carrying zoonotic parasites.

RevDate: 2019-01-09
CmpDate: 2019-01-09

Kading RC, Golnar AJ, Hamer SA, et al (2018)

Advanced surveillance and preparedness to meet a new era of invasive vectors and emerging vector-borne diseases.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 12(10):e0006761.

RevDate: 2019-01-09
CmpDate: 2019-01-09

Li FQ, Fu NN, Qu C, et al (2017)

Understanding the mechanisms of dormancy in an invasive alien Sycamore lace bug, Corythucha ciliata through transcript and metabolite profiling.

Scientific reports, 7(1):2631.

The sycamore lace bug, Corythucha ciliata, is a pest of sycamore trees. In China, it is found in the most northern border where it has been known to become dormant during harsh winters. But the molecular and metabolic basis for dormancy in this insect is still unknown. In this study, we analyzed the transcript and metabolite profiles of this bug to identify key genes and metabolites that are significantly regulated during dormancy in adult females and males. In total, 149 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were significantly up-regulated and 337 DEGs were significantly down-regulated in dormant adults (both females and males). We found major differences in heat shock protein (HSPs), immunity-responsive genes, NAD-dependent deacetylase sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) and genes involved in the spliceosome pathway that is known to regulate stress. Among the 62 metabolites identified by GC-MS, 12 metabolites including glycerol, trehalose, and alanine were significantly increased during C. ciliata dormancy. By integrating the transcriptome and metabolite datasets, we found that the metabolites in glycolysis/gluconeogenesis and citrate cycle (TCA) were significantly reduced. This study is the first to report both transcript and metabolite profiles of the overwintering responses of C. ciliata to cold stress at the molecular level.

RevDate: 2019-01-08

Postigo JL, Strubbe D, Mori E, et al (2019)

Mediterranean versus Atlantic monk parakeets Myiopsitta monachus: Towards differentiated management at the European scale.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The monk parakeet Myiopsitta monachus (Boddaert), native to South America is an invasive species in several European countries, causing crop damage and potential negative impacts on wildlife. Only Spain and Great Britain have regulations to control monk parakeets, thus fast growth and spread of populations are likely to occur on a wide scale. Aims of this research are to update the information on the distribution and population size of monk parakeets in Europe, to assess whether differences in population growth or spread rate exist between populations and to provide recommendations to decision makers.

RESULTS: Our study estimates 23758 monk parakeets in the wild across 179 municipalities in 8 EU countries, 84% of those municipalities held between 1-100 monk parakeets. All countries with a representative historical record are experiencing exponential growth of monk parakeets. The Mediterranean countries are experiencing higher exponential growth, spread rate and faster colonization of new municipalities than Atlantic countries.

CONCLUSIONS: We recommend to EU Mediterranean countries to consider the declaration of the monk parakeet as invasive alien species of regional concern, and to develop coordinated efforts in monitoring and managing the species, taking advantage of the low population sizes in most municipalities. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-01-07

Grumiaux C, Andersen MK, Colinet H, et al (2019)

Fluctuating thermal regime preserves physiological homeostasis and reproductive capacity in Drosophila suzukii.

Journal of insect physiology pii:S0022-1910(18)30333-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Drosophila suzukii, an invasive species recently introduced in Europe, lays eggs in thin-skinned fruits and causes huge financial losses to fruit growers. One potential way to control this pest is the sterile insect technique (SIT) which demands a large stock of reproductive females to produce millions of sterile males to be released on demand. Unfortunately, Drosophila stocks age quickly, show declining fecundity when maintained at warm temperatures and conversely, they die from chill injury if they are maintained at constant low temperature. Here we investigate the potential of fluctuating thermal regime (FTR) as a storage method that harness the benefits of both warm and cold storage. Using a FTR regime with a daily warm period (1h20 at 25°C) and cold period (20 hours at 3°C), interspaced by gradual heating and cooling, we compared longevity, fecundity and physiological condition between FTR females and females exposed to constant 25°C and 3°C. As hypothesised, FTR flies experienced much slower senescence (more than 3-fold increase in lifespan) and they preserved fecundity to a much higher age than flies from constant 25°C. Flies maintained at constant 3°C quickly died from chill injuries caused by a gradual loss of ion and water balance. In contrast, FTR flies were able to maintain ion and water balance (similar to 25°C flies) as they were allowed to recover homeostasis during the short warm periods. Together these results demonstrate that FTR represents a useful protocol for storage of Drosophila stocks, and more broadly, this shows that the benefits of FTR are tightly linked with the insect ability to recover physiological homeostasis during the short warm periods.

RevDate: 2019-01-07
CmpDate: 2019-01-07

Borah AJ, Agarwal M, Goyal A, et al (2019)

Physical insights of ultrasound-assisted ethanol production from composite feedstock of invasive weeds.

Ultrasonics sonochemistry, 51:378-385.

Invasive weeds ubiquitously found in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems form potential feedstock for lignocellulosic ethanol production. The present study has reported a bioprocess for production of ethanol using mixed feedstock of 8 invasive weeds found in India. The feedstock was subjected to pretreatment comprising dilute acid hydrolysis (for hydrolysis of hemicellulosic fraction), alkaline delignification and enzymatic hydrolysis of cellulosic fraction. Pentose-rich and hexose-rich hydrolyzates obtained from pretreatment were fermented separately using microbial cultures of S. cerevisiae and C. shehatae. Fermentation mixture was sonicated at 35 kHz at 10% duty cycle. The time profiles of total reducing sugars, ethanol and biomass was fitted to a kinetic model using Genetic Algorithm. Sonication boosted the kinetics of fermentation 2-fold. The net bioethanol yield of the process was ∼220 g/kg raw biomass (with contributions of 86.8 and 133 g/kg raw biomass from pentose and hexose fermentations, respectively). Comparative evaluation of parameters of kinetic model under control and test conditions revealed several beneficial influences of sonication on both pentose and hexose fermentation systems such as faster transport of nutrients, substrate and products across cell membrane, rise in Monod saturation constant for substrate with concurrent reduction in substrate inhibition, and reduction of energy requirements for cell maintenance. Flow cytometry analysis of native and ultrasound-treated cells revealed no adverse influence of sonication on cell viability.

RevDate: 2019-01-07
CmpDate: 2019-01-07

Belliard J, Beslagic S, Delaigue O, et al (2018)

Reconstructing long-term trajectories of fish assemblages using historical data: the Seine River basin (France) during the last two centuries.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 25(24):23430-23450.

We used historical sources from the end of the nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century and current data to retrace fish assemblage trajectories for the past 150 years on 29 river stretches distributed throughout the Seine River basin. We based our analyses on species presence/absence, occurrence of amphidromous and non-native species, and species ecological traits related to habitat preference, oxygen and temperature requirements, and diet. In accordance with general trends observed for Western Europe, we detected a general decline of amphidromous species and an increase in non-native species, even if, at some sites, several non-native species were extirpated. These changes affecting amphidromous and non-native species led to a weak increase in beta-diversity in fish assemblages. Independently of amphidromous and non-native species, for a reduced set of sites, we noted that changes in the balance of ecological traits over time, trace, in a consistent way, the major steps that affected watercourses like waterway development, increasing pollution, dam construction, or, locally, the recent wastewater treatment improvement. Despite local variations, we found contrasted trends between, on one hand, large rivers and/or catchments which had experienced strong expansion in human population, where fish assemblages had deteriorated, and, on the other hand, upstream catchments, with a declining human population, where fish assemblages showed signs of improvement. Because our results suggested that long-term changes affecting fish assemblages cannot be summarized as an unequivocal gradual degradation, we questioned the use of historical data to define ecological reference conditions for river assessment and management purposes.

RevDate: 2019-01-03

Denley D, Metaxas A, K Fennel (2019)

Community composition influences the population growth and ecological impact of invasive species in response to climate change.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-018-04334-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Predicting long-term impacts of introduced species is challenging, since stressors related to global change can influence species-community interactions by affecting both demographic rates of invasive species and the structure of the invaded ecosystems. Invasive species can alter ecosystem structure over time, further complicating interactions between invasive species and invaded communities in response to additional stressors. Few studies have considered how cumulative impacts of species invasion and global change on the structure of invaded ecosystems may influence persistence and population growth of introduced species. Here, we present an empirically based population model for an invasive epiphytic bryozoan that can dramatically alter the structure of its invaded kelp bed ecosystems. We use this model to predict the response of invasive species to climate change and associated changes in the invaded community. Population growth of the bryozoan increased under near-future projections of increasing ocean temperature; however, the magnitude of population growth depended on the community composition of invaded kelp beds. Our results suggest that, in some cases, indirect effects of climate change mediated through changes to the structure of the invaded habitat can modulate direct effects of climate change on invasive species, with consequences for their long-term ecological impact. Our findings have important implications for management of invasive species, as modifying invaded habitats at local to regional scales may be more logistically feasible than addressing stressors related to global climate change.

RevDate: 2019-01-03

Evangelista C, Cucherousset J, A Lecerf (2019)

Contrasting ecological impacts of geographically close invasive populations.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-018-04333-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Intraspecific trait variability is now well recognized as a key component of biodiversity explaining how individuals within a species can differentially interact with their environment. To date, however, this concept has rarely been incorporated in the study of biological invasions, despite its provision of new insights into invasive species management. Here, we used an experimental approach to investigate how invasive red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) derived from geographically close ecosystems can differentially impact prey community structure and relevant ecosystem processes. We also compared the magnitude of the effects induced by invasive species introduction with those induced by intraspecific variability. Our results showed that effects of intraspecific variability can be strong for direct interactions such as resource (e.g., leaf litter, snails) consumption and of similar magnitude to the effects induced by the introduction of the invasive species when considering indirect interactions (e.g., primary production, ecosystem metabolism). Overall, these results highlighted that invasive populations of the same species are not ecologically equivalent, with each population acting differently on their recipient ecosystem.

RevDate: 2019-01-03

Alqawasmeh Y, F Lutscher (2019)

Persistence and spread of stage-structured populations in heterogeneous landscapes.

Journal of mathematical biology pii:10.1007/s00285-018-1317-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Conditions for population persistence in heterogeneous landscapes and formulas for population spread rates are important tools for conservation ecology and invasion biology. To date, these tools have been developed for unstructured populations, yet many, if not all, species show two or more distinct phases in their life cycle. We formulate and analyze a stage-structured model for a population in a heterogeneous habitat. We divide the population into pre-reproductive and reproductive stages. We consider an environment consisting of two types of patches, one where population growth is positive, one where it is negative. Individuals move randomly within patches but can show preference towards one patch type at the interface between patches. We use linear stability analysis to determine persistence conditions, and we derive a dispersion relation to find spatial spread rates. We illustrate our results by comparing the structured population model with an appropriately scaled unstructured model. We find that a long pre-reproductive state typically increases habitat requirements for persistence and decreases spatial spread rates, but we also identify scenarios in which a population with intermediate maturation rate spreads fastest.

RevDate: 2019-01-03
CmpDate: 2019-01-03

Rubal M, Costa-Garcia R, Besteiro C, et al (2018)

Mollusc diversity associated with the non-indigenous macroalga Asparagopsis armata Harvey, 1855 along the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula.

Marine environmental research, 136:1-7.

The aims of this study were to explore mollusc assemblages associated with the non-indigenous macroalga Asparagopsis armata, to compare them with those on other macroalgae at the study region and to explore potential differences on mollusc assemblages between two regions in the Atlantic coast of the Iberian Peninsula, where A. armata is present. To achieve this, at each region, four intertidal shores were sampled. Twenty-nine mollusc species were reported and thus, A. armata harboured similar or higher diversity than other annual macroalgae in this area. When compared with perennial macroalgae, results depend on the species and studied area. Moreover, significant differences in structure of mollusc assemblages between the two studied regions were found. However, these were due to differences in the relative abundance of species rather than the presence of exclusive species at each region.

RevDate: 2019-01-03
CmpDate: 2019-01-03

Xing Z, Zhang L, Wu S, et al (2017)

Niche comparison among two invasive leafminer species and their parasitoid Opius biroi: implications for competitive displacement.

Scientific reports, 7(1):4246.

Fundamental to competitive displacement in biological invasion is that exotic species occupy the ecological niches of native species in novel environments. Contrasting outcomes of competitive displacement have occurred between Liriomyza trifolii and L. sativae in different geographical regions following their introduction. Various factors have been advanced in an attempt to explain these different competitive outcomes, although none of these explanations have addressed the effects of niche differences. We conducted field cage experiments to compare the feeding and habitat niches of the two leafminer species and their primary parasitoid, Opius biroi, when occurring together on kidney bean. A wider spatiotemporal niche breadth was found in L. trifolii (0.3670) than in L. sativae (0.3496). With respect to the parasitoid, the proportional niche similarity between L. sativae and the parasitoid was 0.3936 but only 0.0835 for L. trifolii, while similar results were found for niche overlap, indicating that stronger trailing behaviour and parasitic effects of O. biroi occurred in L. sativae. In conclusion, L. trifolii has outperformed L. sativae in occupying the ecological niche and is superior to L. sativae in avoiding parasitization by the pupal parasitoid, O. biroi.

RevDate: 2019-01-02

Peng S, Kinlock NL, Gurevitch J, et al (2019)

Correlation of native and exotic species richness: a global meta-analysis finds no invasion paradox across scales.

Ecology, 100(1):e02552.

Support for the "biotic resistance hypothesis," that species-rich communities are more successful at resisting invasion by exotic species than are species-poor communities, has long been debated. It has been argued that native-exotic richness relationships (NERR) are negative at small spatial scales and positive at large scales, but evidence for the role of spatial scale on NERR has been contradictory. However, no formal quantitative synthesis has previously examined whether NERR is scale-dependent across multiple studies, and previous studies on NERR have not distinguished spatial grain and extent, which may drive very different ecological processes. We used a global systematic review and hierarchical mixed-effects meta-analysis to provide a comprehensive quantitative assessment of the patterns of NERR over a range of spatial grain sizes and spatial extents, based on 204 individual cases of observational (non-experimental) NERRs from 101 publications. We show that NERR was indeed highly scale dependent across studies and increased with the log of grain size. However, mean NERR was not negative at any grain size, although there was high heterogeneity at small grain sizes. We found no clear patterns of NERR across different spatial extents, suggesting that extent plays a less important role in determining NERR than does grain, although there was a complex interaction between extent and grain size. Almost all studies on NERR were conducted in North America, western Europe, and a few other regions, with little information on tropical or Arctic regions. We did find that NERR increased northward in temperate regions and also varied with longitude. We discuss possible explanations for the patterns we found, and caution that our results do not show that invasive species are benign or have no negative consequences for biodiversity preservation. This study represents the first global quantitative analysis of scale-based NERR, and casts doubt on the existence of an "invasion paradox" of negative NERR at small scales and positive correlations at large scales in non-experimental studies.

RevDate: 2019-01-01

Leimbach-Maus HB, Parks SR, CG Partridge (2018)

Microsatellite primer development for the invasive perennial herb Gypsophila paniculata (Caryophyllaceae).

Applications in plant sciences, 6(12):e01203 pii:APS31203.

Premise of the Study: Gypsophila paniculata (baby's breath; Caryophyllaceae) is a herbaceous perennial that has invaded much of northern and western United States and Canada, outcompeting and crowding out native and endemic species. Microsatellite primers were developed to analyze the genetic structure of invasive populations.

Methods and Results: We identified 16 polymorphic nuclear microsatellite loci for G. paniculata out of 73 loci that successfully amplified from a primer library created using Illumina sequencing technology. Microsatellite primers were developed to amplify di-, tri-, and tetranucleotide repeats and tested in three invasive populations in Michigan.

Conclusions: These markers will be useful in characterizing the genetic structure of invasive populations throughout North America to aid targeted management efforts, and in native Eurasian populations to better understand invasion history. Five of these developed primers also amplified in G. elegans.

RevDate: 2019-01-01

Fukui S, May-McNally SL, Taylor EB, et al (2018)

Maladaptive secondary sexual characteristics reduce the reproductive success of hybrids between native and non-native salmonids.

Ecology and evolution, 8(23):12173-12182 pii:ECE34676.

Human-mediated hybridization between introduced and native species is one of the most serious threats to native taxa. Although field studies have attempted to quantify the relative fitness or reproductive success of parental species and their hybrids, only a few studies have unraveled the factors determining the fitness of hybrids. Here, we hypothesized that maladaptive secondary sexual characteristics may reduce fitness of hybrids between two fish species. To test this, we evaluated the reproductive success of introduced brook trout (BT: Salvelinus fontinalis), native white-spotted charr (WSC: S. leucomaenis) and their hybrids in a natural stream in Hokkaido, Japan, where the two parental species show remarkably different male secondary sexual characteristics, such as elongated jaws and deeper bodies. We predicted that introgression from WSC is maladaptive for BT males because the BT male has more prominent secondary sexual characteristics. Our results suggest that both sexual selection and outbreeding depression in males and females significantly influence an individual's reproductive success. Our results also suggest that asymmetric introgression may increase the risks to persistence in the recipient species.

RevDate: 2019-01-01

Ng WT, Cândido de Oliveira Silva A, Rima P, et al (2018)

Ensemble approach for potential habitat mapping of invasive Prosopis spp. in Turkana, Kenya.

Ecology and evolution, 8(23):11921-11931 pii:ECE34649.

Aim: Prosopis spp. are an invasive alien plant species native to the Americas and well adapted to thrive in arid environments. In Kenya, several remote-sensing studies conclude that the genus is well established throughout the country and is rapidly invading new areas. This research aims to model the potential habitat of Prosopis spp. by using an ensemble model consisting of four species distribution models. Furthermore, environmental and expert knowledge-based variables are assessed.

Location: Turkana County, Kenya.

Methods: We collected and assessed a large number of environmental and expert knowledge-based variables through variable correlation, collinearity, and bias tests. The variables were used for an ensemble model consisting of four species distribution models: (a) logistic regression, (b) maximum entropy, (c) random forest, and (d) Bayesian networks. The models were evaluated through a block cross-validation providing statistical measures.

Results: The best predictors for Prosopis spp. habitat are distance from water and built-up areas, soil type, elevation, lithology, and temperature seasonality. All species distribution models achieved high accuracies while the ensemble model achieved the highest scores. Highly and moderately suitable Prosopis spp. habitat covers 6% and 9% of the study area, respectively.

Main conclusions: Both ensemble and individual models predict a high risk of continued invasion, confirming local observations and conceptions. Findings are valuable to stakeholders for managing invaded area, protecting areas at risk, and to raise awareness.

RevDate: 2018-12-31

Holland EP, Binny RN, A James (2018)

Optimal control of irrupting pest populations in a climate-driven ecosystem.

PeerJ, 6:e6146 pii:6146.

Irruptions of small consumer populations, driven by pulsed resources, can lead to adverse effects including the decline of indigenous species or increased disease spread. Broad-scale pest management to combat such effects benefits from forecasting of irruptions and an assessment of the optimal control conditions for minimising consumer abundance. We use a climate-based consumer-resource model to predict irruptions of a pest species (Mus musculus) population in response to masting (episodic synchronous seed production) and extend this model to account for broad-scale pest control of mice using toxic bait. The extended model is used to forecast the magnitude and frequency of pest irruptions under low, moderate and high control levels, and for different timings of control operations. In particular, we assess the optimal control timing required to minimise the frequency with which pests reach 'plague' levels, whilst avoiding excessive toxin use. Model predictions suggest the optimal timing for mouse control in beech forest, with respect to minimising plague time, is mid-September. Of the control regimes considered, a seedfall driven biannual-biennial regime gave the greatest reduction in plague time and plague years for low and moderate control levels. Although inspired by a model validated using house mouse populations in New Zealand forests, our modelling approach is easily adapted for application to other climate-driven systems where broad-scale control is conducted on irrupting pest populations.

RevDate: 2018-12-30

Eyer PA, McDowell B, Johnson LNL, et al (2018)

Supercolonial structure of invasive populations of the tawny crazy ant Nylanderia fulva in the US.

BMC evolutionary biology, 18(1):209 pii:10.1186/s12862-018-1336-5.

BACKGROUND: Social insects are among the most serious invasive pests in the world, particularly successful at monopolizing environmental resources to outcompete native species and achieve ecological dominance. The invasive success of some social insects is enhanced by their unicolonial structure, under which the presence of numerous queens and the lack of aggression against non-nestmates allow high worker densities, colony growth, and survival while eliminating intra-specific competition. In this study, we investigated the population genetics, colony structure and levels of aggression in the tawny crazy ant, Nylanderia fulva, which was recently introduced into the United States from South America.

RESULTS: We found that this species experienced a genetic bottleneck during its invasion lowering its genetic diversity by 60%. Our results show that the introduction of N. fulva is associated with a shift in colony structure. This species exhibits a multicolonial organization in its native range, with colonies clearly separated from one another, whereas it displays a unicolonial system with no clear boundaries among nests in its invasive range. We uncovered an absence of genetic differentiation among populations across the entire invasive range, and a lack of aggressive behaviors towards conspecifics from different nests, even ones separated by several hundreds of kilometers.

CONCLUSIONS: Overall, these results suggest that across its entire invasive range in the U.S.A., this species forms a single supercolony spreading more than 2000 km. In each invasive nest, we found several, up to hundreds, of reproductive queens, each being mated with a single male. The many reproductive queens per nests, together with the free movement of individuals between nests, leads to a relatedness coefficient among nestmate workers close to zero in introduced populations, calling into question the stability of this unicolonial system in which indirect fitness benefits to workers is apparently absent.

RevDate: 2018-12-31
CmpDate: 2018-12-31

Szabó S, Peeters ETHM, Várbíró G, et al (2019)

Phenotypic plasticity as a clue for invasion success of the submerged aquatic plant Elodea nuttallii.

Plant biology (Stuttgart, Germany), 21(1):54-63.

Two closely related alien submerged aquatic plants were introduced into Europe. The new invader (Elodea nuttallii) gradually displaced E. canadensis even at sites where the latter was well established. The aim of the study was to evaluate the combined effects of environmental factors on several phenotypic characteristics of the two Elodea species, and to relate these phenotypic characteristics to the invasion success of E. nuttallii over E. canadensis. In a factorial design, Elodea plants were grown in aquaria containing five different nitrogen concentrations and incubated at five different light intensities. We used six functional traits (apical shoot RGR), total shoot RGR, relative elongation, root length, lateral spread, branching degree) to measure the environmental response of the species. We calculated plasticity indices to express the phenotypic differences between species. Light and nitrogen jointly triggered the development of phenotypic characteristics that make E. nuttallii a more successful invader in eutrophic waters than E. canadensis. The stronger invader showed a wider range of phenotypic plasticity. The apical elongation was the main difference between the two species, with E. nuttallii being more than two times longer than E. canadensis. E. canadensis formed dense side shoots even under high shade and low nitrogen levels, whereas E. nuttallii required higher light and nitrogen levels. We found that under more eutrophic conditions, E. nuttallii reach the water surface sooner than E. canadensis and through intensive branching outcompetes all other plants including E. canadensis. Our findings support the theory that more successful invaders have wider phenotypic plasticity.

RevDate: 2018-12-31
CmpDate: 2018-12-31

Martín-Forés I, Acosta-Gallo B, Castro I, et al (2018)

The invasiveness of Hypochaeris glabra (Asteraceae): Responses in morphological and reproductive traits for exotic populations.

PloS one, 13(6):e0198849.

Scientists have been interested in many topics driven by biological invasions, such as shifts in the area of distribution of plant species and rapid evolution. Invasiveness of exotic plant species depends on variations on morphological and reproductive traits potentially associated with reproductive fitness and dispersal ability, which are expected to undergo changes during the invasion process. Numerous Asteraceae are invasive and display dimorphic fruits, resulting in a bet-hedging dispersal strategy -wind-dispersed fruits versus animal-dispersed fruits-. We explored phenotypic differentiation in seed morphology and reproductive traits of exotic (Chilean) and native (Spanish) populations of Hypochaeris glabra. We collected flower heads from five Spanish and five Chilean populations along rainfall gradients in both countries. We planted seeds from the ten populations in a common garden trial within the exotic range to explore their performance depending on the country of origin (native or exotic) and the environmental conditions at population origin (precipitation and nutrient availability). We scored plant biomass, reproductive traits and fruit dimorphism patterns. We observed a combination of bet-hedging strategy together with phenotypic differentiation. Native populations relied more on bet-hedging while exotic populations always displayed greater proportion of wind-dispersed fruits than native ones. This pattern may reflect a strategy that might entail a more efficient long distance dispersal of H. glabra seeds in the exotic range, which in turn can enhance the invasiveness of this species.

RevDate: 2018-12-27

Kuninaga N, Asano M, Matsuyama R, et al (2018)

Serological and histological evaluation of species-specific immunocontraceptive vaccine antigens based on zona pellucida 3 in the small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus).

The Journal of veterinary medical science [Epub ahead of print].

The small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus) was introduced to Japanese islands and has impacted on the island's biodiversity. Population control has been attempted through capturing but its efficiency has rapidly declined. Therefore, new additional control methods are required. Our focus has been on the immunocontraceptive vaccines, which act in an especially species-specific manner. The amino-acid sequence of the mongoose ovum zona pellucida protein 3 (ZP3) was decoded and two types of synthetic peptides (A and B) were produced. In this study, these peptides were administered to mongooses (each n=3) and the sera were collected to verify immunogenicity using ELISA and IHC. Treated mongoose sera showed an increasing of antibody titer according to immunizations and the antigen-antibody reactions against the endogenous mongoose ZP. In addition, IHC revealed that immune sera absorbed with each peptide showed a marked reduction in reactivity, which indicated the specificity of induced antibodies. These reactions were marked in peptide A treated mongoose sera, and the antibody titer of one of them lasted for at least 21 weeks. These results indicated that peptide A was a potential antigen, inducing autoantibody generation. Moreover, immunized rabbit antibodies recognized mongoose ZP species-specifically. However, the induction of robust immune memory was not observed. Also, the actual sterility effects of peptides remain unknown, it should be verified as a next step. In any case, this study verified synthetic peptides we developed are useful as the antigen candidates for immunocontraception of mongooses.

RevDate: 2018-12-27

Kutch IC, KM Fedorka (2018)

Y-chromosomes can constrain adaptive evolution via epistatic interactions with other chromosomes.

BMC evolutionary biology, 18(1):204 pii:10.1186/s12862-018-1327-6.

BACKGROUND: Variation in the non-coding regions of Y-chromosomes have been shown to influence gene regulation throughout the genome in some systems; a phenomenon termed Y-linked regulatory variation (YRV). This type of sex-specific genetic variance could have important implications for the evolution of male and female traits. If YRV contributes to the additive genetic variation of an autosomally coded trait shared between the sexes (e.g. body size), then selection could facilitate sexually dimorphic evolution via the Y-chromosome. In contrast, if YRV is entirely non-additive (i.e. interacts epistatically with other chromosomes), then Y-chromosomes could constrain trait evolution in both sexes whenever they are selected for the same trait value. The ability for this phenomenon to influence such fundamental evolutionary dynamics remains unexplored.

RESULTS: Here we address the evolutionary contribution of Y-linked variance by selecting for improved male geotaxis in populations possessing multiple Y-chromosomes (i.e. possessed Y-linked additive and/or epistatic variation) or a single Y-chromosome variant (i.e. possessed no Y-linked variation). We found that males from populations possessing Y-linked variation did not significantly respond to selection; however, males from populations with no Y-linked variation did respond. These patterns suggest the presence of a large quantity of Y-linked epistatic variance in the multi-Y population that dramatically slowed its response.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results imply that YRV is unlikely to facilitate the evolution of sexually dimorphic traits (at least for the trait examined here), but can interfere with the rate of trait evolution in both males and females. This result could have real biological implications as it suggests that YRV can affect how quickly a population responds to new selective pressures (e.g. invasive species, novel pathogens, or climate change). Considering that YRV influences hundreds of genes and is likely typical of other independently-evolved hemizygous chromosomes, YRV-like phenomena may represent common and significant costs to hemizygous sex determination.

RevDate: 2018-12-27
CmpDate: 2018-12-27

Abe T, Tanaka N, Y Shimizu (2018)

Plant species diversity, community structure and invasion status in insular primary forests on the Sekimon uplifted limestone (Ogasawara Islands).

Journal of plant research, 131(6):1001-1014.

Native forests on oceanic islands are among the most threatened ecosystems. The forests formed on Sekimon uplifted limestone in Haha-jima Island (Ogasawara Islands) have not yet been destroyed by human activities and remain as primary forests harboring several narrow endemic endangered plants. In this paper, we described the plant species diversity, community structure, and status of invasion by alien plants in the mesic forests of Sekimon. The Sekimon forest was characterized by low tree diversity (37 species), high stem density (1731 ha-1), and high basal area (63.9 m2 ha-1), comparing with natural forests in world islands. The forests were dominated in the number of stems by the sub-tree Ardisia sieboldii followed by the trees Pisonia umbellifera and Elaeocarpus photiniifolius. The invasive tree Bischofia javanica ranked fourth for basal area and third for the number of stems (DBH ≥ 10 cm), and its distribution expanded, especially near a past plantation site. Surveys of forest floor vegetation revealed that species richness of vascular plants was 109 species and that many alien plants had already invaded the forests. Despite the low species richness of alien (16% for vascular flora and 8% for trees), the high frequency of aliens on the forest floor suggests that they have colonized successfully in the Sekimon forest. Extrapolation analysis based on the rarefaction curves predicted that the vascular plants in the Sekimon (25 ha) accounted for 135 species (29.9% of the vascular flora of the Ogasawara Islands) and endemic plants were 85 species (62.0%). The fact that the 39 vascular species recorded in our plots were listed in Japanese Red List suggests that the Sekimon forest should be conserved as a sanctuary of biodiversity. Because alien plants are invading the forests without apparent anthropogenic disturbance, immediate action to eradicate these invaders is highly needed.

RevDate: 2018-12-26

Policelli N, Bruns TD, Vilgalys R, et al (2018)

Suilloid fungi as global drivers of pine invasions.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Belowground biota can deeply influence plant invasion. The presence of proper soil mutualists can act as a driver that enable plants to colonize new ranges. We review the species of ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF) that facilitate pine establishment in both native and non-native ranges and that are associated with their invasion into nonforest settings. We found that one particular group of EMF, suilloid fungi, uniquely drive pine invasion in the absence of other EMF. While the association with other EMF is variable, suilloid EMF are always associated with invasive pines, particularly at early invasion, when invasive trees are most vulnerable. We identified five main ecological traits of suilloid fungi that may explain their key role at pines invasion: their long distance dispersal capacity, the establishment of positive biotic interactions with mammals, their capacity to generate a resistant spore bank, their rapid colonization of roots, and their long distance exploration type. These results suggest that the identity of mycorrhizal fungi, and their ecological interactions, rather than simply the presence of compatible fungi, are key to understanding plant invasion processes and their success or failure. Particularly for pines, their specific association with suilloid fungi determines their invasion success in previously uninvaded ecosystems. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-12-26

Richard SA, Tillman EA, Humphrey JS, et al (2018)

Male Burmese pythons follow female scent trails and show sex-specific behaviors.

Integrative zoology [Epub ahead of print].

Animals communicate with potential mates using species-specific signals, and pheromones are powerful sexual signals that modify conspecific behavior to facilitate mate location. Among the vertebrates, snakes are especially adept in mate searching via chemical trailing, which is particularly relevant given that many snake species are invasive outside their native ranges. Chemical signals used in mate choice are thus potentially valuable tools for management of invasive snake species. The Burmese python (Python bivittatus) is an invasive snake in the Florida Everglades where it is negatively impacting native fauna. In this study, we sought to (1) determine if males can follow conspecific chemical trails in a Y-maze and (2) describe the mate searching behaviors exhibited by males while trailing. All males consistently followed a single female scent trail in the maze, but when only a male scent trail was present they did not discriminate between the male and blank arms. Rate of tongue-flicking, a proxy for chemosensory sampling, was also marginally higher when males were following female vs. male scent trails. However, when both female and male scent trails were simultaneously present in the Y-maze, males did not show a preference for the female arm, though tongue-flick rate was higher in the female-only trial compared to female vs. male. Analyses of multiple male behaviors individually and using an ethogram revealed that behaviors were more frequent and complex in the female-only trials compared to male-only. Additional behavioral trials are needed to determine if an effective pheromonal approach to Burmese python management is possible. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-12-25

Karpiński L, Szczepański WT, Lewa R, et al (2018)

New data on the distribution, biology and ecology of the longhorn beetles from the area of South and East Kazakhstan (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae).


New data on the distribution, biology and ecology of the longhorn beetles occurring in southern and eastern regions of Kazakhstan are presented together with a list of 78 species that were collected during two entomological expeditions conducted in May and June 2017. New localities of some rare taxa endemic to this region of Asia, such as Psilotarsusbrachypterusbrachypterus (Gebler, 1830), Stenocorusminutus (Gebler, 1841) and Dorcadioncrassipescrassipes Ballion, 1878 are given. Exocentrusstierlini Ganglbauer, 1883 is recorded from Kazakhstan for the first time. Moreover, the occurrence of three species: Amarysiusduplicatus Tsherepanov, 1980, Rhopaloscelisunifasciatus Blessig, 1873 and Saperdaalberti Plavilstshikov, 1916, which were recently found in the country, is also confirmed. Furthermore, high-quality photographs of several unique taxa, i.e. Psilotarsusbrachypteruspubiventris (Semenov, 1900), Xylotrechusadspersus (Gebler, 1830), X.alakolensis Karpiński & Szczepański, 2018, Anoplistesgalusoi (Kostin, 1974), A.jacobsoni Baeckmann, 1904 and Obereakostini Danilevsky, 1988 along with images of their habitats and feeding galleries are also presented. New localities of species considered serious pests or invasive, such as Turaniumscabrum (Kraatz, 1882) and Trichoferuscampestris (Faldermann, 1835), respectively, are also given. A new synonymy is proposed: Cerambyxscalaris Linnaeus, 1758 = Cerambyxhieroglyphicus Pallas, 1773, syn. n.

RevDate: 2018-12-26
CmpDate: 2018-12-26

Chaukulkar S, Sulaeman H, Zink AG, et al (2018)

Pathogen invasion and non-epizootic dynamics in Pacific newts in California over the last century.

PloS one, 13(7):e0197710.

Emerging infectious disease is a growing threat to global biodiversity. The infectious disease chytridiomycosis, caused by the fungal pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) has led to the decline and extinction of hundreds of amphibian species. Severe Bd-caused epizootics have been documented in North, Central and South America-with many of the research focused on anurans. California, where Bd-related epizootics and amphibian declines have been reported, has some of the highest diversity of salamanders. After more than a decade since the first known epizootic in California, little is known about Bd disease dynamics in salamanders. Pacific newts (Genus: Taricha) are ideal study species because of their abundance, wide geographic range, occurrence in both aquatic and terrestrial habitats, and how little is known about Bd infection dynamics for this group. We conducted a retrospective study to determine the relationship between Pacific newts and the fungal pathogen. We tested 1895 specimens collected between 1889-2009 and found no evidence of Bd-infected Pacific newts until the late 1940's. Although we estimate that Bd emerged in this genus and rapidly spread geographically throughout California, we did not find evidence for epizootic dynamics. Bd infection prevalence and intensity, two measures commonly used to estimate dynamics, remained consistently low over time; suggesting Pacific newts may not be highly susceptible. Also, we found the timing of first Bd emergence in Pacific newts predate Bd emergence in other California salamander species. In addition, we found several environmental and anthropogenic factors correlated with Bd prevalence which may help explain Bd disease dynamics in the genus Taricha. Pacific newts may be a reservoir species that signal pathogen invasion into California salamanders, though further studies are needed.

RevDate: 2018-12-23

Gutowsky LFG, Giacomini HC, de Kerckhove DT, et al (2018)

Quantifying multiple pressure interactions affecting populations of a recreationally and commercially important freshwater fish.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

The expanding human global footprint and growing demand for fresh water have placed tremendous stress on inland aquatic ecosystems. Aichi Target 10 of the Convention on Biological Diversity aims to minimize anthropogenic pressures affecting vulnerable ecosystems, and pressure interactions are increasingly being incorporated into environmental management and climate change adaptation strategies. In this study, we explore how climate change, overfishing, forest disturbance, and invasive species pressures interact to affect inland lake walleye (Sander vitreus) populations. Walleye support subsistence, recreational, and commercial fisheries and are one of most sought-after freshwater fish species in North America. Using data from 444 lakes situated across an area of 475 000 km2 in Ontario, Canada, we apply a novel statistical tool, R-INLA, to determine how walleye biomass deficit (carrying capacity - observed biomass) is impacted by multiple pressures. Individually, angling activity and the presence of invasive zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) were positively related to biomass deficits. In combination, zebra mussel presence interacted negatively and antagonistically with angling activity and percentage decrease in watershed mature forest cover. Velocity of climate change in growing degree days above 5°C and decrease in mature forest cover interacted to negatively affect walleye populations. Our study demonstrates how multiple pressure evaluations can be conducted for hundreds of populations to identify influential pressures and vulnerable ecosystems. Understanding pressure interactions is necessary to guide management and climate change adaptation strategies, and achieve global biodiversity targets. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-12-22

Galal L, Schares G, Stragier C, et al (2018)

Diversity of Toxoplasma gondii strains shaped by commensal communities of small mammals.

International journal for parasitology pii:S0020-7519(18)30320-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Commensal rodent species are key reservoirs for Toxoplasma gondii in the domestic environment. In rodents, different T. gondii strains show variable patterns of virulence according to host species. Toxoplasma gondii strains causing non-lethal chronic infections in local hosts will be more likely to persist in a given environment, but few studies have addressed the possible role of these interactions in shaping the T. gondii population structure. In addition, the absence of validated techniques for upstream detection of T. gondii chronic infection in wild rodents hinders exploration of this issue under natural conditions. In this study, we took advantage of an extensive survey of commensal small mammals in three coastal localities of Senegal, with a species assemblage constituted of both native African species and invasive species. We tested 828 individuals for T. gondii chronic infection using the modified agglutination test (MAT) for antibody detection in serum samples and a quantitative PCR assay for detection of T. gondii DNA in brain samples. The infecting T. gondii strains were genotyped whenever possible by the analysis of 15 microsatellite markers. We found (i) a very poor concordance between molecular detection and serology in the invasive house mouse, (ii) significantly different levels of prevalence by species and (iii) the autochthonous T. gondii Africa 1 lineage strains, which are lethal for laboratory mice, only in the native African species of commensal small mammals. Overall, this study highlights the need to reconsider the use of MAT serology in natural populations of house mice and provides the first known data about T. gondii genetic diversity in invasive and native species of small mammals from Africa. In light of these results, we discuss the role of invasive and native species, with their variable adaptations to different T. gondii strains, in shaping the spatial structure of T. gondii genetic diversity in Africa.

RevDate: 2018-12-21
CmpDate: 2018-12-21

Paiva F, Barco A, Chen Y, et al (2018)

Is salinity an obstacle for biological invasions?.

Global change biology, 24(6):2708-2720.

Invasions of freshwater habitats by marine and brackish species have become more frequent in recent years with many of those species originating from the Ponto-Caspian region. Populations of Ponto-Caspian species have successfully established in the North and Baltic Seas and their adjoining rivers, as well as in the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River region. To determine if Ponto-Caspian taxa more readily acclimatize to and colonize diverse salinity habitats than taxa from other regions, we conducted laboratory experiments on 22 populations of eight gammarid species native to the Ponto-Caspian, Northern European and Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River regions. In addition, we conducted a literature search to survey salinity ranges of these species worldwide. Finally, to explore evolutionary relationships among examined species and their populations, we sequenced the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI) from individuals used for our experiments. Our study revealed that all tested populations tolerate wide ranges of salinity, however, different patterns arose among species from different regions. Ponto-Caspian taxa showed lower mortality in fresh water, while Northern European taxa showed lower mortality in fully marine conditions. Genetic analyses showed evolutionary divergence among species from different regions. Due to the geological history of the two regions, as well as high tolerance of Ponto-Caspian species to fresh water, whereas Northern European species are more tolerant of fully marine conditions, we suggest that species originating from the Ponto-Caspian and Northern European regions may be adapted to freshwater and marine environments, respectively. Consequently, the perception that Ponto-Caspian species are more successful colonizers might be biased by the fact that areas with highest introduction frequency of NIS (i.e., shipping ports) are environmentally variable habitats which often include freshwater conditions that cannot be tolerated by euryhaline taxa of marine origin.

RevDate: 2018-12-20

Brattland C, Eythórsson E, Weines J, et al (2018)

Social-ecological timelines to explore human adaptation to coastal change.

Ambio pii:10.1007/s13280-018-1129-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Through the construction of a socio-ecological timeline for the Porsanger fjord ecosystem, this article illustrates the different ways in which environmental and social-ecological changes have influenced the adaptations of rural households in coastal Sami communities in Finnmark, north Norway. The main finding is that, although environmental change in the form of seal invasions and dwindling fish stocks directly impacted the fisheries, the introduction of a new vessel quota system decisively changed adaptive capacity and coastal Sami household adaptation strategies. These changes represented a tipping point for the social-ecological system in the period between 1986 and 1990. It is thus important to discuss the ways in which governance systems may facilitate actions to adapt to climate and biodiversity change and foster sustainable rural livelihood systems in coastal Norway. Based on traditional and local ecological knowledge on the state of the ecosystem prior to the tipping point, two relevant actions to increase the resilience of the system were identified: ensuring the possibility of re-entry into fisheries as part of rural livelihood combinations, and ecological restoration of kelp beds. Flexible diversification of livelihoods allows exploitation of a range of adjacent species without large investments in a fossile fuel-driven fisheries economy. Investing in regrowth of macroalgae to foster cod nursery areas and increase carbon sequestration can be a relevant alternative for communities that are interested in contributing to climate change mitigation on a larger scale.

RevDate: 2018-12-20

Simões MVP, AT Peterson (2018)

Importance of biotic predictors in estimation of potential invasive areas: the example of the tortoise beetle Eurypedus nigrosignatus, in Hispaniola.

PeerJ, 6:e6052 pii:6052.

Climatic variables have been the main predictors employed in ecological niche modeling and species distribution modeling, although biotic interactions are known to affect species' spatial distributions via mechanisms such as predation, competition, and mutualism. Biotic interactions can affect species' responses to abiotic environmental changes differently along environmental gradients, and abiotic environmental changes can likewise influence the nature of biotic interactions. Understanding whether and how to integrate variables at different scales in ecological niche models is essential to better estimate spatial distributions of species on macroecological scales and their responses to change. We report the leaf beetle Eurypedus nigrosignatus as an alien species in the Dominican Republic and investigate whether biotic factors played a meaningful role in the distributional expansion of the species into the Caribbean. We evaluate ecological niche models built with an additive gradient of unlinked biotic predictors-host plants, using likelihood-based model evaluation criteria (Akaike information criterion and Bayesian information criterion) within a range of regularization multiplier parameter values. Our results support the argument that ecological niche models should be more inclusive, as selected biotic predictors can improve the performance of models, despite the increased model complexity, and show that biotic interactions matter at macroecological scales. Moreover, we provide an alternative approach to select optimal combination of relevant variables, to improve estimation of potential invasive areas using global minimum model likelihood scores.

RevDate: 2018-12-20

Maddison DR, Will K, Crews S, et al (2018)

Bembidion ambiguum (Coleoptera: Carabidae) is established in California.

Biodiversity data journal pii:Biodiversity Data Journal.

Background: The ground beetle Bembidion (Neja) ambiguum Dejean is native to Europe and north Africa, in the Mediterranean region.

New information: We report it from North America for the first time, from five localities around San Francisco Bay, California. The earliest record is from 2012.

RevDate: 2018-12-20

Valdez-Mondragón A, Cortez-Roldán MR, Juárez-Sánchez AR, et al (2018)

A new species of Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe (Araneae, Sicariidae), with updated distribution records and biogeographical comments for the species from Mexico, including a new record of Loxoscelesrufescens (Dufour).


A new species of the spider genus Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe, 1832, Loxoscelesmalintzisp. n., is described from the states of Puebla, Morelos and Guerrero, in the central region of Mexico. The description is based on adult males and females with morphological and ultra-morphological images. Updated distribution maps are provided for the 39 species recorded from the Mexican territory (including the new species). The states with the greatest diversity are Baja California Sur, Baja California and Sonora, with five species each. A total of 441 records for the 39 species, based on arachnological collections, data bases and literature, were used to update the distribution maps. Loxoscelesboneti Gertsch, 1958 is the species with the highest number of records in Mexico, with a total of 58 records from different localities. The states with the most records so far are Guerrero, with 55 records, Morelos, with 35 records, and Baja California Sur, with 30 records. Loxoscelesrufescens (Dufour, 1820), an introduced species, is recorded for the second time in Mexico, from the state of Chihuahua, being the first well-documented record for the country. Mexico has the greatest diversity of species of Loxosceles worldwide, with 39 (two introduced species) of the 134 described species. Additionally, biogeographical comments for the species from Mexico are provided.

RevDate: 2018-12-20

Shi W, Hu X, Chen X, et al (2018)

Increased population epigenetic diversity of the clonal invasive species Alternanthera philoxeroides in response to salinity stress.

Genes & genetic systems [Epub ahead of print].

Epigenetic modification can change the pattern of gene expression without altering the underlying DNA sequence, which may be adaptive in clonal plant species. In this study, we used MSAP (methylation-sensitive amplification polymorphism) to examine epigenetic variation in Alternanthera philoxeroides, a clonal invasive species, in response to salinity stress. We found that salinity stress could significantly increase the level of epigenetic diversity within a population. This effect increased with increasing stress duration and was specific to particular genotypes. In addition, the epigenetic modification of young plants seems less sensitive to salinity than that of mature plants. This elevated epigenetic diversity in response to environmental stress may compensate for genetic impoverishment and contribute to evolutionary potential in clonal species.

RevDate: 2018-12-19

Shragai T, LC Harrington (2018)

Aedes albopictus (Diptera: Culicidae) on an Invasive Edge: Abundance, Spatial Distribution, and Habitat Usage of Larvae and Pupae Across Urban and Socioeconomic Environmental Gradients.

Journal of medical entomology pii:5253076 [Epub ahead of print].

The Asian tiger mosquito [Aedes albopictus (Skuse)] is an invasive species of public health importance that is currently expanding its range in the Northeast United States. Effective Ae. albopictus control depends on a thorough understanding of factors influencing their abundance, spatial distribution, and habitat preference. We conducted a series of container surveys for Ae. albopictus larvae/pupae over 2 yr across nine sites in neighborhoods along its invasive range in southern New York. Selected sites represented a gradient of percent impervious surface and median household income. Two hypotheses were tested: 1) Ae. albopictus larval/pupal abundance increases and spatial distribution becomes less clustered as site-level median income decreases and percent impervious surface increases because of increased larval habitat quality and availability; and 2) container-level characteristics are predictive of Ae. albopictus larval/pupal infestation across a range of sites. In 2016, neither median household income nor impervious surface predicted Ae. albopictus abundance. In 2017, sites with greater impervious surface were more heavily infested by some measures. In both years, Ae. albopictus larval/pupal spatial distribution as measured by K-function was more clustered in with greater median household income. Most container characteristics were either not predictive of Ae. albopictus or varied between years. Based on the variability of predictive container characteristics, we conclude that identification of key containers is not useful in this region. However, Ae. albopictus can be nonhomogenously distributed or abundant based on income level and impervious surface. Improved control of immatures should consider these regional predictors of Ae. albopictus populations.

RevDate: 2018-12-19

Nimmo DG, Avitabile S, Banks SC, et al (2018)

Animal movements in fire-prone landscapes.

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

Movement is a trait of fundamental importance in ecosystems subject to frequent disturbances, such as fire-prone ecosystems. Despite this, the role of movement in facilitating responses to fire has received little attention. Herein, we consider how animal movement interacts with fire history to shape species distributions. We consider how fire affects movement between habitat patches of differing fire histories that occur across a range of spatial and temporal scales, from daily foraging bouts to infrequent dispersal events, and annual migrations. We review animal movements in response to the immediate and abrupt impacts of fire, and the longer-term successional changes that fires set in train. We discuss how the novel threats of altered fire regimes, landscape fragmentation, and invasive species result in suboptimal movements that drive populations downwards. We then outline the types of data needed to study animal movements in relation to fire and novel threats, to hasten the integration of movement ecology and fire ecology. We conclude by outlining a research agenda for the integration of movement ecology and fire ecology by identifying key research questions that emerge from our synthesis of animal movements in fire-prone ecosystems.

RevDate: 2018-12-19

Mori E, Sala JP, Fattorini N, et al (2018)

Ectoparasite sharing among native and invasive birds in a metropolitan area.

Parasitology research pii:10.1007/s00436-018-6174-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Parasite-mediated competition has been reported to be one of the most harmful, although overlooked, impacts that alien species have on native ecosystems. Monk parakeets Myiopsitta monachus are successful invaders in Europe, where they have been introduced from South America. Colonial nests of these parrots may also host other species, e.g. the rock pigeon Columba livia forma domestica. In this work, we analysed the ectoparasite composition of monk parakeets in Barcelona (Spain) and we evaluated their potential role as parasite-mediated competitors, by comparing their parasitic load with that of coexisting rock pigeons. Only two arthropod species were observed on monk parakeets, whereas four species were detected on pigeons. Parakeets were rarely infested by pigeon parasites (prevalence = 0.66%), whereas parakeet mites were recorded more often on pigeons (prevalence = 10.00%). The number of total parasites per bird increased with increasing densities of monk parakeets, both for pigeons and for parakeets. Therefore, overcrowding of birds due to the increasing population of monk parakeets in Barcelona may affect the health status of native pigeons, suggesting a potential role for parasite mediated competition by introduced parakeets. Furthermore, spill-over of alien mites (Ornithonyssus bursa) by monk parakeets to rock pigeons should be monitoring as it may affect human health.

RevDate: 2018-12-19

Hornung E, Kásler A, Z Tóth (2018)

The role of urban forest patches in maintaining isopod diversity (Oniscidea).


Compositional changes in natural communities associated with anthropogenic influence often lead to localised extinctions and biodiversity loss. Soil invertebrates are also threatened by urbanisation due to habitat fragmentation, vegetation changes and management, soil alteration, degradation, and disappearing shelter sites. The aim was to assess terrestrial isopod (Oniscidea) assemblages in differently degraded urban forest patches of a metropolitan area (Budapest, Hungary). Study sites were compared by their species richness, composition and the relevant background factors (soil properties, dead wood, litter characteristics, and canopy closure). The degree of urban disturbance was expressed using an urbanisation index (UI) based on built-up density and vegetation cover. The isopods were identified to species level, and were qualified by their habitat preference and naturalness index (TINI). Average Rarity Index (ARI), derived from TINIs provided information on the degree of naturalness/disturbance of each habitat. Altogether 14 isopod species were collected from 23 sample sites. Urbanisation indirectly affected on the composition of isopod assemblages through the quantity of dead wood and soil plasticity. ARIs and UIs of sample sites were negatively correlated. Urban patches harboured habitat generalist, synanthropic and established introduced species with low naturalness value of assemblages. Areas with no or low anthropogenic disturbance maintained stable native, autochthonous assemblages that were characteristic of rural sites in the region. Transitional zones between rural and urban habitats usually maintained a mixed isopod fauna consisting of both urban and rural elements.

RevDate: 2018-12-19

Souza-Gonçalves I, Orsetti A, C Lopes-Andrade (2018)

Synopsis of Cis Latreille (Coleoptera: Ciidae) from southern Africa.

Insects, 9(4): pii:insects9040184.

A synopsis of the Cis Latreille, 1796 from southern Africa is provided, with the description of 10 new species: Cis bicaesariatussp. n., Cis foveocephalussp. n., Cis grobbelaaraesp. n., Cis lacinipennissp. n., Cis makrosomasp. n., Cis mpumalangaensissp. n., Cis parvisetosussp. n., Cis tessariplacussp. n., Cis umlalaziensissp. n. and Cis westerncapensissp. n. The introduced species Cis fuscipes Mellié, 1849 is recorded for the first time from the Republic of South Africa. New geographic records are provided for the following species: Cis neserorum Souza-Gonçalves & Lopes-Andrade, 2017; Cis regius Orsetti & Lopes-Andrade, 2016 and Cis stalsi Souza-Gonçalves & Lopes-Andrade, 2017. Most southern African Cis are placed in available or newly proposed species-groups and a provisional identification key is provided.

RevDate: 2018-12-19
CmpDate: 2018-12-19

Bialic-Murphy L, Gaoue OG, T Knight (2018)

Using Transfer Function Analysis to develop biologically and economically efficient restoration strategies.

Scientific reports, 8(1):2094.

Rare species across taxonomic groups and biomes commonly suffer from multiple threats and require intensive restoration, including population reintroduction and threat control. Following reintroduction, it is necessary to identify what level of threat control is needed for species to persist over time. Population reintroduction and threat control are time intensive and costly. Thus, it is pragmatic to develop economically efficient restoration strategies. We combined transfer function analysis and economic cost analysis to evaluate the effects of biologically meaningful increases in demographic processes on the persistence of a reintroduced population of a Hawaii endemic long-lived shrub, Delissea waianaeensis. We show that an increase in fertility by 0.419 following the suppression of non-native rodents or an increase by 0.098 in seedling growth following the suppression of invasive molluscs would stabilize the population (i.e., λ = 1). Though a greater increase in fertility than seedling growth was needed for the reintroduced population to persist over time, increasing fertility by suppressing rodents was the most cost effective restoration strategy. Our study emphasizes the importance of considering the effects of large increases in plant vital rates in population projections and incorporating the economic cost of management actions in demographic models when developing restoration plans for endangered species.

RevDate: 2018-12-20
CmpDate: 2018-12-20

Sáenz A, Ortiz N, Lomonte B, et al (2017)

Comparison of biochemical and cytotoxic activities of extracts obtained from dorsal spines and caudal fin of adult and juvenile non-native Caribbean lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles).

Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology, 137:158-167.

Pterois volitans/miles lionfish (adult and juvenile) dorsal spines and caudal fin extracts were compared in their general composition, enzymatic activities and hemolytic and cytotoxic effects on bovine aortic endothelial cells and murine myoblasts, to distinguish between the activities present in the venom and epidermal mucus. Intradermal and intramuscular injections were also administered in mice to determine in vivo effects. This work shows that crude venom of Caribbean species of lionfish, present in dorsal spines, induces several in vitro effects including hemolysis, weak cytotoxicity, proteolytic and hyaluronidase activities, whereas in vivo, it is not hemorrhagic nor myotoxic, but causes edema, plasma extravasation and a thrombotic-associated lesion on the skin. Some small differences were observed between adult and juvenile venomous secretions. Gelatinolytic activity of the epidermal mucus, the only activity found in caudal fin extracts, could contribute to the in vivo toxicity of the venom.

RevDate: 2018-12-18

Alharbi W, S Petrovskii (2018)

Effect of complex landscape geometry on the invasive species spread: invasion with stepping stones.

Journal of theoretical biology pii:S0022-5193(18)30614-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Spatial proliferation of invasive species often causes serious damage to agriculture, ecology and environment. Evaluation of the extent of the area potentially invadable by an alien species is an important problem. Landscape features that reduces dispersal space to narrow corridors can make some areas inaccessible to the invading species. On the other hand, the existence of stepping stones - small areas or 'patches' with better environmental conditions - is known to assist species spread. How an interplay between these factors can affect the invasion success remains unclear. In this paper, we address this question theoretically using a mechanistic model of population dynamics. Such models have been generally successful in predicting the rate and pattern of invasive spread; however, they usually consider the spread in an unbounded, uniform space hence ignoring the complex geometry of a real landscape. In contrast, here we consider a reaction-diffusion model in a domain of a complex shape combining corridors and stepping stones. We show that the invasion success depends on a subtle interplay between the stepping stone size, location and the strength of the Allee effect inside. In particular, for a stepping stone of a small size, there is only a narrow range of locations where it can unblock the otherwise impassable corridor.

RevDate: 2018-12-18
CmpDate: 2018-12-18

Broadley A, Kauschke E, W Mohrig (2018)

Black fungus gnats (Diptera: Sciaridae) found in association with cultivated plants and mushrooms in Australia, with notes on cosmopolitan pest species and biosecurity interceptions.

Zootaxa, 4415(2):201-242 pii:zootaxa.4415.2.1.

Male sciarids collected in Australia from inside post-entry quarantine and domestic greenhouses and from vegetable gardens and various plants, were slide mounted and identified. Specimens intercepted during on-arrival biosecurity inspections of imported nursery stock plants were also examined, and the New South Wales Department of Primary Industries collection of slide-mounted Sciaridae was reviewed. Plant and mushroom pest species that are present in Australia are Bradysia impatiens (Johannsen), B. ocellaris (Comstock), Lycoriella agraria (Felt), L. ingenua (Dufour) = Sciara womersleyi Séguy, 1940 syn. n., L. sativae (Johannsen) = Sciara auberti Séguy, 1940 syn. n., Sciara jeanneli Séguy, 1940 syn. n., Sciara solispina Hardy, 1956 syn. n., and Cosmosciara hartii (Johannsen, 1912) comb. n. = Plastosciara perniciosa Edwards, 1922 syn. n. The last species is a new record for Australia. Bradysia tilicola (Loew) and Pnyxia scabiei (Hopkins) are potential pest species, but they have not been reported yet from Australia. An identification key to enable separation of the pest species is provided. Species with uncertain connections to plant and mushroom cultures are B. pallipes (Fabricius), B. strenua (Winnertz, 1867) = B. watsoni Colless, 1962 syn. n., Corynoptera concinna (Winnertz), (all three species are new records for the Australian mainland) and Hyperlasion aliens Mohrig (a new record for Tasmania). Bradysia spatitergum (Hardy) and Scatopsciara atomaria (Zetterstedt) were intercepted during the on-arrival biosecurity inspections of live plants imported from China and Canada respectively. Both species are widespread overseas but are not known to occur in Australia.

RevDate: 2018-12-18
CmpDate: 2018-12-18

Ghezzo M, Pellizzato M, De Pascalis F, et al (2018)

Natural resources and climate change: A study of the potential impact on Manila clam in the Venice lagoon.

The Science of the total environment, 645:419-430.

A crucial aspect in climate change is to understand how an ecosystem will adapt under different environmental conditions and how it will influence the ecological resources and the connected human activities. In this study, a numerical model reproduces the growth dynamics, dispersion and settlement of clam's larvae in the Venice lagoon. On the basis of the last IPCC scenarios for the years 2050 and 2100, the model simulates the changes in larval settlement, showing how the geographical distribution and, consequently, the nursery area changes over time. Our results indicate that climate change will modify, not only the timing of the settlements (from spring-summer to winter autumn) and the spatial distribution of nursery areas (from central to southern lagoon), but also the absolute quantity of settled larvae in the lagoon. This can strongly affect aquaculture in terms of availability of seed and farming practice. Given that these changes are due to the variations in temperature and circulation, similar processes are likely to happen in other transitional environments all over the world affecting the global aquaculture resources. In this regard, the tool we developed could support local policymakers in the knowledge-based planning and sustainable management of clam aquaculture in vulnerable environments.

RevDate: 2018-12-18
CmpDate: 2018-12-18

Haynsen MS, Vatanparast M, Mahadwar G, et al (2018)

De novo transcriptome assembly of Pueraria montana var. lobata and Neustanthus phaseoloides for the development of eSSR and SNP markers: narrowing the US origin(s) of the invasive kudzu.

BMC genomics, 19(1):439.

BACKGROUND: Kudzu, Pueraria montana var. lobata, is a woody vine native to Southeast Asia that has been introduced globally for cattle forage and erosion control. The vine is highly invasive in its introduced areas, including the southeastern US. Modern molecular marker resources are limited for the species, despite its importance. Transcriptomes for P. montana var. lobata and a second phaseoloid legume taxon previously ascribed to genus Pueraria, Neustanthus phaseoloides, were generated and mined for microsatellites and single nucleotide polymorphisms.

RESULTS: Roche 454 sequencing of P. montana var. lobata and N. phaseoloides transcriptomes produced read numbers ranging from ~ 280,000 to ~ 420,000. Trinity assemblies produced an average of 17,491 contigs with mean lengths ranging from 639 bp to 994 bp. Transcriptome completeness, according to BUSCO, ranged between 64 and 77%. After vetting for primer design, there were 1646 expressed simple sequence repeats (eSSRs) identified in P. montana var. lobata and 1459 in N. phaseoloides. From these eSSRs, 17 identical primer pairs, representing inter-generic phaseoloid eSSRs, were created. Additionally, 13 primer pairs specific to P. montana var. lobata were also created. From these 30 primer pairs, a final set of seven primer pairs were used on 68 individuals of P. montana var. lobata for characterization across the US, China, and Japan. The populations exhibited from 20 to 43 alleles across the seven loci. We also conducted pairwise tests for high-confidence SNP discovery from the kudzu transcriptomes we sequenced and two previously sequenced P. montana var. lobata transcriptomes. Pairwise comparisons between P. montana var. lobata ranged from 358 to 24,475 SNPs, while comparisons between P. montana var. lobata and N. phaseoloides ranged from 5185 to 30,143 SNPs.

CONCLUSIONS: The discovered molecular markers for kudzu provide a starting point for comparative genetic studies within phaseoloid legumes. This study both adds to the current genetic resources and presents the first available genomic resources for the invasive kudzu vine. Additionally, this study is the first to provide molecular evidence to support the hypothesis of Japan as a source of US kudzu and begins to narrow the origin of US kudzu to the central Japanese island of Honshu.

RevDate: 2018-12-18
CmpDate: 2018-12-18

da Costa-Silva GJ, Yuldi Ashikaga F, Kioko Shimabukuro Dias C, et al (2018)

DNA barcoding techniques used to identify the shared ichthyofauna between the Pantanal floodplain and Upper Parana River.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part A, DNA mapping, sequencing, and analysis, 29(7):1063-1072.

The biological invasion process is widely debated topic, as the population depletion of some species and the extinction of others are related to this process. To accelerate the identification of species and to detect non-native forms, new tools are being developed, such as those based on genetic markers. This study aimed to use Barcode DNA methodology to identify fish species that had translocated between the Parana and Paraguay River Basins. Based on a database of two studies that were conducted in these regions, 289 sequences of Cytochrome Oxidase C subunit 1 (COI) were used for General Mixed Youle Coalecent (GMYC) analysis, including 29 morphospecies that were sampled in both river basins. As a result, we observed that while some morphospecies have low variation, demonstrating a recent occupation of the basins, other morphospecies probably represent species complexes. A third of the morphospecies had well-defined lineages but not enough to be treated as different Molecular Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTUs). These results demonstrate that human interventions possibly participated in the distribution of some lineages. However, biogeographical historical processes are also important for the morphospecies distribution. The data suggest that the number of species that are present in these two basins is underestimated and that human actions can irreversibly affect the natural history of the species in these regions.

RevDate: 2018-12-18
CmpDate: 2018-12-18

Shan B, Hui M, Zhang X, et al (2018)

Genetic effects of released swimming crab (Portunus trituberculatus) on wild populations inferred from mitochondrial control region sequences.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part A, DNA mapping, sequencing, and analysis, 29(6):856-861.

Along the coast of Shandong Province in China, an extensive hatchery-release programme has been conducted for more than 10 years. However, no information has been reported concerning the long-term effects on the wild population resulting from the release of large numbers of juveniles in Portunus trituberculatus. In this study, sequence variation of swimming crab P. trituberculatus based on the mitochondrial control region was investigated for 946 swimming crabs at the releasing sites from 2012 to 2014. The result showed that the wild P. trituberculatus was characterized by high genetic diversity indices, and not significantly different from the previous study. Low FST values were estimated among the groups of different years and different sites, which suggested no genetic differentiation found in the wild population after the stock enhancement programme. Hence, the long-term extensive hatchery release programme has not affected the genetic structure of wild P. trituberculatus populations along the coast of Shandong Province.

RevDate: 2018-12-17
CmpDate: 2018-12-17

Wang M, Wang Q, Sha C, et al (2018)

Spartina alterniflora invasion affects soil carbon in a C3 plant-dominated tidal marsh.

Scientific reports, 8(1):628.

The carbon cycle is significantly affected by Spartina alterniflora invasion through its impact on blue carbon in many salt marshes. To determine the impacts on soil organic carbon (SOC), we studied the vertical and horizontal distribution of SOC. And stable carbon isotopes were used to explore the impact of the age of S. alterniflora invasion on SOC in Chongming Dongtan wetland located in the Yangtze River estuary, China. The results showed that the SOC concentration was higher in the S. alterniflora community than that in the native Phragmites australis community. The age of invasion and the SOC concentration increased with increasing elevation, while the SOC concentration decreased with increasing soil depth. The δ13C value became less negative at greater depth, which was related to the contribution from 13C- enriched carbon sources after 3 years of invasion. After 7 and 10 years, the δ13C value became more negative at greater depth in both communities. S. alterniflora had a positive effect on the soil carbon pool, and its contribution was related to soil depth. In the low tidal marshes, the contribution of S. alterniflora was negatively correlated with soil depth, while it was positively correlated with soil depth in the high tidal marshes. The results from this study will contribute to improved understanding of future ecological consequences.

RevDate: 2018-12-17
CmpDate: 2018-12-17

Martín-Forés I, Avilés M, Acosta-Gallo B, et al (2017)

Ecotypic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity combine to enhance the invasiveness of the most widespread daisy in Chile, Leontodon saxatilis.

Scientific reports, 7(1):1546.

Dispersal and reproductive traits of successful plant invaders are expected to undergo strong selection during biological invasions. Numerous Asteraceae are invasive and display dimorphic fruits within a single flower head, resulting in differential dispersal pathways - wind-dispersed fruits vs. non-dispersing fruits. We explored ecotypic differentiation and phenotypic plasticity of seed output and fruit dimorphisms in exotic Chilean and native Spanish populations of Leontodon saxatilis subsp. rothii. We collected flower heads from populations in Spain and Chile along a rainfall gradient. Seeds from all populations were planted in reciprocal transplant trials in Spain and Chile to explore their performance in the native and invasive range. We scored plant biomass, reproductive investment and fruit dimorphism. We observed strong plasticity, where plants grown in the invasive range had much greater biomass, flower head size and seed output, with a higher proportion of wind-dispersed fruits, than those grown in the native range. We also observed a significant ecotype effect, where the exotic populations displayed higher proportions of wind-dispersed fruits than native populations. Together, these patterns reflect a combination of phenotypic plasticity and ecotypic differentiation, indicating that Leontodon saxatilis has probably increased propagule pressure and dispersal distances in its invasive range to enhance its invasiveness.

RevDate: 2018-12-14

Roy HE, Bacher S, Essl F, et al (2018)

Developing a list of invasive alien species likely to threaten biodiversity and ecosystems in the European Union.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

The European Union (EU) has recently published its first list of invasive alien species (IAS) of EU concern to which current legislation must apply. The list comprises species known to pose great threats to biodiversity and needs to be maintained and updated. Horizon scanning is seen as critical to identify the most threatening potential IAS that do not yet occur in Europe to be subsequently risk assessed for future listing. Accordingly, we present a systematic consensus horizon scanning procedure to derive a ranked list of potential IAS likely to arrive, establish, spread and have an impact on biodiversity in the region over the next decade. The approach is unique in the continental scale examined, the breadth of taxonomic groups and environments considered, and the methods and data sources used. International experts were brought together to address five broad thematic groups of potential IAS. For each thematic group the experts first independently assembled lists of potential IAS not yet established in the EU but potentially threatening biodiversity if introduced. Experts were asked to score the species within their thematic group for their separate likelihoods of i) arrival, ii) establishment, iii) spread, and iv) magnitude of the potential negative impact on biodiversity within the EU. Experts then convened for a 2-day workshop applying consensus methods to compile a ranked list of potential IAS. From an initial working list of 329 species, a list of 66 species not yet established in the EU that were considered to be very high (8 species), high (40 species) or medium (18 species) risk species was derived. Here, we present these species highlighting the potential negative impacts and the most likely biogeographic regions to be affected by these potential IAS.

RevDate: 2018-12-14

Graham S, Metcalf AL, Gill N, et al (2018)

Opportunities for better use of collective action theory in research and governance for invasive species management.

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

Controlling invasive species presents a public-good dilemma. Although environmental, social, and economic benefits of control accrue to society, costs are borne by only a few individuals and organizations. For decades, policy makers have used incentives and sanctions to encourage or coerce individual actors to contribute to the public good, with limited success. Diverse, subnational efforts to collectively manage invasive plants, insects, and animals provide effective alternatives to traditional command-and-control approaches. Despite this work, there has been little systematic evaluation of collective efforts to determine whether there are consistent principles underpinning success. We reviewed 32 studies to identify the extent to which collective-action theories from related agricultural and environmental fields explain collaborative invasive species management approaches; describe and differentiate emergent invasive species collective-action efforts; and provide guidance on how to enable more-collaborative approaches to invasive species management. We identified 4 types of collective action aimed at invasive species-externally led, community led, comanaged, and organizational coalitions - that provide blueprints for future invasive species management. Existing collective-action theories could explain the importance attributed to developing shared knowledge of the social-ecological system and the need for social capital. Yet, collection action on invasive species requires different types of monitoring, sanctions, and boundary definitions. We argue that future government policies can benefit from establishing flexible boundaries that encourage social learning and enable colocated individuals and organizations to identify common goals, pool resources, and coordinate efforts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2018-12-14

Guo P, Yu F, Ren Y, et al (2018)

Response of Ruderal Species Diversity to an Urban Environment: Implications for Conservation and Management.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(12): pii:ijerph15122832.

Anthropogenic activities have weakened the invasion of ruderals and increased the number of non-native species in urban areas. Ruderals are an important component of urban plant diversity and are of great significance to the sustainable development of urban green space. We used the tessellation⁻randomized plot method to examine the composition and biodiversity of ruderal species among urban land use types (LUTs) in the built-up areas of Beijing. Soil samples from the surface to a depth of 10 cm were taken from each site to examine the impact of soil characteristics on ruderal species diversity. Results showed that a total of 120 ruderal species were observed, including 71 native and 49 non-native species. Among them, 90% were identified as Cosmopolitan. Native species accounted for the majority of ruderals across all the eight LUTs. Institutional, residential, and woodlot areas with coarser management had higher ruderal species richness than did commercial areas and roadside lawns. Allergenic species showed the highest proportions in municipal parks, and invasive species accounted for 20% of all ruderal species. Ruderal species diversity was related to distance from the urban center, pruning intensity, and soil characteristics. These results suggest that with ruderals playing an important role in urban grass species diversity, there is tremendous potential for more native species in Beijing lawns, which would contribute substantially to increasing the ecological system's functional benefits. Ruderal species accustomed to the causal processes and environmental conditions of different LUTs should be used and conserved properly to improve the harsh conditions of different LUTs and to sustain ecosystem health.

RevDate: 2018-12-12
CmpDate: 2018-12-12

Olabarria C, Arenas F, Fernández Á, et al (2018)

Physiological responses to variations in grazing and light conditions in native and invasive fucoids.

Marine environmental research, 139:151-161.

Poor physiological acclimatization to climate change has led to shifts in the distributional ranges of various species and to biodiversity loss. However, evidence also suggests the relevance of non-climatic physical factors, such as light, and biotic factors, which may act in interactive or additive way. We used a mechanistic approach to evaluate the ecophysiological responses of four seaweed species (three dominant intertidal fucoids, Fucus serratus, Ascophyllum nodosum, Bifurcaria bifurcata, and the invasive Sargassum muticum) to different conditions of grazing, light irradiance and ultraviolet (UV) radiation. We performed a large-scale mesocosm experiment with a total of 800 individual thalli of macroalgae. The factorial experimental design included major algal traits, photoacclimation, nutrient stoichiometry and chemical defence as response variables. Few significant effects of the factors acting alone or in combination were observed, suggesting a good capacity for acclimatization in all four species. The significant effects were generally additive and there were no potentially deleterious synergistic effects between factors. Fucus serratus, a species currently undergoing a drastic contraction of its southern distribution limit in Europe, was the most strongly affected species, showing overall lower photosynthetic efficiency than the other species. The growth rate of F. serratus decreased when UV radiation was filtered out, but only in the presence of grazers. Moreover, more individuals of this species tended to reach maturity in the absence of grazers, and the nitrogen content of tissues decreased under full-spectrum light. Only the phlorotannin content of tissues of B. bifurcata and of exudates of A. nodosum, both slow-growing species, were positively affected by respectively removal of UVB radiation and the presence of grazers. The findings for S. muticum, a well-established invasive seaweed across European coasts, suggested similar physiological response of this fast-growing species to different levels of grazing activity and light quality/intensity. As expected, this species grew faster than the other species. Bifurcaria bifurcata and A. nodosum only showed minor effects of light quality and grazing on phlorotannins content, which suggests good resistance of these two long-lived species to the experimental conditions. Mechanistic approaches that are designed to analyse interactive effects of physical and biotic factors provide an understanding of physiological responses of species and help to improve the confidence of predictive distribution models.

RevDate: 2018-12-11

Brusch GA, Christian K, Brown GP, et al (2018)

Cane toads (Rhinella marina) rely on water access, not drought tolerance, to invade xeric Australian environments.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-018-4321-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The invasion of habitats with novel environmental challenges may require physiological tolerances not seen in conspecifics from the native range. We used a combination of field and laboratory-based experiments to assess physiological tolerance to limited water access at four sites distributed across the historical invasion path of cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Australia that, from east to west, alternated between mesic and seasonally xeric habitats. Toads from all locations were well hydrated at the time of capture. However, experimental dehydration caused greater mass loss, higher plasma osmolality, and inhibition of lytic ability in toads from xeric compared to mesic locations. These results suggest somewhat surprisingly that toads from xeric environments are physiologically more vulnerable to water loss. In contrast, bactericidal ability was not sensitive to hydric state and was greater in toads from eastern (long-colonized) areas. Similar patterns in lytic ability in hydrated toads and agglutination ability in wild toads suggest that toads along the invasion front face a tradeoff between enhanced dispersal ability and physiological responses to dehydration. The ability of this invasive species to spread into drier environments may be underpinned by a combination of phenotypic plasticity and evolved (heritable) traits.

RevDate: 2018-12-11

Kovalenko YN, Akulov EN, N Yunakov (2018)

The easternmost discovery of the Mediterranean weevil Pachyrhinuslethierryi (Coleoptera, Curculionidae, Entiminae): Is a further invasion possible?.


Pachyrhinuslethierryi (Desbrochers des Loges, 1875) is a Mediterranean weevil species that has become remarkably well known as a result of a series of recent introductions across Western and Central Europe. This species has recently reached Asia Minor and the Crimean Peninsula, as confirmed by several new records. The vectors of invasion in Crimea and possible further expansion are suggested.

RevDate: 2018-12-11

Wu N, Zhang S, Li X, et al (2018)

Fall webworm genomes yield insights into rapid adaptation of invasive species.

Nature ecology & evolution pii:10.1038/s41559-018-0746-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species cause considerable ecological and economic damage. Despite decades of broad impacts of invasives on diversity and agriculture, the genetic adaptations and near-term evolution of invading populations are poorly understood. The fall webworm, Hyphantria cunea, a highly successful invasive species that originated in North America, spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere during the past 80 years. Here, we use whole-genome sequencing of invasive populations and transcriptome profiling to probe the underlying genetic bases for the rapid adaptation of this species to new environments and host plants. We find substantial reductions in genomic diversity consistent with founder effects. Genes and pathways associated with carbohydrate metabolism and gustatory receptors are substantially expanded in the webworm genome and show strong signatures of functional polymorphisms in the invasive population. We also find that silk-yielding-associated genes maintained a relatively low level of functional diversity, and identify candidate genes that may regulate the development of silk glands in fall webworms. These data suggest that the fall webworm's ability to colonize novel hosts, mediated by plasticity in their gustatory capabilities along with an increased ability to utilize novel nutrition sources and substrates, has facilitated the rapid and successful adaptation of the species throughout its range.

RevDate: 2018-12-11

Watkins C, Caplenor CA, Poudyal NC, et al (2018)

Comparing landowner support for wild hog management options in Tennessee.

Journal of environmental management, 232:722-728 pii:S0301-4797(18)31340-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Wild hogs (Sus scrofa) are an invasive, non-native species quickly gaining ground on private, as well as public, lands in Tennessee and much of the United States. Wildlife management personnel may benefit from assessing stakeholders' views towards various management options to control and eradicate wild hogs. A statewide mail survey of 5000 randomly selected landowners in Tennessee counties known to have wild hogs yielded 1620 completed responses (33% response rate). Using this dataset, an index of potential for conflict among landowner groups was computed for each of eleven management options, which varied from leaving the wild hogs alone, to both lethal and non-lethal options. Results indicate varying levels of potential for conflict depending on hunter status, wild hog hunter status, presence of wild hogs on land, percent of income derived from land, and amount of land damage caused by wild hogs. Overall, three management options including leaving the wild hogs alone, allowing sale of wild hogs, and capturing and relocating were found unacceptable whereas many other options including capturing and killing, providing technical assistance to landowners and educating people on preventing damage were found to have high level of acceptability and most consensus among landowner subgroups. Findings will be useful in understanding how support for wild hog control options vary across population segments, and which options are likely to see more or less resistance from certain landowners.

RevDate: 2018-12-11

de Ramos B, da Costa GB, Ramlov F, et al (2018)

Ecophysiological implications of UV radiation in the interspecific interaction of Pyropia acanthophora and Grateloupia turuturu (Rhodophyta).

Marine environmental research pii:S0141-1136(18)30313-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Radiation, both photosynthetic active radiation (PAR, l = 400-700 nm) and Ultraviolet (UVR, l = 280-400 nm) is one of the key factors regulating algal distribution in aquatic environments. Pyropia acanthophora and Grateloupia turuturu have been found over upper rocky shore areas in Southern Brazil, occupying the same niche space. The first species is native and the second one is exotic and considered a potential invader of South Atlantic. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the effects of radiation on physiological responses of both species and infer mechanisms that allow their niche competition in the environment. Samples were cultured in the following conditions: associated or separated, and with an addition of PAR, PAR + UVA (PA) and PAR + UVA + UVB (PAB), totalizing six factorial treatments during 5 days of exposure. Photosynthetic responses of Fv/Fm and ETR were daily evaluated. At the beginning and at the end of the experiment, samples were analyzed for pigment content (chlorophyll a and phycobiliproteins), and mycosporine-like amino acids (MAAs), while oxygen evolution was evaluated at the end of the experiment. As the main results, G. turuturu died when cultivated in PAB conditions. P. acanthophora presented higher amounts of chlorophyll a than G. turuturu during the whole experiment. Phycoerythrin and Fv/Fm remained constant in P. acanthophora but diminished for G. turuturu in UV treatments. ETR was higher for samples that were cultivated in associative treatment. The presence of G. turuturu in the same flask enhanced MAA synthesis in P. acanthophora, regardless of radiation condition. In addition, UV radiation can be a factor controlling species distribution and could counteract the spreading of invasive species, like G. turuturu, allowing P. acanthophora survival in upper rocky shore zones of the natural ecological distribution area.

RevDate: 2018-12-11

Habib MR, Lv S, Guo YH, et al (2018)

Morphological and molecular characterization of invasive Biomphalaria straminea in southern China.

Infectious diseases of poverty, 7(1):120 pii:10.1186/s40249-018-0505-5.

BACKGROUND: Schistosomiasis is a common parasitic disease designated as a neglected tropical disease by the World Health Organization. Schistosomiasis mansoni is a form of the disease that is caused by the digenean trematode Schistosoma mansoni, transmitted through Biomphalaria spp. as an intermediate host. Biomphalaria was introduced to Hong Kong, China in aquatic plants shipments coming from Brazil and the snail rapidly established its habitats in southern China. Earlier studies of Biomphalaria spp. introduced to southern China identified the snails as Biomphalaria straminea, one of the susceptible species implicated in S. mansoni transmission in South America. However, recent molecular investigations also indicated the presence of another South American species, B. kuhniana, which is refractory to infection. As such, it is important to identify accurately the species currently distributed in southern China, especially with emerging reports of active S. mansoni infections in Chinese workers returning from Africa.

METHODS: We combined morphological and molecular taxonomy tools to precisely identify Biomphalaria spp. distributed in Guangdong Province, southern China. In order to clearly understand the molecular profile of the species, we constructed a phylogeny using mtDNA data (COI and 16S rRNA sequences) from six populations of Biomphalaria spp. from Shenzhen City in Guangdong Province. In addition, we examined the external morphology of the shell and internal anatomy of the reproductive organs.

RESULTS: Both morphological and molecular evidences indicated a close affinity between Biomphalaria spp. populations from Guangdong and B. straminea from Brazil. The shell morphology was roughly identical in all the populations collected with rounded whorls on one side and subangulated on the other, a smooth periphery, an egg-shaped aperture bowed to one side, and a deep umbilicus. The shape and number of prostate diverticula (ranged from 11.67 to 17.67) in Guangdong populations supports its close affinity to B. straminea rather than B. kuhniana. Molecular analysis did not conflict with morphological analysis. Little genetic differentiation was observed within Biomphalaria populations collected. Phylogenetic analysis of COI and 16S rRNA haplotypes from snails collected and B. straminea sequences from Brazil and China using Bayesian inference revealed that Guangdong populations were clustered in one clade with B. straminea from Hong Kong of China and B. straminea from Brazil indicating their close affinity to each other.

CONCLUSIONS: Data obtained in the current study clearly show that the populations of Biomphalaria spp. investigated are B. straminea, and we assume that those snails were either introduced via passive dispersal from Hong Kong of China or as a result of multiple introduction routes from Brazil.

RevDate: 2018-12-11

Chen Y, Shenkar N, Ni P, et al (2018)

Rapid microevolution during recent range expansion to harsh environments.

BMC evolutionary biology, 18(1):187 pii:10.1186/s12862-018-1311-1.

BACKGROUND: Adaptive evolution is one of the crucial mechanisms for organisms to survive and thrive in new environments. Recent studies suggest that adaptive evolution could rapidly occur in species to respond to novel environments or environmental challenges during range expansion. However, for environmental adaptation, many studies successfully detected phenotypic features associated with local environments, but did not provide ample genetic evidence on microevolutionary dynamics. It is therefore crucial to thoroughly investigate the genetic basis of rapid microevolution in response to environmental changes, in particular on what genes and associated variation are responsible for environmental challenges. Here, we genotyped genome-wide gene-associated microsatellites to detect genetic signatures of rapid microevolution of a marine tunicate invader, Ciona robusta, during recent range expansion to the harsh environment in the Red Sea.

RESULTS: The Red Sea population was significantly differentiated from the other global populations. The genome-wide scan, as well as multiple analytical methods, successfully identified a set of adaptive genes. Interestingly, the allele frequency largely varied at several adaptive loci in the Red Sea population, and we found significant correlations between allele frequency and local environmental factors at these adaptive loci. Furthermore, a set of genes were annotated to get involved in local temperature and salinity adaptation, and the identified adaptive genes may largely contribute to the invasion success to harsh environments.

CONCLUSIONS: All the evidence obtained in this study clearly showed that environment-driven selection had left detectable signatures in the genome of Ciona robusta within a few generations. Such a rapid microevolutionary process is largely responsible for the harsh environmental adaptation and therefore contributes to invasion success in different aquatic ecosystems with largely varied environmental factors.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Piria M, Simonović P, Zanella D, et al (2019)

Long-term analysis of fish assemblage structure in the middle section of the Sava River - The impact of pollution, flood protection and dam construction.

The Science of the total environment, 651(Pt 1):143-153.

At the beginning of the 20th century, the middle section of the Sava River in Croatia was unaffected by major human activities and rich in ichthyofauna. The Sava River was important for commercial and recreational fishing for the local population, which still remains today. However, the 1920s mining industry was established in Slovenia, which emitted carbon dust into the Sava River. At the same time, the construction of embankments to mitigate flooding started in the middle section. Furthermore, in the 1980s, the Krško nuclear power plant (NPP), and in the 2010s, the Krško hydropower plant (HPP) were built in Slovenia. These activities could have an impact on the composition of fish communities downstream from the major sources of disturbances. Therefore, the main aim of this paper were to analyze the changes in fish assemblages of the Sava River from 1978 to 2017, prior to and after the construction of Krško NPP and HPP at the Medsave site on the Sava River, 20 km downstream from the major construction operations. Collected data were divided into four sampling periods (SP): SP1, from 1978 to 1980; SP2, from 1991 to 1994; SP3, from 2001 to 2006, and SP4 from 2011 to 2017. Besides alien fish species, water quality and hydromorphological modifications were identified as significant stressors. In SP1 and SP2 limnophilic and eurytopic fish groups were predominant, and 26 different fish species were identified, but in SP3 and SP4 rheophilic fish groups become dominant, and the diversity has declined to 21 species. Threatened species blageon, Telestes souffia seems to be missing from the main course of the Sava River in last 20 years. It can be concluded that disturbances in the fish assemblage pattern have coincided with the presence of multiple stressors of human origin.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

D'Alessandro M, Esposito V, Porporato EMD, et al (2018)

Relationships between plastic litter and chemical pollutants on benthic biodiversity.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 242(Pt B):1546-1556.

Five Descriptors (D) of Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD): marine litter (D10), non-indigenous species (D2) and organic and inorganic pollutants (D8), were estimated in a coastal area of GSA 16 (Augusta harbour, Central Mediterranean Sea) in order to study their effects on the biodiversity (D1) of the benthic community D6) and to improve data for the MSFD. Investigation of plastic debris had led to the identification of 38 fragments divided into four categories, among which microplastics resulted as the most abundant. Six non-indigenous species, belonging to Polychaeta (Kirkegaardia dorsobranchialis, Notomastus aberans, Pista unibranchia, Pseudonereis anomala, Branchiomma bairdi) and Mollusca (Brachidontes pharaonis) were found. Biodiversity and benthic indices suggested a generalised, slightly disturbed ecological status. Anthracene, Zinc and Chrome were the most abundant chemical compounds in analysed sediments. Significant correlations were found between the abundance of trace elements vs biotic indices and between plastic debris vs biodiversity and benthic indices. This study represents the first report about the abundance of plastic debris and its relationship to contaminants and infauna in Augusta harbour. Our results can provide useful information for national and international laws and directives.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Xu L, Zhang Y, Zhang S, et al (2018)

Comparative analysis of the immune system of an invasive bark beetle, Dendroctonus valens, infected by an entomopathogenic fungus.

Developmental and comparative immunology, 88:65-69.

Dendroctonus valens LeConte is one of the most economically important forest pest in China. Leptographium procerum, a mutualistic fungus can assist the host beetle in overcoming the pine's chemical defenses, and Beauveria bassiana, an entomopathogenic fungus has shown high beetle killing efficiency. Considering that the D. valens immune system remains unknown at the genomic level, a mutualistic and antagonistic fungus associated with the beetle provides an ideal model for studying immune interactions between the insect and associated fungi. Here, B. bassiana killed most tested larvae more effectively than L. procerum and Tween. The entomopathogenic fungus provoked stronger responses than the symbiotic fungus at the transcriptome level. We identified 185 immunity-related genes, including pattern recognition receptors, signal modulators, members of immune pathways (Toll, IMD, and JAK/STAT), and immune effectors. Quantitative real-time PCR analysis confirmed that several recognition receptors and effector genes were activated at 1 or 2 days post infection, while the effector genes were suppressed at 4 days post infection by B. bassiana, respectively. In contrast, effector genes were upregulated in response to L. procerum. Together, this study provides a comprehensive sequence resource and insight into the D. valens immune system and lays a basis for understanding the molecular aspects of the interaction between the host and associated fungi.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Hardison DR, Holland WC, Darius HT, et al (2018)

Investigation of ciguatoxins in invasive lionfish from the greater caribbean region: Implications for fishery development.

PloS one, 13(6):e0198358.

Lionfish, native to reef ecosystems of the tropical and sub-tropical Indo-Pacific, were introduced to Florida waters in the 1980s, and have spread rapidly throughout the northwestern Atlantic, Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. These invasive, carnivorous fish significantly reduce other fish and benthic invertebrate biomass, fish recruitment, and species richness in reef ecosystems. Fisheries resource managers have proposed the establishment of a commercial fishery to reduce lionfish populations and mitigate adverse effects on reef communities. The potential for a commercial fishery for lionfish is the primary reason to identify locations where lionfish accumulate sufficient amounts of ciguatoxin (CTX) to cause ciguatera fish poisoning (CFP), the leading cause of non-bacterial seafood poisoning associated with fish consumption. To address this issue, an initial geographic assessment of CTX toxicity in lionfish from the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico was conducted. Lionfish samples (n = 293) were collected by spearfishing from 13 locations (74 sampling sites) around the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico between 2012 and 2015. The highest frequencies of lionfish containing measurable CTX occurred in areas known to be high-risk regions for CFP in the central to eastern Caribbean (e.g., 53% British Virgin Islands and 5% Florida Keys). Though measurable CTX was found in some locations, the majority of the samples (99.3%) contained CTX concentrations below the United States Food and Drug Administration guidance level of 0.1 ppb Caribbean ciguatoxin-1 (C-CTX-1) equivalents (eq.). Only 0.7% of lionfish tested contained more than 0.1 ppb C-CTX-1 eq. As of 2018, there has been one suspected case of CFP from eating lionfish. Given this finding, current risk reduction techniques used to manage CTX accumulating fish are discussed.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Rintoul SR, Chown SL, DeConto RM, et al (2018)

Choosing the future of Antarctica.

Nature, 558(7709):233-241.

We present two narratives on the future of Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, from the perspective of an observer looking back from 2070. In the first scenario, greenhouse gas emissions remained unchecked, the climate continued to warm, and the policy response was ineffective; this had large ramifications in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean, with worldwide impacts. In the second scenario, ambitious action was taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions and to establish policies that reduced anthropogenic pressure on the environment, slowing the rate of change in Antarctica. Choices made in the next decade will determine what trajectory is realized.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Wagner CM, Hanson JE, Meckley TD, et al (2018)

A simple, cost-effective emitter for controlled release of fish pheromones: Development, testing, and application to management of the invasive sea lamprey.

PloS one, 13(6):e0197569.

Semiochemicals that elicit species-specific attraction or repulsion have proven useful in the management of terrestrial pests and hold considerable promise for control of nuisance aquatic species, particularly invasive fishes. Because aquatic ecosystems are typically large and open, use of a semiochemical to control a spatially dispersed invader will require the development of a cost-effective emitter that is easy to produce, environmentally benign, inexpensive, and controls the release of the semiochemical without altering its structure. We examined the release properties of five polymers, and chose polyethylene glycol (PEG) as the best alternative. In a series of laboratory and field experiments, we examined the response of the invasive sea lamprey to PEG, and to a partial sex pheromone emitted from PEG that has proven effective as a trap bait to capture migrating sea lamprey prior to spawning. Our findings confirm that the sea lamprey does not behaviorally respond to PEG, and that the attractant response to the pheromone component was conserved when emitted from PEG. Further, we deployed the pheromone-PEG emitters as trap bait during typical control operations in three Great Lakes tributaries, observing similar improvements in trap performance when compared to a previous study using mechanically pumped liquid pheromone. Finally, the polymer emitters tended to dissolve unevenly in high flow conditions. We demonstrate that housing the emitter stabilizes the dissolution rate at high water velocity. We conclude the performance characteristics of PEG emitters to achieve controlled-release of a semiochemical are sufficient to recommend its use in conservation and management activities related to native and invasive aquatic organisms.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Nogueira LS, Bianchini A, Smith S, et al (2018)

Physiological effects of marine natural organic matter and metals in early life stages of the North Pacific native marine mussel Mytilus trossulus; a comparison with the invasive Mytilus galloprovincialis.

Marine environmental research, 135:136-144.

The role of seawater NOM in reducing metal toxicity for marine organisms is not well understood. We investigated the effects of five different marine NOMs (two autochthonous, one allochthonous, two of mixed origin, at 8 mg C/L), three metals (6 μg Cu/L; 20 μg Pb/L; 25 μg Zn/L), and combinations between them, to early life stages of Mytilus trossulus (a North Pacific native) in 48-h tests. Endpoints were whole body Ca2++Mg2+-ATPase activity, carbonic anhydrase (CA) activity and lipid peroxidation. Comparisons were made with previously reported tests (identical conditions) on the invasive M. galloprovincialis. Unexposed M. trossulus had lower Ca2++Mg2+-ATPase but similar baseline CA activity and lipid peroxidation to unexposed M. galloprovincialis. NOMs alone induced increased enzyme activities, and increased lipid peroxidation, but the latter did not occur with NOMs of mixed origin in M. trossulus. There was no clear difference in the sensitivity to various NOMs between species. In M. trossulus, all three metals by themselves caused increases in lipid peroxidation, as did many metal-NOM combinations. The origin of the NOMs influenced the nature of the responses to NOM-metal combinations in both species, but no clear relationship to NOM chemistry was apparent. Overall, M. trossulus was more sensitive to metals and NOM-metal combinations, with a greater number of significant responses (27 versus 22 treatment endpoints, out of a total of 72) and a greater proportion of negative effects (81% versus 50%) than in M. galloprovincialis. Therefore, marine NOMs by themselves, as well as metals by themselves and NOM-metal combinations, can induce both positive and negative physiological responses. Lipid peroxidation appears to be a particularly common negative response. In future studies, NOM quality and mussel species should be considered since native M. trossulus and invasive M. galloprovincialis exhibited markedly different responses after exposure to the same environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Quilodrán CS, Austerlitz F, Currat M, et al (2018)

Cryptic Biological Invasions: a General Model of Hybridization.

Scientific reports, 8(1):2414.

The dispersal of non-native genes due to hybridization is a form of cryptic invasion with growing concern in evolution and conservation. This includes the spread of transgenic genes and antibiotic resistance. To investigate how genes and phenotypes are transmitted, we developed a general model that, for the first time, considers concurrently: multiple loci, quantitative and qualitative gene expression, assortative mating, dominance/recessivity inheritance and density-dependent demographic effects. Selection acting on alleles or genotypes can also be incorporated. Our results reveal that the conclusions about how hybridization threatens a species can be biased if they are based on single-gene models, while considering two or more genes can correct this bias. We also show that demography can amplify or balance the genetic effects, evidencing the need of jointly incorporating both processes. By implementing our model in a real case, we show that mallard ducks introduced in New Zealand benefit from hybridization to replace native grey-ducks. Total displacement can take a few generations and occurs by interspecific competition and by competition between hybrids and natives, demonstrating how hybridization may facilitate biological invasions. We argue that our general model represents a powerful tool for the study of a wide range of biological and societal questions.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Malfant M, Darras S, F Viard (2018)

Coupling molecular data and experimental crosses sheds light about species delineation: a case study with the genus Ciona.

Scientific reports, 8(1):1480.

Molecular studies sometimes reveal evolutionary divergence within accepted species. Such findings can initiate taxonomic revision, as exemplified in the formerly recognized species Ciona intestinalis. While an increasing number of studies have examined the ecology, reproductive barriers and genetics of C. intestinalis and C. robusta, there are still much uncertainties regarding other species of this genus. Using experimental crosses and mitochondrial data, we investigated the evolutionary relationships among four native and introduced Ciona spp., found in sympatry in the Mediterranean Sea or English Channel. Outcome of 62 bi-parental reciprocal crosses between C. intestinalis, C. robusta, C. roulei and C. edwardsi showed that C. edwardsi is reproductively isolated from the other taxa, which is in agreement with its distinct location in the phylogenetic tree. Conversely, hybrids are easily obtained in both direction when crossing C. intestinalis and C. roulei, reinforcing the hypothesis of two genetically differentiated lineages but likely being from a same species. Altogether, this study sheds light on the evolutionary relationship in this complex genus. It also calls for further investigation notably based on genome-wide investigation to better describe the evolutionary history within the genus Ciona, a challenging task in a changing world where biological introductions are shuffling species distribution.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Eimanifar A, Kimball RT, Braun EL, et al (2018)

Mitochondrial genome diversity and population structure of two western honey bee subspecies in the Republic of South Africa.

Scientific reports, 8(1):1333.

Apis mellifera capensis Eschscholtz and A.m. scutellata Lepeletier are subspecies of western honey bees that are indigenous to the Republic of South Africa (RSA). Both subspecies have invasive potential and are organisms of concern for areas outside their native range, though they are important bees to beekeepers, agriculture, and the environment where they are native. The aim of the present study was to examine genetic differentiation among these subspecies and estimate their phylogenetic relationships using complete mitochondrial genomes sequences. We used 25 individuals that were either assigned to one of the subspecies or designated hybrids using morphometric analyses. Phylogenetic analyses of mitogenome sequences by maximum likelihood (ML) and Bayesian inference identified a monophyletic RSA clade, subdivided into two clades. A haplotype network was consistent with the phylogenetic trees. However, members of both subspecies occurred in both clades, indicating that A.m. capensis and A.m. scutellata are neither reciprocally monophyletic nor do they exhibit paraphyly with one subspecies nested within the other subspecies. Furthermore, no mitogenomic features were diagnostic to either subspecies. All bees analyzed from the RSA expressed a substantial level of haplotype diversity (most samples had unique haplotypes) but limited nucleotide diversity. The number of variable codons across protein-coding genes (PCGs) differed among loci, with CO3 exhibiting the most variation and ATP6 the least.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Rogers HS, Buhle ER, HilleRisLambers J, et al (2017)

Effects of an invasive predator cascade to plants via mutualism disruption.

Nature communications, 8:14557.

Invasive vertebrate predators are directly responsible for the extinction or decline of many vertebrate species, but their indirect impacts often go unmeasured, potentially leading to an underestimation of their full impact. When invasives extirpate functionally important mutualists, dependent species are likely to be affected as well. Here, we show that the invasive brown treesnake, directly responsible for the extirpation of forest birds from the island of Guam, is also indirectly responsible for a severe decline in plant recruitment as a result of disrupting the fruit-frugivore mutualism. To assess the impact of frugivore loss on plants, we compare seed dispersal and recruitment of two fleshy-fruited tree species on Guam and three nearby islands with intact disperser communities. We conservatively estimate that the loss of frugivorous birds caused by the brown treesnake may have caused a 61-92% decline in seedling recruitment. This case study highlights the potential for predator invasions to cause indirect, pervasive and easily overlooked interaction cascades.

RevDate: 2018-12-11
CmpDate: 2018-12-11

Ochocki BM, TE Miller (2017)

Rapid evolution of dispersal ability makes biological invasions faster and more variable.

Nature communications, 8:14315.

Genetic variation in dispersal ability may result in the spatial sorting of alleles during range expansion. Recent theory suggests that spatial sorting can favour the rapid evolution of life history traits at expanding fronts, and therefore modify the ecological dynamics of range expansion. Here we test this prediction by disrupting spatial sorting in replicated invasions of the bean beetle Callosobruchus maculatus across homogeneous experimental landscapes. We show that spatial sorting promotes rapid evolution of dispersal distance, which increases the speed and variability of replicated invasions: after 10 generations of range expansion, invasions subject to spatial sorting spread 8.9% farther and exhibit 41-fold more variable spread dynamics relative to invasions in which spatial sorting is suppressed. Correspondingly, descendants from spatially evolving invasions exhibit greater mean and variance in dispersal distance. Our results reveal an important role for rapid evolution during invasion, even in the absence of environmental filters, and argue for evolutionarily informed forecasts of invasive spread by exotic species or climate change migration by native species.

RevDate: 2018-12-06

Pregitzer CC, Charlop-Powers S, Bibbo S, et al (2018)

A city-scale assessment reveals that native forest types and overstory species dominate New York City forests.

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

Cities are increasingly focused on expanding tree canopy cover as a means to improve the urban environment by, for example, reducing heat island effects, promoting better air quality, and protecting local habitat. The majority of efforts to expand canopy cover focus on planting street trees or on planting native tree species and removing nonnatives in natural areas through reforestation. Yet many urban canopy assessments conducted at the city-scale reveal co-dominance by nonnative trees, fueling debates about the value of urban forests and native-specific management targets. In contrast, assessments within cities at site or park scales find that some urban forest stands harbor predominantly native biodiversity. To resolve this apparent dichotomy in findings, about the extent to which urban forests are native dominated, between the city-scale canopy and site-level assessments, we measure forest structure and composition in 1,124 plots across 53 parks in New York City's 2,497 ha of natural area forest. That is, we assess urban forests at the city-scale and deliberately omit sampling trees existing outside of forest stands but which are enumerated in citywide canopy assessments. We find that on average forest stand canopy is comprised of 82% native species in New York City forests, suggesting that conclusions that the urban canopy is co-dominated by nonnatives likely results from predominantly sampling street trees in prior city-scale assessments. However, native tree species' proportion declines to 75% and 53% in the midstory and understory, respectively, suggesting potential threats to the future native dominance of urban forest canopies. Furthermore, we find that out of 57 unique forest types in New York City, the majority of stands (81%) are a native type. We find that stand structure in urban forest stands is more similar to rural forests in New York State than to stand structure reported for prior assessments of the urban canopy at the city scale. Our results suggest the need to measure urban forest stands apart from the entire urban canopy. Doing so will ensure that city-scale assessments return data that align with conservation policy and management strategies that focus on maintaining and growing native urban forests rather than individual trees.

RevDate: 2018-12-06

Boltovskoy D, Sylvester F, EM Paolucci (2018)

Invasive species denialism: Sorting out facts, beliefs, and definitions.

Ecology and evolution, 8(22):11190-11198 pii:ECE34588.

In the last decades, thousands of investigations confirmed the detrimental effects of species translocated by man outside of their native ranges (nonindigenous species, or NIS). However, results concluding that many NIS have null, neutral, or positive impacts on the biota and on human interests are as common in the scientific literature as those that point at baneful impacts. Recently, several scholars confronted the stand that origin per se is not a reliable indicator of negative effects, suggesting that such conclusions are the expression of scientific denialism, often led by spurious purposes, and that their numbers are increasing. When assessed in the context of the growing interest in introduced species, the proportion of academic publications claiming that NIS pose no threats to the environment and to social and economic interests is extremely low, and has not increased since 1990. The widely prevailing notion that many NIS are effectively or potentially harmful does not conflict with the fact that most have mixed (negative, neutral, and positive) impacts. When based on solid grounds, reports of positive or neutral impacts should not be labeled as manipulative or misleading unless proven otherwise, even if they may hamper interest in- and funding of research and control bioinvasion programs.

RevDate: 2018-12-06

Cheeseman AE, Ryan SJ, Whipps CM, et al (2018)

Competition alters seasonal resource selection and promotes use of invasive shrubs by an imperiled native cottontail.

Ecology and evolution, 8(22):11122-11133 pii:ECE34580.

Many ecosystems face multiple invaders, and interactions among invasive and native species may complicate conservation efforts for imperiled species. Examination of fine-scale resource selection can be used to detect patterns in habitat selection resulting from species interactions and assess the value of specific resources, including invasive plants, to wildlife. We used animal location data with mixed-effects resource selection models to examine seasonal competitive interactions and species-specific selection for forage and cover resources by an imperiled native lagomorph, the New England cottontail Sylvilagus transitionalis and its nonnative competitor, the eastern cottontail S. floridanus in the eastern Hudson Valley, NY. We found evidence that resource selection by New England cottontails depended on the relative prevalence of eastern cottontails to New England cottontails. Where eastern cottontails were less prevalent New England cottontail selected for resources characteristic of early successional shrublands. Where eastern cottontails were more prevalent, New England cottontails selected for resources characteristic of later successional shrublands. New England cottontail use of certain invasive shrubs depended on the prevalence of eastern cottontails relative to New England cottontails, suggesting response to invasive plants is confounded by interactions with a nonnative competitor. Our results further emphasize the need for conservation efforts to consider invasive management within the ecosystem context. We demonstrate the utility of resource selection studies to assist in this regard by exploring competitive interactions in the absence of removal studies, while simultaneously assessing the impact of habitat components such as invasive vegetation on species of conservation concern. Synthesis and applications Resource selection studies can be directly applied to inform ongoing species conservation where multiple invaders are present or where species interactions influence resource selection. Fine-scale assessments of resource selection, similar to those presented here, can be used to selectively manage habitat to benefit desired species within the ecosystem context.

RevDate: 2018-12-06

Davis AJ, Williams KE, Snow NP, et al (2018)

Accounting for observation processes across multiple levels of uncertainty improves inference of species distributions and guides adaptive sampling of environmental DNA.

Ecology and evolution, 8(22):10879-10892 pii:ECE34552.

Understanding factors that influence observation processes is critical for accurate assessment of underlying ecological processes. When indirect methods of detection, such as environmental DNA, are used to determine species presence, additional levels of uncertainty from observation processes need to be accounted for. We conducted a field trial to evaluate observation processes of a terrestrial invasive species (wild pigs- Sus scrofa) from DNA in water bodies. We used a multi-scale occupancy analysis to estimate different levels of observation processes (detection, p): the probability DNA is available per sample (θ), the probability of capturing DNA per extraction (γ), and the probability of amplification per qPCR run (δ). We selected four sites for each of three water body types and collected 10 samples per water body during two months (September and October 2016) in central Texas. Our methodology can be used to guide sampling adaptively to minimize costs while improving inference of species distributions. Using a removal sampling approach was more efficient than pooling samples and was unbiased. Availability of DNA varied by month, was considerably higher when water pH was near neutral, and was higher in ephemeral streams relative to wildlife guzzlers and ponds. To achieve a cumulative detection probability >90% (including availability, capture, and amplification), future studies should collect 20 water samples per site, conduct at least two extractions per sample, and conduct five qPCR replicates per extraction. Accounting for multiple levels of uncertainty of observation processes improved estimation of the ecological processes and provided guidance for future sampling designs.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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


Order from Amazon

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
21454 NE 143rd Street
Woodinville, WA 98077

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 )