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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 14 May 2021 at 01:43 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: 2021-05-13

Price MR, Hadfield MG, Knapp ISS, et al (2021)

Evolutionary genomics of endangered Hawaiian tree snails (Achatinellidae: Achatinellinae) for conservation of adaptive capacity.

PeerJ, 9:e10993 pii:10993.

Phylogenomic studies can provide insights into speciation, adaptation, and extinction, while providing a roadmap for conservation. Hawaiian tree snails are a model system for an adaptive radiation facing an extinction crisis. In the last 5 years, nearly all populations of Hawaiian tree snails across the 30 remaining species in the subfamily Achatinellinae (Achatinellidae) have declined from hundreds or thousands in the wild down to undetectable levels. Nearly 100 species historically occurred across dramatic environmental gradients on five of the Hawaiian Islands, but habitat loss, overcollection, and predation by invasive species have decimated populations. As such, this system offers the opportunity to integrate efforts to conserve evolutionary potential into conservation planning for a rapidly declining subfamily. Here, we used genome-wide, restriction-site associated DNA sequencing (RADseq), along with mitochondrial genome reconstruction, to resolve evolutionary relationships to inform conservation efforts. Phylogenetic analysis of nearly 400k genome-wide SNPs from 59 populations and 25 species across six genera in the family Achatinellidae, was generally concordant with taxonomy, geography, and mtDNA with several notable exceptions; mtDNA was unable to resolve some deeper nodes (e.g., the monophyly of Achatinella), while SNP data did not resolve as many shallow nodes. Both phylogenetic and coalescent analysis revealed deep divergences between populations within Achatinella mustelina that were consistent with species-level differences. Given cryptic species-level divergence within populations that are geographically proximate, they are at higher risk of extirpation from invasive predators and climate change than previously assumed. This study clarifies evolutionary relationships within this model system for adaptive radiation, forming the basis for conservation strategies such as translocation, captive rearing, and hybridization trials to prevent the loss of capacity to adapt to rapidly changing environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Eyer PA, Shults PT, Chura MR, et al (2021)

Divide and conquer: Multicolonial structure, nestmate recognition, and antagonistic behaviors in dense populations of the invasive ant Brachymyrmex patagonicus.

Ecology and evolution, 11(9):4874-4886 pii:ECE37396.

The ecological success of ants has made them abundant in most environments, yet inter- and intraspecific competition usually limit nest density for a given population. Most invasive ant populations circumvent this limitation through a supercolonial structure, eliminating intraspecific competition through a loss of nestmate recognition and lack of aggression toward non-nestmates. Native to South America, Brachymyrmex patagonicus has recently invaded many locations worldwide, with invasive populations described as extremely large and dense. Yet, in contrast with most invasive ants, this species exhibits a multicolonial structure, whereby each colony occupies a single nest. Here, we investigated the interplay between genetic diversity, chemical recognition, and aggressive behaviors in an invasive population of B. patagonicus. We found that, in its invasive range, this species reaches a high nest density with individual colonies located every 2.5 m and that colony boundaries are maintained through aggression toward non-nestmates. This recognition and antagonism toward non-nestmates is mediated by chemical differentiation between colonies, as different colonies exhibit distinct chemical profiles. We highlighted that the level of aggression between colonies is correlated with their degree of genetic difference, but not their overall chemical differentiation. This may suggest that only a few chemical compounds influence nestmate recognition in this species or that weak chemical differences are sufficient to elicit aggression. Overall, this study demonstrates that invasive ant populations can reach high densities despite a multicolonial structure with strong aggression between colonies, raising questions about the factors underlying their ecological success and mitigating negative consequences of competitive interactions.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Larson DL, Larson JL, Symstad AJ, et al (2021)

Coflowering invasive plants and a congener have neutral effects on fitness components of a rare endemic plant.

Ecology and evolution, 11(9):4750-4762 pii:ECE37375.

Network analyses rarely include fitness components, such as germination, to tie invasive plants to population-level effects on the natives. We address this limitation in a previously studied network of flower visitors around a suite of native and invasive plants that includes an endemic plant at Badlands National Park, South Dakota, USA. Eriogonum visheri coflowers with two abundant invasive plants, Salsola tragus and Melilotus officinalis, as well as a common congener, E. pauciflorum. Network analyses had suggested strong linkages between E. visheri and S. tragus and E. pauciflorum, with a weaker link to M. officinalis. We measured visitation, pollen deposited on stigmas, achene weight and germination over three field seasons (two for germination) in four populations (two in the final season) of E. visheri and applied in situ pollen treatments to E. visheri, adding pollen from other flowers on the same plant; flowers on other E. visheri plants; S. tragus, M. officinalis, or E. pauciflorum; open pollination; or excluding pollinators. Insect visitation to E. visheri was not affected by floral abundance of any of the focal species. Most visitors were halictid bees; one of these (Lasioglossum packeri) was the only identified species to visit E. visheri all three years. Ninety-seven percent of pollen on collected E. visheri stigmas was conspecific, but 22% of flowers had >1 grain of E. pauciflorum pollen on stigmas and 7% had >1 grain of S. tragus pollen; <1% of flowers had M. officinalis pollen on stigmas. None of the pollen treatments produced significant differences in weight or germination of E. visheri achenes. We conclude that, in contrast to the results of the network analysis, neither of the invasive species poses a threat, via heterospecific pollen deposition, to pollination of the endemic E. visheri, and that its congener provides alternative pollen resources to its pollinators.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Kelly CL, Schwarzkopf L, Gordon IJ, et al (2021)

Population growth lags in introduced species.

Ecology and evolution, 11(9):4577-4587 pii:ECE37352.

When introduced to new ecosystems, species' populations often grow immediately postrelease. Some introduced species, however, maintain a low population size for years or decades before sudden, rapid population growth is observed. Because exponential population growth always starts slowly, it can be difficult to distinguish species experiencing the early phases of slow exponential population growth (inherent lags) from those with actively delayed growth rates (prolonged lags). Introduced ungulates provide an excellent system in which to examine lags, because some introduced ungulate populations have demonstrated rapid population growth immediately postintroduction, while others have not. Using studies from the literature, we investigated which exotic ungulate species and populations (n = 36) showed prolonged population growth lags by comparing the doubling time of real ungulate populations to those predicted from exponential growth models for theoretical populations. Having identified the specific populations that displayed prolonged lags, we examined the impacts of several environmental and biological variables likely to influence the length of lag period. We found that seventeen populations (47%) showed significant prolonged population growth lags. We could not, however, determine the specific factors that contributed to the length of these lag phases, suggesting that these ungulate populations' growth is idiosyncratic and difficult to predict. Introduced species that exhibit delayed growth should be closely monitored by managers, who must be proactive in controlling their growth to minimize the impact such populations may have on their environment.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Řeřicha M, Dobeš P, M Knapp (2021)

Changes in haemolymph parameters and insect ability to respond to immune challenge during overwintering.

Ecology and evolution, 11(9):4267-4275 pii:ECE37323.

Overwintering is a challenging period in the life of temperate insects. A limited energy budget characteristic of this period can result in reduced investment in immune system. Here, we investigated selected physiological and immunological parameters in laboratory-reared and field-collected harlequin ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis). For laboratory-reared beetles, we focused on the effects of winter temperature regime (cold, average, or warm winter) on total haemocyte concentration aiming to investigate potential effects of ongoing climate change on immune system in overwintering insects. We recorded strong reduction in haemocyte concentration during winter; however, there were only limited effects of winter temperature regime on changes in haemocyte concentration in the course of overwintering. For field-collected beetles, we measured additional parameters, specifically: total protein concentration, antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli, and haemocyte concentration before and after overwintering. The field experiment did not investigate effects of winter temperature, but focused on changes in inducibility of insect immune system during overwintering, that is, measured parameters were compared between naïve beetles and those challenged by Escherichia coli. Haemocyte concentration decreased during overwintering, but only in individuals challenged by Escherichia coli. Prior to overwintering, the challenged beetles had a significantly higher haemocyte concentration compared to naïve beetles, whereas no difference was observed after overwintering. A similar pattern was observed also for antimicrobial activity against Escherichia coli as challenged beetles outperformed naïve beetles before overwintering, but not after winter. In both sexes, total protein concentration increased in the course of overwintering, but females had a significantly higher total protein concentration in their hemolymph compared to males. In general, our results revealed that insect's ability to respond to an immune challenge is significantly reduced in the course of overwintering.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Smart WA, Collier N, V Rolland (2021)

Non-native rats detected on uninhabited southern Grenadine islands with seabird colonies.

Ecology and evolution, 11(9):4172-4181 pii:ECE37313.

Seabirds are among the most endangered avian groups, with populations declining worldwide because of various threats, including invasive nest predators. Similar decreasing trends are occurring in the Southern Grenadines; however, the causes of decline remain uncertain, although non-native rats have been suspected. Therefore, our objective was to determine whether non-native rats are present on five Southern Grenadine islands that harbor seabird colonies, during May-July 2014-2017, using four methods (chew cards, tunnels, cameras, and questionnaires). Les Tantes East and Lee Rocks were the only two islands where cameras detected black rats (Rattus rattus). Although rat occupancy was low (0.125 ± 0.061) and the number of individuals and nesting attempts increased (except in 2017) for most species, the low detection probability and small number of nests prevented any inference about rat impact on seabirds. Rats might have affected seabird colonies, but other factors, such as seabird harvest, prey availability, or climatic fluctuations, could have also driven previous seabird population declines in the Southern Grenadines. However, non-native rats are present and future research should focus on estimating their density and distribution on these and other islands of the region before an appropriate rat eradication program can be implemented.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Junaedi DI, Guillera-Arroita G, Vesk PA, et al (2021)

Traits explain invasion of alien plants into tropical rainforests.

Ecology and evolution, 11(9):3808-3819 pii:ECE37206.

1. The establishment of new botanic gardens in tropical regions highlights a need for weed risk assessment tools suitable for tropical ecosystems. The relevance of plant traits for invasion into tropical rainforests has not been well studied.2. Working in and around four botanic gardens in Indonesia where 590 alien species have been planted, we estimated the effect of four plant traits, plus time since species introduction, on: (a) the naturalization probability and (b) abundance (density) of naturalized species in adjacent native tropical rainforests; and (c) the distance that naturalized alien plants have spread from the botanic gardens.3. We found that specific leaf area (SLA) strongly differentiated 23 naturalized from 78 non-naturalized alien species (randomly selected from 577 non-naturalized species) in our study. These trends may indicate that aliens with high SLA, which had a higher probability of naturalization, benefit from at least two factors when establishing in tropical forests: high growth rates and occupation of forest gaps. Naturalized aliens had high SLA and tended to be short. However, plant height was not significantly related to species' naturalization probability when considered alongside other traits.4. Alien species that were present in the gardens for over 30 years and those with small seeds also had higher probabilities of becoming naturalized, indicating that garden plants can invade the understorey of closed canopy tropical rainforests, especially when invading species are shade tolerant and have sufficient time to establish.5. On average, alien species that were not animal dispersed spread 78 m further into the forests and were more likely to naturalize than animal-dispersed species. We did not detect relationships between the measured traits and estimated density of naturalized aliens in the adjacent forests.6. Synthesis: Traits were able to differentiate alien species from botanic gardens that naturalized in native forest from those that did not; this is promising for developing trait-based risk assessment in the tropics. To limit the risk of invasion and spread into adjacent native forests, we suggest tropical botanic gardens avoid planting alien species with fast carbon capture strategies and those that are shade tolerant.

RevDate: 2021-05-12

Dias GB, Altammami MA, El-Shafie HAF, et al (2021)

Haplotype-resolved genome assembly enables gene discovery in the red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus.

Scientific reports, 11(1):9987.

The red palm weevil Rhynchophorus ferrugineus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) is an economically-important invasive species that attacks multiple species of palm trees around the world. A better understanding of gene content and function in R. ferrugineus has the potential to inform pest control strategies and thereby mitigate economic and biodiversity losses caused by this species. Using 10x Genomics linked-read sequencing, we produced a haplotype-resolved diploid genome assembly for R. ferrugineus from a single heterozygous individual with modest sequencing coverage ([Formula: see text] 62x). Benchmarking against conserved single-copy Arthropod orthologs suggests both pseudo-haplotypes in our R. ferrugineus genome assembly are highly complete with respect to gene content, and do not suffer from haplotype-induced duplication artifacts present in a recently published hybrid assembly for this species. Annotation of the larger pseudo-haplotype in our assembly provides evidence for 23,413 protein-coding loci in R. ferrugineus, including over 13,000 predicted proteins annotated with Gene Ontology terms and over 6000 loci independently supported by high-quality Iso-Seq transcriptomic data. Our assembly also includes 95% of R. ferrugineus chemosensory, detoxification and neuropeptide-related transcripts identified previously using RNA-seq transcriptomic data, and provides a platform for the molecular analysis of these and other functionally-relevant genes that can help guide management of this widespread insect pest.

RevDate: 2021-05-12
CmpDate: 2021-05-12

Lal R, Kaur A, Kaur S, et al (2021)

Nature of phytotoxic interference of alien weed 'Calyptocarpus vialis' against some crop plants.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(6):334.

Calyptocarpus vialis (syn. Synedrella vialis; Asteraceae), a native of the tropical Americas, has acquired an invasive status in the eastern Asia and Africa and, of late, in India. It is an annual herbaceous weed that forms a dominant ground cover due to its prostrate expansion and interferes with the growth of other plant species. However, the reasons for this interference are largely unknown. Therefore, we examined the allelopathic interference of C. vialis via leachation and residue degradation on the emergence, growth, and development of three crop species (Brassica nigra, Triticum aestivum, and Avena sativa). In a laboratory bioassay, the leachates (0.5-4%) of C. vialis exhibited a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on various growth parameters of the test plants. Similarly, under screenhouse, C. vialis-amended soil (1-4%) affected the growth of test species in a dose-dependent manner. Further, the phytotoxicity of the residues of C. vialis was examined using rhizospheric soil (RS) and residue-amended soil (RAS). It was observed that RAS exerted the maximum allelopathic effect on the test species accompanied by significant changes in pH, electrical conductivity, and total water-soluble phenolic content, as compared with the control soil (CS) and RS. Liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy analyses confirmed the presence of eleven allelochemicals as the major phytotoxins. The study demonstrated that C. vialis exerts strong phytotoxic effects on other plants through the release of potent allelochemicals, both via leachation and residue degradation.

RevDate: 2021-05-12
CmpDate: 2021-05-11

Stalažs A (2021)

×Sorbaronia mitschurinii: from an artificially created species to an invasion in Europe: repeating the fate of invasive Amelanchier ×spicata, a review.

Journal of plant research, 134(3):497-507.

By intervening in natural events, relocating species to other areas, purposefully hybridizing them, as well as reducing the habitats required for them, humans have created conditions for new hybrid species to emerge. As long as hybrids exist in our gardens and fields, we have no reason to worry. However, problems arise with the expansion of these hybrid species into natural habitats, where such hybrid species cannot always be recognized and remain unnoticed, and in most cases they are often mistaken for natural parent species. Two hybrid species, Amelanchier ×spicata and ×Sorbaronia mitschurinii have historically developed in Europe with different scenarios of origin. It has been suggested in the past that both species are of hybrid origin, and recent molecular studies have confirmed the previous assumptions. There is no doubt that A. ×spicata originated in a natural way of hybridization, when the two parental species came into contact in Europe, but ×S. mitschurinii is a purposefully created species, crossing ×Sorbaronia fallax with Aronia melanocarpa. Produced as a result of different scenarios, these two hybrid species have become invasive in Europe, and ×S. mitschurinii has started to follow in the footsteps of the highly invasive A. ×spicata, spreading in the wild, where it predominantly expands in pine forests and in wetland forests along water bodies and bogs. Moreover, ×S. mitschurinii occupies the same habitats in Europe as one of its parent plants, A. melanocarpa in North America, and this species is a threat to wetland forest habitats. Given that ×S. mitschurinii has long been regarded as one of Aronia species, the exact distribution of the species in Europe is unknown, but the following countries are currently reporting the presence of the species in Europe: Belarus, Belgium, Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russian Federation, Sweden, Ukraine and United Kingdom. In the light of current knowledge, further studies on ×S. mitschurinii invasion in Europe are needed, as well as the need to correct the information in international databases, such as CABI, NOBANIS, to separate ×S. mitschurinii data from what applies to Aronia taxa.

RevDate: 2021-05-12
CmpDate: 2021-05-12

Xing J, Jia X, Wang H, et al (2021)

The legacy of bacterial invasions on soil native communities.

Environmental microbiology, 23(2):669-681.

Soil microbial communities are often not resistant to the impact caused by microbial invasions, both in terms of structure and functionality, but it remains unclear whether these changes persist over time. Here, we used three strains of Escherichia coli O157:H7 (E. coli O157:H7), a species used for modelling bacterial invasions, to evaluate the resilience of the bacterial communities from four Chinese soils to invasion. The impact of E. coli O157:H7 strains on soil native communities was tracked for 120 days by analysing bacterial community composition as well as their metabolic potential. We showed that soil native communities were not resistant to invasion, as demonstrated by a decline in bacterial diversity and shifts in bacterial composition in all treatments. The resilience of native bacterial communities (diversity and composition) was inversely correlated with invader's persistence in soils (R2 = 0.487, p < 0.001). Microbial invasions also impacted the functionality of the soil communities (niche breadth and community niche), the degree of resilience being dependent on soil or native community diversity. Collectively, our results indicate that bacteria invasions can potentially leave a footprint in the structure and functionality of soil communities, indicating the need of assessing the legacy of introducing exotic species in soil environments.

RevDate: 2021-05-11

Chaudhary A, Sarkar MS, Adhikari BS, et al (2021)

Ageratina adenophora and Lantana camara in Kailash Sacred Landscape, India: Current distribution and future climatic scenarios through modeling.

PloS one, 16(5):e0239690 pii:PONE-D-20-28465.

The Himalayan region is one of the global biodiversity hotspots. However, its biodiversity and ecosystems are threatened due to abiotic and biotic drivers. One of the major biotic threats to biodiversity in this region is the rapid spread of Invasive Alien Species (IAS). Natural forests and grasslands are increasingly getting infested by IAS affecting regeneration of native species and decline in availability of bio-resources. Assessing the current status of IAS and prediction of their future spread would be vital for evolving specific species management interventions. Keeping this in view, we conducted an in-depth study on two IASs, viz., Ageratina adenophora and Lantana camara in the Indian part of Kailash Sacred Landscape (KSL), Western Himalaya. Intensive field surveys were conducted to collect the presence of A. adenophora (n = 567) and L. camara (n = 120) along an altitudinal gradient between 300 and 3000 m a.s.l. We performed Principal Component Analysis to nullify the multi-colinearity effects of the environmental predictors following MaxEnt species distribution model in the current and future climatic scenarios for both the species. All current and future model precision (i.e., Area Under the Curve; AUC) for both species was higher than 0.81. It is predicted that under the current rate of climate change and higher emission (i.e., RCP 8.5 pathway), A. adenophora will spread 45.3% more than its current distribution and is likely to reach up to 3029 m a.s.l., whereas, L. camara will spread 29.8% more than its current distribution range and likely to reach up to 3018 m a.s.l. Our results will help in future conservation planning and participatory management of forests and grasslands in the Kailash Sacred Landscape-India.

RevDate: 2021-05-11

Muhawenimana V, Thomas JR, Wilson CAME, et al (2021)

Temperature surpasses the effects of velocity and turbulence on swimming performance of two invasive non-native fish species.

Royal Society open science, 8(2):201516 pii:rsos201516.

Global climate change continues to impact fish habitat quality and biodiversity, especially in regard to the dynamics of invasive non-native species. Using individual aquaria and an open channel flume, this study evaluated the effects of water temperature, flow velocity and turbulence interactions on swimming performance of two lentic, invasive non-native fish in the UK, pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) and topmouth gudgeon (Pseudorasbora parva). Burst and sustained swimming tests were conducted at 15, 20 and 25°C. Acoustic Doppler velocimetry was used to measure the flume hydrodynamic flow characteristics. Both L. gibbosus and P. parva occupied the near-bed regions of the flume, conserving energy and seeking refuge in the low mean velocities flow areas despite the relatively elevated turbulent fluctuations, a behaviour which depended on temperature. Burst swimming performance and sustained swimming increased by up to 53% as temperature increased from 15 to 20°C and 71% between 15 and 25°C. Furthermore, fish test area occupancy was dependent on thermal conditions, as well as on time-averaged velocities and turbulent fluctuations. This study suggests that invasive species can benefit from the raised temperatures predicted under climate change forecasts by improving swimming performance in flowing water potentially facilitating their further dispersal and subsequent establishment in lotic environments.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Weißinger L, Arand K, Bieler E, et al (2021)

Physical and Chemical Traits of Grape Varieties Influence Drosophila suzukii Preferences and Performance.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:664636.

The cuticle-covered surface forms the interface between plant parts, including fruits, and their environment. The physical and chemical properties of fruit surfaces profoundly influence plant-frugivore interactions by shaping the susceptibility and suitability of the host for the attacker. Grapevine (Vitis vinifera, Vitaceae) serves as one of the various host plants of the spotted wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura (Diptera: Drosophilidae), which is invasive in several parts of the world and can cause major crop losses. The susceptibility of wine towards this pest species differs widely among varieties. The objective of our study was to identify physical and chemical traits of the berry surface that may explain the differences in susceptibility of five grape varieties to D. suzukii. Both preferences of adult D. suzukii and offspring performance on intact versus dewaxed (epicuticular wax layer mechanically removed) grape berries were investigated in dual-choice assays. Moreover, the morphology and chemical composition of cuticular waxes and cutin of the different varieties were analyzed. Bioassays revealed that the epicuticular wax layer of most tested grape varieties influenced the preference behavior of adult flies; even less susceptible varieties became more susceptible after removal of these waxes. In contrast, neither offspring performance nor berry skin firmness were affected by the epicuticular wax layer. The wax morphology and the composition of both epi- and intracuticular waxes differed pronouncedly, especially between more and less susceptible varieties, while cutin was dominated by ω-OH-9/10-epoxy-C18 acid and the amount was comparable among varieties within sampling time. Our results highlight the underestimated role of the epicuticular surface and cuticle integrity in grape susceptibility to D. suzukii.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Javal M, Terblanche JS, Conlong DE, et al (2021)

DNA barcoding for bio-surveillance of emerging pests and species identification in Afrotropical Prioninae (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae).

Biodiversity data journal, 9:e64499 pii:64499.

DNA barcoding has been succesfully used for bio-surveillance of forest and agricultural pests in temperate areas, but has few applications in the tropics and particulary in Africa. Cacosceles newmannii (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is a Prioninae species that is locally causing extensive damage in commercially-grown sugarcane in the KwaZulu-Natal Province in South Africa. Due to the risk of spread of this species to the rest of southern Africa and to other sugarcane growing regions, clear and easy identification of this pest is critical for monitoring and for phytosanitary services. The genus Cacosceles Newman, 1838 includes four species, most being very similar in morphology. The damaging stage of the species is the larva, which is inherently difficult to distinguish morphologically from other Cerambycidae species. A tool for rapid and reliable identification of this species was needed by plant protection and quarantine agencies to monitor its potential abundance and spread. Here, we provide newly-generated barcodes for C. newmannii that can be used to reliably identify any life stage, even by non-trained taxonomists. In addition, we compiled a curated DNA barcoding reference library for 70 specimens of 20 named species of Afrotropical Prioninae to evaluate DNA barcoding as a valid tool to identify them. We also assessed the level of deeply conspecific mitochondrial lineages. Sequences were assigned to 42 different Barcode Index Numbers (BINs), 28 of which were new to BOLD. Out of the 20 named species barcoded, 11 (52.4%) had their own unique Barcode Index Number (BIN). Eight species (38.1%) showed multiple BINs with no morphological differentiation. Amongst them, C. newmannii showed two highly divergent genetic clusters which co-occur sympatrically, but further investigation is required to test whether they could represent new cryptic species.

RevDate: 2021-05-09

Wang Y, Xiong Y, Wang Y, et al (2021)

Long period exposure to serious cadmium pollution benefits an invasive plant (Alternanthera philoxeroides) competing with its native congener (Alternanthera sessilis).

The Science of the total environment, 786:147456 pii:S0048-9697(21)02527-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Many aggressive plants possess high tolerance to heavy metals, but little is known about their invasiveness at heavy metal polluted sites. We performed a greenhouse experiment to examine the impacts of Cd (0, 10, 30, 60, and 100 mg kg-1) and inter-specific competition on the reproductive capability of an invasive plant, Alternanthera philoxeroides, and its native congener, Alternanthera sessilis. We also examined the population dynamics of both native and invasive species in a simulated field experiment. Compared with A. philoxeroides, native A. sessilis was a stronger competitor as measured by vegetative growth, sexual reproduction, and dominance status in a mixed culture. However, A. philoxeroides showed great plasticity in root mass ratio that was positively affected by inter-specific competition and high Cd levels. Such high root allocation might allow for delayed growth of A. philoxeroides rhizomes as the relative cover of A. philoxeroides to A. sessilis in the field experiment gradually increased and > 1 after nine months culture, especially at high Cd treatment. Our results suggest that the invasiveness of A. philoxeroides is highly context- and time-dependent. In severely polluted environments, clonal propagation of A. sessilis is likely inhibited by the synergistic negative effects of inter-specific competition and heavy metal pollution, and a long time co-existence of these two competing species would facilitate the colonization of invasive plant.

RevDate: 2021-05-10
CmpDate: 2021-05-10

Cull B (2021)

Potential for online crowdsourced biological recording data to complement surveillance for arthropod vectors.

PloS one, 16(4):e0250382.

Voluntary contributions by citizen scientists can gather large datasets covering wide geographical areas, and are increasingly utilized by researchers for multiple applications, including arthropod vector surveillance. Online platforms such as iNaturalist accumulate crowdsourced biological observations from around the world and these data could also be useful for monitoring vectors. The aim of this study was to explore the availability of observations of important vector taxa on the iNaturalist platform and examine the utility of these data to complement existing vector surveillance activities. Of ten vector taxa investigated, records were most numerous for mosquitoes (Culicidae; 23,018 records, 222 species) and ticks (Ixodida; 16,214 records, 87 species), with most data from 2019-2020. Case studies were performed to assess whether images associated with records were of sufficient quality to identify species and compare iNaturalist observations of vector species to the known situation at the state, national and regional level based on existing published data. Firstly, tick data collected at the national (United Kingdom) or state (Minnesota, USA) level were sufficient to determine seasonal occurrence and distribution patterns of important tick species, and were able to corroborate and complement known trends in tick distribution. Importantly, tick species with expanding distributions (Haemaphysalis punctata in the UK, and Amblyomma americanum in Minnesota) were also detected. Secondly, using iNaturalist data to monitor expanding tick species in Europe (Hyalomma spp.) and the USA (Haemaphysalis longicornis), and invasive Aedes mosquitoes in Europe, showed potential for tracking these species within their known range as well as identifying possible areas of expansion. Despite known limitations associated with crowdsourced data, this study shows that iNaturalist can be a valuable source of information on vector distribution and seasonality that could be used to supplement existing vector surveillance data, especially at a time when many surveillance programs may have been interrupted by COVID-19 restrictions.

RevDate: 2021-05-10

Trisos MO, Parr CL, Davies AB, et al (2021)

Mammalian herbivore movement into drought refugia has cascading effects on savanna insect communities.

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

Global climate change is predicted to increase the frequency of droughts, with major impacts on tropical savannas. It has been suggested that during drought, increased soil moisture and nutrients on termite mounds could benefit plants but it is unclear how such benefits could cascade to affect insect communities. Here, we describe the effects of drought on vegetation structure, the cascading implications for invertebrates and how termite mounds influence such effects. We compared how changes in grass biomass affected grasshopper and ant diversity on and off Macrotermes mounds before (2012) and during a drought (2016) at two locations that experienced large variation in drought severity (Skukuza and Pretoriuskop) in the Kruger National Park, South Africa. The 2013-2016 drought was not ubiquitous across the study site, with rainfall decreasing at Skukuza and being above average at Pretoriuskop. However, grass biomass declined at both locations. Grasshopper abundance decreased at droughted Skukuza both on and off mounds but decreased on mounds and increased off mounds at non-droughted Pretoriuskop. Ant abundance and species richness increased at Skukuza but remained the same on mounds and decreased off mounds at Pretoriuskop. Our results demonstrate the spatially extensive effects of drought. Despite above average rainfall in 2016 at Pretoriuskop, grass biomass decreased, likely due to an influx of large mammalian herbivores from drought-affected areas. This decrease in grass biomass cascaded to affect grasshoppers and ants, further illustrating the effects of drought on invertebrates in adjoining areas with higher rainfall. Our grasshopper results also suggest that increased drought in savannas will contribute to overall declines in insect abundance. Moreover, our recorded increase in ant abundance was primarily in the form of increases in dominant species, illustrating how drought-induced shifts in relative abundance will likely influence ecosystem structure and function. Our study highlights the phenomenon of spill-over drought effects and suggests rather than mitigating drought, termite mounds can instead become the focus for more intense grazing, with important consequences for insect communities.

RevDate: 2021-05-07

Beranek CT, Maynard C, McHenry C, et al (2021)

Rapid population increase of the threatened Australian amphibian Litoria aurea in response to wetlands constructed as a refuge from chytrid-induced disease and introduced fish.

Journal of environmental management, 291:112638 pii:S0301-4797(21)00700-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Amphibians have declined due to multiple impacts including invasive fish and the disease chytridiomycosis caused by the chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). Wetland restoration can be used to increase amphibian populations. However the design of created wetlands must account for threats such as Bd and introduced fish. There have been no attempts on a landscape level to manage these threats with habitat design. Here we monitored the green and golden bell frog (Litoria aurea) in 2.6 ha of constructed wetlands designed to enhance breeding and increase survival through passive mitigation of Bd and exotic fish. We compared the fecundity, adult population sizes, introduced fish occupancy, Bd prevalence and survival rates of frogs in created wetlands (CW) to three control sites to determine if and why the habitat design was successful. Monitoring involved weekly capture-recapture during the austral spring and summer for three L. aurea breeding seasons. We hypothesised that (1) if the CWs were successful in passively limiting fish colonisation, a larger number of breeding events would be detected compared to control sites which are known to be widely colonised by introduced fish. (2) If the wetlands were successful in passively mitigating Bd, then we would observe an equal or greater survival rate and equal to or lower Bd prevalence compared to control wetlands. We observed a 3.3-fold increase in adult population size in CW from season 1 to 2, and the population increased further in season 3.We found strong support for hypothesis (1) and weak support for (2). Based on these results, we conclude that this design was beneficial shortly after their formation primarily due to fish exclusion, but further study is required to determine if these benefits extend long-term. Future amphibian restoration studies are needed to improve the design of wetlands to enhance suppression of Bd.

RevDate: 2021-05-07
CmpDate: 2021-05-07

Esser HJ, Liefting Y, Ibáñez-Justicia A, et al (2020)

Spatial risk analysis for the introduction and circulation of six arboviruses in the Netherlands.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):464.

BACKGROUND: Arboviruses are a growing public health concern in Europe, with both endemic and exotic arboviruses expected to spread further into novel areas in the next decades. Predicting where future outbreaks will occur is a major challenge, particularly for regions where these arboviruses are not endemic. Spatial modelling of ecological risk factors for arbovirus circulation can help identify areas of potential emergence. Moreover, combining hazard maps of different arboviruses may facilitate a cost-efficient, targeted multiplex-surveillance strategy in areas where virus transmission is most likely. Here, we developed predictive hazard maps for the introduction and/or establishment of six arboviruses that were previously prioritized for the Netherlands: West Nile virus, Japanese encephalitis virus, Rift Valley fever virus, tick-borne encephalitis virus, louping-ill virus and Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever virus.

METHODS: Our spatial model included ecological risk factors that were identified as relevant for these arboviruses by an earlier systematic review, including abiotic conditions, vector abundance, and host availability. We used geographic information system (GIS)-based tools and geostatistical analyses to model spatially continuous datasets on these risk factors to identify regions in the Netherlands with suitable ecological conditions for arbovirus introduction and establishment.

RESULTS: The resulting hazard maps show that there is spatial clustering of areas with either a relatively low or relatively high environmental suitability for arbovirus circulation. Moreover, there was some overlap in high-hazard areas for virus introduction and/or establishment, particularly in the southern part of the country.

CONCLUSIONS: The similarities in environmental suitability for some of the arboviruses provide opportunities for targeted sampling of vectors and/or sentinel hosts in these potential hotspots of emergence, thereby increasing the efficient use of limited resources for surveillance.

RevDate: 2021-05-07
CmpDate: 2021-05-07

Cech G, Sándor D, Molnár K, et al (2020)

New record of metacercariae of the North American Posthodiplostomum centrarchi (Digenea, Diplostomidae) in pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) in Hungary.

Acta veterinaria Hungarica, 68(1):20-29.

Two species of the genus Posthodiplostomum (Digenea: Diplostomatidae) (Posthodiplostomum brevicaudatum Nordmann, 1832 and Posthodiplostomum cuticola Nordmann, 1832) are known as parasites of Hungarian native fishes. Metacercariae of P. cuticola are widespread in Europe and cause black spot disease. Several species of Posthodiplostomum were described also from North America but none of them has been isolated in Hungary up to now. Posthodiplostomum centrarchi Hoffman, 1958 has been detected recently in pumpkinseeds (Lepomis gibbosus L., 1758) in several European countries. Posthodiplostomum centrarchi was isolated for the first time in Hungary from pumpkinseeds caught in the Maconka water reservoir in 2015. Thereafter, several natural waters (e.g. the River Danube, Lake Balaton and the Sió channel) were sampled in order to determine its presence and distribution. Only the native species P. cuticola was detected in Lake Balaton on cyprinids but a relatively high infection rate of P. centrarchi was observed in the Sió channel close to the lake. Pathological changes were absent, and metacercariae were mostly attached to the surface of the liver, kidney and heart. The phylogenetic analysis of the ITS and COI sequences of P. centrarchi and P. cuticola clustered into two distinct branches, which was in agreement with the morphological results.

RevDate: 2021-05-06

Skrede I, Murat C, Hess J, et al (2021)

Contrasting demographic histories revealed in two invasive populations of the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Globalization and international trade have impacted organisms around the world leading to a considerable number of species establishing in new geographic areas. Many organisms have taken advantage of human-made environments, including buildings. One such species is the dry rot fungus Serpula lacrymans, which is the most aggressive wood-decay fungus in indoor environments in temperate regions. Using population genomic analyses of 36 full genome sequenced isolates, we demonstrated that European and Japanese isolates are highly divergent and the populations split 3,000 - 19,000 generations ago, probably predating human influence. Approximately 250 generations ago, the European population went through a tight bottleneck, likely corresponding to the fungus colonization of the built environment in Europe. The demographic history of these populations, probably lead to low adaptive potential. Only two loci under selection were identified using a Fst outlier approach, and selective sweep analyses identified three loci with extended haplotype homozygosity. The selective sweep analyses found signals in genes possibly related to decay of various substrates in Japan and in genes involved DNA replication and protein modification in Europe. Our results suggest that the dry rot fungus independently established in indoor environments in Europe and Japan and that invasive species can potentially establish large populations in new habitats based on a few colonizing individuals.

RevDate: 2021-05-06

Kaya C, Generalovic TN, Ståhls G, et al (2021)

Global population genetic structure and demographic trajectories of the black soldier fly, Hermetia illucens.

BMC biology, 19(1):94.

BACKGROUND: The black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens) is the most promising insect candidate for nutrient-recycling through bioconversion of organic waste into biomass, thereby improving sustainability of protein supplies for animal feed and facilitating transition to a circular economy. Contrary to conventional livestock, genetic resources of farmed insects remain poorly characterised. We present the first comprehensive population genetic characterisation of H. illucens. Based on 15 novel microsatellite markers, we genotyped and analysed 2862 individuals from 150 wild and captive populations originating from 57 countries on seven subcontinents.

RESULTS: We identified 16 well-distinguished genetic clusters indicating substantial global population structure. The data revealed genetic hotspots in central South America and successive northwards range expansions within the indigenous ranges of the Americas. Colonisations and naturalisations of largely unique genetic profiles occurred on all non-native continents, either preceded by demographically independent founder events from various single sources or involving admixture scenarios. A decisive primarily admixed Polynesian bridgehead population serially colonised the entire Australasian region and its secondarily admixed descendants successively mediated invasions into Africa and Europe. Conversely, captive populations from several continents traced back to a single North American origin and exhibit considerably reduced genetic diversity, although some farmed strains carry distinct genetic signatures. We highlight genetic footprints characteristic of progressing domestication due to increasing socio-economic importance of H. illucens, and ongoing introgression between domesticated strains globally traded for large-scale farming and wild populations in some regions.

CONCLUSIONS: We document the dynamic population genetic history of a cosmopolitan dipteran of South American origin shaped by striking geographic patterns. These reflect both ancient dispersal routes, and stochastic and heterogeneous anthropogenic introductions during the last century leading to pronounced diversification of worldwide structure of H. illucens. Upon the recent advent of its agronomic commercialisation, however, current human-mediated translocations of the black soldier fly largely involve genetically highly uniform domesticated strains, which meanwhile threaten the genetic integrity of differentiated unique local resources through introgression. Our in-depth reconstruction of the contemporary and historical demographic trajectories of H. illucens emphasises benchmarking potential for applied future research on this emerging model of the prospering insect-livestock sector.

RevDate: 2021-05-06
CmpDate: 2021-05-06

Wang HH, Grant WE, Teel PD, et al (2020)

Enhanced biosurveillance of high-consequence invasive pests: southern cattle fever ticks, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) microplus, on livestock and wildlife.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):487.

BACKGROUND: Some tick species are invasive and of high consequence to public and veterinary health. Socioeconomic development of rural parts of the USA was enabled partly through the eradication by 1943 of cattle fever ticks (CFT, Rhipicephalus (Boophilus) annulatus and R. (B.) microplus). The southern cattle fever ticks (SCFT, R. (B.) microplus) remain a real and present threat to the USA animal agriculture because they are established in Mexico. Livestock-wildlife interactions in the Permanent Quarantine Zone (PQZ) established by the century-old Cattle Fever Tick Eradication Programme (CFTEP) in south Texas endanger its operations.

METHODS: We describe a spatially-explicit, individual-based model that simulates interactions between cattle, white-tailed deer (WTD, Odocoileus virginianus), and nilgai (Boselaphus tragocamelus) to assess the risk for SCFT infestations across the pathogenic landscape in the PQZ and beyond. We also investigate the potential role of nilgai in sustaining SCFT populations by simulating various hypothetical infestation and eradication scenarios.

RESULTS: All infestation scenarios resulted in a phase transition from a relatively small proportion of the ranch infested to almost the entire ranch infested coinciding with the typical period of autumn increases in off-host tick larvae. Results of eradication scenarios suggest that elimination of all on-host ticks on cattle, WTD, or nilgai would have virtually no effect on the proportion of the ranch infested or on the proportions of different tick habitat types infested; the entire ranch would remain infested. If all on-host ticks were eliminated on cattle and WTD, WTD and nilgai, or cattle and nilgai, the proportions of the ranch infested occasionally would drop to 0.6, 0.6 and 0.2, respectively. Differences in proportions of the ranch infested from year to year were due to primarily to differences in winter weather conditions, whereas infestation differences among tick habitat types were due primarily to habitat use preferences of hosts.

CONCLUSIONS: Infestations in nilgai augment SCFT refugia enabled by WTD and promote pest persistence across the landscape and cattle parasitism. Our study documented the utility of enhanced biosurveillance using simulation tools to mitigate risk and enhance operations of area-wide tick management programmes like the CFTEP through integrated tactics for SCFT suppression.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Sahlin U, Troffaes MCM, L Edsman (2021)

Robust Decision Analysis under Severe Uncertainty and Ambiguous Tradeoffs: An Invasive Species Case Study.

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

Bayesian decision analysis is a useful method for risk management decisions, but is limited in its ability to consider severe uncertainty in knowledge, and value ambiguity in management objectives. We study the use of robust Bayesian decision analysis to handle problems where one or both of these issues arise. The robust Bayesian approach models severe uncertainty through bounds on probability distributions, and value ambiguity through bounds on utility functions. To incorporate data, standard Bayesian updating is applied on the entire set of distributions. To elicit our expert's utility representing the value of different management objectives, we use a modified version of the swing weighting procedure that can cope with severe value ambiguity. We demonstrate these methods on an environmental management problem to eradicate an alien invasive marmorkrebs recently discovered in Sweden, which needed a rapid response despite substantial knowledge gaps if the species was still present (i.e., severe uncertainty) and the need for difficult tradeoffs and competing interests (i.e., value ambiguity). We identify that the decision alternatives to drain the system and remove individuals in combination with dredging and sieving with or without a degradable biocide, or increasing pH, are consistently bad under the entire range of probability and utility bounds. This case study shows how robust Bayesian decision analysis provides a transparent methodology for integrating information in risk management problems where little data are available and/or where the tradeoffs are ambiguous.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Schatz AM, AW Park (2021)

Host and parasite traits predict cross-species parasite acquisition by introduced mammals.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1950):20210341.

Species invasions and range shifts can lead to novel host-parasite communities, but we lack general rules on which new associations are likely to form. While many studies examine parasite sharing among host species, the directionality of transmission is typically overlooked, impeding our ability to derive principles of parasite acquisition. Consequently, we analysed parasite records from the non-native ranges of 11 carnivore and ungulate species. Using boosted regression trees, we modelled parasite acquisition within each zoogeographic realm of a focal host's non-native range, using a suite of predictors characterizing the parasites themselves and the host community in which they live. We found that higher parasite prevalence among established hosts increases the likelihood of acquisition, particularly for generalist parasites. Non-native host species are also more likely to acquire parasites from established host species to which they are closely related; however, the acquisition of several parasite groups is biased to phylogenetically specialist parasites, indicating potential costs of parasite generalism. Statistical models incorporating these features provide an accurate prediction of parasite acquisition, indicating that measurable host and parasite traits can be used to estimate the likelihood of new host-parasite associations forming. This work provides general rules to help anticipate novel host-parasite associations created by climate change and other anthropogenic influences.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Scolari F, Valerio F, Benelli G, et al (2021)

Tephritid Fruit Fly Semiochemicals: Current Knowledge and Future Perspectives.

Insects, 12(5): pii:insects12050408.

The Dipteran family Tephritidae (true fruit flies) comprises more than 5000 species classified in 500 genera distributed worldwide. Tephritidae include devastating agricultural pests and highly invasive species whose spread is currently facilitated by globalization, international trade and human mobility. The ability to identify and exploit a wide range of host plants for oviposition, as well as effective and diversified reproductive strategies, are among the key features supporting tephritid biological success. Intraspecific communication involves the exchange of a complex set of sensory cues that are species- and sex-specific. Chemical signals, which are standing out in tephritid communication, comprise long-distance pheromones emitted by one or both sexes, cuticular hydrocarbons with limited volatility deposited on the surrounding substrate or on the insect body regulating medium- to short-distance communication, and host-marking compounds deposited on the fruit after oviposition. In this review, the current knowledge on tephritid chemical communication was analysed with a special emphasis on fruit fly pest species belonging to the Anastrepha, Bactrocera,&nbsp;Ceratitis, and Rhagoletis genera. The multidisciplinary approaches adopted for characterising tephritid semiochemicals, and the real-world applications and challenges for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and biological control strategies are critically discussed. Future perspectives for targeted research on fruit fly chemical communication are highlighted.

RevDate: 2021-05-05

Rysiak A, Dresler S, Hanaka A, et al (2021)

High Temperature Alters Secondary Metabolites and Photosynthetic Efficiency in Heracleum sosnowskyi.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(9): pii:ijms22094756.

Due to global warming, invasive species have spread across the world. We therefore studied the impact of short-term (1 day or 2 days) and longer (7 days) heat stress on photosynthesis and secondary metabolites in Heracleum sosnowskyi, one of the important invasive species in the European Union. H. sosnowskyi leaves exposed to short-term heat stress (35 °C/1 d) showed a decrease in chlorophyll and maximum potential quantum efficiency of photosystem II (Fv/Fm) compared to control, 35 °C/2 d, or 30 °C/7 d treatments. In turn, the high level of lipid peroxidation and increased H2O2 accumulation indicated that the 30 °C/7 d stress induced oxidative damage. The contents of xanthotoxin and bergapten were elevated in the 2 d and 7 d treatments, while isopimpinellin was detected only in the heat-stressed plants. Additionally, the levels of free proline and anthocyanins significantly increased in response to high temperature, with a substantially higher increase in the 7 d (30 °C) treatment. The results indicate that the accumulation of proline, anthocyanins, and furanocoumarins, but not of phenolic acids or flavonols, contributes to protection of H. sosnowskyi plants against heat stress. Further studies could focus on the suppression of these metabolites to suppress the spread of this invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-05-04

Çinar ME, Bilecenoğlu M, Yokeş MB, et al (2021)

Current status (as of end of 2020) of marine alien species in Turkey.

PloS one, 16(5):e0251086 pii:PONE-D-21-00375.

The 2020's update of marine alien species list from Turkey yielded a total of 539 species belonging to 18 taxonomic groups, 404 of which have become established in the region and 135 species are casual. A total of 185 new alien species have been added to the list since the previous update of 2011. The present compilation includes reports of an ascidian species (Rhodosoma turcicum) new to the marine fauna of Turkey and range extensions of six species. Among the established species, 105 species have invasive characters at least in one zoogeographic region, comprising 19% of all alien species. Mollusca ranked first in terms of the number of species (123 species), followed by Foraminifera (91 species), Pisces (80 species) and Arthropoda (79 species). The number of alien species found in seas surrounding Turkey ranged from 28 (Black Sea) to 413 (Levantine Sea). The vectoral importance of the Suez Canal diminishes when moving from south to north, accounting for 72% of species introductions in the Levantine Sea vs. only 11% of species introductions in the Black Sea. Most alien species on the coasts of Turkey were originated from the Red Sea (58%), due to the proximity of the country to the Suez Canal. Shipping activities transported 39% of alien species, mainly from the Indo-Pacific area (20%) and the Atlantic Ocean (10%). Misidentified species (such as Pterois volitans, Trachurus declivis, etc.) and species those classified as questionable or cryptogenic were omitted from the list based on new data gathered in the last decade and expert judgements. The documented impacts of invasive species on socio-economy, biodiversity and human health in the last decade as well as the legislation and management backgrounds against alien species in Turkey are presented.

RevDate: 2021-05-04

Moragrega C, Carol J, Bisbe E, et al (2021)

First report of Verticillium wilt and mortality of Ailanthus altissima caused by Verticillium dahliae and V. albo-atrum sensu lato in Spain.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) swingle is a highly invasive tree that has become established worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean Basin because of its good drought resistance. Ailanthus altissima is included in the list of Invasive Alien Species of the EU, so measures for eradication and management are required. Assessment for potential biological control agents is of great interest to manage this invasive tree in natural ecosystems. Verticillium dahliae Kleb. and Verticillium nonalfalfae Inderb. et al. (formerly V. albo-atrum Reinke & Berthold) have been reported as the causal agents of Verticillium wilt and mortality of ailanthus (Shall and Davis 2009; Rebbeck et al., 2013; Snyder et al., 2013; Brooks et al. 2020). Ailanthus trees with Verticillium wilt symptoms (wilt, premature defoliation, terminal dieback, yellow vascular discoloration, and mortality) were detected for the first time in 2007 in Celrà (42.040466N, 2.864436E) (Catalonia, Northeastern Spain), then spread to neighboring ailanthus populations. In 2018, ailanthus trees in a 570 km2 area in Catalonia were surveyed for disease symptoms. The incidence of wilt disease in ailanthus trees in forest ecosystems ranged from 50 to 90%, and the severity, 60 to 92%. One hundred and fifty branch samples showing wilt symptoms were collected and disinfected by immersion in 1% sodium hypochlorite for 2 min, then cut into 5mm pieces. These were placed onto PDA plates and incubated at 22.5 °C and 12 h light photoperiod for 7-10 days. Eighty-four tentative Verticillium sp. isolates were recovered and subcultured on modified water agar (WA-p) and PDA for identification (Inderbitzin et al. 2011, 2013). The majority of isolates (77 %) were identified as V. dahliae based on morphology; production of brown-pigmented microsclerotia and conidia features and dimensions (5.7 ± 0.9 μm long). Sequencing of mycelial DNA using primer pair ITS1-F and ITS4, resulted in consensus sequences of 503 bp. BLASTn analysis of ITS sequence of native isolate VdGi688 gave 100% identity to the ITS sequences of V. dahliae type strain PD322 (92% coverage) and Vd16_9 (100% coverage). In addition, 23% isolates morphologically corresponded to V. albo-atrum or V. nonalfalfae; melanized resting mycelia and round to oval-shaped conidia (5.2 ± 0.9 μm × 2.2 ± 0.5 μm). The ITS consensus sequence (544 bp) of native isolate VaaGi02 gave 99% identity (90-100 % coverage) to V. albo-atrum isolates CBS 127169, PSU 140, Vaa_TN1 and to V. nonalfalfae type PD592, CBS5451.88 and Vert 18. Sequences from isolates VdGi688 and VaaGi02 were deposited in GenBank as MW624723 and MW624724, respectively. Koch's postulates for seven V. dahliae isolates and eight V. albo-atrum isolates were fulfilled by injection of 1 mL of 1 x 107 conidia/mL suspension into the stem of A. altissima seedlings under greenhouse conditions. Six plants were inoculated per isolate in two independent experiments. Control plants were inoculated with sterile distilled water. All isolates caused leaf chlorosis, defoliation, and apical stem death, as well as internal necrosis and vascular discoloration. Control plants remained asymptomatic. The pathogens were re-isolated from internal symptomatic tissues of inoculated plants. To our knowledge, this is the first report of V. dahliae and V. albo-atrum sensu lato causing Verticillium wilt on A. altissima in Spain. The study suggests the potential of native isolates of Verticillum spp. in the biological control of ailanthus in the Mediterranean Basin. This work was funded by the Diputació de Girona (Spain) (2017/8719, 2019/3091, 2020/7565, and 2021/1468).

RevDate: 2021-05-04

Chen F, Ye J, Liu W, et al (2021)

Knockout of a highly GC-rich gene in Burkholderia pyrrocinia by recombineering with freeze-thawing transformation.

Molecular plant pathology [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic transformation is a valuable and essential method that provides powerful insights into the gene function of microorganisms and contributes to the construction of engineered bacteria. Here, we developed a novel genetic transformation system to easily knock out a highly GC-rich gene (74.71% GC) from Burkholderia pyrrocinia JK-SH007, a biocontrol strain of poplar canker disease. This system revealed a reliable selectable marker (trimethoprim resistance gene, Tmp) and a simplified, efficient transformation method (6,363.64 CFU/μg, pHKT2) that was developed via freeze-thawing. The knockout recombineering of B. pyrrocinia JK-SH007 was achieved through a suicide plasmid with a three-fragment mutagenesis construct. The three-fragment cassette for mutagenesis was generated by overlap extension and touchdown PCRs and composed of Tmp flanked by GC-rich upstream and downstream fragments from B. pyrrocinia JK-SH007. The mutant strain (ΔBpEG), which was verified by PCR, lost 93.3% of its ability to degrade carboxymethyl cellulose over 40 days. Overall, this system may contribute to future research on B. pyrrocinia traits.

RevDate: 2021-05-04

VanWallendael A, Alvarez M, SJ Franks (2021)

Patterns of population genomic diversity in the invasive Japanese knotweed species complex.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE: Invasive species are expected to undergo a reduction in genetic diversity due to founder effects, which should limit their ability to adapt to new habitats. Still, many invasive species achieve widespread distributions and dense populations. This paradox of invasions could potentially be overcome through multiple introductions or hybridization, both of which increase genetic diversity. We conducted a population genomics study of Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica), which is a polyploid, clonally reproducing invasive species that has been notoriously successful worldwide despite supposedly low genetic diversity.

METHODS: We used genotyping by sequencing to collect 12,912 SNP markers from 88 samples collected at 38 locations across North America for the species complex. We used alignment-free k-mer hashing analysis in addition to traditional population genetic analyses to account for the challenges of genotyping polyploids.

RESULTS: Genotypes conformed to three genetic clusters, likely representing Japanese knotweed, giant knotweed, and hybrid bohemian knotweed. We found that, contrary to previous findings, the Japanese knotweed cluster had substantial genetic diversity, though it had no apparent genetic structure across the landscape. In contrast, giant knotweed and hybrids showed distinct population groups. We did not find evidence of isolation by distance in the species complex, likely reflecting the stochastic introduction history of this species complex.

CONCLUSIONS: The results indicate that clonal invasive species can show substantial genetic diversity and can be successful at colonizing a variety of habitats without showing evidence of local adaptation or genetic structure.

RevDate: 2021-05-03

Essler JL, Kane SA, Collins A, et al (2021)

Egg masses as training aids for spotted lanternfly Lycorma delicatula detection dogs.

PloS one, 16(5):e0250945 pii:PONE-D-21-02181.

The spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive species first detected in 2014. The insect feeds on plants causing severe damage in vineyards such as the occurrence of sooty mold fungus that impairs leaf photosynthesis. Currently, there is extensive research on how to track and ultimately prevent the spread of this species. It lays eggs that persist through the winter, while the adults die out, which presents a unique opportunity to enter infested or suspected infested areas to begin quarantine and management of the spread while the species is dormant. Detection dogs may be a tool that can be used to search out the spotted lanternfly egg masses during this overwintering period, however it is not known whether dogs can detect any specific odor from the spotted lanternfly eggs. Moreover, as the eggs are only available during certain times of the year, and hatch based on temperature, finding training aids for the dogs could prove difficult. In this study, we investigated whether three detection dogs could learn the odor from dead spotted lanternfly egg masses and if so, whether that would allow them to recognize live spotted lanternfly egg masses. We found that dogs could be trained to find dead spotted lanternfly egg masses, and could learn to ignore relevant controls, with high levels of sensitivity and specificity (up to 94.6% and 92.8%, respectively). Further, we found that after the training, dogs could find live spotted lanternfly egg masses without additional training and returned to previous levels of sensitivity and specificity within a few sessions. Coded videos of training and testing sessions showed that dogs spent more time at the egg masses than at controls, as expected from training. These results suggest that dead spotted lanternfly egg masses could be a useful training aid for spotted lanternfly detection dogs.

RevDate: 2021-05-03
CmpDate: 2021-05-03

Broennimann O, Petitpierre B, Chevalier M, et al (2021)

Distance to native climatic niche margins explains establishment success of alien mammals.

Nature communications, 12(1):2353.

One key hypothesis explaining the fate of exotic species introductions posits that the establishment of a self-sustaining population in the invaded range can only succeed within conditions matching the native climatic niche. Yet, this hypothesis remains untested for individual release events. Using a dataset of 979 introductions of 173 mammal species worldwide, we show that climate-matching to the realized native climatic niche, measured by a new Niche Margin Index (NMI), is a stronger predictor of establishment success than most previously tested life-history attributes and historical factors. Contrary to traditional climatic suitability metrics derived from species distribution models, NMI is based on niche margins and provides a measure of how distant a site is inside or, importantly, outside the niche. Besides many applications in research in ecology and evolution, NMI as a measure of native climatic niche-matching in risk assessments could improve efforts to prevent invasions and avoid costly eradications.

RevDate: 2021-05-03

Benovics M, Francová K, Volta P, et al (2021)

Helminth communities of endemic cyprinoids of the Apennine Peninsula, with remarks on ectoparasitic monogeneans, and a description of four new Dactylogyrus Diesing, 1850 species.

Parasitology pii:S0031182021000615 [Epub ahead of print].

The fauna of the Apennine Peninsula is, in comparison to other southern European peninsulas, relatively species-poor regarding the number of endemic cyprinoid species. Nonetheless, the recent introduction of non-native species has significantly increased the total number of freshwater species in this region. Such invasive species may represent a threat to the native fauna, associated among other things with the introduction of non-native parasites with their original hosts.In the present study, we investigated endemic cyprinoid species for the presence of helminth parasites. A total of 36 ectoparasitic monogenean species and five endoparasitic helminth species were collected from ten cyprinoid species in five localities in northern Italy. Out of 20 Dactylogyrus species (gill monogeneans specific to cyprinoids), four were identified as new to science and herein described: Dactylogyrus opertus n. sp. and Dactylogyrus sagittarius n. sp. from Telestes muticellus, Dactylogyrus conchatus n. sp. from T. muticellus and Protochondrostoma genei, and Dactylogyrus globulatus n. sp. from Chondrostoma soetta. All new Dactylogyrus species appear to be endemic to the Apennine Peninsula; however, they share a common evolutionary history with the endemic Dactylogyrus parasitizing cyprinoids of the Balkans. This common origin of cyprinoid-specific parasites supports a historical connection between these two (currently separated) geographical regions.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Ibabe A, Miralles L, Carleos CE, et al (2021)

Building on gAMBI in ports for a challenging biological invasions scenario: Blue-gNIS as a proof of concept.

Marine environmental research, 169:105340 pii:S0141-1136(21)00096-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The status of aquatic ecosystems has historically been monitored by the use of biotic indices. However, few biotic measures consider the presence of non-indigenous species as a sign of anthropogenic pollution and habitat disturbance even when this may seriously affect the metric scores and ecological status classifications of an environment. Today, biological invasions are currently one of the greatest threats to biodiversity and sustainable blue economies around the world. In this work, environmental assessments were conducted in the Port of Gijon, Northern Spain, using eDNA metabarcoding, and the gAMBI (genetics based AZTI Marine Biotic Index) was estimated. Results indicate a high/good ecological status within the port. However, nine non-indigenous species and five invasive species were found, and a modification of the gAMBI that includes species invasiveness was proposed: Blue-gNIS. The index was preliminary tested against existing validated indices such as gAMBI, BENTIX (based on the ecology of macroinvertebrates) and ALEX (based on the invasiveness of the species). Blue-gNIS classified the port in a good ecological status and showed its potential usefulness to achieve more complete water quality assessments of ports.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Palit R, Gramig G, ES DeKeyser (2021)

Kentucky Bluegrass Invasion in the Northern Great Plains and Prospective Management Approaches to Mitigate Its Spread.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(4): pii:plants10040817.

Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.) is one of the most aggressive grasses invading Northern Great Plains (NGP) grasslands, resulting in substantial native species losses. Highly diverse grasslands dominated by native species are gradually transforming into rangelands largely dominated by non-native Kentucky bluegrass. Several factors potentially associated with Kentucky bluegrass invasions, including high propagule pressure, thatch formation, climate change, and increasing nitrogen deposition, could determine the future dominance and spread of Kentucky bluegrass in the NGP. Because atmospheric CO2 is amplifying rapidly, a C3 grass like Kentucky bluegrass might be photosynthetically more efficient than native C4 grasses. As this exotic species shares similar morphological and phenological traits with many native cool-season grasses, controlling it with traditional management practices such as prescribed fire, grazing, herbicides, or combinations of these practices may also impair the growth of native species. Thus, developing effective management practices to combat Kentucky bluegrass spread while facilitating the native species cover is essential. Modifying traditional techniques and embracing science-based adaptive management tools that focus on the ecological interactions of Kentucky bluegrass with the surrounding native species could achieve these desired management goals. Enhancement of the competitiveness of surrounding native species could also be an important consideration for controlling this invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Demidko DA, Demidko NN, Mikhaylov PV, et al (2021)

Biological Strategies of Invasive Bark Beetles and Borers Species.

Insects, 12(4): pii:insects12040367.

The present study attempts to identify the biological characteristics of invasive (high-impact in the secondary area) bark beetles and borers species, contributing to their success in an invaded area. We selected 42 species based on the CABI website data on invasive species and information on the most studied regional faunas. Four groups of species with different invasion strategies were identified based on the cluster and factor analysis. The first one (inbred strategy) is characterized by flightless males, xylomycetophagy, low fecundity (~50 eggs), inbreeding, polyvoltinism, and polyphagy. Species with an aggressive strategy are poly- or monovoltine, feeds on a limited number of hosts, larval feeding on the inner bark, are often associated with phytopathogens, and produce aggregation pheromones. Representatives of the polyphagous strategy have a wide range of hosts, high fecundity (~150 eggs), larval feeding on wood, and their life cycle is at least a year long. For the intermediate strategy, the typical life cycle is from a year or less, medium fecundity, feed on inner bark tissues, mono- or oligophagy. Comparison with low-impact alien species showed that the most significant traits from the viewpoint of the potential danger of native plant species are high fecundity, polyvoltinism, presence of symbiotic plant pathogens, long-range or aggregation pheromones.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Znój A, Grzesiak J, Gawor J, et al (2021)

Bacterial Communities Associated with Poa annua Roots in Central European (Poland) and Antarctic Settings (King George Island).

Microorganisms, 9(4): pii:microorganisms9040811.

Poa annua (annual bluegrass) is one of the most ubiquitous grass species in the world. In isolated regions of maritime Antarctica, it has become an invasive organism threatening native tundra communities. In this study, we have explored and compared the rhizosphere and root-endosphere dwelling microbial community of P. annua specimens of maritime Antarctic and Central European origin in terms of bacterial phylogenetic diversity and microbial metabolic activity with a geochemical soil background. Our results show that the rhizospheric bacterial community was unique for each sampling site, yet the endosphere communities were similar to each other. However, key plant-associated bacterial taxa such as the Rhizobiaceae family were poorly represented in Antarctic samples, probably due to high salinity and heavy metal concentrations in the soil. Metabolic activity in the Antarctic material was considerably lower than in Central European samples. Antarctic root endosphere showed unusually high numbers of certain opportunistic bacterial groups, which proliferated due to low competition conditions. Thirteen bacterial families were recognized in this study to form a core microbiome of the P. annua root endosphere. The most numerous were the Flavobacteriaceae, suspected to be major contributors to the ecological success of annual bluegrass, especially in harsh, Antarctic conditions.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Martinet JP, Ferté H, Sientzoff P, et al (2021)

Wing Morphometrics of Aedes Mosquitoes from North-Eastern France.

Insects, 12(4): pii:insects12040341.

BACKGROUND: In the context of the increasing circulation of arboviruses, a simple, fast and reliable identification method for mosquitoes is needed. Geometric morphometrics have proven useful for mosquito classification and have been used around the world on known vectors such as Aedes albopictus. Morphometrics applied on French indigenous mosquitoes would prove useful in the case of autochthonous outbreaks of arboviral diseases.

METHODS: We applied geometric morphometric analysis on six indigenous and invasive species of the Aedes genus in order to evaluate its efficiency for mosquito classification.

RESULTS: Six species of Aedes mosquitoes (Ae. albopictus, Ae. cantans, Ae. cinereus, Ae. sticticus, Ae. japonicus and Ae. rusticus) were successfully differentiated with Canonical Variate Analysis of the Procrustes dataset of superimposed coordinates of 18 wing landmarks.

CONCLUSIONS: Geometric morphometrics are effective tools for the rapid, inexpensive and reliable classification of at least six species of the Aedes genus in France.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Möhrle K, Reyes-Aldana HE, Kollmann J, et al (2021)

Suppression of an Invasive Native Plant Species by Designed Grassland Communities.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(4): pii:plants10040775.

Grassland biodiversity is declining due to climatic change, land-use intensification, and establishment of invasive plant species. Excluding or suppressing invasive species is a challenge for grassland management. An example is Jacobaea aquatica, an invasive native plant in wet grasslands of Central Europe, that is causing problems to farmers by being poisonous, overabundant, and fast spreading. This study aimed at testing designed grassland communities in a greenhouse experiment, to determine key drivers of initial J. aquatica suppression, thus dismissing the use of pesticides. We used two base communities (mesic and wet grasslands) with three plant traits (plant height, leaf area, seed mass), that were constrained and diversified based on the invader traits. Native biomass, community-weighted mean trait values, and phylogenetic diversity (PD) were used as explanatory variables to understand variation in invasive biomass. The diversified traits leaf area and seed mass, PD, and native biomass significantly affected the invader. High native biomass permanently suppressed the invader, while functional traits needed time to develop effects; PD effects were significant at the beginning of the experiment but disappeared over time. Due to complexity and temporal effects, community weighted mean traits proved to be moderately successful for increasing invasion resistance of designed grassland communities.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Szumańska I, Lubińska-Mielińska S, Kamiński D, et al (2021)

Invasive Plant Species Distribution Is Structured by Soil and Habitat Type in the City Landscape.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(4): pii:plants10040773.

Invasive alien species (IAS) is a global problem that largely relates to human activities and human settlements. To prevent the further spread of IAS, we first need to know their pattern of distribution, to determine which constitutes the greatest threat, and understand which habitats and migration pathways they prefer. Our research aimed to identify the main vectors and distribution pattern of IAS of plants in the city environment. We checked the relations between species distribution and such environmental factors as urban soil type and habitat type. We applied data on IAS occurrence (collected in the period 1973-2015) in 515 permanent plots with dimensions of 0.5 × 0.5 km and analyzed by direct ordination methods. In total, we recorded 66 IAS. We found a 27% variance in the IAS distribution pattern, which can be explained by statistically significant soil and habitat types. The most important for species distribution were: river and alluvial soils, forests and related rusty soils, and places of intensive human activities, including areas of urbisols and industriosols. Our results provide details that can inform local efforts for the management and control of invasive species, and they provide evidence of the different associations between natural patterns and human land use.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Occhipinti-Ambrogi A (2021)

Biopollution by Invasive Marine Non-Indigenous Species: A Review of Potential Adverse Ecological Effects in a Changing Climate.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(8): pii:ijerph18084268.

Biopollution by alien species is considered one of the main threats to environmental health. The marine environment, traditionally less studied than inland domains, has been the object of recent work that is reviewed here. Increasing scientific evidence has been accumulated worldwide on ecosystem deterioration induced by the development of massive non-indigenous population outbreaks in many coastal sites. Biopollution assessment procedures have been proposed, adopting criteria already used for xenochemical compounds, adjusting them to deal with alien species invasions. On the other hand, prevention and mitigation measures to reduce biopollution impact cannot always mimic the emission countermeasures that have been successfully applied for chemical pollutants. Nevertheless, in order to design comprehensive water-quality criteria, risk assessment and management strategies, based on scientific knowledge, have been developed in a similar way as for chemical pollution. The Mediterranean Sea is a well-known case of alien species invasion, mainly linked to the opening of the Suez Canal. Non-indigenous species have caused well-documented changes in many coastal ecosystems, favoured by concomitant changes induced by global warming and by the heavy load of nutrients and pollutants by various anthropogenic activities. Naval commercial traffic and leisure boats are among the most active vectors of spread for alien species inside the Mediterranean, and also towards other ocean regions. The scientific evidence gathered and summarized in this review suggests that effective management actions, under a precautionary approach, should be put in place in order to control introductions of species in new areas. These management measures are already established in international treaties and national legislations, but should be enforced to prevent the disruption of the dynamic ecological equilibria in the receiving environment and to control the direct adverse effects of alien species.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Plichta Z, Kobak J, Maciaszek R, et al (2021)

All Shades of Shrimp: Preferences of Colour Morphs of a Freshwater Shrimp Neocaridina davidi (Decapoda, Atyidae) for Substrata of Different Colouration.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(4): pii:ani11041071.

An ornamental freshwater shrimp, Neocaridina davidi, is popular as an aquarium hobby and, therefore, a potentially invasive species. There is a growing need for proper management of this species to determine not only their optimum breeding conditions, but also their ability to colonise novel environments. We tested habitat preferences of colour morphs (brown, red, white) of N. davidi for substratum colour (black, white, grey shades, red) and fine or coarse chess-board patterns to recognise their suitable captivity conditions and predict their distribution after potential release into nature. We conducted laboratory choice experiments (n = 8) with three individuals of the same morph exposed for two hours to a range of backgrounds. Shrimp preferred dark backgrounds over light ones irrespective of their own colouration and its match with the background colour. Moreover, the brown and red morphs, in contrast to the white morph, preferred the coarse background pattern over the finer pattern. This suggests that the presence of dark, uniform substrata (e.g., rocks, macrophytes) will favour N. davidi. Nevertheless, the polymorphism of the species has little effect on its total niche breadth, and thus its invasive potential.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Lu SS, Takahashi J, Yeh WC, et al (2021)

Evidence for Range Expansion and Origins of an Invasive Hornet Vespa bicolor (Hymenoptera, Vespidae) in Taiwan, with Notes on Its Natural Status.

Insects, 12(4): pii:insects12040320.

The invasive alien species (IAS) Vespa bicolor is the first reported hornet that has established in Taiwan and is concerning as they prey on honeybee Apis mellifera, which leads to colony losses and public concerns. Thus, the aim of this study was to assess the current status of V. bicolor abundance, dispersal, and impact and to trace the origins of Taiwan's V. bicolor population. Our studies took place in five areas in northern to central Taiwan. We used mtDNA in the phylogenetic analyses. Field survey and ecological niche modeling (ENM) were used to understand the origins and current range of the invasive species. Two main subgroups of V. bicolor in the phylogenetic tree were found, and a clade with short branch lengths in Southeastern China and Taiwan formed a subgroup, which shows that the Taiwan population may have invaded from a single event. Evidence shows that V. bicolor is not a severe pest to honeybees in the study area; however, using ENM, we predict the rapid dispersion of this species to the cooler and hilly mountain areas of Taiwan. The management of V. bicolor should also involve considering it a local pest to reduce loss by beekeepers and public fear in Taiwan. Our findings highlight how the government, beekeepers, and researchers alike should be aware of the implications of V. bicolor's rapid range expansion in Taiwan, or in other countries.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Veasey R, Cordoba M, Colton A, et al (2021)

Fermenting Bread Dough as a Cheap, Effective, Nontoxic, and Generic Attractant for Pest Snails and Slugs.

Insects, 12(4): pii:insects12040328.

Invasive slugs and snails are among the most damaging pests of agriculture in temperate and tropical regions of the world. Control options, however, are limited and there is a heavy reliance on chemical molluscicides of variable efficacy. There is an ongoing need to improve management methods. Here, we show that a simple fermenting bread dough formulation (flour, water, and yeast) was effective in attracting pest mollusk species in laboratory tests, and in multiple replicated field trials in Hawaii, Oregon, and Montana. The dough attracted substantially more terrestrial pest gastropods, including invasive species of major economic importance such as Cornu aspersum, Deroceras reticulatum, Ambigolimax valentianus, Xerolenta obvia, Lissachatina fulica, and Parmarion martensi, than water controls. The dough remained attractive for at least 8 days and was significantly more attractive than a widely used metaldehyde-based bait, Deadline® M-Ps™. Thus, fermenting bread dough represents a nontoxic, generic, and effective tool to aid in managing pest gastropod infestations, either using baited traps or in attract-and-kill approaches. Given its simplicity, low cost, and the ready availability of its ingredients, the dough also has potential to be used in developing countries where access to commercial molluscicide baits is limited by cost.

RevDate: 2021-04-30

Zapponi L, Tortorici F, Anfora G, et al (2021)

Assessing the Distribution of Exotic Egg Parasitoids of Halyomorpha halys in Europe with a Large-Scale Monitoring Program.

Insects, 12(4): pii:insects12040316.

The brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorpha halys is an invasive agricultural pest with a worldwide distribution. Classical biological control has been identified as the most promising method to reduce the populations of H. halys. Adventive populations of two candidates for releases, Trissolcus japonicus and Trissolcus mitsukurii, have recently been detected in Europe. To assess their distribution and abundance, a large-scale survey was performed. From May to September 2019, a wide area covering northern Italy and parts of Switzerland was surveyed, highlighting the expanding distribution of both Tr. japonicus and Tr. mitsukurii. Within four years after their first detection in Europe, both species have rapidly spread into all types of habitats where H. halys is present, showing a wide distribution and continuous expansion. Both exotic Trissolcus showed high levels of parasitism rate towards H. halys, while parasitization of non-target species was a rare event. The generalist Anastatus bifasciatus was the predominant native parasitoid of H. halys, while the emergence of native scelionids from H. halys eggs was rarely observed. The presence of the hyperparasitoid Acroclisoides sinicus was also recorded. This study provided fundamental data that supported the development of the first inoculative release program of Tr. japonicus in Europe.

RevDate: 2021-04-29

Coughlan NE, Cuthbert RN, Cunningham EM, et al (2021)

Smoke on the Water: Comparative Assessment of Combined Thermal Shock Treatments for Control of Invasive Asian Clam, Corbicula fluminea.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Suppression of established populations of invasive alien species can be a complex and expensive process, which is frequently unsuccessful. The Asian clam, Corbicula fluminea (Müller, 1774), is considered a high impact invader that can adversely alter freshwater ecosystems and decrease their socioeconomic value. To date, C. fluminea continues to spread and persist within freshwater environments worldwide, despite repeated management attempts to prevent dispersal and suppress established populations. As extensive C. fluminea beds can often become exposed during low-water conditions, the direct application of hot or cold thermal shock treatments has been proposed as suitable mechanism for their control. Further, mechanical substrate disturbance may enhance the efficacy of thermal shock treatments by facilitating exposures to multiple layers of buried clams. In the present study, we advanced these methods by assessing combined applications of both hot and cold thermal shock treatments for control of C. fluminea, using steam spray (≥100 °C; 350 kPa), low- or high-intensity open-flame burns (~1000 °C) and dry ice (-78 °C). In a direct comparison of raking combined with hot thermal shock applications, both steam and high-intensity open-flame treatments tended to be most effective, especially following multiple applications. In addition, when hot thermal treatments are followed by a final cold shock (i.e. dry ice), steam treatments tended to be most effective. Further, when dry ice was applied either alone or prior to an application of a hot shock treatment, substantial if not complete C. fluminea mortality was observed. Overall, this study demonstrated that combined applications of hot and cold thermal shock treatments, applied following the disruption of the substrate, can substantially increase C. fluminea mortality compared to separate hot or cold treatments.

RevDate: 2021-04-29

Neto AIA, Moreu I, Rosas Alquicira EF, et al (2021)

Marine algal flora of São Miguel Island, Azores.

Biodiversity data journal, 9:e64969 pii:64969.

Background: The macroalgal flora of the Island of São Miguel (eastern group of the Azores Archipelago) has attracted the interest of many researchers in the past, the first publications going back to the nineteenth century. Initial studies were mainly taxonomic, resulting in the publication of a checklist of the Azorean benthic marine algae. Later, the establishment of the University of the Azores on the Island permitted the logistic conditions to develop both temporal studies and long-term research and this resulted in a significant increase on research directed at the benthic marine algae and littoral communities of the Island and consequent publications.Prior to the present paper, the known macroalgal flora of São Miguel Island comprised around 260 species. Despite this richness, a significant amount of the research was never made public, notably Masters and PhD theses encompassing information regarding presence data recorded at littoral and sublittoral levels down to a depth of approximately 40 m around the Island and the many collections made, which resulted in vouchers deposited in the AZB Herbarium Ruy Telles Palhinha and the LSM- Molecular Systematics Laboratory at the Faculty of Sciences and Technology of the University of the Azores.The present publication lists the macroalgal taxonomic records, together with information on their ecology and occurrence around São Miguel Island, improving the knowledge of the Azorean macroalgal flora at local and regional scales.

New information: A total of 12,781 specimens (including some identified only to genus) belonging to 431 taxa of macroalgae are registered, comprising 284 Rhodophyta, 59 Chlorophyta and 88 Ochrophyta (Phaeophyceae). Of these, 323 were identified to species level (212 Rhodophyta, 48 Chlorophyta and 63 Ochrophyta), of which 61 are new records for the Island (42 Rhodophyta, 9 Chlorophyta and 10 Ochrophyta), one an Azorean endemic (Predaea feldmannii subsp. azorica Gabriel), five are Macaronesian endemisms (the red algae Botryocladia macaronesica Afonso-Carrillo, Sobrino, Tittley & Neto, Laurencia viridis Gil-Rodríguez & Haroun, Millerella tinerfensis (Seoane-Camba) S.M.Boo & J.M.Rico, Phyllophora gelidioides P.Crouan & H.Crouan ex Karsakoff and the green alga Codium elisabethiae O.C.Schmidt), 19 are introduced species (15 Rhodophyta, two Chlorophyta and two Ochrophyta) and 32 are of uncertain status (21 Rhodophyta, five Chlorophyta and six Ochrophyta).

RevDate: 2021-04-29
CmpDate: 2021-04-29

Pettit L, Ward-Fear G, R Shine (2020)

Choose your meals carefully if you need to coexist with a toxic invader.

Scientific reports, 10(1):21866.

Vulnerable native species may survive the impact of a lethally toxic invader by changes in behaviour, physiology and/or morphology. The roles of such mechanisms can be clarified by standardised testing. We recorded behavioural responses of monitor lizards (Varanus panoptes and V. varius) to legs of poisonous cane toads (Rhinella marina) and non-toxic control meals (chicken necks or chicken eggs and sardines) along 1300 and 2500 km transects, encompassing the toad's 85-year invasion trajectory across Australia as well as yet-to-be-invaded sites to the west and south of the currently colonised area. Patterns were identical in the two varanid species. Of monitors that consumed at least one prey type, 96% took control baits whereas toad legs were eaten by 60% of lizards in toad-free sites but 0% from toad-invaded sites. Our survey confirms that the ability to recognise and reject toads as prey enables monitor lizards to coexist with cane toads. As toxic invaders continue to impact ecosystems globally, it is vital to understand the mechanisms that allow some taxa to persist over long time-scales.

RevDate: 2021-04-28

Moore JL, Camaclang AE, Moore AL, et al (2021)

A framework for allocating conservation resources among multiple threats and actions.

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

Land managers decide how to allocate resources among multiple threats that can be addressed through multiple possible actions. Additionally, these actions vary in feasibility, effectiveness, and cost. We sought to provide a way to optimize resource allocation to address multiple threats when multiple management options are available, including mutually exclusive options. Formulating the decision as a combinatorial optimization problem, our framework takes as inputs the expected impact and cost of each threat for each action (including do nothing) and for each overall budget identifies the optimal action to take for each threat. We compared the optimal solution to an easy to calculate greedy algorithm approximation and a variety of plausible ranking schemes. We applied the framework to management of multiple introduced plant species in Australian alpine areas. We developed a model of invasion to predict the expected impact in 50 years for each species-action combination that accounted for each species' current invasion state (absent, localized, widespread); arrival probability; spread rate; impact, if present, of each species; and management effectiveness of each species-action combination. We found that the recommended action for a threat changed with budget; there was no single optimal management action for each species; and considering more than one candidate action can substantially increase the management plan's overall efficiency. The approximate solution (solution ranked by marginal cost-effectiveness) performed well when the budget matched the cost of the prioritized actions, indicating that this approach would be effective if the budget was set as part of the prioritization process. The ranking schemes varied in performance, and achieving a close to optimal solution was not guaranteed. Global sensitivity analysis revealed a threat's expected impact and, to a lesser extent, management effectiveness were the most influential parameters, emphasizing the need to focus research and monitoring efforts on their quantification.

RevDate: 2021-04-28
CmpDate: 2021-04-28

Agüero JI, Pérez-Méndez N, Torretta JP, et al (2020)

Impact of Invasive Bees on Plant-Pollinator Interactions and Reproductive Success of Plant Species in Mixed Nothofagus antarctica Forests.

Neotropical entomology, 49(4):557-567.

Invasive social bees can alter plant-pollinator interactions with detrimental effects on both partners. However, most studies have focused on one invasive bee species, while the interactions among two or more species remain poorly understood. Also, many study sites had a history of invasive bees, being hard to find sites with historical low abundances. In Patagonia, Bombus ruderatus (F.) invasion begun in 1993 and B. terrestris (L.) in 2006. Though honey bees (Apis mellifera L.) introduction started in 1859, their density is still low in some parts. By experimentally increasing honey bee densities, we evaluated the effect of honey bees and bumblebees floral visitation on native pollinator floral visitation, pollen deposition, and reproductive success of three plant species in mixed Nothofagus antarctica forests of northern Patagonia: Oxalis valdiviensis, Mutisia spinosa and Cirsium vulgare. Our results show that exotic bees became the main floral visitors. No negative association was found between invasive bee and native pollinator visitation rates, but there was evidence of potential competition between honey bees and bumblebees. Floral neighborhood diversity played an important role in pollinator behavior. Conspecific pollen deposition was high for all species, while deposition of heterospecific pollen was very high in M. spinosa and C. vulgare. Not as expected, honey bees visitation rate had a negative effect on heterospecific pollen deposition in C. vulgare. For O. valdiviensis, exotic visitation rates increased conspecific pollen deposition, which was positively related to reproductive success. Although exotic bees became main floral visitors, their contribution to reproductive success was only clear for one species.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Chalkowski K, Morgan A, Lepczyk CA, et al (2021)

Spread of An Avian Eye Fluke, Philophthalmus gralli, Through Biological Invasion of An Intermediate Host.

The Journal of parasitology, 107(2):336-348.

Philophthalmus is a genus of globally distributed parasitic eye flukes with some members of the genus found in disparate locales. In particular, Philophthalmus gralli, a zoonotic trematode, appears to be a relatively new introduction to the Americas, facilitated by spillover from the invasive snails Melanoides tuberculata (red-rimmed melania) and Tarebia granifera (quilted melania), which were introduced via the aquarium trade, and perhaps furthered by avian dispersal. Given that two known intermediate hosts of Philophthalmus flukes are actively expanding their range as a result of human activities, we hypothesize that this spread is also associated with the spread of Philophthalmus flukes. To address this, we systematically reviewed the literature and examined whether the global expansion of P. gralli flukes is associated with the spread of invasive snails M. tuberculata and T. granifera. Here, we show that (1) specimens of P. gralli are only found in intermediate snail hosts M. tuberculata or T. granifera, suggesting intermediate host specificity for these 2 species, and (2) specimens of P. gralli have rarely been found outside the ranges (native and introduced) of M. tuberculata or T. granifera. Given the importance of distribution information of parasites in the role of identifying parasite invasions, we also review the known distribution of all Philophthalmus species. Considering recent outbreaks in humans and wild and domestic animal species, the continued spread of Philophthalmus presents a potential threat to veterinary and public health and conservation.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Deng J, Guo Y, Su X, et al (2021)

Impact of deltamethrin-resistance in Aedes albopictus on its fitness cost and vector competence.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(4):e0009391 pii:PNTD-D-20-02221 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Aedes albopictus is one of the most invasive species in the world as well as the important vector for mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever, chikungunya fever and zika virus disease. Chemical control of mosquitoes is an effective method to control mosquito-borne diseases, however, the wide and improper application of insecticides for vector control has led to serious resistance problems. At present, there have been many reports on the resistance to pyrethroid insecticides in vector mosquitoes including deltamethrin to Aedes albopictus. However, the fitness cost and vector competence of deltamethrin resistant Aedes albopictus remain unknown. To understand the impact of insecticide resistant mosquito is of great significance for the prevention and control mosquitoes and mosquito-borne diseases.

A laboratory resistant strain (Lab-R) of Aedes albopictus was established by deltamethrin insecticide selecting from the laboratory susceptible strain (Lab-S). The life table between the two strains were comparatively analyzed. The average development time of Lab-R and Lab-S in larvae was 9.7 days and 8.2 days (P < 0.005), and in pupae was 2.0 days and 1.8 days respectively (P > 0.05), indicating that deltamethrin resistance prolongs the larval development time of resistant mosquitoes. The average survival time of resistant adults was significantly shorter than that of susceptible adults, while the body weight of resistant female adults was significantly higher than that of the susceptible females. We also compared the vector competence for dengue virus type-2 (DENV-2) between the two strains via RT-qPCR. Considering the results of infection rate (IR) and virus load, there was no difference between the two strains during the early period of infection (4, 7, 10 day post infection (dpi)). However, in the later period of infection (14 dpi), IR and virus load in heads, salivary glands and ovaries of the resistant mosquitoes were significantly lower than those of the susceptible strain (IR of heads, salivary glands and ovaries: P < 0.005; virus load in heads and salivary glands: P < 0.05; virus load in ovaries: P < 0.001). And then, fourteen days after the DENV-2-infectious blood meal, females of the susceptible and resistant strains were allow to bite 5-day-old suckling mice. Both stains of mosquito can transmit DENV-2 to mice, but the onset of viremia was later in the mice biting by resistant group as well as lower virus copies in serum and brains, suggesting that the horizontal transmission of the resistant strain is lower than the susceptible strain. Meanwhile, we also detected IR of egg pools of the two strains on 14 dpi and found that the resistant strain were less capable of vertical transmission than susceptible mosquitoes. In addition, the average survival time of the resistant females infected with DENV-2 was 16 days, which was the shortest among the four groups of female mosquitoes, suggesting that deltamethrin resistance would shorten the life span of female Aedes albopictus infected with DENV-2.

CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: As Aedes albopictus developing high resistance to deltamethrin, the resistance prolonged the growth and development of larvae, shorten the life span of adults, as well as reduced the vector competence of resistant Aedes albopictus for DENV-2. It can be concluded that the resistance to deltamethrin in Aedes albopictus is a double-edged sword, which not only endow the mosquito survive under the pressure of insecticide, but also increase the fitness cost and decrease its vector competence. However, Aedes albopictus resistant to deltamethrin can still complete the external incubation period and transmit dengue virus, which remains a potential vector for dengue virus transmission and becomes a threat to public health. Therefore, we should pay high attention for the problem of insecticide resistance so that to better prevent and control mosquito-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Shi H, Holbrook CM, Cao Y, et al (2021)

Measurement of suction pressure dynamics of sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus.

PloS one, 16(4):e0247884 pii:PONE-D-20-30944.

Species-specific monitoring activities represent fundamental tools for natural resource management and conservation but require techniques that target species-specific traits or markers. Sea lamprey, a destructive invasive species in the Laurentian Great Lakes and conservation target in North America and Europe, is among very few fishes that possess and use oral suction, yet suction has not been exploited for sea lamprey control or conservation. Knowledge of specific characteristics of sea lamprey suction (e.g., amplitude, duration, and pattern of suction events; hereafter 'suction dynamics') may be useful to develop devices that detect, record, and respond to the presence of sea lamprey at a given place and time. Previous observations were limited to adult sea lampreys in static water. In this study, pressure sensing panels were constructed and used to measure oral suction pressures and describe suction dynamics of juvenile and adult sea lampreys at multiple locations within the mouth and in static and flowing water. Suction dynamics were largely consistent with previous descriptions, but more variation was observed. For adult sea lampreys, suction pressures ranged from -0.6 kPa to -26 kPa with 20 s to 200 s between pumps at rest, and increased to -8 kPa to -70 kPa when lampreys were manually disengaged. An array of sensors indicated that suction pressure distribution was largely uniform across the mouths of both juvenile and adult lampreys; but some apparent variation was attributed to obstruction of sensing portal holes by teeth. Suction pressure did not differ between static and flowing water when water velocity was lower than 0.45 m/s. Such information may inform design of new systems to monitor behavior, distribution and abundance of lampreys.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Jenckel M, Hall RN, T Strive (2021)

First description of hepatitis E virus in Australian rabbits.

We report the first detection of hepatitis E virus in rabbits in Australia. While conducting metatranscriptomic sequencing of liver samples collected from domestic rabbits that had died, we detected hepatitis E virus in three samples. Two viral genome sequences were obtained, which shared 96% nucleotide identity and clustered with hepatitis E strains isolated from rabbits and humans in Europe. This raises a potential public health risk in Australia, as the abundance of wild rabbits and the increasing popularity of domestic rabbits as pets represent a substantial human/rabbit interface to allow for potential zoonotic infections to occur.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Justine JL, Gey D, Vasseur J, et al (2021)

Presence of the invasive land flatworm emPlatydemus/em emmanokwari/em (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Martin (French West Indies).

Zootaxa, 4951(2):zootaxa.4951.2.11 pii:zootaxa.4951.2.11.

The land flatworm Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae) is recorded from the islands of Guadeloupe, Martinique, and Saint Martin in the Caribbean arc. Photographs and records were obtained mainly from citizen science and ranged from the end of 2018 to February 2021; several specimens were deposited in the collections of the Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle in Paris, France. Thirty records were from Guadeloupe, but only one from Martinique and from Saint Martin, respectively. The COI sequences of 3 specimens from Guadeloupe show that they belong to the World haplotype also found in many countries. We also report P. manokwari from Fort Myers, Florida, USA, with molecular characterization, which was also the World haplotype. This is the first published record of P. manokwari for Guadeloupe, Martinique and Saint Martin and the second for islands in the Caribbean, after Puerto Rico.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Çerçi B, Gorczyca J, Ö Koçak (2021)

Description of New Miridae and Tingidae Species (Hemiptera: Heteroptera) and New Records from Southern Turkey.

Zootaxa, 4949(2):zootaxa.4949.2.5 pii:zootaxa.4949.2.5.

In this study, Fulvius anatolicus Çerçi Gorczyca sp. n., Orthotylus (Pinocapsus) kmenti Çerçi Koçak sp. n. (Miridae) and Lasiacantha karamanensis Çerçi Koçak sp. n. (Tingidae) are described from Turkey. Dorsal habitus of each species, male and female genitalia of F. anatolicus sp. n. and male genitalia of O. (P.) kmenti sp. n. are illustrated. Differential diagnostic features between closely related species and the new species are given. Additionally, Hallodapus costae (Miridae) and Tempyra biguttula (Rhyparochromidae) are recorded from Turkey for the first time. Latter is a new alien species for the fauna of Turkey.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Lear G, Kingsbury JM, Franchini S, et al (2021)

Plastics and the microbiome: impacts and solutions.

Environmental microbiome, 16(1):2.

Global plastic production has increased exponentially since manufacturing commenced in the 1950's, including polymer types infused with diverse additives and fillers. While the negative impacts of plastics are widely reported, particularly on marine vertebrates, impacts on microbial life remain poorly understood. Plastics impact microbiomes directly, exerting toxic effects, providing supplemental carbon sources and acting as rafts for microbial colonisation and dispersal. Indirect consequences include increased environmental shading, altered compositions of host communities and disruption of host organism or community health, hormone balances and immune responses. The isolation and application of plastic-degrading microbes are of substantial interest yet little evidence supports the microbial biodegradation of most high molecular weight synthetic polymers. Over 400 microbial species have been presumptively identified as capable of plastic degradation, but evidence for the degradation of highly prevalent polymers including polypropylene, nylon, polystyrene and polyvinyl chloride must be treated with caution; most studies fail to differentiate losses caused by the leaching or degradation of polymer monomers, additives or fillers. Even where polymer degradation is demonstrated, such as for polyethylene terephthalate, the ability of microorganisms to degrade more highly crystalline forms of the polymer used in commercial plastics appears limited. Microbiomes frequently work in conjunction with abiotic factors such as heat and light to impact the structural integrity of polymers and accessibility to enzymatic attack. Consequently, there remains much scope for extremophile microbiomes to be explored as a source of plastic-degrading enzymes and microorganisms. We propose a best-practice workflow for isolating and reporting plastic-degrading taxa from diverse environmental microbiomes, which should include multiple lines of evidence supporting changes in polymer structure, mass loss, and detection of presumed degradation products, along with confirmation of microbial strains and enzymes (and their associated genes) responsible for high molecular weight plastic polymer degradation. Such approaches are necessary for enzymatic degraders of high molecular weight plastic polymers to be differentiated from organisms only capable of degrading the more labile carbon within predominantly amorphous plastics, plastic monomers, additives or fillers.

RevDate: 2021-04-27

Engelbrecht J, Duong TA, Prabhu SA, et al (2021)

Genome of the destructive oomycete Phytophthora cinnamomi provides insights into its pathogenicity and adaptive potential.

BMC genomics, 22(1):302.

BACKGROUND: Phytophthora cinnamomi is an oomycete pathogen of global relevance. It is considered as one of the most invasive species, which has caused irreversible damage to natural ecosystems and horticultural crops. There is currently a lack of a high-quality reference genome for this species despite several attempts that have been made towards sequencing its genome. The lack of a good quality genome sequence has been a setback for various genetic and genomic research to be done on this species. As a consequence, little is known regarding its genome characteristics and how these contribute to its pathogenicity and invasiveness.

RESULTS: In this work we generated a high-quality genome sequence and annotation for P. cinnamomi using a combination of Oxford Nanopore and Illumina sequencing technologies. The annotation was done using RNA-Seq data as supporting gene evidence. The final assembly consisted of 133 scaffolds, with an estimated genome size of 109.7 Mb, N50 of 1.18 Mb, and BUSCO completeness score of 97.5%. Genome partitioning analysis revealed that P. cinnamomi has a two-speed genome characteristic, similar to that of other oomycetes and fungal plant pathogens. In planta gene expression analysis revealed up-regulation of pathogenicity-related genes, suggesting their important roles during infection and host degradation.

CONCLUSION: This study has provided a high-quality reference genome and annotation for P. cinnamomi. This is among the best assembled genomes for any Phytophthora species assembled to date and thus resulted in improved identification and characterization of pathogenicity-related genes, some of which were undetected in previous versions of genome assemblies. Phytophthora cinnamomi harbours a large number of effector genes which are located in the gene-poor regions of the genome. This unique genomic partitioning provides P. cinnamomi with a high level of adaptability and could contribute to its success as a highly invasive species. Finally, the genome sequence, its annotation and the pathogenicity effectors identified in this study will serve as an important resource that will enable future studies to better understand and mitigate the impact of this important pathogen.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Parker MR, Currylow AF, Tillman EA, et al (2021)

Using Enclosed Y-Mazes to Assess Chemosensory Behavior in Reptiles.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Reptiles utilize a variety of environmental cues to inform and drive animal behavior such as chemical scent trails produced by food or conspecifics. Decrypting the scent-trailing behavior of vertebrates, particularly invasive species, enables the discovery of cues that induce exploratory behavior and can aid in the development of valuable basic and applied biological tools. However, pinpointing behaviors dominantly driven by chemical cues versus other competing environmental cues can be challenging. Y-mazes are common tools used in animal behavior research that allow quantification of vertebrate chemosensory behavior across a range of taxa. By reducing external stimuli, Y-mazes remove confounding factors and present focal animals with a binary choice. In our Y-maze studies, a scenting animal is restricted to one arm of the maze to leave a scent trail and is removed once scent-laying parameters have been met. Then, depending on the trial type, either the focal animal is allowed into the maze, or a competing scent trail is created. The result is a record of the focal animal's choice and behavior while discriminating between the chemical cues presented. Here, two Y-maze apparatuses tailored to different invasive reptile species: Argentine black and white tegu lizards (Salvator merianae) and Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) are described, outlining the operation and cleaning of these Y-mazes. Further, the variety of data produced, experimental drawbacks and solutions, and suggested data analysis frameworks have been summarized.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Lorenz J, Heinrich R, Schneider A, et al (2021)

Invasive populations of Spiraea tomentosa (Rosaceae) are genetically diverse and decline with progressing succession in forest habitats.

Plant biology (Stuttgart, Germany) [Epub ahead of print].

Population genetic and ecological data may help to control invasive plants, which are considered to be a major threat to natural habitats. In contrast to expected bottleneck events, genetic diversity of such invasive populations may be high due to extensive propagule pressure or admixture. The ecological impact of invasive species has been broadly evaluated in the field, however, long term-studies on the fate of invasive plants are scarce. We analysed genetic diversity and structure in invasive Spiraea tomentosa populations in eastern Germany and western Poland by using an Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism approach. Potential hybridisation between co-occurring diploid Sp. tomentosa and tetraploid Sp. douglasii was investigated using Flow Cytometry. The genetic analyses were complemented by data from a thirteen-year vegetation study in an area invaded by both Spiraea species. We found no evidence for spontaneous hybridisation between Spiraea species. In populations of Sp. tomentosa genetic diversity (He = 0.26) and genetic structure (ΦPT = 0.27) were high and comparable to other outcrossing woody plants. Low levels of clonality, the presence of seedlings and of new patches in sites that had been colonised over the last 13 years imply that populations also increase and spread via sexual reproduction. In all habitat types, species diversity declined following Sp. tomentosa invasion. However, detailed aerial mapping of a forest reserve with ongoing succession revealed that Spiraea spp. populations declined over a ten year period following invasion. Despite its potential dispersal ability and its negative effects on plant communities, invasive Spiraea populations may be controlled by increasing canopy cover in forest habitats.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Lazenby BT, Mooney NJ, CR Dickman (2021)

Raiders of the last ark: the impacts of feral cats on small mammals in Tasmanian forest ecosystems.

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

Feral individuals of the cat Felis catus are recognised internationally as a threat to biodiversity. Open, non-insular systems support a large proportion of the world's biodiversity, but the population-level impacts of feral cats in these systems are rarely elucidated. This limits prioritization and assessment of the effectiveness of management interventions. We quantified the predatory impact of feral cats on small mammals in open, non-insular forest systems in Tasmania, Australia in the context of other factors hypothesized to affect small mammal densities and survival, namely the density of a native carnivore, co-occurring small mammals, and rainfall. Change in feral cat density was the most important determinant of small mammal density and survival. We calculated that, on average, a 50% reduction in feral cat density could result in 25% and 10% increases in the density of the swamp rat Rattus lutreolus and long-tailed mouse Pseudomys higginsi, respectively. Low-level culling of feral cats that we conducted on two of our four study sites to experimentally alter feral cat densities revealed that swamp rat survival was highest when feral cat densities were stable. We conclude that feral cats exert downward pressure on populations of indigenous small mammals in temperate forest systems. However, alleviating this downward pressure on prey by culling a large proportion of the feral cat population is difficult as current methods for reducing feral cat populations in cool temperate forest systems are ineffective, and potentially even counter-productive. We suggest using an adaptive approach that regularly and robustly monitors how feral cats and small mammals respond to management interventions that are intended to conserve vulnerable prey species.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Champer J, Champer SE, Kim IK, et al (2021)

Design and analysis of CRISPR-based underdominance toxin-antidote gene drives.

Evolutionary applications, 14(4):1052-1069 pii:EVA13180.

CRISPR gene drive systems offer a mechanism for transmitting a desirable transgene throughout a population for purposes ranging from vector-borne disease control to invasive species suppression. In this simulation study, we assess the performance of several CRISPR-based underdominance gene drive constructs employing toxin-antidote (TA) principles. These drives disrupt the wild-type version of an essential gene using a CRISPR nuclease (the toxin) while simultaneously carrying a recoded version of the gene (the antidote). Drives of this nature allow for releases that could be potentially confined to a desired geographic location. This is because such drives have a nonzero-invasion threshold frequency required for the drive to spread through the population. We model drives which target essential genes that are either haplosufficient or haplolethal, using nuclease promoters with expression restricted to the germline, promoters that additionally result in cleavage activity in the early embryo from maternal deposition, and promoters that have ubiquitous somatic expression. We also study several possible drive architectures, considering both "same-site" and "distant-site" systems, as well as several reciprocally targeting drives. Together, these drive variants provide a wide range of invasion threshold frequencies and options for both population modification and suppression. Our results suggest that CRISPR TA underdominance drive systems could allow for the design of flexible and potentially confinable gene drive strategies.

RevDate: 2021-04-26

Du Z, Wu Y, Chen Z, et al (2021)

Global phylogeography and invasion history of the spotted lanternfly revealed by mitochondrial phylogenomics.

Evolutionary applications, 14(4):915-930 pii:EVA13170.

Biological invasion has been a serious global threat due to increasing international trade and population movements. Tracking the source and route of invasive species and evaluating the genetic differences in their native regions have great significance for the effective monitoring and management, and further resolving the invasive mechanism. The spotted lanternfly Lycorma delicatula is native to China and invaded South Korea, Japan, and the United States during the last decade, causing severe damages to the fruits and timber industries. However, its global phylogeographic pattern and invasion history are not clearly understood. We applied high-throughput sequencing to obtain 392 whole mitochondrial genome sequences from four countries to ascertain the origin, dispersal, and invasion history of the spotted lanternfly. Phylogenomic analyses revealed that the spotted lanternfly originated from southwestern China, diverged into six phylogeographic lineages, and experienced northward expansion across the Yangtze River in the late Pleistocene. South Korea populations were derived from multiple invasions from eastern China and Japan with two different genetic sources of northwestern (Loess Plateau) and eastern (East Plain) lineages in China, whereas the each of Japan and the United States had only one. The United States populations originated through single invasive event from South Korea, which served as a bridgehead of invasion. The environmental conditions, especially the distribution of host Ailanthus trees, and adaptability possibly account for the rapid spread of the spotted lanternfly in the native and introduced regions.

RevDate: 2021-04-25

Duncan RP (2021)

Time lags and the invasion debt in plant naturalisations.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

Ecological processes often exhibit time lags. For plant invasions, lags of decades to centuries between species' introduction and establishment in the wild (naturalisation) are common, leading to the idea of an invasion debt: accelerating rates of introduction result in an expanding pool of introduced species that will naturalise in the future. Here, I show how a concept from survival analysis, the hazard function, provides an intuitive way to understand and forecast time lags. For plant naturalisation, theoretical arguments predict that lags between introduction and naturalisation will have a unimodal distribution, and that increasing horticultural activity will cause the mean and variance of lag times to decline over time. These predictions were supported by data on introduction and naturalisation dates for plant species introduced to Britain. While increasing trade and horticultural activity can generate an invasion debt by accelerating introductions, the same processes could lower that debt by reducing lag times.

RevDate: 2021-04-26
CmpDate: 2021-04-26

Probert AF, Ward DF, Beggs JR, et al (2021)

High Dietary Niche Overlap Between Non-native and Native Ant Species in Natural Ecosystems.

Environmental entomology, 50(1):86-96.

Ants represent a highly diverse and ecologically important group of insects found in almost all terrestrial ecosystems. A subset of ant species have been widely transported around the globe and invade many natural ecosystems, often out-competing native counterparts and causing varying impacts on recipient ecosystems. Decisions to control non-native ant populations require an understanding of their interactions and related impacts on native communities. We employed stable isotope analysis and metabarcoding techniques to identify potential dietary niche overlap and identify gut contents of 10 ant species found in natural ecosystems in Aotearoa New Zealand. Additionally, we looked at co-occurrence to identify potential competitive interactions among native and non-native ant species. Ants fed mainly across two trophic levels, with high dietary overlap. Relative to other ant species sampled, two non-native ant species, Linepithema humile and Technomyrmex jocosus, were found to feed at the lowest trophic level. The largest isotopic niche overlap was observed between the native Monomorium antarcticum and the invasive Ochetellus glaber, with analyses revealing a negative co-occurrence pattern. Sequence data of ant gut content identified 51 molecular operational taxonomic units, representing 22 orders and 34 families, and primarily consisting of arthropod DNA. Although we generally found high dietary overlap among species, negative occurrence between a dominant, non-native species and a ubiquitous native species indicates that species-specific interactions could be negatively impacting native ecosystems. Our research progresses and informs the currently limited knowledge around establishing protocols for metabarcoding to investigate ant diet and interactions between native and non-native ant species.

RevDate: 2021-04-26
CmpDate: 2021-04-26

Soares Guedes GH, Gomes ID, Alves do Nascimento A, et al (2021)

Equilibrium reproductive strategy of the peacock bass Cichla kelberi facilitates invasion into a Neotropical reservoir.

Journal of fish biology, 98(3):743-755.

The reproductive strategy of the non-native predator cichlid Cichla kelberi was determined to explain its success after more than 60 years of being introduced into an isolated reservoir in southeastern Brazil. This was one of the first-known translocations of the genus Cichla out of its natural range. Macro- and microscopy characteristics of the gonadal development stages and the maturation phases, along with the reproductive features (size at first maturation size, gonado-somatic index and sex ratio), were described. It was hypothesized that the stable conditions of the reservoir, with low connectivity, weakly defined spatial gradient and slight seasonal changes in environmental variables, favour the equilibrium strategy that enables predators to have high offspring survivorship because of great parental investment in individual progeny. Sex ratio was well balanced, with males and females reaching first maturity between 30.0 and 28.6 cm total length (LT), respectively. The stages of oocyte (primary and secondary growth, vitellogenic and atresia) and spermatocyte (spermatogonia, spermatocytes, spermatids and spermatozoa) development were identified. Five phases of gonadal development (immature, developing, spawning capable, regressing and regenerating) were described for both sexes. A long reproductive season was found, with spawning peaks in August/September and, to a lesser extent, in April/May. Parental care and spawns in parcels (batch spawns) corroborated the raised equilibrium strategy that was effective in this isolated reservoir. This species developed reproductive mechanisms that fit to different environmental conditions, with multiple spawning being associated with lentic environments and asynchronous development of oocytes, which are released over long periods. The reproductive plasticity in reservoirs may be one of the main factors inherent to the successful of colonization and establishment of the peacock bass in the environments in which they were introduced.

RevDate: 2021-04-26
CmpDate: 2021-04-26

Guo Q, Cen X, Song R, et al (2021)

Worldwide effects of non-native species on species-area relationships.

Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology, 35(2):711-721.

Non-native species have invaded most parts of the world, and the invasion process is expected to continue and accelerate. Because many invading non-native species are likely to become permanent inhabitants, future consideration of species-area relationships (SARs) should account for non-native species, either separately or jointly with native species. If non-native species occupy unused niches and space in invaded areas and extinction rate of native species remains low (especially for plants), the resultant SARs (with both native and non-native species) will likely be stronger. We used published and newly compiled data (35 data sets worldwide) to examine how species invasions affect SARs across selected taxonomic groups and diverse ecosystems around the world. We first examined the SARs for native, non-native, and all species. We then investigated with linear regression analyses and paired or unpaired t tests how degree of invasion (proportion of non-native species) affected postinvasion SARs. Postinvasion SARs for all species (native plus non-native) became significantly stronger as degree of invasion increased (r2 = 0.31, p = 0.0006), thus, reshaping SARs worldwide. Overall, native species still showed stronger and less variable SARs. Also, slopes for native species were steeper than for non-native species (0.298 vs. 0.153). There were some differences among non-native taxonomic groups in filling new niches (especially for birds) and between islands and mainland ecosystems. We also found evidence that invasions may increase equilibrial diversity. Study of such changing species-area curves may help determine the probability of future invasions and have practical implications for conservation.

RevDate: 2021-04-26
CmpDate: 2021-04-26

Contento L, M Mimura (2020)

Complex pattern formation driven by the interaction of stable fronts in a competition-diffusion system.

Journal of mathematical biology, 80(1-2):303-342.

The ecological invasion problem in which a weaker exotic species invades an ecosystem inhabited by two strongly competing native species is modelled by a three-species competition-diffusion system. It is known that for a certain range of parameter values competitor-mediated coexistence occurs and complex spatio-temporal patterns are observed in two spatial dimensions. In this paper we uncover the mechanism which generates such patterns. Under some assumptions on the parameters the three-species competition-diffusion system admits two planarly stable travelling waves. Their interaction in one spatial dimension may result in either reflection or merging into a single homoclinic wave, depending on the strength of the invading species. This transition can be understood by studying the bifurcation structure of the homoclinic wave. In particular, a time-periodic homoclinic wave (breathing wave) is born from a Hopf bifurcation and its unstable branch acts as a separator between the reflection and merging regimes. The same transition occurs in two spatial dimensions: the stable regular spiral associated to the homoclinic wave destabilizes, giving rise first to an oscillating breathing spiral and then breaking up producing a dynamic pattern characterized by many spiral cores. We find that these complex patterns are generated by the interaction of two planarly stable travelling waves, in contrast with many other well known cases of pattern formation where planar instability plays a central role.

RevDate: 2021-04-24

Sutherland BL, Barrett CF, Beck JB, et al (2021)

Botany is the root and the future of invasion biology.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-04-24

Těšitel J, Li AR, Knotková K, et al (2021)

The bright side of parasitic plants: what are they good for?.

Plant physiology, 185(4):1309-1324.

Parasitic plants are mostly viewed as pests. This is caused by several species causing serious damage to agriculture and forestry. There is however much more to parasitic plants than presumed weeds. Many parasitic plans exert even positive effects on natural ecosystems and human society, which we review in this paper. Plant parasitism generally reduces the growth and fitness of the hosts. The network created by a parasitic plant attached to multiple host plant individuals may however trigger transferring systemic signals among these. Parasitic plants have repeatedly been documented to play the role of keystone species in the ecosystems. Harmful effects on community dominants, including invasive species, may facilitate species coexistence and thus increase biodiversity. Many parasitic plants enhance nutrient cycling and provide resources to other organisms like herbivores or pollinators, which contributes to facilitation cascades in the ecosystems. There is also a long tradition of human use of parasitic plants for medicinal and cultural purposes worldwide. Few species provide edible fruits. Several parasitic plants are even cultivated by agriculture/forestry for efficient harvesting of their products. Horticultural use of some parasitic plant species has also been considered. While providing multiple benefits, parasitic plants should always be used with care. In particular, parasitic plant species should not be cultivated outside their native geographical range to avoid the risk of their uncontrolled spread and the resulting damage to ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-04-24

Anonymous (2014)


The New phytologist, 202(4):1413.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Newcomb TJ, Simonin PW, Martinez FA, et al (2021)

A Best Practices Case Study for Scientific Collaboration between Researchers and Managers.

Fisheries, 46(3):131-138.

Effective engagement among scientists, government agency staff, and policymakers is necessary for solving fisheries challenges, but remains challenging for a variety of reasons. We present seven practices learned from a collaborative project focused on invasive species in the Great Lakes region (USA-CAN). These practices were based on a researcher-manager model composed of a research team, a management advisory board, and a bridging organization. We suggest this type of system functions well when (1) the management advisory board is provided compelling rationale for engagement; (2) the process uses key individuals as communicators; (3) the research team thoughtfully selects organizations and individuals involved; (4) the funding entity provides logistical support and allows for (5) a flexible structure that prioritizes management needs; (6) a bridging organization sustains communication between in-person meetings; and (7) the project team determines and enacts a project endpoint. We predict these approaches apply equally effectively to other challenges at the research-management-policy interface, including reductions of water pollution, transitions to renewable energy, increasing food security, and addressing climate change.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Ercoli F, Ghia D, Gruppuso L, et al (2021)

Diet and trophic niche of the invasive signal crayfish in the first invaded Italian stream ecosystem.

Scientific reports, 11(1):8704.

The occurrence of the signal crayfish Pacifastacus leniusculus in the Valla Stream was the first established population of this invasive species recorded in an Italian stream ecosystem. We evaluated the seasonality of diet and trophic niche of invasive signal crayfish in order to estimate the ecological role and effects on native communities of the stream ecosystem. We studied the differences in food source use between sexes, life stages and seasons using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analyses. To supplement stable isotope analyses, we evaluated food source usage using traditional stomach content analysis. We tested the hypothesis that juveniles have a different diet, showing different trophic niches, compared to adults. Results indicated that signal crayfish adult and juvenile diets mainly rely on macroinvertebrates and periphyton in summer, shifting to mostly periphyton in autumn. Although the two age classes occupied an equivalent trophic niche, juveniles showed slightly different carbon isotope values, suggesting a somewhat ontogenetic shift consistent among seasons. No significant differences were found in adult and juvenile diets between summer and autumn seasons. Our findings suggest that signal crayfish juveniles and adults exhibited seasonal feeding habits, probably due to ecological behaviour rather than food resource availability, and that both are likely to impose similar effects on macroinvertebrate communities in this and similar stream ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-04-23

Cui Z, Liu Y, Yuan J, et al (2021)

The Chinese mitten crab genome provides insights into adaptive plasticity and developmental regulation.

Nature communications, 12(1):2395.

The infraorder Brachyura (true or short-tailed crabs) represents a successful group of marine invertebrates yet with limited genomic resources. Here we report a chromosome-anchored reference genome and transcriptomes of the Chinese mitten crab Eriocheir sinensis, a catadromous crab and invasive species with wide environmental tolerance, strong osmoregulatory capacity and high fertility. We show the expansion of specific gene families in the crab, including F-ATPase, which enhances our knowledge on the adaptive plasticity of this successful invasive species. Our analysis of spatio-temporal transcriptomes and the genome of E. sinensis and other decapods shows that brachyurization development is associated with down-regulation of Hox genes at the megalopa stage when tail shortening occurs. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism regulating sexual development is achieved by integrated analysis of multiple omics. These genomic resources significantly expand the gene repertoire of Brachyura, and provide insights into the biology of this group, and Crustacea in general.

RevDate: 2021-04-23
CmpDate: 2021-04-23

Barr NB, Garza D, Ledezma LA, et al (2021)

Using the rDNA Internal Transcribed Spacer 1 to Identify the Invasive Pest Rhagoletis cerasi (Diptera: Tephritidae) in North America.

Journal of economic entomology, 114(1):360-370.

The cherry-infesting fruit fly Rhagoletis cerasi Loew is a significant commercial pest in Europe that has recently invaded North America. To date, it has been trapped only in Canada and northwestern counties of New York. It has the potential to spread further and threaten production and movement of cherry commodities. Timely diagnosis of the pest will facilitate surveys and quick response to new detections. Adult morphology of the pest is distinct from other flies in North America. However, when flies are significantly damaged on traps or the immature life stages are found in fruits, molecular methods of identification are important to confirm presence and host-use records. Other than DNA sequencing of genes from flies which takes over a day to complete, there are no timely methods of molecular identification for this pest. In this study, we report the first sequence record of the internal transcribed spacer 1 (ITS1) from R. cerasi and develop two diagnostic tests for the pest based on ITS1 differences among species in North America. The tests use loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and multiplex, conventional polymerase chain reaction (mcPCR) technologies that target the same region of the R. cerasi ITS1 sequence. Both tests performed well when tested against collections of R. cerasi from North America and Europe, generating Diagnostic Sensitivity estimates of 98.4-99.5%. Likewise, the tests had relatively high estimates of Diagnostic Specificity (97.8-100%) when tested against Rhagoletis Loew species present in North America that also use cherry as a developmental host.

RevDate: 2021-04-23
CmpDate: 2011-12-12

Xia HB, Xia H, Ellstrand NC, et al (2011)

Rapid evolutionary divergence and ecotypic diversification of germination behavior in weedy rice populations.

The New phytologist, 191(4):1119-1127.

Feral plants have evolved from well-studied crops, providing good systems for elucidation of how weediness evolves. As yet, they have been largely neglected for this purpose. The evolution of weediness can occur by simple back mutations in domestication genes (domestication in reverse). Whether the evolutionary steps to weediness always occur in reverse remains largely unknown. We examined seed germination behavior in recently evolved weedy rice (Oryza sativa f. spontanea) populations and their coexisting cultivars in eastern and north-eastern China to address whether 'dedomestication' is the simple reverse of domestication. We found that these weedy populations did not diverge from their progenitors by reverting to the pre-domestication trait of seed dormancy. Instead, they have evolved a novel mechanism to avoid growing in inappropriate environments via changes in critical temperature cues for seed germination. Furthermore, we found evidence for subsequent ecotypic divergence of these populations such that the critical temperature for germination correlates with the local habitat temperature at latitudinal gradients. The origins of problematic plant species, weeds and invasives, have already been studied in detail. These plants can thus be used as systems for studying rapid evolution. To determine whether and how that evolution is adaptive, experiments such as those described here can be performed.

RevDate: 2021-04-23
CmpDate: 2013-06-27

Moles AT, Wallis IR, Foley WJ, et al (2011)

Putting plant resistance traits on the map: a test of the idea that plants are better defended at lower latitudes.

The New phytologist, 191(3):777-788.

• It has long been believed that plant species from the tropics have higher levels of traits associated with resistance to herbivores than do species from higher latitudes. A meta-analysis recently showed that the published literature does not support this theory. However, the idea has never been tested using data gathered with consistent methods from a wide range of latitudes. • We quantified the relationship between latitude and a broad range of chemical and physical traits across 301 species from 75 sites world-wide. • Six putative resistance traits, including tannins, the concentration of lipids (an indicator of oils, waxes and resins), and leaf toughness were greater in high-latitude species. Six traits, including cyanide production and the presence of spines, were unrelated to latitude. Only ash content (an indicator of inorganic substances such as calcium oxalates and phytoliths) and the properties of species with delayed greening were higher in the tropics. • Our results do not support the hypothesis that tropical plants have higher levels of resistance traits than do plants from higher latitudes. If anything, plants have higher resistance toward the poles. The greater resistance traits of high-latitude species might be explained by the greater cost of losing a given amount of leaf tissue in low-productivity environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-22

Benkwitt CE, Gunn RL, Le Corre M, et al (2021)

Rat eradication restores nutrient subsidies from seabirds across terrestrial and marine ecosystems.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(21)00477-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions pose a threat to nearly every ecosystem worldwide.1,2 Although eradication programs can successfully eliminate invasive species and enhance native biodiversity, especially on islands,3 the effects of eradication on cross-ecosystem processes are unknown. On islands where rats were never introduced, seabirds transfer nutrients from pelagic to terrestrial and nearshore marine habitats, which in turn enhance the productivity, biomass, and functioning of recipient ecosystems.4-6 Here, we test whether rat eradication restores seabird populations, their nutrient subsidies, and some of their associated benefits for ecosystem function to tropical islands and adjacent coral reefs. By comparing islands with different rat invasion histories, we found a clear hierarchy whereby seabird biomass, seabird-driven nitrogen inputs, and the incorporation of seabird-derived nutrients into terrestrial and marine food chains were highest on islands where rats were never introduced, intermediate on islands where rats were eradicated 4-16 years earlier, and lowest on islands with invasive rats still present. Seabird-derived nutrients diminished from land to sea and with increasing distance to rat-eradicated islands, but extended at least 300 m from shore. Although rat eradication enhanced seabird-derived nutrients in soil, leaves, marine algae, and herbivorous reef fish, reef fish growth was similar around rat-eradicated and rat-infested islands. Given that the loss of nutrient subsidies is of global concern,7 that removal of invasive species restores previously lost nutrient pathways over relatively short timescales is promising. However, the full return of cross-ecosystem nutrient subsidies and all of their associated demographic benefits may take multiple decades.

RevDate: 2021-04-22

Amin OM, Peña C, T Castro (2021)

An Unusual Type of Neoechinorhynchus cylindratus (Acanthocephala: Neoechinorhynchidae) from Gambusia affinis in Peru, with Notes on Introductions.

Acta parasitologica [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Neoechinorhynchus cylindratus Van Cleave (Zoo Anz 43: 177-1990, 1913) Van Cleave (Ill Natl Hist Surv Bull 13:225-257, 1919) is a North American acanthocephalan originally described from Micropterus salmoides (Lacépède) in Pelican Lake, Minnesota. It is common in Centrarchids but also not infrequent in fishes of other families.

PURPOSE: A unique population of N. cylindratus was discovered in Peru. It needed to be described and its introduction into Peru investigated.

METHODS: Standard processing of specimens and staining in Borax carmine and fast green for creating whole mounts were employed. Literature sources were available from the OMA personal collection.

RESULTS: The descriptive accounts of N. cylindratus have been rather stable over the years since its original description. It has been, however, oddly identified from Gambusia affinis (Baird and Girard) in Peru. Females of the Peruvian specimens were, however, not typical in having a terminal-near terminal gonopore at odds with the sub-ventral position characteristic of the usual populations of N. cylindratus in North America. We describe the Peruvian material and outline the distinct morphological variations from the North American populations in the position of the female gonopore, among other characters. We also explain its introduction into Peru and the translocation of the position of female gonopore to the terminal position.

CONCLUSIONS: The translocation to the terminal position of the female gonopore in the Peruvian material is attributed to host related developmental factors. The route of introduction of N. cylindratus into Peru through the introduction of G. affinis from the United States has been accounted for. It may be comparable to the introduction of the same acanthocephalan species into northern Mexico via the documented introduction of its primary host, M. salmoides, also from the United States into Mexico in 1930. The introduction of Acanthocephalus dirus Van Cleave (Ill Natl Hist Surv Bull 13:225-257, 1919) (Van Cleave and Townsend, 1936) into Mexico is also discussed.

RevDate: 2021-04-22

Devarajan M, Muralidharan S, Prakasham K, et al (2021)

Variation in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Contamination Between Native and Introduced Species of Fishes of Pallikaranai Wetland, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.

Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology [Epub ahead of print].

The impacts of invasive fish species on recipient communities are mostly considered a threat to the biodiversity of freshwater systems. A characteristic of introduced species turning invasive is their higher tolerance to environmental stressors. To understand if non-native fishes in Pallikaranai wetland, Tamil Nadu, India, are more tolerant to anthropogenic pressures in the Wetland, we assessed the variation in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon contamination between introduced and native fish species. Mean levels of Naphthalene, fluorene, phenanthrene, anthracene, pyrene, and total PAH in samples of introduced species were higher than native species, while High Molecular weight PAH and carcinogenic PAH4 were higher in native fish species. The data was also analysed to assess if co-variates (organs, seasons, and sex) affected PAH accumulation patterns in non-native species. It was observed that only organs, sex, and year contributed significantly.

RevDate: 2021-04-21

Wolfe TM, Bruzzese DJ, Klasson L, et al (2021)

Comparative genome sequencing reveals insights into the dynamics of Wolbachia in native and invasive cherry fruit flies.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Wolbachia is a maternally inherited obligate endosymbiont that can induce a wide spectrum of effects in its host, ranging from mutualism to reproductive parasitism. At the genomic level, recombination within and between strains, transposable elements, and horizontal transfer of strains between host species make Wolbachia an evolutionarily dynamic bacterial system. The invasive cherry fruit fly Rhagoletis cingulata arrived in Europe from North America ~40 years ago, where it now co-occurs with the native cherry pest R. cerasi. This shared distribution has been proposed to have led to the horizontal transfer of different Wolbachia strains between the two species. To better understand transmission dynamics, we performed a comparative genome study of the strain wCin2 in its native United States and invasive European populations of R. cingulata with wCer2 in European R. cerasi. Previous multilocus sequence genotyping (MLST) of six genes implied that the source of wCer2 in R. cerasi was wCin2 from R. cingulata. However, we report genomic evidence discounting the recent horizontal transfer hypothesis for the origin of wCer2. Despite near identical sequences for the MLST markers, substantial sequence differences for other loci were found between wCer2 and wCin2, as well as structural rearrangements, and differences in prophage, repetitive element, gene content, and cytoplasmic incompatibility inducing genes. Our study highlights the need for whole-genome sequencing rather than relying on MLST markers for resolving Wolbachia strains and assessing their evolutionary dynamics.

RevDate: 2021-04-21

Morey AC, RC Venette (2021)

A participatory method for prioritizing invasive species: Ranking threats to Minnesota's terrestrial ecosystems.

Journal of environmental management, 290:112556 pii:S0301-4797(21)00618-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Terrestrial invasive species threaten the integrity of diverse and highly-valued ecosystems. The Minnesota Invasive Terrestrial Plants and Pests Center (MITPPC) was established by the state of Minnesota to fund research projects aimed at minimizing harms posed by the most threatening terrestrial invasive species to the state's prairies, wetlands, forests, and agriculture. MITPPC used the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) to identify and prioritize diverse invasive species threats. We describe how MITPPC tailored AHP to establish its research priorities and highlight major outcomes and challenges with our approach. We found that subject matter experts considered factors associated with the severity of impact from invasion, rather than the potential for invasion, to be the greatest contributors in identifying the most threatening species. Specifically, out of the 17 total criteria identified by the experts to rank species, negative environmental impact was the most influential threat criterion. Currently, narrowleaf cattail, mountain pine beetle, and the causative agent of Dutch elm disease are top threats to Minnesota terrestrial ecosystems. AHP does not handle data-poor situations well; however, it allows for easy incorporation of new information over time for a species without undoing the original framework. The MITPPC prioritization has encouraged interdisciplinary, cross-project synergy among its research projects. Such outcomes, coupled with the transparent and evidence-based decision structure, strengthen the credibility of MITPPC activities with many stakeholders.

RevDate: 2021-04-21

Tomamichel MM, Venturelli PA, NBD Phelps (2020)

Field and Laboratory Evaluation of the Microsporidian Parasite Heterosporis sutherlandae: Prevalence, Severity, and Transmission.

Journal of aquatic animal health [Epub ahead of print].

Heterosporis sutherlandae is an invasive microsporidian parasite in the Great Lakes region of North America that infects the skeletal muscle of numerous fish species, rendering the fillet unfit for human consumption. Although H. sutherlandae has been identified as a pathogen of concern by state management agencies, there is little information to inform regulation and intervention. We sampled fishes over 1 year from three lakes in northern Minnesota with known infected populations to determine the importance of host demographic and environmental variables for influencing H. sutherlandae infection prevalence. Heterosporis sutherlandae was present during all sampling periods, ranging in prevalence from 1% to 11%. The prevalence of H. sutherlandae among Yellow Perch Perca flavescens varied significantly according to season, with winter having the lowest prevalence (1%) and summer having the highest prevalence (11%). For other fish species, the prevalence of H. sutherlandae also varied significantly with season: the lowest prevalence occurred during spring (1%) and the highest prevalence occurred in fall (9%). Rates of pathogen transmission were estimated by exposing Fathead Minnows Pimephales promelas in the laboratory. Transmission rates were 23% when naïve fish were fed infected tissues and only 2% when naïve fish were held in cohabitation with tissue-fed fish. Exposure method and exposure duration (d) increased the probability that a fish was infected with H. sutherlandae. These findings suggest that H. sutherlandae transmission is greater when a susceptible host consumes infected tissue than when the fish is exposed to spores present in the water column. The current rates of infection in wild fishes are in stark contrast to the prevalence documented in 2004 (28%), suggesting a reduction in H. sutherlandae prevalence within at least one Yellow Perch population in the Laurentian Great Lakes region since the early 2000s.

RevDate: 2021-04-21
CmpDate: 2021-04-21

Guo F, Zhang Y, MJ Kennard (2021)

The Importance of Diet Nutrition for Freshwater Invaders.

Trends in ecology & evolution, 36(5):386-387.

RevDate: 2021-04-21
CmpDate: 2021-04-21

Haubrock PJ, Pilotto F, Innocenti G, et al (2021)

Two centuries for an almost complete community turnover from native to non-native species in a riverine ecosystem.

Global change biology, 27(3):606-623.

Non-native species introductions affect freshwater communities by changing community compositions, functional roles, trait occurrences and ecological niche spaces. Reconstructing such changes over long periods is difficult due to limited data availability. We collected information spanning 215 years on fish and selected macroinvertebrate groups (Mollusca and Crustacea) in the inner-Florentine stretch of the Arno River (Italy) and associated water grid, to investigate temporal changes. We identified an almost complete turnover from native to non-native fish (1800: 92% native; 2015: 94% non-native species) and macroinvertebrate species (1800: 100% native; 2015: 70% non-native species). Non-native fish species were observed ~50 years earlier compared to macroinvertebrate species, indicating phased invasion processes. In contrast, α-diversity of both communities increased significantly following a linear pattern. Separate analyses of changes in α-diversities for native and non-native species of both fish and macroinvertebrates were nonlinear. Functional richness and divergence of fish and macroinvertebrate communities decreased non-significantly, as the loss of native species was compensated by non-native species. Introductions of non-native fish and macroinvertebrate species occurred outside the niche space of native species. Native and non-native fish species exhibited greater overlap in niche space over time (62%-68%) and non-native species eventually replaced native species. Native and non-native macroinvertebrate niches overlapped to a lesser extent (15%-30%), with non-natives occupying mostly unoccupied niche space. These temporal changes in niche spaces of both biotic groups are a direct response to the observed changes in α-diversity and species turnover. These changes are potentially driven by deteriorations in hydromorphology as indicated by alterations in trait modalities. Additionally, we identified that angling played a considerable role for fish introductions. Our results support previous findings that the community turnover from native to non-native species can be facilitated by, for example, deteriorating environmental conditions and that variations in communities are multifaceted requiring more indicators than single metrics.

RevDate: 2021-04-20

Srivastava P, AS Raghubanshi (2021)

Impact of Parthenium hysterophorus L. invasion on soil nitrogen dynamics of grassland vegetation of Indo-Gangetic plains, India.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(5):286.

The noxious plant species Parthenium hysterophorus L. has become a major concern for the conservation of many natural and managed areas. The species is known for its various adverse effects on the invaded ecosystems, particularly in terms of biodiversity loss. Currently, P. hysterophorus is a leading invasive species widespread in the grasslands of productive and diversity rich Indo-Gangetic plains of India and is responsible for various changes in the ecosystem. The present study addresses the changes that P. hysterophorus can bring in the vegetation structure (species richness, species evenness, and species composition) of the grasslands of Indo-Gangetic plain. To broaden our understanding of the invasion success and facilitated expansion, we also focus on the variability of soil nitrogen pool and processes as a consequence of invasion. We report that in the presence of P. hysterophorus, the species diversity, evenness, composition and richness were altered, affecting many native and non-native flora of the ecosystem. The effect was more prominent during the second and third year of the study with more increase in the invasion outcomes. Significant changes in soil nitrogen (N) dynamics, particularly, increased available (N), N-mineralization and microbial biomass N have been found in the invaded plots along with changes in vegetation of the grassland community. Overall, the result suggested that the invasive species, P. hysterophorus, modifies the soil and this modification is correlated with changes in vegetation structure and this situation is likely to further facilitate severe alterations in the ecosystem and could favor encroachment of other non-native species in the area.

RevDate: 2021-04-20

Vicente S, Máguas C, Richardson DM, et al (2021)

Highly diverse and highly successful: invasive Australian acacias have not experienced genetic bottlenecks globally.

Annals of botany pii:6238621 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Invasive species may undergo rapid evolution despite very limited standing genetic diversity. This so-called genetic paradox of biological invasions assumes that an invasive species has experienced (and survived) a genetic bottleneck and then underwent local adaptation in the new range. In this study, we test how often Australian acacias (genus Acacia), one of the world's worst invasive tree groups, have experienced genetic bottlenecks and inbreeding.

METHODS: We collated genetic data from 51 different genetic studies on Acacia species to compare genetic diversity between native and invasive populations. These studies analysed 37 different Acacia species, with genetic data from the invasive ranges of 11 species, and data from the native range for 36 species (14 of these 36 species are known to be invasive somewhere in the world, and the other 22 are not known to be invasive).

KEY RESULTS: Levels of genetic diversity are similar in native and invasive populations, and there is little evidence of invasive acacia populations being extensively inbred. Levels of genetic diversity in native range populations also did not differ significantly between species that have and that do not have invasive populations.

CONCLUSION: We attribute our findings to the impressive movement, introduction effort, and human usage of Australian acacias around the world.

RevDate: 2021-04-20

Foulds W (1993)

Nutrient concentrations of foliage and soil in South-western Australia.

The New phytologist, 125(3):529-546.

The element found in highest concentration in the shoots of the South-western Australian plants surveyed is N followed by K ≤ Ca ≤ Cl ≤ Mg ≤ P ≤ Mn ≤ Zn ≤ Cu. The oligotrophic families (mainly primitive Australian pioneer families Proteaceae, Casuarinaceae, Restionaceae and Epacridaceae) have the lowest nutrient concentrations. The nitrogen-fixing Mimosaceae and Papilionaceae have the highest N concentrations though the nitrogen-fixing Casaurinaceae have relatively low N concentrations. The native shrubs have lower tissue concentrations than the introduced species. Certain families possess a great variation in the concentration of tissue Mn (e.g. Proteaceae, Casuarinaceae) with certain individuals containing high concentrations compared to the average South-west Australian species. Increased amounts of soil nutrients can cause an increase in shoot concentration of the species found growing there, e.g. rich habitats (limestone heath) tend to have higher concentrations than those found on depleted habitats (sandplain heaths). There was no correlation found between shoot concentrations and mean annual rainfall.

RevDate: 2021-04-20

Belote RT, Weltzin JF, RJ Norby (2004)

Response of an understory plant community to elevated [CO2 ] depends on differential responses of dominant invasive species and is mediated by soil water availability.

The New phytologist, 161(3):827-835.

• Rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations are likely to have direct effects on terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we describe effects of elevated concentrations of CO2 on an understory plant community in terms of production and community composition. • In 2001 and 2002 total and species-specific above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) were estimated by harvesting above-ground biomass within an understory community receiving ambient [CO2 ] and elevated [CO2 ] at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's free-air carbon dioxide enrichment (FACE) facility. • During a wet year, community composition differed between plots receiving ambient [CO2 ] and elevated [CO2 ], but total ANPP did not differ. By contrast, during a drier year, community composition did not differ, but total ANPP was greater in elevated than ambient [CO2 ] plots. These patterns were driven by the response of two codominant species, Lonicera japonica and Microstegium vimineum, both considered invasive species in the south-eastern United States. The ANPP of L. japonica was consistently greater under elevated [CO2 ], whereas the response of M. vimineum to CO2 enrichment differed between years and mediated total community response. • These data suggest that community and species responses to a future, CO2 -enriched atmosphere may be mediated by other environmental factors and will depend on individual species responses.

RevDate: 2021-04-20

Garnatje T, Vilatersana R, Roché CT, et al (2002)

Multiple introductions from the Iberian peninsula are responsible for invasion of Crupina vulgaris in western North America.

The New phytologist, 154(2):419-428.

• Crupina vulgaris is a relatively recent invader to grasslands and other open habitats in western North America. Like related Centaurea species, it was introduced from the Mediterranean region, where it does not exhibit ruderal behavior. Determining the number and sources of invasion founders allows fuller interpretation of colonization dynamics and recognition of potential intercontinental carriers, both critical factors for curbing the spread of invasive species. • We chose the molecular technique of random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) to identify the number and sources of invasion founders from the eastern hemisphere, by comparing indigenous and invasive populations. • Our results indicated that the five North American populations derived from three or more successful invasion events whose founders originated in the Iberian peninsula. • Also inferred by the similarity clustering among eastern hemisphere populations is a more ancient origin of the genus to the east of the Mediterranean, a concept supported by the scarcity of suitable nonanthropic habitat in Spain. Its epizoochoric association with migratory movements of domestic herds suggests probable routes of migration first to southern Europe, then later to North America.

RevDate: 2021-04-19

Romeo C, Cafiso A, Fesce E, et al (2021)

Lost and found: Helminths infecting invasive raccoons introduced to Italy.

Parasitology international pii:S1383-5769(21)00073-8 [Epub ahead of print].

North American raccoons (Procyon lotor) have been introduced to several European countries, where they may represent a sanitary threat as hosts of several pathogens such as the zoonotic ascarid Baylisascaris procyonis. We carried out parasitological analysis on raccoons introduced to Italy to verify whether the species had carried along B. procyonis or any other gastro-intestinal helminths that may threaten humans, livestock or native wildlife. We examined 64 raccoons culled in northern Italy during control activities and 3 roadkills opportunistically sampled from a separate population located in central Italy. Helminths were collected from the gastro-intestinal tract through standard parasitological techniques and identified based on a combination of morphology and molecular methods. Overall, examined raccoons showed a poor parasitic fauna, with almost 30% of individuals free of any helminth infection. The most prevalent species were the nematodes Strongyloides procyonis (26.9%), Aonchotheca putorii (25.4%) and Porrocaecum sp. (19.4%). Plagiorchis sp. trematodes were also common (13.4%), whereas cestodes were scarcely represented. With the exception of S. procyonis introduced from North America, all the other identified taxa have either a European or a Palearctic distribution. Despite not finding any B. procyonis in the examined raccoons, passive surveillance for this parasite should be implemented, especially in Tuscany, since the limited host sample examined in the present survey does not allow to exclude its presence.

RevDate: 2021-04-19

Cruickshank SS, Bergamini A, BR Schmidt (2021)

Estimation of breeding probability can make monitoring data more revealing: a case study of amphibians.

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

Monitoring programmes serve to detect trends in the distribution and abundance of species. To do so, monitoring programmes often use static state variables. Dynamic state variables which describe population dynamics might be more valuable because they allow for a mechanistic understanding of the processes which lead to population trends. We fit multistate occupancy models to data from a country-wide multispecies amphibian occupancy monitoring programme and estimated occupancy and breeding probabilities. If breeding probabilities are determinants of occupancy dynamics, then they may serve in monitoring programmes as state variables which describe dynamic processes. The results showed that breeding probabilities were low and that a large proportion of the populations had to be considered to be non-breeding populations (i.e., populations where adults are present but no breeding occurs). For some species, the majority of populations were non-breeding populations. We found that non-breeding populations have lower persistence probabilities than populations where breeding occurs. Breeding probabilities may thus explain trends in occupancy but they might also explain other ecological phenomena, such as the success of invasive species, which had high breeding probabilities. Signs of breeding, i.e., the presence of eggs and larvae, were often hard to detect. Importantly, non-breeding populations also had low detection probabilities, perhaps because they had lower abundances. We suggest that monitoring programmes should invest more into the detection of life history stages indicative of breeding, and also into the detection of non-breeding populations. We conclude that breeding probability should be used as a state variable in monitoring programmes because it can lead to deeper insights into the processes driving occupancy dynamics.

RevDate: 2021-04-19

Richling I, T von Proschwitz (2021)

Identification problems of travelling snail species-new exotic introductions to tropical greenhouses in Gothenburg, Sweden (Gastropoda: Achatinellidae, Strobilopsidae, Helicarionidae).

PeerJ, 9:e11185 pii:11185.

Three previously unreported species of tropical land snails were found in the greenhouses of the Gothenburg (Göteborg) Botanical Garden and the Public Science Center Universeum in Gothenburg. For Tornatellides cf. boeningi (Schmacker & Boettger, 1891) and Ovachlamys fulgens (Gude, 1900) this is the first observed occurrence in a European greenhouse, while Discostrobilops hubbardi (Brown, 1861) was first reported very recently in the Vienna Botanical garden. Tornatellides and Discostrobilops seem to be spread with orchid culture and trade. Identification of the Tornatellides species proved extremely difficult and a genetic sequence-based approach completely failed due to the unavailability of reference data. This was unexpected considering the importance of these introduced species in horticultural trade. A broader assessment of available sequence data for genetic identification based on COI or 16S for other snail species reported from horticultural facilities showed that such reference data in GenBank are still scarce and only for a limited number of species this approach would support identification.

RevDate: 2021-04-19

Nouri-Aiin M, JH Görres (2021)

Biocontrol of invasive pheretimoid earthworms using Beauveria bassiana.

PeerJ, 9:e11101 pii:11101.

Background: Invasive species cause enormous costs of over $120 billion to the U.S. economy. Among biological invasions, the invasion by pheretimoid earthworms has gone relatively unnoticed and their invasion imposes yet unknown damage on USA agriculture and horticulture. The main dispersal is with horticultural goods such as plant material and composts. Pheretimoids affect commercially important hardwood forest. With no chemical agents currently certified for earthworm control nor any best horticultural practices, slowing the invasion is difficult.

Methods: In this study we measured the efficacy of a commercial entomopathogenic fungal isolate of B. bassiana (BotaniGard®) to kill pheretimoid earthworms under greenhouse conditions. Four treatments of B. bassiana were applied: The commercial product as per label, re-cultured commercial B. bassiana, 15 g and 25 g millet grains mycotized with recultured product. In all, three bioassays were conducted in 2 consecutive years with two batches of BotaniGard®.

Results: With fresh batches, all B. bassiana treatments with re-cultured product resulted in greater than 70% mortality within 4 weeks. Mortality was less than 60% when BotaniGard® was used as prescribed by the label. When using 1-year old spores (refrigerated at 4 °C), mortality rates for B. bassiana treatments were less than 20% and not significantly different from the controls. However, B. bassiana still affected the earthworms by slowing their development from juvenile to adult stage.

Conclusion: B. bassiana was effective against pheretimoid earthworms. Overall, mycotized millet grains did not significantly increase mortality over the re-cultured, directly applied B. bassiana spores. More experimentation is needed to find the mode of action of the re-cultured B. bassiana before investigating ways to improve the efficacy of B. bassiana when applied as prescribed on the label.

RevDate: 2021-04-19

Reiskind MOB, Moody ML, Bolnick DI, et al (2021)

Nothing in Evolution Makes Sense Except in the Light of Biology.

Bioscience, 71(4):370-382 pii:biaa170.

A key question in biology is the predictability of the evolutionary process. If we can correctly predict the outcome of evolution, we may be better equipped to anticipate and manage species' adaptation to climate change, habitat loss, invasive species, or emerging infectious diseases, as well as improve our basic understanding of the history of life on Earth. In the present article, we ask the questions when, why, and if the outcome of future evolution is predictable. We first define predictable and then discuss two conflicting views: that evolution is inherently unpredictable and that evolution is predictable given the ability to collect the right data. We identify factors that generate unpredictability, the data that might be required to make predictions at some level of precision or at a specific timescale, and the intellectual and translational value of understanding when prediction is or is not possible.

RevDate: 2021-04-19

Wang D, Bai J, Gu C, et al (2021)

Scale-dependent biogeomorphic feedbacks control the tidal marsh evolution under Spartina alterniflora invasion.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(21)01563-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The mechanisms of biogeomorphic feedbacks and its influencing factors have been extensively studied for pioneer species colonization in tidal environment. However, biogeomorphic impacts of alien species over the entire invasion process coupled with hydro-geomorphologic processes and ecoengineering traits still lack sufficient understanding to forecast salt marsh succession. In this study, we developed a bio-hydrogeomorphic model to account for the tidal platform evolution and vegetation distribution under Spartina alterniflora invasion in the Yellow River Delta, China. Our field observation and modelling results revealed that salt marsh transformed from a stabilized to a self-organized system due to the significant geomorphic-biological feedback under Spartina alterniflora invasion. Tidal channels took shape differently along the elevation gradient of the intertidal platform. Patch-scale feedbacks promoted the channel initiation in the low-elevated zone during early colonization phase. While landscape-scale feedbacks dominated channel incision in the middle to high platform during the mature phase. Specifically, the channel initiation in the middle-elevated ecotone could be attributed to the change from homogenous sheet flow to concentrated channel flow along the marsh edge, which was determined by tidal prism and discrepancy in organism traits. Hence, our study showed that scale-dependent feedback and gaps in ecoengineering capacity of organism determined the morphological variation in the invasive ecosystem. This would provide the insights into biogeomorphic impacts of invasive species and scientific conservation for native ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-04-19

Mounger J, Ainouche ML, Bossdorf O, et al (2021)

Epigenetics and the success of invasive plants.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1826):20200117.

Biological invasions impose ecological and economic problems on a global scale, but also provide extraordinary opportunities for studying contemporary evolution. It is critical to understand the evolutionary processes that underly invasion success in order to successfully manage existing invaders, and to prevent future invasions. As successful invasive species sometimes are suspected to rapidly adjust to their new environments in spite of very low genetic diversity, we are obliged to re-evaluate genomic-level processes that translate into phenotypic diversity. In this paper, we review work that supports the idea that trait variation, within and among invasive populations, can be created through epigenetic or other non-genetic processes, particularly in clonal invaders where somatic changes can persist indefinitely. We consider several processes that have been implicated as adaptive in invasion success, focusing on various forms of 'genomic shock' resulting from exposure to environmental stress, hybridization and whole-genome duplication (polyploidy), and leading to various patterns of gene expression re-programming and epigenetic changes that contribute to phenotypic variation or even novelty. These mechanisms can contribute to transgressive phenotypes, including hybrid vigour and novel traits, and may thus help to understand the huge successes of some plant invaders, especially those that are genetically impoverished. This article is part of the theme issue 'How does epigenetics influence the course of evolution?'

RevDate: 2021-04-18

Proesmans W, Albrecht M, Gajda A, et al (2021)

Pathways for Novel Epidemiology: Plant-Pollinator-Pathogen Networks and Global Change.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(21)00073-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Multiple global change pressures, and their interplay, cause plant-pollinator extinctions and modify species assemblages and interactions. This may alter the risks of pathogen host shifts, intra- or interspecific pathogen spread, and emergence of novel population or community epidemics. Flowers are hubs for pathogen transmission. Consequently, the structure of plant-pollinator interaction networks may be pivotal in pathogen host shifts and modulating disease dynamics. Traits of plants, pollinators, and pathogens may also govern the interspecific spread of pathogens. Pathogen spillover-spillback between managed and wild pollinators risks driving the evolution of virulence and community epidemics. Understanding this interplay between host-pathogen dynamics and global change will be crucial to predicting impacts on pollinators and pollination underpinning ecosystems and human wellbeing.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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


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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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