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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 25 Oct 2021 at 01:46 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-10-22

Novoa A, Foxcroft LC, Keet JH, et al (2021)

The invasive cactus Opuntia stricta creates fertility islands in African savannas and benefits from those created by native trees.

Scientific reports, 11(1):20748.

The patchy distribution of trees typical of savannas often results in a discontinuous distribution of water, nutrient resources, and microbial communities in soil, commonly referred to as "islands of fertility". We assessed how this phenomenon may affect the establishment and impact of invasive plants, using the invasion of Opuntia stricta in South Africa's Kruger National Park as case study. We established uninvaded and O. stricta-invaded plots under the most common woody tree species in the study area (Vachellia nilotica subsp. kraussiana and Spirostachys africana) and in open patches with no tree cover. We then compared soil characteristics, diversity and composition of the soil bacterial communities, and germination performance of O. stricta and native trees between soils collected in each of the established plots. We found that the presence of native trees and invasive O. stricta increases soil water content and nutrients, and the abundance and diversity of bacterial communities, and alters soil bacterial composition. Moreover, the percentage and speed of germination of O. stricta were higher in soils conditioned by native trees compared to soils collected from open patches. Finally, while S. africana and V. nilotica trees appear to germinate equally well in invaded and uninvaded soils, O. stricta had lower and slower germination in invaded soils, suggesting the potential release of phytochemicals by O. stricta to avoid intraspecific competition. These results suggest that the presence of any tree or shrub in savanna ecosystems, regardless of origin (i.e. native or alien), can create favourable conditions for the establishment and growth of other plants.

RevDate: 2021-10-21

Agbulu V, Zaman R, Ishangulyyeva G, et al (2021)

Host Defense Metabolites Alter the Interactions between a Bark Beetle and its Symbiotic Fungi.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Successful host plant colonization by tree-killing bark beetle-symbiotic fungal complexes depends on host suitability, which is largely determined by host defense metabolites such as monoterpenes. Studies have shown the ability of specific blends of host monoterpenes to influence bark beetles or their fungal symbionts, but how biologically relevant blends of host monoterpenes influence bark beetle-symbiotic fungal interaction is unknown. We tested how interactions between two host species (lodgepole pine or jack pine) and two fungal symbionts of mountain pine beetle (Grosmannia clavigera or Ophiostoma montium) affect the performance of adult female beetles in vitro. Beetles treated with the propagules of G. clavigera or O. montium or not treated (natural fungal load) were introduced into media amended with a blend of the entire monoterpene profile of either host species and beetle performance was compared. Overall, host blends altered beetle performance depending on the fungal species used in the beetle amendment. When beetles were amended with G. clavigera, their performance was superior over beetles amended with O. montium in either host blend. Furthermore, G. clavigera-amended beetles performed better in media amended with host blends than without a host blend; in contrast, O. montium-amended beetles performed better in media without a host blend than with a host blend. Overall, this study showed that host defense metabolites affect host suitability to bark beetles through influencing their fungal symbionts and that different species of fungal symbionts respond differentlly to host defense metabolites.

RevDate: 2021-10-21

Gallitelli L, Battisti C, Olivieri Z, et al (2021)

Carpobrotus spp. patches as trap for litter: Evidence from a Mediterranean beach.

Marine pollution bulletin, 173(Pt B):113029 pii:S0025-326X(21)01063-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Dunal plants may affect the patterns of deposition of beach litter. In this study, we aimed at evaluating if Carpobrotus spp. patches may act as a litter trap in coastal dune systems. To do so, we counted the number of macrolitter occurring in both Carpobrotus and control (embryo dune vegetation) patches classifying each item into categories according to the Marine Strategy. Totally, we observed a significant difference between litter trapped in Carpobrotus (331 items, representing 62.4% of the total beach litter) and control (199, 37.6%). Plastic fragments were the most trapped items by both Carpobrotus (46.2%) and control patches (47.2%). We also calculated the item co-occurrence, obtaining a random aggregated 'litter community'. The main emerging output is that Carpobrotus patches act as filter in respect to different anthropogenic materials (overall plastics), suggesting that alien plant management actions may contribute to solve beach litter issues as well.

RevDate: 2021-10-22
CmpDate: 2021-10-22

Pais-Costa AJ, Sánchez MI, Taggart MA, et al (2021)

Trace element bioaccumulation in hypersaline ecosystems and implications of a global invasion.

The Science of the total environment, 800:149349.

Hypersaline ecosystems are under increasing threat due to anthropogenic pressures such as environmental pollution and biological invasions. Here we address the ecotoxicological implications of the Artemia franciscana (Crustacea) invasion in saltpans of southern Spain. This North American species is causing the extinction of native Artemia populations in many parts of the globe. The bioaccumulation of trace elements (As, Cd, Cu, Co, Cr, Mn, Ni, Pb and Zn) in native populations (A. parthenogenetica) from Cabo de Gata and Odiel saltpans and invasive Artemia from Cádiz saltpan was studied at different salinities. Furthermore, in Odiel, the most polluted study site, we also analysed the bioaccumulation of trace elements by Chironomus salinarius larvae (Diptera) and Ochthebius notabilis adults (Coleoptera). High levels of trace elements were detected in the studied saltpans, many of them exceeding the recommended threshold guidelines for aquatic life. Bioaccumulation of trace elements by Artemia was lowest at the highest salinity. The invasive A. franciscana showed higher potential to bioaccumulate trace elements than its native counterpart (in particular for As, Cd, Ni and Cr). In Odiel, O. notabilis stood out as showing the highest potential to bioaccumulate As and Cu. Results showed that the shift from a native to an alien Artemia species with a higher bioaccumulation capacity may increase the transfer of trace elements in hypersaline food webs, especially for waterbirds that depend on Artemia as food. Thus, our study identifies an indirect impact of the Artemia franciscana invasion that had not previously been recognised.

RevDate: 2021-10-21
CmpDate: 2021-10-21

Chavana J, Singh S, Vazquez A, et al (2021)

Local adaptation to continuous mowing makes the noxious weed Solanum elaeagnifolium a superweed candidate by improving fitness and defense traits.

Scientific reports, 11(1):6634.

The role of disturbance in accelerating weed growth is well understood. While most studies have focused on soil mediated disturbance, mowing can also impact weed traits. Using silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), a noxious and invasive weed, through a series of field, laboratory, and greenhouse experiments, we asked whether continuous mowing influences growth and plant defense traits, expressed via different avenues, and whether they cascade into offspring. We found that mowed plants produced significantly less number of fruits, and less number of total seeds per plant, but had higher seed mass, and germinated more and faster. When three herbivores were allowed to feed, tobacco hornworm (Manduca sexta) caterpillars, gained more mass on seedlings from unmowed plants, while cow pea aphid (Aphis craccivora), a generalist, established better on mowed seedlings; however, leaf trichome density was higher on unmowed seedlings, suggesting possible negative cross talk in defense traits. Texas potato beetle (Leptinotarsa texana), a co-evolved specialist on S. elaeagnifolium, did not show any differential feeding effects. We also found that specific root length, an indicator of nutrient acquisition, was significantly higher in first generation seedlings from mowed plants. Taken together, we show that mowing is a selective pressure that enhances some fitness and defense traits and can contribute to producing superweeds.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

King AC, Krieg R, Weston A, et al (2021)

Using eDNA to simultaneously detect the distribution of native and invasive crayfish within an entire country.

Journal of environmental management, 302(Pt A):113929 pii:S0301-4797(21)01991-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The introduction of invasive crayfish has led to a decline of many European native species of crayfish across their range. In this study, novel duplex assays for all crayfish occurring in Switzerland were developed. We aimed to identify the distribution of the seven species using a traditional trap surveillance method as well by collecting water samples to detect eDNA by species-specific quantitative real-time PCR. We reveal our overall experience in finding optimal field and laboratory techniques to discover the distribution and abundance of native and invasive species in order to enhance knowledge of early invasive species invasion and highlight important pockets of populations where native species remain, for implementation of conservation strategies. Using eDNA, important populations of native noble and white-clawed crayfish were revealed in multiple waters across various cantons. The successful identification of native and invasive crayfish species in Switzerland using eDNA can be applied to future nationwide projects. This method which has the ability to detect all species simultaneously across an entire country, will allow an improvement in freshwater crayfish conservation management.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Teng ZW, Wu HZ, Ye XH, et al (2021)

An Endoparasitoid Uses Its Egg Surface Proteins to Regulate Its Host Immune Response.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

With proteomic analysis, we identified 379 egg surface proteins from an endoparasitoid, Cotesia chilonis. Proteins containing conserved enzymatic domains constitute a large proportion of egg surface components. Some proteins, such as superoxidase dismutase, homolog of C. rubecula 32-kDa protein and immunoevasive protein-2A, are classical parasitism factors that have known functions in host immunity regulation. Melanization assays revealed that a novel egg surface protein, C. chilonis egg surface serpin domain-containing protein had the same function as a C. chilonis venom serpin, as both suppressed host melanization in a dose-dependent manner. C. chilonis egg surface serpin domain-containing protein is mainly transcribed in C. chilonis oocytes with follicular cells, and it is located on both the anterior and posterior sides of the mature egg surface. Additionally, we used LC-MS/MS to identify 586 binding proteins sourced from C. suppressalis plasma located on the eggshell surface of C. chilonis, which included some immunity-related proteins. These results not only indicate that C. chilonis uses its egg surface proteins to reduce the immune response of its host, but also imply that endoparasitoid egg surface proteins might be a new parasitism factor involved in host immune regulation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Chadha A, S Florentine (2021)

Biology, Ecology, Distribution and Control of the Invasive Weed, Lactuca serriola L. (Wild Lettuce): A Global Review.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(10): pii:plants10102157.

Lactuca serriola L. (wild lettuce) is a highly invasive C3 weed in many countries, including Australia, Canada, and the USA. This weed is a severe threat to agricultural systems, especially in crops grown with reduced or no-tillage approaches, which commonly include wheat, cereals and pulses. Owing to the vertical orientation of its leaves in the north-south plane and its root architecture, L. serriola can maintain high water use efficiency under drought conditions, giving it the ability to expand its range under a drying climate. Each plant can produce up to 100,000 seeds which have no primary dormancy and form a short-term seedbank lasting up to three years. Most seedlings emerge in autumn and overwinter as a rosette, with a small flush of emergence in spring depicting staggered germination. Research into control methods for this weed has been performed, and these methods include chemical herbicides applied alone and in combination, the establishment of plant competition, tillage, mowing and bioherbicide. Herbicides can provide effective control when applied in the seedling or rosette stage; however, spring germination is difficult to control, as it skips the rosette stage. Some biotypes are now resistant to ALS inhibitor and synthetic auxins, causing concern regarding using herbicides. A dedicated integrated management plan for 3-4 years is recommended for the control of this troublesome species. This review will explore the biology, ecology, distribution, current control techniques and previous research on this weed, allowing us to make recommendations for its future research and management.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Gentili R, Ambrosini R, Augustinus BA, et al (2021)

High Phenotypic Plasticity in a Prominent Plant Invader along Altitudinal and Temperature Gradients.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(10): pii:plants10102144.

Studies on plant growth and trait variation along environmental gradients can provide important information for identifying drivers of plant invasions and for deriving management strategies. We used seeds of the annual plant invader Ambrosia artemisiifolia L. (common ragweed) collected from an agricultural site in Northern Italy (226 m. a.s.l; Mean Annual Air Temperature: 12.9 °C; precipitations: 930 mm) to determine variation in growth trajectories and plant traits when grown along a 1000-m altitudinal gradient in Northern Italy, and under different temperature conditions in the growth chamber (from 14/18 °C to 26/30 °C, night/day), using a non-liner modeling approach. Under field conditions, traits related to plant height (maximum height, stem height, number of internodes) followed a three-parameter logistic curve. In contrast, leaf traits (lateral spread, number of leaves, leaf length and width) followed non-monotonic double-Richards curves that captured the decline patterns evident in the data. Plants grew faster, reaching a higher maximum plant height, and produced more biomass when grown at intermediate elevations. Under laboratory conditions, plants exhibited the same general growth trajectory of field conditions. However, leaf width did not show the recession after the maximum value shown by plants grown in the field, although the growth trajectories of some individuals, particularly those grown at 18 °C, showed a decline at late times. In addition, the plants grown at lower temperatures exhibited the highest value of biomass and preserved reproductive performances (e.g., amount of male inflorescence, pollen weight). From our findings, common ragweed exhibits a high phenotypic plasticity of vegetative and reproductive traits in response to different altitudes and temperature conditions. Under climate warming, this plasticity may facilitate the shift of the species towards higher elevation, but also the in situ resistance and (pre)adaptation of populations currently abundant at low elevations in the invasive European range. Such results may be also relevant for projecting the species management such as the impact by possible biocontrol agents.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Christopoulou A, Christopoulou A, Fyllas NM, et al (2021)

How Effective Are the Protected Areas of the Natura 2000 Network in Halting Biological Invasions? A Case Study in Greece.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(10): pii:plants10102113.

Invasive alien plant species represent an important threat to various protected areas of the world, and this threat expected to be further enhanced due to climate change. This is also the case for the most important network of protected areas in Europe, the Natura 2000 network. In the current study we evaluated the distribution pattern of alien plant taxa across selected continental and insular Natura 2000 sites in Greece and their potential spread 15 years since first being recorded in the field. A total of seventy-three naturalized plant taxa were recorded in the 159 sites under study. At the site level and regardless of the habitat group, the ratio of invaded areas increased between the two monitoring campaigns. An increase in the ratio of invaded plots was also detected for all habitat groups, except for grassland and riparian-wetland habitats. Precipitation during the dry quarter of the year was the factor that mainly controlled the occurrence and spread of alien plant taxa regardless of the site and habitat group. It is reasonable to say that the characterization of an area as protected may not be sufficient without having implemented the proper practices for halting biological invasions.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Renčo M, Jurová J, Gömöryová E, et al (2021)

Long-Term Giant Hogweed Invasion Contributes to the Structural Changes of Soil Nematofauna.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(10): pii:plants10102103.

Heracleum mantegazzianum (giant hogweed) is the largest central European forb, naturalized or invasive in many European countries. The impacts of its colonization of native habitats on soil mesofauna groups are unfortunately obscure. This study assessed the effect of giant hogweed invasion on the communities of plants and soil nematodes in the riparian habitat. We found that invasion by H. mantegazzianum increased soil pH, decreased carbon and nitrogen content, reduced the number and coverage of the native plant species, and influenced nematode communities and their structures. Nematode species number was significantly lower in invaded than uninvaded plots, but nematode species diversity was not affected by invasion throughout the whole study. Total nematode abundance slightly increased under giant hogweed, while total nematode biomass did not differ between the invaded and uninvaded plots. The higher abundance of bacterivores and fungivores but lower number of omnivorous nematodes well represented the negative impact of giant hogweed invasion on soil food webs, supported by low values of all maturity indices or channel index. The hogweed invaded plots contained higher abundance of plant parasitic nematodes, mainly Paratylenchus microdorus. Our results thus indicate that invasion by H. mantegazzianum influences several nematode communities' parameters while others remain unaffected by invasion.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Dörr AJM, Scoparo M, Cardinali I, et al (2021)

Population Ecology and Genetic Diversity of the Invasive Alien Species Procambarus clarkii in Lake Trasimeno (Italy).

Biology, 10(10): pii:biology10101059.

The deliberate or accidental introduction of invasive alien species (IAS) causes negative ecological and economic impacts altering ecosystem processes, imperiling native species and causing damage to human endeavors. A monthly monitoring program was performed in Lake Trasimeno (Central Italy) from July 2018 to July 2019 in order to provide an upgrade of the population ecology of Procambarus clarkii and to assess the genetic diversity by analyzing the relationships among mitochondrial DNA diversity. Our results confirmed that P. clarkii is well acclimatized in the lake, revealing a stable population structure favored by the resources and conditions typical of this ecosystem, which seem to be optimal for the maintenance of the species. Four distinct mitochondrial haplotypes were detected, but one of them was clearly overrepresented (76%), suggesting that a single predominant introduction event may have occurred in this area, likely followed by secondary events. The identification of the typical genetic variants provides a better understanding of the evolutionary scenarios of P. clarkii in this biotope and it can be helpful in management plans concerning the expanding populations of this invasive alien species.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Boraldi F, Lofaro FD, Bergamini G, et al (2021)

Pomacea canaliculata Ampullar Proteome: A Nematode-Based Bio-Pesticide Induces Changes in Metabolic and Stress-Related Pathways.

Biology, 10(10): pii:biology10101049.

Pomacea canaliculata is a freshwater gastropod known for being both a highly invasive species and one of the possible intermediate hosts of the mammalian parasite Angiostrongylus cantonensis. With the aim of providing new information concerning P. canaliculata biology and adaptability, the first proteome of the ampulla, i.e., a small organ associated with the circulatory system and known as a reservoir of nitrogen-containing compounds, was obtained. The ampullar proteome was derived from ampullae of control snails or after exposure to a nematode-based molluscicide, known for killing snails in a dose- and temperature-dependent fashion. Proteome analysis revealed that the composition of connective ampulla walls, cell metabolism and oxidative stress response were affected by the bio-pesticide. Ultrastructural investigations have highlighted the presence of rhogocytes within the ampullar walls, as it has been reported for other organs containing nitrogen storage tissue. Collected data suggested that the ampulla may belong to a network of organs involved in controlling and facing oxidative stress in different situations. The response against the nematode-based molluscicide recalled the response set up during early arousal after aestivation and hibernation, thus encouraging the hypothesis that metabolic pathways and antioxidant defences promoting amphibiousness could also prove useful in facing other challenges stimulating an oxidative stress response, e.g., immune challenges or biocide exposure. Targeting the oxidative stress resistance of P. canaliculata may prove helpful for increasing its susceptibility to bio-pesticides and may help the sustainable control of this pest's diffusion.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Mazzamuto MV, Wauters LA, JL Koprowski (2021)

Exotic Pet Trade as a Cause of Biological Invasions: The Case of Tree Squirrels of the Genus Callosciurus.

Biology, 10(10): pii:biology10101046.

The trade of non-native pets, especially of non-domesticated and exotic animals, and their subsequent release and establishment of populations is one of the major pathways of introduction for invasive alien reptiles, amphibia, birds and mammals. Here, we use a group of arboreal mammals, tree squirrels of the genus Callosciurus, as a well-documented case study, reviewing the pathways of introduction, the current areas of non-native distribution, the rate of establishment success and the challenge and legal importance of species identification. We further illustrate the importance of early detection and effective monitoring methods and plans. Next, we document how they interfere with native species, their risk of acting as vectors for emerging infectious diseases and their potential role in maintaining parasitic infections that can affect human health. We conclude by reviewing the current management, or the lack of it, and highlight the diverse biological, social, political and economic reasons that make control/eradication of these charismatic species difficult or even impractical in most countries. However, reviewing the only two successful eradications of the IAS, we highlight the need to acknowledge the public opinion and the importance of communication, transparency and the engagement of a diversity of stakeholders to create a consensus about the actions to undertake.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Li C, Gao Y, Chang N, et al (2021)

Risk Assessment of Anopheles philippinensis and Anopheles nivipes (Diptera: Culicidae) Invading China under Climate Change.

Biology, 10(10): pii:biology10100998.

BACKGROUND: Anopheles philippinensis and Anopheles nivipes are morphologically similar and are considered to be effective vectors of malaria transmission in northeastern India. Environmental factors such as temperature and rainfall have a significant impact on the temporal and spatial distribution of disease vectors driven by future climate change.

METHODS: In this study, we used the maximum entropy model to predict the potential global distribution of the two mosquito species in the near future and the trend of future distribution in China. Based on the contribution rate of environmental factors, we analyzed the main environmental factors affecting the distribution of the two mosquito species. We also constructed a disease vector risk assessment index system to calculate the comprehensive risk value of the invasive species.

RESULTS: Precipitation has a significant effect on the distribution of potentially suitable areas for Anopheles philippinensis and Anopheles nivipes. The two mosquito species may spread in the suitable areas of China in the future. The results of the risk assessment index system showed that the two mosquito species belong to the moderate invasion risk level for China.

CONCLUSIONS: China should improve the mosquito vector monitoring system, formulate scientific prevention and control strategies and strictly prevent foreign imports.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

de Vries JPR, van Loon E, PAV Borges (2021)

A Small-Scale Analysis of Elevational Species Richness and Beta Diversity Patterns of Arthropods on an Oceanic Island (Terceira, Azores).

Insects, 12(10): pii:insects12100936.

We present an analysis of arthropod diversity patterns in native forest communities along the small elevation gradient (0-1021 m a.s.l.) of Terceira island, Azores (Portugal). We analysed (1) how the alpha diversity of Azorean arthropods responds to increasing elevation and (2) differs between endemic, native non-endemic and introduced (alien) species, and (3) the contributions of species replacement and richness difference to beta diversity. Arthropods were sampled using SLAM traps between 2014 and 2018. We analysed species richness indicators, the Hill series and beta diversity partitioning (species replacement and species richness differences). Selected orders (Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Psocoptera) and endemic, native non-endemic and introduced species were analysed separately. Total species richness shows a monotonic decrease with elevation for all species and Coleoptera and Psocoptera, but peaks at mid-high elevation for Araneae and endemic species. Introduced species richness decreases strongly with elevation especially. These patterns are most likely driven by climatic factors but also influenced by human disturbance. Beta diversity is, for most groups, the main component of total (gamma) diversity along the gradient but shows no relation with elevation. It results from a combined effect of richness decrease with elevation and species replacement in groups with many narrow-ranged species.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Drapeau Picard AP, Giroux M, Saint-Germain M, et al (2021)

"What's This Bug?" Questions from the Public Provide Relevant Information on Species Distribution and Human-Insect Interactions.

Insects, 12(10): pii:insects12100921.

In general, insects and arthropods polarizing: they either fascinate people, disgust people, or both, and they generate lots of questions. Museums are perceived as reliable sources of information and, as such, a go-to destination for the public to receive answers. Since its opening in 1990, the Montreal Insectarium has offered an entomological information service, allowing the public to send questions, photographs, and specimens for identification. All requests are answered by entomologists. Spatiotemporal variations in taxonomic, geographic, and thematic profiles of the 4163 requests received in 2010-2011 and 2017-2018 were analyzed. Requests came from 35 countries, and most of those requests came from Canada. The majority of requests were identification requests. Representing 25% of identification requests, the five most frequent species were the eastern dobsonfly Corydalus cornutus, the masked hunter Reduvius personatus, the giant water bug Lethocerus americanus, the western conifer-seed bug Leptoglossus occidentalis, and the Japanese beetle Popillia japonica. A comparison with the data from the citizen science platform iNaturalist shows that the EIS can be a valuable tool for invasive species detection. Frequent subjects included school projects, entomophagy (eating insects), and wasp and bee nests. Finally, we discuss the role of entomologists in providing scientific information but also in addressing common concerns regarding cohabitation with arthropods.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Oliveira TMR, Zink FA, Menezes RC, et al (2021)

Assay Optimization Can Equalize the Sensitivity of Real-Time PCR with ddPCR for Detection of Helicoverpa armigera (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Bulk Samples.

Insects, 12(10): pii:insects12100885.

Helicoverpa armigera (Hübner) is one of the most important agricultural pests in the world. This historically Old World species was first reported in Brazil in 2013 and has since spread throughout much of South America and into the Caribbean. Throughout North America, H. armigera surveys are ongoing to detect any incursions. Each trap is capable of capturing hundreds of native Helicoverpa zea (Boddie). The two species cannot be separated without genitalic dissection or molecular methods. A ddPCR assay is currently used to screen large trap samples, but this equipment is relatively uncommon and expensive. Here, we optimized a newly designed assay for accurate and repeatable detection of H. armigera in bulk samples across both ddPCR and less costly, and more common, real-time PCR methods. Improvements over previously designed assays were sought through multiple means. Our results suggest bulk real-time PCR assays can be improved through changes in DNA extraction and purification, so that real-time PCR can be substituted for ddPCR in screening projects. While ddPCR remains a more sensitive method for detection of H. armigera in bulk samples, the improvements in assay design, DNA extraction, and purification presented here also enhance assay performance over previous protocols.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Fitzgerald A, Halliday J, D Heath (2021)

Environmental DNA as Novel Technology: Lessons in Agenda Setting and Framing in News Media.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(10): pii:ani11102874.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is an emerging technology used for understanding ecosystems, environmental change, and stressors. Cellular and extracellular DNA are collected from environmental samples instead of individual wildlife animals, and as such eDNA comes with associated logistical and ethical benefits. It is increasingly being used, yet to date public knowledge and perceptions of eDNA have not been explored. Given that most of the public gathers scientific information from news media sources, this is a logical first place to start. This paper reports on a framing and agenda-setting analysis of news media coverage of eDNA in Canada and the United States from 2000 to 2020. The findings indicate that eDNA is being framed as an emerging and powerful tool, although questions regarding its validity and reliability are raised vis-à-vis identifying the presence of invasive species. Less than half of the news articles analyzed address broader social or ethical issues in relation to eDNA, and the majority focus on the potential financial impacts of eDNA findings on development projects and business interests. The potential ethical advantages of non-lethal sampling methods used via eDNA sampling are not addressed, nor are the potential ethical issues raised by its potential use in bioprospecting, indicating that the current state of agenda setting regarding eDNA in these newspapers is focused on economic impacts, to the exclusion of potential ethical issues. This unfolding news coverage will likely be key to understanding public perceptions of this novel technology.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Koo KS, M Choe (2021)

Distribution Change of Invasive American Bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) by Future Climate Threaten Endangered Suweon Treefrog (Hyla suweonensis) in South Korea.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(10): pii:ani11102865.

The American Bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus) has been imported into South Korea in earnest for food since the 1970s and introduced into nature due to release and escape. Accordingly, the influx and spread of American Bullfrogs are expected to have a direct impact on native species, but few related studies have been conducted on this. We predicted changes in the potential distribution and future distribution based on climate change scenarios to analyze how those changes affect critically endangered Suwon treefrogs. Suwon treefrog sites (63.9%, 78/122) overlapped with the distribution of Bullfrogs. According to the prediction of the future distribution of Bullfrogs, the overlapping of American Bullfrogs and Suwon treefrog will remain similar to the current level in the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 4.5 scenario. On the other hand, in the RCP 8.5 scenario, the number of overlapping sites will increase to 72.1% (88/122) due to the spreading of the American Bullfrogs. The results show that climate change directly affects the distribution expansion of the American Bullfrogs but also indirectly can lead to an increased threat to Suwon treefrogs. In conclusion, our results strongly suggest why climate change should be actively addressed in terms of the spread of invasive species and the protection of endangered species.

RevDate: 2021-10-23

Andreani A, Stancampiano L, Belcari A, et al (2021)

Distribution of Deer Keds (Diptera: Hippoboscidae) in Free-Living Cervids of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines, Central Italy, and Establishment of the Allochthonous Ectoparasite Lipoptena fortisetosa.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(10): pii:ani11102794.

Lipoptena fortisetosa and L. cervi are hematophagous ectoparasites belonging to the Hippoboscidae family and preferentially living on cervids. In recent years, they have received specific attention due to the great increase in the abundance of their host species, and to their medical and veterinary importance as possible vectors of pathogens harmful to humans and animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the parasitism level of both of these flies on their main hosts in Italy, which are red deer, fallow deer, and roe deer, and to highlight a possible preference for a species, sex, or age class among the hosts. Deer keds were collected by examining 326 cervids hunted in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. Outcomes showed that L. fortisetosa has greatly spread throughout the study area, where it competes with the autochthonous L. cervi. Moreover, red deer was the favored host species of both ectoparasites, while different preferences for host sex and age classes were observed in the two hippoboscids. The regular monitoring of deer ked populations, especially the allochthonous L. fortisetosa, which is continuously spreading in Europe, is recommended to expand the knowledge on these parasitic species that are potentially dangerous to public health.

RevDate: 2021-10-20

Li J, M Convertino (2021)

Temperature increase drives critical slowing down of fish ecosystems.

PloS one, 16(10):e0246222 pii:PONE-D-21-01412.

Fish ecosystems perform ecological functions that are critically important for the sustainability of marine ecosystems, such as global food security and carbon stock. During the 21st century, significant global warming caused by climate change has created pressing challenges for fish ecosystems that threaten species existence and global ecosystem health. Here, we study a coastal fish community in Maizuru Bay, Japan, and investigate the relationships between fluctuations of ST, abundance-based species interactions and salient fish biodiversity. Observations show that a local 20% increase in temperature from 2002 to 2014 underpins a long-term reduction in fish diversity (∼25%) played out by some native and invasive species (e.g. Chinese wrasse) becoming exceedingly abundant; this causes a large decay in commercially valuable species (e.g. Japanese anchovy) coupled to an increase in ecological productivity. The fish community is analyzed considering five temperature ranges to understand its atemporal seasonal sensitivity to ST changes, and long-term trends. An optimal information flow model is used to reconstruct species interaction networks that emerge as topologically different for distinct temperature ranges and species dynamics. Networks for low temperatures are more scale-free compared to ones for intermediate (15-20°C) temperatures in which the fish ecosystem experiences a first-order phase transition in interactions from locally stable to metastable and globally unstable for high temperatures states as suggested by abundance-spectrum transitions. The dynamic dominant eigenvalue of species interactions shows increasing instability for competitive species (spiking in summer due to intermediate-season critical transitions) leading to enhanced community variability and critical slowing down despite higher time-point resilience. Native competitive species whose abundance is distributed more exponentially have the highest total directed interactions and are keystone species (e.g. Wrasse and Horse mackerel) for the most salient links with cooperative decaying species. Competitive species, with higher eco-climatic memory and synchronization, are the most affected by temperature and play an important role in maintaining fish ecosystem stability via multitrophic cascades (via cooperative-competitive species imbalance), and as bioindicators of change. More climate-fitted species follow temperature increase causing larger divergence divergence between competitive and cooperative species. Decreasing dominant eigenvalues and lower relative network optimality for warmer oceans indicate fishery more attracted toward persistent oscillatory states, yet unpredictable, with lower cooperation, diversity and fish stock despite the increase in community abundance due to non-commercial and venomous species. We emphasize how changes in species interaction organization, primarily affected by temperature fluctuations, are the backbone of biodiversity dynamics and yet for functional diversity in contrast to taxonomic richness. Abundance and richness manifest gradual shifts while interactions show sudden shift. The work provides data-driven tools for analyzing and monitoring fish ecosystems under the pressure of global warming or other stressors. Abundance and interaction patterns derived by network-based analyses proved useful to assess ecosystem susceptibility and effective change, and formulate predictive dynamic information for science-based fishery policy aimed to maintain marine ecosystems stable and sustainable.

RevDate: 2021-10-20

April V, Simelane DO, MP Robertson (2021)

Co-existence Between Two Leaf-Feeding Biological Control Agents of Lantana camara Alters Their Herbivory Under Semi-field Conditions.

Neotropical entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Interaction between two biological control agents released against Lantana camara L. (sensu lato) (Verbenaceae) was studied in replicated semi-field plots. Caged plants under semi-field conditions were inoculated with Uroplata girardi Pic (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) and Ophiomyia camarae Spencer (Diptera: Agromyzidae), either alone or in combination, to investigate the extent to which co-infestation of the two agents affects the reproductive capacity and growth of their host. At the end of the trial, both single and combined attacks by the two agents had no effect on stem diameter, stem height, and canopy width. However, uncaged control plants were heavily attacked by Teleonemia scrupulosa Stål (Hemiptera: Tingidae), and therefore became significantly shorter than all the caged plants in all the treatments. When confined alone, feeding damage by O. camarae resulted in higher reduction of fruit and flower biomass relative to that caused by U. girardi alone. However, when confined alone, U. girardi caused higher reductions in leaf density and fruit biomass than when combined with O. camarae. Single attack by O. camarae caused higher reduction in flower biomass than simultaneous attack by both agents. Above-ground biomass of all single and combined treatment plants were significantly lower than those of the caged control plants. Uncaged control plants exposed to heavy attack by T. scrupulosa did not produce flowers and fruits, and their above-ground biomass was significantly lower than those of caged control plants. Overall, the study showed that simultaneous attack by the two herbivores alters their herbivory, thereby affecting reproductive capacity and growth of their host.

RevDate: 2021-10-20

Munstermann MJ, Heim NA, McCauley DJ, et al (2021)

A global ecological signal of extinction risk in terrestrial vertebrates.

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

To determine the distribution and causes of extinction threat across functional groups of terrestrial vertebrates, we assembled a dataset on ecological traits for 18,016 species and tested, with phylogenetic comparative methods, which categories of habitat association, mode of locomotion, and feeding mode best predict extinction risk. We found that cave-dwelling amphibians, arboreal quadrupedal mammals (all of which are primates), aerial and scavenging birds, and pedal (i.e., walking) squamates are all disproportionately threatened with extinction. Across all threatened vertebrate species in the study, agriculture, followed by logging, and then invasive species and disease are the most common risk factors and the most endangered species show simultaneous risk from multiple threat types. If left unabated, the disproportionate loss of species with certain functional traits, combined with increasing anthropogenic pressures, is likely to disrupt ecosystem functions globally. A shift in focus from species- to trait-centric conservation practices will allow for the protection of at-risk functional diversity from regional to global scales. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-10-20

Mohd Hanafiah K, Abd Mutalib AH, Miard P, et al (2021)

Impact of Malaysian palm oil on sustainable development goals: co-benefits and trade-offs across mitigation strategies.

Sustainability science pii:1052 [Epub ahead of print].

Palm oil (PO) is an important source of livelihood, but unsustainable practices and widespread consumption may threaten human and planetary health. We reviewed 234 articles and summarized evidence on the impact of PO on health, social and economic aspects, environment, and biodiversity in the Malaysian context, and discuss mitigation strategies based on the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The evidence on health impact of PO is equivocal, with knowledge gaps on whether moderate consumption elevates risk for chronic diseases, but the benefits of phytonutrients (SDG2) and sensory characteristics of PO seem offset by its high proportion of saturated fat (SDG3). While PO contributes to economic growth (SDG9, 12), poverty alleviation (SDG1, 8, 10), enhanced food security (SDG2), alternative energy (SDG9), and long-term employment opportunities (SDG1), human rights issues and inequities attributed to PO production persist (SDG8). Environmental impacts arise through large-scale expansion of monoculture plantations associated with increased greenhouse gas emissions (SDG13), especially from converted carbon-rich peat lands, which can cause forest fires and annual trans-boundary haze; changes in microclimate properties and soil nutrient content (SDG6, 13); increased sedimentation and change of hydrological properties of streams near slopes (SDG6); and increased human wildlife conflicts, increase of invasive species occurrence, and reduced biodiversity (SDG14, 15). Practices such as biological pest control, circular waste management, multi-cropping and certification may mitigate negative impacts on environmental SDGs, without hampering progress of socioeconomic SDGs. While strategies focusing on improving practices within and surrounding plantations offer co-benefits for socioeconomic, environment and biodiversity-related SDGs, several challenges in achieving scalable solutions must be addressed to ensure holistic sustainability of PO in Malaysia for various stakeholders.

Supplementary Information: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s11625-021-01052-4.

RevDate: 2021-10-19

Patejuk K, Baturo-Ciesniewska A, Najberek K, et al (2021)

First report of Fusarium lateritium causing shoots dieback of Acer negundo in Europe.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Box elder (Acer negundo) is a tree native to North America. In Europe it is considered a dangerous invasive species, and assigned to the highest (4th) category of environmental hazard (Tokarska-Guzik et al. 2012). The tree can threaten a wide range of ecosystems and compete with the native flora. The shoot dieback was observed on 20% of boxelder in July 2018 and 2019 in Bryzgiel (N53°59.963' E23°04.324') in NE Poland (Europe). Young trees (10-15 yr. old) with visible symptoms were observed in a small group on the rural roadside. Infected shoots were chlorotic. There were visible shallow cracks on the bark and brown discoloration in sapwood inside infected branches. Symptomatic shoots were collected in sterile envelopes, surface disinfected with 95% ethanol. Twelve fragments of wood were cut from the border of living and dead tissue, and then divided into 3-5 mm pieces, placed on PDA medium and incubated at 21°C. After 10 days ten Fusarium spp. strains were obtained. Pure cultures were derived by monosporic isolation. The identification of the isolates was initially based on morphology and molecular genotyping (Leslie & Summerell 2006). On PDA, strains produced white, dense, floccose aerial mycelium with a pink surface. The underside of the petri dish was brown. Growth of the colony was relatively slow and reached Ø 3.5 cm after two weeks. Microscopic observation revealed the presence of macroconidia located in a few orange sporodochia. Macroconidia were slightly curved, with dimensions of 38-45 µm × 3.2-3,5 µm, 4-5 septate, with well-formed foot cell and beak on the apex. On aerial hyphae, single intercalary chlamydospores were present. Microconidia were not found. Morphological identification was confirmed by sequencing the ITS regions, the TEF-1α and β-tubulin genes for representative isolates. Mycelia were grown on PDB and freeze dried prior to genomic DNA extraction using the CTAB method. Sequences of two isolates were deposited in GenBank as MN186748 and MN588156 for ITS; MZ191070 and MZ191072 for TEF-1α; and MZ191069 and MZ191071 for TEF-1α. BLASTn search in the NCBI database revealed 100, 98 and >99% similarities of ITS, TEF-1α and β-tubulin with F. lateritium isolates LC171689, KT350607 and FN554618 respectively. A pathogenicity test was conducted on five first year Ø 0.6-0.8cm shoots from a 10-year-old tree. Before inoculation their surface was disinfected with 95% ethanol. Then, bark of the twigs was split longitudinally with a sterile blade and pieces of 10-day-old aerial mycelium grown on PDA were applied on the wound sites. Control samples were inoculated with sterile distilled water only. Inoculated areas were covered with parafilm. First sign of infection was observed after three weeks, as a dark lesion in the place of inoculation and chlorosis. Three weeks later the brown ring on the sapwood was marked in the shoot cross-section. Morphologically identical to the original, F. lateritium isolate was reisolated from the infected tissues, thus fulfilling Koch's postulates. F. lateritium is a species closely associated with trees and shrubs (Leslie & Summerell 2006). However, it has not been recorded on boxelder and this is the first report of F. lateritium causing dieback of boxelder maple. According to the Enemy Release Hypothesis (Elton 1958), new pathogens appearing on alien species can be an indicator of developing environmental resistance to the outlander, which indicate the grade of their domestication. This kind of notification poses a crucial role in invasion monitoring and the search for new biocontrol methods of invasive plant species.

RevDate: 2021-10-20

Smith RJ, Ozawa H, Kawashima K, et al (2021)

A New Species of Pseudostrandesia Savatenalinton and Martens, 2009 (Ostracoda, Crustacea) Collected from Two Pet Shops in Central Japan: an Alien Species?.

Zoological science, 38(5):481-493.

An undescribed species of freshwater ostracod belonging to the genus Pseudostrandesia Savatenalinton and Martens, 2009 was collected from two pet shops in the Kanto region of central Japan. This species, herein named Pseudostrandesia tenebrarum sp. nov., is similar to four species previously reported from Southeast Asia, but can be distinguished by carapace and appendage features. It is the second species of the genus for which males are known. Of the nine previously described species in the genus, one is exclusively known from Turkey, and the others are found in Southeast Asia and the vicinity, one of which is also recorded in India and east China. There are two scenarios to explain the existence of Pseudostrandesia tenebrarum sp. nov. in pet shops in Japan: it is either native to Japan but has yet to be discovered in its natural habitat, or it is an alien species, perhaps unwittingly imported with plants or fish for the pet trade. We review the likelihood of both scenarios, and conclude that although there is insufficient evidence to be sure, it is potentially an alien species in Japan. The most likely origin is Southeast Asia, as evidenced by its close morphological resemblance to particular Southeast Asian species. Juveniles as well as adults were recovered, indicating that this species is reproducing in the pet trade, supporting the notion that it has invasive potential to areas outside of its natural range. The description and report of this species highlights a possible introduction of an alien species to Japan, and facilitates further monitoring.

RevDate: 2021-10-20
CmpDate: 2021-10-20

Shen S, Guo WF, Wang W, et al (2021)

[Effects of above- and below-ground herbivore interactions on interspecific relationship between the invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides and its native congener Alternanthera sessilis].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 32(8):2975-2981.

Biological invasion is a major threat to global biodiversity. The relative interspecific competition abilities of invasive species compared to those native species determine their invasion success. In this study, we examined the effects of the specialist leaf beetle Agasicles hygrophila and the nematode Meloidogyne incognita on the growth and interspecific relationship between the invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides and its native congener A. sessilis. Compared without herbivory, nematode herbivory alone significantly reduced shoot height of A. sessilis by 28.1%, but conversely significantly increased the shoot height of A. philoxeroides by 52.8% and aboveground biomass of A. sessilis by 63.7%. Beetle herbivory alone significantly reduced shoot height of A. sessilis by 40.7%, but did not affect that of A. philoxeroides. The combination of beetle and nematode herbivory significantly reduced shoot height of A. sessilis by 35.3% as well as the belowground biomass of A. philoxeroides by 62.2%, but significantly increased the aboveground biomass of A. sessilis by 69.1%. Herbivore stress did not affect stem diameter, branch number, and root length of both species. The relative neighbor effect index (RNE) of the two species without herbivory were positive, and the RNE value of A. philoxeroides was 21.3% higher than that of A. sessilis. However, the RNE values of A. philoxeroides were negative under all above- and below-ground herbivory treatments. The RNE values of A. sessilis were positive under the beetle or the nematode herbivory alone and negative under the beetle + nematode herbivory combination. These results indicated that above- and below-ground herbivore interactions could change the interspecific relationship between the two species, and in turn might accelerate the invasion of A. philoxeroides.

RevDate: 2021-10-19

Kandul NP, Belikoff EJ, Liu J, et al (2021)

Genetically Encoded CRISPR Components Yield Efficient Gene Editing in the Invasive Pest Drosophila suzukii.

The CRISPR journal, 4(5):739-751.

Originally from Asia, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura is a global pest of economically important soft-skinned fruits. Also commonly known as spotted wing drosophila, it is largely controlled through repeated applications of broad-spectrum insecticides by which resistance has been observed in the field. There is a pressing need for a better understanding of D. suzukii biology and for developing alternative environmentally friendly methods of control. The RNA-guided Cas9 nuclease has revolutionized functional genomics and is an integral component of several recently developed genetic strategies for population control of insects. Here, we describe genetically modified strains that encode three different terminators and four different promoters to express Cas9 robustly in both the soma and/or germline of D. suzukii. The Cas9 strains were rigorously evaluated through genetic crossing to transgenic strains that encode single-guide RNAs targeting the conserved X-linked yellow body and white eye genes. We find that several Cas9/gRNA strains display remarkably high editing capacity. Going forward, these tools will be instrumental for evaluating gene function in D. suzukii and may even provide tools useful for the development of new genetic strategies for control of this invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

McGreevy TJ, Michaelides S, Djan M, et al (2021)

Location and Species Matters: Variable Influence of the Environment on the Gene Flow of Imperiled, Native and Invasive Cottontails.

Frontiers in genetics, 12:708871 pii:708871.

The environment plays an important role in the movement of individuals and their associated genes among populations, which facilitates gene flow. Gene flow can help maintain the genetic diversity both within and between populations and counter the negative impact of genetic drift, which can decrease the fitness of individuals. Sympatric species can have different habitat preferences, and thus can exhibit different patterns of genetic variability and population structure. The specialist-generalist variation hypothesis (SGVH) predicts that specialists will have lower genetic diversity, lower effective population sizes (Ne), and less gene flow among populations. In this study, we used spatially explicit, individual-based comparative approaches to test SGVH predictions in two sympatric cottontail species and identify environmental variables that influence their gene flow. New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is the only native cottontail in the Northeast US, an early successional habitat specialist, and a species of conservation concern. Eastern cottontail (S. floridanus) is an invasive species in the Northeast US and a habitat generalist. We characterized each species' genomic variation by developing double-digest Restriction-site Associated DNA sequence single nucleotide polymorphism markers, quantified their habitat with Geographic Information System environmental variables, and conducted our analyses at multiple scales. Surprisingly, both species had similar levels of genetic diversity and eastern cottontail's Ne was only higher than New England cottontail in one of three subregions. At a regional level, the population clusters of New England cottontail were more distinct than eastern cottontail, but the subregional levels showed more geographic areas of restricted gene flow for eastern cottontail than New England cottontail. In general, the environmental variables had the predicted effect on each species' gene flow. However, the most important environmental variable varied by subregion and species, which shows that location and species matter. Our results provide partial support for the SGVH and the identification of environmental variables that facilitate or impede gene flow can be used to help inform management decisions to conserve New England cottontail.

RevDate: 2021-10-19
CmpDate: 2021-10-19

Chen LJ, Xiao QZ, Qiu YP, et al (2021)

[Coexistence strategies of invaded gobies in the Dianchi Lake, Yunnan, China].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 32(9):3357-3369.

Gobiids are widespread invasive species, with many species from this group usually invade into the same ecosystem simultaneously. Understanding the mechanisms underlying the coexi-stence of different gobiid species in the sympatric habitats is a key issue in fish invasion ecology. Incorporating morphological analyses, spatial distribution survey, and trophic analyses, we examined the coexistence strategy of Mugilogobius myxodermus and related species (the earlier invaders) in Dianchi Lake, Yunnan, China. Our results showed significant differences in morphology and spatial distribution among the four invasive gobies species (i.e., M. myxodermus, Micropercops swinhonis, Rhinogobius giurinus and Rhinogobius cliffordpopei). The spatial niche index of M. myxodermus was the highest. Food composition between M. myxodermus and other gobies was significantly different, with the former mainly feeding on Chydorus ovalis and Cypris sp. The trophic diversity index of M. myxodermus was the highest. Overall, we found that morphological differences, spatial niche diffe-rentiation, and trophic niche differentiation contributed to the coexistence of the gobies in Dianchi Lake, which could help M. myxodermus reduce interspecific competition. Importantly, the feeding strategy is the key factor determining population size and habitas of M. myxodermus during their competition with the other gobies, and finally contributing to the dominant position in the study area.

RevDate: 2021-10-17

Yelenik SG, Rehm EM, CM D'Antonio (2021)

Can the impact of canopy trees on soil and understory be altered using litter additions?.

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

Trees can have large effects on soil nutrients in ways that alter succession, particularly in the case of nitrogen-(N)-fixing trees. In Hawai'i, forest restoration relies heavily on use of a native N-fixing tree, Acacia koa (koa), but this species increases soil-available N and likely facilitates competitive dominance of exotic pasture grasses. In contrast, Metrosideros polymorpha ('ōhi'a), the dominant native tree in Hawai'i, is less often planted because it is slow growing; yet it is typically associated with lower soil N and grass biomass, and greater native understory recruitment. We experimentally tested whether it is possible to reverse high soil N under koa by adding 'ōhi'a litter, using additions of koa litter or no litter as controls, over 2.5 years. We then quantified natural litterfall and decomposition rates of 'ōhi'a and koa litter to place litter additions in perspective. Finally, we quantified whether litter additions altered grass biomass and if this had effects on native outplants. Adding 'ōhi'a litter increased soil carbon, but increased rather than decreased inorganic soil N pools. Contrary to expectations, koa litter decomposed more slowly than 'ōhi'a, although it released more N per g of litter. We saw no reduction in grass biomass due to 'ōhi'a litter addition, and no change in native outplanted understory survival or growth. We conclude that the high N soil conditions under koa are difficult to reverse. However, we also found that outplanted native woody species were able to decrease exotic grass biomass over time, regardless of the litter environment, making this a better strategy for lowering exotic species impacts.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

O'Loughlin LS, Panetta FD, B Gooden (2021)

Identifying thresholds in the impacts of an invasive groundcover on native vegetation.

Scientific reports, 11(1):20512.

Impacts of invasive species are often difficult to quantify, meaning that many invaders are prioritised for management without robust, contextual evidence of impact. Most impact studies for invasive plants compare heavily invaded with non-invaded sites, revealing little about abundance-impact relationships. We examined effects of increasing cover and volume of the non-native herbaceous groundcover Tradescantia fluminensis on a temperate rainforest community of southern Australia. We hypothesised that there would be critical thresholds in T. fluminensis abundance, below which the native plant community would not be significantly impacted, but above which the community's condition would degrade markedly. We modelled the abundance-impact relationship from 83 plots that varied in T. fluminensis abundance and landscape context and found the responses of almost all native plant indicators to invasion were non-linear. Native species richness, abundance and diversity exhibited negative exponential relationships with increasing T. fluminensis volume, but negative threshold relationships with increasing T. fluminensis cover. In the latter case, all metrics were relatively stable until cover reached between 20 and 30%, after which each decreased linearly, with a 50% decline occurring at 75-80% invader cover. Few growth forms (notably shrubs and climbers) exhibited such thresholds, with most exhibiting negative exponential relationships. Tradescantia fluminensis biomass increased dramatically at > 80% cover, with few native species able to persist at such high levels of invasion. Landscape context had almost no influence on native communities, or the abundance-impact relationships between T. fluminensis and the plant community metrics. Our results suggest that the diversity of native rainforest community can be maintained where T. fluminensis is present at moderate-to-low cover levels.

RevDate: 2021-10-18

Bock DG, Baeckens S, Pita-Aquino JN, et al (2021)

Changes in selection pressure can facilitate hybridization during biological invasion in a Cuban lizard.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(42):.

Hybridization is among the evolutionary mechanisms most frequently hypothesized to drive the success of invasive species, in part because hybrids are common in invasive populations. One explanation for this pattern is that biological invasions coincide with a change in selection pressures that limit hybridization in the native range. To investigate this possibility, we studied the introduction of the brown anole (Anolis sagrei) in the southeastern United States. We find that native populations are highly genetically structured. In contrast, all invasive populations show evidence of hybridization among native-range lineages. Temporal sampling in the invasive range spanning 15 y showed that invasive genetic structure has stabilized, indicating that large-scale contemporary gene flow is limited among invasive populations and that hybrid ancestry is maintained. Additionally, our results are consistent with hybrid persistence in invasive populations resulting from changes in natural selection that occurred during invasion. Specifically, we identify a large-effect X chromosome locus associated with variation in limb length, a well-known adaptive trait in anoles, and show that this locus is often under selection in the native range, but rarely so in the invasive range. Moreover, we find that the effect size of alleles at this locus on limb length is much reduced in hybrids among divergent lineages, consistent with epistatic interactions. Thus, in the native range, epistasis manifested in hybrids can strengthen extrinsic postmating isolation. Together, our findings show how a change in natural selection can contribute to an increase in hybridization in invasive populations.

RevDate: 2021-10-19
CmpDate: 2021-10-19

Guarnieri LD, McBride SE, Groden E, et al (2021)

Interactions between sympatric invasive European fire ants (Myrmica rubra) and blacklegged ticks (Ixodes scapularis).

PloS one, 16(5):e0251497.

The blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis) and the invasive European fire ant (Myrmica rubra) are both expanding throughout their sympatric range in coastal New England. Ixodes scapularis is the primary vector of the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, which is the causative agent of Lyme disease, and Mount Desert Island, Maine, home to Acadia National Park, currently is affected by a high Lyme disease burden. Ticks have many natural predators, including ants, although no previous studies have investigated interactions between these two species. To test the hypothesis that the presence of M. rubra alters I. scapularis abundance, we collected ticks by drag-sampling at eight ant-infested sites and eight uninfested control sites in Acadia National Park. We found that nymph density was significantly higher at ant-infested sites, while larval density was significantly higher at control sites. In addition, we conducted a laboratory bioassay to measure M. rubra aggression against I. scapularis larvae, nymphs, and adults and Dermacentor variabilis adults, and found that ant aggression was significantly higher against D. variabilis adults than I. scapularis adults. Our findings support the hypothesis that M. rubra has divergent effects across I. scapularis life stages, and we discuss possible ecological mechanisms, including optimal microclimate and predation, that could promote density of nymphs while inhibiting density of larvae.

RevDate: 2021-10-20
CmpDate: 2021-10-20

Tuda M, Iwase SI, Kébé K, et al (2021)

Diversification, selective sweep, and body size in the invasive Palearctic alfalfa weevil infected with Wolbachia.

Scientific reports, 11(1):9664.

The alfalfa weevil Hypera postica, native to the Western Palearctic, is an invasive legume pest with two divergent mitochondrial clades in its invading regions, the Western clade and the Eastern/Egyptian clade. However, knowledge regarding the native populations is limited. The Western clade is infected with the endosymbiotic bacteria Wolbachia that cause cytoplasmic incompatibility in host weevils. Our aim was to elucidate the spatial genetic structure of this insect and the effect of Wolbachia on its population diversity. We analyzed two mitochondrial and two nuclear genes of the weevil from its native ranges. The Western clade was distributed in western/central Europe, whereas the Eastern/Egyptian clade was distributed from the Mediterranean basin to central Asia. Intermediate mitotypes were found from the Balkans to central Asia. Most Western clade individuals in western Europe were infected with an identical Wolbachia strain. Mitochondrial genetic diversity of the infected individuals was minimal. The infected clades demonstrated a higher nonsynonymous/synonymous substitution rate ratio than the uninfected clades, suggesting a higher fixation of nonsynonymous mutations due to a selective sweep by Wolbachia. Trans-Mediterranean and within-European dispersal routes were supported. We suggest that the ancestral populations diversified by geographic isolation due to glaciations and that the diversity was reduced in the west by a recent Wolbachia-driven sweep(s). The intermediate clade exhibited a body size and host plant that differed from the other clades. Pros and cons of the possible use of infected-clade males to control uninfected populations are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-10-20
CmpDate: 2021-10-20

Yang R, Dong J, Li C, et al (2021)

The decomposition process and nutrient release of invasive plant litter regulated by nutrient enrichment and water level change.

PloS one, 16(5):e0250880.

Wetlands are vulnerable to plant invasions and the decomposition of invasive plant litter could make impacts on the ecosystem services of wetlands including nutrient cycle and carbon sequestration. However, few studies have explored the effects of nutrient enrichment and water level change on the decomposition of invasive plant litter. In this study, we conducted a control experiment using the litterbag method to compare the decomposition rates and nutrient release in the litter of an invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides in three water levels and two nutrient enrichment treatments. This study found that the water level change and nutrient enrichment showed significant effects on the litter decomposition and nutrient dynamic of A. philoxeroides. The increase of water level significantly reduced the decomposition rate and nutrient release of litter in the nutrient control treatment, whereas no clear relationship was observed in the nutrient enrichment treatment, indicating that the effect of water level change on litter decomposition might be affected by nutrient enrichment. At the late stage of decomposition, the increase of phosphorus (P) concentration and the decrease of the ratio of carbon to P suggested that the decomposition of invasive plant litter was limited by P. Our results suggest that controlling P enrichment in water bodies is essential for the management of invasive plant and carbon sequestration of wetlands. In addition, the new index we proposed could provide a basis for quantifying the impact of invasive plant litter decomposition on carbon cycle in wetlands.

RevDate: 2021-10-15

Lorencen BM, Homola JJ, Robinson JD, et al (2021)

Quantifying Nonlinear Temporal Effects of Ethanol Preservation on Round Goby (Neogobius melanostomus) Anatomical Traits.

Journal of morphology [Epub ahead of print].

Geometric morphometrics provides a powerful means of evaluating differences in phenotypic traits among specimens. However, inferences of trait variability can be confounded when measurements are based on preserved samples. We evaluated effects of ethanol preservation on morphology over a 22-week time period for a Laurentian Great Lakes invasive fish, round goby (Neogobius melanostomus, Pallas 1814), using sets of 17 lateral and six dorsal landmarks. We tested whether ethanol preservation affected the magnitude of inter-population variation between individuals collected from lake and river habitats. Generalized least square regression determined that length did not significantly vary through the preservation time series for fish from either population, while mass decreased significantly. Body shape variation was summarized using principal component analysis, which revealed that most preservation-associated changes occurred in the first 14 days. The lateral shape experienced a large magnitude change during the first 24 hours in ethanol then only minor changes for the remainder of the study. The dorsal shape began to revert to pre-preservation measurements about 14 days following preservation. Additionally, differences in shape were apparent between the two populations throughout the experiment; however, the magnitude of differences between populations varied depending on whether dorsal or lateral landmarks were considered. Our study demonstrates that tissue responses to ethanol preservation can be more complex than a simple loss of mass, resulting in difficult to predict consequences for geometric morphometric analyses, including variable responses depending on the anatomical region being analyzed. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-10-15

Negri A, Arnoldi I, Brilli M, et al (2021)

Evidence for the spread of the alien species Aedes koreicus in the Lombardy region, Italy.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):534.

BACKGROUND: Aedes koreicus is a mosquito species characterized by marked anthropophilic behavior, and a potential vector of nematodes and viruses. It is native to East Asia, but its presence has recently been reported in many regions of Europe. In Italy, these mosquitoes had been detected in the northeast since 2011 and are now spreading towards the southwest of the country.

METHODS: In 2020, during a surveillance program for invasive mosquito species in the district of Bergamo (Lombardy Region, Italy), about 6000 mosquito larvae were collected. Emerged adults were assigned to mosquito species according to morphological analyses, followed by amplification and sequencing of genetic markers (COI, ND4, ITS2 and D2).

RESULTS: According to the morphological and genetic data, about 50 individuals belonged to the species Ae. koreicus.

CONCLUSION: We report the presence of Ae. koreicus in the district of Bergamo, which confirms the spread of this species in the north of Italy and raises concerns about its possible role as a vector of diseases in the Alpine area.

RevDate: 2021-10-15
CmpDate: 2021-10-15

Wang Z, Saebi M, Corbett JJ, et al (2021)

Integrated Biological Risk and Cost Model Analysis Supports a Geopolitical Shift in Ballast Water Management.

Environmental science & technology, 55(19):12791-12800.

This work evaluates efficacies of plausible ballast water management strategies and standards by integrating a global species spread risk assessment with a policy cost-effectiveness analysis. Specifically, we consider species spread risks and costs of port- and vessel-based strategies under both current organism concentration standards and stricter standards proposed by California. For each scenario, we estimate species spread risks and patterns using a higher-order analysis of a global ship-borne species spread model and estimate fleet costs for vessel- and barge-based ballast water treatment systems for each standard. We find that stricter standards may reduce species spread risk by a factor of 17 globally and would greatly simplify the complex network of ship-borne species spread. The current policy of IMO standards is most cost-effectively achieved through ship-based treatment, and that any additional risk reduction will be most cost-effectively achieved by port-based (or barge-based) technologies, particularly if these are strategically implemented at the top ports within the largest clusters. Barge-based ballast water management would require a shift in governance, and we suggest that this next level of policymaking could be feasible for special areas designated by the IMO, by State or multistate authorities, or by voluntary port applications.

RevDate: 2021-10-15
CmpDate: 2021-10-15

Stevenson DS, R Wallace (2021)

Biogeographical Modeling of Alien Worlds.

Astrobiology, 21(7):831-844.

In this article, we partially quantify the biological potential of an exoplanet. We employ a variety of biogeographical analyses, placing biological evolution in the context of the geological evolution of the planet as a whole. Terrestrial (as in Earthly) biodiversity is tightly constrained in terms of species richness by its environment. An organism's habitable environment may be considered its niche space or hypervolume in terms of the physical characteristics in which that organism can survive and reproduce. This fundamental niche forms the broader space in which the organism realizes its true niche in terms of its interactions with other species. Many of the physical characteristics can be determined from astrophysical constraints and are thus amenable for dissection. However, the geographical space that organisms occupy is driven by the geological evolution of a sizable telluric planet. In turn, this is driven by the progressive differentiation of its interior to produce increasingly felsic crust. Using a variety of available models, we can then constrain the available space that species can inhabit using species-area relationships. By considering a combination of astrophysical constraints and geographical space, we partially quantify the numbers of species that can inhabit the landscape that geology provides. Finally, we also identify a correlation between geomorphological scale and speciation, which, if validated, will allow further dissection of species diversity on alien worlds.

RevDate: 2021-10-15
CmpDate: 2021-10-15

Benford J (2021)

A Drake Equation for Alien Artifacts.

Astrobiology, 21(6):757-763.

I propose a version of the Drake equation to include searching for alien artifacts, which may be located on the Moon, Earth Trojans, and Earth co-orbital objects. The virtue of searching for artifacts is their lingering endurance in space, long after they go dead. I compare a search for extraterrestrial artifacts (SETA) strategy with the existing listening to stars search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) strategy. I construct a ratio of a SETA Drake equation for artifacts to the conventional Drake equation so that most terms cancel out. This ratio is a good way to debate the efficacy of SETI versus SETA. The ratio is the product of two terms: one is the ratio of the length of time that probes from extraterrestrial (ET) civilizations could be present in the near-Earth region to the length of time that ET civilizations transmit signals to the Solar System. The second term is the ratio of the respective origin volumes: the volume from which probes can come, which is affected by the long-term passage of stars near the Sun, to the volume of transmitting civilizations. Scenarios are quantified that suggest that looking for alien artifacts near Earth is a credible alternative approach relative to listening to stars. This argues for emphasis on artifact searches, ET archeology. I suggest study of existing high-resolution images of the Moon, imaging of the Earth Trojans and Earth co-orbitals, and probe missions to the latter two. Close inspection in these near-Earth regions, which also may hold primordial remnants of the early Solar System, yields concrete astronomical research.

RevDate: 2021-10-14

Higgins SI, Larcombe MJ, Beeton NJ, et al (2021)

Transferability of correlative and process-based species distribution models revisited: A response to Booth.

Ecology and evolution, 11(19):13613-13617 pii:ECE38081.

Here, we respond to Booth's criticism of our paper, "Predictive ability of a process-based versus a correlative species distribution model." Booth argues that our usage of the MaxEnt model was flawed and that the conclusions of our paper are by implication flawed. We respond by clarifying that the error Booth implies we made was not made in our analysis, and we repeat statements from the original manuscript which anticipated such criticisms. In addition, we illustrate that using BIOCLIM variables in a MaxEnt analysis as recommended by Booth does not change the conclusions of the original analysis. That is, high performance in the training data domain did not equate to reliable predictions in novel data domains, and the process model transferred into novel data domains better than the correlative model did. We conclude by discussing a hidden implication of our study, namely, that process-based SDMs negate the need for BIOCLIM-type variables and therefore reframe the variable selection problem in species distribution modeling.

RevDate: 2021-10-14

Booth TH (2021)

A problem with variable selection in a comparison of correlative and process-based species distribution models: Comments on Higgins et al., 2020.

Ecology and evolution, 11(19):13609-13612 pii:ECE37496.

Comments are presented on an article published in October 2020 in Ecology and Evolution ("Predictive ability of a process-based versus a correlative species distribution model") by Higgins et al. This analyzed natural distributions of Australian eucalypt and acacia species and assessed the adventive range of selected species outside Australia. Unfortunately, inappropriate variables were used with the MaxEnt species distribution model outside Australia, so that large climatically suitable areas in the Northern Hemisphere were not identified. Examples from a previous analysis and from the use of the freely available spatial portal of the Atlas of Living Australia are provided to illustrate how the problem can be overcome. The comparison of methods described in the Higgins et al. paper is worthwhile, and it is hoped that the authors will be able to repeat their analyses using appropriate variables with the correlative model.

RevDate: 2021-10-14

Su Y, Huang Q, Wang Z, et al (2021)

High genetic and epigenetic variation of transposable elements: Potential drivers to rapid adaptive evolution for the noxious invasive weed Mikania micrantha.

Ecology and evolution, 11(19):13501-13517 pii:ECE38075.

Why invasive species can rapidly adapt to novel environments is a puzzling question known as the genetic paradox of invasive species. This paradox is explainable in terms of transposable elements (TEs) activity, which are theorized to be powerful mutational forces to create genetic variation. Mikania micrantha, a noxious invasive weed, in this sense provides an excellent opportunity to test the explanation. The genetic and epigenetic variation of 21 invasive populations of M. micrantha in southern China have been examined by using transposon display (TD) and transposon methylation display (TMD) techniques to survey 12 TE superfamilies. Our results showed that M. micrantha populations maintained an almost equally high level of TE-based genetic and epigenetic variation and they have been differentiated into subpopulations genetically and epigenetically. A similar positive spatial genetic and epigenetic structure pattern was observed within 300 m. Six and seven TE superfamilies presented significant genetic and epigenetic isolation by distance (IBD) pattern. In total, 59 genetic and 86 epigenetic adaptive TE loci were identified. Of them, 51 genetic and 44 epigenetic loci were found to correlate with 25 environmental variables (including precipitation, temperature, vegetation coverage, and soil metals). Twenty-five transposon-inserted genes were sequenced and homology-based annotated, which are found to be involved in a variety of molecular and cellular functions. Our research consolidates the importance of TE-associated genetic and epigenetic variation in the rapid adaptation and invasion of M. micrantha.

RevDate: 2021-10-14

Ramazi P, Kunegel-Lion M, Greiner R, et al (2021)

Predicting insect outbreaks using machine learning: A mountain pine beetle case study.

Ecology and evolution, 11(19):13014-13028 pii:ECE37921.

Planning forest management relies on predicting insect outbreaks such as mountain pine beetle, particularly in the intermediate-term future, e.g., 5-year. Machine-learning algorithms are potential solutions to this challenging problem due to their many successes across a variety of prediction tasks. However, there are many subtle challenges in applying them: identifying the best learning models and the best subset of available covariates (including time lags) and properly evaluating the models to avoid misleading performance-measures. We systematically address these issues in predicting the chance of a mountain pine beetle outbreak in the Cypress Hills area and seek models with the best performance at predicting future 1-, 3-, 5- and 7-year infestations. We train nine machine-learning models, including two generalized boosted regression trees (GBM) that predict future 1- and 3-year infestations with 92% and 88% AUC, and two novel mixed models that predict future 5- and 7-year infestations with 86% and 84% AUC, respectively. We also consider forming the train and test datasets by splitting the original dataset randomly rather than using the appropriate year-based approach and show that this may obtain models that score high on the test dataset but low in practice, resulting in inaccurate performance evaluations. For example, a k-nearest neighbor model with the actual performance of 68% AUC, scores the misleadingly high 78% on a test dataset obtained from a random split, but the more accurate 66% on a year-based split. We then investigate how the prediction accuracy varies with respect to the provided history length of the covariates and find that neural network and naive Bayes, predict more accurately as history-length increases, particularly for future 1- and 3-year predictions, and roughly the same holds with GBM. Our approach is applicable to other invasive species. The resulting predictors can be used in planning forest and pest management and planning sampling locations in field studies.

RevDate: 2021-10-14

Gogaladze A, Son MO, Lattuada M, et al (2021)

Decline of unique Pontocaspian biodiversity in the Black Sea Basin: A review.

Ecology and evolution, 11(19):12923-12947 pii:ECE38022.

The unique aquatic Pontocaspian (PC) biota of the Black Sea Basin (BSB) is in decline. The lack of detailed knowledge on the status and trends of species, populations, and communities hampers a thorough risk assessment and precludes effective conservation. This paper reviews PC biodiversity trends in the BSB (Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova, Ukraine, and Russia) using endemic mollusks as a model group. We aim to assess changes in PC habitats, community structure, and species distribution over the past century and to identify direct anthropogenic threats. The presence/absence data of target mollusk species were assembled from literature, reports, and personal observations. Pontocaspian biodiversity trends in the northwestern BSB coastal regions were established by comparing 20th- and 21st-century occurrences. The direct drivers of habitat and biodiversity change were identified and documented. We found that a pronounced decline of PC species and communities is driven by (a) damming of rivers, (b) habitat modifications that disturbed previous natural salinity gradients and settings in the studied area, (c) pollution and eutrophication, (d) invasive alien species, and (e) climate change. Four out of the 10 studied regions, namely, the Danube Delta-Razim Lake system, Dniester Liman, Dnieper-Bug estuary, and Taganrog Bay-Don Delta, contain favorable ecological conditions for PC communities and still host threatened endemic PC mollusk species. Distribution data are incomplete, but the scale of deterioration of PC species and communities is evident from the assembled data, as are major direct threats. Pontocaspian biodiversity in the BSB is profoundly affected by human activities. Standardized observation and collection data as well as precise definition of PC biota and habitats are necessary for targeted conservation actions. This study will help to set the research and policy agenda required to improve data collection to accommodate effective conservation of the unique PC biota.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Rodger JG, Bennett JM, Razanajatovo M, et al (2021)

Widespread vulnerability of flowering plant seed production to pollinator declines.

Science advances, 7(42):eabd3524.

[Figure: see text].

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Ren J, Chen J, Xu C, et al (2021)

An invasive species erodes the performance of coastal wetland protected areas.

Science advances, 7(42):eabi8943.

[Figure: see text].

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Questad EJ, Fitch RL, Paolini J, et al (2021)

Nitrogen addition, not heterogeneity, alters the relationship between invasion and native decline in California grasslands.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

The presence of invasive species reduces the growth and performance of native species; however, the linear or non-linear relationships between invasive abundance and native population declines are less often studied. We examine how the amount and spatial distribution of experimental N deposition influences the relationship between non-native, invasive annual grass abundance (Bromus hordeaceus and Bromus diandrus) and a dominant, native perennial grass species (Stipa pulchra) in California. We hypothesized that native populations would decline as invasion increased, and that high nitrogen availability would cause native species to decline at lower invasion levels. We predicted that the rate of population decline would be slower in heterogeneous, compared to homogeneous, environments. We employed a field experiment that manipulated the amount and spatial heterogeneity of N addition across a range of invasive/native-dominated communities. There were strong negative and non-linear associations between level of invasion and S. pulchra proportional change (PC). Stipa pulchra PC was more negative and seedling survival was lower when N was added, and the negative effects of N addition on PC became larger in the final year of the study when S. pulchra had the largest declines. There was not strong evidence showing reduced competition in heterogeneous, compared to homogeneous, N treatments. Soil moisture was similar between S. pulchra and B. hordeaceus plots under ambient N, but B. hordeaceus under added N reduced soil moisture. Under N addition, Bromus spp. take up N earlier, reduce soil moisture, and create dry conditions in which S. pulchra declines.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

de Pádua SMF, Botter-Carvalho ML, Gomes PB, et al (2021)

The alien octocoral Carijoa riisei is a biogenic substrate multiplier in artificial Brazilian shipwrecks.

Aquatic ecology pii:9908 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite the obvious negative effects caused by invasive species, some recent studies have shown that the impacts at local scale are diverse and not necessarily negative. Arborescent benthic organisms such as octocorals form three-dimensional structures capable of increasing the amount of substrate available and providing shelter for epibiont species. We investigated the role of the alien octocoral Carijoa riisei on the diversity of benthic communities in three shipwrecks on the north-eastern coast of Brazil. We expected that (a) the fauna associated with the octocoral are richer and more diverse compared to the adjacent; (b) some species are exclusively associated with C. riisei; (c) the species that are present both in the areas with and without C. riisei have a greater abundance when associated with the octocoral. For this, we compared the macrobenthic communities associated with C. riisei to those found in adjacent areas where the octocoral was absent. Our study showed that the communities associated with the octocoral were 1.5 times richer and 10 times more abundant than adjacent communities, with 29 exclusive taxa. The dominant taxa were the amphipods Ericthonius brasiliensis and Podocerus brasiliensis and polychaetes of the family Syllidae. These taxa were present in areas with presence and absence of C. riisei, but their abundance was significantly greater where the octocoral was present. Our results reinforce the idea that Carijoa riisei acts as an ecosystem engineer in coastal reefs, creating new habitats and increasing diversity at a local scale, even though it is an alien species.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Schall JJ (2021)

Stomatocystis goerresi, a new species of gregarine parasite (Apicomplexa, Monocystidae) from the invasive Japanese earthworm Amynthas tokioensis (Megascolecidae), with a description of the parasite's life cycle.

Folia parasitologica, 68:.

Stomatocystis goerresi sp. n., a gregarine (phylum Apicomplexa, Monocystidae) parasite of an important invasive earthworm in North America, Amynthas tokioensis (Beddard), is described. This is the second species placed into the genus, and details of its morphology and life cycle support Stomatocystis Bandyopadhyay, Mitra et Göçmen, 2006 as a valid taxon. The new species is described using standard nomenclature, measurements, shape descriptors, and photographs of living cells. The parasite was found only in A. tokioensis, and absent in sympatric earthworm species, suggesting it arrived when the earthworms were introduced from their origin from Japan. The species is distinctive from the type species in the genus, S. indica Bandyopadhyay, Mitra et Göçmen, 2006, in being substantially larger in all stages, found in only the host's seminal vesicles, and found in a different host species from East Asia. The distinctive trophozoites/gamonts develop a large funnel structure ringed with a collar of pronounced ridges, and the funnel appears even in the smallest cells. This funnel varies greatly in relative size (to the cell body) and shape, sometimes forming a large fan. The life cycle of S. goerresi is described including distinctive syzygy in which the funnels fuse and then produce a large cell with local centres of isogamete production (thus sex without gender). Gametes are large (~5 μm) spheres with complex tips. Oocyst production is large, > 1,000 per mature gametocyst. The genus Stomatocystis is placed into the Monocystidae, but the life cycle of the new species differs from those of other monocystid taxa, which may mean the Monocystidae are not monophyletic or life cycles are variable within the family. Prevalence of S. goerresi at the type locality was high (~ 90%). The parasites destroy the earthworm's organ of sperm self-storage thus eliminating the male function in the hermaphroditic host which may influence the ability of the earthworm to invade and be successful at new sites.

RevDate: 2021-10-13

Mamos T, Grabowski M, Rewicz T, et al (2021)

Mitochondrial Genomes, Phylogenetic Associations, and SNP Recovery for the Key Invasive Ponto-Caspian Amphipods in Europe.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(19): pii:ijms221910300.

The Ponto-Caspian region is the main donor of invasive amphipods to freshwater ecosystems, with at least 13 species successfully established in European inland waters. Dikerogammarus spp. and Pontogammarus robustoides are among the most successful, due to their strong invasive impact on local biota. However, genomic knowledge about these invaders is scarce, while phylogeography and population genetics have been based on short fragments of mitochondrial markers or nuclear microsatellites. In this study, we provide: (i) a reconstruction of six mitogenomes for four invasive gammarids (D. villosus, D. haemobaphes, D. bispinosus, and P. robustoides); (ii) a comparison between the structure of the newly obtained mitogenomes and those from the literature; (iii) SNP calling rates for individual D. villosus and D. haemobaphes from different invasion sites across Europe; and (iv) the first time-calibrated full mitogenome phylogeny reconstruction of several Ponto-Caspian taxa. We found that, in comparison to other gammarids, the mitogenomes of Ponto-Caspian species show a translocation between the tRNA-E and tRNA-R positions. Phylogenetic reconstruction using the mitogenomes identified that Ponto-Caspian gammarids form a well-supported group that originated in the Miocene. Our study supports paraphyly in the family Gammaridae. These provided mitogenomes will serve as vital genetic resources for the development of new markers for PCR-based identification methods and demographic studies.

RevDate: 2021-10-13
CmpDate: 2021-10-13

Kvach Y, Tkachenko MY, Bartáková V, et al (2021)

The role of the non-indigenous pumpkinseed Lepomis gibbosus (Actinopterygii: Centrarchidae) in the life cycle of Bothriocephalus claviceps (Cestoda: Bothriocephalidae) in Europe.

Parasitology research, 120(9):3163-3171.

Infection of non-indigenous pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus, Centrarchidae) with the bothriocephalidean cestode Bothriocephalus claviceps (Cestoda: Bothriocephalidae) was confirmed at several sites in the lower Oder river basin in Poland. The preferred host for this cestode species is the European eel (Anguilla anguilla), with a wide range of other fish species serving as paratenic hosts. The pumpkinseed showed a relatively high prevalence and abundance of larvae, along with several mature and gravid specimens, thereby confirming development of B. claviceps to the adult stage in an alternative host. As such, the pumpkinseed may represent an additional definitive host for this cestode, in addition to its role as a paratenic host, as previously recorded in other European regions. Our results indicate that inclusion of pumpkinseed as an additional definitive host in the cestode's life cycle, high infection of pumpkinseed with B. claviceps larvae and inclusion of pumpkinseed in the eel's diet could potentially lead to increased parasite pressure on native fish hosts. Further comparative studies or experimental testing will be required to confirm this.

RevDate: 2021-10-13
CmpDate: 2021-10-13

Blouquy L, Mottet C, Olivares J, et al (2021)

How varying parameters impact insecticide resistance bioassay: An example on the worldwide invasive pest Drosophila suzukii.

PloS one, 16(3):e0247756.

Monitoring pesticide resistance is essential for effective and sustainable agricultural practices. Bioassays are the basis for pesticide-resistance testing, but devising a reliable and reproducible method can be challenging because these tests are carried out on living organisms. Here, we investigated five critical parameters and how they affected the evaluation of resistance to the organophosphate phosmet or the pyrethroid lambda-cyhalothrin using a tarsal-contact protocol on Drosophila suzukii, a worldwide invasive pest. Three of the parameters were related to insect biology: (i) sex, (ii) age of the imago (adult stage) and (iii) genetic diversity of the tested population. The two remaining parameters were linked to the experimental setup: (iv) the number of individuals tested per dose and (v) the duration of exposure to the active ingredient. Results showed that response to insecticide differed depending on sex, males being twice as susceptible to phosmet as females. Age principally affected young females' susceptibility to phosmet, because 0-24 hour-old flies were twice as susceptible as 24-48 hour-old and 72-96 hour-old females. Genetic diversity had no observable effect on resistance levels. The precision and accuracy of the median lethal dose (LD50) were greatly affected by the number of individuals tested per dose with a threshold effect. Finally, optimal duration of exposure to the active ingredient was 24 h, as we found an underestimation of mortality when assessed between 1 and 5 h after exposure to lambda-cyhalothrin. None of the main known point mutations on the para sodium channel gene associated with a knockdown effect were observed. Our study demonstrates the importance of calibrating the various parameters of a bioassay to develop a reliable method. It also provides a valuable and transferable protocol for monitoring D. suzukii resistance worldwide.

RevDate: 2021-10-14
CmpDate: 2021-10-14

Schrader L, Winter M, Errbii M, et al (2021)

Inhibition of HSP90 causes morphological variation in the invasive ant Cardiocondyla obscurior.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part B, Molecular and developmental evolution, 336(4):333-340.

Canalization underlies the expression of steady phenotypes in the face of unsteady environmental conditions or varying genetic backgrounds. The chaperone HSP90 has been identified as a key component of the molecular machinery regulating canalization and a growing body of research suggests that HSP90 could act as a general capacitator in evolution. However, empirical data about HSP90-dependent phenotypic variation and its evolutionary impact is still scarce, particularly for non-model species. Here we report how pharmacological suppression of HSP90 increases morphological variation up to 87% in the invasive ant Cardiocondyla obscurior. We show that workers treated with the HSP90 inhibitor 17-DMAG are significantly more diverse compared to untreated workers in two of four measured traits: maximal eye distance and maximal propodeal spine distance. We further find morphological differentiation between natural populations of C. obscurior in the same traits that responded to our pharmacological treatment. These findings add support for the putative impact of HSP90 on canalization, the modularity of phenotypic traits, and its potential role in morphological evolution of ants.

RevDate: 2021-10-12

Bates OK, C Bertelsmeier (2021)

Climatic niche shifts in introduced species.

Current biology : CB, 31(19):R1252-R1266.

Predictions of future biological invasions often rely on the assumption that introduced species establish only under climatic conditions similar to those in their native range. To date, 135 studies have tested this assumption of 'niche conservatism', yielding contradictory results. Here we revisit this literature, consider the evidence for niche shifts, critically assess the methods used, and discuss the authors' interpretations of niche shifts. We find that the true frequency of niche shifts remains unknown because of diverging interpretations of similar metrics, conceptual issues biasing conclusions towards niche conservatism, and the use of climatic data that may not be biologically meaningful. We argue that these issues could be largely addressed by focussing on trends or relative degrees of niche change instead of dichotomous classifications (shift versus no shift), consistently and transparently including non-analogous climates, and conducting experimental studies on mismatches between macroclimates and microclimates experienced by the study organism. Furthermore, an observed niche shift may result either from species filling a greater part of their fundamental niche during the invasion (a 'realised niche shift') or from rapid evolution of traits adapting species to novel climates in the introduced range (a 'fundamental niche shift'). Currently, there is no conclusive evidence distinguishing between these potential mechanisms of niche shifts. We outline how these questions may be addressed by combining computational analyses and experimental evidence.

RevDate: 2021-10-12

Kardos M (2021)

Conservation genetics.

Current biology : CB, 31(19):R1185-R1190.

Natural populations currently face a wide variety of threats including climate change, habitat loss, over-harvesting, invasive species and disease. The most recent report by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) found that ecosystems have declined by approximately 50% relative to historical pristine conditions, and that approximately 25% of species are now threatened by extinction. This human-caused biodiversity crisis calls for using all available scientific tools to understand and reverse the increasing rate of extinction. While extinction is inherently a demographic process, being driven by changes in the population growth rate, the field of genetics plays an important role in the conservation of biodiversity. 'Conservation genetics' is a diverse field that applies genetic principles and methods to characterize and advance the preservation of biodiversity. Here, I first provide a short history of the development of the field and then list examples of the most important ways that genetics contributes to conservation.

RevDate: 2021-10-12

G Campoy J, Lema M, Fenollosa E, et al (2021)

Functional responses to climate change may increase invasive potential of Carpobrotus edulis.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE: Biological invasions and climate change are major threats to biodiversity. It is therefore important to anticipate how the climate changes projected for Southern Europe would affect the ecophysiological performance of the invasive South African plant, Carpobrotus edulis (ice plant or sour fig), and its capacity to undergo rapid adaptive evolution.

METHODS: We manipulated the climate conditions in a field plot located on the island of Sálvora (northwest of the Iberian Peninsula) to establish a full factorial experiment with C. edulis plants transplanted from four native (southern African) and four invasive (northwestern Iberian Peninsula) populations. Throughout 14 months we measured growth and functional traits of this species under two temperatures (control vs. increased), and two rainfall levels (control vs. reduced).

RESULTS: Temperature increased photochemical efficiency and relative growth rate of C. edulis. Rainfall modulated some of the effects of temperature on C and N isotopic composition, and pigment contents. Invasive populations showed lower root mass allocation and higher survival rates, as well as increased water use efficiency, lipid peroxidation, chlorophyll, and xanthophyll cycle pigment contents than native populations.

CONCLUSIONS: The increased growth and physiological performances observed under our experimental conditions suggest that the expected climate changes would further promote the invasion of C. edulis. Differences between native and invasive genotypes in survival and functional traits revealed that populations have diverged during the process of invasion, what gives support to the invasiveness hypothesis. Our findings highlight the importance of analyzing intraspecific variability in functional responses to better predict how invasive species will respond to environmental changes.

RevDate: 2021-10-12

Wu M, Liu H, Li B, et al (2021)

Integrated analysis of mRNA-seq and miRNA-seq reveals the advantage of polyploid Solidago canadensis in sexual reproduction.

BMC plant biology, 21(1):462.

BACKGROUND: The invasion of Solidago canadensis probably related to polyploidy, which may promotes its potential of sexual reproductive. S. canadensis as an invasive species which rapidly widespread through yield huge numbers of seed, but the mechanism remains unknown. To better understand the advantages of sexual reproduction in hexaploid S. canadensis, transcriptome and small RNA sequencing of diploid and hexaploid cytotypes in flower bud and fruit development stages were performed in this study.

RESULTS: The transcriptome analysis showed that in the flower bud stage, 29 DEGs were MADS-box related genes with 14 up-regulated and 15 down-regulated in hexaploid S. canadensis; 12 SPL genes were detected differentially expressed with 5 up-regulated and 7 down-regulated. In the fruit development stage, 26 MADS-box related genes with 20 up-regulated and 6 down-regulated in hexaploid S. canadensis; 5 SPL genes were all up-regulated; 28 seed storage protein related genes with 18 were up-regulated and 10 down-regulated. The weighted gene co-expression network analysis (WGCNA) identified 19 modules which consisted of co-expressed DEGs with functions such as sexual reproduction, secondary metabolism and transcription factors. Furthermore, we discovered 326 miRNAs with 67 known miRNAs and 259 novel miRNAs. Some of miRNAs, such as miR156, miR156a and miR156f, which target the sexual reproduction related genes.

CONCLUSION: Our study provides a global view of the advantages of sexual reproduction in hexaploid S. canadensis based on the molecular mechanisms, which may promote hexaploid S. canadensis owing higher yield and fruit quality in the process of sexual reproduction and higher germination rate of seeds, and finally conductive to diffusion, faster propagation process and enhanced invasiveness.

RevDate: 2021-10-12
CmpDate: 2021-10-12

Mammone M, Ferrier-Pagés C, Lavorano S, et al (2021)

High photosynthetic plasticity may reinforce invasiveness of upside-down zooxanthellate jellyfish in Mediterranean coastal waters.

PloS one, 16(3):e0248814.

Ecological profiling of non-native species is essential to predict their dispersal and invasiveness potential across different areas of the world. Cassiopea is a monophyletic taxonomic group of scyphozoan mixotrophic jellyfish including C. andromeda, a recent colonizer of sheltered, shallow-water habitats of the Mediterranean Sea, such as harbors and other light-limited, eutrophic coastal habitats. To assess the ecophysiological plasticity of Cassiopea jellyfish and their potential to spread across the Mare Nostrum by secondary introductions, we investigated rapid photosynthetic responses of jellyfish to irradiance transitions-from reduced to increased irradiance conditions (as paradigm of transition from harbors to coastal, meso/oligotrophic habitats). Laboratory incubation experiments were carried out to compare oxygen fluxes and photobiological variables in Cassiopea sp. immature specimens pre-acclimated to low irradiance (PAR = 200 μmol photons m-2 s-1) and specimens rapidly exposed to higher irradiance levels (PAR = 500 μmol photons m-2 s-1). Comparable photosynthetic potential and high photosynthetic rates were measured at both irradiance values, as also shown by the rapid light curves. No significant differences were observed in terms of symbiont abundance between control and treated specimens. However, jellyfish kept at the low irradiance showed a higher content in chlorophyll a and c (0.76±0.51SD vs 0.46±0.13SD mg g-1 AFDW) and a higher Ci (amount of chlorophyll per cell) compared to jellyfish exposed to higher irradiance levels. The ratio between gross photosynthesis and respiration (P:R) was >1, indicating a significant input from the autotrophic metabolism. Cassiopea sp. specimens showed high photosynthetic performances, at both low and high irradiance, demonstrating high potential to adapt to sudden changes in light exposure. Such photosynthetic plasticity, combined with Cassiopea eurythermal tolerance and mixotrophic behavior, jointly suggest the upside-down jellyfish as a potentially successful invader in the scenario of a warming Mediterranean Sea.

RevDate: 2021-10-11

Caton BP, Fang H, Manoukis NC, et al (2021)

Simulation-Based Investigation of the Performance of Delimiting Trapping Surveys for Insect Pests.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6387650 [Epub ahead of print].

Fully trapped survey designs are widely used to delimit adventive pests populations that can be detected using traps and lures. Delimitation includes verifying the presence of the pest and determining its spatial extent. The size and shape of the survey design and the density of traps can vary; however, resulting variation in detecting efficiency is often unknown. We used a trapping network simulation model with diffusion-based insect movement to investigate delimiting survey trapping design performance for fully trapped and some modified designs. Simulations included randomized outbreak locations in a core area and a duration of 30 d. We assessed impacts of insect dispersal ability, grid size and shape, and trap attractiveness and density on survey performance, measured as mean probability of capturing individual pests [p(capture)]. Most published grids are square, but circles performed equally well and are more efficient. Over different grid sizes, p(capture) increased for insects with greater dispersal ability but was generally unresponsive to size because most captures occurred in central areas. For low dispersing insects, the likelihood of egress was approximately zero with a 3.2-km square grid, whereas an 11.3-km grid was needed to contain highly vagile insects. Trap attractiveness affected p(capture) more strongly than density: lower densities of poorly attractive traps may underperform expectations. Variable density designs demonstrated potential for cost savings but highlighted that resource-intensive outer bands are critical to boundary determination. Results suggesting that many grids are oversized need empirical verification, whereas other principles, such as using circular shapes, are readily adoptable now.

RevDate: 2021-10-11

Wang D, X Liu (2021)

Behavioral innovation promotes alien bird invasions.

Innovation (New York, N.Y.), 2(4):100167 pii:S2666-6758(21)00092-8.

Behavioral innovation is believed to represent the ability of species to adapt to novel environments and to thus affect the observed establishment success of alien species in a new range. However, the relative importance of behavioral innovation in explaining alien species establishment among key event-, location-, and species-level factors remains poorly evaluated. In addition, the effects of technical innovation in food searching and handling techniques and consumer innovation in the use of new foods on establishment success are not clear. Here, based on a global dataset including information on 247 species across 9,899 successful and 2,370 failed introduction events spanning 199 countries or regions worldwide, we show that the behavioral innovation rate is a key factor facilitating alien bird establishment success after considering propagule pressure, climate matching, historical invasional meltdown, and life-history traits. Furthermore, we find that technical innovation is more influential than consumer innovation in explaining establishment success. Our results contribute to a deeper understanding of the effect of behavioral innovation on the establishment success of alien species in new ranges and may help predict the response of both native and alien species to accelerating global change during the Anthropocene.

RevDate: 2021-10-10

Loeffler CR, Abraham A, Stopa JE, et al (2021)

Ciguatoxin in Hawai'i: Fisheries forecasting using geospatial and environmental analyses for the invasive Cephalopholis argus (Epinephelidae).

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(21)01465-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species can precede far-reaching environmental and economic consequences. In the Hawai'ian Archipelago Cephalopholis argus (family Serranidae) is an established invasive species, now recognized as the dominant local reef predator, negatively impacting the native ecosystem and local fishery. In this region, no official C. argus fishery exists, due to its association with Ciguatera seafood poisoning (CP); a severe intoxication in humans occurring after eating (primarily) fish contaminated with ciguatoxins (CTXs). Pre-harvest prediction of CP is currently not possible; partly due to the ubiquitous nature of the microalgae producing CTXs and the diverse bioaccumulation pathways of the toxins. This study investigated the perceived risk of CP in two geographically discrete regions (Leeward and Windward) around the main island of Hawai'i, guided by local fishers. C. argus was collected and investigated for CTXs using the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) CTX testing protocol (in vitro neuroblastoma N2a-assay and LC-MS/MS). Overall, 76% of fish (87/113) exceeded the FDA guidance value for CTX1B (0.01 ng g-1 tissue equivalents); determined by the N2a-assay. Maximum CTX levels were ≅2× higher at the Leeward vs Windward location and, respectively, 95% (64/67) and 54% (25/46) of fish were positive for CTX-like activity. Fisher persons and environmental understandings, regarding the existence of a geographic predictor (Leeward vs Windward) for harvest, were found to be (mostly) accurate as CTXs were detected in both locations and the local designation of C. argus as a risk for CP was confirmed. This study provides additional evidence that supports the previous conclusions that this species is a severe CP risk in the coastal food web of Hawai'i, and that ocean exposure (wave power) may be a prominent factor influencing the CTX content in fish within a hyperendemic region for CP.

RevDate: 2021-10-11
CmpDate: 2021-10-11

Zaya DN, Leicht-Young SA, Pavlovic NB, et al (2021)

Heterospecific pollination by an invasive congener threatens the native American bittersweet, Celastrus scandens.

PloS one, 16(3):e0248635.

Invasive plants have the potential to interfere with native species' reproductive success through a number of mechanisms, including heterospecific pollination and hybridization. This study investigated reproductive interactions between a native North American woody vine (American bittersweet, Celastrus scandens) and an introduced congener (oriental bittersweet, C. orbiculatus). The decline of C. scandens in the eastern portion of its range is coincident with the introduction and spread of C. orbiculatus, and the two species are known to hybridize. The relationship between proximity and floral production of conspecific and heterospecific males on fertilization and hybridization rates was measured at a field site in northwestern Indiana, USA where both species occur and reproduce. We found that the invasive vine had an extreme advantage in both male and female floral production, producing nearly 200 times more flowers per staminate plant and 65 times more flowers per pistillate plant than the native. Using nuclear microsatellite DNA markers we found that hybridization rates were asymmetric; 39% of the C. scandens seeds tested were hybrids, compared to only 1.6% of C. orbiculatus seeds. The asymmetric hybridization rates were likely not solely due to greater abundance of C. orbiculatus pollen because experimental hand crosses revealed that C. scandens had a higher rate (41%) of heterospecific fertilization than C. orbiculatus (2.4%). We previously reported that few hybrids were observed in the wild, and hybrids had greatly reduced fecundity. Thus, in our system, the threat posed by heterospecific pollen is not replacement by hybrids or introgression, but rather asymmetric reproductive interference. Reproductive interference extended to distances as great as 100 meters, thus, efforts to conserve the native species must reduce its exposure to C. orbiculatus over a relatively large spatial scale.

RevDate: 2021-10-09

Pascual A, Giardina CP, Povak NA, et al (2021)

Optimizing invasive species management using mathematical programming to support stewardship of water and carbon-based ecosystem services.

Journal of environmental management, 301:113803 pii:S0301-4797(21)01865-X [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species alter hydrologic processes at watershed scales, with impacts to biodiversity and the supporting ecosystem services. This effect is aggravated by climate change. Here, we integrated modelled hydrologic data, remote sensing products, climate data, and linear mixed integer optimization (MIP) to identify stewardship actions across space and time that can reduce the impact of invasive species. The study area is the windward coast of Hawai'i Island (USA) across which non-native strawberry guava occurrence varies from extremely dense stands in lower watershed reaches, to low densities in upper watershed forests. We focused on the removal of strawberry guava, an invader that exerts significant impacts on watershed condition. MIP analyses spatially optimized the assignment of effective management actions to increase water yield, generate revenue from enhanced freshwater services, and income from removed biomass. The hydrological benefit of removing guava, often marginal when considered in isolation, was financially quantified, and single- and multiobjective MIP formulations were then developed over a 10-year planning horizon. Optimization resulted in $2.27 million USD benefit over the planning horizon using a payment-for-ecosystem-services scheme. That value jumped to $4.67 million when allowing work schedules with overnight camping to reduce costs. Pareto frontiers of weighted pairs of management goals showed the benefit of clustering treatments over space and time to improve financial efficiency. Values of improved land-water natural capital using payment-for-ecosystem-services schemes are provided for several combinations of spatial, temporal, economical, and ecosystem services flows.

RevDate: 2021-10-09

Couture JM, Redman ZC, Bozzini J, et al (2021)

Field and laboratory characterization of rotenone attenuation in eight lakes of the Kenai Peninsula, Alaska.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(21)02950-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Rotenone is a pesticide commonly used to eradicate Northern Pike (Esox lucius), an invasive species, in Southcentral Alaska. The present work incorporates a field investigation of rotenone attenuation in eight lakes of the Kenai Peninsula, following a CFT Legumine® treatment in October 2018 and a laboratory simulation to determine persistence under light/dark and sterile/nonsterile conditions representative of Southcentral Alaskan winters. In the field, rotenone degraded within <60 days of application in all lakes, while rotenolone, the primary product of rotenone degradation, persisted for up to <280 days post-treatment at two locations. Prolonged rotenolone attenuation was most likely caused by short days and ice cover between October and April. This hypothesis was supported by a laboratory simulation which revealed photolysis as the dominant process driving the overall degradation of rotenone and that microbial degradation will significantly contribute in the absence of sunlight under simulated "winter" conditions of 4 °C. Degradation model fit comparisons (pseudo-first order, multi-parameter linear, and gamma) indicate the most accurate prediction occurred when modeling all eight lakes grouped together in a single dataset, combined and treated with pseudo-first order model kinetics, based on Akaike information criteria (AIC) scores.

RevDate: 2021-10-08

Boyce P, Bhattacharyya J, W Linklater (2021)

The need for formal reflexivity in conservation science.

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

Conservation issues are often complicated by sociopolitical controversies that reflect competing philosophies and values regarding natural systems, animals, and people. Effective conservation outcomes require managers to engage myriad influences (social, cultural, political, and economic, as well as ecological). The contribution of conservation scientists who generate the information on which solutions rely is constrained if they are unable to acknowledge how personal values and disciplinary paradigms influence their research and conclusions. Conservation challenges involving controversial species provide an opportunity to reflect on the paradigms and value systems that underpin the discipline and practice of conservation science. Recent analyses highlight the ongoing reliance on normative values in conservation. We frame our discussion around controversies over feral horses (Equus ferus caballus) in the Canadian West and New Zealand and suggest that a lack of transparency and reflexivity regarding normative values continues to prevent conservation practitioners from finding resilient conservation solutions. We suggest that growing scrutiny and backlash to many normative conservation objectives necessitates formal reflexivity methods in conservation biology research, similar to those required of researchers in social science disciplines. Moreover, given that much conservation research and action continues to prioritize Western normative values regarding nature and conservation, we suggest that adopting reflexive methods more broadly is an important step toward more socially just research and practice. Formalizing such methods and requiring reflexivity in research will not only encourage reflection on how personal and disciplinary value systems influence conservation work but could more effectively engage people with diverse perspectives and values in conservation and encourage more novel and resilient conservation outcomes, particularly when dealing with controversial species.

RevDate: 2021-10-08

Goldberg JF, Fraser DF, Lamphere BA, et al (2021)

Differential habitat use and recruitment facilitate coexistence in a community with intraguild predation.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Theory predicts that species engaged in intraguild predation (IGP) can only coexist under limited conditions, yet IGP is common in nature. Habitat complexity can promote co-existence by reducing encounter rates, but little is known about the contribution of differential habitat use. We hypothesized that differential use of alternative habitats promotes coexistence of an IG predator and prey. We evaluated predictions of this hypothesis with an experimental introduction of an IG predator fish into four natural stream communities that previously contained only the IG prey fish. We monitored the development of this IGP over the course of four years to determine how each species used alternative stream habitats. The introduced species prefers pool habitats while the resident species was more evenly distributed across pools and riffles. The density of the resident decreased in the pool habitat preferred by the invader, accompanied by a local increase in the mean of the resident size distribution. Selective predation by the invader on hatchling residents appears to impact the residents' demographic response. The continued recruitment of resident juveniles in riffles, where the introduced species is rare, facilitated the persistence of the resident. This differential use of habitats was not accompanied by a change in the resident's growth rates in either habitat. Our results show that differential habitat selection and recruitment promoted persistence during an invasion involving IGP, which helps to bridge the gap between theory and observation in explaining coexistence in IGP systems.

RevDate: 2021-10-08

Hayasaka D, Nakamori T, Tamaue K, et al (2021)

Dry-Heat Tolerance of Egg Sacs of Invasive Latrodectus Spiders (Araneae: Theridiidae) in Japan: Implications for Efficient Control/Extermination.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6384378 [Epub ahead of print].

Strategic responses to invasive Latrodectus widow spiders are a global challenge due to the risks they pose to health and ecosystems. Chemical strategies involving the use of pyrethroids are effective against adult spiders, but as their populations rebound, chemical control becomes costly and unsustainable for eradication. A major obstacle is the inefficacy of insecticides against eggs, which are covered by a protective silk egg sac. Eradication of invasive spiders must focus on destroying progeny. Here, the responses of eggs in egg sacs of two invasive Latrodectus spiders in Japan (Latrodectus hasseltii (Thorell) and Latrodectus geometricus (C.L. Koch)) to short-term dry-heat exposure were examined. To test whether the dry-heat tolerance of the egg sacs of both spider species differed, lethal temperature (LT) was determined based on the hatching rate of eggs from egg sacs subjected to a range of temperatures. Hatching in both species failed completely when the egg sacs were exposed to temperatures of 55°C and above for 10 min, but the LT to reduce hatching by 90% (LT90) differed significantly between L. hasseltii (50. 9°C) and L. geometricus (52. 8°C). Our study highlights the efficacy of dry heat in suppressing hatching and thus shows the possibility for effective extermination of these noxious invasive pests. Further exploration and investigation of the effects of humidity and heat exposure time on egg sacs under field conditions are needed to guide Latrodectus spider control strategies.

RevDate: 2021-10-08

Smith L, I Park (2021)

Conditions to Terminate Reproductive Diapause of a Univoltine Insect: Ceratapion basicorne (Coleoptera: Apionidae), a Biological Control Agent of Yellow Starthistle.

Environmental entomology pii:6384401 [Epub ahead of print].

Ceratapion basicorne (Illiger) is a recently approved univoltine biological control agent that develops inside the rosette of yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis L.), an invasive annual plant. Adult weevils normally emerge in early summer, and females are thought to be in reproductive diapause until the following spring, when they oviposit in rosettes. The long period of reproductive diapause constrains mass-rearing this weevil because only one generation per year can be produced. Determining the environmental conditions that regulate diapause termination may enable shortening diapause under laboratory conditions to increase production of adults to release. We tested three hibernating conditions (greenhouse [ambient temperature and photoperiod], glass door refrigerator [5°C and ambient photoperiod], and growth chamber [5°C and 24 h dark]) for three durations (4, 8, 11 wk). The highest proportion of females laying eggs came from the growth chamber, with 40% terminating diapause after 4 wk, 80% after 8 wk, and 95% after 11 wk of exposure. Our study demonstrates that duration of cold temperature is an important stimulus to terminate reproductive diapause of C. basicorne, and that exposure to ambient light had no effect at 5°C. However, 47% of females held at ambient greenhouse conditions, without any chilling period, completed diapause within 11 wk. Thus, a cold period can accelerate diapause development, but it is not necessary for its completion. Reducing the winter diapause period from about 6 mo to 11 wk should enable the production of multiple generations per year to increase the number of insects available to release.

RevDate: 2021-10-08

Biel RG, SD Hacker (2021)

Warming alters the interaction of two invasive beachgrasses with implications for range shifts and coastal dune functions.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Forecasting the effects of climate change on the distribution of invasive species can be difficult, because invaders often thrive under novel physical conditions and biotic interactions that differ from those in their native range. In this study, we experimentally examined how rising temperatures and sand burial could alter the abundance and biotic interactions of two invasive beachgrasses, Ammophila arenaria and A. breviligulata, along the U.S. Pacific Northwest coast. We asked whether the current geographic ranges of the two congeners, and thus their effects on dune morphology and coastal ecosystem services, might shift as a consequence of climate driven changes in warming and sand supply. Our results show that A. breviligulata had lower biomass and tiller production when exposed to warming and high rates of sand burial, while A. arenaria showed neutral or positive responses to those treatments. Nevertheless, under all experimental combinations, A. breviligulata had strong negative effects on A. arenaria, while A. arenaria had weaker effects on A. breviligulata. Our models predict that although A. breviligulata mostly excludes A. arenaria, elevated temperatures and high rates of sand burial also increase the likelihood of species coexistence. We suggest that under climate change, the differences in physiological tolerance and the mediation of species interactions could expand the northern distributional limit of A. arenaria but restrict the southern limit of A. breviligulata. Moreover, because beachgrass abundance has direct effects on biophysical functions of dunes, reductions in vigor from warming could alter coastal protection, biodiversity, and carbon sequestration.

RevDate: 2021-10-08

Williams VL, Burness A, Wojtasik EM, et al (2021)

Dataset, including a photo-guide, of alien plants sold in traditional medicine markets and healthcare outlets in three South African cities, specifically by traders of Indian, West African, East African, and Chinese origin.

Data in brief, 38:107395 pii:S2352-3409(21)00677-6.

This dataset is a an inventory of 475 alien plant taxa (447 identified to species), including a photo-guide to 96 plants, mostly sold as traditional medicines in three South African cities by traders of South African, West African, East African, Indian and Chinese origin (Williams et al., 2021). The dataset also incorporates species documented in a literature survey of alien plants used for traditional medicines in South Africa. The species inventory is a consolidation of the data from two separate investigations of 106 medicinal plant traders: firstly, a study conducted in 2010/2011 of 77 traders in markets and shops in Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban (Williams et al., 2021); and secondly, a study conducted in 2017/2018 of plants sold by 29 (im)migrant traders of West African, East African, and Indian origin in Johannesburg, and of alien species listed in a TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) catalogue (Burness, 2019). Accompanying each plant photograph in the photo-guide is the following information: species name; common name(s) provided by the survey respondents; invasive alien plant category; introduction status; voucher specimen number(s); nationality of the medicine traders; and, notes on source localities (e.g. imported or collected in southern Africa). Overall, most of the taxa were from the Asteraceae (12%), Fabaceae (9%) and Poaceae (5%). The species are mostly unlisted (76%) with respect to their legal status in South Africa in terms of the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA), 2004 Alien & Invasive Species (A&IS) regulations. The most frequently recorded species in the various surveys were Glycyrrhiza glabra, Acorus calamus, Angelica sinensis and Zingiber officinale.

RevDate: 2021-10-07

Borden JB, Bohlman S, BR Scheffers (2021)

Niche lability mitigates the impact of invasion but not urbanization.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Native species can coexist with invasive congeners by partitioning niche space; however, impacts from invasive species often occur alongside other disturbances. Native species' responses to the interactions of multiple disturbances remain poorly understood. Here we study the impacts of urbanization and an invasive congener on a native species. Using abundance (catch-per-unit effort) and vertical distribution of native green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) and invasive brown anoles (Anolis sagrei) across a gradient of natural-to-urban forests, we ask if niche shifting (lability) is occurring, and if it can mitigate impacts from one or both disturbances. We use generalized linear models to relate species abundances across the landscape to urbanization, forest structural complexity, and congener abundances (i.e., A. sagrei); and test for an interaction between urbanization and congener abundance. Our data show that A. sagrei presence results in a 17-fold upward shift in vertical niche of A. carolinensis-an 8.3 m shift in median perch height, and models reveal urbanization also drives an increase in A. carolinensis perch height. A. carolinensis and A. sagrei abundances negatively and positively correlate with urbanization, respectively, and neither species' abundance correlate with congener abundance. Despite a positive correlation between A. sagrei abundance and urbanization, our results do not show evidence of this interaction affecting A. carolinensis. Instead, niche lability appears to enable the native species to mitigate the impact of one driver of decline (invasive competition) while our data suggest it declines with the second (urbanization).

RevDate: 2021-10-07

Pincheira-Ulbrich J, Vallejos B, Huincaguelo J, et al (2021)

A 30-year update of the climbers and vascular epiphytes inventory of the Cerro Ñielol Natural Monument (La Araucanía, Chile): a database.

Biodiversity data journal, 9:e72521 pii:72521.

Background: Plant species diversity may be seriously threatened in ecotone zones under global climate change. Therefore, keeping updated inventories of indicator species seems to be a good strategy for monitoring wild areas located in these strips. The database comes from an inventory of climbers and vascular epiphytes conducted in the Cerro Ñielol Natural Monument, a small protected area (89 hectares) located in Chile's Mediterranean-temperate phytogeographic region, within the boundaries of the city of Temuco, La Araucaína Region.The data represent the update of the first inventory carried out between 1980 and 1984. In this current contribution, data collection was carried out in 27 quadrats using the trails as transects. The data provide the record of 45 species (16 climbers, 15 epiphytes and 10 trees), including two accidental epiphytes (Acerpsudoplatanus L. and Gavileaodoratissima (L.) Endl. ex Griseb.), two species that can be found as epiphytes or terricolous (Hymenophyllumtunbrigense (L.) Sm. and Nerteragranadensis (Mutis ex L.f.) Druce) and one species (Chusqueaquila Kunth) that can be found as terricolous and climber. Species of interest were recorded on live trees (n = 51), snags (n = 9), stumps (n = 4), fallen log (n = 5) and on the forest soil (n = 17).The most abundant climbers were Hydrangeaserratifolia (Hook. & Arn.) F. Phil. (n = 77 stems), Lapageria rosea Ruiz & Pav. (n = 70 stems), Raukauavaldiviensis (Gay) Frodin (n = 48 stems) and Cissusstriata Ruiz & Pav. (n = 33 stems). In contrast, the most abundant epiphytes were Hymenophyllumplicatum Kaulf. (n = 1728 fronds) and Hymenophyllumtunbrigense (L.) Sm. (n = 2375 fronds). These latter two species represent the highest frequency and abundance in the whole inventory, respectively. Several ecosystem traits are, in fact, new reports since the first inventory was conducted in 1980-1984; for example, the presence of the filmy fern Hymenophyllumtunbrigense, the record of the climber Elytropuschilensis , fallen logs or the species-host relationship. Accordingly, the database is made available in this manuscript.

New information: This study updates the climbers and vascular epiphyte species list in the Cerro Ñielol Natural Monument, a small patch of forest under severe anthropogenic pressure. This protected area is characterised by floristic elements of the Mediterranean and temperate phytogeographic region of Chile, in a zone where forests have been severely deforested. The database includes the record of 45 species - including six species that were not recorded in the first inventory - in 211 records.The main novelty of this contribution is the systematic classification of species, on ten traits rarely reported in a floristic inventory: (i) species taxonomic identity (as usual), (ii) species abundance (number of stems and fronds), (iii) habit (herb, shrub, subshrub, tree), (iv) growth form (accidental epiphyte, epiphyte, vine, liana, terricolous), (v) climbing mechanism (tendrils, adhesive roots, twining, scrambling), (vi) microhabitat (fallen log, footpath slope, soil, stump, trunk), (vii) host species (where appropriate), (viii) host condition (live, woody debris, snag), (ix) host diameter at breast height (DBH) and (x) target species found over 2.3 m on trees.Thirty years after the first inventory conducted between 1980 and 1984, the climber assemblage has remained relatively stable over time, although there are some differences in species composition. Specifically, the climber Elytropuschilensis are recorded in the current inventory, but the Mitrariacoccinea (recorded in the first inventory) is not present. On the other hand, the epiphyte assemblage showed an increase in the species richness of filmy ferns, with five previously unrecorded species: Hymenophyllumcuneatum, H.dicranotrichum, H.pectinatum, H.peltatum and H.tunbrigense. One of the novel features was the presence of Sarmientascandens and Synammiafeuillei on a Pinusradiata D. Don tree. Additionally, the introduced species Acerpseudoplatanus is included, which is new to the Chilean vascular plant catalogue. All these data are available in the present manuscript.

RevDate: 2021-10-07
CmpDate: 2021-10-07

da Silva Rodrigues C, Nakasu EYT, Ortiz GV, et al (2021)

Evidence of Spread of Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Mediated by Internal Transportation of Ornamental Plants in Brazil.

Neotropical entomology, 50(5):850-857.

Two Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) species, Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) and Mediterranean (MED), are major pests that are dispersed throughout the world. While MEAM1 was introduced in Brazil in the 1990s, MED was reported recently with limited spread. Here, a survey was performed to examine whether MED whiteflies are widely present in the Federal District region, in central Brazil. Whiteflies were collected in various locations in the Federal District and surroundings between 2018 and 2020, including garden centers and small- and large-scale farms. The species were identified using RFLPand sequencing of the mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase I subunit gene region. Out of 108 whitefly batches, 63.89% were composed exclusively by MEAM1, followed by 16.67% presenting only MED, and another 7.40% containing unidentified whitefly species (NI). Plant varieties serving as hosts for more than one whitefly species were observed in 12.04% of the samples, either by MEAM1/MED, MEAM1/NI, or MED/NI. This study highlights the still limited presence of MED in the Federal District and surroundings, predominantly in garden centers and in the green belt of Brasília, closer to urban areas. In contrast, only MEAM1 was identified in large-scale cultivated areas.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Reynolds SA, DC Aldridge (2021)

Global impacts of invasive species on the tipping points of shallow lakes.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

There is growing acknowledgement that human-induced change can push ecosystems beyond tipping points, resulting in the dramatic and sudden loss of vital ecosystem services. Invasive non-native species (INNS) are spreading rapidly due to anthropogenic activities and climate change and can drive changes to ecosystem functioning by altering abiotic conditions and restructuring native communities. Shallow lake ecosystems are especially vulnerable to perturbation from INNS as they can exist in two alternative stable states: either clear water with an abundance of vegetation or turbid, unvegetated and dominated by phytoplankton. Through a global meta-analysis of studies observing the effects of INNS on recipient lake ecosystems, we found that certain INNS drive significant changes in the abundance of key taxa and conditions that govern the balance of alternative equilibria in shallow lakes. Invasive fish and crustaceans demonstrated effects likely to lead to early ecosystem collapse to a turbid state and delay ecosystem recovery. Invasive molluscs presented opposite effects, which may delay ecosystem collapse and encourage ecosystem recovery. Our results demonstrate that INNS could significantly alter the tipping points of ecosystem collapse and recovery, and that not all invasive species may initiate system collapse. Our results provide guidance for managers of invaded shallow lake ecosystems, which provide diverse services including sanitation, potable water supply, industrial cooling, aquaculture and recreational resources. Moreover, our approach could be applied to identify key potential drivers of change in other crucial ecosystems which demonstrate alternative equilibria, such as coral reefs and kelp forests.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Ode PJ, Vyas DK, JA Harvey (2021)

Extrinsic Inter- and Intra-specific Competition in Parasitoid Wasps.

Annual review of entomology [Epub ahead of print].

The diverse ecology of parasitoids is shaped by extrinsic competition, i.e., exploitative or interference competition among adult females and males for hosts and mates. Adult females use an array of morphological, chemical, and behavioral mechanisms to engage in competition that may be either intra- or interspecific. Weaker competitors are often excluded or, if they persist, use alternate host habitats, host developmental stages, or host species. Competition among adult males for mates is almost exclusively intraspecific and involves visual displays, chemical signals, and even physical combat. Extrinsic competition influences community structure through its role in competitive displacement and apparent competition. Finally, anthropogenic changes such as habitat loss and fragmentation, invasive species, pollutants, and climate change result in phenological mismatches and range expansions within host-parasitoid communities with consequent changes to the strength of competitive interactions. Such changes have important ramifications not only for the success of managed agroecosystems, but also for natural ecosystem functioning. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 67 is January 2022. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Lybbert AH, Cusser SJ, Hung KJ, et al (2021)

10-year trends reveal declining quality of seeded pollinator habitat on reclaimed mines regardless of seed mix diversity.

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

Plant-pollinator interactions represent a crucial ecosystem function threatened by anthropogenic landscape alterations. Disturbances that reduce plant diversity are associated with floral resource and pollinator declines. Establishing wildflower plantings is a major conservation strategy targeting pollinators, the success of which depends on long-term persistence of seeded floral communities. However, most pollinator-oriented seeding projects are monitored for a few years, making it difficult to evaluate the longevity of such interventions. Selecting plant species to provide pollinators diverse arrays of floral resources throughout their activity season is often limited by budgetary constraints and other conservation priorities. To evaluate the long-term persistence of prairie vegetation seeded to support pollinators, we sowed wildflower seed mixes into plots on a degraded reclaimed strip-mine landscape in central Ohio, USA. We examined how pollinator habitat quality, measured as floral abundance and diversity, changed over 10 years (2009-2019) in the absence of management, over the course of the blooming season within each year, and across three seed mixes containing different numbers and combinations of flowering plant species. Seeded species floral abundance declined by more than 75% over the study, with the largest decline occurring between the fifth and seventh summers. Native and non-native adventive flowering plants quickly colonized the plots and represented > 50% of floral community abundances on average. Floral richness remained relatively constant throughout the study, with a small peak one year after plot establishment. Plots seeded with high-diversity mixes averaged 2-3 more species per plot compared to a low-diversity mix, despite having been seeded with twice as many plant species. Within years, the abundance and diversity of seeded species were lowest early in the blooming season and increased monotonically from June to August. Adventive species exhibited the opposite trend, such that complementary abundance patterns of seeded and adventive species blooms resulted in a relatively constant floral abundance across the growing season. Seeded plant communities followed classic successional patterns in which annual species quickly established and flowered but were replaced by perennial species after the first few summers. Long-term data on establishment and persistence of flower species can guide species selection for future-oriented pollinator habitat restorations.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Dechaine AC, Sutphin M, Leskey TC, et al (2021)

Phenology of Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) in Virginia, USA.

Environmental entomology pii:6382325 [Epub ahead of print].

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), is an invasive planthopper that was first discovered in North America in Berks County, Pennsylvania in 2014. Currently, L. delicatula has spread to eight additional states and threatens agricultural, ornamental, and timber commodities throughout the United States. The timing of insect life events is very important in the development of pest management tools and strategies. In 2019 and 2020, L. delicatula phenology was successfully documented in Winchester, Virginia using weekly 5-min observational surveys at established monitoring plots. Each year, L. delicatula were active in the environment from May to November with initial detections of first, second, third, fourth, and adults occurring in May, May, June, June, and July, respectively. Cumulative average growing degree days were also calculated for the onset of each L. delicatula life stage using local weather data and a lower developmental threshold of 10°C. First-instar L. delicatula were initially observed at 135 and 111.5, adults at 835 and 887, and egg masses at 1673.5 and 1611.5 in 2019 and 2020, respectively. Combined, these data can be used by growers and land managers to facilitate timing of effective pest management strategies.

RevDate: 2021-10-06

Alcàntara-Rodríguez M, Françozo M, T Van Andel (2021)

Looking into the flora of Dutch Brazil: botanical identifications of seventeenth century plant illustrations in the Libri Picturati.

Scientific reports, 11(1):19736.

The Libri Picturati includes a collection of plant illustrations from seventeenth century Dutch Brazil that is kept in the Jagiellonian library in Krakow since World War II. While many studies focused on the artistic details and history of these images, we identified the flora depicted. We used contemporary textual sources (e.g., Historia Naturalis Brasiliae), monographs and taxonomist' assessments. We checked origin, life form, domestication and conservation status and the plant parts that are represented. We identified 198 taxa, consisting mostly of wild, native rainforest trees and 35 introduced species. Fertile branches are the most represented, although some loose dry fruits and sterile material were also painted, which sheds light into the collection methods by naturalists in Dutch Brazil. Several species are no longer abundant or have become invasive due to anthropogenic influences since colonialism. Through this botanical iconography, we traced the first records of the sunflower and the Ethiopian pepper in Brazil, as well as the dispersion and assimilation of the flora encountered in the colony by Indigenous, African and European peoples. We emphasized the relevance of combining visual and textual sources when studying natural history collections and we highlighted how digitalization makes these artistic and scientific collections more accessible.

RevDate: 2021-10-05

Konno T, A Tsukagoshi (2021)

Crayfish co-introduced symbiotic ostracod found on native crab in Japan: The first record of epibiont ostracod found a new host.

Parasitology international pii:S1383-5769(21)00193-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Ankylocythere sinuosa (Rioja, 1942), a symbiotic ostracod native to North America, was found from the Japanese mitten crab Eriocheir japonica (De Haan, 1835), a species native to Japan, collected from a pond in Shizuoka City, Shizuoka Prefecture, central Japan. Introduced North American crayfish Procambarus clarkii (Girard, 1852), which is a host of A. sinuosa in their native range, inhabits ponds sympatrically with Japanese mitten crabs, and it is thought that the ostracods transferred from the exotic crayfish to the native crabs. In recent years, along with the artificial transportation of crayfish around the world, their symbiotic ostracods also have been found on the body surfaces of exotic crayfish in Europe and Japan. However, no studies have confirmed the infestation of exotic ostracods on native crustaceans in the field. A wide range of developmental stages of A. sinuosa from juveniles to adults were found in Japanese mitten crabs, and mating individuals were also found. This strongly suggests that they can reproduce on the body surface of Japanese mitten crabs. In the future, it will be necessary to strengthen measures against alien species to prevent these exotic symbionts from infestating native ecosystems, and we also need to investigate the exact impact of this symbiont on Japanese mitten crabs.

RevDate: 2021-10-05

Majer A, Laska A, Hein G, et al (2021)

Hitchhiking or hang gliding? Dispersal strategies of two cereal-feeding eriophyoid mite species.

Experimental & applied acarology [Epub ahead of print].

Dispersal shapes the dynamics of populations, their genetic structure and species distribution; therefore, knowledge of an organisms' dispersal abilities is crucial, especially in economically important and invasive species. In this study, we investigated dispersal strategies of two phytophagous eriophyoid mite species: Aceria tosichella (wheat curl mite, WCM) and Abacarus hystrix (cereal rust mite, CRM). Both species are obligatory plant parasites that infest cereals and are of economic significance. We investigated their dispersal success using different dispersal agents: wind and vectors. We hypothesised that in both mite species the main mode of dispersal is moving via wind, whereas phoretic dispersal is rather accidental, as the majority of eriophyoid mite species do not possess clear morphological or behavioural adaptations for phoresy. Results confirmed our predictions that both species dispersed mainly with wind currents. Additionally, WCM was found to have a higher dispersal success than CRM. Thus, this study contributes to our understanding of the high invasive potential of WCM.

RevDate: 2021-10-04

Ong JJY, Russell B, JH Han (2021)

Plasmodium cynomolgi Berok Growth Inhibition Assay by Thiol-reactive Probe Based Flow Cytometric Measurement.

Bio-protocol, 11(17):e4147 pii:4147.

The relapsing malaria species, Plasmodium vivax, is the most widely distributed and difficult-to-treat cause of human malaria. The merozoites of P. vivax preferentially invade ephemeral human CD71+ reticulocytes (nascent reticulocytes), thereby limiting the development of a robust continuous culture in vitro. Fortunately, P. vivax's sister species, P. cynomolgi Berok, can be cultured continuously, providing the ability to screen novel therapeutics drug and vaccine candidates in a reliable and high-throughput manner. Based on well-established growth inhibition activity (GIA) assays against P. falciparum and P. knowlesi, this protocol adopts the current flow cytometry assay methodology and investigates P. vivax inhibitory antibodies using the P. cynomolgi Berok invasion model based on the thiol-reactivity and DNA abundance of viable parasites in macaque erythrocytes. Established GIA assays screen antibodies at either a single concentration or high/low dose concentrations to provide quick insights for prioritizing potential antibodies capable of specifically interrupting parasite ligand and host receptor binding with minimal concentrations. Hence, this protocol expands on the existing GIA assay by using serially diluted antibodies and generating a dose-response curve to better quantify the inhibitory efficacy amongst selected vaccine candidates.

RevDate: 2021-10-03

Carvalho TF, Carvalho AC, Zanuncio JC, et al (2021)

Does invasion by Pteridium aquilinum (Dennstaedtiaceae) affect the ecological succession in Atlantic Forest areas after a fire?.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

Pteridium aquilinum (Dennstaedtiaceae) colonization affects ecological and restoration processes. The knowledge of the impacts on the ecological succession by this species allows the use of restoration strategies in invaded environments. This work aimed to evaluate the floristic composition, diversity, structure, density, basal area, height, and diameter of natural regeneration in three areas of the Atlantic Forest in the Serra do Espinhaço Biosphere Reserve in an area invaded by P. aquilinum after a fire. Three environments with different coverage intensities by P. aquilinum were studied, and the plants over 10 cm in height or 5 cm in canopy diameter were measured. The floristic composition and diversity were analyzed using indices presented by Chao, Fisher, Margalef, Pielou, Shannon-Weaver, and Simpson, and similarity was evaluated by the Jaccard index. Species density, basal area, height, and canopy diameter classes were also evaluated. The floristic composition, diversity, structure of natural regeneration, density, and basal area were higher in post-fire areas with a lower coverage by P. aquilinum. The topsoil coverage with plant litter and the possible effect of P. aquilinum allelopathy probably reduced the species richness and diversity. The proportion of plants from the lowest height and canopy diameter classes was higher under moderate coverage by P. aquilinum. The reduction in the floristic composition, diversity, number of species, and basal area in post-fire areas colonized by P. aquilinum is probably due to this species aggressiveness. The population of this plant is high, accumulating large quantities of plant litter as a physical barrier preventing light and propagules from reaching the soil, reducing the germination of the seed bank and, consequently, the natural regeneration. The floristic composition, diversity, structure of natural regeneration, density, and basal area were lower in areas with higher coverage by P. aquilinum. The proportion of plants in the most significant height and canopy diameter classes was higher with reduced coverage by P. aquilinum. The P. aquilinum reduced forest succession in areas after a fire.

RevDate: 2021-10-03

Davidowitz G (2021)

Habitat-centric versus species-centric approaches to edible insects for food and feed.

Current opinion in insect science pii:S2214-5745(21)00106-1 [Epub ahead of print].

The current paradigm of the edible insects for food and feed industry uses a species-centric approach in which an insect species is chosen first and development of rearing practices follows. The goal is to optimize production to maximize the yield of that species in that facility. In contrast, the habitat-centric approach first chooses a habitat, either natural or artificial, then develops harvesting or rearing protocols within that habitat. The goal of this approach is to maximize the yield derived from that habitat. The habitat-centric approach eliminates potential threats from invasive species, and can repurpose local food and agricultural waste into protein derived from local insect species. This approach can increase food security by increasing the diversity of insects that are mass-produced. The species-centric and habitat-centric approaches address different issues and offer advantages in different situations. Further development of the edible insect industry will likely use a combination of both approaches.

RevDate: 2021-10-02

Deng J, Zhou L, Zhou W, et al (2021)

Effect of microfibers combined with UV-B and drought on plant community.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(21)02885-X [Epub ahead of print].

There is an increasing recognition that microplastics contamination in soils has become an important threat for terrestrial ecosystems, and can interact with drought. In addition, due to the increasingly serious environmental pollution and the destruction of the ozone layer, the UV-B radiation to the earth's surface has gradually increased. However, we currently have no information about potential effects of microplastics, UV-B, and drought on plant communities. In order to make up for the vacancy, we conducted an experiment with grassland plant communities. Polyester fiber microplastics (absent, present), UV-B (fully transparent polythene film, attenuating UV-B radiation), and soil water conditions (well-watered, drought) were applied in a fully factorial design. A plant community consisting of four indigenous species and one invasive species, co-occurring in the terrestrial ecosystem of the northern temperate zone was established, and we investigated the effects of microplastics, UV-B, drought and their interactions on plant functional traits and plant community structure. We found that shoot and root biomass decreased with drought but increased with microfibers, and drought significantly decreased specific leaf area at the community level. Physiological and biochemical indexes of individual species and plant community were affected by microfibers, UV-B, drought and their interaction to a varying degree. More importantly, five species were divided into three clusters along PC1 corresponding to individuals from G. longituba and P. depressa, B. bipinnata and M. sativa, plus G. parviflora, which indicated that at the same conditions, G. parviflora would occupy unique ecological niches that affect the growth of native species. Our research offers insights into the mechanisms of the coexistence of native and invasive plants, as well as the ecological consequences of microplastics and other environment factors on plant communities.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Jere A, Jere WWL, Mtethiwa A, et al (2021)

Impact of Oreochromis niloticus (Linnaeus, 1758) (Pisces: Cichlidae) invasion on taxonomic and functional diversity of native fish species in the upper Kabompo River, northwest of Zambia.

Ecology and evolution, 11(18):12845-12857 pii:ECE38031.

Invasive alien species have been revealed to drastically alter the structure of native communities; however, there is scarce information on whether taxonomic and functional spaces occupied by native species are equally filled by exotic species. We investigated the diversity of native species to understand the impact of exotic Oreochromis niloticus in the upper Kabompo River, northwest of Zambia using taxonomic and functional diversity indices. To achieve this, two tests were performed (Test 1, compared natives in invaded and uninvaded sections; Test 2, compared natives in invaded section). A total of 17 species were collected for functional diversity computation, out of which fourteen (14) functional trait measurements linked to feeding, locomotion, and life history strategy were taken. Findings revealed that taxonomic and functional diversity values changed with invasion in both tests. Taxonomic diversity was 15% more in invaded than uninvaded sections in Test 1 and was not consistent across sampling points of invaded section in Test 2. Invaded areas were taxonomically less diverse, but functionally diverse in both tests. The analysis of similarity and nonmetric multidimensional scaling revealed no difference in Bray-Curtis similarity assemblages in both tests. Our findings revealed that exotic species more often occupy unfilled gaps in the communities often occupied by the native species; this is achieved by occupying functional spaces. Overall, changes in taxonomic and functional diversity of native species documented here partially confirmed impacts of O. niloticus invasion. Therefore, we recommend a multifaceted approach to assess cumulative impacts of invasion on native species.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Czerniawski R, T Krepski (2021)

Does lake eutrophication support biological invasions in rivers? A study on Dreissena polymorpha (Bivalvia) in lake-river ecotones.

Ecology and evolution, 11(18):12686-12696 pii:ECE38013.

The zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) has all traits required to effectively colonize the aquatic environment and consequently reduce the diversity of native bivalves. We hypothesized that the zebra mussel chooses lake outlets characterized by medium current velocity and good food conditions. Here, we analyzed differences between bivalve abundances in lake outlets with varying environmental conditions such as the Carlson Index (trophy status), depth, width, current velocity, bed vegetation coverage, and type of bottom substrate. The results showed that the zebra mussel inhabits outlets that provide food (high trophy outlets) and have a mineral bed and a medium current velocity (ca. 0.2-0.3 m/s). The following main factors seem to be favorable for colonizing such outlets: (1) easy access to high amounts of food due to the increased density of the suspension drifting from the lake and (2) easy transport of the zebra mussel larvae from the lake to the downstream. The zebra mussel larvae drifting with the current may colonize the downstream. An increase in lake trophy may indirectly cause an increase in biological invasions in rivers.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Thomas SM, Verhoeven MR, Walsh JR, et al (2021)

Species distribution models for invasive Eurasian watermilfoil highlight the importance of data quality and limitations of discrimination accuracy metrics.

Ecology and evolution, 11(18):12567-12582 pii:ECE38002.

Aim: Availability of uniformly collected presence, absence, and abundance data remains a key challenge in species distribution modeling (SDM). For invasive species, abundance and impacts are highly variable across landscapes, and quality occurrence and abundance data are critical for predicting locations at high risk for invasion and impacts, respectively. We leverage a large aquatic vegetation dataset comprising point-level survey data that includes information on the invasive plant Myriophyllum spicatum (Eurasian watermilfoil) to: (a) develop SDMs to predict invasion and impact from environmental variables based on presence-absence, presence-only, and abundance data, and (b) compare evaluation metrics based on functional and discrimination accuracy for presence-absence and presence-only SDMs.

Location: Minnesota, USA.

Methods: Eurasian watermilfoil presence-absence and abundance information were gathered from 468 surveyed lakes, and 801 unsurveyed lakes were leveraged as pseudoabsences for presence-only models. A Random Forest algorithm was used to model the distribution and abundance of Eurasian watermilfoil as a function of lake-specific predictors, both with and without a spatial autocovariate. Occurrence-based SDMs were evaluated using conventional discrimination accuracy metrics and functional accuracy metrics assessing correlation between predicted suitability and observed abundance.

Results: Water temperature degree days and maximum lake depth were two leading predictors influencing both invasion risk and abundance, but they were relatively less important for predicting abundance than other water quality measures. Road density was a strong predictor of Eurasian watermilfoil invasion risk but not abundance. Model evaluations highlighted significant differences: Presence-absence models had high functional accuracy despite low discrimination accuracy, whereas presence-only models showed the opposite pattern.

Main conclusion: Complementing presence-absence data with abundance information offers a richer understanding of invasive Eurasian watermilfoil's ecological niche and enables evaluation of the model's functional accuracy. Conventional discrimination accuracy measures were misleading when models were developed using pseudoabsences. We thus caution against the overuse of presence-only models and suggest directing more effort toward systematic monitoring programs that yield high-quality data.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Perera PCD, Szymura TH, Zając A, et al (2021)

Drivers of Solidago species invasion in Central Europe-Case study in the landscape of the Carpathian Mountains and their foreground.

Ecology and evolution, 11(18):12429-12444 pii:ECE37989.

Aim: The invasion process is a complex, context-dependent phenomenon; nevertheless, it can be described using the PAB framework. This framework encompasses the joint effect of propagule pressure (P), abiotic characteristics of the environment (A), and biotic characteristics of both the invader and recipient vegetation (B). We analyzed the effectiveness of proxies of PAB factors to explain the spatial pattern of Solidago canadensis and S. gigantea invasion using invasive species distribution models.

Location: Carpathian Mountains and their foreground, Central Europe.

Methods: The data on species presence or absence were from an atlas of neophyte distribution based on a 2 × 2 km grid, covering approximately 31,200 km2 (7,752 grid cells). Proxies of PAB factors, along with data on historical distribution of invaders, were used as explanatory variables in Boosted Regression Trees models to explain the distribution of invasive Solidago. The areas with potentially lower sampling effort were excluded from analysis based on a target species approach.

Results: Proxies of the PAB factors helped to explain the distribution of both S. canadensis and S. gigantea. Distributions of both species were limited climatically because a mountain climate is not conducive to their growth; however, the S. canadensis distribution pattern was correlated with proxies of human pressure, whereas S. gigantea distribution was connected with environmental characteristics. The varied responses of species with regard to distance from their historical distribution sites indicated differences in their invasion drivers.

Main conclusions: Proxies of PAB are helpful in the choice of explanatory variables as well as the ecological interpretation of species distribution models. The results underline that human activity can cause variation in the invasion of ecologically similar species.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Gutierrez AP, Ponti L, Neteler M, et al (2021)

Invasive potential of tropical fruit flies in temperate regions under climate change.

Communications biology, 4(1):1141.

Tropical fruit flies are considered among the most economically important invasive species detected in temperate areas of the United States and the European Union. Detections often trigger quarantine and eradication programs that are conducted without a holistic understanding of the threat posed. Weather-driven physiologically-based demographic models are used to estimate the geographic range, relative abundance, and threat posed by four tropical tephritid fruit flies (Mediterranean fruit fly, melon fly, oriental fruit fly, and Mexican fruit fly) in North and Central America, and the European-Mediterranean region under extant and climate change weather (RCP8.5 and A1B scenarios). Most temperate areas under tropical fruit fly propagule pressure have not been suitable for establishment, but suitability is predicted to increase in some areas with climate change. To meet this ongoing challenge, investments are needed to collect sound biological data to develop mechanistic models to predict the geographic range and relative abundance of these and other invasive species, and to put eradication policies on a scientific basis.

RevDate: 2021-10-01

Hunt BG, MA Goodisman (2021)

Editorial overview: Social insects as invasive species.

Current opinion in insect science, 46:iii-v.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

Carter J, Johnson D, Boundy J, et al (2021)

The Louisiana Amphibian Monitoring Program from 1997 to 2017: Results, analyses, and lessons learned.

PloS one, 16(9):e0257869 pii:PONE-D-20-21124.

To determine trends in either frog distribution or abundance in the State of Louisiana, we reviewed and analyzed frog call data from the Louisiana Amphibian Monitoring Program (LAMP). The data were collected between 1997 and 2017 using North American Amphibian Monitoring Program protocols. Louisiana was divided into three survey regions for administration and analysis: the Florida Parishes, and 2 areas west of the Florida parishes called North and South. Fifty-four routes were surveyed with over 12,792 stops and 1,066 hours of observation. Observers heard 26 species of the 31 species reported to be in Louisiana. Three of the species not heard were natives with ranges that did not overlap with survey routes. The other two species were introduced species, the Rio Grande Chirping Frog (Eleutherodactylus cystignathoides) and the Cuban Treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis). Both seem to be limited to urban areas with little to no route coverage. The 15 most commonly occurring species were examined in detail using the percentage of stops at which they observed along a given survey and their call indices. Most species exhibited a multimodal, concave, or convex pattern of abundance over a 15-year period. Among LAMP survey regions, none of the species had synchronous population trends. Only one group of species, winter callers, regularly co-occur. Based on the species lists, the North region could be seen as a subset of the South. However, based on relative abundance, the North was more similar to Florida parishes for both the winter and summer survey runs. Our analyses demonstrate that long-term monitoring (10 years or more) may be necessary to determine population and occupancy trends, and that frog species may have different local demographic patterns across large geographic areas.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

Mallela A, A Hastings (2021)

Tipping Cascades in a Multi-patch System with Noise and Spatial Coupling.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 83(11):112.

Forecasting tipping points in spatially extended systems is a key area of interest to ecologists. A slowly declining spatially distributed population is an important example of an ecological system that could exhibit a cascade of tipping points. Here, we develop a spatial two-patch model with environmental stochasticity that is slowly forced through population collapse, in the presence of changing environmental conditions. We begin with a basic spatial model, then introduce a fast-slow version of the model using geometric singular perturbation theory, followed by the inclusion of stochasticity. Using the spectral density of the fluctuating subpopulation in each patch, we derive analytic expressions for candidate indicators of population extinction and evaluate their performance through a simulation study. We find that coupling and spatial heterogeneity decrease the magnitude of the proposed indicators in coupled populations relative to isolated populations. Moreover, the degree of coupling dictates the trends in summary statistics. We conclude that this theory may be applied to other contexts, including the control of invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

Al-Khalaf AA (2021)

Modeling the potential distribution of the predator of honey bees, Palarus latifrons, in the Arabian deserts using Maxent and GIS.

Saudi journal of biological sciences, 28(10):5667-5673.

Objectives: The species Palarus latifrons (bee pirates) has been recorded in Saudi Arabia as an invasive species. This pest can destroy honey bee colonies under certain conditions. The origin of this species in Africa and it has a good ability to adapt to desert conditions. Studies on this species are very few but its current distribution in the Arabian deserts is mainly in the Arabian Gulf countries. This study presents maps for the possible expansion of this species to invade other desert areas in the Arabian countries' under current and near-future conditions (2030).

Methods: This pest is a solitary insect with high activity during summer. It is hypothesized that summer conditions and especially temperature are the limiting factor for its distribution in the deserts. The analysis depended on generating maps based on temperatures during summer and based on two bioclimatic factors. Maxent and the geographical information system (GIS) were used to perform the analysis.

Results and conclusions: All maps showed the high ability of this pest to spread in the Gulf countries. In North Africa: south Egypt and Libya, and some parts of Algeria showed suitability for Palarus. The invasion of this pest towards North Africa can happen mostly due to trading activities with Gulf countries especially materials containing soil. Continues monitoring for the activity of Palarus in the risk areas is highly advised.

RevDate: 2021-09-30

Li SL, Keller J, Runge MC, et al (2021)

Weighing the unknowns: Value of Information for biological and operational uncertainty in invasion management.

The Journal of applied ecology, 58(8):1621-1630.

The management of biological invasions is a worldwide conservation priority. Unfortunately, decision-making on optimal invasion management can be impeded by lack of information about the biological processes that determine invader success (i.e. biological uncertainty) or by uncertainty about the effectiveness of candidate interventions (i.e. operational uncertainty). Concurrent assessment of both sources of uncertainty within the same framework can help to optimize control decisions.Here, we present a Value of Information (VoI) framework to simultaneously analyse the effects of biological and operational uncertainties on management outcomes. We demonstrate this approach with a case study: minimizing the long-term population growth of musk thistle Carduus nutans, a widespread invasive plant, using several insects as biological control agents, including Trichosirocalus horridus, Rhinocyllus conicus and Urophora solstitialis.The ranking of biocontrol agents was sensitive to differences in the target weed's demography and also to differences in the effectiveness of the different biocontrol agents. This finding suggests that accounting for both biological and operational uncertainties is valuable when making management recommendations for invasion control. Furthermore, our VoI analyses show that reduction of all uncertainties across all combinations of demographic model and biocontrol effectiveness explored in the current study would lead, on average, to a 15.6% reduction in musk thistle population growth rate. The specific growth reduction that would be observed in any instance would depend on how the uncertainties actually resolve. Resolving biological uncertainty (across demographic model combinations) or operational uncertainty (across biocontrol effectiveness combinations) alone would reduce expected population growth rate by 8.5% and 10.5% respectively.Synthesis and applications. Our study demonstrates that intervention rank is determined both by biological processes in the targeted invasive populations and by intervention effectiveness. Ignoring either biological uncertainty or operational uncertainty may result in a suboptimal recommendation. Therefore, it is important to simultaneously acknowledge both sources of uncertainty during the decision-making process in invasion management. The framework presented here can accommodate diverse data sources and modelling approaches, and has wide applicability to guide invasive species management and conservation efforts.

RevDate: 2021-09-29

Portela-Grandío A, Peleteiro S, Yáñez R, et al (2021)

Integral valorization of Acacia dealbata wood in organic medium catalyzed by an acidic ionic liquid.

Bioresource technology, 342:126013 pii:S0960-8524(21)01355-9 [Epub ahead of print].

In this work, a novel delignification process was proposed for the fractionation of invasive species such as Acacia dealbata wood. Organosolv process catalyzed with an acidic ionic liquid, 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hydrosulfate was evaluated to obtain cellulose-enriched solids and liquid fractions rich in hemicelluloses derived compounds and lignin. Under selected operating conditions (190 °C, 60% ethanol, 60 min of reaction time and 0.6 g 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium hydrosulfate/g wood), high solubilization of lignin and hemicelluloses and cellulose recovery (87.5%, 88.7% and 88.3%, respectively), with a pulp yield of 43.1% were achieved. Moreover, 62.6 % of lignin was recovered by precipitation from the black liquor (composed mainly by 4.43 g xylose/L, 7.66 g furfural/L and 3.59 g acetic acid/L). In addition, enzymatic digestibility of delignified wood was also assayed. Overall, this work presents an alternative biorefinery scheme based in the use of environmentally friendly solvent and catalyst for selective fractionation of A. dealbata wood.

RevDate: 2021-09-29

García-Díaz P, Montti L, Powell PA, et al (2021)

Identifying Priorities, Targets, and Actions for the Long-term Social and Ecological Management of Invasive Non-Native Species.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Formulating effective management plans for addressing the impacts of invasive non-native species (INNS) requires the definition of clear priorities and tangible targets, and the recognition of the plurality of societal values assigned to these species. These tasks require a multi-disciplinary approach and the involvement of stakeholders. Here, we describe procedures to integrate multiple sources of information to formulate management priorities, targets, and high-level actions for the management of INNS. We follow five good-practice criteria: justified, evidence-informed, actionable, quantifiable, and flexible. We used expert knowledge methods to compile 17 lists of ecological, social, and economic impacts of lodgepole pines (Pinus contorta) and American mink (Neovison vison) in Chile and Argentina, the privet (Ligustrum lucidum) in Argentina, the yellow-jacket wasp (Vespula germanica) in Chile, and grasses (Urochloa brizantha and Urochloa decumbens) in Brazil. INNS plants caused a greater number of impacts than INNS animals, although more socio-economic impacts were listed for INNS animals than for plants. These impacts were ranked according to their magnitude and level of confidence on the information used for the ranking to prioritise impacts and assign them one of four high-level actions-do nothing, monitor, research, and immediate active management. We showed that it is possible to formulate management priorities, targets, and high-level actions for a variety of INNS and with variable levels of available information. This is vital in a world where the problems caused by INNS continue to increase, and there is a parallel growth in the implementation of management plans to deal with them.

RevDate: 2021-09-29
CmpDate: 2021-09-29

Dyrmann M, Mortensen AK, Linneberg L, et al (2021)

Camera Assisted Roadside Monitoring for Invasive Alien Plant Species Using Deep Learning.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 21(18): pii:s21186126.

Invasive alien plant species (IAPS) pose a threat to biodiversity as they propagate and outcompete natural vegetation. In this study, a system for monitoring IAPS on the roadside is presented. The system consists of a camera that acquires images at high speed mounted on a vehicle that follows the traffic. Images of seven IAPS (Cytisus scoparius, Heracleum, Lupinus polyphyllus, Pastinaca sativa, Reynoutria, Rosa rugosa, and Solidago) were collected on Danish motorways. Three deep convolutional neural networks for classification (ResNet50V2 and MobileNetV2) and object detection (YOLOv3) were trained and evaluated at different image sizes. The results showed that the performance of the networks varied with the input image size and also the size of the IAPS in the images. Binary classification of IAPS vs. non-IAPS showed an increased performance, compared to the classification of individual IAPS. This study shows that automatic detection and mapping of invasive plants along the roadside is possible at high speeds.


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
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Bellingham, WA 98226

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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 )