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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 01 Jun 2023 at 01:47 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-05-31

Russo T, Coppola F, Leite C, et al (2023)

An alien metabolite vs. a synthetic chemical hazard: An ecotoxicological comparison in the Mediterranean blue mussel.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)03097-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Bioactive natural products from marine invasive species may dramatically impact native communities, while many synthetic pharmaceutical drugs are released into the marine environment and have long-lasting harmful effects on aquatic life. Sometimes, metabolites from alien species and synthetic compounds share similar mechanisms of action, suggesting comparable ecotoxicological impacts. This applies to the alkaloid caulerpin (CAU) from the green alga Caulerpa cylindracea, highly invasive in the Mediterranean Sea, and to the synthetic lipid-lowering drug fenofibrate (FFB), both acting as agonists of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs). Analogies with FFB, which is widely considered hazardous to the aquatic environment, have led to concerns about the ecotoxicological potential of CAU. The problem has implications for public health as CAU is well known to enter the food web accumulating in fish of commercial importance. Here, we compared the effects of FFB and CAU through biochemical and histopathological analysis on a relevant bioindicator molluscan species, the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis. Under laboratory conditions, mussels were fed with food enriched with CAU or FFB. After treatment, biochemical markers were analyzed revealing metabolic capacity impairments, cellular damage, and changes in acetylcholinesterase activity in mussels fed with FFB-enriched food. NMR-based metabolomic studies also showed significant alterations in the metabolic profiles of FFB-treated mussels. In addition, dietary administration of FFB produced morphological alterations in the mussels' gills and digestive tubules. Obtained results confirm that FFB is harmful to aquatic life and that its release into the environment should be avoided. Conversely, dietary treatment with CAU did not produce any significant alterations in the mussels. Overall, our results pave the way for the possible valorization of the huge biomass from one of the world's worst invasive species to obtain CAU, a natural product of interest in drug discovery.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Wang Y, Wang Q, Dong K, et al (2023)

Assessing the effectiveness of filtration + UV-C radiation for the treatment of simulated ballast water at various holding times.

Water science and technology : a journal of the International Association on Water Pollution Research, 87(10):2564-2576.

In recent years, the issue of invasive alien species brought on by ballast water has drawn increasing attention, and advances in ballast water treatment technologies have been made. One of the most popular combined ballast water treatment technologies utilized in ballast water management systems (BWMSs) globally is filtration + UV-C radiation. During the actual voyage of the ship, ballast water is treated by the BWMS and then enters the dark ballast tanks until the ballast water is discharged. Marine organisms are able to complete DNA damage caused by UV radiation in dark ballast tanks. Therefore, the length of holding time affects the effectiveness of the BWMS in treating ballast water. The objective of this study was to examine the efficacy of filtration + UV-C irradiation treatment at different holding times for the removal or inactivation of phytoplankton and zooplankton populations during simulated ballast water treatment. Results indicate that the holding time after the filtration + UV-C radiation treatment increased the inactivating efficacy, especially for zooplankton in natural seawater. For phytoplanktons in ballast water, the strongest impact on the treatment efficacy was reached with a holding time of 24 h.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Liu X, Yang H, Niu F, et al (2023)

Impact of water stress on the demographic traits and population projection of Colorado potato beetle.

Frontiers in physiology, 14:1148129.

Introduction: The Colorado potato beetle is one of the famous quarantine pests in China which is extremely destructive to Solanaceae crops and causes serious losses to the potato industry. Methods: In this experiment, the host plant potato was subjected to different degrees of water stress to observe the oviposition selection, growth and development, survival, reproduction and population growth of Colorado potato beetles. Results: The results showed that adult Colorado potato beetles laid more eggs on potato plants suitable for water treatment, but fewer eggs on potato plants treated with water stress. The developmental duration of Colorado potato beetles in light drought treatment was shorter than that in control treatment, and the survival rate was higher than that in control treatment. With the aggravation of water stress, the developmental duration was prolonged, survival rate was decreased, and the number of eggs was decreased. Under different water stress levels, the intrinsic rate of increase (r), finite rate of increase (λ), net reproductive rate (R 0), and mean generation time (T) of the Colorado potato beetle population were significantly lower than those of control treatment, but there was no significant difference between light drought and control treatment. The TIMING-MS Chart program was used to predict the population dynamics of Colorado potato beetle for 110 days, which showed the fastest population growth in CK treatments and the slowest in HD treatments. The reduced water content of the leaves also reduces the survival rate of adult Colorado potato beetles. The growth, development, survival, and reproduction of Colorado potato beetles are affected by water stress of host plants. Moderate and heavy droughts have negative effects on the development and reproduction of Colorado potato beetles. Discussion: This information can be used to clarify the impact of water stress on the growth, development and population dynamics of Colorado potato beetle, to provide a theoretical basis for the control of this pest.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Castro A, Ribeiro J, Reino L, et al (2023)

Who is reporting non-native species and how? A cross-expert assessment of practices and drivers of non-native biodiversity reporting in species regional listing.

Ecology and evolution, 13(5):e10148.

Each year, hundreds of scientific works with species' geographical data are published. However, these data can be challenging to identify, collect, and integrate into analytical workflows due to differences in reporting structures, storage formats, and the omission or inconsistency of relevant information and terminology. These difficulties tend to be aggravated for non-native species, given varying attitudes toward non-native species reporting and the existence of an additional layer of invasion-related terminology. Thus, our objective is to identify the current practices and drivers of the geographical reporting of non-native species in the scientific literature. We conducted an online survey targeting authors of species regional checklists-a widely published source of biogeographical data-where we asked about reporting habits and perceptions regarding non-native taxa. The responses and the relationships between response variables and predictors were analyzed using descriptive statistics and ordinal logistic regression models. With a response rate of 22.4% (n = 113), we found that nearly half of respondents (45.5%) do not always report non-native taxa, and of those who report, many (44.7%) do not always differentiate them from native taxa. Close to half of respondents (46.4%) also view the terminology of biological invasions as an obstacle to the reporting of non-native taxa. The ways in which checklist information is provided are varied, but mainly correspond to descriptive text and embedded tables with non-native species (when given) mentioned alongside native species. Only 13.4% of respondents mention to always provide the data in automation-friendly formats or its publication in biodiversity data repositories. Data on the distribution of non-native species are essential for monitoring global biodiversity change and preventing biological invasions. Despite its importance our results show an urgent need to improve the frequency, accessibility, and consistency of publication of these data.

RevDate: 2023-05-31

Seitz C, Scordo F, Suenaga E, et al (2023)

Salinity and pH effects on survival, growth, and reproduction of quagga mussels.

PeerJ, 11:e15450.

BACKGROUND: In recent decades, invasive quagga mussels have expanded to the Western United States from the Great Lakes region of North America. Most studies that evaluate the invasion potential of quagga mussels in western water bodies have utilized physiological and life history information from zebra mussels, a related taxon. Few studies have assessed the potential for invasion using specific information from quagga mussel life history or experiments that test for their survival in the fresh and saline waters of the western United States.

METHODS: We investigated quagga mussel survival, growth, and reproduction using semi-natural experiments under temperature and light controlled conditions across a gradient of water salinity (fresh to brackish) and pH (8.4-11). Water from Lake Mead was used as a positive control in our experiment, and water from Pyramid Lake and the Truckee River was used as brackish and freshwater treatments, respectively. The mussels used in the experiments were collected from Lake Mead.

RESULTS: After 12 h in brackish water (4 ppt, pH 9.3), we observed 100% mortality of adult mussels. The swelling and disintegration of body tissues and high mortality rates indicated that high potassium, sodium, and chloride concentrations were the likely causes of death in brackish water treatments. In contrast, mussels were able to survive, grow, and reach sexual maturity in freshwater (0.1 ppt) with a low calcium concentration (17 mg L[-1]) after 57 days. Mussels died after 2 days at pH 11 and after 12 days at pH 10; during the 14-day monitoring period, no mortality was detected at pH 9.0, 9.3, or 9.5 and mussels did not exhibit any visual indications of stress. Understanding quagga mussel physiological and environmental tolerances appears to be essential for assessing their invasion potential in aquatic habitats.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Williams GM, Ginzel MD, Ma Z, et al (2023)

The Global Forest Health Crisis: A Public-Good Social Dilemma in Need of International Collective Action.

Annual review of phytopathology [Epub ahead of print].

Society is confronted by interconnected threats to ecological sustainability. Among these is the devastation of forests by destructive non-native pathogens and insects introduced through global trade, leading to the loss of critical ecosystem services and a global forest health crisis. We argue that the forest health crisis is a public-good social dilemma and propose a response framework that incorporates principles of collective action. This framework enables scientists to better engage policymakers and empowers the public to advocate for proactive biosecurity and forest health management. Collective action in forest health features broadly inclusive stakeholder engagement to build trust and set goals; accountability for destructive pest introductions; pooled support for weakest-link partners; and inclusion of intrinsic and nonmarket values of forest ecosystems in risk assessment. We provide short-term and longer-term measures that incorporate the above principles to shift the societal and ecological forest health paradigm to a more resilient state. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Phytopathology, Volume 61 is September 2023. Please see for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2023-05-31
CmpDate: 2023-05-31

Yuan G, Sun L, Guo P, et al (2023)

How Eutrophication Promotes Exotic Aquatic Plant Invasion in the Lake Littoral Zone?.

Environmental science & technology, 57(21):8002-8014.

Eutrophication and exotic species invasion are key drivers of the global loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions in lakes. We selected two exotic plants (Alternanthera philoxeroides and Myriophyllum aquaticum) and two native plants (Myriophyllum spicatum and Vallisneria spinulosa) to elucidate the effect of eutrophication on exotic plant invasiveness. We found that (1) elevated nutrient favored invasion of exotic species and inhibited growth of native plants. Species combinations and plant densities of native plants had limited effects on the resistance to invasion of the exotics. (2) A. philoxeroides featured the tightest connectivity among traits, which is consistent with its high competitive ability. Although eutrophication caused physiological stress to A. philoxeroides, it could effectively regulate enzyme activity and alleviate the stress. (3) M. aquaticum possessed strong tolerance to habitat disturbance and was highly disruptive to the surrounding plants. Eutrophication will exacerbate the adverse effects of M. aquaticum on the littoral ecosystem. (4) Nutrient enrichment reduced the biomass and relative growth rates of V. spinulosa and lowered phenolics and starch contents of M. spicatum, thereby making them more susceptible to habitat fluctuations. Overall, our study highlights how eutrophication alters the invasiveness of exotic plants and the resistance of native plants in the littoral zone, which is of relevance in a world with intensified human activities.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Papierowska E, Beczek M, Mazur R, et al (2023)

Study of drop impact dynamics on the hydrophobic leaf surface of an aquatic plant - Pistia stratiotes case study.

Journal of experimental botany pii:7186252 [Epub ahead of print].

P. stratiotes is an example of an aquatic plant with a complex structure that allows it to stay afloat. It grows quickly and in large numbers becomes an undesirable plant as an invasive species that should be removed from the environment. Describing the dynamics of a water drop splash on the P. stratiotes leaves can contribute to increasing knowledge of its behavior and finding alternative methods for eradicating this plant or using it for the benefit of the environment. The non-wettable surface of P. stratiotes presents a complex structure, i.e., simple uniseriate trichomes and also ridges and veins. The experiments included analyzing the drop impact on a leaf placed on the water surface and recorded by high-speed cameras. Based on the recordings, quantitative and qualitative analyses were performed. After impacting the leaf, the water drop spread until it reached its maximum surface area accompanied by the ejection of early droplets in the initial stage of the phenomenon. Thereafter, three scenarios of water behavior were observed: (i) drop receding and stabilization, (ii) drop receding and ejection of late droplets formed in the later stage as an effect of elastic deformation of the leaf, and (iii) drop breaking apart and ejection of late droplets. The results indicated that the increasing kinetic energy of the impacting drops expressed by the Weber number and the complex leaf surface have an impact on the course of the splash. The simple uniseriate trichomes of the P. stratiotes leaf and the high energy of the falling drops were responsible for the formation and characteristics of the early droplets. The presence of ridges and veins and the leaf's mechanical response had an impact on the occurrence of late droplets.

RevDate: 2023-05-30

Şimşek FM, Sİ Yavaşoğlu (2023)

Distribution of Aedes (Stegomyia) cretinus in Türkiye.

Turkiye parazitolojii dergisi, 47(2):117-123.

OBJECTIVE: Aedes cretinus, a white and black stripped Aedes species, shares morphological similarities with Aedes albopictus and Aedes aegypti which are among the most important vectors and invasive species in the world. Due to its limited distribution and low population density, information on the biology and ecology of the species has been limited so far. This study aimed to determine distribution of Ae. cretinus in Türkiye.

METHODS: Field works have been carried out in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Marmara Regions of Türkiye. Larval samples were collected by larval dippers while adult mosquito catches were performed using the human landing catch method and CDC-light traps.

RESULTS: A total of 44 different Ae. cretinus populations were identified in the Mediterranean, Aegean and Marmara Regions of Türkiye. The larval specimen collected from small containers, tires, tree holes and natural small habitats. A plane (Platanus orientalis), walnut (Juglans regia), Türkiye oak (Quercus cerris), chestnut (Castenea sativa) and cedar (Cedrus libani) tree holes are the main larval habitats in which the specimen collected. In some localities, larvae were found together with Anopheles plumbeus, Anopheles claviger and Aedes geniculatus larvae in tree holes. Human landing catch method captured a greater number of females than CDC-light traps.

CONCLUSION: This study determined the distribution of Ae. cretinus in Türkiye for the first time. Information on respective geographic distribution of Ae. cretinus is fundamental for effective control programmes. Further studies are needed to understand the biology and ecology of these species.

RevDate: 2023-05-29

Sepulveda AJ, Dumoulin CE, Blanchette DL, et al (2023)

When are environmental DNA early detections of invasive species actionable?.

Journal of environmental management, 343:118216 pii:S0301-4797(23)01004-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling provides sensitive early detection capabilities for recently introduced taxa. However, natural resource managers struggle with how to integrate eDNA results into an early detection rapid response program because positive eDNA detections are not always indicative of an eventual infestation. We used a structured decision making (SDM) framework to evaluate appropriate response actions to hypothetical eDNA early detections of an introduced aquatic plant in Sebago Lake (Maine, USA). The results were juxtaposed to a recent study that used a similar SDM approach to evaluate response actions to hypothetical eDNA early detections of introduced mussels in Jordanelle Reservoir (Utah, USA). We found that eDNA early detections were not actionable in Sebago Lake because the plant's invasion potential was spatially constrained and the current management activities provided acceptable levels of mitigation. In Jordanelle Reservoir, eDNA detections were actionable due to high invasion potential and analyses supported management actions to contain the invasion. The divergent outcomes of the two case studies are related to the unique attributes of the habitats and species, highlighting the utility of the SDM approach when considering an eDNA monitoring program. We use these two case studies to present a general SDM framework and a set of heuristics that can be efficiently applied to eDNA early detection rapid response scenarios and other instances associated with indeterminant eDNA detections, especially when there is an imperative to make decisions as quickly as possible.

RevDate: 2023-05-29

Bernklau E, HS Arathi (2023)

Seasonal patterns of beneficial phytochemical availability in honey and stored pollen from honey bee colonies in large apiaries.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7185650 [Epub ahead of print].

Honey bees (Apis mellifera L.; Hymenoptera, Apidae) are the most efficient pollinators in agroecosystems, responsible for the successful production of fruits, nuts, and vegetables, but they continue to face debilitating challenges. One of the major factors leading to these challenges could be linked to poor nutrition that results in weakening the colony, increasing susceptibility to pests and pathogens, and reducing the ability of bees to adapt to other abiotic stresses. Extensively used for commercial pollination, honey bee colonies regularly face exposure to limited diversity in their pollen diet as they are placed in flowering monocrops. Lack of access to diverse plant species compromises the availability of plant secondary compounds (phytochemicals), which, in small amounts, provide significant benefits to honey bee health. We analyzed the beneficial phytochemical content of honey and stored pollen (bee bread) samples from colonies in large apiaries through the active bee season. Samples were evaluated for 4 beneficial phytochemicals (caffeine, kaempferol, gallic acid, and p-coumaric acid), which have previously been shown to improve honey bee health. Our results, as relevant to the apiary locations in the study, indicated that p-coumaric acid is uniformly available throughout the season. Caffeine is completely absent, and gallic acid and kaempferol are not regularly available. Our results suggest the need to explore the potential to deliver beneficial phytochemicals as nutritional supplements to improve bee health. It may be vital for the pollination industry to consider such targeted dietary supplementation as beekeepers strive to meet the increasing demand for crop pollination services.

RevDate: 2023-05-28

Weng L, Jiang Y, Wang Y, et al (2023)

Chloroplast genome characteristics and phylogeny of the sinodielsia clade (apiaceae: apioideae).

BMC plant biology, 23(1):284.

BACKGROUND: The Sinodielsia clade of the subfamily Apioideae (Apiacieae) was established in 2008, and it is composed of 37 species from 17 genera. Its circumscription is still poorly delimited and unstable, and interspecific relationships in the clade lack comprehensive analysis. Chloroplast (cp.) genomes provide valuable and informative data sources for evolutionary biology and have been widely used in studies on plant phylogeny. To infer the phylogenetic history of the Sinodielsia clade, we assembled complete cp. genomes of 39 species and then performed phylogenetic analysis based on these cp. genome sequence data combined with 66 published cp. genomes from 16 genera relative to the Sinodielsia clade.

RESULTS: These 39 newly assembled genomes had a typical quadripartite structure with two inverted repeat regions (IRs: 17,599-31,486 bp) separated by a large single-copy region (LSC: 82,048-94,046 bp) and a small single-copy region (SSC: 16,343-17,917 bp). The phylogenetic analysis showed that 19 species were clustered into the Sinodielsia clade, and they were divided into two subclades. Six mutation hotspot regions were detected from the whole cp. genomes among the Sinodielsia clade, namely, rbcL-accD, ycf4-cemA, petA-psbJ, ycf1-ndhF, ndhF-rpl32 and ycf1, and it was found that ndhF-rpl32 and ycf1 were highly variable in the 105 sampled cp. genomes.

CONCLUSION: The Sinodielsia clade was subdivided into two subclades relevant to geographical distributions, except for cultivated and introduced species. Six mutation hotspot regions, especially ndhF-rpl32 and ycf1, could be used as potential DNA markers in the identification and phylogenetic analyses of the Sinodielsia clade and Apioideae. Our study provided new insights into the phylogeny of the Sinodielsia clade and valuable information on cp. genome evolution in Apioideae.

RevDate: 2023-05-29
CmpDate: 2023-05-29

Shiganova TA, Kamakin AM, Pautova LA, et al (2023)

An impact of non-native species invasions on the Caspian Sea biota.

Advances in marine biology, 94:69-157.

The Caspian Sea is a large inland brackish basin, vulnerable to invaders due to its long isolation and considerable endemism among its native biota. A brief description of Caspian biota evolution until its modern state is given. The pathways and vectors of invasion and the ways of establishment of non-native species since the early 20th century are summarized. The newly established species are euryphilic, with high ecological plasticity, able to adapt to new environments and to affect their biodiversity. This review is based on unpublished field data, collected in 1999-2019 in the Northern, Middle and Southern Caspian, and on relevant published information. The arrival of non-native species occurred in three periods: (1) in the 1930s, deliberate introductions aimed at enriching commercial stocks and edible resources, (2) since 1952, the construction of the Volga-Don Canal led to the arrival of benthic foulers and macrophytes from ships; (3) since the early 1980s to present, ballast water tanks were mounted on ships, favoring the arrival of phyto- and zooplankton species. Most established non-native species reached the Caspian Sea via the Black Sea. They include both Black Sea native species and non-native species from the North Atlantic areas, which first arrived and established in the Black Sea. Few established non-native species came from brackish water; fresh water fishes were deliberately introduced to develop aquaculture. Though not numerous, these species became dominant in both benthos and plankton communities, where they replaced native Caspian species. Among them, the invading ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi, which had no predators, continues to thrive in the Caspian ecosystem, impoverishing its biodiversity and bio-resources. However, lately its natural predator, the ctenophore Beroe ovata, arrived and established in the Southern and Middle Caspian providing a chance for ecosystem recovery, as has already happened in the Black Sea.

RevDate: 2023-05-29
CmpDate: 2023-05-29

Wang ZW, Yin J, Wang X, et al (2023)

Habitat suitability evaluation of invasive plant species Datura stramonium in Liaoning Province: Based on Biomod2 combination model.

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 34(5):1272-1280.

Datura stramonium, as a major invasive plant in Liaoning Province, is difficult to be removed after its successful invasion, and is a great threat to ecological environment and biodiversity. To evaluate the habitat suitabi-lity of D. stramonium, we collected its geographic distribution data in Liaoning Province through field investigation and database query, and using the Biomod2 combination model, and investigated its potential and suitable distribution areas and main influencing environmental variables at present and under future climate change scenarios, respectively. The results showed that the combined model which composed of GLM (generalized linear model), GBM (generalized boosting regression model), RF (random forest model), and MaxEnt (maximum entropy model) had a good performance. By classifying the habitat suitability of D. stramonium into four categories: high-, medium-, low- and un-suitable habitats, we found that the high-suitable habitats were generally distributed in the northwest and south of Liaoning Province, with an area of about 3.81×10[4] km[2], accounting for 25.8% of the total area. The medium-suitable habitats were mostly distributed in the northwest and central parts of Liaoning Province, with an area of about 4.19×10[4] km[2], accounting for 28.3% of the total area. Slope and clay content of topsoil (0-30 cm) were the two main variables explaining the habitat suitability of D. stramonium, and the total suitability of D. stramonium first increased and then decreased with the increasing slope and clay content of topsoil in this region. Under future climate change scenarios, the total suitability of D. stramonium showed an expanding trend, and its suitability would be obviously increased in Jinzhou, Panjin, Huludao, and Dandong.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Sérvulo T, Taylor JD, Proietti MC, et al (2023)

Plastisphere composition in a subtropical estuary: Influence of season, incubation time and polymer type on plastic biofouling.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987) pii:S0269-7491(23)00875-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Plastics are abundant artificial substrates in aquatic systems that host a wide variety of organisms (the plastisphere), including potential pathogens and invasive species. Plastisphere communities have many complex, but not well-understood ecological interactions. It is pivotal to investigate how these communities are influenced by the natural fluctuations in aquatic ecosystems, especially in transitional environments such as estuaries. Further study is needed in sub-tropical regions in the Southern Hemisphere, where plastic pollution is ever increasing. Here we applied DNA-metabarcoding (16S, 18S and ITS-2) as well Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) to assess the diversity of the plastisphere in the Patos Lagoon estuary (PLE), South Brazil. Through a one-year in situ colonization experiment, polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) plates were placed in shallow waters, and sampled after 30 and 90 days within each season. Over 50 taxa including bacteria, fungi and other eukaryotes were found through DNA analysis. Overall, the polymer type did not influence the plastisphere community composition. However, seasonality significantly affected community composition for bacteria, fungi and general eukaryotes. Among the microbiota, we found Acinetobacter sp., Bacillus sp., and Wallemia mellicola that are putative pathogens of aquatic organisms, such as algae, shrimp and fish, including commercial species. In addition, we identified organisms within genera that can potentially degrade hydrocarbons (e.g. Pseudomonas and Cladosporium spp). This study is the first to assess the full diversity and variation of the plastisphere on different polymers within a sub-tropical southern hemisphere estuary, significantly expanding knowledge on plastic pollution and the plastisphere in estuarine regions.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Ramsey DS, Patel KK, Campbell S, et al (2023)

Sustained Impact of RHDV2 on Wild Rabbit Populations across Australia Eight Years after Its Initial Detection.

Viruses, 15(5): pii:v15051159.

Following the arrival of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) in Australia, average rabbit population abundances were reduced by 60% between 2014 and 2018 based on monitoring data acquired from 18 sites across Australia. During this period, as the seropositivity to RHDV2 increased, concurrent decreases were observed in the seroprevalence of both the previously circulating RHDV1 and RCVA, a benign endemic rabbit calicivirus. However, the detection of substantial RHDV1 seropositivity in juvenile rabbits suggested that infections were continuing to occur, ruling out the rapid extinction of this variant. Here we investigate whether the co-circulation of two pathogenic RHDV variants was sustained after 2018 and whether the initially observed impact on rabbit abundance was still maintained. We monitored rabbit abundance and seropositivity to RHDV2, RHDV1 and RCVA at six of the initial eighteen sites until the summer of 2022. We observed sustained suppression of rabbit abundance at five of the six sites, with the average population reduction across all six sites being 64%. Across all sites, average RHDV2 seroprevalence remained high, reaching 60-70% in adult rabbits and 30-40% in juvenile rabbits. In contrast, average RHDV1 seroprevalence declined to <3% in adult rabbits and 5-6% in juvenile rabbits. Although seropositivity continued to be detected in a low number of juvenile rabbits, it is unlikely that RHDV1 strains now play a major role in the regulation of rabbit abundance. In contrast, RCVA seropositivity appears to be reaching an equilibrium with that of RHDV2, with RCVA seroprevalence in the preceding quarter having a strong negative effect on RHDV2 seroprevalence and vice versa, suggesting ongoing co-circulation of these variants. These findings highlight the complex interactions between different calicivirus variants in free-living rabbit populations and demonstrate the changes in interactions over the course of the RHDV2 epizootic as it has moved towards endemicity. While it is encouraging from an Australian perspective to see sustained suppression of rabbit populations in the eight years following the arrival of RHDV2, it is likely that rabbit populations will eventually recover, as has been observed with previous rabbit pathogens.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Shen XN, Wang XD, Wan FH, et al (2023)

Gene Expression Analysis Reveals Potential Regulatory Factors Response to Temperature Stress in Bemisia tabaci Mediterranean.

Genes, 14(5): pii:genes14051013.

Exposure to extreme temperatures can hinder the development of insects and even reduce their survival rate. However, the invasive species Bemisia tabaci exhibits an impressive response to different temperatures. This study aims to identify important transcriptional changes of B. tabaci occupying different temperature habitats by performing RNA sequencing on populations originating from three regions of China. The results showed that the gene expression of B. tabaci populations inhabiting regions with different temperatures was altered and identified 23 potential candidate genes that respond to temperature stress. Furthermore, three potential regulatory factors' (the glucuronidation pathway, alternative splicing, and changes in the chromatin structure) response to different environmental temperatures were identified. Among these, the glucuronidation pathway is a notable regulatory pathway. A total of 12 UDP-glucuronosyltransferase genes were found in the transcriptome database of B. tabaci obtained in this study. The results of DEGs analysis suggest that UDP-glucuronosyltransferases with a signal peptide may help B. tabaci resist temperature stress by sensing external signals, such as BtUGT2C1 and BtUGT2B13, which are particularly important in responding to temperature changes. These results will provide a valuable baseline for further research on the thermoregulatory mechanisms of B. tabaci that contributes to its ability to effectively colonize regions with considerable temperature differences.

RevDate: 2023-05-27

Yan H, Chen S, Liu X, et al (2023)

Investigations of Fish Assemblages Using Two Methods in Three Terminal Reservoirs of the East Route of South-to-North Water Transfer Project, China.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(10): pii:ani13101614.

The terminal reservoirs of water transfer projects directly supply water for domestic, agricultural, and industrial applications, and the water quality of these reservoirs produce crucial effects on the achievement of project targets. Typically, fish assemblages are monitored as indicators of reservoir water quality, and can also be regulated for its improvement. In the present study, we compared traditional fish landing (TFL) and environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding methods for monitoring fish assemblages in three terminal reservoirs of the East Route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project, China. Results of TFL and eDNA showed similar assemblage structures and patterns of diversity and spatial distribution with obvious differences in fish composition across three examined reservoirs. Demersal and small fish were dominant in all reservoirs. In addition, a strong association between water transfer distance and assemblages and distribution of non-native fish was found. Our findings highlight the necessity of the fish assemblage monitoring and managing for water quality and revealed the impact of water diversion distance on the structure of fish assemblages and dispersal of alien species along the water transfer project.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Hobson KA (2023)

Stable isotopes and a changing world.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

The measurement of naturally occurring stable isotope ratios of the light elements (C, N, H, O, S) in animal tissues and associated organic and inorganic fractions of associated environments holds immense potential as a means of addressing effects of global change on animals. This paper provides a brief review of studies that have used the isotope approach to evaluate changes in diet, isotopic niche, contaminant burden, reproductive and nutritional investment, invasive species and shifts in migration origin or destination with clear links to evaluating effects of global change. This field has now reached a level of maturity that is impressive but generally underappreciated and involves technical as well as statistical advances and access to freely available R-based packages. There is a need for animal ecologists and conservationists to design tissue collection networks that will best answer current and anticipated questions related to the global change and the biodiversity crisis. These developments will move the field of stable isotope ecology toward a more hypothesis driven discipline related to rapidly changing global events.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Cheng Y, Wang P, Zeng Y, et al (2023)

Characterization of five pigmentation genes as transgenic markers in Spodoptera frugiperda (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae).

International journal of biological macromolecules pii:S0141-8130(23)01875-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), has become one of the most damaging pests worldwide since its invasion of Africa, Asia and Oceania from 2016, threatening plants in 76 families including important crops. Genetics-based methods have proved to be an efficient way to control pests, especially invasive species, but many difficulties must be overcome to develop a transgenic insect strain, especially for a non-model species. Here we thus sought to identify a visible marker that would facilitate the distinction between genetically modified (GM) and non-transgenic insects, thereby simplifying mutation identification and facilitating the broader application of genome editing tools in non-model insects. Five genes (sfyellow-y, sfebony, sflaccase2, sfscarlet, and sfok) that are orthologs of well-studied genes in pigment metabolism were knocked out using the CRISPR/Cas9 system to identify candidate gene markers. Two genes, Sfebony and Sfscarlet, were identified responsible for body and compound eye coloration, respectively, in S. frugiperda, and could be potential visual markers for genetics-based pest management strategies.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Moreno-Dávila B, Huato-Soberanis L, Gómez-Gutiérrez J, et al (2023)

Taxonomic identity of Distapliastylifera (Tunicata, Ascidiacea), a new arrival to the eastern Pacific displaying invasive behavior in the Gulf of California, Mexico.

ZooKeys, 1157:109-125.

A colonial ascidian of the genus Distaplia caused a mass mortality of the pen shell Atrinamaura (Sowerby, 1835) during June 2016 in the southwest of the Gulf of California (Mexico), with a significant socio-economic cost. Tentatively identified in previous works as Distapliacf.stylifera, a precise taxonomic determination was still lacking. In the present work, based on a detailed morphological study, it is confirmed that this aggressive species is Distapliastylifera (Kowalevsky, 1874). Originally described from the Red Sea, the species currently has a wide circumtropical distribution (with the exception of the Eastern Pacific to date) and is reported as introduced in parts of its range. The present account thus represents an important range extension of this species. However, when revising the original description and later observations, the reported variability of several characters makes it likely that the binomen is in fact a complex of species, as is common in other ascidians with wide distributions. A complete morphological and genetic study including populations from the entire range of distribution would be necessary to settle the status of D.stylifera. Taxonomic uncertainties hinder a correct interpretation of biogeographical patterns and inference on the origin of the studied population. Nevertheless, the known introduction potential of the species, coupled with an explosive growth in an anthropized environment, and the lack of any previous reports in the Eastern Pacific, strongly suggest that the investigated population represents yet another instance of ascidian introduction. From the point of view of management, its invasive behavior is cause for great concern and warrants mitigation measures.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Reed SE, Dutkiewicz D, Ross F, et al (2023)

New records of Nitidulidae (Nitidulidae, Coleoptera) species in Canada, Ontario, and Manitoba.

ZooKeys, 1156:33-52 pii:94589.

Nitidulidae trapping performed from 2018 to 2021 to characterize flight behaviors of potential vectors of the oak wilt pathogen yielded three new species records for Canada, six new species records for Ontario, and three new species records for Manitoba. The new records for Canada include Carpophilus (Ecnomorphus) corticinus reported from Ontario, C. (Myothorax) nepos reported from Ontario and Manitoba, and Glischrochilus (Librodor) obtusus reported from Ontario. In addition, the following species are first recorded in Ontario: Carpophilus (Ecnomorphus) antiquus, C. (Megacarpolus) sayi, Stelidotacoenosa; and also in Manitoba: Carpophilus (Megacarpolus) lugubris and Cychramusadustus. Collection data is provided for the two provinces and national records.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Zirler R, Schmidt LM, Roth L, et al (2023)

Mass mortality of the invasive alien echinoid Diadema setosum (Echinoidea: Diadematidae) in the Mediterranean Sea.

Royal Society open science, 10(5):230251 pii:rsos230251.

The sea urchin Diadema setosum is an ecological key species across its range, particularly on coral reefs. In 2006 D. setosum was first observed in the Mediterranean Sea, and since, it has proliferated to occupy the entire Levantine Basin. Here we report the mass mortality of the invasive D. setosum in the Mediterranean Sea. This is the first report of D. setosum mass mortality. The mortality spans over 1000 km along the Levantine coast of Greece and Turkey. The current mortality shows similar pathologies to previously reported Diadema mass mortality events, suggesting pathogenic infection as the cause of mortalities. Maritime transport, local currents, and fish predation of infected individuals may distribute pathogens at varying geographical scales. Due to the proximity of the Levantine Basin to the Red Sea, the risk of pathogen transport to the native Red Sea D. setosum population is imminent-with potentially catastrophic consequences.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

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

Pest categorisation of Solenopsis invicta.

EFSA journal. European Food Safety Authority, 21(5):e07998 pii:EFS27998.

The EFSA Panel on Plant Health performed a pest categorisation of Solenopsis invicta Butler (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) the red imported fire ant, for the EU territory. S. invicta is native to central South America and has spread to North and Central America, East Asia and Australia where it is recognised as a major invasive species causing serious environmental impacts to biodiversity and harming horticultural crops such as cabbage, eggplant and potatoes. It can girdle and kill young citrus trees. S. invicta is not listed as a Union quarantine pest in Annex II of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2019/2072. However, the European Scientific Forum on Invasive Alien Species lists S. invicta as a species of Union concern (Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2022/1203). Like other ant species, S. invicta is a social insect commonly creating colonies in the soil. Long-distance spread in the Americas has been attributed to nests being carried in soil accompanying plants for planting, or simply in soil alone. S. invicta could enter the EU via conveyances carrying a wide range of goods if the conveyance is contaminated with soil or has been in close contact with soil, and with plants for planting in soil or growing media. Climatic conditions in large parts of the southern EU are suitable for establishment and spread would occur when mated females disperse to form new colonies. If S. invicta established in the EU, losses to horticultural crops would be expected in addition to losses to biodiversity. The impacts of S. invicta go beyond plant health with the ant attacking new-born, hatching, weak or sick animals. Stings can cause allergic reactions in humans and are a public health issue. However, such factors are outside the scope of a pest categorisation. S. invicta satisfies the criteria that are within the remit of EFSA to assess for it to be regarded as a potential Union quarantine pest.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Leonhardt F, Keller A, Arranz Aveces C, et al (2023)

From Alien Species to Alien Communities: Host- and Habitat-Associated Microbiomes in an Alien Amphibian.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Alien species can host diverse microbial communities. These associated microbiomes may be important in the invasion process and their analysis requires a holistic community-based approach. We analysed the skin and gut microbiome of Eleutherodactylus johnstonei from native range populations in St Lucia and exotic range populations in Guadeloupe, Colombia, and European greenhouses along with their respective environmental microbial reservoir through a 16S metabarcoding approach. We show that amphibian-associated and environmental microbial communities can be considered as meta-communities that interact in the assembly process. High proportions of bacteria can disperse between frogs and environment, while respective abundances are rather determined by niche effects driven by the microbial community source and spatial environmental properties. Environmental transmissions appeared to have higher relevance for skin than for gut microbiome composition and variation. We encourage further experimental studies to assess the implications of turnover in amphibian-associated microbial communities and potentially invasive microbiota in the context of invasion success and impacts. Within this novel framework of "nested invasions," (meta-)community ecology thinking can complement and widen the traditional perspective on biological invasions.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Wang Z, Xu D, Liao W, et al (2023)

Predicting the Current and Future Distributions of Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande) Based on the MaxEnt Species Distribution Model.

Insects, 14(5): pii:insects14050458.

Climate change has a highly significant impact on the distribution of species. As the greenhouse effect intensifies each year, the distribution of organisms responds to this challenge in diverse ways. Therefore, climatic environmental variables are a key entry point for capturing the current and future distribution trends of pests. Frankliniella occidentalis is an invasive pest attested worldwide. Its damage is mainly divided into two aspects, including mechanical damage caused by its feeding and egg laying and the spread of tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV). TSWV is the most dominant transmitted virulent disease. Moreover, F. occidentalis is the major vector for the transmission of this virus, which poses a grave threat to the yield and survival of our crops. In this study, the distribution pattern of this pest was explored using 19 bioclimatic variables based on the Maxent model. The results indicated that in the future, high-suitability areas of F. occidentalis will be widely distributed in 19 provinces of China, with Hebei, Henan, Shandong, Tianjin and Yunnan being the most abundant. Among the 19 bioclimatic variables, the five variables of annual mean temperature (Bio 1), temperature seasonality (standard deviation × 100) (Bio 4), min temperature of the coldest month (Bio 6), mean temperature of the driest quarter (Bio 9) and precipitation of the coldest quarter (Bio 19) were selected as the key environmental variables affecting the distribution of F. occidentalis. In summary, temperature and precipitation are vital factors for the study of the species' distribution, and this study aims to provide new perspectives for the control of this pest in China.

RevDate: 2023-05-26

Li Y, Chen J, Wang S, et al (2023)

Out of East Asia: Early Warning of the Possible Invasion of the Important Bean Pest Stalk-Eyed Seed Bug Chauliops fallax (Heteroptera: Malcidae: Chauliopinae).

Insects, 14(5): pii:insects14050433.

The short stay at the beginning of the invasion process is a critical time for invasive species identification and preventing invasive species from developing a wider distribution and significant economic impact. The stalk-eyed seed bug Chauliops fallax is an important agricultural pest of soybean and was first reported to occur outside East Asia. Here, we reported the native evolutionary history, recent invasion history, and potential invasion threats of C. fallax for the first time based on population genetic methods and ecological niche modelling. The results showed that four native East Asian genetic groups (EA, WE, TL, and XZ) were well supported, showing an east-west differentiation pattern consistent with the geographical characteristics of three-step landforms in China. Two main haplotypes existed: Hap1 might have experienced a rapid northwards expansion process after the LGM period, and Hap5 reflected local adaptation to the environment in southeastern China. The Kashmir sample was found to come from the recent invasion of populations in the coastal areas of southern China. Ecological niche modelling results suggested that North America has a high risk of invasion, which might pose a serious threat to local soybean production. In addition, with future global warming, the suitable habitat in Asia will move towards the higher latitude region and gradually deviate from the soybean planting area, which indicates the threat of C. fallax to soybean production in Asia will decrease in the future. The results could provide new insights into the monitoring and management of this agricultural pest in the early invasion stage.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Xu X, Yan C, Ma Z, et al (2023)

Ornamental plants associated with Buddhist figures in China.

Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 19(1):19.

BACKGROUND: In China, many ornamental plants associated with Buddhist figures, including the Sakyamuni, Bodhisattva, and Arhat, were grown and worshiped because of their cultural and religious significance. However, the systematic collation and ethnobotanical information about these culturally important plants have yet to be fully understood.

METHODS: Online information was collected from 93 e-commercial platforms for ornamental plants all over China. Field sampling was conducted in 16 ornamental markets and 163 Buddhist temples using key informant interviews and participatory observation with traders, tourists, and local disciples. The types, distributions, and associated characteristics of the screened plants were summarized and the evolving characteristics of these ornamental plants were analyzed.

RESULTS: A total of 60 ornamental plants, including six varieties and one subspecies, were screened, of which 43 species were associated with Sakyamuni, 13 with Bodhisattva, and four with Arhat. Among the 60 species, three were regarded as the Asoka tree related to Buddha's birth, ten as the Bodhi tree connected to Buddha's enlightenment, three as the Sal tree associated with Buddha's nirvana, nine were related to Buddha's head, belly, or hand, and 18 were connected with Buddha as lotus throne, bamboo monastery, or Bodhi beads. The evolving characteristics of these ornamental plants primarily constituted the substitution of the original plants by similar native plant species, followed by the introduced species with comparable morphology to the Buddhist figures.

CONCLUSIONS: People grow ornamental plants associated with Buddhist figures to reflect their love and praise for plants and Buddha. The association between the ornamental plants and Buddhist figures will aid the inheritance of Buddhist culture and promote ornamental plants in the commercial market. Thus, the ethnobotany of ornamental plants associated with Buddhist figures can serve as a basis for future investigation of modern Buddhist culture.

RevDate: 2023-05-25

Hakim N, Ahmad M, Rathee S, et al (2023)

Invasive Cirsium arvense displays different resource-use strategies along local habitat heterogeneity in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 195(6):730.

Climate change and anthropogenic pressures have resulted in a significant shift in the invasion susceptibility and frequency of non-native species in mountain ecosystems. Cirsium arvense (L.) Scop. (Family: Asteraceae) is an invasive species that spreads quickly in mountains, especially in the trans-Himalayan region of Ladakh. The current study used a trait-based approach to evaluate the impact of local habitat heterogeneity (soil physico-chemical properties) on C. arvense. Thirteen plant functional traits (root, shoot, leaf, and reproductive traits) of C. arvense were studied in three different habitat types (agricultural, marshy, and roadside). Functional trait variability in C. arvense was higher between, than within habitats (between different populations). All the functional traits interacted with habitat change, except for leaf count and seed mass. Soil properties strongly affect C. arvense's resource-use strategies across habitats. The plant adapted to a resource-poor environment (roadside habitat) by conserving resources and to a resource-rich environment (agricultural and marshy land habitat) by acquiring them. The ability of C. arvense to use resources differently reflects its persistence in introduced habitats. In summary, our study shows that C. arvense invades different habitats in introduced regions through trait adaptations and resource-use strategies in the trans-Himalayan region.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Li N, Rao W, Dai S, et al (2023)

Seasonal spermatogenesis in the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans): The roles of GnRH, actin cytoskeleton, and MAPK.

Animal reproduction science, 253:107253 pii:S0378-4320(23)00067-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Reproduction is the key to the ecological invasion of alien species. As an invasive species, the characteristic and regularity of red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans) spermatogenesis is an index for evaluating reproduction and ecological adaptation. Here, we investigated the characteristics of spermatogenesis i.e., the gonadosomatic index (GSI), plasma reproductive hormone levels, and the histological structure of testes by HE and TUNEL staining, and then RNA-Seq in T. s. elegans. The histomorphological evidence confirmed that seasonal spermatogenesis in T. s. elegans has four successive phases: quiescence (December-May of the following year), early-stage (June-July), mid-stage (August-September), and late-stage (October-November). In contrast to 17β-estradiol, testosterone levels were higher during quiescence (breeding season) compared to mid-stage (non-breeding season). Based on RNA-seq transcriptional analysis, gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathways were used to analyze the testis in the quiescent and mid-stage. Our study found that circannual spermatogenesis is regulated by interactive networks including gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) secretion, regulation of actin cytoskeleton, and MAPK signaling pathways. Moreover, the number of genes associated with proliferation and differentiation (srf, nr4a1), cell cycle (ppard, ccnb2), and apoptosis (xiap) were up-regulated in the mid-stage. With the maximum energy saving, this seasonal pattern of T. s. elegans determines optimal reproductive success and thus adapts better to the environment. These results provide the basis for the invasion mechanism of T. s. elegans and lay the foundation for deeper insight into the molecular mechanism of seasonal spermatogenesis in reptiles.

RevDate: 2023-05-25
CmpDate: 2023-05-25

Bertelsmeier C (2023)

Biological invasions: The secret domination of alien ants.

Current biology : CB, 33(10):R410-R413.

Globalization has contributed to the spread of thousands of species, yet only a few harmful ones have attracted most attention. New evidence shows that introduced ants are a particularly important group of global invaders that can dominate native insect communities.

RevDate: 2023-05-24

Chapman NC, Colin T, Cook J, et al (2023)

The final frontier: ecological and evolutionary dynamics of a global parasite invasion.

Biology letters, 19(5):20220589.

Studying rapid biological changes accompanying the introduction of alien organisms into native ecosystems can provide insights into fundamental ecological and evolutionary theory. While powerful, this quasi-experimental approach is difficult to implement because the timing of invasions and their consequences are hard to predict, meaning that baseline pre-invasion data are often missing. Exceptionally, the eventual arrival of Varroa destructor (hereafter Varroa) in Australia has been predicted for decades. Varroa is a major driver of honeybee declines worldwide, particularly as vectors of diverse RNA viruses. The detection of Varroa in 2022 at over a hundred sites poses a risk of further spread across the continent. At the same time, careful study of Varroa's spread, if it does become established, can provide a wealth of information that can fill knowledge gaps about its effects worldwide. This includes how Varroa affects honeybee populations and pollination. Even more generally, Varroa invasion can serve as a model for evolution, virology and ecological interactions between the parasite, the host and other organisms.

RevDate: 2023-05-23

Clontz LM, Yang A, Chinn SM, et al (2023)

Role of social structure in establishment of an invasive large mammal after translocation.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Data on the movement behavior of translocated wild pigs is needed to develop appropriate response strategies for containing and eliminating new source populations following translocation events. We conducted experimental trials to compare the home range establishment and space-use metrics, including the number of days and distance traveled before becoming range residents, for wild pigs translocated with their social group and individually.

RESULTS: We found wild pigs translocated with their social group made less extensive movements away from the release location and established a stable home range ~5 days faster than the ones translocated individually. We also examined how habitat quality impacted the home range sizes of translocated wild pigs and found wild pigs maintained larger ranges in areas with higher proportion of low-quality habitat.

CONCLUSION: Collectively, our findings suggest translocations of invasive wild pigs have a greater probability of establishing a viable population near the release site when habitat quality is high and when released with members of their social unit compared to individuals moved independent of their social group or to low-quality habitat. However, all wild pigs translocated in our study made extensive movements from their release location, highlighting the potential for single translocation events of either individuals or groups to have far-reaching consequences within a much broader landscape beyond the location where they are released. These results highlight the challenges associated with containing populations in areas where illegal introduction of wild pigs occurs, and the need for rapid response once releases are identified. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Park SH, Kim JH, JG Kim (2023)

Effects of human activities on Sericinus montela and its host plant Aristolochia contorta.

Scientific reports, 13(1):8289.

Sericinus montela, a globally threatened butterfly species, feeds exclusively on Aristolochia contorta (Northern pipevine). Field surveys and glasshouse experiments were conducted to obtain a better understanding of the relationship between the two species. Interviews with the persons concerned with A. contorta were conducted to collect information about the site management measures. We found that management practices to control invasive species and manage the riverine areas might reduce the coverage of A. contorta and the number of eggs and larvae of S. montela. Our results indicated that the degraded quality of A. contorta may result in a decrease in S. montela populations by diminishing their food source and spawning sites. This study implies that ecological management in the riverine area should be set up to protect rare species and biodiversity.

RevDate: 2023-05-23
CmpDate: 2023-05-23

Lockwood JL, Lieurance D, Flory SL, et al (2023)

Moving scholarship on invasion science forward.

Trends in ecology & evolution, 38(6):495-496.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Guo X, Hu Y, Ma JY, et al (2023)

Nitrogen Deposition Effects on Invasive and Native Plant Competition: Implications for Future Invasions.

Ecotoxicology and environmental safety, 259:115029 pii:S0147-6513(23)00533-X [Epub ahead of print].

Nitrogen (N) deposition has increased dramatically in recent decades, which is significantly affecting the invasion and growth of exotic plants. Whether N deposition leads to invasive alien species becoming competitively superior to native species remains to be investigated. In the present study, an invasive species (Oenothera biennis L.) and three co-occurring native species (Artemisia argyi Lévl. et Vant., Inula japonica Thunb., and Chenopodium album L.) were grown in a monoculture (two seedlings of the same species) or mixed culture (one seedling of O. biennis and one seedling of a native species) under three levels of N deposition (0, 6, and 12 g∙m[-2]∙year[-1]). Nitrogen deposition had no effect on soil N and P content. Nitrogen deposition enhanced the crown area, total biomass, leaf chlorophyll content, and leaf N to phosphorus ratio in both invasive and native plants. Oenothera biennis dominated competition with C. album and I. japonica due to its high resource acquisition and absorption capacity (greater height, canopy, leaf chlorophyll a to chlorophyll b ratio, leaf chlorophyll content, leaf N content, leaf mass fraction, and lower root-to-shoot ratio). However, the native species A. argyi exhibited competitive ability similar to O. biennis. Thus, invasive species are not always superior competitors of native species; this depends on the identities of the native species. High N deposition enhanced the competitive dominance of O. biennis over I. japonica by 15.45% but did not alter the competitive dominance of O. biennis over C. album. Furthermore, N deposition did not affect the dominance of O. biennis or A. argyi. Therefore, the species composition of the native community must be considered when preparing to resist future biological invasions. Our study contributes to a better understanding of the invasion mechanisms of alien species under N-loading conditions.

RevDate: 2023-05-22

Irimia RE, Montesinos D, Chaturvedi A, et al (2023)

Trait evolution during a rapid global weed invasion despite little genetic differentiation.

Evolutionary applications, 16(5):997-1011 pii:EVA13548.

Invasive species often possess a great capacity to adapt to novel environments in the form of spatial trait variation, as a result of varying selection regimes, genetic drift, or plasticity. We explored the geographic differentiation in several phenotypic traits related to plant growth, reproduction, and defense in the highly invasive Centaurea solstitialis by measuring neutral genetic differentiation (F ST), and comparing it with phenotypic differentiation (P ST), in a common garden experiment in individuals originating from regions representing the species distribution across five continents. Native plants were more fecund than non-native plants, but the latter displayed considerably larger seed mass. We found indication of divergent selection for these two reproductive traits but little overall genetic differentiation between native and non-native ranges. The native versus invasive P ST-F ST comparisons demonstrated that, in several invasive regions, seed mass had increased proportionally more than the genetic differentiation. Traits displayed different associations with climate variables in different regions. Both capitula numbers and seed mass were associated with winter temperature and precipitation and summer aridity in some regions. Overall, our study suggests that rapid evolution has accompanied invasive success of C. solstitialis and provides new insights into traits and their genetic bases that can contribute to fitness advantages in non-native populations.

RevDate: 2023-05-21

Wang C, Xu M, Zhang J, et al (2023)

High-latitude invasion and environmental adaptability of the freshwater mussel Limnoperna fortunei in Beijing, China.

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

The invasive freshwater mussel Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker, 1857) has spread widely throughout Asia and South America, especially via inter-basin water diversion and navigation. The middle route of the South-to-North Water Transfer Project (SNWTP), the terminal of which is Beijing, has diverted more than 60 billion m[3] of water from the Yangtze River Basin to Northern China since December 2014. Limnoperna fortunei has spread north to Beijing along the SNWTP, biofouling its channels and tunnels. To determine the status of L. fortunei's invasion in Beijing, we systematically inspected the water bodies receiving southern water, including all branches of the SNWTP, water treatment plants, lakes, reservoirs, and rivers. We measured the densities of adults and veligers of L. fortunei and conducted eDNA analyses of water samples. A generalized linear model and canonical correspondence analysis were adopted to investigate the correlations between environmental (e.g., water temperature, conductivity, pH, total nitrogen, and phosphorus) and biological (e.g., chlorophyll a, plankton density, and community composition) variables and the densities of adults and veligers of L. fortunei. Water temperature is the most important factor in determining the densities of D-shaped and pediveliger veligers, with explanatory variable contributions of 56.2% and 43.9%, respectively. The pH affects the densities of D-shaped, umbonated, and pediveliger veligers. The density of plantigrade veligers is negatively correlated with the conductivity and positively correlated with the concentration of chlorophyll a. Canonical correspondence analysis shows a weak correlation between the dominant phytoplankton taxa and the density of veligers. The densities of D-shaped, umbonated, and pediveliger veligers are positively correlated with the density of small phytoplankton (12.54 ± 4.33 μm), and the density of plantigrade veligers is positively correlated with the density of large (16.12 ± 5.96 μm) phytoplankton. The density of planktonic veligers is well correlated with local abiotic variables, and that of plantigrade veligers is less correlated with local abiotic variables. This finding implies that controlling early-stage veligers by altering water temperature, pH, and food size might effectively control establishment of further L. fortunei colonies.

RevDate: 2023-05-22
CmpDate: 2023-05-22

Jara-Servin A, Silva A, Barajas H, et al (2023)

Root microbiome diversity and structure of the Sonoran desert buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare L.).

PloS one, 18(5):e0285978.

Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare) is an invasive plant introduced into Mexico's Sonoran desert for cattle grazing and has converted large areas of native thorn scrub. One of the invasion mechanisms buffelgrass uses to invade is allelopathy, which consists of the production and secretion of allelochemicals that exert adverse effects on other plants' growth. The plant microbiome also plays a vital role in establishing invasive plants and host growth and development. However, little is known about the buffelgrass root-associated bacteria and the effects of allelochemicals on the microbiome. We used 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing to obtain the microbiome of buffelgrass and compare it between samples treated with root exacknudates and aqueous leachates as allelochemical exposure and samples without allelopathic exposure in two different periods. The Shannon diversity values were between H' = 5.1811-5.5709, with 2,164 reported bacterial Amplicon Sequence Variants (ASVs). A total of 24 phyla were found in the buffelgrass microbiome, predominantly Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria, and Acidobacteria. At the genus level, 30 different genera comprised the buffelgrass core microbiome. Our results show that buffelgrass recruits microorganisms capable of thriving under allelochemical conditions and may be able to metabolize them (e.g., Planctomicrobium, Aurantimonas, and Tellurimicrobium). We also found that the community composition of the microbiome changes depending on the developmental state of buffelgrass (p = 0.0366; ANOSIM). These findings provide new insights into the role of the microbiome in the establishment of invasive plant species and offer potential targets for developing strategies to control buffelgrass invasion.

RevDate: 2023-05-20

Xiao M, Cai T, Wang X, et al (2023)

Response of native and exotic saltmarsh species to sediment deposition addition.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)02892-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The native saltmarsh species Scirpus mariqueter (hereafter S. mariqueter) and the exotic species saltmarsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora Loisel., hereafter S. alterniflora), have been found commonly in regional saltmarsh ecosystems which received a large amount of sediment inputs from Yangtze River, eastern coasts of China. For the purpose of saltmarsh restoration and invasive species management, it is important to understand the response of vegetation species to various sediment inputs. This study investigated and compared the effects of sediment addition on S. mariqueter and S. alterniflora through laboratory experiment using vegetation samples collected from a natural saltmarsh with a high sedimentation rate (12 cm a[-1]). Plant growth parameters over their growth period, including survival rate, height and biomass were measured against sediment addition gradient (0 cm, 3 cm, 6 cm, 9 cm, and 12 cm in thickness). The results showed that sediment addition significantly affected the growth of vegetation but this effect varied between two species. Compared with the control group, the growth of S. mariqueter was promoted with sediment addition of 3-6 cm, but it turned to inhibition when the sediment thickness exceeded 6 cm. The growth of S. alterniflora was increased with increasing sediment addition till 9-12 cm, but the survival rate of each group kept stable. Overall, against a gradient sediment addition, S. mariqueter was found to benefit from low to moderate sediment addition (3-6 cm) but higher addition showed inhabitation effects. S. alterniflora benefited from increasing sediment addition to a point. When facing high sediment inputs, S. alterniflora was found to be more adaptable than S. mariqueter. These results have important implications for further studies on saltmarsh restoration and interspecific competition against a high sediment input background.

RevDate: 2023-05-20

Salter JF, Brumfield RT, BC Faircloth (2023)

An island 'endemic' born out of hybridization between introduced lineages.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Humans have profoundly impacted the distribution of plant and animal species over thousands of years. The most direct example of these effects is human-mediated movement of individuals, either through translocation of individuals within their range or through the introduction of species to new habitats. While human involvement may be suspected in species with obvious range disjunctions, it can be difficult to detect natural versus human-mediated dispersal events for populations at the edge of a species' range, and this uncertainty muddles how we understand the evolutionary history of populations and broad biogeographical patterns. Studies combining genetic data with archaeological, linguistic and historical evidence have confirmed prehistoric examples of human-mediated dispersal; however, it is unclear whether these methods can disentangle recent dispersal events, such as species translocated by European colonizers during the past 500 years. We use genomic DNA from historical museum specimens and historical records to evaluate three hypotheses regarding the timing and origin of Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) in Cuba, whose status as an endemic or introduced population has long been debated. We discovered that bobwhites from southern Mexico arrived in Cuba between the 12th and 16th centuries, followed by the subsequent introduction of bobwhites from the southeastern USA to Cuba between the 18th and 20th centuries. These dates suggest the introduction of bobwhites to Cuba was human-mediated and concomitant with Spanish colonial shipping routes between Veracruz, Mexico and Havana, Cuba during this period. Our results identify endemic Cuban bobwhites as a genetically distinct population born of hybridization between divergent, introduced lineages.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Polce C, Cardoso AC, Deriu I, et al (2023)

Invasive alien species of policy concerns show widespread patterns of invasion and potential pressure across European ecosystems.

Scientific reports, 13(1):8124.

Animals, plants, and other organisms unintentionally or deliberately brought into a natural environment where they are not normally found, and where they cause harmful effects on that environment, are known also as invasive alien species (IAS). They represent a major threat to native biodiversity and ecosystem functioning, and can affect negatively human health and the economy. We assessed the presence and potential pressure by IAS on terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems across 27 European countries, for 66 IAS of policy concern. We computed a spatial indicator that accounts for the number of IAS present in an area and the extent of the ecosystems affected; for each ecosystem, we also looked at the pattern of invasions in the different biogeographical regions. We found disproportionally greater invasion in the Atlantic region, followed by Continental and Mediterranean regions, possibly related to historical patterns of first introductions. Urban and freshwater ecosystems were the most invaded (nearly 68% and ca. 52% of their extent respectively), followed by forest and woodland (nearly 44%). The average potential pressure of IAS was greater across cropland and forests, where we also found the lowest coefficient of variation. This assessment can be repeated over time to derive trends and monitor progress towards environmental policy objectives.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Monteiro J, Marks CA, Braga PC, et al (2023)

The role of ion homeostasis imbalance due to citrate accumulation in fluoroacetic acid (FAA) toxicity in Neurospora crassa.

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP pii:S1532-0456(23)00116-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Fluoroacetic acid (FAA) is a poison commonly used for the lethal control of invasive species in Australia and New Zealand. Despite its widespread use and long history as a pesticide, no effective treatment for accidental poisoning exists. Although it is known to inhibit the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, specific details of FAA toxicology have remained elusive, with hypocalcemia suggested to be involved in the neurological symptoms prior to death. Here, we study the effects of FAA on cell growth and mitochondrial function using the filamentous fungi Neurospora crassa as model organism. FAA toxicosis in N. crassa is characterized by an initial hyperpolarization and subsequent depolarization of the mitochondrial membranes, followed by a significant intracellular decrease in ATP and increase in Ca[2+]. The development of mycelium was markedly affected within 6 h, and growth impaired after 24 h of FAA exposure. Although the activity of mitochondrial complexes I, II and IV was impaired, the activity of citrate synthase was not affected. Supplementation with Ca[2+] exacerbated the effects of FAA in cell growth and membrane potential. Our findings suggest that an imbalance created in the ratio of ions within the mitochondria may lead to conformational changes in ATP synthase dimers due to mitochondrial Ca[2+] uptake, that ultimately result in the opening of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore (MPTP), a decrease in membrane potential, and cell death. Our findings suggest new approaches for the treatment research, as well as the possibility to use N. crassa as a high-throughput screening assay to evaluate a large number of FAA antidote candidates.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Señorans S, R-Díaz J, Escalante D, et al (2023)

Ce/Pumice and Ni/Pumice as heterogeneous catalysts for syngas production from biomass gasification.

Waste management (New York, N.Y.), 166:270-279 pii:S0956-053X(23)00358-6 [Epub ahead of print].

This work presents a study of synthesis and characterization of catalysts-based cerium and nickel supported on the pumice stone (Ce/Pumice and Ni/Pumice) to be used in the gasification process of an invasive species present in the Canary Islands, such as Pennisetum setaceum to obtain syngas. Specifically, the effect of the metal impregnated on the pumice, and the effect of catalyst on the gasification process was studied. For this purpose, the composition of the gas was determined and the results obtained were compared with those obtained in non-catalytic thermochemical processes. Gasification tests were performed using a simultaneous thermal analyzer coupled with a mass spectrometer, providing a detailed analysis of the gases released during the process. The results showed that during the catalytic gasification process of the Pennisetum setaceum, the gases produced appear at lower temperatures in the catalytic process that in the non-catalytic process. Specifically, H2 appears at 640.42 °C and 641.84 °C when Ce/pumice and Ni/pumice were used as catalyst, respectively, compared to 697.41 °C for the non-catalytic process. Moreover, the reactivity at 50 % of char conversion for the catalytic process (0.34 and 0.38 min[-1] for Ce/pumice and Ni/pumice, respectively) was higher than for the non-catalytic process (0.28 min[-1]), indicating that the incorporation of Ce and Ni on the pumitic material increases the gasification rate of the char compared to the pumitic support. Catalytic biomass gasification is an innovative technology that can provide new opportunities for research and development of renewable energy technologies, as well as for the creation of green jobs.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Anton BJ, Cornelius Ruhs E, White AM, et al (2023)

Elucidating the effects of acute and chronic exposure to 2,4-Dichlorophenoxyacetic acid on fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) innate immunity.

Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 260:106571 pii:S0166-445X(23)00174-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Aquatic herbicides, such as 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D) formulations, are commonly used for invasive species management throughout the United States. Ecologically relevant concentrations of 2,4-D can impair essential behaviors, reduce survival, and act as an endocrine disruptor; however, there is limited knowledge of its effects on the health of non-target organisms. Here, we investigate the acute and chronic exposure impacts of 2,4-D on adult male and female fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) innate immune function. We exposed both adult male and female fathead minnows to three different ecologically relevant concentrations of 2,4-D (0.00, 0.40, and 4.00 mg/L) and took blood samples at three acute time points (6, 24, and 96 h) and one chronic time point (30 days). We found that male fatheads had higher total white blood cell concentrations when exposed to 2,4-D at the acute time points. For the females, only proportions of specific cell types were altered when exposed to 2,4-D at the acute time points. However, we did not observe any significant impacts of chronic exposure to 2,4-D on any innate immune responses for either males or females. Overall, this study is the first step in answering an important question for game fisheries and management agencies while providing insight to future studies that investigate the impacts of herbicide exposure to freshwater fish health and immunity.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Koh EY, Ong J, Wang Y, et al (2023)

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 from Singapore 2020 outbreak revealed an Australian recombinant variant.

Virus evolution, 9(1):vead029 pii:vead029.

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) is a significant and debilitating viral disease affecting lagomorphs. In September 2020, Singapore reported its first cases of RHD virus (RHDV) infection in domesticated rabbits. The initial findings reported that the outbreak strain belonged to genotype GI.2 (RHDV2/RHDVb), and epidemiological investigations could not identify the definitive source of the virus origin. Further recombination detection and phylogenetic analyses of the Singapore outbreak strain revealed that the RHDV was a GI.2 structural (S)/GI.4 non-structural (NS) recombinant variant. Sequence analyses on the National Centre for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) database showed high homology to recently emerged Australian variants, which were prevalent in local Australian lagomorph populations since 2017. Time-structured and phylogeographic analyses for the S and NS genes revealed a close genetic relationship between the Singapore RHDV strain and the Australian RHDV variants. More thorough epidemiological inquiries are necessary to ascertain how an Australian RHDV was introduced into the Singapore rabbit population, and opportune development of RHDV diagnostics and vaccines will be important to safeguard lagomorphs from future RHDV infection and disease management.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Pike CL, Kofler B, Richner H, et al (2023)

Parental food provisioning and nestling growth under Philornis downsi parasitism in the Galapagos Green Warbler-Finch, classified as 'vulnerable' by the IUCN.

Journal of ornithology, 164(3):669-676.

In the Galapagos Islands, many endemic landbird populations are declining due to habitat degradation, food availability, introduced species and other factors. Given nestlings typically lack efficient defense mechanisms against parasites, hematophagous ectoparasites such as the larvae of the introduced Avian Vampire Fly, Philornis downsi, can impose high brood mortality and cause threatening population declines in Darwin finches and other landbirds. Here, we assess whether the food compensation hypothesis (i.e., the parents' potential to compensate for deleterious parasite effects via increased food provisioning) applies to the Green Warbler-Finch. We differentiated nests with low or high infestation levels by P. downsi and quantified food provisioning rates of male and female parents, time females spent brooding nestlings, and nestling growth. Male provisioning rates, total provisioning rates and female brooding time did not significantly vary in relation to infestation levels, nor by the number of nestlings. Opposed to the predictions of the food compensation hypothesis, females showed significantly reduced provisioning rates at high infestation levels. Nestling body mass was significantly lower and there was a reduction of skeletal growth, although not significantly, in highly infested nests. The females' response to high infestation may be due to parasites directly attacking and weakening brooding females, or else that females actively reduce current reproductive effort in favor of future reproduction. This life-history trade-off may be typical for Darwin finches and many tropical birds with long lifespans and therefore high residual reproductive value. Conservation strategies may not build on the potential for parental food compensation by this species.

RevDate: 2023-05-18

Jabeen S, Ali MF, Mohi Ud Din A, et al (2023)

Phytochemical screening and allelopathic potential of phytoextracts of three invasive grass species.

Scientific reports, 13(1):8080.

Undoubtedly, it is important to remain vigilant and manage invasive grasses to prevent their spread and mitigate their negative impact on the environment. However, these aggressive plants can also play a beneficial role in certain contexts. For example, several invasive grasses provide valuable forage for livestock and have disease control potential. Therefore, a research experiment was conducted to explore the pros and cons of this approach, not only for surrounding vegetation but also for human and animal disease control. The study is primarily focused on developing livestock feed, plant-derived herbicides, and an understanding of the phytotoxic effects of invasive species. All plant parts of Cenchrus ciliaris L., Polypogon monspeliansis L., and Dicanthium annulatum (Forssk.) Stapf, were tested for their phyto-chemical screening, proximate, and toxicity analysis which was caused by the methanolic extract of these grass species. Qualitative phytochemical screening tests were performed for proximate composition analysis and toxicity assessment essays. The phytochemical analysis revealed the positive results for alkaloids, flavonoids, coumarins, phenols, saponins, and glycosides, while negative for tannins. Comparison of proximate analysis intimated maximum moisture (10.8%) and crude fat (4.1%) in P. monspeliensis, whereas maximum dry matter (84.1%), crude protein (13.95%), crude fiber (11%), and ash (7.2%) in D. annulatum. Five (10, 100, 500, 100, 10,000 ppm) and three (10, 1000, 10,000 ppm) different concentrations of methanolic extract prepared from C. ciliaris, P. monspeliansis, and D. annulatum were used respectively for root inhibition and seed germination essay. Furthermore, three different concentrations (10, 30, 50 mg) of plant fine powder were used for sandwich method test. There was a significant decline in the growth rate of experimental model radish seeds (P > 0.005), and results from sandwich method tests showed suppressed growth of root hairs, inhibiting the anchoring of the radish seed. In comparison, results manifest that; P. monspeliansis indicated an upsurge of inhibition (66.58% at 10,000 ppm), D. annulatum revealed soar germination (75.86% in controlled conditions), and C. ciliaris exhibited dramatic shoot up of inhibition because of sandwich method test (14.02% at 50 mg). In conclusion, although grasses are toxic, it is important to consider the beneficiary account.

RevDate: 2023-05-19

Minghetti E, Dellapé PM, SI Montemayor (2023)

From North/Central America to the World? Assessing the potential of Pycnoderes quadrimaculatus Guerin-Meneville (Heteroptera: Miridae) as a pest through Ecological Niche Models.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Pycnoderes quadrimaculatus is a pest that feeds on several plants, many of which are economically important. It is native to North/Central America and its distribution has expanded to several countries in South America.

RESULTS: Ecological niche models show that P. quadrimaculatus has invaded regions with climates different from those of its native range, and that there are suitable climatic conditions for its establishment worldwide. Regions where P. quadrimaculatus is a major threat and possible natural pathways of ingression were identified. In the future, its distribution will be modified by climate change.

CONCLUSIONS: This study provides useful information for risk assessment and pest management of P. quadrimaculatus. According to our results, the species has great potential as a pest because it can adapt to different climatic conditions and feeds on a wide range of economically important plants. Over time, its distribution has expanded, and our models suggest that it will continue to invade other regions unless preventive measures are taken. © 2023 Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2023-05-18

Nelufule T, Robertson MP, Wilson JRU, et al (2023)

Publisher Correction: An inventory of native-alien populations in South Africa.

Scientific data, 10(1):290 pii:10.1038/s41597-023-02216-w.

RevDate: 2023-05-17

Wang A, Baskin CC, Baskin JM, et al (2023)

Trade-offs between diaspore dispersal and dormancy within a spike of the invasive annual grass Aegilops tauschii.

Planta, 257(6):121.

Differences in dispersal and dormancy of heteromorphic diaspores of Aegilos tauschii may increase its flexibility to invade/occupy weedy unpredictable habitats by spreading risk in space and time. In plant species that produce dimorphic seeds, there often is a negative relationship between dispersal and dormancy, with high dispersal-low dormancy in one morph and low dispersal-high dormancy in the other, which may function as a bet-hedging strategy that spreads the risk of survival and ensures reproductive success. However, the relationship between dispersal and dormancy and its ecological consequences in invasive annual grasses that produce heteromorphic diaspores is not well studied. We compared dispersal and dormancy responses of diaspores from the basal (proximal) to the distal position on compound spikes of Aegilops tauschii, an invasive grass with heteromorphic diaspores. Dispersal ability increased and degree of dormancy decreased as diaspore position on a spike increased from basal to distal. There was a significant positive correlation between length of awns and dispersal ability, and awn removal significantly promoted seed germination. Germination was positively correlated with GA concentration and negatively correlated with ABA concentration, and the ABA: GA ratio was high in seeds with low germination/high dormancy. Thus, there was a continuous inverse-linear relationship between diaspore dispersal ability and degree of dormancy. This negative relationship between diaspore dispersal and degree of dormancy at different positions on a spike of Aegilops tauschii may facilitate seedling survival in space and time.

RevDate: 2023-05-17

Wingler A, B Sandel (2023)

Relationships of the competitor, stress tolerator, ruderal functional strategies of grass species with lifespan, photosynthetic type, naturalization and climate.

AoB PLANTS, 15(3):plad021 pii:plad021.

Grass species (family Poaceae) are globally distributed, adapted to a wide range of climates and express a diversity of functional strategies. We explored the functional strategies of grass species using the competitor, stress tolerator, ruderal (CSR) system and asked how a species' strategy relates to its functional traits, climatic distribution and propensity to become naturalized outside its native range. We used a global set of trait data for grass species to classify functional strategies according to the CSR system based on leaf traits. Differences in strategies in relation to lifespan (annual or perennial), photosynthetic type (C3 or C4), or naturalisation (native or introduced) were investigated. In addition, correlations with traits not included in the CSR classification were analyzed, and a model was fitted to predict a species' average mean annual temperature and annual precipitation across its range as a function of CSR scores. Values for competitiveness were higher in C4 species than in C3 species, values for stress tolerance were higher in perennials than in annuals, and introduced species had more pronounced competitive-ruderal strategies than native species. Relationships between the CSR classification, based on leaf traits, and other functional traits were analyzed. Competitiveness was positively correlated with height, while ruderality was correlated with specific root length, indicating that both above- and belowground traits underlying leaf and root economics contribute to realized CSR strategies. Further, relationships between climate and CSR classification showed that species with competitive strategies were more common in warm climates and at high precipitation, whereas species with stress tolerance strategies were more common in cold climates and at low precipitation. The findings presented here demonstrate that CSR classification of functional strategies based on leaf traits matches expectations for the adaptations of grass species that underlie lifespan, photosynthetic type, naturalization and climate.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Atsawawaranunt K, Ewart KM, Major RE, et al (2023)

Tracing the introduction of the invasive common myna using population genomics.

Heredity [Epub ahead of print].

The common myna (Acridotheres tristis) is one of the most invasive bird species in the world, yet its colonisation history is only partly understood. We identified the introduction history and population structure, and quantified the genetic diversity of myna populations from the native range in India and introduced populations in New Zealand, Australia, Fiji, Hawaii, and South Africa, based on thousands of single nucleotide polymorphism markers in 814 individuals. We were able to identify the source population of mynas in several invasive locations: mynas from Fiji and Melbourne, Australia, were likely founded by individuals from a subpopulation in Maharashtra, India, while mynas in Hawaii and South Africa were likely independently founded by individuals from other localities in India. Our findings suggest that New Zealand mynas were founded by individuals from Melbourne, which, in turn, were founded by individuals from Maharashtra. We identified two genetic clusters among New Zealand mynas, divided by New Zealand's North Island's axial mountain ranges, confirming previous observations that mountains and thick forests may form barriers to myna dispersal. Our study provides a foundation for other population and invasion genomic studies and provides useful information for the management of this invasive species.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Roldão Almeida M, Marchante E, H Marchante (2023)

Public perceptions about the invasive pampas grass, Cortaderia selloana: a case study of environmentally conscious citizens in Southern Europe.

Biological invasions, 25(6):2043-2056.

UNLABELLED: Cortaderia selloana (pampas grass), native to South America, is a widespread invasive plant in several regions of the World, including the south of the Atlantic Arc (Europe), where it has been used as an ornamental species. Citizens may help to spread it, e.g., planting it in their gardens, but on the other hand, when they are aware of its invasiveness, can contribute to control it and prevent its spread. An online survey was performed to better understand the perception and knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish citizens, regarding pampas grass. The influence of education and occupation, along with age, gender and country of residence, on the knowledge and perceptions of respondents was analysed. The questionnaire was answered by 486 and 839 citizens in Portugal (PT) and Spain (ES), respectively. Most respondents were between 41 and 64 years old, mostly women in Portugal and equally women and men in Spain, with higher education and working mostly in the services sector. The majority of respondents in both countries recognized the plant, knew it is invasive and were able to name it, alerting to a possible bias of the target audience toward citizens already aware of the invasiveness of the pampas grass. Fewer respondents were aware of the legislation that limits its use, and most were unable to identify particular characteristics of the species. The results showed that respondents' occupation in PT and education in ES influenced their knowledge and perception about pampas grass. This study confirms that education and raising awareness regarding invasive species is of utmost importance, as respondents identified academic training and projects with a strong focus on public awareness as the main sources of knowledge regarding pampas grass. Better informed citizens can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem, especially regarding invasive species with such ornamental interest as pampas grass.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1007/s10530-023-03025-3.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Minden V, Verhoeven K, H Olde Venterink (2023)

Adaptive plasticity and fitness costs of endangered, nonendangered, and invasive plants in response to variation in nitrogen and phosphorus availabilities.

Ecology and evolution, 13(5):e10075 pii:ECE310075.

Global change drivers such as eutrophication and plant invasions will create novel environments for many plant species. Through adaptive trait plasticity plants may maintain their performance under these novel conditions and may outcompete those showing low-adaptive trait plasticity. In a greenhouse study, we determined if plasticity in traits is adaptive or maladaptive in endangered, nonendangered, and invasive plant species in response to variation of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability (N:P ratios 1.7, 15, and 135) and whether plastic trait responses are adaptive and/or costly for fitness (i.e., biomass). Species choice comprised 17 species from three functional groups (legumes, nonlegume forbs, and grasses), either classified as endangered, nonendangered, or invasive. After 2 months, plants were harvested and nine traits related to carbon assimilation and nutrient uptake were measured (leaf area, SLA, LDMC, SPAD, RMR, root length, SRL, root surface area, and PME activity). We found more traits responding plastically to variation in P than in N. Plasticity only created costs when P was varied. Plasticity in traits was mostly adaptively neutral toward fitness, with plasticity in three traits being similarly adaptive across all species groups: SPAD (as a measure of chlorophyll content, adaptive to N and P limitation), leaf area, and root surface area (adaptive to P limitation). We found little differences in trait plasticity between endangered, nonendangered, and invasive species. Synthesis. Along a gradient from N limitation, balanced N:P supply, and P limitation, we found that the type of fluctuating nutrient (i.e., if N or P is varied) is decisive for the adaptive value of a trait. Variation in P availability (from balanced supply to P limitation) created both a stronger reduction in fitness as well as created plasticity costs in more traits than variation in N availability (from balanced supply to N limitation). However, the patterns observed in our study may change if nutrient availability is altered, either by nutrient inputs or by a shift in nutrient availabilities, for example, by decreasing N input as foreseen by European Legislation, but without simultaneously decreasing P input.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Klockiewicz M, Jakubowski T, Karabowicz J, et al (2023)

Identification of intestinal parasites in wild American mink (Neovison vison) from Biebrza and Narew national parks (Poland).

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

American mink (Neovison vison) is an invasive species in the sylvatic environment of Poland. Mink are exposed to different parasite infections as their preys serve as intermediate and/or paratenic hosts. The study aimed to discriminate the pattern of intestinal parasite infections in mink inhabiting Biebrza (BNP) and Narew (NNP) national parks. Gastrointestinal tract examinations revealed Coccidia, Echinostomatidae, Taenidae, and Capillariidae parasites. There was no significant difference in the parasite burden of mink, but patterns of infections varied between both localizations. Coccidia were found in 3.8% of BNP vs. 6.7% of NNP mink. Fluke prevalence was significantly higher in NNP 27.5% compared to 7.7% in BNP mink. Tapeworms were only found in 3.4% of NNP mink. Significantly more Aonchotheca eggs were found in BNP 34.6% vs. 11.4% in NNP mink. The intensity of coccidiosis and aonchothecosis was low in both parks. Fluke intensity varied between low to moderate (ranging from 1 to 16) in BNP and low to massive (ranging from 1 to 117) in NNP mink. Coinfections of various parasite species were noted in both areas. Morphological and DNA analysis revealed that flukes belonged to Isthiomorpha melis and tapeworms to Versteria mustelae. It was the first isolation of V. mustelae in mink of those localizations. In conclusion, our study showed that mink indwelling Biebrza and Narew national parks are moderately infested with parasites. Results suggest that mink play an important role as a reservoir for parasites endangering endemic mustelids, becoming also a potential risk factor in case of accidental transmissions to farm mink. That is why, more strict biosecurity measures are required to protect farm mink.

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Waller D, Pucherelli S, Barbour M, et al (2023)

Review and development of best practices for toxicity tests with dreissenid mussels.

Environmental toxicology and chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Since their introduction to North America in the 1980s, research to develop effective control tools for invasive mussels (Dreissena polymorpha and D. rostriformis bugensis) has been ongoing across various research institutions using a range of testing methods. Inconsistencies in experimental methods and reporting present challenges for comparing data, repeating experiments, and applying results. The Invasive Mussel Collaborative (IMC) established the Toxicity Testing Work Group (TTWG) in 2019 to identify "best practices" and guide development of a standard framework for dreissenid mussel toxicity testing protocols. We reviewed the literature related to laboratory-based dreissenid mussel toxicity tests and determined the degree to which standard guidelines have been used and their applicability to dreissenid mussel testing. We extracted detailed methodology from 99 studies from the peer-reviewed and grey literature and conducted a separate analysis for studies using pre-settlement and post-settlement mussels. We identified specific components of methods and approaches that could be refined or standardized for dreissenid mussels. These components included species identification, collection methods, size/age class distinction, maintenance practices, testing criteria, sample size, response measures, reporting parameters, exposure methods, and mortality criteria. We consulted experts in the field of aquatic toxicology and dreissenid mussel biology on our proposed. The final recommendations contained herein are based on published standard guidelines, methods reported in published and grey literature, and the expertise of TTWG members and an external panel. Additionally, the review identified research needs for dreissenid mussel testing including improved methods for early life stage testing, comparative data on life stages and between dreissenid mussel species, inclusion of a reference toxicant and additional testing of nontarget species (i.e., other aquatic organisms).

RevDate: 2023-05-16

Kendra PE, Montgomery WS, Tabanca N, et al (2023)

Piperitone (p-Menth-1-En-3-One): A New Repellent for Tea Shot Hole Borer (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in Florida Avocado Groves.

Biomolecules, 13(4): pii:biom13040656.

The tea shot hole borer, Euwallacea perbrevis, has been recently established in Florida, USA, where it vectors fungal pathogens that cause Fusarium dieback in avocado. Pest monitoring uses a two-component lure containing quercivorol and α-copaene. Incorporation of a repellent into IPM programs may reduce the incidence of dieback in avocado groves, particularly if combined with lures in a push-pull system. This study evaluated piperitone and α-farnesene as potential repellents for E. perbrevis, comparing their efficacy to that of verbenone. Replicate 12-week field tests were conducted in commercial avocado groves. Each test compared beetle captures in traps baited with two-component lures versus captures in traps containing lures plus repellent. To complement field trials, Super-Q collections followed by GC analyses were performed to quantify emissions from repellent dispensers field-aged for 12 weeks. Electroantennography (EAG) was also used to measure beetle olfactory response to each repellent. Results indicated that α-farnesene was ineffective; however, piperitone and verbenone were comparable in repellency, achieving 50-70% reduction in captures, with longevity of 10-12 weeks. EAG responses to piperitone and verbenone were equivalent, and significantly greater than response to α-farnesene. Since piperitone is less expensive than verbenone, this study identifies a potential new E. perbrevis repellent.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Whitmore L, McCauley M, Farrell JA, et al (2023)

Inadvertent human genomic bycatch and intentional capture raise beneficial applications and ethical concerns with environmental DNA.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The field of environmental DNA (eDNA) is advancing rapidly, yet human eDNA applications remain underutilized and underconsidered. Broader adoption of eDNA analysis will produce many well-recognized benefits for pathogen surveillance, biodiversity monitoring, endangered and invasive species detection, and population genetics. Here we show that deep-sequencing-based eDNA approaches capture genomic information from humans (Homo sapiens) just as readily as that from the intended target species. We term this phenomenon human genetic bycatch (HGB). Additionally, high-quality human eDNA could be intentionally recovered from environmental substrates (water, sand and air), holding promise for beneficial medical, forensic and environmental applications. However, this also raises ethical dilemmas, from consent, privacy and surveillance to data ownership, requiring further consideration and potentially novel regulation. We present evidence that human eDNA is readily detectable from 'wildlife' environmental samples as human genetic bycatch, demonstrate that identifiable human DNA can be intentionally recovered from human-focused environmental sampling and discuss the translational and ethical implications of such findings.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Vasconcelos DS, Harris DJ, Damas-Moreira I, et al (2023)

Factors shaping the gut microbiome of five species of lizards from different habitats.

PeerJ, 11:e15146 pii:15146.

BACKGROUND: Host-gut microbiota interactions are complex and can have a profound impact on the ecology and evolution of both counterparts. Several host traits such as systematics, diet and social behavior, and external factors such as prey availability and local environment are known to influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiota.

METHODS: In this study, we investigate the influence of systematics, sex, host size, and locality/habitat on gut microbiota diversity in five lizard species from two different sites in Portugal: Podarcis bocagei and Podarcis lusitanicus, living in syntopy in a rural area in northern Portugal (Moledo); the invasive Podarcis siculus and the native Podarcis virescens, living in sympatry in an urbanized environment (Lisbon); and the invasive Teira dugesii also living in an urban area (Lisbon). We also infer the potential microbial transmission occurring between species living in sympatry and syntopy. To achieve these goals, we use a metabarcoding approach to characterize the bacterial communities from the cloaca of lizards, sequencing the V4 region of the 16S rRNA.

RESULTS: Habitat/locality was an important factor explaining differences in gut bacterial composition and structure, with species from urbanized environments having higher bacterial diversity. Host systematics (i.e., species) influenced gut bacterial community structure only in lizards from the urbanized environment. We also detected a significant positive correlation between lizard size and gut bacterial alpha-diversity in the invasive species P. siculus, which could be due to its higher exploratory behavior. Moreover, estimates of bacterial transmission indicate that P. siculus may have acquired a high proportion of local microbiota after its introduction. These findings confirm that a diverse array of host and environmental factors can influence lizards' gut microbiota.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Li H, Zeng Y, Wang C, et al (2023)

Variation in the burden and chemical forms of thallium in non-detoxified tissues of tilapia fish (Oreochromis niloticus) from waterborne exposure.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(23)01151-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Thallium (Tl) is highly toxic to aquatic ecosystems, but information about its concentration and distribution characteristics in different fish tissues is limited. In this study, juvenile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) were exposed to Tl solutions with different sub-lethal concentrations for 28 days, and the Tl concentrations and distribution patterns in the fish non-detoxified tissues (gills, muscle, and bone) were analyzed. The Tl chemical form fractions, Tl-ethanol, Tl-HCl, and Tl-residual, corresponding to easy, moderate, and difficult migration fraction, respectively, in the fish tissues were obtained by sequential extractant approach. The Tl concentrations of different fractions and total burden were determined using graphite furnace atomic absorption spectrophotometry. Exposure-concentration effect determined the Tl burden in the fish tissues. The average Tl-total concentration factors were 360, 447, and 593 in the bone, gills, and muscle, respectively, and the limited variation during the exposure period indicates that tilapia have a strong ability to self-regulate and achieve Tl homeostasis. However, Tl fractions varied in tissues, and the Tl-HCl fraction dominated in the gills (60.1%) and bone (59.0%), switchover Tl-ethanol fraction dominated in the muscle (68.3%). This study has shown that Tl can be easily taken up by fish during 28-days-period and largely distributed in non-detoxified tissues especially muscle, in which concurrent risks of high Tl-total burden and high levels of Tl in the form of easy migration fraction, posing possible risks to public health.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Fernandes K, Bateman PW, Saunders BJ, et al (2023)

Use of carrion fly iDNA metabarcoding to monitor invasive and native mammals.

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

Severely fragmented habitats increase the risks towards native mammal populations through isolation, increased edge effects, and predation. Therefore, monitoring the movement of mammal populations through anthropogenically-altered landscapes can be a valuable tool for conservation. Here we use metabarcoding of invertebrate-derived DNA (iDNA) from carrion flies (Calliphoridae and Sarcophagidae) to track mammal populations in the Wheatbelt Region of southwestern Australia, where widespread clearing for agriculture has removed most of the native perennial vegetation and replaced it with an agricultural system. Using this technique, we investigated whether the localization of the iDNA signal reflected the predicted distribution of four native species - echidna (Tachyglossus aculeatus), numbat (Myrmecobius fasciatus), woylie (Bettongia penicillata), and chuditch (Dasyurus geoffroii) - and two non-native, invasive mammal species - fox (Vulpes vulpes) and feral cat (Felis catus). We collected bulk iDNA samples (n = 150 samples, totalling 3,428 carrion flies) at a single time point from three conservation reserves and road edges between them. We detected 14 of the 40 mammal species known from the region, including our target species. Detections of target native taxa were centered on conservation reserves, with some detections from road edges nearby. We detected foxes and feral cats throughout the study area, including all conservation reserves. There was a significant difference between the diversity (F(3, 98) = 5.91, p<0.001) and composition (F(3, 43) = 1.72, p<0.01) of taxa on road edges and conservation reserves: conservation reserves hosted more native biodiversity than did road edges. Our data suggest that the signals from iDNA reflect the known distribution of target mammals in this region. The development of iDNA methods shows promise for future non-invasive monitoring for mammals. With further development, iDNA metabarcoding could assist in decision-making surrounding the conservation of endangered taxa, invasive species management and impacts of habitat fragmentation. Article Impact Statement: Carrion fly iDNA metabarcoding can be used to monitor mammalian distribution at a fine scale. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Gutiérrez-López R, Egeter B, Paupy C, et al (2023)

Monitoring mosquito richness in an understudied area: can environmental DNA metabarcoding be a complementary approach to adult trapping?.

Bulletin of entomological research pii:S0007485323000147 [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquito surveillance programmes are essential to assess the risks of local vector-borne disease outbreaks as well as for early detection of mosquito invasion events. Surveys are usually performed with traditional sampling tools (i.e., ovitraps and dipping method for immature stages or light or decoy traps for adults). Over the past decade, numerous studies have highlighted that environmental DNA (eDNA) sampling can enhance invertebrate species detection and provide community composition metrics. However, the usefulness of eDNA for detection of mosquito species has, to date, been largely neglected. Here, we sampled water from potential larval breeding sites along a gradient of anthropogenic perturbations, from the core of an oil palm plantation to the rainforest on São Tomé Island (Gulf of Guinea, Africa). We showed that (i) species of mosquitoes could be detected via metabarcoding mostly when larvae were visible, (ii) larvae species richness was greater using eDNA than visual identification and (iii) new mosquito species were also detected by the eDNA approach. We provide a critical discussion of the pros and cons of eDNA metabarcoding for monitoring mosquito species diversity and recommendations for future research directions that could facilitate the adoption of eDNA as a tool for assessing insect vector communities.

RevDate: 2023-05-15

Di Sora N, Rossini L, Contarini M, et al (2023)

Toumeyella parvicornis versus endotherapic abamectin: three techniques, one year after.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Toumeyella parvicornis is an invasive soft scale insect native to North America that is rapidly spreading in Italy and France, provoking severe infestations on Pinus pinea L. To date, the control of this pest is entrusted to three endotherapic techniques whose short-term efficacy is partially known. No information on long-term efficacy is currently available, although fundamental. This work aims to firstly report the long-term effect that abamectin-based insecticides, injected with the three different techniques, have on adult female populations.

RESULTS: The study was carried out in an infested P. pinea forest in the area of Rome, Italy. Results showed that the tested methods had a similar long-term effect, and only in one case there were differences with the untreated control. Multiresidue analysis reported a zero level of abamectin in plant tissues 14 months apart from injection, except for one treatment where pesticide concentration was just above the limit of quantification.

CONCLUSIONS: This study represents a first long-term evaluation about endotherapic control strategy against T. parvicornis. In fact, despite the pest may quickly bring the stone pines to the death and to the fall, representing this a concerning risk for the citizens, control actions to manage it are still partially known and deserve more in-depth investigations.

RevDate: 2023-05-14

Herskowitz Y, Bunimovich-Mendrazitsky S, T Lazebnik (2023)

Mathematical model of coffee tree's rust control using snails as biological agents.

Bio Systems pii:S0303-2647(23)00091-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Coffee rust is one of the main diseases that affect coffee plantations worldwide, causing large-scale ecological and economic damage. While multiple methods have been proposed to tackle this challenge, using snails as biological agents have shown to be the most consistent and promising approach. However, snails are an invasive species, and overusing them can cause devastating outcomes. In this paper, we develop and explore an ecological-epidemiological mathematical model for the coffee tree rust pandemic control using snails as biological agents. We analyze the equilibria of the proposed system with their stability properties. In addition, we perform numerical analysis to obtain the sensitivity of the system to different changes and manipulation of the snails pandemic control, under specific conditions. Finally, we propose an in silico mechanism to obtain an analytical connection between the system's initial condition and the number of snails needed to optimally control the rust pandemic spread while preventing the snail population to grow unmanageably. Our model can be used to optimize the usage of snails as biological agents to control the rust pandemic in spatially-small areas, by predicting the number of snails one needs to introduce to the ecosystem in order to obtain a desired outcome.

RevDate: 2023-05-15
CmpDate: 2023-05-15

Li WQ, Xiang Q, Xie XF, et al (2023)

[Effect of Spartina alterniflora Invasion on Soil C:N:P Stoichiometry in Coastal Wetland of Hangzhou Bay].

Huan jing ke xue= Huanjing kexue, 44(5):2735-2745.

The invasion of Spartina alterniflora poses a great threat to coastal wetland ecosystems. In this study, the stoichiometric characteristics of soil carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus under a Spartina alterniflora invasion were explored using ANOVA in a coastal wetland in Hangzhou Bay, and the driving coupling relationship between soil environmental factors and soil C:N:P stoichiometric characteristics of the coastal wetland were further explored based on the redundancy analysis (RDA), boosted regression tree (BRT), and partial least squares-structural equation (PLS-SEM) model. The results showed that:① after the invasion of Spartina alterniflora, soil N:P and total nitrogen (TN) in the wetland increased significantly, and with the increase in invasion time, TN and N:P decreased significantly, whereas soil organic carbon (SOC), C:N, and C:P increased significantly. ② The RDA model revealed that the main factors affecting the stoichiometric characteristics of topsoil C:N:P were SOC>electrical conductivity (EC)>TN in winter and SOC>bulk density (BD)>TN in summer. ③ The BRT model showed that under the invasion of Spartina alterniflora, TN was the key factor affecting soil C:N and N:P, and SOC was the key factor affecting C:P. ④ The PLS-SEM model showed that clay and water content directly affected SOC, thus affecting C:N and C:P; the clay and EC directly affected total phosphorus (TP), thus affecting N:P and C:P; and the EC directly affected TN, thus affecting C:N and N:P. In conclusion, the invasion of Spartina alterniflora had a significant impact on soil C:N:P stoichiometric characteristics in the study area. Soil physical properties and nutrient content directly or indirectly affected soil C:N:P stoichiometric characteristics to varying degrees.

RevDate: 2023-05-14

Zhang S, Liu Y, Wang B, et al (2023)

Unraveling molecular mechanisms underlying low-temperature adaptation in Laguncularia racemosa.

Plant physiology and biochemistry : PPB, 199:107747 pii:S0981-9428(23)00258-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Laguncularia racemosa (L.) C.F. Gaertn is a controversial species in China, in terms of being a pioneer species for mangrove restoration and a putative invasive species occupying natural habitats. The tolerance to chilling stress allows L. racemosa to adapt to extreme climate change. However, little is known about the molecular-level chilling resistance mechanisms in L. racemosa, which restricts our understanding of its biological features and invasion potential. In this study, L. racemosa seedlings were treated with freezing temperature (0 °C) at four durations (0 h, 3 h, 12 h and 24 h of recovery after treatment), and both physiological and transcriptional regulations underlying chilling stress resistance were investigated. Chilling stress caused damage to the cell membrane system and reduced photosynthesis efficiency of L. racemosa seedlings. To combat the adverse impacts, plasma membrane biosynthesis and antioxidant processes were substantially enhanced. After 24 h of recovery, the seedlings nearly recovered to normal growth condition, except for the processes related to photosynthesis, indicating their vigorous adaptation to short-term chilling stress. Importantly, the individuals from higher latitude displayed better adaptation to chilling injury than those from lower latitude, highlighting the role of long-term heredity × environment interactions in promoting the chilling resistance capacity of L. racemosa. These features allow L. racemosa to survive in extremely cold weather, but may also increase its risk of invasion into intertidal ecosystems. Together, our findings present a comprehensive view of the chilling-adaptative mechanisms of L. racemosa, which provide clues for better evaluating the invasive potential of L. racemosa.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Amorim MCP, Wanjala JA, Vieira M, et al (2023)

Detection of invasive fish species with passive acoustics: Discriminating between native and non-indigenous sciaenids.

Marine environmental research, 188:106017 pii:S0141-1136(23)00145-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species have been rising exponentially in the last decades impacting biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. The soniferous weakfish, Cynoscion regalis, is a recent invasive sciaenid species in the Iberian Peninsula and was first reported in the Tagus estuary in 2015. There is concern about its possible impacts on native species, namely the confamiliar meagre, Argyrosomus regius, as there is overlap in their feeding regime, habitat use, and breeding behaviour. Here, we characterised the sciaenid-like sounds recently recorded in the Tagus estuary and showed that they are made by weakfish as they have similar numbers of pulses and pulse periods to the sounds made by captive breeding weakfish. We further demonstrate that breeding grunts from weakfish and the native sciaenid, recorded either in captivity or Tagus estuary, differ markedly in sound duration, number of pulses and pulse period in the two species, but overlap in their spectral features. Importantly, these differences are easily detected through visual and aural inspections of the recordings, making acoustic recognition easy even for the non-trained person. We propose that passive acoustic monitoring can be a cost-effective tool for in situ mapping of weakfish outside its natural distribution and an invaluable tool for early detection and to monitor its expansion.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Lewald KM, Song W, Eweis-LaBolle D, et al (2023)

Probe-based quantitative PCR and RPA-Cas12a molecular diagnostics for detection of the tomato pest Phthorimaea absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).

Journal of economic entomology pii:7161379 [Epub ahead of print].

The tomato pest Phthorimaea absoluta Meyrick is highly invasive but has not yet invaded North America. However, several morphologically similar species are already present, making detection of P. absoluta presence and invasion challenging. We designed a quantitative PCR molecular diagnostic to differentiate P. absoluta, P. operculella (Zeller), or Keiferia lycopersicella (Walsingham) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) DNA. Additionally, we developed an RPA-Cas12a molecular diagnostic that allows for the isothermal detection of P. absoluta DNA, eliminating the need for a thermocycler. The results of the RPA-Cas12a diagnostic can be visualized simply using a UV light source and cell phone camera. We expect these diagnostics to improve quarantine and prevention measures against this serious agricultural threat.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Castillo-Campos G, García-Franco JG, Martínez ML, et al (2023)

Alien and Potentially Invasive Plants in Four Lagoons on the Island of Cozumel, Mexico.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:plants12091918.

The expansion of alien invasive species is a worldwide threat that affects most ecosystems. Islands and freshwater ecosystems are among the most vulnerable to species invasion, resulting in reduced biodiversity. In this study, we aimed to explore the floristic composition of the aquatic vegetation in four lagoons in southeastern Cozumel and assess the occurrence and abundance of alien and potentially invasive plants. We found a total of 43 aquatic or underwater herbaceous species that are subject to periodic flooding. Cluster analyses grouped the lagoons into two groups according to their floristic composition. The results demonstrate that alien and potentially invasive plants were dominant in 3 of the 4 lagoons, representing from 7 to 43% of the species. Six of these species were notably abundant, especially in three lagoons. Further, 2 species are considered among the 100 worst invasive species worldwide, although their abundance in Mexico remains relatively reduced. Five alien and potentially invasive species are terrestrial and grow on the shore of the lagoons, while one is aquatic. Urgent control and management actions are necessary. These should include (a) early detection and surveillance to determine if the alien species found behave as invasives; (b) understanding the relevance of invasive species; (c) preventing and intercepting; and (d) control and management. Habitat restoration, adequate legislation, collaboration between stakeholders, and raising awareness of the dangers of releasing or cultivating invasive species in the wild are also necessary.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Qi S, Wang J, Zhang Y, et al (2023)

Omics Approaches in Invasion Biology: Understanding Mechanisms and Impacts on Ecological Health.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:plants12091860.

Invasive species and rapid climate change are affecting the control of new plant diseases and epidemics. To effectively manage these diseases under changing environmental conditions, a better understanding of pathophysiology with holistic approach is needed. Multiomics approaches can help us to understand the relationship between plants and microbes and construct predictive models for how they respond to environmental stresses. The application of omics methods enables the simultaneous analysis of plant hosts, soil, and microbiota, providing insights into their intricate relationships and the mechanisms underlying plant-microbe interactions. This can help in the development of novel strategies for enhancing plant health and improving soil ecosystem functions. The review proposes the use of omics methods to study the relationship between plant hosts, soil, and microbiota, with the aim of developing a new technique to regulate soil health. This approach can provide a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms underlying plant-microbe interactions and contribute to the development of effective strategies for managing plant diseases and improving soil ecosystem functions. In conclusion, omics technologies offer an innovative and holistic approach to understanding plant-microbe interactions and their response to changing environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Dáttilo W, Luna P, R Villegas-Patraca (2023)

Invasive Plant Species Driving the Biotic Homogenization of Plant-Frugivore Interactions in the Atlantic Forest Biodiversity Hotspot.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:plants12091845.

Although biological invasions are a common and intensively studied phenomenon, most studies often ignore the biotic interactions that invasive species play in the environment. Here, we evaluated how and why invasive plant species are interconnected within the overall frugivory network of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest, an important global biodiversity hotspot. To do this, we used the recently published Atlantic Frugivory Dataset to build a meta-network (i.e., a general network made of several local networks) that included interactions between 703 native and invasive plant species and 331 frugivore species. Using tools derived from complex network theory and a bootstrap simulation approach, we found that the general structure of the Atlantic Forest frugivory network (i.e., nestedness and modularity) is robust against the entry of invasive plant species. However, we observed that invasive plant species are highly integrated within the frugivory networks, since both native and invasive plant species play similar structural roles (i.e., plant status is not strong enough to explain the interactive roles of plant species). Moreover, we found that plants with smaller fruits and with greater lipid content play a greater interactive role, regardless of their native or invasive status. Our findings highlight the biotic homogenization involving plant-frugivore interactions in the Atlantic Forest and that the impacts and consequences of invasive plant species on native fauna can be anticipated based on the characteristics of their fruits.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Cabrera-García P, Marrero MD, Benítez AN, et al (2023)

Valorization of Pennisetum setaceum: From Invasive Plant to Fiber Reinforcement of Injected Composites.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:plants12091777.

During the control campaigns of Pennisetum setaceum (invasive species widespread worldwide), the generated waste has accumulated in landfills. This study investigates its use to obtain P. setaceum fibers for their application as reinforcement of polymeric materials for injection molding, thus facilitating and promoting alternatives for the long-term sustainable management of P. setaceum. The extracted fibers were treated with alkaline, silane, acetic acid, and combined alkaline and silane treatments. Different composites with 20 and 40 wt% of fiber were extruded, and test samples were obtained by injection molding using recycled polyethylene as matrix. The composition of the fibers was determined by gravimetric methods, and contrasted with the analysis of the functional chemical groups using Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy. Increases of up to 47% in the cellulose content of the treated fiber were observed. The thermal degradation was also evaluated using thermogravimetric analysis, which determined an increase in the degradation temperature, from 194 to 230 °C, after the combined alkaline-silane treatment. In order to analyze the differences in the composites, tensile, flexural, and impact properties were evaluated; in addition, differential scanning calorimetry was performed. Regarding the flexural behavior, it was possible to improve the flexural modulus up to 276% compared with that of the unreinforced polymer.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Vergne DC, Rosalem LMP, Wendland EC, et al (2023)

Experimental Study on Potential Influence of the Invasive Hedychium coronarium J. König on the Evapotranspiration of Riparian Plant Community.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:plants12091746.

The balance between precipitation and evapotranspiration (ET) has direct effect on vegetation, and any change in its structure and composition can influence it. The aim of this study is to determine experimentally the daily evapotranspiration (ET) of the invasive species, Hedychium coronarium, and to compare with a group of four native species of the riparian forest. The experiment was carried out in a greenhouse with three different treatments: (1) only the invasive species; (2) only native species; and (3) a mixture of invasive and native species. In each lysimeter, pressure transducers recorded the water level at every 15 min along 14 months. Daily ET was calculated by the method of Gribovszki et al. (2008) and varied according to the treatment, indicating that different species (invasive or native) use the water differently. The maximum accumulated daily ET occurred for mixture treatment (2540.16 mm), while the treatment with the invasive plant presented the lowest value (2172.53 mm). H. coronarium, in monodominant stands, can reduce evapotranspiration on invaded areas and increase it when immersed in the riparian forest.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Cambria S, Azzaro D, Caldarella O, et al (2023)

New Data on Native and Alien Vascular Flora of Sicily (Italy): New Findings and Updates.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(9): pii:plants12091743.

In this paper, based on fieldwork and herbaria surveys, new data concerning the presence of 32 native and alien vascular species for Sicily (Italy) are provided. Among the native species, the occurrence of the following taxa is reported for the first time or confirmed after many decades of non-observation: Aira multiculmis, Arum maculatum, Carex flacca subsp. flacca, Mentha longifolia, Oxybasis chenopodioides, Najas minor and Xiphion junceum. Furthermore, we document the presence of three native species (Cornus mas, Juncus foliosus and Limonium avei) that, despite being repeatedly observed in Sicily and reported in the literature, are inexplicably omitted by the most recent authoritative checklists regarding the flora of Italy. Finally, fifteen alien species new to Sicily (including one new to Europe, i.e., Pyrus betulifolia) are reported and seven poorly documented allochthonous taxa are confirmed for the island, and for two of them, a status change is proposed. These new or confirmed records allow us to better define the European and national distribution of the targeted taxa and offer new insights on the native and alien flora of Sicily.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Sun Z, Chen Y, Chen Y, et al (2023)

Tracking Adaptive Pathways of Invasive Insects: Novel Insight from Genomics.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(9): pii:ijms24098004.

Despite the huge human and economic costs of invasive insects, which are the main group of invasive species, their environmental impacts through various mechanisms remain inadequately explained in databases and much of the invasion biology literature. High-throughput sequencing technology, especially whole-genome sequencing, has been used as a powerful method to study the mechanisms through which insects achieve invasion. In this study, we reviewed whole-genome sequencing-based advances in revealing several important invasion mechanisms of invasive insects, including (1) the rapid genetic variation and evolution of invasive populations, (2) invasion history and dispersal paths, (3) rapid adaptation to different host plant ranges, (4) strong environmental adaptation, (5) the development of insecticide resistance, and (6) the synergistic damage caused by invasive insects and endosymbiotic bacteria. We also discussed prevention and control technologies based on whole-genome sequencing and their prospects.

RevDate: 2023-05-13

Santos PM, Venâncio E, Dionísio MA, et al (2023)

Comparison of the Efficiency of Different Eradication Treatments to Minimize the Impacts Caused by the Invasive Tunicate Styela plicata in Mussel Aquaculture.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(9): pii:ani13091541.

In 2017, aquaculture producers of the Albufeira lagoon, Portugal, reported an invasion of tunicates that was disrupting mussel production, particularly the tunicate Styela plicata (Lesueur, 1823). A totally effective eradication method still does not exist, particularly for S. plicata, and the effects of the eradication treatments on bivalves' performance are also poorly understood. Our study examined the effectiveness of eradication treatments using three laboratory trials and five treatments (air exposure, freshwater immersion, sodium hypochlorite, hypersaline solution and acetic acid) for S. plicata, as well as their effects on survival and growth of blue mussel Mytilus edulis Linnaeus, 1758. While air exposure and freshwater immersion caused a 27% mortality rate in S. plicata, the acetic acid treatment was the most effective in eliminating this species (>90% mortality). However, a 33-40% mortality rate was registered in mussels. Both species were not affected by the hypersaline treatment in the last trial, but the sodium hypochlorite treatment led to a 57% mortality rate in mussels. Differences in mussels' growth rates were not detected. These trials represent a step forward in responding to the needs of aquaculture producers. However, further studies are needed to investigate the susceptibility of tunicates to treatments according to sexual maturation, as well as to ensure minimum mussel mortality in the most effective treatments, and to better understand the effects on mussel physiological performance in the long-term.

RevDate: 2023-05-12

Yoneya K, Ushio M, T Miki (2023)

Non-destructive collection and metabarcoding of arthropod environmental DNA remained on a terrestrial plant.

Scientific reports, 13(1):7125.

Reliable survey of arthropods is a crucial for their conservation, community ecology, and pest control on terrestrial plants. However, efficient and comprehensive surveys are hindered by challenges in collecting arthropods and identifying especially small species. To address this issue, we developed a non-destructive environmental DNA (eDNA) collection method termed "plant flow collection" to apply eDNA metabarcoding to terrestrial arthropods. This involves spraying distilled or tap water, or using rainfall, which eventually flows over the surface of the plant, and is collected in a container that is set at the plant base. DNA is extracted from collected water and a DNA barcode region of cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) gene is amplified and sequenced using a high-throughput Illumina Miseq platform. We identified more than 64 taxonomic groups of arthropods at the family level, of which 7 were visually observed or artificially introduced species, whereas the other 57 groups of arthropods, including 22 species, were not observed in the visual survey. These results show that the developed method is possible to detect the arthropod eDNA remained on plants although our sample size was small and the sequence size was unevenly distributed among the three water types tested.

RevDate: 2023-05-12

Surmacz B (2023)

Spatial patterns of flower color variation in native and introduced ranges of Convolvulus arvensis (Convolvulaceae) revealed by citizen science data and machine learning.

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

Flower color polymorphism refers to the presence of multiple color variants in plant populations. Investigation of this phenomenon led to multiple discoveries, including the principles of heredity and the foundations of population genetics. I examined flower color variation across native and introduced ranges of Convolvulus arvensis, which exhibits flower color polymorphism (individuals have white or pink petals). To study flower color variation of the species throughout large geographic scale, I used observations gathered from the iNaturalist platform. To handle a large amount of data, I trained a neural network to classify the plants' morphs based on photographs. Then, I performed spatial analyses to examine the patterns of the color frequency, also in relation to environmental factors. The results show that flower colors are polymorphic across the whole species range, but the frequency of pink versus white flowers varies. In the Palearctic, I observed geographic clines of the color morph frequencies: a higher frequency of the pink morph in populations from Northwestern Europe, whereas in Southern and Eastern Europe, towards the eastern edge of the range, the white morph was dominant. On the contrary, pattern of color distribution in North America (where the species is invasive) seems random, but the model indicates a link between higher proportion of pink morphs in mild and humid climate. The mechanisms behind the observed patterns remain largely unknown, as changes of the morphs' frequency are not strongly linked to abiotic factors. To understand the spatial pattern, a detailed investigation, accounting for the species' phylogeography is needed. The study is another example of how the general public may collect data relevant to ecological studies, even if the data are not collected for a specific project.

RevDate: 2023-05-12

MacDonald AM, RK Brook (2023)

Unregulated Online Sales are High-risk Sources of Domestic Swine in Canada: Implications for Invasive Wild Pig and African Swine Fever Risk Preparedness.

Journal of wildlife diseases pii:493005 [Epub ahead of print].

Free-ranging wild pig (Sus scrofa) populations may cause widespread environmental damage and transmit diseases at the wildlife-livestock interface. For example, African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious viral disease of pigs capable of causing catastrophic economic losses. Prevention and preparedness for ASF require understanding wild and domestic pig movements and distribution. We characterized a "grey" swine market and described the risks it poses, contributing to the threats associated with wild pig populations. We monitored, a Canadian internet classified advertising service, for sales of domestic wild boar, pot-bellied pigs, other breeds, and their hybrids across Canada from 28 April to 30 June 2021. Data collected included seller-defined breed, age, sex, number for sale, sexual intactness, presence of identifying tags or tattoos, and the date and location of listings. Advertisement locations were mapped and compared with existing wild pig distributions, identifying areas new populations might be established, and existing populations supplemented or genetically diversified. We identified 151 advertisements on Kijiji: 41% (n=52/151) from Ontario, 29% (n=44/151) from Alberta, 41% (n=62/151) from existing wild pig populations, and 59% (n=89/151) from areas where wild pigs have not yet been identified. We propose requiring the use of individual animal identifiers (tags/tattoos), genetic analysis, and mandatory reporting for all pig sales in Canada to aid in ASF preparedness and to increase regulation and enforcement of the online swine market.

RevDate: 2023-05-12
CmpDate: 2023-05-12

Vitule JRS, FM Pelicice (2023)

Care needed when evaluating the contributions of non-native species.

Trends in ecology & evolution, 38(6):499-500.

RevDate: 2023-05-11

Freitas ETF, Moreira AMS, de Paula RS, et al (2022)

Ultrastructure of the gill ciliary epithelium of Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker 1857), the invasive golden mussel.

BMC zoology, 7(1):6.

BACKGROUND: Limnoperna fortunei is a freshwater bivalve mollusc originally from southern Asia that invaded South America in the 1990's. Due to its highly efficient water pumping and filtering, and its capacity to form strong adhesions to a variety of substrates by byssus thread, this invasive species has been able to adapt to several environments across South America, causing significant ecological and economic damages. By gaining a deeper understanding of the biological and ecological aspects of L. fortunei we will be able to establish more effective strategies to manage its invasion. The gills of the mollusc are key structures responsible for several biological functions, including respiration and feeding. In this work, we characterized the ultrastructure of L. fortunei gills and its ciliary epithelium using light microscopy, transmission and scanning electron microscopies. This is the first report of the morphology of the epithelial cells and cilia of the gill of L. fortunei visualized in high resolution.

RESULTS: The analysis showed highly organized and abundant ciliary structures (lateral cilia, laterofrontal cirri and frontal cilia) on the entire length of the branchial epithelium. Mitochondria, smooth endoplasmic reticulum and glycogen granules were abundantly found in the epithelial cells of the gills, demonstrating the energy-demanding function of these structures. Neutral mucopolysaccharides (low viscosity mucus) were observed on the frontal surface of the gill filaments and acid mucopolysaccharides (high viscosity mucus) were observed to be spread out, mainly on the lateral tract. Spherical vesicles, possibly containing mucus, could also be observed in these cells. These findings demonstrate the importance of the mucociliary processes in particle capture and selection.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that the mechanism used by this mollusc for particle capture and selection could contribute to a better understanding of key aspects of invasion and also in the establishment of more efficient and economically viable strategies of population control.

RevDate: 2023-05-11

De la Lama-Calvente D, Fernández-Rodríguez MJ, García-Gómez JC, et al (2023)

Impact of natural degradation of the invasive alga Rugulopteryx okamurae on anaerobic digestion: Heavy metal pollution and kinetic performance.

Marine pollution bulletin, 192:115005 pii:S0025-326X(23)00437-X [Epub ahead of print].

This study shows, for the first time, how the natural biodegradation of the Phaeophyceae Rugulopteryx okamurae (R.o.) affects its methane yield, by biochemical methane potential assays, and the methane production kinetics. Additionally, a mechanical (zeolite-assisted milling) and a thermal (120 °C, 45 min) pretreatments were assessed. The highest methane yield was obtained from the mechanically pretreated fresh ashore biomass (219 (15) NLCH4 kgVS[-1]), which presents the use of zeolite during milling as an economical alternative for heavy metal toxicity reduction. Moreover, no significant differences were observed between the other tests (with the exception of the lowest value obtained for the mechanically pretreated fresh R.o.). Low methane yields were linked to the heavy metal content. However, an increase of 28.5 % and 20.0 % in the k value was found for the untreated fresh R.o. biomass and fresh ashore biomass, respectively, when subjected to thermal pretreatment. Finally, an enhancement of 80.5 % in the maximum methane production rate was obtained for the fresh ashore biomass milled with zeolite compared to the untreated fresh ashore biomass.

RevDate: 2023-05-11

Pittman SE, IA Bartoszek (2021)

Initial dispersal behavior and survival of non-native juvenile Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) in South Florida.

BMC zoology, 6(1):33.

BACKGROUND: Dispersal behavior is a critical component of invasive species dynamics, impacting both spatial spread and population density. In South Florida, Burmese pythons (Python bivittatus) are an invasive species that disrupt ecosystems and have the potential to expand their range northward. Control of python populations is limited by a lack of information on movement behavior and vital rates, especially within the younger age classes. We radio-tracked 28 Burmese pythons from hatching until natural mortality for approximately 3 years. Pythons were chosen from 4 clutches deposited by adult females in 4 different habitats: forested wetland, urban interface, upland pine, and agricultural interface.

RESULTS: Known-fate survival estimate was 35.7% (95% CI = 18% - 53%) in the first 6 months, and only 2 snakes survived 3 years post hatching. Snakes moving through 'natural' habitats had higher survival than snakes dispersing through 'modified' habitats in the first 6- months post-hatching. Predation was the most common source of mortality. Snakes from the agricultural interface utilized canals and displayed the largest net movements.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that pythons may have lower survival if clutches are deposited in or near urbanized areas. Alternatively, juvenile pythons could quickly disperse to new locations by utilizing canals that facilitate linear movement. This study provides critical information about behavioral and life history characteristics of juvenile Burmese pythons that will inform management practices.

RevDate: 2023-05-10

Scaramella N, Burke A, Oddie M, et al (2023)

Host brood traits, independent of adult behaviours, reduce Varroa destructor mite reproduction in resistant honeybee populations.

International journal for parasitology pii:S0020-7519(23)00092-9 [Epub ahead of print].

The ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor is an invasive species of Western honey bees (Apis mellifera) and the largest pathogenic threat to their health world-wide. Its successful invasion and expansion is related to its ability to exploit the worker brood for reproduction, which results in an exponential population growth rate in the new host. With invasion of the mite, wild honeybee populations have been nearly eradicated from Europe and North America, and the survival of managed honeybee populations relies on mite population control treatments. However, there are a few documented honeybee populations surviving extended periods without control treatments due to adapted host traits that directly impact Varroa mite fitness. The aim of this study was to investigate if Varroa mite reproductive success was affected by traits of adult bee behaviours or by traits of the worker brood, in three mite-resistant honey bee populations from Sweden, France and Norway. The mite's reproductive success was measured and compared in broods that were either exposed to, or excluded from, adult bee access. Mite-resistant bee populations were also compared with a local mite-susceptible population, as a control group. Our results show that mite reproductive success rates and mite fecundity in the three mite-resistant populations were significantly different from the control population, with the French and Swedish populations having significantly lower reproductive rates than the Norwegian population. When comparing mite reproduction in exposed or excluded brood treatments, no differences were observed, regardless of population. This result clearly demonstrates that Varroa mite reproductive success can be suppressed by traits of the brood, independent of adult worker bees.

RevDate: 2023-05-10

Kortz AR, Moyes F, Pivello VR, et al (2023)

Elevated compositional change in plant assemblages linked to invasion.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1998):20222450.

Alien species are widely linked to biodiversity change, but the extent to which they are associated with the reshaping of ecological communities is not well understood. One possible mechanism is that assemblages where alien species are found exhibit elevated temporal turnover. To test this, we identified assemblages of vascular plants in the BioTIME database for those assemblages in which alien species are either present or absent and used the Jaccard measure to compute compositional dissimilarity between consecutive censuses. We found that, although alien species are typically rare in invaded assemblages, their presence is associated with an increase in the average rate of compositional change. These differences in compositional change between invaded and uninvaded assemblages are not linked to differences in species richness but rather to species replacement (turnover). Rapid compositional restructuring of assemblages is a major contributor to biodiversity change, and as such, our results suggest a role for alien species in bringing this about.

RevDate: 2023-05-09

Mowery MA, Arabesky V, Rozenberg T, et al (2023)

Invasive brown widow spiders avoid parasitism despite high densities.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species are sometimes less susceptible to natural enemies compared to native species, but the mechanism is often unclear. Here we tested two potential mechanisms for lower parasitism of invasive species: density-dependent parasitism and preference for human-dominated habitats. We investigated how variation in host density and habitat type affect egg sac parasitism in two widow spider species (family Theridiidae). We compared parasitism on the egg sac of the brown widow, Latrodectus geometricus, an urban invasive species, and the white widow, Latrodectus pallidus, a species native to Israel. To investigate variation in host and parasitoid density, we measured nearest-neighbor distance between spider webs and parasitism rates in 16 sites, and in a single site monthly throughout a year. In L. pallidus, denser sites were more heavily parasitized (up to 55%) and parasitism rate increased with population density throughout the season. Extremely dense L. geometricus populations, however, had very low rates of parasitism (0-5%). We then conducted an egg sac transplant experiment in human-dominated and natural habitats. We found no parasitism of either species in the human-dominated habitat, compared to 30% parasitism of both species in the natural habitat. In addition, we found evidence for higher predation of L. pallidus than of L. geometricus egg sacs, particularly in the natural habitat. These combined results suggest that the human-dominated habitats inhabited by L. geometricus have a lower abundance of predators and parasites. We conclude that lower parasitism and predation in human-dominated habitats could contribute to the invasion success of L. geometricus.

RevDate: 2023-05-10
CmpDate: 2023-05-10

Beals C, King H, G Bailey (2023)

The peroxidase response of Alternanthera philoxeroides (Alligator Weed) and Nasturtium officinale (Watercress) to heavy metal exposure.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 30(21):59443-59448.

We examined the effects of copper and lead on the antioxidant enzyme response of Alternanthera philoxeroides and Nasturtium officinale using a benchtop luminometer. Alternanthera philoxeroides is a nonnative invasive plant species that has spread throughout the wetland ecosystem in the southern part of the USA. Its invasion is facilitated by its ability to thrive in a wide range of abiotic conditions. Nasturtium officinale is an aquatic plant that is sensitive to relatively low amounts of pollution and is most commonly found in springs and shallow bodies of water. While A. philoxeroides tolerates organic pollution and heavy metals, N. officinale exhibits stress at low levels of pollution. Alternanthera philoxeroides antioxidant enzyme production was unaffected by increasing concentrations of both copper and lead. The antioxidant enzyme response of N. officinale showed a significant increase when plants were exposed to 10 and 25 ppm lead. Endogenous peroxidase concentrations of the control plants were also compared showing that A. philoxeroides possessed a significantly higher concentration of peroxidases than N. officinale. We hypothesize that a higher endogenous peroxidase concentration may be a mechanism that hyperaccumulator plants use to tolerate inhospitable concentrations of copper and lead.

RevDate: 2023-05-09

Martin N, Robinson TB, S Clusella-Trullas (2023)

Warmer and more acidic conditions enhance performance of an endemic low shore gastropod.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:308997 [Epub ahead of print].

Changing ocean temperatures are predicted to challenge marine organisms, especially when combined with other factors, such as ocean acidification. Acclimation, as a form of phenotypic plasticity, can however, moderate the consequences of changing environments for biota. Our understanding of how altered temperature and acidification together influence species acclimation responses is, however, limited compared to responses to single stressors. This study investigated how temperature and acidification affected the thermal tolerance and righting speed of the Girdled Dogwhelk, Trochia cingulata (Linnaeus, 1771). Whelks were acclimated for two weeks to combinations of three temperatures (11°C: cold, 13°C: moderate and 15°C: warm) and two pH regimes (8.0: moderate and 7.5: acidic). We measured the temperature sensitivity of righting response by generating thermal performance curves from individual data collected at seven test temperatures and determined critical thermal minima (CTmin) and maxima (CTmax). We found that T. cingulata has a broad basal thermal tolerance range (∼38°C) and after acclimation to the warm temperature regime, both the optimal temperature for maximum righting speed and CTmax increased. Contrary to predictions, acidification did not narrow this population's thermal tolerance but increased CTmax. These plastic responses are likely driven by the predictable exposure to temperature extremes measured in the field which originate from the local tidal cycle and the periodic acidification associated with ocean upwelling in the region. This acclimation ability suggests that T. cingulata has at least some capacity to buffer the thermal changes and increased acidification predicted to occur with climate change.

RevDate: 2023-05-08

Carrijo TF, Battilana J, J Morales (2023)

First record of the major termite pest species, Reticulitermes flavipes (Isoptera: Rhinotermitidae), in Argentina.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7157080 [Epub ahead of print].

Reticulitermes flavipes is the most invasive species in its genus and is responsible for causing significant damage to human structures in areas where it has been introduced. Although it has already become established in Chile and Uruguay, it had not previously been reported in Argentina. In this study, we report the first detection of this species in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. The colony was already producing alates, and species identification was confirmed through both morphology and mitochondrial gene 16S rRNA analysis. Our results, while not conclusive, suggest that this introduction was independent from the one that occurred in Chile and Uruguay, and potentially originated from the United States. The detection of R. flavipes in Argentina is significant because it highlights the potential for this species to establish itself in new regions and underscores the need for future research on and control of R. flavipes in this country.

RevDate: 2023-05-08

Yang H, Lu L, Chen Y, et al (2023)

Transcriptomic Analysis Reveals the Response of the Bacterium Priestia Aryabhattai SK1-7 to Interactions and Dissolution with Potassium Feldspar.

Applied and environmental microbiology [Epub ahead of print].

Potassium feldspar (K2O·Al2O3·6SiO2) is considered to be the most important source of potash fertilizer. The use of microorganisms to dissolve potassium feldspar is a low-cost and environmentally friendly method. Priestia aryabhattai SK1-7 is a strain with a strong ability to dissolve potassium feldspar; it showed a faster pH drop and produced more acid in the medium with potassium feldspar as the insoluble potassium source than in the medium with K2HPO4 as the soluble potassium source. We speculated whether the cause of acid production was related to one or more stresses, such as mineral-induced generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), the presence of aluminum in potassium feldspar, and cell membrane damage due to friction between SK1-7 and potassium feldspar, and analyzed it by transcriptome. The results revealed that the expression of the genes related to pyruvate metabolism, the two-component system, DNA repair, and oxidative stress pathways in strain SK1-7 was significantly upregulated in potassium feldspar medium. The subsequent validation experiments revealed that ROS were the stress faced by strain SK1-7 when interacting with potassium feldspar and led to a decrease in the total fatty acid content of SK1-7. In the face of ROS stress, strain SK1-7 upregulated the expression of the maeA-1 gene, allowing malic enzyme (ME2) to produce more pyruvate to be secreted outside the cell using malate as a substrate. Pyruvate is both a scavenger of external ROS and a gas pedal of dissolved potassium feldspar. IMPORTANCE Mineral-microbe interactions play important roles in the biogeochemical cycling of elements. Manipulating mineral-microbe interactions and optimizing the consequences of such interactions can be used to benefit society. It is necessary to explore the black hole of the mechanism of interaction between the two. In this study, it is revealed that P. aryabhattai SK1-7 faces mineral-induced ROS stress by upregulating a series of antioxidant genes as a passive defense, while overexpression of malic enzyme (ME2) secretes pyruvate to scavenge ROS as well as to increase feldspar dissolution, releasing K, Al, and Si into the medium. Our research provides a theoretical basis for improving the ability of microorganisms to weather minerals through genetic manipulation in the future.

RevDate: 2023-05-08

England JC, Wyrosdick HM, Baker EL, et al (2023)

Parasite Prevalence in Feral Swine (Sus scofa) from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, USA.

Journal of wildlife diseases pii:492945 [Epub ahead of print].

Feral swine (Sus scrofa) are an introduced species to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GSMNP), US, and serve as carriers of several diseases that are considered a threat to other wildlife, domestic animals, and humans. During 2013 and 2015, fecal samples from 67 feral swine from the GSMNP within both Tennessee and North Carolina, US, were opportunistically collected as part of a feral swine removal program and submitted to the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine, Knoxville, Tennessee, for parasite screening by centrifugal sugar flotation. Ten taxa from the phyla Acanthocephala, Apicomplexa, and Nematoda were identified: Ascaris spp., Strongylid-type spp., Capillaria spp., Trichuris suis, Metastrongylus spp., Macracanthorhynchus spp., Coccidia, Sarcocystis spp., and Cryptosporidium spp. In 98.5% of samples, at least one parasite was found. No differences in parasite prevalence or species diversity were noted based on state of collection (Tennessee or North Carolina), sex, or age. The high prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in these feral swine, some of which are zoonotic, represents a potential public health risk as well as a concern for free-range swine farmers.

RevDate: 2023-05-07

Jose MS, Doorenweerd C, D Rubinoff (2023)

Genomics reveals widespread hybridization across insects with ramifications for species boundaries and invasive species.

Current opinion in insect science pii:S2214-5745(23)00049-4 [Epub ahead of print].

As the amount of genomic data for non-model taxa grows, it is increasingly clear that gene flow across species barriers in insects is much more common than previously thought. In recent years, the decreased cost and increased accuracy of long-read sequencing has enabled the assembly of high-quality, reference genomes and chromosome maps for non-model insects. With this long-read data we can now not only compare variation across the genome among homologous genes between species, which has been the basis of phylogenetics for more than thirty years, but also tease apart evidence of ancient and recent hybridization and gene flow. The implications of hybridization for species adaptation may be more positive than previously considered, explaining its prevalence across many groups of insects. Unfortunately, due to anthropogenic actions, some pest species appear to be benefitting from hybridization and gene flow, facilitating future invasions.

RevDate: 2023-05-08
CmpDate: 2023-05-08

Garamszegi LZ, Soltész Z, Kurucz K, et al (2023)

Using community science data to assess the association between urbanization and the presence of invasive Aedes species in Hungary.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):158.

BACKGROUND: Urbanization can be a significant contributor to the spread of invasive mosquito vector species, and the diseases they carry, as urbanized habitats provide access to a great density of food resources (humans and domestic animals) and offer abundant breeding sites for these vectors. Although anthropogenic landscapes are often associated with the presence of invasive mosquito species, we still have little understanding about the relationships between some of these and the built environment.

METHODS: This study explores the association between urbanization level and the occurrence of invasive Aedes species, specifically Aedes albopictus, Aedes japonicus, and Aedes koreicus, in Hungary, using data from a community (or citizen) science program undertaken between 2019 and 2022.

RESULTS: The association between each of these species and urbanized landscapes within an extensive geographic area was found to differ. Using the same standardized approach, Ae. albopictus showed a statistically significant and positive relationship with urbanization, whereas Ae. japonicus and Ae. koreicus did not.

CONCLUSIONS: The findings highlight the importance of community science to mosquito research, as the data gathered using this approach can be used to make qualitative comparisons between species to explore their ecological requirements.

RevDate: 2023-05-08
CmpDate: 2023-05-08

Clubley CH, Firth LB, Wood LE, et al (2023)

Science paper or big data? Assessing invasion dynamics using observational data.

The Science of the total environment, 877:162754.

Non-native species are spreading at an unprecedented rate over large spatial scales, with global environmental change and growth in commerce providing novel opportunities for range expansion. Assessing the pattern and rate of spread is key to the development of strategies for safeguarding against future invasions and efficiently managing existing ones. Such assessments often depend on spatial distribution data from online repositories, which can be spatially biased, imprecise, and lacking in quantity. Here, the influence of disparities between occurrence records from online data repositories and what is known of the invasion history from peer-reviewed published literature on non-native species range expansion was evaluated using 6693 records of the Pacific oyster, Magallana gigas (Thunberg, 1793), spanning 56 years of its invasion in Europe. Two measures of spread were calculated: maximum rate of spread (distance from introduction site over time) and accumulated area (spatial expansion). Results suggest that despite discrepancies between online and peer-reviewed data sources, including a paucity of records from the early invasion history in online repositories, the use of either source does not result in significantly different estimates of spread. Our study significantly improves our understanding of the European distribution of M. gigas and suggests that a combination of short- and long-range dispersal drives range expansions. More widely, our approach provides a framework for comparison of online occurrence records and invasion histories as documented in the peer-reviewed literature, allowing critical evaluation of both data sources and improving our understanding of invasion dynamics significantly.

RevDate: 2023-05-08
CmpDate: 2023-05-08

Pang B, Xie T, Ning Z, et al (2023)

Invasion patterns of Spartina alterniflora: Response of clones and seedlings to flooding and salinity-A case study in the Yellow River Delta, China.

The Science of the total environment, 877:162803.

The invasion of Spartina alterniflora has caused severe damage to the coastal wetland ecosystem of the Yellow River Delta, China. Flooding and salinity are key factors influencing the growth and reproduction of S. alterniflora. However, the differences in response of S. alterniflora seedlings and clonal ramets to these factors remain unclear, and it is not known how these differences affect invasion patterns. In this paper, clonal ramets and seedlings were studied separately. Through literature data integration analysis, field investigation, greenhouse experiments, and situational simulation, we demonstrated significant differences in the responses of clonal ramets and seedlings to flooding and salinity changes. Clonal ramets have no theoretical inundation duration threshold with a salinity threshold of 57 ppt (part per thousand); Seedlings have an inundation duration threshold of about 11 h/day and a salinity threshold of 43 ppt. The sensitivity of belowground indicators of two propagules-types to flooding and salinity changes was stronger than that of aboveground indicators, and it is significant for clones (P < 0.05). Clonal ramets have a larger potentially invadable area than seedlings in the Yellow River Delta. However, the actual invasion area of S. alterniflora is often limited by the responses of seedlings to flooding and salinity. In a future sea-level rise scenario, the difference in responses to flooding and salinity will cause S. alterniflora to further compress native species habitats. Our research findings can improve the efficiency and accuracy of S. alterniflora control. Management of hydrological connectivity and strict restrictions on nitrogen input to wetlands, for example, are potential new initiatives to control S. alterniflora invasion.

RevDate: 2023-05-07

Oluoch WA, Whitney C, Termote C, et al (2023)

Indigenous communities' perceptions reveal threats and management options of wild edible plants in semiarid lands of northwestern Kenya.

Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 19(1):13.

BACKGROUND: Understanding how local communities perceive threats and management options of wild edible plants (WEPs) is essential in developing their conservation strategies and action plans. Due to their multiple use values, including nutrition, medicinal, construction, and cultural as well as biotic and abiotic pressures, WEPs are exposed to overexploitation, especially within arid and semiarid lands, and hence the need to manage and conserve them. We demonstrate how an understanding of indigenous communities' perceptions could be achieved through an integrated participatory approach involving focus group discussions (FGDs) and field plot surveys.

METHODS: We conducted three FGDs between October 2020 and April 2021 within three community units in northwestern Kenya with different socioeconomic and environmental characteristics. We subsequently surveyed 240 field plots of size 1 ha each to assess threats facing WEPs within a 5 km buffer radius in every study community. We compared ranks of threats and management options across community units.

RESULTS: Rankings of threats and management options differed across the three study communities. We obtained strong positive linear relationships between field and FGD rankings of threats facing WEPs. Climate change, overstocking, overharvesting, and invasive species were the highest-ranked threats. Mitigation of climate change, local knowledge preservation, selection, propagation, processing, and marketing of WEPs ranked high among possible management options irrespective of the socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the community unit.

CONCLUSIONS: Our approach emphasizes the relevance of leveraging indigenous communities' perceptions and conducting field plot surveys to assess threats and management options for WEPs. Evaluating the effectiveness and cost-benefit implications of implementing the highly ranked management options could help determine potentially suitable habitats of the WEPs for conservation and management purposes, especially for priority WEPs.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Mohit S, Johnson TB, SE Arnott (2023)

Watercraft decontamination practices to reduce the viability of aquatic invasive species implicated in overland transport.

Scientific reports, 13(1):7238.

Recreational boating activities enable aquatic invasive species (AIS) dispersal among disconnected lakes, as invertebrates and plants caught on or contained within watercraft and equipment used in invaded waterbodies can survive overland transport. Besides simple preventive measures such as "clean, drain, dry", resource management agencies recommend decontaminating watercraft and equipment using high water pressure, rinsing with hot water, or air-drying to inhibit this mode of secondary spread. There is a lack of studies assessing the efficacy of these methods under realistic conditions and their feasibility for recreational boaters. Hence, we addressed this knowledge gap via experiments on six invertebrate and plant AIS present in Ontario. Washing at high pressures of 900-1200 psi removed the most biological material (90%) from surfaces. Brief (< 10 s) exposure to water at ≥ 60 °C caused nearly 100% mortality among all species tested, except banded mystery snails. Acclimation to temperatures from 15 to 30 °C before hot water exposure had little effect on the minimum temperature required for no survival. Air-drying durations producing complete mortality were ≥ 60 h for zebra mussels and spiny waterfleas, and ≥ 6 days among plants, whereas survival remained high among snails after a week of air-drying. Hot water exposure followed by air-drying was more effective than either method separately against all species tested.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Wani SA, Ahmad R, Gulzar R, et al (2023)

Alien flora causes biotic homogenization in the biodiversity hotspot regions of India.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)02477-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Biotic homogenization by invasive alien species is one of dominant drivers of global environmental change. However, little is known about the patterns of biotic homogenization in global biodiversity hotspots. Here we fill this knowledge gap by studying the patterns of biotic homogenization and associated geographic and climatic correlates in Indian Himalayan Region (IHR). For this, we use a novel biodiversity database comprising 10,685 native and 771 alien plant species across 12 provinces of the IHR. The database was assembled by screening 295 and 141 studies published from 1934 to 2022 for natives and aliens, respectively. Our results revealed that each native species on average was distributed among 2.8 provinces, whereas the alien species in 3.6 provinces, thereby indicating wider distribution range of alien species in the IHR. The Jaccard's similarity index between the provinces was higher for alien species (mean = 0.29) as compared to natives (mean = 0.16). Addition of alien species pool has homogenized most of the provincial pairwise floras (89.4 %) across the IHR, with greater dissimilarity in their native floras. Our results suggest that the alien species have strong homogenization effect on the provincial floras, regardless of their differences in geographic and climatic distances. The biogeographic patterns of alien and native species richness in the IHR were better explained by a different set of climatic variables, with former by precipitation of driest month and the latter by annual mean temperature. Our study contributes to better understanding of the patterns of biotic homogenization and its impacts on native biodiversity in the IHR. Looking ahead, in an era of Anthropocene, we discuss the wide implications of our findings in guiding biodiversity conservation and ecosystem restoration in global hotspot regions.

RevDate: 2023-05-04

Golo R, Vergés A, Díaz-Tapia P, et al (2023)

Implications of taxonomic misidentification for future invasion predictions: Evidence from one of the most harmful invasive marine algae.

Marine pollution bulletin, 191:114970 pii:S0025-326X(23)00402-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species have been a focus of concern in recent decades, becoming more problematic due to the cumulative impacts of climate change. Understanding the interactions among stress factors is essential to anticipate ecosystems' responses. Hereby, robust modeling frameworks must be able to identify the environmental drivers of invasion and forecast the current and future of their potential distribution. These studies are essential for the management of invasions and to be prepared for the future we are facing. Here we demonstrate that taxonomic misidentifications may lead to absolutely erroneous predictions, by using as an example one of the worst invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea (Lophocladia lallemandii), which has been misidentified for three decades and now is correctly identified. Consequently, and bearing in mind overall trends in species misidentification due to the loss of taxonomic expertise and the presence of cryptic species, among others, attempts to understand and predict species involved in invasion processes must always first consider taxonomic studies.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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


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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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