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26 May 2019 at 01:33
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 26 May 2019 at 01:33 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-05-23

Maceda-Veiga A, Nally RM, Green AJ, et al (2019)

Major determinants of the occurrence of a globally invasive parasite in riverine fish over large-scale environmental gradients.

International journal for parasitology pii:S0020-7519(19)30128-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The increased rate of outbreaks of infectious diseases in ecosystems is a dramatic consequence of global change, particularly when outbreaks affect important resources such as freshwater fish. However, the links between disease-inducing epizootics and widespread human impacts, including nutrient pollution and high water conductivity, in freshwater organisms are largely unexplored. We used data from extensive surveys in northeastern Spain (99,700 km2, 15 river catchments, n = 530 sites) to explore the environmental factors that singly, or in combination, are likely to influence the occurrence of the invasive parasite, Lernaea cyprinacea, after accounting for host fish characteristics. Smaller fish, lower altitudes, higher water conductivity and nutrient pollution were associated with higher probabilities of infection in 19 endemic and widely distributed fish species. We found no evidence that interactive effects among riverine stressors related to water and physical habitat quality better explained the probability of occurrence of L. cyprinacea in fish than did additive-stressor combinations. Nutrient pollution and high water conductivity were two of the major factors contributing to the increased occurrence of L. cyprinacea. Therefore, the improvement of wastewater treatment processes and agricultural practices probably would help to reduce the occurrence of this parasite among native fish.

RevDate: 2019-05-23

Dissanayake AA, Wagner CM, MG Nair (2019)

Nitrogenous compounds characterized in the deterrent skin extract of migratory adult sea lamprey from the Great Lakes region.

PloS one, 14(5):e0217417 pii:PONE-D-18-35747.

The sea lamprey (Petromzons marinus) is a devastating invasive species that represents a significant impediment to restoration of the Laurentian Great Lakes. There is substantial interest in developing environmentally benign control strategies for sea lamprey, and many other aquatic invasive species, that employ the manipulation of semiochemical information (pheromones and chemical cues) to guide the movements of invaders into control opportunities (e.g. traps, locations for safe pesticide application, etc.). A necessary precursor to the use of semiochemicals in conservation activities is the identification of the chemical constituents that compose the odors. Here, we characterize the major nitrogenous substances from the water-soluble fraction of a skin extract that contains the sea lamprey alarm cue, a powerful repellent that has proven effective in guiding the movements of migrating sea lamprey in rivers. Nitrogenous compounds are suspected components of fish alarm cues as the olfactory sensory neurons that mediate alarm responses transduce amino acids and related compounds. A laboratory assay confirmed the behavioral activity contained in the alarm cue resides in the water-soluble fraction of the skin extract. This water-soluble fraction consisted primarily of creatine (70%), heterocyclic nitrogenous compounds (4.3%) and free amino acids (18.4%), respectively. Among the free amino acids characterized in our study, essential amino acids constituted 13% of the water-soluble fraction. Free amino acids isolated from the water-soluble fraction composed of arginine, phenylalanine, threonine, and asparagine 3.9, 2.7, 2.6 and 2.4% of the water-soluble fraction, respectively. We discuss the implications of these findings for understanding the nature and use of the sea lamprey alarm cue in conservation activities.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Burns JH, Bennett JM, Li J, et al (2019)

Plant traits moderate pollen limitation of introduced and native plants: a phylogenetic meta-analysis of global scale.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

•The role of pollination in the success of invasive plants needs to be understood because invasives have substantial effects on species interactions and ecosystem functions. Previous research has shown both that reproduction of invasive plants is often pollen limited and that invasive plants can have high seed production motivating the questions: how do invasive populations maintain reproductive success in spite of pollen limitation? What species traits moderate pollen limitation for invaders? •We conducted a phylogenetic meta-analysis with 68 invasive, 50 introduced non-invasive, and 1931 native plant populations, across a total of 1249 species. •We found that invasive populations with generalist pollination or pollinator dependence were less pollen limited than natives, but invasives and introduced non-invasives did not differ. Invasive species produced 3× fewer ovules/flower and >250× more flowers/plant, compared with their native relatives. While these traits were negatively correlated, consistent with a tradeoff, this did not differ with invasion status. •Invasive plants that produce many flowers and have floral generalization are able to compensate for or avoid pollen limitation, potentially helping explain invaders' reproductive success. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Lyttek E, Lal P, Nieddu G, et al (2019)

Modeling Agrilus planipennis F. (Coleoptera: Buprestidae) Spread in New Jersey.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5496795 [Epub ahead of print].

Pests and disease have become an increasingly common issue as globalized trade brings non-native species into unfamiliar systems. Emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), is an Asiatic species of boring beetle currently devastating the native population of ash (Fraxinus) trees in the northern forests of the United States, with 85 million trees having already succumbed across much of the Midwest. We have developed a reaction-diffusion partial differential equation model to predict the spread of emerald ash borer over a heterogeneous 2-D landscape, with the initial ash tree distribution given by data from the Forest Inventory and Analysis. As expected, the model predictions show that emerald ash borer consumes ash which causes the local ash population to decline, while emerald ash borer spreads outward to other areas. Once the local ash population begins to decline emerald ash borer also declines due to the loss of available habitat. Our model's strength lies with its focus on the county scale and its linkage between emerald ash borer population growth and ash density. This enables one to make accurate predictions regarding emerald ash borer spread which allows one to consider various methods of control as well as to accurately study the economic effects of emerald ash borer spread.

RevDate: 2019-05-22

Boutier M, Donohoe O, Kopf RK, et al (2019)

Biocontrol of Carp: The Australian Plan Does Not Stand Up to a Rational Analysis of Safety and Efficacy.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:882.

RevDate: 2019-05-22
CmpDate: 2019-05-22

Rodriguez-Saona C, Cloonan KR, Sanchez-Pedraza F, et al (2019)

Differential Susceptibility of Wild and Cultivated Blueberries to an Invasive Frugivorous Pest.

Journal of chemical ecology, 45(3):286-297.

Highbush blueberry is a crop native to the northeast USA that has been domesticated for about 100 years. This study compared the susceptibility of wild and domesticated/cultivated highbush blueberries to an invasive frugivorous pest, the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii). We hypothesized that: 1) cultivated fruits are preferred by D. suzukii for oviposition and better hosts for its offspring than wild fruits; and, 2) wild and cultivated fruits differ in physico-chemical traits. Fruits from wild and cultivated blueberries were collected from June through August of 2015 and 2016 from 10 to 12 sites in New Jersey (USA); with each site having wild and cultivated blueberries growing in close proximity. The preference and performance of D. suzukii on wild and cultivated blueberries were studied in choice and no-choice bioassays. In addition, we compared size, firmness, acidity (pH), total soluble solids (°Brix), and nutrient, phenolic, and anthocyanin content between wild and cultivated berries. In choice and no-choice bioassays, more eggs were oviposited in, and more flies emerged from, cultivated than wild blueberries. Cultivated fruits were 2x bigger, 47% firmer, 14% less acidic, and had lower °Brix, phenolic, and anthocyanin amounts per mass than wild fruits. Levels of potassium and boron were higher in cultivated fruits, while calcium, magnesium, and copper were higher in wild fruits. These results show that domestication and/or agronomic practices have made blueberries more susceptible to D. suzukii, which was associated with several physico-chemical changes in fruits. Our study documents the positive effects of crop domestication/cultivation on an invasive insect pest.

RevDate: 2019-05-22
CmpDate: 2019-05-22

Schlaepfer MA (2018)

On the importance of monitoring and valuing all forms of biodiversity.

PLoS biology, 16(11):e3000039.

Pauchard et al claim that non-native species should not be granted conservation value, as this could hinder effort to curtail novel introductions. In this response, Schlaepfer counters that the positive contributions of non-native species to biodiversity and conservation must be included to provide a complete and objective snapshot to policy makers.

RevDate: 2019-05-22
CmpDate: 2019-05-22

Bock DG, Kantar MB, Caseys C, et al (2018)

Evolution of invasiveness by genetic accommodation.

Nature ecology & evolution, 2(6):991-999.

Invasion success of species introduced to novel environments may be facilitated by adaptive evolution and by phenotypic plasticity. Here we investigate the independent and joint contribution of both mechanisms as drivers of invasiveness in the perennial sunflower Helianthus tuberosus. We show that invasive genotypes have multiple origins, and that invasive spread was facilitated by the repeated evolution of extreme values in a single trait, clonality. In line with genetic accommodation theory, we establish that this evolutionary transition occurred by refining a preexisting plastic response of clonality to water availability. Further, we demonstrate that under the non-drought conditions typically experienced by this plant in its introduced range, invasive spread is mediated by hybrid vigour and/or two major additive-effect loci, and that these mechanisms are complementary. Thus, in H. tuberosus, evolution of invasiveness was facilitated by phenotypic plasticity, and involved the use of multiple genetic solutions to achieve the same invasiveness trait.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Pearse IS, Sofaer HR, Zaya DN, et al (2019)

Non-native plants have greater impacts because of differing per-capita effects and nonlinear abundance-impact curves.

Invasive, non-native species can have tremendous impacts on biotic communities, where they reduce the abundance and diversity of local species. However, it remains unclear whether impacts of non-native species arise from their high abundance or whether each non-native individual has a disproportionate impact - that is, a higher per-capita effect - on co-occurring species compared to impacts by native species. Using a long-term study of wetlands, we asked how temporal variation in dominant native and non-native plants impacted the abundance and richness of other plants in the recipient community. Non-native plants reached higher abundances than natives and had greater per-capita effects. The abundance-impact relationship between plant abundance and richness was nonlinear. Compared with increasing native abundance, increasing non-native abundance was associated with steeper declines in richness because of greater per-capita effects and nonlinearities in the abundance-impact relationship. Our study supports eco-evolutionary novelty of non-natives as a driver of their outsized impacts on communities.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Azzurro E, Sbragaglia V, Cerri J, et al (2019)

Climate change, biological invasions, and the shifting distribution of Mediterranean fishes: A large-scale survey based on local ecological knowledge.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change and biological invasions are rapidly reshuffling species distribution, restructuring the biological communities of many ecosystems worldwide. Tracking these transformations in the marine environment is crucial, but our understanding of climate change effects and invasive species dynamics is often hampered by the practical challenge of surveying large geographical areas. Here, we focus on the Mediterranean Sea, a hot spot for climate change and biological invasions to investigate recent spatiotemporal changes in fish abundances and distribution. To this end, we accessed the local ecological knowledge (LEK) of small-scale and recreational fishers, reconstructing the dynamics of fish perceived as "new" or increasing in different fishing areas. Over 500 fishers across 95 locations and nine different countries were interviewed, and semiquantitative information on yearly changes in species abundance was collected. Overall, 75 species were mentioned by the respondents, mostly warm-adapted species of both native and exotic origin. Respondents belonging to the same biogeographic sectors described coherent spatial and temporal patterns, and gradients along latitudinal and longitudinal axes were revealed. This information provides a more complete understanding of the shifting distribution of Mediterranean fishes and it also demonstrates that adequately structured LEK methodology might be applied successfully beyond the local scale, across national borders and jurisdictions. Acknowledging this potential through macroregional coordination could pave the way for future large-scale aggregations of individual observations, increasing our potential for integrated monitoring and conservation planning at the regional or even global level. This might help local communities to better understand, manage, and adapt to the ongoing biotic transformations driven by climate change and biological invaders.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Egeter B, Roe C, Peixoto S, et al (2019)

Using molecular diet analysis to inform invasive species management: A case study of introduced rats consuming endemic New Zealand frogs.

Ecology and evolution, 9(9):5032-5048 pii:ECE34903.

The decline of amphibians has been of international concern for more than two decades, and the global spread of introduced fauna is a major factor in this decline. Conservation management decisions to implement control of introduced fauna are often based on diet studies. One of the most common metrics to report in diet studies is Frequency of Occurrence (FO), but this can be difficult to interpret, as it does not include a temporal perspective. Here, we examine the potential for FO data derived from molecular diet analysis to inform invasive species management, using invasive ship rats (Rattus rattus) and endemic frogs (Leiopelma spp.) in New Zealand as a case study. Only two endemic frog species persist on the mainland. One of these, Leiopelma archeyi, is Critically Endangered (IUCN 2017) and ranked as the world's most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian (EDGE, 2018). Ship rat stomach contents were collected by kill-trapping and subjected to three methods of diet analysis (one morphological and two DNA-based). A new primer pair was developed targeting all anuran species that exhibits good coverage, high taxonomic resolution, and reasonable specificity. Incorporating a temporal parameter allowed us to calculate the minimum number of ingestion events per rat per night, providing a more intuitive metric than the more commonly reported FO. We are not aware of other DNA-based diet studies that have incorporated a temporal parameter into FO data. The usefulness of such a metric will depend on the study system, in particular the feeding ecology of the predator. Ship rats are consuming both species of native frogs present on mainland New Zealand, and this study provides the first detections of remains of these species in mammalian stomach contents.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Rohal CB, Cranney C, KM Kettenring (2019)

Abiotic and Landscape Factors Constrain Restoration Outcomes Across Spatial Scales of a Widespread Invasive Plant.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:481.

The natural recolonization of native plant communities following invasive species management is notoriously challenging to predict, since outcomes can be contingent on a variety of factors including management decisions, abiotic factors, and landscape setting. The spatial scale at which the treatment is applied can also impact management outcomes, potentially influencing plant assembly processes and treatment success. Understanding the relative importance of each of these factors for plant community assembly can help managers prioritize patches where specific treatments are likely to be most successful. Here, using effects size analyses, we evaluate plant community responses following four invasive Phragmites australis management treatments (1: fall glyphosate herbicide spray, 2: summer glyphosate herbicide spray, 3: summer imazapyr herbicide spray, 4: untreated control) applied at two patch scales (12,000 m2 and 1,000 m2) and monitored for 5 years. Using variation partitioning, we then evaluated the independent and shared influence of patch scale, treatment type, abiotic factors, and landscape factors on plant community outcomes following herbicide treatments. We found that Phragmites reinvaded more quickly in large patches, particularly following summer herbicide treatments, while native plant cover and richness increased at a greater magnitude in small patches than large. Patch scale, in combination with abiotic and landscape factors, was the most important driver for most plant responses. Compared with the small plots, large patches commonly had deeper and more prolonged flooding, and were in areas with greater hydrologic disturbance in the landscape, factors associated with reduced native plant recruitment and greater Phragmites cover. Small patches were associated with less flooding and landscape disturbance, and more native plants in the surrounding landscape than large patches, factors which promoted higher native plant conservation values and greater native plant cover and richness. Herbicide type and timing accounted for very little of the variation in native plant recovery, emphasizing the greater importance of patch selection for better management outcomes. To maximize the success of treatment programs, practitioners should first manage Phragmites patches adjacent to native plant species and in areas with minimal hydrologic disturbance.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Kesäniemi J, Koskimäki JJ, J Jurvansuu (2019)

Corpse management of the invasive Argentine ant inhibits growth of pathogenic fungi.

Scientific reports, 9(1):7593 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-44144-z.

A dead conspecific poses a potential pathogen risk for social animals. We have discovered that Argentine ants (Linepithema humile) prevent spread of pathogenic fungi from corpses by depositing the dead to combined toilet and refuse areas and applying pygidial gland secretion on them. The presence of a corpse in a nest increases this secretion behaviour. We identified three fungi growing on Argentine ant corpses. Growth of the Argentine ant pathogen Aspergillus nomius and the plant pathogen Fusarium solani on corpses was inhibited as long as the ants were constantly attending them as the ant anal secretion only delayed germination of their spores. In contrast, the effect of the ant anal secretion on the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus was much stronger: it prevented spore germination and, accordingly, the fungus no longer grew on the treated corpses. The Argentine ants are one of the world's worst invasive alien species as they cause ecological and economical damage in their new habitats. Our discovery points at a novel method to limit Argentine ant colonies through their natural fungal pathogens.

RevDate: 2019-05-21

Mao D, Liu M, Wang Z, et al (2019)

Rapid Invasion of Spartina Alterniflora in the Coastal Zone of Mainland China: Spatiotemporal Patterns and Human Prevention.

Sensors (Basel, Switzerland), 19(10): pii:s19102308.

Given the extensive spread and ecological consequences of exotic Spartina alterniflora (S. alterniflora) over the coast of mainland China, monitoring its spatiotemporal invasion patterns is important for the sake of coastal ecosystem management and ecological security. In this study, Landsat series images from 1990 to 2015 were used to establish multi-temporal datasets for documenting the temporal dynamics of S. alterniflora invasion. Our observations revealed that S. alterniflora had a continuous expansion with the area increasing by 50,204 ha during the considered 25 years. The largest expansion was identified in Jiangsu Province during the period of 1990-2000, and in Zhejiang Province during the periods 2000-2010 and 2010-2015. Three noticeable hotspots for S. alterniflora invasion were Yancheng of Jiangsu, Chongming of Shanghai, and Ningbo of Zhejiang, and each had a net area increase larger than 5000 ha. Moreover, an obvious shrinkage of S. alterniflora was identified in three coastal cities including the city of Cangzhou of Hebei, Dongguan, and Jiangmen of Guangdong. S. alterniflora invaded mostly into mudflats (>93%) and shrank primarily due to aquaculture (55.5%). This study sheds light on the historical spatial patterns in S. alterniflora distribution and thus is helpful for understanding its invasion mechanism and invasive species management.

RevDate: 2019-05-21
CmpDate: 2019-05-21

Shiganova TA, Mikaelyan AS, Moncheva S, et al (2019)

Effect of invasive ctenophores Mnemiopsis leidyi and Beroe ovata on low trophic webs of the Black Sea ecosystem.

Marine pollution bulletin, 141:434-447.

The study focuses on the impact of life excretion and mucus released by the "biological pollutants" invasive ctenophore Mnemiopsis leidyi and its predator Beroe ovata on the marine environment and lower trophic levels of the Black Sea ecosystem (bacteria, pico-phytoplankton, nano-autotrophic/heterotrophic flagellates, micro-phytoplankton, chlorophyll a, primary production (PP), micro-zooplankton). The chemical and biological variables were analysed in two sets of lab experiments with natural communities from mesotrophic (Gelendzhik) and eutrophic (Varna) coastal waters. While both species altered the chemical properties of experimental media, exerting structural and functional changes in the low food-web biological compartments, the results showed a stronger effect of B. ovata, most likely related to the measured higher rate of excretion and amount of released mucus. In addition the alterations in the Gelendzhik experiment were more pronounced, indicating that environmental implications on lower food-web are more conspicuous in mesotrophic than in eutrophic coastal waters.

RevDate: 2019-05-21
CmpDate: 2019-05-21

Ramalhosa P, Gestoso I, Duarte B, et al (2019)

Metal pollution affects both native and non-indigenous biofouling recruitment in a subtropical island system.

Marine pollution bulletin, 141:373-386.

Hull fouling has been a driving force behind the development of most modern marine antifouling coatings that mainly contain copper based biocides to inhibit growth of fouling organisms. Despite these efforts, several non-indigenous species continue to be transferred via hull-fouling worldwide. In this study we designed a disturbance gradient with three commercial antifouling paints applied to PVC settling plates with different concentrations of copper oxide and allowed colonization of fouling communities in four marinas located at the Madeira Archipelago (NE Atlantic). Overall, the antifouling treatments were effective in decreasing the diversity of fouling communities and spatial variability across marinas was observed. Increasing exposure to metal pollutants decreases both species cover and total diversity, independently of their native or NIS condition. However, evidences found suggest that long-term effects of copper based antifouling coatings can be modulated by metal-resistant species allowing a secondary substrate for the epibiosis of other species to establish.

RevDate: 2019-05-21
CmpDate: 2019-05-21

Outinen O, Forsström T, Yli-Rosti J, et al (2019)

Monitoring of sessile and mobile epifauna - Considerations for non-indigenous species.

Marine pollution bulletin, 141:332-342.

The present study aimed to develop monitoring methods for shallow water sessile and mobile epifauna with the main focus on enhancing the chance of early detection for new non-indigenous species (NIS) invasions. The field sampling was conducted between June and September in 2012, in the Archipelago Sea (Finland). The tested monitoring methods included baited traps that capture organisms and habitat collectors that provide habitat and refuges for organisms, as well as fouling plates. Catch efficiency of a trap/collector was defined as the number of NIS and all species caught, including their abundances. The American collector with oyster shells (habitat collector) caught the highest number of NIS, and their use is recommended in all places, where oyster shells are easily accessible. Sampling of all habitats of interest between 1 and 2 m depth is recommended with at least three habitat collectors per site.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Strydom M, Veldtman R, Ngwenya MZ, et al (2019)

Seed survival of Australian Acacia in the Western Cape of South Africa in the presence of biological control agents and given environmental variation.

PeerJ, 7:e6816 pii:6816.

Studies of invasive Australian Acacia have shown that many seeds are still produced and accumulate in soil stored seed banks regardless of the presence of seed-targeting biological control agents. This is despite claims of biological control success, although there is generally a lack of data on the seed production of invasive Australian Acacia before and after the release of the respective agents. We aimed to quantify seed production and seed survival of invasive Australian Acacia currently under biological control. The seed production and survival (proportion of aborted, predated and surviving seeds) of A. longifolia, A. pycnantha and A. saligna were each studied at four to five sites in the Western Cape of South Africa. The relationships between seed production and stand characteristics were determined and the relative effects of seed predation and abortion on seed survival were established. The investigated invasive Australian Acacia produced many seeds that survived the pre-dispersal stage despite long-term presence of released biological control agents. It was shown that seed crop size is the only significant factor influencing seed survival of the studied Australian Acacia species. Furthermore, the seeds surviving per tree and per square meter were related to tree size. No quantitative evidence was found to suggest that seed-reducing biological control agents are having an impact on the population dynamics of their Australian Acacia hosts. This study illustrates the importance of studying the seed ecology of invasive plants before biological control agents are selected and released.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Gudžinskas Z, Petrulaitis L, E Žalneravičius (2019)

Asclepiasspeciosa (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae): a rare or unrecognized alien species in Europe?.

PhytoKeys, 121:29-41 pii:33573.

Studies on populations of Asclepiassyriaca L. in Lithuania revealed the occurrence of a new alien plant species, the North American native Asclepiasspeciosa Torr. (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae), in southern parts of Lithuania - the first report of the latter species in Europe. Interestingly, a thorough analysis of herbarium specimens revealed that A.speciosa had first been collected in Lithuania in 1962, but the specimen was misidentified at the time as A.syriaca. The newly discovered population of A.speciosa occupies mesic grasslands, tall-herb fringe communities and arable field habitats. Sexual reproduction of this species was not recorded; it spreads locally by means of vegetative reproduction. We present here an exhaustive analysis of morphological characteristics and differences between A.speciosa and A.syriaca and other species of the genus, as well as a key for identification of alien Asclepias species in Europe. We predict that the effect of A.speciosa on native habitats and communities, and its economic impact, are comparable to those of the highly invasive A.syriaca. Although A.speciosa currently occurs very rarely as an alien species in Europe, its existence in other regions of Europe is highly probable.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

McRoberts N, Figuera SG, Olkowski S, et al (2019)

Using models to provide rapid programme support for California's efforts to suppress Huanglongbing disease of citrus.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1776):20180281.

We describe a series of operational questions posed during the state-wide response in California to the arrival of the invasive citrus disease Huanglongbing. The response is coordinated by an elected committee from the citrus industry and operates in collaboration with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which gives it regulatory authority to enforce the removal of infected trees. The paper reviews how surveillance for disease and resource allocation between detection and delimitation have been addressed, based on epidemiological principles. In addition, we describe how epidemiological analyses have been used to support rule-making to enact costly but beneficial regulations and we highlight two recurring themes in the programme support work: (i) data are often insufficient for quantitative analyses of questions and (ii) modellers and decision-makers alike may be forced to accept the need to make decisions on the basis of simple or incomplete analyses that are subject to considerable uncertainty. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling infectious disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants: epidemic forecasting and control'. This theme issue is linked with the earlier issue 'Modelling infectious disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants: approaches and important themes'.

RevDate: 2019-05-20

Mastin AJ, van den Bosch F, van den Berg F, et al (2019)

Quantifying the hidden costs of imperfect detection for early detection surveillance.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1776):20180261.

The global spread of pathogens poses an increasing threat to health, ecosystems and agriculture worldwide. As early detection of new incursions is key to effective control, new diagnostic tests that can detect pathogen presence shortly after initial infection hold great potential for detection of infection in individual hosts. However, these tests may be too expensive to be implemented at the sampling intensities required for early detection of a new epidemic at the population level. To evaluate the trade-off between earlier and/or more reliable detection and higher deployment costs, we need to consider the impacts of test performance, test cost and pathogen epidemiology. Regarding test performance, the period before new infections can be first detected and the probability of detecting them are of particular importance. We propose a generic framework that can be easily used to evaluate a variety of different detection methods and identify important characteristics of the pathogen and the detection method to consider when planning early detection surveillance. We demonstrate the application of our method using the plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum in the UK, and find that visual inspec-tion for this pathogen is a more cost-effective strategy for early detection surveillance than an early detection diagnostic test. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling infectious disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants: epidemic forecasting and control'. This theme issue is linked with the earlier issue 'Modelling infectious disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants: approaches and important themes'.

RevDate: 2019-05-20
CmpDate: 2019-05-20

Vega Fernández T, Badalamenti F, Bonaviri C, et al (2019)

Synergistic reduction of a native key herbivore performance by two non-indigenous invasive algae.

Marine pollution bulletin, 141:649-654.

Native generalist grazers can control the populations of non-indigenous invasive algae (NIIA). Here, it was found that the simultaneous consumption of two co-occurring NIIA, Caulerpa cylindracea and C. taxifolia var. distichophylla, hinders the grazing ability of the main Mediterranean herbivorous, the native sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus. The ingestion of any of the two NIIA alone did not produce any difference in sea urchin righting time with respect to usual algal diet. In contrast, the simultaneous consumption of both NIIA, which grow intermingled in nature and are consumed by P. lividus, retarded its righting behavior. Such result reveals substantial physiological stress in the sea urchin, which resulted in reduced motility and coordination. The reported findings reveal the potential of NIIA co-occurrence to escape the supposed control exerted by the main native generalist grazer in Mediterranean sublittoral communities, which in turn can be locked in an "invaded" state.

RevDate: 2019-05-17

Červená B, Modrý D, Fecková B, et al (2019)

Low diversity of Angiostrongylus cantonensis complete mitochondrial DNA sequences from Australia, Hawaii, French Polynesia and the Canary Islands revealed using whole genome next-generation sequencing.

Parasites & vectors, 12(1):241 pii:10.1186/s13071-019-3491-y.

BACKGROUND: Rats (Rattus spp.) invaded most of the world as stowaways including some that carried the rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis, the cause of eosinophilic meningoencephalitis in humans and other warm-blooded animals. A high genetic diversity of A. cantonensis based on short mitochondrial DNA regions is reported from Southeast Asia. However, the identity of invasive A. cantonensis is known for only a minority of countries. The affordability of next-generation sequencing for characterisation of A. cantonensis genomes should enable new insights into rat lung worm invasion and parasite identification in experimental studies.

METHODS: Genomic DNA from morphologically verified A. cantonensis (two laboratory-maintained strains and two field isolates) was sequenced using low coverage whole genome sequencing. The complete mitochondrial genome was assembled and compared to published A. cantonensis and Angiostrongylus malaysiensis sequences. To determine if the commonly sequenced partial cox1 can unequivocally identify A. cantonensis genetic lineages, the diversity of cox1 was re-evaluated in the context of the publicly available cox1 sequences and the entire mitochondrial genomes. Published experimental studies available in Web of Science were systematically reviewed to reveal published identities of A. cantonensis used in experimental studies.

RESULTS: New A. cantonensis mitochondrial genomes from Sydney (Australia), Hawaii (USA), Canary Islands (Spain) and Fatu Hiva (French Polynesia), were assembled from next-generation sequencing data. Comparison of A. cantonensis mitochondrial genomes from outside of Southeast Asia showed low genetic diversity (0.02-1.03%) within a single lineage of A. cantonensis. Both cox1 and cox2 were considered the preferred markers for A. cantonensis haplotype identification. Systematic review revealed that unequivocal A. cantonensis identification of strains used in experimental studies is hindered by absence of their genetic and geographical identity.

CONCLUSIONS: Low coverage whole genome sequencing provides data enabling standardised identification of A. cantonensis laboratory strains and field isolates. The phenotype of invasive A. cantonensis, such as the capacity to establish in new territories, has a strong genetic component, as the A. cantonensis found outside of the original endemic area are genetically uniform. It is imperative that the genotype of A. cantonensis strains maintained in laboratories and used in experimental studies is unequivocally characterised.

RevDate: 2019-05-17

Koutsikos N, Zogaris S, Vardakas L, et al (2019)

Tracking non-indigenous fishes in lotic ecosystems: Invasive patterns at different spatial scales in Greece.

The Science of the total environment, 659:384-400.

Mediterranean lotic waters such as rivers, streams and springs are poorly monitored for non-indigenous fish species (NIFS). Since these systems are stressed by multiple anthropogenic pressures, it is important to build robust procedures to track NIFS distribution and spread. This study applies a multi-faceted assessment of NIFS in the lotic ecosystems of Greece at different spatial scales by providing: a) a historical review of temporal patterns and arrival pathways of fish introductions in river basins of Greece (140 basins) across 100years; b) an analysis of occurrence and abundance data of NIFS assemblages at the lotic site scale (644 electrofished sites); c) the mapping of NIFS distributional patterns at river basin (75 basins) and regional scales (7 freshwater ecoregions); and, d) a vector analysis of fish translocations using an ecoregional framework. In total, 55 NIFS were recorded (25 alien and 30 translocated); however, there is a low incidence of NIFS in lotic waters at the site scale (30 NIFS recorded in the field samples; 10 alien and 20 translocated). NIFS introductions in Greece appear to be influenced by specific socio-historical periods, indicating a gradual increase since late 1970s. Despite this increase, our study provides evidence that only four alien species are currently widespread and common in the rivers and streams of Greece: Gambusia holbrooki, Carassius gibelio, Pseudorasbora parva, and Lepomis gibbosus (in order of recorded abundance). NIFS tend to be absent or distributed in very low numbers in upland streams and in smaller river basins. However, the issue of translocated fish species is shown to be a sorely neglected problem that is difficult to track. This review tests a readily transferable screening procedure, contributes to the application of the European Union Regulation on Invasive Alien Species; it suggests gaps and uncertainties, and proposes conservation and management actions.

RevDate: 2019-05-17

Chen W, He B, Nover D, et al (2019)

Farm ponds in southern China: Challenges and solutions for conserving a neglected wetland ecosystem.

The Science of the total environment, 659:1322-1334.

Farm ponds, which are sometimes numerous and widely distributed in agricultural regions, have faced widespread degradation in recent decades. Although conservation strategies for these biodiversity hotspots have gradually increased, appropriate approaches for developing country contexts are lacking. Farm ponds provided hydrologic, biogeochemical, and socioeconomic benefits to southern China for thousands of years, but they are facing contemporary threats and management challenges, including (1) inadequate planning in terms of construction and conservation regulations; (2) rural nonpoint source and mini-point source pollution; (3) climate change induced abnormalities in the hydroperiod and disturbance to wildlife; (4) invasive species; and (5) inadequate social and political capacity to consider ecological conservation. Because farm ponds function as wetland complexes that are embedded within or integral to larger ecosystems, their conservation requires collaborative efforts over scales ranging from within-pond to regional. We highlight approaches that build public awareness and involve inventory maps as a basis. Policies that integrate top-down regulation and bottom-up engagement and emphasize sustainable management and utilization are recommended to ensure the effectiveness and continuous improvement of conservation programs. Techniques that involve interconnected smart sensors, volunteering and citizen science, and integrated process-based modeling are preferred when conducting comprehensive descriptions of the pond landscape, numerical assessments on their ecosystem services, and associated conservation cost analyses. Nature-based solutions are increasingly recognized as an important opportunity for coping with water-related crises. This paper presents the first synthetic perspective on the ecological roles of farm ponds in agriculturally dominated developing countries. The analytical framework and conservation suggestions are referential to sustainable rural development and the management of other small, scattered wetlands.

RevDate: 2019-05-16

Rodríguez M, Álvarez B, I Loy (2019)

Effect of the motivational state on location of novel and familiar food in an invasive land snail species (Theba pisana).

Behavioural processes pii:S0376-6357(19)30028-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The foraging behaviour of gastropod molluscs usually involves complex decisions that provide a model for the study of high-order cognitive processes. Land snails tested for food-finding in the laboratory, however, have shown an invariable feeding pattern: novel foods are mostly missed (i.e. just found by chance) whilst familiar foods, due to a type of conditioned attraction, are always located and ingested. This effect, known as Food-attraction conditioning, has led to the conclusion that, regardless of their hunger level, land snails are both willing to eat anything at any moment and also blind to the odours of novel foods. An alternative account of these findings emerges from the fact that the snails are usually tested whilst in a moderate state of hunger, so that they benefit from feeding on known foods but not from taking the risk of feeding on those that are unknown. The present experiments suggest that it is the case. Snails of the invasive species Theba pisana were tested for food-finding according to their seasonal cycle in a laboratory located in their native Mediterranean region. Subjects collected at the beginning of their aestivation period succeed in locating novel food items after being deprived for a long period (45 days), but ignored a conditioned food when they were sated with this food at the end of their lethargy. The results allow us to conclude that the feeding behaviour of snails is the product of a complex cost-benefit analysis in which their motivational state and the stimuli they perceive (and the memory of such stimuli), are evaluated. Finally, we anticipate that these results will be of use in increasing the efficiency of current baits employed for the protection of crops.

RevDate: 2019-05-16

Gleason JM, Roy PR, Everman ER, et al (2019)

Phenology of Drosophila species across a temperate growing season and implications for behavior.

PloS one, 14(5):e0216601 pii:PONE-D-18-32332.

Drosophila community composition is complex in temperate regions with different abundance of flies and species across the growing season. Monitoring Drosophila populations provides insights into the phenology of both native and invasive species. Over a single growing season, we collected Drosophila at regular intervals and determined the number of individuals of the nine species we found in Kansas, USA. Species varied in their presence and abundance through the growing season with peak diversity occurring after the highest seasonal temperatures. We developed models for the abundance of the most common species, Drosophila melanogaster, D. simulans, D. algonquin, and the recent invasive species, D. suzukii. These models revealed that temperature played the largest role in abundance of each species across the season. For the two most commonly studied species, D. melanogaster and D. simulans, the best models indicate shifted thermal optima compared to laboratory studies, implying that fluctuating temperature may play a greater role in the physiology and ecology of these insects than indicated by laboratory studies, and should be considered in global climate change studies.

RevDate: 2019-05-16

Willi Y, J Van Buskirk (2019)

A Practical Guide to the Study of Distribution Limits.

The American naturalist, 193(6):773-785.

Factors that limit the geographic distribution of species are broadly important in ecology and evolutionary biology, and understanding distribution limits is imperative for predicting how species will respond to environmental change. Good data indicate that factors such as dispersal limitation, small effective population size, and isolation are sometimes important. But empirical research highlights no single factor that explains the ubiquity of distribution limits. In this article, we outline a guide to tackling distribution limits that integrates established causes, such as dispersal limitation and spatial environmental heterogeneity, with understudied causes, such as mutational load and genetic or developmental integration of traits limiting niche expansion. We highlight how modeling and quantitative genetic and genomic analyses can provide insight into sources of distribution limits. Our practical guide provides a framework for considering the many factors likely to determine species distributions and how the different approaches can be integrated to predict distribution limits using eco-evolutionary modeling. The framework should also help predict distribution limits of invasive species and of species under climate change.

RevDate: 2019-05-16

Jin PY, Tian L, Chen L, et al (2019)

High genetic diversity in a 'recent outbreak' spider mite, Tetranychus pueraricola, in mainland China.

Experimental & applied acarology pii:10.1007/s10493-019-00377-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Tetranychus pueraricola is a newly reported spider mite that occurs frequently in mainland China. It is possible that this species was introduced from elsewhere and became a serious pest recently. However, the correct identification of red-pigmented spider mites has repeatedly proven problematic. There is also the possibility that T. pueraricola in China was long misidentified as its sibling species, Tetranychus urticae (red form). To test which of these two scenarios is the more likely, individuals from 14 populations of T. pueraricola and five populations of T. urticae (red form) in China were sampled and genotyped using mitochondrial COI and microsatellite loci. Unlike a recent invasive species, the genetic diversity of T. pueraricola was very high with high mitochondrial genetic diversity (16 haplotypes), high effective alleles (Ne = 2.038 ± 0.081) and expected heterozygosity (He = 0.395 ± 0.016). Surprisingly, we found that all T. urticae (red form) populations shared only one mitochondrial haplotype and showed quite low genetic diversity (Ne = 1.443 ± 0.055; He = 0.234 ± 0.025) which was even lower than that of the green form of T. urticae in mainland China from a previous study. We did not detect significant signals of recent bottlenecks for most populations from both species. These results suggest T. pueraricola is unlikely to be a recent invasive pest but a species that has existed in China for a long time. It is probable that T. pueraricola in China has long been misidentified as T. urticae (red form).

RevDate: 2019-05-15

Kortz AR, AE Magurran (2019)

Increases in local richness (α-diversity) following invasion are offset by biotic homogenization in a biodiversity hotspot.

Biology letters, 15(5):20190133.

The world's ecosystems are experiencing unparalleled rates of biodiversity change, with invasive species implicated as one of the drivers that restructure local assemblages. Here we focus on the processes leading to biodiversity change in a biodiversity hotspot, the Brazilian Cerrado. The null expectation that invasion leads to increase in local species richness is supported by our investigation of the grass layer in two key habitats (campo sujo and campo úmido). Our analysis uncovered a linear relationship between total richness and invasive richness at the plot level. However, because the invasive species-even though few in number-are widespread, their contribution to local richness (α-diversity) is offset by their homogenizing influence on composition (β-diversity). We thus identify a mechanism that can help explain the paradox that species richness is not declining in many local assemblages, yet compositional change is exceeding the predictions of ecological theory. As such, our results emphasize the importance of quantifying both α-diversity and β-diversity in assessments of biodiversity change in the contemporary world.

RevDate: 2019-05-15

Agamuthu P, Mehran SB, Norkhairah A, et al (2019)

Marine debris: A review of impacts and global initiatives.

Waste management & research : the journal of the International Solid Wastes and Public Cleansing Association, ISWA [Epub ahead of print].

Marine debris, defined as any persistent manufactured or processed solid material discarded, disposed of or abandoned in the marine and coastal environment, has been highlighted as a contaminant of global environmental and economic concern. The five main categories of marine debris comprise of plastic, paper, metal, textile, glass and rubber. Plastics is recognised as the major constituent of marine debris, representing between 50% and 90% of the total marine debris found globally. Between 4.8 and 12.7 million metric tonnes of consumer plastics end up in the world oceans annually, resulting in the presence of more than 100 million particles of macroplastics in only 12 regional seas worldwide, and with 51 trillion particles of microplastic floating on the ocean surface globally. The impacts of marine debris can be branched out into three categories; injury to or death of marine organisms, harm to marine environment and effects on human health and economy. Marine mammals often accidentally ingest marine debris because of its appearance that can easily be mistaken as food. Moreover, floating plastics may act as vehicles for chemicals and/or environmental contaminants, which may be absorbed on to their surface during their use and permanence into the environment. Additionally, floating plastics is a potential vector for the introduction of invasive species that get attached to it, into the marine environment. In addition, human beings are not excluded from the impact of marine debris as they become exposed to microplastics through seafood consumption. Moreover, landscape degradation owing to debris accumulation is an eyesore and aesthetically unpleasant, thus resulting in decreased tourism and subsequent income loss. There are a wide range of initiatives that have been taken to tackle the issue of marine debris. They may involve manual removal of marine debris from coastal and aquatic environment in form of programmes and projects organised, such as beach clean-ups by scientific communities, non-governmental organizations and the removal of marine litter from Europe's four regional seas, respectively. Other initiatives focus on assessment, reduction, prevention and management of marine debris under the umbrella of international (the United Nations Environment Programme/Mediterranean Action Plan, the Oslo/Paris Convention) and regional organisations - that is, the Helsinki Commission. There are also a number of international conventions and national regulations that encourage mitigation and management of marine debris. However, it is argued that these initiatives are short-term unsustainable solutions and the long-term sustainable solution would be adoption of circular economy. Similarly, four of the sustainable developmental goals have targets that promote mitigation of marine debris by efficient waste management and practice of 3R. As evident by the Ad Hoc Expert Group on Marine Litter and Microplastics meeting, tackling the marine debris crisis is not a straightforward, one-size-fits-all solution, but rather an integrated and continuous effort required at local, regional and global level.

RevDate: 2019-05-14

Ehlers J, Poppert S, Ratovonamana RY, et al (2019)

Ectoparasites of endemic and domestic animals in southwest Madagascar.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(19)30173-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Human encroachment of natural habitats bears the threat of disease transmission between native and introduced species that had not come into contact before, thus promoting the spread of new diseases in both directions. This is a matter of concern especially in areas where human-wildlife contact has not been intense in the recent past. In southwest Madagascar, we collected ectoparasites from various mammalian hosts and chicken, and examined their host preferences and their prevalence in relation to season and habitat degradation. Field-work took place in the northern portion of Tsimanampetsotsa National Park and the adjacent coastal strip (littoral) in the dry and in the rainy season of 2016/2017. Endemic mammals were trapped with live traps placed in habitats of different degrees of degradation: 1) relatively pristine forest, 2) degraded forest, 3) cultivated and shrub land. Rats and mice were also trapped in 4) villages. We identified 17 species of ectoparasites (296 individuals of ticks [5 species], 535 lice [7 spp.], 389 fleas [4 spp.] and 13 mites [1 sp.]) collected from 15 host species. There was no indication for seasonal or habitat effects on parasite infection. A large portion of the parasites was host-specific. Some ectoparasite species were shared either by several endemic or by several introduced species, but apart from the introduced flea species Echidnophaga gallinacea (collected from six different hosts including the endemic carnivore Galidictis grandidieri) no other ectoparasite species was shared between endemic and introduced host species.

RevDate: 2019-05-14
CmpDate: 2019-05-14

Ranjan R (2018)

Protecting endemic species from African Catfish invasion when community behavioral responses get in the way.

PloS one, 13(12):e0209009 pii:PONE-D-18-16262.

Exotic invasive fish species, when introduced into pristine natural environments, threaten the survival of many endemic species. Management challenges associated with controlling their further spread and protecting endemic species can be exacerbated when the same exotic fish species also provide gastronomical benefits to humans. Local human populations can switch their consumption preferences toward the exotic fish species, leading to an increase in their spread rate and control costs. Using the example of the African Catfish invasion in a freshwater lake, we develop a bioeconomic model of its optimal control, which also incorporates the behavioral challenges arising from a gastronomical preference for the exotic fish species. In particular, the cost of catfish control increases with its consumption demand, which, through altering the inter-species dynamics, threatens the survival of endemic fish species. The manager has at his disposal the market and non-market values of the endemic fish species to invest toward their preservation efforts. The non-market value of the endemic species is further modeled as endogenous to the community's preference switching. Results suggest that a late detection of the exotic fish species in freshwater bodies can increase their control costs enough to make their eradication challenging, especially when the manager faces financial resource constraints. The presence of behavioral effects adds to this challenge - directly, through increasing the control costs, and indirectly, through lowering the non-market value of the endemic fish species.

RevDate: 2019-05-13

Conzemius SR, Hesler LS, Varenhorst AJ, et al (2019)

Resistance of Soybean Plant Introductions to Three Colonies of Soybean Aphid (Hemiptera: Aphididae) Biotype 4.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5488711 [Epub ahead of print].

Soybean aphid, Aphis glycines Matsumura (Hemiptera: Aphididae), infestations of soybean, Glycine max (L.) Merr. (Fabales: Fabaceae), and the associated yield loss have led to a large dependence on insecticidal management in soybean throughout the Midwestern United States. However, several populations of pyrethroid-resistant soybean aphids have recently been found in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota, which highlights the importance of alternative management approaches. One such alternative method is host-plant resistance, which uses naturally occurring plant defenses in crop cultivars to reduce the potential for yield loss from a pest population. Current soybean aphid-resistant cultivars do not protect against all soybean aphids due to the presence of virulent biotypes. In particular, soybean aphid biotype 4 is virulent to Rag1 and Rag2 resistance genes both individually and in combination. However, we hypothesized that resistance to biotype 4 may exist in previously identified, but uncharacterized resistant soybean plant introductions (PIs). To test this, we evaluated 51 previously identified but uncharacterized soybean aphid-resistant PIs for their resistance to colonies of soybean aphid biotype 4 collected in separate site-years (Lomira, WI 2013; Volga, SD 2015, 2016). Free-choice tests identified 14 PIs with putative resistance to 'Lomira13', two to 'Volga15', and eight to 'Volga16' soybean aphid colonies. Follow-up, no-choice tests corroborated two to three resistant PIs per colony, and PI 437696, which was resistant to each of the three colonies and could aid in breeding efforts and an integrated approach to soybean aphid management.

RevDate: 2019-05-13

Sard N, Robinson J, Kanefsky J, et al (2019)

Coalescent models characterize sources and demographic history of recent round goby colonization of Great Lakes and inland waters.

Evolutionary applications, 12(5):1034-1049 pii:EVA12779.

The establishment and spread of aquatic invasive species are ecologically and economically harmful and a source of conservation concern internationally. Processes of species invasion have traditionally been inferred from observational data of species presence/absence and relative abundance. However, genetic-based approaches can provide valuable sources of inference. Restriction site-associated DNA sequencing was used to identify and genotype single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) loci for Round Gobies (Neogobius melanostomus) (N = 440) from 18 sampling locations in the Great Lakes and in three Michigan, USA, drainages (Flint, Au Sable, and Cheboygan River basins). Sampled rivers differed in size, accessibility, and physical characteristics including man-made dispersal barriers. Population levels of genetic diversity and interpopulation variance in SNP allele frequency were used in coalescence-based approximate Bayesian computation (ABC) to statistically compare models representing competing hypotheses regarding source population, postcolonization dispersal, and demographic history in the Great Lakes and inland waters. Results indicate different patterns of colonization across the three drainages. In the Flint River, models indicate a strong population bottleneck (<3% of contemporary effective population size) and a single founding event from Saginaw Bay led to the colonization of inland river segments. In the Au Sable River, analyses could not distinguish potential source populations, but supported models indicated multiple introductions from one source population. In the Cheboygan River, supported models indicated that colonization likely proceeded from east (Lake Huron source) to west among inland locales sampled in the system. Despite the recent occupancy of Great Lakes and inland habitats, large numbers of loci analyzed in an ABC framework enable statistically supported identification of source populations and reconstruction of the direction of inland spread and demographic history following establishment. Information from analyses can direct management actions to limit the spread of invasive species from identified sources and most probable vectors into additional inland aquatic habitats.

RevDate: 2019-05-13
CmpDate: 2019-05-13

Kocak F, Kucuksezgin F, I Bakal (2019)

Impact of environmental variables on fouling bryozoan species in the Eastern Aegean Sea.

Marine pollution bulletin, 141:46-51.

Bryozoans are the major component of marine macro-fouling communities. In the study, the relations between bryozoan species and environmental variables were investigated at seven stations along the Aegean coast in August and December 2015. Constant bryozoan species in both sampling periods were Bugula neritina, Amathia verticillata, Shizoporella errata, Cryptosula pallasiana and Celleporaria brunnea. Their relationship with physico-chemical variables (Temperature, salinity, pH, dissolved oxygen, ammonium, nitrite and nitrate nitrogen, orthophosphate phosphorous, total phosphate, chlorophyll-a) were analysed by means of logistic regression analysis. The result showed that temperature with B. neritina; NH4-N, oPO4-P and TPO4-P with A verticillata; dissolved oxygen concentrations with S. errata and C. brunnea were positively related (p < 0.05).

RevDate: 2019-05-13
CmpDate: 2019-05-13

Pereda-Briones L, Terrados J, F Tomas (2019)

Negative effects of warming on seagrass seedlings are not exacerbated by invasive algae.

Marine pollution bulletin, 141:36-45.

The observed and projected rise in sea surface temperature challenges marine biodiversity worldwide, and particularly in temperate ecosystems dealing with the arrival of novel species of tropical provenance. When the impacted biota are early life stages of ecosystem engineers, the effects of those impacts are of major concern for ecologists and coastal managers. We experimentally examined the individual and potential additive effects of seawater warming and the presence of the invasive algae on the development of seedlings of the seagrass Posidonia oceanica in a three-month mesocosm experiment. Whereas the presence of the invasive algae (Caulerpa cylindracea and Lophocladia lallemandii) did not result in detrimental effects on seedlings, warming negatively affected seedling development. Interestingly, the presence of both invasive algae may ameliorate the negative effects of warming.

RevDate: 2019-05-13
CmpDate: 2019-05-13

Stymne S, J Ohlrogge (2018)

Tweaking enzymes for exotic plant oils.

Nature plants, 4(9):633-634.

RevDate: 2019-05-13
CmpDate: 2019-05-13

Landaeta-Aqueveque C, Robles MDR, Henríquez A, et al (2018)

Phylogenetic and ecological factors affecting the sharing of helminths between native and introduced rodents in Central Chile.

Parasitology, 145(12):1570-1576.

In order to analyse the effect of hosts' relationships and the helminthic load on the switching of parasites between native and introduced hosts, we sampled rodents belonging to two suborders from Central Chile. We compared the number of helminthic species shared between murids (introduced) and cricetid (native, same suborder) rodents to those shared between murids and hystricomorphs (native, different suborder), and we assessed the association between parasitic presence, abundance and geographical dispersion in source hosts to the presence and abundance in recipient hosts. Introduced rodent species shared more helminth species with cricetid rodents than with non-cricetids. Presence and abundance in recipient hosts was not associated with the prevalence and mean abundance in source hosts' population. The mean abundance of parasites in source hosts throughout the territory and wider dispersion was positively associated with the likelihood of being shared with a recipient host. Closer relationships between native and introduced hosts and high parasitic abundance and dispersion could facilitate host switching of helminths between native and introduced rodents. This work provides the first documentation of the importance of parasitic abundance and dispersion on the switching of parasites between native and introduced hosts.

RevDate: 2019-05-11

Goedknegt MA, Nauta R, Markovic M, et al (2019)

How invasive oysters can affect parasite infection patterns in native mussels on a large spatial scale.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-019-04408-x [Epub ahead of print].

There are surprisingly few field studies on the role of invasive species on parasite infection patterns in native hosts. We investigated the role of invasive Pacific oysters (Magallana gigas) in determining parasite infection levels in native blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) in relation to other environmental and biotic factors. Using hierarchical field sampling covering three spatial scales along a large intertidal ecosystem (European Wadden Sea), we found strong spatial differences in infection levels of five parasite species associated with mussels and oysters. We applied mixed models to analyse the associations between parasite prevalence and abundance in mussels and oysters, and 12 biological and environmental factors. For each parasite-host relationship, an optimal model (either a null, one-factor or two-factor model) was selected based on AIC scores. We found that the density of invasive oysters contributed to three of the 12 models. Other biological factors such as host size (six models), and the density of target or alternative host species (five models) contributed more frequently to the best models. Furthermore, for parasite species infecting both mussels and oysters, parasite population densities were higher in native mussels, attributed to the higher densities of mussels. Our results indicate that invasive species can affect parasite infection patterns in native species in the field, but that their relative contribution may be further mediated by other biological and environmental parameters. These results stress the usefulness of large-scale field studies for detailed assessments of the mechanisms underlying the impacts of invasive species on native host communities.

RevDate: 2019-05-11

Aschim RA, RK Brook (2019)

Evaluating Cost-Effective Methods for Rapid and Repeatable National Scale Detection and Mapping of Invasive Species Spread.

Scientific reports, 9(1):7254 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-43729-y.

Invasive species can spread rapidly at local and national scales, creating significant environmental and economic impacts. A central problem in mitigation efforts is identifying methods that can rapidly detect invasive species in a cost-effective and repeatable manner. This challenge is particularly acute for species that can spread over large areas (>1 million km2). Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are one of the most prolific invasive mammals on Earth and cause extensive damage to agricultural crops, native ecosystems, and livestock, and are reservoirs of disease. They have spread from their native range in Eurasia and North Africa into large areas of Australia, Africa, South America, and North America. We show that the range of invasive wild pigs has increased exponentially in Canada over the last 27 years following initial and ongoing releases and escapes from domestic wild boar farms. The cumulative range of wild pigs across Canada is 777,783 km2, with the majority of wild pig distribution occurring in the Prairie Provinces. We evaluate eight different data collection and evaluation/validation methods for mapping invasive species over large areas, and assess their benefits and limitations. Our findings effectively map the spread of a highly invasive large mammal and demonstrate that management efforts should ideally rely on a set of complementary independent monitoring methods. Mapping and evaluating resulting species occurrences provide baseline maps against which future changes can be rapidly evaluated.

RevDate: 2019-05-11

Robinson CV, de Leaniz CG, S Consuegra (2019)

Effect of artificial barriers on the distribution of the invasive signal crayfish and Chinese mitten crab.

Scientific reports, 9(1):7230 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-43570-3.

The role of river obstacles in preventing or facilitating the dispersal and establishment of aquatic invasive species is controversial. Novel detection tools like environmental DNA (eDNA) can be used for monitoring aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as the American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) and the Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), providing information on the effect of barriers on their distribution. We analysed eDNA from both water and surface sediment in three river catchments (Medway, Dee and Stour; Great Britain), with differing levels of connectivity, to determine spatial distribution of the two species, and assessed the effect of barriers on their eDNA detection. Positive eDNA detections were obtained within confirmed sites for both species in all catchments, with evidence of species overlap in the River Medway. Upstream barriers in the Medway positively influenced detection success of mitten crab lower in the catchment while detection success of signal crayfish was higher in the highly fragmented catchment (River Medway). This information on the role of river barriers on AIS distribution and eDNA detection is important for management strategies and for predicting both future dispersal and likelihood of new colonisations in previously uninvaded fragmented catchments.

RevDate: 2019-05-10

Requier F, Garnery L, Kohl PL, et al (2019)

The Conservation of Native Honey Bees Is Crucial.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(19)30117-X [Epub ahead of print].

Recent studies have emphasized the role of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera, as a managed agricultural species worldwide, but also as a potential threat to endangered wild pollinators. This has resulted in the suggestion that honey bees should be regulated in natural areas to conserve wild pollinators. We argue that this perspective fails to appreciate the multifaceted nature of honey bees as native or introduced species with either managed or wild colonies. Wild populations of A. mellifera are currently imperiled, and natural areas are critical for the conservation of local subspecies and genotypes. We propose that a differentiation between managed and wild populations is required and encourage integrated conservation planning for all endangered wild bees, including A. mellifera.

RevDate: 2019-05-10
CmpDate: 2019-05-10

Boegehold AG, Alame K, Johnson NS, et al (2019)

Cyanobacteria reduce motility of quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) sperm.

Environmental toxicology and chemistry, 38(2):368-374.

The temporal expansion of harmful algal blooms, primarily associated with cyanobacteria, may impact aquatic organisms at vulnerable life-history stages. Broadcast spawning species release gametes into the water column for external fertilization, directly exposing sperm to potential aquatic stressors. To determine if cyanobacteria can disrupt reproduction in freshwater broadcast spawners, we evaluated sublethal effects of cyanobacteria exposure on quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) sperm. In laboratory studies, sperm were collected after inducing mussels to spawn using serotonin and exposed to 11 cultures of cyanobacteria including Anabaena flos-aquae, Aphanizomenon flos-aquae, Dolichospermum lemmermannii, Gloeotrichia echinulata, 5 cultures of Microcystis aeruginosa, M. wesenbergii, and Planktothrix suspensa. Sperm motility, using endpoints of cumulative distance traveled and mean velocity, was calculated for a minimum of 10 individual sperm using a novel optical biotracking assay method. The distance and velocity at which sperm traveled decreased when exposed to Aphanizomenon flos-aquae and 2 M. aeruginosa cultures. Our findings indicate that cyanobacteria impede the motility of quagga mussel sperm, which can potentially result in reproductive impairments to mussels and potentially other broadcast spawning species. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;38:368-374. © 2018 SETAC.

RevDate: 2019-05-09

Wollmann J, Schlesener DCH, Ferreira MS, et al (2019)

Population Dynamics of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in Berry Crops in Southern Brazil.

Neotropical entomology pii:10.1007/s13744-019-00686-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is an invasive species originating in Southeast Asia and considered a severe pest in berry crops in several countries of the Northern Hemisphere and Europe. In South America, the species was first detected in 2013. The objective of the study was to monitor the seasonal activity of D. suzukii in commercial crops of blackberry, strawberry guava, surinam cherry, blueberry, and strawberry during two consecutive harvests and in three properties in the Southern region of Brazil during the 2015/2016 and 2016/2017 harvests, with the aid of traps baited with apple cider vinegar. The highest population peaks were observed during late spring to mid-fall in all areas and plant species studied. It was verified that temperature is the factor that most influenced the seasonal activity of D. suzukii in the field, promoting low catches of the species during winter. However, even during periods of low temperatures (winter period), the presence of D. suzukii in the crops was verified, demonstrating the species' ability to stay in place from year to year, surviving in alternative hosts such as Eriobotrya japonica, a common species in the region. The information on the time of the highest occurrence of the pest in different hosts presented in this study provides the basis for decision-making in relation to the management of D. suzukii, to avoid further economic damage.

RevDate: 2019-05-08

Malumbres-Olarte J, Cardoso P, Crespo LCF, et al (2019)

Standardised inventories of spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) of Macaronesia I: The native forests of the Azores (Pico and Terceira islands).

Biodiversity data journal, 7:e32625 pii:32625.

Background: The data presented here come from samples collected as part of two recent research projects (NETBIOME - ISLANDBIODIV and FCT - MACDIV) which aimed at understanding the drivers of community assembly in Macaronesian islands. We applied the sampling protocol COBRA (Conservation Oriented Biodiversity Rapid Assessment, Cardoso 2009) in sixteen 50 m x 50 m native forest plots in the Azorean Islands of Pico (6 plots) and Terceira (10 plots) to assess spider diversity. Through this publication, we contribute to the knowledge of the arachnofauna of the Azores and, more specifically, to that of the islands of Pico and Terceira.

New information: The collected samples yielded 8,789 specimens, of which 45% were adults (3,970) belonging to 13 families, 36 species and three morphospecies that have yet to be described. Species of the family Linyphiidae dominated the samples, with 17 species and two morphospecies that have yet to be described (48% of the taxa). Out of the identified (morpho)species, 16 were introduced, 13 Azorean endemic (three of which were undescribed) and seven native (five of them Macaronesian endemics). We report the first record of the introduced species Haplodrassus signifer and Agyneta decora in Pico Island.

RevDate: 2019-05-07

Westby KM, Sweetman BM, Van Horn TR, et al (2019)

Invasive species reduces parasite prevalence and neutralizes negative environmental effects on parasitism in a native mosquito.

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

1.Invasive species research often focuses on direct effects of invasion on native ecosystems and less so on complex effects such as those influencing host-parasite interactions. However, invaders could have important effects on native host-parasite dynamics. Where infectious stages are ubiquitous and native host-pathogen specificity is strong, invasive less-competent hosts may reduce the pool of infectious stages, effectively reducing native host-parasite encounter rate. Alternatively, invasive species could alter transmission via changes in native species abundance. 2.Biotic and abiotic environmental factors can also impact disease dynamics by altering host or parasite condition. However, little is known about potential interactive effects of invasion and environmental context on native species disease dynamics. Moreover, experimental examinations of the mechanisms driving dilution effects are limited, but serve to provide tests of predictions leading to diversity-disease relationships. 3.Using field and laboratory experiments, we tested competing hypotheses that an invasive species reduces the prevalence of a native parasite in its host by removing infectious propagules from the environment or by reducing native host abundance. In addition, we evaluated the role of detritus quantity as a resource base in mediating effects of the invasive species. 4.Native parasite prevalence was reduced when the invasive species was present. Prevalence was also higher in high detritus habitats, although this effect was lost when the invasive species was present. The invasive species significantly reduced infectious propagules from the aquatic habitats. Presence of the invasive species had no effect on the native species abundance; thus, the reduction in parasitism was not due to changes in host density but through a reduction in infectious propagule encounters. 5.We conclude that an invasive species can facilitate a native species by reducing parasite prevalence via a dilution effect and that these effects can be modified by resource level. Reductions in parasitism may have ripple effects throughout the community, altering the strength of competitive interactions, predation rates, or coinfection with other pathogens. We advocate considering potential positive effects of invasive species on recipient communities, in addition to effects of invasions on host-parasite interactions to gain a broader understanding of the complex consequences of invasion. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-05-07

Giuliani C, Lastrucci L, Cresti L, et al (2019)

The morphology and activity of the extrafloral nectaries in Reynoutria x bohemica (Polygonaceae).

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

RESEARCH AND METHODS APPLIED: Reynoutria x bohemica is an invasive species, causing significant damages to native ecosystems in North America and Europe. In this work, we performed an in-depth micromorphological characterization of the extrafloral nectaries (EFN), during their secretory and post-secretory phases, in combination with field monitoring on their activity over time and the qualitative pool of insect visitors.

KEY RESULTS: EFN consist of secretory trichomes and vascularized parenchyma. Polysaccharides, lipids, and proteins were histochemically detected in all the trichome cells; phenolic substances were detected in the parenchyma cells. Our data indicate that all nectary regions are involved in nectar production and release, constituting a functional unit. Moreover, the main compounds classes of the nectar and their transfer change over time: at first, granulocrine secretion for sugars prevails, afterwards, eccrine secretion of the lipophilic fraction takes place. Active nectaries are mainly located at the apical portion of the stem during the growth phase (April-May) when we detected the highest number of individuals visited by ants; from mid-August onwards, during the flowering, the number of active nectaries declined until it ceased (September), with concomitant decrease of visits by the ants. The spectrum of the nectar-foraging ants mainly included representatives of the genera Formica, Lasius and Camponotus.

MAIN CONCLUSIONS: R. x bohemica produces an attracting secretion able to recruit local ants that may potentially act as "bodyguards" for protecting young shoots, reducing the secretion during the blooming stage. The defense mechanism against herbivores is the same displayed by the parental species in their native areas. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-05-07

Zhao D, Wang X, Chen J, et al (2019)

Selection of reference genes for qPCR normalization in buffalobur (Solanum rostratum Dunal).

Scientific reports, 9(1):6948 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-43438-6.

Buffalobur (Solanum rostratum Dunal), which belongs to the Solanaceae family, is a worldwide noxious invasive weed and is listed as one of the top 10 alien invasive species in China. It is harmful to humans and livestock because the entire plant is covered with spines containing toxins. Many studies have analysed the gene expression in this weed species under different stress conditions using quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR). However, until now, there has been no report on suitable reference genes in buffalobur. Herein, 14 candidate reference genes were selected and evaluated for their expression stability in buffalobur in different tissues, at different developmental stages, and in response to several stress conditions using the geNorm, NormFinder, BestKeeper and RefFinder statistical algorithms. The results showed that EF1α, ACT and SAND are suitable reference genes across all samples tested. We recommend the normalization of target gene expression under different experimental conditions using these three genes together. Validation of selected reference genes was achieved by assessing the relative expression levels of P5CS and GI. This work identified the appropriate reference genes for transcript normalization in buffalobur, which will be helpful in future genetic studies of this invasive weed.

RevDate: 2019-05-07
CmpDate: 2019-05-07

Dussault C, Nelder MP, Russell C, et al (2018)

Evaluating the impact of Aedes japonicus invasion on the mosquito community in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region (Ontario, Canada).

PloS one, 13(12):e0208911 pii:PONE-D-18-14601.

BACKGROUND: Aedes japonicus was first documented in Ontario, Canada, in 2001. The objective of this study was to determine the effect of Ae. japonicus establishment on the abundance of other mosquitoes in the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) region of Ontario.

METHODS: Adult mosquito data from the Ontario West Nile virus surveillance program were used. Descriptive analyses, linear trends and distribution maps of average trap count per month for six mosquito species of interest were produced. Multivariable negative binomial regression models were constructed to 1) test whether the invasion of Ae. japonicus affected the abundance of other mosquitoes by comparing the time period before Ae. japonicus was identified in an area (pre-detection), to after it was first identified (detection), and subsequently (establishment), and 2) identify the variables that explain the abundance of the various mosquito species.

RESULTS: The monthly seasonal average (May-October) of Ae. japonicus per trap night increased from 2002 to 2016, peaking in September, when the average of most other mosquitoes decrease. There were increased numbers of Ae. triseriatus/hendersoni (Odds Ratio (OR): 1.40, 95% Confidence Interval (CI): 1.02-1.94) and decreased numbers of Coquillettidia perturbans (OR: 0.43, 95% CI: 0.26-0.73) in the detection period, compared to the pre-detection period. Additionally, there was a decrease in Cx. pipiens/restuans (OR: 0.87, 95% CI: 0.76-0.99) and Cq. perturbans (OR: 0.68, 95% CI: 0.49-0.94) in the establishment period, compared to the pre-detection period. None of the most parsimonious explanatory models included the period of the establishment of Ae. japonicus.

CONCLUSIONS: There is no evidence that the introduction of Ae. japonicus significantly reduced populations of Ae. triseriatus/hendersoni, Cx. pipiens/restuans or An. punctipennis in the GGH. While further research is needed to understand the impact of the Ae. japonicus invasion on other mosquito species, our work indicates that, on a regional scale, little impact has been noted.

RevDate: 2019-05-07
CmpDate: 2019-05-07

Lo PL, Walker JTS, Wearing CH, et al (2018)

Factors Responsible for Changes in Leafroller (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) Species Composition on Orchards and Vineyards 1974-2015, in Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

Journal of economic entomology, 111(6):2755-2763.

Leafrollers are polyphagous pests whose larvae damage fruit and cause market access problems for fruit crops exported from New Zealand. Leafroller larvae and pupae were collected mainly from four fruit crops, but also from hedges, ornamental trees, and understory weeds in orchards and vineyards of Hawke's Bay, a major fruit production region. Samples were collected from 1974 to 1977 and 1993 to 2015. This timespan was divided into periods that broadly coincided with broad-spectrum insecticide management, the transition to selective insecticides, and the full implementation of integrated fruit production (IFP) programs in apples, grapes, and stone fruit. Eight tortricid species were identified, but the accidentally introduced Epiphyas postvittana (Walker) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae) and two native species, Ctenopseustis obliquana (Walker) and Planotortrix octo Dugdale, comprised 95% of the samples. The proportions of these three species varied according to interactions between four factors: pest management regime, collection period, property location, and host plant. In the 1970s under broad-spectrum insecticide programs, the native species dominated on all hosts. By the mid-late 1990s when IFP was introduced, all the main leafroller species were in decline. However, E. postvittana declined to a lesser extent than the two native species, and consequently, it became relatively more prominent. This change in species composition was delayed in two districts where localized cases of organophosphate insecticide resistance occurred in C. obliquana and P. octo. From 2000 onwards, E. postvittana was the dominant species in all districts and on all hosts, albeit with a much-reduced pest status, except on hedges and ornamental trees where C. obliquana prevailed.

RevDate: 2019-05-07
CmpDate: 2019-05-07

San Jose M, Doorenweerd C, Leblanc L, et al (2018)

Tracking the Origins of Fly Invasions; Using Mitochondrial Haplotype Diversity to Identify Potential Source Populations in Two Genetically Intertwined Fruit Fly Species (Bactrocera carambolae and Bactrocera dorsalis [Diptera: Tephritidae]).

Journal of economic entomology, 111(6):2914-2926.

Bactrocera carambolae Drew and Hancock and Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae) are important pests of many fruits. These flies have been spread across the world through global travel and trade, and new areas are at risk of invasion. Whenever new invasive populations are discovered, quick and accurate identification is needed to mitigate the damage they can cause. Determining invasive pathways can prevent further spread of pests as well as subsequent reinvasions through the same pathway. Molecular markers can be used for both species identification and pathway analysis. We analyzed 1,601 individuals from 19 populations using 765 base pairs of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (COI) gene to infer the haplotype diversity and population structure within these flies from across their native and invasive ranges. We analyzed these samples by either grouping by species or geographic populations due to the genetic similarity in the mitochondrial genome. We found no genetic structure between B. dorsalis and B. carambolae and our findings suggest recent and most likely ongoing, genetic exchange between these two species in the wild. Hyper-diverse mitochondrial genetic diversity in the native range suggests large population sizes and relatively high mutation rates. Only 52% of the haplotypes found in the trap captures from California are shared with haplotypes from flies found in our global survey, indicating significant genetic diversity in the native range that is missing from our samples. However, these results provide a foundation for the accurate determination of the provenance of invasive populations around the world.

RevDate: 2019-05-06

Gallego-Tévar B, Infante-Izquierdo MD, Figueroa E, et al (2019)

Some Like It Hot: Maternal-Switching With Climate Change Modifies Formation of Invasive Spartina Hybrids.

Frontiers in plant science, 10:484.

Climate change can induce temporary, spatial or behavioral changes in species, so that only some species can adapt to the new climatic conditions. In the case of invasive species, it is expected that they will be promoted in a context of global change, given their high tolerance to environmental factors and phenotypic plasticity. Once in the invaded range, these species can hybridize with native species thus introducing their genotype in the native biota. However, the effects that climate change will have on this process of invasion by hybridization remain unclear. We evaluated the historical establishment of the reciprocal hybrids between the native Spartina maritima and the invasive S. densiflora in the Gulf of Cadiz (SW Iberian Peninsula) and we related it to climatic changes during the period 1955-2017. Our results showed that, according to their dating based on their rate of lateral expansion rates, the establishment of S. maritima × densiflora and S. densiflora × maritima in the Gulf of Cadiz has occurred in the last two centuries and has been related to changes in air temperature and rainfall during the flowering periods of their parental species, with antagonist impacts on both hybrids. Thus, the hybrid S. densiflora × maritima has been established in years with mild ends of spring and beginning of summer when the flowering of S. maritima lengthened and its pollen production was higher, and it coincided with the beginning of the flowering period of S. densiflora. Moreover, the establishment of this hybrid was related to higher spring/summer rainfalls, probably due to the reduction in salinity in middle marshes. However, the hybrid S. maritima × densiflora, was established mainly in warmer spring/summers in which the proportion of pollen:ovule of S. maritima was reduced favoring its pollination by S. densiflora. As a consequence of the promotion of S. maritima × densiflora with climate change, the native and endangered species S. maritima would be threatened, as both taxa share the same habitat and the hybrid shows a remarkably higher competitive potential.

RevDate: 2019-05-06

Bebber DP (2019)

Climate change effects on Black Sigatoka disease of banana.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1775):20180269.

Climate change has significantly altered species distributions in the wild and has the potential to affect the interactions between pests and diseases and their human, animal and plant hosts. While several studies have projected changes in disease distributions in the future, responses to historical climate change are poorly understood. Such analyses are required to dissect the relative contributions of climate change, host availability and dispersal to the emergence of pests and diseases. Here, we model the influence of climate change on the most damaging disease of a major tropical food plant, Black Sigatoka disease of banana. Black Sigatoka emerged from Asia in the late twentieth Century and has recently completed its invasion of Latin American and Caribbean banana-growing areas. We parametrize an infection model with published experimental data and drive the model with hourly microclimate data from a global climate reanalysis dataset. We define infection risk as the sum of the number of modelled hourly spore cohorts that infect a leaf over a time interval. The model shows that infection risk has increased by a median of 44.2% across banana-growing areas of Latin America and the Caribbean since the 1960s, due to increasing canopy wetness and improving temperature conditions for the pathogen. Thus, while increasing banana production and global trade have probably facilitated Black Sigatoka establishment and spread, climate change has made the region increasingly conducive for plant infection. This article is part of the theme issue 'Modelling infectious disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants: approaches and important themes'. This issue is linked with the subsequent theme issue 'Modelling infectious disease outbreaks in humans, animals and plants: epidemic forecasting and control'.

RevDate: 2019-05-04

McCalla KA, Keçeci M, Milosavljević I, et al (2019)

The Influence of Temperature Variation on Life History Parameters and Thermal Performance Curves of Tamarixia radiata (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), a Parasitoid of the Asian Citrus Psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae).

Journal of economic entomology pii:5485549 [Epub ahead of print].

This study examined the effects of seven constant and fluctuating temperature profiles with corresponding averages of 12 to 38°C on the life history of the Punjab, Pakistan-sourced Tamarixia radiata (Waterston) released in California for biological control of Diaphorina citri Kuwayama. One linear and seven nonlinear regression functions were fit to egg-to-adult development rate data to characterize thermal performance curves. Temperature fluctuations significantly affected both development and longevity of T. radiata. Estimates of degree-days predicted by the linear model were 30% higher for the fluctuating regime than the constant regime. Nonlinear model estimations of theoretical minimum and maximum developmental thresholds were lower for the fluctuating regime when compared to the constant regime. These predictions align with experimental observations. Parasitoids reared under fluctuating profiles at low average temperatures developed faster (15°C) and survived longer (15-20°C) when compared to those reared under constant regimes with corresponding means. In contrast, high average fluctuating temperatures produced parasitoids with an extended developmental period (35°C) and reduced longevity (30-35°C). A meta-analysis of published T. radiata development datasets, together with the results of this study, indicated convergence in degree-days and theoretical minimum developmental thresholds among geographically distinct parasitoid populations. These findings demonstrate the significant effects of temperature on T. radiata life history and have important implications for optimization of mass-rearing and release efforts, improvement of predictions from climate modeling, and comparison of T. radiata population performance across climatic gradients and geographic regions.

RevDate: 2019-05-03
CmpDate: 2019-05-03

Weintraub PG (2019)

Growth Chamber Data Should Not be Used to Predict Invasive Liriomyza huidobrensis (Diptera: Agromyzidae) Establishment.

Environmental entomology, 48(2):271-273.

RevDate: 2019-05-03

Andersen JC, Oboyski P, Davies N, et al (2019)

Categorization of species as native or non-native using DNA sequence signatures without a complete reference library.

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

New genetic diagnostic approaches have greatly aided efforts to document global biodiversity and improve biosecurity. This is especially true for organismal groups in which species diversity has been underestimated historically due to difficulties associated with sampling, the lack of clear morphological characteristics, and/or limited availability of taxonomic expertise. Among these methods, DNA sequence barcoding (a.k.a. "DNA barcoding") and by extension, meta-barcoding for biological communities, has emerged as one of the most frequently utilized methods for DNA-based species identifications. Unfortunately, the use of DNA barcoding is limited by the availability of complete reference libraries (i.e., a collection of DNA sequences from morphologically identified species), and by the fact that the vast majority of species do not have sequences present in reference databases. Such conditions are critical especially in tropical locations that are simultaneously biodiversity rich and suffer from a lack of exploration and DNA characterization by trained taxonomic specialists. To facilitate efforts to document biodiversity in regions lacking complete reference libraries, we developed a novel statistical approach that categorizes unidentified species as being either likely native or likely non-native based solely on measures of nucleotide diversity. We demonstrate the utility of this approach by categorizing a large sample of specimens of terrestrial insects and spiders (collected as part of the Moorea BioCode project http://www.mooreabiocode.org) using a Generalized Linear Mixed Model (GLMM). Using a training dataset of known endemic (n = 45) and known introduced species (n = 102), we then estimated the likely native/non-native status for 4,663 specimens representing an estimated 1,288 species (412 identified species), including both those specimens that were either unidentified or whose endemic/introduced status was uncertain. Using this approach, we were able to increase the number of categorized specimens by a factor of 4.4 (from 794 to 3,497), and the number of categorized species by a factor of 4.8 from (147 to 707) at a rate much greater than chance (77.6% accuracy). The study identifies phylogenetic signatures of both native and non-native species and suggests several practical applications for this approach including monitoring biodiversity and facilitating biosecurity. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-05-03

Figueras A, Moreira R, Sendra M, et al (2019)

Genomics and Immunity of the Mediterranean mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis in a changing environment.

Fish & shellfish immunology pii:S1050-4648(19)30302-X [Epub ahead of print].

The Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis) is a marine invasive species cultured all over the world. Mussels are an appreciated resource in local aquaculture enterprises because of their robust production and resilience that translates into a reliable economic value. So far, no massive mortalities have been reported in natural or cultured populations of this species. In the last years, the knowledge about its immune system has greatly improved but there are still many questions to be answered. One of them is why mussels, with their high filtering activity, are able to be exposed to a high number of potential pathogens without getting infected and without developing an elevated inflammatory response. The sequencing of the mussel genome has revealed a very complex organization with high heterozygosity, abundance of repetitive sequences and extreme intraspecific sequence diversity among individuals, mainly in immune related genes. Among those genes, antimicrobial peptides are the most expressed gene families in mussels, highly polymorphic and with antimicrobial effect against molluscs pathogens, but also against pathogens of lower vertebrates and humans. The combination of a complex genome with the adaptation of mussel immune system to a changing environment could explain this high variability, not only in immune-related genes, but also in the functional response among individuals sampled in the same location and date.

RevDate: 2019-05-02

Latimer AM, Jacobs BS, Gianoli E, et al (2019)

Parallel functional differentiation of an invasive annual plant on two continents.

AoB PLANTS, 11(2):plz010 pii:plz010.

Rapid local adaptation frequently occurs during the spread of invading species. It remains unclear, however, how consistent, and therefore potentially predictable, such patterns of local adaptation are. One approach to this question is to measure patterns of local differentiation in functional traits and plasticity levels in invasive species in multiple regions. Finding consistent patterns of local differentiation in replicate regions suggests that these patterns are adaptive. Further, this outcome indicates that the invading species likely responds predictably to selection along environmental gradients, even though standing genetic variation is likely to have been reduced during introduction. We studied local differentiation in the invasive annual plant Erodium cicutarium in two invaded regions, California and Chile. We collected seeds from across strong gradients in precipitation and temperature in Mediterranean-climate parts of the two regions (10 populations per region). We grew seeds from maternal families from these populations through two generations and exposed the second generation to contrasting levels of water and nutrient availability. We measured growth, flowering time and leaf functional traits across these treatments to obtain trait means and plasticity measures. We found strong differentiation among populations in all traits. Plants from drier environments flowered earlier, were less plastic in flowering time and reached greater size in all treatments. Correlations among traits within regions suggested a coordinated evolutionary response along environmental gradients associated with growing season length. There was little divergence in traits and trait intercorrelations between regions, but strongly parallel divergence in traits within regions. Similar, statistically consistent patterns of local trait differentiation across two regions suggest that local adaptation to environmental gradients has aided the spread of this invasive species, and that the formation of ecotypes in newly invaded environments has been relatively consistent and predictable.

RevDate: 2019-05-02
CmpDate: 2019-05-02

Kistner-Thomas EJ (2019)

The Potential Global Distribution and Voltinism of the Japanese Beetle (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) Under Current and Future Climates.

Journal of insect science (Online), 19(2):.

Japanese beetle, Popillia japonica (Newman), is a severe invasive insect pest of turf, landscapes, and horticultural crops. It has successfully colonized much of the United States and has recently established in mainland Europe. The distribution and voltinism of P. japonica will undoubtedly change as a consequence of climate change, posing additional challenges to the management of this species. To assess these challenges, a process-oriented bioclimatic niche model for P. japonica was developed to examine its potential global distribution under current (1981-2010) and projected climatic conditions (2040-2059) using one emission scenario (representative concentration pathway [RCP] 8.5) and two global climate models, ACCESS1-0 and CNRM-CM5. Under current climatic conditions, the bioclimatic niche model agreed well with all credible distribution data. Model projections indicate a strong possibility of further range expansion throughout mainland Europe under both current and future climates. In North America, projected increases in temperature would enable northward range expansion across Canada while simultaneously shifting southern range limits in the United States. In Europe, the suitable range for P. japonica would increase by 23% by midcentury, especially across portions of the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Scandinavia. Under the RCP 8.5 scenario, cumulative growing degree-days increased, thereby reducing the probability of biannual life cycles in northern latitudes where they can occur, including Hokkaido, Japan, northeastern portions of the United States, and southern Ontario, Canada. The results of this study highlight several regions of increasing and emerging risk from P. japonica that should be considered routinely in ongoing biosecurity and pest management surveys.

RevDate: 2019-05-01

Kovacevic A, Latombe G, SL Chown (2019)

Rate dynamics of ectotherm responses to thermal stress.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1902):20190174.

Critical thermal limits (CTLs) show much variation associated with the experimental rate of temperature change used in their estimation. Understanding the full range of variation in rate effects on CTLs and their underlying basis is thus essential if methodological noise is not to overwhelm or bias the ecological signal. We consider the effects of rate variation from multiple intraspecific assessments and provide a comprehensive empirical analysis of the rate effects on both the critical thermal maximum (CTmax) and critical thermal minimum (CTmin) for 47 species of ectotherms, exploring which of the available theoretical models best explains this variation. We find substantial interspecific variation in rate effects, which takes four different forms (increase, decline, no change, mixed), with phylogenetic signal in effects on CTmax, but not CTmin. Exponential and zero exponential failure rate models best explain the rate effects on CTmax. The majority of the empirical rate variation in CTmin could not be explained by the failure rate models. Our work demonstrates that rate effects cannot be ignored in comparative analyses, and suggests that incorporation of the failure rate models into such analyses is a useful further avenue for exploration of the fundamental basis and implications of such variation.

RevDate: 2019-05-01

Dressler MD, Conde J, Eldakar OT, et al (2019)

Timing between successive introduction events determines establishment success in bacteria with an Allee effect.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1902):20190598.

Propagule pressure is a leading determinant of population establishment. Yet, an experimental understanding of how propagule size and number (two principal parts of propagule pressure) determine establishment success remains incomplete. Theoretical studies suggest that the timing between introduction events, a component of propagule number, can influence establishment success. However, this dynamic has rarely been explored experimentally. Using Escherichia coli engineered with an Allee effect, we investigated how the timing of two introduction events influences establishment. For populations introduced below the Allee threshold, establishment occurred if the time between two introduction events was sufficiently short, with the length of time between events further reduced by reducing growth rate. Interestingly, we observed that as the density of bacteria introduced in one introduction event increased, the time between introduction events that allowed for establishment increased. Using a mathematical model, we provide support that the mechanism behind these trends is the ability of the first population to modify the environment, which can pave the way for establishment of the second population. Our results provide experimental evidence that the temporal distribution of introduction events regulates establishment, furthering our understanding of propagule pressure and may have implications in invasion biology and infectious disease.

RevDate: 2019-05-01
CmpDate: 2019-05-01

Gill NS, Yelenik S, Banko P, et al (2018)

Invasive rat control is an efficient, yet insufficient, method for recovery of the critically endangered Hawaiian plant hau kuahiwi (Hibiscadelphus giffardianus).

PloS one, 13(11):e0208106 pii:PONE-D-18-26739.

Biological invasions of rodents and other species have been especially problematic on tropical islands. Invasive Rattus rattus consumption of Hibiscadelphus giffardianus (Malvaceae; common Hawaiian name hau kuahiwi) fruit and seeds has been hypothesized to be the most-limiting factor inhibiting the critically endangered tree, but this has not been experimentally tested, and little is known about other factors affecting seed dispersal, germination, and seedling establishment. Thus, we do not know if rat removal is sufficient to increase hau kuahiwi recruitment. This study aims to evaluate the effect of rat population control on the ability of hau kuahiwi to retain fruit and establish seedlings. We compared hau kuahiwi fruiting and seedling recruitment in a stand treated to reduce rat abundance and a neighbouring control stand. Fruit retention increased following treatment but seedling establishment did not. Although rat control improves the ability of hau kuahiwi to retain fruit, other, presently unknown inhibitors to seed dispersal, germination, and/or seedling development remain. Seed and seedling predation by other species, competition from numerous invasive plant species, unsuitable climate, and/or other factors may be primary inhibitors in the absence of rats, but we emphasize that progressive isolation of these factors at individual hau kuahiwi life stages may be necessary to identify the remaining threats to the conservation of this critically endangered plant.

RevDate: 2019-05-01
CmpDate: 2019-05-01

Narango DL, Tallamy DW, PP Marra (2018)

Nonnative plants reduce population growth of an insectivorous bird.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(45):11549-11554.

Human-dominated landscapes represent one of the most rapidly expanding and least-understood ecosystems on earth. Yet, we know little about which features in these landscapes promote sustainable wildlife populations. Historically, in urban areas, landowners have converted native plant communities into habitats dominated by nonnative species that are not susceptible to pest damage and require little maintenance. However, nonnative plants are also poor at supporting insects that are critical food resources for higher order consumers. Despite the logical connection, no study has examined the impact of nonnative plants on subsequent population responses of vertebrate consumers. Here, we demonstrate that residential yards dominated by nonnative plants have lower arthropod abundance, forcing resident Carolina chickadees (Poecile carolinensis) to switch diets to less preferred prey and produce fewer young, or forgo reproduction in nonnative sites altogether. This leads to lower reproductive success and unsustainable population growth in these yards compared with those with >70% native plant biomass. Our results reveal that properties landscaped with nonnative plants function as population sinks for insectivorous birds. To promote sustainable food webs, urban planners and private landowners should prioritize native plant species.

RevDate: 2019-05-01
CmpDate: 2019-05-01

Chantawannakul P, Ramsey S, vanEngelsdorp D, et al (2018)

Tropilaelaps mite: an emerging threat to European honey bee.

Current opinion in insect science, 26:69-75.

The risk of transmission of honey bee parasites has increased substantially as a result of trade globalization and technical developments in transportation efficacy. Great concern over honey bee decline has accelerated research on newly emerging bee pests and parasites. These organisms are likely to emerge from Asia as it is the only region where all 10 honey bee species co-occur. Varroa destructor, an ectoparasitic mite, is a classic example of a pest that has shifted from A. cerana, a cavity nesting Asian honey bee to A. mellifera, the European honey bee. In this review, we will describe the potential risks to global apiculture of the global expansion of Tropilaelaps mercedesae, originally a parasite of the open-air nesting Asian giant honey bee, compared to the impact of V. destructor.

RevDate: 2019-05-01
CmpDate: 2019-05-01

Figueroa CC, Fuentes-Contreras E, Molina-Montenegro MA, et al (2018)

Biological and genetic features of introduced aphid populations in agroecosystems.

Current opinion in insect science, 26:63-68.

In agroecosystems, introduced aphids that reproduce by obligate parthenogenesis (OP) show strong biased representation of a few genotypes (superclones), whereas species with cyclical parthenogenesis (CP) exhibit the opposite trend with many unique genotypes. We analyzed the biological and genetic features of 23 different aphid species introduced in different geographic areas and climates, finding putative superclones in about 60% of them. We have examined the proximal causes for aphid establishment and spread after their introduction, and found that OP, host availability, and phenotypic plasticity are among the main variables underpinning the ability of aphids to succeed in new geographic areas, which may explain the high potential for invasion in this group of pest insects.

RevDate: 2019-04-30

Decru E, Vranken N, Bragança PHN, et al (2019)

Where ichthyofaunal provinces meet: the fish fauna of the Lake Edward system, East Africa.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

Based on literature, museum collections and three recent expeditions, an annotated species list of the Lake Edward, East Africa, drainage system is presented, excluding the endemic haplochromines. A total of 34 non-Haplochromis species belonging to 10 families and 21 genera are recorded from the system. Three of these are endemic and two others have been introduced in the region. Six species are new records for the Lake Edward system. A species accumulation curve indicates that we probably covered most of the non-Haplochromis species in the area sampled during the recent expeditions, but undetected species might still be present in the Congolese part of the system, which is poorly sampled. A comparison of the species list with those of neighbouring basins confirmed the placement of the Lake Edward system within the east-coast ichthyofaunal province. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-04-30

Millane M, Walsh L, Roche WK, et al (2019)

Unprecedented widespread occurrence of Pink Salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha in Ireland in 2017.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

The occurrence of non-native pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha in multiple river systems in Ireland in 2017 was unprecedented and reflected similar concurrent events observed in other countries in the North Atlantic region. Thirty-six fish were captured in a total of 11 river systems located in the south-west, west and north-west of Ireland in the period June to September 2017. The biological characteristics of sampled specimens are described and the potential for establishment in Ireland are considered. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-04-30

Quinn NF, Talamas EJ, Leskey TC, et al (2019)

Sampling Methods for Adventive Trissolcus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) in a Wild Tree Host of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).

Journal of economic entomology pii:5481907 [Epub ahead of print].

Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is an invasive pest that has established in much of the United States. Adventive populations of an effective Asian egg parasitoid of H. halys, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae), have been detected in several states, including Virginia, and its geographic range is expanding. Documenting changes in its distribution and abundance have thus become key research priorities. For these specific purposes, surveillance of T. japonicus over large geographic areas using sentinel H. halys egg masses may not be optimally efficient, and examination of alternative sampling tactics is warranted. In 2016, sentinel H. halys egg masses were deployed as vertical transects in the canopy of female Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (Sapindales: Simaroubaceae) in Virginia. A brief follow-up study in 2016 using yellow sticky traps deployed in the same trees yielded captures of T. japonicus, leading to a comparison of vertical transects of sentinel eggs and yellow sticky traps in 2017. Both methods yielded T. japonicus detections only in the middle and upper tree canopies, whereas other known H. halys parasitoids were detected in the lower, middle, or upper canopies. Based on this information, a method for deploying yellow sticky traps in the middle canopy of H. halys host trees was assessed in 2017, yielding T. japonicus captures. A comparison of estimated time inputs revealed that traps were more efficient than sentinel eggs in this regard. Results are discussed in relation to the utility of each sampling method to address specific questions about the range expansion and ecology of T. japonicus.

RevDate: 2019-04-30

Bradley BA, Laginhas BB, Whitlock R, et al (2019)

Disentangling the abundance-impact relationship for invasive species.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1818081116 [Epub ahead of print].

To predict the threat of biological invasions to native species, it is critical that we understand how increasing abundance of invasive alien species (IAS) affects native populations and communities. The form of this relationship across taxa and ecosystems is unknown, but is expected to depend strongly on the trophic position of the IAS relative to the native species. Using a global metaanalysis based on 1,258 empirical studies presented in 201 scientific publications, we assessed the shape, direction, and strength of native responses to increasing invader abundance. We also tested how native responses varied with relative trophic position and for responses at the population vs. community levels. As IAS abundance increased, native populations declined nonlinearly by 20%, on average, and community metrics declined linearly by 25%. When at higher trophic levels, invaders tended to cause a strong, nonlinear decline in native populations and communities, with the greatest impacts occurring at low invader abundance. In contrast, invaders at the same trophic level tended to cause a linear decline in native populations and communities, while invaders at lower trophic levels had no consistent impacts. At the community level, increasing invader abundance had significantly larger effects on species evenness and diversity than on species richness. Our results show that native responses to invasion depend critically on invasive species' abundance and trophic position. Further, these general abundance-impact relationships reveal how IAS impacts are likely to develop during the invasion process and when to best manage them.

RevDate: 2019-04-30
CmpDate: 2019-04-30

Zhu Y, Fu S, Liu H, et al (2019)

Heat stress tolerance determines the survival and growth of introduced Canadian sugar maple in subtropical China.

Tree physiology, 39(3):417-426.

The introduction of species contributes to both ecological restoration and regional economics, while serving as a potential strategy to conserve species under rapid climate change. Despite an anticipated significant increase in temperature at high latitudes by the end of the 21st century, very few experimental migration trials have been conducted regarding large climate range changes. We employed a provenance trial by introducing a temperate sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh) of three provenances with a mean annual temperature of 3.0 °C in Manitoba, 4.2 °C in Quebec and 9.4 °C in Ontario, Canada, to 15.8 °C at an introduced site in subtropical China. We measured survival, growth, summer photosynthesis in the field and stress-resistance responses under a temperature gradient in growth chambers with first-year seedlings. We found that the Ontario provenance had the highest propensity for survival and growth, followed by the Quebec provenance, while the Manitoba provenance had the lowest. The photosynthetic parameters of the seedlings changed over time of the day, with the Ontario provenance having a higher photosynthesis rate and stomatal conductance than the Quebec and Manitoba provenances. Furthermore, the growth chamber results revealed that the Ontario provenance had the best physiological adjustment for self-protection from heat stress, followed by the Quebec and Manitoba provenances. Our results suggested that the change in climate range drove the survival and growth of introduced seedlings and that the tolerance to summer heat stress through physiological mechanisms was responsible for the success of species introduction, from a cold to a warm climate.

RevDate: 2019-04-30
CmpDate: 2019-04-30

Bueno A, Greenfield L, Pritsch K, et al (2019)

Responses to competition for nitrogen between subtropical native tree seedlings and exotic grasses are species-specific and mediated by soil N availability.

Tree physiology, 39(3):404-416.

Competitive interactions between native tree seedlings and exotic grasses frequently hinder forest restoration. We investigated the consequences of competition with exotic grasses on the growth and net nitrogen (N) uptake capacity of native rainforest seedlings used for reforestation depending on soil N availability and N source. Tree seedlings and grasses were grown in the greenhouse in different competition regimes (one tree species vs one grass species) and controls (grass monocultures or single tree seedlings) at low and high soil N. After 8 weeks, we quantified net N uptake capacity using 15N-labelled organic (i.e., glutamine and arginine) and inorganic (i.e., ammonium and nitrate) N sources and biomass indices. Depending on soil N availability, we observed different species-specific responses to growth and N acquisition. Tree seedlings generally increased their net N uptake capacity in response to competition with grasses, although overall seedling growth was unaffected. In contrast, the responses to competition by the grasses were species-specific and varied with soil N availability. The different N acquisition strategies suggest the avoidance of competition for N between trees and grasses. Overall, the results highlight that quantifying underlying mechanisms of N acquisition complements the information on biomass allocation as a measure of responses to competition, particularly with varying environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2019-04-29

Roy-Dufresne E, Lurgi M, Brown SC, et al (2019)

The Australian National Rabbit Database: 50 years of population monitoring of an invasive species.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

With ongoing introductions into Australia since the 1700s, the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus) has become one of the most widely distributed and abundant vertebrate pests, adversely impacting Australia's biodiversity and agro-economy. To better understand the population and range dynamics of the species and its impacts, occurrence and abundance data have been collected by researchers and citizens from sites covering a broad spectrum of climatic and environmental conditions in Australia. The lack of a common and accessible repository for these data has, however, limited their use in determining important spatiotemporal drivers of the structure and dynamics of the geographical range of rabbits in Australia. To meet this need, we created the Australian National Rabbit Database which combines more than 50 years of historical and contemporary survey data collected from throughout the range of the species in Australia. The survey data, obtained from a suite of complementary monitoring methods, were combined with high-resolution weather, climate and environmental information, and an assessment of data quality. The database provides records of rabbit occurrence (689,265 records) and abundance (51,241 records, > 120 distinct sites) suitable for identifying the spatiotemporal drivers of the rabbit's distribution and for determining spatial patterns of variation in its key life history traits, including maximum rates of population growth. Since all data are georeferenced and date stamped, they can be coupled with information from other databases and spatial layers to explore the potential effects of rabbit occurrence and abundance on Australia's native wildlife and agricultural production. The Australian National Rabbit Database is an important tool for understanding and managing the European rabbit in its invasive range and its effects on native biodiversity and agricultural production. It also provides a valuable resource for addressing questions related to the biology, success, and impacts of invasive species more generally. No copyright or proprietary restrictions are associated with the use of this data set other than citation of this Data Paper. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-04-29

Eisenhauer N, Ferlian O, Craven D, et al (2019)

Ecosystem responses to exotic earthworm invasion in northern North American forests.

Research ideas and outcomes, 5:.

Earth is experiencing a substantial loss of biodiversity at the global scale, while both species gains and losses are occurring at local and regional scales. The influence of these nonrandom changes in species distributions could profoundly affect the functioning of ecosystems and the essential services that they provide. However, few experimental tests have been conducted examining the influence of species invasions on ecosystem functioning. Even fewer have been conducted using invasive ecosystem engineers, which can have disproportionately strong influence on native ecosystems relative to their own biomass. The invasion of exotic earthworms is a prime example of an ecosystem engineer that is influencing many ecosystems around the world. In particular, European earthworm invasions of northern North American forests cause simultaneous species gains and losses with significant consequences for essential ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling and crucial services to humanity like soil erosion control and carbon sequestration. Exotic earthworms are expected to select for specific traits in communities of soil microorganisms (fast-growing bacteria species), soil fauna (promoting the bacterial energy channel), and plants (graminoids) through direct and indirect effects. This will accelerate some ecosystem processes and decelerate others, fundamentally altering how invaded forests function. This project aims to investigate ecosystem responses of northern North American forests to earthworm invasion. Using a novel, synthetic combination of field observations, field experiments, lab experiments, and meta-analyses, the proposed work will be the first systematic examination of earthworm effects on (1) plant communities and (2) soil food webs and processes. Further, (3) effects of a changing climate (warming and reduced summer precipitation) on earthworm performance will be investigated in a unique field experiment designed to predict the future spread and consequences of earthworm invasion in North America. By assessing the soil chemical and physical properties as well as the taxonomic (e.g., by the latest next-generation sequencing techniques) and functional composition of plant, soil microbial and animal communities and the processes they drive in four forests, work packages I-III take complementary approaches to derive a comprehensive and generalizable picture of how ecosystems change in response to earthworm invasion. Finally, in work package IV meta-analyses will be used to integrate the information from work packages I-III and existing literature to investigate if earthworms cause invasion waves, invasion meltdowns, habitat homogenization, and ecosystem state shifts. Global data will be synthesized to test if the relative magnitude of effects differs from place to place depending on the functional dissimilarity between native soil fauna and exotic earthworms. Moving from local to global scale, the present proposal examines the influence of earthworm invasions on biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships from an aboveground-belowground perspective in natural settings. This approach is highly innovative as it utilizes the invasion by exotic earthworms as an exciting model system that links invasion biology with trait-based community ecology, global change research, and ecosystem ecology, pioneering a new generation of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research.

RevDate: 2019-04-29

Ogden NH, Wilson JRU, Richardson DM, et al (2019)

Emerging infectious diseases and biological invasions: a call for a One Health collaboration in science and management.

Royal Society open science, 6(3):181577 pii:rsos181577.

The study and management of emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) and of biological invasions both address the ecology of human-associated biological phenomena in a rapidly changing world. However, the two fields work mostly in parallel rather than in concert. This review explores how the general phenomenon of an organism rapidly increasing in range or abundance is caused, highlights the similarities and differences between research on EIDs and invasions, and discusses shared management insights and approaches. EIDs can arise by: (i) crossing geographical barriers due to human-mediated dispersal, (ii) crossing compatibility barriers due to evolution, and (iii) lifting of environmental barriers due to environmental change. All these processes can be implicated in biological invasions, but only the first defines them. Research on EIDs is embedded within the One Health concept-the notion that human, animal and ecosystem health are interrelated and that holistic approaches encompassing all three components are needed to respond to threats to human well-being. We argue that for sustainable development, biological invasions should be explicitly considered within One Health. Management goals for the fields are the same, and direct collaborations between invasion scientists, disease ecologists and epidemiologists on modelling, risk assessment, monitoring and management would be mutually beneficial.

RevDate: 2019-04-29

Xu C, Ge Y, J Wang (2019)

Molecular basis underlying the successful invasion of hexaploid cytotypes of Solidago canadensis L.: Insights from integrated gene and miRNA expression profiling.

Ecology and evolution, 9(8):4820-4852 pii:ECE35084.

Dissecting complex connections between cytogenetic traits (ploidy levels) and plant invasiveness has emerged as a popular research subject in the field of invasion biology. Although recent work suggests that polyploids are more likely to be invasive than their corresponding diploids, the molecular basis underlying the successful invasion of polyploids remains largely unexplored. To this end, we adopted an RNA-seq and sRNA-seq approach to describe how polyploids mediate invasiveness differences in two contrasting cytotypes of Solidago canadensis L., a widespread wild hexaploid invader with localized cultivated diploid populations. Our analysis of the leaf transcriptome revealed 116,801 unigenes, of which 12,897 unigenes displayed significant differences in expression levels. A substantial number of these differentially expressed unigenes (DEUs) were significantly associated with the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites, carbohydrate metabolism, lipid metabolism, and environmental adaptation pathways. Gene Ontology term enrichment-based categorization of DEU-functions was consistent with this observation, as terms related to single-organism, cellular, and metabolic processes including catalytic, binding, transporter, and enzyme regulator activity were over-represented. Concomitantly, 186 miRNAs belonging to 44 miRNA families were identified in the same leaf tissues, with 59 miRNAs being differentially expressed. Furthermore, we discovered 83 miRNA-target interacting pairs that were oppositely regulated, and a meticulous study of these targets depicted that several unigenes encoding transcription factors, DNA methyltransferase, and leucine-rich repeat receptor-like kinases involved in the stress response were greatly influenced. Collectively, these transcriptional and epigenetic data provide new insights into miRNA-mediated gene expression regulatory mechanisms that may operate in hexaploid cytotypes to favor successful invasion.

RevDate: 2019-04-29
CmpDate: 2019-04-29

Toussaint A, Charpin N, Beauchard O, et al (2018)

Non-native species led to marked shifts in functional diversity of the world freshwater fish faunas.

Ecology letters, 21(11):1649-1659.

Global spread of non-native species profoundly changed the world biodiversity patterns, but how it translates into functional changes remains unanswered at the world scale. We here show that while in two centuries the number of fish species per river increased on average by 15% in 1569 basins worldwide, the diversity of their functional attributes (i.e. functional richness) increased on average by 150%. The inflation of functional richness was paired with changes in the functional structure of assemblages, with shifts of species position toward the border of the functional space of assemblages (i.e. increased functional divergence). Non-native species moreover caused shifts in functional identity toward higher body sized and less elongated species for most of assemblages throughout the world. Although varying between rivers and biogeographic realms, such changes in the different facets of functional diversity might still increase in the future through increasing species invasion and may further modify ecosystem functioning.

RevDate: 2019-04-28

Shiferaw H, Bewket W, Alamirew T, et al (2019)

Implications of land use/land cover dynamics and Prosopis invasion on ecosystem service values in Afar Region, Ethiopia.

The Science of the total environment, 675:354-366 pii:S0048-9697(19)31749-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Land use/land cover (LULC) dynamics and the resulting changes in ecosystems, as well as the services they provide, are a consequence of human activities and environmental drivers, such as invasive alien plant species. This study assessed the changes in LULC and ecosystem service values (ESVs) in the Afar National Regional State, Ethiopia, which experiences a rapid invasion by the alien tree Prosopis juliflora (Swartz DC). Landsat satellite data of 1986, 2000 and 2017 were used in Random Forest algorithm to assess LULC changes in the last 31 years, to calculate net changes for different LULC types and the associated changes in ESVs. Kappa accuracies of 88% and higher were obtained for the three LULC classifications. Post-classification change analyses for the period between 1986 and 2017 revealed a positive net change for Prosopis invaded areas, cropland, salt flats, settlements and waterbodies. The rate of Prosopis invasion was estimated at 31,127 ha per year. Negative net changes were found for grassland, bareland, bush-shrub-woodland, and natural forests. According to the local community representatives, the four most important drivers of LULC dynamics were climate change, frequent droughts, invasive species and weak traditional law. Based on two different ESVs estimations, the ecosystem changes caused by LULC changes resulted in an average loss of ESVs in the study area of about US$ 602 million (range US$ 112 to 1091 million) over the last 31 years. With an increase in area by 965,000 ha, Prosopis-invaded land was the highest net change during the study period, followed by grassland (-599,000 ha), bareland (-329,000 ha) and bush-shrub-woodland (-327,000 ha). Our study provides evidence that LULC changes in the Afar Region have led to a significant loss in ESVs, with serious consequences for the livelihoods of the rural people.

RevDate: 2019-04-27

Javal M, Terblanche JS, Conlong DE, et al (2019)

First Screening of Entomopathogenic Nematodes and Fungus as Biocontrol Agents against an Emerging Pest of Sugarcane, Cacosceles newmannii (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae).

Insects, 10(4): pii:insects10040117.

Cacosceles newmannii (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is an emerging pest of sugarcane in South Africa. The larvae of this cerambycid beetle live within the sugarcane stalk and drill galleries that considerably reduce sugar production. To provide an alternative to chemical control, entomopathogenic nematodes and fungus were investigated as potential biological control agents to be used in an integrated pest management system. The nematodes Steinernema yirgalemense, S. jeffreyense, Heterorhabditis indica, and different concentrations of the fungus Metarhiziumpinghaense were screened for efficacy (i.e., mortality rate) against larvae of C. newmannii. The different biocontrol agents used, revealed a low level of pathogenicity to C. newmannii larvae, when compared to control treatments.

RevDate: 2019-04-26

Winkler DE, Belnap J, Hoover D, et al (2019)

Shrub persistence and increased grass mortality in response to drought in dryland systems.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Droughts in the Southwest U.S. have led to major forest and grassland die-off events in recent decades, suggesting plant community and ecosystem shifts are imminent as native perennial grass populations are replaced by shrub- and invasive plant-dominated systems. These patterns are similar to those observed in arid and semiarid systems around the globe, but our ability to predict which species will experience increased drought-induced mortality in response to climate change remains limited. We investigated meteorological drought-induced mortality of nine dominant plant species in the Colorado Plateau Desert by experimentally imposing a year-round 35% precipitation reduction for eight continuous years. We distributed experimental plots across numerous plant, soil, and parent material types, resulting in 40 distinct sites across a 4500 km2 region of the Colorado Plateau Desert. For all eight years we tracked ca. 400 individual plants and evaluated mortality responses to treatments within and across species, and through time. We also examined the influence of abiotic and biotic site factors in driving mortality responses. Overall, high mortality trends were driven by dominant grass species, including Achnatherum hymenoides, Pleuraphis jamesii, and Sporobolus cryptandrus. Responses varied widely from year to year and dominant shrub species were generally resistant to meteorological drought, likely due to their ability to access deeper soil water. Importantly, mortality increased in the presence of invasive species regardless of treatment, and native plant die-off occurred even under ambient conditions, suggesting that recent climate changes are already negatively impacting dominant species in these systems. Results from this long-term drought experiment suggest major shifts in community composition and, as a result, ecosystem function. Patterns also show that, across multiple soil and plant community types, native perennial grass species may be replaced by shrubs and invasive annuals in the Colorado Plateau Desert. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-04-26

Morrissey KL, Çavaş L, Willems A, et al (2019)

Disentangling the Influence of Environment, Host Specificity and Thallus Differentiation on Bacterial Communities in Siphonous Green Seaweeds.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:717.

Siphonous green seaweeds, such as Caulerpa, are among the most morphologically complex algae with differentiated algal structures (morphological niches). Caulerpa is also host to a rich diversity of bacterial endo- and epibionts. The degree to which these bacterial communities are species-, or even niche-specific remains largely unknown. To address this, we investigated the diversity of bacteria associated to different morphological niches of both native and invasive species of Caulerpa from different geographic locations along the Turkish coastline of the Aegean sea. Associated bacteria were identified using the 16S rDNA marker gene for three morphological niches, such as the endobiome, epibiome, and rhizobiome. Bacterial community structure was explored and deterministic factors behind bacterial variation were investigated. Of the total variation, only 21.5% could be explained. Pronounced differences in bacterial community composition were observed and variation was partly explained by a combination of host species, biogeography and nutrient levels. The majority of the explained bacterial variation within the algal holobiont was attributed to the micro-environments established by distinct morphological niches. This study further supports the hypothesis that the bacterial assembly is largely stochastic in nature and bacterial community structure is most likely linked to functional genes rather than taxonomy.

RevDate: 2019-04-25

Novak BJ, Maloney T, R Phelan (2018)

Advancing a New Toolkit for Conservation: From Science to Policy.

The CRISPR journal, 1:11-15.

Climate change and non-native wildlife diseases are exacerbating persistent challenges to biodiversity such as habitat destruction, invasive species and over-harvesting. With these increasing threats there is a pressing need to expand the conservationists' toolbox. CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing (GE) offers a precise and potentially transformative tool to confront these challenges. Researchers, regulators, conservationists and the public are all needed to engage proactively in the thoughtful and responsible development and application of these new tools.

RevDate: 2019-04-25

Darling JA, JT Carlton (2018)

A Framework for Understanding Marine Cosmopolitanism in the Anthropocene.

Frontiers in Marine Science, 5:293.

Recent years have witnessed growing appreciation for the ways in which human-mediated species introductions have reshaped marine biogeography. Despite this we have yet to grapple fully with the scale and impact of anthropogenic dispersal in both creating and determining contemporary distributions of marine taxa. In particular, the past several decades of research on marine biological invasions have revealed that broad geographic distributions of coastal marine organisms-historically referred to simply as "cosmopolitanism"-may belie complex interplay of both natural and anthropogenic processes. Here we describe a framework for understanding contemporary cosmopolitanism, informed by a synthesis of the marine bioinvasion literature. Our framework defines several novel categories in an attempt to provide a unified terminology for discussing cosmopolitan distributions in the world's oceans. We reserve the term eucosmopolitan to refer to those species for which data exist to support a true, natural, and prehistorically global (or extremely broad) distribution. While in the past this has been the default assumption for species observed to exhibit contemporary cosmopolitan distributions, we argue that given recent advances in marine invasion science this assignment should require positive evidence. In contrast, neocosmopolitan describes those species that have demonstrably achieved extensive geographic ranges only through historical anthropogenic dispersal, often facilitated over centuries of human maritime traffic. We discuss the history and human geography underpinning these neocosmopolitan distributions, and illustrate the extent to which these factors may have altered natural biogeographic patterns. We define the category pseudocosmopolitan to encompass taxa for which a broad distribution is determined (typically after molecular investigation) to reflect multiple, sometimes regionally endemic, lineages with uncertain taxonomic status; such species may remain cosmopolitan only so long as taxonomic uncertainty persists, after which they may splinter into multiple geographically restricted species. We discuss the methods employed to identify such species and to resolve both their taxonomic status and their biogeographic histories. We argue that recognizing these different types of cosmopolitanism, and the important role that invasion science has played in understanding them, is critically important for the future study of both historical and modern marine biogeography, ecology, and biodiversity.

RevDate: 2019-04-25

Al-Sabi MNS, Chriél M, Hansen MS, et al (2015)

Baylisascaris procyonis in wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) in Denmark.

Veterinary parasitology, regional studies and reports, 1-2:55-58.

The nematode Baylisascaris procyonis, which may cause severe clinical disease in humans and animals, is emerging in Europe after its introduction with raccoons (Procyon lotor) from North America. B. procyonis has a broad spectrum of paratenic hosts, including rodents, birds, wild carnivores and primates, which are severely affected by the migrating larval stages of the parasite. We report here the recovery of B. procyonis from two out of 18 examined wild raccoons in Denmark. The parasites were identified based on morphology and their identity was confirmed by partial sequencing of the 18S rRNA gene. Follow-up telephone interviews of staffs in nine zoos housing captive raccoons and veterinarians supervising these zoos showed that knowledge of B. procyonis and its zoonotic potential were sparse. Eggs of B. procyonis were detected in two raccoons kept in one of three zoos that submitted fecal samples following the telephone interviews. Continuous monitoring and increased awareness are needed to reduce further spread of the parasite and to limit the public health risks associated with baylisascariasis.

RevDate: 2019-04-25

Zahiri R, Christian Schmidt B, Schintlmeister A, et al (2019)

Global phylogeography reveals the origin and the evolutionary history of the Gypsy moth (Lepidoptera, Erebidae).

Molecular phylogenetics and evolution pii:S1055-7903(18)30362-2 [Epub ahead of print].

We examined the global phylogeography of gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) using molecular data based on mitochondrial and nuclear genes. Populations from all biogeographic regions of the native and introduced range of L. dispar, were sampled to fully document intraspecific and subspecies variation, identify potential cryptic species, and to clarify the relationships among major phylogeographic lineages. We recovered three major mtDNA lineages of L. dispar: Transcaucasia; East Asia+Japan; and Europe+Central Asia. The circumscription of these lineages is only partially consistent with the current taxonomic concept (i.e., L. dispar dispar; L. dispar asiatica; L. dispar japonica), with the following important discrepancies: 1) north-central Asian populations, including topotypical populations of L. dispar asiatica, may be more closely related to European rather than Asian segregates, which would require the synonymization of the taxon asiatica and establishment of a new name; 2) the Japanese populations (L. d. japonica) are not distinct from east Asian populations; 3) the presence of a distinct, unnamed mitogenomic lineage endemic to the Trancaucasus region. We demonstrated that the population from Transcaucasia contains the highest mitochondrial haplotype diversity among L. dispar, potentially indicative of an ancestral area for the entire dispar-group. Our study corroborates the endemic Hokkaido, Japan taxon Lymantria umbrosa (Butler) as the sister group to all other L. dispar populations, but the applicability of the names umbrosa versus hokkaidoensis Goldschmidt needs to be re-evaluated. The ancestral area analysis suggest that Japan was likely colonized via Sakhalin ∼1 Mya, in contrast to previous studies which have suggested colonization of the Japanese archipelago via the Korean Peninsula. Lastly, mitogenomic variation within L. dispar is incongruent with phylogenies based on nuclear DNA, as nDNA gene phylogenies did not recover the three major mtDNA lineages, and also failed to recover L. dispar and L. umbrosa as reciprocally monophyletic.

RevDate: 2019-04-24

Zhao Z, Hui C, Plant RE, et al (2019)

Life table invasion models: spatial progression and species-specific partitioning.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are increasingly being considered important spatial processes that drive global changes, threatening biodiversity, regional economies, and ecosystem functions. A unifying conceptual model of the invasion dynamics could serve as a useful tool for comparison and classification of invasion processes involving different species across large geographic ranges. By dividing these geographic ranges that are subject to invasions into discrete spatial units, we here conceptualize the invasion process as the transition from pristine to invaded spatial units. We use California cities as the spatial units and a long-term database of invasive tropical tephritids to characterize the invasion patterns. A new life-table method based on insect demography, including the progression model of invasion stage transition and the species-specific partitioning model of multispecies invasions, was developed to analyze the invasion patterns. The progression model allows us to estimate the probability and rate of transition for individual cities from pristine to infested stages and subsequently differentiate the first year of detection from detection recurrences. Importantly, we show that the interval of invasive tephritid recurrence in a city declines with increasing invasion stages of the city. The species-specific partitioning model revealed profound differences in invasion outcome depending on which tephritid species was first detected (and then locally eradicated) in the early stage of invasion. Taken together, we discuss how these two life-table invasion models can cast new light on existing invasion concepts; in particular, on formulating invasion dynamics as the state transition of cities and partitioning species-specific roles during multispecies invasions. These models provide a new set of tools for predicting the spatiotemporal progression of invasion and providing early warnings of recurrent invasions for efficient management.

RevDate: 2019-04-24

McCarthy AH, Peck LS, Hughes KA, et al (2019)

Antarctica: The final frontier for marine biological invasions.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Antarctica is experiencing significant ecological and environmental change, which may facilitate the establishment of non-native marine species. Non-native marine species will interact with other anthropogenic stressors affecting Antarctic ecosystems, such as climate change (warming, ocean acidification) and pollution, with irreversible ramifications for biodiversity and ecosystem services. We review current knowledge of non-native marine species in the Antarctic region, the physical and physiological factors that resist establishment of non-native marine species, changes to resistance under climate change, the role of legislation in limiting marine introductions, and the effect of increasing human activity on vectors and pathways of introduction. Evidence of non-native marine species is limited: just four marine non-native and one cryptogenic species that were likely introduced anthropogenically have been reported freely living in Antarctic or sub-Antarctic waters, but no established populations have been reported; an additional six species have been observed in pathways to Antarctica that are potentially at risk of becoming invasive. We present estimates of the intensity of ship activity across fishing, tourism and research sectors: there may be approximately 180 vessels and 500+ voyages in Antarctic waters annually. However, these estimates are necessarily speculative because relevant data are scarce. To facilitate well-informed policy and management, we make recommendations for future research into the likelihood of marine biological invasions in the Antarctic region.

RevDate: 2019-04-24

Derbridge JJ, JL Koprowski (2019)

Experimental removals reveal dietary niche partitioning facilitates coexistence between native and introduced species.

Ecology and evolution, 9(7):4065-4077 pii:ECE35036.

Niche overlap between native species and ecologically similar invaders can lead to competitive exclusion of threatened native species, but if two such species also co-occur naturally elsewhere, interactions between native and introduced populations may mirror coevolved niche partitioning that reduces competition and promotes coexistence.A single, insular population of Fremont's squirrel (Tamiasciurus fremonti) the Mount Graham red squirrel (MGRS; T. f. grahamensis) in the Pinaleño Mountains, Arizona, USA, is critically endangered and resource competition with introduced Abert's squirrels (Sciurus aberti) may threaten its long-term persistence. The species are naturally synoptic in other mountain sites, and both consume diets comprised primarily of conifer seeds and fungi.We conducted experimental removals of introduced Abert's squirrels and used stable isotope analysis of diets before and after removals, and of diets in naturally syntopic populations to test the hypothesis that dietary niche partitioning can facilitate coexistence between native and introduced species. We also developed a novel approach to determine the influence of fluctuating food availability on carbon enrichment in consumers.Mount Graham red squirrels and introduced Abert's squirrels partitioned the dietary niche similarly to naturally syntopic populations. Removals had no apparent effect. Diet of MGRS was more closely linked to availability of resources than to presence of Abert's squirrels.Flexible dietary niche of introduced Abert's squirrels may have allowed them to exploit a resource opportunity in syntopy with MGRS. Variable food production of MGRS habitat may intensify competition in poor years, and territorial defense against non-native Abert's squirrels likely imposes fitness costs on individual MGRS. Similarity in our model species' diets may make MGRS more vulnerable to competition if climate change eliminates the advantages of larder-hoarding. Where introduced populations of ecologically similar species are better adapted to changing conditions, they may ultimately replace southern peripheral populations of native species.

RevDate: 2019-04-24

Martinez-Cillero R, Willcock S, Perez-Diaz A, et al (2019)

A practical tool for assessing ecosystem services enhancement and degradation associated with invasive alien species.

Ecology and evolution, 9(7):3918-3936 pii:ECE35020.

Current approaches for assessing the effects of invasive alien species (IAS) are biased toward the negative effects of these species, resulting in an incomplete picture of their real effects. This can result in an inefficient IAS management. We address this issue by describing the INvasive Species Effects Assessment Tool (INSEAT) that enables expert elicitation for rapidly assessing the ecological consequences of IAS using the ecosystem services (ES) framework. INSEAT scores the ecosystem service "gains and losses" using a scale that accounted for the magnitude and the reversibility of its effects. We tested INSEAT on 18 IAS in Great Britain. Here, we highlighted four case studies: Harmonia axyridis (Harlequin ladybird), Astacus leptodactylus (Turkish crayfish), Pacifastacus leniusculus (Signal crayfish) and Impatiens glandulifera (Himalayan balsam). The results demonstrated that a collation of different experts' opinions using INSEAT could yield valuable information on the invasive aliens' ecological and social effects. The users can identify certain IAS as ES providers and the trade-offs between the ES provision and loss associated with them. This practical tool can be useful for evidence-based policy and management decisions that consider the potential role of invasive species in delivering human well-being.

RevDate: 2019-04-24

Bonner C, Sokolov NA, Westover SE, et al (2019)

Estimating the impact of divergent mating phenology between residents and migrants on the potential for gene flow.

Ecology and evolution, 9(7):3770-3783 pii:ECE35001.

Gene flow between populations can allow the spread of beneficial alleles and genetic diversity between populations, with importance to conservation, invasion biology, and agriculture. Levels of gene flow between populations vary not only with distance, but also with divergence in reproductive phenology. Since phenology is often locally adapted, arriving migrants may be reproductively out of synch with residents, which can depress realized gene flow. In flowering plants, the potential impact of phenological divergence on hybridization between populations can be predicted from overlap in flowering schedules-the daily count of flowers capable of pollen exchange-between a resident and migrant population. The accuracy of this prospective hybridization estimate, based on parental phenotypes, rests upon the assumptions of unbiased pollen transfer between resident and migrant active flowers. We tested the impact of phenological divergence on resident-migrant mating frequencies in experiments that mimicked a single large gene flow event. We first prospectively estimated mating frequencies two lines of Brassica rapaselected or early and late flowering. We then estimated realized mating frequencies retrospectively through progeny testing. The two estimates strongly agreed in a greenhouse experiment, where procedures ensured saturating, unbiased pollination. Under natural pollination in the field, the rate of resident-migrant mating, was lower than estimated by phenological divergence alone, although prospective and retrospective estimates were correlated. In both experiments, differences between residents and migrants in flowering schedule shape led to asymmetric hybridization. Results suggest that a prospective estimate of hybridization based on mating schedules can be a useful, although imperfect, tool for evaluating potential gene flow. They also illustrate the impact of mating phenology on the magnitude and symmetry of reproductive isolation.

RevDate: 2019-04-24

Ulman A, Ferrario J, Forcada A, et al (2019)

A Hitchhiker's guide to Mediterranean marina travel for alien species.

Journal of environmental management, 241:328-339 pii:S0301-4797(19)30468-2 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2019-04-24

Seebens H, Briski E, Ghabooli S, et al (2019)

Non-native species spread in a complex network: the interaction of global transport and local population dynamics determines invasion success.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1901):20190036.

The number of released individuals, which is a component of propagule pressure, is considered to be a major driver for the establishment success of non-native species. However, propagule pressure is often assumed to result from single or few release events, which does not necessarily apply to the frequent releases of invertebrates or other taxa through global transport. For instance, the high intensity of global shipping may result in frequent releases of large numbers of individuals, and the complexity of shipping dynamics impedes predictions of invasion dynamics. Here, we present a mathematical model for the spread of planktonic organisms by global shipping, using the history of movements by 33 566 ships among 1477 ports to simulate population dynamics for the comb jelly Mnemiopsis leidyi as a case study. The degree of propagule pressure at one site resulted from the coincident arrival of individuals from other sites with native or non-native populations. Key to sequential spread in European waters was a readily available source of propagules and a suitable recipient environment. These propagules were derived from previously introduced 'bridgehead' populations supplemented with those from native sources. Invasion success is therefore determined by the complex interaction of global shipping and local population dynamics. The general findings probably hold true for the spread of species in other complex systems, such as insects or plant seeds exchanged via commercial trade or transport.

RevDate: 2019-04-24

Gandhi KJK, Campbell F, J Abrams (2019)

Current Status of Forest Health Policy in the United States.

Insects, 10(4): pii:insects10040106.

ederal policies related to forestry and forest health (specifically, insects and diseases) have the potential to affect management practices, terms of international and interstate trade, and long-term sustainability and conservation. Our objectives were to review existing federal policies, the role of federal agencies in managing forest health, and guidance for future policy efforts. Since the 1940s, various federal policies relevant to forest health have been established, and several US Department of Agriculture (USDA) agencies have been empowered to assist with prevention, quarantine, detection, management, and control of insects and diseases. Overall, our review showed that relatively few national policies directly address forest health as a stand-alone objective, as most of them are embedded within forestry bills. Federal funding for forest health issues and the number of personnel dedicated to such issues have declined dramatically for some agencies. Concomitantly, native species continue to gain pestiferous status while non-native species continue to establish and cause impacts in the US. To enhance our ability and capacity to deal with current and future threats, concerted efforts are needed to advocate for both resources and stand-alone policy tools that take seriously the complexity of emerging sustainability challenges in both private and public forestlands.

RevDate: 2019-04-24
CmpDate: 2019-04-24

Serebryakova A, Aires T, Viard F, et al (2018)

Summer shifts of bacterial communities associated with the invasive brown seaweed Sargassum muticum are location and tissue dependent.

PloS one, 13(12):e0206734 pii:PONE-D-17-37813.

Seaweed-associated microbiota experience spatial and temporal shifts in response to changing environmental conditions and seaweed physiology. These shifts may result in structural, functional and behavioral changes in the host with potential consequences for its fitness. They, thus, may help the host to adapt to changing environmental conditions. The current knowledge of seasonal variation of seaweed-associated microbiota is however still limited. In this study, we explored temporal and spatial variation of microbial communities associated with the invasive brown seaweed S. muticum. We sampled in northern and southern Portugal, in September, March and July-August (summer). In addition, as (pseudo-)perennial seaweeds display seasonal reproductive phenology, we sampled various parts of the individuals to disentangle the effect of temporal changes from those due to structural development variations. The diversity and structure of associated microbial communities were determined using next generation sequencing of the variable regions V5-7 of the 16S rDNA. We expected to find differentiation in associated microbial communities between regions and sampling months, but with differences depending on the seaweed structure examined. As expected, the study revealed substantial temporal shifts in S. muticum microbiome, for instance with large abundance of Rhodobacteraceae and Loktanella in September-March but prevalence of Pirellulales during the summer months. Variations between regions and tissues were also observed: in northern Portugal and on basal structures, bacterial diversity was higher as compared to the South and apical parts. All examined seaweed structures showed temporal differences in associated microbial community structure over time, except for holdfasts between September and March. Bacteria contributing to these changes varied spatially. Conversely to all other structures, the holdfast also did not show differences in associated community structure between southern and northern regions. Our study highlights the importance of structural microscale differentiations within seaweeds hosts with regard to their associated microbial communities and their importance across temporal and spatial dimensions.

RevDate: 2019-04-24
CmpDate: 2019-04-24

Leskey TC, AL Nielsen (2018)

Impact of the Invasive Brown Marmorated Stink Bug in North America and Europe: History, Biology, Ecology, and Management.

Annual review of entomology, 63:599-618.

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB), Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is an invasive pentatomid introduced from Asia into the United States, Canada, multiple European countries, and Chile. In 2010, BMSB populations in the mid-Atlantic United States reached outbreak levels and subsequent feeding severely damaged tree fruit as well as other crops. Significant nuisance issues from adults overwintering inside homes were common. BMSB is a highly polyphagous species with a strong dispersal capacity and high reproductive output, potentially enabling its spread and success in invaded regions. A greater understanding of BMSB biology and ecology and its natural enemies, the identification of the male-produced aggregation pheromone, and the recognition that BMSB disperses into crops from adjacent wooded habitats have led to the development of behavior-based integrated pest management (IPM) tactics. Much is still unknown about BMSB, and continued long-term collaborative studies are necessary to refine crop-specific IPM programs and enhance biological control across invaded landscapes.

RevDate: 2019-04-24
CmpDate: 2019-04-24

Renault D, Laparie M, McCauley SJ, et al (2018)

Environmental Adaptations, Ecological Filtering, and Dispersal Central to Insect Invasions.

Annual review of entomology, 63:345-368.

Insect invasions, the establishment and spread of nonnative insects in new regions, can have extensive economic and environmental consequences. Increased global connectivity accelerates rates of introductions, while climate change may decrease the barriers to invader species' spread. We follow an individual-level insect- and arachnid-centered perspective to assess how the process of invasion is influenced by phenotypic heterogeneity associated with dispersal and stress resistance, and their coupling, across the multiple steps of the invasion process. We also provide an overview and synthesis on the importance of environmental filters during the entire invasion process for the facilitation or inhibition of invasive insect population spread. Finally, we highlight important research gaps and the relevance and applicability of ongoing natural range expansions in the context of climate change to gain essential mechanistic insights into insect invasions.

RevDate: 2019-04-24
CmpDate: 2019-04-24

Malcolm SB (2018)

Anthropogenic Impacts on Mortality and Population Viability of the Monarch Butterfly.

Annual review of entomology, 63:277-302.

Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) are familiar herbivores of milkweeds of the genus Asclepias, and most monarchs migrate each year to locate these host plants across North American ecosystems now dominated by agriculture. Eastern migrants overwinter in high-elevation forests in Mexico, and western monarchs overwinter in trees on the coast of California. Both populations face three primary threats to their viability: (a) loss of milkweed resources for larvae due to genetically modified crops, pesticides, and fertilizers; (b) loss of nectar resources from flowering plants; and (c) degraded overwintering forest habitats due to commercially motivated deforestation and other economic activities. Secondary threats to population viability include (d) climate change effects on milkweed host plants and the dynamics of breeding, overwintering, and migration; (e) the influence of invasive plants and natural enemies; (f) habitat fragmentation and coalescence that promote homogeneous, species-depleted landscapes; and (g) deliberate culture and release of monarchs and invasive milkweeds.

RevDate: 2019-04-23

Buchholz S, I Kowarik (2019)

Urbanisation modulates plant-pollinator interactions in invasive vs. native plant species.

Scientific reports, 9(1):6375 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-42884-6.

Pollination is a key ecological process, and invasive alien plant species have been shown to significantly affect plant-pollinator interactions. Yet, the role of the environmental context in modulating such processes is understudied. As urbanisation is a major component of global change, being associated with a range of stressors (e.g. heat, pollution, habitat isolation), we tested whether the attractiveness of a common invasive alien plant (Robinia pseudoacacia, black locust) vs. a common native plant (Cytisus scoparius, common broom) for pollinators changes with increasing urbanisation. We exposed blossoms of both species along an urbanisation gradient and quantified different types of pollinator interaction with the flowers. Both species attracted a broad range of pollinators, with significantly more visits for R. pseudoacacia, but without significant differences in numbers of insects that immediately accessed the flowers. However, compared to native Cytisus, more pollinators only hovered in front of flowers of invasive Robinia without visiting those subsequently. The decision rate to enter flowers of the invasive species decreased with increasing urbanisation. This suggests that while invasive Robinia still attracts many pollinators in urban settings attractiveness may decrease with increasing urban stressors. Results indicated future directions to deconstruct the role of different stressors in modulating plant-pollinator interactions, and they have implications for urban development since Robinia can be still considered as a "pollinator-friendly" tree for certain urban settings.

RevDate: 2019-04-23

Clifton EH, Castrillo LA, Gryganskyi A, et al (2019)

A pair of native fungal pathogens drives decline of a new invasive herbivore.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1903579116 [Epub ahead of print].

Two North American fungal pathogens caused a coepizootic leading to localized collapse of an outbreak population of the newly invasive planthopper pest, the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), in the eastern United States. The pathogens partitioned the habitat, with the majority of L. delicatula on tree trunks killed by Batkoa major, while cadavers of L. delicatula killed by Beauveria bassiana were usually on the ground. The future will show whether these pathogens will be drivers in boom-bust cycles or will result in recurrent low population densities of this new invasive species.

RevDate: 2019-04-23

Philpott SM, Albuquerque S, Bichier P, et al (2019)

Local and Landscape Drivers of Carabid Activity, Species Richness, and Traits in Urban Gardens in Coastal California.

Insects, 10(4): pii:insects10040112.

Urban ecosystems, as mosaics of residential, industrial, commercial, and agricultural land, present challenges for species survival due to impervious surface, degradation, fragmentation, and modification of natural habitat, pollution, and introduced species. Some urban habitats, such as community gardens, support biodiversity and promote ecosystem services. In gardens, local factors (e.g., vegetation, groundcover) and landscape surroundings (e.g., agriculture, built or impervious cover) may influence species abundance, richness, and functional traits that are present. We examined which local and landscape factors within 19 community gardens in the California central coast influence ground beetle (Carabidae) activity density, species richness, functional group richness, and functional traits-body size, wing morphology, and dispersal ability. Gardens with higher crop richness and that are surrounded by agricultural land had greater carabid activity density, while species and functional group richness did not respond to any local or landscape factor. Gardens with more leaf litter had lower carabid activity, and gardens with more leaf litter tended to have more larger carabids. Changes in local (floral abundance, ground cover) and landscape (urban land cover) factors also influenced the distribution of individuals with certain wing morphology and body size traits. Thus, both local and landscape factors influence the taxonomic and functional traits of carabid communities, with potential implications for pest control services that are provided by carabids.


RJR Experience and Expertise


Robbins holds BS, MS, and PhD degrees in the life sciences. He served as a tenured faculty member in the Zoology and Biological Science departments at Michigan State University. He is currently exploring the intersection between genomics, microbial ecology, and biodiversity — an area that promises to transform our understanding of the biosphere.


Robbins has extensive experience in college-level education: At MSU he taught introductory biology, genetics, and population genetics. At JHU, he was an instructor for a special course on biological database design. At FHCRC, he team-taught a graduate-level course on the history of genetics. At Bellevue College he taught medical informatics.


Robbins has been involved in science administration at both the federal and the institutional levels. At NSF he was a program officer for database activities in the life sciences, at DOE he was a program officer for information infrastructure in the human genome project. At the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, he served as a vice president for fifteen years.


Robbins has been involved with information technology since writing his first Fortran program as a college student. At NSF he was the first program officer for database activities in the life sciences. At JHU he held an appointment in the CS department and served as director of the informatics core for the Genome Data Base. At the FHCRC he was VP for Information Technology.


While still at Michigan State, Robbins started his first publishing venture, founding a small company that addressed the short-run publishing needs of instructors in very large undergraduate classes. For more than 20 years, Robbins has been operating The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project, a web site dedicated to the digital publishing of critical works in science, especially classical genetics.


Robbins is well-known for his speaking abilities and is often called upon to provide keynote or plenary addresses at international meetings. For example, in July, 2012, he gave a well-received keynote address at the Global Biodiversity Informatics Congress, sponsored by GBIF and held in Copenhagen. The slides from that talk can be seen HERE.


Robbins is a skilled meeting facilitator. He prefers a participatory approach, with part of the meeting involving dynamic breakout groups, created by the participants in real time: (1) individuals propose breakout groups; (2) everyone signs up for one (or more) groups; (3) the groups with the most interested parties then meet, with reports from each group presented and discussed in a subsequent plenary session.


Robbins has been engaged with photography and design since the 1960s, when he worked for a professional photography laboratory. He now prefers digital photography and tools for their precision and reproducibility. He designed his first web site more than 20 years ago and he personally designed and implemented this web site. He engages in graphic design as a hobby.

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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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

Reprints and preprints of publications, slide presentations, instructional materials, and data compilations written or prepared by Robert Robbins. Most papers deal with computational biology, genome informatics, using information technology to support biomedical research, and related matters.

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

ResearchGate is a social networking site for scientists and researchers to share papers, ask and answer questions, and find collaborators. According to a study by Nature and an article in Times Higher Education , it is the largest academic social network in terms of active users.

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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RJR Picks from Around the Web (updated 11 MAY 2018 )