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22 Apr 2024 at 01:47
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 22 Apr 2024 at 01:47 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2024-04-20

Mallick S, Sundaray JK, R Ghosal (2024)

Understanding feeding competition under laboratory conditions: Rohu (Labeo rohita) versus Amazon sailfin catfish (Pterygoplichthys spp.).

Behavioural processes pii:S0376-6357(24)00044-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Competitive interactions between species is widely prevalent within the animal world. In this manuscript, we attempted to understand feeding competitions between the Amazon sailfin catfish, an invasive species introduced globally, and rohu, a keystone species native to several countries within southeast Asia. We used two different size classes of each species, large-size having total length (TL, from snout tip to caudal fin) of 15-20cm and fingerling having TL<6cm, and feeding duration was used as a proxy to understand competition. Our results demonstrated that feeding durations of large-size rohu were either similar or significantly (P<0.05) higher in presence of catfish when compared to trials in presence of conspecifics, indicating that large-size rohu is not a weak competitor. However, feeding durations of fingerling rohu was significantly (P<0.05) reduced in presence of both large-size and fingerling catfish, when compared to trials in presence of conspecifics. Moreover, fingerling rohu also displayed freeze (alarm) behavior in presence of the catfish. Interestingly, presence of rohu had no significant (P>0.05) impact on feeding durations of catfish. Overall, the study demonstrated that invasive catfish may behaviorally outcompete fingerling rohu, thus, threatening the sustenance of a species that is native to several freshwaters around the globe.

RevDate: 2024-04-20

Gönülal O, Dalyan C, Kesici NB, et al (2024)

Distribution and composition of seafloor litter and associated macrofouling organisms in the Northeastern Mediterranean Sea.

Marine pollution bulletin, 202:116328 pii:S0025-326X(24)00305-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Composition, and density of marine litter and associated macrofouling organisms was assessed in the continental shelf of the Northeastern Mediterranean Sea. A total of 943 litter items weighing 388 kg were collected during 34 hauls. Plastic comprised 72 % of the total litter found on the seafloor. The mean number and weight of ML was 4241 ± 1333 items/km[2] and 368 ± 87 kg/km[2]. Depth and distance from the shore were not identified as a significant factor affecting both the number and weight of litter. A total of 20 fouling species and eggs belonging to Mollusca, Porifera, Cnidaria, Bryozoa, Annelida, Arthropoda, and Chordata were found on marine litter. An alien Mollusca species Pinctada imbricate was also found on plastic litter. Our results confirmed that marine litter is a vector transporting a variety of organisms including alien species and being a threat for the biodiversity and human health in the Mediterranean Sea.

RevDate: 2024-04-19

Covre LS, Atkinson TH, Johnson AJ, et al (2024)

Introduction and establishment of Euwallacea fornicatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in Brazil.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7654053 [Epub ahead of print].

Euwallacea fornicatus is an invasive tree pest able to infest healthy plants and cause damage to many host plants. This beetle has become established in several countries where it was introduced. It has now become established in Brazil, and while the original introduction site remains uncertain, there is a possibility of multiple introductions. We report the first evidence for the establishment of E. fornicatus with molecular confirmation, as well as its distribution, and host plants in Brazil. Euwallacea fornicatus has spread to main commercial avocado groves, other monocultures, and native vegetation in the country, and its pest status puts it as a threat, mainly to Brazilian avocado producers.

RevDate: 2024-04-19

Peter N, Schantz AV, Dörge DD, et al (2024)

Evidence of predation pressure on sensitive species by raccoons based on parasitological studies.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 24:100935.

To demonstrate predation and potential impacts of raccoons on various species, a total of 108 raccoons from aquatic-associated nature reserves and natural areas in three federal states of Germany, Hesse (n = 36), Saxony-Anhalt (n = 36) and Brandenburg (n = 36), were investigated from a dietary ecological perspective in the present study. Fecal analyses and stomach content examinations were conducted for this purpose. Additionally, as a supplementary method for analyzing the dietary spectrum of raccoons, the parasite fauna was considered, as metazoan parasites, in particular, can serve as indicators for the species and origin of food organisms. While stomach content analyses allow for a detailed recording of trophic relationships solely at the time of sampling, parasitological examinations enable inferences about more distant interaction processes. With their different developmental stages and heteroxenous life cycles involving specific, sometimes obligate, intermediate hosts, they utilize the food web to reach their definitive host. The results of this study clearly demonstrate that spawning areas of amphibians and reptiles were predominantly utilized as food resources by raccoons in the study areas. Thus, common toad (Bufo bufo), common newt (Lissotriton vulgaris), grass frog (Rana temporaria), and grass snake (Natrix natrix) were identified as food organisms for raccoons. The detection of the parasite species Euryhelmis squamula, Isthmiophora melis, and Physocephalus sexalatus with partially high infestation rates also suggests that both amphibians and reptiles belong to the established dietary components of raccoons from an ecological perspective, as amphibians and reptiles are obligate intermediate hosts in the respective parasitic life cycles of the detected parasites. The study clearly demonstrates that raccoons have a significant impact on occurrence-sensitive animal species in certain areas and, as an invasive species, can exert a negative influence on native species and ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-04-19

Kinsley AC, Kao SZ, Enns EA, et al (2024)

Modeling the risk of aquatic species invasion spread through boater movements and river connections.

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

Aquatic invasive species (AIS) are one of the greatest threats to the functioning of aquatic ecosystems worldwide. Once an invasive species has been introduced to a new region, many governments develop management strategies to reduce further spread. Nevertheless, managing AIS in a new region is challenging because of the vast areas that need protection and limited resources. Spatial heterogeneity in invasion risk is driven by environmental suitability and propagule pressure, which can be used to prioritize locations for surveillance and intervention activities. To better understand invasion risk across aquatic landscapes, we developed a simulation model to estimate the likelihood of a waterbody becoming invaded with an AIS. The model included waterbodies connected via a multilayer network that included boater movements and hydrological connections. In a case study of Minnesota, we used zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) and starry stonewort (Nitellopsis obtusa) as model species. We simulated the impacts of management scenarios developed by stakeholders and created a decision-support tool available through an online application provided as part of the AIS Explorer dashboard. Our baseline model revealed that 89% of new zebra mussel invasions and 84% of new starry stonewort invasions occurred through boater movements, establishing it as a primary pathway of spread and offering insights beyond risk estimates generated by traditional environmental suitability models alone. Our results highlight the critical role of interventions applied to boater movements to reduce AIS dispersal.

RevDate: 2024-04-18

Banerjee AK, Feng H, Bhowmick AR, et al (2024)

Alien flora are accumulating steadily in China over the last 80 years.

iScience, 27(4):109552.

New alien species are increasingly introduced and established outside their native range. The knowledge of the spatiotemporal dynamics of their accumulation and the factors determining their residence time in the introduced range is critical for proactive management, especially in emerging economies. Based on a comprehensive time series dataset of 721 alien angiosperms in China, we show that new alien flora has been accumulating steadily in China, particularly in the coastal regions, for the last 80 years without saturation. The ability to occupy a large number of habitats facilitates the early introduction of alien flora, whereas a large naturalized range, greater number of uses, and multiple introduction pathways directly contribute to their naturalization and invasion. The temporal pattern is predicted to remain consistent in the foreseeable future. We propose upgrading the country's biosecurity infrastructure based on a standardized risk assessment framework to safeguard the country from ongoing and future invasions.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Zhang X, Li Z, Ren L, et al (2024)

Detection and Recognition of the Invasive species, Hylurgus ligniperda, in Traps, Based on a Cascaded Convolution Neural Network.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Hylurgus ligniperda, an invasive species originating from Eurasia, is now a major forestry quarantine pest worldwide. In recent years, it has caused significant damage in China. While traps have been effective in monitoring and controlling pests, manual inspections are labor-intensive and require expertise in insect classification. To address this, we applied a two-stage cascade convolutional neural network, YOLOX-MobileNetV2 (YOLOX-Mnet), for identifying H. ligniperda and other pests captured in traps. This method streamlines target and non-target insect detection from trap images, offering a more efficient alternative to manual inspections.

RESULTS: Two cascade convolutional neural network models were employed in two stages to detect both target and non-target insects from images captured in the same forest. Initially, You Only Look Once X (YOLOX) served as the target detection model, identifying insects and non-insects from the collected images, with non-insect targets subsequently filtered out. In the second stage, MobileNetV2, a classification network, classified the captured insects. This approach effectively reduced false positives from non-insect objects, enabled the inclusion of additional classification terms for multi-class insect classification models, and utilized sample control strategies to enhance classification performance.

CONCLUSION: Application of the cascade convolutional neural network model accurately identified H. ligniperda, and Mean F1-score of all kinds of insects in the trap was 0.98. Compared to traditional insect classification, this method offers great improvement in the identification and early warning of forest pests, as well as provide technical support for the early prevention and control of forest pests. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Reginato M, Ordónez-Parra CA, Messeder JVS, et al (2024)

MelastomaTRAITs 1.0: A database of functional traits in Melastomataceae, a large pantropical angiosperm family.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The recent availability of open-access repositories of functional traits has revolutionized trait-based approaches in ecology and evolution. Nevertheless, the underrepresentation of tropical regions and lineages remains a pervasive bias in plant functional trait databases, which constrains large-scale assessments of plant ecology, evolution, and biogeography. Here, we present MelastomaTRAITs 1.0, a comprehensive and updatable database of functional traits for the pantropical Melastomataceae, the ninth-largest angiosperm family with 177 genera and more than 5800 species. Melastomataceae encompass species with a wide diversity of growth forms (herbs, shrubs, trees, epiphytes, and woody climbers), habitats (including tropical forests, savannas, grasslands, and wetlands from sea level to montane areas above the treeline), ecological strategies (from pioneer, edge-adapted and invasive species to shade-tolerant understory species), geographic distribution (from microendemic to continental-wide distribution), reproductive, pollination, and seed dispersal systems. MelastomaTRAITs builds on 581 references, such as taxonomic monographs, ecological research, and unpublished data, and includes four whole-plant traits, six leaf traits, 11 flower traits, 18 fruit traits, and 27 seed traits for 2520 species distributed in 144 genera across all 21 tribes. Most data come from the Neotropics where the family is most species-rich. Miconieae (the largest tribe) contains the highest number of trait records (49.6%) and species (41.1%) records. The trait types with the most information in the database were whole-plant traits, flowers, and leaf traits. With the breadth of functional traits recorded, our database helps to fill a gap in information for tropical plants and will significantly improve our capacity for large-scale trait-based syntheses across levels of organization, plant-animal interactions, regeneration ecology, and thereby support conservation and restoration programs. There are no copyright restrictions on the dataset; please cite this data paper when reusing the data.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Jeevannavar A, Narwani A, Matthews B, et al (2024)

Foundation species stabilize an alternative eutrophic state in nutrient-disturbed ponds via selection on microbial community.

Frontiers in microbiology, 15:1310374.

Eutrophication due to nutrient addition can result in major alterations in aquatic ecosystem productivity. Foundation species, individually and interactively, whether present as invasive species or as instruments of ecosystem management and restoration, can have unwanted effects like stabilizing turbid eutrophic states. In this study, we used whole-pond experimental manipulations to investigate the impacts of disturbance by nutrient additions in the presence and absence of two foundation species: Dreissena polymorpha (a freshwater mussel) and Myriophyllum spicatum (a macrophyte). We tracked how nutrient additions to ponds changed the prokaryotic and eukaryotic communities, using 16S, 18S, and COI amplicon sequencing. The nutrient disturbance and foundation species imposed strong selection on the prokaryotic communities, but not on the microbial eukaryotic communities. The prokaryotic communities changed increasingly over time as the nutrient disturbance intensified. Post-disturbance, the foundation species stabilized the prokaryotic communities as observed by the reduced rate of change in community composition. Our analysis suggests that prokaryotic community change contributed both directly and indirectly to major changes in ecosystem properties, including pH and dissolved oxygen. Our work shows that nutrient disturbance and foundation species strongly affect the prokaryotic community composition and stability, and that the presence of foundation species can, in some cases, promote the emergence and persistence of a turbid eutrophic ecosystem state.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Sousa MA, Lamelas-López L, Elias RB, et al (2024)

A multitaxa approach to biodiversity inventory in Matela protected area (Terceira, Azores, Portugal).

Biodiversity data journal, 12:e121884.

BACKGROUND: This manuscript is the first contribution of the project, "Matela - uma ilha de biodiversidade" ("Matela - an island of biodiversity"), that aims to restore the native vegetation within the Azorean Protected Area of the Terceira Island Nature Park known as the "Protected Area for the Management of Habitats or Species of Matela" (TER08), situated on Terceira Island, the Azores Archipelago, Portugal. This small fragment of native forest, positioned at a low-medium altitude (300-400 m a.s.l.), is facing some conservation impacts as a consequence of the spread of different invasive exotic plant species, mainly Pittosporumundulatum, Rubusulmifolius and Hedychiumgardnerianum. The database we present encompasses diverse taxonomic groups, including bryophytes, vascular plants, arthropods, birds and mammals. It is derived from intensive sampling campaigns conducted in 2022, but some data from a previous vascular plant survey in 2015 were also included. The objective of this study was to provide an updated inventory of bryophytes, vascular plants, arthropods, birds and mammals within this protected area. In this way we are providing the reference conditions necessary for the monitoring of the impacts of the current ongoing restoration efforts within the project "Matela - an island of biodiversity". Whenever feasible, the present inventory is juxtaposed with historical data from previous surveys conducted in Matela.

NEW INFORMATION: In the realm of bryophytes, our analysis revealed the presence of 75 taxa, comprising 44 mosses and 32 liverworts. Amongst these, 71 were indigenous, while three remained indeterminate and one, Campylopusintroflexus, was identified as invasive. A comparison with previous historical data revealed a decrease in species richness, which was partially counterbalanced by the discovery of 23 new recorded species in the area.Regarding vascular plants, we distinguished 54 species, comprising 28 indigenous and 26 introduced taxa. Almost 80% of the inventoried species (n = 43) were newly documented in Matela.The study of arthropods encompassed a total of 103 taxa. Within the realm of soil arthropods, we documented eight indigenous and 25 introduced taxa, witnessing the disappearance of endemic species alongside a substantial increase in introduced ones between 2002 and 2022. Canopy arthropods, totalling 36 indigenous and 18 introduced taxa, exhibited few changes when compared with data from 2002. SLAM traps captured 24 indigenous and 15 introduced arthropod taxa and no historical data are available for comparison.As for avian species, we noted 12 indigenous birds and one introduced species, confirming the presence of most of the historical recorded native species.The mammalian census revealed eight introduced species, setting new precedents for Matela, alongside the identification of one endemic species: the Azorean endemic bat Nyctalusazoreum.

RevDate: 2024-04-17

Lundgren EJ, Wallach AD, Svenning JC, et al (2024)

Preventing extinction in an age of species migration and planetary change.

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

International and national conservation policies almost exclusively focus on conserving species in their historic native ranges, thus excluding species that have been introduced by people and some of those that have extended their ranges on their own accord. Given that many of such migrants are threatened in their native ranges, conservation goals that explicitly exclude these populations may overlook opportunities to prevent extinctions and respond dynamically to rapidly changing environmental and climatic conditions. Focusing on terrestrial mammals, we quantified the number of threatened mammals that have established new populations through assisted migration (i.e., introduction). We devised 4 alternative scenarios for the inclusion of assisted-migrant populations in mainstream conservation policy with the aim of preventing global species extinctions. We then used spatial prioritization algorithms to simulate how these scenarios could change global spatial conservation priorities. We found that 22% (70 species out of 265) of all identified assisted-migrant mammals were threatened in their native ranges, mirroring the 25% of all mammals that are threatened. Reassessing global threat statuses by combining native and migrant ranges reduced the threat status of 23 species (∼33% of threatened assisted migrants). Thus, including migrant populations in threat assessments provides a more accurate assessment of actual global extinction risk among species. Spatial prioritization simulations showed that reimagining the role of assisted-migrant populations in preventing species extinction could increase the importance of overlooked landscapes, particularly in central Australia, Europe, and the southwestern United States. Our results indicated that these various and nonexhaustive ways to consider assisted-migrant populations, with due consideration of potential conservation conflicts with resident taxa, may provide unprecedented opportunities to prevent species extinctions.

RevDate: 2024-04-17
CmpDate: 2024-04-17

Tang YH, Bi SY, Wang XD, et al (2024)

Opsin mutants alter host plant selection by color vision in the nocturnal invasive pest Tuta absoluta.

International journal of biological macromolecules, 265(Pt 1):130636.

In insects, vision is crucial in finding host plants, but its role in nocturnal insects is largely unknown. Vision involves responses to specific spectra of photon wavelengths and opsins plays an important role in this process. Long-wavelength sensitive opsin (LW opsin) and blue-sensitive opsin (BL opsin) are main visual opsin proteins and play important in behavior regulation.We used CRISPR/Cas9 technology to mutate the long-wavelength-sensitive and blue wavelength-sensitive genes and explored the role of vision in the nocturnal invasive pest Tuta absoluta. Light wave experiments revealed that LW2[(-/-)] and BL[(-/-)] mutants showed abnormal wavelength tropism. Both LW2 and BL mutations affected the preference of T. absoluta for the green environment. Mutations in LW2 and BL are necessary to inhibit visual attraction. The elimination of LW2 and BL affected the preference of leaf moths for green plants, and mutations in both induced a preference in moths for white plants. Behavioral changes resulting from LW2[(-/-)] and BL[(-/-)] mutants were not affected by sense of smell, further supporting the regulatory role of vision in insect behavior. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to reveal that vision, not smell, plays an important role in the host-seeking behavior of nocturnal insects at night, of which LW2 and BL opsins are key regulatory factors. These study findings will drive the development of the "vision-ecology" theory.

RevDate: 2024-04-17
CmpDate: 2024-04-17

Chen W, Zhang W, Qiu Y, et al (2024)

How does exotic Spartina alterniflora affect the contribution of iron-bound organic carbon to soil organic carbon in salt marshes?.

The Science of the total environment, 926:171605.

Iron-bound organic carbon (OC-FeR) is important for the stability of soil organic carbon (SOC) in salt marshes, and the Spartina alterniflora invasion reshaped local salt marshes and changed the SOC pool. To evaluate the effects of S. alterniflora invasion on the contribution of OC-FeR to SOC, we determined the OC-FeR content and soil characteristics in the 0-50 cm soil profile along the vegetation sequence, including mudflats (MF), S. alterniflora marshes established in 2003 (SA03) and 1989 (SA89), the ecotone of S. alterniflora and Phragmites australis (SE), S. salsa marsh (SS), and P. australis marsh (PA). The SOC content was 6.55-17.5 mg g[-1] in the S. alterniflora marshes. Reactive iron oxides (Fed, Feo, Fep) accumulated significantly in the S. alterniflora and P. australis salt marshes. PA and S. alterniflora marshes had higher DOC contents of 0.28-0.77 mg g[-1]. The OC-FeR content in the 0-50 cm soil profile in these ecosystems ranged from 0.3 to 3.29 mg g[-1], with a contribution to the SOC content (fOC-FeR) of approximately 11 %, which was highest in SA03 (16.3 % ~ 18.8 %), followed by SA89, SE, and PA. In addition, the molar ratios of OC-FeR to Fed were <1, indicating that the iron oxides were associated with SOC through sorption more than coprecipitation. According to the structural equation model, SOC, DOC and iron oxides were the direct driving factors of OC-FeR formation, while the vegetation zone indirectly functioned by regulating organic C inputs, iron oxide formation, and pH. This study suggested that S. alterniflora invasion promotes iron-bound organic carbon accumulation by increasing organic C inputs and regulating iron oxide formation in salt marshes, but such promotion will degenerate with development duration.

RevDate: 2024-04-17
CmpDate: 2024-04-17

Lantschner V, Gomez DF, Vilardo G, et al (2024)

Distribution, Invasion History, and Ecology of Non-native Pine Bark Beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) in Southern South America.

Neotropical entomology, 53(2):351-363.

The growth of international trade, coupled with an expansion of large-scale pine plantations in South America during the second half of the twentieth century, has significantly increased the opportunities for the invasion of forest insects. Bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) are a large and diverse group of insects, commonly recognized as one of the most important tree mortality agents in coniferous forests worldwide and an important group among invasive forest species. In this study, we combined data from field sampling with published records of established non-native pine bark beetles, to describe their distribution and invasion history in pine plantations across southern South America, reviewing the available information on their phenology and host range. We obtained records of established populations of six Eurasian species distributed in two major regions: the southwest region comprises plantations in Chile and the Argentine Patagonia, with four bark beetle species: Hylastes ater, Hylastes linearis, Hylurgus ligniperda, and Orthotomicus laricis; the northeastern zone includes northeastern Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil, and includes three bark beetle species: Cyrtogenius luteus, H. ligniperda, and O. erosus. The establishment of non-native populations across the study area began in the 1950s, and from the 1980s onwards, there has been an exponential increase in introductions. We predict that several of these species will continue spreading across South America and that new species will continue arriving. We highlight the importance of international collaboration for early detection and management of non-native pine bark beetles.

RevDate: 2024-04-17
CmpDate: 2024-04-17

Reche VA, Buonocore Biancheri MJ, Cao LM, et al (2024)

Survey on Drosophila suzukii and Ceratitis capitata (Diptera: Drosophilidae, Tephritidae) and Associated Eucoilinae Species (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) in Northwestern Argentina. First Record of Dicerataspis grenadensis and Leptopilina boulardi as Parasitoids of D. suzukii.

Neotropical entomology, 53(2):200-215.

The Southeast Asian-native Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae), also known as "spotted-wing Drosophila," is one of the most globally invasive agricultural species. Although D. suzukii is a pest spread throughout all the Argentinian fruit-growing regions, few information has been published on its impact on local fruit production. Parasitoid species associated with D. suzukii in Argentina belong to Pteromalidae (Chalcidoidea), Diapriidae (Diaprioidea), both attacking host pupae, and Figitidae (Cynipoidea), which attack host larvae. Nine Eucoilinae (Figitidae) species, belonging to Dicerataspis, Dieucoila, Euxestophaga, Ganaspis, Hexacola, and Leptopilina genera, have been associated with D. suzukii in Argentina. Ceratitis capitata (Wiedemann), commonly known as "medfly," is native to Africa and has a worldwide distribution, covering many tropical, subtropical, and temperate regions. In Argentina, C. capitata has been associated with several native hymenopterous parasitoids belonging to Braconidae (Ichneumonioidea), Eulophidae (Chalcidoidea), Pteromalidae, Diapriidae, and Figitidae families. Only two eucoline species, Ganaspis pelleranoi (Brèthes) and Leptopilina haywardi (Blanchard) have been related to medfly in Argentina. We report new trophic associations between the parasitoids Dicerataspis grenadensis Ashmead and Leptopilina boulardi (Barbotin, Carton and Kelner-Pillault) and D. suzukii, and between the parasitoid Odontosema albinerve Kieffer and C. capitata, after surveys conducted in Tucumán, northwestern Argentina. An annotated checklist and a taxonomic key of Eucoilinae associated with both invasive pests, in Argentina, are also provided.

RevDate: 2024-04-16

Baek S, Lee G, CG Park (2024)

Damage analysis of Pochazia shantungensis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae) in persimmons.

PloS one, 19(4):e0301471 pii:PONE-D-23-43655.

An invasive species, Pochazia shantungensis (Hemiptera: Ricaniidae), causes serious economic damage to fruit trees. In Korea, this pest is mainly managed using chemical insecticides. However, the management timing and insecticides for P. shantungensis negatively affect honeybee populations. Thus, this study estimated the decision-making level for P. shantungensis in persimmons to decrease insecticide application and increase management efficiency. We determined which developmental stage (i.e., egg, nymph, and adult) affected the damage-related factors (numbers of new shoots and fruit formations, and harvest amount) of persimmons using both spatial analyses and linear relationships. The distribution of P. shantungensis eggs was spatially correlated with the one of persimmon fruit number. However, we did not find any linear relationships between the densities of P. shantungensis eggs and damage-related factors of persimmons. Instead, we found that the density of P. shantungensis correlated with the death of oviposited branches. From the developed model of branch death possibility based on egg mass density, 5.75 egg masses per newly developed branch were proposed as the decision-making level. The findings would help increase the efficiency of P. shantungensis management in persimmon orchards and develop decision-making levels for other insects.

RevDate: 2024-04-16

Dondina O, Orioli V, Tirozzi P, et al (2024)

Estimating risk to prevent damage: predicting and preventing coypu (Myocastor coypus) damage to transport infrastructure.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: A major impact of the invasive Myocastor coypus in the introduction range is the collapse of riverbanks and nearby infrastructure, such as railway lines, due to the species' burrowing activities. As the ubiquitous implementation of preventive measures along watercourses is unfeasible, identifying susceptible areas is key to guide targeted management actions. This study used species-habitat models to (i) identify the local environmental features of the railway line/watercourse intersections (RLWIs) that make them particularly susceptible to coypu damage, and (ii) predict species occurrence probability in a wide lowland-hilly area of northern Italy (Lombardy) to identify priority areas for monitoring.

RESULTS: The local scale models stressed that the RLWIs most susceptible to burrowing were those surrounded by arable lands with interspersed hedgerows locally characterized by high herbaceous vegetation and clay soil. In urbanized and intensive agricultural areas coypu dens were generally located significantly closer to the railway, increasing the collapse risk. The landscape-scale species distribution model showed that lowland areas located along major rivers and lake shores, but also agricultural areas with a dense minor hydrographic network especially in the southeast of the study area, are more likely occupied by the species.

CONCLUSION: The local scale models shown that specific environmental characteristics increase the risk of burrowing near RLWIs. The landscape scale model allowed predicting which areas require thorough monitoring of RLWIs in search of such local characteristics to implement preventive management measures. The proposed model-based framework can be applied to any geographical context to predict and prevent coypu damages. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2024-04-16

Čuda J, Pyšková K, Hejda M, et al (2024)

Habitat modifies the relationship between grass and herbivore species richness in a South African savanna.

Ecology and evolution, 14(4):e11167 pii:ECE311167.

The savanna ecosystem is dominated by grasses, which are a key food source for many species of grazing animals. This relationship creates a diverse mosaic of habitats and contributes to the high grass species richness of savannas. However, how grazing interacts with environmental conditions in determining grass species richness and abundance in savannas is still insufficiently understood. In the Kruger National Park, South Africa, we recorded grass species and estimated their covers in 60 plots 50 × 50 m in size, accounting for varying proximity to water and different bedrocks. To achieve this, we located plots (i) near perennial rivers, near seasonal rivers, and on crests that are distant from all water sources and (ii) on nutrient-rich basaltic and nutrient-poor granitic bedrock. The presence and abundance of large herbivores were recorded by 60 camera traps located in the same plots. Grass cover was higher at crests and seasonal rivers than at perennial rivers and on basalts than on granites. The relationship between grass species richness and herbivore abundance or species richness was positive at crests, while that between grass species richness and herbivore species richness was negative at seasonal rivers. We found no support for controlling the dominance of grasses by herbivores in crests, but herbivore-induced microsite heterogeneity may account for high grass species richness there. In contrast, the decrease in grass species richness with herbivore species richness at seasonal rivers indicates that the strong grazing pressure over-rides the resistance of some species to grazing and trampling. We suggest that the relationships between grasses and herbivores may work in both directions, but the relationship is habitat-dependent, so that in less productive environments, the effect of herbivores on vegetation prevails, while in more productive environments along rivers the effect of vegetation and water supply on herbivores is more important.

RevDate: 2024-04-14

Hernández-Teixidor D, Duarte S, Taheri A, et al (2024)

Molecular identification of the invasive subterranean termite Reticulitermes grassei (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) outside its known distribution: introduction routes and implications for pest management strategies.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7645594 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite providing important ecosystem services, termites are also serious pests of wooden structures. Termites are highly adaptive organisms that cause concern as an invasive species. Predictions of the future spread of their distribution range due to factors such as climate change, urban growth, and global trade present new challenges to our capacity to protect our wood and wood-based materials and structures effectively. Reticulitermes grassei Clément, 1978 (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) is a subterranean termite native to the Iberian Peninsula and France, whose global distribution has widened over recent years. This article updates the distribution range of this species, confirming its identification in the Azores, Madeira, and Morocco through molecular analysis. The origin and consequences of these putative invasive populations are discussed in light of previously available data. The resulting network showed a highly structured base consisting of many haplotypes from the southern and southwestern Iberian Peninsula (Spain and Portugal), including those from Morocco (in natural landscapes) and Switzerland (in infrastructures). The more derived part of the network includes the haplotypes from southwest France, the northwest Iberian Peninsula, the United Kingdom, Azores, and Madeira, the last 3 being linked probably to human-mediated transportation events. The potential impacts of invasive subterranean termite populations expanding into new regions are concerning, especially in urban environments, and remain uncertain in natural areas. The challenges posed by these termites could be especially worrying in island ecosystems. Hence, it is crucial to implement early warning systems and monitoring programs in regions susceptible to subterranean termite invasions.

RevDate: 2024-04-14

Peš T, Straková B, L Kratochvíl (2024)

Environmental (and random?) sex determination in endangered and invasive Phelsuma geckos.

Sexual development : genetics, molecular biology, evolution, endocrinology, embryology, and pathology of sex determination and differentiation pii:000538906 [Epub ahead of print].

INTRODUCTION: Sex is a fundamental characteristic of an individual. It is therefore puzzling why in some systems sex is precisely determined by a genotype, while in others it is influenced by the environment or even subtle, not to say random, factors. Some stochasticity in sex determination would be expected if environmental conditions did not have a large sex-specific effect on fitness. Although data are only available for a small fraction of species, geckos show exceptional variability in sex determination.

METHODS: We tested the effects of three incubation temperatures on sex ratio and adult body size in the invasive gecko Phelsuma laticauda and the vulnerable gecko Phelsuma nigristriata.

RESULTS: We document temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD) in both species. Only females hatched at a low temperature (24 °C), whereas male production peaked at an intermediate temperature (29 °C) and declined, at least in P. laticauda, again at the highest temperature (31 °C). Interestingly, full siblings hatched from eggs glued together during the incubation at temperatures producing both sexes are often of the opposite sex. We found no significant effect of incubation temperature on adult body length.

CONCLUSIONS: Documentation of TSD in the day geckos has implications for conservation practice in environmental management of endangered species or eradication of invasive species. However, it appears that a very subtle (random?) factor may also be involved in their sex determination. In line with this, we found no significant effect of incubation temperature on adult body length, suggesting that, at least in this trait, there is no strong selection against producing females at "male" temperatures.

RevDate: 2024-04-13

Salti B, Atkinson SD, Brekhman V, et al (2024)

Exotic myxozoan parasites establish complex life cycles in farm pond aquaculture.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(24)00048-X [Epub ahead of print].

Myxozoans are obligate parasites with complex life cycles, typically infecting fish and annelids. Here, we examined annelids from fish farm pond sediments in the Beit Shean Valley, in the Syrian-African Rift Valley, Israel, for myxozoan infections. We examined 1486 oligochaetes, and found 74 (5 %) were infected with actinospore stages. We used mitochondrial 16S sequencing to infer identity of 25 infected annelids as species of Potamothrix, Psammoryctides, Tubifex and Dero. We identified 7 myxozoan types from collective groups Neoactinomyxum and Sphaeractinomyxon, and characterized them by small subunit ribosomal DNA sequencing. The Neoactinomyxum type was genetically most similar (∼93 %) to cyprinid fish-infecting Myxobolus spp. The six Sphaeractinomyxon types were genetically similar (93-100 %) to Mugilid-infecting Myxobolus spp.; with one being the previously unknown actinospore stage of a myxospore that infects mullet from aquaculture from the Israeli coast of the Mediterranean Sea. As the farm pond system is artificial and geographically isolated from the Mediterranean, the presence of at least seven myxozoans in their annelid hosts demonstrates introduction and establishment of these parasites in a novel, brackish environment.

RevDate: 2024-04-13

Thomas SM, Verhoeven MR, Walsh JR, et al (2024)

Improving species distribution forecasts by measuring and communicating uncertainty: An invasive species case study.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Forecasting invasion risk under future climate conditions is critical for the effective management of invasive species, and species distribution models (SDMs) are key tools for doing so. However, SDM-based forecasts are uncertain, especially when correlative statistical models extrapolate to nonanalog environmental domains, such as future climate conditions. Different assumptions about the functional form of the temperature-suitability relationship can impact predicted habitat suitability under novel conditions. Hence, methods to understand the sources of uncertainty are critical when applying SDMs. Here, we use high-resolution predictions of lake water temperatures to project changes in habitat suitability under future climate conditions for an invasive macrophyte (Myriophyllym spicatum). Future suitability was predicted using five global circulation models and three statistical models that assumed different species-temperature functional responses. The suitability of lakes for M. spicatum was overall predicted to increase under future climate conditions, but the magnitude and direction of change in suitability varied greatly among lakes. Variability was most pronounced for lakes under nonanalog temperature conditions, indicating that predictions for these lakes remained highly uncertain. Integrating predictions from SDMs that differ in their species-environment response function, while explicitly quantifying uncertainty across analog and nonanalog domains, can provide a more robust and useful approach to forecasting invasive species distribution under climate change.

RevDate: 2024-04-13

Van der Cruysse L, De Cock A, Lock K, et al (2024)

Introduction of Native Submerged Macrophytes to Restore Biodiversity in Streams.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 13(7): pii:plants13071014.

Streams are biodiversity hotspots that provide numerous ecosystem services. Safeguarding this biodiversity is crucial to uphold sustainable ecosystem functioning and to ensure the continuation of these ecosystem services in the future. However, in recent decades, streams have witnessed a disproportionate decline in biodiversity compared to other ecosystems, and are currently considered among the most threatened ecosystems worldwide. This is the result of the combined effect of a multitude of stressors. For freshwater systems in general, these have been classified into five main pressures: water pollution, overexploitation, habitat degradation and destruction, alien invasive species, and hydromorphological pressures. On top of these direct stressors, the effects of global processes like environmental and climate change must be considered. The intricate and interconnected nature of various stressors affecting streams has made it challenging to formulate effective policies and management strategies. As a result, restoration efforts have not always been successful in creating a large-scale shift towards a better ecological status. In order to achieve an improved status in these systems, situation-specific management strategies tailored to specific stressor combinations may be needed. In this paper, we examine the potential of introducing native submerged macrophyte species to advance the restoration of stream ecosystems. Through successful introductions, we anticipate positive ecological outcomes, including enhanced water quality and increased biodiversity. This research is significant, as the potential success in restoring stream biodiversity not only represents progress in ecological understanding but also offers valuable insights for future restoration and management strategies for these vital ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-04-12

Mowery MA, Rosenwald LC, Chapman E, et al (2024)

Endosymbiont diversity across native and invasive brown widow spider populations.

Scientific reports, 14(1):8556.

The invasive brown widow spider, Latrodectus geometricus (Araneae: Theridiidae), has spread in multiple locations around the world and, along with it, brought associated organisms such as endosymbionts. We investigated endosymbiont diversity and prevalence across putative native and invasive populations of this spider, predicting lower endosymbiont diversity across the invasive range compared to the native range. First, we characterized the microbial community in the putative native (South Africa) and invasive (Israel and the United States) ranges via high throughput 16S sequencing of 103 adult females. All specimens were dominated by reads from only 1-3 amplicon sequence variants (ASV), and most individuals were infected with an apparently uniform strain of Rhabdochlamydia. We also found Rhabdochlamydia in spider eggs, indicating that it is a maternally-inherited endosymbiont. Relatively few other ASV were detected, but included two variant Rhabdochlamydia strains and several Wolbachia, Spiroplasma and Enterobacteriaceae strains. We then diagnostically screened 118 adult female spiders from native and invasive populations specifically for Rhabdochlamydia and Wolbachia. We found Rhabdochlamydia in 86% of individuals and represented in all populations, which suggests that it is a consistent and potentially important associate of L. geometricus. Wolbachia was found at lower overall prevalence (14%) and was represented in all countries, but not all populations. In addition, we found evidence for geographic variation in endosymbiont prevalence: spiders from Israel were more likely to carry Rhabdochlamydia than those from the US and South Africa, and Wolbachia was geographically clustered in both Israel and South Africa. Characterizing endosymbiont prevalence and diversity is a first step in understanding their function inside the host and may shed light on the process of spread and population variability in cosmopolitan invasive species.

RevDate: 2024-04-12

Aparna , Kumar V, R Nautiyal (2024)

Box-Behnken design-based isolation and chemical characterization of lignocellulosic fiber from Pueraria montana for weed management.

International journal of biological macromolecules pii:S0141-8130(24)02284-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The huge demand for natural fibers necessitates the search for non-traditional bioresources including invasive species which are deteriorating the ecosystem and biodiversity. The study aims to utilize Pueraria montana weed for the extraction of lignocellulosic fiber using both traditional (water retting) and chemical extraction methods to determine the better extraction method. Chemically extracted fiber showed 17.09 g/tex bundle strength whereas water-extracted fiber showed 11.7 g/tex bundle strength. Therefore, chemical extraction method was chosen for fiber isolation by optimization of reaction conditions using Box Behnken Design. Based on the design, optimal conditions obtained were 1 % w/v NaOH, 0.75 % v/v H2O2, and 3 days retting time. Solid-state NMR illustrated the breakdown of hemicellulose linkages at 25.89 ppm. FTIR revealed the disappearance of CO groups of hemicellulose at 1742 cm[-1]. TGA demonstrated thermal stability of chemically treated fiber up to 220 °C and activation energy of 60.122 KJ/mol. XRD evidenced that chemically extracted fiber has a crystallinity index of 71.1 % and a crystal size of 2 nm. Thus P. montana weed holds potential for the isolation of natural fiber as its chemical composition and properties are comparable to commercial lignocellulosic fibers. The study exemplifies the transformation of weed to a bioresource of natural fibers.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Guerin AJ, Weise AM, Chu JWF, et al (2024)

High-resolution freshwater dissolved calcium and pH data layers for Canada and the United States.

Scientific data, 11(1):370.

Freshwater ecosystems are biologically important habitats that provide many ecosystem services. Calcium concentration and pH are two key variables that are linked to multiple chemical processes in these environments, influence the biology of organisms from diverse taxa, and can be important factors affecting the distribution of native and non-native species. However, it can be challenging to obtain high-resolution data for these variables at regional and national scales. To address this data gap, water quality data for lakes and rivers in Canada and the continental USA were compiled and used to generate high-resolution (10 × 10 km) interpolated raster layers, after comparing multiple spatial interpolation approaches. This is the first time that such data have been made available at this scale and resolution, providing a valuable resource for research, including projects evaluating risks from environmental change, pollution, and invasive species. This will aid the development of conservation and management strategies for these vital habitats.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Hong Y, Bie L, Zhang T, et al (2024)

SAFB restricts contact domain boundaries associated with L1 chimeric transcription.

Molecular cell pii:S1097-2765(24)00231-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Long interspersed element-1 (LINE-1 or L1) comprises 17% of the human genome, continuously generates genetic variations, and causes disease in certain cases. However, the regulation and function of L1 remain poorly understood. Here, we uncover that L1 can enrich RNA polymerase IIs (RNA Pol IIs), express L1 chimeric transcripts, and create contact domain boundaries in human cells. This impact of L1 is restricted by a nuclear matrix protein scaffold attachment factor B (SAFB) that recognizes transcriptionally active L1s by binding L1 transcripts to inhibit RNA Pol II enrichment. Acute inhibition of RNA Pol II transcription abolishes the domain boundaries associated with L1 chimeric transcripts, indicating a transcription-dependent mechanism. Deleting L1 impairs domain boundary formation, and L1 insertions during evolution have introduced species-specific domain boundaries. Our data show that L1 can create RNA Pol II-enriched regions that alter genome organization and that SAFB regulates L1 and RNA Pol II activity to preserve gene regulation.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Padilla P, Herrel A, M Denoël (2024)

Invading new climates at what cost? Ontogenetic differences in the thermal dependence of metabolic rate in an invasive amphibian.

Journal of thermal biology, 121:103836 pii:S0306-4565(24)00054-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Global warming can either promote or constrain the invasive potential of alien species. In ectotherm invaders that exhibit a complex life cycle, success is inherently dependent on the capacity of each developmental stage to cope with environmental change. This is particularly relevant for invasive anurans, which disperse on land while requiring water for reproduction. However, it remains unknown how the different life stages respond in terms of energy expenditure under different climate change scenarios. We here quantified the oxygen uptake of frogs at rest (a proxy of the standard metabolic rate) in the aquatic phase (at the tadpole and climax, i.e. during metamorphosis, stages) and in the terrestrial phase (metamorphosed stage) at three environmental temperatures. To do so, we used marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus), an amphibian with the largest invasive range within the palearctic realm and for which their adaptation to global warming might be key to their invasion success. Beyond an increase of metabolic rate with temperature, our data show variation in thermal adaptation across life stages and a higher metabolic cost during metamorphosis. These results suggest that the cost to shift habitat and face changes in temperature may be a constraint on the invasive potential of species with a complex life cycle which may be particularly vulnerable during metamorphosis.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Pozsgai G, Lhoumeau S, Amorim IR, et al (2024)

The BALA project: A pioneering monitoring of Azorean forest invertebrates over two decades (1999-2022).

Scientific data, 11(1):368.

Globally, there is a concerning decline in many insect populations, and this trend likely extends to all arthropods, potentially impacting unique island biota. Native non-endemic and endemic species on islands are under threat due to habitat destruction, with the introduction of exotic, and potentially invasive, species, further contributing to this decline. While long-term studies of plants and vertebrate fauna are available, long-term arthropod datasets are limited, hindering comparisons with better-studied taxa. The Biodiversity of Arthropods of the Laurisilva of the Azores (BALA) project has allowed gathering comprehensive data since 1997 in the Azorean Islands (Portugal), using standardised sampling methods across islands. The dataset includes arthropod counts from epigean (pitfall traps) and canopy-dwelling (beating samples) communities, enriched with species information, biogeographic origins, and IUCN categories. Metadata associated with the sample protocol and events, like sample identifier, archive number, sampled tree species, and trap type are also recorded. The database is available in multiple formats, including Darwin Core, which facilitates the ecological analysis of pressing environmental concerns, such as arthropod population declines and biological invasions.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Musese LJ, Kitegile AS, CJ Kilawe (2024)

Ectoparasites of wild rodents in forest sites invaded and uninvaded by Maesopsis eminii in Amani nature forest reserve, Tanzania.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 24:100932.

Parasites are important component of communities in a forest ecosystem with profound effects on trophic interactions such as food web. Modification of the forest structure (e.g. changes in species composition and abundance of key species) can have a strong impact on the occurrence, diversity, and abundance of parasites, with subsequent repercussions for ecosystem functioning. In this study, we compared the occurrence and abundance of wild rodents' ectoparasites from forest sites invaded and uninvaded by an invasive tree, Maesopsis eminii in Amani Nature Forest Reserve, Tanzania. Three large plots (40 m × 100 m) were randomly established in each forest sites invaded and uninvaded by M. eminii. In each plot, 50 Sherman traps were systematically placed at 10 m interval for capturing wild rodents through a capture-mark-recapture technique. Wilcox rank sum test was used to compare for differences in the abundance of infested rodents and ectoparasites between the invaded and uninvaded forest sites. A total of 297 individual rodents were captured and screened for ectoparasites, including 174 rodents from uninvaded forest site and 123 rodents from invaded forest site. The number of infested rodents were significantly (W = 8592, P < 0.001) greater in uninvaded forest site (66.27%) than in the invaded forest site (36.2%). Furthermore, a significant greater number of Echinolaelaps echidninus (W = 1849, P < 0.01) and Dinopsyllus ellobius (W = 2800.5, P < 0.05) ectoparasites were found in uninvaded as compared to the invaded forest sites. The results of this study suggest that the invasion and dominance by, M. eminii in Amani Nature Reserve has created unfavorable conditions for rodents and ectoparasites and therefore impacting the diversity and function of the forest ecosystem. We recommend prevention of further introduction of the M. eminii outside their natural range and mitigating the impact of the established M. eminii in Amani Forest Nature Reserve.

RevDate: 2024-04-11

Visagie CM, Yilmaz N, Kocsubé S, et al (2024)

A review of recently introduced Aspergillus, Penicillium, Talaromyces and other Eurotiales species.

Studies in mycology, 107:1-66.

The order Eurotiales is diverse and includes species that impact our daily lives in many ways. In the past, its taxonomy was difficult due to morphological similarities, which made accurate identification of species difficult. This situation improved and stabilised with recent taxonomic and nomenclatural revisions that modernised Aspergillus, Penicillium and Talaromyces. This was mainly due to the availability of curated accepted species lists and the publication of comprehensive DNA sequence reference datasets. This has also led to a sharp increase in the number of new species described each year with the accepted species lists in turn also needing regular updates. The focus of this study was to review the 160 species described between the last list of accepted species published in 2020 until 31 December 2022. To review these species, single-gene phylogenies were constructed and GCPSR (Genealogical Concordance Phylogenetic Species Recognition) was applied. Multi-gene phylogenetic analyses were performed to further determine the relationships of the newly introduced species. As a result, we accepted 133 species (37 Aspergillus, two Paecilomyces, 59 Penicillium, two Rasamsonia, 32 Talaromyces and one Xerochrysium), synonymised 22, classified four as doubtful and created a new combination for Paraxerochrysium coryli, which is classified in Xerochrysium. This brings the number of accepted species to 453 for Aspergillus, 12 for Paecilomyces, 535 for Penicillium, 14 for Rasamsonia, 203 for Talaromyces and four for Xerochrysium. We accept the newly introduced section Tenues (in Talaromyces), and series Hainanici (in Aspergillus sect. Cavernicolarum) and Vascosobrinhoana (in Penicillium sect. Citrina). In addition, we validate the invalidly described species Aspergillus annui and A. saccharicola, and series Annuorum (in Aspergillus sect. Flavi), introduce a new combination for Dichlaena lentisci (type of the genus) and place it in a new section in Aspergillus subgenus Circumdati, provide an updated description for Rasamsonia oblata, and list excluded and recently synonymised species that were previously accepted. This study represents an important update of the accepted species lists in Eurotiales. Taxonomic novelties: New sections: Aspergillus section Dichlaena Visagie, Kocsubé & Houbraken. New series: Aspergillus series Annuorum J.J. Silva, B.T. Iamanaka, Frisvad. New species: Aspergillus annui J.J. Silva, M.H.P. Fungaro, Frisvad, M.H. Taniwaki & B.T. Iamanaka; Aspergillus saccharicola J.J. Silva, Frisvad, M.H.P. Fungaro, M.H. Taniwaki & B.T. Iamanaka. New combinations: Aspergillus lentisci (Durieu & Mont.) Visagie, Malloch, L. Kriegsteiner, Samson & Houbraken; Xerochrysium coryli (Crous & Decock) Visagie & Houbraken. Citation: Visagie CM, Yilmaz N, Kocsubé S, Frisvad JC, Hubka V, Samson RA, Houbraken J (2024). A review of recently introduced Aspergillus, Penicillium, Talaromyces and other Eurotiales species. Studies in Mycology 107: 1-66. doi: 10.3114/sim.2024.107.01.

RevDate: 2024-04-11
CmpDate: 2024-04-11

Brett MF, Strauss P, van Wyk K, et al (2024)

Spillover effects from invasive Acacia alter the plant-pollinator networks and seed production of native plants.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 291(2020):20232941.

Invasive flowering plants can disrupt plant-pollinator networks. This is well documented where invasives occur amongst native plants; however, the potential for 'spillover' effects of invasives that form stands in adjacent habitats are less well understood. Here we quantify the impact of two invasive Australian species, Acacia saligna and Acacia longifolia, on the plant-pollinator networks in fynbos habitats in South Africa. We compared networks from replicate 1 ha plots of native vegetation (n = 21) that were subjected to three treatments: (1) at least 400 m from flowering Acacia; (2) adjacent to flowering Acacia, or (3) adjacent to flowering Acacia where all Acacia flowers were manually removed. We found that native flowers adjacent to stands of flowering Acacia received significantly more insect visits, especially from beetles and Apis mellifera capensis, and that visitation was more generalized. We also recorded visitation to, and the seed set of, three native flowering species and found that two received more insect visits, but produced fewer seeds, when adjacent to flowering Acacia. Our research shows that 'spillover' effects of invasive Acacia can lead to significant changes in visitation and seed production of native co-flowering species in neighbouring habitats-a factor to be considered when managing invaded landscapes.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Gallardo B, Bacher S, Barbosa AM, et al (2024)

Risks posed by invasive species to the provision of ecosystem services in Europe.

Nature communications, 15(1):2631.

Invasive species significantly impact biodiversity and ecosystem services, yet understanding these effects at large spatial scales remains a challenge. Our study addresses this gap by assessing the current and potential future risks posed by 94 invasive species to seven key ecosystem services in Europe. We demonstrate widespread potential impacts, particularly on outdoor recreation, habitat maintenance, crop provisioning, and soil and nitrogen retention. Exposure to invasive species was higher in areas with lower provision of ecosystem services, particularly for regulating and cultural services. Exposure was also high in areas where ecosystem contributions to crop provision and nitrogen retention were at their highest. Notably, regions vital for ecosystem services currently have low invasion suitability, but face an average 77% increase in potential invasion area. Here we show that, while high-value ecosystem service areas at the highest risk represent a small fraction of Europe (0-13%), they are disproportionally important for service conservation. Our study underscores the importance of monitoring and protecting these hotspots to align management strategies with international biodiversity targets, considering both invasion vulnerability and ecosystem service sustainability.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Tarkan AS, Bayçelebi E, Giannetto D, et al (2024)

Economic costs of non-native species in Türkiye: A first national synthesis.

Journal of environmental management, 358:120779 pii:S0301-4797(24)00765-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are increasingly recognised as a major global change that erodes ecosystems, societal well-being, and economies. However, comprehensive analyses of their economic ramifications are missing for most national economies, despite rapidly escalating costs globally. Türkiye is highly vulnerable to biological invasions owing to its extensive transport network and trade connections as well as its unique transcontinental position at the interface of Europe and Asia. This study presents the first analysis of the reported economic costs caused by biological invasions in Türkiye. The InvaCost database which compiles invasive non-native species' monetary costs was used, complemented with cost searches specific to Türkiye, to describe the spatial and taxonomic attributes of costly invasive non-native species, the types of costs, and their temporal trends. The total economic cost attributed to invasive non-native species in Türkiye (from 202 cost reporting documents) amounted to US$ 4.1 billion from 1960 to 2022. However, cost data were only available for 87 out of 872 (10%) non-native species known for Türkiye. Costs were biased towards a few hyper-costly non-native taxa, such as jellyfish, stink bugs, and locusts. Among impacted sectors, agriculture bore the highest total cost, reaching US$ 2.85 billion, followed by the fishery sector with a total cost of US$ 1.20 billion. Management (i.e., control and eradication) costs were, against expectations, substantially higher than reported damage costs (US$ 2.89 billion vs. US$ 28.4 million). Yearly costs incurred by non-native species rose exponentially over time, reaching US$ 504 million per year in 2020-2022 and are predicted to increase further in the next 10 years. A large deficit of cost records compared to other countries was also shown, suggesting a larger monetary underestimate than is typically observed. These findings underscore the need for improved cost recording as well as preventative management strategies to reduce future post-invasion management costs and help inform decisions to manage the economic burdens posed by invasive non-native species. These insights further emphasise the crucial role of standardised data in accurately estimating the costs associated with invasive non-native species for prioritisation and communication purposes.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Espíndola WD, TA Carlo (2024)

Seabird guano inputs increase impacts from introduced mammals on the native plants and animals of an oceanic island.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Seabirds create fluxes of nutrients from marine to terrestrial ecosystems that influence the food webs of small islands. We investigated how guano inputs shape terrestrial food webs by comparing species of selected plant and animal species in a red-footed booby colony in Mona Island (Puerto Rico, Caribbean Sea), to sites of the island lacking guano inputs. We quantified guano deposition and its relationship to plant biomass production, fecundity and density, as well as the activity of native and introduced animal species. In general, guano inputs increased the gross primary plant productivity, size, and fecundity by twofold. Guano inputs were also associated with twofold increases in density of Anole lizards, but also to increases in the activity of introduced pigs (> 500%), goats (> 30%), and cats (> 500%), which negatively impact native species. In particular, elevated pig and cat activity within the booby colony was correlated with lower activity of endemic ground lizards and of introduced rats. Our results also suggest that severe droughts associated with climate change exacerbate the negative effects that introduced species have on vegetation and reduce the positive effects of seabird guano inputs. Our findings underscore the importance of allochthonous guano inputs in subsidizing plant productivity and native and endemic species in small oceanic islands, but also in increasing the negative impacts of introduced mammals. Management and conservation efforts should focus on the exclusion (or eradication) of introduced mammals, particularly pigs and goats, from remnant seabird colonies in Mona Island.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Assis JCA, HA Pinto (2024)

Infection of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) with the Asian fish tapeworm Schyzocotyle acheilognathi in an urban stream in Brazil.

Revista brasileira de parasitologia veterinaria = Brazilian journal of veterinary parasitology : Orgao Oficial do Colegio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinaria, 33(1):e020323 pii:S1984-29612024000100404.

Schyzocotyle acheilognathi is a fish tapeworm native to Asia but has been reported as an alien species on practically all other continents. Its invasive potential is due to its low host specificity and high adaptability to different environments, and its spread to new areas can result in economic and ecological impacts. Studies reporting this species in South America are still scarce, indicating the need to monitor its dispersion to new areas. Herein, tapeworms found in guppies, Poecilia reticulata, from an urban stream located in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil, in April 2021 were subjected to morphological and molecular characterization. As a result, 5/13 (38.5%) of the P. reticulata specimens evaluated were infected with intestinal tapeworms. It was verified a mean intensity of infection of 7.8 (1-25) and a mean abundance of infection of 3 (0-25). The morphology of the cestodes obtained was compatible with that of S. acheilognathi. Moreover, genetic analysis based on cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 gene (Cox-1) revealed 97.89-99.77% similarity to isolates of this species from different localities. The possibility that S. acheilognathi is expanding to new regions of South America is discussed.

RevDate: 2024-04-10

Feng X, Peterson AT, Aguirre-López LJ, et al (2024)

Rethinking ecological niches and geographic distributions in face of pervasive human influence in the Anthropocene.

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

Species are distributed in predictable ways in geographic spaces. The three principal factors that determine geographic distributions of species are biotic interactions (B), abiotic conditions (A), and dispersal ability or mobility (M). A species is expected to be present in areas that are accessible to it and that contain suitable sets of abiotic and biotic conditions for it to persist. A species' probability of presence can be quantified as a combination of responses to B, A, and M via ecological niche modeling (ENM; also frequently referred to as species distribution modeling or SDM). This analytical approach has been used broadly in ecology and biogeography, as well as in conservation planning and decision-making, but commonly in the context of 'natural' settings. However, it is increasingly recognized that human impacts, including changes in climate, land cover, and ecosystem function, greatly influence species' geographic ranges. In this light, historical distinctions between natural and anthropogenic factors have become blurred, and a coupled human-natural landscape is recognized as the new norm. Therefore, B, A, and M (BAM) factors need to be reconsidered to understand and quantify species' distributions in a world with a pervasive signature of human impacts. Here, we present a framework, termed human-influenced BAM (Hi-BAM, for distributional ecology that (i) conceptualizes human impacts in the form of six drivers, and (ii) synthesizes previous studies to show how each driver modifies the natural BAM and species' distributions. Given the importance and prevalence of human impacts on species distributions globally, we also discuss implications of this framework for ENM/SDM methods, and explore strategies by which to incorporate increasing human impacts in the methodology. Human impacts are redefining biogeographic patterns; as such, future studies should incorporate signals of human impacts integrally in modeling and forecasting species' distributions.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

de Groot M, Kozamernik E, Kermavnar J, et al (2024)

Importance of Habitat Context in Modelling Risk Maps for Two Established Invasive Alien Plant Species: The Case of Ailanthus altissima and Phytolacca americana in Slovenia (Europe).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 13(6): pii:plants13060883.

Forests are important ecosystems that face threats from climate change and global environmental shifts, with invasive alien plant species being a significant concern. Some of these invasive species have already become established, while others are in the process of naturalisation. Although forests are a relatively stable ecosystem, extreme weather events increase their vulnerability to change, and clearings left after natural disturbances are particularly susceptible to invasion by alien plant species (IAPS). We created risk maps of two species that have spread rapidly in the last decade: American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) and the tree of heaven (Ailanthus altissima). We prepared a generalised linear model based on the occurrence data collected within the LIFE ARTEMIS project. Eleven environmental variables were used to determine habitat characteristics. We constructed two models for each species: one covering the entirety of Slovenia and the other specifically for the forested areas in Slovenia, with the latter incorporating forest-specific variables (such as forest sanitation felling and monocultures). We observed the presence of both species at lower altitudes and in close proximity to water sources. American pokeweed tends to occur nearer to railways, while the presence of the tree of heaven is associated with areas lacking carbonate parent material and influenced by land use patterns. In forested areas, the occurrence of American pokeweed is influenced by forest habitat characteristics, such as disturbances caused by extreme weather events or the prevalence of Norway spruce monocultures. In contrast, the occurrence of the tree of heaven is influenced by more general environmental variables, such as altitude and proximity to railways. Consequently, we have generated risk maps for the entirety of Slovenia and separately for forested areas, both of which indicate similar levels of risk, particularly for the tree of heaven. The risk map for American pokeweed highlights numerous vulnerable areas, especially forest edges, which are highly susceptible to invasion. Furthermore, there is a higher likelihood of this species occurring in areas that have undergone sanitation felling. This study suggests that the production of risk maps of IAPS could be improved by focussing on habitat types and taking into account habitat-specific variables. This approach could enhance the early detection and management of these invasive species.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

Nelufule T, Shivambu TC, Shivambu N, et al (2024)

Assessing Alien Plant Invasions in Urban Environments: A Case Study of Tshwane University of Technology and Implications for Biodiversity Conservation.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 13(6): pii:plants13060872.

Preserving the dwindling native biodiversity in urban settings poses escalating challenges due to the confinement of remaining natural areas to isolated and diminutive patches. Remarkably scarce research has scrutinised the involvement of institutions, particularly universities, in introducing alien plant species in South Africa, thus creating a significant gap in effective monitoring and management. In this study, the Tshwane University of Technology in Tshwane Metropole, South Africa serves as a focal point, where we conducted a comprehensive survey of alien plants both within the university premises and beyond its confines. The investigation involved the classification of invasion status and a meticulous assessment of donor and recipient dynamics. Our findings encompass 876 occurrence records, revealing the presence of 94 alien plant species spanning 44 distinct families. Noteworthy occurrences among the dominant plant families are Asteraceae and Solanaceae. Herbaceous and woody plants emerged as the most prevalent alien species, with common representation across both sampling sites. A substantial majority of recorded species were initially introduced for horticultural purposes (51%) before escaping and establishing self-sustaining populations (62%). Furthermore, 43 species identified are listed in South African invasive species legislation, with some manifesting invasive tendencies and altering the distribution of native species in the remaining natural areas. The notable overlap in species observed between the university premises and adjacent areas provides crucial insights into the influence of institutions on the dynamics of plant invasions within the urban landscape. This underscores the prevailing gaps in the management of invasive alien plants in urban zones and accentuates the imperative of an integrated approach involving collaboration between municipalities and diverse institutions for effective invasive species management in urban environments.

RevDate: 2024-04-09

Yang X, Wang M, Gu Y, et al (2024)

The oviposition preference and offspring performance of Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae).

Journal of economic entomology pii:7642760 [Epub ahead of print].

Given the rapid spread and potential harm caused by the small hive beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) in China, it has become imperative to comprehend the developmental biology of this invasive species. Currently, there is limited knowledge regarding the impact of A. tumida female oviposition site preference on larval growth and development. To examine this, we investigated the ovipositional preference of adult female A. tumida on bee pupae, beebread, banana, and honey through a free choice test. Furthermore, we assessed the impact of these food resources on offspring performance, which included larval development time, survival, wandering larvae weight, emerged adult body mass, reproduction, and juvenile hormone titer. Our results showed that A. tumida females exhibited a strong preference for ovipositing on bee pupae compared to other diets, while showing reluctance toward honey. Moreover, A. tumida larvae that were fed on bee pupae displayed accelerated growth compared to those fed on other diets. Furthermore, A. tumida fed on bee pupae exhibited higher weights for wandering larvae, and emerged adult, increased pupation rates, enhanced fecundity and fertility, as well as a larger number of unilateral ovarioles during the larval stage when compared to those fed on other diets. Overall, the results indicate that the oviposition preferences of A. tumida females are adaptive, as their choices can enhance the fitness of their offspring. This finding aligns broadly with the hypothesis of oviposition preference and larval performance. This study can provide a foundation for the development of attractants aimed at promoting the oviposition of the A. tumida adults.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Chen Y, Wang X, Li M, et al (2024)

Impact of trace element on invasive plants: Attenuated competitiveness yet sustained dominance over native counterparts.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)02435-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Trace element pollution has emerged as an increasingly severe environmental challenge owing to human activities, particularly in urban ecosystems. In farmlands, invasive species commonly outcompete native species when subjected to trace element treatments, as demonstrated in experiments with individual invader-native pairs. However, it is uncertain if these findings apply to a wider range of species in urban soils with trace elements. Thus, we designed a greenhouse experiment to simulate the current copper and zinc levels in urban soils (102.29 mg kg[-1] and 148.32 mg kg[-1], respectively). The experiment involved four pairs of invasive alien species and their natural co-existing native species to investigate the effects of essential trace elements in urban soil on the growth and functional traits of invasive and native species, as well as their interspecific relationship. The results showed that adding trace elements weakened the competitiveness of invasive species. Nonetheless, trace element addition did not change the outcome of competition, consistently favoring invasion successfully. Under trace element addition treatment, invasive species and native species still maintained functional differentiation trend. Furthermore, the crown area, average leaf area and leaf area per plant of invasive species were higher than those of native species by 157 %, 177 % and 178 % under copper treatment, and 194 %, 169 % and 188 % under zinc treatment, respectively. Additionally, interspecific competition enhanced the root growth of invasive species by 21 % with copper treatment and 14 % with zinc treatment. The ability of invasive species to obtain light energy and absorb water and nutrients might be the key to their successful invasion.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Ash LV, Campião KM, Teixeira CP, et al (2024)

Ranavirus and helminth parasite co-infection in invasive American bullfrogs in the Atlantic forest, Brazil.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 23:100924.

Emerging infectious diseases threaten amphibian species across the globe. In Brazil, the American bullfrog (Aquarana catesbeiana) is a highly invasive species that can potentially transmit parasites and pathogens to native amphibians. This is the first assessment of co-infection of Ranavirus and helminth macroparasites in invasive populations of bullfrogs in South America. We collected, measured, and euthanized 65 specimens of A. catesbeiana sampled from 9 sites across three states of Brazil in the Atlantic Forest biome. We collected and identified helminth macroparasites and sampled host liver tissue to test for the presence and load of Ranavirus with quantitative PCR. We documented patterns of prevalence, parasite load, and co-infection with generalized linear mixed models, generalized logistic regressions, and randomization tests. Most individual bullfrogs did not exhibit clinical signs of infection, but the overall Ranavirus prevalence was 27% (95% confidence interval, [CI 17-38]). Bullfrogs were infected with helminth macroparasites from 5 taxa. Co-infection of helminth macroparasites and Ranavirus was also common (21% CI [12-31]). Bullfrog size was positively correlated with total macroparasite abundance and richness, and the best-fitting model included a significant interaction between bullfrog size and Ranavirus infection status. We observed a negative correlation between Ranavirus viral load and nematode abundance (slope = -0.22, P = 0.03). Invasive bullfrogs (A. catesbeiana) in Brazil were frequently infected with both Ranavirus and helminth macroparasites, so adult bullfrogs could serve as reservoir hosts for both pathogens and parasites. However, many macroparasites collected were encysted and not developing. Coinfection patterns suggest a potential interaction between Ranavirus and macroparasites because helminth abundance increased with bullfrog size but was lower in Ranavirus infected individuals. Future studies of bullfrogs in the Atlantic Forest should investigate their potential role in pathogen and parasite transmission to native anurans.

RevDate: 2024-04-08

Crespo LCF, Cardoso P, Malumbres-Olarte J, et al (2024)

Standardised inventories of spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) of Macaronesia III: dry habitats of Cabo Verde Archipelago (São Vicente and Santo Antão).

Biodiversity data journal, 12:e115464.

BACKGROUND: With this publication, we contribute to the knowledge of the arachnofauna of Cabo Verde, focusing specifically on the Islands of Santo Antão and São Vicente. Data were obtained from samples collected as part of the project "Macaronesian Islands as a testing ground to assess biodiversity drivers at multiple scales" (FCT - MACDIV, 2015-2018). This project aimed to identify the factors influencing community assembly in Macaronesian islands. For the Cabo Verde Islands, we focused on dry habitats with the additional aim to revise the aracnofauna of this poorly-known fauna. We applied the COBRA (Conservation Oriented Biodiversity Rapid Assessment) sampling protocol in ten 50 m x 50 m dry shrub plots, with five on each of the two islands, using pitfall traps, sweep-netting and active search. Additional ad-hoc samples were also collected and reported.

NEW INFORMATION: Our sampling of spiders from Cabo Verde (Santo Antão and São Vicente) yielded a total of 3,368 specimens, of which 1300 (39%) were adults. The samples include 21 families, 87 species, 18 of which are morphospecies awaiting formal identification or description at species level. Species in the families Oxyopidae (2 spp.) and Araneidae (8 spp.) were the most abundant, making up 49% of the specimens. From the 68 named species, 14 are endemic to Cabo Verde, 40 are native non-endemic and 14 are introduced. The colonisation status of Cithaeronreimoseri Platnick, 1991 is unknown. Endemic species accounted for 24% (n = 818) of the specimens and native non-endemic for 63% (n = 2122). A total of 29 species were new records for Cabo Verde, with 15 for Santo Antão, seven for São Vicente and seven for both Islands.

RevDate: 2024-04-07

McGeoch MA, Clarke DA, Mungi NA, et al (2024)

A nature-positive future with biological invasions: theory, decision support and research needs.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 379(1902):20230014.

In 2050, most areas of biodiversity significance will be heavily influenced by multiple drivers of environmental change. This includes overlap with the introduced ranges of many alien species that negatively impact biodiversity. With the decline in biodiversity and increase in all forms of global change, the need to envision the desired qualities of natural systems in the Anthropocene is growing, as is the need to actively maintain their natural values. Here, we draw on community ecology and invasion biology to (i) better understand trajectories of change in communities with a mix of native and alien populations, and (ii) to frame approaches to the stewardship of these mixed-species communities. We provide a set of premises and actions upon which a nature-positive future with biological invasions (NPF-BI) could be based, and a decision framework for dealing with uncertain species movements under climate change. A series of alternative management approaches become apparent when framed by scale-sensitive, spatially explicit, context relevant and risk-consequence considerations. Evidence of the properties of mixed-species communities together with predictive frameworks for the relative importance of the ecological processes at play provide actionable pathways to a NPF in which the reality of mixed-species communities are accommodated and managed. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ecological novelty and planetary stewardship: biodiversity dynamics in a transforming biosphere'.

RevDate: 2024-04-07

Henriksen MV, Arlé E, Pili A, et al (2024)

Global indicators of the environmental impacts of invasive alien species and their information adequacy.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 379(1902):20230323.

Monitoring the extent to which invasive alien species (IAS) negatively impact the environment is crucial for understanding and mitigating biological invasions. Indeed, such information is vital for achieving Target 6 of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework. However, to-date indicators for tracking the environmental impacts of IAS have been either lacking or insufficient. Capitalizing on advances in data availability and impact assessment protocols, we developed environmental impact indicators to track realized and potential impacts of IAS. We also developed an information status indicator to assess the adequacy of the data underlying the impact indicators. We used data on 75 naturalized amphibians from 82 countries to demonstrate the indicators at a global scale. The information status indicator shows variation in the reliability of the data and highlights areas where absence of impact should be interpreted with caution. Impact indicators show that growth in potential impacts are dominated by predatory species, while potential impacts from both predation and disease transmission are distributed worldwide. Using open access data, the indicators are reproducible and adaptable across scales and taxa and can be used to assess global trends and distributions of IAS, assisting authorities in prioritizing control efforts and identifying areas at risk of future invasions. This article is part of the theme issue 'Ecological novelty and planetary stewardship: biodiversity dynamics in a transforming biosphere'.

RevDate: 2024-04-06

Tan SY, Liu CL, Han HL, et al (2024)

Two heat shock cognate 70 genes involved in spermatogenesis regulate the male fertility of Zeugodacus cucurbitae, as potential targets for pest control.

Pesticide biochemistry and physiology, 200:105816.

The melon fly Zeugodacus cucurbitae Coquillett (Diptera: Tephritidae) is an agricultural quarantine pest threatening fruit and vegetable production. Heat shock cognate 70 (Hsc70), which is a homolog of the heat shock protein 70 (Hsp70), was first discovered in mice testes and plays an important role in spermatogenesis. In this study, we identified and cloned five Hsc70 genes from melon fly, namely ZcHsc70_1/2/3/4/5. Phylogenetic analysis showed that these proteins are closely related to Hsc70s from other Diptera insects. Spatiotemporal expression analysis showed that ZcHsc70_1 and ZcHsc70_2 are highly expressed in Z. cucurbitae testes. Fluorescence in situ hybridization further demonstrated that ZcHsc70_1 and ZcHsc70_2 are expressed in the transformation and maturation regions of testes, respectively. Moreover, RNA interference-based suppression of ZcHsc70_1 or ZcHsc70_2 resulted in a significant decrease of 74.61% and 63.28% in egg hatchability, respectively. Suppression of ZcHsc70_1 expression delayed the transformation of sperm cells to mature sperms. Meanwhile, suppression of ZcHsc70_2 expression decreased both sperm cells and mature sperms by inhibiting the meiosis of spermatocytes. Our findings show that ZcHsc70_1/2 regulates spermatogenesis and further affects the male fertility in the melon fly, showing potential as targets for pest control in sterile insect technique by genetic manipulation of males.

RevDate: 2024-04-05

Barbour MT, Meulemans MJ, Severson TJ, et al (2024)

Carbon Dioxide Toxicity to Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha) is Dependent on Water Chemistry.

Environmental toxicology and chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Carbon dioxide (CO2) is gaining interest as a tool to combat aquatic invasive species, including zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). However, the effects of water chemistry on CO2 efficacy are not well described. We conducted five trials in which we exposed adult zebra mussels to a range of CO2 in water with adjusted total hardness and specific conductance. We compared dose-responses and found differences in lethal concentration to 50% of organisms (LC50) estimates ranging from 108.3 to 179.3 mg/L CO2 and lethal concentration to 90% of organisms (LC90) estimates ranging from 163.7 to 216.6 mg/L CO2. We modeled LC50 and LC90 estimates with measured water chemistry variables from the trials. We found sodium (Na[+]) concentration to have the strongest correlation to changes in the LC50 and specific conductance to have the strongest correlation to changes in the LC90. Our results identify water chemistry as an important factor in considering efficacious CO2 concentrations for zebra mussel control. Additional research into the physiological responses of zebra mussels exposed to CO2 may be warranted to further explain mode of action and reported selectivity. Further study could likely develop a robust and relevant model to refine CO2 applications for a wider range of water chemistries. Environ Toxicol Chem 2024;00:1-8. Published 2024. This article is a U.S. Government work and is in the public domain in the USA. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC.

RevDate: 2024-04-05
CmpDate: 2024-04-05

O'Shea-Wheller TA, Corbett A, Osborne JL, et al (2024)

VespAI: a deep learning-based system for the detection of invasive hornets.

Communications biology, 7(1):354.

The invasive hornet Vespa velutina nigrithorax is a rapidly proliferating threat to pollinators in Europe and East Asia. To effectively limit its spread, colonies must be detected and destroyed early in the invasion curve, however the current reliance upon visual alerts by the public yields low accuracy. Advances in deep learning offer a potential solution to this, but the application of such technology remains challenging. Here we present VespAI, an automated system for the rapid detection of V. velutina. We leverage a hardware-assisted AI approach, combining a standardised monitoring station with deep YOLOv5s architecture and a ResNet backbone, trained on a bespoke end-to-end pipeline. This enables the system to detect hornets in real-time-achieving a mean precision-recall score of ≥0.99-and send associated image alerts via a compact remote processor. We demonstrate the successful operation of a prototype system in the field, and confirm its suitability for large-scale deployment in future use cases. As such, VespAI has the potential to transform the way that invasive hornets are managed, providing a robust early warning system to prevent ingressions into new regions.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Wesselmann M, Hendriks IE, Johnson M, et al (2024)

Increasing spread rates of tropical non-native macrophytes in the Mediterranean Sea.

Global change biology, 30(4):e17249.

Warming as well as species introductions have increased over the past centuries, however a link between cause and effect of these two phenomena is still unclear. Here we use distribution records (1813-2023) to reconstruct the invasion histories of marine non-native macrophytes, macroalgae and seagrasses, in the Mediterranean Sea. We defined expansion as the maximum linear rate of spread (km year[-1]) and the accumulation of occupied grid cells (50 km[2]) over time and analyzed the relation between expansion rates and the species' thermal conditions at its native distribution range. Our database revealed a marked increase in the introductions and spread rates of non-native macrophytes in the Mediterranean Sea since the 1960s, notably intensifying after the 1990s. During the beginning of this century species velocity of invasion has increased to 26 ± 9 km[2] year[-1], with an acceleration in the velocity of invasion of tropical/subtropical species, exceeding those of temperate and cosmopolitan macrophytes. The highest spread rates since then were observed in macrophytes coming from native regions with minimum SSTs two to three degrees warmer than in the Mediterranean Sea. In addition, most non-native macrophytes in the Mediterranean (>80%) do not exceed the maximum temperature of their range of origin, whereas approximately half of the species are exposed to lower minimum SST in the Mediterranean than in their native range. This indicates that tropical/subtropical macrophytes might be able to expand as they are not limited by the colder Mediterranean SST due to the plasticity of their lower thermal limit. These results suggest that future warming will increase the thermal habitat available for thermophilic species in the Mediterranean Sea and continue to favor their expansion.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Rani V, Horváth Z, Nejstgaard JC, et al (2024)

Food density drives diet shift of the invasive mysid shrimp, Limnomysis benedeni.

Ecology and evolution, 14(4):e11202.

Understanding the diet preferences and food selection of invasive species is crucial to better predict their impact on community structure and ecosystem functioning. Limnomysis benedeni, a Ponto-Caspian invasive mysid shrimp, is one of the most successful invaders in numerous European river and lake ecosystems. While existing studies suggest potentially strong trophic impact due to high predation pressure on native plankton communities, little is known of its food selectivity between phyto- and zooplankton, under different food concentrations. Here, we therefore investigated the feeding selectivity of L. benedeni on two commonly occurring prey organisms in freshwaters, the small rotifer zooplankton Brachionus calyciflorus together with the microphytoplankton Cryptomonas sp. present in increasing densities. Our results demonstrated a clear shift in food selection, with L. benedeni switching from B. calyciflorus to Cryptomonas sp. already when the two prey species were provided in equal biomasses. Different functional responses were observed for the two food types, indicating somewhat different foraging mechanisms for each food type. These findings provide experimental evidence on the feeding flexibility of invasive mysid shrimps and potential implications for trophic interactions in invaded ecosystems.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Baudry T, Millet L, Jarne P, et al (2024)

Multiple invasions and predation: The impact of the crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus on invasive and native snails.

Ecology and evolution, 14(4):e11191.

The pace of biological invasions has increased in recent decades, leading to multiple invasions and the potential dominance of invasive species, destabilizing local ecological networks. This provides opportunities to study new ecological species interactions, including predation. Tropical freshwaters have been particularly concerned by aquatic invasions and we focused here on the Martinique island (Lesser Antilles). We examined the predator-prey relationships involving invasive Thiarid snails (Tarebia granifera and Melanoides tuberculata) and the native Neritina punctulata, both confronted with a newcomer predator, the redclaw crayfish (Cherax quadricarinatus). We conducted several mesocosm experiments to assess the impact of crayfish predation on snail survival and the passive and active antipredator responses of snails. A first experiment indicated snail survival rates between 50% and 80%, depending on crayfish size and sex. Notably, there was a negative correlation between snail survival and male crayfish size and the predation method (shell crushing vs. "body sucking") varied with crayfish size. The second experiment suggested no refuge size for snails, with both very small (<5 mm) and very large (>5 mm) unable to escape predation, regardless of crayfish size (from 77 to 138 mm) or sex. Finally, we investigated the escape behavior of Thiarids regarding three crayfish cues. Melanoides tuberculata tend to bury in the substrate and T. granifera to climb up aquarium walls, what was expected from their shell morphologies, and both responding to crayfish cues within minutes. Overall, C. quadricarinatus proves to be an efficient snail predator with limited escape options for snails, potentially contributing to the decline of certain snail populations in Martinique. This omnivorous predator might impact other native species across different groups, including shrimps and fish. Our study underscores the urgent need for monitoring efforts, solidifying the redclaw crayfish reputation as a dangerous invasive species for freshwater macrobenthic faunas worldwide.

RevDate: 2024-04-04

Burlakova LE, Karatayev AY, Hrycik AR, et al (2024)

Density data for Lake Erie benthic invertebrate assemblages from 1930 to 2019.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Benthic invertebrates are important trophic links in food webs and useful bioindicators of environmental conditions, but long-term benthic organism abundance data across broad geographic areas are rare and historic datasets are often not readily accessible. This dataset provides densities of benthic macroinvertebrates collected from 1930 to 2019 during surveys in Lake Erie, a Laurentian Great Lake. The surveys were funded by the governments of the United States and Canada to investigate the status and changes in the benthic community. From the total of 21 lake-wide and basin-wide benthic surveys conducted in Lake Erie from 1929 to 2019, we were able to acquire data for 17 surveys, including species-level data for 10 surveys and data by higher taxonomic groups for seven surveys. Our amassed Lake Erie dataset includes data from 11 surveys (including five with species-level data) conducted in the western basin in 1930-2019, seven surveys (six with species-level data) in the central basin, and eight surveys (seven with species-level data) in the eastern basin (1973-2019). This Lake Erie dataset represents the most extensive temporal dataset of benthic invertebrates available for any of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Benthic samples were collected using Ponar or Shipek bottom dredges and taxa densities were calculated as individuals per square meter using the area of the dredge. Density data are provided for taxa in the Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Cnidaria, Nemertea, and Platyhelminthes phyla. Current taxonomy was used for most groups but, in a few cases, older taxonomic names were used for consistency with historical data. Analysis of this dataset indicates that eutrophication, water quality improvement, and dreissenid introduction were the major drivers of changes in the benthic community in the western basin, while hypoxia was a major factor in the central basin, and dreissenid introduction was the most important driver in the eastern basin. Considering the rarity of high taxonomic resolution long-term benthic data for lake ecosystems, this dataset could be useful to explore broader aspects of ecological theory, including effects of eutrophication, hypoxia, invasive species, and other factors on community organization, phylogenetic and functional diversity, and spatial and temporal scales of variation in community structure. In addition, the dataset could be useful for studies on individual species, including abundance and distribution, species co-occurrence, and how the patterns of dominance and rarity change over space and time. Use of this dataset for academic or educational purposes is encouraged as long as this data paper is properly cited.

RevDate: 2024-04-03

Deng Y, Ren S, Liu Q, et al (2024)

A high heterozygosity genome assembly of Aedes albopictus enables the discovery of the association of PGANT3 with blood-feeding behavior.

BMC genomics, 25(1):336.

The Asian tiger mosquito, Aedes albopictus, is a global invasive species, notorious for its role in transmitting dangerous human arboviruses such as dengue and Chikungunya. Although hematophagous behavior is repulsive, it is an effective strategy for mosquitoes like Aedes albopictus to transmit viruses, posing a significant risk to human health. However, the fragmented nature of the Ae. albopictus genome assembly has been a significant challenge, hindering in-depth biological and genetic studies of this mosquito. In this research, we have harnessed a variety of technologies and implemented a novel strategy to create a significantly improved genome assembly for Ae. albopictus, designated as AealbF3. This assembly boasts a completeness rate of up to 98.1%, and the duplication rate has been minimized to 1.2%. Furthermore, the fragmented contigs or scaffolds of AealbF3 have been organized into three distinct chromosomes, an arrangement corroborated through syntenic plot analysis, which compared the genetic structure of Ae. albopictus with that of Ae. aegypti. Additionally, the study has revealed a phylogenetic relationship suggesting that the PGANT3 gene is implicated in the hematophagous behavior of Ae. albopictus. This involvement was preliminarily substantiated through RNA interference (RNAi) techniques and behavioral experiment. In summary, the AealbF3 genome assembly will facilitate new biological insights and intervention strategies for combating this formidable vector of disease. The innovative assembly process employed in this study could also serve as a valuable template for the assembly of genomes in other insects characterized by high levels of heterozygosity.

RevDate: 2024-04-03

Lampert A (2024)

Optimizing strategies for slowing the spread of invasive species.

PLoS computational biology, 20(4):e1011996 pii:PCOMPBIOL-D-23-01728 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species are spreading worldwide, causing damage to ecosystems, biodiversity, agriculture, and human health. A major question is, therefore, how to distribute treatment efforts cost-effectively across space and time to prevent or slow the spread of invasive species. However, finding optimal control strategies for the complex spatial-temporal dynamics of populations is complicated and requires novel methodologies. Here, we develop a novel algorithm that can be applied to various population models. The algorithm finds the optimal spatial distribution of treatment efforts and the optimal propagation speed of the target species. We apply the algorithm to examine how the results depend on the species' demography and response to the treatment method. In particular, we analyze (1) a generic model and (2) a detailed model for the management of the spongy moth in North America to slow its spread via mating disruption. We show that, when utilizing optimization approaches to contain invasive species, significant improvements can be made in terms of cost-efficiency. The methodology developed here offers a much-needed tool for further examination of optimal strategies for additional cases of interest.

RevDate: 2024-04-03

Eleftheriou A, Zeiger B, Jennings J, et al (2024)

Phenology and habitat associations of the invasive Asian longhorned tick from Ohio, USA.

Medical and veterinary entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Geographically expanding and invading ticks are a global concern. The Asian longhorned tick (ALT, Haemaphysalis longicornis) was introduced to the mid-Atlantic US between 2010 and 2017 and recently invaded Ohio, an inland state. To date, ALTs in the US have been associated with livestock exsanguination and transmission of the agent of bovine theileriosis. To inform management, studies describing tick ecology and epidemiology of associated disease agents are critical. In this study, we described phenology, habitat and host associations, and tested for agents of medical and veterinary concern at the site of the first known established ALT population in Ohio, where pesticide treatment was applied in early fall 2021. In spring-fall 2022, we sampled wildlife (small mammals) and collected ticks from forest, edge, and grassland habitats. We also opportunistically sampled harvested white-tailed deer at nearby processing stations and fresh wildlife carcasses found near roads. Field-collected ALTs were tested for five agents using real-time PCR. We found that ALT nymphs emerged in June, followed by adults, and concluded with larvae in the fall. ALTs were detected in all habitats but not in wildlife. We also found a 4.88% (2/41) prevalence of Anaplasma phagocytophilum across ALT adults and nymphs. Host and habitat associations were similar to other studies in the eastern United States, but two potential differences in phenology were identified. Whether ALTs will acquire more endemic disease agents requires further investigations. Our findings provide the first evidence regarding ALT life history from the Midwest region of the United States and can inform exposure risk and guide integrated management.

RevDate: 2024-04-03
CmpDate: 2024-04-03

Wu H, Zhang Z, Zhao W, et al (2024)

Spartina alterniflora invasion decouples multiple elements in coastal wetland soils.

The Science of the total environment, 924:171502.

Deciphering the biogeochemical coupling of multiple elements in soils could better mechanistic understanding of ecosystem stability response to the alien invasion. The coupling of 45 elements in soils from wetlands covered by Spartina alterniflora (Sa) was compared with that in soils covered by native Phragmites australis (Pa) in coastal regions of China. Results showed that S. alterniflora invasion not only significantly reshaped geochemical enrichment and dispersion states, but also decoupled the coupling of multiple elements in soils compared with Pa. Atomic mass emerged as the primary factor governing the coupling of multiple elements, of which a significantly positive correlation exhibited between atomic mass with elemental coupling in Pa, but no such relation was observed in SaThe coupling of lighter elements was more susceptible to and generally enhanced by the invasion of S. alterniflora compared to the heavier, of which carbon, iron (Fe), and cadmium (Cd) had the highest susceptibility. Besides atomic mass, biological processes (represented by soil organic carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, and sulfur), interactions between sea and land (represented by salinity and pH), and their combination explained 17 %, 10 %, and 13 % variation in the coupling of multiple elements, respectively. The present work confirmed that S. alterniflora invasion was the important factor driving soil multi-element cycling and covariation in coastal wetlands.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Tang B, Hu S, Luo Y, et al (2024)

Impact of Three Thiazolidinone Compounds with Piperine Skeletons on Trehalase Activity and Development of Spodoptera frugiperda Larvae.

Journal of agricultural and food chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Trehalases (TREs) are pivotal enzymes involved in insect development and reproduction, making them prime targets for pest control. We investigated the inhibitory effect of three thiazolidinones with piperine skeletons (6a, 7b, and 7e) on TRE activity and assessed their impact on the growth and development of the fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda. The compounds were injected into FAW larvae, while the control group was treated with 2% DMSO solvent. All three compounds effectively inhibited TRE activity, resulting in a significant extension of the pupal development stage. Moreover, the treated larvae exhibited significantly decreased survival rates and a higher incidence of abnormal phenotypes related to growth and development compared to the control group. These results suggest that these TRE inhibitors affect the molting of larvae by regulating the chitin metabolism pathway, ultimately reducing their survival rates. Consequently, these compounds hold potential as environmentally friendly insecticides.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Hughes EH, Moyers-Gonzalez M, Murray R, et al (2024)

Partial differential equation models for invasive species spread in the presence of spatial heterogeneity.

PloS one, 19(4):e0300968 pii:PONE-D-23-27937.

Models of invasive species spread often assume that landscapes are spatially homogeneous; thus simplifying analysis but potentially reducing accuracy. We extend a recently developed partial differential equation model for invasive conifer spread to account for spatial heterogeneity in parameter values and introduce a method to obtain key outputs (e.g. spread rates) from computational simulations. Simulations produce patterns of spatial spread which appear qualitatively similar to observed patterns in grassland ecosystems invaded by exotic conifers, validating our spatially explicit strategy. We find that incorporating spatial variation in different parameters does not significantly affect the evolution of invasions (which are characterised by a long quiescent period followed by rapid evolution towards to a constant rate of invasion) but that distributional assumptions can have a significant impact on the spread rate of invasions. Our work demonstrates that spatial variation in site-suitability or other parameters can have a significant impact on invasions and must be considered when designing models of invasive species spread.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Madalinska K, AL Nielsen (2024)

Effects of host plants on spotted lanternfly (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) nymphal survival and development.

Environmental entomology pii:7639339 [Epub ahead of print].

Spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White), is an invasive planthopper from China, which was first detected in Berks County, PA, in 2014 and has since spread to adjacent states including New Jersey in 2018. Lycorma delicatula is a polyphagous species that gregariously feeds on over 172 known hosts. We investigated development on key host plants Ailanthus altissima (Miller) (Sapindales: Simaroubaceae), Juglans nigra (L.) (Fagales: Juglandaceae), Acer rubrum (L.) (Sapindales: Sapindaceae), and Vitis vinifera (L.) (Vitales: Vitaceae) for each instar to elucidate potential host use throughout the season and target monitoring efforts. Our study indicated significant differences in survivorship and time spent in each nymphal life stage between host plants. We applied a host suitability index as a function of survivorship and development for each host plant and instar, which indicated A. altissima and J. nigra as suitable hosts for all 4 nymphal instars. Vitis vinifera was highly suitable for first and second instars but had low indices for the third and fourth instars, although suitability of V. vinifera may have varied based on variety and age of the vine. Lycorma delicatula nymphs had the lowest survivorship and longest development time on A. rubrum across all 4 life stages, despite this being a preferred oviposition host. Host had a significant effect on the morphometrics we measured within the first and second instars.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Yang LF, Liu YG, Tao YL, et al (2024)

Development of an on-site diagnostic LAMP assay for rapid differentiation of the invasive pest Phthorimaea absoluta (Meyrick) using insect tissues.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The tomato leafminer, Phthorimaea absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), is a destructive invasive pest that originated in South America and has spread within China since 2017. A rapid method for on-site identification of P. absoluta is urgently needed for interception of this pest across China.

RESULTS: We developed a loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) technique to differentiate P. absoluta from L. sativae, C. horticola, and P. operculella using extracted genomic DNA, which was then refined to create an on-site LAMP diagnostic method that can be performed under field conditions without the need for laboratory equipment.

CONCLUSION: In the present research, we developed an on-site diagnostic method for rapid differentiation of P. absoluta from other insects with similar morphology or damage characteristics in China. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Sambaraju KR, Srivastava V, Barker BS, et al (2024)

Editorial: Forest insect invasions - risk mapping approaches and applications.

Frontiers in insect science, 4:1378061.

RevDate: 2024-04-02

Sharma P, Rathee S, Ahmad M, et al (2024)

Leaf functional traits and resource use strategies facilitate the spread of invasive plant Parthenium hysterophorus across an elevational gradient in western Himalayas.

BMC plant biology, 24(1):234.

Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae) is a highly prevalent invasive species in subtropical regions across the world. It has recently been seen to shift from low (subtropical) to high (sub-temperate) elevations. Nevertheless, there is a dearth of research investigating the adaptive responses and the significance of leaf functional traits in promoting the expansion to high elevations. The current study investigated the variations and trade-offs among 14 leaf traits (structural, photosynthetic, and nutrient content) of P. hysterophorus across different elevations in the western Himalayas, India. Plots measuring 20 × 40 m were established at different elevations (700 m, 1100 m, 1400 m, and 1800 m) to collect leaf trait data for P. hysterophorus. Along the elevational gradient, significant variations were noticed in leaf morphological parameters, leaf nutrient content, and leaf photosynthetic parameters. Significant increases were observed in the specific leaf area, leaf thickness, and chlorophyll a, total chlorophyll and carotenoid content, as well as leaf nitrogen and phosphorus content with elevation. On the other hand, there were reductions in the amount of chlorophyll b, photosynthetic efficiency, leaf dry matter content, leaf mass per area, and leaf water content. The trait-trait relationships between leaf water content and dry weight and between leaf area and dry weight were stronger at higher elevations. The results show that leaf trait variability and trait-trait correlations are very important for sustaining plant fitness and growth rates in low-temperature, high-irradiance, resource-limited environments at relatively high elevations. To summarise, the findings suggest that P. hysterophorus can expand its range to higher elevations by broadening its functional niche through changes in leaf traits and resource utilisation strategies.

RevDate: 2024-04-01

Bellini G, Schrieber K, Kirleis W, et al (2024)

Exploring the complex pre-adaptations of invasive plants to anthropogenic disturbance: a call for integration of archaeobotanical approaches.

Frontiers in plant science, 15:1307364.

Pre-adaptation to anthropogenic disturbance is broadly considered key for plant invasion success. Nevertheless, empirical evidence remains scarce and fragmentary, given the multifaceted nature of anthropogenic disturbance itself and the complexity of other evolutionary forces shaping the (epi)-genomes of recent native and invasive plant populations. Here, we review and critically revisit the existing theory and empirical evidence in the field of evolutionary ecology and highlight novel integrative research avenues that work at the interface with archaeology to solve open questions. The approaches suggested so far focus on contemporary plant populations, although their genomes have rapidly changed since their initial introduction in response to numerous selective and stochastic forces. We elaborate that a role of pre-adaptation to anthropogenic disturbance in plant invasion success should thus additionally be validated based on the analyses of archaeobotanical remains. Such materials, in the light of detailed knowledge on past human societies could highlight fine-scale differences in the type and timing of past disturbances. We propose a combination of archaeobotanical, ancient DNA and morphometric analyses of plant macro- and microremains to assess past community composition, and species' functional traits to unravel the timing of adaptation processes, their drivers and their long-term consequences for invasive species. Although such methodologies have proven to be feasible for numerous crop plants, they have not been yet applied to wild invasive species, which opens a wide array of insights into their evolution.

RevDate: 2024-04-01

Kent TV, Schrider DR, DR Matute (2024)

Demographic history and the efficacy of selection in the globally invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2024.03.07.584008.

Aedes aegypti is the main vector species of yellow fever, dengue, zika and chikungunya. The species is originally from Africa but has experienced a spectacular expansion in its geographic range to a large swath of the world, the demographic effects of which have remained largely understudied. In this report, we examine whole-genome sequences from 6 countries in Africa, North America, and South America to investigate the demographic history of the spread of Ae. aegypti into the Americas its impact on genomic diversity. In the Americas, we observe patterns of strong population structure consistent with relatively low (but probably non-zero) levels of gene flow but occasional long-range dispersal and/or recolonization events. We also find evidence that the colonization of the Americas has resulted in introduction bottlenecks. However, while each sampling location shows evidence of a past population contraction and subsequent recovery, our results suggest that the bottlenecks in America have led to a reduction in genetic diversity of only ∼35% relative to African populations, and the American samples have retained high levels of genetic diversity (expected heterozygosity of ∼0.02 at synonymous sites) and have experienced only a minor reduction in the efficacy of selection. These results evoke the image of an invasive species that has expanded its range with remarkable genetic resilience in the face of strong eradication pressure.

RevDate: 2024-04-01

Ong SQ, Ab Majid AH, Li WJ, et al (2024)

Application of computer vision and deep learning models to automatically classify medically important mosquitoes in North Borneo, Malaysia.

Bulletin of entomological research pii:S000748532400018X [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquito-borne diseases have emerged in North Borneo in Malaysia due to rapid changes in the forest landscape, and mosquito surveillance is key to understanding disease transmission. However, surveillance programmes involving sampling and taxonomic identification require well-trained personnel, are time-consuming and labour-intensive. In this study, we aim to use a deep leaning model (DL) to develop an application capable of automatically detecting mosquito vectors collected from urban and suburban areas in North Borneo, Malaysia. Specifically, a DL model called MobileNetV2 was developed using a total of 4880 images of Aedes aegypti, Aedes albopictus and Culex quinquefasciatus mosquitoes, which are widely distributed in Malaysia. More importantly, the model was deployed as an application that can be used in the field. The model was fine-tuned with hyperparameters of learning rate 0.0001, 0.0005, 0.001, 0.01 and the performance of the model was tested for accuracy, precision, recall and F1 score. Inference time was also considered during development to assess the feasibility of the model as an app in the real world. The model showed an accuracy of at least 97%, a precision of 96% and a recall of 97% on the test set. When used as an app in the field to detect mosquitoes with the elements of different background environments, the model was able to achieve an accuracy of 76% with an inference time of 47.33 ms. Our result demonstrates the practicality of computer vision and DL in the real world of vector and pest surveillance programmes. In the future, more image data and robust DL architecture can be explored to improve the prediction result.

RevDate: 2024-04-01
CmpDate: 2024-04-01

Nagy NA, Tóth GE, Kurucz K, et al (2024)

The updated genome of the Hungarian population of Aedes koreicus.

Scientific reports, 14(1):7545.

Vector-borne diseases pose a potential risk to human and animal welfare, and understanding their spread requires genomic resources. The mosquito Aedes koreicus is an emerging vector that has been introduced into Europe more than 15 years ago but only a low quality, fragmented genome was available. In this study, we carried out additional sequencing and assembled and characterized the genome of the species to provide a background for understanding its evolution and biology. The updated genome was 1.1 Gbp long and consisted of 6099 contigs with an N50 value of 329,610 bp and a BUSCO score of 84%. We identified 22,580 genes that could be functionally annotated and paid particular attention to the identification of potential insecticide resistance genes. The assessment of the orthology of the genes indicates a high turnover at the terminal branches of the species tree of mosquitoes with complete genomes, which could contribute to the adaptation and evolutionary success of the species. These results could form the basis for numerous downstream analyzes to develop targets for the control of mosquito populations.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Li G, Tang Y, Lou J, et al (2024)

The promoting effects of soil microplastics on alien plant invasion depend on microplastic shape and concentration.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(24)02232-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Both alien plant invasions and soil microplastic pollution have become a concerning threat for terrestrial ecosystems, with consequences on the human well-being. However, our current knowledge of microplastic effects on the successful invasion of plants remains limited, despite numerous studies demonstrating the direct and indirect impacts of microplastics on plant performance. To address this knowledge gap, we conducted a greenhouse experiment involving the mixtures of soil and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) microplastic pellets and fragments at the concentrations of 0, 0.5 % and 2.0 %. Additionally, we included Solidago decurrens (native plant) and S. canadensis (alien invasive plant) as the target plants. Each pot contained an individual of either species, after six-month cultivation, plant biomass and antioxidant enzymes, as well as soil properties including soil moisture, pH, available nutrients, and microbial biomass were measured. Our results indicated that microplastic effects on soil properties and plant growth indices depended on the Solidago species, microplastic shapes and concentrations. For example, microplastics exerted positive effects on soil moisture of the soil with native species but negative effects with invasive species, which were impacted by microplastic shapes and concentrations, respectively. Microplastics significantly impacted catalase (P < 0.05) and superoxide dismutase (P < 0.01), aboveground biomass (P < 0.01), and belowground/aboveground biomass (P < 0.01) of the native species depending on microplastic shapes, but no significant effects on those of the invasive species. Furthermore, microplastics effects on soil properties, nutrients, nutrient ratio, and plant antioxidant enzyme activities contributed to plant biomass differently among these two species. These results suggested that the microplastics exerted a more pronounced impact on native Solidago plants than the invasive ones. This implies that the alien invasive species displays greater resistance to microplastic pollution, potentially promoting their invasion. Overall, our study contributes to a better understanding of the promoting effects of microplastic pollution on plant invasion.

RevDate: 2024-03-30

Gering E, Johnsson M, Theunissen D, et al (2024)

Signals of selection and ancestry in independently feral Gallus gallus populations.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Recent work indicates that feralisation is not a simple reversal of domestication, and therefore raises questions about the predictability of evolution across replicated feral populations. In the present study we compare genes and traits of two independently established feral populations of chickens (Gallus gallus) that inhabit archipelagos within the Pacific and Atlantic regions to test for evolutionary parallelism and/or divergence. We find that feral populations from each region are genetically closer to one another than other domestic breeds, despite their geographical isolation and divergent colonisation histories. Next, we used genome scans to identify genomic regions selected during feralisation (selective sweeps) in two independently feral populations from Bermuda and Hawaii. Three selective sweep regions (each identified by multiple detection methods) were shared between feral populations, and this overlap is inconsistent with a null model in which selection targets are randomly distributed throughout the genome. In the case of the Bermudian population, many of the genes present within the selective sweeps were either not annotated or of unknown function. Of the nine genes that were identifiable, five were related to behaviour, with the remaining genes involved in bone metabolism, eye development and the immune system. Our findings suggest that a subset of feralisation loci (i.e. genomic targets of recent selection in feral populations) are shared across independently established populations, raising the possibility that feralisation involves some degree of parallelism or convergence and the potential for a shared feralisation 'syndrome'.

RevDate: 2024-03-29

Dostál P (2024)

Temporal development in the impacts of plant invasions: search for the underlying mechanisms.

Journal of evolutionary biology pii:7637255 [Epub ahead of print].

Many invasive plants have negative impacts on native populations and communities, but there remains much uncertainty about how these impacts develop over time. In this review, I describe the mechanisms that promote the initial dominance of invaders, the characteristic associated with large negative impacts, and present the processes that contribute to changes in invader abundance and impacts over time. Together with ecological processes such as ecosystem engineering or enemy accumulation, I show that temporal variation in impacts can be linked to evolution in both native and invasive species. I also show that multiple processes operating in the same invasion system can jointly shape long-term impacts. Finally, I present the framework of modern of coexistence theory as a tool for predicting the effects of invaders on native populations, and how these effects change with processes ongoing within invaded communities.

RevDate: 2024-03-29

Ørsted M, Willot Q, Olsen AK, et al (2024)

Thermal limits of survival and reproduction depend on stress duration: A case study of Drosophila suzukii.

Ecology letters, 27(3):e14421.

Studies of ectotherm responses to heat extremes often rely on assessing absolute critical limits for heat coma or death (CTmax), however, such single parameter metrics ignore the importance of stress exposure duration. Furthermore, population persistence may be affected at temperatures considerably below CTmax through decreased reproductive output. Here we investigate the relationship between tolerance duration and severity of heat stress across three ecologically relevant life-history traits (productivity, coma and mortality) using the global agricultural pest Drosophila suzukii. For the first time, we show that for sublethal reproductive traits, tolerance duration decreases exponentially with increasing temperature (R[2] > 0.97), thereby extending the Thermal Death Time framework recently developed for mortality and coma. Using field micro-environmental temperatures, we show how thermal stress can lead to considerable reproductive loss at temperatures with limited heat mortality highlighting the importance of including limits to reproductive performance in ecological studies of heat stress vulnerability.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Mayack C, Le Gall M, K Ihle (2024)

Editorial: New advances in understanding the regulation of appetite in insects.

Frontiers in insect science, 4:1394092.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Smertina E, Keller LM, Huang N, et al (2024)

First Detection of Benign Rabbit Caliciviruses in Chile.

Viruses, 16(3): pii:v16030439.

Pathogenic lagoviruses (Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus, RHDV) are widely spread across the world and are used in Australia and New Zealand to control populations of feral European rabbits. The spread of the non-pathogenic lagoviruses, e.g., rabbit calicivirus (RCV), is less well studied as the infection results in no clinical signs. Nonetheless, RCV has important implications for the spread of RHDV and rabbit biocontrol as it can provide varying levels of cross-protection against fatal infection with pathogenic lagoviruses. In Chile, where European rabbits are also an introduced species, myxoma virus was used for localised biocontrol of rabbits in the 1950s. To date, there have been no studies investigating the presence of lagoviruses in the Chilean feral rabbit population. In this study, liver and duodenum rabbit samples from central Chile were tested for the presence of lagoviruses and positive samples were subject to whole RNA sequencing and subsequent data analysis. Phylogenetic analysis revealed a novel RCV variant in duodenal samples that likely originated from European RCVs. Sequencing analysis also detected the presence of a rabbit astrovirus in one of the lagovirus-positive samples.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Ma S, Zhao X, N Song (2024)

Whole-Genome Survey Analyses of Five Goby Species Provide Insights into Their Genetic Evolution and Invasion-Related Genes.

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(6): pii:ijms25063293.

As one of the most abundant groups in marine fish families, Gobiidae fish are important fishery resources in China, and some are also invasive species in certain regions worldwide. However, the phylogenetic relationships of Gobiidae fish remain ambiguous, and the study of their invasion-related genes is still scarce. This study used high-throughput sequencing technology to conduct a whole-genome survey of five Gobiidae fish species: Acanthogobius flavimanus, Acanthogobius stigmothonus, Favonigobius gymnauchen, Ctenotrypauchen microcephalus, and Tridentiger barbatus. De novo assembly of five fish genomes was performed, and genomic traits were compared through K-mer analysis. Among the five Gobiidae fish genomes, F. gymnauchen had the largest genome size (1601.98 Mb) and the highest heterozygosity (1.56%) and repeat rates (59.83%). Phylogenetic studies showed that A. flavimanus was most closely linked to A. stigmothonus, while Apogonidae and Gobiidae were closely related families. PSMC analysis revealed that C. microcephalus experienced a notable population expansion than the other four fish species in the Early Holocene. By using the KOG, GO, and KEGG databases to annotate single-copy genes, the annotated genes of the five fish were mainly classified as "signal transduction mechanisms", "cellular process", "cellular anatomical entity", and "translation". Acanthogobius flavimanus, A. stigmothonus, and T. barbatus had more genes classified as "response to stimulus" and "localization", which may have played an important role in their invasive processes. Our study also provides valuable material about Gobiidae fish genomics and genetic evolution.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Mancuso DM, Gainor K, Dore KM, et al (2024)

Molecular Detection and Genetic Diversity of Cytomegaloviruses and Lymphocryptoviruses in Free-Roaming and Captive African Green Monkeys (Chlorocebus sabaeus).

International journal of molecular sciences, 25(6): pii:ijms25063272.

To date, limited information is available on cytomegalovirus (CMV) and lymphocryptovirus (LCV) from Chlorocebus monkeys. We report here high detection rates of herpesviruses in free-roaming African green monkeys (AGMs, Chlorocebus sabaeus) (26.4%, 23/87) and in captive AGMs (75%, 3/4) with respiratory disease on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts. LCV (81.25%) was more prevalent than CMV (18.75%) in the AGMs. Applying a bigenic PCR approach (targeting DNA polymerase (DPOL) and glycoprotein B (gB) genes), long sequences were obtained from representative AGM CMV (KNA-SD6) and LCV (KNA-E4, -N6 and -R15) samples, and mixed LCV infections were identified in KNA-N6 and -R15. The nucleotide (nt) sequence (partial DPOL-intergenic region-partial gB) and partial DPOL- and gB-amino acid (aa) sequences of AGM CMV KNA-SD6 were closely related to Cytomegalovirus cercopithecinebeta5 isolates from grivet monkeys, whilst those of AGM LCV KNA-E4 and -N6 (and E4-like gB of KNA-R15) were more closely related to cognate sequences of erythrocebus patas LCV1 from patas monkey than other LCVs, corroborating the concept of cospeciation in the evolution of CMV/LCV. On the other hand, the partial DPOL aa sequence of KNA-R15, and additional gB sequences (N6-gB-2 and R15-gB-2) from samples KNA-N6 and -R15 (respectively) appeared to be distinct from those of Old World monkey LCVs, indicating LCV evolutionary patterns that were not synchronous with those of host species. The present study is the first to report the molecular prevalence and genetic diversity of CMV/LCV from free-roaming/wild and captive AGMs, and is the first report on analysis of CMV nt/deduced aa sequences from AGMs and LCV gB sequences from Chlorocebus monkeys.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Freeman A, X Xia (2024)

Phylogeographic Reconstruction to Trace the Source Population of Asian Giant Hornet Caught in Nanaimo in Canada and Blaine in the USA.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 14(3): pii:life14030283.

The Asian giant hornet, Vespa mandarinia, is an invasive species that could potentially destroy the local honeybee industry in North America. It has been observed to nest in the coastal regions of British Columbia in Canada and Washington State in the USA. What is the source population of the immigrant hornets? The identification of the source population can shed light not only on the route of immigration but also on the similarity between the native habitat and the potential new habitat in the Pacific Northwest. We analyzed mitochondrial COX1 sequences of specimens sampled from multiple populations in China, the Republic of Korea, Japan, and the Russian Far East. V. mandarinia exhibits phylogeographic patterns, forming monophyletic clades for 16 specimens from China, six specimens from the Republic of Korea, and two specimens from Japan. The two mitochondrial COX1 sequences from Nanaimo, British Columbia, are identical to the two sequences from Japan. The COX1 sequence from Blaine, Washington State, clustered with those from the Republic of Korea and is identical to one sequence from the Republic of Korea. Our geophylogeny, which allows visualization of genetic variation over time and space, provides evolutionary insights on the evolution and speciation of three closely related vespine species (V. tropica, V. soror, and V. mandarinia), with the speciation events associated with the expansion of the distribution to the north.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Nunes HPB, Maduro Dias CSAM, Álvaro NV, et al (2024)

Evaluation of Two Species of Macroalgae from Azores Sea as Potential Reducers of Ruminal Methane Production: In Vitro Ruminal Assay.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 14(6): pii:ani14060967.

The utilisation of seaweeds as feed supplements has been investigated for their potential to mitigate enteric methane emissions from ruminants. Enteric methane emissions are the primary source of direct greenhouse gas emissions in livestock and significantly contribute to anthropogenic methane emissions worldwide. The aim of the present study is to evaluate the nutritional role and the in vitro effect on cumulative gas and methane production of Asparagopsis taxiformis (native species) and Asparagopsis armata (invasive species), two species of red algae from the Azorean Sea, as well as the ability to reduce biogas production when incubated with single pasture (Lolium perenne and Trifollium repens) as substrate. Four levels of concentrations marine algae were used (1.25%, 2.25%, 5%, and 10% DM) and added to the substrate to evaluate ruminal fermentation using the in vitro gas production technique. The total amount of gas and methane produced by the treatment incubation was recorded during 72 h of incubation. The results indicate that both algae species under investigation contain relatively high levels of protein (22.69% and 24.23%, respectively, for Asparagopsis taxiformis and Asparagopsis armata) and significant amounts of minerals, namely magnesium (1.15% DM), sodium (8.6% DM), and iron (2851 ppm). Concerning in vitro ruminal fermentation, it was observed that A. taxiformis can reduce enteric methane production by approximately 86%, during the first 24 h when 5% is added. In the same period and at the same concentration, A. armata reduced methane production by 34%. Thus, it can be concluded that Asparagopsis species from the Azorean Sea have high potential as a protein and mineral supplement, in addition to enabling a reduction in methane production from rumen fermentation.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Ohnstad H, Jones AM, Howard B, et al (2024)

Effects of pH on Olfactory Behaviours in Male Shore Crabs, Carcinus maenas.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 14(6): pii:ani14060948.

The effects of climate change are becoming more apparent, predominantly concerning the impacts of ocean acidification on calcifying species. Many marine organisms rely on chemical signals for processes such as foraging for food, predator avoidance, or locating mates. The process of how chemical cues in marine invertebrates function, and how this sensory mode is affected by pH levels, is less researched. We tested the impact of reduced pH (7.6), simulating end-of-the-century predicted average ocean pH, against current oceanic pH conditions (8.2), on the behavioural response of male shore crabs Carcinus maenas to the female sex pheromone bouquet consisting of Uridine-diphosphate (UDP) and Uridine-triphosphate (UTP). While in current pH conditions (8.2), there was a significant increase in sexual interactions in the presence of female pheromone, males showed reduced sexual behaviours at pH 7.6. The crab weight-pH relationship, in which larger individuals respond more intensely sexually in normal pH (8.2), is reversed for both the initial detection and time to locate the cue. These results indicate that lowered pH alters chemical signalling in C. maenas also outside the peak reproductive season, which may need to be taken into account when considering the future management of this globally invasive species.

RevDate: 2024-03-28

Oyarzún PA, Toro JE, Nuñez JJ, et al (2024)

The Mediterranean Mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis (Mollusca: Bivalvia) in Chile: Distribution and Genetic Structure of a Recently Introduced Invasive Marine Species.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 14(6): pii:ani14060823.

The genetic characteristics of invasive species have a significant impact on their ability to establish and spread. The blue mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis), native to the Mediterranean Sea, is a leading invasive species of intertidal coasts throughout much of the world. Here, we used mitochondrial DNA sequence data to investigate the genetic diversity and phylogeographic structure of invasive (M. galloprovincialis) versus native (Mytilus chilensis) populations of blue mussels in Chile. We evaluated whether genetic diversity in invasive populations could be explained by the genetic characteristics of the native sources from which they might be derived. A phylogenetic analysis confirmed two lineages of the invasive M. galloprovincialis, i.e., the NW Atlantic and the Mediterranean lineages. We found no evidence of genetic structure in the invasive range of M. galloprovincialis in Chile, most probably because of its recent arrival. We did, however, detect a spatial mixture of both M. galloprovincialis lineages at sampling locations along the Chilean coast, giving rise to higher levels of genetic diversity in some areas compared to the population of native M. chilensis. The coastal area of the invasion is still small in extent (~100 km on either side of two large ports), which supports the hypothesis of a recent introduction. Further expansion of the distribution range of M. galloprovincialis may be limited to the north by increasing water temperatures and to the south by a natural biogeographic break that may slow or perhaps stop its spread. The use of internal borders as a tool to minimise or prevent M. galloprovincialis spread is therefore a genuine management option in Chile but needs to be implemented rapidly.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Raheem A, Yohanna P, Li G, et al (2024)

Unraveling the ecological threads: How invasive alien plants influence soil carbon dynamics.

Journal of environmental management, 356:120556 pii:S0301-4797(24)00542-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien plants (IAPs) pose significant threats to native ecosystems and biodiversity worldwide. However, the understanding of their precise impact on soil carbon (C) dynamics in invaded ecosystems remains a crucial area of research. This review comprehensively explores the mechanisms through which IAPs influence soil C pools, fluxes, and C budgets, shedding light on their effects and broader consequences. Key mechanisms identified include changes in litter inputs, rates of organic matter decomposition, alterations in soil microbial communities, and shifts in nutrient cycling, all driving the impact of IAPs on soil C dynamics. These mechanisms affect soil C storage, turnover rates, and ecosystem functioning. Moreover, IAPs tend to increase gross primary productivity and net primary productivity leading to the alterations in fluxes and C budgets. The implications of IAP-induced alterations in soil C dynamics are significant and extend to plant-soil interactions, ecosystem structure, and biodiversity. Additionally, they have profound consequences for C sequestration, potentially impacting climate change mitigation. Restoring native plant communities, promoting soil health, and implementing species-specific management are essential measures to significantly mitigate the impacts of IAPs on soil C dynamics. Overall, understanding and mitigating the effects of IAPs on soil C storage, nutrient cycling, and related processes will contribute to the conservation of native biodiversity and complement global C neutrality efforts.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Klink JC, Rieger A, Wohlsein P, et al (2024)

Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Pathogens in Raccoon Dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and Raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 13(3): pii:pathogens13030270.

Raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and raccoons (Procyon lotor) are invasive alien species originating from East Asia and North America, respectively. They are discussed as vectors and reservoirs for various infectious diseases, including vector-borne and zoonotic pathogens, and are therefore a potential threat to human and domestic animal health, as well as to biodiversity and conservation. In the years 2021 and 2022, 110 raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) and 30 raccoons (Procyon lotor) were screened via qPCR for the presence of Leptospira spp., Rickettsia spp. and Borreliella spp. in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein as part of a health and risk assessment study. Borreliella spp. were confirmed in one raccoon dog and one raccoon, identified as Borreliella afzelii in the raccoon. Leptospira spp. were found in 21 (19.44%) raccoon dogs and 2 (6.90%) raccoons. In five raccoon dogs, Leptospira spp. were identified as Leptospira borgpetersenii, Leptospira kirschneri and Leptospira interrogans.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Osten-Sacken N, Pikalo J, Steinbach P, et al (2024)

Prevalence of Toxoplasma gondii Antibodies and Risk Factors in Two Sympatric Invasive Carnivores (Procyon lotor and Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Zgorzelec County, Poland.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 13(3): pii:pathogens13030210.

The intracellular protozoan Toxoplasma gondii is distributed worldwide and infects many species of warm-blooded animals. Most mammals, including humans, can serve as intermediate hosts. This pathogen, with its zoonotic potential, causes toxoplasmosis, a condition that can range from subclinical to fatal in humans. It is therefore important to assess the occurrence of the pathogen, even if only indirectly through the detection of antibodies. Epidemiological data on the seroprevalence in wild animals, including invasive species, are rare in Poland. Therefore, we tested 197 wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 89 raccoon dogs (Nyctereutes procyonoides) from Zgorzelec County, southwestern Poland, for the presence of antibodies. Samples were collected between January 2019 and December 2020 and analysed using a commercial indirect modified agglutination test (MAT, cut-off 1:25). The statistical analysis revealed significant differences in seroprevalence between the two predatory species. Of the 197 surveyed raccoons, 96 (48.73%; 95% confidence interval (CI): 41.73-55.73%) tested positive, while 25 of the 89 raccoon dogs (28.09%; 95% CI: 18.70-37.48%) were positive. Regarding risk factors, body weight and sex influenced the presence of T. gondii antibodies in both the species, with a higher likelihood of seropositivity among heavier animals and females, respectively. For raccoon dogs, juveniles were more likely to be seropositive than adults at a given weight. Our results suggest that T. gondii infection is widespread in the regional raccoon and raccoon dog populations, indicating a high level of parasite circulation in the environment.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Yang H, Zhang C, Shen Y, et al (2024)

Life Table Parameters of the Tomato Leaf Miner Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on Five Tomato Cultivars in China.

Insects, 15(3): pii:insects15030208.

Tomato is the most preferred host plant for Tuta absoluta, a newly emerged devastating invasive pest in China. However, no study has evaluated the damage risk of T. absoluta on processed tomato worldwide. In the current study, the life table parameters of T. absoluta were systematically investigated on five tomato cultivars (one fresh tomato cultivar, four processed tomato cultivars) to determine their susceptibility to T. absoluta infestation. T. absoluta had a better population growth ability on the fresh tomato, "Dafen", showing shorter duration of the preadult stage, higher lifetime fecundity, and a higher intrinsic rate of increase compared to four processed tomato cultivars. Meanwhile, the life table parameters of T. absoluta among different processed tomato cultivars also showed significant differences. Th9 was the most susceptible to T. absoluta attack, while Th1902, Heinz1015, and Dimen2272 were the least suitable ones for its development and reproduction. In summary, these tomato cultivars are the most recommended for commercial tomato production to reduce the damage caused by T. absoluta and improve the integrated pest management strategy.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Wei J, Niu M, Zhang H, et al (2024)

Global Potential Distribution of Invasive Species Pseudococcus viburni (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) under Climate Change.

Insects, 15(3): pii:insects15030195.

The potential distribution range and management strategies for P. viburni are poorly understood. Based on historical distribution data and environmental factors, the present study predicted the potentially suitable areas for P. viburni spread under different climate change scenarios using MaxEnt (maximum entropy). The results showed that precipitation of the coldest quarter (Bio19), precipitation seasonality (Bio15), and mean temperature of the wettest quarter (Bio8) were the most important environmental factors determining the distribution of P. viburni. Under the current climate conditions, its potential suitable areas are southern China, the whole of Japan, North America (especially the eastern part of the United States), the southwestern part of South America, the Mediterranean coast and most of Europe, the central part of Africa, i.e., the south of the Sahara Desert, and most of the southern coast of Australia. The total area of habitats suitable for this insect pest is predicted to be increased in the future. In order to prevent P. viburni transmission and spread, there is a need to strengthen the monitoring and quarantine measures against this pest at the Southern ports.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Cai Y, Chen H, Hu M, et al (2024)

Discovery of Novel Potential Insecticide-Resistance Mutations in Spodoptera frugiperda.

Insects, 15(3): pii:insects15030186.

The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda, is a worldwide agricultural pest that invaded China in 2018, and has developed resistance to multiple insecticides. The evolution of insecticide resistance is facilitated by mutations of target genes responsible for conferring resistance. In this study, amplicon sequencing analyzed 21 sites in six resistance genes. In addition to known mutations, unknown variants were also found, including novel variants: F290C (ace-1 gene, 0.1% frequency), I1040T/V (CHSA gene, 0.1% frequency), A309T (GluCl gene, 0.1% frequency), and I4790T/V (RyR gene, 0.1% frequency). Additionally, molecular docking was employed to investigate the impact of the aforementioned new mutations on insecticide binding to proteins. The analyses indicated that the binding abilities were reduced, similar to the resistance mutations that were reported, implying these novel mutations may confer transitional resistance. This study may provide a foundation for understanding the functions of these novel mutations in the evolutionary processes that drive the emergence of insecticide resistance in this invasive species.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Mlambo S, Mubayiwa M, Tarusikirwa VL, et al (2024)

The Fall Armyworm and Larger Grain Borer Pest Invasions in Africa: Drivers, Impacts and Implications for Food Systems.

Biology, 13(3): pii:biology13030160.

Invasive alien species (IAS) are a major biosecurity threat affecting globalisation and the international trade of agricultural products and natural ecosystems. In recent decades, for example, field crop and postharvest grain insect pests have independently accounted for a significant decline in food quantity and quality. Nevertheless, how their interaction and cumulative effects along the ever-evolving field production to postharvest continuum contribute towards food insecurity remain scant in the literature. To address this within the context of Africa, we focus on the fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J.E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), and the larger grain borer, Prostephanus truncatus (Horn) (Coleoptera: Bostrichidae), two of the most important field and postharvest IAS, respectively, that have invaded Africa. Both insect pests have shown high invasion success, managing to establish themselves in >50% of the African continent within a decade post-introduction. The successive and summative nature of field and postharvest damage by invasive insect pests on the same crop along its value chain results in exacerbated food losses. This systematic review assesses the drivers, impacts and management of the fall armyworm and larger grain borer and their effects on food systems in Africa. Interrogating these issues is important in early warning systems, holistic management of IAS, maintenance of integral food systems in Africa and the development of effective management strategies.

RevDate: 2024-03-27

Rajashekhar M, Rajashekar B, Reddy TP, et al (2024)

Evaluation of farmers friendly IPM modules for the management of fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (JE Smith) in maize in the hot semiarid region of India.

Scientific reports, 14(1):7118.

Invasive alien species (IAS) pose a severe threat to global agriculture, with their impact projected to escalate due to climate change and expanding international trade. The fall armyworm (FAW), Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith), a native of the Americas, has rapidly spread across various continents, causing significant damage to several food crops, especially maize. Integrated pest management (IPM) programs are vital for sustainable FAW control, combining multiple strategies for sustainable results. Over three consecutive years, 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22, the field demonstrations were conducted in semiarid regions of India, testing a four-component IPM approach viz., pheromone traps, microbial, botanicals and ETL based applications of insecticides against farmers' practices (sole insecticide application). IPM implementation led to substantial reductions in FAW infestation. Furthermore, egg mass and larvae infestations were significantly lower in IPM-adopted villages compared to conventional practices. Pheromone-based monitoring demonstrated a consistent reduction in adult moth populations. The lowest technology gap (10.42), extension gap (8.33) and technology index (12.25) was recorded during 2020-21. The adoption of IPM led to increased maize yields (17.49, 12.62 and 24.87% over control), higher net returns (919, 906.20 and 992.93 USD), and favourable benefit-cost ratios (2.74, 2.39 and 2.33) compared to conventional practices respectively during 2019-20, 2020-21 and 2021-22. The economic viability of IPM strategies was evident across three consecutive years, confirming their potential for sustainable FAW management in the semiarid region of India. These strategies hold promise for adoption in other parts of the world sharing similar climatic conditions.

RevDate: 2024-03-27
CmpDate: 2024-03-27

Zhou XH, Li JJ, Peng PH, et al (2024)

Climate warming impacts chewing Spodoptera litura negatively but sucking Corythucha marmorata positively on native Solidago canadensis.

The Science of the total environment, 923:171504.

Insect-plant interactions are among importantly ecological processes, and rapid environmental changes such as temperature and resource fluctuations can disrupt long-standing insect-plant interactions. While individual impacts of climate warming, atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition, and plant provenance on insect-plant interactions are well studied, their joint effects on insect-plant interactions are less explored in ecologically realistic settings. To this end, we performed five experiments with native and invasive Solidago canadensis populations from home and introduced ranges and two insect herbivores (leaf-chewing Spodoptera litura and sap-sucking Corythucha marmorata) in the context of climate warming and N deposition. We determined leaf defensive traits, feeding preference, and insect growth and development, and quantified the possible associations among climate change, host-plant traits, and insect performance with structural equation modeling. First, native S. canadensis populations experienced higher damage by S. litura but lower damage by C. marmorata than invasive S. canadensis populations in the ambient environment. Second, warming decreased the leaf consumption, growth, and survival of S. litura on native S. canadensis populations, but did not affect these traits on invasive S. canadensis populations; warming increased the number of C. marmorata on native S. canadensis populations via direct facilitation, but decreased that on invasive S. canadensis populations via indirect suppression. Third, N addition enhanced the survival of S. litura on native S. canadensis populations, and its feeding preference and leaf consumption on invasive S. canadensis populations. Finally, warming plus N addition exhibited non-additive effects on insect-plant interactions. Based on these results, we tentatively conclude that climate warming could have contrasting effects on insect-plant interactions depending on host-plant provenance and that the effects of atmospheric N deposition on insects might be relatively weak compared to climate warming. Future studies should focus on the molecular mechanisms underlying these different patterns.

RevDate: 2024-03-26

Durand M, E Guilbert (2024)

Corythauma ayyari (Insecta, Heteroptera, Tingidae) depends on its host plant to spread in Europe.

PloS one, 19(3):e0295102 pii:PONE-D-23-37771.

Biological invasions increase with the intensity of globalization, human activities, and climate change. Insects represent a high potential of invasive species due to their adaptability to new environment. We analysed here the potential of an Asian phytophagous bug, Corythauma ayyari (Heteroptera, Tingidae) to become widespread, recently recorded in Europe, and that depends on Jasminum spp., an ornamental plant widespread in Europe. We modelled its current distribution, projected it into the future and tested its niche overlap between native and invaded areas. When considering the host plants as environmental variables, the analysis shows that C. ayyari shifted to a new ecological niche but its distribution is restricted by its host plant distribution. Including or excluding the host plants as environmental variables has an impact on C. ayyari distribution. We recommend to consider host plant interactions when dealing with niche modelling of phytophagous species.

RevDate: 2024-03-26

Lin FC, Shaner PL, Hsieh MY, et al (2024)

Trained quantity discrimination in invasive red-eared slider and a comparison with the native stripe-necked turtle.

Animal cognition, 27(1):26.

Little is known about the behavioral and cognitive traits that best predict invasion success. Evidence is mounting that cognitive performance correlates with survival and fecundity, two pivotal factors for the successful establishment of invasive populations. We assessed the quantity discrimination ability of the globally invasive red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans). We further compared it to that of the native stripe-necked turtle (Mauremys sinensis), which has been previously evaluated for its superior quantity discrimination ability. Specifically, our experimental designs aimed to quantify the learning ability as numerosity pairs increased in difficulty (termed fixed numerosity tests), and the immediate response when turtles were presented with varied challenges concurrently in the same tests (termed mixed numerosity tests). Our findings reaffirm the remarkable ability of freshwater turtles to discern numerical differences as close as 9 vs 10 (ratio = 0.9), which was comparable to the stripe-necked turtle's performance. However, the red-eared slider exhibited a moderate decrease in performance in high ratio tests, indicating a potentially enhanced cognitive capacity to adapt to novel challenges. Our experimental design is repeatable and is adaptable to a range of freshwater turtles. These findings emphasize the potential importance of cognitive research to the underlying mechanisms of successful species invasions.

RevDate: 2024-03-25

Treudler R (2024)

Emerging and Novel Elicitors of Anaphylaxis: Collegium Internationale Allergologicum Update 2024.

International archives of allergy and immunology pii:000537958 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Anaphylaxis represents the most severe end of the spectrum of allergic reactions. Frequent elicitors of anaphylaxis are insects, foods, and drugs. This paper summarizes recent development with regard to emerging and novel elicitors of anaphylaxis.

SUMMARY: Food allergens on the rise include pulses (like pea, chickpea), seeds (hemp, chia), nuts (cashew), pseudograins (buckwheat, quinoa), fruits, and microalgae. Novel foods are foods that were not consumed to any significant extent in the European Union before May 1997, which includes four edible insects (mealworm, migratory locust, house cricket, and buffalo worm). Recent investigations have pointed out the risk of anaphylaxis associated with the consumption of yellow mealworm for people allergic to shellfish and house dust mites. In Europe, fire ants (mostly Solenopsis invicta) and Vespa velutina nigrithorax represent invasive species, which account for increasing numbers of anaphylactic reactions. Also, several new drugs, especially biologicals, have been associated with anaphylaxis.

KEY MESSAGES: Elicitors of anaphylaxis are changing as a result of (i) increase in demand for plant-based food, (ii) introduction of novel foods, (iii) spreading of allergens by climate changes and globalization, or (iv) due to exposure to newly developed drugs.

RevDate: 2024-03-25

Marshall AT, EH Beers (2024)

Using stink bug migration behavior for physical exclusion.

Environmental entomology pii:7634702 [Epub ahead of print].

Stink bugs have become an increasing concern for tree fruit growers due to changing management strategies and the introduction of an invasive species. The use of broad-spectrum insecticides for stink bug control disrupts biological control and leads to secondary pest outbreaks. To seek alternative tactics, we investigated the physical exclusion of native stink bugs with single-wall net barriers at orchard borders. First, stink bug capture on clear sticky panels along orchard edges showed that movement between the native shrub-steppe vegetation and the orchard occurs for much of the growing season instead of the presumed single migration event in August. Most stink bugs were captured between 1 m and 3 m heights, signifying a 4 m exclusion barrier would intercept migrating bugs. We tested large net barriers (4 m × 23 m) constructed of plain netting with or without deltamethrin-infused netting in flaps compared to a no-net control. The capture of target and nontarget arthropods was determined with plastic tarps below the nets or on the open ground of the control. Net barriers did not directly affect stink bug densities in the orchards, although orchard populations were low overall. Barriers did intercept stink bugs, and the addition of deltamethrin flaps enhanced stink bug mortality but at the price of nontarget arthropod mortality. Our results indicate that stink bug management efforts should focus earlier in the growing season and given the long period of migration, barriers are a more sustainable way of slowing movement into the orchard than the current sole reliance on chemical control.

RevDate: 2024-03-25

Khan N, Ullah R, Okla MK, et al (2024)

Climate and soil factors co-derive the functional traits variations in naturalized downy thorn apple (Datura innoxia Mill.) along the altitudinal gradient in the semi-arid environment.

Heliyon, 10(6):e27811.

Plant functional traits are consistently linked with certain ecological factors (i.e., abiotic and biotic), determining which components of a plant species pool are assembled into local communities. In this sense, non-native naturalized plants show more plasticity of morphological traits by adopting new habitat (an ecological niche) of the invaded habitats. This study focuses on the biomass allocation pattern and consistent traits-environment linkages of a naturalized Datura innoxia plant population along the elevation gradient in NW, Pakistan. We sampled 120 plots of the downy thorn apple distributed in 12 vegetation stands with 18 morphological and functional biomass traits during the flowering season and were analyzed along the three elevation zones having altitude ranges from 634.85 m to 1405.3 m from sear level designated as Group I to III identified by Ward's agglomerative clustering strategy (WACS). Our results show that many morphological traits and biomass allocation in different parts varied significantly (p < 0.05) in the pair-wise comparisons along the elevation. Likewise, all plant traits decreased from lower (drought stress) to high elevation zones (moist zones), suggesting progressive adaptation of Datura innoxia with the natural vegetation in NW Pakistan. Similarly, the soil variable also corresponds with the trait's variation e.g., significant variations (P < 0.05) of soil organic matter, organic carbon, Nitrogen and Phosphorus was recorded. The trait-environment linkages were exposed by redundancy analysis (RDA) that was co-drive by topographic (elevation, r = -0.4897), edaphic (sand, r = -0.4565 and silt, r = 0.5855) and climatic factors. Nevertheless, the influences of climatic factors were stronger than soil variables that were strongly linked with elevation gradient. The study concludes that D. innoxia has adopted the prevailing environmental and climatic conditions, and further investigation is required to evaluate the effects of these factors on their phytochemical and medicinal value.

RevDate: 2024-03-25
CmpDate: 2024-03-25

Kaštovská E, Mastný J, M Konvička (2024)

Rewilding by large ungulates contributes to organic carbon storage in soils.

Journal of environmental management, 355:120430.

The concept of rewilding, which focuses on managing ecosystem functions through self-regulation by restoring trophic interactions through introduced animal species with little human intervention, has gained increasing attention as a proactive and efficient approach to restoring ecosystems quickly and on a large scale. However, the science of rewilding has been criticized for being largely theory-based rather than evidence-based, with available data being geographically biased towards the Netherlands and Scandinavian countries, and a lack of objective data on rewilding effects on soil processes and C sequestration. In response to a call for data-driven experimental rewilding projects focused on national contexts, we collected unique data on the effects of large herbivore rewilding on soil properties from eight sites in the Czech Republic. These include sites with a wide range of edaphic characteristics that were grazed by Exmoor ponies, European bison, and back-bred Bos primigenius cattle (singly or in combination) for 2-6 years on areas ranging from ≈30 to ≈250 ha. Despite the relatively short duration of rewilding actions and considerable variability in the response rate of soil properties to grazing, our results indicate improved nutrient availability (evidenced by higher nitrification rate or higher soluble nitrogen concentration) and accelerated ecosystem metabolism (higher soil microbial biomass and dissolved carbon content). On longer-grazed pastures, rewilding contributed to soil carbon sequestration associated with increased water holding capacity and improved soil structure. However, other soil properties (reduced dissolved P concentration or total P content) showed signs of low P availability in the soils of the rewilding sites. Therefore, carcass retention should be considered where possible. Our data, although limited in number and geographic coverage, allow us to conclude that large ungulate rewilding has the potential to enhance soil carbon sequestration and related ecosystem services in rewilding areas. At the same time, we urge similar monitoring as an essential part of other rewilding projects, which will ultimately allow much more robust conclusions about the effects of this management on soils.

RevDate: 2024-03-23

O'Connor LMJ, Cosentino F, Harfoot MBJ, et al (2024)

Vulnerability of terrestrial vertebrate food webs to anthropogenic threats in Europe.

Global change biology, 30(3):e17253.

Vertebrate species worldwide are currently facing significant declines in many populations. Although we have gained substantial knowledge about the direct threats that affect individual species, these threats only represent a fraction of the broader vertebrate threat profile, which is also shaped by species interactions. For example, threats faced by prey species can jeopardize the survival of their predators due to food resource scarcity. Yet, indirect threats arising from species interactions have received limited investigation thus far. In this study, we investigate the indirect consequences of anthropogenic threats on biodiversity in the context of European vertebrate food webs. We integrated data on trophic interactions among over 800 terrestrial vertebrates, along with their associated human-induced threats. We quantified and mapped the vulnerability of various components of the food web, including species, interactions, and trophic groups to six major threats: pollution, agricultural intensification, climate change, direct exploitation, urbanization, and invasive alien species and diseases. Direct exploitation and agricultural intensification were two major threats for terrestrial vertebrate food webs: affecting 34% and 31% of species, respectively, they threaten 85% and 69% of interactions in Europe. By integrating network ecology with threat impact assessments, our study contributes to a better understanding of the magnitude of anthropogenic impacts on biodiversity.

RevDate: 2024-03-23

Pan YF, Zhao H, Gou QY, et al (2024)

Metagenomic analysis of individual mosquito viromes reveals the geographical patterns and drivers of viral diversity.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquito transmitted viruses are responsible for an increasing burden of human disease. Despite this, little is known about the diversity and ecology of viruses within individual mosquito hosts. Here, using a meta-transcriptomic approach, we determined the viromes of 2,438 individual mosquitoes (81 species), spanning ~4,000 km along latitudes and longitudes in China. From these data we identified 393 viral species associated with mosquitoes, including 7 (putative) species of arthropod-borne viruses (that is, arboviruses). We identified potential mosquito species and geographic hotspots of viral diversity and arbovirus occurrence, and demonstrated that the composition of individual mosquito viromes was strongly associated with host phylogeny. Our data revealed a large number of viruses shared among mosquito species or genera, enhancing our understanding of the host specificity of insect-associated viruses. We also detected multiple virus species that were widespread throughout the country, perhaps reflecting long-distance mosquito dispersal. Together, these results greatly expand the known mosquito virome, linked viral diversity at the scale of individual insects to that at a country-wide scale, and offered unique insights into the biogeography and diversity of viruses in insect vectors.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Dos Reis CHG, da Silva PN, de Castro EM, et al (2024)

Tolerance to mild shading levels in cattail as related to increased photosynthesis and changes in its leaf area and anatomy.

Journal of plant research [Epub ahead of print].

Shading is an environmental factor that has been little investigated regarding its effects on emergent aquatic plants. Typha domingensis Pers. is an emergent macrophyte that demonstrates some plasticity for self-shading, and as it can shade other species in the same area, the effect of shading on its traits deserves further investigation. The objective of the present study was to evaluate the gas exchange, leaf anatomy, and growth of T. domingensis cultivated under increasing shading intensities. The plants were collected and propagated in a greenhouse, and the clones were subjected to four shading intensities: 0% (unshaded), 35%, 73%, and 83% shading created by black nets. Growth traits, clonal production, photosynthesis, transpiration, and leaf anatomy were evaluated. The 73% and 83% shading promoted the death of all plants, but all plants survived in the 35% and unshaded treatments. Compared with the unshaded treatment, the 35% shading treatment promoted a higher photosynthetic rate and greater transpiration, supporting increased growth and production of clones. The increase in the photosynthetic rate in the 35% shading was related to the increase in leaf area which increased the photosynthesis of the whole plant. The 73% and 83% treatments inhibited the development of photosynthetic parenchyma and stomata in T. domingensis, leading to a drastic reduction in photosynthesis and energy depletion. Therefore, T. domingensis does not tolerate intense shading, but its photosynthetic characteristics and growth are favored by mild shading, a factor that may be of great importance for its competitiveness and invasive behavior.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Richard MA, Elliott S, Hummel SL, et al (2024)

Reduced Freshwater Mussel Juvenile Production as a Result of Agricultural and Urban Contaminant Mixture Exposures.

Environmental toxicology and chemistry [Epub ahead of print].

Freshwater mussels provide invaluable ecological services but are threatened by habitat alteration, poor water quality, invasive species, climate change, and contaminants, including contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). Contaminants of emerging concerns are well documented in aquatic environments, including the Great Lakes Basin, but limited information is available on how environmentally relevant mixtures affect freshwater mussel biology throughout their varied life stages. Our main goal was to assess mussels' reproductive output in response to exposure to agricultural and urban CEC mixtures during glochidial development through juvenile transformation and excystment focusing on how exposure duration and treatment affect: (1) the number of glochidia prematurely released by brooding females, (2) glochidial transformation through host-fish excystment, and (3) the number of fully metamorphosed juveniles able to continue the lifecycle. Mussels and host fish were exposed to either a control water (CW), control ethanol (CE), agriculture CEC mixture (AM), or urban CEC mixture (UM) for 40 and 100 days. We found no effect from treatment or exposure duration on the number of glochidia prematurely released. Fewer partially and fully metamorphosed AM juveniles were observed during the 100-day exposure, compared with the 40-day. During the 40-day exposure, CW produced more fully metamorphosed individuals compared with CE and UM, but during the 100-day exposure AM produced more fully metamorphosed individuals compared with the CW. There was reduction in fully metamorphosed juveniles compared with partially metamorphosed for CE and UM during the 40-day exposure, as well as in the CW during the 100-day exposure. These results will be important for understanding how mussel populations are affected by CEC exposure. The experiments also yielded many insights for laboratory toxicology exposure studies. Environ Toxicol Chem 2024;00:1-14. © 2024 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals LLC on behalf of SETAC. This article has been contributed to by U.S. Government employees and their work is in the public domain in the USA.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Hafker P, Thompson LM, Walter JA, et al (2024)

Geographic variation in larval cold tolerance and exposure across the invasion front of a widely established forest insect.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Under global climate change, high and low temperature extremes can drive shifts in species distributions. Across the range of a species, thermal tolerance is based on acclimatization, plasticity, and may undergo selection, shaping resilience to temperature stress. In this study, we measured variation in cold temperature tolerance of early instar larvae of an invasive forest insect, Lymantria dispar dispar L. (Lepidoptera: Erebidae), using populations sourced from a range of climates within the current introduced range in the Eastern United States. We tested for population differences in chill coma recovery (CCR) by measuring recovery time following a period of exposure to a nonlethal cold temperature in 2 cold exposure experiments. A 3rd experiment quantified growth responses after CCR to evaluate sublethal effects. Our results indicate that cold tolerance is linked to regional climate, with individuals from populations sourced from colder climates recovering faster from chill coma. While this geographic gradient is seen in many species, detecting this pattern is notable for an introduced species founded from a single point-source introduction. We demonstrate that the cold temperatures used in our experiments occur in nature during cold spells after spring egg hatch, but impacts to growth and survival appear low. We expect that population differences in cold temperature performance manifest more from differences in temperature-dependent growth than acute exposure. Evaluating intraspecific variation in cold tolerance increases our understanding of the role of climatic gradients on the physiology of an invasive species, and contributes to tools for predicting further expansion.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Han L, Chang ZM, Ren CS, et al (2024)

Colony performance of three native bumblebee species from South China and association with their gut microbiome.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Bumblebees play an important ecological economic role as pollinators in nature and agriculture. For reasons of biosecurity, many countries promote the cultivation of native bumblebee species for crop pollination instead of importing "alien" species. In South China, a few bumblebee species are considered useful in this way, particularly, Bombus atripes, Bombus bicoloratus and Bombus breviceps. However, whether they are suitable for artificial rearing and forming healthy colonies for pollination, remains unknown. In this project, queens from the 3 native species of Guizhou Province were collected and colonies were started under standardized conditions. The colonies were scored based on 19 parameters, including the stage of colony development, number and weight of offspring, and diet consumed. The data revealed that B. breviceps had the best performance, produced more workers and consumed the smallest diet. Next, we performed 16S rDNA sequencing of the bacterial communities found in the guts of offspring workers, and then a correlation analysis between colony performance and gut bacteria was conducted. Here, B. breviceps showed the highest diversity in gut bacterial composition, dominated by the bacteria Gilliamella, Snodgrassella, Enterobacter, and Lactobacillus Firm5. The higher the abundance of Snodgrassella, the better the performance of the colony in the foundation stage, and later Lactobacillus Firm5, Apibacter and Bifidobacterium were beneficial during the stages of rapid growth and colony decline. Although we do not understand all of the interactions yet, these correlations explain why B. breviceps demonstrated better colony performance. Our data provide valuable information for breeding local Bombus species and will contribute to developing strong colonies for crop pollination.

RevDate: 2024-03-22

Fu C, Wang F, Zhao Y, et al (2024)

Challenges and opportunities in human dimensions behind cat-wildlife conflict.

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

Because global anthropogenic activities cause vast biodiversity loss, human dimensions research is essential to forming management plans applicable to biodiversity conservation outside wilderness areas. Engaging public participation is crucial in this context to achieve social and environmental benefits. However, knowledge gaps remain in understanding how a balance between conservation and public demands can be reached and how complicated sociocultural contexts in the Anthropocene can be incorporated in conservation planning. We examined China's nationwide conflict between free-ranging cats (owned cats that are allowed to go outdoors or homeless cats living outdoors) and wildlife to examine how a consensus between compassion and biodiversity conservation can help in decision-making. We surveyed a random sample of people in China online. Over 9000 questionnaires were completed (44.2% response). In aggregate, respondents reported approximately 29 million free-ranging owned cats and that over 5 million domestic cats per year become feral in mainland China. Respondents who were cat owners, female, and religious were more likely to deny the negative impacts of cats on wildlife and ongoing management strategies and more supportive of stray cat shelters, adoption, and community-based fund raising than nonowners, male, and nonreligious respondents (p < 0.05). Free-ranging cat ownership and abandonment occurred less with owners with more knowledge of biodiversity and invasive species than with respondents with less knowledge of these subjects (p < 0.05). We recommend that cat enthusiasts and wildlife conservationists participate in community-based initiatives, such as campaigns to keep cats indoors. Our study provides a substantially useful framework for other regions where free-ranging cats are undergoing rapid expansion.


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

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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