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02 Aug 2021 at 01:33
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 02 Aug 2021 at 01:33 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-07-31

Haddad MB, De-la-Torre GE, Abelouah MR, et al (2021)

Personal protective equipment (PPE) pollution associated with the COVID-19 pandemic along the coastline of Agadir, Morocco.

The Science of the total environment, 798:149282 pii:S0048-9697(21)04355-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The increasing use of personal protective equipment (PPE) as a sanitary measure against the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) has become a significant source of many environmental risks. The majority of the governments enforce the use of PPE in public areas, such as beaches. Thus, the use and disposal of PPE have compromised most solid waste management strategies, ultimately leading to the occurrence of PPE polluting the marine environment. The present study aimed to monitor the PPE pollution associated with COVID-19 along the coastline of Agadir, Morocco. In parallel, the influence of the activities carried out in each sampled beach before and after the lockdown break was reported. Overall, a total number of 689 PPE items were identified, with a mean density of 1.13 × 10-5 PPE m-2 (0-1.21 × 10-4 PPE m-2). The majority of the PPE items found were face masks (96.81%), out of which 98.4% were surgical masks and 1.6% were reusable cloth masks. The most polluted sites were the beaches with recreational activities, followed by surfing, and fishing as the main activity. Importantly, PPE density increased significantly after lockdown measures. Additionally, the discarded PPE sampled in the supralittoral zone was higher than PPE recorded in the intertidal zone. This confirms that PPE items are driven by the beachgoers during their visit. PPE items are a source of microplastic and chemical pollutants, a substrate to invasive species colonization, and a potential threat of entanglement, ingestion, and/or infection among apex predators. In the specific case of Agadir beaches, significant efforts are required to work on the lack of environmental awareness and education. It is recommended to improve beach cleaning strategies and to penalize incorrect PPE disposal. Additional alternatives may be adopted, as the involvement of biodegradable materials in PPE manufacturing, recycling through pyrolysis, and encouraging reusable and washable masks.

RevDate: 2021-07-31

Henry AL, González E, Bourgeois B, et al (2021)

Invasive tree cover covaries with environmental factors to explain the functional composition of riparian plant communities.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species are a major cause of biodiversity loss worldwide, but their impact on communities and the mechanisms driving those impacts are varied and not well understood. This study employs functional diversity metrics and guilds-suites of species with similar traits-to assess the influence of an invasive tree (Tamarix spp.) on riparian plant communities in the southwestern United States. We asked: (1) What traits define riparian plant guilds in this system? (2) How do the abundances of guilds vary along gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? (3) How does the functional diversity of the plant community respond to the gradients of Tamarix cover and abiotic conditions? We found nine distinct guilds primarily defined by reproductive strategy, as well as growth form, height, seed weight, specific leaf area, drought and anaerobic tolerance. Guild abundance varied along a covarying gradient of local and regional environmental factors and Tamarix cover. Guilds relying on sexual reproduction, in particular, those producing many light seeds over a long period of time were more strongly associated with drier sites and higher Tamarix cover. Tamarix itself appeared to facilitate more shade-tolerant species with higher specific leaf areas than would be expected in resource-poor environments. Additionally, we found a high degree of specialization (low functional diversity) in the wettest, most flood-prone, lowest Tamarix cover sites as well as in the driest, most stable, highest Tamarix cover sites. These guilds can be used to anticipate plant community response to restoration efforts and in selecting appropriate species for revegetation.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Castro KL, Battini N, Giachetti CB, et al (2021)

Early detection of marine invasive species following the deployment of an artificial reef: Integrating tools to assist the decision-making process.

Journal of environmental management, 297:113333 pii:S0301-4797(21)01395-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Early detection and rapid response plans are a set of principles to reduce the establishment, spread and impact of invasive species and it is a critical step in management in marine ecosystems. Two potentially invasive ascidians attached to the hull of a recently sunk fishing vessel were early detected in Patagonia. With the aim of assisting in the management decision-making process during the early steps of a rapid response, we conducted several analyses through different approaches. First, we identified the species through classic taxonomical and genetic analyses. Then, we evaluated the regional and international shipping connectivity to study potential donor regions and finally, we used species distribution models (SDMs) to predict the potential distribution of these species. The potentially invasive ascidians were identified as Styela clava and Styela plicata, and this is the first record for both species in the Nuevo gulf, Patagonia Argentina. Both species have a widespread distribution around the world with strong ecological and economic impacts documented. Shipping traffic analysis suggested that S. plicata could have arrived by secondary spread from regional ports, while the arrival of S. clava was likely to be associated with international shipping traffic. Furthermore, the SDM predicted that S. clava has suitable coastal areas along the entire Southwestern Atlantic shoreline, where it is currently absent. On the contrary, the SDM predicted that further southward spread of S. plicata is unlikely, being limited by the minimum annual temperature. We discussed the different approaches, tools, and expertise integrated in this work in the light of the decision-making process for the early detection of marine invasive species in the Southwestern Atlantic. Moreover, we call attention to the increased creation of artificial habitats through the intentional sinking of ships and the potential consequences of these actions in the conservation of marine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Mackay-Smith A, Dornon MK, Lucier R, et al (2021)

Host-specific gene expression as a tool for introduction success in Naupactus parthenogenetic weevils.

PloS one, 16(7):e0248202 pii:PONE-D-21-05774.

Food resource access can mediate establishment success in invasive species, and generalist herbivorous insects are thought to rely on mechanisms of transcriptional plasticity to respond to dietary variation. While asexually reproducing invasives typically have low genetic variation, the twofold reproductive capacity of asexual organisms is a marked advantage for colonization. We studied host-related transcriptional acclimation in parthenogenetic, invasive, and polyphagous weevils: Naupactus cervinus and N. leucoloma. We analyzed patterns of gene expression in three gene categories that can mediate weevil-host plant interactions through identification of suitable host plants, short-term acclimation to host plant defenses, and long-term adaptation to host plant defenses and their pathogens. This approach employed comparative transcriptomic methods to investigate differentially expressed host detection, detoxification, immune defense genes, and pathway-level gene set enrichment. Our results show that weevil gene expression responses can be host plant-specific, and that elements of that response can be maintained in the offspring. Some host plant groups, such as legumes, appear to be more taxing as they elicit a complex gene expression response which is both strong in intensity and specific in identity. However, the weevil response to taxing host plants shares many differentially expressed genes with other stressful situations, such as host plant cultivation conditions and transition to novel host, suggesting that there is an evolutionarily favorable shared gene expression regime for responding to different types of stressful situations. Modulating gene expression in the absence of other avenues for phenotypic adaptation may be an important mechanism of successful colonization for these introduced insects.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Chadin I, Dalke I, Tishin D, et al (2021)

A simple mechanistic model of the invasive species Heracleum sosnowskyi propagule dispersal by wind.

PeerJ, 9:e11821 pii:11821.

Background: Invasive species are one of the key elements of human-mediated ecosystem degradation and ecosystem services impairment worldwide. Dispersal of propagules is the first stage of plant species spread and strongly influences the dynamics of biological invasion. Therefore, distance prediction for invasive species spread is critical for invasion management. Heracleum sosnowskyi is one of the most dangerous invasive species with wind-dispersed propagules (seeds) across Eastern Europe. This study developed a simple mechanistic model for H. sosnowskyi propagule dispersal and their distances with an accuracy comparable to that of empirical measurements.

Methods: We measured and compared the propagule traits (terminal velocity, mass, area, and wing loading) and release height for H. sosnowskyi populations from two geographically distant regions of European Russia. We tested two simple mechanistic models: a ballistic model and a wind gradient model using identical artificial propagules. The artificial propagules were made of colored paper with a mass, area, wing loading, and terminal velocity close to those of natural H. sosnowskyi mericarps.

Results: The wind gradient model produced the best results. The first calculations of maximum possible propagule transfer distance by wind using the model and data from weather stations showed that the role of wind as a vector of long-distance dispersal for invasive Heracleum species was strongly underestimated. The published dataset with H. sosnowskyi propagule traits and release heights allows for modeling of the propagules' dispersal distances by wind at any geographical point within their entire invasion range using data from the closest weather stations. The proposed simple model for the prediction of H. sosnowskyi propagule dispersal by wind may be included in planning processes for managing invasion of this species.

RevDate: 2021-07-30

Konorov EA, Yurchenko V, Patraman I, et al (2021)

The effects of genetic drift and genomic selection on differentiation and local adaptation of the introduced populations of Aedes albopictus in southern Russia.

PeerJ, 9:e11776 pii:11776.

Background: Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus is an arbovirus vector that has spread from its native habitation areal in Southeast Asia throughout North and South Americas, Europe, and Africa. Ae. albopictus was first detected in the Southern Federal District of the Russian Federation in the subtropical town of Sochi in 2011. In subsequent years, this species has been described in the continental areas with more severe climate and lower winter temperatures.

Methods: Genomic analysis of pooled Ae. albopictus samples collected in the mosquito populations in the coastal and continental regions of the Krasnodar Krai was conducted to look for the genetic changes associated with the spread and potential cold adaptation in Ae. albopictus.

Results: The results of the phylogenetic analysis based on mitochondrial genomes corresponded well with the hypothesis that Ae. albopictus haplotype A1a2a1 was introduced into the region from a single source. Population analysis revealed the role of dispersal and genetic drift in the local adaptation of the Asian tiger mosquito. The absence of shared haplotypes between the samples and high fixation indices suggest that gene flow between samples was heavily restricted. Mitochondrial and genomic differentiation together with different distances between dispersal routes, natural and anthropogenic barriers and local effective population size reduction could lead to difficulties in local climatic adaptations due to reduced selection effectiveness. We have found genomic regions with selective sweep patterns which can be considered as having been affected by recent selection events. The genes located in these regions participate in neural protection, lipid conservation, and cuticle formation during diapause. These processes were shown to be important for cold adaptation in the previous transcriptomic and proteomic studies. However, the population history and relatively low coverage obtained in the present article could have negatively affect sweep detection.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Pusceddu A, Mikhno M, Giglioli A, et al (2021)

Foraging of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus (Lamarck, 1816) on invasive allochthonous and autochthonous algae.

Marine environmental research, 170:105428 pii:S0141-1136(21)00184-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Attempts to control marine invasive alien species (IAS) with native predators gained contrasting results, so far. To explore the feasibility of this approach to control the invasive marine alga Caulerpa cylindracea, we investigated the foraging behaviour of the sea urchin Paracentrotus lividus on three native macroalgae (Ulva sp., Penicillus capitatus and Cystoseira compressa) and on C. cylindracea. The consumption rate of C. cylindracea fresh biomass resulted larger than that of the other algae, when offered separately or in combination. C. cylindracea, however, was not the most attractive food item. The larger consumption rates of C. cylindracea can be explained by its specific caloric content (as assessed by its biochemical composition) that is lower than that of the other algae. Our results confirm that P. lividus can feed on C. cylindracea, but do not fully support its use to control C. cylindracea, unless in conditions where this alga is largely dominant because of other factors.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Errbii M, Keilwagen J, Hoff KJ, et al (2021)

Transposable elements and introgression introduce genetic variation in the invasive ant Cardiocondyla obscurior.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Introduced populations of invasive organisms cope with novel environmental challenges, while having reduced genetic variation caused by founder effects. The mechanisms associated with this "genetic paradox of invasive species" has received considerable attention, yet few studies have examined the genomic architecture of invasive species. Populations of the heart node ant Cardiocondyla obscurior belong to two distinct lineages, a New World lineage so far only found in Latin America and a more globally distributed Old World lineage. In the present study, we use population genomic approaches to compare populations of the two lineages with apparent divergent invasive potential. We find, that the strong genetic differentiation of the two lineages began at least 40,000 generations ago and that activity of transposable elements (TEs) contributes significantly to the divergence of both lineages, possibly linked to the very unusual genomic distribution of TEs in this species. Further, we show that introgression from the Old World lineage is a dominant source of genetic diversity in the New World lineage, despite the lineages' strong genetic differentiation. Our study uncovers mechanisms underlying novel genetic variation in introduced populations of C. obscurior that could contribute to the species' adaptive potential.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Gianoli E, MA Molina-Montenegro (2021)

Evolution of physiological performance in invasive plants under climate change.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is expected to promote biological invasions. Invasive species often undergo adaptive evolution, but whether invasive species show greater evolutionary potential than their native counterparts under climate change has rarely been evaluated. We conducted experimental evolution trials comparing the evolution of physiological performance (light-saturated photosynthetic rate, Amax) of coexisting and closely related 1) invasive-native species pairs from Arid, Alpine and Antarctic ecosystems, and 2) an invasive-naturalized species pair from a Mediterranean ecosystem differing in invasiveness. Experiments were conducted over three generations and under four environments of temperature and water availability resembling typical and climate change conditions in each ecosystem. Amax increased across generations for all species. Invasive species from Arid, Alpine and Antarctic ecosystems showed similar, greater, and lesser evolution of Amax than their native counterparts, respectively. The Mediterranean invasive species showed greater evolution of Amax than its naturalized congener. Similar patterns were observed in all four experimental environments for each ecosystem, suggesting that comparable responses may be expected under climate change scenarios. All study species showed a positive association between Amax and reproductive output. Results suggest that invasive plants and their native (or naturalized) counterparts would show similar evolutionary responses of physiological performance to global warming and drought. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Rothman JA, Loope KJ, McFrederick QS, et al (2021)

Microbiome of the wasp Vespula pensylvanica in native and invasive populations, and associations with Moku virus.

PloS one, 16(7):e0255463 pii:PONE-D-21-07378.

Invasive species present a worldwide concern as competition and pathogen reservoirs for native species. Specifically, the invasive social wasp, Vespula pensylvanica, is native to western North America and has become naturalized in Hawaii, where it exerts pressures on native arthropod communities as a competitor and predator. As invasive species may alter the microbial and disease ecology of their introduced ranges, there is a need to understand the microbiomes and virology of social wasps. We used 16S rRNA gene sequencing to characterize the microbiome of V. pensylvanica samples pooled by colony across two geographically distinct ranges and found that wasps generally associate with taxa within the bacterial genera Fructobacillus, Fructilactobacillus, Lactococcus, Leuconostoc, and Zymobacter, and likely associate with environmentally-acquired bacteria. Furthermore, V. pensylvanica harbors-and in some cases were dominated by-many endosymbionts including Wolbachia, Sodalis, Arsenophonus, and Rickettsia, and were found to contain bee-associated taxa, likely due to scavenging on or predation upon honey bees. Next, we used reverse-transcriptase quantitative PCR to assay colony-level infection intensity for Moku virus (family: Iflaviridae), a recently-described disease that is known to infect multiple Hymenopteran species. While Moku virus was prevalent and in high titer, it did not associate with microbial diversity, indicating that the microbiome may not directly interact with Moku virus in V. pensylvanica in meaningful ways. Collectively, our results suggest that the invasive social wasp V. pensylvanica associates with a simple microbiome, may be infected with putative endosymbionts, likely acquires bacterial taxa from the environment and diet, and is often infected with Moku virus. Our results suggest that V. pensylvanica, like other invasive social insects, has the potential to act as a reservoir for bacteria pathogenic to other pollinators, though this requires experimental demonstration.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Carle RD, Fleishman AB, Varela T, et al (2021)

Introduced and native vertebrates in pink-footed shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) breeding colonies in Chile.

PloS one, 16(7):e0254416 pii:PONE-D-21-02693.

Biodiversity conservation planning requires accurate, current information about species status and threats. Although introduced mammals are the greatest threat to seabirds globally, data on introduced species is lacking for many seabird breeding islands. To inform conservation planning, we used trail cameras to document the presence, relative abundance, and seasonal and diel attendance of introduced and native vertebrates within pink-footed shearwater (Ardenna creatopus) breeding colonies on Isla Mocha (five colonies, 2015-2020) and Isla Robinson Crusoe (Juan Fernández Archipelago), Chile (one colony, 2019-2020). The most commonly detected species were pink-footed shearwaters and introduced rats (Rattus spp.) on Isla Mocha, and European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) and pink-footed shearwaters on Isla Robinson Crusoe. Introduced mammals observed, in order of greatest catch-per-unit-effort, were rats, cats (Felis catus), dogs (Canis lupus familiaris), and European hares (Lepus europaeus) on Isla Mocha and European rabbits, cats, cattle (Bos taurus), rats, dogs, mice (Mus musculus), and southern coati (Nasua nasua) on Isla Robinson Crusoe. Especially noteworthy results for pink-footed shearwater conservation were the presence of cats during all monitoring months in shearwater colonies on both islands, that catch-per-unit-effort of rabbits was greater than shearwaters on Isla Robinson Crusoe, and that rats were the most observed vertebrates after shearwaters on Isla Mocha. Pink-footed shearwaters were regularly present on the islands from October through May. Presence and relative catch-per-unit-effort of pink-footed shearwaters qualitatively matched the species' known breeding phenology. The regular presence and temporal overlap with shearwaters of cats, rats, rabbits, and cattle within shearwater colonies, coupled with the irregular presence of dogs, coati, hares, and mice, indicated a serious conservation threat for pink-footed shearwaters and other native insular fauna and flora. Finally, our study provides a widely applicable model for analysis of multi-year trail camera data collected with unstandardized settings.

RevDate: 2021-07-29

Marchioro M, M Faccoli (2021)

Improved Light Traps for Early Detection of Insect Pests of Phytosanitary Concern in Shipping Containers.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6330637 [Epub ahead of print].

The number of introductions of alien insect has been increasing in the last decades, primarily transported in shipping containers. The attraction of light of different wavelengths (white, infrared, ultraviolet, and red) applied on sticky traps was tested for the development of new traps for hitchhiker insects. The addition of entomological glue and insecticide on the trap was also tested. Tests were conducted on Cadra cautella Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), Drosophila melanogaster Meigen (Diptera: Drosophilidae), Sitophilus zeamais Motschulsky (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), and Tribolium castaneum (Herbst) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae) and released inside a shipping container. In the first test, one light color at a time was tested setting eight traps in the container, one for each possible combination of the variables: light on or off, glue added or not, and insecticide sprayed or not. In the second, five traps were used, all of them coated with the entomological glue: one for each light color and one with light off as control. In all the single color tests (except for infrared), light-on traps captured more, except for T. castaneum that was not attracted to white. In the multi-color test, C. cautella showed no preference among white, ultraviolet, or red; Drosophila melanogaster preferred ultraviolet and white over red; and beetles had a much greater attraction to red. Lastly, the stronger entomological glue improved catches of beetles, whereas insecticides did not. In conclusion, results suggest a possible application of sticky light traps against hitchhiker insects and further studies should verify if the simultaneous use of different light colors can improve the trap performance and does not act as a repellent.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Fontúrbel FE, Murúa MM, L Vieli (2021)

Invasion dynamics of the European bumblebee Bombus terrestris in the southern part of South America.

Scientific reports, 11(1):15306.

Invasive species are one of the main biodiversity loss drivers. Some species can establish and thrive in novel habitats, impacting local communities, as is the case of managed pollinators. In this regard, an invasive species' expansion process over time is critical for its control and management. A good example is the European bumblebee Bombus terrestris, which has rapidly invaded the southern part of South America after being repeatedly introduced in Chile for crop pollination since 1997. We assessed the temporal dynamics of B. terrestris invasion in Argentina and Chile by compiling 562 occurrence points from 2000 to 2019. We used two estimators (minimum convex polygon and 95% fixed kernel) to estimate the increase of the invaded area over time. We found that the area invaded by B. terrestris in the southern part of South America presents a linear increase over time, which was consistent for both estimators. In this scenario, species traits, environmental characteristics, and introduction dynamics facilitate a rapid invasion process that will continue to expand, reaching other South American countries in the near future. As this bumblebee is a super-generalist, it probably will expand across South America, as climate niche modelling predicts, if no actions were taken.

RevDate: 2021-07-28

Shin J, J Jung (2021)

Comparative population genetics of the invasive mosquito Aedes albopictus and the native mosquito Aedes flavopictus in the Korean peninsula.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):377.

BACKGROUND: Aedes mosquitoes are important invasive species contributing to the spread of chikungunya, dengue fever, yellow fever, zika virus, and other dangerous vector-borne diseases. Aedes albopictus is native to southeast Asia, with rapid expansion due to human activity, showing a wide distribution in the Korean peninsula. Aedes flavopictus is considered to be native to East Asia, with a broad distribution in the region, including the Korean peninsula. A better understanding of the genetic diversity of these species is critical for establishing strategies for disease prevention and vector control.

METHODS: We obtained DNA from 148 specimens of Ae. albopictus and 166 specimens of Ae. flavopictus in Korea, and amplified two mitochondrial genes (COI and ND5) to compare the genetic diversity and structure of the two species.

RESULTS: We obtained a 658-bp sequence of COI and a 423-bp sequence of ND5 from both mosquito species. We found low diversity and a nonsignificant population genetic structure in Ae. albopictus, and high diversity and a nonsignificant structure in Ae. flavopictus for these two mitochondrial genes. Aedes albopictus had fewer haplotypes with respect to the number of individuals, and a slight mismatch distribution was confirmed. By contrast, Ae. flavopictus had a large number of haplotypes compared with the number of individuals, and a large unimodal-type mismatch distribution was confirmed. Although the genetic structure of both species was nonsignificant, Ae. flavopictus exhibited higher genetic diversity than Ae. albopictus.

CONCLUSIONS: Aedes albopictus appears to be an introduced species, whereas Ae. flavopictus is endemic to the Korean peninsula, and the difference in genetic diversity between the two species is related to their adaptability and introduction history. Further studies on the genetic structure and diversity of these mosquitos will provide useful data for vector control.

RevDate: 2021-07-29
CmpDate: 2021-07-29

Su T, Mullens P, Thieme J, et al (2020)

Deployment and Fact Analysis of the In2Care® Mosquito Trap, A Novel Tool for Controlling Invasive Aedes Species.

Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 36(3):167-174.

During April-October 2019, the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District (Ontario, CA) deployed large numbers of In2Care® mosquito traps in a preliminary study to evaluate the trap's potential effectiveness at controlling invasive Aedes aegypti (L.) and Ae. albopictus (Skuse) in 6 cities of San Bernardino County, CA. The trap was used to attract ovipositing females, expose them to the juvenile hormone mimic pyriproxyfen and the entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana, and autodisseminate pyriproxyfen to other water sources prior to their death from fungal infection. The trap attracted Ae. aegypti and Culex quinquefasciatus, with the latter species predominating at much higher larval densities in the trap reservoirs. Field-collected larvae and pupae from the trap reservoirs showed complete adult emergence inhibition. Furthermore, the trap reservoirs retained high levels of residual larvicidal, pupicidal, and emergence inhibition activity after they were retrieved from the field, as indicated by laboratory bioassays against laboratory colony of Cx. quinquefasciatus. Results of this study support more detailed quantitative local evaluations on trap efficacy to measure the impact of the In2Care mosquito trap on wild invasive Aedes and Culex populations in future mosquito control efforts.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Devos Y, Mumford JD, Bonsall MB, et al (2021)

Risk management recommendations for environmental releases of gene drive modified insects.

Biotechnology advances pii:S0734-9750(21)00113-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The ability to engineer gene drives (genetic elements that bias their own inheritance) has sparked enthusiasm and concerns. Engineered gene drives could potentially be used to address long-standing challenges in the control of insect disease vectors, agricultural pests and invasive species, or help to rescue endangered species. However, risk concerns and uncertainty associated with potential environmental release of gene drive modified insects (GDMIs) have led some stakeholders to call for a global moratorium on such releases or the application of other strict precautionary measures to mitigate perceived risk assessment and risk management challenges. Instead, we provide recommendations that may help to improve the relevance of risk assessment and risk management frameworks for environmental releases of GDMIs. These recommendations include: (1) developing additional and more practical risk assessment guidance to ensure appropriate levels of safety; (2) making policy goals and regulatory decision-making criteria operational for use in risk assessment so that what constitutes harm is clearly defined; (3) ensuring a more dynamic interplay between risk assessment and risk management to manage uncertainty through closely interlinked pre-release modelling and post-release monitoring; (4) considering potential risks against potential benefits, and comparing them with those of alternative actions to account for a wider (management) context; and (5) implementing a modular, phased approach to authorisations for incremental acceptance and management of risks and uncertainty. Along with providing stakeholder engagement opportunities in the risk analysis process, the recommendations proposed may enable risk managers to make choices that are more proportionate and adaptive to potential risks, uncertainty and benefits of GDMI applications, and socially robust.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Arnold SEJ, Elisante F, Mkenda PA, et al (2021)

Beneficial insects are associated with botanically rich margins with trees on small farms.

Scientific reports, 11(1):15190.

Beneficial insect communities on farms are influenced by site- and landscape-level factors, with pollinator and natural enemy populations often associated with semi-natural habitat remnants. They provide ecosystem services essential for all agroecosystems. For smallholders, natural pest regulation may be the only affordable and available option to manage pests. We evaluated the beneficial insect community on smallholder bean farms (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) and its relationship with the plant communities in field margins, including margin trees that are not associated with forest fragments. Using traps, botanical surveys and transect walks, we analysed the relationship between the floral diversity/composition of naturally regenerating field margins, and the beneficial insect abundance/diversity on smallholder farms, and the relationship with crop yield. More flower visits by potential pollinators and increased natural enemy abundance measures in fields with higher plant, and particularly tree, species richness, and these fields also saw improved crop yields. Many of the flower visitors to beans and potential natural enemy guilds also made use of non-crop plants, including pesticidal and medicinal plant species. Selective encouragement of plants delivering multiple benefits to farms can contribute to an ecological intensification approach. However, caution must be employed, as many plants in these systems are introduced species.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Pirtle EI, van Rooyen AR, Maino J, et al (2021)

A molecular method for biomonitoring of an exotic plant-pest: leafmining for environmental DNA.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding how invasive species respond to novel environments is limited by a lack of sensitivity and throughput in conventional biomonitoring methods. Arthropods in particular are often difficult to monitor due to their small size, rapid lifecycles, and/or visual similarities with co-occurring species. This is true for the agromyzid leafminer fly, Liriomyza sativae, a global pest of vegetable and nursery industries that has recently established in Australia. A robust method based on environmental DNA (eDNA) was developed exploiting traces of DNA left inside 'empty' leaf mines, which are straightforward to collect and persist longer in the environment than the fly. This extends the window of possible diagnosis to at least 28 days after a leaf mine becomes empty. The test allowed for visually indistinguishable leafmining damage caused by L. sativae to be genetically differentiated from that of other flies. Field application resulted in the identification of new local plant hosts for L. sativae, including widely distributed weeds and common garden crops, which has important implications for the pest's ability to spread. Moreover, the test confirmed the presence of a previously unknown population of L. sativae on an island in the Torres Strait. The developed eDNA method is likely to become an important tool for L. sativae and other leafmining species of biosecurity significance, which, historically, have been difficult to detect, diagnose and monitor. More generally, eDNA is emerging as a highly sensitive and labour-efficient surveillance tool for difficult to survey species to improve outcomes for agricultural industries, global health, and the environment.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Dominguez Almela V, South J, JR Britton (2021)

Predicting the competitive interactions and trophic niche consequences of a globally invasive fish with threatened native species.

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

Novel trophic interactions between invasive and native species potentially increase levels of inter-specific competition in the receiving environment. However, theory on the trophic impacts of invasive fauna on native competitors is ambiguous, as while increased inter-specific competition can result in the species having constricted and diverged trophic niches, the species might instead increase their niche sizes, especially in omnivorous species. The competitive interactions between an omnivorous invasive fish, common carp Cyprinus carpio, and a tropically analogous native and threatened fish, crucian carp Carassius carassius, were tested using comparative functional responses (CFRs). A natural pond experiment then presented the species in allopatry and sympatry, determining the changes in their trophic (isotopic) niche sizes and positions over four years. These predictive approaches were complemented by assessing their trophic relationships in wild populations. CFRs revealed that compared to crucian carp, carp had a significantly higher maximum consumption rate. Coupled with a previous cohabitation growth study, these results predicted that competition between the species is asymmetric, with carp the superior competitor. The pond experiment used stable isotope metrics to quantify shifts in the trophic (isotopic) niche sizes of the fishes. In allopatry, the isotopic niches of the two species were similar sized and diverged. Conversely, in sympatry, carp isotopic niches were always considerably larger than those of crucian carp and were strongly partitioned. Sympatric crucian carp had larger isotopic niches than allopatric conspecifics, a likely response to asymmetric competition from carp. However, carp isotopic niches were also larger in sympatry than allopatry. In the wild populations, the carp isotopic niches were always larger than crucian carp niches, and were highly divergent. The superior competitive abilities of carp predicted in aquaria experiments were considered to be a process involved in sympatric crucian carp having larger isotopic niches than in allopatry. However, as sympatric carp also had larger niches than in allopatry, this suggests other ecological processes were also likely to be involved, such as those relating to fish prey resources. These results highlight the inherent complexity in determining how omnivorous invasive species integrate into food-webs and alter their structure.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Willot Q, Loos B, JS Terblanche (2021)

Interactions between developmental and adult acclimation have distinct consequences for heat-tolerance and heat-stress recovery.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:271049 [Epub ahead of print].

Developmental and adult thermal acclimation can have distinct, even opposite, effects on adult heat resistance in ectotherms. Yet, their relative contribution to heat-hardiness of ectotherms remains unclear despite the broad ecological implications thereof. Furthermore, the deterministic relationship between heat-knockdown and recovery from heat stress is poorly understood but significant for establishing causal links between climate variability and population dynamics. Here, using D. melanogaster in a full-factorial experimental design, we assess flies heat-tolerance in static stress assays, and document how developmental and adult acclimation interact with a distinct pattern to promote survival to heat-stress in adults. We show that warmer adult acclimation is the initial factor enhancing survival to constant stressful high temperatures in flies, but also that the interaction between adult and developmental acclimation becomes gradually more important to ensure survival as the stress persists. This provides an important framework revealing the dynamic interplay between these two forms of acclimation, that ultimately enhance thermal tolerance as a function of stress duration. Furthermore, by investigating recovery rates post-stress, we also show that the process of heat-hardening and recovery post heat knockdown are likely to be based on set of (at least partially) divergent mechanisms. This could bear ecological significance as a tradeoff may exist between increasing thermal tolerance and maximizing recovery rates post-stress, constraining population responses when exposed to variable and stressful climatic conditions.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Antoł A, S Sniegula (2021)

Damselfly eggs alter their development rate in the presence of an invasive alien cue but not a native predator cue.

Ecology and evolution, 11(14):9361-9369.

Biological invasions are a serious problem in natural ecosystems. Local species that are potential prey of invasive alien predators can be threatened by their inability to recognize invasive predator cues. Such an inability of prey to recognize the presence of the predator supports the naïve prey hypothesis. We exposed eggs of a damselfly, Ischnura elegans, to four treatments: water with no predator cue (control), water with a native predator cue (perch), water with an invasive alien predator cue (spinycheek crayfish) that is present in the damselfly sampling site, and water with an invasive alien predator cue (signal crayfish) that is absent in the damselfly sampling site but is expected to invade it. We measured egg development time, mortality between ovipositing and hatching, and hatching synchrony. Eggs took longer to develop in the signal crayfish group (however, in this group, we also observed high green algae growth), and there was a trend of shorter egg development time in the spinycheek crayfish group than in the control group. There was no difference in egg development time between the perch and the control group. Neither egg mortality nor hatching synchrony differed between groups. We suggest that egg response to signal crayfish could be a general stress reaction to an unfamiliar cue or an artifact due to algae development in this group. The egg response to the spinycheek crayfish cue could be caused by the predation of crayfish on damselfly eggs in nature. The lack of egg response to the perch cue could be caused by perch predation on damselfly larvae rather than on eggs. Such differences in egg responses to alternative predator cues can have important implications for understanding how this group of insects responds to biological invasions, starting from the egg stage.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Donelan SC, Hughes AR, Trussell GC, et al (2021)

Effects of a non-native cyanobacterium on bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) in a New England seagrass ecosystem.

Marine environmental research, 170:105427 pii:S0141-1136(21)00183-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Bay scallops (Argopecten irradians) are an economically valuable species whose populations have declined in recent decades due in part to harmful algal and cyanobacterial blooms. Nantucket, Massachusetts hosts one of the last remaining bay scallop fisheries in the U.S., but recently documented the occurrence of a non-native cyanobacterium (Hydrocoleum sp.). Hydrocoleum can form dense mats in seagrass beds, the primary habitat of scallops, but is also diazotrophic, potentially augmenting bioavailable nitrogen to primary producers and fueling secondary production. We conducted surveys to explore the relationships between Hydrocoleum and scallop condition, reproductive potential, and density in eelgrass beds in Nantucket Harbor as well as effects of other habitat characteristics (e.g., eelgrass cover) on these same scallop traits. We found low Hydrocoleum cover during our sampling, but found fewer large scallops in plots with Hydrocoleum, suggesting that this size class may be especially vulnerable to negative effects of Hydrocoleum. Contrary to expectation, we found a positive correlation between Hydrocoleum cover and scallop condition. These patterns suggest that Hydrocoleum may enhance scallop condition, but also affect habitat use, highlighting the need for manipulative experiments to clarify mechanisms driving these relationships. Understanding how non-native species such as Hydrocoleum impact fishery species will help advance conservation and resource management efforts.

RevDate: 2021-07-27

Costa MJ, Duarte G, Segurado P, et al (2021)

Major threats to European freshwater fish species.

The Science of the total environment, 797:149105 pii:S0048-9697(21)04177-2 [Epub ahead of print].

In Europe, freshwater fish are the richest group amongst European vertebrates and the second most threatened animal group, surpassed only by freshwater molluscs. The identification of threats is a major benefit for conservation efforts, as it allows actions to be bespoke to specific threats imperilling fish communities in sensitive areas. In this work, we analyse all threats identified under the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species for all European native freshwater dependent fish and lamprey species and relate them with the species distribution, conservation status and migratory phenology. Results show that the current level of imperilment of European freshwater fish fauna is high, especially in the Iberian Peninsula fish communities where low richness is combined with a proportion of threatened species surpassing 50% in several catchments The most relevant threats affecting European freshwater fish are: "Dams & Water Management/Use", "Droughts", "Invasive Non-Native/Alien Species/Diseases", "Agricultural & Forestry Effluents" and "Fishing & Harvesting Aquatic Resources". The present work contributes to the ultimate goal of species conservation by highlighting the main threats affecting freshwater fish species in Europe and by demonstrating how specific regions need particular attention. Increasing longitudinal connectivity stands out as a measure with the potential to increase species' resilience to the several threats affecting them, and it should be coupled with additional efforts to reduce water pollution, control alien species and effectively manage fishing.

RevDate: 2021-07-26

Spaggiari G, Iovine N, P Cozzini (2021)

In Silico Prediction of the Mechanism of Action of Pyriproxyfen and 4'-OH-Pyriproxyfen against A. mellifera and H. sapiens Receptors.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(14): pii:ijms22147751.

BACKGROUND: Poisoning from pesticides can be extremely hazardous for non-invasive species, such as bees, and humans causing nearly 300,000 deaths worldwide every year. Several pesticides are recognized as endocrine disruptors compounds that alter the production of the normal hormones mainly by acting through their interaction with nuclear receptors (NRs). Among the insecticides, one of the most used is pyriproxyfen. As analogous to the juvenile hormone, the pyriproxyfen acts in the bee's larval growth and creates malformations at the adult organism level.

METHODS: This work aims to investigate the possible negative effects of pyriproxyfen and its metabolite, the 4'-OH-pyriproxyfen, on human and bee health. We particularly investigated the mechanism of binding of pyriproxyfen and its metabolite with ultraspiracle protein/ecdysone receptor (USP-EcR) dimer of A. mellifera and the relative heterodimer farnesoid X receptor/retinoid X receptor alpha (FXR-RXRα) of H. sapiens using molecular dynamic simulations.

RESULTS: The results revealed that pyriproxyfen and its metabolite, the 4'-OH- pyriproxyfen, stabilize each dimer and resulted in stronger binders than the natural ligands.

CONCLUSION: We demonstrated the endocrine interference of two pesticides and explained their possible mechanism of action. Furthermore, in vitro studies should be carried out to evaluate the biological effects of pyriproxyfen and its metabolite.

RevDate: 2021-07-24

Rosenthal WC, McIntyre PB, Lisi PJ, et al (2021)

Invasion and rapid adaptation of guppies (Poecilia reticulata) across the Hawaiian Archipelago.

Evolutionary applications, 14(7):1747-1761.

How much does natural selection, as opposed to genetic drift, admixture, and gene flow, contribute to the evolution of invasive species following introduction to a new environment? Here we assess how evolution can shape biological invasions by examining population genomic variation in non-native guppies (Poecilia reticulata) introduced to the Hawaiian Islands approximately a century ago. By examining 18 invasive populations from four Hawaiian islands and four populations from the native range in northern South America, we reconstructed the history of introductions and evaluated population structure as well as the extent of ongoing gene flow across watersheds and among islands. Patterns of differentiation indicate that guppies have developed significant population structure, with little natural or human-mediated gene flow having occurred among populations following introduction. Demographic modeling and admixture graph analyses together suggest that guppies were initially introduced to O'ahu and Maui and then translocated to Hawai'i and Kaua'i. We detected evidence for only one introduction event from the native range, implying that any adaptive evolution in introduced populations likely utilized the genetic variation present in the founding population. Environmental association tests accounting for population structure identified loci exhibiting signatures of adaptive variation related to predators and landscape characteristics but not nutrient regimes. When paired with high estimates of effective population sizes and detectable population structure, the presence of environment-associated loci supports the role of natural selection in shaping contemporary evolution of Hawaiian guppy populations. Our findings indicate that local adaptation may engender invasion success, particularly in species with life histories that facilitate rapid evolution. Finally, evidence of low gene flow between populations suggests that removal could be an effective approach to control invasive guppies across the Hawaiian archipelago.

RevDate: 2021-07-23
CmpDate: 2021-07-23

Rohner PT, AP Moczek (2020)

Rapid differentiation of plasticity in life history and morphology during invasive range expansion and concurrent local adaptation in the horned beetle Onthophagus taurus.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 74(9):2059-2072.

Understanding the interplay between genetic differentiation, ancestral plasticity, and the evolution of plasticity during adaptation to environmental variation is critical to predict populations' responses to environmental change. However, the role of plasticity in rapid adaptation in nature remains poorly understood. We here use the invasion of the horned beetle Onthophagus taurus in the United States during the last half century to study the contribution of ancestral plasticity and post-invasion evolution of plastic responses in rapid population differentiation. We document latitudinal variation in life history and morphology, including genetic compensation in development time and body size, likely adaptive responses to seasonal constraints in the North. However, clinal variation in development time and size was strongly dependent on rearing temperature, suggesting that population differentiation in plasticity played a critical role in successful adaptation on ecological timescales. Clinal variation in wing shape was independent of ancestral plasticity, but correlated with derived plasticity, consistent with evolutionary interdependence. In contrast, clinal variation in tibia shape aligned poorly with thermal plasticity. Overall, this study suggests that post-invasion evolution of plasticity contributed to range expansions and concurrent adaptation to novel climatic conditions.

RevDate: 2021-07-22

Pereira MJ, Eleutério T, Meirelles MG, et al (2021)

Hedychium gardnerianum Sheph. ex Ker Gawl. from its discovery to its invasive status: a review.

Botanical studies, 62(1):11.

Hedychium gardnerianum Sheph. ex Ker Gawl. is one of the 100 world's worst invasive alien species and the research target in areas as diverse as biological control, natural fibres uses, taxonomy or the biological activity of its compounds. This review aimed to clarify the taxonomic status and the native range of H. gardnerianum and bring accuracy to the history of its introduction and escape from cultivation through the analysis of the increasing number of accessible digitalized dry specimens and grey literature. The analysis of the available information allowed to conclude that: (a) Hedychium gardnerianum is a validly published name, the authority of the name is Sheph. ex Ker Gawl., the species holotype is the illustration published along with the species name, and the Natural History Museum BM000574691 specimen collected in 1815 is the first dried specimen of H. gardnerianum; (b) This species is native to the Central and Eastern Nepal, Bhutan, Northeast India and North Myanmar; (c) The species was cultivated at Cambridge Botanical Garden since 1818 and the first known herbarium specimen collected in Europe dates back to 1821; (d) Kathmandu (Nepal) and Khasi Hills (India) specimens are considered two varieties of the same species and the BM000574691 specimen is the lectotype of H. gardnerianum var. speciosum; (e) Specimens, references, and/or pictures support that H. gardnerianum escaped from cultivation at Galicia (Spain), Azores archipelago, Madeira, Tenerife, Cuba, Jamaica, Martinique, Trinidad, Ascension, Mexico, Honduras, Brazil, South Africa, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Réunion, Mauritius, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, and Vietnam; and (f) H. gardnerianum is a serious pest in Azores, Madeira, Jamaica, Réunion, New Zealand and Hawaii and continues to expand its distribution area in South and Central America, Australia and Southern Africa. This review presents linear raw information compiled with precision, allowing the world databases updating their data but also gives the most detailed information possible to each country/region identifying new regions of concern and updating the invasiveness status in each region.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

Ghisbain G, Gérard M, Wood TJ, et al (2021)

Expanding insect pollinators in the Anthropocene.

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

Global changes are severely affecting pollinator insect communities worldwide, resulting in repeated patterns of species extirpations and extinctions. Whilst negative population trends within this functional group have understandably received much attention in recent decades, another facet of global changes has been overshadowed: species undergoing expansion. Here, we review the factors and traits that have allowed a fraction of the pollinating entomofauna to take advantage of global environmental change. Sufficient mobility, high resistance to acute heat stress, and inherent adaptation to warmer climates appear to be key traits that allow pollinators to persist and even expand in the face of climate change. An overall flexibility in dietary and nesting requirements is common in expanding species, although niche specialization can also drive expansion under specific contexts. The numerous consequences of wild and domesticated pollinator expansions, including competition for resources, pathogen spread, and hybridization with native wildlife, are also discussed. Overall, we show that the traits and factors involved in the success stories of expanding pollinators are mostly species specific and context dependent, rendering generalizations of 'winning traits' complicated. This work illustrates the increasing need to consider expansion and its numerous consequences as significant facets of global changes and encourages efforts to monitor the impacts of expanding insect pollinators, particularly exotic species, on natural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-07-21

O'Bryan CJ, Patton NR, Hone J, et al (2021)

Unrecognized threat to global soil carbon by a widespread invasive species.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Most of Earth's terrestrial carbon is stored in the soil and can be released as carbon dioxide (CO2) when disturbed. Although humans are known to exacerbate soil CO2 emissions through land-use change, we know little about the global carbon footprint of invasive species. We predict the soil area disturbed and resulting CO2 emissions from wild pigs (Sus scrofa), a pervasive human-spread vertebrate that uproots soil. We do this using models of wild pig population density, soil damage, and their effect on soil carbon emissions. Our models suggest that wild pigs are uprooting a median area of 36,214 km2 (mean of 123,517 km2) in their non-native range, with a 95% prediction interval (PI) of 14,208 km2 -634,238 km2 . This soil disturbance results in median emissions of 4.9 million metric tonnes (MMT) CO2 per year (equivalent to 1.1 million passenger vehicles or 0.4% of annual emissions from land use, land-use change, and forestry; mean of 16.7 MMT) but that it is highly uncertain (95% PI, 0.3-94 MMT CO2) due to variability in wild pig density and soil dynamics. This uncertainty points to an urgent need for more research on the contribution of wild pigs to soil damage, not only for the reduction of anthropogenically related carbon emissions, but also for co-benefits to biodiversity and food security that are crucial for sustainable development.

RevDate: 2021-07-21
CmpDate: 2021-07-21

Outinen O, Bailey SA, Broeg K, et al (2021)

Exceptions and exemptions under the ballast water management convention - Sustainable alternatives for ballast water management?.

Journal of environmental management, 293:112823.

The International Convention for the Control and Management of Ships' Ballast Water and Sediments (BWM Convention) aims to mitigate the introduction risk of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens (HAOP) via ships' ballast water and sediments. The BWM Convention has set regulations for ships to utilise exceptions and exemptions from ballast water management under specific circumstances. This study evaluated local and regional case studies to provide clarity for situations, where ships could be excepted or exempted from ballast water management without risking recipient locations to new introductions of HAOP. Ships may be excepted from ballast water management if all ballasting operations are conducted in the same location (Regulation A-3.5 of the BWM Convention). The same location case study determined whether the entire Vuosaari harbour (Helsinki, Finland) should be considered as the same location based on salinity and composition of HAOP between the two harbour terminals. The Vuosaari harbour case study revealed mismatching occurrences of HAOP between the harbour terminals, supporting the recommendation that exceptions based on the same location concept should be limited to the smallest feasible areas within a harbour. The other case studies evaluated whether ballast water exemptions could be granted for ships using two existing risk assessment (RA) methods (Joint Harmonised Procedure [JHP] and Same Risk Area [SRA]), consistent with Regulation A-4 of the BWM Convention. The JHP method compares salinity and presence of target species (TS) between donor and recipient ports to indicate the introduction risk (high or low) attributed to transferring unmanaged ballast water. The SRA method uses a biophysical model to determine whether HAOP could naturally disperse between ports, regardless of their transportation in ballast water. The results of the JHP case study for the Baltic Sea and North-East Atlantic Ocean determined that over 97% of shipping routes within these regions resulted in a high-risk indication. The one route assessed in the Gulf of Maine, North America also resulted in a high-risk outcome. The SRA assessment resulted in an overall weak connectivity between all ports assessed within the Gulf of the St. Lawrence, indicating that a SRA-based exemption would not be appropriate for the entire study area. In summary, exceptions and exemptions should not be considered as common alternatives for ballast water management. The availability of recent and detailed species occurrence data was considered the most important factor to conduct a successful and reliable RA. SRA models should include biological factors that influence larval dispersal and recruitment potential (e.g., pelagic larval duration, settlement period) to provide a more realistic estimation of natural dispersal.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Murakami T, Paris C, Chirino M, et al (2021)

Unusual chromosome numbers and polyploidy in invasive fire ant populations.

Genetica [Epub ahead of print].

Fire ants (Solenopsis invicta Buren in J Ga Entomol Soc 7:1-26, 1972), an invasive alien ant species, first spread from South America to the United States in the 1930s, the southern part of the United States by the end of the twentieth century, Oceania, Taiwan, and China in the twenty-first century, and finally to Japan and South Korea in 2017. As these ants have significant negative economic, human health, and environmental impacts, the purpose of this research was to accumulate cytogenetic information regarding fire ants and provide basic data for developing management strategies for their control. Fire ants were collected from invasive populations from Taiwan, Florida (USA), and Buenos Aires (Argentina), and a native population from Puerto Iguazu (Argentina), their point of origination, and analyzed with regard to chromosome number, morphology, and polyploidy, silver-stained nucleolar organizer regions (Ag-NORs), and 18S rDNA and telomere fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). The results showed that (1) fire ants from invaded populations differed in chromosome morphology compared to those from native populations; (2) the Florida and Taiwanese fire ant populations evinced greater variability in chromosome numbers and polyploidy variations; (3) the Taiwanese population exhibited significantly increased Ag-NOR signals in interphase cells, with signal number significantly positively correlating with distance from native populations; and (4) substantial diversity of signals was also apparent following 18S rDNA and telomere FISH analyses. Variation in these characteristics were hypothesized to be due to (1) the effect of hybridizations and interbreeding between closely related species or genetically distant populations, and (2) the potential effect of large amounts of insecticides sprayed for pest control.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Wiens JD, Dugger KM, Higley JM, et al (2021)

Invader removal triggers competitive release in a threatened avian predator.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(31):.

Changes in the distribution and abundance of invasive species can have far-reaching ecological consequences. Programs to control invaders are common but gauging the effectiveness of such programs using carefully controlled, large-scale field experiments is rare, especially at higher trophic levels. Experimental manipulations coupled with long-term demographic monitoring can reveal the mechanistic underpinnings of interspecific competition among apex predators and suggest mitigation options for invasive species. We used a large-scale before-after control-impact removal experiment to investigate the effects of an invasive competitor, the barred owl (Strix varia), on the population dynamics of an iconic old-forest native species, the northern spotted owl (Strix occidentalis caurina). Removal of barred owls had a strong, positive effect on survival of sympatric spotted owls and a weaker but positive effect on spotted owl dispersal and recruitment. After removals, the estimated mean annual rate of population change for spotted owls stabilized in areas with removals (0.2% decline per year), but continued to decline sharply in areas without removals (12.1% decline per year). The results demonstrated that the most substantial changes in population dynamics of northern spotted owls over the past two decades were associated with the invasion, population expansion, and subsequent removal of barred owls. Our study provides experimental evidence of the demographic consequences of competitive release, where a threatened avian predator was freed from restrictions imposed on its population dynamics with the removal of a competitively dominant invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-07-20

Bradshaw M, Braun U, Elliott M, et al (2021)

A global genetic analysis of herbarium specimens reveals the invasion dynamics of an introduced plant pathogen.

Fungal biology, 125(8):585-595.

The introduction, spread, and impact of fungal plant pathogens is a critical concern in ecological systems. In this study, we were motivated by the rather sudden appearance of Acermacrophyllum heavily infected with powdery mildew. We used morphological and genetic analyses to confirm the pathogen causing the epidemic was Sawadaea bicornis. In subsequent field studies, this pathogen was found in several locations in western North America, and in greenhouse studies, A. macrophyllum was found to be significantly more susceptible to S. bicornis than nine other Acer species tested. A genetic analysis of 178 specimens of powdery mildew from freshly collected and old herbarium specimens from 15 countries revealed seven different haplotypes. The high diversity of haplotypes found in Europe coupled with sequence results from a specimen from 1864 provides evidence that S. bicornis has a European origin. Furthermore, sequence data from a specimen from 1938 in Canada show that the pathogen has been present in North America for at least 82 years revealing a considerable lag time between the introduction and current epidemic. This study used old herbarium specimens to genetically hypothesize the origin, the native host, and the invasion time of a detrimental fungal plant pathogen.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Guo Q, DC Lee (2021)

The ecology of COVID-19 and related environmental and sustainability issues.

Ambio [Epub ahead of print].

Around the globe, human behavior and ecosystem health have been extensively and sometimes severely affected by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Most efforts to study these complex and heterogenous effects to date have focused on public health and economics. Some studies have evaluated the pandemic's influences on the environment, but often on a single aspect such as air or water pollution. The related research opportunities are relatively rare, and the approaches are unique in multiple aspects and mostly retrospective. Here, we focus on the diverse research opportunities in disease ecology and ecosystem sustainability related to the (intermittent) lockdowns that drastically reduced human activities. We discuss several key knowledge gaps and questions to address amid the ongoing pandemic. In principle, the common knowledge accumulated from invasion biology could also be effectively applied to COVID-19, and the findings could offer much-needed information for future pandemic prevention and management.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Ortega Z, Romero F, Paz R, et al (2021)

Valorization of Invasive Plants from Macaronesia as Filler Materials in the Production of Natural Fiber Composites by Rotational Molding.

Polymers, 13(13): pii:polym13132220.

This paper compares the mechanical properties of different natural fiber composites produced by rotational molding as a way of waste valorization from campaigns to control invasive plant species in Macaronesia. Rotomolded parts produced with polymeric matrices (polyethylene) and filled with up to 20% by weight of cellulosic fibers obtained from Arundo donax L., Pennisetum setaceum, and Ricinus communis plants were characterized in terms of tensile, flexural, and impact strength. It was found that the sieving of natural fibers allowed for their introduction in higher loadings, from 10 (for un-sieved material) to 20%; fiber size greatly affected the mechanical properties of the final parts, although some combinations were proven not to reduce the mechanical properties of the neat resin. This study is a first approach to the valorization of residues obtained from periodic campaigns of the control of invasive species performed by public authorities, usually at the local level. It is important to highlight that the main objective of this research did not focus on economically profitable activity; instead, it was focused on the reduction of wastes to be disposed from ecosystem maintenance actions and the investment of potential income into preservation policies.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Cao LJ, Li BY, Chen JC, et al (2021)

Local climate adaptation and gene flow in the native range of two co-occurring fruit moths with contrasting invasiveness.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species pose increasing threats to global biodiversity and ecosystems. While previous studies have characterized successful invaders based on ecological traits, characteristics related to evolutionary processes have rarely been investigated. Here we compared gene flow and local adaptation using demographic analyses and outlier tests in two co-occurring moth pests across their common native range of China, one of which (the peach fruit moth, Carposina sasakii) has maintained its native distribution, while the other (the oriental fruit moth, Grapholita molesta) has expanded its range globally during the past century. We found that both species showed a pattern of genetic differentiation and an evolutionary history consistent with a common southwestern origin and northward expansion in their native range. However, for the noninvasive species, genetic differentiation was closely aligned with the environment, and there was a relatively low level of gene flow, whereas in the invasive species, genetic differentiation was associated with geography. Genome scans indicated stronger patterns of climate-associated loci in the noninvasive species. While strong local adaptation and reduced gene flow across its native range may have decreased the invasiveness of C. sasakii, this requires further validation with additional comparisons of invasive and noninvasive species across their native range.

RevDate: 2021-07-19

Hanafi-Bojd AA, Jafari S, Telmadarraiy Z, et al (2021)

Spatial Distribution of Ticks (Arachniada: Argasidae and Ixodidae) and Their Infection Rate to Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus in Iran.

Journal of arthropod-borne diseases, 15(1):41-59 pii:jad-15-41.

Background: The Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever (CCHF) is one of the most important arthropod-borne viral diseases with a mortality rate of about 30% among humans. The disease, caused by a Nairovirus, is transmitted to humans and animals by hard and soft ticks. This study aimed to determine the distribution of soft and hard ticks in the past three decades in Iran with an emphasis on the vectors of the CCHF virus.

Methods: In this study, all studies that were carried out in different regions of Iran from 1979 to 2018 and their results were published in prestigious journals were used to create a database. The distribution of ticks was mapped using ArcMap10.3.

Results: Based on the results, nine genera and 37 species of soft and hard ticks were recorded in Iran. So far, six genera and 16 species of hard and soft ticks were reported to be infected with the CCHF virus. The infection to this virus was reported from 18 out of 31 provinces, with a high rate in Sistan and Baluchistan as well as Khuzestan provinces. The highest levels of CCHF infection belonged to Hyalomma marginatum and H. anatolicum.

Conclusion: The main vectors of CCHF, H. marginatum and H. anatolicum, were reported in more than 38.7% of Iran's provinces, and these two species were identified as invasive species in Iran. Thus, control activities should be strengthened to avoid the outbreaks of CCHF.

RevDate: 2021-07-18

Zeng H, Liu X, Zhang L, et al (2021)

Educational Approaches Help Bridge Perception Gaps of Invasive Alien Species (Mikania micrantha) between Managers and Non-managers.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species (IAS) significantly impact biodiversity, human health, and economies, and considerable resources are often used to manage their spread. Few studies have focused on the human perception of IAS management, and little is known about approaches to improve stakeholder perception. This study examined perception gaps between managers and non-managers of a notorious weed Mikania micrantha and the preference for educational approaches to bridge those gaps. Household questionnaires and key informant interviews were conducted in the China-Myanmar Border Region (China), and ordinal logistic regressions and Wilcoxon rank sum tests were used in statistical analyses. We found a high level of perception of M. micrantha among stakeholders, and a significant influence of socio-demographic factors including gender, educational level, ethnic group, and geographical location. Scores of the identification, damage, control measure, and manual treatment of M. micrantha were significantly higher for managers than those for non-managers, indicating that there were certain perception gaps between two stakeholder groups. Nine educational approaches were identified as being effective in improving stakeholder perception of IAS, of which training workshops were mostly preferred, followed by brochures (or leaflets) and other promotional materials. Additionally, we propose that well-designed and well-conducted educational approaches would benefit stakeholder perception of IAS, and that integration of IAS management into a comprehensive rural development scheme would improve its long-term performance in marginalized rural communities.

RevDate: 2021-07-18

Lawrence MJ, Mitrovic D, Foubister D, et al (2021)

Contrasting physiological responses between invasive sea lamprey and non-target bluegill in response to acute lampricide exposure.

Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 237:105848 pii:S0166-445X(21)00107-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Control of invasive sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) in the Laurentian Great Lakes of North America uses lampricides, which consist of 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) and niclosamide. Lampricides are thought to inhibit aerobic energy synthesis, with TFM having a relatively greater selective action against lampreys. While the toxicity and physiological effects of TFM are known, the impacts associated with exposure to niclosamide and TFM:niclosamide mixtures are poorly characterized in fishes. Therefore, focusing on energy metabolism, we quantified the physiological responses of larval sea lamprey and bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus), a non-target, native species. Exposures consisted of each lampricide alone (TFM at the species-specific 24 h LC10; niclosamide at 1.5% of the mixture's TFM concentration) or a mixture of the two (larval sea lamprey at TFM 24 h LC10 + 1.5% niclosamide; bluegill at sea lamprey's TFM 24 h LC99.9 + 1.5% niclosamide) for 24 h. Tissues (brain, skeletal muscle, and liver) were sampled at 6, 12, and 24 h of exposure and assayed for concentrations of ATP, phosphocreatine, glycogen, lactate, and glucose and tissue lampricide levels. In larval sea lamprey, TFM had little effect on brain and skeletal muscle, but niclosamide resulted in a depletion of high energy substrates in both tissues. Mixture-exposed lamprey showed depletion of high energy substrates, accumulation of lactate, and high mortality rates. Bluegill were largely unaffected by toxicant exposures. However, bluegill liver showed lower glycogen and lactate under all three toxicant exposures suggesting increased metabolic turnover. Bluegill also had lower concentrations of TFM and niclosamide in their tissues when compared to lamprey. Our results indicate that lampricide toxicity in sea lamprey larvae is mediated through a depletion of high energy substrates because of impaired aerobic ATP synthesis. We also confirmed that non-target bluegill showed high tolerance to lampricide exposure, an effect potentially mediated through a high detoxification capacity relative to lampreys.

RevDate: 2021-07-19
CmpDate: 2021-07-19

Früh L, Kampen H, Koban MB, et al (2020)

Oviposition of Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) and associated native species in relation to season, temperature and land use in western Germany.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):623.

BACKGROUND: Aedes japonicus japonicus, first detected in Europe in 2000 and considered established in Germany 10 years later, is of medical importance due to its opportunistic biting behaviour and its potential to transmit pathogenic viruses. Its seasonal phenology, temperature and land use preference related to oviposition in newly colonised regions remain unclear, especially in the context of co-occurring native mosquito species.

METHODS: Focussing on regions in Germany known to be infested by Ae. japonicus japonicus, we installed ovitraps in different landscapes and their transition zones and recorded the oviposition activity of mosquitoes in relation to season, temperature and land use (arable land, forest, settlement) in two field seasons (May-August 2017, April-November 2018).

RESULTS: Ae. japonicus japonicus eggs and larvae were encountered in 2017 from June to August and in 2018 from May to November, with a markedly high abundance from June to September in rural transition zones between forest and settlement, limited to water temperatures below 30 °C. Of the three native mosquito taxa using the ovitraps, the most frequent was Culex pipiens s.l., whose offspring was found in high numbers from June to August at water temperatures of up to 35 °C. The third recorded species, Anopheles plumbeus, rarely occurred in ovitraps positioned in settlements and on arable land, but was often associated with Ae. japonicus japonicus. The least frequent species, Aedes geniculatus, was mostly found in ovitraps located in the forest.

CONCLUSIONS: The transition zone between forest and settlement was demonstrated to be the preferred oviposition habitat of Ae. japonicus japonicus, where it was also the most frequent container-inhabiting mosquito species in this study. Compared to native taxa, Ae. japonicus japonicus showed an extended seasonal activity period, presumably due to tolerance of colder water temperatures. Higher water temperatures and arable land represent distribution barriers to this species. The frequently co-occurring native species An. plumbeus might be useful as an indicator for potentially suitable oviposition habitats of Ae. japonicus japonicus in hitherto uncolonised regions. The results contribute to a better understanding of mosquito ecology and provide a basis for more targeted monitoring, distribution modelling and risk management of mosquitoes.

RevDate: 2021-07-17

Zhang B, Zhai L, Bintz J, et al (2021)

The optimal controlling strategy on a dispersing population in a two-patch system: experimental and theoretical perspectives.

Journal of theoretical biology pii:S0022-5193(21)00254-X [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species, disease vectors, and pathogens are significant threats to biodiversity, ecosystem function and services, and human health. Understanding the optimal management strategy, which maximizes the effectiveness is crucial. Despite an abundance of theoretical work has conducted on projecting the optimal allocation strategy, almost no empirical work has been performed to validate the theory. We first used a consumer-resource model to simulate a series of allocation fractions of controlling treatment to determine the optimal controlling strategy. Further, we conducted rigorous laboratory experiments using spatially diffusing laboratory populations of yeast to verify our mathematical results. We found consistent results that: (1) When population growth is limited by the local resource, the controlling priority should be given to the areas with higher concentration of resource; (2) When population growth is not limited by the resource concentration, the best strategy is to allocate equal amount of controlling efforts among the regions; (3) With restricted budget, it is more efficient to prioritize the controlling effects to the areas with high population abundance, otherwise, it is better to control equally among the regions. The new theory, which was tested by laboratory experiments, will reveal new opportunities for future field interventions, thereby informing subsequent biological decision-making.

RevDate: 2021-07-16

Hesketh AV, Schwindt E, CDG Harley (2021)

Ecological and environmental context shape the differential effects of a facilitator in its native and invaded ranges.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species often exhibit disproportionately strong negative effects in their introduced range compared to their native range, and much research has been devoted to understanding the role of shared evolutionary history, or lack thereof, in driving these differences. Less studied is whether introduced species, particularly those that are important as facilitators in their native range, have persistent positive effects in their invaded range despite a lack of a shared evolutionary history with the invaded community. Here, we manipulated the density of a habitat-forming facilitator, the high intertidal acorn barnacle Balanus glandula, factorially with herbivore density in its native range (Bluestone Point, British Columbia, Canada) and invaded range (Punta Ameghino, Chubut Province, Argentina) to determine how this facilitator differentially affects associated species at these two locations. Given that high intertidal species at Punta Ameghino (PA) are evolutionarily naïve to barnacles, we predicted that the positive effects of B. glandula at PA would be absent or weak compared to those at Bluestone Point (BP). However, we found that B. glandula had an equally positive effect on herbivore biomass at PA compared to BP, possibly because the moisture-retaining properties of barnacle bed habitats are particularly important in seasonally dry Patagonia. Barnacle presence indirectly decreased ephemeral algal cover at BP by increasing grazer pressure, but barnacles instead facilitated ephemeral algae at PA. In contrast, B. glandula increased perennial algal cover at BP, but generally decreased perennial algal cover at PA, likely due to differences in dominant algal morphology. Though our experiment was limited to one location on each continent, our results suggest that shared evolutionary history may not be a prerequisite for strong facilitation to occur, but rather that the nature and strength of novel species interactions are determined by the traits of associated species and the environment in which they occur.

RevDate: 2021-07-16
CmpDate: 2021-07-16

Pereira A, V Ferreira (2021)

Invasion of Native Riparian Forests by Acacia Species Affects In-Stream Litter Decomposition and Associated Microbial Decomposers.

Microbial ecology, 81(1):14-25.

The invasion of native riparian forests by exotic tree species can lead to profound changes in the ecological integrity of freshwater ecosystems. We assessed litter decomposition of native (Alnus glutinosa and Quercus robur) and invasive (Acacia melanoxylon and Acacia dealbata) tree species, and associated microbial activity and community structure, after being immersed for conditioning in 3 reference and 3 "invaded" streams in Serra da Lousã (central Portugal) and used in microcosms simulating stream conditions. Litter decomposition differed among species, in the order: Al. glutinosa > Q. robur > (Ac. melanoxylon ~ Ac. dealbata). Alnus glutinosa litter decomposed faster probably because it was soft and had high nitrogen concentration for decomposers. Quercus robur litter decomposed slower most likely because it was tough and had high polyphenol and low nitrogen concentrations. Acacia melanoxylon litter was the toughest and had a thick cuticle that likely acted as a physical barrier for microbial colonization. In Ac. dealbata, the small-sized leaflets and high lignin concentration may have limited microbial litter decomposition. Litter decomposition was faster in "invaded" streams, probably because they were N-limited and increases in nitrogen concentration in water, promoted by Acacia species invasion, stimulated microbial activity on litter. The aquatic hyphomycete community structure differed among litter species and between stream types, further suggesting that microbes were sensitive to litter characteristics and water nutrient concentrations. Overall, the invasion of native riparian forests by Acacia species may affect microbial decomposer activity, thus altering important stream ecosystem processes, such as litter decomposition and nutrient cycles.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Tocco C, Foster J, Venter N, et al (2021)

Elevated atmospheric CO2 adversely affects a dung beetle's development: another potential driver of decline in insect numbers?.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Insect declines have been attributed to several drivers such as habitat loss, climate change, invasive alien species and insecticides. However, in the global context, these effects remain patchy, whereas insect losses appear to be consistent worldwide. Increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations are known to have indirect effects on herbivorous insects, but the effects on other insects are largely unexplored. We wondered if elevated atmospheric CO2 (eCO2) could influence the growth and survival of insects, not via rising temperature, nor through their changes in food quality, but by other means. Rearing tunneling dung beetle Euoniticellus intermedius (Reiche, 1848) at pre-industrial (250 ppm), current (400 ppm) and elevated atmospheric CO2 levels (600 and 800 ppm), we found that exposure to eCO2 resulted in longer developmental times and increased mortality. Elevated CO2 also caused reduction of adult size and mass which is detrimental to dung beetle fitness. Additional results showed associated increases in CO2 levels inside dung brood balls, dung pH and respiration rates of the soil surrounding the developing dung beetles (CO2 flux). We thus hypothesize that elevated CO2 increases competition for O2 and nutrients between soil microbiota and subterranean insects. Given that many insect orders spend at least part of their life underground, our findings indicate the possibility of a negative ubiquitous effect of eCO2 on a large portion of the earth's insect biota. These findings therefore suggest an important area for future research on the soil community in the context of atmospheric change.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

da Costa AR, de Abreu DC, Torres Chideroli R, et al (2021)

Interspecies transmission of Edwardsiella ictaluri in Brazilian catfish (Pseudoplatystoma corruscans) from exotic invasive fish species.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 145:197-208.

Infections caused by Edwardsiella ictaluri are one of the biggest problems in the catfish industry in North America and have been reported in fishes around the world. E. ictaluri was detected in juvenile pintado Pseudoplatystoma corruscans-a Brazilian catfish-in a farm in Paraná State, Brazil; diseased animals showed ascites and neurological signs of infection, with more than 50% mortality. Exotic invasive species susceptible to this bacterium have been reported in this area. We assessed the susceptibility of pintado to E. ictaluri with experimental infection via intraperitoneal and immersion methods as well as a cohabitation experiment with Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus and African walking catfish Clarias gariepinus, 2 exotic invasive species. All pintados challenged by intraperitoneal and immersion routes and those cohabiting with infected C. gariepinus died within 17 d of the challenge. Mortality of Nile tilapia reached 71.42% after the intraperitoneal and 35.71% in the immersion challenges within 28 d, whereas African walking catfish showed zero mortality. Observed clinical signs were comparable to those in the farm and those described in the literature as enteric septicemia of catfish. With this study, we demonstrated the susceptibility of P. corruscans to E. ictaluri, as well as interspecies transmission of this bacterium.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Paltán HA, Benitez FL, Rosero P, et al (2021)

Climate and sea surface trends in the Galapagos Islands.

Scientific reports, 11(1):14465.

The Galapagos Islands are a global hotspot of environmental change. However, despite their potentially major repercussions, little is known about current and expected changes in regional terrestrial climate variables and sea surface temperatures (SST). Here, by analysing existing meteorological observations and secondary datasets, we find that the Islands have warmed by about 0.6 °C since the early 1980s, while at the same time becoming drier. In fact, the onset of the wet season is currently delayed 20 days. This drying trend may reverse, however, given that future climate projections for the region suggest mean annual precipitation may increase between 20 and 70%. This would also be accompanied by more extreme wet and hot conditions. Further, we find that regional SST has increased by 1.2 °C over the last two decades. These changes will, in turn, translate into deterioration of marine ecosystems and coral, proliferation of invasive species, and damages to human water, food, and infrastructure systems. Future projections, however, may be overestimated due to the poor capacity of climatic models to capture Eastern-Pacific ENSO dynamics. Our findings emphasize the need to design resilient climate adaptation policies that will remain robust in the face of a wide range of uncertain and changing climatic futures.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

Granjon L, Fossati-Gaschignard O, Artige E, et al (2021)

Commensal small mammal trapping data in Southern Senegal, 2012-2015: where invasive species meet native ones.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Describing patterns and testing hypotheses on processes driving biological invasions represent major issues in ecology. Addressing these questions requires building adequate data sets, i.e. covering areas and spanning periods adapted to the invasion processes studied. Rodents include major invasive species, among which the black rat Rattus rattus and the domestic mouse Mus musculus have nearly colonized the entire World, from their native Asian range. To do so, they have benefitted from their ability to cope with human-modified environments and to live in the immediate vicinity of Man, who served as a vector of their dispersal between regions and continents. In Senegal, both R. rattus and M. musculus, initially introduced by early West European colonizers some centuries ago, are currently expanding thanks to road traffic and infrastructures development and rampant urbanization that concern even remote regions of the country. As part of projects aimed at studying 1) the role of invasive black rat populations in the emergence of zoonotic diseases in Southeastern Senegal, and 2), the evolutionary consequences of parasites in R. rattus and M. musculus invasions in Senegal, we conducted a series of field campaigns throughout the southern half of the country, between May 2012 and September 2015. The objectives were to catch commensal small mammals using standard trapping procedures, identify them using morphological or molecular tools, and take samples from them upon autopsy, to look for zoonotic parasites and pathogens. Along with data on individual specimens, information on microhabitat were gathered at each trap position. This resulted in the constitution of a data set of more than 13,000 trapnights, which allowed the capture of more than 3,100 small mammals, all characterized by a series of associated biological, geographical and environmental data. The small mammals concerned are mainly rodents (10 species), shrews and hedgehogs. The two invasive rodent species were the most numerous, exceeding in numbers all the other species pooled. This data set makes it possible to study coarse to fine-scaled distribution of species of this commensal community in southern Senegal, as well as the possible determinants of this distribution in terms of habitat preferences and / or interspecific interactions. This data set can be freely used for non-commercial purposes and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

RevDate: 2021-07-15

Van Rossum F, Raspé O, F Vandelook (2021)

Evidence of spontaneous selfing and disomic inheritance in Geranium robertianum.

Ecology and evolution, 11(13):8640-8653.

Knowing species' breeding system and mating processes occurring in populations is important not only for understanding population dynamics, gene flow processes, and species' response to climate change, but also for designing control plans of invasive species. Geranium robertianum, a widespread biennial herbaceous species showing high morphological variation and wide ecological amplitude, can become invasive outside its distribution range. A mixed-mating system may be expected given the species' floral traits. However, autonomous selfing is considered as a common feature. Genetic variation and structure, and so population mating processes, have not been investigated in wild populations. We developed 15 polymorphic microsatellite markers to quantify genetic variation and structure in G. robertianum. To investigate whether selfing might be the main mating process in natural conditions, we sampled three generations of plants (adult, F1, and F2) for populations from the UK, Spain, Belgium, Germany, and Sweden, and compared open-pollinated with outcrossed hand-pollinated F2 progeny. The highly positive Wright's inbreeding coefficient (F IS) values in adults, F1, and open-pollinated F2 progeny and the low F IS values in outcross F2 progeny supported autonomous selfing as the main mating process for G. robertianum in wild conditions, despite the presence of attractive signals for insect pollination. Genetic differentiation among samples was found, showing some western-eastern longitudinal trend. Long-distance seed dispersal might have contributed to the low geographic structure. Local genetic differentiation may have resulted not only from genetic drift effects favored by spontaneous selfing, but also from ecological adaptation. The presence of duplicate loci with disomic inheritance is consistent with the hypothesis of allotetraploid origin of G. robertianum. The fact that most microsatellite markers behave as diploid loci with no evidence of duplication supports the hypothesis of ancient polyploidization. The differences in locus duplication and the relatively high genetic diversity across G. robertianum range despite spontaneous autonomous selfing suggest multiple events of polyploidization.

RevDate: 2021-07-14

E B LaDouceur E, AE Hajek (2021)

Histologic lesions of experimental infection with Lymantria dispar multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus and Lymantria dispar cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus in European gypsy moth caterpillars (Lymantria dispar dispar).

Veterinary pathology [Epub ahead of print].

European gypsy moths (Lymantria dispar dispar) are an invasive species in North America, and are listed by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature as one of the 100 most destructive invasive species worldwide. They have several known viruses, some of which are used as biological control agents. However, there are no detailed descriptions of many entomopathogenic viral infections, including in European gypsy moths, using bright-field microscopy. In this study, 11 European gypsy moth caterpillars were evaluated histologically: 4 were experimentally infected with Lymantria dispar multicapsid nucleopolyhedrovirus (LdMNPV; Baculoviridae); 4 were experimentally infected with Lymantria dispar cytoplasmic polyhedrosis virus (LdCPV; Reoviridae); 3 control animals were uninfected. A complete tissue set was evaluated in all animals from all groups using bright-field microscopy, including epidermis, cuticle, striated muscle, tracheae, foregut, midgut, hindgut, Malpighian tubules, hemocytes, fat body, and nervous system. LdMNPV-infected caterpillars had marked karyomegaly and intranuclear viral inclusions in cells of the epidermis, tracheae, fat body, and hemocytes. LdMNPV-infected caterpillars also had hyperplasia and hypertrophy of epidermal and tracheal epithelial cells. LdCPV-infected caterpillars had numerous granular eosinophilic intracytoplasmic viral inclusions in midgut epithelial cells. Both LdMNPV-infected and LdCPV-infected caterpillars had atrophy of fat body adipocytes; this change was more pronounced in LdCPV-infected caterpillars. This work provides the first detailed descriptions of these viral infections in European gypsy moth caterpillars using bright-field light microscopy and provides images of normal histology from control caterpillars.

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-14

Apuli RP, Richards T, Rendón-Anaya M, et al (2021)

The genetic basis of adaptation in phenology in an introduced population of Black Cottonwood (Populus trichocarpa, Torr. & Gray).

BMC plant biology, 21(1):317.

BACKGROUND: Entering and exiting winter dormancy present important trade-offs between growth and survival at northern latitudes. Many forest trees display local adaptation across latitude in traits associated with these phenology transitions. Transfers of a species outside its native range introduce the species to novel combinations of environmental conditions potentially requiring different combinations of alleles to optimize growth and survival. In this study, we performed genome wide association analyses and a selection scan in a P. trichocarpa mapping population derived from crossings between clones collected across the native range and introduced into Sweden. GWAS analyses were performed using phenotypic data collected across two field seasons and in a controlled phytotron experiment.

RESULTS: We uncovered 584 putative candidate genes associated with spring and autumn phenology traits as well as with growth. Many regions harboring variation significantly associated with the initiation of leaf shed and leaf autumn coloring appeared to have been evolving under positive selection in the native environments of P. trichocarpa. A comparison between the candidate genes identified with results from earlier GWAS analyses performed in the native environment found a smaller overlap for spring phenology traits than for autumn phenology traits, aligning well with earlier observations that spring phenology transitions have a more complex genetic basis than autumn phenology transitions.

CONCLUSIONS: In a small and structured introduced population of P. trichocarpa, we find complex genetic architectures underlying all phenology and growth traits, and identify multiple putative candidate genes despite the limitations of the study population.

RevDate: 2021-07-15
CmpDate: 2021-07-15

Castrillo LA, Wraight SP, Galaini-Wraight S, et al (2020)

Genetic diversity among naturally-occurring strains of Beauveria bassiana associated with the introduced coffee berry borer, Hypothenemus hampei, (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Hawai'i Island.

Journal of invertebrate pathology, 175:107456.

The coffee berry borer (CBB), Hypothenemus hampei, is considered the most important insect pest of coffee worldwide. CBB was discovered on Hawai'i Island in 2010 and soon thereafter on the islands of O'ahu (2014) and Maui (2016). As part of an areawide effort to manage CBB in Hawai'i, we conducted a survey of naturally-occurring Beauveria associated with the beetle to complement field efficacy studies of the commercial B. bassiana strain GHA. Sampling of CBB from coffee farms or unmanaged sites in various districts on the islands of Hawai'i and O'ahu, and also from Puerto Rico, resulted in >1800 Beauveria isolates. These were initially characterized using colony morphology to differentiate strain GHA, registered for use in Hawai'i, from indigenous congenerics. A total of 114 isolates representative of these indigenous morphotypes were selected for further characterization. Sequencing of the intergenic regions B locus and EFutr identified all as Beauveria bassiana sensu stricto. Sixteen haplotypes were observed, with one more common haplotype present in 12 of 16 sites sampled on Hawai'i Island. This B locus-EFutr haplotype, designated Bb1, was the only haplotype observed in 2016 epizootics on two high-elevation coffee farms on Hawai'i Island with no history of GHA application. Many of the haplotypes showed genetic similarity to those collected from CBB from other countries, including Brazil, Columbia, Nicaragua, and Kenya, but a few were identical to those from other insect species collected in Hawai'i before 2010. This diversity suggests a mixed lineage among B. bassiana strains associated with CBB in the three Hawaiian islands.

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-14

Mohammed-Geba K, Sheir SK, El-Aziz Hamed EA, et al (2020)

Molecular and morphological signatures for extreme environmental adaptability of the invasive mussel Brachidontes pharaonis (Fischer, 1870).

Molecular and cellular probes, 53:101594.

Brachidontes pharaonis (Bivalvia:Mytilidae) is one of the most successful Lessepsian migrants. Its extensive populations' expansion and phenotypic plasticity might reshape the Mediterranean biodiversity. Individuals of B. pharaonis were collected from various sites in the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea in Egypt. Species-specific primers for Cytochrome Oxidase Subunit 1 gene were designed. They were applied for analysis of mussel's population genetics and assessment of its aquatic environmental DNA (eDNA) abundance. Morphological, allometric and morphometric characteristics were also described. The newly designed primers could efficiently detect the species presence, abundance, and genetic diversity. The Northern Red Sea and north-westward populations exhibited higher nucleotide diversities than southwards. Phylogeny and principal coordinates' analysis (PCoA) detected three geographical categories for B. pharaonis: one of the Indian Ocean, other of the Middle Red Sea and southwards, and the other extends from the Northern Red Sea to the westernmost part of the Mediterranean. Intraspecific differences in the shell shape, colour, and biometrics were noted. The shells were significantly smaller and lighter in rocky habitats than in sandy ones. The morphometric indices and allometry were significantly different between rocky and sandy environments. In general, B. pharaonis genetic and morphological features appeared to contribute much to the species success in versatile habitats.

RevDate: 2021-07-14
CmpDate: 2021-07-14

Lin G, Niu Y, Pan S, et al (2020)

Spreading Speed in an Integrodifference Predator-Prey System without Comparison Principle.

Bulletin of mathematical biology, 82(5):53 pii:10.1007/s11538-020-00725-y.

In this paper, we study the spreading speed in an integrodifference system which models invasion of predators into the habitat of the prey. Without the requirement of comparison principle, we construct several auxiliary integrodifference equations and use the results of monotone scalar equations to estimate the spreading speed of the invading predators. We also present some numerical simulations to support our theoretical results and demonstrate that the integrodifference predator-prey system exhibits very complex dynamics. Our theory and numerical results imply that the invasion of predators may have a rough constant speed. Moreover, our numerical simulations indicate that the spatial contact of individuals and the overcompensatory phenomenon of the prey may be conducive to the persistence of nonmonotone biological systems and lead to instability of the predator-free state.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Turner RM, Brockerhoff EG, Bertelsmeier C, et al (2021)

Worldwide border interceptions provide a window into human-mediated global insect movement.

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

As part of national biosecurity programs, cargo imports, passenger baggage and international mail are inspected at ports of entry to verify compliance with phytosanitary regulations and to directly intercept potentially damaging non-native species to prevent their introduction. Detection of organisms during inspections may also provide crucial information about the species composition and relative arrival rates in invasion pathways that can inform the implementation of other biosecurity practices such as quarantines and surveillance. In most regions, insects are the main taxonomic group encountered during inspections. We gathered insect interception data from nine world regions collected from 1995 - 2019 to compare the composition of species arriving at ports in these regions. Collectively, 8,716 insect species were intercepted in these regions over the last 25 years, with the combined international dataset comprising 1,899,573 interception events, of which 863,972 were identified to species level. Rarefaction analysis indicated that interceptions comprise only a small fraction of species present in invasion pathways. Despite differences in inspection methodologies, as well as differences in the composition of import source regions and imported commodities, we found strong positive correlations in species interception frequencies between regions, particularly within the Hemiptera and Thysanoptera. There were also significant differences in species frequencies among insects intercepted in different regions. Nevertheless, integrating interception data among multiple regions would be valuable for estimating invasion risks for insect species with high likelihoods of introduction as well as for identifying rare but potentially damaging species.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Amburgey SM, Yackel Adams AA, Gardner B, et al (2021)

Evaluation of camera trap-based abundance estimators for unmarked populations.

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

Estimates of species abundance are critical to understand population processes and to assess and select management actions. However, capturing and marking individuals for abundance estimation, while providing robust information, can be economically and logistically prohibitive, particularly for species with cryptic behavior. Camera traps can be used to collect data at temporal and spatial scales necessary for estimating abundance, but the use of camera traps comes with limitations when target species are not uniquely identifiable (i.e., "unmarked"). Abundance estimation is particularly useful in the management of invasive species, with herpetofauna being recognized as some of the most pervasive and detrimental invasive vertebrate species. However, the use of camera traps for these taxa presents additional challenges with relevancy across multiple taxa. It is often necessary to use lures to attract animals in order to obtain sufficient observations, yet lure-attraction can influence species' landscape use and potentially induce bias in abundance estimators. We investigated these challenges and assessed the feasibility of obtaining reliable abundance estimates using camera trapping data on a population of invasive brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis) in Guam. Data were collected using camera traps in an enclosed area where snakes were subject to high-intensity capture-recapture effort, resulting in presumed abundance of 116 snakes (density = 23/ha). We then applied Spatial Count, Random Encounter and Staying Time, Space to Event, and Instantaneous Sampling estimators to photo-capture data to estimate abundance and compared estimates to our presumed abundance. We found that all estimators for unmarked populations performed poorly, with inaccurate or imprecise abundance estimates that limit their usefulness for management in this system. We further investigated the sensitivity of these estimators to the use of lures (i.e., violating the assumption that animal behavior is unchanged by sampling) and camera density in in a simulation study. Increasing the effective distances of a lure (i.e., "lure attraction") and camera density both resulted in biased abundance estimates. Each estimator rarely recovered truth or suffered from convergence issues. Our results indicate that, when limited to unmarked estimators and the use of lures, camera traps alone are unlikely to produce abundance estimates with utility for brown treesnake management.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Badros AZ, Meddeb M, Weikel D, et al (2021)

Prospective Observational Study of Bisphosphonate-Related Osteonecrosis of the Jaw in Multiple Myeloma: Microbiota Profiling and Cytokine Expression.

Frontiers in oncology, 11:704722.

Purpose: Define incidence and risk factors of osteonecrosis of the jaw (ONJ) and explore oral microbial signatures and host immune response as reflected by cytokine changes in saliva and serum in multiple myeloma (MM) patients on bisphosphate (BP) therapy.

Patients and Methods: A single center observational prospective study of MM patients (n = 110) on >2 years of BP, none had ONJ at enrollment. Patients were followed every 3 months for 18 months with clinical/dental examination and serial measurements of inflammatory cytokines, bone turnover markers, and angiogenic growth factors. Oral microbiota was characterized by sequencing of 16S rRNA gene from saliva.

Results: Over the study period 14 patients (13%) developed BRONJ, at a median of 5.7 years (95% CI: 1.9-12.0) from MM diagnosis. Chronic periodontal disease was the main clinically observed risk factor. Oral microbial profiling revealed lower bacterial richness/diversity in BRONJ. Streptococcus intermedius, S. mutans, and S. perioris were abundant in controls; S. sonstellatus and S anginosus were prevalent in BRONJ. In the saliva, at baseline patients who developed BRONJ had higher levels of MIP-1β; TNF-α and IL-6 compared to those without BRONJ, cytokine profile consistent with M-1 macrophage activation. In the serum, patients with BRONJ have significantly lower levels of TGF beta and VEGF over the study period.

Conclusion: Periodontal disease associated with low microbial diversity and predominance of invasive species with a proinflammatory cytokine profile leading to tissue damage and alteration of immunity seems to be the main culprit in pathogenesis of BRONJ.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Santos B, Bletz MC, Sabino-Pinto J, et al (2021)

Characterization of the microbiome of the invasive Asian toad in Madagascar across the expansion range and comparison with a native co-occurring species.

PeerJ, 9:e11532.

Biological invasions are on the rise, with each invader carrying a plethora of associated microbes. These microbes play important, yet poorly understood, ecological roles that can include assisting the hosts in colonization and adaptation processes or as possible pathogens. Understanding how these communities differ in an invasion scenario may help to understand the host's resilience and adaptability. The Asian common toad, Duttaphrynus melanostictus is an invasive amphibian, which has recently established in Madagascar and is expected to pose numerous threats to the native ecosystems. We characterized the skin and gut bacterial communities of D. melanostictus in Toamasina (Eastern Madagascar), and compared them to those of a co-occurring native frog species, Ptychadena mascareniensis, at three sites where the toad arrived in different years. Microbial composition did not vary among sites, showing that D. melanostictus keeps a stable community across its expansion but significant differences were observed between these two amphibians. Moreover, D. melanostictus had richer and more diverse communities and also harboured a high percentage of total unique taxa (skin: 80%; gut: 52%). These differences may reflect the combination of multiple host-associated factors including microhabitat selection, skin features and dietary preferences.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Woch MW, Kapusta P, Stanek M, et al (2021)

Functional traits predict resident plant response to Reynoutria japonica invasion in riparian and fallow communities in southern Poland.

AoB PLANTS, 13(4):plab035.

Reynoutria japonica is one of the most harmful invasive species in the world, dramatically reducing the diversity of resident vegetation. To mitigate the impact of R. japonica on ecosystems and properly manage affected areas, understanding the mechanisms behind this plant's invasive success is imperative. This study aimed to comprehensively analyse plant communities invaded by R. japonica, taking into account species traits, habitat conditions and seasonal variability, and to determine the ecological profile of species that withstand the invader's pressure. The study was performed in fallow and riparian areas in southern Poland. Pairs of adjacent plots were established at 25 sites with no obvious signs of recent human disturbance. One plot contained R. japonica, and the other contained only resident vegetation. For each plot, botanical data were collected and soil physicochemical properties were determined. Twelve sites were surveyed four times, in two springs and two summers, to capture seasonal variability. The presence of R. japonica was strongly associated with reduced resident plant species diversity and/or abundance. In addition to the ability to quickly grow and form a dense canopy that shades the ground, the success of the invader likely resulted from the production of large amounts of hard-to-decompose litter. The indirect impact of R. japonica by controlling the availability of nutrients in the soil might also play a role. A few species coexisted with R. japonica. They can be classified into three groups: (i) spring ephemerals - geophytic forbs with a mixed life history strategy, (ii) lianas with a competitive strategy and (iii) hemicryptophytic forbs with a competitive strategy. Species from the first two groups likely avoided competition for light by temporal or spatial niche separation (they grew earlier than or above the invasive plant), whereas the high competitive abilities of species from the third group likely enabled them to survive in R. japonica patches.

RevDate: 2021-07-12

Song XY, Furman BLS, Premachandra T, et al (2021)

Sex chromosome degeneration, turnover, and sex-biased expression of sex-linked transcripts in African clawed frogs (Xenopus).

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1832):20200095.

The tempo of sex chromosome evolution-how quickly, in what order, why and how their particular characteristics emerge during evolution-remains poorly understood. To understand this further, we studied three closely related species of African clawed frog (genus Xenopus), that each has independently evolved sex chromosomes. We identified population polymorphism in the extent of sex chromosome differentiation in wild-caught Xenopus borealis that corresponds to a large, previously identified region of recombination suppression. This large sex-linked region of X. borealis has an extreme concentration of genes that encode transcripts with sex-biased expression, and we recovered similar findings in the smaller sex-linked regions of Xenopus laevis and Xenopus tropicalis. In two of these species, strong skews in expression (mostly female-biased in X. borealis, mostly male-biased in X. tropicalis) are consistent with expectations associated with recombination suppression, and in X. borealis, we hypothesize that a degenerate ancestral Y-chromosome transitioned into its contemporary Z-chromosome. These findings indicate that Xenopus species are tolerant of differences between the sexes in dosage of the products of multiple genes, and offer insights into how evolutionary transformations of ancestral sex chromosomes carry forward to affect the function of new sex chromosomes. This article is part of the theme issue 'Challenging the paradigm in sex chromosome evolution: empirical and theoretical insights with a focus on vertebrates (Part I)'.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Mattiacci A, Masciocchi M, JC Corley (2021)

Flexible foraging decisions made by workers of the social wasp Vespula germanica (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in response to different resources: influence of ontogenetic shifts and colony feedback.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Decisions made by foraging animals conform a complex process based on the integration of information from multiple external environmental stimuli and internal physiological signals, which in turn are modulated by individual experience and a detection threshold of each individual. For social insects in which foraging is limited to given age sub-castes, individual foraging decisions may also be affected by ontogenetic shifts and colony requirements. We studied the short-term changes in foraging preferences of the generalist wasp Vespula germanica, focusing on whether the individual response to different resources could be influenced by the ontogenetic shifts and/or by social interaction with nestmates. We carried both laboratory and field experiments to confront worker wasps to a short-term resource switch between either protein or carbohydrate-based foods. We tested the response of (1) Pre-forager workers (no foraging experience nor interaction with other wasps), (2) Forager workers (experience in foraging and no colony feedback), and (3) Wild forager workers (foraging naturally and exposed to free interactions with nestmates). We evaluated the maxilla-labium extension response (MaLER) for laboratory assays or the landing response for field assays. We observed that for wasps deprived of colony feedback (either pre-foragers or foragers), the protein-rich foods acceptance threshold increased (and thus a lower level of foraging on that item was observed) if they had foraged on carbohydrates previously, whereas carbohydrates were accepted in all assays. However, wasps immersed in a natural foraging context did accept protein foods regardless of their first foraging experience and reduced the carbohydrates collected when trained on protein foods. We provide evidence that short-term changes in foraging preferences depend on the type of resource foraged and on the social interactions, but not on ontogenetic shifts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Khlyap LA, Dinets V, Warshavsky AA, et al (2021)

Aggregated occurrence records of the invasive alien striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius Pall.) in the former USSR.

Biodiversity data journal, 9:e69159.

Background: Open access to occurrence records of the most dangerous invasive species in a standardised format have important potential applications for ecological research and management, including the assessment of invasion risks, formulation of preventative and management plans in the context of global climate and land use changes in the short and long perspective. The striped field mouse (Apodemus agrarius Pallas, 1771) is a common species in the temperate latitudes of the Palaearctic. Due to land use and global climate changes, several waves of expansion of the range of this species have been observed or inferred. By intrusion into new regions, the striped field mouse has become an alien species there. Apodemus agrarius causes significant harm to agriculture and is one of the most important pests of grain crops. In tree nurseries, A. agrarius destroys seeds of valuable tree species and gnaws at the bark of saplings of broadleaf species and berry bushes. It is one of the most epidemiologically important rodents, involved in the circulation of the causative agents of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) and many other zoonotic infections. The foregoing allows us to classify the striped field mouse as a dangerous invasive alien species in the expanding part of the range. A lot of data accumulated for this species are of interest from both ecological and applied points of view. The accumulation and aggregation of data on the occurrence records of A. agrarius is relevant for the study of ecology, biogeography and construction of the spatial distribution and ecological niche models in the context of global climate change. We have created a dataset of 1603 occurrence records of this species, collected from 1936 to December 2020 by various zoologists, previously published or original. These records relate to a significant part of the striped field mouse's range in Russia (1264 records) and neighbouring countries (339 records). The dataset shows the position of the northern and central parts of A. agrarius range, the disjunction of the range in Transbaikalia and isolated populations in the north of the range. The data were obtained in different formats from literature, indicating different degrees of accuracy of geographic coordinates and with several variations of the species' name. In the process of aggregating and fixing errors, we created a set of georeferenced occurrence records, adopted a controlled vocabulary, removed duplicates and standardised the format of records using unified data structure. We examined the dataset for inconsistencies with the taxonomic position of A. agrarius and removed the incorrect records. This paper presents the resulting dataset of A. agrarius occurrence records in the territory of Russia and neighbouring countries in a standardised format.

New information: This is a validated and comprehensive dataset of occurrence records of A. agrarius, including both our own observations and records from literature. This dataset is available for extension by other researchers using a standard format in accordance with Darwin Core standards. In different countries, there are a lot of occurrence records for the striped field mouse, but the overwhelming part of them is presented in separate literary sources, stored in the form of maps and in zoological collections. Prior to this project, such information was not available to a wide range of researchers and did not allow the use of these spatial data for further processing by modern methods of analysis, based on geographic information systems (GIS technologies). The created dataset combines species occurrence records of many Soviet zoologists who studied the distribution of the striped field mouse over a significant part of its recent range, in Russia and neighbouring countries (within the former USSR). The final set of records was created by combining the species occurrence records using a uniform data structure, checking geographic coordinates and removing duplicate and erroneous records. The dataset expands the available information on the spatial and temporal distribution of the dangerous invasive species in Russia and neighbouring countries of the former USSR (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan).

RevDate: 2021-07-08

Aguirre WE, Alvarez Mieles MG, Anaguano-Yancha F, et al (2021)

Conservation Threats and Future Prospects for the Freshwater Fishes of Ecuador: a Hotspot of Neotropical Fish Diversity.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

Freshwater fish communities in Ecuador exhibit some of the highest levels of diversity and endemism in the Neotropics. Unfortunately, aquatic ecosystems in the country are under serious threat and conditions are deteriorating. In 2018-19, the government of Ecuador sponsored a series of workshops to examine the conservation status of Ecuador's freshwater fishes. Concerns were identified for 35 species, most of which are native to the Amazon region, and overfishing of Amazonian pimelodid catfishes emerged as a major issue. However, much of the information needed to make decisions across fish groups and regions was not available, hindering the process and highlighting the need for a review of the conservation threats to Ecuador's freshwater fishes. Here, we review how the physical alteration of rivers, deforestation, wetland and floodplain degradation, agricultural and urban water pollution, mining, oil extraction, dams, overfishing, introduced species, and climate change, are affecting freshwater fishes in Ecuador. Although many of these factors affect fishes throughout the Neotropics, the lack of data on Ecuadorian fish communities is staggering and highlights the urgent need for more research. We also make recommendations including the need for proper enforcement of existing environmental laws, restoration of degraded aquatic ecosystems, establishment of a national monitoring system for freshwater ecosystems, investment in research to fill gaps in knowledge, and encouragement of public engagement in citizen science and conservation efforts. Freshwater fishes are an important component of the cultural and biological legacy of the Ecuadorian people. Conserving them for future generations is critical. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-07-09

Ge SX, Shi FM, Pei JH, et al (2021)

Gut Bacteria Associated With Monochamus saltuarius (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) and Their Possible Roles in Host Plant Adaptations.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:687211.

Monochamus saltuarius (Coleoptera: Cerambycidae) is an important native pest in the pine forests of northeast China and a dispersing vector of an invasive species Bursaphelenchus xylophilus. To investigate the bacterial gut diversity of M. saltuarius larvae in different host species, and infer the role of symbiotic bacteria in host adaptation, we used 16S rRNA gene Illumina sequencing and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry metabolomics processing to obtain and compare the composition of the bacterial community and metabolites in the midguts of larvae feeding on three host tree species: Pinus koraiensis, Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica, and Pinus tabuliformis. Metabolomics in xylem samples from the three aforementioned hosts were also performed. Proteobacteria and Firmicutes were the predominant bacterial phyla in the larval gut. At the genus level, Klebsiella, unclassified_f__Enterobacteriaceae, Lactococcus, and Burkholderia-Caballeronia-Paraburkholderia were most dominant in P. koraiensis and P. sylvestris var. mongolica feeders, while Burkholderia-Caballeronia-Paraburkholderia, Dyella, Pseudoxanthomonas, and Mycobacterium were most dominant in P. tabuliformis feeders. Bacterial communities were similar in diversity in P. koraiensis and P. sylvestris var. mongolica feeders, while communities were highly diverse in P. tabuliformis feeders. Compared with the other two tree species, P. tabuliformis xylems had more diverse and abundant secondary metabolites, while larvae feeding on these trees had a stronger metabolic capacity for secondary metabolites than the other two host feeders. Correlation analysis of the association of microorganisms with metabolic features showed that dominant bacterial genera in P. tabuliformis feeders were more negatively correlated with plant secondary metabolites than those of other host tree feeders.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Duplouy A, Nair A, Nyman T, et al (2021)

Long-term spatio-temporal genetic structure of an accidental parasitoid introduction, and local changes in prevalence of its associated Wolbachia symbiont.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Population bottlenecks associated with founder events strongly impact the establishment and genetic makeup of populations. In addition to their genotype, founding individuals also bring along parasites, as well as symbionts that can manipulate the phenotype of their host, affecting the host population establishment, dynamics and evolution. Thus, to understand introduction, invasion, and spread, we should identify the roles played by accompanying symbionts. In 1991, the parasitoid wasp, Hyposoter horticola, and its associated hyperparasitoid were accidentally introduced from the main Åland islands, Finland, to an isolated island in the archipelago, along with their host, the Glanville fritillary butterfly. Though the receiving island was unoccupied, the butterfly was present on some of the small islands in the vicinity. The three introduced species have persisted locally ever since. A strain of the endosymbiotic bacterium Wolbachia has an intermediate prevalence in the parasitoid H. horticola across the main Åland population. The infection increases its susceptibility of to hyperparasitism. We investigated the establishment and spread of the parasitoid, along with patterns of prevalence of its symbiont using 323 specimens collected between 1992 and 2013, from five localities across Åland, including the source and introduced populations. Using 14 microsatellites and one mitochondrial marker, we suggest that the relatively diverse founding population and occasional migration between islands might have facilitated the persistence of all isolated populations, despite multiple local population crashes. We also show that where the hyperparasitoid is absent, and thus selection against infected wasp genotypes is relaxed, there is near-fixation of Wolbachia.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Comeault AA, Kautt AF, DR Matute (2021)

Genomic signatures of admixture and selection are shared among populations of Zaprionus indianus across the western hemisphere.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Introduced species have become an increasingly common component of biological communities around the world. A central goal in invasion biology is therefore to identify the demographic and evolutionary factors that underlie successful introductions. Here we use whole genome sequences, collected from populations in the native and introduced range of the African fig fly, Zaprionus indianus, to quantify genetic relationships among them, identify potential sources of the introductions, and test for selection at different spatial scales. We find that geographically widespread populations in the western hemisphere are genetically more similar to each other than to lineages sampled across Africa, and that these populations share a mixture of alleles derived from differentiated African lineages. Using patterns of allele-sharing and demographic modelling we show that Z. indinaus have undergone a single expansion across the western hemisphere with admixture between African lineages predating this expansion. We also find support for selection that is shared across populations in the western hemisphere, and in some cases, with a subset of African populations. This suggests either that parallel selection has acted across a large part of Z. indianus's introduced range; or, more parsimoniously, that Z. indianus has experienced selection early on during (or prior-to) its expansion into the western hemisphere. We suggest that the range expansion of Z. indianus has been facilitated by admixture and selection, and that management of this invasion could focus on minimizing future admixture by controlling the movement of individuals within this region rather than between the western and eastern hemisphere.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Tomé B, Harris DJ, Perera A, et al (2021)

Invasive lizard has fewer parasites than native congener.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species can carry parasites to introduced locations, which may be key to understand the success or failure of species establishment and the invasive potential of introduced species. We compared the prevalence and infection levels of haemogregarine blood parasites between two sympatric congeneric species in Lisbon, Portugal: the invasive Italian wall lizard (Podarcis siculus) and the native green Iberian wall lizard (Podarcis virescens). The two species had significant differences in their infection levels: while P. virescens had high prevalence of infection (69.0%), only one individual of P. siculus was infected (3.7%), and while P. virescens exhibited an average intensity of 1.36%, the infected P. siculus individual had an infection rate of only 0.04%. Genetic analyses of 18S rRNA identified two different haemogregarine haplotypes in P. virescens. Due to the low levels of infection, we were not able to amplify parasite DNA from the infected P. siculus individual, although it was morphologically similar to those found in P. virescens. Since other studies also reported low levels of parasites in P. siculus, we hypothesize that this general lack of parasites could be one of the factors contributing to its competitive advantage over native lizard species and introduction success.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Tarusikirwa VL, Cuthbert RN, Mutamiswa R, et al (2021)

Water Balance and Desiccation Tolerance of the Invasive South American Tomato Pinworm.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6316611 [Epub ahead of print].

Temperature and dehydration stress are two major co-occurring environmental stressors threatening the physiology, biochemistry, and ecology of insects. As such, understanding adaptive responses to desiccation stress is critical for predicting climate change impacts, particularly its influence on insect invasions. Here, we assessed water balance and desiccation resistance of the invasive Tuta absoluta (Meyrick, 1917) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), and infer how eco-physiology shapes its niche. We measured basal body water and lipid content, water loss rates (WLRs), and desiccation resistance in larvae (second to fourth instars) and adults. Body -water, -lipid, and WLRs significantly varied across life stages. Second instars recorded the lowest while fourth instars exhibited the highest body water and lipid content. Adult body water and lipid content were higher than second and third instars and lower than fourth instars while proportion of body water and lipid contents were highest in adults and second larval instars respectively. Water loss rates were significantly highest in fourth-instar larvae compared to other life stages, but differences among stages were less apparent at longer exposure durations (48 h). Desiccation resistance assays showed that second instars had greatest mortality while fourth-instar larvae and adults were the most desiccation tolerant. Our results show that T. absoluta fourth-instar larvae and adults are the most resilient developmental stages and potentially contribute most to the invasion success of the pest in arid environments. Incorporation of these species-specific eco-physiological traits in predictive models can help refine invasive species potential spread under changing climates.

RevDate: 2021-07-09
CmpDate: 2021-07-09

Moraes AB, DE Moraes DCS, Alencar CERD, et al (2021)

Native and non-native species of Litopenaeus Pérez-Farfante, 1969 (Crustacea: Penaeidae) from the East Atlantic: Geometric morphometrics as a tool for taxonomic discrimination.

Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, 93(3):e20200107 pii:S0001-37652021000501008.

The shape of the secondary sexual characters is, traditionally, used to discriminate the marine shrimps at the species level. However, the qualitative evaluation of structures that are morphologically variable in the taxonomy of species can favor misunderstandings and misidentifications. These possibilities of taxonomic inaccuracies are especially alarming when there is a need to evaluate the invasion of introduced species. The present study used geometric morphometric analyses to identify differences in the cephalothorax shape that would help discriminate the native and non-native species of Litopenaeus of the South American coast. The comparative morphology analysis was conducted using the right profile of adult males' cephalothorax of L. schmitti, captured in the natural environment, and L. vannamei captured in the natural environment or grown in shrimp farms. In intraspecific evaluation, it was not possible to distinguish the specimens of L. vannamei that were grown in shrimp farms from those acclimated to the natural environment. However, significant interspecific differences in shape were found in the shape of this body structure. Additionally, the base position of the first rostral spine to the tip of the hepatic spine is indicated as a characteristic that can be used to distinguish these two species by eye in the field.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Liu B, Wang G, An Y, et al (2021)

Similar seed dispersal systems by local frugivorous birds in native and alien plant species in a coastal seawall forest.

PeerJ, 9:e11672.

Frugivorous birds play an important role in seed dispersal. Alien plant species' seeds are dispersed by local birds in order to establish populations in new habitats. Alien plant species that produce fruits similar to that of native species have the potential to attract local birds, creating new mutualistic systems that are similar to the local ones. In autumn 2018 and 2019, we studied the seed dispersal systems of an alien plant species, Phytolacca americana, and a native species, Cayratia japonica, in a coastal seawall forest. Both plant species' fruit, frugivorous bird foraging behaviors, seed germination rates, and seedling microhabitats were examined to determine whether the alien species had a similar seed dispersal system to that of the native species. Our results showed that P. americana and C. japonica had similar fruit type, color, and ripening period. There was a positive correlation between the percentage rate of fruit ripening and the percentage rate of fruit missing for both plant species, indicating that local frugivorous birds have the potential to sufficiently disperse the alien seeds to enable its spread in the coastal seawall forest (simple linear regression, P. americana: β = 0.863 ± 0.017, R2 adj = 0.978, P < 0.01; C. japonica: β = 0.787 ± 0.034, R2 adj = 0.898, P < 0.01). Eleven bird species consumed the fruits of the alien species or native species during the study period. Similar results were shown across alien and native species in bird foraging behavior (feeding frequency, feeding duration and first stop distance) indicating that a similar seed dispersal relationship had been established between local frugivorous and both plant species. The alien plant had a higher number of fruits carried by birds, suggesting that P. americana had a slightly higher fruit consumption than that of C. japonica (t-test, P < 0.01). Alien plant seedlings grow more abundant in forest gap microhabitat (t-test, P < 0.01). Our results confirmed that bird digestion promotes seed germination success in both plant species. Our study suggests that in a narrow coastal seawall forest, alien plant species can successfully establish their populations by relying on similar seed dispersal systems as the local species.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Kaur A, Batish DR, Kaur S, et al (2021)

An Overview of the Characteristics and Potential of Calotropis procera From Botanical, Ecological, and Economic Perspectives.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:690806.

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand. (commonly known as the apple of sodom, calotrope, and giant milkweed) is an evergreen, perennial shrub of the family Apocynaceae, mainly found in arid and semi-arid regions. It is a multipurpose plant, which can be utilized for medicine, fodder, and fuel purposes, timber and fiber production, phytoremediation, and synthesis of nanoparticles. It has been widely used in traditional medicinal systems across North Africa, Middle East Asia, and South-East Asia. At present, it is being extensively explored for its potential pharmacological applications. Several reports also suggest its prospects in the food, textile, and paper industries. Besides, C. procera has also been acknowledged as an ornamental species. High pharmacological potential and socio-economic value have led to the pantropical introduction of the plant. Morpho-physiological adaptations and the ability to tolerate various abiotic stresses enabled its naturalization beyond the introduced areas. Now, it is recognized as an obnoxious environmental weed in several parts of the world. Its unnatural expansion has been witnessed in the regions of South America, the Caribbean Islands, Australia, the Hawaiian Islands, Mexico, Seychelles, and several Pacific Islands. In Australia, nearly 3.7 million hectares of drier areas, including rangelands and Savannahs, have been invaded by the plant. In this review, multiple aspects of C. procera have been discussed including its general characteristics, current and potential uses, and invasive tendencies. The objectives of this review are a) to compile the information available in the literature on C. procera, to make it accessible for future research, b) to enlist together its potential applications being investigated in different fields, and c) to acknowledge C. procera as an emerging invasive species of arid and semi-arid regions.

RevDate: 2021-07-08
CmpDate: 2021-07-06

Elfstrand M, Chen J, Cleary M, et al (2021)

Comparative analyses of the Hymenoscyphus fraxineus and Hymenoscyphus albidus genomes reveals potentially adaptive differences in secondary metabolite and transposable element repertoires.

BMC genomics, 22(1):503.

BACKGROUND: The dieback epidemic decimating common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) in Europe is caused by the invasive fungus Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. In this study we analyzed the genomes of H. fraxineus and H. albidus, its native but, now essentially displaced, non-pathogenic sister species, and compared them with several other members of Helotiales. The focus of the analyses was to identify signals in the genome that may explain the rapid establishment of H. fraxineus and displacement of H. albidus.

RESULTS: The genomes of H. fraxineus and H. albidus showed a high level of synteny and identity. The assembly of H. fraxineus is 13 Mb longer than that of H. albidus', most of this difference can be attributed to higher dispersed repeat content (i.e. transposable elements [TEs]) in H. fraxineus. In general, TE families in H. fraxineus showed more signals of repeat-induced point mutations (RIP) than in H. albidus, especially in Long-terminal repeat (LTR)/Copia and LTR/Gypsy elements. Comparing gene family expansions and 1:1 orthologs, relatively few genes show signs of positive selection between species. However, several of those did appeared to be associated with secondary metabolite genes families, including gene families containing two of the genes in the H. fraxineus-specific, hymenosetin biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC).

CONCLUSION: The genomes of H. fraxineus and H. albidus show a high degree of synteny, and are rich in both TEs and BGCs, but the genomic signatures also indicated that H. albidus may be less well equipped to adapt and maintain its ecological niche in a rapidly changing environment.

RevDate: 2021-07-03

Fenollosa E, Jené L, S Munné-Bosch (2021)

Geographic patterns of seed trait variation in an invasive species: how much can close populations differ?.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Seeds play a major role in plant species persistence and expansion, and therefore they are essential when modeling species dynamics. However, homogeneity in seed traits is generally assumed, underestimating intraspecific trait variability across the geographic space, which might bias species success models. The aim of this study was to evaluate the existence and consequences of interpopulation variability in seed traits of the invasive species Carpobrotus edulis at different geographical scales. We measured seed production, morphology, vigour and longevity of nine populations of C. edulis along the Catalan coast (NE Spain) from three differentiated zones with a human presence gradient. Geographic distances between populations were contrasted against individual and multivariate trait distances to explore trait variation along the territory, evaluating the role of bioclimatic variables and human density of the different zones. The analysis revealed high interpopulation variability that was not explained by geographic distance, as regardless of the little distance between some populations (< 0.5 km), significant differences were found in several seed traits. Seed production, germination, and persistence traits showed the strongest spatial variability up to 6000% of percent trait variability between populations, leading to differentiated C. edulis soil seed bank dynamics at small distances, which may demand differentiated strategies for a cost-effective species management. Seed trait variability was influenced by human density but also bioclimatic conditions, suggesting a potential impact of increased anthropogenic pressure and climate shifts. Geographic interpopulation trait variation should be included in ecological models and will be important for assessing species responses to environmental heterogeneity and change.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Madikizela LM (2021)

Removal of organic pollutants in water using water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes).

Journal of environmental management, 295:113153 pii:S0301-4797(21)01215-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Globally, water hyacinth is recognized as an invasive species that threatens the survival of aquatic organisms. Its removal from water is performed manually or physically to avoid the secondary water pollution that results through the usage of chemically synthesised herbicides for its control, thus generating solid waste. Among other things, scientists have proposed the conversion of this waste into adsorbents that can be utilized for the remediation of water resources. This is essentially significant as the quality of water remains a necessity in all spheres of life. In this paper, the remediation strategies that have been proposed for the remediation of water resources through the removal of organic pollutants using water hyacinth are reviewed. Phytoremediation and removal of organics through adsorption using water hyacinth have been extensively investigated. From this review, it can be observed that the majority of the reviewed work focussed more on the removal of organic dyes from water. In this context, the mechanisms involved during the adsorption processes are discussed. In the end, future research that is likely to assist in the environmental management of water resources through their remediation with water hyacinth is suggested.

RevDate: 2021-07-06

Jalbert CS, Falke JA, López JA, et al (2021)

Vulnerability of Pacific salmon to invasion of northern pike (Esox lucius) in Southcentral Alaska.

PloS one, 16(7):e0254097 pii:PONE-D-21-00797.

The relentless role of invasive species in the extinction of native biota requires predictions of ecosystem vulnerability to inform proactive management strategies. The worldwide invasion and range expansion of predatory northern pike (Esox lucius) has been linked to the decline of native fishes and tools are needed to predict the vulnerability of habitats to invasion over broad geographic scales. To address this need, we coupled an intrinsic potential habitat modelling approach with a Bayesian network to evaluate the vulnerability of five culturally and economically vital species of Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) to invasion by northern pike. This study was conducted along 22,875 stream km in the Southcentral region of Alaska, USA. Pink salmon (O. gorbuscha) were the most vulnerable species, with 15.2% (2,458 km) of their calculated extent identified as "highly" vulnerable, followed closely by chum salmon (O. keta, 14.8%; 2,557 km) and coho salmon (O. kisutch, 14.7%; 2,536 km). Moreover, all five Pacific salmon species were highly vulnerable in 1,001 stream km of shared habitat. This simple to implement, adaptable, and cost-effective framework will allow prioritizing habitats for early detection and monitoring of invading northern pike.

RevDate: 2021-07-03

Julius RS, Brettschneider H, Chimimba CT, et al (2021)

Prevalence and Diversity of the Streptobacillus Rat-bite Fever Agent, in Three Invasive, Commensal Rattus Species from South Africa.

The Yale journal of biology and medicine, 94(2):217-226.

Rat-bite fever is an over-looked, global zoonotic disease that has a mortality rate of up to 13%, if untreated. Historically, this rat-borne disease has been attributed to one of two causative agents, Streptobacillus moniliformis or Spirillum minus. Given the confirmed presence of multiple invasive Rattus host species, high rat densities in urban, informal human settlements and increasing reports of rat bites in South Africa, we undertook a retrospective assessment of Streptobacillus in rats sampled from 16 urban sites, in Gauteng, the smallest but most populous Province in South Africa. Using a multi-gene PCR-sequencing approach, we confirmed Streptobacillus presence in 50.9% of oral swabs from three rat species and the presence of two Streptobacillus species, viz. S. moniliformis and S. notomytis. The two members of the cryptic Rattus rattus species complex (R. rattus and R. tanezumi), which are morphologically indistinguishable from each other, had markedly different colonization rates. Whereas 48.6% of rats from this species complex were Streptobacillus-positive, only 32.3% of Rattus tanezumi were positive compared to 61.5% R. rattus. Rattus norvegicus had an intermediate prevalence of 55.6%. Phylogenetic analysis of four gene regions (16S rRNA, gyrB, groEL, recA) identified two discrete lineages; S. moniliformis occurred exclusively in R. norvegicus, and S. notomytis was restricted to the two members of the R. rattus species complex; this represents the first report of Streptobacillus in R. tanezumi. These results highlight a largely overlooked zoonotic threat posed by invasive rats and confirm the presence of two discrete and potentially host-specific Streptobacillus lineages in South Africa.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Darji TB, Adhikari B, Pathak S, et al (2021)

Phytotoxic effects of invasive Ageratina adenophora on two native subtropical shrubs in Nepal.

Scientific reports, 11(1):13663.

The response of native plants to allelopathic interference of invasive species may differ from species to species. In this study, the phytotoxic effects of Ageratina adenophora were tested on two native shrubs (Osbeckia stellata and Elsholtzia blanda) of Nepal. Both the shrubs were grown in pots under treatments of A. adenophora fresh leaves and root leachates, and litter. Then, the seedling length and biomass were compared among the treatments. The results show that A. adenophora litter has stimulatory effects but the leachates from fresh leaves and root are phytotoxic to the growth and development of native shrubs. Infrared Spectroscopy (IR) analysis confirmed the presence of O-H (Hydroxyl), N-H (Amines), C≡C (Alkynes), and C-H stretching (Aromatic) or C-O-C stretching (Ethers) in the leachates representing harmful allelochemicals. The invaded soil by A. adenophora had low pH and a high amount of organic matter, total nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium than the uninvaded soil. The results indicate that the native O. stellata and E. blanda are harmed by A. adenophora in nature by leaching of allelochemicals and probably by reducing the soil pH. Overall, this study has provided valuable insights regarding the effects of A. adenophora invasion on native shrubs and revealing the potential mechanism of its invasiveness.

RevDate: 2021-07-07

Chen L, Li S, Xiao Q, et al (2021)

Composition and diversity of gut microbiota in Pomacea canaliculata in sexes and between developmental stages.

BMC microbiology, 21(1):200.

BACKGROUND: The apple snail, Pomacea canaliculata, is one of the world's 100 worst invasive alien species and vector of some pathogens relevant to human health.

METHODS: On account of the importance of gut microbiota to the host animals, we compared the communities of the intestinal microbiota from P. canaliculata collected at different developmental stages (juvenile and adult) and different sexes by using high-throughput sequencing.

RESULTS: The core bacteria phyla of P. canaliculata gut microbiota included Tenericutes (at an average relative abundance of 45.7 %), Firmicutes (27.85 %), Proteobacteria (11.86 %), Actinobacteria (4.45 %), and Cyanobacteria (3.61 %). The female group possessed the highest richness values, whereas the male group possessed the lowest bacterial richness and diversity compared with the female and juvenile group. Both the developmental stages and sexes had important effects on the composition of the intestinal microbiota of P. canaliculata. By LEfSe analysis, microbes from the phyla Proteobacteria and Actinobacteria were enriched in the female group, phylum Bacteroidetes was enriched in the male group, family Mycoplasmataceae and genus Leuconostoc were enriched in the juvenile group. PICRUSt analysis predicted twenty-four metabolic functions in all samples, including general function prediction, amino acid transport and metabolism, transcription, replication, recombination and repair, carbohydrate transport and metabolism, etc. CONCLUSIONS: This study provided a general understanding of the diversity characteristics of intestinal microbial communities of P. canaliculata, and indicated that developmental stage and gender could both influence the intestinal microbes of P. canaliculata. Further study may focus on the interaction between the gut microbiota and their host.

RevDate: 2021-07-02

Braman CA, Lambert AM, Özsoy AZ, et al (2021)

Biology of an Adventive Population of the Armored Scale Rhizaspidiotus donacis, a Biological Control Agent of Arundo donax in California.

Insects, 12(7): pii:insects12070588.

Arundo donax (giant reed) is invasive in Mediterranean, sub-, and tropical riparian systems worldwide. The armored scale Rhizaspidiotus donacis is approved for biocontrol in North America, but an adventive population was recently discovered in southern California. We documented this population's distribution, phylogeny, phenology, potential host spillover to Phragmites spp., and potential for parasitism by a common biocontrol parasitoid of citrus scale. The adventive scale was found within a single watershed and is genetically closest to Iberian scale genotypes. Rhizaspidiotus donacis developed on Phragmites haplotypes but at much lower densities than Arundo. The adventive population is univoltine, producing crawlers from March-June. Aphytis melinus parasitoids exhibited sustained interest in R. donacis during choice and no-choice trials and oviposition resulted in a small second generation. Rhizaspidiotus donacis appears limited in distribution by its univoltinism and sessile adult females. This presents challenges for broad biocontrol implementation but allows for targeted application. The genetic differentiation between imported biocontrol samples and adventive populations presents an opportunity for exploring benefits of hybrids and/or alternative genotypes where establishment has been difficult. While unlikely to occur in situ, spillover to vulnerable endemic Phragmites or deleterious parasitoid effects on scale biocontrol agents warrants consideration when planning use of R. donacis.

RevDate: 2021-07-02

Kim P, Yoon TJ, S Shin (2021)

Monthly eDNA Monitoring of an Invasive Bryozoan, Bugulina californica, in Seawater Using Species-Specific Markers.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(7): pii:ani11071966.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) method used by many ecologists as effective investigation tool can detect endangered species, rare species, and invasive species. In case of invasive species, eDNA method help to monitor the target species when the species was hard to detect through the traditional survey such as the early stage of invasion, low abundance, and larva or juvenile stage. The bryozoan, Bugulina californica, was known as a marine fouling invasive species in Korea since its first reported in 1978. This species expanded nationwide, and damages to ascidian aquaculture through attached on the ship hulls and artificial facilities. To monitor the distribution and biomass of invasive bryozoan, B. californica, the qPCR analysis of environmental DNA was performed on seawater samples from 12 harbors. In this study, we designed species-specific markers which can calculate the detected DNA copies of B. californica, and the presence and monitoring of this species can be more accurately estimated by environmental DNA analysis than by traditional survey, in which it is difficult to identify the species. Real-time PCR analysis using environmental DNA is an effective monitoring method that can determine both the distribution and the monthly change in biomass of B. californica in Korea.

RevDate: 2021-07-11

Stanicka A, Migdalski Ł, Szopieray K, et al (2021)

Invaders as Diluents of the Cercarial Dermatitis Etiological Agent.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(6):.

Research on alien and invasive species focuses on the direct effects of invasion on native ecosystems, and the possible positive effects of their presence are most often overlooked. Our aim was to check the suitability of selected alien species (the snail Physa acuta, the bivalve Dreissena polymorpha, and the gammarid Dikerogammarus villosus) as diluents for infectious bird schistosome cercariae-the etiological factor of swimmer's itch. It has been hypothesized that alien species with different feeding habits (scrapers, filterers and predators) that cohabit the aquatic environment with intermediate hosts of the schistosomatid trematodes are capable of feeding on their free-swimming stages-cercariae. In the laboratory conditions used, all experimental animals diluted the cercariae of bird schistosome. The most effective diluents were P. acuta and D. villosus. However, a wide discrepancy in the dilution of the cercariae between replicates was found for gammarids. The obtained results confirm the hypothesis that increased biodiversity, even when alien species are involved, creates the dilution effect of the free-living stages of parasites. Determining the best diluent for bird schistosome cercariae could greatly assist in the development of current bathing areas protection measures against swimmer's itch.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Wang X, Ramualde N, Aparicio EM, et al (2021)

Optimal Conditions for Diapause Survival of Aprostocetus fukutai, an Egg Parasitoid for Biological Control of Anoplophora chinensis.

Insects, 12(6):.

Aprostocetus fukutai is a specialist egg parasitoid of the citrus longhorned beetle Anoplophora chinensis, a high-risk invasive pest of hardwood trees. The parasitoid overwinters as diapausing mature larvae within the host egg and emerges in early summer in synchrony with the egg-laying peak of A. chinensis. This study investigated the parasitoid's diapause survival in parasitized host eggs that either remained in potted trees under semi-natural conditions in southern France or were removed from the wood and held at four different humidities (44, 75, 85-93 and 100% RH) at 11 °C or four different temperature regimes (2, 5, 10 and 12.5 °C) at 100% RH in the laboratory. The temperature regimes reflect overwintering temperatures across the parasitoid's geographical distribution in its native range. Results show that the parasitoid resumed its development to the adult stage at normal rearing conditions (22 °C, 100% RH, 14L:10D) after 6- or 7-months cold chilling at both the semi-natural and laboratory conditions. It had a low survival rate (36.7%) on potted plants due to desiccation or tree wound defense response. No parasitoids survived at 44% RH, but survival rate increased with humidity, reaching the highest (93.7%) at 100% RH. Survival rate also increased from 21.0% at 2 °C to 82.8% at 12.5 °C. Post-diapause developmental time decreased with increased humidity or temperature. There was no difference in the lifetime fecundity of emerged females from 2 and 12.5 °C. These results suggest that 100% RH and 12.5 °C are the most suitable diapause conditions for laboratory rearing of this parasitoid.

RevDate: 2021-07-12
CmpDate: 2021-07-12

Peter A, Žlabur JŠ, Šurić J, et al (2021)

Invasive Plant Species Biomass-Evaluation of Functional Value.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 26(13):.

Invasive plant species (IAS), with their numerous negative ecological, health, and economic impacts, represent one of the greatest conservation challenges in the world. Reducing the negative impacts and potentially exploiting the biomass of these plant species can significantly contribute to sustainable management, protect biodiversity, and create a healthy environment. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to evaluate the nutritional potential, phytochemical status, and antioxidant capacity of nine alien invasive plant species: Abutilon theophrasti, Amaranthus retroflexus, Ambrosia artemisiifolia, Datura stramonium, Erigeron annuus, Galinsoga ciliata, Reynoutria japonica, Solidago gigantea, and Sorghum halepense. Multivariate statistical methods such as cluster and PCA were performed to determine possible connections and correlations among selected IAS depending on the phytochemical content. According to the obtained results, R. japonica was notable with the highest content of vitamin C (38.46 mg/100 g FW); while E. annuus (1365.92 mg GAE/100 g FW) showed the highest values of total polyphenolic compounds. A. retroflexus was characterized by the highest content of total chlorophylls (0.26 mg/g) and antioxidant capacity (2221.97 µmol TE/kg). Therefore, it can be concluded that the selected IAS represent nutrient-rich plant material with significant potential for the recovering of bioactive compounds.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Marini F, Weyl P, Vidović B, et al (2021)

Eriophyid Mites in Classical Biological Control of Weeds: Progress and Challenges.

Insects, 12(6):.

A classical biological control agent is an exotic host-specific natural enemy, which is intentionally introduced to obtain long-term control of an alien invasive species. Among the arthropods considered for this role, eriophyid mites are likely to possess the main attributes required: host specificity, efficacy, and long-lasting effects. However, so far, only a few species have been approved for release. Due to their microscopic size and the general lack of knowledge regarding their biology and behavior, working with eriophyids is particularly challenging. Furthermore, mites disperse in wind, and little is known about biotic and abiotic constraints to their population growth. All these aspects pose challenges that, if not properly dealt with, can make it particularly difficult to evaluate eriophyids as prospective biological control agents and jeopardize the general success of control programs. We identified some of the critical aspects of working with eriophyids in classical biological control of weeds and focused on how they have been or may be addressed. In particular, we analyzed the importance of accurate mite identification, the difficulties faced in the evaluation of their host specificity, risk assessment of nontarget species, their impact on the weed, and the final steps of mite release and post-release monitoring.

RevDate: 2021-07-11

Hall RN, King T, O'Connor T, et al (2021)

Age and Infectious Dose Significantly Affect Disease Progression after RHDV2 Infection in Naïve Domestic Rabbits.

Viruses, 13(6):.

Rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2 or GI.2, referring to any virus with lagovirus GI.2 structural genes) is a recently emerged calicivirus that causes generalised hepatic necrosis and disseminated intravascular coagulation leading to death in susceptible lagomorphs (rabbits and hares). Previous studies investigating the virulence of RHDV2 have reported conflicting results, with case fatality rates ranging from 0% to 100% even within a single study. Lagoviruses are of particular importance in Australia and New Zealand where they are used as biocontrol agents to manage wild rabbit populations, which threaten over 300 native species and result in economic impacts in excess of $200 million AUD annually to Australian agricultural industries. It is critically important that any pest control method is both highly effective (i.e., virulent, in the context of viral biocontrols) and has minimal animal welfare impacts. To determine whether RHDV2 might be a suitable candidate biocontrol agent, we investigated the virulence and disease progression of a naturally occurring Australian recombinant RHDV2 in both 5-week-old and 11-week-old New Zealand White laboratory rabbits after either high or low dose oral infection. Objective measures of disease progression were recorded through continuous body temperature monitoring collars, continuous activity monitors, and twice daily observations. We observed a 100% case fatality rate in both infected kittens and adult rabbits after either high dose or low dose infection. Clinical signs of disease, such as pyrexia, weight loss, and reduced activity, were evident in the late stages of infection. Clinical disease, i.e., welfare impacts, were limited to the period after the onset of pyrexia, lasting on average 12 h and increasing in severity as disease progressed. These findings confirm the high virulence of this RHDV2 variant in naïve rabbits. While age and infectious dose significantly affected disease progression, the case fatality rate was consistently 100% under all conditions tested.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Harms NE, Knight IA, Pratt PD, et al (2021)

Climate Mismatch between Introduced Biological Control Agents and Their Invasive Host Plants: Improving Biological Control of Tropical Weeds in Temperate Regions.

Insects, 12(6):.

Many weed biological control programs suffer from large-scale spatial variation in success due to restricted distributions or abundances of agents in temperate climates. For some of the world's worst aquatic weeds, agents are established but overwintering conditions limit their survival in higher latitudes or elevations. The resulting need is for new or improved site- or region-specific biological control tools. Here, we review this challenge with a focus on low-temperature limitations of agents and propose a roadmap for improving success. Investigations across spatial scales, from global (e.g., foreign exploration), to local (selective breeding), to individual organisms (molecular modification), are discussed. A combination of traditional (foreign) and non-traditional (introduced range) exploration may lead to the discovery and development of better-adapted agent genotypes. A multivariate approach using ecologically relevant metrics to quantify and compare cold tolerance among agent populations is likely required. These data can be used to inform environmental niche modeling combined with mechanistic modeling of species' fundamental climate niches and life histories to predict where, when, and at what abundance agents will occur. Finally, synthetic and systems biology approaches in conjunction with advanced modern genomics, gene silencing and gene editing technologies may be used to identify and alter the expression of genes enhancing cold tolerance, but this technology in the context of weed biological control has not been fully explored.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Brasier C, Franceschini S, Forster J, et al (2021)

Enhanced Outcrossing, Directional Selection and Transgressive Segregation Drive Evolution of Novel Phenotypes in Hybrid Swarms of the Dutch Elm Disease Pathogen Ophiostoma novo-ulmi.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 7(6):.

In the 1970s, clones of the two subspecies of Ophiostoma novo-ulmi, subsp. americana (SSAM) and subsp. novo-ulmi (SSNU) began to overlap in Europe, resulting in hybrid swarms. By 1983-1986, hybrids with high, SSAM-like growth and pathogenic fitness comprised ~75% of popula-tions at Limburg, Netherlands and Orvieto, Italy. We resampled these populations in 2008 to examine trends in hybrid fitness traits. Since preliminary sampling in 1979-1980, MAT-1 locus frequency had increased from ~0% to ~32% at Orvieto and 5% to ~43% at Limburg, and vegeta-tive incompatibility type frequency had changed from near clonal to extremely diverse at both sites. This represents an enormous increase in outcrossing and recombination potential, due in part to selective acquisition (under virus pressure) of MAT-1 and vic loci from the resident O. ulmi and in part to SSAM × SSNU hybridisation. Overt virus infection in the 2008 samples was low (~4%), diagnostic SSAM and SSNU cu and col1 loci were recombinant, and no isolates exhib-ited a parental SSAM or SSNU colony pattern. At both sites, mean growth rate and mean patho-genicity to 3-5 m clonal elm were high SSAM-like, indicating sustained directional selection for these characters, though at Orvieto growth rate was slower. The once frequent SSNU-specific up-mut colony dimorphism was largely eliminated at both sites. Perithecia formed by Limburg isolates were mainly an extreme, long-necked SSNU-like form, consistent with transgressive segregation resulting from mismatch of SSAM and SSNU developmental loci. Orvieto isolates produced more parental-like perithecia, suggesting the extreme phenotypes may have been se-lected against. The novel phenotypes in the swarms are remodelling O. novo-ulmi in Europe. Locally adapted genotypes may emerge.

RevDate: 2021-07-02

Caron V, Yonow T, Paull C, et al (2021)

Preempting the Arrival of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys: Biological Control Options for Australia.

Insects, 12(7): pii:insects12070581.

The brown marmorated stink bug Halyomorphahalys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is native to Northeast Asia, but has become a serious invasive species in North America and Europe, causing major damage to crops. While it has not established itself in Australia, it has been intercepted at the border several times, indicating that future incursions and establishment are a case of when, not if. Biological control is one of the few control options for this species and will be important for managing H.halys should it become established in Australia. Prioritizing species that could be used as biological control agents would ensure Australia is prepared. This study summarizes the literature on natural enemies of H. halys in its native and invaded ranges and prioritizes potential biological control agents of H.halys that could be used in Australia. Two egg parasitoid species were identified: Trissolcusjaponicus (Ashmead) and Trissolcusmitsukurii (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae). Future efforts to develop biological control should focus on T. mitsukurii, as it is already present in Australia. However, little is known about this species and further work is required to: (1) assess its potential effectiveness in parasitizing H. halys, (2) determine its current distribution and (3) host range in Australia.

RevDate: 2021-07-02

Sanna D, Azzena I, Scarpa F, et al (2021)

First Record of the Alien Species Procambarus virginalis Lyko, 2017 in Fresh Waters of Sardinia and Insight into Its Genetic Variability.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(7): pii:life11070606.

In the fresh waters of Sardinia (Italy), the non-indigenous crayfish species Procambarus clarkii has been reported from 2005, but, starting from 2019, there have been several reports of a new non-indigenous crayfish in southern and central areas of this Mediterranean island, and its morphology suggests that this species may be the marbled crayfish Procambarus virginalis. Forty-seven individuals of this putative species were analyzed, using the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I as molecular marker to identify this crayfish and investigate the level of genetic variability within the recently established population. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses were carried out on a dataset including sequences from the Sardinian individuals and from all congenerics available in GenBank. Results showed that the new Sardinian crayfish belong to the species P. virginalis. All the sequences belonging to P. virginalis from European countries are identical, with only few exceptions found among Sardinian individuals. In conclusion, this paper highlights the occurrence of a new further alien species in the Sardinian fresh waters, which are already characterized by the high presence of non-indigenous species.

RevDate: 2021-07-13

Suárez L, Castellano J, Romero F, et al (2021)

Environmental Hazards of Giant Reed (Arundo donax L.) in the Macaronesia Region and Its Characterisation as a Potential Source for the Production of Natural Fibre Composites.

Polymers, 13(13):.

This paper summarises the results obtained from the characterisation of giant reed (Arundo donax L.) plant and fibres. The research is part of a project developed in the Macaronesia region, of which the aim is to demonstrate the feasibility of using biomass from invasive plant species in the composites sector as a way of financing control campaigns and habitats conservation labours. An experimental procedure for the extraction of fibre bundles from this plant was developed, and the material obtained was characterised in terms of chemical composition, thermogravimetry and infrared spectra to evaluate its potential application in the production of polymeric composite materials as a strategy for the valorisation of residual biomass from this invasive species in Macaronesia. Thermoplastic matrix composites with fibre content up to 40 wt.% were produced and their mechanical properties under tensile, flexural and impact loading were determined. No references on the preparation of composite materials with polyolefin matrices and giant reed fibres have been found. Results obtained from mechanical tests show a good performance of the manufactured composites, with a significant increase in both flexural and tensile stiffness; the flexural modulus is almost tripled for PE-based composites and rises to 88% with respect to PP matrix. The ultimate flexural strength and the tensile and flexural yield strength are kept at acceptable values compared to neat polymer materials, although ultimate tensile strength and impact resistance are significantly affected when natural fibres are added.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Ferraguti M, Martínez-de la Puente J, J Figuerola (2021)

Ecological Effects on the Dynamics of West Nile Virus and Avian Plasmodium: The Importance of Mosquito Communities and Landscape.

Viruses, 13(7): pii:v13071208.

Humans and wildlife are at risk from certain vector-borne diseases such as malaria, dengue, and West Nile and yellow fevers. Factors linked to global change, including habitat alteration, land-use intensification, the spread of alien species, and climate change, are operating on a global scale and affect both the incidence and distribution of many vector-borne diseases. Hence, understanding the drivers that regulate the transmission of pathogens in the wild is of great importance for ecological, evolutionary, health, and economic reasons. In this literature review, we discuss the ecological factors potentially affecting the transmission of two mosquito-borne pathogens circulating naturally between birds and mosquitoes, namely, West Nile virus (WNV) and the avian malaria parasites of the genus Plasmodium. Traditionally, the study of pathogen transmission has focused only on vectors or hosts and the interactions between them, while the role of landscape has largely been ignored. However, from an ecological point of view, it is essential not only to study the interaction between each of these organisms but also to understand the environmental scenarios in which these processes take place. We describe here some of the similarities and differences in the transmission of these two pathogens and how research into both systems may facilitate a greater understanding of the dynamics of vector-borne pathogens in the wild.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Sapkota S, Boggess SL, Trigiano RN, et al (2021)

Microsatellite Loci Reveal Genetic Diversity of Asian Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana) in the Species Native Range and in the North American Cultivars.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(6):.

Pyrus calleryana Decne. (Callery pear) includes cultivars that in the United States are popular ornamentals in commercial and residential landscapes. Last few decades, this species has increasingly naturalized across portions of the eastern and southern US. However, the mechanisms behind this plant's spread are not well understood. The genetic relationship of present-day P.calleryana trees with their Asian P. calleryana forebears (native trees from China, Japan, and Korea) and the original specimens of US cultivars are unknown. We developed and used 18 microsatellite markers to analyze 147 Pyrus source samples and to articulate the status of genetic diversity within Asian P. calleryana and US cultivars. We hypothesized that Asian P. calleryana specimens and US cultivars would be genetically diverse and would show genetic relatedness. Our data revealed high genetic diversity, high gene flow, and presence of population structure in P. calleryana, potentially relating to the highly invasive capability of this species. Strong evidence for genetic relatedness between Asian P. calleryana specimens and US cultivars was also demonstrated. Our data suggest the source for P. calleryana that have become naturalized in US was China. These results will help understand the genetic complexity of invasive P. calleryana when developing management for escaped populations: In follow-up studies, we use the gSSRs developed here to analyze P. calleryana escape populations from across US.

RevDate: 2021-07-05

Kokociński M, Dziga D, Antosiak A, et al (2021)

Are Bacterio- and Phytoplankton Community Compositions Related in Lakes Differing in Their Cyanobacteria Contribution and Physico-Chemical Properties?.

Genes, 12(6):.

Bacterioplankton community composition has become the center of research attention in recent years. Bacteria associated with toxic cyanobacteria blooms have attracted considerable interest. However, little is known about the environmental factors driving the bacteria community, including the impact of invasive cyanobacteria. Therefore, our aim has been to determine the relationships between heterotrophic bacteria and phytoplankton community composition across 24 Polish lakes with different contributions of cyanobacteria including the invasive species Raphidiopsis raciborskii. This analysis revealed that cyanobacteria were present in 16 lakes, while R. raciborskii occurred in 14 lakes. Our results show that bacteria communities differed between lakes dominated by cyanobacteria and lakes with minor contributions of cyanobacteria but did not differ between lakes with R. raciborskii and other lakes. Physical factors, including water and Secchi depth, were the major drivers of bacteria and phytoplankton community composition. However, in lakes dominated by cyanobacteria, bacterial community composition was also influenced by biotic factors such as the amount of R. raciborskii, chlorophyll-a and total phytoplankton biomass. Thus, our study provides novel evidence on the influence of environmental factors and R. raciborskii on lake bacteria communities.

RevDate: 2021-07-10

Ceballos-Osuna L, Scianni C, Falkner M, et al (2021)

Proxy-based model to assess the relative contribution of ballast water and biofouling's potential propagule pressure and prioritize vessel inspections.

PloS one, 16(7):e0247538.

Commercial shipping is the primary pathway of introduction for aquatic nonindigenous species (NIS), mainly through the mechanisms of ballast water and biofouling. In response to this threat, regulatory programs have been established across the globe to regulate and monitor commercial merchant and passenger vessels to assess compliance with local requirements to reduce the likelihood of NIS introductions. Resource limitations often determine the inspection efforts applied by these regulatory agencies to reduce NIS introductions. We present a simple and adaptable model that prioritizes vessel arrivals for inspection using proxies for potential propagule pressure (PPP), namely a ships' wetted surface area as a proxy for the likelihood of biofouling-mediated PPP and ballast water discharge volume as a proxy for ballast water-mediated PPP. We used a California-specific dataset of vessels that arrived at California ports between 2015 and 2018 to test the proposed model and demonstrate how a finite set of inspection resources can be applied to target vessels with the greatest PPP. The proposed tool is adaptable by jurisdiction, scalable to different segments of the vessel population, adjustable based on the vector of interest, and versatile because it allows combined or separate analyses of the PPP components. The approach can be adopted in any jurisdiction across the globe, especially jurisdictions without access to, or authority to collect, risk profiling data or direct measurements for all incoming vessel arrivals.

RevDate: 2021-07-01

Lingbeek B, Roberts D, Elkner T, et al (2021)

Corrigendum to: Phenology, Development, and Parasitism of Allium Leafminer (Diptera: Agromyzidae), a Recent Invasive Species in the United States.

Environmental entomology pii:6312611 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2021-07-07

El-Barougy RF, Elgamal IA, Khedr AA, et al (2021)

Contrasting alien effects on native diversity along biotic and abiotic gradients in an arid protected area.

Scientific reports, 11(1):13557.

Alien impact on native diversity could be a function of both the relatedness of alien species to native community and resources availability. Here, we investigated whether alien plants expand or decrease the functional and phylogenetic space of native plant communities, and how this is affected by alien relatedness to natives and by resources availability. We used a trait-environment dataset of 33 alien and 130 native plants in 83 pairs of invaded and non-invaded plots, covering a gradient of soil resources (organic matter-nitrogen) in Saint-Katherine-Protectorate, Egypt. First, we compared the changes in native composition and calculated alien relatedness to natives within each pair of plots. Second, we tested the effects of resources availability and relatedness on the magnitude of alien impact (defined as a change in native diversity). We found that native composition was phylogenetically less but functionally more diverse in invaded plots compared to non-invaded ones. Moreover, in resources-rich plots, dissimilar aliens to natives significantly increased native diversity, while in resource-limited ones, similar aliens to natives declined native diversity. These results suggest that the assessment of alien impacts in arid-regions is significantly linked to resources-availability and relatedness to natives. Hence, future studies should test the generality of our findings in different environments.

RevDate: 2021-07-11

Ortego J, Céspedes V, Millán A, et al (2021)

Genomic data support multiple introductions and explosive demographic expansions in a highly invasive aquatic insect.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The study of the genetic makeup and demographic fate of alien species is essential to understand their capacity to recover from founder effects, adapt to new environmental conditions and, ultimately, become invasive and potentially damaging. Here, we employ genomic data to gain insights into key demographic processes that might help to explain the extraordinarily successful invasion of the Western Mediterranean region by the North American boatman Trichocorixa verticalis (Hemiptera: Corixidae). Our analyses revealed the genetic distinctiveness of populations from the main areas comprising the invasive range and coalescent-based simulations supported that they originated from independent introductions events probably involving different source populations. Testing of alternative demographic models indicated that all populations experienced a strong bottleneck followed by a recent and instantaneous demographic expansion that restored a large portion (>30%) of their ancestral effective population sizes shortly after introductions took place (<60 years ago). Considerable genetic admixture of some populations suggest that hypothetical barriers to dispersal (i.e., land and sea water) are permeable to gene flow and/or that they originated from introductions involving multiple lineages. This study demonstrates the repeated arrival of propagules with different origins and short time lags between arrival and establishment, emphasizing the extraordinary capacity of the species to recover from founder effects and genetically admix in invaded areas. This can explain the demonstrated capacity of this aquatic insect to spread and outcompete native species once it colonizes new suitable regions. Future genomic analyses of native range populations could help to infer the genetic makeup of introduced populations and track invasion routes.

RevDate: 2021-07-01

Alexander JA, Fick WH, Ogden SB, et al (2021)

Effects of prescribed fire timing on vigor of the invasive forb sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata), total forage biomass accumulation, plant-community composition, and native fauna on tallgrass prairie in the Kansas Flint Hills.

Translational animal science, 5(2):txab079.

The predominant grazing-management practice of the Kansas Flint Hills involves annual prescribed burning in March or April with postfire grazing by yearling beef cattle at a high stocking density from April to August. There has been a dramatic increase in sericea lespedeza (Lespedeza cuneata [Dumont] G. Don) coincident with this temporally focused use of prescribed fire in the Flint Hills region. The species is an aggressive invader and a statewide noxious weed in Kansas. Control has generally been attempted using repeated herbicide applications. This approach has not limited proliferation of sericea lespedeza and resulted in collateral damage to nontarget flora and fauna. Alternative timing of prescribed fire has not been evaluated for its control. Our objectives for this 4-yr experiment were to (1) document the effects of prescribed burning during early April, early August, or early September on vigor of sericea lespedeza, standing forage biomass, and basal cover of native graminoids, forbs, and shrubs and (2) measure responses to fire regimes by grassland bird and butterfly communities. Whole-plant dry mass, basal cover, and seed production of sericea lespedeza were markedly less (P < 0.01) in areas treated with prescribed fire in August or September compared with April. Forage biomass did not differ (P ≥ 0.43) among treatments when measured during July; moreover, frequencies of bare soil, litter, and total basal plant cover were not different (P ≥ 0.29) among treatments. Combined basal covers of C4 grasses, C3 grasses, annual grasses, forbs, and shrubs also did not differ (P ≥ 0.11) between treatments. Densities of grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), dickcissel (Spiza americana), and eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna) were not negatively affected (P > 0.10) by midsummer or late-summer fires relative to early-spring fires. There were no differences (P > 0.10) in densities of grassland-specialist butterfly species across fire regimes. Under the conditions of our experiment, prescribed burning during summer produced no detrimental effects on forage production, desirable nontarget plant species, grassland birds, or butterfly communities but had strong suppressive effects on sericea lespedeza. Additional research is warranted to investigate how to best incorporate late-summer prescribed fire into common grazing-management practices in the Kansas Flint Hills.

RevDate: 2021-06-30

Anderson D, Negishi Y, Ishiniwa H, et al (2021)

Introgression dynamics from invasive pigs into wild boar following the March 2011 natural and anthropogenic disasters at Fukushima.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 288(1953):20210874.

Natural and anthropogenic disasters have the capability to cause sudden extrinsic environmental changes and long-lasting perturbations including invasive species, species expansion and influence evolution as selective pressures force adaption. Such disasters occurred on 11 March 2011, in Fukushima, Japan, when an earthquake, tsunami and meltdown of a nuclear power plant all drastically reformed anthropogenic land use. Using genetic data, we demonstrate how wild boar (Sus scrofa leucomystax) have persevered against these environmental changes, including an invasion of escaped domestic pigs (Sus scrofa domesticus). Concurrently, we show evidence of successful hybridization between pigs and native wild boar in this area; however in future offspring, the pig legacy has been diluted through time. We speculate that the range expansion dynamics inhibit long-term introgression and introgressed alleles will continue to decrease at each generation while only maternally inherited organelles will persist. Using the gene flow data among wild boar, we assume that offspring from hybrid lineages will continue dispersal north at low frequencies as climates warm. We conclude that future risks for wild boar in this area include intraspecies competition, revitalization of human-related disruptions and disease outbreaks.

RevDate: 2021-07-08
CmpDate: 2021-07-08

Constantino R (2021)

Termite taxonomy from 20012021: the contribution of Zootaxa.

Zootaxa, 4979(1):222223 pii:zootaxa.4979.1.22.

Termites comprise a relatively small group of insects, with 3176 known species (2976 living and 200 fossil) (Constantino 2020). They include, however, very important urban and agricultural pests, and also major decomposers of plant matter in terrestrial ecosystems, especially in the tropics. For instance, the annual economic impact of a single invasive termite species, Coptotermes formosanus, was estimated as US$11 billion in the United States in 1999 (Su 2002), placing it among the most important insect pests in the world.

RevDate: 2021-07-08
CmpDate: 2021-07-08

Gordon DP, PE Bock (2021)

Phylum Bryozoa Ehrenberg, 1831 in the first twenty years of Zootaxa.

Zootaxa, 4979(1):236239 pii:zootaxa.4979.1.27.

This short account is an invited contribution to the Zootaxa special volume 'Twenty years of Zootaxa.' Zootaxa was first published on 28 May 2001. Between this date and December 2020, 116 papers were published in Zootaxa that mention Bryozoa, comprising mostly descriptions of new species and higher taxa, but also including molecular sequencing (e.g. Fehlauer-Ale et al. 2011; Taylor et al. 2011; Franjevic et al. 2015), invasive-species research (e.g. Ryland et al. 2014; Vieira et al. 2014), checklists (e.g. Vieira et al. 2008), classification (e.g. Bock Gordon 2013), bryozoans as associates of other organisms (e.g. Rudman 2007; Chatterjee Dovgal 2020; Chatterjee et al. 2020), metazoan phylogeny (e.g. Giribet et al. 2013), biographies of historical figures who worked on bryozoans (e.g. Calder Brinkmann-Voss 2011; Calder 2015) and a catalogue of the fossil invertebrate taxa described by William Gabb (including 67 bryozoan species) (Groves Squires 2018). Of the 116 papers, 15 (13%) were open-access.


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

long standard version

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