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28 Feb 2020 at 01:42
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 28 Feb 2020 at 01:42 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: 2020-02-27

Thomas JR, Robinson CV, Mrugała A, et al (2020)

Crayfish plague affects juvenile survival and adult behaviour of invasive signal crayfish.

Parasitology pii:S0031182020000165 [Epub ahead of print].

The spread of invasive, non-native species is a key threat to biodiversity. Parasites can play a significant role by influencing their invasive host's survival or behaviour, which can subsequently alter invasion dynamics. The North American signal crayfish (Pacifastacus leniusculus) is a known carrier of Aphanomyces astaci, an oomycete pathogen that is the causative agent of crayfish plague and fatal to European crayfish species, whereas North American species are considered to be largely resistant. There is some evidence, however, that North American species, can also succumb to crayfish plague, though how A. astaci affects such 'reservoir hosts' is rarely considered. Here, we tested the impact of A. astaci infection on signal crayfish, by assessing juvenile survival and adult behaviour following exposure to A. astaci zoospores. Juvenile signal crayfish suffered high mortality 4-weeks post-hatching, but not as older juveniles. Furthermore, adult signal crayfish with high-infection levels displayed altered behaviours, being less likely to leave the water, explore terrestrial areas and exhibit escape responses. Overall, we reveal that A. astaci infection affects signal crayfish to a much greater extent than previously considered, which may not only have direct consequences for invasions, but could substantially affect commercially harvested signal crayfish stocks worldwide.

RevDate: 2020-02-27
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

Tolley-Jordan LR, MA Chadwick (2019)

Effects of Parasite Infection and Host Body Size on Habitat Associations of Invasive Aquatic Snails: Implications for Environmental Monitoring.

Journal of aquatic animal health, 31(1):121-128.

The Comal River, a spring-fed system in central Texas, was invaded in the 1960s by two Asian aquatic snails (Thiaridae: red-rimmed melania Melanoides tuberculata and quilted melania Tarebia granifera) and subsequently by three of their trematode parasites (the avian eye-fluke Philophthalmus gralli in the 1960s; the gill trematode Centrocestus formosanus in the 1990s; and the intestinal fluke Haplorchis pumilio in the 2000s). Previous snail collections (2001-2002) established that habitat conditions significantly affect the distribution of both snail species. However, the effects of snail size (known to influence infection prevalence) and habitat conditions (known to influence snail size) on trematode infection patterns in this system were not evaluated. In a re-evaluation of this data set, logistic regression analyses with individual snails showed that for both M. tuberculata and T. granifera populations, large snails were more likely to be infected than small snails, and habitat conditions were significantly related to infection in T. granifera. However, only snail size was significant in explaining the probability of infection in M. tuberculata. This result was confirmed by linear regression models, which showed that both infected and noninfected M. tuberculata used similar habitats, as large individuals in both infection categories were found in patches dominated by fine substrates and high levels of aquatic vegetation and detritus. For the large size-class of T. granifera, noninfected individuals were found primarily in habitats with silt/sand substrates and high vegetation and detritus cover, while infected individuals occurred among all available habitats. Using these results, we suggest that targeted sampling of large individuals of M. tuberculata in habitats with high detritus and vegetation and large individuals of T. granifera in any habitat can be used to efficiently ascertain parasite "hot spots" and to evaluate changes in parasite prevalence or detect the invasion of new parasites in these thiarid snails.

RevDate: 2020-02-27
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

Burns JH, Murphy JE, YL Zheng (2019)

Tests of alternative evolutionary models are needed to enhance our understanding of biological invasions.

The New phytologist, 222(2):701-707.

Contents Summary 701 I. Introduction 701 II. Why we need an explicitly evolutionary perspective 702 III. A case study invasion experiment 702 IV. The way forward 703 V. Conclusions 705 Acknowledgements 706 References 706 SUMMARY: Comparing models of trait evolution might generate new insights into the role of evolutionary history in biological invasions. Assumptions underlying Darwin's naturalization conundrum suggest that close relatives are functionally similar. However, newer work is suggesting more complex relationships between phylogenetic and functional distance. We present an example in which communities of close relatives are functionally divergent in leaf traits and have greater invader biomass. Such an approach leads to new questions, such as: When might selection lead to divergence between close relatives? For example, a history of sympatry might correspond with divergence. We suggest that moving beyond a simplistic version of Darwin's naturalization conundrum as alternative hypotheses will lead to a more nuanced view on how evolution has shaped biological invasions.

RevDate: 2020-02-27
CmpDate: 2020-02-27

van Boheemen LA, Atwater DZ, KA Hodgins (2019)

Rapid and repeated local adaptation to climate in an invasive plant.

The New phytologist, 222(1):614-627.

Biological invasions provide opportunities to study evolutionary processes occurring over contemporary timescales. To explore the speed and repeatability of adaptation, we examined the divergence of life-history traits to climate, using latitude as a proxy, in the native North American and introduced European and Australian ranges of the annual plant Ambrosia artemisiifolia. We explored niche changes following introductions using climate niche dynamic models. In a common garden, we examined trait divergence by growing seeds collected across three ranges with highly distinct demographic histories. Heterozygosity-fitness associations were used to explore the effect of invasion history on potential success. We accounted for nonadaptive population differentiation using 11 598 single nucleotide polymorphisms. We revealed a centroid shift to warmer, wetter climates in the introduced ranges. We identified repeated latitudinal divergence in life-history traits, with European and Australian populations positioned at either end of the native clines. Our data indicate rapid and repeated adaptation to local climates despite the recent introductions and a bottleneck limiting genetic variation in Australia. Centroid shifts in the introduced ranges suggest adaptation to more productive environments, potentially contributing to trait divergence between the ranges.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Tijjani M, Majid RA, Abdullahi SA, et al (2020)

Detection of rodent-borne parasitic pathogens of wild rats in Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia: A potential threat to human health.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 11:174-182 pii:S2213-2244(20)30008-0.

Rodent species, such as Rattus rattus diardii and Rattus norvegicus are invasive species of wild rats that serve as potential reservoirs of important human's pathogens. Parasitic zoonosis accounts for over 60% of all human infectious diseases worldwide. This situation arises from the recent changes in the global climate and ecosystem composition, which led to the spread of rodents and rodent-borne pathogens globally. The aim of this study was to determine the occurrence of rodent's parasites and their zoonotic potentials in some selected areas in UPM. Rodents were captured using live-traps and euthanised for helminths and protozoan recovery. Intestinal parasites were detected and identified from stool samples using formalin ethyl-acetate concentration technique (FECT), while tissue parasites were identified by histopathological examination of selected tissue sections of the liver, brain, lungs, and muscle. In this study, a total of 89 wild rats were captured. Twelve species of intestinal and tissue parasites were recorded, of which, Taenia taeniaeformis accounts for the highest infection recorded (28%) followed by Hymenolepis nana (19.5%) and Capillaria hepatica (19.1%), while Toxoplasma gondii was the least parasite (6.7%) identified. Furthermore, other parasites species observed include, Cryptosporidium spp. (21.3%), Entamoeba histolytica/Entamoeba dispar and Moniliformis moniliformis (17.9%), Angiostrongylus cantonensis (16.8%), Hymenolepis diminuta (16.1%), Giardia spp. (14.6%), Trichuris spp. (12.3%), and Sarcocystis spp. (6.74). Based on the results obtained in the present study, 17.1% and 15.4% of the rodents captured were confirmed positive for at least one species of intestinal or tissue parasites, respectively. The presence of these zoonotic parasites in the wild rats suggests the potential risk of rodent-borne zoonotic disease transmission to humans. Hence, the need to improved rats control intervention and public health awareness among the populace.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Smith KR, Barthman-Thompson LM, Estrella SK, et al (2020)

Demography of the salt marsh harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys raviventris halicoetes) and associated rodents in tidal and managed wetlands.

Journal of mammalogy, 101(1):129-142.

Suisun Marsh (Solano County, California) is the largest contiguous marsh remaining on the West Coast of the United States, and makes up approximately 10% of the wetlands remaining in the San Francisco Estuary. Suisun Marsh has been safeguarded from development through the operation of over 100 privately owned waterfowl hunting clubs, which manage for diked waterfowl habitat. However, this management-and the subsequent loss of tidal influence-has been considered harmful for some species, including the endangered salt marsh harvest mouse (SMHM; Reithrodontomys raviventris). To determine the value of tidal wetlands relative to those managed for waterfowl, we performed periodic surveys for rodents in managed and tidal wetlands over 5 years, and used capture-mark-recapture analyses to estimate demographic parameters and abundance for the three most common rodents-the northern SMHM (R. r. halicoetes), the western harvest mouse (a sympatric native species; R. megalotis, WHM), and the house mouse (a sympatric invasive species; Mus musculus). Wetland type had no effect on detection, temporary emigration, or survival for any of these species. However, fecundity and population growth for all three species were affected by an interaction of season and wetland type, although none of these parameters was consistently superior in either habitat type. Estimated abundance of SMHM and Mus was similar in both wetland types, whereas WHM were more abundant in managed wetlands. Salt marsh harvest mice also showed no affinity for any microhabitat characteristics associated with tidal wetlands. Managed wetlands in Suisun Marsh support SMHM and Mus equally, and abundances of WHM were greater than in tidal wetlands, suggesting managed wetlands may be superior in terms of supporting native rodents. As climate change and sea level rise are predicted to threaten coastal marshes, these results suggest the recovery strategy for SMHM could incorporate managed wetlands.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Neel LK, Curlis JD, Kinsey CK, et al (2020)

Acclimatization in the physiological performance of an introduced ectotherm.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:jeb.201517 [Epub ahead of print].

Phenotypic flexibility may facilitate range expansion by allowing organisms to maintain high levels of performance when introduced to novel environments. Phenotypic flexibility, such as reversible acclimatization, permits organisms to achieve high performance over a wide range of environmental conditions, without the costly allocation or acquisition tradeoffs associated with behavioral thermoregulation, which may expedite range expansions in introduced species. The northern curly-tailed lizard, Leiocephalus carinatus, was introduced to the United States in the 1940s and is now established in southern Florida. We measured bite force and the thermal sensitivity of sprinting of L. carinatus during the winter and spring to determine how morphology and performance varied seasonally. We found evidence of seasonal variation in several aspects of physiological performance. Lizards sampled in spring sprinted faster and tolerated higher temperatures, while lizards sampled in winter had high performance over a wider range of temperatures. Furthermore, seasonal differences in physiology were only detected after generating thermal reaction norms. Both sprint and bite force performance did not differ seasonally when solely comparing performance at a common temperature. No seasonal relationships between morphology and performance were detected. Our results suggest that L. carinatus may use reversible acclimatization to maintain high levels of performance across seasons not typically experienced within their native range. Thermal physiology plasticity may ameliorate the impacts of sub-optimal temperatures on performance without the cost of behavioral thermoregulation. Our work highlights the importance of utilizing reaction norms when evaluating performance and the potential ecological impacts of introduced species.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Effah E, Barrett DP, Peterson PG, et al (2020)

Natural Variation in Volatile Emissions of the Invasive Weed Calluna vulgaris in New Zealand.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:plants9020283.

Invasive plants pose a threat to natural ecosystems, changing the community composition and ecological dynamics. One aspect that has received little attention is the production and emission of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by invasive plants. Investigating VOCs is important because they are involved in vital ecological interactions such as pollination, herbivory and plant competition. Heather, Calluna vulgaris, is a major invasive weed in New Zealand, especially on the Central Plateau, where it has spread rapidly since its introduction in 1912, outcompeting native species. However, the chemical behaviour of heather in its invaded ranges is poorly understood. We aimed to explore the natural variation in volatile emissions of heather and the biotic and abiotic factors influencing them on the Central Plateau of New Zealand. To this end, foliar volatiles produced by heather at four different sites were collected and analysed using gas chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry. Soil properties, herbivory and other environmental data were also collected at each site to investigate their effects on VOC emissions using generalised linear models (GLMs). Our results reveal significant differences in VOC emissions between sites and suggest that soil nutrients are the main factor accounting for these differences. Herbivory and temperature had only a minor effect, while soil water content had no impact. Further studies are needed to investigate how these variations in the invasive plant's foliar volatiles influence native species.

RevDate: 2020-02-26

Drakou K, Nikolaou T, Vasquez M, et al (2020)

The Effect of Weather Variables on Mosquito Activity: A Snapshot of the Main Point of Entry of Cyprus.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(4): pii:ijerph17041403.

Mosquitoes are vectors of pathogens, causing human and animal diseases. Their ability to adapt and expand worldwide increases spread of mosquito-borne diseases. Climate changes contribute in enhancing these "epidemic conditions". Understanding the effect of weather variables on mosquito seasonality and host searching activity contributes towards risk control of the mosquito-borne disease outbreaks. To enable early detection of Aedes invasive species we developed a surveillance network for both invasive and native mosquitoes at the main point of entry for the first time in Cyprus. Mosquito sampling was carried out for one year (May 2017-June 2018), at bimonthly intervals around Limassol port. Morphological and molecular identification confirmed the presence of 5 species in the study region: Culex. pipiens, Aedes detritus, Ae. caspius, Culiseta longiareolata and Cs. annulata. No invasive Aedes mosquito species were detected. The Pearson's correlation and multiple linear regression were used to compare number of sampled mosquitoes and weather variables for three most numerous species (Cx. pipiens, Ae. detritus and Ae. caspius). The population densities of the most numerous species were highest from February to April. Number of Cx. pipiens (-0.48), Ae. detritus (-0.40) and Ae. caspius (-0.38) specimens sampled was negatively correlated with average daily temperature. Monthly relative humidity showed positive correlation with the numbers of the species sampled, Cx. pipiens (0.66) Ae. detritus (0.68), and Ae. caspius (0.71). Mosquito abundance of Cx. pipiens (0.97) and Ae. detritus (0.98) was strongly correlated to seasonal precipitation as well. Our work is a stepping stone to further stimulate implementation of International Health Regulations and implementation of early warning surveillance system for detection of invasive Aedes mosquitoes, native mosquitoes and arboviruses they may transmit. A network for the surveillance of both invasive and native mosquito species at the main point of entry for the first time in Cyprus was developed. Number of mosquitoes sampled was correlated with weather factors to identify parameters that might predict mosquito activity and species distribution to the prevention of international spread of vector mosquitoes and vector-borne diseases.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Mullin BR, FB Reyda (2020)

High Prevalence of the Copepod Salmincola californiensis in Steelhead Trout in Lake Ontario Following its Recent Invasion.

The Journal of parasitology, 106(1):198-200.

Salmincola californiensis (Dana, 1853) (Subclass Copepoda: Family Lernaeopodidae) is known to parasitize salmonids of the genus Oncorhynchus including Oncorhynchus mykiss (rainbow trout), Oncorhynchus tshawytscha (chinook salmon), and Oncorhynchus kisutch (coho salmon). These 3 salmonids have been introduced to the Great Lakes intermittently since the mid-1800s. As we demonstrate here, the introduction of these salmonids to the Great Lakes was followed, at some point, by the introduction of their parasitic gill copepod, S. californiensis. Given anecdotal accounts of S. californiensis in introduced salmonids in Lake Ontario since 2012, we chose to conduct a survey to formally document the occurrence of this introduced species. Our survey took place during spring, summer, and fall of 2018 and during spring of 2019 at the south-eastern side of Lake Ontario. Prevalence of S. californiensis was 69, with a mean intensity of 2.7 in 61 rainbow trout examined in 2018. In 2019, prevalence of S. californiensis was 71, with a mean intensity of 3.6 in 59 rainbow trout examined. The prevalence of S. californiensis was 39, with a mean intensity of 1.6 in 223 chinook salmon examined in 2018. No specimens of S. californiensis were found in the 100 coho salmon examined in 2018. The prevalence of S. californiensis in rainbow trout is of great concern considering that it is double that found in rainbow trout in the native range (69 [in 2018] and 71 [in 2019] vs. 35). This is the first formal documentation of the invasion of S. californiensis in Lake Ontario. Future fisheries management decisions in Lake Ontario and its tributaries should take into account these data.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Erm P, BL Phillips (2020)

Evolution Transforms Pushed Waves into Pulled Waves.

The American naturalist, 195(3):E87-E99.

Understanding the dynamics of biological invasions is crucial for managing numerous phenomena, from invasive species to tumors. While the Allee effect (where individuals in low-density populations suffer lowered fitness) is known to influence both the ecological and the evolutionary dynamics of an invasion, the possibility that an invader's susceptibility to the Allee effect might itself evolve has received little attention. Since invasion fronts are regions of perpetually low population density, selection should be expected to favor vanguard invaders that are resistant to Allee effects. This may not only cause invasions to accelerate over time but, by mitigating the Allee effects experienced by the vanguard, also make the invasion transition from a pushed wave, propelled by dispersal from behind the invasion front, to a pulled wave, driven instead by the invasion vanguard. To examine this possibility, we construct an individual-based model in which a trait that governs resistance to the Allee effect is allowed to evolve during an invasion. We find that vanguard invaders evolve resistance to the Allee effect, causing invasions to accelerate. This results in invasions transforming from pushed waves to pulled waves, an outcome with consequences for invasion speed, population genetic structure, and other emergent behaviors. These findings underscore the importance of accounting for evolution in invasion forecasts and suggest that evolution has the capacity to fundamentally alter invasion dynamics.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Sirsi S, Marsh MJ, MRJ Forstner (2020)

Evaluating the effects of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on juvenile Houston Toads (Bufo [=Anaxyrus] houstonensis) in Colorado County, TX.

PeerJ, 8:e8480 pii:8480.

The spread of invasive species is considered a major threat to biodiversity, second only to habitat loss. Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta) are a globally invasive species with negative impacts reported on native invertebrate and vertebrate species. Federally endangered Houston Toads (Bufo [=Anaxyrus] houstonensis), endemic to Texas, are among the vertebrates reportedly negatively impacted by Red Imported Fire Ants (RIFA). Threats posed by RIFA to Houston Toads needed to be explicitly characterized. Large-scale chemical treatments to suppress RIFA and facilitate brood survival in Attwater's prairie-chickens (Tympanuchus cupido attwateri) at the Attwater Prairie Chicken National Wildlife Refuge (APCNWR) afforded us an opportunity to experimentally examine the influence of RIFA abundance on juvenile Houston Toad growth and survival. We also sought to examine whether juvenile Houston Toads could grow and survive in a vegetation type similar to a historic species locality. We conducted a terrestrial mesocosm experiment to test whether the application of bait-driven suppressant decreased counts of RIFA relative to untreated sites. We examined whether counts of native ant and non-ant native invertebrates were higher in response to potential decreases in RIFA. We compared growth and survival rates in juvenile Houston Toads among treated and untreated sites, expecting juvenile growth and survival to be higher in response to potentially decreased RIFA counts and increased native invertebrate counts. We saw lower counts of RIFA in treated prairies, but we also observed a decrease in native ant counts possibly due to chemical treatment. Therefore, the application of bait-driven suppressant may not affect RIFA alone. We saw no difference in counts of non-ant invertebrates among treated and untreated sites. Juvenile Houston Toads did not differ in growth and survival among treated and untreated sites. We recognize that the lack of a relationship between juvenile growth and survival with a treatment effect, and therefore RIFA abundance, may be limited to APCNWR. We encourage additional experimental studies to elucidate RIFA impacts at other sites. We extrapolated apparent survival estimates from our study to one year. These appear comparable to juvenile survivorship required in simulations for Houston Toad population persistence and on this basis, we recommend that APCNWR be re-evaluated as a reintroduction site for Houston Toads. We also recommend further studies to potentially broaden the regulatory definition of Houston Toad habitat beyond the current restrictive view of canopied forest alone. Such studies would need to examine the utility of native grasslands as dispersal corridors/upland habitat for juvenile Houston Toads. Our findings emphasize the utility of experimental studies in directly examining the influence of perceived threats to imperiled species and the role of such clarifications in adapting recovery efforts.

RevDate: 2020-02-25

Zargarpour N, McKenzie CH, B Favaro (2020)

A field-based investigation of behavioural interactions between invasive green crab (Carcinus maenas), rock crab (Cancer irroratus), and American lobster (Homarus americanus) in southern Newfoundland.

PeerJ, 8:e8444 pii:8444.

Marine species invasions pose a global threat to native biodiversity and commercial fisheries. The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is one of the most successful marine invaders worldwide and has, in the last decade, invaded the southern and western coastal waters of the island of Newfoundland, Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), Canada. Impacts of green crab on the American lobster (Homarus americanus), which are native to Newfoundland, are not well understood, particularly for interactions around deployed fishing gear. Declines in lobster catch rates in invaded systems (i.e., Placentia Bay, NL), have prompted concerns among lobster fishers that green crab are interfering with lobster catch. Here, we conducted a field experiment in a recently-invaded bay (2013) in which we deployed lobster traps pre-stocked with green crab, native rock crab (Cancer irroratus) (a procedural control), or empty (control). We compared catch per unit effort across each category, and used underwater cameras to directly observe trap performance in situ. In addition, we used SCUBA surveys to determine the correlation between ambient density of lobster and green crab in the ecosystem and the catch processes of lobster in traps. We found: (1) Regardless of the species of crab stocked, crab presence reduced the total number of lobster that attempted to enter the trap, and also reduced entry success rate, (2) lobster consumed green crab, rock crab and other lobster inside traps and (3) there was a positive association between lobster catch and ambient lobster density. Our results suggest that while there was a relationship between in-trap crab density and trap catch rates, it was not linked to the non-native/native status of the crab species.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Coulter DP, Wang P, Coulter AA, et al (2019)

Nonlinear relationship between Silver Carp density and their eDNA concentration in a large river.

PloS one, 14(6):e0218823 pii:PONE-D-19-05418.

Although environmental DNA (eDNA) is increasingly being used to survey for the presence of rare and/or invasive fishes in aquatic systems, the utility of this technique has been limited by a poor understanding of whether and how eDNA concentrations relate to fish density, especially in rivers. We conducted a field study to systematically test whether the eDNA released by a model invasive fish, Silver Carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), was related to the density of this species in a large river. We quantified fish density throughout the 460 km long Illinois River using hydroacoustic surveys at 23 sites while concurrently collecting 192 surface water samples for eDNA analysis. We found that Silver Carp numerical density and biomass density were positively and non-linearly related to eDNA concentration and detection rate. Both eDNA concentration (copy number) and detection rate increased rapidly as Silver Carp density increased but plateaued at moderate densities. These relationships could prove useful for estimating Silver Carp relative abundance in newly invaded locations where population numbers are low to moderate. Future studies should explore the causes of this nonlinear relationship as it would ultimately benefit aquatic species monitoring and management programs.

RevDate: 2020-02-24
CmpDate: 2020-02-24

Aslan CE (2019)

Implications of non-native species for mutualistic network resistance and resilience.

PloS one, 14(6):e0217498 pii:PONE-D-19-01866.

Resilience theory aims to understand and predict ecosystem state changes resulting from disturbances. Non-native species are ubiquitous in ecological communities and integrated into many described ecological interaction networks, including mutualisms. By altering the fitness landscape and rewiring species interactions, such network invasion may carry important implications for ecosystem resistance and resilience under continued environmental change. Here, I hypothesize that the tendency of established non-native species to be generalists may make them more likely than natives to occupy central network roles and may link them to the resistance and resilience of the overall network. I use a quantitative research synthesis of 58 empirical pollination and seed dispersal networks, along with extinction simulations, to examine the roles of known non-natives in networks. I show that non-native species in networks enhance network redundancy and may thereby bolster the ecological resistance or functional persistence of ecosystems in the face of disturbance. At the same time, non-natives are unlikely to partner with specialist natives, thus failing to support the resilience of native species assemblages. Non-natives significantly exceed natives in network centrality, normalized degree, and Pollination Service Index. Networks containing non-natives exhibit lower connectance, more links on average, and higher generality and vulnerability than networks lacking non-natives. As environmental change progresses, specialists are particularly likely to be impacted, reducing species diversity in many communities and network types. This work implies that functional diversity may be retained but taxonomic diversity decline as non-native species become established in networks worldwide.

RevDate: 2020-02-22

Hock M, Plos C, Sporbert M, et al (2020)

Combined Effects of UV-B and Drought on Native and Exotic Populations of Verbascum thapsus L.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:plants9020269.

During plant invasions, exotic species have to face new environmental challenges and are affected by interacting components of global change, which may include more stressful environmental conditions. We investigated an invasive species of New Zealand grasslands, commonly exposed to two concomitant and limiting abiotic factors-high levels of ultraviolet-B radiation and drought. The extent to which Verbascum thapsus may respond to these interacting stress factors via adaptive responses was assessed in a greenhouse experiment comprising native German plants and plants of exotic New Zealand origins. Plants from both origins were grown within four treatments resulting from the crossed combinations of two levels of UV-B and drought. Over twelve weeks, we recorded growth, morphological characteristics, physiological responses and productivity. The results showed that drought stress had the strongest effect on biomass, morphology and physiology. Significant effects of UV-B radiation were restricted to variables of leaf morphology and physiology. We found neither evidence for additive effects of UV-B and drought nor origin-dependent stress responses that would indicate local adaptation of native or exotic populations. We conclude that drought-resistant plant species might be predisposed to handle high UV-B levels, but emphasize the importance of setting comparable magnitudes in stress levels when testing experimentally for antagonistic interaction effects between two manipulated factors.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

LaForgia ML, Harrison SP, AM Latimer (2020)

Invasive species interact with climatic variability to reduce success of natives.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Plants have evolved resource-conservative and resource-acquisitive strategies to deal with variability in rainfall, but interactions with dominant invasive species may undermine these adaptations. To investigate the relative effect of invaders on species with these two strategies, we manipulated rainfall and invasive grass presence and measured demographic rates in three resource-acquisitive and three resource-conservative native annual forbs. We found that invasive grasses were harmful to all of the target species, but especially the resource-acquisitive ones, and that these effects were stronger under experimental drought. Invasive grass presence under drought lowered per capita population growth rates of acquisitive natives through increased mortality and decreased seed set. While invasive grasses also decreased per capita growth rates of resource-conservative natives, they did so by increasing mortality under experimental watering and by limiting the production of seed under experimental drought. Invasive species can thus interact with climatic fluctuations to make bad years worse for resource-acquisitive natives and good years less good for resource-conservative natives, and they may generally tend to undermine the acquisitive strategy more than the conservative one.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Uesugi A, Baker DJ, de Silva N, et al (2020)

A lack of genetically compatible mates constrains the spread of an invasive weed.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Introduced populations often experience lag-times prior to invasion, but the mechanisms constraining rapid expansions of introduced populations are unclear. Solidago altissima is a North American native plant with highly invasive Japanese populations, and introduced Australian populations that are not invasive despite the climatic and ecological suitability of the region. By contrasting Australian with Japanese populations, we tested the hypothesis that Australian population growth is limited by a lack of long-distance dispersal via seeds due to limited number of compatible mates. In the field, Australian populations rarely produced viable seeds. A cross-pollination experiment found that Australian plants are fertile, yet lack compatible mates within Australia. Genetic analysis revealed that Australian individuals descend from a small set of self-incompatible genetic clones, which explains the negligible seed set within Australia. Our results show that low genetic diversity, leading to mate incompatibility, inhibits invasiveness of Australian S. altissima, and provides compelling evidence for genetic, rather than ecological, factors constraining invasion in Australia.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Lewis CD, Levine BA, Vargo EL, et al (2020)

Recent Detection of Multiple Populations of the Tropical Bed Bug (Hemiptera: Cimicidae) Exhibiting kdr-Associated Mutations in Hawaii.

Journal of medical entomology pii:5743104 [Epub ahead of print].

In recent years, bed bugs have experienced a remarkable resurgence on a near global scale. While reports have primarily focused on the common bed bug, Cimex lectularius (L.), which has resurged largely in temperate regions, in tropical regions the tropical bed bug, Cimex hemipterus (F.) (Hemiptera: Cimicidae), has reemerged as well. Recent reports of C. hemipterus introductions to subtropical and temperate regions, outside of the species natural distribution, suggest the potential for establishment and further spread. Establishment may be aided by insecticide resistance mechanisms, such as the presence of knockdown resistance (kdr)-associated mutations, which potentially confer resistance to pyrethroid, pyrethrin, and organochloride insecticides. Here, we present the first report of the detection and likely establishment of C. hemipterus in Honolulu, Hawaii, from samples collected in 2009 and 2019. Furthermore, through partial sequencing of the voltage-gated sodium channel, we report the presence of kdr-associated mutations in all samples. These findings have implications for the implementation of control strategies aimed at eradicating infestations.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Herrando-Moraira S, Vitales D, Nualart N, et al (2020)

Global distribution patterns and niche modelling of the invasive Kalanchoe × houghtonii (Crassulaceae).

Scientific reports, 10(1):3143 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-60079-2.

Invasive alien species are currently considered one of the main threats to global biodiversity. One of the most rapidly expanding invasive plants in recent times is Kalanchoe × houghtonii (Crassulaceae), an artificial hybrid created in the 1930s in the United States by experimental crossings between K. daigremontiana and K. tubiflora, two species endemic to Madagascar. Thanks to its large colonizing capacity (mainly derived from the production of asexual plantlets), K. × houghtonii soon escaped from cultivation and quickly spread in many parts of the world. However, its actual range is not well known due to the lack of a formal description until recent times (2006) and its strong morphological resemblance with one of its parentals (K. daigremontiana). The present study was aimed, in the first instance, to delimit the present distribution area of K. × houghtonii at the global scale by gathering and validating all its occurrences and to track its colonization history. Currently, K. × houghtonii can be found on all continents except Antarctica, although it did not reach a global distribution until the 2000s. Its potential distribution, estimated with MaxEnt modelling software, is mainly centered in subtropical regions, from 20° to 40° of both northern and southern latitudes, mostly in areas with a high anthropogenic activity. Unexpectedly, concomitant to a poleward migration, future niche models suggest a considerable reduction of its range by up to one-third compared to the present, which might be related with the Crassulaceaean Acid Metabolism (CAM) of K. × houghtonii. Further research may shed light as to whether a decrease in potential habitats constitutes a general pattern for Crassulaceae and CAM plants.

RevDate: 2020-02-21

Smyser TJ, Tabak MA, Slootmaker C, et al (2020)

Mixed ancestry from wild and domestic lineages contributes to the rapid expansion of invasive feral swine.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species are a significant threat to both economic and ecological systems. Identifying processes that give rise to invasive populations is essential for implementing effective control strategies. We conducted an ancestry analysis of invasive feral swine (Sus scrofa, Linnaeus, 1758), a highly destructive ungulate that is widely distributed throughout the contiguous United States, to describe introduction pathways, sources of newly-emergent populations, and processes contributing to an ongoing invasion. Comparisons of high-density single nucleotide polymorphism genotypes for 6,566 invasive feral swine to a comprehensive reference set of S. scrofa revealed that the vast majority of feral swine were of mixed ancestry, with dominant genetic associations to Western heritage breeds of domestic pig and European populations of wild boar. Further, the rapid expansion of invasive feral swine over the past 30 years was attributable to secondary introductions from established populations of admixed ancestry as opposed to direct introductions of domestic breeds or wild boar. Spatially-widespread genetic associations of invasive feral swine to European wild boar deviated strongly from historical S. scrofa introduction pressure, which was largely restricted to domestic pigs with infrequent, localized wild boar releases. The deviation between historical introduction pressure and contemporary genetic ancestry suggests wild boar-hybridization may contribute to differential fitness in the environment and heightened invasive potential for individuals of admixed domestic pig-wild boar ancestry.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Johnson MKA, Johnson OPJ, Johnson RA, et al (2020)

The role of spines in anthropogenic seed dispersal on the Galápagos Islands.

Ecology and evolution, 10(3):1639-1647 pii:ECE36020.

Dispersal has important ecological and evolutionary consequences for populations, but understanding the role of specific traits in dispersal can be difficult and requires careful experimentation. Moreover, understanding how humans alter dispersal is an important question, especially on oceanic islands where anthropogenic disturbance through species introductions can dramatically alter native ecosystems.In this study, we investigated the functional role of spines in seed dispersal of the plant caltrop (Tribulus cistoides L., Zygophyllaceae) by anthropogenic dispersal agents. We also tested whether humans or wildlife are more important seed dispersers of T. cistoides on the Galápagos. Tribulus cistoides is found on tropical mainland and oceanic island habitats. The dispersal structure of T. cistoides is called a mericarp, and they are typically protected by one pair of upper spines and a second pair of lower spines, but the presence and size of spines varies within and between populations. On the Galápagos, the upper and lower spines protect mericarps from seed predation by Darwin's finches. We tested whether spines play a dual role in dispersal by factorially manipulating the presence/absence of the upper and lower spines to simulate natural variation in mericarp morphology.The upper spines greatly facilitated seed dispersal, whereas the lower spines had no discernible effect on dispersal. The presence of upper spines increased dispersal rate on shoes by pedestrians 23-fold, on fabrics (e.g., towels) and cars by nearly twofold, and the presence of upper spines increased dispersal distance by cars sixfold. When comparing dispersal rates in habitats with high (roads and foot paths) versus low (arid forest) anthropogenic activity, dispersal rates were demonstrably higher in the habitats with more human activity.These results have important implications for understanding the ecology and evolution of plant dispersal in the Anthropocene. Spines on the fruits of T. cistoides play important functional roles in anthropogenic dispersal, whereas native and introduced wildlife plays a minor role in dispersal on inhabited islands of the Galápagos. Our results imply that seed predators and humans are jointly shaping the ecology and evolution of contemporary populations of T. cistoides on the Galápagos.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Li W, Zheng Y, Zhang L, et al (2020)

Postintroduction evolution contributes to the successful invasion of Chromolaena odorata.

Ecology and evolution, 10(3):1252-1263 pii:ECE35979.

The evolution of increased competitive ability (EICA) hypothesis states that, when introduced in a novel habitat, invasive species may reallocate resources from costly quantitative defense mechanisms against enemies to dispersal and reproduction; meanwhile, the refinement of EICA suggests that concentrations of toxins used for qualitative defense against generalist herbivores may increase. Previous studies considered that only few genotypes were introduced to the new range, whereas most studies to test the EICA (or the refinement of EICA) hypotheses did not consider founder effects.In this study, genetic and phenotypic data of Chromolaena odorata populations sampled across native and introduced ranges were combined to investigate the role of postintroduction evolution in the successful invasion of C. odorata.Compared with native populations, the introduced populations exhibited lower levels of genetic diversity. Moreover, different founder effects events were interpreted as the main cause of the genetic structure observed in introduced ranges. Three Florida, two Trinidad, and two Puerto Rico populations may have been the sources of the invasive C. odorata in Asia.When in free of competition conditions, C. odorata plants from introduced ranges perform better than those from native ranges at high nutrient supply but not at low nutrient level. The differences in performance due to competition were significantly greater for C. odorata plants from the native range than those from the introduced range at both nutrient levels. Moreover, the differences in performance by competition were significantly greater for putative source populations than for invasive populations.Quantities of three types of secondary compounds in leaves of invasive C. odorata populations were significantly higher than those in putative source populations. These results provide more accurate evidence that the competitive ability of the introduced C. odorata is increased with postintroduction evolution.

RevDate: 2020-02-20

Haenniger S, Goergen G, Akinbuluma MD, et al (2020)

Sexual communication of Spodoptera frugiperda from West Africa: Adaptation of an invasive species and implications for pest management.

Scientific reports, 10(1):2892 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-59708-7.

The pest species Spodoptera frugiperda, which is native to North and South America, has invaded Africa in 2016. The species consists of two strains, the corn-strain and rice-strain, which differ in their sexual communication. When we investigated populations from Benin and Nigeria, consisting of corn-strain and rice-corn-hybrid descendants, we found no strain-specific sexual communication differences. Both genotypes exhibited the same pheromone composition, consisting of around 97% (Z)-9-tetradecenyl acetate (Z9-14:Ac), 2% (Z)-7-dodecenyl acetate (Z7-12:Ac), and 1% (Z)-9-dodecenyl acetate (Z9-12:Ac), they had similar electrophysiological responses, and all mated around three hours into scotophase. However, we found geographic variation between African and American populations. The sex pheromone of African corn-strain and hybrid descendant females was similar to American rice-strain females and showed higher percentages of the male-attracting minor component Z7-12:Ac. In addition, African males exhibited the highest antennal sensitivity towards Z7-12:Ac, while American males showed highest sensitivity towards the major pheromone component Z9-14:Ac. Increasing the production of and response to the critical minor component Z7-12:Ac may reduce communication interference with other African Spodoptera species that share the same major pheromone component. The implications of our results on pheromone-based pest management strategies are discussed.

RevDate: 2020-02-20
CmpDate: 2020-02-20

He Y, Guan W, Xue D, et al (2019)

Comparison of methane emissions among invasive and native mangrove species in Dongzhaigang, Hainan Island.

The Science of the total environment, 697:133945.

The strength of methane (CH4) source of mangroves is not well understood, especially when including all CH4 pathways in consideration. This study measured CH4 fluxes by five pathways (sediments, pneumatophores, water surface, leaves, and stems) from four typical mangrove forests, including Kandelia candel without pneumatophores and three species with pneumatophores: Sonneratia apetala, Laguncularia racemosa and Bruguiera gymnorhiza-Bruguiera sexangula. The CH4 fluxes from sediments were 4.82±1.46mgCH4m-2h-1 for K. candel and 1.36±0.17mgCH4m-2h-1 for the other three with pneumatophores. Among the three communities with pneumatophores, S. apetala community had significantly greater emission rate than the other two (P<0.05). Pneumatophores in S. apetala were found to significantly decrease CH4 emission from sediments (P<0.01), while those in B. gymnorhiza-B. sexangula were significantly increase it (P<0.05). CH4 fluxes from waters were 3.48±1.11mgCH4m-2h-1, with the highest emission rate in the K. candel community for the duck farming. Leaves of mangroves except for those of K. candel were a weak CH4 daytime sink, but stems were a weak source. The total 72ha of mangroves in the Changning river basin emitted about 8.10Gg CH4 per year, with a weighted emission rate of about 1.29mgCH4m-2h-1. Our results suggested that mangroves are only a small methane source to atmosphere with great contribution from sediments and waters, only slight contribution from leaves and stems. Pneumatophores of different mangrove species played different roles in CH4 fluxes from sediments.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Negrini M, Fidelis EG, Picanço MC, et al (2020)

Mapping of the Steneotarsonemus spinki invasion risk in suitable areas for rice (Oryza sativa) cultivation using MaxEnt.

Experimental & applied acarology pii:10.1007/s10493-020-00474-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Rice is one of the most important socioeconomic crops in the world. The tarsonemid mite Steneotarsonemus spinki is one of the most destructive pests for this crop and is restricted to some regions of Asia and America. The aim of this work was to map the risk of S. spinki invasion in rice-growing areas in the world. Presence data of Oryza sativa and S. spinki obtained from the literature and bioclimatic parameters from WorldClim were analyzed in the MaxEnt program to generate suitability indices and distribution maps for each species and for the two species together. High annual mean temperature associated with low temperature annual range were the most important environmental variables for the occurrence of O. sativa and S. spinki, and low rainfall favoring S. spinki. The model indicates that there are climatic conditions for the establishment of S. spinki in important rice-producing regions, such as western and central Africa, Oceania, Asia, and North, Central, and South America. Our results are useful for the efficient establishment of phytosanitary measures to prevent the dispersal of S. spinki to new rice-producing areas.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Justine JL, Winsor L, Gey D, et al (2020)

Obama chez moi! The invasion of metropolitan France by the land planarian Obama nungara (Platyhelminthes, Geoplanidae).

PeerJ, 8:e8385 pii:8385.

Background: Obama nungara is a species of land flatworm originating from South America; the species was recently described and distinguished from a similar species, Obama marmorata. Obama nungara has invaded several countries of Europe, but the extent of the invasion has not been thoroughly mapped.

Methods: In this article, based on a five and a half-year survey undertaken by citizen science, which yielded 530 records from 2013 to 2018, we analysed information about the invasion of Metropolitan France by O. nungara. We also investigated the variability of newly obtained cytochrome c oxidase 1 (COI) sequences of specimens from France, Italy and Switzerland.

Results: Obama nungara was recorded from 72 of the 96 Departments of Metropolitan France. The species is especially abundant along the Atlantic coast, from the Spanish border to Brittany, and along the Mediterranean coast, from the Spanish border to the Italian border. More than half of the records were from an altitude below 50 m, and no record was from above 500 m; mountainous regions such as the Alps, Pyrenees and Massif Central are not invaded. Local abundance can be impressive, with 100 of specimens found in a small garden. An analysis of our new COI sequences, combined with published sequences of specimens from several countries, confirmed that three clades comprise the species. The first clade, 'Brazil', is currently confined to this country in South America; the second clade, 'Argentina 2', was found in Argentina and in Europe, only in Spain; and the third, 'Argentina 1', was found in Argentina and in Europe, in Spain, Portugal, France, UK, Italy, Belgium, and Switzerland. This suggests that two clades of O. nungara from Argentina have invaded Europe, with one widely spread.

Discussion: The present findings strongly suggest that O. nungara is a highly invasive species and that the population which has invaded several countries in Europe comes from Argentina. The wide dispersion of the species and its reported local abundance, combined with the predatory character of the species, make O. nungara a potential threat to the biodiversity and ecology of the native soil fauna in Europe, and probably the most threatening species of all invasive land planarians present in Europe.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

van Wilgen BW, Raghu S, Sheppard AW, et al (2020)

Quantifying the social and economic benefits of the biological control of invasive alien plants in natural ecosystems.

Current opinion in insect science, 38:1-5 pii:S2214-5745(20)30013-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien plants reduce ecosystem service delivery, resulting in environmental, economic and social costs. Here we review the returns on investment from biological control of alien plants that invade natural ecosystems. Quantifying the economic benefits of biological control requires estimates of the reductions in ecosystem goods and services arising from invasion. It also requires post-release monitoring to assess whether biological control can restore them, and conversion of these estimates to monetary values, which has seldom been done. Past studies, mainly from Australia and South Africa, indicate that biological control delivers positive and substantial returns on investment, with benefit:cost ratios ranging from 8:1 to over 3000:1. Recent studies are rare, but they confirm that successful biological control delivers attractive returns on investment, which increase over time as the value of avoided impacts accumulates.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Gripshover ND, BC Jayne (2020)

Visual Contrast and Intensity Affect Perch Choice of Brown Tree Snakes (Boiga irregularis) and Boa Constrictors (Boa constrictor).

Zoology (Jena, Germany), 139:125744 pii:S0944-2006(20)30003-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Habitat structure can affect animal movement both by affecting the mechanical demands of locomotion and by influencing where animals choose to go. Arboreal habitats facilitate studying path choice by animals because variation in branch structure has known mechanical consequences, and different branches create discrete choices. Recent laboratory studies have found that arboreal snakes can use vision to select shapes and locations of destinations that mechanically facilitate bridging gaps. However, the extent to which the appearance of objects unrelated to biomechanical demands affects the choice of destinations remains poorly understood for most animal taxa including snakes. Hence, we manipulated the intensity (black, gray, or white), contrast, structure, and locations of destinations to test for their combined effects on perch choice during gap bridging of brown tree snakes and boa constrictors. For a white background and a given perch structure and location, both species had significant preferences for darker perches. The preference for darker destinations was strong enough to override or reduce some preferences for biomechanically advantageous destinations such as those having secondary branches or being located closer or along a straighter trajectory. These results provide a striking example of how visual cues unrelated to the physical structure of surfaces, such as contrast and intensity, can bias choice and, in some cases, supersede a preference for mechanically beneficial surfaces. Because these two species are so phylogenetically distant, some of their similar preferences suggest a sensory bias that may be widespread in snakes. The manipulation of surface color may facilitate management of invasive species, such as the brown tree snakes, by enhancing the efficiency of traps or making certain objects less attractive to them.

RevDate: 2020-02-19

Wang W, Durden LA, R Shao (2020)

Rapid host expansion of an introduced parasite, the spiny rat louse Polyplax spinulosa (Psocodea: Phthiraptera: Polyplacidae), among endemic rodents in Australia.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):83 pii:10.1186/s13071-020-3957-y.

BACKGROUND: Historical European exploration and colonization resulted in the introduction of four species of rodents to the Australian continent from Eurasia: the brown rat, Rattus norvegicus, the black rat, R. rattus, the Pacific rat, R. exulans, and the house mouse, Mus musculus. The spread of these rodents created opportunities for their co-introduced sucking lice to parasitize and adapt to endemic rodents in Australia.

METHODS: We collected sucking lice from rodent specimens in seven museums across Australia. We identified the spiny rat louse, Polyplax spinulosa, based on morphology. We sequenced the mitochondrial cox1 and rrnL genes of P. spinulosa specimens and constructed a phylogenetic tree with rrnL sequences.

RESULTS: We examined 989 rodent specimens of 54 species and collected 2111 adult sucking lice and 1064 nymphal sucking lice. We found that P. spinulosa had nearly doubled its host range by parasitizing at least six endemic rodent species in Australia. The other two introduced lice, P. serrata and Hoplopleura pacifica, however, have apparently failed to expand to any endemic rodents in Australia. Our analysis of mitochondrial rrnL gene sequences divided P. spinulosa into two genotypes (European vs Southeast Asian), which differ by 7.5%; both genotypes were introduced into Australia and then expanded their host ranges to include endemic rodents.

CONCLUSIONS: The earliest record of a European ship landing in Australia was in 1606, followed by British settlement in 1788. The expansion of P. spinulosa to at least six endemic rodent species in Australia has therefore occurred in the time frame of 200 to 400 years, which is extremely rapid relative to its host expansion to eight native rat species in Eurasia in ~ 16 million years since it diverged from P. serrata. The host expansion of P. spinulosa is remarkable for a blood-sucking louse and is in stark contrast to the absence of host expansion by P. serrata and H. pacifica. Comparison among these three introduced sucking lice indicated that both louse-specific factors and host-specific factors can contribute to the success or failure of host expansion.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Bojko J, Behringer DC, Moler P, et al (2020)

A new lineage of crayfish-infecting Microsporidia: the Cambaraspora floridanus n. gen. n. sp. (Glugeida: Glugeidae) complex from Floridian freshwaters (USA).

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(19)30397-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Crayfish are a vital ecological asset in their native range but can be highly damaging as invasive species. Knowledge of their diseases, including high levels of research on Aphanomyces astaci (crayfish plague), show that disease plays a vital role during crayfish invasions. Microsporidian diseases in crayfish are less studied but are thought to have important links to crayfish health and invasion dynamics. In this study we provide a systematic description of a novel microsporidian parasite from the Floridian crayfish, Procambarus paeninsulanus, with additional genetic identification from related Microsporidia from Procambarus fallax, Cambarellus shufeldtii and Cambarellus blacki. This novel microsporidium from P. paeninsulanus is described in a new genus, Cambaraspora, and species, Cambaraspora floridanus, and represents a novel member of the Clade V Microsporidia within the Glugeidae. The parasite develops in the muscle tissue of P. paeninsulanus, within a sporophorous vesicle, and produces a spore with 19-21 turns of the polar filament measuring 6.136 ± 0.84 µm in length and 2.12 ± 0.23 µm in width. The muscle-infecting nature of the parasite suggests that it is horizontally transmitted. Genetic data for the 18S of the parasite from all hosts confirms its assignment to Clade V and reveal it to be a relative of multiple fish-infecting parasites. It shows closest genetic relationship to Glugea plecoglossi, but branches alongside multiple microsporidia from fish, crustaceans and eDNA isolates. The information presented here suggests that this novel parasite may have the potential to infect piscine hosts and is a likely mortality driver in the P. paeninsulanus population. Its potential as a control agent or wildlife disease invasion threat is explored, as well as the placement of this novel microsporidium within the Glugeidae.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Anton A, Geraldi NR, Lovelock CE, et al (2020)

Reply to: Indiscriminate data aggregation in ecological meta-analysis underestimates impacts of invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Solgaard Thomsen M (2020)

Indiscriminate data aggregation in ecological meta-analysis underestimates impacts of invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-02-19
CmpDate: 2020-02-19

Li N, Li L, Zhang Y, et al (2020)

Monitoring of the invasion of Spartina alterniflora from 1985 to 2015 in Zhejiang Province, China.

BMC ecology, 20(1):7.

BACKGROUND: Spartina alterniflora is an invasive plant on the coast of China that replaces native vegetation and has a serious negative impact on local ecosystems. Monitoring the spatial distribution of S. alterniflora and its changes over time can reveal its expansion mechanism, which is crucial for the management of coastal ecosystems. The purpose of this study was to map the distribution of S. alterniflora in Zhejiang Province from 1985 to 2015 using a time series of Landsat TM/OLI images and analyze the temporal and spatial patterns of expansion of this species.

RESULTS: After analyzing the distribution of coastal vegetation, the vegetation index was calculated based on Landsat images for 4 years (1985, 1995, 2005 and 2015). According to a threshold determined based on expert knowledge, the distribution of S. alterniflora in Zhejiang Province was extracted, and the temporal and spatial changes in the distribution of S. alterniflora were analyzed. The classification accuracy was 90.3%. S. alterniflora has expanded rapidly in recent decades after being introduced into southern Zhejiang. Between 1985 and 2015, S. alterniflora increased its area of distribution by 10,000 hm2, and it replaced native vegetation to become the most abundant halophyte in tidal flats. Overall, S. alterniflora expanded from south to north over the decades of the study, and the fastest expansion rate was 463.64 hm2/year, which occurred between 1995 and 2005. S. alterniflora was widely distributed in the tidal flats of bays and estuaries and expanded outward as sediment accumulated.

CONCLUSIONS: This study reveals the changes over time in S. alterniflora cover in Zhejiang and can contribute to the control and management of this invasive plant.

RevDate: 2020-02-19
CmpDate: 2020-02-19

Schoener ER, Tompkins DM, Parker KA, et al (2020)

Presence and diversity of mixed avian Plasmodium spp. infections in introduced birds whose distribution overlapped with threatened New Zealand endemic birds.

New Zealand veterinary journal, 68(2):101-106.

Aims: To determine the presence of infection and co-infection of Plasmodium lineages in introduced birds at translocation sites for the North Island saddleback (Philesturnus rufusater), to investigate their role as Plasmodium spp. reservoirs.Methods: Blood samples were collected from introduced bird species, with a special focus on blackbirds (Turdus merula) and song thrushes (Turdus philomelos), at six locations in the North Island of New Zealand that were the origin, or translocation sites, for North Island saddleback. Where available, blood smears were examined, and blood samples were tested using nested PCR with subsequent sequence analysis, for the presence of Plasmodium spp.Results: Of the 55 samples tested using PCR analysis, 39 (71%) were positive for Plasmodium spp., and 28/40 (62%) blood smears were positive for Plasmodium spp. Overall, 31 blood samples were from blackbirds with 28/31 (90%) samples positive for Plasmodium spp. Six distinct avian Plasmodium lineages were identified, including three cosmopolitan lineages; Plasmodium vaughani SYAT05 was detected in 16 samples, Plasmodium matutinum Linn1 in 10 samples and Plasmodium elongatum GRW6 in eight samples. Mixed infections with more than one lineage were detected in 12 samples. Samples from two Australian magpies (Gymnorhina tibicen) were positive for Plasmodium. sp. lineage MYNA02, previously not identified in New Zealand.Conclusions and clinical relevance: This is the first report from New Zealand in which specific Plasmodium spp. mixed infections have been found in introduced birds. Co-infections with several cosmopolitan Plasmodium lineages were identified, as well as the first report in New Zealand of an exotic avian Plasmodium sp. lineage, in Australian magpies. Whilst the role of introduced birds in maintaining and spreading pathogenic avian malaria in New Zealand is unclear, there is a potential infection risk to native birds, especially where distributions overlap.

RevDate: 2020-02-19
CmpDate: 2020-02-19

Wang R, Chen XY, Chen Y, et al (2019)

Loss of top-down biotic interactions changes the relative benefits for obligate mutualists.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1897):20182501.

The collapse of mutualisms owing to anthropogenic changes is contributing to losses of biodiversity. Top predators can regulate biotic interactions between species at lower trophic levels and may contribute to the stability of such mutualisms, but they are particularly likely to be lost after disturbance of communities. We focused on the mutualism between the fig tree Ficus microcarpa and its host-specific pollinator fig wasp and compared the benefits accrued by the mutualists in natural and translocated areas of distribution. Parasitoids of the pollinator were rare or absent outside the natural range of the mutualists, where the relative benefits the mutualists gained from their interaction were changed significantly away from the plant's natural range owing to reduced seed production rather than increased numbers of pollinator offspring. Furthermore, in the absence of the negative effects of its parasitoids, we detected an oviposition range expansion by the pollinator, with the use of a wider range of ovules that could otherwise have generated seeds. Loss of top-down control has therefore resulted in a change in the balance of reciprocal benefits that underpins this obligate mutualism, emphasizing the value of maintaining food web complexity in the Anthropocene.

RevDate: 2020-02-17

van der Sande MT, Bruelheide H, Dawson W, et al (2020)

Similar factors underlie tree abundance in forests in native and alien ranges.

Global ecology and biogeography : a journal of macroecology, 29(2):281-294.

Aim: Alien plant species can cause severe ecological and economic problems, and therefore attract a lot of research interest in biogeography and related fields. To identify potential future invasive species, we need to better understand the mechanisms underlying the abundances of invasive tree species in their new ranges, and whether these mechanisms differ between their native and alien ranges. Here, we test two hypotheses: that greater relative abundance is promoted by (a) functional difference from locally co-occurring trees, and (b) higher values than locally co-occurring trees for traits linked to competitive ability.

Location: Global.

Time period: Recent.

Major taxa studied: Trees.

Methods: We combined three global plant databases: sPlot vegetation-plot database, TRY plant trait database and Global Naturalized Alien Flora (GloNAF) database. We used a hierarchical Bayesian linear regression model to assess the factors associated with variation in local abundance, and how these relationships vary between native and alien ranges and depend on species' traits.

Results: In both ranges, species reach highest abundance if they are functionally similar to co-occurring species, yet are taller and have higher seed mass and wood density than co-occurring species.

Main conclusions: Our results suggest that light limitation leads to strong environmental and biotic filtering, and that it is advantageous to be taller and have denser wood. The striking similarities in abundance between native and alien ranges imply that information from tree species' native ranges can be used to predict in which habitats introduced species may become dominant.

RevDate: 2020-02-18

Zhao CY, Liu YY, Shi XP, et al (2019)

Effects of soil nutrient variability and competitor identify on growth and co-existence among invasive alien and native clonal plants.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 261:113894 pii:S0269-7491(19)35371-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Changes in soil nutrients variability could significantly interact with other global change processes (such as community dynamics, biological invasion). Global exchange and accumulation of alien species caused environmental and economic threats in the introduced ranges. Their invasion success or not in local plant communities is largely depended on the interactions and competitive outcomes with other species and environmental conditions. Here, we tested whether the interactions of nutrient variability and competitor identity influence plant performance, potential invasion success of invasive species and their co-existence with native species. In both greenhouse and field experiment, we subjected three congeneric and naturally co-occurring pairs of invasive alien and native clonal plants in China to different nutrient variability (constant high, multiple pulses and/or single pulse) and competitor identity (intra-specific competitors, native competitors, invasive competitors and both native & invasive competitors). Our results showed that total biomass or the increase of cover of invasive species was significantly larger than those of the native species regardless of competitor identity. Native competitors significantly decreased biomass proportion of native species, but did not affect that of invasive species. The whole community with invasive target species accumulated more total biomass than with native species under multiple pulses nutrient when with the native competitors. Invasive species produced significantly higher biomass proportion than natives under all competitor identity treatments except for native & invasive competitors. Multiple mixed competitors (i.e. native & invasive competitors) decreased the plant performance and dominance of invasive target species, to some extent, thus construction of multi-species competition might facilitate coexistence of native and invasive species in communities. Interactions between native competitors or native & invasive competitors, and nutrient variability play important roles in plant performance and potential invasion success in communities. Multiple invasional interference may have significant implications for the co-existence of invasive and native species, and for management of invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-02-17
CmpDate: 2020-02-17

Van der Fels-Klerx HJ, Vermeulen LC, Gavai AK, et al (2019)

Climate change impacts on aflatoxin B1 in maize and aflatoxin M1 in milk: A case study of maize grown in Eastern Europe and imported to the Netherlands.

PloS one, 14(6):e0218956 pii:PONE-D-18-34800.

Various models and datasets related to aflatoxins in the maize and dairy production chain have been developed and used but they have not yet been linked with each other. This study aimed to investigate the impacts of climate change on aflatoxin B1 production in maize and its consequences on aflatoxin M1 contamination in dairy cow's milk, using a full chain modelling approach. To this end, available models and input data were chained together in a modelling framework. As a case study, we focused on maize grown in Eastern Europe and imported to the Netherlands to be fed-as part of dairy cows' compound feed-to dairy cows in the Netherlands. Three different climate models, one aflatoxin B1 prediction model and five different carryover models were used. For this particular case study of East European maize, most of the calculations suggest an increase (up to 50%) of maximum mean aflatoxin M1 in milk by 2030, except for one climate (DMI) model suggesting a decrease. Results from all combinations of carryover and climate models suggest a similar or slight increase (up to 0.6%) of the chance of finding aflatoxin M1 in milk above the EC limit of 0.05 μg/kg by 2030. Results varied mainly with the climate model data and carryover model considered. The model framework infrastructure is flexible so that forecasting models for other mycotoxins or other food safety hazards as well as other production chains, together with necessary input databases, can easily be included as well. This modelling framework for the first time links datasets and models related to aflatoxin B1 in maize and related aflatoxin M1 the dairy production chain to obtain a unique predictive methodology based on Monte Carlo simulation. Such an integrated approach with scenario analysis provides possibilities for policy makers and risk managers to study the effects of changes in the beginning of the chain on the end product.

RevDate: 2020-02-17
CmpDate: 2020-02-17

Friedline CJ, Faske TM, Lind BM, et al (2019)

Evolutionary genomics of gypsy moth populations sampled along a latitudinal gradient.

Molecular ecology, 28(9):2206-2223.

The European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar L.) was first introduced to Massachusetts in 1869 and within 150 years has spread throughout eastern North America. This large-scale invasion across a heterogeneous landscape allows examination of the genetic signatures of adaptation potentially associated with rapid geographical spread. We tested the hypothesis that spatially divergent natural selection has driven observed changes in three developmental traits that were measured in a common garden for 165 adult moths sampled from six populations across a latitudinal gradient covering the entirety of the range. We generated genotype data for 91,468 single nucleotide polymorphisms based on double digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing and used these data to discover genome-wide associations for each trait, as well as to test for signatures of selection on the discovered architectures. Genetic structure across the introduced range of gypsy moth was low in magnitude (FST = 0.069), with signatures of bottlenecks and spatial expansion apparent in the rare portion of the allele frequency spectrum. Results from applications of Bayesian sparse linear mixed models were consistent with the presumed polygenic architectures of each trait. Further analyses indicated spatially divergent natural selection acting on larval development time and pupal mass, with the linkage disequilibrium component of this test acting as the main driver of observed patterns. The populations most important for these signals were two range-edge populations established less than 30 generations ago. We discuss the importance of rapid polygenic adaptation to the ability of non-native species to invade novel environments.

RevDate: 2020-02-14

Cunningham CX, Johnson CN, ME Jones (2020)

A native apex predator limits an invasive mesopredator and protects native prey: Tasmanian devils protecting bandicoots from cats.

Apex predators can limit the abundance and behaviour of mesopredators, thereby reducing predation on smaller species. We know less about whether native apex predators are effective in suppressing invasive mesopredators, a major global driver of vertebrate extinctions. We use the severe disease-induced decline of an apex predator, the Tasmanian devil, as a natural experiment to test whether devils limit abundance of invasive feral cats and in turn protect smaller native prey. Cat abundance was c. 58% higher where devils had declined, which in turn negatively affected a smaller native prey species. Devils had a stronger limiting effect on cats than on a native mesopredator, suggesting apex predators may have stronger suppressive effects on evolutionarily naive species than coevolved species. Our results highlight how disease in one species can affect the broader ecosystem. We show that apex predators not only regulate native species but can also confer resistance to the impacts of invasive populations. Apex predators could therefore be a powerful but underutilised tool to prevent biodiversity loss.

RevDate: 2020-02-14

Reed EMX, Serr ME, Maurer AS, et al (2020)

Gridlock and beltways: the genetic context of urban invasions.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-020-04614-y [Epub ahead of print].

The rapid expansion of urban land across the globe presents new and numerous opportunities for invasive species to spread and flourish. Ecologists historically rejected urban ecosystems as important environments for ecology and evolution research but are beginning to recognize the importance of these systems in shaping the biology of invasion. Urbanization can aid the introduction, establishment, and spread of invaders, and these processes have substantial consequences on native species and ecosystems. Therefore, it is valuable to understand how urban areas influence populations at all stages in the invasion process. Population genetic tools are essential to explore the driving forces of invasive species dispersal, connectivity, and adaptation within cities. In this review, we synthesize current research about the influence of urban landscapes on invasion genetics dynamics. We conclude that urban areas are not only points of entry for many invasive species, they also facilitate population establishment, are pools for genetic diversity, and provide corridors for further spread both within and out of cities. We recommend the continued use of genetic studies to inform invasive species management and to understand the underlying ecological and evolutionary processes governing successful invasion.

RevDate: 2020-02-14
CmpDate: 2020-02-14

Engeman RM, Kaiser BW, KJ Osorio (2019)

Evaluating methods to detect and monitor populations of a large invasive lizard: the Argentine giant tegu.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 26(31):31717-31729.

The Argentine giant tegu, a large lizard native to South America, was first discovered as established in the USA in scrub habitats of west-central Florida in 2006. Invasive populations potentially could occupy an extensive range of habitats and in much of the southern United States and Mexico and threaten many native species. The Argentine giant tegu was recently deemed as having a "highest impact concern" among the invasive reptile species most threatening to Florida ecology. Among the most rewarding research directions identified for this species was "having a reliable and practical method to detect/monitor" them. We address this need by evaluating five methods for monitoring Argentine giant tegus on how well each method detected the species and whether the observations were sufficient to quantitatively assess population abundance using a widely applicable framework for indexing animal populations. Passive tracking plots were the most efficient and effective means for detecting tegus and calculating abundance indices but were best suited for late winter to spring before summer rains compacted tracking substrates. Gopher tortoise burrows are often used by tegus and camera traps on their entrances proved able to obtain data suitable for indexing populations but required more labor and expense than tracking plots. Trapping either at gopher tortoise burrows or along drift fences was ineffective at capturing tegus. Similarly, visual encounter transects were not effective for observing tegus.

RevDate: 2020-02-14
CmpDate: 2020-02-14

Li C, Wang L, Li J, et al (2019)

Thermal survival limits of larvae and adults of Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) in China.

PloS one, 14(6):e0218888 pii:PONE-D-19-04397.

Temperature can be a major factor for the distribution of insects, especially among invasive insects. Sirex noctilio (Hymenoptera: Siricidae) has invaded many regions in China, causing enormous ecological and economic losses. We aimed to explore the trend and potential of diffusion by researching the thermal survival limits of S. noctilio. We measured the supercooling point (SCP), critical thermal temperature (CTmax), high lethal temperature (HLT) and low lethal temperature (LLT) for S. noctilio population in China and assessed life stage-related variation in thermal tolerance. Moreover, we determined the temperature tolerance range of S. noctilio and identified the temperature parameters for its potential invasive distribution risk analysis. The SCP of adults was -11.78 ± 0.67 (mean ± SEM), the CTmax was 37.67 ± 0.54, and those of larvae were -20.77 ± 0.44 and 40.53 ± 0.27, respectively. The LLT increased with exposure time, and the HLT was generally near 43°C. S. noctilio adults can tolerate higher temperatures than larvae, and the larvae showed high resistance to cold temperature. We calculated several temperature indexes based on our results, such as the lower temperature threshold (DV0) at -2.7°C, the upper temperature threshold (DV3) at 31°C, the temperature threshold for both heat stress (TTHS) at 35°C and cold stress (TTCS) at -32.5°C. We observed that, S. noctilio was not resistant to high temperatures, its CTmax is slightly lower than the lethal temperature, and the adults were more tolerant than larvae. Our next goal was to combine the temperature tolerance of symbiotic fungi, information on climate change and the current distribution of this species to predict its potential global distribution.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Wu M, Ge Y, Xu C, et al (2020)

Metabolome and Transcriptome Analysis of Hexaploid Solidago canadensis Roots Reveals its Invasive Capacity Related to Polyploidy.

Genes, 11(2): pii:genes11020187.

Polyploid plants are more often invasive species than their diploid counterparts. As the invasiveness of a species is often linked to its production of allelopathic compounds, we hypothesize that differences in invasive ability between cytotypes may be due to their different ability to synthesize allelopathic metabolites. We test this using two cytotypes of Solidago canadensis as the model and use integrated metabolome and transcriptome data to resolve the question. Metabolome analysis identified 122 metabolites about flavonoids, phenylpropanoids and terpenoids, of which 57 were differentially accumulated between the two cytotypes. Transcriptome analysis showed that many differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were enriched in 'biosynthesis of secondary metabolites', 'plant hormone signal transduction', and 'MAPK signaling', covering most steps of plant allelopathic metabolite synthesis. Importantly, the differentially accumulated flavonoids, phenylpropanoids and terpenoids were closely correlated with related DEGs. Furthermore, 30 miRNAs were found to be negatively associated with putative targets, and they were thought to be involved in target gene expression regulation. These miRNAs probably play a vital role in the regulation of metabolite synthesis in hexaploid S. canadensis. The two cytotypes of S. canadensis differ in the allelopathic metabolite synthesis and this difference is associated with regulation of expression of a range of genes. These results suggest that changes in gene expression may underlying the increased invasive potential of the polyploidy.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Ji SX, Wang XD, Shen XN, et al (2020)

Using RNA Interference to Reveal the Function of Chromatin Remodeling Factor ISWI in Temperature Tolerance in Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 Cryptic Species.

Insects, 11(2): pii:insects11020113.

Invasive species often encounter rapid environmental changes during invasions and only the individuals that successfully overcome environmental stresses can colonize and spread. Chromatin remodeling may be essential in environmental adaptation. To assess the functions of imitation switch (ISWI) in invasive Bemisia tabaci Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) cryptic species, we cloned and characterized the MEAM1 BtISWI gene and determined its functions in response to thermal stress. The full-length cDNA of BtISWI was 3712 bp, with a 3068 bp open reading frame (ORF) encoding a 118.86 kDa protein. BtISWI mRNA expression was significantly up-regulated after exposure to heat shock or cold shock conditions, indicating that BtISWI expression can be induced by thermal stress. After feeding double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), specifically for BtISWI, resistance to both heat and cold decreased significantly, suggesting that BtISWI may function directly in the thermal tolerance of MEAM1. Moreover, the preferred temperature of MEAM1 adults fed dsRNA was 1.9-3.5 °C higher than the control groups. Taken together, our findings highlight the importance of epigenetic gene regulation in the thermal response or thermal adaptation of invasive Bemisia tabaci (B. tabaci), and provide a new potential target for establishing sustainable control strategies for B. tabaci.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Hozawa M, E Nawata (2020)

The Interaction between Leaf Allelopathy and Symbiosis with Rhizobium of Ulex europaeus on Hawaii Island.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(2): pii:plants9020226.

: The objective of this study was to assess the magnitudes of the leaf allelopathy of Ulex europaeus in two different habitats, and discuss the driver of the differences, including rhizobia. The magnitudes of leaf allelopathy of the samples collected in two different habitats were assessed by comparing the hypocotyl and radicle lengths of the lettuce seeds tested on the samples. One habitat was in and adjacent to an Acasia koa forest, while the other was more than 50 m away. A. koa is indigenous to Hawaii and known to have a close symbiotic relationship with Bradyrhizobium for nitrogen-fixing. Within the past three years, U. europaeus has newly invaded both sampling sites, whereas the A. koa forest has been there for several decades. The combined result of both hypocotyl and radicle lengths of the lettuce seeds tested on both sites by linear model and multicomparison analyses showed no significant difference. But the radicle lengths of the lettuce seeds tested on U. europaeus sampled in and adjacent to the A. koa forest were significantly longer than those of the samples more than 50 m away, as measured by t-test (p = 0.05). This result suggested that the magnitude of the leaf allelopathy of U. europaeus depended on the distance of the habitat from the A. koa forest.

RevDate: 2020-02-13

Sun X, Tao J, Roques A, et al (2020)

Invasion History of Sirex noctilio Based on COI Sequence: The First Six Years in China.

Insects, 11(2): pii:insects11020111.

Sirex noctilio F. (Hymenoptera: Siricidae: Siricinae), a new invasive species in China, is a significant international forestry pest which, transported via logs and related wood packing materials, has led to environmental damage and substantial economic loss in many countries around the world. It was first detected in China in 2013, and since then infestations have been found in 18 additional sites. Using a 322 bp fragment of the mitochondrial barcode gene COI, we studied the genetic diversity and structure of S. noctilio populations in both native and invaded ranges, with a specific focus in China. Twelve haplotypes were found across the native and invaded distribution of the pest, of which three were dominant; among these there were only one or two mutational steps between each pair of haplotypes. No obvious genetic structure was found other than in Chinese populations. China has a unique and dominant haplotype not found elsewhere, and compared with the rest of the world, the genetic structure of Chinese populations suggested a multiple invasion scenario.

RevDate: 2020-02-12

Govindan BN, WD Hutchison (2020)

Influence of Temperature on Age-Stage, Two-Sex Life Tables for a Minnesota-Acclimated Population of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Halyomorpha halys).

Insects, 11(2): pii:insects11020108.

Temperature is a critical single factor influencing insect population dynamics, and is foundational for improving our understanding of the phenology of invasive species adapting to new agroecosystems or in the process of range expansion. An age-stage, two-sex life table was therefore developed to analyze fundamental demographic features such as development, survival, and reproduction of a Minnesota-acclimated population of the invasive brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), in the north central USA. All salient life history parameters were estimated to better understand the population growth potential of H. halys at the current limit of its northern range in North America. We examined the effect of selected constant temperatures on immature development and survival (15-39 °C), and adult reproduction longevity (17-36 °C) of H. halys in the laboratory. The Minnesota population developed faster and survived at higher rates relative to a population that had previously established in Pennsylvania, USA. Mean generation time for the Minnesota population was minimized at 30 °C, while survival and fecundity were maximized at 27 and 23 °C, respectively. Given these findings, we assessed the effect of temperature on the intrinsic rate of increase (rm), the life table parameter that integrates the effects of temperature on development, survival, and reproduction. A Ratkowsky model predicted rmwas maximized (0.0899) at 27.5 °C. We discuss the implications of our findings for understanding population growth rates for H. halys in the context of a warming climate, and potential to emerge as a serious crop pest in the Midwest U.S. region.

RevDate: 2020-02-12
CmpDate: 2020-02-12

Verlaque M, G Breton (2019)

Biological invasion: Long term monitoring of the macroalgal flora of a major European harbor complex.

Marine pollution bulletin, 143:228-241.

The marine macroflora of the ports of Le Havre and Antifer have been studied by citizen scientists since the late 1970s. In addition to analysis of the previous results, the field study was extended from 2010 to 2018. A total of 97 and 62 macroalgae were identified, respectively, including 14 NIS (non-indigenous species), the latter number being certainly an underestimate since microscopic species were not exhaustively sought and given the high number of cryptogenic species encountered. No new primary introduction of NIS for the NE Atlantic has been detected since the late 1970s. The origin of NIS and vector(s) of introduction were investigated. For all NIS, the donor region is the Indo-Pacific. Two likely vectors have been identified: maritime traffic for earlier introductions, and shellfish imports for more recent ones. The role of these ports and maritime traffic in the processes of introduction is discussed.

RevDate: 2020-02-10

Adesipo AA, Akinbiola S, Awotoye OO, et al (2020)

Impact of mining on the floristic association of gold mined sites in Southwest Nigeria.

BMC ecology, 20(1):9 pii:10.1186/s12898-020-00276-9.

BACKGROUND: Occurrences in land use, human activities and climate change have both direct and indirect influences on the environment. Of interest for this study is mining; a common activity in developing countries such as Nigeria which is endowed with over 34 solid minerals. The gold mining sites in the Southwest region of the country is predominantly by Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining (ASM). Though the benefits are known, its induced consequences are enormous. To understand its extent of floristic diversity, identification of functional plants and plant species surviving on the mined sites (despite its characterized mining and alteration level); this study compared the floristic composition of an abandoned mining site (Site 1), an active mining site (Site 2) and an undisturbed vegetation sites (Control) of similar vegetation zone.

RESULTS: A total of 54, 28 and 37 species belonging to 31, 20 and 23 families were found on Site 1, Site 2 and the control site, respectively. It shows that the floristic composition of all the sites has been altered due to its past intense agricultural colonization and human activities, but severe on Site 1 and 2 due to mining. Lots of the identified species are functional species and stand as ecological indicators. Species such as Acanthus montanus and Icacina trichantha found on the Control sites are native and significance but species such as Capsicum frutescens and Crassocephalum crepidioides on Site 2 are due to human inference while most species on Site 1 shows both original and altered floristic composition (e.g. Adenia venenata and Grewia flavescens).

CONCLUSIONS: Apart from the on-going farming activities, ASM activities such as pollution, deforestation and exposure of the forest soils to direct sunlight has greatly stressed and disturbed the floristic composition, species richness, life form patterns, of the mined sites as well as introduction of non-native plant species. It is therefore necessary to develop effective approaches and policies to curb these illegal ASM activities, empower the community (especially youths), stabilize the economy and establish sustainable development strategies with adequate reclamation measures.

RevDate: 2020-02-10

Mitchell HJ, D Bartsch (2019)

Regulation of GM Organisms for Invasive Species Control.

Frontiers in bioengineering and biotechnology, 7:454.

Invasive species can cause significant harm to the environment, agriculture, and human health, but there are often very limited tools available to control their populations. Gene drives (GD) have been proposed as a new tool which could be used to control or eliminate such species. Here, GD describes a variety of molecular biology applications which all enable the introduction of genetic elements at a higher than expected frequency. These elements can change the genotypes in target populations rapidly with consequences either for (intrinsic) fitness or host-parasite interaction, or both. Beneficial applications are foreseen for human and animal health, agriculture, or nature conservation. This rapidly developing technology is likely to have major impacts in the fight against various diseases, pests, and invasive species. The majority of GD applications involve genetic engineering and novel traits. Therefore, applicants and GMO regulators need to interact to achieve the benefits in innovation while cautiously avoiding unacceptable risks. The release into the environment may include transboundary movement and replacement of target populations, with potential impact on human/animal health and the environment. This article summarizes knowledge-based discussions to identify information gaps and analyzes scenarios for responsible introduction of GD organisms into the environment. It aims to connect the latest scientific developments with regulatory approaches and decision-making.

RevDate: 2020-02-10

Chen F, Ye J, Sista Kameshwar AK, et al (2019)

A Novel Cold-Adaptive Endo-1,4-β-Glucanase From Burkholderia pyrrocinia JK-SH007: Gene Expression and Characterization of the Enzyme and Mode of Action.

Frontiers in microbiology, 10:3137.

The efficient industrial conversion of plant-derived cellulose to simple sugars and other value-added chemicals requires various highly stable and reactive enzymes. Industrial processes especially synchronous saccharification and fermentation (SSF)-based production of cellulosic bio-ethanol require enzymes that are active at lower temperatures. In this study, we have identified, characterized, and expressed the cold-adaptive endo-1,4-β-glucanase (BpEG) isolated from the Burkholderia pyrrocinia JK-SH007. The analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence indicated that BpEG belongs to GH family 8. The BpEG without the signal peptide was cloned into the expression vector pET32a and significantly expressed in Escherichia coli BL21 (DE3) competent cells. The SDS-PAGE and Western blot analysis of BpEG revealed that the recombinant BpEG was approximately 60 kDa. Purified recombinant BpEG exhibited hydrolytic activity against carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC) and phosphoric acid swollen cellulose (PASC), but not crystalline cellulose and xylan substrates. High performance, anion exchange, chromatography-pulsed amperometric detector (HPAEC-PAD) analysis of the enzymatic products obtained from depolymerization of 1,4-β-linked biopolymers of different lengths revealed an interesting cutting mechanism employed by endoglucanases. The recombinant BpEG exhibited 6.0 of optimum pH and 35°C of optimum temperature, when cultured with CMC substrate. The BpEG enzyme exhibited stable activity between pH 5.0 and 9.0 at 35°C. Interestingly, BpEG retained about 42% of its enzymatic activity at 10°C compared to its optimal temperature. This new cold-adaptive cellulase could potentially achieve synchronous saccharification and fermentation (SSF) making BpEG a promising candidate in the fields of biofuel, biorefining, food and pharmaceutical industries.

RevDate: 2020-02-10

Benelli G, Wilke ABB, JC Beier (2020)

Aedes albopictus (Asian Tiger Mosquito).

Trends in parasitology pii:S1471-4922(20)30011-8 [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-02-09

Fălcuţă E, Prioteasa LF, Horváth C, et al (2020)

The invasive Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus in Romania: towards a country-wide colonization?.

Parasitology research pii:10.1007/s00436-020-06620-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Currently, five invasive Aedes mosquito species are of concern in Europe according to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: Aedes aegypti, Ae. albopictus, Ae. atropalpus, Ae. japonicus, and Ae. koreicus. Among these, only Ae. albopictus was reported to occur in Romania, in Bucharest. The aim of this study was to update the knowledge on the distribution of this invasive mosquito species in Romania, by investigating new potential locations. Monitoring of Ae. albopictus was carried out between May 2017 and October 2018. Three types of traps (CDC-Gravid Traps, CDC miniature Light Traps, ovitraps) were placed in 53 localities in 13 counties at sites suitable for container-breeding mosquitoes. Collected adult mosquitoes were counted and identified according to morphological criteria. Larvae were found present in domestic containers and rain catch basins. Aedes albopictus adults and eggs were collected in 10 localities in eight counties across Romania. Our study confirms nine new localities and seven counties where Ae. albopictus became established in Romania, highlighting the need for surveillance to further assess the species' distribution and abundance, as well as the pathogen transmission risk related to that vector species.

RevDate: 2020-02-08

Feit B, Dempster T, Jessop TS, et al (2020)

A trophic cascade initiated by an invasive vertebrate alters the structure of native reptile communities.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive vertebrates are frequently reported to have catastrophic effects on the populations of species which they directly impact. It follows then, that if invaders exert strong suppressive effects on some species then other species will indirectly benefit due to ecological release from interactions with directly impacted species. However, evidence that invasive vertebrates trigger such trophic cascades and alter community structure in terrestrial ecosystems remains rare. Here, we ask how the cane toad, a vertebrate invader that is toxic to many of Australia's vertebrate predators, influences lizard assemblages in a semi-arid rangeland. In our study area, the density of cane toads is influenced by the availability of water accessible to toads. We compared an index of the abundance of sand goannas, a large predatory lizard that is susceptible to poisoning by cane toads and the abundances of four lizard families preyed upon by goannas (skinks, pygopods, agamid lizards, and geckos) in areas where cane toads were common or rare. Consistent with the idea that suppression of sand goannas by cane toads initiates a trophic cascade, goanna activity was lower and small lizards were more abundant where toads were common. The hypothesis that suppression of sand goannas by cane toads triggers a trophic cascade was further supported by our findings that small terrestrial lizards that are frequently preyed upon by goannas were more affected by toad abundance than arboreal geckos, which are rarely consumed by goannas. Furthermore, the abundance of at least one genus of terrestrial skinks benefitted from allogenic ecosystem engineering by goannas where toads were rare. Overall, our study provides evidence that the invasion of ecosystems by non-native species can have important effects on the structure and integrity of native communities extending beyond their often most obvious and frequently documented direct ecological effects.

RevDate: 2020-02-08

Oficialdegui FJ, Delibes-Mateos M, Green AJ, et al (2020)

Rigid laws and invasive species management.

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

RevDate: 2020-02-08

Yuan B, Chen M, S Li (2020)

Isolation and Identification of Ipomoea cairica (L.) Sweet Gene IcSRO1 Encoding a SIMILAR TO RCD-ONE Protein, Which Improves Salt and Drought Tolerance in Transgenic Arabidopsis.

International journal of molecular sciences, 21(3): pii:ijms21031017.

Ipomoea cairica is a tropical plant and a wild relative of the food plant sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas), listed as one of the most invasive alien species in China. Recently, it has been reported that I. cairica had successfully invaded mangrove wetlands, indicating its high salt tolerance. Based on previous genetic studies, I. cairica offers a good model for characterizing stress-resistant genes. It has recently been identified that the SRO proteins (SIMILAR TO RCD-ONE) play important roles in a variety of stress and developmental responses. Radical-Induced Cell Death1 (RCD1) was the first identified plant SRO protein from Arabidopsis thaliana. As a typical SRO protein, IcSRO1 had a highly conservative WWE domain, a conserved PARP fold and protein C in the RST function area. The expression of IcSRO1 was induced by salt, drought, and the plant hormone ABA. The transgenic Arabidopsis overexpressing IcSRO1 showed higher tolerance against salt and drought stress along with lower accumulation of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and superoxide (O2-) than the wild type. The IcSRO1 protein was localized in the nucleus after cultivation in the buffer. Our results indicated it could interact with Arabidopsis SALT OVERLY SENSITIVE 1 (AtSOS1), suggesting IcSRO1 may have similar functions. The pleiotropic effect of IcSRO1 on physiological processes contributes to the improvement of plant tolerance against diverse abiotic stresses, and may be associated with the adaptation of I. cairica to those environments with extreme saline and drought conditions. It therefore provides valuable gene resources for crop breeding enhancement.

RevDate: 2020-02-07

Froehly JL, Beane NR, Evans DE, et al (2020)

Using multi-scale behavioral investigations to inform wild pig (Sus scrofa) population management.

PloS one, 15(2):e0228705 pii:PONE-D-19-07443.

Assessing invasive species ecology at multiple scales is needed to understand how to focus ecological monitoring and population control. As a widespread invasive species, wild pigs (Sus scrofa) frequently disrupt land management programs. We provide a detailed, multi-scaled view of the behavior of wild pigs at Fort Hood, Texas, USA by assessing seasonal and daily movement patterns, and diet. First, we quantified movement behavior through assessment of both seasonal home range size and first passage time movement behavior from 16 GPS-collared wild pigs. Home ranges were relatively large (mean: 10.472 km2, SD: 0.472 km2), and Cox proportional hazard models predicted that pigs moved slowest at temperature extremes (15< °C <30), in the spring, in rougher terrain, and in grassland communities. Secondly, we analyzed wild pig stomach contents to determine diet throughout the year. Diet was primarily plant-based, and showed seasonal variation in such items as hard and soft mast, and the foliage of forbs and woody plants. Integration of both movement and diet analyses indicate that wild pigs are more likely to be lured into baited traps in the winter when movement rates are highest and plant-based food resources are likely less abundant. Wild pigs are likely to have the greatest impact on vegetative communities in grassland habitats during the spring season when movement is restricted. Collectively, this multi-scaled approach provided detailed information on wild pig behavioral ecology in this area that would not have been apparent by looking at any single measure individually or only at a large spatial scale (i.e., home range), and could be a useful approach in other invasive species management programs.

RevDate: 2020-02-07

Zhang W, Yu H, Lv Y, et al (2020)

Gene family expansion of pinewood nematode to detoxify its host defence chemicals.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Gene gain/loss in the context of gene family dynamics plays an important role in evolutionary processes as organisms, particularly invasive species, adapt to new environments or niches. One notable example of this was the duplication of digestive proteases in some parasitic insects and helminths to meet nutritional requirements during animal parasitism. However, it is still unknown whether gene family expansion participates in the adaptation of a plant parasite nematode to its host. Here, we compared the newly sequenced genomes of pinewood nematode, Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, with the genomes of free-living, animal-parasitic and plant-parasitic nematodes. Results showed gene expansions occurring in 51 gene families in B. xylophilus, especially in xenobiotic detoxification pathways, including flavin monooxygenase (FMO), Cytochrome P450 (CYP450), short chain dehydrogenase (SDR), alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH), aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH), UDP-glucuronosyltransferase (UGT) and glutathione S transferase (GST). While a majority of these expansions most likely resulted from gene duplications, nine ADH genes were potentially acquired by horizontal gene transfer (HGT) from fungi. From the transcriptomes of B. xylophilus treated with pine saplings and terpenes, candidate xenobiotic detoxification genes were identified. We propose that host defense chemicals led to a gene family expansions of xenobiotic detoxification pathways in B. xylophilus facilitating its survival in pine resin ducts. This study contributes to a better understanding of how a parasitic nematode adapts to its host.

RevDate: 2020-02-07

Lamelas-Lopez L, Pardavila X, Amorim IR, et al (2020)

Wildlife inventory from camera-trapping surveys in the Azores (Pico and Terceira islands).

Biodiversity data journal, 8:e47865 pii:47865.

Background: The present publication provides a dataset from five camera-trapping sampling campaigns on two islands of the Azorean archipelago (Pico and Terceira islands), between 2013-2018. This dataset was obtained as a by-product of campaigns designed for different purposes. The sampling campaigns were designed to: (i) study the ecology of introduced mammals; (ii) assess the impact of introduced mammals on native birds (Azores woodpigeon - Columba palumbus azorica and Cory's shearwater - Calonectris diomeda borealis), through nest predation; and (iii) obtain information about the impact of vertebrates on agricultural systems, particularly on Azorean traditional vineyards. A total of 258 sites and 47 nests were sampled using camera traps. These sampling campaigns provided a large data series that allowed the creation of a vertebrate wildlife inventory.

New information: We obtained a total of 102,095 camera-trap records, which allowed us to to identify 30 species of vertebrates: one amphibian, one reptile, 17 birds and ten mammal species. This represented 100% of the amphibians and terrestrial mammals, 58% of the breeding birds and 50% of the reptile species known for Pico and/or Terceira islands. Concerning the colonisation status of the species, we recorded 15 indigenous (native non-endemic or endemic) and three introduced bird species; all known terrestrial amphibians, reptiles and mammals in the Azores are introduced species. The data collected contribute to increasing knowledge on the distribution of vertebrate species on Pico and Terceira islands, where most existing records of some species were only available to Island level (e.g. mustelids and hedgehogs). None of the identified species was previously unknown to the study area.

RevDate: 2020-02-07

Simberloff D, Barney JN, Mack RN, et al (2020)

U.S. action lowers barriers to invasive species.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 367(6478):636.

RevDate: 2020-02-07
CmpDate: 2020-02-07

de Souza TAF, Santos D, de Andrade LA, et al (2019)

Plant-soil feedback of two legume species in semi-arid Brazil.

Brazilian journal of microbiology : [publication of the Brazilian Society for Microbiology], 50(4):1011-1020.

Positive feedback between arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF) and vascular plants can contribute to plant species establishment, but how this feedback affects plant invasion by Prosopis juliflora SW. (DC.), or resistance to invasion by Mimosa tenuiflora (Willd.) Poir in Brazilian semi-arid region is not well known. In this work, we tested how modified and native AMF communities affect the establishment of P. juliflora and M. tenuiflora plants. We examined the effects of inoculation with modified and native AMF communities on number of AMF spores, root colonization, number of N-fixing nodules, plant dry biomass, plant phosphorous concentration, and plant responsiveness to mycorrhizas of P. juliflora and M. tenuiflora. We found that the modified AMF community enhanced the root colonization, plant dry biomass, and plant phosphorous concentration of invasive P. juliflora, whereas native AMF enhanced M. tenuiflora. Our results demonstrate that the invasive P. juliflora alters soil AMF community composition, and this change generates positive feedback to the invasive P. juliflora itself and decreases AMF associations with native M. tenuiflora.

RevDate: 2020-02-06

Winterton DJ, van Wilgen NJ, JA Venter (2020)

Investigating the effects of management practice on mammalian co-occurrence along the West Coast of South Africa.

PeerJ, 8:e8184 pii:8184.

The subtle and cascading effects (e.g., altered interspecific interactions) that anthropogenic stressors have on local ecological assemblages often go unnoticed but are concerning given their importance in ecosystem function. For example, elimination of buffalo from the Serengeti National Park is suggested to have driven increased abundance of smaller antelope as a result of release from competition. The perceived low abundance of small antelope in the contractual Postberg section of the West Coast National Park (the park) has been an ongoing management concern which has been anecdotally attributed to predation by a mesopredator (the caracal, Caracal caracal). However, we hypothesized that the historical overstocking, and consequent overgrazing by larger-bodied managed ungulates would influence small antelope abundance. Using camera traps, we investigated species co-occurrence and temporal activity between small antelope, managed ungulates and caracals in Postberg as well as another part of the park (Langebaan) and a farm outside of the park. Results suggest that small antelope and managed ungulates have a high degree of temporal overlap (Δ = 0.74, 0.79 and 0.86 for the farm, Langebaan and Postberg respectively), while temporal partitioning between small antelope and caracal is apparent (Δ = 0.59). Further, small antelope and managed ungulates appear to occur independently of one another (SIF = 0.91-1 across areas). Managed ungulates were detected almost three times more frequently on fallow lands when compared to the more vegetated sites within the park suggesting that segregated food/cover resources allow for independent occurrence. Small antelope had a much higher probability of occurrence outside of the protected area (e.g., ψ = 0.192 and 0.486 for steenbok at Postberg, Langebaan compared to 0.841 on the farm), likely due to less variable (more intact) habitat outside of the protected area. There is not sufficient evidence to currently warrant management intervention for predators. The small size of the protected area provides limited scope for spatial replication thus reducing possibilities to infer the cause and effect for complex interactions (which would historically have taken place over much larger areas) with negative implications for adaptive management. We recommend continued monitoring over multiple seasons and a wider area to determine the spatial information requirements to inform management of small protected areas.

RevDate: 2020-02-06

Bradbeer SJ, Coughlan NE, Cuthbert RN, et al (2020)

The effectiveness of disinfectant and steam exposure treatments to prevent the spread of the highly invasive killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus.

Scientific reports, 10(1):1919 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-58058-8.

Biosecurity protocols designed to prevent the spread of invasive alien species (IAS) are now an essential aspect of IAS management. However, the effectiveness of various biosecurity treatments requires further exploration. Killer shrimp, Dikerogammarus villosus, a notoriously high impact and ecosystem destabilising invader, has rapidly spread across Europe, and is of concern to invade Northern America. In this study, we examine the effectiveness of three commonly used, broad-spectrum disinfectants to cause mortality of D. villosus: Virasure Aquatic, Virkon Aquatic, and Virkon S. Immersion and spray treatments of 1%, 2% and 4% disinfectant solutions were examined for applications of up to 300 secs immersion and for up to ten consecutive sprays. Furthermore, we assessed the effectiveness of steam (≥100 °C) treatments for up to 120 secs. For all disinfectants, immersion in 1% solutions caused 100% mortality at ≥120 secs. At higher concentrations, shorter immersion times caused complete mortality: 60 and 15 secs for 2% and 4% solutions, respectively. Five sprays of 2% and 4% solutions resulted in 100% mortality, for all disinfectants. Direct steam exposure was highly effective, with complete D. villosus mortality occurring at ≥10 secs. Overall, brief exposure to broad-spectrum disinfectants and direct steam could be used to limit D. villosus spread.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Noble A, Palmer SM, Glaves DJ, et al (2017)

Impacts of peat bulk density, ash deposition and rainwater chemistry on establishment of peatland mosses.

Plant and soil, 419(1):41-52.

Background and aims: Peatland moss communities play an important role in ecosystem function. Drivers such as fire and atmospheric pollution have the capacity to influence mosses via multiple pathways. Here, we investigate physical and chemical processes which may influence establishment and growth of three key moss species in peatlands.

Methods: A controlled factorial experiment investigated the effects of different peat bulk density, ash deposition and rainwater chemistry treatments on the growth of Sphagnum capillifolium, S. fallax and Campylopus introflexus.

Results: Higher peat bulk density limited growth of both Sphagnum species. S. capillifolium and C. introflexus responded positively to ash deposition. Less polluted rain limited growth of C. introflexus. Biomass was well correlated with percentage cover in all three species.

Conclusions: Peat bulk density increases caused by fire or drainage can limit Sphagnum establishment and growth, potentially threatening peatland function. Ash inputs may have direct benefits for some Sphagnum species, but are also likely to increase competition from other bryophytes and vascular plants which may offset positive effects. Rainwater pollution may similarly increase competition to Sphagnum, and could enhance positive effects of ash addition on C. introflexus growth. Finally, cover can provide a useful approximation of biomass where destructive sampling is undesirable.

RevDate: 2020-02-03
CmpDate: 2020-02-03

Nagoshi RN, Dhanani I, Asokan R, et al (2019)

Genetic characterization of fall armyworm infesting South Africa and India indicate recent introduction from a common source population.

PloS one, 14(5):e0217755 pii:PONE-D-19-05807.

The invasion of the Western Hemisphere native fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda; J. E. Smith) (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) into the Eastern Hemisphere has been notable for the rapidity and geographical breadth of new detections. In the year following the first discovery in western sub-Saharan Africa in 2016, infestations have been documented in most sub-Saharan maize growing regions and has now expanded beyond Africa with populations recently reported in India. These observations could indicate a remarkable capacity for rapid establishment and long-distance dissemination. However, while fall armyworm does exhibit extended migration in North America where it annually traverses thousands of kilometers, this behavior is known to be dependent on highly favorable wind patterns and so can't be assumed to occur in all locations. An alternative possibility is that the species has long been present in Africa, and perhaps the rest of the hemisphere, but was undetected until the enhanced monitoring that resulted after its initial discovery. Determining whether the fall armyworm in the Eastern Hemisphere is newly arrived or long pre-existing is important for assessing the risks of significant economic impacts, as the former indicates a change in pest composition while the latter does not. This study examined this issue by comparing collections from two geographically distant locations, South Africa and India. Sequence comparisons were used to quantify differences between the South Africa and India collections, assess the likelihood of their sharing a common source population, and their possible relationship with previously characterized fall armyworm from other regions of Africa. The results indicate genetic homogeneity between the South African and Indian fall armyworm populations tested and substantial similarities between these and collections from eastern Africa. The implications of these findings on fall armyworm population behavior and composition are discussed.

RevDate: 2020-02-06
CmpDate: 2020-02-06

Čerevková A, Miklisová D, Bobuľská L, et al (2019)

Impact of the invasive plant Solidago gigantea on soil nematodes in a semi-natural grassland and a temperate broadleaved mixed forest.

Journal of helminthology, 94:e51 pii:S0022149X19000324.

Relationships between alien plant species and their aboveground effects have been relatively well studied, but little is known about the effects of invasive plants on belowground faunal communities. Nematodes are abundant, ubiquitous and diverse soil biota, and alterations of their community compositions can illustrate changes in belowground ecosystems. In 2016 and 2017, we determined the response of species diversity, community composition and trophic composition of the soil nematode communities to invasion by the alien plant Solidago gigantea in two ecosystems, forest and grassland, where invasion takes place. Nematode abundance was higher and number of identified nematode species was lower at invaded than uninvaded sites, indicated by lower species diversity, regardless of ecosystem. Herbivorous nematodes were the most affected trophic group. Herbivore abundance was higher at invaded than uninvaded sites and in grassland than forest. The herbivorous species Boleodorus thylactus, Geocenamus sp., Helicotylenchus spp., Paratylenchus bukowinensis, Pratylenchoides crenicauda and Rotylenchus robustus were more abundant at the invaded sites. Abundances of nematodes in the other tropic groups were limited or not affected. The invasion did not significantly affect the ecological and functional indices, except for the Channel Index in 2016. Differences were observed in values of Enrichment Index (indicator of resource availability), Channel Index (indicator of ascendant bacterial/fungal decomposition channel) and Basal Index (indicator of depleted-perturbed soil food webs) between grassland and forests. We can thus conclude that invasion by S. gigantea significantly alters nematode community indicators (abundance, species diversity and specific trophic groups); however, this effect seems to be significantly influenced by the type of ecosystem where invasion takes place.

RevDate: 2020-02-05

Wang F, Cale JA, N Erbilgin (2020)

Induced Defenses of a Novel Host Tree Affect the Growth and Interactions of Bark Beetle-Vectored Fungi.

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01490-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Mountain pine beetle (MPB) has recently expanded its host range to the novel jack pine forests in Alberta. Invasion success of MPB may depend on the outcome of interactions between its symbiotic fungus Grosmannia clavigera and Ophiostoma ips, a fungal associate of a potential competitor Ips pini. However, how the quality of jack pine phloem could influence interactions between the fungi is unknown. We investigated whether introduced concentrations of host nitrogen and monoterpenes affect the growth of and interaction between the fungi. Nitrogen concentrations did not affect the growth rate of either fungus. In the absence of monoterpenes, the presence of O. ips promoted G. clavigera growth. Monoterpenes either promoted or inhibited the growth of both fungi, and altered the outcome of species interactions from facilitation to no-effect. Overall, these results suggest that jack pine phloem quality and the presence of a niche-sharing fungus could influence MPB development.

RevDate: 2020-02-04

Sun J, Javed Q, Azeem A, et al (2020)

Fluctuated water depth with high nutrient concentrations promote the invasiveness of Wedelia trilobata in Wetland.

Ecology and evolution, 10(2):832-842 pii:ECE35941.

The distribution of invasive and native species in wetlands is determined by hydrological conditions; whereas conditions such as water depth fluctuations, variations in the nutrient concentrations are expected to affect the growth and physiological traits of plants. For the assessment of such effects, we conduct greenhouse experiment with three factors; 1) water depth of 5 cm and 15 cm (static and fluctuated); 2) three levels of nutrient concentrations (i) full-strength Hoagland solution (N1), (ii) ¼-strength Hoagland solution (N2), and (iii) 1/8-strength Hoagland solution (N3); and 3) species, invasive Wedelia trilobata (L.) and its congener, native Wedelia chinensis (Osbeck.) under mono and mixed culture. Water depth of 5 cm combined with any of the nutrient treatments significantly restrained the photosynthesis, intracellular CO2 concentration and leaf chlorophyll of both W. trilobata and W. chinensis. Increase in the water depth to 15 cm with low-nutrient treatment N3 did not sustain the physiological traits of W. chinensis under mono and mixed planting. A great loss was noted in the growth of W. chinensis at 15 cm static and fluctuated water depth with low-nutrient treatment (N3) and under mixed culture. In addition, water depth fluctuations with both low- and high-nutrient treatments significantly affected the root-shoot ratio, relative growth rate, and interspecific interaction among these two species. W. trilobata benefited more from competitive interaction index (CII) under fluctuated water depth at 15 cm with high nutrients, and the value of CII was clearly positive. Therefore, higher competitive ability may contribute to the invasiveness of W. trilobata in wetlands.

RevDate: 2020-02-05

Chetouhi C, Masseret E, Satta CT, et al (2020)

Intraspecific variability in membrane proteome, cell growth, and morphometry of the invasive marine neurotoxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium pacificum grown in metal-contaminated conditions.

The Science of the total environment, 715:136834 pii:S0048-9697(20)30344-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Over the past decades, the occurrence, distribution and intensity of harmful algal blooms involving the dinoflagellate Alexandrium pacificum have increased in marine coastal areas disturbed by anthropogenic inputs. This invasive species produces saxitoxin, which causes the paralytic shellfish poisoning syndrome in humans upon consumption of contaminated seafood. Blooms of A. pacificum have been reported in metal-contaminated coastal ecosystems, suggesting some ability of these microorganisms to adapt to and/or resist in metal stress conditions. This study seeks to characterize the modifications in membrane proteomes (by 2-D electrophoresis coupled to LC-MS/MS), cell growth and morphometry (measured with an inverted microscope), in response to metal stress (addition of Zn2+, Pb2+, Cu2+ and Cd2+), in two Mediterranean A. pacificum strains: SG C10-3 and TAR C5-4F, respectively isolated from the Santa Giusta Lagoon (Sardinia, Italy) and from the Tarragona seaport (Spain), both metal-contaminated ecosystems. In the SG C10-3 cultures grown in a metal cocktail, cell growth was significantly delayed, and cell size increased (22% of 37.5 μm cells after 25 days of growth). Conversely, no substantial change was observed for cell growth or cell size in the TAR C5-4F cultures grown in a metal cocktail (P > 0.10), thus indicating intraspecific variability in the responses of A. pacificum strains to metal contamination. Regardless of the conditions tested, the total number of proteins constituting the membrane proteome was significantly higher for TAR C5-4F than for SG C10-3, which may help TAR C5-4F to thrive better in contaminated conditions. For both strains, the total number of proteins constituting the membrane proteomes was significantly lower in response to metal stress (29% decrease in the SG C10-3 proteome: 82 ± 12 proteins for controls, and 58 ± 12 in metal-contaminated cultures; 17% decrease in the TAR C5-4F proteome: 101 ± 8 proteins for controls, and 84 ± 5 in metal-contaminated cultures). Moreover, regardless of the strain, proteins with significantly modified expression in response to stress were mainly down-regulated (representing 45% of the proteome for SG C10-3 and 38% for TAR C5-4F), clearly showing the harmful effects of the metals. Protein down-regulation may affect cell transport (actin and phospholipid scramblase in SG C10-3), photosynthesis (RUBISCO in SG C10-3, light-harvesting protein in TAR C5-4F, and high-CO2-inducing periplasmic protein in both strains), and finally energy metabolism (ATP synthase in both strains). However, other modifications in protein expression may confer to these A. pacificum strains a capacity for adaptation and/or resistance to metal stress conditions, for example by (i) limiting the metal entry through the plasma membrane of the SG C10-3 cells (via the down-regulation of scramblase) and/or (ii) reducing the oxidative stress generated by metals in SG C10-3 and TAR C5-4F cells (due to down-regulation of ATP-synthase).

RevDate: 2020-02-04

Nunny L (2020)

Animal Welfare in Predator Control: Lessons from Land and Sea. How the Management of Terrestrial and Marine Mammals Impacts Wild Animal Welfare in Human-Wildlife Conflict Scenarios in Europe.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 10(2): pii:ani10020218.

The control of predators, on land and in the sea, is a complex topic. Both marine and terrestrial mammal predators come into conflict with humans in Europe in many ways and yet their situations are rarely compared. Areas of conflict include the predation of livestock and farmed fish, and the perceived competition for wild prey (for example wolves competing with hunters for deer and seals competing with fishermen for salmon). A lethal method (shooting) and non-lethal methods of conflict reduction (including enclosures, guarding, and aversion) used for terrestrial large carnivores (e.g., bear, wolf, wolverine, lynx) and marine mammals (seals) are discussed. Control measures tend to be species- and habitat-specific, although shooting is a widely used method. Potential impacts on predator welfare are described and welfare assessments which have been developed for other wildlife control scenarios, e.g., control of introduced species, are considered for their potential use in assessing predator control. Such assessments should be applied before control methods are chosen so that decisions prioritizing animal welfare can be made. Further work needs to be carried out to achieve appropriate and widely-accepted animal welfare assessment approaches and these should be included in predator management planning. Future research should include further sharing of approaches and information between terrestrial and marine specialists to help ensure that animal welfare is prioritized.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Lioy S, Bianchi E, Biglia A, et al (2020)

Viability of thermal imaging in detecting nests of the invasive hornet Vespa velutina.

Insect science [Epub ahead of print].

Vespa velutina is an invasive hornet species that is colonising Europe, generating considerable impacts on honey bees, beekeeping and biodiversity. Control and early warning strategies for this species are mainly based on monitoring plans and procedures of nest detection and destruction. Technological tools (harmonic radar, radio-telemetry) have been developed to increase the probabilities of nest detection in new outbreaks. Since hornets are able to regulate nest temperature, thermography may represent an additional technique that may be used, both alone or in support to other techniques. In this study, the viability of thermal imaging in detecting nests of V. velutina was evaluated in controlled conditions. The influence of different environmental and operative variables (time of the day, presence/absence of leaves covering the nest, distance between the nest and the operator) were tested on three nests detected during August 2018 in Italy. All the nests were detectable by thermal imaging, but environmental and operative variables affect their detectability. The temperature difference between the nests and the surrounding reaches its maximum before sunrise and without a tree canopy covering the nests. Although nests were visible in some cases from 30 m, the detectability was higher at shorter distances, even if this variable may also depend on infrared camera resolution. An increase in the environmental temperature also generates a decrease of nest detectability. Although some limitations could occur, these results show the applicability of thermography in detecting V. velutina nests before the beginning of the reproductive phase, and consequently its potentiality in control strategies. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Vetter VMS, Kreyling J, Dengler J, et al (2020)

Invader presence disrupts the stabilizing effect of species richness in plant community recovery after drought.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Higher biodiversity can stabilize the productivity and functioning of grassland communities when subjected to extreme climatic events. The positive biodiversity-stability relationship emerges via increased resistance and/or recovery to these events. However, invader presence might disrupt this diversity-stability relationship by altering biotic interactions. Investigating such disruptions is important given that invasion by non-native species and extreme climatic events are expected to increase in the future due to anthropogenic pressure. Here, we present one of the first multisite invader x biodiversity x drought manipulation experiment to examine combined effects of biodiversity and invasion on drought resistance and recovery at three semi-natural grassland sites across Europe. The stability of biomass production to an extreme drought manipulation (100% rainfall reduction; BE: 88 days, BG: 85 days, DE: 76 days) was quantified in field mesocosms with a richness gradient of 1, 3, and 6 species and three invasion treatments (no invader, Lupinus polyphyllus, Senecio inaequidens). Our results suggest that biodiversity stabilized community productivity by increasing the ability of native species to recover from extreme drought events. However, invader presence turned the positive and stabilizing effects of diversity on native species recovery into a neutral relationship. This effect was independent of the two invader's own capacity to recover from an extreme drought event. In summary, we found that invader presence may disrupt how native community interactions lead to stability of ecosystems in response to extreme climatic events. Consequently, the interaction of three global change drivers, climate extremes, diversity decline, and invasive species, may exacerbate their effects on ecosystem functioning.

RevDate: 2020-02-03

Zhong Y, Tang Z, Huang L, et al (2020)

Genetic diversity of Procambarus clarkii populations based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellite markers in different areas of Guangxi, China.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part A, DNA mapping, sequencing, and analysis [Epub ahead of print].

The red swamp crayfish (Procambarus clarkii) is a famous invasive species. However, it has become one of the most important freshwater aquaculture resources in China. Herein, we focus on five artificial cultured populations of P. clarkii in Guangxi, southern China to investigate the genetic diversity based on mitochondrial DNA and microsatellites. The results revealed that the genetic diversity of P. clarkii populations in southern Guangxi (NN and DT) was lower than in central (LZ and LB) and northern (RS) Guangxi. A total of 17 haplotypes were captured from 100 individuals and haplotype 2 mainly existed, and the number of haplotype in NN and DT was less than other populations. The AMOVA showed that genetic variation was determined by within populations. The observed mismatch distribution of overall populations fit the expected distributions, indicating that no obvious demographic expansion, but unimodal was observed in RS, LZ and LB. Fst among most of groups exhibited moderate differentiation. Nevertheless, the gene flow demonstrated there had extensive gene exchanges between different populations, particularly between LZ and LB. UPGMA tree revealed that NN and DT belonged to the same clade, whereas the remaining populations were in the other clade. According to the genetic diversity, there is a need to improve the germplasm resources of P. clarkii in southern Guangxi.

RevDate: 2020-02-05
CmpDate: 2020-02-05

Everard M (2020)

Can management of 'thirsty' alien trees improve water security in semi-arid India?.

The Science of the total environment, 704:135451.

Arid and semi-arid regions of central India receive scarce and episodic precipitation during the short monsoon season, and also experience substantial evaporation. Traditional and innovative water harvesting and governance practices improve water stewardship, or abate some impacts of intensive mechanised water extraction. However, significant numbers of alien trees, in particular Eucalyptus species with high water demands, populate some regions practicing progressive water stewardship. The water demands of these trees can potentially undermine efforts to achieve water security. Through interviews with community leaders in Indian villages with differing eucalyptus tree densities, water loss through evapotranspiration compared with livelihood demands was approximated. Literature review of the water demands and ecosystem services provided respectively by alien eucalypts and native, culturally valued neem trees supports assessment of the likely benefits and acceptability of a replacement programme favouring native trees. Although data limitations mean that the findings of this study are necessarily uncertain, they nonetheless illustrate the likely scale of impact, substantiating the case for alien tree management as an important contribution to water security. Alien vegetation management practices as a contribution to water security are already firmly established in South Africa, and are likely to yield equivalent benefits if translated to dryland India.

RevDate: 2020-02-04
CmpDate: 2020-02-04

Zhao L, Liu L, Liu B, et al (2019)

Antioxidant responses to seawater acidification in an invasive fouling mussel are alleviated by transgenerational acclimation.

Aquatic toxicology (Amsterdam, Netherlands), 217:105331.

Ocean acidification and marine biofouling, which may interact in the future, pose two major threats to global coastal ecosystems. Yet, the fate of highly invasive fouling species in a rapidly acidifying ocean remains poorly understood, due to lack of information on multigenerational consequences at different levels of biological organization. Here, we investigated antioxidant responses of the mussel, Musculista senhousia, a swiftly spreading invasive fouling species in global coastal waters, following transgenerational exposure to elevated pCO2. In the face of seawater acidification, M. senhousia without a prior history of transgenerational exposure to elevated pCO2 showed resistance to lipid peroxidation, but significantly increased activities of antioxidant enzymes, including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), indicated oxidative stress responses. However, enhanced transgenerational immunity occurred, as exemplified by observations that mussels originating from parents exposed to elevated pCO2 exhibited significantly lower activities of SOD, CAT and GPx in comparison to those spawn from parents exposed to ambient pCO2. Rapid transgenerational acclimation of M. senhousia in terms of reduced oxidative stress responses can likely be linked to the enhanced capacity of maintaining acid-base homeostasis previously demonstrated. These findings provide the first evidence of transgenerational plasticity at the biochemical level in highly invasive fouling bivalve species, and represent a step forward in understanding how they respond and acclimate in an acidifying ocean.

RevDate: 2020-02-04
CmpDate: 2020-02-04

Lazarević M, Kavallieratos NG, Nika EP, et al (2019)

Does the exposure of parental female adults of the invasive Trogoderma granarium Everts to pirimiphos-methyl on concrete affect the morphology of their adult progeny? A geometric morphometric approach.

Environmental science and pollution research international, 26(34):35061-35070.

Insecticidal applications may result to morphological deformations upon exposed insects or their offspring production. In the present study, we tested whether pirimiphos-methyl can induce deformities to wings of progeny production of the invasive khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium (Coleoptera: Dermestidae) when its parental female adults have been treated with this organophosphorus active ingredient. For that purpose, we analysed both elytra and hindwings of both sexes of T. granarium progeny production by using the geometric morphometrics method. Our results showed that the wings of progeny of the pirimiphos-methyl-treated T. granarium parental female adult individuals suffered certain changes in their usual shape depending on size. Deformations occurred on both pairs of wings, but changes were more noticeable on the hindwings. A longer than 5-h exposure of parental female adults to pirimiphos-methyl, resulted in progeny with more deformed wings than in those individuals emerged after the exposure of their parental female adults in shorter periods on the toxicant. Generally, wings of both sexes were sensitive to pirimiphos-methyl, distinguishing the control group from the insecticidal treatments. The existence of deformed adults could be a useful indicator of earlier insecticidal applications as surface treatments and/or grain protectants in the storage facilities.

RevDate: 2020-02-01

Luchi N, Ioos R, A Santini (2020)

Fast and reliable molecular methods to detect fungal pathogens in woody plants.

Applied microbiology and biotechnology pii:10.1007/s00253-020-10395-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Plant diseases caused by pathogenic microorganisms represent a serious threat to plant productivity, food security, and natural ecosystems. An effective framework for early warning and rapid response is a crucial element to mitigate or prevent the impacts of biological invasions of plant pathogens. For these reasons, detection tools play an important role in monitoring plant health, surveillance, and quantitative pathogen risk assessment, thus improving best practices to mitigate and prevent microbial threats. The need to reduce the time of diagnosis has prompted plant pathologists to move towards more sensitive and rapid methods such as molecular techniques. Considering prevention to be the best strategy to protect plants from diseases, this review focuses on fast and reliable molecular methods to detect the presence of woody plant pathogens at early stage of disease development before symptoms occur in the host. A harmonized pool of novel technical, methodological, and conceptual solutions is needed to prevent entry and establishment of new diseases in a country and mitigate the impact of both invasive and indigenous organisms to agricultural and forest ecosystem biodiversity and productivity.

RevDate: 2020-02-01

Avila C, Angulo-Preckler C, Martín-Martín RP, et al (2020)

Invasive marine species discovered on non-native kelp rafts in the warmest Antarctic island.

Scientific reports, 10(1):1639 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-58561-y.

Antarctic shallow coastal marine communities were long thought to be isolated from their nearest neighbours by hundreds of kilometres of deep ocean and the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The discovery of non-native kelp washed up on Antarctic beaches led us to question the permeability of these barriers to species dispersal. According to the literature, over 70 million kelp rafts are afloat in the Southern Ocean at any one time. These living, floating islands can play host to a range of passenger species from both their original coastal location and those picked in the open ocean. Driven by winds, currents and storms towards the coast of the continent, these rafts are often cited as theoretical vectors for the introduction of new species into Antarctica and the sub-Antarctic islands. We found non-native kelps, with a wide range of "hitchhiking" passenger organisms, on an Antarctic beach inside the flooded caldera of an active volcanic island. This is the first evidence of non-native species reaching the Antarctic continent alive on kelp rafts. One passenger species, the bryozoan Membranipora membranacea, is found to be an invasive and ecologically harmful species in some cold-water regions, and this is its first record from Antarctica. The caldera of Deception Island provides considerably milder conditions than the frigid surrounding waters and it could be an ideal location for newly introduced species to become established. These findings may help to explain many of the biogeographic patterns and connections we currently see in the Southern Ocean. However, with the impacts of climate change in the region we may see an increase in the range and number of organisms capable of surviving both the long journey and becoming successfully established.

RevDate: 2020-02-01

Uddin MN, Robinson RW, T Asaeda (2020)

Nitrogen immobilization may reduce invasibility of nutrient enriched plant community invaded by Phragmites australis.

Scientific reports, 10(1):1601 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-58523-4.

Nutrient enrichment, particularly nitrogen, is an important determinant of plant community productivity, diversity and invasibility in a wetland ecosystem. It may contribute to increasing colonization and dominance of invasive species, such as Phragmites australis, especially during wetland restoration. Providing native species a competitive advantage over invasive species, manipulating soil nutrients (nitrogen) may be an effective strategy to control the invasive species and that management tool is essential to restore the degraded ecosystems. Therefore, we examined competition between Phragmites australis and Melaleuca ericifolia in a greenhouse setting with activated carbon (AC) treatments, followed by cutting of Phragmites shoots in nutrient-rich soils. Additionally, we evaluated the effect of AC on plant-free microcosms in the laboratory, to differentiate direct effects of AC on soil microbial functions from indirect effects. Overall, the objective was to test whether lowering nitrogen might be an effective approach for reducing Phragmites invasion in the wetland. The AC reduced Phragmites total biomass more significantly in repeated cut regime (57%) of Phragmites shoots compared to uncut regime (39%). Conversely, it increased Melaleuca total biomass by 41% and 68% in uncut and repeated cut regimes, respectively. Additionally, AC decreased more total nitrogen in above-ground biomass (41 to 55%) and non-structural carbohydrate in rhizome (21 to 65%) of Phragmites, and less total nitrogen reduction in above-ground biomass (25 to 24%) of Melaleuca in repeated cut compared to uncut regime. The significant negative correlation between Phragmites and Melaleuca total biomass was observed, and noticed that Phragmites acquired less biomass comparatively than Melaleuca in AC-untreated versus AC-treated pots across the cutting frequency. AC also caused significant changes to microbial community functions across Phragmites populations, namely nitrogen mineralization, nitrification, nitrogen microbial biomass and dehydrogenase activity (P ≤ 0.05) that may potentially explain changes in plant growth competition between Phragmites and Melaleuca. The overall effects on plant growth, however, may be partially microbially mediated, which was demonstrated through soil microbial functions. Results support the idea that reducing community vulnerability to invasion through nutrient (nitrogen) manipulations by AC with reducing biomass of invasive species may provide an effective strategy for invasive species management and ecosystem restoration.

RevDate: 2020-01-31

Cowie BW, Venter N, Witkowski ETF, et al (2020)

Implications of elevated carbon dioxide on the susceptibility of the globally invasive weed, Parthenium hysterophorus, to glyphosate herbicide.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The noxious annual herb, Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae), is an invasive weed of global significance, threatening food security, biodiversity and human health. In South Africa, chemical control is frequently employed to manage P. hysterophorus, however, concern surrounds increasing atmospheric CO2 levels which may reduce the efficacy of glyphosate against the weed. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the susceptibility of P. hysterophorus to glyphosate (1ℓ/ha: recommended) after being grown for five generations in Convirons under ambient (400 ppm) and elevated (600 and 800 ppm) CO2 .

RESULTS: Glyphosate efficacy decreased with increasing CO2 , with mortalities of 100, 83 and 75% recorded at 400, 600 and 800 ppm, respectively. Parthenium hysterophorus experienced enhanced growth and reproduction under elevated CO2, however, glyphosate application was highly damaging, reducing the growth and flowering of plants across all CO2 treatments. Physiologically, glyphosate-treated plants, in all CO2 treatments, suffered severe declines of >90% in chlorophyll content, maximum quantum efficiency (Fv /fm), photon absorption (ABS/RC), electron transport (ET0 /RC) and performance index (PIABS), albeit at slower rates for plants grown under elevated CO2 . Low levels of recovery from glyphosate were documented only for plants grown under elevated CO2 and was attributed to their increased biomass.

CONCLUSION: These results suggest that increasing CO2 levels may hinder chemical control efforts utilised against P. hysterophorus in the future, advocating for further investigation using multigenerational CO2 studies and the maintenance of effective spraying programmes at present. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-01-31

Moyano J, Rodriguez-Cabal MA, MA Nuñez (2020)

Highly invasive tree species are more dependent on mutualisms.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Why some species become invasive while others do not remains an elusive question. It has been proposed that invasive species should depend less on mutualisms, because their spread would then be less constrained by the availability of mutualistic partners. We tested this idea with the genus Pinus, whose degree of invasiveness is known at the species level (being highly and negatively correlated with seed size) and which forms obligate mutualistic associations with ectomycorrhizal fungi (EMF). Mycorrhizal dependence is defined as the degree to which a plant needs the mycorrhizal fungi to show the maximum growth. In this regard, we use plant growth response to mycorrhizal fungi as a proxy for mycorrhizal dependence. We assessed the responsiveness of Pinus species to EMF using 1206 contrasts published on 34 species, and matched these data with data on Pinus species invasiveness. Surprisingly, we found that species which are more invasive depend more on mutualisms (EMF). Seedling growth of species with smaller seeds benefited more from mutualisms, indicating a higher dependence. A higher reliance on EMF could be part of a strategy in which small-seeded species produce more seeds that can disperse further, and these species are likely to establish only if facilitated by mycorrhizal fungi. On the contrary, big seeded species showed a lower dependence on EMF, which may be explained by their tolerance to stressful conditions during establishment. However, the limited dispersal of larger seeds may limit the spread of these species. We present strong evidence against a venerable belief in ecology that species that rely more on mutualisms are less prone to invade, and suggest that in certain circumstances greater reliance on mutualists can increase spread capacity.

RevDate: 2020-01-31

Song X, Song R, Zhou J, et al (2020)

Development and application of oligonucleotide-based chromosome painting for chromosome 4D of Triticum aestivum L.

Chromosome research : an international journal on the molecular, supramolecular and evolutionary aspects of chromosome biology pii:10.1007/s10577-020-09627-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Chromosome painting is a useful technique for distinguishing specific chromosomes (fragments), elucidating the genetic relationships of different genomes or chromosomes, and identifying chromosomal rearrangements. The development of chromosome- or genome-specific probes is fundamental for chromosome painting. The possibility for developing such probes specifically painting homoeologous chromosomes in allopolyploid species has been questioned since that chromosomes belonging to the same homoeologous group share highly conserved sequences. In the present study, we attempted to construct a wheat chromosome 4D-specific oligo probe library by selecting 4D-specific sequences in reference genome of common wheat cv. Chinese Spring (CS, 2n = 6x = 42, AABBDD). The synthesized library contains 27,392 oligos. Oligo painting using the probe library confirmed its specificity, shown by that only chromosome 4D could be painted in three wheat genotypes and CS nulli-tetrasomic line N4AT4D. Oligo painting was successfully used to define the 4D breakpoints in CS deletion lines involving 4D and two wheat-Haynaldia villosa 4D-4V translocation lines. Thirteen wheat relatives and a Triticum durum-H. villosa amphiploid were used for oligo painting. Except the 4D in two Aegilops tauschii accessions, the 4M in Ae. comosa and 4U in Ae. umbellulata could be painted. In tetraploid Ae. ventricosa, both 4D and 4M could be painted; however, the signal intensity of 4M was less compared with 4D. No painted chromosome was observed for the other alien species. This indicated that the relationship among D/M/U was closer than that among D/A/B as well as D with genomes H/R/Ss/Sc/Y/P/N/J. Our successful development of 4D-specific oligo probe library may serve as a model for developing oligo probes specific for other homoeologous chromosomes.

RevDate: 2020-01-30

Filek N, Cimadom A, Schulze CH, et al (2018)

The impact of invasive plant management on the foraging ecology of the Warbler Finch (Certhidea olivacea) and the Small Tree Finch (Camarhynchus parvulus) on Galápagos.

Journal of ornithology, 159(1):129-140.

In recent decades, arboreal Darwin's Finches have suffered from a dramatic population decline, which has been attributed to parasitism by the invasive botfly Philornis downsi. However, changes to their primary habitat caused by invasive plant species may have additionally contributed to the observed population decline. The humid cloud forest on Santa Cruz Island is a stronghold of arboreal Darwin's Finches but has been invaded by blackberry (Rubus niveus). In some areas, manual control and herbicide application are used to combat this invasion, both causing a temporary removal of the entire understory. We hypothesized that the removal of the understory reduces the availability of arthropods, which are a main food source during chick rearing. We compared the foraging behaviour of Warbler Finches (Certhidea olivacea) and Small Tree Finches (Camarhynchus parvulus) at three study sites that varied in the degree of R. niveus invasion and the length of time since the last herbicide application. We used prey attack rate and foraging success as an index for food availability and predicted a lower attack rate and foraging success in areas that had recently been sprayed with herbicides. We found that both the invasion and the management of R. niveus influenced microhabitat use, foraging substrate and prey choice in both species. Contrary to our hypothesis, we did not find a lower attack rate or foraging success in the area with recent herbicide application. This may be explained by the finding that both species mainly foraged in the canopy but also used dead plant structures of the understory of the recently controlled area that resulted from the invasive plant management.

RevDate: 2020-01-31
CmpDate: 2020-01-31

Xu C, Ge Z, Li C, et al (2019)

Inhibition of harmful algae Phaeocystis globosa and Prorocentrum donghaiense by extracts of coastal invasive plant Spartina alterniflora.

The Science of the total environment, 696:133930.

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) and the invasion of smooth cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora) have become important environmental problems in intertidal zones of China, which caused serious damage on the coastal ecological systems. By using S. alterniflora as algaecide, this helps to utilize this invasive plant, in addition, is expected to help to control the expansion of S. alterniflora. The potential of S. alterniflora in HABs mitigation was investigated on controlling Phaeocystis globosa (haptophyceae) and Prorocentrum donghaiense (dinophyceae). The growth of both HABs species was significantly inhibited at high concentrations, and P. globosa was more sensitive than P. donghaiense. Furthermore, the extracts of S. alterniflora reduced the effective quantum yield, photosynthetic efficiency, and relative maximal electron transport rate of both algal species at high concentrations, which implies a disruption on their photosynthetic system. Flavonoids, which were previously known as antialgal chemicals, were found to be abundant in the extracts of S. alterniflora by UPLC-MS detection. Our results revealed that the potential of S. alterniflora as a novel antialgal agent for controlling HABs, simultaneously, resource utilization possibility for the invasive plant S. alterniflora.

RevDate: 2020-01-31
CmpDate: 2020-01-31

Stanek M, AM Stefanowicz (2019)

Invasive Quercus rubra negatively affected soil microbial communities relative to native Quercus robur in a semi-natural forest.

The Science of the total environment, 696:133977.

Invasive tree species can exert a profound effect on soil properties and ecosystem processes. Quercus rubra is a Northern American species that has an invader status in many European countries. However, the direction and magnitude of its effect on soil physicochemical and microbial properties relative to native tree species in forests are largely unknown. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of invasive Q. rubra on physicochemical and microbial properties of soil organic and mineral horizons in comparison to native Quercus robur in a semi-natural forest. The study was performed on 23 Q. rubra and 10 Q. robur stands in the Niepołomice Forest (southern Poland). A number of soil parameters were assessed, namely moisture, water holding capacity, electrical conductivity, pH, organic C, total N, respiration, bacterial and fungal biomass and community structure (phospholipid fatty acid and ergosterol analyses). As soil properties are influenced by the quality of leaf litter deposited by trees, senesced Q. rubra and Q. robur leaves were characterized in terms of C, Ca, Mg, K, N, P, total phenolics and condensed tannins concentrations. It was found that total microbial and bacterial biomass was significantly lower under Q. rubra than Q. robur in both soil horizons. Microbial community structure of organic horizon also differed between the two Quercus species. In contrast, no differences were found in fungal biomass and soil physicochemical variables. The reduction in microbial and bacterial biomass beneath Q. rubra may be associated with the quantity and quality of its litter. Senesced Q. rubra leaves were characterized by significantly higher C/N and C/P ratios relative to those of Q. robur. Preliminary data indicate that although they had lower concentrations of phenolics and condensed tannins, the pools of these compounds supplied to the soil were higher due to higher litter production by Q. rubra.

RevDate: 2020-01-30

Lavagnino NJ, Fanara JJ, J Mensch (2020)

Comparison of overwintering survival and fertility of Zaprionus indianus (Diptera: Drosophilidae) flies from native and invaded ranges.

Journal of thermal biology, 87:102470.

Zaprionus indianus is a fly species native to the Afrotropical biogeographic region that invaded the South American continent 20 years ago. Its southernmost record is 34°S in areas with temperate climates with cold winters. To better understand its invasion biology, we investigated physiological responses to winter-like abiotic conditions that may be relevant in Z. indianus geographic expansion. We characterized Z. indianus females reproductive traits (ovarian maturation and fertility) and survival in response to cold treatments with summer-like and winter-like photoperiods. We also compared these traits between native (Yokadouma, Africa) and invasive (Yuto, South America) range wild-derived flies. We showed that Z. indianus females have the ability to arrest ovarian maturation and maintain fertility following recovery from cold stress. The critical temperature for ovarian maturation of this species was estimated at c. 13 °C, an intermediate value between those of tropical and temperate drosophilid species. Wild-derived females from Yuto responded to winter-like photoperiod by slowing down ovarian maturation at low but permissive temperatures of 14 °C and 16 °C and also delayed the start of oviposition after cold treatment. Yuto flies also survived better and recovered 20% faster from chill coma than flies from Yokadouma. These results are consistent with a scenario of local adaptations or phenotypic plasticity in the invaded range, and suggest that photoperiod could act as modulator of ovarian arrest. Conversely, the fact that native range flies showed higher fertility after cold recovery than females from invaded range is not indicative of local adaptation. All in all, our findings report a set of physiological responses that would enable Z. indianus expansion to temperate and cold areas, but also results that are compatible with a limitation to the invasion process.

RevDate: 2020-01-30

Triapitsyn SV, Hight SD, Logarzo GA, et al (2020)

Natural Enemies of the Harrisia Cactus Mealybug and Other Hypogeococcus Species (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) in Puerto Rico: Identification and Taxonomic Notes on Primary and Secondary Parasitoids.

Neotropical entomology pii:10.1007/s13744-019-00754-w [Epub ahead of print].

Primary and secondary parasitoids of Hypogeococcus spp. (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) on Cactaceae, Amaranthaceae, and Portulacaceae were reported from field surveys conducted in Puerto Rico, USA, since 2009. Resident natural enemies of the Harrisia cactus mealybug (HCM), Hypogeococcus sp., which is devastating native cacti in Puerto Rico and threatening cacti in the adjacent Caribbean islands, were documented prior to the planned introductions of non-native biological control agents from South America against this pest. Two species of Encyrtidae (Hymenoptera: Chalcidoidea) were recorded as primary parasitoids of the HCM on Cactaceae: Leptomastidea hypogeococci Triapitsyn, which was the most common, and Anagyrus quilmes Triapitsyn, Logarzo & Aguirre. Another primary parasitoid, Acerophagus sp. near nubilipennis Dozier (Encyrtidae), was also reared from a different Hypogeococcus sp. on Amaranthaceae and Portulacaceae. Hyperparasitoids, usually via L. hypogeococci, included Prochiloneurus narendrani Noyes & Triapitsyn (Encyrtidae), Pachyneuron sp. (Hymenoptera: Pteromalidae), Chartocerus elongatus (Girault), and Chartocerus niger (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Signiphoridae). Cheiloneurus chrisiantorresi Triapitsyn sp. n. (Encyrtidae) is newly described and illustrated; its status as a suspect hyperparasitoid of Hypogeococcus sp. on Amaranthaceae and Portulacaceae, along with that of Cheiloneurus sp., will need to be verified. The recorded HCM predators include one species of Chamaemyiidae (Diptera), Leucopina bella (Loew), and three species of Coccinellidae (Coleoptera): Cryptolaemus montrouzieri Mulsant, Decadiomus austrinus (Gordon), and Scymnobius flavifrons (Melsheimer).

RevDate: 2020-01-30

Eggertsen M, C Halling (2020)

Knowledge gaps and management recommendations for future paths of sustainable seaweed farming in the Western Indian Ocean.

Ambio pii:10.1007/s13280-020-01319-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Farming of eucheumatoid seaweeds is a widespread, promising activity and an important livelihood option in many tropical coastal areas as for example in East Africa, Western Indian Ocean (WIO). Compared to other types of aquaculture, seaweed farming has generally low impact on the environment. Nonetheless, there are potential direct or indirect negative effects of seaweed farming, such as introduction of alien species and changes in local environmental conditions. Although farming has been practiced in this region during several decades, the knowledge concerning the actual environmental impacts from faming non-native eucheumatoid haplotypes and consequently how to manage farming activities to mitigate those is highly limited. In this review, we provide a summary of the current scientific knowledge of potential direct and indirect negative environmental effects linked to eucheumatoid seaweed farming such as alterations of benthic macrophyte habitats and loss of native biodiversity. Furthermore, we highlight knowledge gaps that are of importance to address in the near future, e.g., large-scale ecosystem effects and farms as potential vectors of pathogens. We also provide a number of feasible management recommendations to be implemented for a continued development of environmentally sustainable seaweed farming practices in the WIO region, which includes spatial planning of farms to avoid sensitive areas and farming of native haplotypes of eucheumatoids instead of introduced specimens.

RevDate: 2020-01-30
CmpDate: 2020-01-30

Pascucci I, Di Domenico M, Capobianco Dondona G, et al (2019)

Assessing the role of migratory birds in the introduction of ticks and tick-borne pathogens from African countries: An Italian experience.

Ticks and tick-borne diseases, 10(6):101272.

The continuous flow of billions of birds between Africa and Europe creates an "ecological bridge" between physically remote areas. Migratory birds fly south from their breeding grounds during late summer/fall and fly back in spring. These movements regulate the spread of internal and external parasites, as well as pathogens of potential public health concern. The aim of the present study was to investigate the possible introduction of exotic tick species and tick-borne pathogens into Europe via migratory birds. At the bird observatory of Ventotene island (Italy), 443 feeding ticks were collected from 249 birds captured and ringed during their northbound migration in spring 2013. Each tick was identified by morphological and molecular methods and then tested for bacterial and viral pathogens: Borrelia burgdorferi s.l., Rickettsia spp., Ehrlichia ruminantium and Coxiella burnetii, Crimean Congo haemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV) and Flavivirus. Morphological and molecular identification confirmed Hyalomma rufipes as the most abundant species among the collected arthropods (366/443; 82.6%) followed by Hyalomma marginatum (10/433; 2.3%). Rickettsia aeschlimannii was identified in 158 ticks, while one engorged Amblyomma variegatum nymph was infected with Rickettsia africae. The other bacteria were not detected in any specimen. Among viruses, RNA belonging to West Nile virus and other Flavivirus were detected whereas all ticks were negative for CCHFV RNA. These results confirm how migratory birds play a role in carrying Rickettsia-infected ticks, as well as viruses of zoonotic importance, from Africa into Europe. To what extent tick species are capable of establishing a permanent population once introduced in naïve areas, is far from defined and deserve further investigation.

RevDate: 2020-01-30
CmpDate: 2020-01-30

Sun J, Mu H, Ip JCH, et al (2019)

Signatures of Divergence, Invasiveness, and Terrestrialization Revealed by Four Apple Snail Genomes.

Molecular biology and evolution, 36(7):1507-1520.

The family Ampullariidae includes both aquatic and amphibious apple snails. They are an emerging model for evolutionary studies due to the high diversity, ancient history, and wide geographical distribution. Insight into drivers of ampullariid evolution is hampered, however, by the lack of genomic resources. Here, we report the genomes of four ampullariids spanning the Old World (Lanistes nyassanus) and New World (Pomacea canaliculata, P. maculata, and Marisa cornuarietis) clades. The ampullariid genomes have conserved ancient bilaterial karyotype features and a novel Hox gene cluster rearrangement, making them valuable in comparative genomic studies. They have expanded gene families related to environmental sensing and cellulose digestion, which may have facilitated some ampullarids to become notorious invasive pests. In the amphibious Pomacea, novel acquisition of an egg neurotoxin and a protein for making the calcareous eggshell may have been key adaptations enabling their transition from underwater to terrestrial egg deposition.

RevDate: 2020-01-30
CmpDate: 2020-01-30

Xu L, Liu Y, Xu S, et al (2019)

Gut commensal bacteria in biological invasions.

Integrative zoology, 14(6):613-618.

RevDate: 2020-01-29

Catford JA, Dwyer JM, Palma E, et al (2020)

Community diversity outweighs effect of warming on plant colonization.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Abiotic environmental change, local species extinctions and colonization of new species often co-occur. Whether species colonization is driven by changes in abiotic conditions or reduced biotic resistance will affect community functional composition and ecosystem management. We use a grassland experiment to disentangle effects of climate warming and community diversity on plant species colonization. Community diversity had dramatic impacts on the biomass, richness and traits of plant colonists. Three times as many species colonized the monocultures than the high diversity 17-species communities (~30 vs 10 species), and colonists collectively produced 10-times as much biomass in the monocultures than the high diversity communities (~30 vs 3 g/m2). Colonists with resource-acquisitive strategies (high SLA, light seeds, short heights) accrued more biomass in low diversity communities, whereas species with conservative strategies accrued most biomass in high diversity communities. Communities with higher biomass of resident C4 grasses were more resistant to colonization by legume, non-legume forb and C3 grass colonists, but not by C4 grass colonists. Compared with effects of diversity, six years of 3°C-above-ambient temperatures had little impact on plant colonization. Warmed subplots had ~3 fewer colonist species than ambient subplots and selected for heavier-seeded colonists. They also showed diversity-dependent changes in biomass of C3 grass colonists, which decreased under low diversity and increased under high diversity. Our findings suggest that species colonization is more strongly affected by biotic resistance from residents than 3°C of climate warming. If these results were extended to invasive species management, preserving community diversity should help limit plant invasion, even under climate warming.

RevDate: 2020-01-29

Eyer PA, Espinoza EM, Blumenfeld AJ, et al (2020)

The underdog invader: Breeding system and colony genetic structure of the dark rover ant (Brachymyrmex patagonicus Mayr).

Ecology and evolution, 10(1):493-505 pii:ECE35917.

Ants are among the most successful species at invading new environments. Their success undeniably comes from their various modes of reproduction and colony breeding structures, which influence their dispersal ability, reproductive potential, and foraging strategies. Almost all invasive ant species studied so far form supercolonies, a dense network of interconnected nests comprising numerous queens, without aggression toward non-nestmates. This strategy results in invasive colonies that are able to grow extremely fast and large while avoiding intraspecific competition, allowing them to monopolize environmental resources and outcompete native species. Here, we developed and used 10 microsatellite markers to investigate the population structure and breeding system of the dark rover ant Brachymyrmex patagonicus Mayr in its introduced range. We determined whether this species exhibits a supercolonial structure by assessing whether different nests belonged to the same genetic colony. We inferred its dispersal ability by investigating isolation by distance and estimated the numbers of queens per colonies and mating per queen through parent-offspring inferences. We found that most of the colonies of B. patagonicus were comprised of a single nest, headed by a single queen. Each nest was distinct from one another, without isolation by distance, which suggests strong dispersal ability through nuptial flights. These features are commonly observed in noninvasive and native ant species, but they are surprising for a successful invasive ant, as they strongly differ from other invasive ants. Overall, we discuss how this seemingly unfavorable strategy for an invasive ant might favor the invasive success of the dark rover ant in the United States.

RevDate: 2020-01-29

Malumbres-Olarte J, Boieiro M, Cardoso P, et al (2020)

Standardised inventories of spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) of Macaronesia II: The native forests and dry habitats of Madeira archipelago (Madeira and Porto Santo islands).

Biodiversity data journal, 8:e47502 pii:47502.

Background: Here we present the data obtained from the samples collected as part of a large research project (MACDIV) which aims at understanding the drivers of spider (Araneae) community assembly in Macaronesian islands. To obtain the data, we applied the sampling protocol COBRA (Conservation Oriented Biodiversity Rapid Assessment), in twelve 50 m x 50 m native forest plots and five dry habitat plots on the island of Madeiraand in 5 dry habitat plots on the island of Porto Santo. Through this publication, we contribute to the knowledge of the arachnofauna of the Madeiran archipelago.

New information: From the samples that we collected, we obtained a total of 14,902 specimens, of which 49% were adults (7,263). We identified these specimens to 87 species and 18 morphospecies (undescribed), belonging to 26 families. Species of the family Linyphiidae dominated the samples, with 24 (morpho)species. Out of the 105 recorded (morpho)species, 34 were endemic, 26 native non-endemic, 22 introduced and 23 species of unknown origin. We report seven new records of possibly recently introduced species in the Madeiran archipelago. We also present 21 new records for Madeira island and 32 for Porto Santo (33 for the whole archipelago).

RevDate: 2020-01-29

Oliphant K, Cochrane K, Schroeter K, et al (2020)

Effects of Antibiotic Pretreatment of an Ulcerative Colitis-Derived Fecal Microbial Community on the Integration of Therapeutic Bacteria In Vitro.

mSystems, 5(1): pii:5/1/e00404-19.

Fecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) is a proposedly useful strategy for the treatment of gastrointestinal (GI) disorders through remediation of the patient gut microbiota. However, its therapeutic success has been variable, necessitating research to uncover mechanisms that improve patient response. Antibiotic pretreatment has been proposed as one method to enhance the success rate by increasing niche availability for introduced species. Several limitations hinder exploring this hypothesis in clinical studies, such as deleterious side effects and the development of antimicrobial resistance in patients. Thus, the purpose of this study was to evaluate the use of an in vitro, bioreactor-based, colonic ecosystem model as a form of preclinical testing by determining how pretreatment with the antibiotic rifaximin influenced engraftment of bacterial strains sourced from a healthy donor into an ulcerative colitis-derived defined microbial community. Distinct species integrated under the pretreated and untreated conditions, with the relative rifaximin resistance of the microbial strains being an important influencer. However, both conditions resulted in the integration of taxa from Clostridium clusters IV and XIVa, a concomitant reduction of Proteobacteria, and similar decreases in metabolites associated with poor health status. Our results agree with the findings of similar research in the clinic by others, which observed no difference in primary patient outcomes whether or not patients were given rifaximin prior to FMT. We therefore conclude that our model is useful for screening for antibiotics that could improve efficacy of FMT when used as a pretreatment.IMPORTANCE Patients with gastrointestinal disorders often exhibit derangements in their gut microbiota, which can exacerbate their symptoms. Replenishing these ecosystems with beneficial bacteria through fecal microbiota transplantation is thus a proposedly useful therapeutic; however, clinical success has varied, necessitating research into strategies to improve outcomes. Antibiotic pretreatment has been suggested as one such approach, but concerns over harmful side effects have hindered testing this hypothesis clinically. Here, we evaluate the use of bioreactors supporting defined microbial communities derived from human fecal samples as models of the colonic microbiota in determining the effectiveness of antibiotic pretreatment. We found that relative antimicrobial resistance was a key determinant of successful microbial engraftment with rifaximin (broad-spectrum antibiotic) pretreatment, despite careful timing of the application of the therapeutic agents, resulting in distinct species profiles from those of the control but with similar overall outcomes. Our model had results comparable to the clinical findings and thus can be used to screen for useful antibiotics.

RevDate: 2020-01-29

Adrian-Kalchhauser I, Blomberg A, Larsson T, et al (2020)

The round goby genome provides insights into mechanisms that may facilitate biological invasions.

BMC biology, 18(1):11 pii:10.1186/s12915-019-0731-8.

BACKGROUND: The invasive benthic round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) is the most successful temperate invasive fish and has spread in aquatic ecosystems on both sides of the Atlantic. Invasive species constitute powerful in situ experimental systems to study fast adaptation and directional selection on short ecological timescales and present promising case studies to understand factors involved the impressive ability of some species to colonize novel environments. We seize the unique opportunity presented by the round goby invasion to study genomic substrates potentially involved in colonization success.

RESULTS: We report a highly contiguous long-read-based genome and analyze gene families that we hypothesize to relate to the ability of these fish to deal with novel environments. The analyses provide novel insights from the large evolutionary scale to the small species-specific scale. We describe expansions in specific cytochrome P450 enzymes, a remarkably diverse innate immune system, an ancient duplication in red light vision accompanied by red skin fluorescence, evolutionary patterns of epigenetic regulators, and the presence of osmoregulatory genes that may have contributed to the round goby's capacity to invade cold and salty waters. A recurring theme across all analyzed gene families is gene expansions.

CONCLUSIONS: The expanded innate immune system of round goby may potentially contribute to its ability to colonize novel areas. Since other gene families also feature copy number expansions in the round goby, and since other Gobiidae also feature fascinating environmental adaptations and are excellent colonizers, further long-read genome approaches across the goby family may reveal whether gene copy number expansions are more generally related to the ability to conquer new habitats in Gobiidae or in fish.

RevDate: 2020-01-29

Iriti M, S Vitalini (2020)

Sustainable Crop Protection, Global Climate Change, Food Security and Safety-Plant Immunity at the Crossroads.

Vaccines, 8(1): pii:vaccines8010042.

The development of novel strategies of plant disease management is crucial in view of the growing demand of sustainability in agri-food chains. The use of agrochemicals is not without risk for the consumer and environment in terms of their residues in food, feed, water bodies and harmful effects on nontarget organisms. However, because of the high global annual yield losses attributable to plant diseases and also due to global climate changes that have exacerbated some phytosanitary emergences, chemical input in agriculture is mandatory. In this complex scenario, the use of agrochemicals that boost the plant immune system represents a relatively novel approach in crop protection. These plant protection products are not antimicrobial or fungicidal agents, but include both natural and synthetic elicitors and plant activators that only target the host immune system, with no biocide mechanism of action. In general, these products present a number of strengths: they leave no residue and should not select resistant pathogen strains, they can be used to control virus diseases, and can increase the levels of bioactive phytochemicals in plant foods.

RevDate: 2020-01-28

Requier F, Fournier A, Rome Q, et al (2020)

Science communication is needed to inform risk perception and action of stakeholders.

Journal of environmental management, 257:109983.

Stakeholders are critical environmental managers in human-dominated landscapes. In some contexts, stakeholders can be forced to personally act following their own observations and risk perception instead of science recommendation. In particular, biological invasions need rapid control actions to reduce potential socio-ecological impacts, while science-based risk assessments are rather complex and time-delayed. Although they can lead to important detrimental effects on biodiversity, potential time-delayed disconnections between stakeholders' action and science recommendations are rarely studied. Using the case study of western European beekeepers controlling the invasive Asian hornet Vespa velutina nigrithorax for its suspected impact on honey bee colonies, we analysed mechanisms underlying personal actions of stakeholders and how they evolved in science disconnection. Personal actions of stakeholders were causal-effect linked with their risk observation but disconnected to time-delayed science predictions and recommendations. Unfortunately, these science-disconnected actions also led to dramatic impacts on numerous species of the local entomofauna. These results highlight the need to improve mutual risk communication between science and action in the early-stages of management plans to improve the sustainably of stakeholders' practices.


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

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