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30 Mar 2023 at 01:48
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Mar 2023 at 01:48 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2023-03-29

Matthews TJ, Wayman JP, Whittaker RJ, et al (2023)

A global analysis of avian island diversity-area relationships in the Anthropocene.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

Research on island species-area relationships (ISAR) has expanded to incorporate functional (IFDAR) and phylogenetic (IPDAR) diversity. However, relative to the ISAR, we know little about IFDARs and IPDARs, and lack synthetic global analyses of variation in form of these three categories of island diversity-area relationship (IDAR). Here, we undertake the first comparative evaluation of IDARs at the global scale using 51 avian archipelagic data sets representing true and habitat islands. Using null models, we explore how richness-corrected functional and phylogenetic diversity scale with island area. We also provide the largest global assessment of the impacts of species introductions and extinctions on the IDAR. Results show that increasing richness with area is the primary driver of the (non-richness corrected) IPDAR and IFDAR for many data sets. However, for several archipelagos, richness-corrected functional and phylogenetic diversity changes linearly with island area, suggesting that the dominant community assembly processes shift along the island area gradient. We also find that archipelagos with the steepest ISARs exhibit the biggest differences in slope between IDARs, indicating increased functional and phylogenetic redundancy on larger islands in these archipelagos. In several cases introduced species seem to have 're-calibrated' the IDARs such that they resemble the historic period prior to recent extinctions.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Marino C, C Bellard (2023)

When origin, reproduction ability and diet define the role of birds in invasions.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 290(1995):20230196.

The ecological impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) are increasingly documented; however, they are usually studied through the lens of either the IAS or the affected species (IAS-threatened species). A clear understanding of how both protagonists of biological invasions are characterized is still lacking. We investigated the morphology, life history and ecology of birds involved in biological invasions. Evaluating the distribution of 450 IAS-threatened birds and 400 alien birds in a functional space, we found that both groups retained various strategies. Aliens had larger clutches and were more likely to be herbivores than IAS-threatened and worldwide birds, while IAS-threatened birds were more insular endemic from the Australia region than alien and worldwide birds. IAS-threatened species showed opposite strategies to aliens regarding traits related to diet, origin and reproduction. Further comparing traits associated with impact magnitude, we found that even if aliens were mostly herbivorous, those with high impact had more a generalist behaviour and an animal-based diet compared to aliens with low impact. By emphasizing differences relating to the distribution of bird groups in a functional space, we opened new opportunities to identify the role of birds in biological invasions.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Gossner MM, Menzel F, NK Simons (2023)

Less overall, but more of the same: drivers of insect population trends lead to community homogenization.

Biology letters, 19(3):20230007.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Shabbir A, Zalucki MP, Dhileepan K, et al (2023)

The Current and Potential Distribution of Parthenium Weed and Its Biological Control Agent in Pakistan.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6): pii:plants12061381.

Parthenium hysterophorus L. (Asteraceae), commonly known as parthenium weed, is a highly invasive weed spreading rapidly from northern to southern parts of Pakistan. The persistence of parthenium weed in the hot and dry southern districts suggests that the weed can survive under more extreme conditions than previously thought. The development of a CLIMEX distribution model, which considered this increased tolerance to drier and warmer conditions, predicted that the weed could still spread to many other parts of Pakistan as well as to other regions of south Asia. This CLIMEX model satisfied the present distribution of parthenium weed within Pakistan. When an irrigation scenario was added to the CLIMEX program, more parts of the southern districts of Pakistan (Indus River basin) became suitable for parthenium weed growth, as well as the growth of its biological control agent, Zygogramma bicolorata Pallister. This expansion from the initially predicted range was due to irrigation producing extra moisture to support its establishment. In addition to the weed moving south in Pakistan due to irrigation, it will also move north due to temperature increases. The CLIMEX model indicated that there are many more areas within South Asia that are suitable for parthenium weed growth, both under the present and a future climate scenario. Most of the south-western and north-eastern parts of Afghanistan are suitable under the current climate, but more areas are likely to become suitable under climate change scenarios. Under climate change, the suitability of southern parts of Pakistan is likely to decrease.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Cui M, Yang B, Ren G, et al (2023)

Effects of Warming, Phosphorous Deposition, and Both Treatments on the Growth and Physiology of Invasive Solidago canadensis and Native Artemisia argyi.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6): pii:plants12061370.

Anthropogenic climate change and species invasion are two major threats to biodiversity, affecting the survival and distribution of many species around the world. Studying the responses of invasive species under climate change can help better understand the ecological and genetic mechanisms of their invasion. However, the effects of warming and phosphorus deposition on the phenotype of native and invasive plants are unknown. To address the problem, we applied warming (+2.03 °C), phosphorus deposition (4 g m[-2] yr[-1] NaH2PO4), and warming × phosphorus deposition to Solidago canadensis and Artemisia argyi to measure the direct effects of environmental changes on growth and physiology at the seedling stage. Our results reveal that the physiology parameters of A. argyi and S. canadensis did not change significantly with the external environment. Under phosphorus deposition, S. canadensis had higher plant height, root length, and total biomass compared to A. argyi. Interestingly, warming has an inhibitory effect on the growth of both A. argyi and S. canadensis, but overall, the reduction in total biomass for S. canadensis (78%) is significantly higher than A. argyi (52%). When the two plants are treated with warming combined with phosphorus deposition, the advantage gained by S. canadensis from phosphorus deposition is offset by the negative effects of warming. Therefore, under elevated phosphorus, warming has a negative effect on the invasive S. canadensis and reduces its growth advantage.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Adams LD, Giovannoni D, Clark VR, et al (2023)

Reproductive Ecology of the Invasive Alien Shrub Pyracantha angustifolia in the Grassland Biome, South Africa.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6): pii:plants12061308.

Knowledge on reproductive traits of problematic invasive alien plants, such as the woody invasive shrub Pyracantha angustifolia of temperate Chinese origin, can help better manage invasive species. To determine factors contributing to its invasion, we investigated floral visitors and pollen loads, self-compatibility, seed set, seed rain, soil seed banks, and seed longevity in the soil. Generalist insects were recorded visiting flowers and all carried pollen loads of high purity (>70%). Floral visitor exclusion experiments showed that P. angustifolia can set seed (66%) without pollen vectors, although natural pollination resulted in higher fruit set (91%). Fruit count surveys and seed set showed an exponentially increased relationship between seed set and plant size with high natural seed yield (±2 million seeds m[-2]). Soil core samples revealed a high seed density of 46,400 ± (SE) 8934 m[-2] under shrubs, decreasing with distance away from the shrub. Bowl traps stationed under trees and fences confirmed that seeds were efficiently dispersed by animals. Buried seeds survived for less than six months in the soil. Due to high seed production, self-compatibility augmented by generalist pollen vectors, and effective seed dispersal by local frugivores, it is difficult to manage the spread manually. Management of this species should focus on the short life span of seeds.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Jones SA, DeKeyser ES, Dixon C, et al (2023)

Invasive Species Change Plant Community Composition of Preserved Prairie Pothole Wetlands.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6): pii:plants12061281.

Plant communities in North American prairie pothole wetlands vary depending on hydrology, salinity, and anthropogenic disturbance in and around the wetland. We assessed prairie pothole conditions on United States Fish and Wildlife Service fee-title lands in North Dakota and South Dakota to improve our understanding of current conditions and plant community composition. Species-level data were collected at 200 randomly chosen temporary and seasonal wetland sites located on native prairie remnants (n = 48) and previously cultivated lands that were reseeded into perennial grassland (n = 152). The majority of species surveyed appeared infrequently and were low in relative cover. The four most frequently observed species were introduced invasive species common to the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. Our results suggested relative cover of a few invasive species (i.e., Bromus inermis Leyss., Phalaris arundinacea L., and Typha ×glauca Godr. (pro sp.) [angustifolia or domingensis × latifolia]) affect patterns of plant community composition. Wetlands in native and reseeded grasslands possessed distinct plant community composition related to invasive species' relative cover. Invasive species continue to be prevalent throughout the region and pose a major threat to biological diversity, even in protected native prairie remnants. Despite efforts to convert past agricultural land into biologically diverse, productive ecosystems, invasive species continue to dominate these landscapes and are becoming prominent in prairie potholes located in native areas.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Abbas AM, Soliman WS, Alomran MM, et al (2023)

Four Invasive Plant Species in Southwest Saudi Arabia Have Variable Effects on Soil Dynamics.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(6): pii:plants12061231.

Predicting the direction and magnitude of change in soil dynamics caused by invasive plant species has proven to be difficult because these changes are often reported to be species- and habitat-specific. This study was conducted to determine changes in three soil properties, eight soil ions, and seven soil microelements under established stands of four invasive plants, Prosopis juliflora, Ipomoea carnea, Leucaena leucocephala, and Opuntia ficus-indica. Soil properties, ions, and microelements were measured in sites invaded by these four species in southwest Saudi Arabia, and these values were compared to the results for the same 18 parameters from adjacent sites with native vegetation. Because this study was conducted in an arid ecosystem, we predict that these four invasive plants will significantly alter the soil properties, ions, and microelements in the areas they invaded. While the soils of sites with the four invasive plant species generally had higher values for soil properties and ions compared to sites with native vegetation, in most instances these differences were not statistically significant. However, the soils within sites invaded by I. carnea, L. leucocephala, and P. juliflora had statistically significant differences for some soil parameters. For sites invaded by O. puntia ficus-indica, no soil properties, ions, or microelements were significantly different compared to adjacent sites with native vegetation. Sites invaded by the four plant species generally exhibited differences in the 11 soil properties, but in no instance were these differences statistically significant. All three soil properties and one soil ion (Ca) were significantly different across the four stands of native vegetation. For the seven soil microelements, significantly different values were detected for Co and Ni, but only among stands of the four invasive plant species. These results indicate that the four invasive plant species altered soil properties, ions, and microelements, but for most of the parameters we assessed, not significantly. Our results do not support our initial prediction, but are in general agreement with previous published findings, which indicate that the effects of invasive plants on soil dynamics vary idiosyncratically among invasive species and among invaded habitats.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

de Moraes ÂAB, Cascaes MM, do Nascimento LD, et al (2023)

Chemical Evaluation, Phytotoxic Potential, and In Silico Study of Essential Oils from Leaves of Guatteria schomburgkiana Mart. and Xylopia frutescens Aubl. (Annonaceae) from the Brazilian Amazon.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 28(6): pii:molecules28062633.

The essential oils (EOs) of Guatteria schomburgkiana (Gsch) and Xylopia frutescens (Xfru) (Annonaceae) were obtained by hydrodistillation, and their chemical composition was evaluated by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC/MS). Herbicide activity was measured by analyzing the seed germination percentage and root and hypocotyl elongation of two invasive species: Mimosa pudica and Senna obtusifolia. The highest yield was obtained for the EO of Xfru (1.06%). The chemical composition of Gsch was characterized by the presence of the oxygenated sesquiterpenes spathulenol (22.40%) and caryophyllene oxide (14.70%). Regarding the EO of Xfru, the hydrocarbon monoterpenes α-pinene (35.73%) and β-pinene (18.90%) were the components identified with the highest concentrations. The germination of seeds of S. obtusifolia (13.33 ± 5.77%) showed higher resistance than that of seeds of M. pudica (86.67 ± 5.77%). S. obtusifolia was also more sensitive to the EO of Xfru in terms of radicle (55.22 ± 2.72%) and hypocotyl (71.12 ± 3.80%) elongation, while M. pudica showed greater sensitivity to the EO of Gsch. To screen the herbicidal activity, the molecular docking study of the major and potent compounds was performed against 4-hydroxyphenylpyruvate dioxygenase (HPPD) protein. Results showed good binding affinities and attributed the strongest inhibitory activity to δ-cadinene for the target protein. This work contributes to the study of the herbicidal properties of the EOs of species of Annonaceae from the Amazon region.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Ren X, Zhang G, Jin M, et al (2023)

Metabolomics and Transcriptomics Reveal the Response Mechanisms of Mikania micrantha to Puccinia spegazzinii Infection.

Microorganisms, 11(3): pii:microorganisms11030678.

Mikania micrantha is one of the worst invasive species globally and can cause significant negative impacts on agricultural and forestry economics, particularly in Asia and the Pacific region. The rust Puccinia spegazzinii has been used successfully as a biological control agent in several countries to help manage M. micrantha. However, the response mechanisms of M. micrantha to P. spegazzinii infection have never been studied. To investigate the response of M. micrantha to infection by P. spegazzinii, an integrated analysis of metabolomics and transcriptomics was performed. The levels of 74 metabolites, including organic acids, amino acids, and secondary metabolites in M. micrantha infected with P. spegazzinii, were significantly different compared to those in plants that were not infected. After P. spegazzinii infection, the expression of the TCA cycle gene was significantly induced to participate in energy biosynthesis and produce more ATP. The content of most amino acids, such as L-isoleucine, L-tryptophan and L-citrulline, increased. In addition, phytoalexins, such as maackiain, nobiletin, vasicin, arachidonic acid, and JA-Ile, accumulated in M. micrantha. A total of 4978 differentially expressed genes were identified in M. micrantha infected by P. spegazzinii. Many key genes of M. micrantha in the PTI (pattern-triggered immunity) and ETI (effector-triggered immunity) pathways showed significantly higher expression under P. spegazzinii infection. Through these reactions, M. micrantha is able to resist the infection of P. spegazzinii and maintain its growth. These results are helpful for us to understand the changes in metabolites and gene expression in M. micrantha after being infected by P. spegazzinii. Our results can provide a theoretical basis for weakening the defense response of M. micrantha to P. spegazzinii, and for P. spegazzinii as a long-term biological control agent of M. micrantha.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Bamisile BS, Siddiqui JA, Nie L, et al (2023)

Baseline Analysis of Endophytic Fungal Associates of Solenopsis invicta Buren from Mounds across Five Counties of Guangdong Province, China.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 9(3): pii:jof9030377.

Red imported fire ants mounds have been suggested as a potential reservoir for beneficial entomopathogenic fungal species that are vital for more complex roles in the ecosystem aside from infecting the insects. In the current study, the assemblage of fungal symbionts of the red imported fire ants (RIFA) were obtained across five cities in Guangdong Province, China. The sampling areas were selected because of high occurrence of fire ants mounds in the regions. Mound soils, plant debris within mounds, and ants were collected from three sampling locations in each city for potential isolation of entomopathogenic fungal associates of RIFA. All samples were collected during the spring of 2021. Following successful isolation from substrates, the patterns of fungal species composition, and richness were evaluated. In total, 843 isolates were recovered, and based on their phenotypic distinctiveness and molecular characterization based on DNA sequences of multiple loci including the ITS, SSU, and LSU regions, 46 fungal taxa were obtained, including 12 that were unidentified. Species richness and abundance was highest in the mound soils, while the lowest value was recorded from the ant body. As per the different locations, the highest abundance level was recorded in Zhuhai, where 15 fungal taxa were cultivated. The most common taxa across all substrates and locations was Talaromyces diversus. A baseline analysis of the fungal community composition of RIFA would better our understanding on the interactions between these social ants and their associated microbial organisms, and this knowledge in turn would be important for the successful management of the RIFA.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Schoeman S, CA Simon (2023)

Live to Die Another Day: Regeneration in Diopatra aciculata Knox and Cameron, 1971 (Annelida: Onuphidae) Collected as Bait in Knysna Estuary, South Africa.

Biology, 12(3): pii:biology12030483.

Regeneration is critical for survivorship after injury, sublethal predation, and asexual reproduction; it allows individuals to recover, potentially enabling populations of bait species to overcome the effects of bait collection through incidental asexual reproduction. Opportunities for regeneration are created when worms break during collection (which happens more often than not) and are thrown back into the estuary. Additionally, the trade and movement of bait could result in the range expansion of invasive species. This study investigated bait collection habits of local fishermen and the in situ incidence of regeneration in the estuarine moonshine worm, Diopatra aciculata. The evidence shows that this species is capable of anterior and posterior regeneration. The disproportionately small percentage of worms that seem to be recovering from the degree of damage that may be inflicted during bait collection suggests that regeneration may not help worms to withstand the effects of bait collection. However, the continuous movement and discarding of even small numbers of bait in other estuaries can lead to range expansion through incremental build-up, forming new populations, if these fragments are large enough to regenerate.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Wang BX, Zhu L, Ma G, et al (2023)

Current and Potential Future Global Distribution of the Raisin Moth Cadra figulilella (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae) under Two Different Climate Change Scenarios.

Biology, 12(3): pii:biology12030435.

Global trade facilitates the introduction of invasive species that can cause irreversible damage to agriculture and the environment, as well as stored food products. The raisin moth (Cadra figulilella) is an invasive pest that poses a significant threat to fruits and dried foods. Climate change may exacerbate this threat by expanding moth's distribution to new areas. In this study, we used CLIMEX and MaxEnt niche modeling tools to assess the potential global distribution of the raisin moth under current and future climate change scenarios. Our models projected that the area of suitable distribution for the raisin moth could increase by up to 36.37% by the end of this century under high emission scenario. We also found that excessive precipitation decreased the probability of raisin moth establishment and that the optimum temperature range for the species during the wettest quarter of the year was 0-18 °C. These findings highlight the need for future research to utilize a combined modeling approach to predict the distribution of the raisin moth under current and future climate conditions more accurately. Our results could be used for environmental risk assessments, as well as to inform international trade decisions and negotiations on phytosanitary measures with regards to this invasive species.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Bonaffini G, Serpieri M, Ottino C, et al (2023)

Laparoscopic Salpingectomy and Vasectomy to Inhibit Fertility in Free-Ranging Nutrias (Myocastor coypus).

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(6): pii:ani13061092.

The nutria (Myocastor coypus), an invasive alien species, is widely spread in Europe. Pursuant to regulation (EU) no. 1143/2014, the nutria is subject to management programs to reduce its spread. Surgical fertility control is considered an acceptable method, particularly in urban circumstances, avoiding euthanasia. To maintain the hormonal patterns and the social and behavioral dynamics, surgical infertilization preserving the gonads (i.e., salpingectomy and vasectomy) is recommended. Mini-invasive surgery is an eligible choice when dealing with wildlife, allowing reduced captivation time. For these reasons, 77 free-ranging nutrias, captured in urban nuclei in Italy, underwent infertilization under general anesthesia; laparoscopic salpingectomy and vasectomy were performed on 32 animals and traditional surgery on the remainder, leaving the gonads in place. A three-port technique was used, with two paramedian trocars (5 mm) for the instruments and a median one for the telescope. Ablation was obtained through Onemytis[®] plasma device, allowing a rapid surgical time with no need to place visceral sutures; the skin was surgically closed. After recovery, the animals were released, and no overt complications were noted. No modification of the behavioral patterns was noted, and the population decreased during the following months.

RevDate: 2023-03-29

Sladonja B, Tlak Gajger I, Uzelac M, et al (2023)

The Impact of Beehive Proximity, Human Activity and Agricultural Intensity on Diptera Diversity in a Mediterranean Mosaic of Agroecosystems, with a Focus on Pest Species.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(6): pii:ani13061024.

Diptera, with their participation in pollination, significantly contribute to the maintenance of plant diversity, and they also have great potential for assessing habitat health and preserving it. A decline in their abundance and diversity has been recorded worldwide as a consequence of biotic, abiotic, and anthropic alterations. In addition to pollinators, these orders include agricultural and forestry pests, which are a threat to both cultivated and wild plants that are very important to the economy. Many pests have escaped from their native areas, and it is important to monitor their spread to implement sustainable means of control. Our study provides baseline information on Diptera and Vespidae diversity in the Mediterranean mosaic of agroecosystems, giving information on the importance of human influence on insect diversity. We carried out an insect inventory in Istria, Croatia, using a set of traps placed in the proximity of beehives. This study was also important in determining the presence of pests and newly introduced species. A total of 94 species from 24 families were recorded-7 important agricultural pests of Diptera and 17 new records for Croatia. The correlation between species diversity and environmental and anthropogenic factors leads to the conclusion that total insect species richness, pest species richness, and the first findings depend on human activities. The number of honeybee colonies negatively correlated with species richness, while anthropic influence positively affected total and pest species richness.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Martínez AS, Buteler M, Villacide JM, et al (2023)

Honeydew production by the Giant Willow Aphid (Tuberolachnus salignus, Hemiptera: Aphididae) and its effect on foraging yellowjackets (Hymenoptera: Vespidae).

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Understanding the factors that promote the success of invasive species is important for managing biological invasions. Interactions between invasives and other species (e.g., competitors, pathogens, or predators), could favor or limit their success. In recent decades, yellowjacket wasps, including Vespula germanica and V. vulgaris, have successfully established in Patagonia. Additionally, the invasive willow Salix fragilis has invaded areas next to watercourses, which in turn are typically colonized by the giant willow aphid (GWA, Tuberolagnus salignus), an additional species characterized as a successful invader in many regions worldwide. Aphid exudate (honeydew) has been reported to be used as a carbohydrate source by social wasps. The aim of our study was to gain a better understanding of the infestation pattern of the GWA in northwestern Patagonia, its effect on exudate availability and its relationship with yellowjacket foraging patterns. The study was conducted under the working hypothesis that the increase in the size of GWA colonies and resulting honeydew production, will fuel an increase in local Vespula spp.

RESULTS: We found that the aphid honeydew is produced in relatively high amounts in the region (estimated at 1517 ± 139 Kg/ha/season), with strong indications that it is used by yellowjackets because of the significantly higher abundance levels of yellowjackets foraging on honeydew.

CONCLUSION: The interaction of three invasive species, willows, GWA and yellowjackets, needs to receive special attention to develop future environmentally-sound mitigation tools of these nuisance pest.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Wen TY, Wu XQ, Ye JR, et al (2023)

Two Novel Bursaphelenchus xylophilus Kunitz Effector Proteins Using Different Infection and Survival Strategies to Suppress Immunity in Pine.

Phytopathology [Epub ahead of print].

Pine wilt disease, caused by Bursaphelenchus xylophilus, results in tremendous economic loss in conifer production every year. To disturb the host immune responses, plant pathogens secrete a mass of effector proteins that facilitate the infection process. Although several effectors of B. xylophilus have been identified, detailed mechanisms of their functions remain largely unexplored. Here, we reveal two novel B. xylophilus Kunitz effectors, named BxKU1 and BxKU2, using different infection strategies to suppress immunity in Pinus thunbergii. We found that both BxKU1 and BxKU2 could suppress PsXEG1-triggered cell death and were present in the nucleus and cytoplasm in Nicotiana benthamiana. However, they had different three-dimensional structures and various expression patterns in B. xylophilus infection. In situ hybridization experiments showed that BxKU2 was expressed in the esophageal glands and ovaries, whereas BxKU1 was only expressed in the esophageal glands of females. We further confirmed that the morbidity was significantly decreased in P. thunbergii infected with B. xylophilus when BxKU1 and BxKU2 were silenced. The silenced BxKU2I, but not BxKU1, affected the reproduction and feeding rate of B. xylophilus. Moreover, BxKU1 and BxKU2 targeted to different proteins in P. thunbergii, but they all interacted with thaumatin-like protein 4 (TLP4) according to yeast two-hybrid screening. Collectively, our study showed that B. xylophilus could incorporate two Kunitz effectors in a multilayer strategy to counter immune response in P. thunbergii, which could help us better understand the interaction between plant and B. xylophilus.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Shin J, Rahman MM, Kim J, et al (2023)

Genetic Diversity of Dengue Vector Aedes albopictus Collected from South Korea, Japan, and Laos.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030297.

Aedes albopictus is native to Southeast Asia and has emerged as a major vector for vector-borne diseases that are spreading rapidly worldwide. Recent studies have shown that Ae. albopictus populations have different genetic groups dependent on their thermal adaptations; however, studies on Korean populations are limited. In this study, we analyzed the genetic diversity and structure of two mitochondrial genes (COI and ND5) and sixteen microsatellites in mosquitoes inhabiting Korea, Japan, and Laos. The results indicate that the Korean population has low genetic diversity, with an independent cluster distinct from the Laos population. Mixed clusters have also been observed in the Korean population. On the basis of these findings, two hypotheses are proposed. First, certain Korean populations are native. Second, some subpopulations that descended from the metapopulation (East Asian countries) were introduced to Japan before migrating to Korea. Furthermore, we previously demonstrated that Ae. albopictus appears to have been imported to Korea. In conclusion, the dengue-virus-carrying mosquitoes could migrate to Korea from Southeast Asian epidemic regions, where they can survive during the severe winter months. The key findings can be used to establish an integrated pest management strategy based on population genetics for the Korean Ae. albopictus population.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Jung S, Kim J, Balvín O, et al (2023)

Molecular Phylogeny of Cimicoidea (Heteroptera: Cimicomorpha) Revisited: Increased Taxon Sampling Reveals Evolution of Traumatic Insemination and Paragenitalia.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030267.

The molecular phylogeny of the Cimicoidea was reconstructed from an expanded sampling based on mitochondrial (16S, COI) and nuclear (18S, 28SD3) genes. The data were analyzed using maximum likelihood (ML), maximum parsimony (MP), and Bayesian inference (BI) phylogenetic frameworks. The phylogenetic relationships inferred by the model-based analyses (ML and BI) were largely congruent with those inferred by the MP analysis in terms of the monophyly of most of the higher taxonomic groups and the species-level relationships. The following clades were recovered in all analyses: Cimiciformes; Nabidae: Prostemmatinae; Nabidae: Nabinae; Plokiophilidae; Microphysidae; Lasiochilidae; Cimicidae: Cacodminae; Cimicidae; Lyctocoridae; Anthocoridae s. str.; Cardiastethini excluding Amphiareus; Almeidini; Scolopini; Anthocorini; Oriini; Curaliidae + Lasiochilidae; Almeidini + Xylocorini; Oriini + Cardiastethini; and Anthocorini + Amphiareus. Reconstructions of ancestral copulation states based on Bayesian and parsimony inference indicated that at least one shift from standard insemination (SI) to traumatic insemination (TI) occurred within Cimicoidea, and an investigation of the evolutionary correlation between TI and paragenitalia (PG) revealed that the acquisition of PG in cimicoid females was correlated with the TI habit. Additionally, our morphological examination of various types of PG suggested that even the same PG type may not constitute a homologous feature at various taxonomic levels, indicating the convergent evolution of female morphology to adapt to TI.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Sarkar SC, Hatt S, Philips A, et al (2023)

Tomato Potato Psyllid Bactericera cockerelli (Hemiptera: Triozidae) in Australia: Incursion, Potential Impact and Opportunities for Biological Control.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030263.

Incursion and establishment of an exotic pest may threaten natural habitats and disrupt ecosystems. On the other hand, resident natural enemies may play an important role in invasive pest control. Bactericera cockerelli, commonly known as the tomato-potato psyllid, is an exotic pest, first detected on mainland Australia in Perth, Western Australia, in early 2017. B. cockerelli causes direct damage to crops by feeding and indirectly by acting as the vector of the pathogen that causes zebra chip disease in potatoes, although the latter is not present in mainland Australia. At present, Australian growers rely on the frequent use of insecticides to control B. cockerelli, which may lead to a series of negative economic and environmental consequences. The incursion of B. cockerelli also provides a unique opportunity to develop a conservation biological control strategy through strategically targeting existing natural enemy communities. In this review, we consider opportunities to develop biological control strategies for B. cockerelli to alleviate the dependence on synthetic insecticides. We highlight the potential of existing natural enemies to contribute toward regulating populations of B. cockerelli in the field and discuss the challenges ahead to strengthen the key role they can play through conservation biological control.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Eleftheriadou N, Lubanga UK, Lefoe GK, et al (2023)

Uncovering the Male Presence in Parthenogenetic Marchalina hellenica (Hemiptera: Marchalinidae): Insights into Its mtDNA Divergence and Reproduction Strategy.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030256.

Marchalina hellenica (Hemiptera: Marchalinidae), an endemic species in Greece and Turkey, is a major contributor to the annual honey production in its native range. However, in the areas that it invades, lacking natural enemies, it has detrimental effects on pine trees and potentially contributes to tree mortality. Although it was originally reported as thelytokous, males were later reported in Turkey and on several of the islands of Greece. To further disambiguate the exact parthenogenetic reproduction strategy of M. hellenica, we studied the emergence pattern of male individuals in Greece for two consecutive years (2021 and 2022). Furthermore, we examined the genetic variation among 15 geographically distant populations of M. hellenica in Greece using a mitochondrial DNA marker and compared the results with data from Turkey. The findings of this study document the existence of an additional M. hellenica population in its native range that repeatedly produces males, apart from the areas of Greece and Turkey in which they were initially reported, suggesting that males play a major, so far unknown role in the reproduction of this species. The populations in Greece and Turkey exhibited a strong genetic affinity, while human-aided dispersal seems to have obscured the genetic pattern acquired.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Li H, Jiang Z, Zhou J, et al (2023)

Ecological Factors Associated with the Distribution of Bemisia tabaci Cryptic Species and Their Facultative Endosymbionts.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030252.

The sweetpotato whitefly, Bemisia tabaci species complex, comprises at least 44 morphologically indistinguishable cryptic species, whose endosymbiont infection patterns often varied at the spatial and temporal dimension. However, the effects of ecological factors (e.g., climatic or geographical factors) on the distribution of whitefly and the infection frequencies of their endosymbionts have not been fully elucidated. We, here, analyzed the associations between ecological factors and the distribution of whitefly and their three facultative endosymbionts (Candidatus Cardinium hertigii, Candidatus Hamiltonella defensa, and Rickettsia sp.) by screening 665 individuals collected from 29 geographical localities across China. The study identified eight B. tabaci species via mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase I (mtCOI) gene sequence alignment: two invasive species, MED (66.9%) and MEAM1 (12.2%), and six native cryptic species (20.9%), which differed in distribution patterns, ecological niches, and high suitability areas. The infection frequencies of the three endosymbionts in different cryptic species were distinct and multiple infections were relatively common in B. tabaci MED populations. Furthermore, the annual mean temperature positively affected Cardinium sp. and Rickettsia sp. infection frequencies in B. tabaci MED but negatively affected the quantitative distribution of B. tabaci MED, which indicates that Cardinium sp. and Rickettsia sp. maybe play a crucial role in the thermotolerance of B. tabaci MED, although the host whitefly per se exhibits no resistance to high temperature. Our findings revealed the complex effects of ecological factors on the expansion of the invasive whitefly.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Mermer S, Maslen EA, Dalton DT, et al (2023)

Temperature-Dependent Life Table Parameters of Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in the United States.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030248.

Brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a generalist pest that causes serious injury to a variety of crops around the world. After the first detection in the USA, H. halys became a serious threat to growers resulting in significant crop damage. Understanding the effect of temperature on H. halys development will help to achieve successful control by predicting the phenological timing of the pest. Here, life table parameters (survival, development, reproduction, and daily mortality) of H. halys were evaluated for New Jersey and Oregon populations in the US. Parameters were determined from field-collected and laboratory-reared individuals. The results indicated that New Jersey populations had higher levels of egg-laying than Oregon populations and exhibited higher and earlier fecundity peaks. Survival levels were similar between populations. Linear and nonlinear fit were used to estimate the minimum (14.3 °C), optimal (27.8 °C), and maximum (35.9 °C) temperatures where development of H. halys can take place. An age-specific fecundity peak (Mx = 36.63) was recorded at 936 degree days for New Jersey populations, while maximum fecundity (Mx = 11.85) occurred at 1145 degree days in Oregon. No oviposition was recorded at the lowest (15 °C) or highest (35 °C) trialed temperatures. Developmental periods increased at temperatures above 30 °C, indicating that such higher temperatures are suboptimal for H. halys development. Altogether the most optimal temperatures for population increase (rm) ranged from 25 to 30 °C. Survival rates of H. halys at suboptimal low temperatures of 8 °C (i.e., 61%) is comparable to previous reports. The present paper provides additional data and context from a range of experimental conditions and populations. Such temperature-related H. halys life table parameters can be used to provide determine the risk to susceptible crops.

RevDate: 2023-03-28

Dalmaso G, Ioriatti C, Gualandri V, et al (2023)

Orientus ishidae (Hemiptera: Cicadellidae): Biology, Direct Damage and Preliminary Studies on Apple Proliferation Infection in Apple Orchard.

Insects, 14(3): pii:insects14030246.

The mosaic leafhopper, Orientus ishidae (Matsumura), is an Asian species widespread in Europe that can cause leaf damage in wild trees and transmit disease phytoplasmas to grapevines. Following an O. ishidae outbreak reported in 2019 in an apple orchard in northern Italy, the biology and damage caused by this species to apples were investigated during 2020 and 2021. Our studies included observations on the O. ishidae life cycle, leaf symptoms associated to its trophic activity, and its capability to acquire "Candidatus Phytoplasma mali," a causal agent of Apple Proliferation (AP). The results indicate that O. ishidae can complete the life cycle on apple trees. Nymphs emerged between May and June, and adults were present from early July to late October, with the peak of flight between July and early August. Semi-field observations allowed for an accurate description of leaf symptoms that appeared as a distinct yellowing after a one-day exposure. In field experiments, 23% of the leaves were found damaged. In addition, 16-18% of the collected leafhoppers were found carrying AP phytoplasma. We conclude that O. ishidae has the potential to be a new apple tree pest. However, further studies are required to better understand the economic impact of the infestations.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Nguyen V, Weaver-Romero AL, Wang X, et al (2023)


Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association pii:491669 [Epub ahead of print].

Several invasive mosquito species that are nuisances or of medical and veterinary importance have been introduced into the Southeastern region of the USA, posing a threat to other species and the local ecosystems and/or increasing the risk of pathogen transmission to people, livestock, and domestic pets. Prompt and effective monitoring and control of invasive species is essential to prevent them from spreading and causing harmful effects. However, the capacity for invasive mosquito species surveillance is highly variable among mosquito control programs in the Southeast, depending on a combination of factors such as regional geography and climate, access to resources, and the ability to interact with other programs. To facilitate the development of invasive mosquito surveillance in the region, we, the Mosquito BEACONS (Biodiversity Enhancement and Control of Non-native Species) working group, conducted a survey on the capacities of various public health agencies and pest control agencies engaged in mosquito surveillance and control in seven Southeastern states (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, and South Carolina). Ninety control programs completed the survey, representing an overall response rate of 25.8%. We report key findings from our survey, emphasizing the training and resource needs, and discuss their implications for future invasive mosquito surveillance and control capacity building. By increasing communication and collaboration opportunities (e.g., real-time sharing of collection records, coordinated multistate programs), the establishment of Mosquito BEACONS and the implementation of this survey can accelerate knowledge transfer and improve decision support capacity in response to or in preparation for invasive mosquito surveillance and can establish infrastructure that can be used to inform programs around the world.

RevDate: 2023-03-28
CmpDate: 2023-03-28

Bereza D, Grey E, N Shenkar (2023)

Prioritizing management of high-risk routes and ports by vessel type to improve marine biosecurity efforts.

Journal of environmental management, 336:117597.

The shipping industry constitutes the main vector of marine bioinvasions. Over 90,000 vessels world-wide create a highly complex shipping network that requires appropriate management tools. Here we characterized a novel vessel category, Ultra Large Container Vessels (ULCV), in terms of potential contribution to the dispersal of Non-Indigenous Species (NIS) in comparison to smaller vessels traveling similar routes. Such approach is essential for providing precise information-based risk analysis necessary to enforce biosecurity regulations and reduce the adverse global effects of marine NIS. We used Automatic Identification System (AIS) based websites to extract shipping data that will enable us to test for differences in two vessel behaviors linked to NIS dispersal: port visit durations and voyage sailing times. We then examined the geographic spread of ULCVs and small vessels, quantifying the accumulation of new port visits, countries, and ecoregions for each vessel category. Finally, Higher Order Network (HON) analysis revealed emergent patterns within shipping traffic, species flow, and invasion risk networks of these two categories. Compared to the smaller vessels, ULCVs spent significantly longer time in 20% of the ports and were more geographically constrained, with fewer port visits, countries, and regions. HON analysis revealed that the ULCV shipping species flow and invasion risk networks were more similar to each other than to those of the smaller vessels. However, HON port importance shifts were discernible for both vessel categories, with major shipping hubs not necessarily being major invasion hubs. Overall, compared to smaller vessels, ULCVs behave differently in ways that potentially increase biofouling risk, albeit in a smaller set of ports. Future studies using HON analysis of other dispersal vectors appears critical for prioritizing management of high-risk routes and ports.

RevDate: 2023-03-27

Picq S, Wu Y, Martemyanov VV, et al (2023)

Range-wide population genomics of the spongy moth, Lymantria dispar (Erebidae): Implications for biosurveillance, subspecies classification and phylogeography of a destructive moth.

Evolutionary applications, 16(3):638-656.

The spongy moth, Lymantria dispar, is an irruptive forest pest native to Eurasia where its range extends from coast to coast and overspills into northern Africa. Accidentally introduced from Europe in Massachusetts in 1868-1869, it is now established in North America where it is considered a highly destructive invasive pest. A fine-scale characterization of its population genetic structure would facilitate identification of source populations for specimens intercepted during ship inspections in North America and would enable mapping of introduction pathways to help prevent future incursions into novel environments. In addition, detailed knowledge of L. dispar's global population structure would provide new insight into the adequacy of its current subspecies classification system and its phylogeographic history. To address these issues, we generated >2000 genotyping-by-sequencing-derived SNPs from 1445 contemporary specimens sampled at 65 locations in 25 countries/3 continents. Using multiple analytical approaches, we identified eight subpopulations that could be further partitioned into 28 groups, achieving unprecedented resolution for this species' population structure. Although reconciliation between these groupings and the three currently recognized subspecies proved to be challenging, our genetic data confirmed circumscription of the japonica subspecies to Japan. However, the genetic cline observed across continental Eurasia, from L. dispar asiatica in East Asia to L. d. dispar in Western Europe, points to the absence of a sharp geographical boundary (e.g., the Ural Mountains) between these two subspecies, as suggested earlier. Importantly, moths from North America and the Caucasus/Middle East displayed high enough genetic distances from other populations to warrant their consideration as separate subspecies of L. dispar. Finally, in contrast with earlier mtDNA-based investigations that identified the Caucasus as L. dispar's place of origin, our analyses suggest continental East Asia as its evolutionary cradle, from where it spread to Central Asia and Europe, and to Japan through Korea.

RevDate: 2023-03-26

Kilgo JC, Vukovich M, Cox KJ, et al (2023)

Assessing whole-sounder removal versus traditional control for reducing invasive wild pig (Sus scrofa) populations.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Trapping is commonly used as the primary management tool in attempts to reduce invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa), but traditional trapping techniques are often ineffective. However, recently developed traps permit the capture of entire social groups (sounders) of wild pigs, and the strategy of whole-sounder removal may achieve more effective control. Our objective was to experimentally compare traditional control (TC; primarily traditional trapping, but including hunting with dogs, and opportunistic shooting) and whole-sounder removal (WSR) strategies by assessing density reduction and removal rate after 1 and 2 years of treatment.

RESULTS: After one year of trapping, average wild pig density on WSR units declined 53% and remained stable after the second year, whereas on TC units, pig density did not differ after trapping, although it declined 33% and remained stable after the second year of trapping. The median removal rate (percentage of uniquely marked pigs present at the beginning of each year that were removed) was 42.5% for WSR units and 0.0% for TC units during 2018 and were 29.6% from WSR units and 5.3% from TC units during 2019.

CONCLUSIONS: WSR removal was more effective at reducing wild pig density than TC, but factors such as previous exposure of this population to traditional traps and the lack of barriers to recolonization from surrounding areas may have reduced WSR efficacy. Whole-sounder removal can effectively reduce wild pig density to a greater extent than TC, but managers should recognize the additional time and expense necessary for implementation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-03-26

Tolo IE, Bajer PG, Mor SK, et al (2023)

Disease ecology and host range of Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) in CyHV-3 endemic lakes of North America.

Journal of fish diseases [Epub ahead of print].

Cyprinid herpesvirus-3 (CyHV-3) is an important pathogen of common carp (Cyprinus carpio, carp) causing significant economic and ecological impacts worldwide. The recent emergence of CyHV-3 in the Upper Midwest region of the United States has raised questions related to the disease ecology and host specificity of CyHV-3 in wild carp populations. To determine the prevalence of CyHV-3 in wild populations of fishes in Minnesota, we surveyed five lakes in 2019 in which the virus was known to have caused mass mortality events in carp from 2017 to 2018. A total of 28 species (n = 756 total fish) of native fishes and 730 carp were screened for the presence of CyHV-3 DNA using specific qPCR. None of the native fish tissues tested positive for CyHV-3 although the prevalence of CyHV-3 in carp was 10%-50% in the five lakes. A single lake (Lake Elysian) with a 50% DNA detection rate and evidence of ongoing transmission and CyHV-3-associated mortality was surveyed again in 2020 from April to September. During this period, none of the tissues from 24 species (n = 607 total fish) tested positive for CyHV-3 though CyHV-3 DNA and mRNA (indicating viral replication) was detected in carp tissues during the sampling period. CyHV-3 DNA was detected most often in brain samples without evidence of replication, potentially indicating that brain tissue is a site for CyHV-3 latency. Paired qPCR and ELISA testing for Lake Elysian in 2019-2020 identified young carp (especially males) to be the primary group impacted by CyHV-3-associated mortality and acute infections, but with no positive detections in juvenile carp. Seroprevalence of carp from Lake Elysian was 57% in 2019, 92% in April of 2020 and 97% in September 2020. These results further corroborate the host specificity of CyHV-3 to carp in mixed wild populations of fishes in Minnesota and provide additional insights into the ecological niche of CyHV-3 in shallow lake populations of carp in North America.

RevDate: 2023-03-25

Ruzzier E, Ortis G, Vallotto D, et al (2023)

The first full host plant dataset of Curculionidae Scolytinae of the world: tribe Xyleborini LeConte, 1876.

Scientific data, 10(1):166.

Xyleborini is the largest tribe of Scolytinae accounting for about 1300 species worldwide; all species are primarily xylomycetophagous, developing on symbiotic fungi farmed in plant woody tissues. Xyleborini wood-boring action, associated with the inoculum of symbiotic fungi, can lead, sometimes, to the emergence of host plant dieback, wood damage and death; for this reason, multiple Xyleborini are major pests on both cultivated, forest and ornamental trees. Many Xyleborini are invasive worldwide and great effort is expended to manage their biological invasions or prevent new arrivals. Imports of host plants often have a primary role as a pathway for introduction and are frequently responsible for the establishment of species in non-native environments. In this context, data availability on Xyleborini host plants is a major limiting factor in the development of effective detection and monitoring strategies as well as a fundamental variable to consider in risk assessment of plant pests and invasive species. This contribution provides updated host records and the hosts economic categorization for the 1293 Xyleborini known worldwide to date.

RevDate: 2023-03-25

Andriamanantena M, Pithon S, Dijoux M, et al (2023)

A survey on the potential contribution of Reunion Island dye plant species diversity to the market demand for bioactive plant-based dyes and pigments.

Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 19(1):8.

BACKGROUND: Proven toxicity and environmental burdens caused by artificial dyes have motivated dyeing industries to turn to natural alternatives. Plant-based dyestuffs are an interesting group of alternative crops. Reunion Island located in the Indian Ocean is the only European region in the southern hemisphere. It has a great number of assets to find new molecules in the abundant plant biodiversity. However, the dye-producing plants diversity in this island had not been documented to date.

METHODOLOGY: The assessment of the Reunion Island's plant biodiversity through the "PLANTIN" project allowed us to establish here the first ethnobotanical inventory of plants growing on Reunion Island which may have promising properties as a new alternative source of dyes or colorants for the industries. First, an ethnobotanical survey focused on the uses of plants traditionally used in dyeing was conducted on local stakeholders. Then, the importance of different criteria (e.g., endemicity, accessibility and cultivability, plant organs used for the extraction, industrial interests of the species, etc.) has been considered to establish a classification method of the species, to finally select the most interesting plants which have been further harvested and investigated for their coloring property and dyeing application on natural fibers.

RESULTS: The results showed that local people have accumulated traditional knowledge of dyeing plants, but that this approach had been discontinued in Reunion. The uses of 194 plant species potentially rich in dyes or pigments, belonging to 72 different families, with diverse botanical status (endemic, native, introduced or alien-invasive species) have been recorded. Then, 43 species were harvested and their coloring property were investigated. It demonstrated that dyes extracted from promising species, e.g., Terminalia bentzoe, Weinmannia tinctoria, Thespesia populnea, Erythroxylum laurifolium, Morinda citrifolia, Leea guinensis, Ochrosia borbonica, Danais fragrans, Terminalia cattapa, Casuarina equisetifolia, and Coccoloba uvifera, amongst others, could be used as new textile dyes. Their efficacy in the wool and cotton dyeing has been successfully demonstrated here.

CONCLUSION: These plant-based dyestuffs showed promising coloring properties with different shades that could meet industrial application requirement. It's an area that could promote local cultural inheritance, create opportunity for business and farmers, and that can make a significant contribution to preserving endangered native species by supporting reforestation schemes. Additional researches are in progress to evaluate the safety of these plant-based colored extracts, their chemical composition and biological activities.

RevDate: 2023-03-25

Bailey SA, Brown L, Campbell ML, et al (2020)

Trends in the detection of aquatic non-indigenous species across global marine, estuarine and freshwater ecosystems: A 50-year perspective.

Diversity & distributions, 26(12):1780-1797.

AIM: The introduction of aquatic non-indigenous species (ANS) has become a major driver for global changes in species biogeography. We examined spatial patterns and temporal trends of ANS detections since 1965 to inform conservation policy and management.


METHODS: We assembled an extensive dataset of first records of detection of ANS (1965-2015) across 49 aquatic ecosystems, including the (a) year of first collection, (b) population status and (c) potential pathway(s) of introduction. Data were analysed at global and regional levels to assess patterns of detection rate, richness and transport pathways.

RESULTS: An annual mean of 43 (±16 SD) primary detections of ANS occurred-one new detection every 8.4 days for 50 years. The global rate of detections was relatively stable during 1965-1995, but increased rapidly after this time, peaking at roughly 66 primary detections per year during 2005-2010 and then declining marginally. Detection rates were variable within and across regions through time. Arthropods, molluscs and fishes were the most frequently reported ANS. Most ANS were likely introduced as stowaways in ships' ballast water or biofouling, although direct evidence is typically absent.

MAIN CONCLUSIONS: This synthesis highlights the magnitude of recent ANS detections, yet almost certainly represents an underestimate as many ANS go unreported due to limited search effort and diminishing taxonomic expertise. Temporal rates of detection are also confounded by reporting lags, likely contributing to the lower detection rate observed in recent years. There is a critical need to implement standardized, repeated methods across regions and taxa to improve the quality of global-scale comparisons and sustain core measures over longer time-scales. It will be fundamental to fill in knowledge gaps given that invasion data representing broad regions of the world's oceans are not yet readily available and to maintain knowledge pipelines for adaptive management.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Walentowitz A, Lenzner B, Essl F, et al (2023)

Long-term trajectories of non-native vegetation on islands globally.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

Human-mediated changes in island vegetation are, among others, largely caused by the introduction and establishment of non-native species. However, data on past changes in non-native plant species abundance that predate historical documentation and censuses are scarce. Islands are among the few places where we can track human arrival in natural systems allowing us to reveal changes in vegetation dynamics with the arrival of non-native species. We matched fossil pollen data with botanical status information (native, non-native), and quantified the timing, trajectories and magnitude of non-native plant vegetational change on 29 islands over the past 5000 years. We recorded a proportional increase in pollen of non-native plant taxa within the last 1000 years. Individual island trajectories are context-dependent and linked to island settlement histories. Our data show that non-native plant introductions have a longer and more dynamic history than is generally recognized, with critical implications for biodiversity baselines and invasion biology.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Irshad MS, Arshad N, Liu G, et al (2023)

Biomass-Printed Hybrid Solar Evaporator Derived from Bio-polluted Invasive Species, a Potential Step toward Carbon Neutrality.

ACS applied materials & interfaces [Epub ahead of print].

Biomass-based photothermal conversion is of great importance for solar energy utilization toward carbon neutrality. Herein, a hybrid solar evaporator is innovatively designed via UV-induced printing of pyrolyzed Kudzu biochar on hydrophilic cotton fabric (KB@CF) to integrate all parameters in a single evaporator, such as solar evaporation, salt collection, waste heat recovery for thermoelectricity, sieving oil emulsions, and water disinfection from microorganisms. The UV-induced printed fabric demonstrates stronger material adhesion as compared to the conventional dip-dry technique. The hybrid solar evaporator gives an enhanced evaporation rate (2.32 kg/m[2] h), and the complementary waste heat recovery system generates maximum open-circuit voltage (Vout ∼ 143.9 mV) and solar to vapor conversion efficiency (92%), excluding heat losses under one sun illumination. More importantly, 99.98% of photothermal-induced bacterial killing efficiency was achieved within 20 min under 1 kW m[-2] using the hyperthermia effect of Kudzu biochar. Furthermore, numerical heat-transfer simulations were performed successfully to analyze the enhanced interfacial heat accumulation (75.3 °C) and heat flux distribution of the thermoelectric generators under one sun. We firmly believe that the safe use of bio-polluted invasive species in hybrid solar-driven evaporation systems eases the environmental pressure toward carbon neutrality.

RevDate: 2023-03-23

Wrońska-Pilarek D, Maciejewska-Rutkowska I, Lechowicz K, et al (2023)

The effect of herbicides on morphological features of pollen grains in Prunus serotina Ehrh. in the context of elimination of this invasive species from European forests.

Scientific reports, 13(1):4657.

Prunus serotina Ehrh. is an alien invasive neophyte widespread in European forests. So far, no effective methods of its elimination have been developed. For this reason, the aim of our study was to determine how herbicides affect the morphological characteristics of pollen grains. This knowledge may be crucial to control this invasive species. The current study was carried out in a research area of 2.7 ha located in the Zielonka Forest near Poznań, Poland (N 52°31'58.016″, E 17°05'55.588″). We tested morphological differences among ten features of P. serotina pollen, based on the samples collected from 15 control trees compared to the 50 trees treated with five different herbicides. In total 1950 pollen grains were measured. We confirmed the adopted hypotheses of long-term herbicide influence on P. serotina pollen. Pollen grains from the control trees had a longer equatorial axis, were more elongated in shape and had the largest range of exine thickness compared to the pollen from the herbicide-treated samples. Exine thickness in the control sample was on average 0.74 µm, ranging from 0.42 to 1.19 µm. The average values and the ranges of this trait in the samples treated with herbicides were larger (e.g. average exine thickness was from 0.90 to 0.95 µm). There were differences in the P/E ranges of variability between the control and herbicide-treated samples. In the control sample the P/E ratio was 1.32-2.04 and elongated forms of pollen shapes prevailed, while in the herbicide-treated samples it ranged from 1.03 to 1.47. The share of deformed pollen grains in the herbicide-treated samples was lower than expected, ranging from 8.7 to 25.3%, while in the control samples it was 6%. Logo and Mustang turned out to be the most effective among the herbicides used in the described research. The two used application methods were found to have an effect on pollen quality.

RevDate: 2023-03-22

Lozano V, Di Febbraro M, Brundu G, et al (2023)

Plant invasion risk inside and outside protected areas: Propagule pressure, abiotic and biotic factors definitively matter.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)01611-X [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species are among the main global drivers of biodiversity loss posing major challenges to nature conservation and to managers of protected areas. The present study applied a methodological framework that combined invasive Species Distribution Models, based on propagule pressure, abiotic and biotic factors for 14 invasive alien plants of Union concern in Italy, with the local interpretable model-agnostic explanation analysis aiming to map, evaluate and analyse the risk of plant invasions across the country, inside and outside the network of protected areas. Using a hierarchical invasive Species Distribution Model, we explored the combined effect of propagule pressure, abiotic and biotic factors on shaping invasive alien plant occurrence across three biogeographic regions (Alpine, Continental, and Mediterranean) and realms (terrestrial and aquatic) in Italy. We disentangled the role of propagule pressure, abiotic and biotic factors on invasive alien plant distribution and projected invasion risk maps. We compared the risk posed by invasive alien plants inside and outside protected areas. Invasive alien plant distribution varied across biogeographic regions and realms and unevenly threatens protected areas. As an alien's occurrence and risk on a national scale are linked with abiotic factors followed by propagule pressure, their local distribution in protected areas is shaped by propagule pressure and biotic filters. The proposed modelling framework for the assessment of the risk posed by invasive alien plants across spatial scales and under different protection regimes represents an attempt to fill the gap between theory and practice in conservation planning helping to identify scale, site, and species-specific priorities of management, monitoring and control actions. Based on solid theory and on free geographic information, it has great potential for application to wider networks of protected areas in the world and to any invasive alien plant, aiding improved management strategies claimed by the environmental legislation and national and global strategies.

RevDate: 2023-03-22

Case SB, CE Tarwater (2023)

Exploitation competition between seed predators and dispersers introduced to Hawaiian forests.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Exploitation competition occurs when one group of organisms reduces the availability of a resource for another group of organisms. For instance, plants produce a certain number of fruits for seed dispersal by fruit-eating animals (hereafter frugivores), and fruit consumption by one group of frugivores can reduce the number of fruits available for other frugivores. However, it is uncertain whether exploitation competition is common among frugivores, particularly in novel ecosystems, where food resources are generally thought to be abundant and invasive species are dietary generalists. In a novel ecosystem in Hawai'i, we used gut passage experiments with captive birds to identify roles of introduced frugivores and found they were either distinctly seed dispersers or predators. We then experimentally tested how frugivory by seed predators influenced frugivory by seed dispersers. Specifically, we used exclosures around fruiting plants that blocked seed predator access, while permitting seed disperser access, and we had two control treatments that allowed for access by all frugivores (n=139 plants). When seed predators were excluded from plants, there was more frugivory by dispersers compared to controls, and results varied by year and plant species. Overall, we show that introduced frugivores occupied distinct ecological roles (seed predator or seed disperser), exploitation competition occurred between these introduced frugivore groups, and seed predators had both direct (via seed destruction) and indirect (via reduction in frugivory by dispersers) effects on seed dispersal. Thus, in this novel ecosystem, multiple frugivory is subtractive, and competition for fruit between introduced seed predators and seed dispersers scales up to affect invasions and the conservation of native flora.

RevDate: 2023-03-21

Reeves LE, Sloyer KE, Tyler-Julian K, et al (2023)

Culex (Phenacomyia) lactator (Diptera: Culicidae) in southern Florida, USA: a new subgenus and species country record.

Journal of medical entomology pii:7081428 [Epub ahead of print].

The Culex subgenus Phenacomyia is a small and poorly studied group of three mosquito species native to the American tropics. Here, we report the first detections of established populations of Culex (Phenacomyia) lactator Dyar & Knab in three counties of southern Florida. Culex lactator was first detected in May 2018 in southern Miami-Dade County, and, at this locality, was collected in subsequent years from 2018 to 2022 as both adults and immatures. Larvae and adults were subsequently collected in 2022, ~175 km northwest of the initial locality at nine sites in Collier and Lee Counties. Identification of specimens collected in these counties as Cx. lactator is supported by molecular analysis and morphological characters of the adult female, male genitalia, and larva. The host associations and vector competence of Cx. lactator have not been extensively studied, and the public health implications, if any, of the addition of this species to Florida's mosquito fauna are unclear. These collections represent the first detections of Cx. lactator, or any Phenacomyia species, in the United States, adding to a trend in which detections of established populations of mosquito species from the American tropics in Florida appear to be increasing.

RevDate: 2023-03-22
CmpDate: 2023-03-22

Hocking S, Toop T, Jones D, et al (2023)

Assessing the relative impacts and economic costs of Japanese knotweed management methods.

Scientific reports, 13(1):3872.

Sustainable land management encompasses a range of activity that balance land use requirements with wider conservation and ecosystem impact considerations. Perennial invasive alien plants (IAPs), such as Japanese knotweed, cause severe ecological and socio-economic impacts, and methods to control their spread also come at a cost. Synthetic herbicides are generally viewed as less sustainable and more ecologically damaging than alternative approaches. Here we used a comparative Life Cycle Assessment to evaluate the sustainability of herbicide-based management approaches and physical alternatives, using a large-scale Japanese knotweed field study as a model IAP system. Glyphosate-based methods elicited the lowest environmental impacts and economic costs during production. Geomembrane covering and integrated physiochemical methods were the costliest and imposed the greatest impacts. We discuss the costs and benefits of chemical and physical approaches for the sustainable management of invaded land and question how sustainable environmental stewardship is defined for the control of IAPs.

RevDate: 2023-03-21

Masetti A, Rathé A, Robertson N, et al (2023)

Effects of three chitin synthesis inhibitors on egg masses, nymphs and adults of Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Halyomorpha halys, (brown marmorated stink bug, BMSB), is a high-concern invasive species causing severe damage to orchards in many countries outside its native Asian range. Management methods other than frequent sprays of broad-spectrum insecticides are needed to restore integrated pest management (IPM) practices in orchards. Chitin synthesis inhibitors are usually regarded as desirable options in IPM programs because of lower toxicity to beneficial insects and non-target organisms compared to neurotoxic insecticides. In this study, the activity of three chitin synthesis inhibitors (namely buprofezin, novaluron and triflumuron) was investigated on BMSB egg masses, 3[rd] instars and adults by means of laboratory bioassays.

RESULTS: Novaluron and to a lesser extent triflumuron were detrimental to BMSB nymphs exposed to residues on potted peach plants. Novaluron caused high mortality among early instars emerged from sprayed egg masses. No significant differences were found between buprofezin and water control on eggs or 3[rd] instars. When sprayed on BMSB adults, none of the chitin synthesis inhibitors affected survival, fecundity or egg hatching.

CONCLUSION: Given the activity on nymphs, but the lack of effects on adults, novaluron and triflumuron might be considered for field applications only as a tool in a wider management strategy along with other methods aimed at preventing the invasion of crops by BMSB adults. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-03-21

Foster WJ, Allen BJ, Kitzmann NH, et al (2023)

How predictable are mass extinction events?.

Royal Society open science, 10(3):221507.

Many modern extinction drivers are shared with past mass extinction events, such as rapid climate warming, habitat loss, pollution and invasive species. This commonality presents a key question: can the extinction risk of species during past mass extinction events inform our predictions for a modern biodiversity crisis? To investigate if it is possible to establish which species were more likely to go extinct during mass extinctions, we applied a functional trait-based model of extinction risk using a machine learning algorithm to datasets of marine fossils for the end-Permian, end-Triassic and end-Cretaceous mass extinctions. Extinction selectivity was inferred across each individual mass extinction event, before testing whether the selectivity patterns obtained could be used to 'predict' the extinction selectivity exhibited during the other mass extinctions. Our analyses show that, despite some similarities in extinction selectivity patterns between ancient crises, the selectivity of mass extinction events is inconsistent, which leads to a poor predictive performance. This lack of predictability is attributed to evolution in marine ecosystems, particularly during the Mesozoic Marine Revolution, associated with shifts in community structure alongside coincident Earth system changes. Our results suggest that past extinctions are unlikely to be informative for predicting extinction risk during a projected mass extinction.

RevDate: 2023-03-20

Meeus S, Silva-Rocha I, Adriaens T, et al (2023)

More than a Bit of Fun: The Multiple Outcomes of a Bioblitz.

Bioscience, 73(3):168-181.

Bioblitzes are a popular approach to engage people and collect biodiversity data. Despite this, few studies have actually evaluated the multiple outcomes of bioblitz activities. We used a systematic review, an analysis of data from more than 1000 bioblitzes, and a detailed analysis of one specific bioblitz to inform our inquiry. We evaluated five possible bioblitz outcomes, which were creating a species inventory, engaging people in biological recording, enhancing learning about nature, discovering a species new to an area, and promoting an organization. We conclude that bioblitzes are diverse but overall effective at their aims and have advantages over unstructured biodiversity recording. We demonstrate for the first time that bioblitzes increase the recording activity of the participants for several months after the event. In addition, we provide evidence that bioblitzes are effective at bringing people and organizations together to build communities of professionals and amateurs, critical for conserving and protecting biodiversity.

RevDate: 2023-03-19

Karpowicz M, Feniova IY, Sakharova EG, et al (2023)

Top-down and bottom-up control of phytoplankton communities by zebra mussels Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771).

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)01515-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Zebra mussels (ZM), Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771), are one of the most aggressive invasive species. ZM have a strong bidirectional impact on phytoplankton because of their high nutrient excretion rates and high grazing pressure. Furthermore, the interactions between excretion and selective grazing are related to the trophic status of a waterbody and could cause unpredictable changes in phytoplankton. We performed three types of experiments: (i) bottom-up where we measured ZM excretion rates; (ii) top-down where we analyzed the effects of ZM on phytoplankton taxonomic structure via grazing in different trophic conditions; (iii) mesocosm experiment where we estimated the combined top-down and bottom-up effects of ZM on phytoplankton assemblages under different trophic conditions. Our first experiment confirmed high excretion rates of dissolved nutrients (PO4[3-] and NH4[+]) and DOC by ZM. The other experiments revealed selective grazing by ZM, where diatoms were mostly selectively rejected, while green algae were preferred. In the top-down experiment, ZM decreased the total biomass of phytoplankton, while in mesocosm experiments where top-down and bottom-up controls acted simultaneously, we observed increased phytoplankton biomass mainly through increases in filamentous green algae. Our experiments show that ZM can influence phytoplankton through a combination of bottom-up and top-down effects that vary with trophic state.

RevDate: 2023-03-19

Schatz AM, AW Park (2023)

Patterns of host-parasite co-invasion promote enemy release and specialist parasite spillover.

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

Species invasion and redistribution, driven by climate change and other anthropogenic influences, alter global biodiversity patterns and disrupt ecosystems. As host species move, they can bring their associated parasites with them, potentially infecting resident species, or leave their parasites behind, enhancing their competitive ability in their new ranges. General rules to predict why invading hosts will retain some parasites but not others are relatively unexplored, and the potential predictors are numerous, ranging from parasite life history to host community composition. In this study, we focus on the parasite retention process during host invasion. We used the Global Mammal Parasite Database to identify terrestrial mammal hosts sampled for parasites in both native and non-native ranges. We then selected predictors likely to play a role in parasite retention, such as parasite type, parasite specialism, species composition of the invaded community, and the invading host's phylogenetic or trait-based similarity to the new community. We modeled parasite retention using boosted regression trees, with a suite of 25 predictors describing parasite and host community traits. We further tested the generality of our predictions by cross-validating models on data for other hosts and invasion locations. Our results show that parasite retention is non-random and predictable across hosts and invasions. It is broadly shaped by parasite type and parasite specialism, with more specialist parasites that infect many closely related hosts more likely to be retained. This trend is pronounced across parasite types; helminths, however, show a more uniform likelihood of retention regardless of specificity. Overall, we see that most parasites are not retained (11% retained), meaning many invasive species may benefit from enemy release. However, species redistribution does have the potential to spread parasites, and this also has great relevance to understanding conservation implications of species invasions. We see that specialist parasites are most likely to co-invade with their hosts, which suggests that species closely related to the invasive hosts are most likely to be affected by parasite spillover.

RevDate: 2023-03-18

Courtois P, Martinez C, A Thomas (2023)

Spatial priorities for invasive alien species control in protected areas.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)01291-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Given the limited funds available for the management of invasive alien species (IASs), there is a need to design cost-effective strategies to prioritize their control. In this paper, we propose a cost-benefit optimization framework that incorporates the spatially explicit costs and benefits of invasion control, as well as the spatial invasion dynamics. Our framework offers a simple yet operational priority-setting criterion for the spatially explicit management of IASs under budget constraints. We applied this criterion to the control of the invasion of primrose willow (genus Ludwigia) in a protected area in France. Using a unique geographic information system panel dataset on control costs and invasion levels through space for a 20-year period, we estimated the costs of invasion control and a spatial econometric model of primrose willow invasion dynamics. Next, we used a field choice experiment to estimate the spatially explicit benefits of invasion control. Applying our priority criterion, we show that, unlike the current management strategy that controls the invasion in a spatially homogeneous manner, the criterion recommends targeted control on heavily invaded areas that are highly valued by users. We also show that the returns on investment are high, justifying the need to increase the allocated budgets and to treat the invasion more drastically. We conclude with policy recommendations and possible extensions, including the development of operational cost-benefit decision-support tools to assist local decision-makers in setting management priorities.

RevDate: 2023-03-18

Takyi EM, Bhattacharyya J, RD Parshad (2023)

A Gender-Selective Harvesting Strategy: Weak Allee Effects and a Non-hyperbolic Extinction Boundary.

Acta biotheoretica, 71(2):11.

Recently a gender-selective harvesting strategy has been proposed for possible control of aquatic invasive species, wherein females of the invasive species are harvested, whilst stocking the males (abbreviated as FHMS strategy) (Lyu et al. in Nat Resour Model 33(2):e12252, 2020). We consider the FHMS strategy with a weak Allee effect, and show that its extinction boundary need not be hyperbolic. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first example of a non-hyperbolic extinction boundary in two-compartment mating models structured by sex. The model possesses a rich dynamical structure, with several local co-dimension one bifurcations occurring. We also show the occurrence of a global homoclinic bifurcation, which has applicability for large scale strategic bio-control.

RevDate: 2023-03-18

Riegl B, Walentowitz A, Sevilla C, et al (2023)

Invasive blackberry outcompetes the endemic Galapagos tree daisy Scalesia pedunculata.

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

Island florae are under threat from habitat loss and competition with introduced species worldwide. In the Galapagos Islands, the endemic tree daisy Scalesia pedunculata (Asteraceae) is the dominant tree in the cloud forest of Santa Cruz Island but suffers from competition with the invasive blackberry Rubus niveus. At the site Los Gemelos, a S. pedunculata population was monitored from 2014 to 2021 following mechanical and chemical removal of R. niveus from 17 plots and compared with 17 additional plots where R. niveus remained. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impacts of the R. niveus invasion on S. pedunculata by characterizing the effects of R. niveus removal. Parameters measured in S. pedunculata were diameter at breast height (DBH, from which annual growth rates were determined), total height, survival of individual plants, and recruitment. In the presence of R. niveus, S. pedunculata trees had smaller DBH stems and shorter asymptotic maximum heights, growth rates declined for thin trees, the mortality of larger trees was elevated, and S. pedunculata recruitment was absent. R. niveus removal resulted in DBH ratios of S. pedunculata more frequently meeting our threshold for fast growth (1.2), trees growing significantly thicker and taller, annual mortality being lower (12.5 vs. 16.2% per year), and recruitment being successful. In the presence of R. niveus, lower survival, growth, and absent recruitment suggested that S. pedunculata could reach quasi-extinction in ~20 years. Swift and decisive management action is needed to prevent the Scalesia forest on Santa Cruz Island from disappearing in less than two decades.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Schall JJ, Nouri-Aiin M, J Görres (2023)


The Journal of parasitology, 109(2):56-64.

Apolocystis bosanqueti n. sp., a parasite of an important invasive earthworm in North America, Amynthas agrestis, is described from a site in northern Vermont. The earthworm host follows an annual life cycle in Vermont, so the entire life cycle of the parasite can be observed in 7 mo. In spring, the parasites were first seen in juvenile worms as paired gamonts (suggesting precocious association). These paired gamonts mature into gametocytes that form an opaque structure, with a thick gelatinous envelope (epicyst), that becomes full of zygotes. The resulting gametocyst becomes packed with ∼105 fusiform oocysts. The mature orbicular gametocysts are large (∼1 mm in diameter) and visible to the naked eye through the body wall of the host's anterior segments. The new species most resembles Apolocystis herculea described from many lumbricid earthworm species in Europe but differs from that parasite because Ap. herculea infects the intestinal wall in the posterior of the host rather than the anterior segments. A survey of 9 other earthworm species sympatric with Am. agrestis revealed that only Amynthas tokioensis, also an invasive species, was infected with Ap. bosanqueti, albeit much less commonly. Diagnosis for the family Monocystidae is problematic because cardinal characters are lacking, and the commonly cited character, a trophozoite with no anterior differentiation, is violated in most genera placed in the family. For the first time, a molecular phylogeny is presented that includes 3 genera of monocystids with diverse cell morphology (including the new species) and supports the monophyly of the family. The only morphological character that may be used to diagnose the Monocystidae is the morphology of oocysts, which are fusiform with extended terminal tips. A comparison of oocysts from 7 parasites recovered from local earthworms, including from 3 monocystid species in the phylogeny, confirms the utility of this diagnostic trait. The 2 hosts of the new species were most likely introduced from Japan, so the range of Apolocystis likely extends into East Asia.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Herlevi H, Wallin Kihlberg I, Aarnio K, et al (2023)

Environmental abundances of the non-native round goby Neogobius melanostomus influence feeding of native fish predators.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

We assessed the importance of the round goby Neogobius melanostomus as prey for three native predatory fish species, Atlantic cod Gadus morhua, European perch Perca fluviatilis and Northern pike Esox lucius, in a northern and southern area of the Baltic Proper, using a combination of visual analysis and DNA metabarcoding of predator stomach contents. To explore the influence of environmental abundances of N. melanostomus on predation, we related the occurrence of N. melanostomus in predator diets to its abundance in survey fishing. Gadus morhua and E. lucius in the southern area showed the highest tendency to feed on N. melanostomus when it was abundant, as N. melanostomus occurred in up to 100% of stomachs and constituted up to 88% of the total diet volume proportion. The diet contribution of N. melanostomus was associated with N. melanostomus abundances for G. morhua and E. lucius, and when N. melanostomus was abundant, these predators exhibited lower prey richness and a higher degree of piscivory. G. morhua and P. fluviatilis also fed less on crustacean prey when N. melanostomus was abundant. The high importance of N. melanostomus in diets of native fish predators may modify indirect interactions between N. melanostomus and native prey species in invaded coastal communities.

RevDate: 2023-03-17

Walter M, P Mondal (2023)

Mapping of Phragmites in estuarine wetlands using high-resolution aerial imagery.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 195(4):478.

Phragmites australis is a widespread invasive plant species in the USA that greatly impacts estuarine wetlands by creating dense patches and outcompeting other plants. The invasion of Phragmites into wetland ecosystems is known to decrease biodiversity, destroy the habitat of threatened and endangered bird species, and alter biogeochemistry. While the impact of Phragmites is known, the spatial extent of this species is challenging to document due to its fragmented occurrence. Using high-resolution imagery from the National Agriculture Imagery Program (NAIP) from 2017, we evaluated a geospatial method of mapping the spatial extent of Phragmites across the state of DE. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and principal component analysis (PCA) bands are generated from the NAIP data and used as inputs in a random forest classifier to achieve a high overall accuracy for the Phragmites classification of around 95%. The classified gridded dataset has a spatial resolution of 1 m and documents the spatial distribution of Phragmites throughout the state's estuarine wetlands (around 11%). Such detailed classification could aid in monitoring the spread of this invasive species over space and time and would inform the decision-making process for landscape managers.

RevDate: 2023-03-16

Haubrock PJ, Cuthbert RN, P Haase (2023)

Long-term trends and drivers of biological invasion in Central European streams.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)01433-X [Epub ahead of print].

Rates of biological invasion continue to accelerate and threaten the structure and function of ecosystems worldwide. High habitat connectivity, multiple pathways, and inadequate monitoring have rendered aquatic ecosystems vulnerable to species introductions going unnoticed. Past riverine invasion dynamics were largely restricted to large rivers, leaving out smaller rivers that commonly harbour high freshwater biodiversity. Moreover, biodiversity time series have rarely been used to investigate invasions across larger spatial-temporal scales, limiting our understanding of aquatic invasion dynamics. Here, we used 6067 benthic invertebrate samples from streams and small rivers from the EU Water Framework Directive monitoring program collected across Central Europe between 2000 and 2018 to assess temporal changes to benthic invertebrate communities as well as non-native species. We assessed invasion rates according to temperature, precipitation, elevation, latitude, longitude, and stream type. Overall, average daily temperatures significantly increased by 0.02 °C per annum (0.34 °C in total) while annual precipitation significantly decreased by 0.01 mm per annum (-67.8 mm over the study period), paralleled with significant increases in overall species richness (12.3 %) and abundance (14.9 %); water quality was relatively stable. Non-native species richness increased 5-fold and abundance 40-fold, indicating an ongoing community shift from native to non-native species. The observed increase in invasions was stronger in low mountain rivers compared to low mountain streams, with the share of non-native species abundance and richness declining with increasing elevation and latitude but increasing with temperature. We found thermophilic non-native species invasion success was greatest in larger sized streams, at lower latitudes, lower elevations and higher temperatures. These results indicate that widespread environmental characteristics (i.e., temperature) could heighten invasion success and confer refuge effects (i.e., elevation and latitude) in higher elevation sites. High altitude and latitude environments should be prioritised for prevention efforts, while biosecurity and management should be improved in lowland areas subject to greater anthropogenic pressure, where non-native introductions are more likely.

RevDate: 2023-03-16

Krause LMK, Manderfeld E, Gnutt P, et al (2023)

Semantic segmentation for fully automated macrofouling analysis on coatings after field exposure.

Biofouling [Epub ahead of print].

Biofouling is a major challenge for sustainable shipping, filter membranes, heat exchangers, and medical devices. The development of fouling-resistant coatings requires the evaluation of their effectiveness. Such an evaluation is usually based on the assessment of fouling progression after different exposure times to the target medium (e.g. salt water). The manual assessment of macrofouling requires expert knowledge about local fouling communities due to high variances in phenotypical appearance, has single-image sampling inaccuracies for certain species, and lacks spatial information. Here an approach for automatic image-based macrofouling analysis was presented. A dataset with dense labels prepared from field panel images was made and a convolutional network (adapted U-Net) for the semantic segmentation of different macrofouling classes was proposed. The establishment of macrofouling localization allows for the generation of a successional model which enables the determination of direct surface attachment and in-depth epibiotic studies.

RevDate: 2023-03-16

Li J, Jiang M, Pei J, et al (2023)

Convergence of carbon sink magnitude and water table depth in global wetlands.

Wetlands are strategic areas for carbon uptake, but accurate assessments of their sequestration ability are limited by the uncertainty and variability in their carbon balances. Based on 2385 observations of annual net ecosystem production from global wetlands, we show that the mean net carbon sinks of inland wetlands, peatlands and coastal wetlands are 0.57, 0.29 and 1.88 tons of carbon per hectare per year, respectively, with a mean value of 0.57 tons of carbon per hectare per year weighted by the distribution area of different wetland types. Carbon sinks are mainly in Asia and North America. Within and across wetland types, we find that water table depth (WTD) exerts greater control than climate- and ecosystem-related variables, and an increase in WTD results in a stronger carbon sink. Our results highlight an urgent need to sustain wetland hydrology under global change; otherwise, wetlands are at high risk of becoming carbon sources to the atmosphere.

RevDate: 2023-03-16

Zarraonaindia I, Cretazzo E, Mena-Petite A, et al (2023)

Holistic understanding of the response of grapevines to foliar application of seaweed extracts.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1119854.

Viticulture is highly dependent on phytochemicals to maintain good vineyard health. However, to reduce their accumulation in the environment, green regulations are driving the development of eco-friendly strategies. In this respect, seaweeds have proven to be one of the marine resources with the highest potential as plant protective agents, representing an environmentally-friendly alternative approach for sustainable wine production. The current work follows an interdisciplinary framework to evaluate the capacity of Ulva ohnoi and Rugulopteryx okamurae seaweeds to induce defense mechanisms in grapevine plants. To our knowledge, this is the first study to evaluate Rugulopteryx okamurae as a biostimulator . This macroalgae is relevant since it is an invasive species on the Atlantic and Mediterranean coast causing incalculable economic and environmental burdens. Four extracts (UL1, UL2, RU1 and RU2 developed from Ulva and Rugulopteryx, respectively) were foliar applied to Tempranillo plants cultivated under greenhouse conditions. UL1 and RU2 stood out for their capacity to induce defense genes, such as a PR10, PAL, STS48 and GST1, mainly 24 hours after the first application. The increased expression level of these genes agreed with i) an increase in trans-piceid and trans-resveratrol content, mainly in the RU2 treated leaves, and, ii) an increase in jasmonic acid and decrease in salicylic acid. Moreover, an induction of the activity of the antioxidant enzymes was observed at the end of the experiment, with an increase in superoxide dismutase and catalase in the RU2-treated leaves in particular. Interestingly, while foliar fungal diversity was not influenced by the treatments, alga extract amendment modified fungal composition, RU2 application enriching the content of various groups known for their biocontrol activity. Overall, the results evidenced the capacity of Rugulopteryx okamurae for grapevine biostimulation, inducing the activation of several secondary metabolite pathways and promoting the abundance of beneficial microbiota involved in grapevine protection. While further studies are needed to unravel the bioactive compound(s) involved, including conducting field experiments etc., the current findings are the first steps towards the inclusion of Rugulopteryx okamurae in a circular scheme that would reduce its accumulation on the coast and benefit the viticulture sector at the same time.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Meo-Filho P, Hood J, Lee MRF, et al (2023)

Performance and enteric methane emissions from housed beef cattle fed silage produced on pastures with different forage profiles.

Animal : an international journal of animal bioscience, 17(4):100726 pii:S1751-7311(23)00022-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Methane (CH4) produced by ruminants is a significant source of greenhouse gases from agriculture in the United Kingdom (UK), accounting for approximately 50% of the emissions in this sector. Ration modification is linked to changes in rumen fermentation and can be an effective means of CH4 abatement. In temperate climate countries, forage silage represents a major feed component for cattle during the housing period. The objective of this study was, therefore, to compare enteric CH4 emission from cattle offered silage produced from different types of grassland. Beef cattle, steers (n = 89) and heifers (n = 88) with average liveweight (LW) of 328 ± 57.1 kg were evaluated during two housing seasons (2016-2017 and 2017-2018) from November to April, at the Rothamsted Research North Wyke Farm Platform (UK). The treatments corresponded to three diet types, comprising silage harvested from three different pastures: MRG, monoculture of perennial ryegrass (PRG, Lolium perenne L.cv. AberMagic), bred to express the high-sugar phenotype; RG-WC, a mixed sward comprised of the same perennial ryegrass cultivar with white clover (Trifolium repens L.) with a target clover proportion of 30% as land cover; and permanent pasture (PP) dominated by PRG and a small number of non-introduced species. MRG and PP received 160-200 kg N/ha/year. Cattle were weighed every 30 days, and the enteric CH4 emission was determined using GreenFeed automated systems. No significant differences in enteric CH4 emission per head or per kg LW were observed between treatments. However, emission expressed per average daily gain (ADG) in LW was greater (P < 0.001) for MRG compared with RG-WC and PP, at 270, 248 and 235 g CH4/kg ADG, respectively. This related to a lower ADG (P = 0.041) for the animals fed MRG silage compared with RG-WC and PP which were similar, with respective values of 0.67, 0.71 and 0.74 kg/day. The forages compared in this study showed little or no potential to reduce enteric CH4 emission when fed as silage to growing beef cattle during the winter housing period.

RevDate: 2023-03-16
CmpDate: 2023-03-16

Mega ER (2023)

Pablo Escobar's 'cocaine hippos' spark conservation row.

Nature, 615(7952):382-383.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Helmer EH, Kay S, Marcano-Vega H, et al (2023)

Multiscale predictors of small tree survival across a heterogeneous tropical landscape.

PloS one, 18(3):e0280322 pii:PONE-D-22-10318.

Uncertainties about controls on tree mortality make forest responses to land-use and climate change difficult to predict. We tracked biomass of tree functional groups in tropical forest inventories across Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and with random forests we ranked 86 potential predictors of small tree survival (young or mature stems 2.5-12.6 cm diameter at breast height). Forests span dry to cloud forests, range in age, geology and past land use and experienced severe drought and storms. When excluding species as a predictor, top predictors are tree crown ratio and height, two to three species traits and stand to regional factors reflecting local disturbance and the system state (widespread recovery, drought, hurricanes). Native species, and species with denser wood, taller maximum height, or medium typical height survive longer, but short trees and species survive hurricanes better. Trees survive longer in older stands and with less disturbed canopies, harsher geoclimates (dry, edaphically dry, e.g., serpentine substrates, and highest-elevation cloud forest), or in intervals removed from hurricanes. Satellite image phenology and bands, even from past decades, are top predictors, being sensitive to vegetation type and disturbance. Covariation between stand-level species traits and geoclimate, disturbance and neighboring species types may explain why most neighbor variables, including introduced vs. native species, had low or no importance, despite univariate correlations with survival. As forests recovered from a hurricane in 1998 and earlier deforestation, small trees of introduced species, which on average have lighter wood, died at twice the rate of natives. After hurricanes in 2017, the total biomass of trees ≥12.7 cm dbh of the introduced species Spathodea campanulata spiked, suggesting that more frequent hurricanes might perpetuate this light-wooded species commonness. If hurricane recovery favors light-wooded species while drought favors others, climate change influences on forest composition and ecosystem services may depend on the frequency and severity of extreme climate events.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Rehm EM, D'Antonio C, S Yelenik (2023)

Crossing the threshold: Invasive grasses inhibit forest restoration on Hawaiian Islands.

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

Forest removal for livestock grazing is a striking example of human-caused state change leading to a stable, undesirable invasive grass system that is resistant to restoration efforts. Understanding which factors lead to resilience the alternative grass state can greatly benefit managers when planning forest restoration. We address how thresholds of grass cover and seed rain might influence forest recovery in a restoration project on Hawai'i Island, USA. Since the 1980s, over 400,000 Acacia koa (koa) trees were planted across degraded pasture and invasive grasses still dominate the understory with no native woody-plant recruitment. Between this koa/grass matrix are remnant native Metrosideros polymorpha ('ōhi'a) trees beneath which native woody plants naturally recruit. We tested whether there were threshold levels of native woody understory that accelerate recruitment under both tree species by monitoring seed rain at 40 trees (20 koa and 'ōhi'a) with a range of native woody understory basal area (BA). We found a positive relationship between total seed rain (but not bird-dispersed seed rain) and native woody BA, and a negative relationship between native woody BA and grass cover, with no indication of threshold dynamics. We also experimentally combined grass removal levels with seed rain density (6 levels) of two common understory species in plots under koa (n = 9) and remnant 'ōhi'a (n = 9). Few seedlings emerged when no grass was removed despite adding seeds at densities 2-75 times higher than naturally occurring. However, seedling recruitment increased 2 to 3 times once at least 50% of grass was removed. Existing survey data of naturally occurring seedlings also supported a threshold of grass cover below which seedlings were able to establish. Thus, removal of all grasses are not necessary to achieve system responses: even moderate reductions (~50%) can increase rates of native woody recruitment. The non-linear thresholds found here highlight how incremental changes to an inhibitory factor lead to limited restoration success until a threshold is crossed. The resources needed to fully eradicate an invasive species may be unwarranted for state change, making understanding where thresholds lie of the utmost importance to prioritize resources. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Zhang X, Wang G, Peng P, et al (2023)

Influences of environment, human activity, and climate on the invasion of Ageratina adenophora (Spreng.) in Southwest China.

PeerJ, 11:e14902 pii:14902.

With economic and social globalization, invasive alien species have significantly threatened local ecological security. Identifying the invasive mechanisms of invasive alien species can aid in preventing species invasions and protecting local ecological and economic security. As a globally invasive plant, Ageratina adenophora (Asteraceae) has spread to many parts of the world and had a seriously impacted the ecology and economy of its invaded areas. Using observational data and Landsat OLI images in an arid valley region in southwest China, this study examined how climate, human activity and environmental factors influence the invasion of A. adenophora and its underlying mechanism. Our results showed that the invasion abundance of A. adenophora was significantly affected by environmental factors (the relative importance was 87.2%), but was less influenced by human activity and climate factors (the relative importance was 2% and 10.8%, respectively). The A. adenophora abundance significantly decreased with aspect, community canopy density, shrub layer coverage, herb layer coverage, Simpson diversity index of shrub and herb layers, the shortest distance to residential areas and temperature seasonality, whereas it increased with soil moisture, temperature annual range, precipitation of wettest month and precipitation of driest month. We conclude that biotic competition is the most influential factor in the invasion of this plant in the arid valley regions. Our results are of great significance for invasion prevention and forest conservation and management in southwest China. Our work emphasized that optimizing the community structure, such as by increasing canopy and shrub coverage and species biodiversity, may help control and mitigate the A. adenophora invasion in southwest China.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Shen C, Chen P, Zhang K, et al (2023)

Dynamics and mechanisms of secondary invasion following biological control of an invasive plant.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Secondary invasions in which non-target invaders expand following eradication of a target invader commonly occur in habitats with multiple invasive plant species and can prevent recovery of native communities. However, the dynamics and mechanisms of secondary invasion remain unclear. Here, we conducted a common garden experiment to test underlying mechanisms of secondary invasion for 14 non-target invaders after biological control of Ambrosia artemisiifolia in two consecutive years. We found secondary invasion for all tested non-target invaders, but secondary invasiveness (change relative to natives) varied with species and time. Specifically, secondary invasiveness depended most strongly on phylogenetic relatedness between the target and non-target invaders in the first year with closely related non-target invaders being most invasive. In contrast, secondary invasiveness in the second year was mostly driven by functional traits with taller non-target invaders or those with higher SLA, or smaller seeds especially invasive. Our study indicates that secondary invasion is likely to occur wherever other invasive plants co-occur with an invasive species targeted for control. Furthermore, the most problematic invaders will initially be species closely related to the target invader but then species with rapid growth and high reproduction are most likely to be more aggressive secondary invaders.

RevDate: 2023-03-15

Crichton BRJ, Hickford MJH, McIntosh AR, et al (2023)

Predicting biomass of resident kōkopu (Galaxias) populations using local habitat characteristics.

PloS one, 18(3):e0261993 pii:PONE-D-21-39491.

With the global decline of freshwater fishes, quantifying the body size-specific habitat use of vulnerable species is crucial for accurately evaluating population health, identifying the effects of anthropogenic stressors, and directing effective habitat restoration. Populations of New Zealand's endemic kōkopu species (Galaxias fasciatus, G. argenteus, and G. postvectis) have declined substantially over the last century in response to anthropogenic stressors, including habitat loss, migratory barriers, and invasive species. Despite well-understood habitat associations, key within-habitat features underpinning the reach-scale biomass of small and large kōkopu remain unclear. Here, we investigated whether the total biomass of large (> 90 mm) size classes of each kōkopu species and the composite biomass of all small (≤ 90 mm) kōkopu were associated with components of the physical environment that provided refuge and prey resources across fifty-seven 50-m stream reaches. Because kōkopu are nocturnal, populations were sampled by removal at night using headlamps and hand-nets until reaches were visually depleted. Based on Akaike's information criterion, greater large banded kōkopu biomass was most parsimoniously explained by greater pool volume and forest cover, greater large giant kōkopu biomass by greater bank cover and pool volume, and greater large shortjaw kōkopu biomass by greater substrate size and pool volume. In contrast, greater composite small kōkopu biomass was best explained by smaller substrate size, reduced bank cover, and greater pool volume. Local habitat associations therefore varied among kōkopu species and size classes. Our study demonstrates the importance of considering the ontogenetic shift in species' habitat use and provides an effective modelling approach for quantifying size-specific local habitat use of stream-dwelling fish.

RevDate: 2023-03-14

Sarabian C, Wilkinson A, Sigaud M, et al (2023)

Disgust in animals and the application of disease avoidance to wildlife management and conservation.

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

Disgust is an adaptive system hypothesized to have evolved to reduce the risk of becoming sick. It is associated with behavioural, cognitive and physiological responses tuned to allow animals to avoid and/or get rid of parasites, pathogens and toxins. Little is known about the mechanisms and outcomes of disease avoidance in wild animals. Furthermore, given the escalation of negative human-wildlife interactions, the translation of such knowledge into the design of evolutionarily relevant conservation and wildlife management strategies is becoming urgent. Contemporary methods in animal ecology and related fields, using direct (sensory cues) or indirect (remote sensing technologies and machine learning) means, provide a flexible toolbox for testing and applying disgust at individual and collective levels. In this review/perspective paper, we provide an empirical framework for testing the adaptive function of disgust and its associated disease avoidance behaviours across species, from the least to the most social, in different habitats. We predict various trade-offs to be at play depending on the social system and ecology of the species. We propose five contexts in which disgust-related avoidance behaviours could be applied, including endangered species rehabilitation, invasive species, crop-raiding, urban pests and animal tourism. We highlight some of the perspectives and current challenges of testing disgust in the wild. In particular, we recommend future studies to consider together disease, predation and competition risks. We discuss the ethics associated with disgust experiments in the above contexts. Finally, we promote the creation of a database gathering disease avoidance evidence in animals and its applications.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Bergamo TF, de Lima RS, Kull T, et al (2023)

From UAV to PlanetScope: Upscaling fractional cover of an invasive species Rosa rugosa.

Journal of environmental management, 336:117693 pii:S0301-4797(23)00481-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive plant species pose a direct threat to biodiversity and ecosystem services. Among these, Rosa rugosa has had a severe impact on Baltic coastal ecosystems in recent decades. Accurate mapping and monitoring tools are essential to quantify the location and spatial extent of invasive plant species to support eradication programs. In this paper we combined RGB images obtained using an Unoccupied Aerial Vehicle, with multispectral PlanetScope images to map the extent of R. rugosa at seven locations along the Estonian coastline. We used RGB-based vegetation indices and 3D canopy metrics in combination with a random forest algorithm to map R. rugosa thickets, obtaining high mapping accuracies (Sensitivity = 0.92, specificity = 0.96). We then used the R. rugosa presence/absence maps as a training dataset to predict the fractional cover based on multispectral vegetation indices derived from the PlanetScope constellation and an Extreme Gradient Boosting algorithm (XGBoost). The XGBoost algorithm yielded high fractional cover prediction accuracies (RMSE = 0.11, R[2] = 0.70). An in-depth accuracy assessment based on site-specific validations revealed notable differences in accuracy between study sites (highest R[2] = 0.74, lowest R[2] = 0.03). We attribute these differences to the various stages of R. rugosa invasion and the density of thickets. In conclusion, the combination of RGB UAV images and multispectral PlanetScope images is a cost-effective method to map R. rugosa in highly heterogeneous coastal ecosystems. We propose this approach as a valuable tool to extend the highly local geographical scope of UAV assessments into wider areas and regional evaluations.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Matzrafi M, Wolberg S, Abu-Nassar J, et al (2023)

Distinctive foliar features and volatile profiles in three Ambrosia species (Asteraceae).

Planta, 257(4):79.

Ambrosia species differ both in their trichome types and in metabolic profiles of leaf volatiles. The current study provides tools for easier taxonomic identification of ragweed species. The genus Ambrosia (Asteraceae) includes some of the most noxious allergenic invasive weeds in the world. Due to high polymorphism in this genus, identification of species is often difficult. This study focuses on microscopic investigation of foliar features and GC-MS identification of the main leaf volatile components of three Ambrosia species currently found in Israel-invasive species Ambrosia confertiflora and A. tenuifolia, and transient A. grayi. A. confertiflora and A. tenuifolia have three trichome types: non-glandular trichomes, capitate glandular trichomes and linear glandular trichomes. Their non-glandular trichomes and capitate trichomes have distinct structures and can serve as taxonomic characters. A. grayi (the least successful invader) has only very dense covering trichomes. All three Ambrosia species have secretory structures in their leaf midrib. A. confertiflora, the most problematic invasive plant in Israel, had a ten times higher volatiles content than the other two species. In A. confertiflora, the most abundant volatiles were chrysanthenone (25.5%), borneol (18%), germacrene D and (E)-caryophyllene (both around 12%). In A. tenuifolia, the most abundant volatiles were β-myrcene (32.9%), (2E)-hexenal (13%) and 1,8-cineole (11.7%). In A. grayi, the most abundant volatiles were β-myrcene (17.9%), germacrene D (17.8%) and limonene (14%). The three examined species have distinct trichome types and metabolic profiles. Non-glandular trichomes show structural diversification between species and are a good descriptive character. Considering the anthropocentric significance of this highly problematic genus, the current study provides tools for easier identification of ragweed species.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Larrue S, Baray JL, Chadeyron J, et al (2023)

Modeling long-distance seed dispersal of the invasive tree Spathodea campanulata in the Society Islands.

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

Long-distance dispersal is a key factor explaining the success of invasive alien species, particularly across oceanic islands. However, it is often not feasible to reliably measure long-distance seed dispersal over many kilometers in the field. Here, we used a 3-D kinematic trajectory model (Computing Atmospheric Trajectory tool (CAT)) initiated from regional wind field data to assess the potential for long-distance seed dispersal (LDD) of a wind-dispersed invasive tree, Spathodea campanulata (African tulip tree) across the Society Islands (French Polynesia, South Pacific Ocean) following its initial planting and spread on the island of Tahiti. The main objective of our study was to determine whether S. campanulata can be expected to spread naturally among islands. Atmospheric dynamics, seed terminal velocity, precipitation and temperature of air masses were considered to assess the potential for LDD between oceanic islands, with the island of Tahiti serving as the island source for multiple, geographically distant invasions. Aerial trajectories of modeled S. campanulata seeds indicated that wind-dispersed seeds originating from trees on the island of Tahiti could reach most of the Society Islands and disperse as far as 1364 km. This result suggests that Spathodea can be expected to spread naturally among the Society Islands. When rainfall events were modeled as causal agents of seed settlement, fewer seeds reached distant islands, but more seeds settled on the closest island (20 km away). Including effects of island topography ("barrier effects") also resulted in more seeds settling on the closest island and fewer seeds reaching the most distant islands. Overall, our findings suggest that recent atmospheric models can provide valuable insights into LDD and invasion patterns of wind dispersed invasive species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Staton T, Girling RD, Redak RA, et al (2023)

Can morphological traits explain species-specific differences in meta-analyses? A case study of forest beetles.

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

Meta-analyses have become a valuable tool with which to synthesise effects across studies, but in ecology and evolution, they are often characterised by high heterogeneity, where effect sizes vary between studies. Much of this heterogeneity can be attributed to species-specific differences in responses to predictor variables. Here, we aimed to incorporate a novel trait-based approach to explain species-specific differences in a meta-analysis by testing the ability of morphological traits to explain why the effectiveness of flight-intercept trap design varies according to beetle species, a critical issue in forest pest management. An existing morphological trait database for forest beetles was supplemented, providing trait data for 97 species, while data from a previous meta-analysis on capture rates of bark or woodboring beetles according to different trap designs was updated. We combined these sources by including nine morphological traits as moderators in meta-analysis models, for five different components of trap design. Traits were selected based on theoretical hypotheses relating to beetle movement, manoeuvrability, and sensory perception. We compared the performance of morphological traits as moderators, versus guild, taxonomic family, and null meta-analysis models. Morphological traits for the effect of trap type (panel vs multiple-funnel) on beetle capture rates improved model fit (AICc), reduced within-study variance (σ[2]), and explained more variation (McFadden's pseudo-R[2]) compared with null, guild, and taxonomic family models. For example, morphological trait models explained 10% more of the variance (pseudo-R[2]) when compared with a null model. However, using traits was less informative to explain how detailed elements of trap design such as surface treatment and colour influence capture rates. The reduction of within-study variance when accounting for morphological traits demonstrates their potential value for explaining species-specific differences. Morphological traits associated with flight efficiency, manoeuvrability, and eye size were particularly informative for explaining the effectiveness of trap type. This could lead to improved predictability of optimal trap design according to species. Therefore, morphological traits could be a valuable tool for understanding species-specific differences in community ecology, but other causes of heterogeneity across studies, such as forest type and structure, require further investigation.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Zhao Y, Hu J, Wu J, et al (2023)

ChIP-seq profiling of H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 in an invasive insect, Bactrocera dorsalis.

Frontiers in genetics, 14:1108104.

Introduction: While it has been suggested that histone modifications can facilitate animal responses to rapidly changing environments, few studies have profiled whole-genome histone modification patterns in invasive species, leaving the regulatory landscape of histone modifications in invasive species unclear. Methods: Here, we screen genome-wide patterns of two important histone modifications, trimethylated Histone H3 Lysine 4 (H3K4me3) and trimethylated Histone H3 Lysine 27 (H3K27me3), in adult thorax muscles of a notorious invasive pest, the Oriental fruit fly Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel) (Diptera: Tephritidae), using Chromatin Immunoprecipitation with high-throughput sequencing (ChIP-seq). Results: We identified promoters featured by the occupancy of H3K4me3, H3K27me3 or bivalent histone modifications that were respectively annotated with unique genes key to muscle development and structure maintenance. In addition, we found H3K27me3 occupied the entire body of genes, where the average enrichment was almost constant. Transcriptomic analysis indicated that H3K4me3 is associated with active gene transcription, and H3K27me3 is mostly associated with transcriptional repression. Importantly, we identified genes and putative motifs modified by distinct histone modification patterns that may possibly regulate flight activity. Discussion: These findings provide the first evidence of histone modification signature in B. dorsalis, and will be useful for future studies of epigenetic signature in other invasive insect species.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Deane DC, Hui C, M McGeoch (2023)

Two dominant forms of multisite similarity decline - Their origins and interpretation.

Ecology and evolution, 13(3):e9859.

The number of species shared by two or more sites is a fundamental measure of spatial variation in species composition. As more sites are included in the comparison of species composition, the average number of species shared across them declines, with a rate increasingly dependent on only the most widespread species. In over 80% of empirical communities, models of decline in shared species across multiple sites (multisite similarity decline) follow one of two distinct forms. An exponential form is assumed to reflect stochastic assembly and a power law form niche-based sorting, yet these explanations are largely untested, and little is known of how the two forms arise in nature. Using simulations, we first show that the distribution of the most widespread species largely differentiates the two forms, with the power law increasingly favored where such species occupy more than ~75% of sites. We reasoned the less cosmopolitan distribution of widespread species within exponential communities would manifest as differences in community biodiversity properties, specifically more aggregated within-species distributions, less even relative abundance distributions, and weaker between-species spatial associations. We tested and largely confirmed these relationships using 80 empirical datasets, suggesting that the form of multisite similarity decline offers a basis to predict how landscape-scale loss or gain of widespread species is reflected in different local-scale community structures. Such understanding could, for example, be used to predict changes in local-scale competitive interactions following shifts in widespread species' distributions. We propose multiple explanations for the origin of exponential decline, including high among-site abiotic variation, sampling of highly specialized (narrow niche width) taxa, and strong dispersal limitation. We recommend these are evaluated as alternative hypotheses to stochastic assembly.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Barrett CF, Corbett CW, Thixton-Nolan HL, et al (2023)

A lack of population structure characterizes the invasive Lonicera japonica in West Virginia and across eastern North America.

bioRxiv : the preprint server for biology pii:2023.03.01.530604.

Invasive plant species cause massive ecosystem damage globally, yet represent powerful case studies in population genetics and rapid adaptation to new habitats. The availability of digitized herbarium collections data, and the ubiquity of invasive species across the landscape make them highly accessible for studies of invasion history and population dynamics associated with their introduction, establishment, spread, and ecological interactions. Here we focus on Lonicera japonica , one of the most damaging invasive vine species in North America. We leveraged digitized collections data and contemporary field collections to reconstruct the invasion history and characterize patterns of genomic variation in the eastern USA, using a straightforward method for generating nucleotide polymorphism data and a recently published, chromosome-level genome for the species. We found an overall lack of population structure among sites in northern West Virginia, USA, as well as across sites in the central and eastern USA. Heterozygosity and population differentiation were both low based on Fst , analysis of molecular variance, principal components analysis, and cluster-based analyses. We also found evidence of high inbreeding coefficients and significant linkage disequilibrium, in line with the ability of this otherwise outcrossing, perennial species to propagate vegetatively. Our findings corroborate earlier studies based on allozyme data, and suggest that intentional, human-assisted spread explains the lack of population structure, as this species was planted for erosion control and as an ornamental, escaping cultivation repeatedly across the USA. Finally, we discuss how plant invasion genomics can be incorporated into experiential undergraduate education as a way to integrate teaching and research.

RevDate: 2023-03-13

Bueno ML, Heringer G, de Carvalho DR, et al (2023)

Ecosystem variables importance in the presence and abundance of a globally invasive fish.

The Science of the total environment, 876:162795 pii:S0048-9697(23)01411-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Changes in physical habitat that are associated with anthropogenic disturbances facilitate the establishment and expansion of non-native species in receiving environments. Here, we evaluated the relative importance of ecosystem variables for the presence and abundance of the invasive fish Poecilia reticulata in Brazil. We collected fish species and assessed environmental variables through an established physical habitat protocol in 220 stream sites located in southeastern and midwestern Brazil. A total of 14,816 P. reticulata individuals were collected in 43 stream sites, and 258 variables that describe the physical characteristics of streams were assessed, including measures of channel morphology, substrate size and type, habitat complexity and cover, riparian vegetation cover and structure, and human influence. Dimensionality reduction methods were employed to limit redundancy, resulting in a smaller set of the most relevant environmental variables. Subsequently, we used random forest models to assess the relative importance of these variables in determining the presence and abundance of P. reticulata. The presence of this invasive fish was primarily explained by human disturbance variables related to urbanization (total impact, pavement, artificial structure areal cover, riparian canopy cover, electrical conductivity, mean thalweg depth, and sand), whereas channel morphology (mean bank full height) and fish cover variables (natural fish cover, and aquatic macrophyte areal cover) were important predictors of its abundance. Identifying which ecosystem variables are favorable to the establishment of non-native species is an important step in preventing future biological invasions, as well as managing those that already occur.

RevDate: 2023-03-13
CmpDate: 2023-03-13

Stokstad E (2023)

China battles alien weed at unprecedented scale.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 379(6636):972.

"Mammoth" plan to control a coastal invader would benefit migratory birds.

RevDate: 2023-03-13
CmpDate: 2023-03-13

Iseli E, Chisholm C, Lenoir J, et al (2023)

Rapid upwards spread of non-native plants in mountains across continents.

Nature ecology & evolution, 7(3):405-413.

High-elevation ecosystems are among the few ecosystems worldwide that are not yet heavily invaded by non-native plants. This is expected to change as species expand their range limits upwards to fill their climatic niches and respond to ongoing anthropogenic disturbances. Yet, whether and how quickly these changes are happening has only been assessed in a few isolated cases. Starting in 2007, we conducted repeated surveys of non-native plant distributions along mountain roads in 11 regions from 5 continents. We show that over a 5- to 10-year period, the number of non-native species increased on average by approximately 16% per decade across regions. The direction and magnitude of upper range limit shifts depended on elevation across all regions. Supported by a null-model approach accounting for range changes expected by chance alone, we found greater than expected upward shifts at lower/mid elevations in at least seven regions. After accounting for elevation dependence, significant average upward shifts were detected in a further three regions (revealing evidence for upward shifts in 10 of 11 regions). Together, our results show that mountain environments are becoming increasingly exposed to biological invasions, emphasizing the need to monitor and prevent potential biosecurity issues emerging in high-elevation ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-03-11

Bhatt A, Chen X, Pompelli MF, et al (2023)

Characterization of Invasiveness, Thermotolerance and Light Requirement of Nine Invasive Species in China.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5): pii:plants12051192.

Understanding responsible functional traits for promoting plant invasiveness could be important to aid in the development of adequate management strategies for invasive species. Seed traits play an important role in the plant life cycle by affecting dispersal ability, formation of the soil seed bank, type and level of dormancy, germination, survival and/or competitive ability. We assessed seed traits and germination strategies of nine invasive species under five temperature regimes and light/dark treatments. Our results showed a considerable level of interspecific variation in germination percentage among the tested species. Both cooler (5/10 °C) and warmer (35/40 °C) temperatures tended to inhibit germination. All study species were considered small-seeded, and seed size did not affect germination in the light. Yet, a slightly negative correlation was found between germination in the dark and seed dimensions. We classified the species into three categories according to their germination strategies: (i) risk-avoiders, mostly displaying dormant seeds with low G%; (ii) risk-takers, reaching a high G% in a broad range of temperatures; (iii) intermediate species, showing moderate G% values, which could be enhanced in specific temperature regimes. Variability in germination requirements could be important to explain species coexistence and invasion ability of plants to colonize different ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-03-11

Barta CÉ, Jenkins BC, Lindstrom DS, et al (2023)

The First Evidence of Gibberellic Acid's Ability to Modulate Target Species' Sensitivity to Honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) Allelochemicals.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(5): pii:plants12051014.

Invasive species employ competitive strategies such as releasing allelopathic chemicals into the environment that negatively impact native species. Decomposing Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii) leaves leach various allelopathic phenolics into the soil, decreasing the vigor of several native species. Notable differences in the net negative impacts of L. maackii metabolites on target species were argued to depend on soil properties, the microbiome, the proximity to the allelochemical source, the allelochemical concentration, or environmental conditions. This study is the first to address the role of target species' metabolic properties in determining their net sensitivity to allelopathic inhibition by L. maackii. Gibberellic acid (GA3) is a critical regulator of seed germination and early development. We hypothesized that GA3 levels might affect the target sensitivity to allelopathic inhibitors and evaluated differences in the response of a standard (control, Rbr), a GA3-overproducing (ein), and a GA3-deficient (ros) Brassica rapa variety to L. maackii allelochemicals. Our results demonstrate that high GA3 concentrations substantially alleviate the inhibitory effects of L. maackii allelochemicals. A better understanding of the importance of target species' metabolic properties in their responses to allelochemicals will contribute to developing novel invasive species control and biodiversity conservation protocols and may contribute to applications in agriculture.

RevDate: 2023-03-11

Au MFF, Williams GA, JHL Hui (2023)

Status Quo and Future Perspectives of Molecular and Genomic Studies on the Genus Biomphalaria-The Intermediate Snail Host of Schistosoma mansoni.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(5): pii:ijms24054895.

Schistosomiasis, or also generally known as bilharzia or snail fever, is a parasitic disease that is caused by trematode flatworms of the genus Schistosoma. It is considered by the World Health Organisation as the second most prevalent parasitic disease after malaria and affects more than 230 million people in over 70 countries. People are infected via a variety of activities ranging from agricultural, domestic, occupational to recreational activities, where the freshwater snails Biomphalaria release Schistosoma cercariae larvae that penetrate the skin of humans when exposed in water. Understanding the biology of the intermediate host snail Biomphalaria is thus important to reveal the potential spread of schistosomiasis. In this article, we present an overview of the latest molecular studies focused on the snail Biomphalaria, including its ecology, evolution, and immune response; and propose using genomics as a foundation to further understand and control this disease vector and thus the transmission of schistosomiasis.

RevDate: 2023-03-11

Liu J, Duan X, Li G, et al (2023)

Changes in Bacterial Communities and Their Effects on Soil Carbon Storage in Spartina alterniflora Invasion Areas, Coastal Wetland Bare Flats, and Sueada salsa Areas.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 20(5): pii:ijerph20054308.

Spartina alterniflora is considered an invasive species that has affected the biogeochemical circle of carbon in coastal wetlands around the world. Nevertheless, it is still unclear how S. alternation invasion affects the carbon storage capacity of coastal wetlands as carbon pools through bacterial changes. Herein, bacterial communities and soil carbon content in coastal wetland native areas and S. alterniflora invasion areas were detected. It was found that an S. alterniflora invasion brought more organic carbon and resulted in the increase in Proteobacteria in bare flats and Sueada salsa areas. When decomposition capacity was not sufficient, large amounts of organic carbon may be stored in specific chemical forms, such as monosaccharides, carboxylic acids, alcohols, etc. The results have also shown that soil bacterial communities were highly similar between the bare flat and S. alterniflora invasion area, which is extremely conducive to the rapid growth of S. alterniflora. However, an S. alterniflora invasion would decrease total carbon contents and inorganic carbon contents in the Sueada salsa area. This is not conducive to the stability of the soil carbon pool and soil health. These findings may complement, to some extent, the shortcomings of the interaction between S. alterniflora and bacterial communities, and their joint effect on soil carbon storage.

RevDate: 2023-03-10

López-Reyes K, Osorio-Olvera L, Rojas-Soto O, et al (2023)

An exhaustive evaluation of modeling ecological niches above species level to predict marine biological invasions.

Marine environmental research, 186:105926 pii:S0141-1136(23)00054-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Identifying the areas of the world with suitable environmental conditions for the establishment of invasive species represents a fundamental basis for preventing their impacts. One of the most widely used tools for this is ecological niche modeling. Nonetheless, this approach may underestimate the specie's physiological tolerances (it's potential niche) since wildlife populations of species usually do not occupy their entire environmental tolerance. Recently, it has been suggested that incorporating occurrences of phylogenetically related species improves the prediction of biological invasions. However, the reproducibility of this technique remains unclear. Here, we evaluated the generality of this protocol by assessing whether the construction of modeling units above species level improves the capacity of niche models to predict the distribution of 26 target marine invasive species. For each, we constructed supraspecific modeling units based on published phylogenies by grouping the native occurrence records of each invasive species with the records of its phylogenetically closest relative. We also considered units at species level, including only the presence of records in the native areas of the target species. We generated ecological niche models for each unit with three modeling methods (minimum volume ellipsoids - MVE, machine learning algorithms - Maxent and a presence-absence method - GLM). In addition, we grouped the 26 target species based on whether or not the species are in environmental pseudo-equilibrium (i.e., it occupies all habitats where it can disperse) and have any geographical or biological constraints. Our results suggest that the construction of supraspecific units improves the predictive capacity of correlative models to estimate the invasion area of our target species. This modeling approach consistently generated models with a higher predictive ability for species in non-environmental pseudo-equilibrium and with geographical constraints.

RevDate: 2023-03-09

Worischka S, Schöll F, Winkelmann C, et al (2023)

Twenty-eight years of ecosystem recovery and destabilisation: Impacts of biological invasions and climate change on a temperate river.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)01294-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Most river ecosystems are exposed to multiple anthropogenic stressors affecting the composition and functionality of benthic communities. Identifying main causes and detecting potentially alarming trends in time depends on the availability of long-term monitoring data sets. Our study aimed to improve the knowledge about community effects of multiple stressors that is needed for effective, sustainable management and conservation. We conducted a causal analysis to detect the dominant stressors and hypothesised that multiple stressors, such as climate change and multiple biological invasions, reduce biodiversity and thus endanger ecosystem stability. Using a data set from 1992 to 2019 for the benthic macroinvertebrate community of a 65-km stretch of the upper Elbe river in Germany, we evaluated the effects of alien species, temperature, discharge, phosphorus, pH and abiotic conditional variables on the taxonomic and functional composition of the benthic community and analysed the temporal behaviour of biodiversity metrics. We observed fundamental taxonomic and functional changes in the community, with a shift from collectors/gatherers to filter feeders and feeding opportunists preferring warm temperatures. A partial dbRDA revealed significant effects of temperature and alien species abundance and richness. The occurrence of distinct phases in the development of community metrics suggests a temporally varying impact of different stressors. Taxonomic and functional richness responded more sensitively than the diversity metrics whereas the functional redundancy metric remained unchanged. Especially the last 10-year phase, however, showed a decline in richness metrics and an unsaturated, linear relationship between taxonomic and functional richness, which rather indicates reduced functional redundancy. We conclude that the varying anthropogenic stressors over three decades, mainly biological invasions and climate change, affected the community severely enough to increase its vulnerability to future stressors. Our study highlights the importance of long-term monitoring data and emphasises a careful use of biodiversity metrics, preferably considering also community composition.

RevDate: 2023-03-07

Nixon LJ, Barnes C, Deecher E, et al (2023)

Evaluating deployment strategies for spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) traps.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7070631 [Epub ahead of print].

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (White) (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), is an invasive planthopper that was first detected in the United States in Berks County, PA, in 2014, and has since spread to 13 states in the Eastern United States. This phloem-feeding pest has a broad host range, including economically important crops such as grapevine, Vitis spp. Monitoring presence and relative abundance of L. delicatula is essential to develop pest management tools. Here, we compared deployment strategies to optimize use of L. delicatula monitoring traps. Standard circle traps, sticky bands, and circle traps with replaceable bag tops were deployed at sites with either high or low populations present. Trap deployment at different heights and on different host tree species and trap sampling intervals were evaluated for standard circle traps only. Circle traps captured significantly more L. delicatula adults at low-density sites compared with other trap types in 2021, and no differences were detected at high-density sights. Traps deployed 1 m from the ground captured significantly more adults than those deployed at 0.5 m; no differences were detected for nymphs. While no significant differences in captures were found among intervals, weekly or biweekly sampling prevented specimen degradation. Although traps deployed on Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (Sapindales: Simaroubaceae) captured significantly or numerically more L. delicatula at most sites, traps deployed on other hosts also yielded consistent captures. We were also able to alter the construction of circle trap skirts to allow for deployment on different sized tree trunks.

RevDate: 2023-03-07

Rohwer RR, Hale RJ, Vander Zanden MJ, et al (2023)

Species invasions shift microbial phenology in a two-decade freshwater time series.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(11):e2211796120.

Invasive species impart abrupt changes on ecosystems, but their impacts on microbial communities are often overlooked. We paired a 20 y freshwater microbial community time series with zooplankton and phytoplankton counts, rich environmental data, and a 6 y cyanotoxin time series. We observed strong microbial phenological patterns that were disrupted by the invasions of spiny water flea (Bythotrephes cederströmii) and zebra mussels (Dreissena polymorpha). First, we detected shifts in Cyanobacteria phenology. After the spiny water flea invasion, Cyanobacteria dominance crept earlier into clearwater; and after the zebra mussel invasion, Cyanobacteria abundance crept even earlier into the diatom-dominated spring. During summer, the spiny water flea invasion sparked a cascade of shifting diversity where zooplankton diversity decreased and Cyanobacteria diversity increased. Second, we detected shifts in cyanotoxin phenology. After the zebra mussel invasion, microcystin increased in early summer and the duration of toxin production increased by over a month. Third, we observed shifts in heterotrophic bacteria phenology. The Bacteroidota phylum and members of the acI Nanopelagicales lineage were differentially more abundant. The proportion of the bacterial community that changed differed by season; spring and clearwater communities changed most following the spiny water flea invasion that lessened clearwater intensity, while summer communities changed least following the zebra mussel invasion despite the shifts in Cyanobacteria diversity and toxicity. A modeling framework identified the invasions as primary drivers of the observed phenological changes. These long-term invasion-mediated shifts in microbial phenology demonstrate the interconnectedness of microbes with the broader food web and their susceptibility to long-term environmental change.

RevDate: 2023-03-07

Salomé-Díaz J, Golubov J, Díaz-Segura O, et al (2023)

Practice makes the expert: The importance of training volunteers in the generation of phenological data from photographs of biodiversity observation platforms.

PloS one, 18(3):e0282750 pii:PONE-D-22-27649.

Phenology studies the time at which events in the life cycle of a species occur sand how they are related to environmental cues. Patterns of change in phenology at different scales can be used as an indicator of ecosystem changes and climate change, but the data necessary to detect these changes can be difficult to obtain due to their temporal and regional dimensions. Citizen science can contribute to generate large amounts of data on phenological changes at wide geographical scales that would be almost impossible for professional scientists to generate, but the quality and reliability of these data are often questioned. The objective of this study was to evaluate the use of a biodiversity observation citizen science platform based on photographic information as a potential source of large-scale phenological information, and to identify the key benefits and limitations of this type of information source. We used the Naturalista photographic databases for two invasive species in a tropical region: Leonotis nepetifolia and Nicotiana glauca. The photographs were classified into different phenophases (initial growth, immature flower, mature flower, dry fruit) by three groups of volunteers: a group of experts, a trained group with information on the biology and phenology of both species, and an untrained group. The degree of reliability of the phenological classifications was estimated for each group of volunteers and each phenophase. The degree of reliability of the phenological classification of the untrained group was generally very low for all phenophases. The group of trained volunteers showed accuracy levels for the reproductive phenophases that equaled the degree of reliability among the expert group, regardless of species, and was consistent across phenophases. We conclude that volunteer classification of photographic information contained in biodiversity observation platforms can provide phenological information with high geographic coverage and an increasing temporal coverage on general phenological patterns of species with wide distributions but has limited applicability in the identification of exact start and end dates. and peaks of the different phenophases.

RevDate: 2023-03-07
CmpDate: 2023-03-07

Goode K, Weber MJ, PM Dixon (2023)

WhoseEgg: classification software for invasive carp eggs.

PeerJ, 11:e14787.

The collection of fish eggs is a commonly used technique for monitoring invasive carp. Genetic identification is the most trusted method for identifying fish eggs but is expensive and slow. Recent work suggests random forest models could provide an inexpensive method for identifying invasive carp eggs based on morphometric egg characteristics. While random forests provide accurate predictions, they do not produce a simple formula for obtaining new predictions. Instead, individuals must have knowledge of the R coding language, limiting the individuals who can use the random forests for resource management. We present WhoseEgg: a web-based point-and-click application that allows non-R users to access random forests via a point and click interface to rapidly identify fish eggs with an objective of detecting invasive carp (Bighead, Grass, and Silver Carp) in the Upper Mississippi River basin. This article provides an overview of WhoseEgg, an example application, and future research directions.

RevDate: 2023-03-07
CmpDate: 2023-03-07

Peñafiel-Ricaurte A, Price SJ, Leung WTM, et al (2023)

Is Xenopus laevis introduction linked with Ranavirus incursion, persistence and spread in Chile?.

PeerJ, 11:e14497.

Ranaviruses have been associated with amphibian, fish and reptile mortality events worldwide and with amphibian population declines in parts of Europe. Xenopus laevis is a widespread invasive amphibian species in Chile. Recently, Frog virus 3 (FV3), the type species of the Ranavirus genus, was detected in two wild populations of this frog near Santiago in Chile, however, the extent of ranavirus infection in this country remains unknown. To obtain more information about the origin of ranavirus in Chile, its distribution, species affected, and the role of invasive amphibians and freshwater fish in the epidemiology of ranavirus, a surveillance study comprising wild and farmed amphibians and wild fish over a large latitudinal gradient (2,500 km) was carried out in 2015-2017. In total, 1,752 amphibians and 496 fish were tested using a ranavirus-specific qPCR assay, and positive samples were analyzed for virus characterization through whole genome sequencing of viral DNA obtained from infected tissue. Ranavirus was detected at low viral loads in nine of 1,011 X. laevis from four populations in central Chile. No other amphibian or fish species tested were positive for ranavirus, suggesting ranavirus is not threatening native Chilean species yet. Phylogenetic analysis of partial ranavirus sequences showed 100% similarity with FV3. Our results show a restricted range of ranavirus infection in central Chile, coinciding with X. laevis presence, and suggest that FV3 may have entered the country through infected X. laevis, which appears to act as a competent reservoir host, and may contribute to the spread the virus locally as it invades new areas, and globally through the pet trade.

RevDate: 2023-03-07
CmpDate: 2023-03-07

Li X, Yang W, Ma X, et al (2023)

Invasive Spartina alterniflora habitat forms high energy fluxes but low food web stability compared to adjacent native vegetated habitats.

Journal of environmental management, 334:117487.

Invasive Spartina spp. mostly colonizes a bare tidal flat and then establishes a new vegetated habitat, where it promotes the productivity of local ecosystems. However, it was unclear whether the invasive habitat could well exhibit ecosystem functioning, e.g. how its high productivity propagates throughout the food web and whether it thereby develops a high food web stability relative to native vegetated habitats. By developing quantitative food webs for a long-established invasive Spartina alterniflora habitat and adjacent native salt marsh (Suaeda salsa) and seagrass (Zostera japonica) habitats in China's Yellow River Delta, we investigated the distributions of energy fluxes, assessed the stability of food webs, and investigated the net trophic effects between trophic groups by combining all direct and indirect trophic interactions. Results showed that the total energy flux in the invasive S. alterniflora habitat was comparable to that in the Z. japonica habitat, whereas 4.5 times higher than that in the S. salsa habitat. While, the invasive habitat had the lowest trophic transfer efficiencies. Food web stability in the invasive habitat was about 3 and 40 times lower than that in the S. salsa and Z. japonica habitats, respectively. Additionally, there were strong net effects caused by intermediate invertebrate species in the invasive habitat rather than by fish species in both native habitats. This study revealed the contradiction between the promotion of energy fluxes and the decrease of food web stability resulting from the invasion of S. alterniflora, which provides new insights into the community-based management of plant invasions.

RevDate: 2023-03-07

Vogel S, H Taraschewski (2023)

Intermediate host patterns of acanthocephalans in the Weser river system: co-invasion vs host capture.

Parasitology pii:S0031182023000124 [Epub ahead of print].

Anthropogenic interference is a major driver of ecological change in freshwater ecosystems. Pollution and the introduction of new species not only alter macrozoobenthic community structures, but can also affect their respective parasite communities. The ecology of the Weser river system experienced a drastic decline in biodiversity over the past century due to salinization caused by the local potash industry. As a response, the amphipod Gammarus tigrinus was released into the Werra in 1957. A few decades after the introduction and subsequent spread of this North American species, its natural acanthocephalan Paratenuisentis ambiguus was recorded in the Weser in 1988, where it had captured the European eel Anguilla anguilla as a novel host. To assess the recent ecological changes in the acanthocephalan parasite community, we investigated gammarids and eel in the Weser river system. In addition to P. ambiguus, 3 Pomphorhynchus species and Polymorphus cf. minutus were discovered. The introduced G. tigrinus serves as a novel intermediate host for the acanthocephalans Pomphorhynchus tereticollis and P. cf. minutus in the tributary Werra. Pomphorhynchus laevis is persistent in the tributary Fulda in its indigenous host Gammarus pulex. Pomphorhynchus bosniacus colonized the Weser with its Ponto-Caspian intermediate host Dikerogammarus villosus. This study highlights the anthropogenically driven changes in ecology and evolution in the Weser river system. Based on morphological and phylogenetic identification, the shifts in distribution and host usage described here for the first time contribute to the puzzling taxonomy of the genus Pomphorhynchus in times of ecological globalization.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Doiron G (2023)

Invasive Plant Relations in a Global Pandemic: Caring for a "Problematic Pesto".

Environment and planning. E, Nature and space, 6(1):600-616.

In Spring 2020, amidst a COVID-19 state of emergency, the City of Toronto's Parks & Urban Forestry department posted signs in the city's remaining Black Oak Savannahs to announce the cancellation of the yearly 'prescribed burn' practice, citing fears it would exacerbate pandemic conditions. With this activity and other nature management events on hold, many invasive plants continued to establish and proliferate. This paper confronts dominant attitudes in invasion ecology with Indigenous epistemologies and ideas of transformative justice, asking what can be learned from building a relationship with a much-maligned invasive plant like garlic mustard. Written in isolation as the plant began to flower in the Black Oak savannahs and beyond, this paper situates the plant's abundance and gifts within pandemic-related 'cancelled care' and 'cultivation activism' as a means of exploring human-nature relations in the settler-colonial city. It also asks what transformative lessons garlic mustard can offer about precarity, non-linear temporalities, contamination, multispecies entanglements, and the impacts of colonial property regimes on possible relations. Highlighting the entanglements of historical and ongoing violences with invasion ecology, this paper presents 'caring for invasives' as a path toward more liveable futures.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Baecher JA, Johnson SA, Roznik EA, et al (2023)

Experimental evaluation of how biological invasions and climate change interact to alter the vertical assembly of an amphibian community.

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

While biotic-abiotic interactions are increasingly documented in nature, a process-based understanding of how such interactions influence community assembly is lacking in the ecological literature. Perhaps the most emblematic and pervasive example of such interactions is the synergistic threat to biodiversity posed by climate change and invasive species. Invasive species often out-compete or prey on native species. Despite this long-standing and widespread issue, little is known about how abiotic conditions, such as climate change, will influence the frequency and severity of negative biotic interactions that threaten the persistence of native fauna. Treefrogs are a globally diverse group of amphibians that climb to complete life-cycle processes, such as foraging and reproduction, as well as to evade predators and competitors, resulting in frog communities that are vertically partitioned. Furthermore, treefrogs adjust their vertical position to maintain optimal body temperature and hydration in response to environmental change. Here, utilizing this model group, we designed a novel experiment to determine how extrinsic abiotic and biotic factors (changes to water availability and an introduced predator, respectively) interact with intrinsic biological traits, such as individual physiology and behaviour, to influence treefrogs' vertical niche. Our study found that treefrogs adjusted their vertical niche through displacement behaviours in accordance with abiotic resources. However, biotic interactions resulted in native treefrogs distancing themselves from abiotic resources to avoid the non-native species. Importantly, under altered abiotic conditions, both native species avoided the non-native species 33 $$ 33 $$ %- 70 % $$ 70\% $$ more than they avoided their native counterpart. Additionally, exposure to the non-native species resulted in native species altering their tree climbing behaviours by 56 % - 78 % $$ 56\%\hbox{--} 78\% $$ and becoming more vertically dynamic to avoid the non-native antagonist. Our experiment determined that vertical niche selection and community interactions were most accurately represented by a biotic-abiotic interaction model, rather than a model that considers these factors to operate in an isolated (singular) or even additive manner. Our study provides evidence that native species may be resilient to interacting disturbances via physiological adaptations to local climate and plasticity in space-use behaviours that mediate the impact of the introduced predator.

RevDate: 2023-03-06

Acosta-Coley I, Cabarcas-Montalvo M, Hernandez-Lambraño RE, et al (2023)

Mercury assessment in invasive Lionfish Pterois (Oken, 1817) from marine protected areas in the Colombian Caribbean.

Marine pollution bulletin, 189:114753 pii:S0025-326X(23)00184-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Lionfish (Pterois spp.) are invasive species reported since 2009 in the Corales del Rosario y San Bernardo National Natural Park in the Caribbean. Their capture and consumption are strategies to control their dispersion and limit ecological damage. The natural park is influenced by the vicinity of Cartagena's residential, industrial, and touristic activities, as well as sediments loaded with mercury from the Dique Channel. For the first time, total mercury levels in muscle from 58 lionfish were determined, with values ranging from 0.01 to 0.38 μg/g (mean = 0.11 ± 0.01 μg/g). Fish length ranged from 17.4 to 44.0 cm (mean = 28.0 ± 0.63 cm). Mercury levels did not increase proportionally to fish length for pooled data, but the relationship was significant for specimens from Rosario Island. Mercury levels comply with legislation for fish consumption, but the risk to human health may appear if it occurs daily. Therefore, precautionary approach and a permanent monitoring strategy are strongly advised.

RevDate: 2023-03-06
CmpDate: 2023-03-06

Zhang M, Ni Y, M Li (2023)

Evaluation of the growth, adaption, and ecosystem services of two potentially-introduced urban tree species in Guangzhou under drought stress.

Scientific reports, 13(1):3563.

Under rapid urbanization and agglomeration of population, cities are facing various environmental challenges. As urban forests play a crucial role in mitigating native environmental problems and providing ecosystem services, cities might enhance their urban forest construction through multiple approaches, of which the introduction of exotic tree species could be an effective way. Under the background of constructing a high-quality forest city, Guangzhou was considering introducing a series of exotic tree species to improve the local urban greening, among which Tilia cordata Mill. and Tilia tomentosa Moench became the potential objects. As Guangzhou was reported to experience higher temperatures with less precipitation and face drought events with increasing frequency and intensity, whether the two tree species could survive in the dry environment required to be investigated profoundly. Thus, we launched a drought-simulation experiment and measured their above- and below-ground growth in 2020. In addition, their ecosystem services were also simulated and evaluated for their future adaption. Furthermore, a congeneric native tree species Tilia miqueliana Maxim was also measured in the same experiment as a comparison. Our results showed that Tilia miqueliana exhibited moderate patterns of growth and advantages in evapotranspiration and cooling. Besides, its investment in root development at horizontal level could account for its special strategy against drought stress. Tilia tomentosa's vigorous root growth could be the most positive behavior of coping with water deficit, which explained its maintenance of carbon fixation and implied a well adaption. Tilia cordata showed a complete decrease in above- and below-ground growth, especially for its fine root biomass. In addition, its ecosystem services were significantly reduced, reflecting a comprehensive failure when it faced a long-term scarcity of water. Therefore, it was necessary to supply sufficient water and under-ground space for their living in Guangzhou, especially for Tilia cordata. In the future, long-time observation of their growth under different stresses can be practical approaches to amplify their multiple ecosystem services.

RevDate: 2023-03-06
CmpDate: 2023-03-06

Licata F, Ficetola GF, Falaschi M, et al (2023)

Spatial ecology of the invasive Asian common toad in Madagascar and its implications for invasion dynamics.

Scientific reports, 13(1):3526.

Invasion dynamics are determined, among other aspects, by the spatial behaviour of invasive populations. The invasive toad Duttaphrynus melanostictus is spreading inland from the eastern coast of Madagascar, causing considerable ecological impacts. Understanding the basic factors determining the spread dynamics can inform management strategies and provide insights into spatial evolutionary processes. We radio-tracked 91 adult toads in three localities along the invasion gradient to determine whether spatial sorting of dispersive phenotypes is occurring, and investigate intrinsic and extrinsic determinants of spatial behaviour. Overall, toads in our study appeared as habitat generalists, and their sheltering behaviour was tied to water proximity, with toads changing shelter more frequently closer to waterbodies. Toads showed low displacement rates (mean = 4.12 m/day) and quite a philopatric behaviour but were able to perform daily movements of over 50 m. We did not detect any spatial sorting of dispersal-relevant traits nor sex- or size-biased dispersal. Our results suggest that toads are more likely to expand their range during the wet season, and that the range expansion is probably dominated by short-distance dispersal at this stage of the invasion, although a future increase in invasion speed is expected, due to the capacity for long-distance movements of this species.

RevDate: 2023-03-04

Cannarozzi L, Paoli C, Vassallo P, et al (2023)

Donor-side and user-side evaluation of the Atlantic blue crab invasion on a Mediterranean lagoon.

Marine pollution bulletin, 189:114758 pii:S0025-326X(23)00189-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The recent invasion of Callinectes sapidus in the Lesina Lagoon has raised great concern about its potential impacts on the ecosystem and on local fisheries. The effects of the blue crab presence on the receiving ecosystem were evaluated from both a donor-side perspective, through the application of emergy analysis, and a user-side perspective, by means of interviews to the local fishermen. While emergy analysis showed that C. sapidus brings to an increase of both natural capital and ecosystem functions values, results from interviews highlighted that the major problem caused by the presence of the blue crab in the lagoon concerned the local economy. As the first quantitative assessment of the ecological and economic impact of C. sapidus in invaded habitats, the present investigation provided original and useful information for a comprehensive risk assessment of the species in European waters and in Mediterranean Sea.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Gervazoni P, Minuti G, Fuentes-Rodriguez D, et al (2023)

Citizen Science Improves the Known and Potential Distribution of a Strong Wetland Invader: Implications for Niche Modeling and Invasion Management.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species are one of the main causes of biodiversity loss and ecosystem alteration. Obtaining up-to-date occurrence records and accurate invasion risk maps has become crucial to develop timely and effective management strategies. Unfortunately, gathering and validating distribution data can be labor-intensive and time-consuming, with different data sources unavoidably leading to biases in the results. In this study, we evaluated the performance of a tailored citizen science project compared with other data sources, in mapping the current and potential distribution of Iris pseudacorus, a strong invasive alien plant in Argentina. To do so, we used geographic information systems and ecological niche modeling with Maxent, and compared data from: i) a citizen science tailored project; ii) the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF); and iii) an exhaustive professional data collection (i.e. field samplings across Argentina, literature and collections review). Results suggest that the citizen science tailored project provided a larger and more diversified amount of data compared to the other sources. All data-sources showed good performance in the ecological niche models, however, data from the tailored citizen science project predicted a greater suitable area, including regions not yet reported. This allowed us to better identify critical and vulnerable areas, where management and prevention strategies are necessary. Professional data provided more reports in non-urban areas, whereas citizen science based data sources (i.e. GBIF and the citizen science project conducted in this study) reported more sites in urban areas, which indicates that different data-sources are complementary and there is a big potential in combining methods. We encourage the use of tailored citizen science campaigns to gather a more diverse amount of data, generating better knowledge about aquatic invasive species and helping decision-making in ecosystem management.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Farrell HL, Munson SM, Butterfield BJ, et al (2023)

Soil surface treatments and precipitation timing determine seedling development across southwestern US restoration sites.

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

Restoration in dryland ecosystems often has poor success due to low and variable water availability, degraded soil conditions, and slow plant community recovery rates. Restoration treatments can mitigate these constraints, but because treatments and subsequent monitoring are typically limited in space and time, our understanding of their applicability across broader environmental gradients remains limited. To address this limitation, we implemented and monitored a standardized set of seeding and soil surface treatments (pits, mulch, and ConMod artificial nurse plants) designed to enhance soil moisture and seedling establishment across RestoreNet, a growing network of 21 diverse dryland restoration sites in the southwestern US over 3 years. Generally, we found that the timing of precipitation relative to seeding and the use of soil surface treatments were more important in determining seeded species emergence, survival, and growth than site-specific characteristics. Using soil surface treatments in tandem with seeding promoted up to 3x greater seedling emergence densities, compared with seeding alone. The positive effect of soil surface treatments became more prominent with increased cumulative precipitation since seeding. The seed mix type with species currently found within or near a site and adapted to the historical climate promoted greater seedling emergence densities compared to the seed mix type with species from warmer, drier conditions expected to perform well under climate change. Seed mix and soil surface treatments had a diminishing effect as plants developed beyond the first season of establishment. However, we found strong effects of the initial period seeded and precipitation leading up to each monitoring date on seedling survival over time, especially for annual and perennial forbs. The presence of exotic species exerted a negative influence on seedling survival and growth, but not initial emergence. Our findings suggest that seeded species recruitment across drylands can generally be promoted, regardless of location, by: 1) incorporation of soil surface treatments, 2) employment of near-term seasonal climate forecasts, 3) suppression of exotic species, and 4) seeding at multiple times. Taken together, these results point to a multi-faceted approach to ameliorate harsh environmental conditions for improved seeding success in drylands, both now and under expected aridification.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Banerjee AK, Lee TM, Feng H, et al (2023)

Implications for biological invasion of non-native plants for sale in the world's largest online market.

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

Internet trade is increasingly recognized as a dispersal pathway of non-native plant species that is difficult to monitor. We sought to identify non-native flora present in the Chinese online market, the largest e-commerce market globally, and to decipher the effect of existing trade regulations, among other variables, on e-trading patterns and to inform policy. We used a comprehensive list of 811 non-native plant species in China present in 1 of the 3 phases of the invasion continuum (i.e., introduced, naturalized, and invasive). The price, propagule types, and quantities of the species offered for sale were retrieved from 9 online stores, including 2 of the largest platforms. Over 30% of the non-native species were offered for sale in the online marketplaces; invasive non-native species dominated the list (45.53%). No significant price difference was observed across the non-native species of the 3 invasion categories. Among the 5 propagule types, a significantly higher number of non-native species were offered for sale as seeds. The regression models and path analyses consistently revealed a direct positive effect of the number of uses and species' minimum residence time and an indirect effect of biogeography on the pattern of trade in non-native plant species when minimal phylogenetic signal was detected. A review of the existing phytosanitary regulations in China revealed their inadequacy in managing e-trading of non-native plant species. To address the problem, we propose integration of a standardized risk assessment framework that considers perceptions of stakeholders and is adaptable based on continuous surveillance of the trade network. If implemented successfully, the measures could provide a template for other countries to strengthen trading regulations for non-native plant species and take proactive management measures.

RevDate: 2023-03-03

Sujeeun L, SC Thomas (2023)

Biochar mitigates allelopathic effects in temperate trees.

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

Many invasive and some native tree species in North America exhibit strong allelopathic effects that may contribute to their local dominance. Pyrogenic carbon (PyC; including soot, charcoal, and black carbon) is produced by the incomplete combustion of organic matter and is widespread in forest soils. Many forms of PyC have sorptive properties that can reduce the bioavailability of allelochemicals. We investigated the potential for PyC produced by controlled pyrolysis of biomass ("biochar") to reduce the allelopathic effects of black walnut (Juglans nigra) and Norway maple (Acer platanoides), a common native tree species and a widespread invasive species in North America, respectively. Seedling growth of two native tree species (Acer saccharinum (silver maple) and Betula papyrifera (paper birch)) in response to leaf-litter-incubated soils were examined; litter incubation treatments included leaves of black walnut, Norway maple, and a non-allelopathic species (Tilia americana (American basswood)) in a factorial design with varying dosages; responses to the known primary allelochemical of black walnut (juglone) were also examined. Juglone and leaf litter of both allelopathic species strongly suppressed seedling growth. Biochar treatments substantially mitigated these effects, consistent with sorption of allelochemicals; in contrast no positive effects of biochar were observed in leaf litter treatments involving controls or additions of non-allelopathic leaf litter. Treatments of leaf litter and juglone with biochar increased the total biomass of silver maple by ~35% and in some cases more than doubled the biomass of paper birch. We conclude that biochars have the capacity to largely counteract allelopathic effects in temperate forest systems, suggesting effects of natural PyC in determining forest community structure, and also applied use of biochar as a soil amendment to mitigate allelopathic effects of invasive tree species.

RevDate: 2023-03-02

Chen B, Ma J, Yang C, et al (2023)

Diversified land conversion deepens understanding of impacts of rapid rubber plantation expansion on plant diversity in the tropics.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)01121-X [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the status and changes of plant diversity in rubber (Hevea brasiliensis) plantations is essential for sustainable plantation management in the context of rapid rubber expansion in the tropics, but remains very limited at the continental scale. In this study, we investigated plant diversity from 10-meter quadrats in 240 different rubber plantations in the six countries of the Great Mekong Subregion (GMS)-where nearly half of the world's rubber plantations are located-and analyzed the influence of original land cover types and stand age on plant diversity using Landsat and Sentinel-2 satellite imagery since the late 1980s. The results indicate that the average plant species richness of rubber plantations is 28.69 ± 7.35 (1061 species in total, of which 11.22 % are invasive), approximating half the species richness of tropical forests but roughly double that of the intensively managed croplands. Time-series satellite imagery analysis revealed that rubber plantations were primarily established in place of cropland (RPC, 37.72 %), old rubber plantations (RPORP, 27.63 %), and tropical forests (RPTF, 24.12 %). Plant species richness in RPTF (34.02 ± 7.62) was significantly (p < 0.001) higher than that in RPORP (26.41 ± 7.02) and RPC (26.34 ± 5.37). More importantly, species richness can be maintained for the duration of the 30-year economic cycle, and the number of invasive species decreases as the stand ages. Given diverse land conversions and changes in stand age, the total loss of species richness due to rapid rubber expansion in the GMS was 7.29 %, which is far below the traditional estimates that only consider tropical forest conversion. In general, maintaining higher species richness at the earliest stages of cultivation has significant implications for biodiversity conservation in rubber plantations.

RevDate: 2023-03-03
CmpDate: 2023-03-03

Vacek Z, Vacek S, J Cukor (2023)

European forests under global climate change: Review of tree growth processes, crises and management strategies.

Journal of environmental management, 332:117353.

The ongoing global climate change is challenging all sectors, forestry notwithstanding. On the one hand, forest ecosystems are exposed to and threatened by climate change, but on the other hand, forests can influence the course of climate change by regulating the water regime, air quality, carbon sequestration, and even reduce climate extremes. Therefore, it is crucial to see climate change not only as a risk causing forest disturbances and economic consequences but also as an opportunity for innovative approaches to forest management, conservation, and silviculture based on the results of long-term research. We reviewed 365 studies evaluating the impact of climate change on European forest ecosystems, all published during the last 30 years (1993-2022). The most significant consequences of climate change include more frequent and destructive large-scale forest disturbances (wildfire, windstorm, drought, flood, bark beetle, root rot), and tree species migration. Species distribution shifts and changes in tree growth rate have substantial effects on ecosystem carbon storage. Diameter/volume increment changed from -1 to +99% in Central and Northern Europe, while it decreased from -12 to -49% in Southern Europe across tree species over the last ca. 50 years. However, it is important to sharply focus on the causes of climate change and subsequently, on adaptive strategies, which can successfully include the creation of species-diverse, spatially and age-wise structured stands (decrease drought stress and increase production), prolongation of the regenerative period, or the use of suitable introduced tree species (e.g., Douglas fir, black pine, and Mediterranean oaks). But the desired changes are based on increasing diversity and the mitigation of climate change, and will require significantly higher initial costs for silviculture practices. In conclusion, the scope and complexity of the topic require further comprehensive and long-term studies focusing on international cooperation. We see a critical gap in the transfer of research results into actual forest practice, which will be the key factor influencing afforestation of forest stands and forest growth in the following decades. What our forests will look like for future generations and what the resulting impact of climate change will be on forestry is in the hands of forest managers, depending on supportive forestry research and climate change policy, including adaptive and mitigation strategies.

RevDate: 2023-03-03
CmpDate: 2023-03-03

Moseby K, Van der Weyde L, Letnic M, et al (2023)

Addressing prey naivety in native mammals by accelerating selection for antipredator traits.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 33(2):e2780.

Harnessing natural selection to improve conservation outcomes is a recent concept in ecology and evolutionary biology and a potentially powerful tool in species conservation. One possible application is the use of natural selection to improve antipredator responses of mammal species that are threatened by predation from novel predators. We investigated whether long-term exposure of an evolutionary naïve prey species to a novel predator would lead to phenotypic changes in a suite of physical and behavioral traits. We exposed a founder population of 353 burrowing bettongs (Bettongia lesueur) to feral cats (Felis catus) over 5 years and compared the physical and behavioral traits of this population (including offspring) to a control (non-predator exposed) population. We used selection analysis to investigate whether changes in the traits of bettongs were likely due to phenotypic plasticity or natural selection. We also quantified selection in both populations before and during major population crashes caused by drought (control) and high predation pressure (predator-exposed). Results showed that predator-exposed bettongs had longer flight initiation distances, larger hind feet, and larger heads than control bettongs. Trait divergence began soon after exposure and continued to intensify over time for flight initiation distance and hind foot length relative to control bettongs. Selection analysis found indicators of selection for larger hind feet and longer head length in predator-exposed populations. Results of a common garden experiment showed that the progeny of predator-exposed bettongs had larger feet than control bettongs. Results suggest that long-term, low-level exposure of naïve prey to novel predators can drive phenotypic changes that may assist with future conservation efforts.

RevDate: 2023-03-02

Richards ZT, Kise H, KM West (2023)

The complete mitochondrial genome of the invasive cyanobacteriosponge Terpios hoshinota (Demospongiae, Suberitida, Suberitidae).

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 8(2):319-323.

The cyanobacteriosponge Terpios hoshinota occurs on tropical reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. The species encrusts live coral, and other benthos, and is considered a pest species that can threaten the health and productivity of locally native benthic communities on coral reefs. Here we assemble a complete mitochondrial genome to aid further research into the range expansion of this species. The circular genome was 20,504 bp in length and encoded 14 protein-coding genes, two ribosomal RNA (rRNA) genes, and 25 transfer RNA (tRNA) genes. A phylogenetic analysis based on the concatenated sequences of 14 protein-coding genes of 12 members of the subclass Heteroscleromorpha including the newly sequenced T. hoshinota, suggests further taxonomic revisions within the order Suberitida may be warranted.

RevDate: 2023-03-02

Xin Y, Yang Z, Du Y, et al (2023)

Vulnerability of protected areas to future climate change, land use modification and biological invasions in China.

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

Anthropogenic climate change, land use modifications, and alien species invasions are major threats to global biodiversity. Protected areas (PAs) are regarded as the cornerstone of biodiversity conservation, however, few studies have quantified the vulnerability of PAs to these global change factors together. Here, we overlay the risks of climate change, land use change, and alien vertebrate establishment within boundaries of a total of 1,020 PAs with different administrative levels in China to quantify their vulnerabilities. Our results show that 56.6% of PAs will face at least one stress factor, and 21 PAs are threatened under the highest risk with three stressors simultaneously. PAs designed for forest conservation in Southwest and South China are most sensitive to the three global change factors. In addition, wildlife and wetland PAs are predicted to mainly experience climate change and high land use anthropogenetic modifications, and many wildlife PAs can also provide suitable habitats for alien vertebrate establishment. Our study highlights the urgent need for proactive conservation and management planning of Chinese PAs by considering different global change factors together.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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