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28 Sep 2021 at 01:45
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


Robert J. Robbins is a biologist, an educator, a science administrator, a publisher, an information technologist, and an IT leader and manager who specializes in advancing biomedical knowledge and supporting education through the application of information technology. More About:  RJR | OUR TEAM | OUR SERVICES | THIS WEBSITE

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 28 Sep 2021 at 01:45 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-09-27

Wan Z, Shi Z, Nie A, et al (2021)

Risk assessment of marine invasive species in Chinese ports introduced by the global shipping network.

Marine pollution bulletin, 173(Pt A):112950 pii:S0025-326X(21)00984-X [Epub ahead of print].

The discharge of ballast water from ocean-going ships is a major pathway by which invasive species are introduced into coastal waters. As a global factory and trade power with extensive shipping networks, China has paid a huge ecological price for its progress. However, current endeavors to protect the nation's biodiversity are largely focused on terrestrial ecosystems. Therefore, for the first time, we conducted a comprehensive risk assessment of ballast water-induced biological invasion in Chinese ports. The results showed that the ports in the Yangtze River Delta, Pearl River Delta, and Southern Taiwan Province face significantly high invasion risks, and the number of donor ports, connected ships, and arriving vessels showed a positive correlation with the invasion risk. Further, we observed that even a low efficacy disinfection of ballast water can still significantly decrease the level of invasion risk.

RevDate: 2021-09-27

Arnold ZJ, Wenger SJ, RJ Hall (2021)

Not just trash birds: Quantifying avian diversity at landfills using community science data.

PloS one, 16(9):e0255391 pii:PONE-D-20-34661.

Landfills provide seasonally reliable food resources to many bird species, including those perceived to be pest or invasive species. However, landfills often contain multiple habitat types that could attract diverse species, including those of conservation concern. To date, little is known about the characteristics and composition of bird communities at landfills relative to local and regional pools. Here we used the community science database eBird to extract avian species occurrence data at landfills across the US. We compared species richness and community similarity across space in comparison to similarly-sampled reference sites, and further quantified taxonomic and dietary traits of bird communities at landfills. While landfills harbored marginally lower species richness than reference sites (respective medians of 144 vs 160), landfill community composition, and its turnover across space, were similar to reference sites. Consistent with active waste disposal areas attracting birds, species feeding at higher trophic levels, especially gulls, were more frequently observed at landfills than reference sites. However, habitat specialists including two declining grassland species, Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna) and Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis), as well as migratory waterfowl, were more frequently encountered at landfills than reference sites. Together, these results suggest that landfills harbor comparable avian diversity to neighboring sites, and that habitats contained within landfill sites can support species of conservation concern. As covered landfills are rarely developed or forested, management of wetlands and grasslands at these sites represents an opportunity for conservation.

RevDate: 2021-09-27

de Wit LA, TH Ricketts (2021)

Trade and Deforestation Predict Rat Lungworm Disease, an Invasive-Driven Zoonosis, at Global and Regional Scales.

Frontiers in public health, 9:680986.

The introduction of non-native species and deforestation are both important drivers of environmental change that can also facilitate the geographic spread of zoonotic pathogens and increase disease risk in humans. With ongoing trends in globalization and land-use conversions, introduced species and deforestation are ever more likely to pose threats to human health. Here, we used rat lungworm disease, an emerging zoonotic disease caused by Angiostrongylus cantonensis and maintained by invasive rats and snails, to explore how these two forms of environmental change can impact zoonotic disease risk. We used logistic regressions to examine the role of global trade in the introduction of A. cantonensis at a country level and used model estimates to predict the probability of introduction as a function of trade. We then used hurdle-based regression models to examine the association between deforestation and rat lungworm disease in two regions where A. cantonensis is already established: Hawaii and Thailand. At the global scale, we found the trade of horticultural products to be an important driver in the spread of A. cantonensis and that the majority of countries at high risk of future A. cantonensis introduction are islands. At country scales, we found deforestation to increase the per-capita risk of A. cantonensis exposure in Hawaii and Thailand. Our study provides a preliminary view of the associations between species introductions, deforestation, and risk of A. cantonensis exposure in people. Better understanding how these two widespread and overlapping forms of environmental change affect human health can inform international biosecurity protocols, invasive species management, and land-use policies.

RevDate: 2021-09-27

Costa R, PAV Borges (2021)

SLAM Project - Long Term Ecological Study of the Impacts of Climate Change in the natural forest of Azores: I - the spiders from native forests of Terceira and Pico Islands (2012-2019).

Biodiversity data journal, 9:e69924 pii:69924.

Background: Long-term monitoring of invertebrate communities is needed to understand the impact of key biodiversity erosion drivers (e.g. habitat fragmentation and degradation, invasive species, pollution, climatic changes) on the biodiversity of these high diverse organisms.The data we present are part of the long-term project SLAM (Long Term Ecological Study of the Impacts of Climate Change in the natural forest of Azores) that started in 2012, aiming to understand the impact of biodiversity erosion drivers on Azorean native forests (Azores, Macaronesia, Portugal). In this contribution, the design of the project, its objectives and the first available data for the spider fauna of two Islands (Pico and Terceira) are described.Passive flight interception SLAM traps (Sea, Land and Air Malaise traps) were used to sample native forest plots in several Azorean islands, with one trap being set up at each plot and samples taken every three months following the seasons.The key objectives of the SLAM project are: 1) collect long-term ecological data to evaluate species distributions and abundance at multiple spatial and temporal scales, responding to the Wallacean and Prestonian shortfalls, 2) identify biodiversity erosion drivers impacting oceanic indigenous assemblages under global change for conservation management purpose, 3) use species distribution and abundance data in model-based studies of environmental change in different islands, 4) contribute to clarifying the potential occurrence of an "insect decline" in Azores and identifying the spatial and temporal invasion patterns of exotic arthropod species, 5) contribute with temporal data to re-assess the Red-list status of Azorean endemic arthropods and 6) perform studies about the relationship between diversity (taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic) and ecosystem function.

New information: The project SLAM (Long Term Ecological Study of the Impacts of Climate Change in the natural forest of Azores) is described in detail.Seasonal distribution and abundance data of Azorean spiders, based on a long-term study undertaken between 2012 and 2019 in two Azorean Islands (Terceira and Pico), is presented. A total of 14979 specimens were collected, of which 6430 (43%) were adults. Despite the uncertainty of juvenile identification, juveniles are also included in the data presented in this paper, since the low diversity allows a relatively precise identification of this life-stage in Azores.A total of 57 species, belonging to 50 genera and 17 families, were recorded from the area, which constitutes baseline information of spiders from the studied sites for future long-term comparisons. Linyphiidae were the richest and most abundant family, with 19 (33%) species and 5973 (40%) specimens. The ten most abundant species are composed mostly of endemic or native non-endemic species and only one exotic species (Tenuiphantestenuis (Blackwall, 1852)). Those ten most abundant species include 84% of all sampled specimens and are clearly the dominant species in the Azorean native forests. Textrixcaudata L. Koch, 1872 was firstly reported from Terceira and Pico Islands, Araneusangulatus Clerck, 1757 was firstly reported from Terceira Island, Nerieneclathrata (Sundevall, 1830) and Macaroerisdiligens (Blackwall, 1867) were firstly reported from Pico Island.This publication contributes not only to a better knowledge of the arachnofauna present in native forests of Terceira and Pico, but also to understand the patterns of abundance and diversity of spider species, both seasonally and between years.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Flaminio S, Ranalli R, Zavatta L, et al (2021)

Beewatching: A Project for Monitoring Bees through Photos.

Insects, 12(9): pii:insects12090841.

Bees play a key role in natural and agro-ecosystems and their diversity is worldwide threatened by anthropogenic causes. Despite this, there is little awareness of the existence of the numerous species of wild bees, and the common name "bee" is very often exclusively associated with Apis mellifera. Our aim was to create a citizen science project in Italy with the following objectives: (a) raising awareness of the importance and diversity of bees, (b) obtaining data on the biology, ecology and distribution of Italian species, and (c) launching the monitoring of alien bees. The first step of the project was to create a website platform with a section containing informative datasheets of the wild bee families and of the most common bee genera present in Italy, a form to send reports of observed bees and an interactive map with all citizen's reports. During the 2 years of the project 1086 reports were sent by 269 users, with 38 Apoidea genera reported on 190 plant genera; furthermore, 22 reports regarding the alien species Megachile sculpturalis arrived. The majority of bees (34 genera) were observed on spontaneous plants, including 115 genera native to Italy. Considering the increasing number of reports and data obtained in these first two years of the project, our objectives seem to be achieved. Future steps will be to outline the profile of beewatchers, to plan activities in a more targeted way, and also to start some sub-projects for conservation purposes.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Park I, L Smith (2021)

Topical Application of Synthetic Hormones Terminated Reproductive Diapause of a Univoltine Weed Biological Control Agent.

Insects, 12(9): pii:insects12090834.

Classical biological control is an important method for controlling invasive alien weeds. Univoltine insects can be highly effective biological control agents of annual weeds because they are well synchronized with their host plant. However, having only one generation per year makes it difficult and slow to multiply them in the laboratory for initial field releases. If it were possible to terminate reproductive diapause early, then we could rear multiple generations per year, which would greatly increase annual production. We used a recently approved biocontrol agent, Ceratapion basicorne (a univoltine weevil), for yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis) as a model system to study the use of two insect hormones, 20-hydroxyecdysone (20E) and methoprene, to terminate reproductive diapause. Methoprene (1 μg applied topically) terminated reproductive diapause of female weevils, whereas doses of 0.0, 0.01 and 0.1 μg did not. The combination of methoprene and 20E had a stronger effect and induced an increase in eggs (1.51 ± 0.16 eggs/day, mean ± SE) compared with a methoprene only group (1.00 ± 0.13 eggs/day), and a control group (0.21 ± 0.04 eggs/day). Thus, topical application of these hormones should enable us to rear the weevil out of its normal season and produce more than one generation per year, which will increase productivity of mass-rearing it for field release. Once released in the field, the insect would continue as a univoltine agent that is well-synchronized with its host plant.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Kulma M, Bubová T, Davies MP, et al (2021)

Ctenolepisma longicaudatum Escherich (1905) Became a Common Pest in Europe: Case Studies from Czechia and the United Kingdom.

Insects, 12(9): pii:insects12090810.

Synanthropic invasive silverfish, Ctenolepisma longicaudatum, has been recently reported to cause nuisance in the indoor environment in many European countries. To get more details on the species distribution, the species occurrence was monitored by the authors in the countries where establishment of C. longicaudatum has been revealed in the last years. In Czechia, 20 findings from 14 municipalities in eight regions were recorded within the last three years. In the United Kingdom, 49 cases, including the first occurrence in Scotland, were recorded. Five cases were recorded for the Republic of Ireland. Domestic settings were the main habitat in the study countries (50.0% for the Czechia and Ireland and 36.8% for the United Kingdom). Regarding C. longicaudatum control, the standard silverfish strategy fails, and the use of insecticidal baits complemented by dust insecticides was suggested as the most promising approach. To reveal presence of C. longicaudatum in Europe, the search of literature, social platforms and databases on invasive species was conducted. According to these sources, the species is known from majority of European countries, when the high increase of records in recent decade was detected.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Chen HY, Yao JM, Huang SB, et al (2021)

Ophelimus bipolaris sp. n. (Hymenoptera, Eulophidae), a New Invasive Eucalyptus Pest and Its Host Plants in China.

Insects, 12(9): pii:insects12090778.

Eucalyptus species have become one of the most commonly planted trees worldwide, including China, due to their fast growth and various commercial applications. However, the productivity of Eucalyptus plantations has been threatened by exotic invasive insect pests in recent years. Among these pests, gall inducers of the genus Ophelimus of the Eulophidae family are among the most important invasive species in Eucalyptus plantations. We report here for the first time the presence of a new invasive Eucalyptus gall wasp, Ophelimus bipolaris sp. n., in Guangzhou, China, which also represents the first species of the genus reported from China. The identity of the new species was confirmed by an integrative approach combing biological, morphological and molecular evidence. The new species is described and illustrated. This wasp induces galls only on the leaf blade surface of four Eucalyptus species: E. grandis, E. grandis × E. urophylla, E. tereticornis and E. urophylla. Our preliminary observation showed that O. bipolaris could complete a life cycle on E. urophylla in approximately 2 months under local climatic conditions (23.5-30 °C). Considering the severe damage it may cause to Eucalyptus production, further investigations of its biology and control are urgently needed in China.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

Stilley JA, CA Gabler (2021)

Effects of Patch Size, Fragmentation, and Invasive Species on Plant and Lepidoptera Communities in Southern Texas.

Insects, 12(9): pii:insects12090777.

Habitat loss, fragmentation, and invasive species are major threats to biodiversity. In the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) of southern Texas, a conservation hotspot, few studies have examined how land use change and biotic disturbance influence biodiversity, particularly among Lepidoptera. We surveyed 24 habitat fragments on private lands in the LRGV and examined how patch size, edge to interior ratio (EIR), prevalence of invasive, exotic, and pest (IEP) plant species, and other environmental factors influenced plant and Lepidoptera communities within four habitat classes. Biotic disturbance was widespread and intense. IEP plants represented three of the four most common species in all but one habitat class; yet, classes largely had distinctive plant and Lepidoptera communities. Larger habitat patches had lower IEP prevalence but also lower plant richness and lower Lepidoptera richness and abundance. Conversely, patches with higher EIRs had greater IEP prevalence, plant richness, and Lepidoptera richness and abundance. IEP prevalence was negatively related to plant diversity and positively related to woody dominance, blooming plant abundance, and, surprisingly, both plant cover and richness. However, plant richness, abundance, and diversity were higher where a greater proportion of the plants were native. Lepidoptera diversity increased with plant cover, and Lepidoptera richness and abundance increased with plant richness. More individual Lepidoptera species were influenced by habitat attributes than by availability of resources such as host plants or nectar sources. Our results illustrate extensive landscape alteration and biotic disturbance and suggest that most regional habitats are at early successional stages and populated by a novel species pool heavy in IEP species; these factors must be considered together to develop effective and realistic management plans for the LRGV.

RevDate: 2021-09-26

De Rinaldis G, Leone A, De Domenico S, et al (2021)

Biochemical Characterization of Cassiopea andromeda (Forsskål, 1775), Another Red Sea Jellyfish in the Western Mediterranean Sea.

Marine drugs, 19(9): pii:md19090498.

Increasing frequency of native jellyfish proliferations and massive appearance of non-indigenous jellyfish species recently concur to impact Mediterranean coastal ecosystems and human activities at sea. Nonetheless, jellyfish biomass may represent an exploitable novel resource to coastal communities, with reference to its potential use in the pharmaceutical, nutritional, and nutraceutical Blue Growth sectors. The zooxanthellate jellyfish Cassiopea andromeda, Forsskål, 1775 (Cnidaria, Rhizostomeae) entered the Levant Sea through the Suez Canal and spread towards the Western Mediterranean to reach Malta, Tunisia, and recently also the Italian coasts. Here we report on the biochemical characterization and antioxidant activity of C. andromeda specimens with a discussion on their relative biological activities. The biochemical characterization of the aqueous (PBS) and hydroalcoholic (80% ethanol) soluble components of C. andromeda were performed for whole jellyfish, as well as separately for umbrella and oral arms. The insoluble components were hydrolyzed by sequential enzymatic digestion with pepsin and collagenase. The composition and antioxidant activity of the insoluble and enzymatically digestible fractions were not affected by the pre-extraction types, resulting into collagen- and non-collagen-derived peptides with antioxidant activity. Both soluble compounds and hydrolyzed fractions were characterized for the content of proteins, phenolic compounds, and lipids. The presence of compounds coming from the endosymbiont zooxanthellae was also detected. The notable yield and the considerable antioxidant activity detected make this species worthy of further study for its potential biotechnological sustainable exploitation.

RevDate: 2021-09-27
CmpDate: 2021-09-27

Xu T, L Chen (2021)

Chemical communication in ant-hemipteran mutualism: potential implications for ant invasions.

Current opinion in insect science, 45:121-129.

Ant-hemipteran mutualism is one of the most frequently observed food-for-protection associations in nature, and is recently found to contribute to the invasions of several of the most destructive invasive ants. Chemical communication underlies establishment and maintenance of such associations, in which a multitude of semiochemicals, such as pheromones, cuticular hydrocarbons, honeydew sugars and bacteria-produced honeydew volatiles mediate location, recognition, selection, learning of mutualistic partners. Here, we review what is known about the chemical communication between ants and honeydew-producing hemipterans, and discuss how invasive ants can rapidly recognize and establish a mutualistic relationship with the hemipterans with which they have never coevolved. We also highlight some future directions for a clearer understanding of the chemical communication in ant-hemipteran mutualism and its role in ant invasions.

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Brettell LE, Martin SJ, Riegler M, et al (2021)

Vulnerability of island insect pollinator communities to pathogens.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(21)00137-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Island ecosystems, which often contain undescribed insects and small populations of single island endemics, are at risk from diverse threats. The spread of pathogens is a major factor affecting not just pollinator species themselves, but also posing significant knock-on effects to often fragile island ecosystems through disruption of pollination networks. Insects are vulnerable to diverse pathogens and these can be introduced to islands in a number of ways, e.g. via the introduction of infected managed pollinator hosts (e.g. honey bees and their viruses, in particular Deformed wing virus), long-range migrants (e.g. monarch butterflies and their protozoan parasite, Ophryocystit elektroscirrha) and invasive species (e.g. social wasps are common invaders and are frequently infected with multi-host viruses such as Kashmir bee virus and Moku virus). Furthermore, these introductions can negatively affect island ecosystems through outcompeting native taxa for resources. As such, the greatest threat to island pollinator communities is not one particular pathogen, but the combination of pathogens and introduced and invasive insects that will likely carry them.

RevDate: 2021-09-23

Sinclair JS, Fraker ME, Hood JM, et al (2021)

Functional traits reveal the dominant drivers of long-term community change across a North American Great Lake.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Ecosystems worldwide have been impacted by multiple anthropogenic stressors, yet efforts to understand and manage these impacts have been hindered by difficulties in disentangling relative stressor effects. Theoretically, the actions of individual stressors can be delineated based on associated changes in functional traits and these relationships should be generalizable across communities comprised of different species. Thus, combining trait perspectives with community composition data could help to identify the relative influence of different stressors. We evaluated the utility of this combined approach by quantifying shifts in fish species and trait composition in Lake Erie during the past 50 years (1969-2018) in relation to human-driven changes in nutrient inputs, climate warming, and biological invasions. Species and trait shifts were also compared between two Lake Erie basins, which differ in their environmental and biological characteristics, to identify trait responses that were generalizable across different ecosystems versus those that were context dependent. Our analyses revealed consistent species changes across basins, and shifts in feeding and thermal traits, that were primarily associated with altered nutrient inputs (oligotrophication followed by eutrophication). We found no or inconsistent trait-based evidence for the effects of warming and two invasive fishes. Context-dependent trait responses were also evident; nutrient inputs were related to shifts in species tolerant of turbidity in the shallow, eutrophic western basin, which contrasted to shifts between benthopelagic and benthic species in the deeper central basin. Our results reveal the dominant effects of specific stressors on a large freshwater lake and offer a framework for combining species-based and trait-based approaches to delineate the impacts of simultaneous stressors on communities of perturbed natural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-09-23

Calvin DD, Keller J, Rost J, et al (2021)

Spotted Lanternfly (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) Nymphal Dispersion Patterns and Their Influence on Field Experiments.

Environmental entomology pii:6374589 [Epub ahead of print].

The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) (White, 1845), is an invasive pest in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Understanding this pest's dispersion patterns is fundamental for development of management and surveillance programs. To address this knowledge gap, we quantified spotted lanternfly nymph dispersion patterns by instar for rural and urban/suburban habitats, and we compared the number of sample units required for sticky traps and in situ visual counts to estimate population densities at several precisions. In addition, we assessed the ability of two experimental designs (completely random and randomized complete block) to detect management practices' impacts in the field. All instars typically followed an aggregated dispersion pattern. Sample size and time requirements for checking and replacing sticky traps and for conducting in situ counts were similar, but in situ counts do not require purchasing traps, installation time, or delays before treatment, and do not remove insects. Although the cost for using in situ counts is likely less than for sticky traps, early instar spotted lanternfly nymph populations are harder to visually detect than later instars because of their small size, which may negate any cost advantage when treatments are applied early. In general, using a randomized complete block design resulted in higher statistical power than a completely random design, allowing detection of proportional population reductions of 10-20% less with equal replication. Studies aiming to evaluate treatments that reduce spotted lanternfly numbers by less than 60% will require researchers to evaluate the feasibility of using the required large sample sizes.

RevDate: 2021-09-25

Russo AG, Harding EF, Yan GJH, et al (2021)

Discovery of Novel Viruses Associated With the Invasive Cane Toad (Rhinella marina) in Its Native and Introduced Ranges.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:733631.

Cane toads (Rhinella marina) are notoriously successful invaders: from 101 individuals brought to Australia in 1935, poisonous toads now cover an area >1.2 million km2 with adverse effects on native fauna. Despite extensive research on the role of macroparasites in cane toad invasion, viral research is lagging. We compared viral prevalence and diversity between toads in their native range (French Guiana, n=25) and two introduced ranges: Australia (n=151) and Hawai'i (n=10) with a metatranscriptomic and metagenomic approach combined with PCR screening. Australian toads almost exclusively harbor one of seven viruses detected globally. Rhimavirus-A (Picornaviridae) exhibited low genetic diversity and likely actively infected 9% of sampled Australian toads extending across ~2,000km of Northern Australia and up to the current invasion front. In native range cane toads, we identified multiple phylogenetically distinct viruses (Iridoviridae, Picornaviridae, Papillomaviridae, and Nackedna-like virus). None of the same viruses was detected in both ranges, suggesting that Australian cane toads have largely escaped the viral infection experienced by their native range counterparts. The novel native range viruses described here are potential biocontrol agents, as Australian toads likely lack prior immunological exposure to these viruses. Overall, our evidence suggests that there may be differences between viruses infecting cane toads in their native vs. introduced ranges, which lays the groundwork for further studies on how these viruses have influenced the toads' invasion history.

RevDate: 2021-09-24
CmpDate: 2021-09-24

Couto TDTC, Omena EP, Oigman-Pszczol SS, et al (2021)

A Method to Assess the Risk of Sun Coral Invasion in Marine Protected Areas.

Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, 93(suppl 3):e20200583 pii:S0001-37652021000601006.

The safest and most efficient method of avoiding costs and impacts associated with biological invasions is to prevent the introduction and establishment of non-native species. In Brazil, two invasive coral species have been causing ecological, economic and social impacts: Tubastraea coccinea and Tubastraea tagusensis. This work presents a protocol to analyze the risk of invasion in Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) in the State of Rio de Janeiro considering the main vector of these species on the Brazilian coast. This protocol takes five risk factors into account: environmental similarity between the donor area and the possible receiving area; available substrate for colonization; proximity to the donor region; proximity and quantity of oil platforms and drill ships that passed by the analyzed MPAs and proximity and quantity of oil platforms and drill ships that anchored near the MPAs. Results must be used by decision-makers for a better management of Marine Protected Areas. The protocol we present can be applied to analyze the relative risk of invasion throughout the Brazilian coast, in order to prioritize areas for early detection and monitoring of the presence of sun corals.

RevDate: 2021-09-22

Kuba GM, Spalding HL, Hill-Spanik KM, et al (2021)

Microbiota-Macroalgal Relationships at a Hawaiian Intertidal Bench Are Influenced by Macroalgal Phyla and Associated Thallus Complexity.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

The ocean represents the largest biome on earth; however, we have only begun to understand the diversity and function of the marine microbial inhabitants and their interactions with macroalgal species. Macroalgae play an integral role in overall ocean biome health and serve both as major primary producers and foundation species in the ecosystem. Previous studies have been limited, focusing on the microbiome of a single algal species or its interaction with selected microbes. This project aimed to understand overall biodiversity of microbial communities associated with five common macroalgal species and to determine the drivers of these communities at 'Ewa Beach, O'ahu, HI. Representative species of Chlorophyta (green), Ochrophyta (brown), and Rhodophyta (red) algae, each species having various levels of calcification, thallus complexity, and status as native or invasive species, were collected from an intertidal bench in May 2019. A portion of the V3-V4 variable region of the small-subunit rRNA gene was amplified for high-throughput sequencing using universal bacterial primers to elucidate the core and variable algal microbiome. Significant differences in bacterial community composition were only partially explained by host species, whether the host was native or invasive, and thallus complexity. Macroalgal phylum explained the most variation in associated microbial communities at 'Ewa Beach. This study advances our understanding of microbial-macroalgal interactions and their connectivity by producing insight into factors that influence the community structure of macroalga-associated microbiota. IMPORTANCE Generally, most eukaryotic organisms form relationships with microbes that are important in mediating host organismal health. Macroalgae are a diverse group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms that serve as primary producers and foundational species in many ecosystems. However, little is known about their microbial counterparts across a wide range of macroalgal morphologies, phylogenies, and calcification levels. Thus, to further understand the factors involved in bacterial community composition associated with macroalgal species at one point in time, representative samples were collected across phyla. Here, we show that both host macroalga phyla and morphology influenced the associated microbial community. Additionally, we show that the invasive species Avrainvillea lacerata does not have a unique microbial community on this intertidal bench, further supporting the idea that host phylum strongly influences microbial community composition.

RevDate: 2021-09-21

Khalighifar A, Jiménez-García D, Campbell LP, et al (2021)

Application of Deep Learning to Community-Science-Based Mosquito Monitoring and Detection of Novel Species.

Journal of medical entomology pii:6373349 [Epub ahead of print].

Mosquito-borne diseases account for human morbidity and mortality worldwide, caused by the parasites (e.g., malaria) or viruses (e.g., dengue, Zika) transmitted through bites of infected female mosquitoes. Globally, billions of people are at risk of infection, imposing significant economic and public health burdens. As such, efficient methods to monitor mosquito populations and prevent the spread of these diseases are at a premium. One proposed technique is to apply acoustic monitoring to the challenge of identifying wingbeats of individual mosquitoes. Although researchers have successfully used wingbeats to survey mosquito populations, implementation of these techniques in areas most affected by mosquito-borne diseases remains challenging. Here, methods utilizing easily accessible equipment and encouraging community-scientist participation are more likely to provide sufficient monitoring. We present a practical, community-science-based method of monitoring mosquito populations using smartphones. We applied deep-learning algorithms (TensorFlow Inception v3) to spectrogram images generated from smartphone recordings associated with six mosquito species to develop a multiclass mosquito identification system, and flag potential invasive vectors not present in our sound reference library. Though TensorFlow did not flag potential invasive species with high accuracy, it was able to identify species present in the reference library at an 85% correct identification rate, an identification rate markedly higher than similar studies employing expensive recording devices. Given that we used smartphone recordings with limited sample sizes, these results are promising. With further optimization, we propose this novel technique as a way to accurately and efficiently monitor mosquito populations in areas where doing so is most critical.

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Tanaka S, Harrison RL, Arai H, et al (2021)

Confirmation of Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus infections in G-haplotype coconut rhinoceros beetles (Oryctes rhinoceros) from Palauan PCR-positive populations.

Scientific reports, 11(1):18820.

Coconut rhinoceros beetle (CRB), Oryctes rhinoceros, is a pest of palm trees in the Pacific. Recently, a remarkable degree of palm damage reported in Guam, Hawaii, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands has been associated with a particular haplotype (clade I), known as "CRB-G". In the Palau Archipelago, both CRB-G and another haplotype (clade IV) belonging to the CRB-S cluster coexist in the field. In this study, more than 75% of pheromone trap-captured adults of both haplotypes were Oryctes rhinoceros nudivirus (OrNV)-positive by PCR. No significant difference in OrNV prevalence between the haplotypes was detected. In PCR-positive CRB-G tissue specimens from Palau, viral particles were observed by electron microscopy. Hemocoel injection of CRB larvae with crude virus homogenates from these tissues resulted in viral infection and mortality. OrNV isolated from Palauan-sourced CRB was designated as OrNV-Palau1. Both OrNV-Palau1 and OrNV-X2B, a CRB biological control isolate released in the Pacific, were propagated using the FRI-AnCu-35 cell line for production of inoculum. However, the OrNV-Palau1 isolate exhibited lower viral production levels and longer larval survival times compared to OrNV-X2B in O. rhinoceros larvae. Full genome sequences of the OrNV-Palau1 and -X2B isolates were determined and found to be closely related to each other. Altogether these results suggest CRB adults in Palau are infected with a less virulent virus, which may affect the nature and extent of OrNV-induced pathology in Palauan populations of CRB.

RevDate: 2021-09-22

Dimitrakopoulos PG, Koukoulas S, Michelaki C, et al (2021)

Anthropogenic and environmental determinants of alien plant species spatial distribution on an island scale.

The Science of the total environment, 805:150314 pii:S0048-9697(21)05391-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Mediterranean islands are considered especially vulnerable to biological invasions by alien plants. However, there is a lack of studies on island scale regarding the factors that determine alien plant's spatial distribution, and the way they affect invasion process. A roadside survey of alien plant species was conducted on Lesvos, the 8th largest island in Mediterranean basin. Data on species counts and explanatory variables were aggregated to a 1 sq. km vector grid and brought together into a single GIS layer. Alien species counts were modelled by using a Negative-binomial model while a Generalised Additive Model was used to examine possible non-linear relationships to the predictors by using splines. A subset of significant factors, related both to human activities and the environment, shaped the spatial distribution of aliens and influenced, in various ways, their future invasion outcome. Transformed areas with high levels of anthropogenic pressures and disturbances, including high population numbers, dense road network, ports, and intensive land use, as is the case for coastal zones, promoted the presence of alien species. Contrary, modified areas, such as grazed lands, seemed to restrict alien species occurrences, possibly due to the long grazing history these areas present, a regime in which aliens are not adapted. Alien plants presence was positively associated with high levels of NPP, diversity of geological substrates, and a west-facing aspect. Anthropogenic determinants of alien spatial patterns were primarily connected to increased propagule pressure, whereas environmental factors demonstrated the preference of alien plants for resource-rich environments.

RevDate: 2021-09-20

Schickele A, Guidetti P, Giakoumi S, et al (2021)

Improving predictions of invasive fish ranges combining functional and ecological traits with environmental suitability under climate change scenarios.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions represent one of the main threats to marine biodiversity. From a conservation perspective, especially in the context of increasing sea warming, it is critical to examine the suitability potential of geographical areas for the arrival of Range Expanding Introduced and Native Species (REINS), and hence anticipate the risk of such species to become invasive in their new distribution areas. Here, we developed an empirical index, based on functional and bio-ecological traits, that estimates the Invasive Potential (IP; i.e. the potential success in transport, introduction and population establishment) for a set of 13 fishes that are expanding their distributional range into the Mediterranean Sea, the most invaded sea in the world. The IP index showed significant correlation with the observed spreading of REINS. For the six species characterised by the highest IP, we calculated contemporary and future projections of their Environmental Suitability Index (ESI). By using an ensemble modelling approach, we estimated the geographical areas that are likely to be the most impacted by REINS spreading under climate change. Our results demonstrated the importance of functional traits related to reproduction for determining high invasion potential. For most species, we found high contemporary ESI values in the South-eastern Mediterranean Sea and low to intermediate contemporary ESI values in the Adriatic Sea and North-western Mediterranean sector. Moreover, we highlighted a major potential future expansion of high ESI values, and thus REINS invasive potential, towards the northern Mediterranean, especially in the northern Adriatic Sea. This potential future northward expansion highlights the risk associated with climate-induced impacts on ecosystem conservation and fish stock management throughout the entire Mediterranean Sea.

RevDate: 2021-09-20

Leung A, RF Sage (2021)

Digest: Between invasive species and a hot place: plant evolution under climate change.

Will climate change lead to invasive species evolving faster than native or naturalized species? Gianoli and Molina-Montenegro (2021) showed that, under warming and drought, the evolution of photosynthetic capacity does not always favor invasive species. These data raise interesting questions for the study of evolution of invasive species under climate change. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-09-21

Sarhan H, R Bshary (2021)

No evidence for conspecific recruitment for cooperative hunting in lionfish Pterois miles.

Royal Society open science, 8(9):210828.

Lionfish are common piscivores in the Indo-Pacific and invasive in the Caribbean. A fin flaring pattern, involving a rapid undulation of the caudal fin and sequential turning of both pectoral fins, was described in zebra lionfish as a signal to initiate cooperative hunting, and it was hypothesized that such hunting tactics may also exist in other lionfish species and contribute to their successful invasion in the Caribbean. Here, we investigated one of those invasive species, Pterois miles, in its natural range in the Red Sea. We did not observe evidence for cooperative hunting in the field. We complemented field observations with a laboratory experiment aimed at inducing subjects to recruit partners for cooperative hunts, exposing subjects to inaccessible prey in transparent housing as well as to a potential partner. We regularly observed the fin flaring pattern, but importantly, it was not directed at the partner. Thus, rather than being a signal, the fin flaring movement pattern seems to be a swimming mode in a confined environment. Furthermore, the two lionfish did not aggregate at the prey housing, reinforcing the field results that this species in the Red Sea does not depend on cooperation to hunt fish.

RevDate: 2021-09-20

Shovkun M, Ivanova N, Khanina L, et al (2021)

Current vegetation data from the Prioksko-Terrasnyi Biosphere Reserve.

Biodiversity data journal, 9:e71266 pii:71266.

Background: Here we present the sampling event dataset that contributes to the knowledge of current vegetation of the Prioksko-Terrasnyi Biosphere Reserve (part of the UNESCO World Network of Biosphere Reserves), Moscow Region, Russia. The Reserve is situated on the terraces of the Oka River in the zone of mixed coniferous forests.

New information: The dataset provides 269 relevés (9174 associated occurrences) of renewed vegetation collected in 2019-2020. It is aimed at sampling vegetation data from the Reserve area with particular interest to sites with invasive species and sites with recent deadfall in the spruce stands caused by the bark beetle-typographer. The dataset contains representative information on plant communities in localities with assigned GPS coordinates, sampled using the standard relevé method with the Braun-Blanquet cover-abundance scale. During this study, we found two vascular plant species included in the Red Data Book of the Russian Federation, 25 species from the Red Data Book of Moscow Region, as well as 19 alien vascular plant species for the Reserve. These data contribute to our knowledge of species composition and structure of a renewed vegetation of the Reserve, protected and alien species distribution.

RevDate: 2021-09-20

Gougherty AV, TJ Davies (2021)

Towards a phylogenetic ecology of plant pests and pathogens.

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 376(1837):20200359.

Plant-pathogens and insect pests, hereafter pests, play an important role in structuring ecological communities, yet both native and introduced pests impose significant pressure on wild and managed systems, and pose a threat to food security. Global changes in climate and land use, and transportation of plants and pests around the globe are likely to further increase the range, frequency and severity of pest outbreaks in the future. Thus, there is a critical need to expand on current ecological theory to address these challenges. Here, we outline a phylogenetic framework for the study of plant and pest interactions. In plants, a growing body of work has suggested that evolutionary relatedness, phylogeny, strongly structures plant-pest associations-from pest host breadths and impacts, to their establishment and spread in new regions. Understanding the phylogenetic dimensions of plant-pest associations will help to inform models of invasive species spread, disease and pest risk in crops, and emerging pest outbreaks in native plant communities-which will have important implications for protecting food security and biodiversity into the future. This article is part of the theme issue 'Infectious disease macroecology: parasite diversity and dynamics across the globe'.

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Chen H, Huang X, Shi W, et al (2021)

Coordination of nitrogen uptake and assimilation favours the growth and competitiveness of moso bamboo over native tree species in high-NH4+ environments.

Journal of plant physiology, 266:153508 pii:S0176-1617(21)00147-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Phenotypic plasticity and competitive strength are major mechanisms determining the success of invasive species and are influenced by abiotic factors. A rise in the ratio of ammonium (NH4+) to nitrate (NO3-) in soils is frequently associated with the invasion of bamboo into broad-leaved evergreen forests. However, the influence of soil nitrogen (N) chemistry on plant growth and interspecific competition in the context of invasion remains insufficiently studied. In the present work, differences in plasticity and interspecific competition between native tree species in broad-leaved evergreen forests and invasive bamboo in response to different N forms were investigated using seedlings grown in a controlled environment. We show that moso bamboo responded positively and strongly to increased soil NH4+/NO3- ratios, while the native tree species Sapium sebiferum, Camellia oleifera, and Machilus pauhoi responded negatively and exhibited limited plasticity. Native tree species growth was significantly inhibited in the presence of moso bamboo under high-NH4+ conditions, whereas native tree species were less affected by interspecific competition when NO3- was supplied as the sole N source. By contrast, moso bamboo growth was significantly inhibited, followed by seedling death, in both monoculture and in mixed culture with prolonged NO3- treatment. All species tested exhibited significantly higher rates of 15NH4+ than 15NO3- uptake, but the Michaelis constant (Km) for 15NH4+ uptake was lower in moso bamboo, indicating higher substrate affinity. Nitrate reductase (NR) and nitrite reductase (NiR) activities showed no inducible effects in moso bamboo compared to the induction response seen in the native tree species in response to NO3-. Activities of glutamine synthetase (GS), glutamate synthase (GOGAT), and glutamate dehydrogenase (GDH) significantly increased with NH4+ provision in roots of moso bamboo, contrasted by a less plastic response in the native tree species. Enhanced ammonification and reduced nitrification in soils is typically observed during bamboo invasion and appears to create a positive soil-plant feedback loop that, due to highly flexible and opportunistic NH4+-acquisition pathways, favours bamboo fitness and invasion into native forests when NH4+ is the dominant N form.

RevDate: 2021-09-17

Hamann D, C Hamann (2021)

Severe Airborne Allergic Contact Dermatitis From the Invasive Species Oncosiphon piluliferum (Globe Chamomile).

Dermatitis : contact, atopic, occupational, drug, 32(5):e78-e79.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Changjun G, Yanli T, Linshan L, et al (2021)

Predicting the potential global distribution of Ageratina adenophora under current and future climate change scenarios.

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):12092-12113.

Aim: Invasive alien species (IAS) threaten ecosystems and humans worldwide, and future climate change may accelerate the expansion of IAS. Predicting the suitable areas of IAS can prevent their further expansion. Ageratina adenophora is an invasive weed over 30 countries in tropical and subtropical regions. However, the potential suitable areas of A. adenophora remain unclear along with its response to climate change. This study explored and mapped the current and future potential suitable areas of Ageratina adenophora.

Location: Global.

Taxa: Asteraceae A. adenophora (Spreng.) R.M.King & H.Rob. Commonly known as Crofton weed.

Methods: Based on A. adenophora occurrence data and climate data, we predicted its suitable areas of this weed under current and future (four RCPs in 2050 and 2070) by MaxEnt model. We used ArcGIS 10.4 to explore the potential suitable area distribution characteristics of this weed and the "ecospat" package in R to analyze its altitudinal distribution changes.

Results: The area under the curve (AUC) value (>0.9) and true skill statistics (TSS) value (>0.8) indicated excelled model performance. Among environment factors, mean temperature of coldest quarter contributed most to the model. Globally, the suitable areas for A. adenophora invasion decreased under climate change scenarios, although regional increases were observed, including in six biodiversity hotspot regions. The potential suitable areas of A. adenophora under climate change would expand in regions with higher elevation (3,000-3,500 m).

Main conclusions: Mean temperature of coldest quarter was the most important variable influencing the potential suitable area of A. Adenophora. Under the background of a warming climate, the potential suitable area of A. adenophora will shrink globally but increase in six biodiversity hotspot regions. The potential suitable area of A. adenophora would expand at higher elevation (3,000-3,500 m) under climate change. Mountain ecosystems are of special concern as they are rich in biodiversity and sensitive to climate change, and increasing human activities provide more opportunities for IAS invasion.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Marx HE, Carboni M, Douzet R, et al (2021)

Can functional genomic diversity provide novel insights into mechanisms of community assembly? A pilot study from an invaded alpine streambed.

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):12075-12091.

An important focus of community ecology, including invasion biology, is to investigate functional trait diversity patterns to disentangle the effects of environmental and biotic interactions. However, a notable limitation is that studies usually rely on a small and easy-to-measure set of functional traits, which might not immediately reflect ongoing ecological responses to changing abiotic or biotic conditions, including those that occur at a molecular or physiological level. We explored the potential of using the diversity of expressed genes-functional genomic diversity (FGD)-to understand ecological dynamics of a recent and ongoing alpine invasion. We quantified FGD based on transcriptomic data measured for 26 plant species occurring along adjacent invaded and pristine streambeds. We used an RNA-seq approach to summarize the overall number of expressed transcripts and their annotations to functional categories, and contrasted this with functional trait diversity (FTD) measured from a suite of characters that have been traditionally considered in plant ecology. We found greater FGD and FTD in the invaded community, independent of differences in species richness. However, the magnitude of functional dispersion was greater from the perspective of FGD than from FTD. Comparing FGD between congeneric alien-native species pairs, we did not find many significant differences in the proportion of genes whose annotations matched functional categories. Still, native species with a greater relative abundance in the invaded community compared with the pristine tended to express a greater fraction of genes at significant levels in the invaded community, suggesting that changes in FGD may relate to shifts in community composition. Comparisons of diversity patterns from the community to the species level offer complementary insights into processes and mechanisms driving invasion dynamics. FGD has the potential to illuminate cryptic changes in ecological diversity, and we foresee promising avenues for future extensions across taxonomic levels and macro-ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Qiu T, Liu Z, Yang Y, et al (2021)

Epigenetic variation associated with responses to different habitats in the context of genetic divergence in Phragmites australis.

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):11874-11889.

The mechanisms underlying heritable phenotypic divergence associated with adaptation in response to environmental stresses may involve both genetic and epigenetic variations. Several prior studies have revealed even higher levels of epigenetic variation than genetic variation. However, few population-level studies have explored the effects of epigenetic variation on species with high levels of genetic diversity distributed across different habitats. Using AFLP and methylation-sensitive AFLP markers, we tested the hypothesis that epigenetic variation may contribute to differences in plants occupying different habitats when genetic variation alone cannot fully explain adaptation. As a cosmopolitan invasive species, Phragmites australis (common reed) together with high genetic diversity and remarkable adaptability has been suggested as a model for responses to global change and indicators of environmental fluctuations. We found high levels of genetic and epigenetic diversity and significant genetic/epigenetic structure within each of 12 studied populations sampled from four natural habitats of P. australis. Possible adaptive epigenetic variation was suggested by significant correlations between DNA methylation-based epigenetic differentiation and adaptive genetic divergence in populations across the habitats. Meanwhile, various AMOVAs indicated that some epigenetic differences may respond to various local habitats. A partial Mantel test was used to tease out the correlations between genetic/epigenetic variation and habitat after controlling for the correlation between genetic and epigenetic variations. We found that epigenetic diversity was affected mostly by soil nutrient availability, suggesting that at least some epigenetic differentiation occurred independently of genetic variation. We also found stronger correlations between epigenetic variation and phenotypic traits than between genetic variation and such traits. Overall, our findings indicate that genetically based differentiation correlates with heterogeneous habitats, while epigenetic variation plays an important role in ecological differentiation in natural populations of P. australis. In addition, our results suggest that when assessing global change responses of plant species, intraspecific variation needs to be considered.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Ward M, Carwardine J, Yong CJ, et al (2021)

A national-scale dataset for threats impacting Australia's imperiled flora and fauna.

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):11749-11761.

Australia is in the midst of an extinction crisis, having already lost 10% of terrestrial mammal fauna since European settlement and with hundreds of other species at high risk of extinction. The decline of the nation's biota is a result of an array of threatening processes; however, a comprehensive taxon-specific understanding of threats and their relative impacts remains undocumented nationally. Using expert consultation, we compile the first complete, validated, and consistent taxon-specific threat and impact dataset for all nationally listed threatened taxa in Australia. We confined our analysis to 1,795 terrestrial and aquatic taxa listed as threatened (Vulnerable, Endangered, or Critically Endangered) under Australian Commonwealth law. We engaged taxonomic experts to generate taxon-specific threat and threat impact information to consistently apply the IUCN Threat Classification Scheme and Threat Impact Scoring System, as well as eight broad-level threats and 51 subcategory threats, for all 1,795 threatened terrestrial and aquatic threatened taxa. This compilation produced 4,877 unique taxon-threat-impact combinations with the most frequently listed threats being Habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation (n = 1,210 taxa), and Invasive species and disease (n = 966 taxa). Yet when only high-impact threats or medium-impact threats are considered, Invasive species and disease become the most prevalent threats. This dataset provides critical information for conservation action planning, national legislation and policy, and prioritizing investments in threatened species management and recovery.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Van Leeuwen TE, Cote D, Pretty C, et al (2021)

Incursions of Sea Lamprey, Petromyzon marinus, and Striped Bass, Morone saxatilis, in Labrador waters: Episodic events or evidence of a northward range expansion?.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

We describe observations of Sea Lamprey (Petromyzon marinus) and Striped Bass (Morone saxatilis) incursions into Labrador, Canada. While P. marinus have been periodically observed in similar latitudes, their numbers have conspicuously increased in estuarine environments in 2020. In contrast, M. saxatilis were not observed from Labrador until 2017 but appear to be declining after the initial surge in abundance that peaked in 2018. It remains unclear whether spawning populations of either species exist. Given the potential to negatively affect species of commercial and cultural importance through predation, follow-up surveys are warranted. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-09-20
CmpDate: 2021-09-20

Koch JBU, Tabor JA, Montoya-Aiona K, et al (2021)

The Invasion of Megachile policaris (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae) to Hawai'i.

Journal of insect science (Online), 21(5):.

Islands are insular environments that are negatively impacted by invasive species. In Hawai'i, at least 21 non-native bees have been documented to date, joining the diversity of >9,000 non-native and invasive species to the archipelago. The goal of this study is to describe the persistence, genetic diversity, and natural history of the most recently established bee to Hawai'i, Megachile policaris Say, 1831 (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Contemporary surveys identify that M. policaris is present on at least O'ahu, Maui, and Hawai'i Island, with the earliest detection of the species in 2017. Furthermore, repeated surveys and observations by community members support the hypothesis that M. policaris has been established on Hawai'i Island from 2017 to 2020. DNA sequenced fragments of the cytochrome oxidase I locus identify two distinct haplotypes on Hawai'i Island, suggesting that at least two founders have colonized the island. In their native range, M. policaris is documented to forage on at least 21 different plant families, which are represented in Hawai'i. Finally, ensemble species distribution models (SDMs) constructed with four bioclimatic variables and occurrence data from the native range of M. policaris predicts high habitat suitability on the leeward side of islands throughout the archipelago and at high elevation habitats. While many of the observations presented in our study fall within the predicted habitat suitability on Hawai'i, we also detected the M. policaris on the windward side of Hawai'i Island suggesting that the SDMs we constructed likely do not capture the bioclimatic niche flexibility of the species.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

De Jesus AD, AG Jimenez (2021)

Effects of acute temperature increases on House sparrow (Passer domesticus) pectoralis muscle myonuclear domain.

Journal of experimental zoology. Part A, Ecological and integrative physiology [Epub ahead of print].

With rapid climate change, heat wave episodes have become more intense and more frequent. This poses a significant threat to animals, and forces them to manage these physiologically challenging conditions by adapting and/or moving. As an invasive species with a large niche breadth, House sparrows (Passer domesticus) exhibit high phenotypic flexibility that caters to seasonal changes in function and metabolism. For example, their pectoral muscle complex exhibits size and mass plasticity with winter and summer acclimation. Here, we investigated the effects of acute whole-organism heat stress to 43°C on cellular-level changes in House sparrow pectoralis muscle myonuclear domain (MND), the volumetric portion each nucleus is responsible for, that have gone overlooked in the current literature. House sparrows were separated into a control group, a heat-shocked group subjected to thermal stress at 43°C for 24 h, and a recovery group that was returned to room temperature for 24 h after experiencing the same temperature treatment. Here, we found that heat-shocked and recovery groups demonstrated a decrease in number of nuclei per millimeter of fiber and increase in MND, when compared with the control. We also found a significant positive correlation between fiber diameter and MND in the recovery group, suggesting the possibility that nuclei number constrains the extent of muscle fiber size. Together, these results show that acute heat shock alters House sparrow pectoralis muscle cellular physiology in a rigid way that could prove detrimental to long-term muscle integrity and performance.

RevDate: 2021-09-23

Zhang L, Luo X, Lambers H, et al (2021)

Effects of elevated CO2 concentration and nitrogen addition on foliar phosphorus fractions of Mikania micranatha and Chromolaena odorata under low phosphorus availability.

Physiologia plantarum [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive plants rapidly spread in habitats with low soil phosphorus (P) availability and have triggered a sharp decline in the diversity of native species. However, no studies have explored how widespread invasive species acclimate to low soil P availability via changing foliar P fractions, especially under elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2 ]) and nitrogen (N) deposition. Here, an open-top chamber experiment was conducted to explore the effect of nutrient addition and elevated [CO2 ] on leaf traits and foliar functional P fractions (i.e., Pi, metabolite P, lipid P, nucleic acid P, and residual P) of two aggressive invasive species (Mikania micranatha and Chromolaena odorata). We found that foliar N/P ratios were more than 20, and P addition significantly increased plant biomass. Both results indicated P-limited plant growth at our studied site. Elevated [CO2 ], N and N + P addition greatly increased plant biomass, photosynthetic rates, and photosynthetic P-use efficiency (PPUE) in invasive species, but PPUE decreased with increasing P addition. Nitrogen addition slightly decreased the concentration of leaf total P, decreased foliar residual P, but increased metabolite P concentrations in invasive species. Similar changes in foliar P fractions were found under N + P addition. Phosphorus addition increased foliar P concentrations, which was strongly correlated with an increase in metabolite P concentrations in invasive species. Elevated [CO2 ] alleviated these effects and increased PPUE. The present results suggest that future elevated [CO2 ] and N deposition allow the invasive species to acclimate to low soil P availability and support their successful invasion by greatly reducing P allocation to non-metabolite foliar P fractions (i.e., nucleic acid P and residual P) to meet their demand of metabolite P for photosynthesis and exhibit a high PPUE.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Linaldeddu BT, Bregant C, Montecchio L, et al (2021)

First report of Diplodia fraxini and Diplodia subglobosa causing canker and dieback of Fraxinus excelsior in Slovenia.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Over the last decades the vitality and productivity of European ash trees in Slovenia has been seriously impacted by the onset of canker and dieback disease symptoms on young and old trees, primarily identified as ash dieback caused by Hymenoscyphus fraxineus. Given the limited information available about the aetiology of this emerging disease, a study was carried out to isolate, identify and characterize the fungal species involved in the observed ash symptoms. Field surveys were conducted in five forest sites where 50 symptomatic branch samples were collected. All samples were inspected and used for fungal isolation. Based on morphology, colony appearance and DNA sequence data of the internal transcribed spacer region (ITS), 125 fungal colonies belonging to five species were isolated and identified. Only a few symptomatic ash samples yielded colonies of H. fraxineus, whereas Botryosphaeriaceae species were isolated with a high frequency, with Diplodia fraxini as the dominant species. A pathogenicity test proved that all isolated species were pathogenic on European ash, causing bark lesions and wood discoloration. All Botryosphaeriaceae species isolated in this study are reported for the first time on European ash in Slovenia.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Nguyen HTM, Ha PV, T Kompas (2021)

Optimal surveillance against bioinvasions: a sample average approximation method applied to an agent-based spread model.

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

Trade-offs exist between the point of early detection and the future cost of controlling any invasive species. Finding optimal levels of early detection, with post-border active surveillance, where time, space and randomness are explicitly considered, is computationally challenging. We use a stochastic programming model to find the optimal level of surveillance and predict damages, easing the computational challenge by combining a Sample Average Approximation (SAA) approach and parallel processing techniques. The model is applied to the case of Asian Papaya Fruit Fly (PFF), a highly destructive pest, in Queensland, Australia. To capture the non-linearity in PFF spread, we use an agent-based model (ABM), which is calibrated to a highly detailed land use raster map (50m_50m) and weather-related data, validated against a historical outbreak. The combination of SAA and ABM sets our work apart from the existing literature. Indeed, despite its increasing popularity as a powerful analytical tool, given its granularity and capability to model the system of interest adequately, the complexity of ABM limits its application in optimizing frame works due to considerable uncertainty about solution quality. In this light, the use of SAA ensures quality in the optimal solution (with a measured optimality gap) while still being able to handle large-scale decision-making problems. With this combination, our application suggests that the optimal (economic) trap grid size for PFF in Queensland is about 0.7 km, much smaller than the currently implemented level of 5 km. Although the current policy implies a much lower surveillance cost per year, compared to the $2.08 million under our optimal policy, the expected total cost of an outbreak is $23.92 million, much higher than the optimal policy of roughly $7.74 million.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Zhao W, Liu T, Liu Y, et al (2021)

The significance of biomass allocation to population growth of the invasive species Ambrosia artemisiifolia and Ambrosia trifida with different densities.

BMC ecology and evolution, 21(1):175.

BACKGROUND: Ambrosia artemisiifolia and Ambrosia trifida are globally distributed harmful and invasive weeds. High density clusters play an important role in their invasion. For these two species, the early settled populations are distributed at low densities, but they can rapidly achieve high population densities in a short period of time. However, their response to intraspecific competition to improve the fitness for rapid growth and maintenance of high population densities remains unclear. Therefore, to determine how these species form and maintain high population densities, individual biomass allocations patterns between different population densities (low and high), and plasticity during seedling, vegetative, breeding and mature stages were compared. In 2019, we harvested seeds at different population densities and compared them, and in 2020, we compared the number of regenerated plants across the two population densities.

RESULTS: Most biomass was invested in the stems of both species. Ambrosia trifida had the highest stem biomass distribution, of up to 78%, and the phenotypic plasticity of the stem was the highest. Path analysis demonstrated that at low-density, total biomass was the biggest contributor to seed production, but stem and leaf biomass was the biggest contributors to high-density populations. The number of seeds produced per plant was high in low-density populations, while the seed number per unit area was huge in high-density populations. In the second year, the number of low-density populations increased significantly. A. artemisiifolia and A. trifida accounted for 75.6% and 68.4% of the mature populations, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS: High input to the stem is an important means to regulate the growth of the two species to cope with different densities. These two species can ensure reproductive success and produce appropriate seed numbers. Therefore, they can maintain a stable population over time and quickly form cluster advantages. In the management, early detection of both species and prevention of successful reproduction by chemical and mechanical means are necessary to stop cluster formation and spread.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

LaForgia ML, Kang H, CL Ettinger (2021)

Invasive Grass Dominance over Native Forbs Is Linked to Shifts in the Bacterial Rhizosphere Microbiome.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Rhizosphere microbiomes have received growing attention in recent years for their role in plant health, stress tolerance, soil nutrition, and invasion. Still, relatively little is known about how these microbial communities are altered under plant competition, and even less about whether these shifts are tied to competitive outcomes between native and invasive plants. We investigated the structure and diversity of rhizosphere bacterial and fungal microbiomes of native annual forbs and invasive annual grasses grown in a shade-house both individually and in competition using high-throughput amplicon sequencing of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene and the fungal ITS region. We assessed how differentially abundant microbial families correlate to plant biomass under competition. We find that bacterial diversity and structure differ between native forbs and invasive grasses, but fungal diversity and structure do not. Furthermore, bacterial community structures under competition are distinct from individual bacterial community structures. We also identified five bacterial families that varied in normalized abundance between treatments and that were correlated with plant biomass under competition. We speculate that invasive grass dominance over these natives may be partially due to effects on the rhizosphere community, with changes in specific bacterial families potentially benefiting invaders at the expense of natives.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Marin P, Jaquet A, Picarle J, et al (2021)

Phenotypic and transcriptomic responses to stress differ according to population geography in an invasive species.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6368064 [Epub ahead of print].

Adaptation to rapid environmental changes must occur within a short time scale. In this context, studies of invasive species may provide insights into the underlying mechanisms of rapid adaptation as these species have repeatedly encountered and adapted to novel environmental conditions. We investigated how invasive and non-invasive genotypes of Drosophila suzukii deal with oxidative stress at the phenotypic and molecular levels. We also studied the impact of transposable element (TE) insertions on the gene expression in response to stress. Our results show that flies from invasive areas (France and USA) live longer in natural conditions than the ones from native Japanese areas. As expected, lifespan for all genotypes was significantly reduced following exposure to paraquat, but this reduction varied among genotypes (genotype by environment interaction, GEI) with invasive genotypes appearing more affected by exposure than non-invasive ones. A transcriptomic analysis of genotypes upon paraquat treatment detected many genes differentially expressed (DE). While a small core set of genes were DE in all genotypes following paraquat exposure, much of the response of each genotype was unique. Moreover, we showed that TEs were not activated after oxidative stress and DE genes were significantly depleted of TEs. In conclusion, it's likely that transcriptomic changes are involved in the rapid adaptation to local environments. We provide new evidence that in the decade since the invasion from Asia, the sampled genotypes in Europe and USA of D. suzukii diverged from the ones from the native area regarding their phenotypic and genomic response to oxidative stress.

RevDate: 2021-09-22

Hulme PE, W Liu (2021)

Species prevalence and plant traits discriminate between herbicide resistant and susceptible weeds.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Herbicide resistant weeds pose one of the most significant global challenges to sustainable food and fiber production. Plant traits are assumed to play a significant role in determining whether a weed is likely to evolve herbicide resistance but there have been few quantitative assessments to date. There is therefore an urgent need to investigate both the demographic and evolutionary characteristics of weeds to predict which weed species are likely to evolve herbicide resistance. Here, the discriminatory power of multiple plant traits was examined by comparing herbicide resistant and herbicide susceptible weeds in the United States.

RESULTS: Despite the taxonomic and agronomic similarity of herbicide resistant and susceptible weeds in the United States, differences between these groups were captured by a relatively small set of explanatory variables. Herbicide resistant weeds were found across more states than susceptible species and this suggests widespread weeds also happen to be more problematic in crops and therefore specifically targeted for weed control. In terms of traits, herbicide resistant species were more likely to be outcrossing, have unisexual flowers and be wind pollinated as well as have larger chromosome numbers and seed size than herbicide susceptible weeds.

CONCLUSIONS: A trait-based approach to understanding herbicide resistance confirms many assumptions as to the genetic attributes that make a weed more likely to evolve herbicide resistance. Scope therefore exists to build better risk assessment tools to identify future herbicide resistance hazards by incorporating plant traits, environmental tolerances, and evidence of herbicide resistance elsewhere in the world.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Azevedo de Oliveira S, Baeza JA, Agudelo P, et al (2021)

Observations on the population genetic structure of the leaf galling nematode, Ditylenchus gallaeformans.

Phytopathology [Epub ahead of print].

Ditylenchus gallaeformans is a plant parasitic nematode that induces galls on aboveground parts of Melastomataceae plants. It differs from most gall-inducing nematodes in that it is not an endoparasite, and has been considered as a possible biological control agent against invasive species of Miconia . Little is known about D. gallaeformans biology, genetic differences among populations and host preferences. This study examined the genetic differences among D. gallaeformans populations from different locations and host species and the phylogenetic relationships among them. Nematodes were collected from galls in plants from Costa Rica, Dominica, and Trinidad. The Cytochrome c oxidase 1 (cox1) region was sequenced from a total of 33 individual nematodes isolated from 33 different plant individuals, representing 21 species of Melastomataceae. Phylogenetic reconstructions, haplotype networks, and analysis of molecular variance showed that the species is monophyletic and has three major clades, which were mostly consistent with geographic location but not with host species. The first clade was composed by two subclades, one with individuals from Costa Rica and one with individuals from Dominica. The second and third clades comprised nematodes only from Trinidad. Overall, there is no evidence of host-species specialization in D. gallaeformans . Biocontrol efforts using the nematode against invasive Miconia could focus on geographical location matching but likely will not need to match host species.

RevDate: 2021-09-10
CmpDate: 2021-09-10

Shuaib M, Hussain F, Rauf A, et al (2021)

Traditional knowledge about medicinal plant in the remote areas of Wari Tehsil, Dir Upper, Pakistan.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 83:e246803 pii:S1519-69842023000100225.

Traditional medicine is cheaper and easily available to local people, to care for most frequent diseases in the Northern parts of Pakistan. Our study aimed at inventorying medicine from local plants, documenting their uses, and assessing their market value in 2015-2018 during spring, summer, and winter seasons. A total of 15 trips were made, 5 in each season. Semi-structured interviews with 165 inhabitant's age range between 20-80 years were conducted, analyzed the data is analyzed using Relative frequency of citation(RFC), Use Value(UV), Fidelity Level(FL), Informants consensus factor(ICF), and Jaccard index(JI) to find the most frequent and well-known used species in the area. A total of 86 species belonging to 39 vascular plant families, 33 genera were documented as medicinally important. Family Asteraceae was observed as the dominant family among all the families with 10 species, the leaf was the most used parts and decoction 36% was the most preferred preparation type. Herb was the predominant life form (67%). The maximum UV (0.92) was demonstrated by J. adhatoda L. species, while A. sativum L. shows maximum RFC (0.58), the highest ICF value represented by diarrhea and dermatitis 0.92, and high FL value is recorded 100%. According to our collections, wild species were 45%, invasive species were 38% and cultivated 17% recorded, dicots species were recorded more 81%. Seven 7 medicinal species is being economically important and export to the local and international market of the world, whereas P. integrima L. species were the most exported species according to the local dealers. The investigated area is rural and the local people depend on the area's plants for their health needs, and other uses like a vegetable, fuelwood, fodder, etc. The current result of RFC, UV, ICF, FL, and JI shows that medicinal flora needs to be pharmacologically and phytochemically investigated to prove their efficacy. The documentation of medicinal knowledge is important to preserve this precious old knowledge before it is lost forever, due to technological and environmental changes in the world.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Dragičević P, Bielen A, Petrić I, et al (2021)

Microbiome of the Successful Freshwater Invader, the Signal Crayfish, and Its Changes along the Invasion Range.

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

Increasing evidence denotes the role of the microbiome in biological invasions, since it is known that microbes can affect the fitness of the host. Here, we demonstrate differences in the composition of an invader's microbiome along the invasion range, suggesting that its microbial communities may affect and be affected by range expansion. Using a 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing approach, we (i) analyzed the microbiomes of different tissues (exoskeleton, hemolymph, hepatopancreas, and intestine) of a successful freshwater invader, the signal crayfish, (ii) compared them to the surrounding water and sediment, and (iii) explored their changes along the invasion range. Exoskeletal, hepatopancreatic, and intestinal microbiomes varied between invasion core and invasion front populations. This indicates that they may be partly determined by population density, which was higher in the invasion core than in the invasion front. The highly diverse microbiome of exoskeletal biofilm was partly shaped by the environment (due to the similarity with the sediment microbiome) and partly by intrinsic crayfish parameters (due to the high proportion of exoskeleton-unique amplicon sequence variants [ASVs]), including the differences in invasion core and front population structure. Hemolymph had the most distinct microbiome compared to other tissues and differed between upstream (rural) and downstream (urban) river sections, indicating that its microbiome is potentially more driven by the effects of the abiotic environment. Our findings offer an insight into microbiome changes during dispersal of a successful invader and present a baseline for assessment of their contribution to an invader's overall health and its further invasion success. IMPORTANCE Invasive species are among the major drivers of biodiversity loss and impairment of ecosystem services worldwide, but our understanding of their invasion success and dynamics still has many gaps. For instance, although it is known that host-associated microbial communities may significantly affect an individual's health and fitness, the current studies on invasive species are mainly focused on pathogenic microbes, while the effects of the remaining majority of microbial communities on the invasion process are almost completely unexplored. We have analyzed the microbiome of one of the most successful crayfish invaders in Europe, the signal crayfish, and explored its changes along the signal crayfish invasion range in the Korana River, Croatia. Our study sets the perspective for future research required to assess the contribution of these changes to an individual's overall health status and resilience of dispersing populations and their impact on invasion success.

RevDate: 2021-09-24

Lowie A, De Kegel B, Wilkinson M, et al (2021)

Under pressure: the relationship between cranial shape and burrowing force in caecilians (Gymnophiona).

The Journal of experimental biology, 224(18):.

Caecilians are elongate, limbless and annulated amphibians that, with the exception of one aquatic family, all have an at least partly fossorial lifestyle. It has been suggested that caecilian evolution resulted in sturdy and compact skulls with fused bones and tight sutures, as an adaptation to their head-first burrowing habits. However, although their cranial osteology is well described, relationships between form and function remain poorly understood. In the present study, we explored the relationship between cranial shape and in vivo burrowing forces. Using micro-computed tomography (µCT) data, we performed 3D geometric morphometrics to explore whether cranial and mandibular shapes reflected patterns that might be associated with maximal push forces. The results highlight important differences in maximal push forces, with the aquatic Typhlonectes producing a lower force for a given size compared with other species. Despite substantial differences in head morphology across species, no relationship between overall skull shape and push force could be detected. Although a strong phylogenetic signal may partly obscure the results, our conclusions confirm previous studies using biomechanical models and suggest that differences in the degree of fossoriality do not appear to be driving the evolution of head shape.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Guerreiro JRL, Ipatov A, Carvalho J, et al (2021)

Amplified plasmonic and microfluidic setup for DNA monitoring.

Mikrochimica acta, 188(10):326.

Plasmonic nanosensors for label-free detection of DNA require excellent sensing resolution, which is crucial when monitoring short DNA sequences, as these induce tiny peak shifts, compared to large biomolecules. We report a versatile and simple strategy for plasmonic sensor signal enhancement by assembling multiple (four) plasmonic sensors in series. This approach provided a fourfold signal enhancement, increased signal-to-noise ratio, and improved sensitivity for DNA detection. The response of multiple sensors based on AuNSpheres was also compared with AuNRods, the latter showing better sensing resolution. The amplification system based on AuNR was integrated into a microfluidic sequential injection platform and applied to the monitoring of DNA, specifically from environmental invasive species-zebra mussels. DNA from zebra mussels was log concentration-dependent from 1 to 1 × 106 pM, reaching a detection limit of 2.0 pM. In situ tests were also successfully applied to real samples, within less than 45 min, using DNA extracted from zebra mussel meat. The plasmonic nanosensors' signal can be used as a binary output (yes/no) to assess the presence of those invasive species. Even though these genosensors were applied to the monitoring of DNA in environmental samples, they potentially offer advantage in a wide range of fields, such as disease diagnostics.

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Hom EFY, AS Penn (2021)

Symbiosis and the Anthropocene.

Symbiosis (Philadelphia, Pa.) [Epub ahead of print].

Recent human activity has profoundly transformed Earth biomes on a scale and at rates that are unprecedented. Given the central role of symbioses in ecosystem processes, functions, and services throughout the Earth biosphere, the impacts of human-driven change on symbioses are critical to understand. Symbioses are not merely collections of organisms, but co-evolved partners that arise from the synergistic combination and action of different genetic programs. They function with varying degrees of permanence and selection as emergent units with substantial potential for combinatorial and evolutionary innovation in both structure and function. Following an articulation of operational definitions of symbiosis and related concepts and characteristics of the Anthropocene, we outline a basic typology of anthropogenic change (AC) and a conceptual framework for how AC might mechanistically impact symbioses with select case examples to highlight our perspective. We discuss surprising connections between symbiosis and the Anthropocene, suggesting ways in which new symbioses could arise due to AC, how symbioses could be agents of ecosystem change, and how symbioses, broadly defined, of humans and "farmed" organisms may have launched the Anthropocene. We conclude with reflections on the robustness of symbioses to AC and our perspective on the importance of symbioses as ecosystem keystones and the need to tackle anthropogenic challenges as wise and humble stewards embedded within the system.

RevDate: 2021-09-06

Fryzlewicz L, VanWinkle A, C Lahondère (2021)

Development of an Attractive Toxic Sugar Bait for the Control of Aedes j. japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae).

Journal of medical entomology pii:6364951 [Epub ahead of print].

Both female and male mosquitoes consume sugar meals to obtain carbohydrates used for energy. This behavior has recently been identified as a possible mosquito control target, as the World Health Organization has urged for the development of integrated vector management. This is critical as many medically important mosquito species are developing insecticide resistance, resulting in current control strategies becoming less effective. Additionally, the traditional use of insecticides is detrimental to many beneficial insects such as pollinators. The main goal of this study was to develop an attractive toxic sugar bait (ATSB) to limit the populations of a local invasive mosquito, Aedes j. japonicus (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae). An ATSB is a lure bait composed of an attractant odorant, a toxic component, and sugar that the mosquitoes can feed on. ATSBs are cost-effective, sustainable, environmentally friendly, and can be species-specific. Mosquitoes were isolated into cages or cups and each group had access to either a toxic sugar solution (containing boric acid), a control solution or a choice between the two. We tested multiple fruits, including mango, peach, blueberries, and blackberries, as well as a soda and grape juice and monitored their survival for 96 h. We found that this species fed on all tested fruit solutions and that the groups that imbibed toxic solutions died within 48 h, indicating that boric acid is an effective oral toxin against Ae. j. japonicus. Further experiments will be conducted in the field to determine the ATSBs efficacy and to monitor potential effects on off-target species.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Monastiri A, Martín-Carrillo N, Foronda P, et al (2021)

First Coronavirus Active Survey in Rodents From the Canary Islands.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 8:708079.

Since the beginning of the 21st century five new coronaviruses inducing respiratory diseases in humans have been reported. These emergences has promoted research on coronaviruses in wildlife. We started the first eco-epidemiological study to screen the presence of coronaviruses circulating in mice and rats of four Canary Islands. Between 2015 and 2019, we obtained fecal samples of three rodent species (150 Mus musculus, 109 Rattus rattus and 1 Rattus norvegicus) captured in urban and rural areas. Fecal samples were analyzed by nRT-PCR and the resulting sequences were compared to known diversity using Bayesian phylogenetic methods. We only found coronavirus RNA in house mice from El Hierro (10.53%), Tenerife (7.02%) and Lanzarote (5.26%) islands. All coronaviruses detected belong to the species Murine coronavirus belonging to the genus Betacoronavirus and subgenus Embecovirus, being all positive house mice captured in anthropogenic environment. The phylogenetic analysis shows that murine coronaviruses from the Canary Islands are related to European murine coronaviruses. Albeit data are still scarce in the region, the most probable origin of M. coronavirus present in the Canary Islands is continental Europe. According to temporal Bayesian phylogenetics, the differentiation between Canary and continental viruses seems to be quite recent. Moreover, murine coronaviruses from El Hierro, Tenerife and Lanzarote islands tend to segregate in different clades. This enlightens the potential role of rodents or other possibly invasive species in disseminating infectious diseases to remote places through exchanges with the continent. It is important to consider these aspects in the sanitary control of islands, for health and biodiversity preservation concerns.

RevDate: 2021-09-07

Roberto VP, Surget G, Le Lann K, et al (2021)

Antioxidant, Mineralogenic and Osteogenic Activities of Spartina alterniflora and Salicornia fragilis Extracts Rich in Polyphenols.

Frontiers in nutrition, 8:719438.

Osteoporosis is an aging-related disease and a worldwide health issue. Current therapeutics have failed to reduce the prevalence of osteoporosis in the human population, thus the discovery of compounds with bone anabolic properties that could be the basis of next generation drugs is a priority. Marine plants contain a wide range of bioactive compounds and the presence of osteoactive phytochemicals was investigated in two halophytes collected in Brittany (France): the invasive Spartina alterniflora and the native Salicornia fragilis. Two semi-purified fractions, prepared through liquid-liquid extraction, were assessed for phenolic and flavonoid contents, and for the presence of antioxidant, mineralogenic and osteogenic bioactivities. Ethyl acetate fraction (EAF) was rich in phenolic compounds and exhibited the highest antioxidant activity. While S. fragilis EAF only triggered a weak proliferative effect in vitro, S. alterniflora EAF potently induced extracellular matrix mineralization (7-fold at 250 μg/mL). A strong osteogenic effect was also observed in vivo using zebrafish operculum assay (2.5-fold at 10 μg/mL in 9-dpf larvae). Results indicate that polyphenol rich EAF of S. alterniflora has both antioxidant and bone anabolic activities. As an invasive species, this marine plant may represent a sustainable source of molecules for therapeutic applications in bone disorders.

RevDate: 2021-09-04

Cid-Aguayo B, Ramirez A, Sepúlveda M, et al (2021)

Invasive Chinook Salmon in Chile: Stakeholder Perceptions and Management Conflicts around a New Common-use Resource.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Since the last decade, the Chinook salmon has become an invasive species in southern Chilean rivers, affecting their environment and displacing native species due to predation and competition. The socioeconomic valuation of this species is complex, due to its high economic, touristic, and culinary value. The tourism industry and artisanal fishing groups see the salmon as a new common-use resource to be regulated. The Chilean regulatory framework, in turn, has made the presence, danger, and economic importance of the species invisible. This document analyzes the social construction of salmonids according to different interest groups and their interaction with the legal invisibility of this species. Our study delves into a particular group: the artisanal fishermen of La Barra del Toltén, in the Araucania Region, whose main economic activity has been illegal Chinook salmon fishing, pressing for their legalization. This case raises reflections on the perennially complex relationship between nature and society, as well as the management of common problems and common resources.

RevDate: 2021-09-20

Franklin PA, Baker CF, KA Reeve (2021)

A comparison of passage efficiency for native and exotic fish species over an artificial baffled ramp.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

This study used an experimental approach to compare the passage success of native and exotic fish species from the temperate Southern Hemisphere over an artificial baffled fish ramp designed for overcoming low-head (≤1.0 m) fish migration barriers. Passage efficiency was, on average, lower for the exotic species [koi carp (Cyprinus carpio), rudd (Scardinius erythrophthalmus) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)] compared to the native species [inanga (Galaxias maculatus), redfin bully (Gobiomorphus huttoni) and common bully (Gobiomorphus cotidianus)]. Nonetheless, there was considerable variation between individual species, with rainbow trout outperforming common bully and juvenile inanga, but koi carp and rudd failing to pass any of the ramps. The differences in predicted probability of passage success between the native and exotic fish species in this study were sufficient in some cases to indicate the potential for the baffled fish ramps to operate as a selective migration barrier. Nonetheless, further testing is required to validate these results across a broader range of conditions before deployment.

RevDate: 2021-09-20

Morgan DL, Lear KO, Ebner BC, et al (2021)

Net design for selective control of the "plague minnow" Gambusia holbrooki that minimises impact on native Australian fishes.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

Gambusia holbrooki is one of the world's most environmentally damaging introduced species, being notoriously difficult to control once established. A composite double-winged fyke net comprising four vertically stacked compartments was developed to determine the potential to control G. holbrooki, while reducing negative interactions of this aggressive species with small threatened fishes. The stacked fyke net captured three times as many G. holbrooki as a conventional fyke net while maintaining consistent catches of native fishes relative to that from a conventional fyke net, and detected species-specific vertical distributions. This stratified net design represents a valuable management option for controlling this agonistic species or for limiting antagonistic interactions between G. holbrooki and native species during typical fyke sampling of native ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-09-21

Burlakova LE, Karatayev AY, Hrycik AR, et al (2021)

Density data for Lake Ontario benthic invertebrate assemblages from 1964 to 2018.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Benthic invertebrates are important trophic links in aquatic food webs and serve as useful bioindicators of environmental conditions because their responses integrate the effects of both water and sediment qualities. However, long-term data sets for benthic invertebrate assemblages across broad geographic areas are rare and, even if collected, historic data sets are often not readily accessible. This data set provides densities of benthic macroinvertebrates for all taxa collected during lake-wide surveys in Lake Ontario, a Laurentian Great Lake, from 1964 to 2018. This information resulted from surveys funded by the governments of the United States and Canada to investigate the status and changes of Lake Ontario benthic community. Of the 13 lake-wide benthic surveys conducted in Lake Ontario over the course of 54 yr, we were able to acquire taxonomic data to the species level for 11 of the surveys and data to the group level for the other two surveys. Density data are provided for taxa representing the Annelida, Arthropoda, Mollusca, Cnidaria, Nemertea, and Platyhelminthes phyla. Univariate and multivariate analyses revealed that the compositional structure of Lake Ontario invertebrate assemblages differed markedly by depth and were also significantly altered by the Dreissena spp. invasion in early 1990s. The introduction of invasive dreissenids has changed the community historically dominated by Diporeia, Oligochaeta, and Sphaeriidae, to a community dominated by quagga mussels and Oligochaeta. Considering the rarity of long-term benthic data of high taxonomic resolution in lake ecosystems, this data set could be useful to explore broader aspects of ecological theory, including effects of different environmental factors and invasive species on community organization, functional and phylogenetic diversity, and spatial scale of variation in community structure. The data set could also be useful for studies on individual species including abundance and distribution, species co-occurrence, and how the patterns of dominance and rarity change over space and time. Use of this data set for academic or educational purposes is encouraged as long as the data source is properly cited using the title of this Data Paper, the names of the authors, the year of publication, the journal name, and the article number.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Garibaldi LA, Pérez-Méndez N, Cordeiro GD, et al (2021)

Negative impacts of dominance on bee communities: Does the influence of invasive honey bees differ from native bees?.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species can reach high abundances and dominate native environments. One of the most impressive examples of ecological invasions is the spread of the African sub-species of the honey bee throughout the Americas, starting from its introduction in a single locality in Brazil. The invasive honey bee is expected to more negatively impact bee community abundance and diversity than native dominant species, but this has not been tested previously. We developed a comprehensive and systematic bee sampling scheme, using a protocol deploying 11,520 pan traps across regions and crops for three years in Brazil. We found that invasive honey bees are now the single most dominant bee species. Such dominance has not only negative consequences for abundance and species richness of native bees but also for overall bee abundance (i.e., strong "numerical" effects of honey bees). Contrary to expectations, honey bees did not have stronger negative impacts than other native bees achieving similar levels of dominance (i.e., lack of negative "identity" effects of honey bees). These effects were remarkably consistent across crop species, seasons and years, and were independent from land-use effects. Dominance could be a proxy of bee community degradation and more generally of the severity of ecological invasions.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Harfoot MBJ, Johnston A, Balmford A, et al (2021)

Using the IUCN Red List to map threats to terrestrial vertebrates at global scale.

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

The Anthropocene is characterized by unparalleled human impact on other species, potentially ushering in the sixth mass extinction. Yet mitigation efforts remain hampered by limited information on the spatial patterns and intensity of the threats driving global biodiversity loss. Here we use expert-derived information from the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List on threats to 23,271 species, representing all terrestrial amphibians, birds and mammals, to generate global maps of the six major threats to these groups: agriculture, hunting and trapping, logging, pollution, invasive species, and climate change. Our results show that agriculture and logging are pervasive in the tropics and that hunting and trapping is the most geographically widespread threat to mammals and birds. Additionally, current representations of human pressure underestimate the overall pressure on biodiversity, due to the exclusion of threats such as hunting and climate change. Alarmingly, this is particularly the case in areas of the highest biodiversity importance.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Marincowitz S, Duong TA, Taerum SJ, et al (2020)

Fungal associates of an invasive pine-infesting bark beetle, Dendroctonus valens, including seven new Ophiostomatalean fungi.

Persoonia, 45:177-195.

The red turpentine beetle (RTB; Dendroctonus valens) is a bark beetle that is native to Central and North America. This insect is well-known to live in association with a large number of Ophiostomatalean fungi. The beetle is considered a minor pest in its native range, but has killed millions of indigenous pine trees in China after its appearance in that country in the late 1990s. In order to increase the base of knowledge regarding the RTB and its symbionts, surveys of the beetle's fungal associates were initially undertaken in China, and in a subsequent study in its native range in North America. A total of 30 Ophiostomatalean species that included several undescribed taxa, were identified in these surveys. In the present study, seven of the undescribed taxa collected during the surveys were further characterised based on their morphological characteristics and multi-gene phylogenies. We proceeded to describe five of these as novel Leptographium spp. and two as new species of Ophiostoma. Four of the Leptographium spp. resided in the G. galeiformis-species complex, while one formed part of the L. olivaceum-species complex. One Ophiostoma sp. was a member of the O. ips-species complex, while the only new species from China was closely related to O. floccosum. Two of the previously undescribed taxa from North America were shown to be congeneric with L. terebrantis, implying that this species was most often isolated in association with the RTB in North America. The undescribed taxon from North America was identified as O. ips, and like L. terebrantis, this species was also not recognized during the initial North American survey. Resolving the identities of these taxa provides essential baseline information to better understand the movement of fungal pathogens with this beetle. This then enhances our ability to accurately assess and predict the risks of invasions by these and related fungi.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

Thomas ZA, Mooney S, Cadd H, et al (2021)

Late Holocene climate anomaly concurrent with fire activity and ecosystem shifts in the eastern Australian Highlands.

The Science of the total environment, 802:149542 pii:S0048-9697(21)04616-7 [Epub ahead of print].

The alpine area of the Australian mainland is highly sensitive to climate and environmental change, and potentially vulnerable to ecosystem tipping points. Over the next two decades the Australian alpine region is predicted to experience temperature increases of at least 1 °C, coupled with a substantial decrease in snow cover. Extending the short instrumental record in these regions is imperative to put future change into context, and potentially provide analogues of warming. We reconstructed past temperatures, using a lipid biomarker palaeothermometer technique and mercury flux changes for the past 3500 years from the sediments of Club Lake, a high-altitude alpine tarn in the Snowy Mountains, southeastern Australia. Using a multi-proxy framework, including pollen and charcoal analyses, high-resolution geochemistry, and ancient microbial community composition, supported by high-resolution 210Pb and AMS 14C dating, we investigated local and regional ecological and environmental changes occurring in response to changes in temperature. We find the region experienced a general warming trend over the last 3500 years, with a pronounced climate anomaly occurring between 1000 and 1600 cal yrs. BP. Shifts in vegetation took place during this warm period, characterised by a decline in alpine species and an increase in open woodland taxa which co-occurred with an increase in regional fire activity. Given the narrow altitudinal band of Australian alpine vegetation, any future warming has the potential to result in the extinction of alpine species, including several endemic to the area, as treelines are driven to higher elevations. These findings suggest ongoing conservation efforts will be needed to protect the vulnerable alpine environments from the combined threats of climate changes, fire and invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Huaman JL, Pacioni C, Sarker S, et al (2021)

Molecular Epidemiology and Characterization of Picobirnavirus in Wild Deer and Cattle from Australia: Evidence of Genogroup I and II in the Upper Respiratory Tract.

Viruses, 13(8):.

Picobirnaviruses (PBVs) have been detected in several species of animals worldwide; however, data pertaining to their presence in Australian wild and domestic animals are limited. Although PBVs are mostly found in faecal samples, their detection in blood and respiratory tract samples raises questions concerning their tropism and pathogenicity. We report here PBV detection in wild deer and cattle from southeastern Australia. Through metagenomics, the presence of PBV genogroups I (GI) and II (GII) were detected in deer serum and plasma. Molecular epidemiology studies targeting the partial RNA-dependent RNA polymerase gene were performed in a wide range of specimens (serum, faeces, spleen, lung, nasal swabs, and trachea) collected from wild deer and cattle, with PCR amplification obtained in all specimen types except lung and spleen. Our results reveal the predominance of GI and concomitant detection of both genogroups in wild deer and cattle. In concordance with other studies, the detected GI sequences displayed high genetic diversity, however in contrast, GII sequences clustered into three distinct clades. Detection of both genogroups in the upper respiratory tract (trachea and nasal swab) of deer in the present study gives more evidence about the respiratory tract tropism of PBV. Although much remains unknown about the epidemiology and tropism of PBVs, our study suggests a wide distribution of these viruses in southeastern Australia.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

El-Barougy RF, Dakhil MA, Abdelaal M, et al (2021)

Trait-Environment Relationships Reveal the Success of Alien Plants Invasiveness in an Urbanized Landscape.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8):.

Urban areas are being affected by rapidly increasing human-made pressures that can strongly homogenize biodiversity, reduce habitat heterogeneity, and facilitate the invasion of alien species. One of the key concerns in invaded urban areas is comparing the trait-environment relationships between alien and native species, to determine the underlying causes of invasiveness. In the current study, we used a trait-environment dataset of 130 native plants and 33 alien plants, recorded in 100 plots covering 50 urban areas and 50 non-urban ones in an urbanization gradient in the arid mountainous Saint-Katherine protected area in Egypt. We measured eleven morphological plant traits for each plant species and ten environmental variables in each plot, including soil resources and human-made pressures, to construct trait-environment associations using a fourth-corner analysis. In addition, we measured the mean functional and phylogenetic distances between the two species groups along an urbanization gradient. Our results revealed strongly significant relationships of alien species traits with human-made pressures and soil resources in urban areas. However, in non-urban areas, alien species traits showed weak and non-significant associations with the environment. Simultaneously, native plants showed consistency in their trait-environment relationships in urban and non-urban areas. In line with these results, the functional and phylogenetic distances declined between the aliens and natives in urban areas, indicating biotic homogenization with increasing urbanization, and increased in non-urban areas, indicating greater divergence between the two species groups. Thereby, this study provided evidence that urbanization can reveal the plasticity of alien species and can also be the leading cause of homogenization in an arid urban area. Future urban studies should investigate the potential causes of taxonomic, genetic, and functional homogenization in species composition in formerly more diverse urbanized areas.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Kondapaneni R, Malcolm AN, Vazquez BM, et al (2021)

Mosquito Control Priorities in Florida-Survey Results from Florida Mosquito Control Districts.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8):.

Florida lies within a subtropical region where the climate allows diverse mosquito species including invasive species to thrive year-round. As of 2021, there are currently 66 state-approved Florida Mosquito Control Districts, which are major stakeholders for Florida public universities engaged in mosquito research. Florida is one of the few states with extensive organized mosquito control programs. The Florida State Government and Florida Mosquito Control Districts have long histories of collaboration with research institutions. During fall 2020, we carried out a survey to collect baseline data on the current control priorities from Florida Mosquito Control Districts relating to (1) priority control species, (2) common adult and larval control methods, and (3) major research questions to address that will improve their control and surveillance programs. The survey data showed that a total of 17 distinct mosquito species were considered to be priority control targets, with many of these species being understudied. The most common control approaches included truck-mounted ultra-low-volume adulticiding and biopesticide-based larviciding. The districts held interest in diverse research questions, with many prioritizing studies on basic science questions to help develop evidence-based control strategies. Our data highlight the fact that mosquito control approaches and priorities differ greatly between districts and provide an important point of comparison for other regions investing in mosquito control, particularly those with similar ecological settings, and great diversity of potential mosquito vectors, such as in Florida. Our findings highlight a need for greater alignment of research priorities between mosquito control and mosquito research. In particular, we note a need to prioritize filling knowledge gaps relating to understudied mosquito species that have been implicated in arbovirus transmission.

RevDate: 2021-08-28

Lawson JW, Fennell M, Smith MW, et al (2021)

Regeneration and growth in crowns and rhizome fragments of Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica) and desiccation as a potential control strategy.

PeerJ, 9:e11783.

Reynoutria japonica (Japanese knotweed) is a problematic invasive plant found in many areas of Europe and North America. Notably, in the UK, the species can cause issues with mortgage acquisition. Control of R. japonica is complicated by its ability to regenerate from small fragments of plant material; however, there remains uncertainty about how much (in terms of mass) rhizome is required for successful regeneration. This study investigated the ability of crowns and rhizomes with different numbers of nodes to regenerate successfully from three sites in the north of England, UK. Two of the sites had been subject to herbicide treatment for two years prior to sampling and the third site had no history of herbicide treatment. No significant differences were observed in regenerated stem diameter, maximum height of stem and maximum growth increments among crowns. All traits measured from the planted crowns were significantly greater than those of the planted rhizome fragments and at least one node was necessary for successful regeneration of rhizomes. The smallest initial fragment weight to regenerate and survive the experiment was 0.5 g. Subjecting all plant material to desiccation for 38 days resulted in no regrowth (emergence or regeneration) after replanting. These findings suggest that desiccation could be a valuable management strategy for small to medium scale infestations common in urban settings.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Rector BG, Gagné RJ, Perilla López JM, et al (2021)

Taxonomic Description of Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. (Diptera: Cecidomyiidae), a Seed Parasite of Cheatgrass, Anisantha tectorum, Based on Morphological and Mitochondrial DNA Data.

Insects, 12(8):.

Cheatgrass is an annual grass species from Eurasia that has become invasive in much of western North America. It has been implicated in recent increases in the frequency, size, and intensity of wildfires, contributing to severe economic, environmental, and social destruction. In order to reduce this damage, the USDA-ARS established a classical biological control program against cheatgrass. In 2018 and 2019, adult gall midges were collected emerging from cheatgrass seed heads collected at several sites in Bulgaria and Greece; this is the first gall midge ever recorded from cheatgrass. Morphological comparisons with related midge species recorded from other plant hosts revealed that this midge from cheatgrass is a new species, described here as Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. This status was supported by sequence comparisons of a barcode region of the gene encoding the mitochondrial cytochrome c subunit I (CO1) protein in Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. and three congeners. The present study is the first to report MT-CO1 data in the genus Stenodiplosis. The ingroup Stenodiplosis tectori n. sp. collected in the Balkans grouped in one phylogenetic supported clade, with an average K2P-distance from its closest related congener, S. sorghicola, of 7.73% (SD = 1.10). The findings indicated relatively high year-to-year within-population diversity. Implications for this gall midge's utility as a biological control agent of cheatgrass are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Veldtman R, Daly D, GFHVG Bekker (2021)

Spatio-Environmental Analysis of Vespula germanica Nest Records Explains Slow Invasion in South Africa.

Insects, 12(8):.

Investigating the distributions of invasive species in marginal habitats can give clues to the factors constraining invasive spread. Vespula germanica is the most widely distributed of all the invasive Vespids, which in the Southern Hemisphere typically have large extensive invasive populations. In contrast, the invasion into South Africa has been slow and is still confined to a small geographic area. Here we analyse the distribution of all recent nest records in South Africa (n = 405). The distance to main rivers, mean annual rainfall, summer normalised difference moisture index (NDMI) values, and mean annual temperatures (average, minimum, maximum, and summer maximum temperature) was measured for every nest. We find that value ranges of these variables are different between the value ranges recorded for nests, the general distribution area of the wasp, and the area of absence. Optimised Hot Spot Analysis was used to quantify spatial structure in the measured climatic variables. Generally, factors related to moisture stress set the environmental limits of V. germanica's landscape distribution. Due to the strong preference of nesting sites close to river courses, for higher rainfall conditions, medium to medium-high NDMI values, and lower mean annual temperatures, it is unlikely that V. germanica will be able to spread uniformly where it is currently found in South Africa.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Ricupero M, Biondi A, Russo A, et al (2021)

The Cotton Mealybug Is Spreading along the Mediterranean: First Pest Detection in Italian Tomatoes.

Insects, 12(8):.

The cotton mealybug Phenacoccus solenopsis Tinsley (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae) is an extremely polyphagous invasive pest that can cause serious damages to cultivated plants. The pest is native to America but invaded Asian and Mediterranean countries during the last decades. Tomato (Lycopersicon esculentum Mill., Solanaceae) is an economic relevant crop worldwide and its production can be threatened by numerous insect pests including P. solenopsis. We recorded for the first time P. solenopsis in association with tomato in greenhouse crops and urban landscapes in Sicily (Italy) during the fall season in 2020. The species was identified as P. solenopsis based on the morphological characters and DNA amplification of an ≈800 bp portion of mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (mtCOI) gene. The phylogenetic analysis among the obtained P. solenopsis mtCOI sequences with those already available in GenBank suggests Asian countries as a potential source of new introduction. This is the first record of P. solenopsis attacking tomato plants in Italy and may represent a potential threat for tomato production in Europe and nearby countries. For this reason, actions should be taken to avoid the uncontrolled spread of this alien species.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Vendetti JE, Sandig K, Sahakyan A, et al (2021)

Multiple Introductions of the Pestiferous Land Snail Theba pisana (Müller, 1774) (Gastropoda: Helicidae) in Southern California.

Insects, 12(8):.

The terrestrial land snail Theba pisana is circum-Mediterranean in native range and widely introduced and pestiferous in regions around the world. In California, USA, T. pisana has been recorded intermittently since 1914, but its source population(s) are unknown, and no morphological or molecular analyses within or between California populations have been published. Therefore, we compared molecular data (CO1, 16S, ITS2) and internal morphology (jaw, radula, reproductive system) in T. pisana collected from Los Angeles and San Diego counties in 2019-2020. DNA barcode (CO1 mtDNA) analysis revealed that T. pisana from Los Angeles County was most similar to T. pisana from the Mediterranean island of Malta, and northern San Diego County-collected specimens were most similar to T. pisana from Morocco. Morphology of the jaw and mucous glands also differed between Los Angeles and San Diego populations, but it is unclear if traits are lineage-specific or artifacts of ontogeny. Several pathways of introduction into Southern California are possible for this species, but evidence for intentional vs. accidental introduction of present populations is lacking. Subsequent investigation(s) could use the data generated herein to assess the provenance of T. pisana elsewhere in California and/or worldwide and inform analyses of reproductive biology and systematics in this widespread species.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Nijman V, Campera M, Imron MA, et al (2021)

The Role of the Songbird Trade as an Anthropogenic Vector in the Spread of Invasive Non-Native Mynas in Indonesia.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(8):.

The wildlife trade has facilitated the introduction of invasive non-native species, which may compete with native species for resources and alter ecosystems. Some of these species have great potential to become invasive if released or escaped from captivity. Here we studied the pet trade in a group of open countryside birds, the mynas (Acridotheres spp.) in Indonesia, and identified the areas that are at high risk of facing the establishment of these species. Mynas are among the most invasive birds in Southeast Asia. Once established in a new area, they are almost impossible to eradicate and can have strong negative impacts on the ecosystem. Preventing their introduction is therefore essential. Yet, invasive non-native mynas continue to be traded openly. We present data on the trade in seven species of mynas on Java, Bali and Lombok, with three species being native to parts of one or two of these islands, but not to the remainder, and four that are non-native to the region. From 2016 to 2021 we conducted 255 surveys of 30 animal markets. We recorded over 6000 mynas that were offered for sale outside their native range. Areas most at risk because of their high prevalence in specific animal markets, are Greater Jakarta, eastern Java, Bali and Lombok. The number of invasive non-native mynas recorded was positively related to the size of the animal market. Indonesia is signatory to several international agreements (CBD, ASEAN) that have policies and guidelines to prevent the introduction of invasive non-native species, but compliancy is weak. Annually hundreds and possibly thousands of invasive non-native mynas are released by Indonesian conservation authorities in regions that are outside their native range. Effective management of, and regulation of trade in, potential invasive non-native birds in Indonesia falls short and inadvertently greatly aids both their introduction and establishment.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Ruan X, Wang Z, Su Y, et al (2021)

Population Genomics Reveals Gene Flow and Adaptive Signature in Invasive Weed Mikania micrantha.

Genes, 12(8):.

A long-standing and unresolved issue in invasion biology concerns the rapid adaptation of invaders to nonindigenous environments. Mikania micrantha is a notorious invasive weed that causes substantial economic losses and negative ecological consequences in southern China. However, the contributions of gene flow, environmental variables, and functional genes, all generally recognized as important factors driving invasive success, to its successful invasion of southern China are not fully understood. Here, we utilized a genotyping-by-sequencing approach to sequence 306 M. micrantha individuals from 21 invasive populations. Based on the obtained genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data, we observed that all the populations possessed similar high levels of genetic diversity that were not constrained by longitude and latitude. Mikania micrantha was introduced multiple times and subsequently experienced rapid-range expansion with recurrent high gene flow. Using FST outliers, a latent factor mixed model, and the Bayesian method, we identified 38 outlier SNPs associated with environmental variables. The analysis of these outlier SNPs revealed that soil composition, temperature, precipitation, and ecological variables were important determinants affecting the invasive adaptation of M. micrantha. Candidate genes with outlier signatures were related to abiotic stress response. Gene family clustering analysis revealed 683 gene families unique to M. micrantha which may have significant implications for the growth, metabolism, and defense responses of M. micrantha. Forty-one genes showing significant positive selection signatures were identified. These genes mainly function in binding, DNA replication and repair, signature transduction, transcription, and cellular components. Collectively, these findings highlight the contribution of gene flow to the invasion and spread of M. micrantha and indicate the roles of adaptive loci and functional genes in invasive adaptation.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Heneidy SZ, Halmy MWA, Toto SM, et al (2021)

Pattern of Urban Flora in Intra-City Railway Habitats (Alexandria, Egypt): A Conservation Perspective.

Biology, 10(8):.

Intra-city railway areas are deemed large greenspaces and are believed to be key in enhancing the diversity and dynamics of urban flora. In the current study, the floristic composition and diversity along intra-city railway and tram tracks in Alexandria were surveyed. The floristic composition of the plant communities in relation to environmental factors, ecological indicators, and level of human impact was analyzed using multivariate analysis (two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN) for classification and detrended correspondence analysis (DECORANA) for ordination. The multivariate ordination techniques (CCA) revealed differences in the environmental factors and climatic factors influencing the floristic composition of the railway and tram track habitats. Tram tracks suffered higher human impact while maintaining higher vitality and cover compared to train tracks. Species recorded were mainly therophytes, followed by phanerophytes and hemicryptophytes dominated by native species; however, invasive species' contribution was higher compared to surrounding regions. The number of invasive species was greater in railway areas compared to tram track areas (19 and 15, respectively). The occurrence of two endemic species (Sinapis allionii and Sonchus macrocarpus) with limited national distribution highlights the importance of these habitats as valuable refuge areas for rare and endangered species worthy of conservation action.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Schuster RK, Specht P, S Rieger (2021)

On the Helminth Fauna of the Muskrat (Ondatra zibethicus (Linnaeus, 1766)) in the Barnim District of Brandenburg State/Germany.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(8):.

The muskrat is a neozoon species that has occupied many countries of continental North Europe after its introduction from north America as fur animals. Due to its burrowing activity it damages river and canal banks and structures of flood control. For this reason, the eradication of this alien species is recommended. Muskrats are also of parasitological interest since they can act as suitable intermediate hosts for Echinococcus multilocularis. On the other hand, little is known on the other helminths that infect muskrats. A total of 130 muskrats of different age groups trapped in different habitats in the Barnim district of the Brandenburg state by a professional hunter were examined for parasites and seven trematodes (Echinostoma sp., Notocotylus noyeri, Plagiorchis elegans, Plagiorchis arvicolae, Psilosostoma simillimum, P. spiculigerum, Opisthorchis felineus and four larval cestode species (Hydatigera taeniaeformis, Taenia martis, Taenia polyacantha, Taenia crassiceps) were detected. Larval stages of E. multilocularis were not found. O. felineus was found for the first time in muskrats in Germany. All the named parasites were present in Europe prior to the introduction of muskrats. With a prevalence of 48.9%, Strobilocercus fasciolaris, the larval stage of the cat tapeworm, H. taeniaeformis, was the most frequent parasite found in adult muskrats.

RevDate: 2021-08-30

Lemic D, Pajač Živković I, Šuliček M, et al (2021)

Exploratory Analysis of Color Forms' Variability in the Invasive Asian Lady Beetle Harmonia axyridis (Pallas 1773).

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(8):.

The Asian ladybird (Harmonia axyridis Pallas), native to Asia, is one of the 100 most invasive species in the world and has spread worldwide. This study aimed to characterize color forms of H. axyridis in Croatia and to analyze the variability of wing shape between populations and indicated forms. Geometric morphometric methods were used to analyze a total of 129 left and right wings in males and 126 left and right wings in females of H. axyridis collected from four different sites in Croatia. The results show a significant difference in wing shapes between the studied forms. Each form had its own specific morphotype that likely originated under the influence of genetic changes in the species. This study demonstrates that the use of geometric morphometric analysis is effective in studying the variability in H. axyridis populations. As this study is the first of its kind, for further clarity, it is necessary to conduct additional studies on a larger number of sites and an equal number of individuals of all forms.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

McGaw LJ, Omokhua-Uyi AG, Finnie JF, et al (2021)

Invasive alien plants and weeds in South Africa: A review of their applications in traditional medicine and potential pharmaceutical properties.

Journal of ethnopharmacology pii:S0378-8741(21)00793-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Traditional pharmacopoeias are constantly evolving and adapting, hence the assimilation of alien plants and weeds into traditional systems of healing. Invasive plants are detrimental to the ecosystem, however they are also potential sources of secondary metabolites with useful biological activities.

AIM OF THE REVIEW: The aim of this review was to investigate published reports of traditional use and biological activity of declared invasive alien plants and other weeds in South Africa.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Information was retrieved from scientific databases including Scopus, Web of Science, ScienceDirect, Google Scholar, PubMed, Chemical Abstracts Services and books, theses, dissertations and technical reports. Keywords used for the search engines were "South Africa" or "southern Africa" in conjunction with "(native weeds OR alien invasive)" AND "medicinal". Separate searches were conducted on the individual invasive plant species recorded as having been used in ethnobotanical surveys to determine their known biological activities and chemical components.

RESULTS: A total of 89 plant species regarded as invasive species or weeds in South Africa were identified as being used in traditional medicine. The most commonly mentioned plant family was the Asteraceae with a total of 15 species followed by the Fabaceae and Solanaceae with 6 species each. Of the 89 species recorded, 68% were reported to have traditional usage with both phytochemical and biological data available. A history of traditional usage coupled with biological data was available for 12% of species. Records of traditional usage alone were linked to 11% of species. Invasive alien species comprised 61% of recorded species, while native and non-invasive alien weeds formed the remaining 39%.

CONCLUSIONS: The exploration of alternative uses for weeds and particularly invasive plants, whether native or alien, as medicines for possible commercialisation may lead to innovative mechanisms for putting such species to good use.

RevDate: 2021-08-31
CmpDate: 2021-08-31

Kim SH, Kim DE, Lee H, et al (2021)

Ensemble evaluation of the potential risk areas of yellow-legged hornet distribution.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(9):601.

Invasion of alien species facilitated by climate change and human assistant is one of global threats that cause irreversible damages on the local flora and fauna. One of these issued species, Vespa velutina nigrithorax du Buysson, 1905 (Hymenoptera:Vespidae), is a significant threat to entomofauna, including honeybees, in the introduced regions. This wasp is still expanding its habitats, prioritizing the development of a reliable species distribution model based on recently updated occurrence data. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the potential areas that are climatically exposed to V. v. nigrithorax invasion globally and in South Korea, where the wasp has caused severe damage to local ecosystems and apiculture after its recent introduction. We developed a new global scale ensemble model based on CLIMEX and Maxent models and applied it to South Korea using field survey data. As a result, risky areas were predicted to be temperate and subtropical climate regions, including the eastern USA, western Europe, Far East Asia, and small areas in South America and Australia. In particular, South Korea has a high potential risk throughout the country. We expect that this study would provide fundamental data for monitoring the environmental risks caused by V. v. nigrithorax using advanced species distribution modeling.

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

Ortiz-Alvarado Y, Fernández-Casas R, Ortiz-Alvarado CA, et al (2021)

Behavioral flexibility in Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

Journal of insect science (Online), 21(4):.

Worker division of labor is a defining trait in social insects. Many species are characterized by having behavioral flexibility where workers perform non-typical tasks for their age depending on the colony's needs. Worker division of labor and behavioral flexibility were examined in the little fire ant Wasmannia auropunctata (Roger, 1863), for which age-related division of labor has been found. Young workers perform nursing duties which include tending of brood and queens, and colony defense, while older workers forage. When nurses were experimentally removed from the colony, foragers were observed carrying out nursing and colony defense duties, yet when foragers were removed nurses did not forage precociously. We also administered juvenile hormone analog, methoprene, to workers. When methoprene was applied, foragers increased their nursing and defense activities while nurses became mainly idle. The behavioral flexibility of foragers of the little fire ant may be evidence of an expansion of worker's repertoires as they age; older workers can perform tasks they have already done in their life while young individuals are not capable of performing tasks ahead of time. This may be an important adaptation associated with the success of this ant as an invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Baudry T, Gismondi E, Goût JP, et al (2021)

The invasive crayfish Cherax quadricarinatus facing chlordecone in Martinique: Bioaccumulation and depuration study.

Chemosphere, 286(Pt 3):131926 pii:S0045-6535(21)02398-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The redclaw crayfish, Cherax quadricarinatus, was introduced to Martinique Island for aquaculture purposes at the beginning of the 21st century, in an attempt to revitalize the freshwater crustacean aquaculture sector. Mainly due to its high economical value, it was intentionally released in the wild and was caught and sold by fishermen. Martinican rivers are polluted by chlordecone, considered as one of the worst Persistant Organic Pollutants (POP). Despite its dangerousness, it was used until 1993 in the French West Indies against a banana pest and was always found in the ecosystems. This study aimed to investigate the level of contamination in the muscle of crayfish caught in the wild, as well as the potential of bioconcentration and depuration in the C. quadricarinatus muscle. This study could allow us to quantify the risk for consumers but also, to evaluate a depuration process to reduce the risk related to its consumption. Using both in-vitro and in-situ experiments, results highlighted the importance of the chlordecone concentration in the water and the time of exposure to the pollutant. The bioconcentration seems to be very quick and continuous in crayfish muscle, as chlordecone can be detectable as early as 6 h of exposure, whatever the concentration tested. Finally, it appears that, even after 20 days of depuration in chlordecone-free water, chlordecone concentrations remained higher to the residual maximum limit (i.e. 20 ng/g wet weight), concluding that the decontamination of the muscle seems not very efficient, and the risk for the Martinican people could be serious.

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Ponce JJ, Arismendi I, A Thomas (2021)

Using in-situ environmental DNA sampling to detect the invasive New Zealand Mud Snail (Potamopyrgus antipodarum) in freshwaters.

PeerJ, 9:e11835.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection of aquatic invasive species is currently at the forefront of aquatic conservation efforts because the methodology provides a cost effective and sensitive means to detect animals at low densities. Developments in eDNA technologies have improved detection probabilities for rare, indicator, and invasive species over the past decade. However, standard lab analysis can take days or weeks before results are available and is prohibitive when rapid management decisions are required for mitigation. Here, we investigated the performance of a real-time quantitative PCR system for on-site eDNA detection of New Zealand mud snails (Potamopyrgus antipodarum). Six sites in western Washington, USA were sampled using the rapid eDNA technique and traditional methods, with five samples per site. On-site eDNA detection of mud snails resulted in a 10% increase in positive sites (16/30 = 53% positive) relative to visual surveys (13/30 = 43% positive). In addition, positive associations were observed between mud snail eDNA concentration (eDNA copies per reaction) and the number of mud snail individuals at each site (R 2 = 0.78). We show that the rapid on-site eDNA technology can be effective for detection and quantification of New Zealand mud snails in freshwaters. This on-site eDNA detection approach could possibly be used to initiate management protocols that allow for more rapid responses during the onset of biological invasions.

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Aires T, Stuij TM, Muyzer G, et al (2021)

Characterization and Comparison of Bacterial Communities of an Invasive and Two Native Caribbean Seagrass Species Sheds Light on the Possible Influence of the Microbiome on Invasive Mechanisms.

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:653998.

Invasive plants, including marine macrophytes, are one of the most important threats to biodiversity by displacing native species and organisms depending on them. Invasion success is dependent on interactions among living organisms, but their study has been mostly limited to negative interactions while positive interactions are mostly underlooked. Recent studies suggested that microorganisms associated with eukaryotic hosts may play a determinant role in the invasion process. Along with the knowledge of their structure, taxonomic composition, and potential functional profile, understanding how bacterial communities are associated with the invasive species and the threatened natives (species-specific/environmentally shaped/tissue-specific) can give us a holistic insight into the invasion mechanisms. Here, we aimed to compare the bacterial communities associated with leaves and roots of two native Caribbean seagrasses (Halodule wrightii and Thalassia testudinum) with those of the successful invader Halophila stipulacea, in the Caribbean island Curaçao, using 16S rRNA gene amplicon sequencing and functional prediction. Invasive seagrass microbiomes were more diverse and included three times more species-specific core OTUs than the natives. Associated bacterial communities were seagrass-specific, with higher similarities between natives than between invasive and native seagrasses for both communities associated with leaves and roots, despite their strong tissue differentiation. However, with a higher number of OTUs in common, the core community (i.e., OTUs occurring in at least 80% of the samples) of the native H. wrightii was more similar to that of the invader H. stipulacea than T. testudinum, which could reflect more similar essential needs (e.g., nutritional, adaptive, and physiological) between native and invasive, in contrast to the two natives that might share more environment-related OTUs. Relative to native seagrass species, the invasive H. stipulacea was enriched in halotolerant bacterial genera with plant growth-promoting properties (like Halomonas sp. and Lysinibacillus sp.) and other potential beneficial effects for hosts (e.g., heavy metal detoxifiers and quorum sensing inhibitors). Predicted functional profiles also revealed some advantageous traits on the invasive species such as detoxification pathways, protection against pathogens, and stress tolerance. Despite the predictive nature of our findings concerning the functional potential of the bacteria, this investigation provides novel and important insights into native vs. invasive seagrasses microbiome. We demonstrated that the bacterial community associated with the invasive seagrass H. stipulacea is different from native seagrasses, including some potentially beneficial bacteria, suggesting the importance of considering the microbiome dynamics as a possible and important influencing factor in the colonization of non-indigenous species. We suggest further comparison of H. stipulacea microbiome from its native range with that from both the Mediterranean and Caribbean habitats where this species has a contrasting invasion success. Also, our new findings open doors to a more in-depth investigation combining meta-omics with bacterial manipulation experiments in order to confirm any functional advantage in the microbiome of this invasive seagrass.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

McGruddy R, Howse MWF, Haywood J, et al (2021)

Nesting Ecology and Colony Survival of Two Invasive Polistes Wasps (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in New Zealand.

Environmental entomology pii:6357738 [Epub ahead of print].

We examined the abundance, nesting ecology, and colony survival of two invasive species of paper wasp, Polistes dominula Christ (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) and Polistes chinensis Pérez (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), within their invaded range in New Zealand. The more recent invader, P. dominula, exhibited a strong habitat preference, reaching the highest abundances within suburban areas with an average of 87.4 wasps per 1,000 m2. Coastal habitats were also found to be suitable environments for P. dominula, although wasp abundance in these areas was comparatively lower than suburban sites at 26.5 wasps per 1,000 m2. Although P. chinensis were observed to build more nests in coastal habitats, this was not reflected in the abundance of adult wasps in these areas. Nests of P. dominula were larger and more productive, likely a result of the multiple founding and earlier emergence of workers compared to P. chinensis. Both species exhibited significant differences in nest survival, with P. dominula observed to have a higher colony survival rate, particularly in suburban habitats where this species utilized man-made substrates as nesting sites. Neither species nested within forest sites and translocated nests of P. dominula failed to thrive within forest habitats. Findings of this research suggest that P. dominula will not pose a threat to species inhabiting forested areas. Instead, biodiversity managers should focus their efforts on suburban and coastal environments as native species in these areas will require the greatest protection.

RevDate: 2021-08-27
CmpDate: 2021-08-27

Ansari B, Altafa J, Ramzan A, et al (2021)

Molecular Phylogenetics of Physa acuta (Pulmonata: Basommatophora): an Invasive species in Central Punjab Pakistan.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 83:e246984 pii:S1519-69842023000100166.

Physids belong to Class Gastropoda; belong to Phylum Mollusca and being bioindicators, intermediate hosts of parasites and pests hold a key position in the ecosystem. There are three species of Genus Physa i.e. P. fontinalis, Physa acuta and P. gyrina water bodies of Central Punjab and were characterized on the basis of molecular markers High level of genetic diversity was revealed by polymorphic RAPD, however SSR markers were not amplified. The multivariate analysis revealed polymorphism ranging from 9.09 percent to 50 percent among the three Physid species. Total number of 79 loci were observed for the three species under study and 24 loci were observed to be polymorphic. These RAPD fragment(s) can be developed into co dominant markers (SCAR) by cloning and can be further sequenced for the development of the Physa species specific markers to identify the introduced and native species in Pakistan.

RevDate: 2021-08-27
CmpDate: 2021-08-27

Aziz S, Altaf J, Ramzan A, et al (2021)

Characterization of the species of genus Physa on the basis of typological species concept from Central Punjab.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 83:e246934 pii:S1519-69842023000100165.

Physids belong to Class Gastropoda; Phylum Mollusca have important position in food web and act as bio indicators, pests and intermediate host. Being resistant these are called cockroaches of malacology. Physid snails were collected from different water bodies of Faisalabad (Punjab) and were identified up to species using morphological markers. The morphometry of the specimens was carried out with the help of a digital Vernier caliper in millimeters (mm) using linear measurement of shell characters. Linear regression analysis of the AL/SW ratio vs AL and SL/SW ratio vs AL indicated that allometric growth exists only in Physa acuta when compared with P.gyrina and P. fontinalis. This study will lead to assess the status of the Physid species in Central Punjab. The Principal component analysis shows that the Component 1 (Shell Length) and component 2 (Shell Width) are the most prolific components and nearly 80 percent of the identification. The distance between P. acuta and P. fontinalis is 5.4699, P. acuta and P. gyrina is 7.6411, P. fontinalis and P. gyrina is 16.6080 showing that P. acuta resembles with P. fontinalis, and both these specimens donot resemble with P. gyrina. P.acuta is an invasive species and shows bioactivity making it a potent candidate for bioactive substances.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Tepolt CK, Grosholz ED, de Rivera CE, et al (2021)

Balanced polymorphism fuels rapid selection in an invasive crab despite high gene flow and low genetic diversity.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Adaptation across environmental gradients has been demonstrated in numerous systems with extensive dispersal, despite high gene flow and consequently low genetic structure. The speed and mechanisms by which such adaptation occurs remain poorly resolved, but are critical to understanding species spread and persistence in a changing world. Here, we investigate these mechanisms in the European green crab Carcinus maenas, a globally distributed invader. We focus on a northwestern Pacific population that spread across >12 degrees of latitude in 10 years from a single source, following its introduction <35 years ago. Using six locations spanning >1500 km, we examine genetic structure using 9376 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We find high connectivity among five locations, with significant structure between these locations and an enclosed lagoon with limited connectivity to the coast. Among the five highly connected locations, the only structure observed was a cline driven by a handful of SNPs strongly associated with latitude and winter temperature. These SNPs are almost exclusively found in a large cluster of genes in strong linkage disequilibrium that was previously identified as a candidate for cold tolerance adaptation in this species. This region may represent a balanced polymorphism that evolved to promote rapid adaptation in variable environments despite high gene flow, and which now contributes to successful invasion and spread in a novel environment. This research suggests an answer to the paradox of genetically depauperate yet successful invaders: populations may be able to adapt via a few variants of large effect despite low overall diversity.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Sato T, T Jogahara (2021)

Development and characterization of microsatellite markers in the small Indian mongoose (Urva auropunctata).

Molecular biology reports [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: The small Indian mongoose (Urva auropunctata) is one of the world's worst invasive alien species and eradication programs are ongoing worldwide. The development of individual and sex identification markers will improve their management.

METHODS AND RESULTS: We searched for novel mongoose microsatellite markers using genome-wide screening and identified 115,265 tetra-nucleotide repeat loci. Of 96 loci tested, 17 were genotyped in 28 mongooses from the Okinawa population. The genetic diversity analysis showed that the average expected and observed heterozygosity and number of alleles were 0.55, 0.56, and 2.94, respectively. Of 17 loci, one deviated from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium and six loci pairs were likely linked to each other. However, we succeed in identifying all individuals using all of the microsatellite loci. The novel sex identification markers worked successfully in a test using sex known samples.

CONCLUSION: Our novel microsatellite and sex identification markers should be useful in studies of individual identification and population genetics of the mongoose.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Weston LM, Mattingly KZ, Day CTC, et al (2021)

Potential local adaptation in populations of invasive reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea) across an urbanization gradient.

Ecology and evolution, 11(16):11457-11476.

Urban stressors represent strong selective gradients that can elicit evolutionary change, especially in non-native species that may harbor substantial within-population variability. To test whether urban stressors drive phenotypic differentiation and influence local adaptation, we compared stress responses of populations of a ubiquitous invader, reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea). Specifically, we quantified responses to salt, copper, and zinc additions by reed canary grass collected from four populations spanning an urbanization gradient (natural, rural, moderate urban, and intense urban). We measured ten phenotypic traits and trait plasticities, because reed canary grass is known to be highly plastic and because plasticity may enhance invasion success. We tested the following hypotheses: (a) Source populations vary systematically in their stress response, with the intense urban population least sensitive and the natural population most sensitive, and (b) plastic responses are adaptive under stressful conditions. We found clear trait variation among populations, with the greatest divergence in traits and trait plasticities between the natural and intense urban populations. The intense urban population showed stress tolerator characteristics for resource acquisition traits including leaf dry matter content and specific root length. Trait plasticity varied among populations for over half the traits measured, highlighting that plasticity differences were as common as trait differences. Plasticity in root mass ratio and specific root length were adaptive in some contexts, suggesting that natural selection by anthropogenic stressors may have contributed to root trait differences. Reed canary grass populations in highly urbanized wetlands may therefore be evolving enhanced tolerance to urban stressors, suggesting a mechanism by which invasive species may proliferate across urban wetland systems generally.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Adey AK, ER Larson (2021)

Testing the relationship between intraspecific competition and individual specialization across both behavior and diet.

Ecology and evolution, 11(16):11310-11322.

Individual specialization within populations is increasingly recognized as important in both ecology and evolution, but researchers working on intraspecific variation in behavior and diet infrequently interact. This may be because individual specialization on diet and behavior was historically difficult to investigate simultaneously on the same individuals. However, approaches like stable isotope analysis that allow hindcasting past field diets for laboratory organisms may provide opportunities to unite these areas of inquiry. Here, we tested the role of intraspecific competition on individual specialization through analysis of both behavior and diet simultaneously. We focused on intraspecific competition as a mechanism that might drive individual specialization of both diet and behavior. We conducted this study in Vilas County, Wisconsin, United States (US), using rusty crayfish Faxonius rusticus from six lakes across a relative abundance gradient. We conducted six assays to measure individual specialization of behavior and used stable isotope analysis to measure individual specialization of diet. We then related both measures of individual specialization to relative abundance of F. rusticus using linear and quadratic models. We found a unimodal relationship between intraspecific competition and individual specialization of diet for F. rusticus, likely because some preferred resources are unavailable to specialize on at the highest densities of this well-studied crayfish invader. Conversely, we found greater support for a linear relationship between individual specialization of behavior and intraspecific competition, perhaps because specialization by behavior is not inherently resource-limited. Our results show that dietary and behavioral specialization may exhibit different responses to increased intraspecific competition, and demonstrate a potential technique that can be used to investigate individual specialization of diet and behavior simultaneously for the same individuals and populations.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Narimanov N, Hatamli K, MH Entling (2021)

Prey naïveté rather than enemy release dominates the relation of an invasive spider toward a native predator.

Ecology and evolution, 11(16):11200-11206.

Ecosystems may suffer from the impact of invasive species. Thus, understanding the mechanisms contributing to successful invasions is fundamental for limiting the effects of invasive species. Most intuitive, the enemy release hypothesis predicts that invasive species might be more successful in the exotic range than resident sympatric species owing to the absence of coevolution with native enemies. Here, we test the enemy release hypothesis for the invasion of Europe by the North American spider Mermessus trilobatus. We compare the susceptibility of invasive Mermessus trilobatus and a native species with similar life history to a shared predator with which both species commonly co-occur in Europe. Contrary to our expectations, invasive Mermessus trilobatus were consumed three times more frequently by native predators than their native counterparts. Our study shows that invasive Mermessus trilobatus is more sensitive to a dominant native predator than local sympatric species. This suggests that the relation between the invasive spider and its native predator is dominated by prey naïveté rather than enemy release. Further studies investigating evolutionary and ecological processes behind the invasion success of Mermessus trilobatus, including testing natural parasites and rapid reproduction, are needed to explain its invasion success in Europe.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Minett JF, Garcia de Leaniz C, Sobolewska H, et al (2021)

SNP analyses and acoustic tagging reveal multiple origins and widespread dispersal of invasive brown trout in the Falkland Islands.

Evolutionary applications, 14(8):2134-2144.

Biological invasions are important causes of biodiversity loss, particularly in remote islands. Brown trout (Salmo trutta) have been widely introduced throughout the Southern Hemisphere, impacting endangered native fauna, particularly galaxiid fishes, through predation and competition. However, due to their importance for sport fishing and aquaculture farming, attempts to curtail the impacts of invasive salmonids have generally been met with limited support and the best prospects for protecting native galaxiids is to predict where and how salmonids might disperse. We analysed 266 invasive brown trout from 14 rivers and ponds across the Falkland Islands as well as 32 trout from three potential source populations, using a panel of 592 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and acoustic tagging, to ascertain their origins and current patterns of dispersal. We identified four genetically distinct clusters with high levels of genetic diversity and low admixture, likely reflecting the different origins of the invasive brown trout populations. Our analysis suggests that many trout populations in the Falklands may have originated from one of the donor populations analysed (River Wey). The highest genetic diversity was observed in the rivers with the greatest number of introductions and diverse origins, while the lowest diversity corresponded to a location without documented introductions, likely colonized by natural dispersal. High levels of gene flow indicated widespread migration of brown trout across the Falkland Islands, likely aided by anadromous dispersal. This is supported by data from acoustically tagged fish, three of which were detected frequently moving between two rivers ~26 km apart. Our results suggest that, without containment measures, brown trout may invade the last remaining refuges for the native endangered Aplochiton spp. We provide new insights into the origin and dispersal of invasive brown trout in the Falkland Islands that can pave the way for a targeted approach to limit their impact on native fish fauna.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Kruitwagen A, Wertheim B, LW Beukeboom (2021)

Artificial selection for nonreproductive host killing in a native parasitoid on the invasive pest, Drosophila suzukii.

Evolutionary applications, 14(8):1993-2011.

Establishment and spread of invasive species can be facilitated by lack of natural enemies in the invaded area. Host-range evolution of natural enemies augments their ability to reduce the impact of the invader and could enhance their value for biological control. We assessed the potential of the Drosophila parasitoid, Leptopilina heterotoma (Hymenoptera: Figitidae), to exploit the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii by focusing on three performance indices: (i) attack rate; (ii) host killing, consisting of killing rate and lethal attack rate (killing efficiency); and (iii) successful offspring development (reproductive success). We found significant intraspecific variation in attack rate and killing rate and lethal attack rate among seven European populations, but offspring generally failed to successfully develop from the D. suzukii host. We crossed these European lines to create a genetically variable source population and performed a half-sib analysis to quantify genetic variation. Using a Bayesian animal model, we found that attack rate and killing rate had a heritability of h 2 = 0.2 , lethal attack rate h 2 = 0.4 , and offspring development h 2 = 0 . We then artificially selected wasps with the highest killing rate of D. suzukii for seven generations to test whether host-killing could be improved. There was a small and inconsistent response to selection in the three selection lines. Realized heritability (h r 2) after four generations of selection was 0.17 but near zero after seven generations of selection. The genetic response might have been masked by an increased D. suzukii fitness resulting from adaptation to laboratory conditions. Our study reveals that native, European, L. heterotoma can attack the invasive pest, D. suzukii and significantly reduce fly survival and that different steps of the parasitization process need to be considered in the evolution of host-range. It highlights how evolutionary principles can be applied to optimize performance of native species for biological control.

RevDate: 2021-09-03

Urbańska M, Kamocki A, Kirschenstein M, et al (2021)

The Chinese pond mussel Sinanodonta woodiana demographically outperforms European native mussels.

Scientific reports, 11(1):17058.

Unionid mussels are essential for the integrity of freshwater ecosystems but show rapid worldwide declines. The large-sized, thermophilic Chinese pond mussel Sinanodonta woodiana s.l., however, is a successful global invader, spread with commercially traded fish encysted with mussel larvae; its negative impacts on native mussels are expected. Here, we exploit a natural experiment provided by a simultaneous introduction of S. woodiana and four species of native unionids for water filtration to a pond in north-eastern Poland. Sinanodonta woodiana established a self-sustaining population and persisted for 19 years in suboptimal thermal conditions (mean annual temperature, 7.4 °C; mean temperature of the coldest month, - 3.7 °C, 73-day mean yearly ice-formation), extending the known limits of its cold tolerance. Over four study years, its frequency increased, and it showed higher potential for population growth than the native mussels, indicating possible future dominance shifts. Outbreaks of such sleeper populations are likely to be triggered by increasing temperatures. Additionally, our study documents the broad tolerance of S. woodiana concerning bottom sediments. It also points to the importance of intentional introductions of adult individuals and the bridgehead effect facilitating its further spread. We argue that S. woodiana should be urgently included in invasive species monitoring and management programmes.

RevDate: 2021-08-31

Poznańska-Kakareko M, Wiśniewski K, Szarmach D, et al (2021)

Importance of substratum quality for potential competitive niche overlap between native and invasive unionid mussels in Europe.

The Science of the total environment, 799:149345 pii:S0048-9697(21)04418-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Infaunal freshwater mussels are highly threatened and declining worldwide. One of the potential threats to mussels consists of biological invasions. We intended to investigate the habitat overlap and behavioural differences between native (Unio pictorum, Unio tumidus, Anodonta anatina, Anodonta cygnea) and invasive (Asian Sinanodonta woodiana) unionid bivalves to determine potential sources of competition. Furthermore, we investigated differences between S. woodiana from the established population in artificially heated waters and from the recent population in a natural thermal regime. We used pairwise choice tests on mud, medium, coarse and very coarse sand, mixture of medium and coarse sand, fine, medium and coarse gravel, and observed mussel locomotion and burrowing in preferred and non-preferred substrata. All species generally preferred fine-grained materials. The widest preference range was exhibited by S. woodiana (both populations), whereas A. cygnea was the most selective. The preferences of the cold-water population of S. woodiana were shifted towards coarser materials compared to conspecifics from the heated waters, and highly overlapped with the preferences of the native species. Anodonta cygnea most often moved horizontally and spent the shortest time deeply burrowed. Both Unio species were deeply burrowed for the largest amount of time and the horizontal locomotion of U. tumidus was the lowest among the test species. Sinanodonta woodiana, especially from the heated water population, exhibited relatively weak locomotion (compared to A. cygnea) and burrowing (compared to Unio spp. and A. anatina). Deep burrowing was more common on fine-grained materials. Our results suggest that the native mussels can be threatened by S. woodiana due to their overlapping habitat preferences, potentially hindering habitat separation. However, mobile native mussels may be capable of migrating and avoiding competition. Accumulating knowledge of the biology and ecology of freshwater mussels could contribute to the creation and improvement of conservation plans to protect these threatened animals.

RevDate: 2021-09-21
CmpDate: 2021-09-21

Nishizawa F, Kubo T, Koyama A, et al (2021)

Disconnection between conservation awareness and outcome: Identifying a bottleneck on non-native species introduction via footwear.

Journal of environmental management, 298:113439.

Unintentional seed introduction mediated by visitor's clothing and footwear is a major source of biological invasion into natural areas. To effectively avert these unintentional introductions, we must understand the links that connect relevant knowledge and desired outcome (i.e., seeds not carried on visitor's belongings); however, until now, these links have not been examined. Here, we investigated the links among a visitor's knowledge about biological invasion, awareness of biological invasion, behavior to prevent introduction (cleaning footwear), and being a seed carrier to identify a potential bottleneck between visitor knowledge and ecological outcome. In order to achieve this, we conducted a questionnaire survey and soil sampling from the footwear of visitors to an alpine national park. Soil samples (n = 344) were subjected to a germination experiment, and the number of emerged seedlings was recorded for each sample. We observed seedlings emerging from 27 soil samples (7.8 % of visitors; 44 seedlings in total), comprising non-native species. The degree of a visitor's knowledge about biological invasion increased with the increase in the degree of awareness. However, the high degree of awareness was not linked with the actual behavior of cleaning their footwear before the visit, although footwear cleaning effectively reduced the number of emerged seedlings. We found the lack of a clear association between awareness and behavior (cleaning the footwear) to be the bottleneck. We also investigated the major sources of knowledge about human-mediated seed introduction from footwear and found that television was the most important information source. The key to effectively preventing negative impacts on ecosystems caused by the introduction of non-native species could be to revise methods for informing the community, which will help overcome the bottleneck between awareness and behavior.

RevDate: 2021-08-23

Edery S, Elias R, Shiva C, et al (2021)

Cutaneous Bacteria of Confiscated Telmatobius Culeus in Lima, Peru.

Journal of wildlife diseases pii:469620 [Epub ahead of print].

The Lake Titicaca frog is endangered due to threats such as water pollution, introduced species, and overharversting for markets, where people consume them as frog juice. This study, conducted June to November 2012, aimed to determinate the bacteria microflora living on the skin of frogs confiscated from the La Parada market, Lima, Peru, and housed individually in the Laboratory of Wildlife at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and Zootechnic of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima, Peru. Samples collected with sterile swabs and cultured on blood, tryptic soy, and MacConkey agars were investigated using commercially available test kits, to investigate the commonly encountered bacterial and potentially zoonotic microorganisms associated with their consumption. We found three species of zoonotic concern in the genus Vibro: Vibrio alginolyticus, Vibro cholerae, and Vibro fluvialis. Other Gram-negative species cultured included two different colonies of Aeromonas hydrophila, or Aeromonas caviae or Aeromonas sobria; Pseudomona luteola; one example of Weeksella virosa or Empedobacter brevis; and Citrobacter freundii. Gram-positive bacteria detected were Staphylococcus spp., Micrococcus spp., and Erysipelothrix rhusiopathiae. We recommend against the consumption of this frog due to the pathogens it may carry that could cause serious illness among consumers and in vendors who handle animals.

RevDate: 2021-09-02
CmpDate: 2021-09-02

Wagener C, Kruger N, J Measey (2021)

Progeny of Xenopus laevis from altitudinal extremes display adaptive physiological performance.

The Journal of experimental biology, 224(7):.

Environmental temperature variation generates adaptive phenotypic differentiation in widespread populations. We used a common garden experiment to determine whether offspring with varying parental origins display adaptive phenotypic variation related to different thermal conditions experienced in parental environments. We compared burst swimming performance and critical thermal limits of African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis) tadpoles bred from adults captured at high (∼2000 m above sea level) and low (∼ 5 m above sea level) altitudes. Maternal origin significantly affected swimming performance. Optimal swimming performance temperature (Topt) had a >9°C difference between tadpoles with low altitude maternal origins (pure- and cross-bred, 35.0°C) and high-altitude maternal origins (pure-bred, 25.5°C; cross-bred, 25.9°C). Parental origin significantly affected critical thermal (CT) limits. Pure-bred tadpoles with low-altitude parental origins had higher CTmax (37.8±0.8°C) than pure-bred tadpoles with high-altitude parental origins and all cross-bred tadpoles (37.0±0.8 and 37.1±0.8°C). Pure-bred tadpoles with low-altitude parental origins and all cross-bred tadpoles had higher CTmin (4.2±0.7 and 4.2±0.7°C) than pure-bred tadpoles with high-altitude parental origins (2.5±0.6°C). Our study shows that the varying thermal physiological traits of Xenopus laevis tadpoles are the result of adaptive responses to their parental thermal environments. This study is one of few demonstrating potential intraspecific evolution of critical thermal limits in a vertebrate species. Multi-generation common garden experiments and genetic analyses would be required to further tease apart the relative contribution of plastic and genetic effects to the adaptive phenotypic variation observed in these tadpoles.

RevDate: 2021-09-10

Bremer K, Yasuo H, Debes PV, et al (2021)

The alternative oxidase (AOX) increases sulphide tolerance in the highly invasive marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis.

The Journal of experimental biology, 224(16):.

Ecological communities and biodiversity are shaped by both abiotic and biotic factors. This is well illustrated by extreme environments and invasive species. Besides naturally occurring sulphide-rich environments, global change can lead to an increase in hydrogen sulphide episodes that threaten many multicellular organisms. With the increase in the formation, size and abundance of oxygen minimum zones and hypoxic environments, bacterial-associated sulphide production is favoured and, as such, hydrogen-sulphide-rich environments are likely to also increase in size and abundance. Many species are challenged by the inhibiting effect of sulphide on aerobic energy production via cytochrome c oxidase, ultimately causing the death of the organism. Interestingly, many protist, yeast, plant and also animal species possess a sulphide-resistant alternative oxidase (AOX). In this study, we investigated whether AOX is functionally involved in the sulphide stress response of the highly invasive marine tunicate Ciona intestinalis. At the LC50, the sulphide-induced reduction of developmental success was three times stronger in AOX knock-down embryos than in control embryos. Further, AOX mRNA levels were higher under sulphide than under control conditions, and this effect increased during embryonic development. Together, we found that AOX is indeed functionally involved in the sulphide tolerance of C. intestinalis embryos, hence, very likely contributing to its invasive potential; and that the response of AOX to sulphide seems to be controlled at the transcriptional level. We suggest that AOX-possessing species play an important role in shaping marine ecological communities, and this importance may increase under ongoing global change.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Mlinarić S, Begović L, Tripić N, et al (2021)

Evaluation of Light-Dependent Photosynthetic Reactions in Reynoutria japonica Houtt. Leaves Grown at Different Light Conditions.

Frontiers in plant science, 12:612702.

The Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica Houtt.) is considered as one of the most aggressive and highly successful invasive plants with a negative impact on invaded habitats. Its uncontrolled expansion became a significant threat to the native species throughout Europe. Due to its extensive rhizome system, rapid growth, and allelopathic activity, it usually forms monocultures that negatively affect the nearby vegetation. The efficient regulation of partitioning and utilization of energy in photosynthesis enables invasive plants to adapt rapidly a variety of environmental conditions. Therefore, we aimed to determine the influence of light conditions on photosynthetic reactions in the Japanese knotweed. Plants were grown under two different light regimes, namely, constant low light (CLL, 40 μmol/m2/s) and fluctuating light (FL, 0-1,250 μmol/m2/s). To evaluate the photosynthetic performance, the direct and modulated chlorophyll a fluorescence was measured. Plants grown at a CLL served as control. The photosynthetic measurements revealed better photosystem II (PSII) stability and functional oxygen-evolving center of plants grown in FL. They also exhibited more efficient conversion of excitation energy to electron transport and an efficient electron transport beyond the primary electron acceptor QA, all the way to PSI. The enhanced photochemical activity of PSI suggested the formation of a successful adaptive mechanism by regulating the distribution of excitation energy between PSII and PSI to minimize photooxidative damage. A faster oxidation at the PSI side most probably resulted in the generation of the cyclic electron flow around PSI. Besides, the short-term exposure of FL-grown knotweeds to high light intensity increased the yield induced by downregulatory processes, suggesting that the generation of the cyclic electron flow protected PSI from photoinhibition.

RevDate: 2021-08-24

Trejo M, Bhuyar P, Unpaprom Y, et al (2021)

Advancement of fermentable sugars from fresh elephant ear plant weed for efficient bioethanol production.

Environment, development and sustainability [Epub ahead of print].

Bioethanol is considered one of the most promising next-generation automotive fuels, as it is carbon neutral and can be produced from renewable resources, like lignocellulosic materials. The present research investigation aimed to utilize the elephant ear plant, a hazardous plant (weed) also considered an invasive species, as a font of non-edible lignocellulosic biomass for bioethanol production. The freshly collected elephant ear plant (leaves and stalk) was chopped into small pieces (1-2 cm) and then homogenized to a paste using a mechanical grinder. The sample pretreatment was done by flying ash for three different time durations (T1 = 0 min, T2 = 15 min, and T3 = 30 min) with 3 replications. All treatment samples were measured for total sugar and reducing sugar content. The concentration of reducing sugar archived was T1 = 0.771 ± 0.1 mg/mL, T2 = 0.907 ± 0.032 mg/mL, and T3 = 0.895 ± 0.039 mg/mL, respectively. The results revealed that the chemical composition was different among treatments. The hydrolysis was performed using cellulase enzymes at 35 °C for the hydrolysis process. The hydrolysate was inoculated with 1% of S. cerevisiae and maintained at room temperature without oxygen for 120 h. Bioethanol concentration was measured by using an ebulliometer. The efficient ethanol percentage was 1.052 ± 0.03 mg/mL achieved after the fermentation. Therefore, the elephant ear plant invasive weed could be an efficient feedstock plant for future bioethanol production.

RevDate: 2021-08-22

Bonnamour A, Gippet JMW, C Bertelsmeier (2021)

Insect and plant invasions follow two waves of globalisation.

Globalisation has facilitated the spread of alien species, and some of them have significant impacts on biodiversity and human societies. It is commonly thought that biological invasions have accelerated continuously over the last centuries, following increasing global trade. However, the world experienced two distinct waves of globalisation (~1820-1914, 1960-present), and it remains unclear whether these two waves have influenced invasion dynamics of many species. To test this, we built a statistical model that accounted for temporal variations in sampling effort. We found that insect and plant invasion rates did not continuously increase over the past centuries but greatly fluctuated following the two globalisation waves. Our findings challenge the idea of a continuous acceleration of alien species introductions and highlight the association between temporal variations in trade openness and biological invasion dynamics. More generally, this emphasises the urgency of better understanding the subtleties of socio-economic drivers to improve predictions of future invasions.

RevDate: 2021-08-22

Albright MBN, Louca S, Winkler DE, et al (2021)

Solutions in microbiome engineering: prioritizing barriers to organism establishment.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

Microbiome engineering is increasingly being employed as a solution to challenges in health, agriculture, and climate. Often manipulation involves inoculation of new microbes designed to improve function into a preexisting microbial community. Despite, increased efforts in microbiome engineering inoculants frequently fail to establish and/or confer long-lasting modifications on ecosystem function. We posit that one underlying cause of these shortfalls is the failure to consider barriers to organism establishment. This is a key challenge and focus of macroecology research, specifically invasion biology and restoration ecology. We adopt a framework from invasion biology that summarizes establishment barriers in three categories: (1) propagule pressure, (2) environmental filtering, and (3) biotic interactions factors. We suggest that biotic interactions is the most neglected factor in microbiome engineering research, and we recommend a number of actions to accelerate engineering solutions.

RevDate: 2021-09-12

Inderjit , Simberloff D, Kaur H, et al (2021)

Novel chemicals engender myriad invasion mechanisms.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Non-native invasive species (NIS) release chemicals into the environment that are unique to the invaded communities, defined as novel chemicals. Novel chemicals impact competitors, soil microbial communities, mutualists, plant enemies, and soil nutrients differently than in the species' native range. Ecological functions of novel chemicals and differences in functions between the native and non-native ranges of NIS are of immense interest to ecologists. Novel chemicals can mediate different ecological, physiological, and evolutionary mechanisms underlying invasion hypotheses. Interactions amongst the NIS and resident species including competitors, soil microbes, and plant enemies, as well as abiotic factors in the invaded community are linked to novel chemicals. However, we poorly understand how these interactions might enhance NIS performance. New empirical data and analyses of how novel chemicals act in the invaded community will fill major gaps in our understanding of the chemistry of biological invasions. A novel chemical-invasion mechanism framework shows how novel chemicals engender invasion mechanisms beyond plant-plant or plant-microorganism interactions.

RevDate: 2021-08-28

Arnesen CH, F Rosell (2021)

Pest detection dogs for wood boring longhorn beetles.

Scientific reports, 11(1):16887.

Invasive alien species are increasing due to globalization. Their spread has resulted in global economic losses. Asian [Anoplophora glabripennis (Motschulsky)] (ALB) and citrus [A. chinensis (Forster)] (CLB) longhorn beetles are two introduced wood borers which contribute to these economic losses e.g. the destruction of tree plantations. Early detection is key to reduce the ecological influence alongside the detrimental and expensive eradication. Dogs (Canis lupus familiaris) can detect these insects, potentially at an early stage. We trained two privately owned dogs to investigate their use as detection tools. We tested the dog's ability to discriminate ALB and CLB from native wood borers by carrying out double-blind and randomized experiments in three search conditions; (1) laboratory, (2) semi-field and (3) standardized field. For condition one, a mean sensitivity of 80%, specificity of 95% and accuracy of 92% were achieved. For condition two and three, a mean sensitivity of 88% and 95%, specificity of 94% and 92% and accuracy of 92% and 93% were achieved. We conclude that dogs can detect all types of traces and remains of ALB and CLB and discriminate them from native wood borers and uninfested wood, but further tests on live insects should be initiated.

RevDate: 2021-09-16

Birzu G, Hallatschek O, KS Korolev (2021)

Genealogical structure changes as range expansions transition from pushed to pulled.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(34):.

Range expansions accelerate evolution through multiple mechanisms, including gene surfing and genetic drift. The inference and control of these evolutionary processes ultimately rely on the information contained in genealogical trees. Currently, there are two opposing views on how range expansions shape genealogies. In invasion biology, expansions are typically approximated by a series of population bottlenecks producing genealogies with only pairwise mergers between lineages-a process known as the Kingman coalescent. Conversely, traveling wave models predict a coalescent with multiple mergers, known as the Bolthausen-Sznitman coalescent. Here, we unify these two approaches and show that expansions can generate an entire spectrum of coalescent topologies. Specifically, we show that tree topology is controlled by growth dynamics at the front and exhibits large differences between pulled and pushed expansions. These differences are explained by the fluctuations in the total number of descendants left by the early founders. High growth cooperativity leads to a narrow distribution of reproductive values and the Kingman coalescent. Conversely, low growth cooperativity results in a broad distribution, whose exponent controls the merger sizes in the genealogies. These broad distribution and non-Kingman tree topologies emerge due to the fluctuations in the front shape and position and do not occur in quasi-deterministic simulations. Overall, our results show that range expansions provide a robust mechanism for generating different types of multiple mergers, which could be similar to those observed in populations with strong selection or high fecundity. Thus, caution should be exercised in making inferences about the origin of non-Kingman genealogies.


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