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25 Sep 2020 at 01:46
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 25 Sep 2020 at 01:46 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2020-09-24

Roche MD, Pearse IS, Bialic-Murphy L, et al (2020)

Negative effects of an allelopathic invader on AM fungal plant species drive community-level responses.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The mechanisms causing invasive species impact are rarely empirically tested, limiting our ability to understand and predict subsequent changes in invaded plant communities. Invader disruption of native mutualistic interactions is a mechanism expected to have negative effects on native plant species. Specifically, disruption of native plant-fungal mutualisms may provide non-mycorrhizal plant invaders an advantage over mycorrhizal native plants. Invasive Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) produces secondary chemicals toxic to soil microorganisms including mycorrhizal fungi, and is known to induce physiological stress and reduce population growth rates of native forest understory plant species. Here, we report on a 10-year manipulative field experiment in replicated forest plots testing if the effects of removal of garlic mustard on the plant community support the mutualism disruption hypothesis within the entire understory herbaceous community. We compare community responses for two functional groups: the mycorrhizal vs. the non-mycorrhizal plant communities. Our results show that garlic mustard weeding alters the community composition, decreases community evenness, and increases the abundance of understory herbs that associate with mycorrhizal fungi. Conversely, garlic mustard has no significant effects on the non-mycorrhizal plant community. Consistent with the mutualism disruption hypothesis, our results demonstrate that allelochemical producing invaders modify the plant community by disproportionately impacting mycorrhizal plant species. We also demonstrate the importance of incorporating causal mechanisms of biological invasion to elucidate patterns and predict community-level responses.

RevDate: 2020-09-24

Cornelissen B, Neumann P, JD Ellis (2020)

Successful Pupation of Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae), in Greenhouse Substrates.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5911039 [Epub ahead of print].

The small hive beetle, Aethina tumida Murray, is an invasive pest that has spread globally. Western honey bees, Apis mellifera Linnaeus (Hymenoptera: Apidae), are considered the most important host and infestations can lead to collapse of colonies. Larvae feed on honey, pollen, and brood inside the hive and leave the hive as postfeeding wandering larvae to pupate in the surrounding soil. Other host species include bumble bees, stingless bees, and solitary bees, all of which can facilitate small hive beetle reproduction and are used for greenhouse crop pollination worldwide. Here, we investigated if small hive beetles can complete their life cycle when soil is absent by pupating in plant root-supporting substrates commonly used in greenhouses. Wandering small hive beetle larvae were introduced into containers with coconut fiber, perlite, a mixture of both and stone wool substrates to investigate pupation success and development time. Sand was used as control substrate. In all but one substrate (perlite), small hive beetles developed into adults equally well as they did in the sand. Development time ranged between 23 and 37 d and was not different from that of the control. We showed that small hive beetles can pupate in greenhouse substrates. This could constitute a problem for greenhouse pollination as well as it could facilitate small hive beetle survival in areas which otherwise would be deemed unsuitable or marginal environments for small hive beetles to become established. Our study highlights the opportunistic nature of the small hive beetle as an invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-09-24

Fu JY, Zhao H, Bao JX, et al (2020)

Establishment of the hairy root culture of Echium plantagineum L. and its shikonin production.

3 Biotech, 10(10):429.

Echium plantagineum L. (Boraginaceae) is an invasive species in Australia and contains medicinal shikonins in its roots. In this study, the hairy root lines of E. plantagineum were established using Agrobacterium rhizogenes strain ATCC15834 and confirmed by the amplification of the rolB gene. Results showed significant difference in shikonin production between the hairy root lines in the 1/2B5 and M9 media. The biomass of the lines in the 1/2B5 medium was fivefold of that in the M9 medium. However, the components of detected shikonins were similar in these two liquid media. By contrast, different accumulation profiles appeared in the hairy root lines. HPLC analysis revealed the presence of nine possible related compounds, including shikonins, and acetylshikonin was the most abundant shikonin derivative. The content of acetylshikonin in the 1/2B5 medium (36.25 mg/L on average) was twofold of that in the M9 medium. Our results showed that the hairy root cultures of E. plantagineum can be used in enhancing the production of potential pharmaceutical compounds, such as acetylshikonin.

RevDate: 2020-09-24

Hyndman TH, Algar KL, Woodward AP, et al (2020)

Estradiol-17β Pharmacokinetics and Histological Assessment of the Ovaries and Uterine Horns following Intramuscular Administration of Estradiol Cypionate in Feral Cats.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 10(9): pii:ani10091708.

The control of feral cats (Felis catus) in Australia is a key biological conservation issue. Male cats are more difficult to control than female cats. Collared and tagged female cats displaying estrous behavior have been considered as a way to lure male cats and reveal their locations. As female cats are seasonal breeders, artificial induction of estrous behavior following the administration of a long-acting estrogen could improve their use for this purpose. Estradiol cypionate was intramuscularly administered to nine entire non-pregnant female feral cats, of unknown estrous status, at 0.1, 0.3, or 0.5 mg/kg. Mean peak serum concentrations of estradiol-17β were 365 pg/mL (0.1 mg/kg), 1281 pg/mL (0.3 mg/kg), and 1447 pg/mL (0.5 mg/kg). The time-course of estradiol-17β concentrations after various doses of estradiol cypionate was assessed using non-compartmental and non-linear mixed-effects methods. At the highest-studied dose (0.5 mg/kg), the 50th percentile of estradiol-17β concentrations exceeded 0.1 ng/mL for 11.8 days, and 0.05 ng/mL for 14.6 days. The duration increased with increasing dose. No signs of toxicity were noticed in any cat during the study. This information will be useful to ongoing studies that are investigating ways to reduce the abundance of feral cats in Australia, especially adult male cats.

RevDate: 2020-09-24
CmpDate: 2020-09-24

Kwon O, MB Choi (2020)

Interspecific hierarchies from aggressiveness and body size among the invasive alien hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax, and five native hornets in South Korea.

PloS one, 15(7):e0226934.

The range of the invasive alien hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax, has been expanding since its introduction to Korea in 2003. Here, we compare the aggressive behaviors and body size of V. velutina nigrithorax with five native hornet species to identify the interspecific hierarchies that influence the rate of spread of this species. Aggressive behaviors were classified into 11 categories, and each interaction was scored as a win, loss, or tie. We found that V. velutina was superior to V. simillima in fights that V. velutina won and showed a high incidence of threatening behavior. V. mandarinia outperformed V. velutina in fights that V. mandarinia won and grappling behavior was common. V. analis was superior to V. velutina in fights that V. analis won and showed a high degree of threatening behavior. V. crabro was superior to V. velutina in fights that V. crabro won and showed a high rate of threatening behavior. V. dybowskii was superior to V. velutina in fights that V. dybowskii won and showed a high incidence of threatening and grappling behaviors. The body size of V. velutina was greater than V. simillima (although not statistically significant) and smaller than all other Vespa species. Therefore, according to this study, the low interspecific hierarchies of V. velutina seem to be a major cause of the slower spread in Korea than in Europe. However, over time, its density has gradually increased within the forest, where it seems to be overcoming its disadvantages and expanding its range, possibly because the large colonies and good flying abilities of this species help it secure food.

RevDate: 2020-09-24
CmpDate: 2020-09-24

Farnworth B, Meitern R, Innes J, et al (2019)

Increasing predation risk with light reduces speed, exploration and visit duration of invasive ship rats (Rattus rattus).

Scientific reports, 9(1):3739.

Exploiting predation cues to deter pests remains an untapped management tool for conservationists. We examined foraging and movement patterns of 20 wild ship rats (Rattus rattus) within a large, outdoor 'U maze' that was either illuminated or dark to assess if light (an indirect predation cue) could deter rodents from ecologically vulnerable locations. Light did not alter rats' foraging behaviour (latency to approach seed tray, visits to seed tray, time per visit to seed tray, total foraging duration, foraging rate) within the experimental resource patch but three of seven movement behaviours were significantly impaired (53% fewer visits to the maze, 70% less exploration within the maze, 40% slower movement within the maze). The total time males spent exposed to illumination also declined by 45 minutes per night, unlike females. Individual visits tended to be longer under illumination, but the latency to visit and the latency to cross through the U maze were unaffected by illumination. Elevating predation risk with illumination may be a useful pest management technique for reducing ship rat activity, particularly in island ecosystems where controlling mammalian predators is paramount to preserving biodiversity.

RevDate: 2020-09-23

Rodriguez C, Simon V, Conget P, et al (2020)

Both quiescent and proliferating cells circulate in the blood of the invasive apple snail Pomacea canaliculata.

Fish & shellfish immunology pii:S1050-4648(20)30649-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Gastropod hematopoiesis occurs at specialized tissues in some species, but the evidence also suggests that hemocyte generation is maybe widespread in the connective tissues or the blood system in others. In Ampullariidae (Caenogastropoda), both the kidney and the lung contain putative hematopoietic cells, which react to immune challenges. In the current study, we wanted to explore if hematopoiesis occurs in the blood of Pomacea canaliculata. Thus, we obtained circulating hemocytes from donor animals and tested their ability to proliferate in the blood of conspecific recipients. We tracked cell proliferation by labeling the donors' hemocytes with the fluorescent cell proliferation marker carboxyfluorescein diacetate succinimidyl ester (CFSE). Transferred CFSE-labeled hemocytes survived and proliferated into the recipients' circulation for at least 17 days. We also determined the cell cycle status of circulating hemocytes by using the propidium iodide (PI) and acridine orange (AO) staining methods. Flow cytometry analyses showed that most PI-stained hemocytes were in the G1 phase (∼96%), while a lower proportion of cells were through the G2/S-M transition (∼4%). When we instead used AO-staining, we further distinguished a subpopulation of cells (∼5%) of low size, complexity-granularity, and RNA content. We regarded this subpopulation as quiescent cells. In separate experimental sets, we complemented these findings by assessing in circulating hemocytes two evolutionary conserved features of quiescent, undifferentiated cells. First, we used JC-1 staining to determine the mitochondrial membrane potential (Ψm) of circulating hemocytes, which is expected to be low in quiescent cells. Most hemocytes (∼87%) showed high aggregation of JC-1, which indicates a high Ψm. Besides that, a small hemocyte subpopulation (∼11%) showed low aggregation of the dye, thus indicating a low Ψm. It is known that the transition from a quiescent to a proliferating state associates with an increase of the Ψm. The specificity of these changes was here controlled by membrane depolarization with the Ψm disruptor CCCP. Second, we stained hemocytes with Hoechst33342 dye to determine the efflux activity of ABC transporters, which participate in the multixenobiotic resistance system characteristic of undifferentiated cells. Most hemocytes (>99%) showed a low dye-efflux activity, but a small proportion of cells (0.06-0.12%) showed a high dye-efflux activity, which was significantly inhibited by 100 and 500 μM verapamil, and thus is indicative of an undifferentiated subpopulation of circulating hemocytes. Taken together, our results suggest that, among circulating hemocytes, there are cells with the ability to proliferate or to stay in a quiescent state and behave as progenitor cells later, either in the circulation or the hematopoietic tissues/organs.

RevDate: 2020-09-23

Romanowski J, Ceryngier P, Vĕtrovec J, et al (2020)

Endemics Versus Newcomers: The Ladybird Beetle (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) Fauna of Gran Canaria.

Insects, 11(9): pii:insects11090641.

Research on the fauna of beetles (Coleoptera) of the Canary Islands has a long tradition, which enables tracking changes in their species composition and arrival of new species. In this paper, we provide new faunistic data on the ladybird beetles (Coccinellidae) recorded on Gran Canaria, one of the central islands of the archipelago, and then analyze available information on the Gran Canarian ladybird fauna from geographical and historical points of view. The field survey resulted in recording 1402 ladybird individuals belonging to 30 species. Ten of these species were new to Gran Canaria and three of them, Chilocorus bipustulatus (Linnaeus), Nephus bisignatus (Boheman), and Nephus ulbrichi Fürsch, had not previously been reported to be on any of the islands of the Canarian archipelago. Tetrabrachys tinerfensis (Hodgson) is synonymized with T. deserticola (Wollaston). Our survey and literature reports allowed us to recognize 42 species of Coccinellidae so far recorded on Gran Canaria. Seventeen of them (40%) belonged to the Canarian endemic and subendemic species, and 21 (50%) were newcomers and presumed newcomers. Colonization of Gran Canaria and other islands of the archipelago by ladybird species of various origins seems to be a frequent phenomenon that may pose a threat to the unique communities of the native Canarian species.

RevDate: 2020-09-23

Zhang Q, Chen G, Huang J, et al (2020)

Comparison of the Ability to Control Water Loss in the Detached Leaves of Wedelia trilobata, Wedelia chinensis, and Their Hybrid.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9): pii:plants9091227.

In the process of biological invasion, hybridization between invasive species and native species is very common, which may lead to the formation of hybrids with a stronger adaptability. The hybrid of Wedelia trilobata (an alien invasive species) and Wedelia chinensis (an indigenous congener) has been found in South China. In our previous study, we found that the hybrid showed heterosis under cadmium stress. However, the results of this experiment demonstrated that the leaves of the hybrid had no heterosis in controlling water loss. The results showed that the water loss rate of W. trilobata was the slowest, that of W. chinensis was the fastest, and that of the hybrid was in the middle. Compared with W. chinensis and the hybrid, W. trilobata accumulated more abscisic acid (ABA) in leaves to control water loss. After the leaves were detached, W. chinensis leaves suffered the most serious damage, the lowest maximum photochemical efficiency, the most serious membrane lipid peroxidation, and the largest accumulation of malondialdehyde and reactive oxygen species. Compared with W. chinensis and its hybrid, the leaves of W. trilobata could accumulate more antioxidant enzymes and antioxidants, and the total antioxidant capacity was the strongest. The results demonstrate that the ability of the hybrid to reduce water loss was lower than that of W. trilobata, but higher than that of W. chinensis. They showed that the drought resistance of the hybrid may be higher than that of W. chinensis, and it might threaten the survival of W. chinensis.

RevDate: 2020-09-23
CmpDate: 2020-09-23

Titelboim D, Almogi-Labin A, Herut B, et al (2019)

Thermal tolerance and range expansion of invasive foraminifera under climate changes.

Scientific reports, 9(1):4198 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-40944-5.

The Eastern Mediterranean is experiencing a large-scale invasion of alien tropical species from the Red Sea. This "Lessepsian invasion" began with the opening of the Suez Canal and is promoted by the ongoing oceanic warming. The environmental differences between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean act as a buffer allowing the invasion of certain species. This provides an opportunity to study the differences in temperature sensitivity between two sibling species of the cosmopolitian foraminifera Amphistegina. Both species are very common in the Red Sea. Whilest, only one is a successful invader and the other is absent in the Eastern Mediterranean. Here we show that the two species are different in their temperature sensitivity, which explains their selective invasion into the Mediterranean. These differences demonstrate that in respect to climate change resilient marine species can be distinguished by their ability to compensate for temperature changes by adjusting their physiological performance and by having tolerance to a wider temperature range. Moreover, we demonstrate that selective filtering mechanisms during invasion can prefer species that are more resilient to colder rather than expected warmer temperatures.

RevDate: 2020-09-22

Crandall SG, Gold KM, Jiménez-Gasco MDM, et al (2020)

A multi-omics approach to solving problems in plant disease ecology.

PloS one, 15(9):e0237975 pii:PONE-D-20-20253.

The swift rise of omics-approaches allows for investigating microbial diversity and plant-microbe interactions across diverse ecological communities and spatio-temporal scales. The environment, however, is rapidly changing. The introduction of invasive species and the effects of climate change have particular impact on emerging plant diseases and managing current epidemics. It is critical, therefore, to take a holistic approach to understand how and why pathogenesis occurs in order to effectively manage for diseases given the synergies of changing environmental conditions. A multi-omics approach allows for a detailed picture of plant-microbial interactions and can ultimately allow us to build predictive models for how microbes and plants will respond to stress under environmental change. This article is designed as a primer for those interested in integrating -omic approaches into their plant disease research. We review -omics technologies salient to pathology including metabolomics, genomics, metagenomics, volatilomics, and spectranomics, and present cases where multi-omics have been successfully used for plant disease ecology. We then discuss additional limitations and pitfalls to be wary of prior to conducting an integrated research project as well as provide information about promising future directions.

RevDate: 2020-09-22

Mason CJ, Walsh B, Keller J, et al (2020)

Fidelity and Timing of Spotted Lanternfly (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) Attack Patterns on Ornamental Trees in the Suburban Landscape.

Environmental entomology pii:5909896 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive herbivores can have dramatic impacts in new environments by altering landscape composition, displacing natives, and causing plant decline and mortality. One of the most recent invasive insects in the United States, the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), has the potential to cause substantial economic and environmental impacts in agriculture and forestry. Spotted lanternfly exhibits a broad host range, yet reports of late-season movement from the surrounding landscapes onto select tree species in suburban environments have been reported. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the fidelity of spotted lanternfly attack on specific, individual trees within the same species during this movement period. In 2018 and 2019, we observed that individual red (Acer rubrum L. [Sapindales: Sapindaceae]) and silver maple (Acer saccharinum L. [Sapindales: Sapindaceae]) trees were preferentially attacked over other nearby trees of the same species. Foliar elemental composition was a good predictor of spotted lanternfly attack numbers, indicating that individual variation in nutrients may influence spotted lanternfly attraction to and/or retention on maple trees. Our data also confirm reports of late-season movement from surrounding landscapes throughout autumn. Collectively, our results show that spotted lanternfly exhibits some fidelity to particular trees in the landscape during this movement period. While other potential mechanisms also contribute to host plant selection by spotted lanternfly, our data show that host nutritional profiles influence spotted lanternfly infestation of suburban trees at the landscape scale. Our data establish that late-season infestations of suburban trees by spotted lanternfly occurred and that variation in host quality should be further considered in the management of this invasive insect pest.

RevDate: 2020-09-22

Olden JD, Whattam E, SA Wood (2020)

Online auction marketplaces as a global pathway for aquatic invasive species.

Hydrobiologia pii:4407 [Epub ahead of print].

The ornamental aquarium pet trade is a leading pathway for the introduction of aquatic invasive species. In addition to purchasing live organisms in stores, hobbyists are engaging more with alternative informal online marketplaces that enable peer-to-peer selling of aquarium organisms via auctions. Although growing in popularity, little is known regarding the global extent of informal marketplaces, including the taxonomy of species that are traded, their economic value, and the geographic routes by which live organisms are transported. In this study we use an automated web crawler to collect data on completed auctions between 2011 and 2017 from the largest informal market for aquarium hobbyists, AquaBid, to understand the market dynamics and trade flows of the informal retail market online. During the 7-year study period, the AquaBid website facilitated the estimated trade of 539,548 live freshwater animals, 579,700 fish eggs, and 31,431 plant assortments/bunches among 24,409 unique users who collectively placed 444,132 bids on 192,227 auctions, representing a total sale value of $6,015,030 USD. Source (seller) and recipient (buyer) locations of live organisms were distributed across 39 countries but concentrated largely in major cities of the United States and select European and southeast Asian countries. Our study is among the first to quantify geographic routes of live organism transport between specific locations on the landscape and demonstrates the highly diffuse and non-centralized nature of the informal aquarium trade. Evaluating the emerging challenges represented by informal online retail marketplaces is critical to create policy and regulatory solutions that minimize the transport of prohibited invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-09-21

Barrett LT, Swearer SE, T Dempster (2020)

Native predator limits the capacity of an invasive seastar to exploit a food-rich habitat.

Marine environmental research, 162:105152 pii:S0141-1136(20)30687-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Biodiverse ecosystems are sometimes inherently resistant to invasion, but environmental change can facilitate invasion by disturbing natural communities and providing resources that are underutilised by native species. In such cases, sufficiently abundant native predators may help to limit invasive population growth. We studied native and invasive seastars feeding under two mussel aquaculture sites in south-east Australia, to determine whether food-rich farm habitats are likely to be reproductive hotspots for the invasive seastar (Asterias amurensis) and whether the larger native seastar (Coscinasterias muricata) reduces the value of the farms for the invader. We found that invaders were not significantly more abundant inside the farms, despite individuals residing within the farms having higher body condition metrics and reproductive investment than those outside. By contrast, the native seastar was 25 × more abundant inside the two farms than outside. We observed several intraguild predation events and an absence of small invaders at the farms despite reports of high larval recruitment to these environments, consistent with some level of biotic control by the native predator. A laboratory choice experiment showed that invaders were strongly attracted to mussels except when the native predator was present. Together, these findings indicate that a combination of predation and predator evasion may play a role in reducing the value of food-rich anthropogenic habitats for this invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-09-21

Kumar JPPJ, Ragumaran S, Nandagopal G, et al (2020)

Green method of stemming the tide of invasive marine and freshwater organisms by natural filtration of shipping ballast water.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-020-10839-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine and freshwater pollution caused by transport of invasive species in shipping ballast water is a major global problem and will increase in magnitude as shipping of commodities increases in the future. An economical method to preclude biological organisms in the seawater used for ballast is to exclude them at the source port. Integrated natural filtration using onshore wells or seabed gallery systems has been thoroughly investigated for use as pretreatment for seawater desalination systems and has proven to be environmentally acceptable and economic. Thus, the use of this proven filtration technology to another issue, ballast water treatment, is an innovative method of providing marine organism free seawater by non-destructive means in port-based facilities. This method is ecosystem-friendly in that no chemicals or destructive processes are used. Design and construction of well or seabed gallery intake systems for production of ballast seawater are feasible in virtually all global port facilities.

RevDate: 2020-09-21

Wang W, Liu X, Ferreira-Rodríguez N, et al (2020)

Demographic and genetic characterization of harvested Corbicula fluminea populations.

PeerJ, 8:e9657 pii:9657.

The freshwater clam Corbicula fluminea s.l. is an edible freshwater bivalve of economic value in Asia. The species has been particularly well studied in the invaded range. However, there is a lack of knowledge in its native range where it supports an increasing commercial harvest pressure. Among Asiatic countries, China accounts for 70% of known commercial harvest and aquaculture production. We aim to characterize here wild C. fluminea s.l populations exposed to commercial harvest pressure in Poyang Lake Basin. We found higher biomass, density and genetic diversity in lake populations compared to peripheral populations (i.e., lake tributaries). Given that lake habitats support more intense harvest pressure than peripheral habitats, we suggest that demographic and genetic differentiation among subpopulations may be influenced in some degree by different harvest pressure. In this regard, additional demographic and/or genetic changes related to increasing harvest pressure may place population at a higher risk of extirpation. Altogether, these results are especially relevant for maintaining populations at or above viable levels and must be considered in order to ensure the sustainability of the resource.

RevDate: 2020-09-21

Nascimento CES, da Silva CAD, Leal IR, et al (2020)

Seed germination and early seedling survival of the invasive species Prosopis juliflora (Fabaceae) depend on habitat and seed dispersal mode in the Caatinga dry forest.

PeerJ, 8:e9607 pii:9607.

Background: Biological invasion is one of the main threats to tropical biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Prosopis juliflora (Sw) DC. (Fabales: Fabaceae: Caesalpinioideae) was introduced in the Caatinga dry forest of Northeast Brazil at early 1940s and successfully spread across the region. As other invasive species, it may benefit from the soils and seed dispersal by livestock. Here we examine how seed dispersal ecology and soil conditions collectively affect seed germination, early seedling performance and consequently the P. juliflora invasive potential.

Methods: Seed germination, early seedling survival, life expectancy and soil attributes were examined in 10 plots located across three habitats (flooding plain, alluvial terrace and plateau) into a human-modified landscape of the Caatinga dry forest (a total of 12,000 seeds). Seeds were exposed to four seed dispersal methods: deposition on the soil surface, burial in the soil, passed through cattle (Boss taurus) digestive tracts and mixed with cattle manure and passed through mule (Equus africanus asinus × Equus ferus caballus) digestive tracts and mixed with mule manure. Seeds and seedlings were monitored through a year and their performance examined with expectancy tables.

Results: Soils differed among habitats, particularly its nutrient availability, texture and water with finely-textured and more fertile soils in the flooding plain. Total seed germination was relatively low (14.5%), with the highest score among seeds buried in the flooding plain (47.4 ± 25.3%). Seed dispersal by cattle and mule also positively impacted seed germination. Early seedling survival rate of P. juliflora was dramatically reduced with few seedlings still alive elapsed a year. Survival rate was highest in the first 30 days and declined between 30 and 60 days with stabilization at 70 days after germination in all seed treatments and habitats. However, survival and life expectancy were higher in the flooding plain at 75 days and lower in the plateau. Prosopis juliflora seedling survival and life expectancy were higher in the case seeds were mixed with cattle manure.

Synthesis: Prosopis juliflora seeds and seedlings are sensitive to water stress and habitat desiccation. Therefore, they benefit from the humid soils often present across human-disturbed flooding plains. This plant also benefits from seed deposition/dispersal by livestock in these landscapes, since cattle manure represents a nutrient-rich and humid substrate for both seeds and seedlings. The quality of the seed dispersal service varies among livestock species, but this key mutualism between exotic species is due to the arillate, hard-coated and palatable seeds. Prosopis juliflora traits allow this species to take multiple benefits from human presence and thus operating as a human commensal.

RevDate: 2020-09-21

Arismendi I, Penaluna BE, CG Jara (2020)

Introduced beaver improve growth of non-native trout in Tierra del Fuego, South America.

Ecology and evolution, 10(17):9454-9465 pii:ECE36636.

Species introductions threaten ecosystem function worldwide, and interactions among introduced species may amplify their impacts. Effects of multiple invasions are still poorly studied, and often, the mechanisms underlying potential interactions among invaders are unknown. Despite being a remote and well-conserved area, the southern portion of South America has been greatly impacted by invasions of both the American beaver (Castor canadensis) and Brown Trout (Salmo trutta fario). Here, we compared growth, condition, diet, and stable isotopes of sulfur δ34S, nitrogen δ15N, and carbon δ13C for stream-living Brown Trout from streams with (n = 6) and without (n = 6) beaver in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. We show that beaver may facilitate the success of trout by positively influencing fish growth. Beaver indirectly provide greater food subsidies (i.e., macroinvertebrate abundances) by modifying the local aquatic environment through active dam and lodge building suggesting a one-way positive interaction. Trout in beaver-influenced streams occupied a slightly higher trophic level with more depleted sulfur and carbon isotopic ratios suggesting that food web pathways rely on secondary production from autochthonous origin. Trout in beaver-influenced streams had a wider dietary breadth with diptera and amphipoda as the prey items providing most of the energy, whereas in streams without beaver, trichoptera were the main source of energy for trout. Ultimately, we find that these two species, which have never co-occurred naturally, bring about the same ecosystem function and the beneficial influences in their native ranges as in invaded systems.

RevDate: 2020-09-21

Perez-Correa J, Carr P, Meeuwig JJ, et al (2020)

Climate oscillation and the invasion of alien species influence the oceanic distribution of seabirds.

Ecology and evolution, 10(17):9339-9357 pii:ECE36621.

Spatial and temporal distribution of seabird transiting and foraging at sea is an important consideration for marine conservation planning. Using at-sea observations of seabirds (n = 317), collected during the breeding season from 2012 to 2016, we built boosted regression tree (BRT) models to identify relationships between numerically dominant seabird species (red-footed booby, brown noddy, white tern, and wedge-tailed shearwater), geomorphology, oceanographic variability, and climate oscillation in the Chagos Archipelago. We documented positive relationships between red-footed booby and wedge-tailed shearwater abundance with the strength in the Indian Ocean Dipole, as represented by the Dipole Mode Index (6.7% and 23.7% contribution, respectively). The abundance of red-footed boobies, brown noddies, and white terns declined abruptly with greater distance to island (17.6%, 34.1%, and 41.1% contribution, respectively). We further quantified the effects of proximity to rat-free and rat-invaded islands on seabird distribution at sea and identified breaking point distribution thresholds. We detected areas of increased abundance at sea and habitat use-age under a scenario where rats are eradicated from invaded nearby islands and recolonized by seabirds. Following rat eradication, abundance at sea of red-footed booby, brown noddy, and white terns increased by 14%, 17%, and 3%, respectively, with no important increase detected for shearwaters. Our results have implication for seabird conservation and island restoration. Climate oscillations may cause shifts in seabird distribution, possibly through changes in regional productivity and prey distribution. Invasive species eradications and subsequent island recolonization can lead to greater access for seabirds to areas at sea, due to increased foraging or transiting through, potentially leading to distribution gains and increased competition. Our approach predicting distribution after successful eradications enables anticipatory threat mitigation in these areas, minimizing competition between colonies and thereby maximizing the risk of success and the conservation impact of eradication programs.

RevDate: 2020-09-19

Welles SR, JL Funk (2020)

Patterns of intraspecific trait variation along an aridity gradient suggest both drought escape and drought tolerance strategies in an invasive herb.

Annals of botany pii:5908820 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: In water limited landscapes, some plants build structures that enable them to survive with minimal water (drought resistance). Instead of making structures that allow for survival through times of water limitation, annual plants may invoke a drought escape strategy where they complete growth and reproduction when water is available. Drought escape and resistance each require a unique combination of traits and, therefore, plants are likely to have a suite of trait values that are consistent with a single drought response strategy. In environments where conditions are variable, plants may additionally evolve phenotypically plastic trait responses to water availability. Invasive annual species commonly occur in arid and semi-arid environments and many will be subject to reduced water availability associated with climate change. Assessing intraspecific trait variation across environmental gradients is a valuable tool for understanding how invasive plants establish and persist in arid environments.

METHODS: In this study, we used a common garden experiment with two levels of water availability to determine how traits related to carbon assimilation, water use, biomass allocation, and flowering phenology vary in California wild radish populations across an aridity gradient.

KEY RESULTS: We found that populations from arid environments have rapid flowering and increased allocation to root biomass; traits associated with both drought escape and tolerance. Early flowering was associated with higher leaf nitrogen concentration and lower leaf mass per area; traits associated with high resource acquisition. While trait values varied across low- and high-water treatments, these shifts were consistent across populations indicating no differential plasticity across the aridity gradient.

CONCLUSIONS: While previous studies have suggested that drought escape and drought resistance are mutually exclusive drought response strategies, our findings suggest that invasive annuals may employ both strategies to succeed in novel semi-arid environments. As many regions are expected to become more arid in the future, investigations of intraspecific trait variation within low water environments help to inform our understanding of potential evolutionary responses to increased aridity in invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-09-19

Daane KM, Yokota GY, Walton VM, et al (2020)

Development of a Mating Disruption Program for a Mealybug, Planococcus ficus, in Vineyards.

Insects, 11(9): pii:insects11090635.

The vine mealybug (VMB), Planococcus ficus (Hemiptera: Pseudococcidae), is a key insect pest of vineyards, and improvements in sustainable control of this pest are needed to meet increasing consumer demand for organically farmed products. One promising option is mating disruption. In a series of experiments conducted from 2004 to 2007, we tested the effects of mating disruption on trap captures of Pl. ficus males in pheromone-baited traps, on Pl. ficus numbers and age structure on vines, and on damage to grape clusters. From 2004 to 2005, the effects of dispenser load (mg active ingredient per dispenser) were also assessed, and dispensers were compared to a flowable formulation. Across all trials, mating disruption consistently reduced pheromone trap captures and often reduced mealybug numbers on vines and/or crop damage, regardless of the pheromone dose that was applied. Reductions in Pl. ficus densities in mating disruption plots were not accompanied by clear effects on mealybug population age structure; however, production of non-viable ovisacs by unmated females may have obscured differences in proportional representation of ovisacs. Pheromone trap captures were never lowered to zero (often called trap shut down), possibly because trials were conducted in vineyards with unusually high Pl. ficus densities. Trap-capture patterns in both treated and control plots commonly began low in April-May, increased in mid-July or August, and often decreased in September-October when post-harvest insecticides were applied. During the four-year trial, the release rate from plastic sachet dispensers was improved by industry cooperators as pheromone was released too quickly (2004) or not completely released during the season (2005-2006). The flowable formulation performed slightly better than dispensers at the same application dose. Results over all years suggest season-long coverage or late-season coverage may be as or more important than dose per hectare. Development of a dispenser with optimized season-long pheromone emission or targeted seasonal periods should be a future goal.

RevDate: 2020-09-18
CmpDate: 2020-09-16

Tambo JA, Kansiime MK, Mugambi I, et al (2020)

Understanding smallholders' responses to fall armyworm (Spodoptera frugiperda) invasion: Evidence from five African countries.

The Science of the total environment, 740:140015.

Fall armyworm (FAW) is a new invasive pest that is causing devastating effects on maize production and threatening the livelihoods of millions of poor smallholders across sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Using unique survey data from 2356 maize-growing households in Ghana, Rwanda, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, we examined how smallholder farmers are fighting this voracious pest. In particular, we assessed the FAW management strategies used by smallholders, socio-economic factors driving the choice of the management options, the complementarities or tradeoffs among the management options, and the (un)safe pesticide use practices of farmers. Results showed that smallholder farm households have adopted a variety of cultural, physical, chemical and local options to mitigate the effects of FAW, but the use of synthetic pesticides remains the most popular option. Results from multivariate probit regressions indicated that the extensive use of synthetic pesticides is driven by household asset wealth, and access to subsidised farm inputs and extension information. We observed that farm households are using a wide range of pesticides, including highly hazardous and banned products. Unfortunately, a majority of the households do not use personal protective equipment while handling the pesticides, resulting in reports of acute pesticide-related illness. Our findings have important implications for policies and interventions aimed at promoting environmentally friendly and sustainable ways of managing invasive pests in smallholder farming systems.

RevDate: 2020-09-18
CmpDate: 2020-09-18

Dallimore T, Goodson D, Batke S, et al (2020)

A potential global surveillance tool for effective, low-cost sampling of invasive Aedes mosquito eggs from tyres using adhesive tape.

Parasites & vectors, 13(1):91.

BACKGROUND: The international movement of used tyres is a major factor responsible for global introductions of Aedes invasive mosquitoes (AIMs) (Diptera: Culicidae) that are major disease vectors (e.g. dengue, Zika, chikungunya and yellow fever). Surveillance methods are restricted by expense, availability and efficiency to detect all life stages. Currently, no tested method exists to screen imported used tyres for eggs in diapause, the life stage most at risk from accidental introduction. Here we test the efficiency of adhesive tape as an affordable and readily available material to screen tyres for eggs, testing its effect on hatch rate, larval development, DNA amplification and structural damage on the egg surface.

RESULTS: We demonstrated that the properties of adhesive tape can influence pick up of dormant eggs attached to dry surfaces. Tapes with high levels of adhesion, such as duct tape, removed eggs with high levels of efficiency (97% ± 3.14). Egg numbers collected from cleaned used tyres were found to explain larval hatch rate success well, particularly in subsequent larval to adult emergence experiments. The strength of this relationship decreased when we tested dirty tyres. Damage to the exochorion was observed following scanning electron microscopy (SEM), possibly resulting in the high variance in the observed model. We found that five days was the optimal time for eggs to remain on all tested tapes for maximum return on hatch rate success. Tape type did not inhibit amplification of DNA of eggs from three, five or ten days of exposure. Using this DNA, genotyping of AIMs was possible using species-specific markers.

CONCLUSIONS: We demonstrated for the first time that adhesive tapes are effective at removing AIM eggs from tyres. We propose that this method could be a standardised tool for surveillance to provide public health authorities and researchers with an additional method to screen tyre cargo. We provide a screening protocol for this purpose. This method has a global applicability and in turn can lead to increased predictability of introductions and improve screening methods at high risk entry points.

RevDate: 2020-09-18
CmpDate: 2020-09-18

Landa BB, Castillo AI, Giampetruzzi A, et al (2020)

Emergence of a Plant Pathogen in Europe Associated with Multiple Intercontinental Introductions.

Applied and environmental microbiology, 86(3):.

Pathogen introductions have led to numerous disease outbreaks in naive regions of the globe. The plant pathogen Xylella fastidiosa has been associated with various recent epidemics in Europe affecting agricultural crops, such as almond, grapevine, and olive, but also endemic species occurring in natural forest landscapes and ornamental plants. We compared whole-genome sequences of X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex from America and strains associated with recent outbreaks in southern Europe to infer their likely origins and paths of introduction within and between the two continents. Phylogenetic analyses indicated multiple introductions of X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex into Italy, Spain, and France, most of which emerged from a clade with limited genetic diversity with a likely origin in California, USA. The limited genetic diversity observed in X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex strains originating from California is likely due to the clade itself being an introduction from X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex populations in the southeastern United States, where this subspecies is most likely endemic. Despite the genetic diversity found in some areas in Europe, there was no clear evidence of recombination occurring among introduced X. fastidiosa strains in Europe. Sequence type taxonomy, based on multilocus sequence typing (MLST), was shown, at least in one case, to not lead to monophyletic clades of this pathogen; whole-genome sequence data were more informative in resolving the history of introductions than MLST data. Although additional data are necessary to carefully tease out the paths of these recent dispersal events, our results indicate that whole-genome sequence data should be considered when developing management strategies for X. fastidiosa outbreaks.IMPORTANCEXylella fastidiosa is an economically important plant-pathogenic bacterium that has emerged as a pathogen of global importance associated with a devastating epidemic in olive trees in Italy associated with X. fastidiosa subspecies pauca and other outbreaks in Europe, such as X. fastidiosa subspecies fastidiosa and X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex in Spain and X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex in France. We present evidence of multiple introductions of X. fastidiosa subspecies multiplex, likely from the United States, into Spain, Italy, and France. These introductions illustrate the risks associated with the commercial trade of plant material at global scales and the need to develop effective policy to limit the likelihood of pathogen pollution into naive regions. Our study demonstrates the need to utilize whole-genome sequence data to study X. fastidiosa introductions at outbreak stages, since a limited number of genetic markers does not provide sufficient phylogenetic resolution to determine dispersal paths or relationships among strains that are of biological and quarantine relevance.

RevDate: 2020-09-17

Sumiyama D, Hayashida I, Kanazawa T, et al (2020)

Prevalence and antimicrobial-resistance profiles of Salmonella spp. isolated from green anoles (Anolis carolinensis) collected on the Haha-jima of the Ogasawara archipelago, Japan.

The Journal of veterinary medical science [Epub ahead of print].

We investigated the prevalence of Salmonella enterica and its antimicrobial resistance from 79 green anoles, the invasive alien species inhabits Haha-jima of the Ogasawara archipelago. Samples were collected during the period between 2009 and 2010. The resistance of S. enterica of these samples against 12 common antimicrobial agents was also determined. Salmonella strains, including serovar Oranienburg and Aberdeen, were detected from the large intestines of 30.4% of 79 green anole samples. And 37.5% of which were resistant to Oxytetracycline. This study suggests that green anoles may play an important role of the infection of S. enterica on this island. Attention is needed from the aspect of public and ecological health.

RevDate: 2020-09-17

Tareau MA, Bonnefond A, Palisse M, et al (2020)

Phytotherapies in motion: French Guiana as a case study for cross-cultural ethnobotanical hybridization.

Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 16(1):54 pii:10.1186/s13002-020-00404-1.

BACKGROUND: French Guiana is characterized by a very multicultural population, made up of formerly settled groups (Amerindians, Maroons, Creoles) and more recent migrants (mostly from Latin America and the Caribbean). It is the ideal place to try to understand the influence of intercultural exchanges on the composition of medicinal floras and the evolution of phytotherapies under the effect of cross-culturalism.

METHODS: A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods was used. Semi-directive interviews were conducted in 12 localities of French Guiana's coast between January 2016 and June 2017, and the responses to all closed questions collected during the survey were computerized in an Excel spreadsheet to facilitate quantitative processing. Herbarium vouchers were collected and deposited at the Cayenne Herbarium to determine Linnaean names of medicinal species mentioned by the interviewees. A list of indicator species for each cultural group considered was adapted from community ecology to this ethnobiological context, according to the Dufrêne-Legendre model, via the "labdsv" package and the "indval" function, after performing a redundancy analysis (RDA).

RESULTS: A total of 205 people, belonging to 15 distinct cultural groups, were interviewed using semi-structured questionnaires. A total of 356 species (for 106 botanical families) were cited. We observed that pantropical and edible species hold a special place in these pharmacopeias. If compared to previous inventories, 31 recently introduced species can be counted. Furthermore, this study shows that the majority of the plants used are not specific to a particular group but shared by many communities. However, despite this obvious cross-culturalism of medicinal plants between the different cultural communities of French Guiana, divergent trends nevertheless appear through the importance of 29 indicator/cultural keystone species in 10 cultural groups. Finally, we have emphasized that the transmission of herbal medicine's knowledge in French Guiana is mainly feminine and intra-cultural.

CONCLUSION: French Guianese medicinal flora is undoubtedly related to the multiple cultures that settled this territory through the last centuries. Cultural pharmacopeias are more hybrid than sometimes expected, but cultural keystone species nevertheless arise from a common background, allowing to understand, and define, the relationships between cultural groups.

RevDate: 2020-09-17
CmpDate: 2020-09-17

Kołodziejek J (2019)

Growth and competitive interaction between seedlings of an invasive Rumex confertus and of co-occurring two native Rumex species in relation to nutrient availability.

Scientific reports, 9(1):3298.

Rumex confertus is an alien invasive perennial plant that has increased its range rapidly within central Europe in the last 100 years. This study examined the effects of a commercial fertilizer on the competition between the invasive Rumex confertus and two non-invasive native species R. acetosa or R. conglomeratus in terms of morphological and physiological traits and relative yield. All three Rumex species were grown in the open field with two levels of nutrient availability in field plots. Competition and fertilizer had significant effects on height, relative growth rate (RGR), specific leaf area (SLA) as well as shoot and root biomass of all three species. The fertilized plants had high macronutrient and nitrate contents in leaf tissue. Relative yield of R. confertus was <1, indicating that for this species the effects of interspecific competition were greater than those of intraspecific competition. The results of this experiment indicate that there is interaction between the nutrient status of the soil and the competition between species. Competitive superiority of R. confertus could explain its dominance in grasslands and in disturbed areas, and might explain its great influence on the occurrence of native species because competition intensity was high in fertilized plots.

RevDate: 2020-09-17
CmpDate: 2020-09-17

Qin W, Lin S, Chen X, et al (2019)

Food Transport of Red Imported Fire Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on Vertical Surfaces.

Scientific reports, 9(1):3283.

Many ants can cooperatively transport large food items (either coordinated or uncoordinated during transportation), which can be rarely observed in other animals besides humans. Although these behaviors have been extensively investigated on horizontal surfaces, few studies dealt with food transport on vertical surfaces. The red imported fire ant, Solenopsis invicta Buren, is an invasive ant species that commonly forages on trees. Our studies showed that S. invicta used multiple strategies to transport food items on vertical surfaces (tree trunks). Small food items (1 × 1 × 1 mm sausage) were carried and transported by individual ants, and larger food items were either collectively and directly transported or cut collaboratively first and small particles were then transported individually or collectively. Competition and deadlocks were frequently observed during individual and collective transport respectively. During cutting, groups of ants tightly fixed the food on the tree trunks by holding the edges of the food item, while other ants cut the food into smaller particles. All food items and particles were moved downward. We investigated the effects of food placement (placed on a platform or fixed on tree trunk), food shape (cuboid or flattened), particle sizes (0.45-1, 1-2, 2-3, or 3-4 mm), and placement height (20, 80, or 150 cm) on the food transport on tree trunks. Our studies are the first to show how fire ants transport food on a vertical surface, and may provide insights into the development of novel fire ant baiting systems that can be placed on tree trunks.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Sillero N, Huey RB, Gilchrist G, et al (2020)

Distribution modelling of an introduced species: do adaptive genetic markers affect potential range?.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1935):20201791.

Biological invasions have increased in the last few decades mostly due to anthropogenic causes such as globalization of trade. Because invaders sometimes cause large economic losses and ecological disturbances, estimating their origin and potential geographical ranges is useful. Drosophila subobscura is native to the Old World but was introduced in the New World in the late 1970s and spread widely. We incorporate information on adaptive genetic markers into ecological niche modelling and then estimate the most probable geographical source of colonizers; evaluate whether the genetic bottleneck experienced by founders affects their potential distribution; and finally test whether this species has spread to all its potential suitable habitats worldwide. We find the environmental space occupied by this species in its native and introduced distributions are notably the same, although the introduced niche has shifted slightly towards higher temperature and lower precipitation. The genetic bottleneck of founding individuals was a key factor limiting the spread of this introduced species. We also find that regions in the Mediterranean and north-central Portugal show the highest probability of being the origin of the colonizers. Using genetically informed environmental niche modelling can enhance our understanding of the initial colonization and spread of invasive species, and also elucidate potential areas of future expansions worldwide.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Rodrigues JCV, Cosh MH, Hunt ER, et al (2020)

Tracking Red Palm Mite Damage in the Western Hemisphere Invasion with Landsat Remote Sensing Data.

Insects, 11(9): pii:insects11090627.

Red palm mites (Raoiella indica Hirst, Acari: Tenuipalpidae) were first observed in the western hemisphere on the islands and countries surrounding the Caribbean Sea, infesting the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.). Detection of invasive pests usually relies upon changes in vegetation properties as result of the pest activity. These changes may be visible in time series of satellite data records, such as Landsat satellites, which have been available with a 16-day repeat cycle at a spatial resolution of 30 m since 1982. Typical red palm mite infestations result in the yellowing of the lower leaves of the palm crown; remote sensing model simulations have indicated that this feature may be better detected using the green normalized difference vegetation index (GNDVI). Using the Google Earth Engine programming environment, a time series of Landsat 5 Thematic Mapper, Landsat 7 Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus and Landsat 8 Operational Land Imager data was generated for plantations in northern and northeast Brazil, El Salvador, and Trinidad-Tobago. Considering the available studied plantations, there were little or no differences of GNDVI before and after the dates when red palm mites were first revealed at each location. A discussion of possible alternative approaches are discussed related to the limitations of the current satellite platforms.

RevDate: 2020-09-16

Laface VLA, Musarella CM, Cano Ortiz A, et al (2020)

Three New Alien Taxa for Europe and a Chorological Update on the Alien Vascular Flora of Calabria (Southern Italy).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9): pii:plants9091181.

Knowledge on alien species is needed nowadays to protect natural habitats and prevent ecological damage. The presence of new alien plant species in Italy is increasing every day. Calabria, its southernmost region, is not yet well known with regard to this aspect. Thanks to fieldwork, sampling, and observing many exotic plants in Calabria, here, we report new data on 34 alien taxa. In particular, we found three new taxa for Europe (Cascabela thevetia, Ipomoea setosa subsp. pavonii, and Tecoma stans), three new for Italy (Brugmansia aurea, Narcissus 'Cotinga', and Narcissus 'Erlicheer'), one new one for the Italian Peninsula (Luffa aegyptiaca), and 21 new taxa for Calabria (Allium cepa, Asparagus setaceus, Bassia scoparia, Beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris, Bidens formosa, Casuarina equisetifolia, Cedrus atlantica, Chlorophytum comosum, Cucurbita maxima subsp. maxima, Dolichandra unguis-cati, Fagopyrum esculentum, Freesia alba, Juglans regia, Kalanchoë delagoënsis, Passiflora caerulea, Portulaca grandiflora, Prunus armeniaca, Prunus dulcis, Solanum tuberosum, Tradescantia sillamontana, and Washingtonia filifera). Furthermore, we provide the first geolocalized record of Araujia sericifera, the confirmation of Oxalis stricta, and propose a change of status for four taxa (Cenchrus setaceus, Salpichroa origanifolia, Sesbania punicea, and Nothoscordum gracile) for Calabria. The updated knowledge on the presence of new alien species in Calabria, in Italy and in Europe could allow for the prevention of other new entries and to eliminate this potential ecological threat to natural habitats.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Wang Y, Ni G, Hou Y, et al (2020)

Plant-soil feedbacks under resource limitation may not contribute to the invasion by annual Asteraceae plants.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-020-04756-z [Epub ahead of print].

Changes in resource availability can alter plant growth, the influence of plants on soil characteristics, and, ultimately, plant-soil feedback (PSF). Previous studies often show that invasive plants can outperform native plants under high but not low resource conditions. However, it remains unclear whether under low resource conditions, invaders can outperform natives in the long term by generating more positive or less negative PSFs. Using three non-native invasive and three non-invasive native annual Asteraceae plants, we conducted a two-phase pot experiment, where in the first, conditioning generation plants were grown to induce changes in soil characteristics, and in the second, bioassay generation plants were regrown to evaluate how they respond to these soils. Half of the pots received a nutrient addition treatment in the conditioning generation. We found significant species-specific effects of conditioning on most of the soil characteristics, and some soil characteristics were significantly correlated with bioassay generation biomass of a subset of species, but neither species nor invasive or native status affected bioassay generation biomass. All invasive species generated neutral PSFs across soil nutrient conditions. The native Emilia sonchifolia tended to condition the soil that favored its own growth more than others, and under low nutrient conditions, the native Eclipta prostrata conditioned the soil that disfavored its own growth more than others. These results indicate that invaders may not outperform natives through PSFs under low resource conditions, and increasing resource availability may change the types of PSFs for some native but not invasive plants.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Elinson RP (2020)

Development of a non-amphibious amphibian: views of a coquí.

The International journal of developmental biology pii:190386re [Epub ahead of print].

Development without a free-living tadpole is common among Ibero American frogs. The most derived condition is direct development where the tadpole has been eliminated, and the most investigated direct developing frog is Eleutherodactylus coqui. To provide a different point-of-view, an imaginary interview with a coqui is conducted. Opinions are offered on invasive species, developmental features that are surprisingly conserved, and novelty in germ layer specification.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Sinka ME, Pironon S, Massey NC, et al (2020)

A new malaria vector in Africa: Predicting the expansion range of Anopheles stephensi and identifying the urban populations at risk.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:2003976117 [Epub ahead of print].

In 2012, an unusual outbreak of urban malaria was reported from Djibouti City in the Horn of Africa and increasingly severe outbreaks have been reported annually ever since. Subsequent investigations discovered the presence of an Asian mosquito species; Anopheles stephensi, a species known to thrive in urban environments. Since that first report, An. stephensi has been identified in Ethiopia and Sudan, and this worrying development has prompted the World Health Organization (WHO) to publish a vector alert calling for active mosquito surveillance in the region. Using an up-to-date database of published locational records for An. stephensi across its full range (Asia, Arabian Peninsula, Horn of Africa) and a set of spatial models that identify the environmental conditions that characterize a species' preferred habitat, we provide evidence-based maps predicting the possible locations across Africa where An. stephensi could establish if allowed to spread unchecked. Unsurprisingly, due to this species' close association with man-made habitats, our maps predict a high probability of presence within many urban cities across Africa where our estimates suggest that over 126 million people reside. Our results strongly support the WHO's call for surveillance and targeted vector control and provide a basis for the prioritization of surveillance.

RevDate: 2020-09-15

Mazza G, Nerva L, Strangi A, et al (2020)

Scent of Jasmine Attracts Alien Invaders and Records on Citizen Science Platforms: Multiple Introductions of the Invasive Lacebug Corythauma ayyari (Drake, 1933) (Heteroptera: Tingidae) in Italy and the Mediterranean Basin.

Insects, 11(9): pii:insects11090620.

The jasmine lacebug Corythauma ayyari is a pest of cultivated and ornamental plants mainly associated to Jasminum spp. This invasive insect is native to Asia, and it has been recently introduced in several countries, mainly within the Mediterranean basin. Here, we updated the known distribution of this species, including five new Italian regions (Liguria, Tuscany, Latium, Apulia, and Calabria); Salamis Island in Greece, and the Occitanie region in France. Citizen-science data have significantly contributed to the knowledge on species distribution, and the online platform for sharing biodiversity information can represent an effective tool for the early detection. Molecular analyses revealed that the specimens collected in Peninsular Italy and Sicily belong to a unique clade, suggesting the possibility of a single introduction, whereas those from Menton (France) and Calabria (Southern Italy) are separated from the others and probably originate from separated introductions.

RevDate: 2020-09-15
CmpDate: 2020-09-15

Kolátková V, Čepička I, Gargiulo GM, et al (2020)

Enigmatic Phytomyxid Parasite of the Alien Seagrass Halophila stipulacea: New Insights into Its Ecology, Phylogeny, and Distribution in the Mediterranean Sea.

Microbial ecology, 79(3):631-643.

Marine phytomyxids represent often overlooked obligate biotrophic parasites colonizing diatoms, brown algae, and seagrasses. An illustrative example of their enigmatic nature is the phytomyxid infecting the seagrass Halophila stipulacea (a well-known Lessepsian migrant from the Indo-Pacific to the Mediterranean Sea). In the Mediterranean, the occurrence of this phytomyxid was first described in 1995 in the Strait of Messina (southern Italy) and the second time in 2017 in the Aegean coast of Turkey. Here we investigated, using scuba diving, stereomicroscopy, light and scanning electron microscopy, and molecular methods, whether the symbiosis is still present in southern Italy, its distribution in this region and its relation to the previous reports. From the total of 16 localities investigated, the symbiosis has only been found at one site. A seasonal pattern was observed with exceptionally high abundance (> 40% of the leaf petioles colonized) in September 2017, absence of the symbiosis in May/June 2018, and then again high infection rates (~ 30%) in September 2018. In terms of anatomy and morphology as well as resting spore dimensions and arrangement, the symbiosis seems to be identical to the preceding observations in the Mediterranean. According to the phylogenetic analyses of the 18S rRNA gene, the phytomyxid represents the first characterized member of the environmental clade "TAGIRI-5". Our results provide new clues about its on-site ecology (incl. possible dispersal mechanisms), hint that it is rare but established in the Mediterranean, and encourage further research into its distribution, ecophysiology, and taxonomy.

RevDate: 2020-09-15
CmpDate: 2020-09-15

Brunel C, Beifen Y, Pouteau R, et al (2020)

Responses of Rhizospheric Microbial Communities of Native and Alien Plant Species to Cuscuta Parasitism.

Microbial ecology, 79(3):617-630.

Parasitic plants have major impacts on host fitness. In the case of species of the holoparasitic Cuscuta genus, these impacts were shown to be particularly strong in some invasive alien plants, which has raised interest in the underlying mechanism. We hypothesized that Cuscuta parasitization may exert strong influence in shaping the diversity patterns in the host rhizosphere microbiome and that this may vary between native (coevolved) and alien (non-coevolved) plants. Here, we report on a field study exploring the effect of parasitization by Cuscuta australis on the rhizosphere microbiota (16S and ITS rDNA) of four plant species sharing and three plant species not sharing the parasite's native range. Despite a predominant role of the host species in shaping the rhizosphere microbiota, the role of host origin and of parasitization still appeared important in structuring microbial communities and their associated functions. Bacterial communities were more strongly influenced than fungi by the native range of the host plant, while fungi were slightly more affected than bacteria by parasitization. About 7% of bacterial phylotypes and 11% of fungal phylotypes were sensitive to Cuscuta parasitization. Parasitization also reduced the abundance of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi by ca. 18% and of several genes related to plant growth promoting functions (e.g., nitrogen metabolism and quorum sensing). Both fungi and bacteria differentially responded to host parasitization depending on host origin, and the extent of these shifts suggests that they may have more dramatic consequences for alien than for native plants.

RevDate: 2020-09-15
CmpDate: 2020-09-15

Zhang G, Bai J, Zhao Q, et al (2020)

Bacterial Succession in Salt Marsh Soils Along a Short-term Invasion Chronosequence of Spartina alterniflora in the Yellow River Estuary, China.

Microbial ecology, 79(3):644-661.

As an exotic plant species, Spartina alterniflora seriously threatens native ecosystem function in Chinese coastal regions. Unveiling the dynamics of soil bacteria community during its invasion is essential for a better understanding of related biogeochemical processes, while the shift in soil bacterial community over invasive time remains unclear. A short-term chronosequence was identified to assess the impacts of Spartina alterniflora invasion on soil nutrients and bacterial community composition and structure (using 16S rRNA gene high-throughput sequencing) over the time of invasion (i.e., (1) at least 10 years, (2) nearly 5 years, (3) less than 2 years, and (4) in native salt marshes or 0 years) in the Yellow River Estuary. The results exhibited an orderly change in the soil physicochemical properties and bacterial community composition over the invasion time. Soil pH showed a significant decrease with the accumulation of soil organic matter (SOM), whereas soil nutrients such as soil dissolved organic carbon (DOC), total nitrogen (TN), nitrate (NO3-), ammonium (NH4+), K+, and Mg2+ were generally increased with the age of the invasion. The number of operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 97% similarity level) exhibited a decreasing trend, which suggested a decline in bacterial diversity with the invasion age. The dominant groups at the phylum level were Proteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Chloroflexi, Acidobacteria, and Gemmatimonadetes (the sum of relative abundance was > 70% across all samples). The relative abundances of Chloroflexi and Gemmatimonadetes steadily decreased, while the abundance of Bacteroidetes significantly increased with the plant invasion. The distribution pattern of the soil bacteria was clearly separated according to the principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) in native and invaded salt marshes. The variation in the soil bacterial community was tightly associated with the soil physicochemical properties (Mantel test, P < 0.05). Variance partitioning analysis (VPA) showed that plant traits explained 4.95% of the bacterial community variation, and soil variables explained approximately 26.96% of the variation. Network analysis also revealed that plant invasion strengthens the interaction among soil bacterial communities. Overall, our findings highlight the bacterial community succession during the Spartina alterniflora invasion in coastal salt marsh soils, which can provide insight regarding the association between soil development and invasive plant.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Tierney PA, Caffrey JM, Matthews SM, et al (2020)

Evidence for enemy release in invasive common dace Leuciscus leuciscus in Ireland: a helminth community survey and systematic review.

Journal of helminthology, 94:e191 pii:S0022149X20000759.

Invasive species lose parasites in the process of invasion and tend to be less parasitized than conspecifics in the native range and sympatric native species in the invasive range (enemy release). We evaluated enemy release in an invasive freshwater fish in Ireland, common dace Leuciscus leuciscus, using helminth parasite community surveys at the core and front of the invasive range of common dace. Furthermore, we undertook a systematic literature review of helminth infection in common dace across its native range in Great Britain and Europe and invasive range in Ireland. The helminth parasite community survey revealed that invasive common dace were infected with fewer helminth species at the invasion front than at the core. Four helminth taxa - Acanthocephala, Monogenea, Digenea and Nematoda - were present in dace at the invasion core compared to only a single helminth species (Pomphorhynchus tereticollis) at the front. The systematic review revealed that invasive common dace in Ireland hosted fewer species of helminths than common dace in the native range. We report a total of three helminth species in common dace in Ireland compared to 24 in Great Britain and 84 in Continental Europe. Our results support the hypotheses that invasive populations are less parasitized than native populations and that more recently established populations host fewer parasites. However, we demonstrate that invasive species may continue to experience release from parasites long after initial invasion.

RevDate: 2020-09-14

Thushari GGN, JDM Senevirathna (2020)

Plastic pollution in the marine environment.

Heliyon, 6(8):e04709 pii:e04709.

Plastic pollution is recognized as a severe anthropogenic issue in the coastal and marine ecosystems across the world. Unprecedented and continuous accumulation of growing plastic contaminants into any respective aquatic ecosystem by the anthropogenic sources causes direct and/or indirect interruption to ecosystem structure, functions, and consequently, services and values. Land-based and sea-based sources are the primary sources of these contaminants in various modes that enter the ocean. In this review paper, we focused on highlighting different aspects related to plastic pollution in coastal and marine environments. Plastic pollutants are distributed in the ecosystems in different forms, with different size variations as megaplastic, macroplastic, mesoplastic, and microplastic. Microplastics in primary and secondary forms reveal a widespread distribution in the water, sediment, and biota of the marine and coastal habitats. The microplastic level of different coastal and marine ecosystems nearly ranged from 0.001-140 particles/m3 in water and 0.2-8766 particles/m3 in sediments at different aquatic environments over the world. The microplastic accumulation rate of coastal and marine organisms varied at 0.1-15,033 counts. Accordingly, plastic pollution creates several kinds of negative consequences combined with ecological and socio-economic effects. Entanglement, toxicological effects via ingestion of plastics, suffocation, starvation, dispersal, and rafting of organisms, provision of new habitats, and introduction of invasive species are significant ecological effects with growing threats to biodiversity and trophic relationships. Degradation (changes in the ecosystem state) and modifications of marine systems are associated with loss of ecosystem services and values. Consequently, this emerging contaminant affects the socio-economic aspects through negative impacts on tourism, fishery, shipping, and human health. Preventing accumulation sources of plastic pollutants, 3Rs (Reduce-Recycle-Reuse), awareness & capacity building, and producer/manufacturer responsibility are practical approaches toward addressing the issue of plastic pollution. Existing and adopted policies, legislations, regulations, and initiatives at global, regional, and national level play a vital role in reducing plastic debris in the marine and coastal zones. Development of proposals/solutions on key research gaps can open a novel pathway to address this environmental issue in an effective scientific manner. In conclusion, this paper demonstrates the current status of plastic pollution in the marine ecosystem to make aware people of a plastic-free, healthy blue ocean in the near future.

RevDate: 2020-09-14
CmpDate: 2020-09-14

Gaffke AM, Sing SE, Dudley TL, et al (2020)

Establishing Diorhabda carinulata: Impact of Release Disturbances on Pheromone Emission and Influence of Pheromone Lures on Establishment.

Journal of chemical ecology, 46(4):378-386.

Before weed biocontrol insects are transported and released in a new area, they are commonly collected into small paper containers, chilled, and kept under dark conditions. This process can be termed a pre-release protocol. The influence of a pre-release protocol on establishment success of a gregarious biological control agent was assessed using the northern tamarisk beetle, Diorhabda carinulata (Desbrochers), and its exotic, invasive host plant saltcedar (Tamarix spp.). Pre-release protocol impacts on aggregation pheromone production by D. carinulata were characterized under controlled conditions. Additional experiments were undertaken to determine if deployment of aggregation pheromone lures might enhance the agent's persistence at release sites. Adults that experienced the pre-release protocol produced less aggregation pheromone compared to undisturbed adults. Olfactometer bioassays indicated that a cohort of adults subjected to the pre-release protocol were less attractive to other adults than a control cohort. Efficacy of aggregation pheromone-based lures to retain adults at release sites was evaluated by comparing capture numbers of adult beetles at paired treatment and control release sites, 10-14 days after the release of 300, 500, or 1000 individuals. A greater number of adult D. carinulata were captured where the pheromone lures had been deployed compared to control release sites. Application of aggregation pheromone when a new release of D. carinulata is planned should allow biological control practitioners to increase retention of beetles at a release site.

RevDate: 2020-09-14
CmpDate: 2020-09-14

Abboud C, Bonnefon O, Parent E, et al (2019)

Dating and localizing an invasion from post-introduction data and a coupled reaction-diffusion-absorption model.

Journal of mathematical biology, 79(2):765-789.

Invasion of new territories by alien organisms is of primary concern for environmental and health agencies and has been a core topic in mathematical modeling, in particular in the intents of reconstructing the past dynamics of the alien organisms and predicting their future spatial extents. Partial differential equations offer a rich and flexible modeling framework that has been applied to a large number of invasions. In this article, we are specifically interested in dating and localizing the introduction that led to an invasion using mathematical modeling, post-introduction data and an adequate statistical inference procedure. We adopt a mechanistic-statistical approach grounded on a coupled reaction-diffusion-absorption model representing the dynamics of an organism in an heterogeneous domain with respect to growth. Initial conditions (including the date and site of the introduction) and model parameters related to diffusion, reproduction and mortality are jointly estimated in the Bayesian framework by using an adaptive importance sampling algorithm. This framework is applied to the invasion of Xylella fastidiosa, a phytopathogenic bacterium detected in South Corsica in 2015, France.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Ma KCK, Zardi GI, McQuaid CD, et al (2020)

Historical and contemporary range expansion of an invasive mussel, Semimytlius algosus, in Angola and Namibia despite data scarcity in an infrequently surveyed region.

PloS one, 15(9):e0239167 pii:PONE-D-20-20167.

Understanding the spread of invasive species in many regions is difficult because surveys are rare. Here, historical records of the invasive marine mussel, Semimytilus algosus, on the shores of Angola and Namibia are synthesised to re-construct its invasive history. Since this mussel was first discovered in Namibia about 90 years ago, it has spread throughout the western coast of southern Africa. By the late 1960s, the species was well established across a range of 1005 km of coastline in southern Angola and northern Namibia. Although only coarse spatial resolution data are available since the 1990s, the distribution of S. algosus clearly increased substantially over the subsequent decades. Today, the species is distributed over 2785 km of coastline, appearing in southern Namibia in 2014, whence it spread across the border to northern South Africa in 2017, and in northern Angola in 2015. Conspicuously, its current range appears to be relatively contiguous across at least 810 km of shore in southern Angola and throughout Namibia, with isolated, spatially disjunct occurrences towards the southern and northern limits of its distribution. Despite there being few occurrence records that are unevenly distributed spatially and temporally, data for the distributional patterns of S. algosus in Angola and Namibia provide invaluable insights into how marine invasive species spread in developing regions that are infrequently monitored.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Sessa FM, Cianti L, Brogelli N, et al (2020)

Risks and critical issues related to the discovery on the market of unauthorized live alien species on the Italian territory: Chinese crab (Eriocheir sinensis).

Italian journal of food safety, 9(2):8774.

Eriocheir sinensis, Chinese Crab or Chinese Mitten Crab is a catadromous species belonging to the Varunidae family, native to river and estuarine areas of North and South East China and Korea. At European level, E. sinensis is widespread in the main water basins of Central and Northern Europe and, since 2016, it has been included in the list of invasive species important for the European Union and subjected to confinement and eradication measures which include the prohibition of collection, transit and placing on the market of live specimens (Regulation (EC) N° 1143/2014). The Chinese Crab can represent a significant danger for the local ecosystem and for the native biota as well as contributing to the appearance of hydrogeological instability phenomena resulting from the intense excavation and erosion of the riverbanks. The first finding of 5 kg of live specimens of Eriocheir sinensis was recorded in the official control by the UFS (Functional Simple Unit) veterinary public health and food safety of the ASL Toscana Centro at an ethnic catering establishment. The specimens were subjected to seizure, photographed, identified morphologically, and subjected to euthanasia and destruction in accordance with the European requirements for welfare and management of animal by-products. From the sanitary point of view, the dangers associated with the consumption of this crab are mainly biological and chemical therefore, risk communication is fundamental, not only at the level of the competent authorities in the sector, but also for the food business operators.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Varga A, Demeter L, Ulicsni V, et al (2020)

Prohibited, but still present: local and traditional knowledge about the practice and impact of forest grazing by domestic livestock in Hungary.

Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 16(1):51 pii:10.1186/s13002-020-00397-x.

BACKGROUND: Forests have been grazed for millennia. Around the world, forest grazing by livestock became a controversial management practice, gradually restricted in many countries over the past 250 years. This was also the case in most Central and Eastern European countries, including Hungary, where forest grazing was a legally prohibited activity between 1961 and 2017. Until the 2010s, ecologists and nature conservationists considered it merely as a historical form of forest use. As a result, there is little contemporary scientific information available about the impact of forest grazing on vegetation and the traditional ecological knowledge associated with it. Our aim was to explore and summarize this type of knowledge held by herders in Hungary.

METHODS: We interviewed 58 knowledgeable herders and participated in forest grazing activities in 43 study locations across the country. The results were analysed qualitatively.

RESULTS: We revealed a living ecological knowledge tradition and practice of forest grazing in native and non-native forest stands. The impact of livestock grazing on native and non-native forests is not considerably different, in the view of the herders. For both forest types, the greatest impact of grazing was the suppression of the shrub layer, while grazing also increased the dominance and palatability ("tameness") of the grasses. Livestock could cause significant damage to seedlings during forest grazing, but if done with care, grazing could also be an integral part of forestry management.

CONCLUSIONS: Sustainability of current forest grazing practices depends on the depth of local and traditional knowledge applied and herders' stewardship. We stress the importance of collaborating with holders of local and traditional knowledge in order to gain a better understanding of the effects of livestock grazing on vegetation in temperate forests.

RevDate: 2020-09-11

Caniço A, Mexia A, L Santos (2020)

First Report of Native Parasitoids of Fall Armyworm Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae) in Mozambique.

Insects, 11(9): pii:insects11090615.

The alien invasive insect pest Spodoptera frugiperda Smith (Lepidoptera: Noctuidae), commonly referred to as fall armyworm (FAW), is causing significant losses to maize production in Africa since its detection in 2016. As an emergency response, governments in several countries distributed and/or promoted massive use of synthetic insecticides among smallholder farmers to fight FAW. The inappropriate use of synthetic insecticides by non-trained and ill-equipped farmers raises environmental and health concerns. This study aimed to assess the occurrence of native parasitoids of FAW, their parasitism rates, and relative abundance in the central province of Manica, Mozambique. A field collection of FAW egg masses and larvae was conducted from May to August 2019 (dry season of the 2018/2019 cropping season) and in December 2019 and January 2020 (rainy season of 2019/2020 cropping season). A total of 101 egg masses and 1444 larvae of FAW were collected from infested fields. Five larval parasitoids were recorded, but no egg parasitism was observed. Coccygidium luteum Brullé (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) and Drino quadrizonula Thomson (Diptera: Tachinidae) were the primary parasitoids. Maximum parasitism of 23.68% and 8.86% and relative abundance of 100 and 96.3 were recorded for C. luteum and D. quadrizonula, respectively. Total parasitism by different parasitoid species was at 9.49%. Cultural practices favoring the action of these parasitoids should be advocated.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Vivó-Pons A, Alós J, F Tomas (2020)

Invasion by an ecosystem engineer shifts the abundance and distribution of fish but does not decrease diversity.

Marine pollution bulletin, 160:111586 pii:S0025-326X(20)30704-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Negative impacts of invasive species are widely accepted, but there is increasing evidence that neutral or positive effects are more prevalent than initially recognized, particularly for species which are of different functional / trophic group than the invader. We used a BACI design to examine how fish communities responded to the invasion of Halimeda incrassata, an ecosystem engineer which colonizes sandy habitats in the Western Mediterranean. While invasion did not alter overall species richness or diversity, we detected positive, negative and neutral responses by different fish species, which has important ecological and socio-economic implications. Contrasting responses likely result from different alterations that this alga conferred, putatively increasing prey availability via habitat creation, or limiting burial and camouflage abilities of fish. Our results highlight that effects of ecosystem engineers can be multiple and complex, and that predictions of invasive species are not straight forward.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Quilodrán CS, Nussberger B, Macdonald DW, et al (2020)

Projecting introgression from domestic cats into European wildcats in the Swiss Jura.

Evolutionary applications, 13(8):2101-2112 pii:EVA12968.

Hybridization between wild and domesticated organisms is a worldwide conservation issue. In the Jura Mountains, threatened European wildcats (Felis silvestris) have been demographically spreading for approximately the last 50 years, but this recovery is coupled with hybridization with domestic cats (Felis catus). Here, we project the pattern of future introgression using different spatially explicit scenarios to model the interactions between the two species, including competition and different population sizes. We project the fast introgression of domestic cat genes into the wildcat population under all scenarios if hybridization is not severely restricted. If the current hybridization rate and population sizes remain unchanged, we expect the loss of genetic distinctiveness between wild and domestic cats at neutral nuclear, mitochondrial and Y chromosome markers in one hundred years. However, scenarios involving a competitive advantage for wildcats and a future increase in the wildcat population size project a slower increase in introgression. We recommend that future studies assess the fitness of these hybrids and better characterize their ecological niche and their ecological interactions with parental species to elucidate effective conservation measures.

RevDate: 2020-09-10

Wu Y, Bogdanowicz SM, Andres JA, et al (2020)

Tracking invasions of a destructive defoliator, the gypsy moth (Erebidae: Lymantria dispar): Population structure, origin of intercepted specimens, and Asian introgression into North America.

Evolutionary applications, 13(8):2056-2070 pii:EVA12962.

Genetic data can help elucidate the dynamics of biological invasions, which are fueled by the constant expansion of international trade. The introduction of European gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) into North America is a classic example of human-aided invasion that has caused tremendous damage to North American temperate forests. Recently, the even more destructive Asian gypsy moth (mainly L. d. asiatica and L. d. japonica) has been intercepted in North America, mostly transported by cargo ships. To track invasion pathways, we developed a diagnostic panel of 60 DNA loci (55 nuclear and 5 mitochondrial) to characterize worldwide genetic differentiation within L. dispar and its sister species L. umbrosa. Hierarchical analyses supported strong differentiation and recovered five geographic groups that correspond to (1) North America, (2) Europe plus North Africa and Middle East, (3) the Urals, Central Asia, and Russian Siberia, (4) continental East Asia, and (5) the Japanese islands. Interestingly, L. umbrosa was grouped with L. d. japonica, and the introduced North American population exhibits remarkable distinctiveness from contemporary European counterparts. Each geographic group, except for North America, shows additional lower-level structures when analyzed individually, which provided the basis for inference of the origin of invasive specimens. Two assignment approaches consistently identified a coastal area of continental East Asia as the major source for Asian invasion during 2014-2015, with Japan being another source. By analyzing simulation and laboratory crosses, we further provided evidence for the occurrence of natural Asian-North American hybrids in the Pacific Northwest, raising concerns for introgression of Asian alleles that may accelerate range expansion of gypsy moth in North America. Our study demonstrates how genetic data contribute to bio-surveillance of invasive species with results that can inform regulatory management and reduce the frequency of trade-associated invasions.

RevDate: 2020-09-10
CmpDate: 2020-09-10

Lovas-Kiss Á, Vincze O, Löki V, et al (2020)

Experimental evidence of dispersal of invasive cyprinid eggs inside migratory waterfowl.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 117(27):15397-15399.

Fish have somehow colonized isolated water bodies all over the world without human assistance. It has long been speculated that these colonization events are assisted by waterbirds, transporting fish eggs attached to their feet and feathers, yet empirical support for this is lacking. Recently, it was suggested that endozoochory (i.e., internal transport within the gut) might play a more important role, but only highly resistant diapause eggs of killifish have been found to survive passage through waterbird guts. Here, we performed a controlled feeding experiment, where developing eggs of two cosmopolitan, invasive cyprinids (common carp, Prussian carp) were fed to captive mallards. Live embryos of both species were retrieved from fresh feces and survived beyond hatching. Our study identifies an overlooked dispersal mechanism in fish, providing evidence for bird-mediated dispersal ability of soft-membraned eggs undergoing active development. Only 0.2% of ingested eggs survived gut passage, yet, given the abundance, diet, and movements of ducks in nature, our results have major implications for biodiversity conservation and invasion dynamics in freshwater ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Culshaw-Maurer M, Sih A, JA Rosenheim (2020)

Bugs scaring bugs: enemy-risk effects in biological control systems.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

Enemy-risk effects, often referred to as non-consumptive effects (NCEs), are an important feature of predator-prey ecology, but their significance has had little impact on the conceptual underpinning or practice of biological control. We provide an overview of enemy-risk effects in predator-prey interactions, discuss ways in which risk effects may impact biocontrol programs and suggest avenues for further integration of natural enemy ecology and integrated pest management. Enemy-risk effects can have important influences on different stages of biological control programs, including natural enemy selection, efficacy testing and quantification of non-target impacts. Enemy-risk effects can also shape the interactions of biological control with other pest management practices. Biocontrol systems also provide community ecologists with some of the richest examples of behaviourally mediated trophic cascades and demonstrations of how enemy-risk effects play out among species with no shared evolutionary history, important topics for invasion biology and conservation. We conclude that the longstanding use of ecological theory by biocontrol practitioners should be expanded to incorporate enemy-risk effects, and that community ecologists will find many opportunities to study enemy-risk effects in biocontrol settings.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Mullens P, Su T, Vong Q, et al (2020)

Establishment of the Invasive Aedes aegypti (Diptera: Culicidae) in the West Valley Area of San Bernardino County, CA.

Journal of medical entomology pii:5903247 [Epub ahead of print].

The yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti (Linnaeus, 1762), is the most aggressive invasive mosquito species with worldwide distribution. In addition to being a notorious nuisance species, it can pose significant public health concern because of its ability to transmit various viral pathogens. The first adult capture in the West Valley area of San Bernardino County, CA, occurred in September 2015 in Montclair. A strategic surveillance plan was implemented accordingly by the West Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District to document the infestation. The Biogent Sentinel (BG-2) trap augmented with BG-Lure and carbon dioxide (CO2) was deployed as a routine surveillance tool during 2017-2019. Extensive trapping revealed an expanding infestation, when positive trap nights (TN) increased from 14.2% in 2017 to 23.9% in 2018 and 55.6% in 2019. The average counts/TN increased from 0.65 in 2017 and 0.90 in 2018 to 3.83 in 2019. The cities of Montclair, Chino, and Ontario had much higher infestation than other cities in the district with the highest positive TN of 46.0% in Montclair, and highest average trap count of 3.23/TN in Chino. It was interesting to note that males coincided with females with more profound trend during warmer months of July to October when ratios of males ranged 28.4-35.0%. The BG-2 trap significantly outperformed the CO2 trap and gravid trap. The establishment of this invasive species in semiarid inland Southern California was further confirmed by concurrent larval collections.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Maselko M, Feltman N, Upadhyay A, et al (2020)

Engineering multiple species-like genetic incompatibilities in insects.

Nature communications, 11(1):4468 pii:10.1038/s41467-020-18348-1.

Speciation constrains the flow of genetic information between populations of sexually reproducing organisms. Gaining control over mechanisms of speciation would enable new strategies to manage wild populations of disease vectors, agricultural pests, and invasive species. Additionally, such control would provide safe biocontainment of transgenes and gene drives. Here, we demonstrate a general approach to create engineered genetic incompatibilities (EGIs) in the model insect Drosophila melanogaster. EGI couples a dominant lethal transgene with a recessive resistance allele. Strains homozygous for both elements are fertile and fecund when they mate with similarly engineered strains, but incompatible with wild-type strains that lack resistant alleles. EGI genotypes can also be tuned to cause hybrid lethality at different developmental life-stages. Further, we demonstrate that multiple orthogonal EGI strains of D. melanogaster can be engineered to be mutually incompatible with wild-type and with each other. EGI is a simple and robust approach in multiple sexually reproducing organisms.

RevDate: 2020-09-09

Gilligan TM, Brown JW, J Baixeras (2020)

Immigrant Tortricidae: Holarctic versus Introduced Species in North America.

Insects, 11(9): pii:insects11090594.

In support of a comprehensive update to the checklist of the moths of North America, we attempt to determine the status of 151 species of Tortricidae present in North America that may be Holarctic, introduced, or sibling species of their European counterparts. Discovering the natural distributions of these taxa is often difficult, if not impossible, but several criteria can be applied to determine if a species that is present in both Europe and North America is natively Holarctic, introduced, or represented by different but closely related species on each continent. We use DNA barcodes (when available), morphology, host plants, and historical records (literature and museum specimens) to make these assessments and propose several taxonomic changes, as well as future areas of research. The following taxa are raised from synonymy to species status: Acleris ferrumixtana (Benander, 1934), stat. rev.; Acleris viburnana (Clemens, 1860), stat. rev.; Acleris pulverosana (Walker, 1863), stat. rev.; Acleris placidana (Robinson, 1869), stat. rev.; Lobesia spiraeae (McDunnough, 1938), stat. rev.; and Epiblema arctica Miller, 1985, stat. rev. Cydia saltitans (Westwood, 1858), stat. rev., is determined to be the valid name for the "jumping bean moth," and Phiaris glaciana (Möschler, 1860), comb. n., is placed in a new genus. We determine that the number of Holarctic species has been overestimated by at least 20% in the past, and that the overall number of introduced species in North America is unexpectedly high, with Tortricidae accounting for approximately 23-30% of the total number of Lepidoptera species introduced to North America.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

Aximoff I, Zaluar MT, Pissinatti A, et al (2020)

Anomalous Pigmentation in Invasive and Native Marmosets, Callithrix jacchus, Callithrix penicillata (Primates, Callitrichidae), and Their Hybrids in Brazil.

Folia primatologica; international journal of primatology, 91(2):149-158.

Leucism is the lack or reduction in pigmentation in the most or parts of the body, but not in the eyes and body extremities. It is extremely rare in primates and has never been reported for Callithrix, a genus endemic to Brazil. We searched for individuals of Callithrix jacchus and C. penicillata with pigmentation anomalies in a systematic survey of three protected areas in the Atlantic Forest, within museum collections in Brazil, and opportunistically during field studies. Since 2008, we have recorded 8 individuals with leucism in small urban and periurban forest patches. Four were from native populations of C. penicillata in Cerrado savannahs and of C. jacchus in the Caatinga xeric scrubland, and 4 were from populations of hybrids between C. jacchus and C. penicillata in invaded areas in the coastal Atlantic Forest. We found no pigmentation abnormalities in museum specimens. We hypothesize that the observed leucism may be linked to inbreeding within the native range, but to hybridization within the invaded range, and discuss the likely ecological consequences to leucistic individuals.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

He Z, Guo JF, Reitz SR, et al (2020)

A global invasion by the thrip, Frankliniella occidentalis: Current virus vector status and its management.

Insect science, 27(4):626-645.

Western flower thrip, Frankliniella occidentalis (Pergande), is among the most economically important agricultural pests globally, attacking a wide range of vegetable and horticultural crops. In addition to causing extensive crop damage, the species is notorious for vectoring destructive plant viruses, mainly belonging to the genera Orthotospovirus, Ilarvirus, Alphacarmovirus and Machlomovirus. Once infected by orthotospoviruses, thrips can remain virulent throughout their lifespan and continue transmitting viruses to host plants when and wherever they feed. These irruptive viral outbreaks in crops will permanently disrupt functional integrated pest management systems, and typically require a remedial treatment involving insecticides, contributing to further development of insecticide resistance. To mitigate against this continuing cycle, the most effective management is early and comprehensive surveillance of the pest species and recognition of plant viruses in the field. This review provides information on the pest status of F. occidentalis, discusses the current global status of the viruses vectored by this thrip species, examines the mechanisms involved in transmitting virus-induced diseases by thrips, and reviews different management strategies, highlighting the potential management tactics developed for various cropping systems. The early surveillance and the utilization of potential methods for control of both F. occidentalis and viruses are proposed.

RevDate: 2020-09-09
CmpDate: 2020-09-09

Jing DP, Guo JF, Jiang YY, et al (2020)

Initial detections and spread of invasive Spodoptera frugiperda in China and comparisons with other noctuid larvae in cornfields using molecular techniques.

Insect science, 27(4):780-790.

The fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, is a species native to the Americas and has spread to many countries in Africa and Asia in recent years. Proactive actions for potential invasion of S. frugiperda to China coordinated by government agencies and agricultural extension systems resulted in timely detection in January 2019 in Yunnan province neighboring onto Myanmar. The extensive monitoring in southern provinces of China since February 2019 resulted in dynamic tracking of S. frugiperda spreading to 13 provincial regions in China within 4 months by May 10, 2019, which is crucial for timely management actions in the fields. The first detections of S. frugiperda (corn strain) in China were confirmed using cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (CO1) and triosephosphate isomerase (Tpi) genes molecular marker method. In addition to S. frugiperda, larvae of three other noctuid species with similar morphological appearance (S. litura, S. exigua and Mythimna separata) can occur simultaneously and cause similar damage in cornfields in southern China. Thus, we can use both morphological and molecular marker methods to compare larval stages of four noctuid species. Further, we discuss the risk of potential spread of invasive S. frugiperda to other regions and impact on corn production in China.

RevDate: 2020-09-08

Hereş AM, Petritan IC, Bigler C, et al (2020)

Legacies of past forest management determine current responses to severe drought events of conifer species in the Romanian Carpathians.

The Science of the total environment, 751:141851 pii:S0048-9697(20)35380-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Worldwide increases in droughts- and heat-waves-associated tree mortality events are destabilizing the future of many forests and the ecosystem services they provide. Along with climate, understanding the impact of the legacies of past forest management is key to better explain current responses of different tree species to climate change. We studied tree mortality events that peaked in 2012 affecting one native (silver fir; growing within its natural distribution range) and two introduced (black pine and Scots; growing outside their natural distribution range) conifer species from the Romanian Carpathians. The three conifers were compared in terms of mortality events, growth trends, growth resilience to severe drought events, climate-growth relationships, and regeneration patterns. The mortality rates of the three species were found to be associated with severe drought events. Nevertheless, the native silver fir seems to undergo a self-thinning process, while the future of the remaining living black pine and Scots pine trees is uncertain as they register significant negative growth trends. Overall, the native silver fir showed a higher resilience to severe drought events than the two introduced pine species. Furthermore, and unlike the native silver fir, black pine and Scots pine species do not successfully regenerate. A high diversity of native broadleaf species sprouts and develops instead under them suggesting that we might be witnessing a process of ecological succession, with broadleaves recovering their habitats. As native species seem to perform better in terms of resilience and regeneration than introduced species, the overall effect of the black pine and Scots pine mortality might be compensated. Legacies of past forest management should be taken into account in order to better understand current responses of different tree species to ongoing climate change.

RevDate: 2020-09-08
CmpDate: 2020-09-08

Xiao L, Ding J, Zhang J, et al (2020)

Chemical responses of an invasive plant to herbivory and abiotic environments reveal a novel invasion mechanism.

The Science of the total environment, 741:140452.

Invasive plant environments differ along latitudes and between native and introduced ranges. In response to herbivory and abiotic stresses that vary with latitudes and between ranges, invasive plants may shift their secondary chemicals to facilitate invasion success. However, it remains unclear whether and how invasive plant chemical responses to herbivory and chemical responses to abiotic environments are associated. We conducted large scale field surveys of herbivory on the invasive tallow tree (Triadica sebifera) along latitudes in both its native (China) and introduced ranges (United States) and collected leaf samples for analyses of tannins and flavonoids. We used data on climate and solar radiation to examine these chemical responses to abiotic environments and their variations along these latitudes and between ranges. We also re-analyzed previously published data from multiple common garden experiments on tallow tree to investigate genetic divergence of secondary chemical concentrations between introduced and native populations. We found foliar tannins and herbivory (chewing, sucking) were higher in the native range compared to the invasive range. Allocation to tannins versus flavonoids decreased with latitude in the native range but did not vary in the invasive range. Analyses of previously published common garden experimental data indicated genetic divergence contributes to chemical concentration differences between ranges. Our field data further indicated that the latitudinal patterns were primarily phenotypic responses to herbivory in China while in US they were primarily phenotypic responses to abiotic environments. The variation of tannins may be linked to flavonoids, given tannins and flavonoids share a biosynthesis pathway. Together, our results suggest that invasive plants adjust their secondary metabolism to decrease chemicals that primarily defend against herbivory and increase those that help them to respond to their abiotic environment. These findings deepen our understanding of how invasive plants adapt to biogeographically heterogeneous environments through trade-offs between secondary chemical responses.

RevDate: 2020-09-08
CmpDate: 2020-09-08

Clarke GS, Shine R, BL Phillips (2019)

May the (selective) force be with you: Spatial sorting and natural selection exert opposing forces on limb length in an invasive amphibian.

Journal of evolutionary biology, 32(9):994-1001.

Spatial sorting on invasion fronts drives the evolution of dispersive phenotypes, and in doing so can push phenotypes in the opposite direction to natural selection. The invasion of cane toads (Rhinella marina) through tropical Australia has accelerated over recent decades because of the accumulation of dispersal-enhancing traits at the invasion front, driven by spatial sorting. One such trait is the length of the forelimbs: invasion-front toads have longer arms (relative to body length) in comparison with populations 10-20 years after invasion. Such a shift likely has fitness consequences: an increase of forearm length would decrease the strength with which a male could cling to a female during amplexus and so render such a male less competitive in competition for mates, compared to short-armed conspecifics. Our laboratory trials of attachment strength confirmed that males with relatively longer arms were easier to displace, and competition trials show higher duration of amplexus for males with shorter arms. Together with the sharp cline in limb length observed behind the invasion front, these results imply an opposition of selective forces: spatial sorting optimizes dispersal, but as this force wanes behind the invasion front, we see the primacy of natural selection reassert itself.

RevDate: 2020-09-08
CmpDate: 2020-09-08

Gowri S, R Thangaraj (2020)

Studies on the toxic effects of agrochemical pesticide (Monocrotophos) on physiological and reproductive behavior of indigenous and exotic earthworm species.

International journal of environmental health research, 30(2):212-225.

Earthworms are an ideal biological model in toxicity assays and environmental monitoring studies. In the present study, the reproductive toxicity and histopathological effects of Monocrotophos pesticide on an exotic epigeic Eudrilus eugeniae and an indigenous epigeic Perionyx barotensis earthworm were studied. Earthworm species were exposed to different concentrations of pesticide like 450 ppm, 500 ppm, and 650 ppm for 45 days and the mortality rate and reproductive activity was recorded every 15 days of exposure. There was an increase in mortality and abnormal sperm (asthenospermia, necrospermia, and oligospermia) and defective cocoons in earthworms with increasing concentrations of the pesticide. Histopathological changes like rupture of chloragogenous tissue, longitudinal muscle, fused and extra-villous growth and necrotic cell rupture in earthworm's body wall (epidermis, circular and longitudinal muscles) were observed. Fluorescent probes have detected cell death in pesticide-treated earthworms when compared to the control group after 45 days. The present findings show that Monocrotophos pesticide on exposure to epigeic earthworm species causes significant reproductive toxicity and histopathological abnormalities and these changes could be used as a tool in environmental risk assessment of pesticides.Abbreviations: DDT: Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane; MCP: Monocrotophos; EPA: Environment Protection Act; SL: Soluble Liquid; C: N (Carbon: Nitrogen); C: P (Carbon: Phosphorus); LC: Lethal Concentration; PBS: Phosphate Buffer Solution; WHO: World Health Organization; H&E: Hematoxylin and Eosin; SV: seminal vesicles; O: ovary; GP: genital papillae; Ch: chloragogenous tissue; EL: epithelial layer; CM: circular muscle; LM: longitudinal muscle; CD: cell debris.

RevDate: 2020-09-07

Zhang Z, Liu Y, Brunel C, et al (2020)

Evidence for Elton's diversity-invasibility hypothesis from belowground.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Sixty year ago, Charles Elton posed that species-rich communities should be more resistant to biological invasion. However, still little is known about which processes could drive the diversity-invasibility relationship. Here we examined whether soil-microbes-mediated apparent competition on alien invaders is more negative when the soil originates from multiple native species. We trained soils with five individually grown native species, and used amplicon sequencing to analyze the resulting bacterial and fungal soil communities. We mixed the soils to create trained soils from one, two or four native species. We then grew four alien species separately on these differently trained soils. In the soil-conditioning phase, the five native species built species-specific bacterial and fungal communities in their rhizospheres. In the test phase, it did not matter for biomass of alien plants whether the soil had been trained by one or two native species. However, the alien species achieved 11.7% (95% CI: 3.7% ~ 20.1%) less aboveground biomass when grown on soils trained by four native species than on soils trained by two native species. Our results revealed soil-microbes-mediated apparent competition as a mechanism underlying the negative relationship between diversity and invasibility.

RevDate: 2020-09-06

Mi Kyaw YM, Bi Y, Oo TN, et al (2020)

Traditional medicinal plants used by the Mon people in Myanmar.

Journal of ethnopharmacology pii:S0378-8741(20)33135-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Myanmar's Mon people largely depend on a traditional medical system for health care, however, information about their medical plants is rare in the current literature. In this first ethnobotanical study of Mon traditional medicinal plants (MTMs), we attempt to answer three research questions: 1) What species are used as MTMs by the Mon people and what diseases can be treated with these MTMs? 2) What are the general characteristics of these MTMs? 3) Which species and their usages have high consensus of knowledge?

AIM OF THE STUDY: We aimed (1) to document both the diversity of medicinal plants used by the Mon people and their knowledge of the therapeutic usages of these plants; and (2) to quantitatively identify the most well-known medicinal plant species and prevalent diseases treated by these species, and to evaluate the status of scientific research and application for each of these species.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Ethnobotanical surveys and interviews were carried out in 10 villages in four townships of Mon State, Myanmar in 2018. Data were collected from interviews with 131 informants, chosen via the snowball sampling method. Therapeutic uses of medicinal plants were categorized according to the ICPC-2 standard. Voucher specimens of plant species were collected and identified by experts. To evaluate the consensus of knowledge, we applied use reports (URs) using the R package of ethnobotanyR.

RESULTS: In total, we recorded 158 medicinal plant species belonging to 64 families as being used by the Mon people, with thirteen species being newly recorded as medicinal plants in Myanmar. The people listed 78 therapeutic uses for these plants, which could be classified into 16 ICPC-2 disease categories. Digestive, urological and respiratory diseases ranked as the most prevalent diseases based on use reports. Fabaceae was the most represented family and the leaf was the most commonly used plant part. Decoction and oral administration ranked top in preparation and administration methods, respectively. Tinospora sinensis (Lour.) Merr, the introduced species Chromolaena odorata (L.) R. M. King & H. Rob., Mimosa pudica L., Tadehagi triquetrum (L.) H. Ohashi, and Alysicarpus vaginalis (L.) DC were the five most cited medicinal plant species, and were used to treat dysuria, cuts and wounds, cough, diabetes and gall stones respectively, with high consensus.

CONCLUSION: The Mon people of Myanmar have a rich and diverse knowledge of traditional medicinal plants. The list of medicinal plants in Myanmar can be renewed, with the addition of 13 species. MTMs still function as an important component of the health care of the Mon people in Myanmar, and a systematic documentation of the local knowledge of MTMs would be of great value in the future. Resource monitoring, phytochemical and pharmacological research and evidence-based drug development are suggested to promote the use of MTMs and aid drug discovery.

RevDate: 2020-09-07
CmpDate: 2020-09-07

Ammann L, Moorhouse-Gann R, Cuff J, et al (2020)

Insights into aphid prey consumption by ladybirds: Optimising field sampling methods and primer design for high throughput sequencing.

PloS one, 15(7):e0235054.

Elucidating the diets of insect predators is important in basic and applied ecology, such as for improving the effectiveness of conservation biological control measures to promote natural enemies of crop pests. Here, we investigated the aphid diet of two common aphid predators in Central European agroecosystems, the native Coccinella septempunctata (Linnaeus) and the invasive Harmonia axyridis (Pallas; Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) by means of high throughput sequencing (HTS). For acquiring insights into diets of mobile flying insects at landscape scale minimizing trapping bias is important, which imposes methodological challenges for HTS. We therefore assessed the suitability of three field sampling methods (sticky traps, pan traps and hand-collection) as well as new aphid primers for identifying aphid prey consumption by coccinellids through HTS. The new aphid primers facilitate identification to species level in 75% of the European aphid genera investigated. Aphid primer specificity was high in silico and in vitro but low in environmental samples with the methods used, although this could be improved in future studies. For insect trapping we conclude that sticky traps are a suitable method in terms of minimizing sampling bias, contamination risk and trapping success, but compromise on DNA-recovery rate. The aphid diets of both field-captured ladybird species were dominated by Microlophium carnosum, the common nettle aphid. Another common prey was Sitobion avenae (cereal aphid), which got more often detected in C. septempunctata compared to H. axyridis. Around one third of the recovered aphid taxa were common crop pests. We conclude that sampling methodologies need constant revision but that our improved aphid primers offer currently one of the best solutions for broad screenings of coccinellid predation on aphids.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Liu C, Wolter C, Xian W, et al (2020)

Species distribution models have limited spatial transferability for invasive species.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

The reliability of transferring species distribution models (SDMs) to new ranges and future climates has been widely debated. Biological invasions offer the unique opportunity to evaluate model transferability, as distribution data between species' native and introduced ranges are geographically independent of each other. Here, we performed the first global quantitative synthesis of the spatial transferability of SDMs for 235 invasive species and assessed the association of model transferability with the focal invader, model choice and parameterisation. We found that SDMs had limited spatial transferability overall. However, model transferability was higher for terrestrial endotherms, species introduced from or to the Southern Hemisphere, and species introduced more recently. Model transferability was also positively associated with the number of presences for model calibration and evaluation, respectively, but negatively with the number of predictors. These findings highlight the importance of considering the characteristics of the focal invader, environment and modelling in the application and assessment of SDMs.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Manda S, Titelboim D, Ashckenazi-Polivoda S, et al (2020)

Epiphytic benthic foraminiferal preferences for macroalgal habitats: Implications for coastal warming.

Marine environmental research, 161:105084 pii:S0141-1136(20)30547-X [Epub ahead of print].

Considering the thermal limits of coastal macroalgae habitats in the South-Eastern Mediterranean, it is important to study the response of the associated meiofauna to better understand the expected feedback of ecosystems to future warming. In this study, we compared benthic foraminiferal assemblages from two common macroalgal habitats, Turf and Coralline algae, based on ecological monitoring of a thermally polluted station representing near future warming, and an undisturbed environment. None of the common local species is confined to a specific algal habitat. This implies that their existence is not threatened by the disappearance of the Coralline algae. However, most likely their community structure will be impacted with coastal warming. Species that are more affiliated with Coralline algae are highly thermally tolerant, thus their proliferation might be reduced with warming. Specifically, the negative response of Coralline algae to warming may limit the contribution of invasive species such as Pararotalia calcariformata.

RevDate: 2020-09-05

Maranesi M, Palermo FA, Bufalari A, et al (2020)

Seasonal Expression of NGF and Its Cognate Receptors in the Ovaries of Grey Squirrels (Sciurus carolinensis).

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 10(9): pii:ani10091558.

The grey squirrel is an invasive alien species that seriously threatens the conservation of the native red squirrel species. With the aim of characterizing the reproductive physiology of this species due to its great reproductive success, the function of the ovarian nerve growth factor (NGF) system was analyzed in a grey squirrel population living in central Italy. During the breeding and nonbreeding seasons, the ovarian presence, distribution, and gene expression of NGF, neurotrophic tyrosine kinase receptor 1 (NTRK1), and nerve growth factor receptor (NGFR), as well as NGF plasma concentrations, were evaluated in female grey squirrels. NGF was found in the luteal cells and in the thecal and granulosa cells of follicles, while NTRK1 and NGFR were only observed in follicular thecal and granulosa cells. NGF and NGFR transcripts were almost two-fold greater during the breeding season, while no seasonal differences were observed in NTRK1 gene expression. During the breeding season, NGFR was more expressed than NTRK1. Moreover, no changes were observed in NGF plasma levels during the reproductive cycle. The NGF system seems to be involved in regulating the ovarian cycle mainly via local modulation of NGF/NGFR, thus playing a role in the reproductive physiology of this grey squirrel population.

RevDate: 2020-09-04

Sedio BE, Devaney JL, Pullen J, et al (2020)

Chemical novelty facilitates herbivore resistance and biological invasions in some introduced plant species.

Ecology and evolution, 10(16):8770-8792 pii:ECE36575.

Ecological release from herbivory due to chemical novelty is commonly predicted to facilitate biological invasions by plants, but has not been tested on a community scale. We used metabolomics based on mass spectrometry molecular networks to assess the novelty of foliar secondary chemistry of 15 invasive plant species compared to 46 native species at a site in eastern North America. Locally, invasive species were more chemically distinctive than natives. Among the 15 invasive species, the more chemically distinct were less preferred by insect herbivores and less browsed by deer. Finally, an assessment of invasion frequency in 2,505 forest plots in the Atlantic coastal plain revealed that, regionally, invasive species that were less preferred by insect herbivores, less browsed by white-tailed deer, and chemically distinct relative to the native plant community occurred more frequently in survey plots. Our results suggest that chemically mediated release from herbivores contributes to many successful invasions.

RevDate: 2020-09-04

Liu C, Wolter C, Xian W, et al (2020)

Most invasive species largely conserve their climatic niche.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:2004289117 [Epub ahead of print].

The ecological niche is a key concept for elucidating patterns of species distributions and developing strategies for conserving biodiversity. However, recent times are seeing a widespread debate whether species niches are conserved across space and time (niche conservatism hypothesis). Biological invasions represent a unique opportunity to test this hypothesis in a short time frame at the global scale. We synthesized empirical findings for 434 invasive species from 86 studies to assess whether invasive species conserve their climatic niche between native and introduced ranges. Although the niche conservatism hypothesis was rejected in most studies, highly contrasting conclusions for the same species between and within studies suggest that the dichotomous conclusions of these studies were sensitive to techniques, assessment criteria, or author preferences. We performed a consistent quantitative analysis of the dynamics between native and introduced climatic niches reported by previous studies. Our results show there is very limited niche expansion between native and introduced ranges, and introduced niches occupy a position similar to native niches in the environmental space. These findings support the niche conservatism hypothesis overall. In particular, introduced niches were narrower for terrestrial animals, species introduced more recently, or species with more native occurrences. Niche similarity was lower for aquatic species, species introduced only intentionally or more recently, or species with fewer introduced occurrences. Climatic niche conservatism for invasive species not only increases our confidence in transferring ecological niche models to new ranges but also supports the use of niche models for forecasting species responses to changing climates.

RevDate: 2020-09-04

Zapponi L, Bon MC, Fouani JM, et al (2020)

Assemblage of the Egg Parasitoids of the Invasive Stink Bug Halyomorpha halys: Insights on Plant Host Associations.

Insects, 11(9): pii:insects11090588.

Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) is an invasive alien species and a key agricultural pest. Its native parasitoids (Trissolcus japonicus Ashmead and Tr. mitsukurii Ashmead) have been registered in several countries where H. halys brought dramatic economic losses and where biological control is considered to be the most effective long-term solution. By searching for stink bug egg masses and exposing sentinel egg masses, we monitored the distribution of native and exotic egg parasitoids in Trentino-Alto Adige (Italy), an area where both the host and parasitoids are in expansion. We recorded ten pentatomids, seven parasitoid species, with the first report of Tr. japonicus in this area and a hyperparasitoid. In the assemblage, Anastatus bifasciatus (Geoffroy) and Tr. mitsukurii were the dominant parasitoids, with a different distribution in terms of context and host plants. Sycamore was the host plant where the highest number of naturally laid parasitized egg masses (26%) were recorded. Trissolcus mitsukurii showed the highest parasitism rate, and was often found in apple orchards. The emergence of exotic parasitoids showed a temporal delay compared to native ones. Sequence analysis of 823 bp of the CO1 mitochondrial gene revealed that the recovered Tr. japonicus and Tr. mitsukurii harbored one single haplotype each. These haplotypes were previously found in 2018 in Northern Italy. While sentinel egg masses proved to be very effective in tracking the arrival of exotic Trissolcus species, the collection of stink bug egg masses provided fundamental data on the plant host species. The results lend strong support to the adaptation of exotic Trissolcus species to the environmental conditions of the range of introduction, providing new information on plant host-associations, fundamental for the development of biological control programs.

RevDate: 2020-09-04

Londe V, de Sousa HC, MCTB Messias (2020)

Monitoring of forest components reveals that exotic tree species are not always invasive in areas under ecological restoration.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 192(10):618 pii:10.1007/s10661-020-08583-w.

Exotic species are known to become invasive in several ecosystems, including areas undergoing restoration. But does that always happen? We monitored the tree layer, seed rain, and regenerating layer of 10-year and 20-year-old forests under restoration in southeast Brazil to verify if planted exotic trees were behaving as invasive; if they were influencing the species richness and abundance of regenerating native plants; and the probabilities of exotic trees perpetuating over time. Data from the three forest components (trees, seed rain, and regenerating) were collected in 12 permanent plots of 100 m2 each in each study area. Collected data were analyzed through generalized linear models (GLM) and Markov chains. We verified that exotic species were not behaving as invasive species. Of the five species planted, Acacia mangium, Syzygium cumini, and Psidium guajava were dispersing seeds but recruiting only six new individuals. In general, the species richness and abundance of exotic trees were not related to the richness and abundance of regenerating native plants. In addition, the chances of individuals' transition between forest components were in most cases nil, so that exotic species should continue not to spread in the 10- and 20-year-old forests. We assume that biotic resistance was occurring in the assembled communities and this prevented exotic trees from behaving as invaders. Monitoring of forest components helped to better understand the role of non-native species in the dynamics of these novel ecosystems. Monitoring also indicated that not all recovering forests need management actions against exotic trees after a decade or two of restoration.

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Haelewaters D, Blackwell M, DH Pfister (2020)

Laboulbeniomycetes: Intimate Fungal Associates of Arthropods.

Annual review of entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Arthropod-fungus interactions involving the Laboulbeniomycetes have been pondered for several hundred years. Early studies of Laboulbeniomycetes faced several uncertainties. Were they parasitic worms, red algal relatives, or fungi? If they were fungi, to which group did they belong? What was the nature of their interactions with their arthropod hosts? The historical misperceptions resulted from the extraordinary morphological features of these oddly constructed ectoparasitic fungi. More recently, molecular phylogenetic studies, in combination with a better understanding of life histories, have clearly placed these fungi among filamentous Ascomycota (subphylum Pezizomycotina). Species discovery and research on the classification of the group continue today as arthropods, and especially insects, are routinely collected and examined for the presence of Laboulbeniomycetes. Newly armed with molecular methods, mycologists are poised to use Laboulbeniomycetes-insect associations as models for the study of a variety of basic evolutionary and ecological questions involving host-parasite relationships, modes of nutrient intake, population biology, host specificity, biological control, and invasion biology. Collaboration between mycologists and entomologists is essential to successfully advance knowledge of Laboulbeniomycetes and their intimate association with their hosts. Expected final online publication date for the Annual Review of Entomology, Volume 66 is January 11, 2020. Please see http://www.annualreviews.org/page/journal/pubdates for revised estimates.

RevDate: 2020-09-04
CmpDate: 2020-09-04

Saebi M, Xu J, Grey EK, et al (2020)

Higher-order patterns of aquatic species spread through the global shipping network.

PloS one, 15(7):e0220353.

The introduction and establishment of nonindigenous species (NIS) through global ship movements poses a significant threat to marine ecosystems and economies. While ballast-vectored invasions have been partly addressed by some national policies and an international agreement regulating the concentrations of organisms in ballast water, biofouling-vectored invasions remain largely unaddressed. Development of additional efficient and cost-effective ship-borne NIS policies requires an accurate estimation of NIS spread risk from both ballast water and biofouling. We demonstrate that the first-order Markovian assumption limits accurate modeling of NIS spread risks through the global shipping network. In contrast, we show that higher-order patterns provide more accurate NIS spread risk estimates by revealing indirect pathways of NIS transfer using Species Flow Higher-Order Networks (SF-HON). Using the largest available datasets of non-indigenous species for Europe and the United States, we then compare SF-HON model predictions against those from networks that consider only first-order connections and those that consider all possible indirect connections without consideration of their significance. We show that not only SF-HONs yield more accurate NIS spread risk predictions, but there are important differences in NIS spread via the ballast and biofouling vectors. Our work provides information that policymakers can use to develop more efficient and targeted prevention strategies for ship-borne NIS spread management, especially as management of biofouling is of increasing concern.

RevDate: 2020-09-03
CmpDate: 2020-09-03

Rudstam LG, CJ Gandino (2020)

Zebra or quagga mussel dominance depends on trade-offs between growth and defense-Field support from Onondaga Lake, NY.

PloS one, 15(6):e0235387.

Two invasive mussels (zebra mussel, Dreissena polymorpha and quagga mussel D. rostriformis bugensis) have restructured the benthic habitat of many water bodies in both Europe and North America. Quagga mussels dominate in most lakes where they co-occur even though zebra mussels typically invade lakes first. A reversal to zebra mussel over time has rarely been observed. Laboratory experiments have shown that quagga mussels grow faster than zebra mussels when predator kairomones are present and this faster growth is associated with lower investment in anti-predator response in quagga mussels than zebra mussels. This led to the hypothesis that the dominance of quagga mussels is due to faster growth that is not offset by higher vulnerability to predators when predation rates are low, as may be expected in newly colonized lakes. It follows that in lakes with high predation pressure, the anti-predatory investments of zebra mussels should be more advantageous and zebra mussels should be the more abundant of the two species. In Onondaga Lake, NY, a meso-eutrophic lake with annual mussel surveys from 2005 to 2018, quagga mussels increased from less than 6% of the combined mussel biomass in 2007 to 82% in 2009 (from 3 to 69% by number), rates typical of this displacement process elsewhere, but then declined again to 11-20% of the mussel biomass in 2016-2018. Average total mussel biomass also declined from 344-524 g shell-on dry weight (SODW)/m2 in 2009-2011 to 34-73 g SODW/m2 in 2016-2018, mainly due to fewer quagga mussels. This decline in total mussel biomass and a return to zebra mussel as the most abundant species occurred as the round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) increased in abundance. Both the increase to dominance of quagga mussels and the subsequent decline following the increase in this molluscivorous fish are consistent with the differences in the trade-off between investment in growth and investment in defenses of the two species. We predict that similar changes in dreissenid mussel populations will occur in other lakes following round goby invasions, at least on the habitats colonized by both species.

RevDate: 2020-09-03
CmpDate: 2020-09-03

Kean JM, Mansfield S, Hardwick S, et al (2020)

A risk-based detection survey for the predatory mirid Macrolophus pygmaeus in New Zealand.

Bulletin of entomological research, 110(3):370-378.

Macrolophus pygmaeus, a predatory mirid used to manage greenhouse whitefly, was illegally imported into New Zealand, and for a time was reared and sold to commercial tomato growers. We designed and implemented a risk-based detection survey to determine whether M. pygmaeus was still present in New Zealand a decade later. The survey was designed to have an 80% chance of detecting a single low density (0.05 per lineal metre of host plants) population within 1 km of known points of introduction. The survey was implemented between 8 and 15 March 2018. Local habitat constraints meant that the planned sampling had to be modified but this was accounted for in the subsequent analysis. No M. pygmaeus were found in the samples, but 93 specimens from seven other mirid taxa were detected, validating the sample methods. The survey gives 60% confidence that M. pygmaeus was not present at a mean density of 0.05 per lineal metre of habitat. It gives 80% confidence that a population at 0.1 m-1 was not present and 90% confidence that no population exists at >0.18 m-1. Though there are no published data on typical field population densities of M. pygmaeus, for related species the survey would have had high confidence in detecting any medium to high density population present. Therefore, it is likely that M. pygmaeus is no longer present in New Zealand, but if extant within the sampled areas then we have high certainty that it was at low densities compared to other predaceous mirids.

RevDate: 2020-09-04
CmpDate: 2020-09-04

Hood GR, Powell THQ, Doellman MM, et al (2020)

Rapid and repeatable host plant shifts drive reproductive isolation following a recent human-mediated introduction of the apple maggot fly, Rhagoletis pomonella.

Evolution; international journal of organic evolution, 74(1):156-168.

Ecological speciation via host-shifting is often invoked as a mechanism for insect diversification, but the relative importance of this process is poorly understood. The shift of Rhagoletis pomonella in the 1850s from the native downy hawthorn, Crataegus mollis, to introduced apple, Malus pumila, is a classic example of sympatric host race formation, a hypothesized early stage of ecological speciation. The accidental human-mediated introduction of R. pomonella into the Pacific Northwest (PNW) in the late 1970s allows us to investigate how novel ecological opportunities may trigger divergent adaptation and host race formation on a rapid timescale. Since the introduction, the fly has spread in the PNW, where in addition to apple, it now infests native black hawthorn, Crataegus douglasii, and introduced ornamental hawthorn, Crataegus monogyna. We use this "natural experiment" to test for genetic differentiation among apple, black, and ornamental hawthorn flies co-occurring at three sympatric sites. We report evidence that populations of all three host-associations are genetically differentiated at the local level, indicating that partial reproductive isolation has evolved in this novel habitat. Our results suggest that conditions suitable for initiating host-associated divergence may be common in nature, allowing for the rapid evolution of new host races when ecological opportunity arises.

RevDate: 2020-09-03
CmpDate: 2020-09-03

Rose A, Ross DW, Havill NP, et al (2020)

Coexistence of three specialist predators of the hemlock woolly adelgid in the Pacific Northwest USA.

Bulletin of entomological research, 110(3):303-308.

The hemlock woolly adelgid (Hemiptera: Adelgidae: Adelges tsugae Annand) is an invasive insect, introduced from Japan to eastern North America, where it causes decline and death of hemlock trees. There is a closely related lineage of A. tsugae native to western North America. To inform classical biological control of A. tsugae in the eastern USA, the density and phenology of three native western adelgid specialist predators, Leucopis argenticollis (Zetterstedt), Le. piniperda (Malloch) (Diptera: Chamaemyiidae), and Laricobius nigrinus Fender (Coleoptera: Derodontidae), were quantified in the Pacific Northwest. Infested branches were collected from western hemlock (Pinaceae: Tsuga heterophylla (Raf.) Sarg.) at four sites around the Puget Sound, Washington and three sites in Oregon. Immature Leucopis were identified to species using DNA barcodes. Leucopis argenticollis was roughly twice as abundant as Le. piniperda. Laricobius nigrinus larvae were more abundant than the two species of Leucopis during the egg stage of the first adelgid generation, but Leucopis were present as feeding larvae during the second adelgid generation when La. nigrinus was aestivating in the soil, resulting in Leucopis being more abundant than La. nigrinus across the entire sampling period. Adelges tsugae and La. nigrinus densities were not correlated, while A. tsugae and Leucopis spp. densities were positively correlated. Leucopis spp. and La. nigrinus densities were negatively correlated. These results support the complementary use of La. nigrinus and the two Leucopis species for biological control of A. tsugae in the eastern USA, and point to the need for further investigation of spatial and temporal niche partitioning among the three predator species.

RevDate: 2020-09-04
CmpDate: 2020-09-04

Barbieri ES, Medina CD, Vázquez N, et al (2019)

First detection of Ostreid herpesvirus 1 in wild Crassostrea gigas in Argentina.

Journal of invertebrate pathology, 166:107222.

Ostreid herpesvirus 1 (OsHV-1) is a DNA virus of the genus Ostreavirus (Malacoherpesviridae family, Herpesvirales order). Worldwide, OsHV-1 and its microvariants have been associated with increased mortality of Pacific oysters, Crassostrea gigas. Adult asymptomatic oysters also have shown a high prevalence of viral infection. As a consequence, surveillance is needed to better describe OsHV-1 diversity, pathogenicity, clinical signs, and geographical distribution. We examined Crassostrea gigas sampled in October 2017 from the inner zone of the Bahía Blanca Estuary, Argentina, and found that 8 of 30 specimens (26.7%) presented macroscopic lesions in mantle tissues. Histological analysis revealed abnormal presentation of mantle epithelial cells and connective tissues. Conventional and real-time PCR conducted on the oyster samples revealed 70% to be positive for presence of OsHV-1 DNA. The nucleotide sequence of the amplicon obtained from one sample using the primer pair IA1/IA2 (targeting ORF 42/43) was 99% identical to OsHV-1 reference as well as µVar strains B and A (KY271630, KY242785.1), sequenced from France and Ireland. This finding represents the first detection of OsHV-1 DNA in a wild population of C. gigas in Argentina in association with gross mantle lesions.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Brannelly LA, Wetzel DP, Ohmer MEB, et al (2020)

Evaluating environmental DNA as a tool for detecting an amphibian pathogen using an optimized extraction method.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-020-04743-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental DNA (eDNA) detection is a valuable conservation tool that can be used to identify and monitor imperiled or invasive species and wildlife pathogens. Batrachochytrium pathogens are of global conservation concern because they are a leading cause of amphibian decline. While eDNA techniques have been used to detect Batrachochytrium DNA in the environment, a systematic comparison of extraction methods across environmental samples is lacking. In this study, we first compared eDNA extraction methods and found that a soil extraction kit (Qiagen PowerSoil) was the most effective for detecting Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis in water samples. The PowerSoil extraction had a minimum detection level of 100 zoospores and had a two- to four-fold higher detection probability than other commonly used extraction methods (e.g., QIAamp extraction, DNeasy+Qiashredder extraction method, respectively). Next, we used this extraction method on field-collected water and sediment samples and were able to detect pathogen DNA in both. While field-collected water filters were equivalent to amphibian skin swab samples in detecting the presence of pathogen DNA, the seasonal patterns in pathogen quantity were different between skin swabs and water samples. Detection rate was lowest in sediment samples. We also found that detection probability increases with the volume of water filtered. Our results indicate that water filter eDNA samples can be accurate in detecting pathogen presence at the habitat scale but their utility for quantifying pathogen loads in the environment appears limited. We suggest that eDNA techniques be used for early warning detection to guide animal sampling efforts.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Fricke EC, JC Svenning (2020)

Accelerating homogenization of the global plant-frugivore meta-network.

Nature, 585(7823):74-78.

Introductions of species by humans are causing the homogenization of species composition across biogeographic barriers1-3. The ecological and evolutionary consequences of introduced species derive from their effects on networks of species interactions4,5, but we lack a quantitative understanding of the impacts of introduced species on ecological networks and their biogeographic patterns globally. Here we address this data gap by analysing mutualistic seed-dispersal interactions from 410 local networks, encompassing 24,455 unique pairwise interactions between 1,631 animal and 3,208 plant species. We show that species introductions reduce biogeographic compartmentalization of the global meta-network, in which nodes are species and links are interactions observed within any local network. This homogenizing effect extends across spatial scales, decreasing beta diversity among local networks and modularity within networks. The prevalence of introduced interactions is directly related to human environmental modifications and is accelerating, having increased sevenfold over the past 75 years. These dynamics alter the coevolutionary environments that mutualists experience6, and we find that introduced species disproportionately interact with other introduced species. These processes are likely to amplify biotic homogenization in future ecosystems7 and may reduce the resilience of ecosystems by allowing perturbations to propagate more quickly and exposing disparate ecosystems to similar drivers. Our results highlight the importance of managing the increasing homogenization of ecological complexity.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Arbona V, Ximénez-Embún MG, Echavarri-Muñoz A, et al (2020)

Early Molecular Responses of Tomato to Combined Moderate Water Stress and Tomato Red Spider Mite Tetranychus evansi Attack.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9): pii:plants9091131.

Interaction between plants and their environment is changing as a consequence of the climate change and global warming, increasing the performance and dispersal of some pest species which become invasive species. Tetranychus evansi also known as the tomato red spider mite, is an invasive species which has been reported to increase its performance when feeding in the tomato cultivar Moneymaker (MM) under water deficit conditions. In order to clarify the underlying molecular events involved, we examined early plant molecular changes occurring on MM during T. evansi infestation alone or in combination with moderate drought stress. Hormonal profiling of MM plants showed an increase in abscisic acid (ABA) levels in drought-stressed plants while salicylic acid (SA) levels were higher in drought-stressed plants infested with T. evansi, indicating that SA is involved in the regulation of plant responses to this stress combination. Changes in the expression of ABA-dependent DREB2, NCED1, and RAB18 genes confirmed the presence of drought-dependent molecular responses in tomato plants and indicated that these responses could be modulated by the tomato red spider mite. Tomato metabolic profiling identified 42 differentially altered compounds produced by T. evansi attack, moderate drought stress, and/or their combination, reinforcing the idea of putative manipulation of tomato plant responses by tomato red spider mite. Altogether, these results indicate that the tomato red spider mite acts modulating plant responses to moderate drought stress by interfering with the ABA and SA hormonal responses, providing new insights into the early events occurring on plant biotic and abiotic stress interaction.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Korzeniewicz R, Baranowska M, Kwaśna H, et al (2020)

Communities of Fungi in Black Cherry Stumps and Effects of Herbicide.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9): pii:plants9091126.

So far, there have been no studies on fungal communities in Prunus serotina (black cherry) wood. Our objectives were to characterize fungal communities from P. serotina wood and to evaluate effects of glyphosate (Glifocyd 360 SL) used on P. serotina stumps on abundance, species richness and diversity of those communities. In August 2016, in the Podanin Forest District, stumps of black cherry trees left after felling were treated with the herbicide. Control stumps were treated with water. Wood discs were cut from the surface of the stumps in May and July-August 2017. Eight treatment combinations (2 herbicide treatments × 2 disc sizes × 2 sample times) were tested. Sub-samples were pooled and ground in an acryogenic mill. Environmental DNA was extracted with a Plant Genomic DNA Purification Kit. The ITS1, 5.8S rDNA region was used to identify fungal species, using primers ITS1FI2 5'-GAACCWGCGGARGGATCA-3' and 5.8S 5'-CGCTGCGTT CTTCATCG-3'. The amplicons were sequenced using the Illumina system. The results were subjected to bioinformatic analysis. Sequences were compared with reference sequences from the NCBI database using the BLASTn 2.8.0 algorithm. Abundance of fungi was defined as the number of Operational Taxonomic Units (OTUs), and diversity as the number of species in a sample. Differences between the number of OTUs and taxa were analyzed using the chi-squared test (χ2). Diversity in microbial communities was compared using diversity indices. A total of 54,644 OTUs were obtained. Culturable fungi produced 49,808 OTUs (91.15%), fungi not known from culture had 2571 OTUs (4.70%), non-fungal organisms had 1333 (2.44%) and organisms with no reference sequence in NCBI, 934 OTUs (1.71%). The total number of taxa ranged from 120 to 319. Fungi in stump wood were significantly more abundant in July-August than in May, in stumps >5 cm diameter than in stumps <5 cm diameter, in glyphosate-treated than in untreated stumps when sampled in May, and in untreated than in glyphosate-treated stumps when sampled in July-August. Species richness was significantly greater in July-August than in May, and in stumps >5 cm diameter than in stumps <5 cm diameter, either treated or untreated, depending on size. Herbicides can therefore affect the abundance and diversity of fungal communities in deciduous tree wood. The greater frequency of Ascomycota in herbicide-treated than in untreated stumps indicates their greater tolerance of glyphosate.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Leimbach-Maus HB, McCluskey EM, Locher A, et al (2020)

Genetic Structure of Invasive Baby's Breath (Gypsophila paniculata L.) Populations in a Michigan Dune System.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(9): pii:plants9091123.

Coastal sand dunes are dynamic ecosystems with elevated levels of disturbance and are highly susceptible to plant invasions. One invasive plant that is of concern to the Great Lakes system is Gypsophila paniculata L. (perennial baby's breath). The presence of G. paniculata negatively impacts native species and has the potential to alter ecosystem dynamics. Our research goals were to (1) estimate the genetic structure of invasive G. paniculata along the Michigan dune system and (2) identify landscape features that influence gene flow in this area. We analyzed 12 populations at 14 nuclear and two chloroplast microsatellite loci. We found strong genetic structure among populations (global FST = 0.228), and pairwise comparisons among all populations yielded significant FST values. Results from clustering analysis via STRUCTURE and discriminant analysis of principal components (DAPC) suggest two main genetic clusters that are separated by the Leelanau Peninsula, and this is supported by the distribution of chloroplast haplotypes. Land cover and topography better explained pairwise genetic distances than geographic distance alone, suggesting that these factors influence the genetic distribution of populations within the dunes system. Together, these data aid in our understanding of how invasive populations move through the dune landscape, providing valuable information for managing the spread of this species.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Dayathilake DDTL, Lokupitiya E, VPIS Wijeratne (2020)

Estimation of aboveground and belowground carbon stocks in urban freshwater wetlands of Sri Lanka.

Carbon balance and management, 15(1):17 pii:10.1186/s13021-020-00152-5.

BACKGROUND: The occurrence of climate change at an unprecedented scale has resulted in alterations of ecosystems around the world. Numerous studies have reported on the potential to slow down climate change through the sequestration of carbon in soil and trees. Freshwater wetlands hold significant potential for climate change mitigation owing to their large capacity to sequester atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2). Wetlands among all terrestrial ecosystems have the highest carbon density and are found to store up to three to five times more carbon than terrestrial forests. The current study was undertaken to quantify carbon stocks of two carbon pools: aboveground biomass (AGB) and belowground biomass (BGB). Chosen study sites; Kolonnawa wetland and Thalawathugoda wetland park are distributed within the Colombo wetland complex. Colombo was recognized as one of the 18 global Ramsar wetland cities in 2018. A combination of field measurements and allometric tree biomass regression models was used in the study. Stratification of the project area was performed using the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI).

RESULTS: The AGB carbon stock, across strata, is estimated to be in the range of 13.79 ± 3.65-66.49 ± 6.70 tC/ha and 8.13 ± 2.42-52.63 ± 10.00 tC/ha at Kolonnawa wetland and Thalawathugoda wetland park, respectively. The BGB carbon stock is estimated to be in the range of 2.47 ± 0.61-10.12 ± 0.89 tC/ha and 1.56 ± 0.41-8.17 ± 1.39 tC/ha at Kolonnawa wetland and Thalawathugoda wetland park, respectively. The total AGB carbon stock of Kolonnawa wetland was estimated at 19,803 ± 1566 tCO2eq and that of Thalawathugoda wetland park was estimated at 4180 ± 729 tCO2eq.

CONCLUSIONS: In conclusion, the study reveals that tropical freshwater wetlands contain considerable potential as carbon reservoirs. The study suggests the use of tropical freshwater wetlands in carbon sequestration enhancement plans in the tropics. The study also shows that Annona glabra, an invasive alien species (IAS), has the potential to enhance the net sink of AGB carbon in these non-mangrove wetlands. However, further studies are essential to confirm if enhanced carbon sequestration by Annona glabra is among the unexplored and unreported benefits of the species.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Shanmuganandam S, Hu Y, Strive T, et al (2020)

Uncovering the microbiome of invasive sympatric European brown hares and European rabbits in Australia.

PeerJ, 8:e9564.

Background: European brown hares (Lepus europaeus) and European rabbits (Oryctolagus cuniculus) are invasive pest species in Australia, with rabbits having a substantially larger environmental impact than hares. As their spatial distribution in Australia partially overlaps, we conducted a comparative microbiome study to determine how the composition of gastrointestinal microbiota varies between these species, since this may indicate species differences in diet, physiology, and other internal and external factors.

Methods: We analysed the faecal microbiome of nine wild hares and twelve wild rabbits from a sympatric periurban reserve in Canberra, Australia, using a 16S rRNA amplicon-based sequencing approach. Additionally, we compared the concordance between results from Illumina and Nanopore sequencing platforms.

Results: We identified significantly more variation in faecal microbiome composition between individual rabbits compared to hares, despite both species occupying a similar habitat. The faecal microbiome in both species was dominated by the phyla Firmicutes and Bacteroidetes, typical of many vertebrates. Many phyla, including Actinobacteria, Proteobacteria and Patescibacteria, were shared between rabbits and hares. In contrast, bacteria from phylum Verrucomicrobia were present only in rabbits, while phyla Lentisphaerae and Synergistetes were represented only in hares. We did not identify phylum Spirochaetes in Australian hares; this phylum was previously shown to be present at high relative abundance in European hare faecal samples. These differences in the composition of faecal microbiota may be indicative of less discriminate foraging behaviour in rabbits, which in turn may enable them to adapt quicker to new environments, and may reflect the severe environmental impacts that this species has in Australia.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Vaudo AD, Biddinger DJ, Sickel W, et al (2020)

Introduced bees (Osmia cornifrons) collect pollen from both coevolved and novel host-plant species within their family-level phylogenetic preferences.

Royal Society open science, 7(7):200225.

Studying the pollen preferences of introduced bees allows us to investigate how species use host-plants when establishing in new environments. Osmia cornifrons is a solitary bee introduced into North America from East Asia for pollination of Rosaceae crops such as apples and cherries. We investigated whether O. cornifrons (i) more frequently collected pollen from host-plant species they coevolved with from their geographic origin, or (ii) prefer host-plant species of specific plant taxa independent of origin. To address this question, using pollen metabarcoding, we examined the identity and relative abundance of pollen in larval provisions from nests located in different landscapes with varying abundance of East-Asian and non-Asian plant species. Our results show that O. cornifrons collected more pollen from plant species from their native range. Plants in the family Rosaceae were their most preferred pollen hosts, but they differentially collected species native to East Asia, Europe, or North America depending on the landscape. Our results suggest that while O. cornifrons frequently collect pollen of East-Asian origin, the collection of pollen from novel species within their phylogenetic familial affinities is common and can facilitate pollinator establishment. This phylogenetic preference highlights the effectiveness of O. cornifrons as crop pollinators of a variety of Rosaceae crops from different geographic origins. Our results imply that globalization of non-native plant species may ease the naturalization of their coevolved pollinators outside of their native range.

RevDate: 2020-09-03

Jones FAM, Dornelas M, AE Magurran (2020)

Recent increases in assemblage rarity are linked to increasing local immigration.

Royal Society open science, 7(7):192045.

As pressures on biodiversity increase, a better understanding of how assemblages are responding is needed. Because rare species, defined here as those that have locally low abundances, make up a high proportion of assemblage species lists, understanding how the number of rare species within assemblages is changing will help elucidate patterns of recent biodiversity change. Here, we show that the number of rare species within assemblages is increasing, on average, across systems. This increase could arise in two ways: species already present in the assemblage decreasing in abundance but with no increase in extinctions, or additional species entering the assemblage in low numbers associated with an increase in immigration. The positive relationship between change in rarity and change in species richness provides evidence for the second explanation, i.e. higher net immigration than extinction among the rare species. These measurable changes in the structure of assemblages in the recent past underline the need to use multiple biodiversity metrics to understand biodiversity change.

RevDate: 2020-09-02

Díaz C, Wege FF, Tang CQ, et al (2020)

Aquatic suspended particulate matter as source of eDNA for fish metabarcoding.

Scientific reports, 10(1):14352 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-71238-w.

The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) for monitoring aquatic macrofauna allows the non-invasive species determination and measurement of their DNA abundance and typically involves the analysis of eDNA captured from water samples. In this proof-of-concept study, we focused on the novel use of eDNA extracted from archived suspended particulate matter (SPM) for identifying fish species using metabarcoding, which benefits from the prospect of retrospective monitoring and also analysis of fish communities through time. We used archived SPM samples of the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB), which were collected using sedimentation traps from different riverine points in Germany. Environmental DNA was extracted from nine SPM samples differing in location, organic content, and porosity (among other factors) using four different methods for the isolation of high-quality DNA. Application of the PowerSoil DNA Isolation Kit with an overnight incubation in lysis buffer, resulted in DNA extraction with the highest purity and eDNA metabarcoding of these eDNA fragments was used to detect a total of 29 fish taxa among the analyzed samples. Here we demonstrated for the first time that SPM is a promising source of eDNA for metabarcoding analysis, which could provide valuable retrospective information (when using archived SPM) for fish monitoring, complementing the currently used approaches.

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Cuthbert RN, Kotronaki SG, Dick JTA, et al (2020)

Salinity tolerance and geographical origin predict global alien amphipod invasions.

Biology letters, 16(9):20200354.

Invasive alien species are driving global biodiversity loss, compromising ecosystem function and service provision, and human, animal and plant health. Habitat characteristics and geographical origin may predict invasion success, and in aquatic environments could be mediated principally by salinity tolerance. Crustacean invaders are causing global problems and we urgently require better predictive power of their invasiveness. Here, we compiled global aquatic gammarid (Crustacea: Amphipoda: Gammaroidea) diversity and examined their salinity tolerances and regions of origin to test whether these factors predict invasion success. Across 918 aquatic species within this superfamily, relatively few gammarids (n = 27, 3%) were reported as aliens, despite extensive invasion opportunities and high numbers of published studies on amphipod invasions. However, reported alien species were disproportionately salt-tolerant (i.e. 32% of brackish-water species), with significantly lower proportions of aliens originating from freshwater and marine environments (both 1%). Alien gammarids also significantly disproportionally originated from the Ponto-Caspian (20% of these taxa) when compared with all 'other' grouped regions (1%), and principally invaded Eurasian waters, with translocations of salt-tolerant taxa to freshwaters being pervasive. This suggests habitat characteristics, alongside regional contexts, help predict invasibility. In particular, broad environmental tolerances to harsh environments and associated evolutionary history probably promote success of aliens globally.

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Kelly TR, Kimball MG, Stansberry KR, et al (2020)

No, you go first: phenotype and social context affect house sparrow neophobia.

Biology letters, 16(9):20200286.

Novel object trials are commonly used to assess aversion to novelty (neophobia), and previous work has shown neophobia can be influenced by the social environment, but whether the altered behaviour persists afterwards (social learning) is largely unknown in wild animals. We assessed house sparrow (Passer domesticus) novel object responses before, during and after being paired with a conspecific of either similar or different behavioural phenotype. During paired trials, animals housed with a similar or more neophobic partner demonstrated an increased aversion to novel objects. This change did not persist a week after unpairing, but neophobia decreased after unpairing in birds previously housed with a less neophobic partner. We also compared novel object responses to non-object control trials to validate our experimental procedure. Our results provide evidence of social learning in a highly successful invasive species, and an interesting asymmetry in the effects of social environment on neophobia behaviour depending on the animal's initial behavioural phenotype.

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Derstine NT, Meier L, Canlas I, et al (2020)

Plant Volatiles Help Mediate Host Plant Selection and Attraction of the Spotted Lanternfly (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae): a Generalist With a Preferred Host.

Environmental entomology pii:5900068 [Epub ahead of print].

Host plant volatiles play a key role in mediating plant-herbivore interactions. How an array of host plant volatiles guides host preference and attraction in the invasive polyphagous Lycorma delicatula (White), the spotted lanternfly (SLF), is largely unknown. A pernicious phloem feeder, SLF feeds on over 70 species of plants, some with high economic impact. To aid the development of detection and monitoring tools for SLF, we used a two-choice olfactometer to compare 14 host plant species for attraction, first to a blank control, and then to their preferred host Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle (Sapindales: Simaroubaceae), tree-of-heaven. SLF were significantly attracted to seven host plants compared to a blank control, but no host plant was more attractive than tree-of-heaven. We then used electroantennographic detection (EAD) to screen select host plants for EAD active compounds, hypothesizing that EAD-active plant volatiles act as kairomones and mediate SLF attraction to host plants. Out of 43 unique antennal responses, 18 compounds were identified and tested individually for attraction in a two-choice olfactometer against a blank control and then against methyl salicylate, the current best attractant. Eleven compounds were significantly attractive, and one, sulcatone, was more attractive than methyl salicylate. Blends of kairomones were then tested for attraction, revealing five blends that were significantly more attractive than methyl salicylate, and could be developed into lures for field testing. The presence of these kairomones in volatile profiles of 17 plant species is described. These findings support the hypothesis that the identified volatiles act as kairomones and function in attraction to host plants.

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Wyckhuys KAG, Lu Y, Zhou W, et al (2020)

Ecological pest control fortifies agricultural growth in Asia-Pacific economies.

Nature ecology & evolution pii:10.1038/s41559-020-01294-y [Epub ahead of print].

The Green Revolution is credited with alleviating famine, mitigating poverty and driving aggregate economic growth since the 1960s. In Asia, high-input technology packages secured a tripling of rice output, with germplasm improvements providing benefits beyond US$4.3 billion yr-1. Here, we unveil the magnitude and macro-economic relevance of parallel nature-based contributions to productivity growth in non-rice crops over the period 1918-2018 (across 23 different Asia-Pacific geopolitical entities). We empirically demonstrate how biological control resolved invasive pest threats in multiple agricultural commodities, ensuring annually accruing (on-farm) benefits of US$14.6-19.5 billion yr-1. Scientifically guided biological control of 43 exotic invertebrate pests permitted 73-100% yield-loss recovery in critical food, feed and fibre crops including banana, breadfruit, cassava and coconut. Biological control thereby promoted rural growth and prosperity even in marginal, poorly endowed, non-rice environments. By placing agro-ecological innovations on equal footing with input-intensive measures, our work provides lessons for future efforts to mitigate invasive species, restore ecological resilience and sustainably raise output of global agrifood systems.

RevDate: 2020-09-01

Karimi S, Hemami MR, Tarkesh Esfahani M, et al (2020)

Endozoochorous dispersal by herbivores and omnivores is mediated by germination conditions.

BMC ecology, 20(1):49 pii:10.1186/s12898-020-00317-3.

BACKGROUND: Vertebrate-mediated seed dispersal is probably the main long distance dispersal mode. Through endozoochory, large mammals act as mobile links between habitats within and among forest patches. Along with other factors, their feeding regimes do affect their contribution as dispersal vectors. We conducted a cross-species comparative experiment involving two herbivores, red deer and roe deer; and two opportunistic omnivores, wild boar and brown bear, all occurring in the forest and steppe-forest ecotone habitats of the south-eastern Caspian region. We compared their role as endozoochorous seed dispersal agents by monitoring seedling emergence in their dungs under greenhouse and natural conditions.

RESULTS: In total, 3078 seedlings, corresponding to 136 plant taxa sprouted from 445 paired dung sub-samples, under greenhouse and natural conditions. Only 336 seedlings, corresponding to 36 plant taxa, emerged under natural conditions, among which five taxa did not appear under greenhouse conditions. Graminoids and forbs composed 91% of the seedlings in the greenhouse whereas shrubs were more abundant under natural conditions, representing 55% of the emerged seedlings. Under greenhouse conditions, first red deer and then wild boar dispersed more species than the other two mammals, while under natural conditions brown bear was the most effective vector. We observed remarkably higher species richness and seedling abundance per dung sub-sample under buffered greenhouse conditions than we did under natural conditions.

CONCLUSIONS: The four sympatric mammals studied provided different seed dispersal services, both in terms of seedling abundance and species richness and may therefore be regarded as complementary. Our results highlight a positive bias when only considering germination under buffered greenhouse conditions. This must be taken into account when planning management options to benefit plant biodiversity based on the dispersal services concluded from greenhouse experiments.

RevDate: 2020-08-31

Day CA, Armstrong EG, BD Byrd (2020)

Population Growth Rates of Aedes atropalpus (Diptera: Culicidae) Are Depressed at Lower Temperatures Where Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) Are Naturally Abundant in Rock Pools.

Journal of medical entomology pii:5899497 [Epub ahead of print].

Recent studies report extensive reductions in the abundance of the North American rock pool mosquito, Aedes atropalpus (Diptera: Culicidae), following the invasion of Ae. japonicus japonicus in the United States. Although developmental temperature is recognized as an important component of the invasion biology of Ae. j. japonicus, its impacts on the population growth and fitness of Ae. atropalpus remain largely undefined. In this study we reared Ae. atropalpus larvae at three temperature ranges reflecting ecologically important temperatures in natural rock pools: a low temperature range (mean: 19°C) where Ae. j. japonicus is common and Ae. atropalpus is often rare, a middle temperature range (mean: 25°C) where both species are naturally found in similar relative abundances, and a higher temperature range (mean: 31°C) where Ae. atropalpus is the dominant species. We measured survival, development time, wing length, and fecundity to calculate a finite population growth rate at each temperature. Our results indicate that Ae. atropalpus population growth suffers in colder rock pools, which informs the perceived displacement of the species in temperate habitats. The population growth rate was highest in the middle temperature range, but not significantly higher than in the highest temperature range used in this study. The developmental success of Ae. atropalpus at the intermediate temperature range suggests that competition with Ae. j. japonicus in rock pools within that range may significantly impact natural Ae. atropalpus populations.

RevDate: 2020-08-31

Ng TH, Jeratthitikul E, Sutcharit C, et al (2020)

Annotated checklist of freshwater molluscs from the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.

ZooKeys, 958:107-141 pii:53865.

The Tonle Sap Lake in Cambodia is a crucial freshwater biodiversity hotspot and supports one of the world's largest inland fisheries. Within the Tonle Sap basin, freshwater molluscs provide vital ecosystem services and are among the fauna targetted for commercial harvesting. Despite their importance, freshwater molluscs of the Tonle Sap basin remain poorly studied. The historical literature was reviewed and at least 153 species of freshwater molluscs have been previously recorded from throughout Cambodia, including 33 from the Tonle Sap basin. Surveys of the Tonle Sap Lake and surrounding watershed were also conducted and found 31 species, 15 bivalves (five families) and 16 gastropods (eight families), in the Tonle Sap basin, including three new records for Cambodia (Scaphula minuta, Novaculina siamensis, Wattebledia siamensis), the presence of globally invasive Pomacea maculata and potential pest species like Limnoperna fortunei. This study represents the most comprehensive documentation of freshwater molluscs of the Tonle Sap basin, and voucher specimens deposited at the Inland Fisheries Research and Development Institute, Cambodia, represent the first known reference collection of freshwater molluscs in the country. In order to combat the combined anthropogenic pressures, including invasive species, climate change and dams along the Mekong River, a multi-pronged approach is urgently required to study the biodiversity, ecology, ecosystem functioning of freshwater molluscs and other aquatic fauna in the Tonle Sap basin.

RevDate: 2020-08-31

van Nieukerken EJ, CS Eiseman (2020)

Splitting the leafmining shield-bearer moth genus Antispila Hübner (Lepidoptera, Heliozelidae): North American species with reduced venation placed in Aspilanta new genus, with a review of heliozelid morphology.

ZooKeys, 957:105-161 pii:53908.

The new genus Aspilantagen. n. is described to harbour Nearctic heliozelid moths with reduced venation, previously placed in Antispila Hübner, 1825, with type species Antispila oinophylla van Nieukerken & Wagner, 2012. The erection of this genus has become possible now that monophyly has been supported by a recent phylotranscriptomics analysis. Six species are combined in this genus: Aspilanta oinophylla (van Nieukerken & Wagner, 2012), comb. n., A. hydrangaeella (Chambers, 1874), comb. n., A. ampelopsifoliella (Chambers, 1874), comb. n., A. voraginella (Braun, 1927), comb. n., A. argentifera (Braun, 1927), comb. n., A. viticordifoliella (Clemens, 1860), comb. n. and two candidate species are recognised. DNA barcode COI sequences of Malaise trapped specimens suggest a rich fauna of Aspilanta in Central America. All are leafminers, with Vitaceae as main host family, and single species feeding respectively on Hydrangeaceae and Myricaceae. The species are briefly diagnosed, and data on biology, DNA barcodes and distribution are provided. To place the genus in context, a review of heliozelid morphology and phylogeny is presented and a key to Nearctic genera is given. The genus is confined to North and Central America, possibly also occurring in South America. Aspilanta oinophylla is also an invasive species on grapevine in Italy. The genus is sister to Coptodisca Walsingham, 1895. Another species is removed from Antispila: Heliozela eugeniella (Busck, 1900), comb. n., feeding on Eugenia (Myrtaceae), from Florida.

RevDate: 2020-08-31

Manenti R, Mori E, Di Canio V, et al (2020)

The good, the bad and the ugly of COVID-19 lockdown effects on wildlife conservation: Insights from the first European locked down country.

Biological conservation, 249:108728.

The COVID-19 pandemic zoonosis has determined extensive lockdowns worldwide that provide an unprecedented opportunity to understand how large-scale shifts of human activities can impact wildlife. We addressed the impacts of the COVID-19 lockdown on wildlife in Italy, the first European country that performed a countrywide lockdown, and identified potentially beneficial and negative consequences for wildlife conservation and management. We combined a qualitative analysis of social media information with field data from multiple taxa, data from citizen science projects, and questionnaires addressed to managers of protected areas. Both social media information and field data suggest that a reduction of human disturbance allowed wildlife to exploit new habitats and increase daily activity. The field data confirmed some positive effects on wildlife conservation, such as an increase in species richness in temporarily less-disturbed habitats, a higher breeding success of an aerial insectivorous bird, and reduction of road-killing of both amphibians and reptiles. Despite some positive effects, our data also highlighted several negative impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on wildlife. The lower human disturbance linked to lockdown was in fact beneficial for invasive alien species. Results from questionnaires addressed to managers of protected areas highlighted that the COVID-19 lockdown interrupted actions for the control of invasive alien species, and hampered conservation activities targeting threatened taxa. Furthermore, the reduction of enforcement could cause a surge of illegal killing of wildlife. The COVID-19 crisis, besides having deep socio-economic impacts, might profoundly affect wildlife conservation, with potentially long-lasting effects.

RevDate: 2020-08-31

Imatake S, Imaizumi N, Ohashi Y, et al (2020)

Reproductive cycle and maturation of Swinhoe's tree lizard (Diploderma swinhonis (Günther, 1864)) in Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan.

The Journal of veterinary medical science [Epub ahead of print].

Swinhoe's tree lizard (Diploderma swinhonis) is an arboreal agamid that is native to Taiwan. The species has been introduced to some areas of Japan and is regarded as an invasive alien species. In 2016, a nonnative population of D. swinhonis was discovered in Hyuga City, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan, but little information was available on the ecology of the population at the time. The main purpose of this study was therefore to investigate the reproductive cycle and maturation of this population. Field research was conducted from 2017 to 2019, and 764 lizards were collected. Euthanized lizards were dissected and the reproductive organs were examined to determine the reproductive period, clutch size, clutch frequency and size at sexual maturity. Females with oviductal eggs or vitellogenic ovarian follicles were observed from May to October. Clutch size ranged from 2 to 8, and clutch frequency was more than twice a year. In males, spermiogenesis started in early May and testicular regression was observed in September. Males with spermatozoa in the epididymides were found from May to November. Minimum snout-vent length at sexual maturity was 50.2 mm in females and 53.0 mm in males. Comparisons of the findings of this study and reports from Taiwan suggest that the nonnative population of D. swinhonis in Hyuga City has a higher fecundity than populations in Taiwan. It is therefore considered necessary to exterminate the population in Hyuga City before this species colonizes other areas.

RevDate: 2020-08-31

Joseph B, Hensgen F, M Wachendorf (2020)

Life Cycle Assessment of bioenergy production from mountainous grasslands invaded by lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl.).

Journal of environmental management, 275:111182 pii:S0301-4797(20)31107-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Mountainous grasslands are typically important habitats both for fauna and flora but increasingly suffer from invasions by neophytes (i.e. Lupinus polyphyllus Lindl.) in most German low mountain areas, which eventually threatens species richness. Regular defoliation is required to eliminate the invasion, however, at present options to handle the harvested biomass are limited. Integrated generation of solid fuel and biogas from biomass (IFBB) and anaerobic digestion (AD) are two possible options to utilise the biomass and convert it into energy. There is substantial environmental impact associated with the energy and resource usage during conversion of the biomass into fuel and during usage of fuels and co-products obtained. This study examines IFBB and AD to identify the best option in terms of environmental impacts and primary energy usage, also looking at alternatives for process parameters along the life cycle that would reduce environmental impacts. It was found that IFBB was a better option compared to AD, as it had higher environmental and primary energy savings across all grassland sites. Higher energy conversion efficiency of IFBB resulted in higher greenhouse gas (GHG) and energy savings, even though the energy usage for the processing steps were higher compared to AD. Biomass yield was positively related to the savings, providing better GHG and energy savings for grasslands containing invasive species. There were no savings in terms of acidification (AP) and eutrophication potential (EP) for both IFBB and AD, however AP and EP was lower using IFBB compared to AD. Hence, biomass originating from mountainous grasslands with lupine invasion could be effectively utilised with IFBB, as this option had lower environmental impacts and higher energy savings compared to AD. Biomass from non-invaded grasslands could also be converted effectively using IFBB, hence IFBB could be used to utilise the harvested biomass in the situation where the invasion is eliminated.

RevDate: 2020-08-29

Duncan RP, Dexter N, Wayne A, et al (2020)

Eruptive dynamics are common in managed mammal populations.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Successful conservation management is often based on the principle that small or declining populations can recover if we identify and remove the factors that caused them to decline in the first place. But what form will that recovery take? Theory tells us that when a strong limiting factor is removed, a population should increase in size to where it becomes limited by some other factor. However, if the subsequent limitation involves feedbacks between the density of a consumer and its resource, there is potential for the consumer population to undergo substantial fluctuations in size that we would characterise as boom-bust or eruptive dynamics. We analysed long-term (7.6-29 years) data documenting changes in the abundance of 169 populations of 20 mammal species released from a strong limiting factor (fox predation) in Australia. We show that many populations (44) exhibited eruptive dynamics, with exponential increase to a peak and subsequent population decline. Of 51 populations showing eruptive dynamics (the Australian populations plus 7 translocated ungulate populations), the time taken for erupting populations to reach a peak before declining was related negatively to the intrinsic rate of population growth and positively to body mass, such that larger-bodied species with slow rates of population growth had a longer period of population increase before declining. Our results suggest that a substantial proportion of populations recovering after removal of a threatening process are likely to exhibit eruptive dynamics, and that managers of recovering or translocated populations should anticipate this outcome in conservation planning.


RJR Experience and Expertise


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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

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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

short personal version

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

long standard version

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