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30 Nov 2020 at 01:40
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Bibliography on: Invasive Species


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RJR: Recommended Bibliography 30 Nov 2020 at 01:40 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: 2020-11-28

Broadley HJ, Gould JR, Sullivan LT, et al (2020)

Life History and Rearing of Anastatus orientalis (Hymenoptera: Eupelmidae), an Egg Parasitoid of the Spotted Lanternfly (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae).

Environmental entomology pii:6008156 [Epub ahead of print].

To support efforts to manage and contain spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula White (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae), research is being conducted to develop classical biological control methods. To date, two potential biocontrol agents from China have been identified: an egg parasitoid, Anastatus orientalis, and a nymphal parasitoid, Dryinus sinicus Olmi (Hymenoptera: Dryinidae). The research detailed here focuses on investigating the biology and rearing of A. orientalis to assess its potential efficacy in a biocontrol program and optimize its rearing. Female wasps lived significantly longer than male wasps (68 and 23 d, respectively) and females produced an average of 94 total progeny that successfully emerged as adults, with most progeny produced between weeks one and four of the females' lives. The sex ratio of the progeny, with no re-mating, was initially highly female-biased but became progressively more male-biased, likely due to sperm depletion. There was no evidence of additional mortality to SLF eggs from wasp host feeding, but the data were highly variable and the sample size was small. There was high parasitoid emergence when oviposition conditions mimicked mid-September Beijing temperature and photoperiod; however, there was little emergence under 25°C and long-day conditions because most progeny entered a diapause. Storage of parasitized eggs in 5°C chill lowered parasitoid emergence rates. Lastly, there was no evidence that storing field-collected SLF egg masses in 5°C for 10 mo prior to parasitization affected parasitism rates. These findings inform our rearing protocol for A. orientalis and facilitate our testing of this species as a potential biological control agent for SLF.

RevDate: 2020-11-28

Kleitou P, Crocetta F, Giakoumi S, et al (2020)

Fishery reforms for the management of non-indigenous species.

Journal of environmental management pii:S0301-4797(20)31615-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine ecosystems are undergoing major transformations due to the establishment and spread of Non-Indigenous Species (NIS). Some of these organisms have adverse effects, for example by reducing biodiversity and causing ecosystem shifts. Others have upsides, such as benefits to fisheries or replacing lost ecological functions and strengthening biogenic complexity. Stopping the spread of NIS is virtually impossible and so the societal challenge is how to limit the socioeconomic, health, and ecological risks, and sustainably exploit the benefits provided by these organisms. We propose a move away from the notion that NIS have only negative effects, and suggest a turn towards an Ecosystem-Based Fishery Management approach for NIS (EBFM-NIS) in the Mediterranean Sea, the world's most invaded marine region. A structured, iterative, and adaptive framework that considers the range of costs and benefits to ecosystems, ecosystem services, and fisheries is set out to determine whether NIS stocks should be managed using sustainable or unsustainable exploitation. We propose fishery reforms such as multiannual plans, annual catch limits, technical measures for sustainable exploitation, and legitimization of unlimited fishing of selected NIS and introduction of a radical new license for NIS fishing for unsustainable exploitation. Depending on local conditions, investment strategies can be included within the EBFM-NIS framework to protect/enhance natural assets to improve ecosystem resilience against NIS, as well as fishery assets to improve the performance of NIS fisheries. Examples of the former include the enhancement of Marine Protected Areas, harvesting of invasive NIS within MPAs, and protection of overfished predators and key species. Examples of the latter include market promotion and valorisation of NIS products, development of novel NIS products, and innovative/alternative NIS fishing such as fishery-related tourism ('pescatourism'). The application of the suggested EBFM-NIS would create jobs, protect and enhance ecosystem services, and help to meet the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas, and marine resources for sustainable development.

RevDate: 2020-11-27

Mathai PP, Bertram JH, Padhi SK, et al (2020)

Influence of Environmental Stressors on the Microbiota of Zebra Mussels (Dreissena polymorpha).

Microbial ecology pii:10.1007/s00248-020-01642-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Host-associated microbiota play a critical role in host fitness by providing nutrition, enhancing digestion capabilities, and by providing protection from pathogens. Here, we investigated the effects of two environmental stressors, temperature, and salinity, on the microbiota associated with zebra mussels (ZMs), a highly invasive bivalve in North America. To examine this in detail, lake-collected ZMs were acclimated to laboratory conditions, and subjected to temperature and salinity stress conditions. The impact of these stressors on the diversity, composition, and dynamics of ZM-associated microbiota were assessed by using amplicon- and shotgun-based sequencing, and qPCR-based approaches. Elevated temperature was found to be the primary driver of ZM mortality, although salinity alone also increased its likelihood. Stressor-induced ZM mortality, which ranged between 53 and 100%, was concomitant with significant increases in the relative abundance of several genera of putative opportunistic pathogens including Aeromonas. These genera were only present in low relative abundance in ZMs obtained from the control tank with 0% mortality. Shotgun sequencing and qPCR analyses indicated that the relative and absolute abundances of pathogenic Aeromonas species (particularly A. veronii) were significantly greater in temperature-induced dead ZMs. Taken together, our results show that environmental stress, especially elevated temperature (> 25 °C), is associated with the rapid mortality of ZMs as well as the proliferation of putative opportunistic bacterial pathogens.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Koch FH, Yemshanov D, Haight RG, et al (2020)

Optimal invasive species surveillance in the real world: practical advances from research.

Emerging topics in life sciences pii:227002 [Epub ahead of print].

When alien species make incursions into novel environments, early detection through surveillance is critical to minimizing their impacts and preserving the possibility of timely eradication. However, incipient populations can be difficult to detect, and usually, there are limited resources for surveillance or other response activities. Modern optimization techniques enable surveillance planning that accounts for the biology and expected behavior of an invasive species while exploring multiple scenarios to identify the most cost-effective options. Nevertheless, most optimization models omit some real-world limitations faced by practitioners during multi-day surveillance campaigns, such as daily working time constraints, the time and cost to access survey sites and personnel work schedules. Consequently, surveillance managers must rely on their own judgments to handle these logistical details, and default to their experience during implementation. This is sensible, but their decisions may fail to address all relevant factors and may not be cost-effective. A better planning strategy is to determine optimal routing to survey sites while accounting for common daily logistical constraints. Adding site access and other logistical constraints imposes restrictions on the scope and extent of the surveillance effort, yielding costlier but more realistic expectations of the surveillance outcomes than in a theoretical planning case.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Rewicz A, Myśliwy M, Adamowski W, et al (2020)

Seed morphology and sculpture of invasive Impatiens capensis Meerb. from different habitats.

PeerJ, 8:e10156 pii:10156.

Impatiens capensis is an annual plant native to eastern North America that is currently spreading across Europe. In Poland, due to this plant's rapid spread in the secondary range and high competitiveness in relation to native species, it is considered a locally invasive species. The microstructure of seeds is an important tool for solving various taxonomic problems and also provides data useful for determining the impact of various environmental factors on the phenotypic variability of species. This issue is particularly important in regard to invasive species which occupy a wide range of habitats in the invaded range. There are few reports on seed size and thus far no descriptions of the seed ultrastructure of I. capensis in the analyzed literature. We present new data on the seed morphology of I. capensis growing in different habitats and conditions in the secondary range of the species. The studied populations differed significantly in each of the investigated traits (seed length, width, circumference, area, roundness, and mass). Our findings showed that anthropogenic disturbances in habitats and some soil parameters (presence of carbonates, potassium, loose sand, and moisture) were statistically significant with various seed sizes and morphology in the studied populations of I. capensis. Moreover, our studies showed maximum seed length (5.74 mm) and width (3.21 mm) exceeding those values given in the available literature. For the first time, we also provide a detailed SEM study of the ultrastructure of the seed coat of I. capensis. There are two types of epidermal cells on the seeds: (a) between the ribs (elongated with straight anticlinal walls, slightly concave outer periclinal walls, and micropapillate secondary sculpture on the edges with anticyclic walls), and (b) on the ribs (isodiametric cells with straight anticlinal walls and concave outer periclinal walls). Unlike the variability of size and weight of seeds, the coat ornamentation has turned out to be a steady feature within the studied secondary range of I. capensis.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Justine JL, Gey D, Thévenot J, et al (2020)

The land flatworm Amaga expatria (Geoplanidae) in Guadeloupe and Martinique: new reports and molecular characterization including complete mitogenome.

PeerJ, 8:e10098 pii:10098.

Background: The land flatworm Amaga expatria Jones & Sterrer, 2005 (Geoplanidae) was described from two specimens collected in Bermuda in 1963 and 1988 and not recorded since.

Methods: On the basis of a citizen science project, we received observations in the field, photographs and specimens from non-professionals and local scientists in Martinique and Guadeloupe. We barcoded (COI) specimens from both islands and studied the histology of the reproductive organs of one specimen. Based on Next Generation Sequencing, we obtained the complete mitogenome of A. expatria and some information on its prey from contaminating DNA.

Results: We add records from 2006 to 2019 in two French islands of the Caribbean arc, Guadeloupe (six records) and Martinique (14 records), based on photographs obtained from citizen science and specimens examined. A specimen from Martinique was studied for histology of the copulatory organs and barcoded for the COI gene; its anatomy was similar to the holotype, therefore confirming species identification. The COI gene was identical for several specimens from Martinique and Guadeloupe and differed from the closest species by more than 10%; molecular characterisation of the species is thus possible by standard molecular barcoding techniques. The mitogenome is 14,962 bp in length and contains 12 protein coding genes, two rRNA genes and 22 tRNA genes; for two protein genes it was not possible to determine the start codon. The mitogenome was compared with the few available mitogenomes from geoplanids and the most similar was Obama nungara, a species from South America. An analysis of contaminating DNA in the digestive system suggests that A. expatria preys on terrestrial molluscs, and citizen science observations in the field suggest that prey include molluscs and earthworms; the species thus could be a threat to biodiversity of soil animals in the Caribbean.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Edgington MP, Harvey-Samuel T, L Alphey (2020)

Split drive killer-rescue provides a novel threshold-dependent gene drive.

Scientific reports, 10(1):20520 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-77544-7.

A wide range of gene drive mechanisms have been proposed that are predicted to increase in frequency within a population even when they are deleterious to individuals carrying them. This also allows associated desirable genetic material ("cargo genes") to increase in frequency. Gene drives have garnered much attention for their potential use against a range of globally important problems including vector borne disease, crop pests and invasive species. Here we propose a novel gene drive mechanism that could be engineered using a combination of toxin-antidote and CRISPR components, each of which are already being developed for other purposes. Population genetics mathematical models are developed here to demonstrate the threshold-dependent nature of the proposed system and its robustness to imperfect homing, incomplete penetrance of toxins and transgene fitness costs, each of which are of practical significance given that real-world components inevitably have such imperfections. We show that although end-joining repair mechanisms may cause the system to break down, under certain conditions, it should persist over time scales relevant for genetic control programs. The potential of such a system to provide localised population suppression via sex ratio distortion or female-specific lethality is also explored. Additionally, we investigate the effect on introduction thresholds of adding an extra CRISPR base element, showing that this may either increase or decrease dependent on parameter context.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Bieńkowski AO, MJ Orlova-Bienkowskaja (2020)

Invasive Agricultural Pest Drosophila suzukii (Diptera, Drosophilidae) Appeared in the Russian Caucasus.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110826.

Spotted-wing drosophila Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) is one of the most important invasive pests of fruit and wine production worldwide. This species feeds on Prunus spp., Rubus spp., Fragaria spp. (Rosaceae), Vaccinium spp. (Ericaceae), Vitis spp. (Vitaceae), and other soft fruits. It causes significant damage because, unlike most other Drosophila species, it oviposits and feeds on healthy fruits. Drosophila suzukii is a quarantine pest that is included on the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) A2 List. This species is native to East Asia and has been rapidly spreading through Europe since 2008. Herein, we report the first records of D. suzukii in European Russia. In 2017 and 2020, we placed baited traps in different districts of the resort city of Sochi (Black sea Coast of the Caucasus, Krasnodar Territory, Russia). Three specimens of D. suzukii were collected in June 2017, two specimens in September 2017, and 44 specimens in September 2020. Specimens were identified by the typical female ovipositor, spotted wings of the males, and other morphological characters. Krasnodar Territory is one of the main fruit-producing regions of Russia. Therefore, populations of this pest should be monitored and measures to minimize economic damage should be taken.

RevDate: 2020-11-26

Bieńkowski AO, MJ Orlova-Bienkowskaja (2020)

History of the Biodiversity of Ladybirds (Coccinellidae) at the Black Sea Coast of the Russian Caucasus in the Last 120 Years-Does the Landscape Transformation and Establishment of Harmonia axyridis Have an Impact?.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110824.

Studies of the history of regional insect fauna are important for understanding the changes in ecosystems. We analyzed the dynamics of ladybird fauna at the main sea resort of Russia over a period of 120 years to determine the following: (1) what species disappeared and what species appeared during landscape transformation; (2) what alien species introduced for pest control have been observed to date; and (3) whether the establishment of the global invader Harmonia axyridis (Coccinellidae) caused the extinction of some ladybird species in the Caucasus. We examined specimens collected by us and 54 other collectors including specimens from old museum collections and detected 62 species, 50 of which were collected in recent years (2011-2020). Landscape transformation and recreational use have caused not a decrease but an increase in ladybird biodiversity. Twenty-nine of 34 species recorded before 1930 have been observed in the region to date. Twenty-three other species have spontaneously spread to the region between 1930 and 2020 because of the creation of suitable anthropogenic habitats or because of unintentional introduction. Rodolia cardinalis, Cryptolaemus montrouzieri, Lindorus lophanthae, and Serangium montazerii were released for pest control, and they occur in gardens and streets but not in natural habitats. Harmonia axyridis, which appeared approximately 10 years ago, is abundant in urban and natural habitats, but there is no evidence that it caused the elimination of any ladybird species.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Colesie C, Stangl ZR, V Hurry (2020)

Differences in growth-economics of fast vs. slow growing grass species in response to temperature and nitrogen limitation individually, and in combination.

BMC ecology, 20(1):63 pii:10.1186/s12898-020-00333-3.

BACKGROUND: Fast growing invasive alien species are highly efficient with little investment in their tissues. They often outcompete slower growing species with severe consequences for diversity and community composition. The plant economics trait-based approach provides a theoretical framework, allowing the classification of plants with different performance characteristics. However, in multifaceted background, this approach needs testing. The evaluation and prediction of plant performance outcomes in ecologically relevant settings is among the most pressing topics to understand and predict ecosystem functioning, especially in a quickly changing environment. Temperature and nutrient availability are major components of the global environmental change and this study examines the response of growth economic traits, photosynthesis and respiration to such changes for an invasive fast-growing (Bromus hordaceus) and a slow-growing perennial (Bromus erectus) grass species.

RESULTS: The fully controlled growth chamber experiment simulated temperature-and changes in nitrogen availability individually and in combination. We therefore provide maximum control and monitoring of growth responses allowing general growth trait response patterns to be tested. Under optimal nitrogen availability the slow growing B. erectus was better able to handle the lower temperatures (7 °C) whilst both species had problems at higher temperatures (30 °C). Stresses produced by a combination of heat and nutrient availability were identified to be less limiting for the slow growing species but the combination of chilling with low nutrient availability was most detrimental to both species.

CONCLUSIONS: For the fast-growing invader B. hordeaceus a reduction of nitrogen availability in combination with a temperature increase, leads to limited growth performance in comparison to the slow-growing perennial species B.erectus and this may explain why nutrient-rich habitats often experience more invasion than resource-poor habitats.

RevDate: 2020-11-25

Lin S, Qin D, Zhang Y, et al (2020)

Toxicity and Sublethal Effects of Autumn Crocus (Colchicum autumnale) Bulb Powder on Red Imported Fire Ants (Solenopsis invicta).

Toxins, 12(11): pii:toxins12110731.

Autumn crocus (Colchicum autumnale L.) is a medicinal plant as it contains high concentrations of colchicine. In this study, we reported that the ground powder of autumn crocus bulb is highly toxic to invasive Solenopsis invicta Buren, commonly referred to as red imported fire ants (RIFAs). Ants fed with sugar water containing 5000 mg/L of bulb powder showed 54.67% mortality in three days compared to 45.33% mortality when fed with sugar water containing 50 mg/L of colchicine. Additionally, the effects of short-term feeding with sugar water containing 1 mg/L of colchicine and 100 mg/L of autumn crocus bulb powder were evaluated for RIFAs' colony weight, food consumption, and aggressiveness, i.e., aggregation, grasping ability, and walking speed. After 15 days of feeding, the cumulative colony weight loss reached 44.63% and 58.73% due to the sublethal concentrations of colchicine and autumn crocus bulb powder, respectively. The consumption of sugar water and mealworm (Tenebrio molitor L.) was substantially reduced. The aggregation rates decreased 48.67% and 34.67%, grasping rates were reduced to 38.67% and 16.67%, and walking speed decreased 1.13 cm/s and 0.67 cm/s as a result of the feeding of the two sublethal concentrations of colchicine and autumn crocus bulb powder, respectively. Our results for the first time show that powder derived from autumn crocus bulbs could potentially be a botanical pesticide for controlling RIFAs, and application of such a product could be ecologically benign due to its rapid biodegradation in the environment.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Achury R, Holway DA, AV Suarez (2020)

Pervasive and persistent effects of ant invasion and fragmentation on native ant assemblages.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are a leading cause of global change, yet their long-term effects remain hard to predict. Invasive species can remain abundant for long periods of time, or exhibit population crashes that allow native communities to recover. The abundance and impact of non-native species may also be closely tied to temporally variable habitat characteristics. We investigated the long-term effects of habitat fragmentation and invasion by the Argentine ant (Linepithema humile) by resurveying ants in 40 scrub habitat fragments in coastal southern California that were originally sampled 21 years ago. At a landscape scale, fragment area, but not fragment age or Argentine ant mean abundance, continued to explain variation in native ant species richness; the species-area relationship between the two sample years did not differ in terms of slope or intercept. At local scales, over the last 21 years we detected increases in the overall area invaded (+36.7 %, estimated as the proportion of occupied traps) and the relative abundance of the Argentine ant (+121.95 %, estimated as mean number of workers in pitfall traps). Argentine ant mean abundance also increased inwards from urban edges in 2017 compared to 1996. The greater level of penetration into fragments likely reduced native ant richness by eliminating refugia for native ants in fragments that did not contain sufficient interior area. At one fragment where we sampled eight times over the last 21 years, Argentine ant mean abundance increased over time while the diversity of native ground-foraging ants declined from 14 to 4 species. Notably, native species predicted to be particularly sensitive to the combined effect of invasion and habitat loss were not detected at any sites in our recent sampling, including the army ant genus Neivamyrmex. Conversely, two introduced ant species (Brachymyrmex patagonicus and Pheidole flavens) that were undetected in 1996 are now common and widespread at our sites. Our results indicate that behaviorally and numerically dominant invasive species can maintain high densities and suppress native diversity for extended periods.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Bang A, F Courchamp (2020)

Industrial rearing of edible insects could be a major source of new biological invasions.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

The recent upsurge in the edible insect market has seen industrialisation and intensification without adequate regulatory policy guidelines in place. The species being reared and sold are often non-native, in rearing centres not equipped to contain the species, and in areas without regional or national pre-entry regulations, post-entry monitoring guidelines and early response programmes to address escapee species. Such unregulated transport, trade and rearing of species, compounded by the policy and implementation loopholes at the regional, national and international levels will most likely lead to new biological invasions, as has been witnessed with other unregulated trade practices. To avoid this, it is necessary to monitor and regulate the species to be reared, to improve the quarantine guidelines of the rearing centres, and to be more stringent about the policies and practices that allow movements of non-native species across international borders.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Orden JA, García-Meniño I, Flament-Simon SC, et al (2020)

Raccoons (Procyon lotor) in the Madrid region of Spain are carriers of antimicrobial-resistant Escherichia coli and enteropathogenic E. coli.

Zoonoses and public health [Epub ahead of print].

The role of wildlife in the epidemiology of antimicrobial resistance is unclear. Raccoons in North America can carry a variety of enteric bacteria, with associated antimicrobial resistance, that could infect humans and livestock. The potential for raccoons to carry these bacteria in Europe, where they are an invasive species, has not been explored. Our objectives were to determine the prevalence of Escherichia coli with associated antimicrobial resistance in raccoons from the Madrid region of Spain and to determine whether they are carriers of potential human pathogens, including verotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) and enteropathogenic E. coli (EPEC). In total, we tested 237 E. coli isolates from the faeces of 83 euthanized raccoons for susceptibility to 14 antimicrobial agents and the presence of VTEC and EPEC. Antimicrobial resistance to at least one antimicrobial was detected in the faeces of 51% (42/83; 95% CI, 40.1-61.1) of the raccoons tested. A high percentage of raccoons carried, in their faeces, E. coli isolates resistant to ampicillin (33%), streptomycin (33%), tetracycline (30%), sulphafurazole (31%) and trimethoprim-sulphamethoxazole (23%). We detected one isolate of extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing E. coli from the faeces of one raccoon. We detected VTEC in the faeces of one raccoon, and EPEC in the faeces of 12% (10/83) of the raccoons. Of the raccoons that carried EPEC in their faeces, 60% (6/10) carried EPEC isolates that exhibited characteristics associated with pathogenicity in humans. Raccoons in Madrid can carry pathogenic and antimicrobial-resistant E. coli in their faeces and may be a risk to public health because of their potential to contaminate food and the environment with their faeces.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Reeves LE, Medina J, Miqueli E, et al (2020)

Establishment of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis (Diptera: Culicidae) in Mainland Florida, With Notes on the Ochlerotatus Group in the United States.

Journal of medical entomology pii:5998585 [Epub ahead of print].

Aedes scapularis (Rondani), a widespread neotropical vector mosquito species, has been included in the mosquito fauna of Florida on the basis of just three larval specimens that were collected in the middle Florida Keys in 1945. Here, we report numerous recent collections of immature and adult Ae. scapularis from multiple locations in two counties of southern Florida. These specimens represent the first records of Ae. scapularis from mainland Florida and the first records of the species in the state since the initial detection of the species 75 yr ago. Collections of both larvae and adults across several years indicate that Ae. scapularis is now established in Broward and Miami-Dade Counties. These contemporary records of this species in Florida may represent novel dispersal and subsequent establishment events from populations outside the United States or a recent reemergence of undetected endemic populations. To confirm morphological identification of Ae. scapularis specimens from Florida, the DNA barcoding region of the cytochrome c oxidase subunit I gene (COI) was sequenced and compared to all other Ochlerotatus Group species from the United States, specifically Aedes condolescens Dyar and Knab (Diptera: Culicidae), Aedes infirmatus Dyar and Knab (Diptera: Culicidae), Aedes thelcter Dyar (Diptera: Culicidae), Aedes tortilis (Theobald) (Diptera: Culicidae), and Aedes trivittatus (Coquillett) (Diptera: Culicidae). Molecular assays and sequencing confirm morphological identification of Ae. scapularis specimens. Maximum likelihood phylogenetic analysis of COI and ITS2 sequences place Florida Ae. scapularis in a distinct clade, but was unable to produce distinct clades for Florida specimens of Ae. condolescens and Ae. tortilis.

RevDate: 2020-11-23

Senator S, Tretyakova A, D Vorontsov (2020)

Distribution of alien plant species of the Middle Volga Region (South-East of the European part of Russia): a dataset.

Biodiversity data journal, 8:e59125 pii:59125.

Background: The dataset presented in the current study contains information regarding alien vascular plant species found in the Middle Volga Region (South-East of the European part of Russia). The dataset overall includes 413 species belonging to 247 genera and 67 families. The described dataset is based on the data published during floristic studies from 1851 to 2019. The dataset does not include alien vascular plant species that have presently disappeared from the territory of the region. It contains a total of 7,782 records of occurrences, extracted from the Salix system of information and analytics, developed in the Institute of Ecology of the Volga River Basin of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

New information: A total of 7,782 records were published on the occurrence of alien vascular plants in the Middle Volga Region. Each entry includes information regarding the place of occurrence of the alien plant species, the year of occurrence, the person who recorded the alien plant and who identified it, status of the species (introduced or invasive), link to the herbarium, which contains the specimen and the literary source. If it were impossible to establish the names of the persons who collected the samples and (or) their identification in the identifiedBy and recordedBy fields, the names of the authors of the publication given in the associatedReferences field were entered. The presented dataset supplements the information on the distribution of alien plant species in the whole European part of Russia and specifies the places of their findings in the Middle Volga Region.

RevDate: 2020-11-23
CmpDate: 2020-11-23

Nyboer EA, Chrétien E, LJ Chapman (2020)

Divergence in aerobic scope and thermal tolerance is related to local thermal regime in two populations of introduced Nile perch (Lates niloticus).

Journal of fish biology, 97(1):231-245.

We tested whether thermal tolerance and aerobic performance differed between two populations of Nile perch (Lates niloticus) originating from the same source population six decades after their introduction into two lakes in the Lake Victoria basin in East Africa. We used short-term acclimation of juvenile fish to a range of temperatures from ambient to +6°C, and performed critical thermal maximum (CTmax) and respirometry tests to measure upper thermal tolerance, resting and maximum metabolic rates, and aerobic scope (AS). Across acclimation temperatures, Nile perch from the cooler lake (Lake Nabugabo, Uganda) tended to have lower thermal tolerance (i.e., CTmax) and lower aerobic performance (i.e., AS) than Nile perch from the warmer waters of Lake Victoria (Bugonga region, Uganda). Effects of temperature acclimation were more pronounced in the Lake Victoria population, with the Lake Nabugabo fish showing less thermal plasticity in most metabolic traits. Our results suggest phenotypic divergence in thermal tolerance between these two introduced populations in a direction consistent with an adaptive response to local thermal regimes.

RevDate: 2020-11-23
CmpDate: 2020-11-23

Jones LR, Manrique JM, Uyua NM, et al (2019)

Genetic analysis of the invasive alga Didymosphenia geminata in Southern Argentina: Evidence of a Pleistocene origin of local lineages.

Scientific reports, 9(1):18706.

The diatom Didymosphenia geminata has gained notoriety due to the massive growths which have occurred in recent decades in temperate regions. Different explanations have been proposed for this phenomenon, including the emergence of new invasive strains, human dispersion and climate change. Despite the fact in Argentina nuisance growths began in about 2010, historical records suggest that the alga was already present before that date. In addition, preliminary genetic data revealed too high a diversity to be explained by a recent invasion. Here, we estimate the divergence times of strains from southern Argentina. We integrate new genetic data and secondary, fossil and geological calibrations into a Penalized Likelihood model used to infer 18,630 plausible chronograms. These indicate that radiation of the lineages in Argentina began during or before the Pleistocene, which is hard to reconcile with the hypothesis that a new variant is responsible for the local mass growths. Instead, this suggests that important features of present distribution could be the result of multiple recent colonizations or the expansion of formerly rare populations. The text explains how these two possibilities are compatible with the hypothesis that recent nuisance blooms may be a consequence of climate change.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Nishimoto M, Miyashita T, Yokomizo H, et al (2020)

Spatial optimization of invasive species control informed by management practices.

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

Optimization of spatial resource allocation is crucial for the successful control of invasive species under a limited budget but requires labor-intensive surveys to estimate population parameters. In this study, we devised a novel framework for the spatially explicit optimization of capture effort allocation using state-space population models from past capture records. We applied it to a control program for invasive snapping turtles to determine effort allocation strategies that minimize the population density over the whole area. We found that spatially heterogeneous density dependence and capture pressure limit the abundance of snapping turtles. Optimal effort allocation effectively improved the control effect, but the degree of improvement varied substantially depending on the total effort. The degree of improvement by the spatial optimization of allocation effort was only 3.21% when the total effort was maintained at the 2016 level. However, when the total effort was increased by 2, 4, and 8 times, spatial optimization resulted in improvements of 4.65%, 8.33%, and 20.35%, respectively. To achieve the management goal for snapping turtles in our study area, increasing the current total effort by more than 4 times was necessary, in addition to optimizing the spatial effort. The snapping turtle population is expected to reach the target density one year after the optimal management strategy is implemented, and this rapid response can be explained by high population growth rate coupled with density-dependent feedback regulation. Our results demonstrated that combining a state-space model with optimization makes it possible to adaptively improve the management of invasive species and decision-making. The method used in this study, based on removal records from an invasive management program, can be easily applied to monitoring data for wildlife and pest control management using traps in a variety of ecosystems.

RevDate: 2020-11-21

Zhang Y, Xu L, Chen S, et al (2020)

Transcription-mediated tissue-specific lignification of vascular bundle causes trade-offs between growth and defence capacity during invasion of Solidago canadensis.

Plant science : an international journal of experimental plant biology, 301:110638.

Allocation of more resources to growth but less to defense causing growth vigor of invasive alien plant populations contributes to successful invasion. However, few studies has addressed to relationship between vascular development variation and this mechanism. In this study, a common garden experimentwas established to compare the growth and vascular bundle development between native and introduced populations of Solidago canadensis, which is a wide-distributed invasive species in China. Our results suggested that the rapid growth of introduced populations could be explained by the well-developed and highly lignified xylem; while native populations present more developed and highly lignified phloem, which contributed more resistance to the infection of Sclerotiun rofsii compared with introduced populations. This difference was resulted from tissue-specific tradeoff distribution of lignification related gene expression between xylem and phloem, which is regulated by upstream MYB transcription factors. Our study gives a novel insight of mechanism that explain invasion success: lignin-related gene transcription-mediated tissue-specific lignification of vascular bundle contributes tradeoffs in resource allocation between growth and defence capacity during successful invasion of S. canadensis.

RevDate: 2020-11-20

Cuthbert RN, Bacher S, Blackburn TM, et al (2020)

Invasion costs, impacts, and human agency: Response to Sagoff 2020.

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

Article impact statement: In an era of profound biodiversity crisis, invasion costs, invader impacts, and human agency should not be dismissed.

RevDate: 2020-11-20

Kelly LT, Giljohann KM, Duane A, et al (2020)

Fire and biodiversity in the Anthropocene.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 370(6519):.

Fire has been a source of global biodiversity for millions of years. However, interactions with anthropogenic drivers such as climate change, land use, and invasive species are changing the nature of fire activity and its impacts. We review how such changes are threatening species with extinction and transforming terrestrial ecosystems. Conservation of Earth's biological diversity will be achieved only by recognizing and responding to the critical role of fire. In the Anthropocene, this requires that conservation planning explicitly includes the combined effects of human activities and fire regimes. Improved forecasts for biodiversity must also integrate the connections among people, fire, and ecosystems. Such integration provides an opportunity for new actions that could revolutionize how society sustains biodiversity in a time of changing fire activity.

RevDate: 2020-11-20

Marini G, Manica M, Arnoldi D, et al (2020)

Influence of Temperature on the Life-Cycle Dynamics of Aedes albopictus Population Established at Temperate Latitudes: A Laboratory Experiment.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110808.

The mosquito species Aedes albopictus has successfully colonized many areas at temperate latitudes, representing a major public health concern. As mosquito bionomics is critically affected by temperature, we experimentally investigated the influence of different constant rearing temperatures (10, 15, 25, and 30 °C) on the survival rates, fecundity, and developmental times of different life stages of Ae. albopictus using a laboratory colony established from specimens collected in northern Italy. We compared our results with previously published data obtained with subtropical populations. We found that temperate Ae. albopictus immature stages are better adapted to colder temperatures: temperate larvae were able to develop even at 10 °C and at 15 °C, larval survivorship was comparable to the one observed at warmer conditions. Nonetheless, at these lower temperatures, we did not observe any blood-feeding activity. Adult longevity and fecundity were substantially greater at 25 °C with respect to the other tested temperatures. Our findings highlight the ability of Ae. albopictus to quickly adapt to colder environments and provide new important insights on the bionomics of this species at temperate latitudes.

RevDate: 2020-11-20
CmpDate: 2020-11-20

Ruiz-Cristi I, Berville L, E Darrouzet (2020)

Characterizing thermal tolerance in the invasive yellow-legged hornet (Vespa velutina nigrithorax): The first step toward a green control method.

PloS one, 15(10):e0239742.

The yellow-legged hornet, Vespa velutina nigrithorax (Hymenoptera: Vespidae, Lepeletier 1836), is native to Southeast Asia and has been unintentionally introduced in France. The species is spreading in many areas of the world. The European Union has classified V. velutina as a species of concern because the hornet significantly affects beekeeping activities, mostly by preying honeybees (Apis mellifera) at beehive entrances. No current control method is simultaneously eco-friendly and effective. Here, we aimed to develop a greener technique for destroying V. velutina nests, inspired by a defense behavior used by the eastern honeybee (Apis cerana), the "heat ball". In the laboratory, we tested how V. velutina of different sexes, castes, and developmental stages responded to different heat exposure systems employing a range of temperature levels. Overall, the time of death decreased as temperature increased. Hornets died faster when the temperature was gradually increased than when it was instantaneously increased; larvae seemed to be more thermally tolerant. The most promising and potential technique for quickly destroying hornet nests may be steam injection, as the humid airflow system killed all hornets within 13 seconds, and therefore could be a good candidate for a green nest control method.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Iqbal MF, Liu MC, Iram A, et al (2020)

Effects of the invasive plant Xanthium strumarium on diversity of native plant species: A competitive analysis approach in North and Northeast China.

PloS one, 15(11):e0228476 pii:PONE-D-20-01129.

Xanthium strumarium is native to North America and now has become one of the invasive alien species (IAS) in China. In order to detect the effects of the invader on biodiversity and evaluate its suitable habitats and ecological distribution, we investigated the abundance, relative abundance, diversity indices, and the number of the invasive and native plants in paired invaded and non-invaded quadrats in four locations in North and Northeast China. We also analyzed the effects of monthly mean maximum and minimum temperatures, relative humidity (%), and precipitations (mm). Strong positive significant (P < 0.01) correlation and maximum interspecific competition (41%) were found in Huailai between invaded and non-invaded quadrats. Shannon's Diversity Index showed that non-invaded plots had significantly (P < 0.05) more diversified species than invaded ones. The significant (P < 0.05) Margalef's Richness Index was found in Huailai and Zhangjiakou in non-invaded recorded heterogeneous nature of plant communities. Similarly, significant (P < 0.05) species richness found in Huailai and Zhangjiakou in non-invaded quadrats compared to invaded ones. Maximum evenness of Setaria feberi (0.47, 0.37), Seteria viridis (0.43) found in Fushun and Zhangjiakou recorded more stable in a community compared to other localities. Evenness showed positive relationship of Shannon Entropy within different plant species. The higher dissimilarity in plant communities found in Huailai (87.06%) followed by Yangyuan (44.43%), Zhangjiakou (40.13%) and Fushun (29.02%). The significant (P < 0.01) value of global statistics R (0.943/94.3%) showed high species diversity recorded in Huailai followed by Zhangjiakou recorded by non-metric multidimensional scaling and analysis of similarity between invaded and non-invaded plots. At the end it was concluded that the diversity indices reduced significantly (P < 0.05) in invaded quadrats indicated that native plant species become less diverse due to X. strumarium invasion. The degrees of X. strumarium invasion affected on species richness resulted to reduce diversity indices significantly in invaded quadrats.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Li G, Zhang T, Yu Z, et al (2020)

An efficient Oligo-FISH painting system for revealing chromosome rearrangements and polyploidization in Triticeae.

The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology [Epub ahead of print].

A chromosome-specific painting technique has been developed which combines the most recent approaches of the companion disciplines of molecular cytogenetics and genome research. We developed seven oligonucleotide (oligo) pools derived from single copy sequences on chromosomes 1 to 7 of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and corresponding collinear regions of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). The seven groups of pooled oligos comprised between 10,986 and 12,496 45bp monomers, and these then produced stable fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) signals on chromosomes of each linkage group of wheat and barley. The pooled oligo probes were applied to high-throughput karyotyping the chromosomes of other Triticeae species in the genera Secale, Aegilops, Thinopyrum and Dasypyrum, and the study also extended to some wheat - alien amphiploids and derived lines. We demonstrated that a complete set of whole-chromosome oligo painting probes facilitated the study of inter-species chromosome homoeologous relationships and visualized non-homologous chromosomal rearrangements in Triticeae species and some wheat-alien species derivatives. When combined with other non-denaturing FISH (ND-FISH) procedures using tandem-repeat oligos,, the newly developed oligo-painting techniques provide an efficient tool for the study of chromosome structure, organization, and evolution among any wild Triticeae species with non-sequenced genomes.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

MacLeod A, S Lloyd (2020)

The emergence of prioritisation systems to inform plant health biosecurity policy decisions.

Emerging topics in life sciences pii:227001 [Epub ahead of print].

The management of risk is fundamental to biosecurity. Potential pest risks must be recognised early, with appropriate measures taken to prevent or reduce the potential damage a non-native species can cause. Risk registers are a recognised tool to support risk management, especially in project management or governance of corporate risk. The use of risk registers and risk prioritisation systems in the plant health biosecurity sphere has emerged in recent years driven by the recognition that resources to assess pest risks in detail are scarce, and biosecurity actions need to be targeted and prioritised. Individual national plant protection organisations have consequently developed a variety of tools that prioritise and rank plant pests, typically taking likelihood of pest entry, establishment, spread and impact into account. They use expert opinion to give scores to risk elements within a framework of multi-criteria decision analysis to rank pests based on the prioritisation aims of users. Knowing that biosecurity extends beyond national borders we recognise that such systems would add value to global efforts to detect and share information on emerging pests to better target actions against pests to protect plant biosecurity.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Gleditsch JM, JH Sperry (2020)

Ecomorphological relationships and invasion history of non-native terrestrial bird species on O'ahu, Hawai'i, suggest ecological fitting during novel community assembly.

Ecology and evolution, 10(21):12157-12169 pii:ECE36843.

The widespread introduction of species has created novel communities in many areas of the world. Since introduced species tend to have generalized ecologies and often lack shared evolutionary history with other species in their communities, it would be expected that the relationship between form and function (i.e., ecomorphology) may change in novel communities. We tested this expectation in a subset of the novel bird community on O'ahu, Hawai'i. By relating foraging behavior observations to morphology obtained from live birds at four sites across the island, we found many relationships between species' morphology and foraging ecology that mirrored relationships found in the literature for native-dominated bird communities. Both movement and certain foraging behaviors were related to a species' tarsus-to-wing ratio. Further, bill morphology was related to gleaning, frugivory, and flycatching behaviors. The commonness of significant ecomorphological relationships suggests that, within O'ahu's novel bird community, form is strongly related to function. We hypothesize that ecological fitting likely played a major role in the assembly of this novel community conserving the relationships between form and function found in many other bird communities. To further support this hypothesis, we used niche data from EltonTraits 1.0 to determine whether the establishment of bird species introduced to O'ahu was related to the distinctiveness of their ecological niche from the incumbent community. Introduced species were more likely to establish on O'ahu if their diets were less similar to the bird species already present on the island. Our results support the idea that ecological fitting is an important mechanism in shaping ecological communities, especially in the Anthropocene, thereby influencing novel community assembly and functioning.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO), Naegeli H, Bresson JL, et al (2020)

Adequacy and sufficiency evaluation of existing EFSA guidelines for the molecular characterisation, environmental risk assessment and post-market environmental monitoring of genetically modified insects containing engineered gene drives.

EFSA journal. European Food Safety Authority, 18(11):e06297 pii:EFS26297.

Advances in molecular and synthetic biology are enabling the engineering of gene drives in insects for disease vector/pest control. Engineered gene drives (that bias their own inheritance) can be designed either to suppress interbreeding target populations or modify them with a new genotype. Depending on the engineered gene drive system, theoretically, a genetic modification of interest could spread through target populations and persist indefinitely, or be restricted in its spread or persistence. While research on engineered gene drives and their applications in insects is advancing at a fast pace, it will take several years for technological developments to move to practical applications for deliberate release into the environment. Some gene drive modified insects (GDMIs) have been tested experimentally in the laboratory, but none has been assessed in small-scale confined field trials or in open release trials as yet. There is concern that the deliberate release of GDMIs in the environment may have possible irreversible and unintended consequences. As a proactive measure, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has been requested by the European Commission to review whether its previously published guidelines for the risk assessment of genetically modified animals (EFSA, 2012 and 2013), including insects (GMIs), are adequate and sufficient for GDMIs, primarily disease vectors, agricultural pests and invasive species, for deliberate release into the environment. Under this mandate, EFSA was not requested to develop risk assessment guidelines for GDMIs. In this Scientific Opinion, the Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) concludes that EFSA's guidelines are adequate, but insufficient for the molecular characterisation (MC), environmental risk assessment (ERA) and post-market environmental monitoring (PMEM) of GDMIs. While the MC,ERA and PMEM of GDMIs can build on the existing risk assessment framework for GMIs that do not contain engineered gene drives, there are specific areas where further guidance is needed for GDMIs.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Dematteis B, Ferrucci MS, JP Coulleri (2020)

Morphological differentiation across the invasive range in Senecio madagascariensis populations.

Scientific reports, 10(1):20045 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-76922-5.

Invasive species are characterized by their ability to colonize new habitats and establish populations away from their native range. In this sense, these plants are expected to have plastic responses to adapt to the environmental pressures during the invasion process. Hence, the role of natural selection is essential because it might favor the occurrence of advantageous traits. However, gene flow can counteract natural selection because immigrants introduce genes adapted to different conditions, with these introductions tending to homogenize allelic frequencies. In this work, we explore the effect of natural selection in invasive populations of S. madagascariensis in Argentina. We quantified leaf area, head number, and length of internodes and inflorescence from material spanning 54 years (1962-2016) and then compared between the edge versus established ranges. Our results show differences in all the measured plant traits among the sampled areas. However, only leaf area was statistically significant, which evidences different responses under the same environmental pressures in the areas located in the edge and established ranges. On the other hand, unlike homogeneous areas, the areas characterized by phenotypically diverse individuals were related to higher dispersal ability. In this sense, long-distance dispersal between neighboring areas may have had an important role in the recorded values. Furthermore, the implications of natural selection and founder effect in the invasion of S. madagascariensis are discussed.

RevDate: 2020-11-19

Belgeri A, Bajwa AA, Shabbir A, et al (2020)

Managing an Invasive Weed Species, Parthenium hysterophorus, with Suppressive Plant Species in Australian Grasslands.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(11): pii:plants9111587.

Parthenium weed has been invading native and managed Australian grasslands for almost 40 years. This study quantified the potential of selected plant mixtures to suppress the growth of parthenium weed and followed their response to grazing and their impact upon plant community diversity. The first mixture consisted of predominantly introduced species including Rhodes grass, Bisset bluegrass, butterfly pea and green panic. This mixture produced biomass rapidly and showed tolerance to weed species other than parthenium weed. However, the mixture was unable to suppress the growth of parthenium weed. The second mixture of predominantly native pasture species (including forest bluegrass, Queensland bluegrass, Buffel grass and siratro) produced biomass relatively slowly, but eventually reached the same biomass production as the first mixture 12 weeks after planting. This mixture suppressed parthenium weed re-establishment by 78% compared to the control treatment. Its tolerance to the invasion of other weed species and the maintenance of forage species evenness was also superior. The total diversity was five times higher for the mixture communities as compared to the plant community in the control treatment. Therefore, using the suppressive pasture mixtures may provide an improved sustainable management approach for parthenium weed in grasslands.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Katiski da Costa Stuart A, Lee Furuie J, Aparecida Cassilha Zawadneak M, et al (2020)

Increased mortality of the European Pepper Moth Duponchelia fovealis (Lepidoptera:Crambidae) using entomopathogenic fungal consortia.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(20)30209-3 [Epub ahead of print].

The European pepper moth (Duponchelia fovealis) is an invasive pest affecting crops in many countries. The use of chemicals to control D. fovealis is not only ineffective but is hazardous to the environment. The most effective way to reduce this invasive species is biological control using entomopathogenic fungi. Furthermore, the use of combining entomopathogenic fungi is a novel and underexplored approach in the field of biocontrol research. The compatibility of different strains of Beauveria bassiana, Purpureocillium lilacinum, and Isaria javanica was evaluated by forming two-fungi consortia. The pathogenicity of these consortia against D. fovealis, as well as the related enzymatic activities, were investigated. Seven consortia increased D. fovealis mortality, showing synergistic activity. One consortium formed by two strains of B. bassiana produced highest control. Moreover, these consortia also demonstrated increased chitinase and lipase activities. Higher mortality of D. fovealis by these consortia was mainly associated with enzyme production. One consortium, also formed by two strains of B. bassiana, was unique in producing lower D. fovealis mortality than the two strains alone. The potential use of entomopathogenic fungal consortia is a promising alternative approach for biological control. Most of the consortia used in this study improved control of D. fovealis, showed synergistic activity and could be a suitable strategy to control this pest.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Baharmand I, Coatsworth H, Peach DAH, et al (2020)

Molecular relationships of introduced Aedes japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) populations in British Columbia, Canada using mitochondrial DNA.

Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology, 45(2):285-296.

Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald) is a relatively recent immigrant to the Pacific Northwest, having been collected in Washington State in 2001 and in British Columbia (BC) since 2014. We applied a molecular barcoding approach to determine the phylogenetic relationship of Ae. j. japonicus populations in BC with those from around the world. We sequenced a 617 base-pair segment of the cytochrome c oxidase 1 gene and a 330 base-pair region of the NADH dehydrogenase 4 gene to find genetic variation and characterize phylogenetic and haplotypic relationships based on nucleotide divergences. Our results revealed low genetic diversity in the BC samples, suggesting that these populations arose from the same introduction event. However, our approach lacked the granularity to identify the exact country of origin of the Ae. j. japonicus collected in BC. Future efforts should focus on detecting and preventing new Ae. j. japonicus introductions, recognizing that current molecular techniques are unable to pin-point the precise source of an introduction.

RevDate: 2020-11-18

Torrini G, Paoli F, Mazza G, et al (2020)

Evaluation of Indigenous Entomopathogenic Nematodes as Potential Biocontrol Agents against Popillia japonica (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae) in Northern Italy.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110804.

The natural presence of entomopathogenic nematodes (EPNs) has been investigated in the Piedmont region (Northern Italy) in areas infested by the Japanese beetle Popillia japonica. Thirty-nine out of 155 soil samples (25.2%) were positive for EPNs. Most of the samples contained only steinermatids (92.3%), 5.1% contained heterorhabditids, and one sample (2.6%) contained both genera. All the recovered isolates were identified at species level both morphologically and molecularly. Steinernema carpocapsae was the most abundant and it was mainly distributed in open habitats, such as perennial meadows, uncultivated soils, and cropland, characterized by sandy loam soil texture and acidic pH. Steinernema feltiae has been found associated mainly with closed habitats such as coniferous and deciduous woodland, characterized by sandy loam-texture and extremely acidic soil. The three isolates of Heterorhabditis bacteriophora were collected only in open habitats (perennial meadows and uncultivated fields) characterized by strongly acidic soils with sandy loam texture. The virulence of all EPN natural strains was evaluated by laboratory assays against P. japonica third-instar larvae collected during two different periods of the year (spring, autumn). The results showed that larval mortality was higher for pre-wintering larvae than post-wintering ones. The five more promising EPN isolates were tested in the semi-field assay in which H. bacteriophora natural strains have been shown to be more efficient in controlling P. japonica grubs. All of these results are finally discussed considering the use of these natural EPNs as biological control agents against P. japonica, within an eco-friendly perspective of management.

RevDate: 2020-11-18
CmpDate: 2020-11-18

Davis AJ, Keiter DA, Kierepka EM, et al (2020)

A comparison of cost and quality of three methods for estimating density for wild pig (Sus scrofa).

Scientific reports, 10(1):2047.

A critical element in effective wildlife management is monitoring the status of wildlife populations; however, resources to monitor wildlife populations are typically limited. We compared cost effectiveness of three common population estimation methods (i.e. non-invasive DNA sampling, camera sampling, and sampling from trapping) by applying them to wild pigs (Sus scrofa) across three habitats in South Carolina, U.S.A where they are invasive. We used mark-recapture analyses for fecal DNA sampling data, spatially-explicit capture-recapture analyses for camera sampling data, and a removal analysis for removal sampling from trap data. Density estimates were similar across methods. Camera sampling was the least expensive, but had large variances. Fecal DNA sampling was the most expensive, although this technique generally performed well. We examined how reductions in effort by method related to increases in relative bias or imprecision. For removal sampling, the largest cost savings while maintaining unbiased density estimates was from reducing the number of traps. For fecal DNA sampling, a reduction in effort only minimally reduced costs due to the need for increased lab replicates while maintaining high quality estimates. For camera sampling, effort could only be marginally reduced before inducing bias. We provide a decision tree for researchers to help make monitoring decisions.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Baxter-Gilbert J, Riley JL, Wagener C, et al (2020)

Shrinking before our isles: the rapid expression of insular dwarfism in two invasive populations of guttural toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis).

Biology letters, 16(11):20200651.

Island ecosystems have traditionally been hailed as natural laboratories for examining phenotypic change, including dramatic shifts in body size. Similarly, biological invasions can drive rapid localized adaptations within modern timeframes. Here, we compare the morphology of two invasive guttural toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis) populations in Mauritius and Réunion with their source population from South Africa. We found that female toads on both islands were significantly smaller than mainland counterparts (33.9% and 25.9% reduction, respectively), as were males in Mauritius (22.4%). We also discovered a significant reduction in the relative hindlimb length of both sexes, on both islands, compared with mainland toads (ranging from 3.4 to 9.0%). If our findings are a result of natural selection, then this would suggest that the dramatic reshaping of an amphibian's morphology-leading to insular dwarfism-can result in less than 100 years; however, further research is required to elucidate the mechanism driving this change (e.g. heritable adaptation, phenotypic plasticity, or an interaction between them).

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Yeeles P, Strain A, Lenancker P, et al (2020)

Low reduction of invasive ant colony productivity with an insect growth regulator.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Insect growth regulators (IGRs) are generally considered to have safer eco-toxicological profiles than the more commonly used neurotoxins and metabolic inhibitors, and are extremely effective against several insect groups, including some invasive ant species. However, use of an IGR product in a large-scale eradication program for a widespread invasive ant (Anoploepis gracilipes; yellow crazy ant) was ineffective. We tested the IGR in question (active ingredient: (S)-methoprene) on A. gracilipes colonies in a laboratory environment to evaluate efficacy.

RESULTS: We found that treatment with (S)-methoprene resulted in lower egg production with subsequently decreased numbers of larvae, pupae, and workers over the 135 days of the experiment. None of the treated colonies died, and the number of worker ants in treated colonies was 36% of that seen in control colonies 135 days post-treatment. Treated queen egg production was 39% lower than queens in control colonies, but we saw no effect of treatment on the internal physiology of dissected queens. Treatment had no effect on worker activity levels.

CONCLUSION: Our results show that while (S)-methoprene treatment reduced production of larvae, pupae, and workers in treated colonies, the magnitude of reduction was lower than might be expected considering the responses of other species against which this IGR has been tested. Our findings highlight a need for testing species-specific responses to IGR-based insecticides in a controlled environment, prior to broad scale field applications that could result in sub-optimal management of the target species. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Lenda M, Skórka P, Kuszewska K, et al (2020)

Misinformation, internet honey trading and beekeepers drive a plant invasion.

Ecology letters [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are a major human induced global change that is threatening global biodiversity by homogenizing the world's fauna and flora. Species spread because humans have moved species across geographical boundaries and have changed ecological factors that structure ecosystems, such as nitrogen deposition, disturbance, etc. Many biological invasions are caused accidentally, as a byproduct of human travel and commerce driven product shipping. However, humans also have spread many species intentionally because of perceived benefits. Of interest is the role of the recent exponential growth in information exchange via internet social media in driving biological invasions. To date, this has not been examined. Here, we show that for one such invasive species, goldenrod, social networks spread misleading and incomplete information that is enhancing the spread of goldenrod invasions into new environments. We show that the notion of goldenrod honey as a "superfood" with unsupported healing properties is driving a demand that leads beekeepers to produce goldenrod honey. Social networks provide a forum for such information exchange and this is leading to further spread of goldenrod in many countries where goldenrod is not native, such as Poland. However, this informal social information exchange ignores laws that focus on preventing the further spread of invasive species and the strong negative effects that goldenrod has on native ecosystems, including floral resources that negatively impact honeybee performance. Thus, scientifically unsupported information on "superfoods" such as goldenrod honey that is disseminated through social internet networks has real world consequences such as increased goldenrod invasions into novel geographical regions which decreases native biodiversity.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Snow NP, Wishart JD, Foster JA, et al (2020)

Efficacy and Risks from a Modified Sodium Nitrite Toxic Bait for Wild Pigs.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are a destructive invasive species throughout many regions of the world. In 2018, a field evaluation of an early prototype of a sodium nitrite (SN) toxic bait in the USA revealed wild pigs dropped large amounts of the toxic bait outside the pig-specific bait stations while feeding, and subsequent hazards for non-target animals. We modified the SN-toxic bait formulation, the design of the bait station, and the baiting strategy to reduce dropped bait. We tested the modifications in Queensland, AU (Dec 2018), Alabama, USA (Aug 2019), and Texas, USA (Mar 2020) under differing climatic and seasonal conditions for one night.

RESULTS: Cumulatively we found 161 carcasses of all age classes of wild pigs using systematic transects. Remote camera indices indicated high lethality for wild pigs, achieving population reductions of 76.3-90.4%. Wild pigs dropped only small particles of SN-toxic bait (average = 55.5 g per bait site), which represented a 19-fold decrease from the previous trial. Despite this reduction, we found three Australian ravens (Corvus coronoides) in Queensland, two Virginia opossums (Didelphis virginiana) in Alabama, and 35 granivorous-passerine birds (mostly dark-eyed juncos [Junco hyemalis]) in Texas dead from consuming the dropped bait. We did not detect any population-level effects for those species.

CONCLUSION: Our modifications were effective at reducing populations of wild pigs, but the deaths of non-target species require further steps to minimize these hazards. Next steps will include evaluating various deterrent devices for birds the morning after SN-toxic bait has been offered. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Imamura A, Hayami K, Sakata MK, et al (2020)

Environmental DNA revealed the fish community of Hokkaido Island, Japan, after invasion by rainbow trout.

Biodiversity data journal, 8:e56876 pii:56876.

In freshwater ecosystems, invasive salmonid fishes can have a significant impact on native fish species. Detecting the invasion and its negative effects is critical for the conservation of native fish communities. We examined the species composition and seasonal changes in the freshwater fish community, including salmonids, on the Kamikawa Plain, Hokkaido Island, Japan, using environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding. We detected 23 fish species in 176 samples collected from 16 sites over 12 months (October 2018 - August 2019). Between 11 and 20 species were detected at each site, including five native salmonids (Oncorhynchus masou, Oncorhynchus keta, Parahucho perryi, Salvelinus leucomaenis leucomaenis and Salvelinus malma krascheninnikova). The invasive alien rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss was detected at all 16 sites and it was the most commonly detected salmonid. Although we found no obvious competitive exclusion of native salmonids by rainbow trout in the study area, the invasive species occurred more often and at more sites than any of the natives. We also determined the occurrence and seasonal changes in the fish community, classified as native salmonids, invasive rainbow trout, Cypriniformes and other benthic fishes. There were fewer species overall in winter, but the sites with higher species richness in winter were on the lower reaches of the river. In addition, we detected domestic invaders, such as the topmouth gudgeon, Pseudorasbora parva, although they were less prevalent than rainbow trout. These results show the effectiveness of eDNA metabarcoding, which can be used for surveying species richness at an ecosystem scale. In particular, the detection of the early stages of establishment and spread of invasive species can be achieved by eDNA monitoring.

RevDate: 2020-11-17

Kiew R, L Chung-Lu (2020)

Checklist of vascular plants of Klang Gates Quartz Ridge, Malaysia, a 14-km long quartz dyke.

PhytoKeys, 166:57-77 pii:55778.

The Klang Gates Quartz Ridge (KGQR) is proposed for protection as National Heritage and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its spectacular size, exceptional beauty and significant biodiversity. The checklist of vascular plants documents 314 species that comprise a unique combination that grows on lowland quartz and that is distinct from the surrounding lowland equatorial rain forest by the absence of orchids, palms, gingers and tree canopy families. The Rubiaceae, Gramineae, Moraceae, Apocynaceae, Melastomataceae and Polypodiaceae are the most speciose families. The summit vegetation at 200-400 m elevation is dominated by Baeckea frutescens (Myrtaceae) and Rhodoleia championii (Hamamelidaceae) and shows similarities to the plant community on rocky mountain peaks above 1500 m. About 11% of its species are endemic in Peninsular Malaysia and four are endemic to KGQR: Aleisanthia rupestris (Rubiaceae), Codonoboea primulina (Gesneriaceae), Spermacoce pilulifera (Rubiaceae), and Ilex praetermissa (Aquifoliaceae). All four are provisionally assessed as Critically Endangered. Two, Eulalia milsumi (Gramineae) and Sonerila prostrata (Melastomataceae), are endemic to KGQR and a few neighbouring smaller quartz dykes. They are assessed as Endangered. The KGQR is a fragile habitat and conservation management is urgently required to halt the spread of the aggressive alien grass, Pennisetum polystachion and to prevent further habitat degradation from visitors. Based on KGQR being a threatened habitat, its biodiverse flora, and endangered species, it qualifies as an Important Plant Area.

RevDate: 2020-11-16
CmpDate: 2020-11-16

Grabowska J, Tarkan AS, Błońska D, et al (2021)

Prolific pioneers and reserved settlers. Changes in the life-history of the western tubenose goby (Proterorhinus semilunaris) at different invasion stages.

The Science of the total environment, 750:142316.

The western tubenose goby is one of the most wide-spread invasive fish species in European freshwaters, though information of its life-history in relation to its invasion success is limited. We compared the reproductive traits, growth rate and condition of three populations that differed in their stage of invasion in its expanding range in the River Vistula: core - the oldest population established at the centre of the invasive range; intermediate - long established by downstream dispersal from the core area but continuously supplemented by drifting specimens; front - new population at the edge of the invasive range, upstream from the core area. Pronounced differences in life-history traits were found between the 'core' and the 'front' populations. The 'front' population displayed high investment in reproduction and had heavier gonads, higher fecundity, higher batch fecundity though smaller eggs than the 'core' population. The 'core' population was characterized by the lowest fecundity, the largest eggs, the highest condition after spawning, and the highest maximum age of males. The 'intermediate' population was intermediate between the 'front' and the 'core' populations regarding reproductive traits, but showed the highest growth rates. The life-history traits that varied most among populations were gonad weight, fecundity, gonado-somatic index, condition and growth in the first years of life. Inter-individual variability of life-history traits was lower in the front of the invasive range than in the core and intermediate area. The observed plasticity in life-history appears to favour production of large numbers of offspring in newly-colonised areas in the initial stages of invasion and at the edge of the expanding range. In longer-established populations, at the core of invasive range, a strategy for greater competitiveness under intra-specific competition appears to be favoured.

RevDate: 2020-11-16
CmpDate: 2020-11-16

Devi SS, Sreedevi AV, AB Kumar (2020)

First report of microplastic ingestion by the alien fish Pirapitinga (Piaractus brachypomus) in the Ramsar site Vembanad Lake, south India.

Marine pollution bulletin, 160:111637.

This study reports on the ingestion of microplastics by the alien fish Pirapitinga, Piaractus brachypomus (Characiformes; Serrasalmidae) that escaped Vembanad lake, the largest brackish water lake in the south-west coast of India, from the aquaculture systems during flooding. Microplastics separated from the gut of 32 out of the 123 fishes (26%) examined were identified using Attenuated Total Reflectance - Fourier Transform Infrared (ATR-FTIR), and Raman Spectroscopy. In total, 69 microplastic particles, represented by fibers, foam and fragments were recovered from the fish, with sizes ranging from 0.89 to 4.85 mm. The ATR-FTIR spectral analyses revealed the presence of polymers polyethylene and Nylon 6. The occurrence of PP, Nylon 6, PET and PBT were confirmed using Raman spectroscopy. The presence of MPs in the gut content of alien fish P. brachypomus could be a reflection of the increasing microplastics pollution in the estuaries and backwaters along the south-west coast of India.

RevDate: 2020-11-16
CmpDate: 2020-11-16

Wang Y, Lian J, Shen H, et al (2020)

The effects of Bidens alba invasion on soil bacterial communities across different coastal ecosystem land-use types in southern China.

PloS one, 15(10):e0238478.

Environments in both biotic and abiotic ecosystems have been affected by the colonization of non-native flora. In this study, we examined the effect of Bidens alba invasion on different land-use types along a coastline in southern China. Bacterial communities in each site were determined using 16S rDNA sequencing, and soil physicochemical properties were analyzed using standard methods. Although our results indicated that B. alba invasion did not have a significant effect on the alpha diversity of bacteria, it caused significant differences in soil bacterial community composition between invaded and uninvaded soil across different land-use types. Beta diversity and several physicochemical properties in forest, orchard and waterfront environments were recorded to be more susceptible to B. alba invasion. A high proportion of the variation of bacterial communities can be explained by a combination of environmental variables, indicating that environmental selection rather than plant invasion is a more effective process in coastal microbial assemblages. By comparing topological roles of shared OTUs among invaded and uninvaded soil, keystone taxa in invaded soil were identified. Acidobacteria was the major phyla involved in the invasive process which could be driven by environmental selection. How key phyla react in our experiment should be verified by further studies.

RevDate: 2020-11-17
CmpDate: 2020-11-17

Tait LW, Lohrer AM, Townsend M, et al (2020)

Invasive ecosystem engineers threaten benthic nitrogen cycling by altering native infaunal and biofouling communities.

Scientific reports, 10(1):1581.

Predicting the effects of invasive ecosystem engineering species in new bioregions has proved elusive. In part this is because separating biological effects from purely physical mechanisms has been little studied and yet could help predict potentially damaging bioinvasions. Here we tested the effects of a large bio-engineering fanworm Sabella spallanzanii (Sabella) versus worm-like structures (mimics) on gas and nutrient fluxes in a marine soft bottom sediment. Experimental plots of sediment in Hauraki Gulf (New Zealand) were used to test the hypothesis that ecosystem engineers negatively influence benthic ecosystem function through autogenic mechanisms, facilitating activity by biofouling organisms and competitive exclusion of native infauna. Enhanced physical structure associated with Sabella and mimics increased nitrogen fluxes, community metabolism and reduced denitrification from 23 μmol m-2 h-1 to zero at densities greater than 25 m2. Sabella plots on average had greater respiration (29%), NH4 release (33%), and greater NO3 release (52%) compared to mimics, suggesting allogenic (biological) mechanisms occur, but play a secondary role to autogenic (physical) mechanisms. The dominance of autogenic mechanisms indicates that bio-engineers are likely to cause significant impacts when established, regardless of fundamental differences in recipient regions or identity of the introduced bio-engineer. In the case of Sabella spallanzanii, compromised denitrification has the potential to tip the balance of net solute and gas exchanges and cause further ecological degradation in an already eutrophic system.

RevDate: 2020-11-17
CmpDate: 2020-11-17

Macêdo JFS, Ribeiro LS, Bruno RLA, et al (2020)

Green leaves and seeds alcoholic extract controls Sporobulus indicus germination in laboratory conditions.

Scientific reports, 10(1):1599.

High seed production makes Sporobolus indicus var. pyramidalis a difficult to control invasive grassland plant. The objective of the present study was to investigate the bioactivity of Cyperus rotundus, Phyllanthus tenellus and Ricinus communis green leaf extracts and of Carica papaya seeds on S. indicus germination without breaking dormancy, simulating the field conditions. The ethanolic extract bioactivity of C. rotundus, P. tenellus, R. communis green leaves and C. papaya seeds, at concentrations of 25, 50 and 75% in S. indicus germination was evaluated. Carotenoids, flavonoids, soluble phenolic compounds and total tannins were quantified in the extracts. The chemical component concentrations varied between alcoholic extracts. The P. tenellus extracts at all dilutions and those of R. communis and C. papaya at 75% completely suppressed S. indicus seed germination at five and ten days which can be attributed to their high tannin concentration, total phenolic compounds and flavonoids.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Ayala AJ, Yabsley MJ, SM Hernandez (2020)

A Review of Pathogen Transmission at the Backyard Chicken-Wild Bird Interface.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 7:539925.

Habitat conversion and the expansion of domesticated, invasive species into native habitats are increasingly recognized as drivers of pathogen emergence at the agricultural-wildlife interface. Poultry agriculture is one of the largest subsets of this interface, and pathogen spillover events between backyard chickens and wild birds are becoming more commonly reported. Native wild bird species are under numerous anthropogenic pressures, but the risks of pathogen spillover from domestic chickens have been historically underappreciated as a threat to wild birds. Now that the backyard chicken industry is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, it is imperative that the principles of biosecurity, specifically bioexclusion and biocontainment, are legislated and implemented. We reviewed the literature on spillover events of pathogens historically associated with poultry into wild birds. We also reviewed the reasons for biosecurity failures in backyard flocks that lead to those spillover events and provide recommendations for current and future backyard flock owners.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Qu YF, Wu YQ, Zhao YT, et al (2020)

The invasive red-eared slider turtle is more successful than the native Chinese three-keeled pond turtle: evidence from the gut microbiota.

PeerJ, 8:e10271 pii:10271.

Background: The mutualistic symbiosis between the gut microbial communities (microbiota) and their host animals has attracted much attention. Many factors potentially affect the gut microbiota, which also varies among host animals. The native Chinese three-keeled pond turtle (Chinemys reevesii) and the invasive red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans) are two common farm-raised species in China, with the latter generally considered a more successful species. However, supporting evidence from the gut microbiota has yet to be collected.

Methods: We collected feces samples from these two turtle species raised in a farm under identical conditions, and analyzed the composition and relative abundance of the gut microbes using bacterial 16S rRNA sequencing on the Roach/454 platform.

Results: The gut microbiota was mainly composed of Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes at the phylum level, and Porphyromonadaceae, Bacteroidaceae and Lachnospiraceae at the family level in both species. The relative abundance of the microbes and gene functions in the gut microbiota differed between the two species, whereas alpha or beta diversity did not. Microbes of the families Bacteroidaceae, Clostridiaceae and Lachnospiraceae were comparatively more abundant in C. reevesii, whereas those of the families Porphyromonadaceae and Fusobacteriaceae were comparatively more abundant in T. s. elegans. In both species the gut microbiota had functional roles in enhancing metabolism, genetic information processing and environmental information processing according to the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes database. The potential to gain mass is greater in T. s. elegans than in C. reevesii, as revealed by the fact that the Firmicutes/Bacteroidetes ratio was lower in the former species. The percentage of human disease-related functional genes was lower in T. s. elegans than in C. reevesii, presumably suggesting an enhanced potential to colonize new habitats in the former species.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Haelewaters D, Hiller T, Kemp EA, et al (2020)

Mortality of native and invasive ladybirds co-infected by ectoparasitic and entomopathogenic fungi.

PeerJ, 8:e10110 pii:10110.

Harmonia axyridis is an invasive alien ladybird in North America and Europe. Studies show that multiple natural enemies are using Ha. axyridis as a new host. However, thus far, no research has been undertaken to study the effects of simultaneous infection by multiple natural enemies on Ha. axyridis. We hypothesized that high thallus densities of the ectoparasitic fungus Hesperomyces virescens on a ladybird weaken the host's defenses, thereby making it more susceptible to infection by other natural enemies. We examined mortality of the North American-native Olla v-nigrum and Ha. axyridis co-infected with He. virescens and an entomopathogenic fungus-either Beauveria bassiana or Metarhizium brunneum. Laboratory assays revealed that He. virescens-infected O. v-nigrum individuals are more susceptible to entomopathogenic fungi, but Ha. axyridis does not suffer the same effects. This is in line with the enemy release hypothesis, which predicts that invasive alien species in new geographic areas experience reduced regulatory effects from natural enemies compared to native species. Considering our results, we can ask how He. virescens affects survival when confronted by other pathogens that previously had little impact on Ha. axyridis.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Cruz A, da Costa F, Fernández-Pérez J, et al (2020)

Genetic variability in Ruditapes decussatus clam combined with Perkinsus infection level to support founder population selection for a breeding program.

PeerJ, 8:e9728 pii:9728.

Clam farmers worldwide face several challenges, including irregular seed supply and high mortalities due to pathogenic organisms such as Perkinsus olseni. In Europe, there is a high unmet consumer demand for native clam species such as Ruditapes decussatus. The high market value of R. decussatus makes the culture of this species potentially more attractive than that culture of the alien species Ruditapes philippinarum. Thus, there is a market opportunity in breeding and producing R. decussatus at an industrial scale. A selective breeding program to improve R. decussatus performance will be carried out in Portugal; and the first critical step to develop such a breeding program is the establishment of a founder population. In this study, intra- and interpopulation genetic diversity was assessed using 13 microsatellite markers in eight natural beds located in Portugal, Spain and Italy. Also, allele and genotypic frequencies of each microsatellite locus were assessed discriminating between clams infected and non-infected by P. olseni. All locations showed similar values for several genetic diversity parameters. Analyses of population differentiation (FST, Bayesian clustering and AMOVAs) revealed five genetically differentiated regions: Rías Altas and Rías Baixas (NW Spain), North/Central Coast of Portugal, Gulf of Cadiz and Adriatic Sea. Significant differences in the allelic and genotypic frequency distribution between infected clams and non-infected ones at four microsatellite loci are reported suggesting that resistance to the disease could have a genetic basis. Moreover, a positive or negative relationship between the frequency of certain alleles and the parasite infection was inferred. Further studies should confirm the potential use of those alleles as genetic markers for P. olseni infection. Integrating results of genetic diversity within and between populations and Perkinsus infection levels, a founder population for a R. decussatus breeding program is proposed, composed by individuals from Barallobre (Rías Altas), Pontevedra or Cangas (Rías Baixas), Óbidos (North/Central Coast of Portugal), Algarve (Gulf of Cadiz) and Venice (Adriatic Sea).

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Grattarola F, González A, Mai P, et al (2020)

Biodiversidata: A novel dataset for the vascular plant species diversity in Uruguay.

Biodiversity data journal, 8:e56850 pii:56850.

Background: South America hosts some of the world's most prominent biodiversity hotspots. Yet, Uruguay - a country where multiple major ecosystems converge - ranks amongst the countries with the lowest levels of available digital biodiversity data in the continent. Such prevalent data scarcity has significantly undermined our ability to progress towards evidence-based conservation actions - a critical limitation for a country with a strong focus on agricultural industries and only 1.3% of the land surface guarded by protected areas. Under today's rapid biodiversity loss and environmental changes, the need for open-access biodiversity data is more pressing than ever before. To address this national issue, Biodiversidata - Uruguay's first Consortium of Biodiversity Data - has recently emerged with the aim of assembling a constantly growing database for the biodiversity of this country. While the first phase of the project targeted vertebrate biodiversity, the second phase presented in this paper spans the biodiversity of plants.

New information: As part of the second phase of the Biodiversidata initiative, we present the first comprehensive open-access species-level database of the vascular plant diversity recorded in Uruguay to date (i.e. all species for which data are currently available and species presence has been confirmed). It contains 12,470 occurrence records from across 1,648 species and 160 families, which roughly represents 60% of the total recorded flora of Uruguay. The primary biodiversity data include extant native and introduced species from the lycophytes, ferns, gymnosperms and angiosperms groups. Records were collated from multiple sources, including data available in peer-reviewed scientific literature, institutional scientific collections and datasets contributed by members of the Biodiversidata initiative. The complete database can be accessed at the Zenodo repository: doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3954406.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Soreng RJ, Sylvester SP, Sylvester MDPV, et al (2020)

New records and key to Poa (Pooideae, Poaceae) from the Flora of Southern Africa region and notes on taxa including a diclinous breeding system in Poa binata.

PhytoKeys, 165:27-50 pii:55948.

Four species of Poa L. are newly reported for sub-Saharan Africa and southern Africa, Poa compressa L., P. iconia Azn., P. infirma Kunth and P. nemoralis L. This is the first report of P. iconia from Africa. Vouchers at PRE of P. bulbosa L. all belong to var. vivipara Koeler, those of P. iconia belong to var. iconia and the one of P. trivialis L. belongs to var. trivialis. Two subspecies are recognised in P. pratensis L.: subsp. irrigata (Lindm.) H.Lindb. and subsp. pratensis. We also designate a lectotype for P. iconia and second-step lectotype for P. leptoclada Hochst. ex A.Rich. and report the first recording of a diclinous breeding system in P. binata Nees. Our account updates the treatment in Identification Guide to Southern African Grasses (Fish et al. 2015) including a key to the taxa and notes on infrageneric taxonomy, DNA subtypes, ecology, chromosome numbers and breeding systems.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Boer P, Loss AC, Bakker F, et al (2020)

Monomorium sahlbergi Emery, 1898 (Formicidae, Hymenoptera): a cryptic globally introduced species.

ZooKeys, 979:87-97 pii:55342.

The discovery in the Netherlands in a shipping container of the ant Monomorium sahlbergi Emery, 1898, a species similar to the invasive pharaoh ant M. pharaonis (Linnaeus, 1758), led to a quest to better define the distribution of this species, which was initially obscure due to uncertain specimen identifications. Here it is shown that M. sahlbergi, like M. pharaonis, is found worldwide, almost certainly as a result of introductions. Including quarantine interceptions, this species is recorded from seven global biogeographic regions, but its established outdoor distribution is currently limited to the tropics and subtropics. Monomorium dichroum Forel, 1902 is here presented as a junior synonym of M. sahlbergisyn. nov. based on morphometric and CO1 analyses.

RevDate: 2020-11-15

Smit C, Javal M, Lehmann P, et al (2020)

Metabolic responses to starvation and feeding contribute to the invasiveness of an emerging pest insect, Cacosceles newmannii (Cerambycidae).

Journal of insect physiology pii:S0022-1910(20)30306-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Metabolic rate, and the flexibility thereof, is a complex trait involving several inter-linked variables that can influence animal energetics, behavior, and ultimately fitness. Metabolic traits respond readily to ambient temperature variation, in some cases increasing relative or absolute energetic costs, while in other cases, depending on the organism's metabolic and behavioral responses to changing conditions, resulting in substantial energy savings. To gain insight into the rapid recent emergence of the indigenous South African longhorn beetle Cacosceles newmannii as a crop pest in sugarcane, a better understanding of its metabolic rate, feeding response, digestion times, and aerobic scope is required, in conjunction with behavioral responses to food availability or any limitation thereof. Here, we therefore experimentally determined metabolic rate, estimated indirectly as CO2 production using flow-through respirometry, in starved, fasted, and fed C. newmannii larvae, at 20°C and 30°C. We estimated multiple parameters of metabolic rate (starved, standard, active, and maximum metabolic rates) as well as aerobic scope (AS), specific dynamic action (SDA), and the percentage time active during respirometry trials. Additionally, in individuals that showed cyclic or discontinuous gas exchange patterns, we compared rate, volume, and duration of cycles, and how these were influenced by variation in temperature. Standard and active metabolic rate, and AS and SDA were significantly higher in the larvae measured at 30°C than those measured at 20°C. By contrast, starved and maximum metabolic rates and percentage time active were unaffected by temperature. At rest and after digestion was complete, 35% of larvae showed cyclic gas exchange at both temperatures; 5% and 15% showed continuous gas exchange at 20°C and 30°C respectively, and 10% and 0% showed discontinuous gas exchange at 20°C and 30°C respectively. We propose that the ability of C. newmannii larvae to survive extended periods of resource limitation, combined with a rapid ability to process food upon securing resources, even at cooler conditions that would normally suppress digestion in tropical insects, may have contributed to their ability to feed on diverse low energy resources typical of their host plants, and become pests of, and thrive on, a high energy host plant like sugarcane.

RevDate: 2020-11-14

Tagawa K, M Watanabe (2020)

Can sticky plants reduce herbivory of neighboring plants?.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Plants are sessile organisms and are under serious threat of herbivory. In response to herbivory, plants have evolved physical, chemical, and/or biological defenses to protect themselves from herbivores. Plants are not only protected by their own defenses, but also by the existence of neighboring plants, the so called "associational resistance" (Tahvanainen and Root 1972).

RevDate: 2020-11-14

Franco ACS, García-Berthou E, LND Santos (2020)

Ecological impacts of an invasive top predator fish across South America.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(20)36827-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Peacock bass Cichla ocellaris is a piscivorous cichlid native from the Amazon and Orinoco river basins, which has been broadly introduced into tropical areas worldwide, leading to several adverse local effects. However, predictors of its invasibility and assessments of its ecological impacts over large spatial scales are still lacking. The importance of different environmental factors in explaining the relative abundance of peacock bass in 62 sites across South America (30 native and 32 invaded systems) was investigated. The impacts of peacock bass on fish assemblages were appraised, using years since introduction as a proxy of its cumulative impacts and modern statistical techniques, such as random forests, and negative binomial regression models. Random forests highlighted maximum depth, introduced status, and ecosystem type as the best predictors of the peacock bass relative abundance, which ranged 0.01-26.0%, increased with maximum depth, was highest in invaded reservoirs but decreased with depth in native riverine populations. Other factors such as climate or limnological features were less important in explaining C. ocellaris abundance, which did not vary markedly with years since introduction. Introduction year was not related to latitude but varied among hydrographic regions, indicating invasion pathways not linked to geographical proximity. Variation partitioning of different fish assemblage metrics showed that hydrographic region followed by limnological and reservoir features accounted for most explained variation, indicating a strong historical and local influence. Introduction time accounted for 5-8% of variation in species composition and diversity, independently of limnological features. Our results suggest that the ecological effects of introduced C. ocellaris on native fish fauna are likely but small compared to large geographical and environmental gradients. Although experiments and before-after designs are probably more sensitive in detecting the ecological impacts of invasive species, large-scale compilations of available data are more feasible and can provide invaluable information, especially for large-sized invaders that are often illegally introduced.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Zina V, Branco M, JC Franco (2020)

Impact of the Invasive Argentine Ant in Citrus Agroecosystems: Effects on the Diversity and Frequency of Native Ant Species Foraging on Tree Canopy.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110785.

The invasion of the Argentine ant, Linepithema humile (Mayr) (Hymenoptera, Formicidae) can alter the entire ecosystem with serious impacts on the native community structure (e.g., ant diversity) and processes (e.g., trophic interactions) leading to biodiversity loss and pest outbreaks. Most studies addressing these impacts have been conducted in natural or semi-natural areas, few are those conducted in agricultural ecosystems, such as citrus orchards. These are dominant agricultural ecosystems in Mediterranean landscapes. Furthermore, most studies have been conducted in a short span, not evidencing seasonal fluctuations. In this work, we assessed the ecological impact of the Argentine ant on the native ant communities in citrus orchards, in the region of Algarve, southern Portugal. By using principal response curve, we compared seasonal variation on ant assemblages in invaded and uninvaded citrus orchards foraging on tree canopy from a two-year sampling. The Argentine ant had a marked negative impact on the native ant community foraging on citrus canopy. In the uninvaded orchards, the native ant community had a rich assemblage composed of 16 ant species, in its majority (72%) controlled by the dominant species Lasius grandis Forel, Tapinoma nigerrimum (Nylander) and/or Pheidole pallidula (Nylander). In the invaded orchards, the native ant community was poorer and highly modified, mostly dominated by the Argentine ant (80%). Apparently, the only native ant species not affected by the presence of the Argentine ant was Plagiolepis pygmaea (Latreille). A significant negative effect was found between the proportion of infested trees by L. humile and the number of native ant species per orchard. Differences in the native ant community in the invaded and uninvaded orchards persisted over seasons and years. However, negative impacts were higher in the spring and summer, and less pronounced in the autumn. We discuss implications for citrus pest management.

RevDate: 2020-11-16

Howse MWF, Haywood J, PJ Lester (2020)

Bioclimatic Modelling Identifies Suitable Habitat for the Establishment of the Invasive European Paper Wasp (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) across the Southern Hemisphere.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110784.

Species distribution models (SDMs) are tools used by ecologists to help predict the spread of invasive species. Information provided by these models can help direct conservation and biosecurity efforts by highlighting areas likely to contain species of interest. In this study, two models were created to investigate the potential range expansion of Polistes dominula Christ (Hymenoptera: Vespidae) in the southern hemisphere. This palearctic species has spread to invade North and South America, South Africa, Australia, and more recently New Zealand. Using the BIOCLIM and MAXENT modelling methods, regions that were suitable for P. dominula were identified based on climate data across four regions in the southern hemisphere. In South America areas of central Chile, eastern Argentina, parts of Uruguay, and southern Brazil were identified as climatically suitable for the establishment of P. dominula. Similarly, southern parts of South Africa and Australia were identified by the model to be suitable as well as much of the North Island and east of the South Island of New Zealand. Based on outputs from both models, significant range expansion by P. dominula is possible across its more southern invaded ranges.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Loeza-Quintana T, Crookes S, Li PY, et al (2020)

Environmental DNA detection of endangered and invasive species in Kejimkujik National Park and Historic Site.

Genome [Epub ahead of print].

The use of environmental DNA (eDNA) allows the early detection of aquatic species at low densities (e.g. elusive and invasive species), which otherwise could be challenging to monitor using conventional techniques. Here, we assess the ability of eDNA sampling to detect the presence/absence of one species-at-risk (Blanding's Turtle) and two invasive species (Chain Pickerel and Smallmouth Bass) in Kejimkujik National Park and National Historic site, Nova Scotia, where the aquatic system is highly acidic and rich in organic compounds. Five replicates of 1L water samples were taken per sampling site. Water filtration and eDNA extractions were performed on-site, while qPCR reactions were performed in the laboratory using species-specific assays. Samples were treated with an inhibition removal kit and analyzed pre- and post-inhibition removal. Despite the low pH and PCR inhibitors in water samples, our results showed positive eDNA detections in almost all expected positive sites (except in one site for Blanding's Turtle). Detections of the target species were also observed at sites where their presence was previously unknown. Our study supports the advantage of eDNA to monitor species at low densities, revealing new distributions or recently invaded areas. We also demonstrate how eDNA can directly instruct management strategies in Kejimkujik.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Navratil O, Brekenfeld N, Puijalon S, et al (2020)

Distribution of Asian knotweeds on the Rhône River basin, France: A multi-scale model of invasibility that combines biophysical and anthropogenic factors.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(20)36525-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Biotic and abiotic factors are important drivers of the introduction, dispersal and establishment of an invasive species in fluvial corridors. In this study, we propose to better understand the spatial distribution of Asian knotweeds and to model their invasibility at the river basin scale in the Rhône Mediterranean and Corsica regions, France. We implemented a multiscale analysis of biophysical and anthropogenic factors related to the presence of knotweeds. Subbasins were sampled (50-600 km2), a large dataset on knotweed occurrence and biotic/abiotic factors was collected, and logistic regression was applied. A robust logit model (accuracy: 90%; false positive rate: 13%) estimated the probability of the occurrence of knotweeds at the river basin scale. We found clear evidence of: i) spatial scale-dependent water availability for knotweed implantation (e.g., summer vs. winter rainfalls > 250 mm); ii) an important role of hydrogeomorphic forces in dispersal; and iii) interspecific competition in riparian areas. The occurrence of knotweeds is also closely related to human-derived pressures. The management of knotweeds on roads and railways in the vicinity of rivers may be a major source of propagules. Hydraulic infrastructures (dikes and mill weirs) may also have served as locations of knotweed introduction since the end of the nineteenth century and may play a major role in the propagule transfer of knotweed; to date, these infrastructures have provided favourable conditions for knotweed establishment. Despite local water authorities' increasing awareness of invasive plants, local management practices for flood mitigation, low awareness of roads/railway managers, and negative representations of knotweeds have probably largely contributed to their dispersion over decades. The final model intends to integrate these biophysical and human factors by providing an operational tool to help river managers determine the sensitivity of their river basins to knotweed invasion.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Zakardjian M, Geslin B, Mitran V, et al (2020)

Effects of Urbanization on Plant-Pollinator Interactions in the Tropics: An Experimental Approach Using Exotic Plants.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110773.

Land-use changes through urbanization and biological invasions both threaten plant-pollinator networks. Urban areas host modified bee communities and are characterized by high proportions of exotic plants. Exotic species, either animals or plants, may compete with native species and disrupt plant-pollinator interactions. These threats are heightened in insular systems of the Southwest Pacific, where the bee fauna is generally poor and ecological networks are simplified. However, the impacts of these factors have seldom been studied in tropical contexts. To explore those questions, we installed experimental exotic plant communities in urban and natural contexts in New Caledonia, a plant diversity hotspot. For four weeks, we observed plant-pollinator interactions between local pollinators and our experimental exotic plant communities. We found a significantly higher foraging activity of exotic wild bees within the city, together with a strong plant-pollinator association between two exotic species. However, contrary to our expectations, the landscape context (urban vs. natural) had no effect on the activity of native bees. These results raise issues concerning how species introduced in plant-pollinator networks will impact the reproductive success of both native and exotic plants. Furthermore, the urban system could act as a springboard for alien species to disperse in natural systems and even invade them, leading to conservation concerns.

RevDate: 2020-11-13

Divari S, Pregel P, Zanet S, et al (2020)

Molecular Evidence of Bartonella spp. in Rodents: A Study in Pianosa Island, Italy.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 10(11): pii:ani10112070.

Wild rodents are reservoirs of several Bartonella species that cause human bartonellosis. The aim of this study was to assess the presence of Bartonella spp. DNA in wild rodents in Pianosa island, Italy. Rats (Rattus spp.; n = 15) and field mice (Apodemus spp.; n = 16) were captured and spleen DNA tested for the presence of Bartonella spp. by means of an initial screening using a qPCR amplifying a short segment of the 16S-23S rRNA gene intergenic transcribed spacer region (ITS, ~200 bp) followed by conventional PCR amplification of a longer ITS fragment (~600 bp) and of a citrate synthase (gltA, ~340 bp) gene segment. A total of 25 spleen DNA samples obtained from 31 rodent carcasses (81%) yielded positive qPCR results. Bartonella genus was confirmed by amplicon sequencing. By conventional PCR, eight out of 25 samples (32%) yielded bands on gels consistent with ITS segment, and 6/25 (24%) yielded bands consistent with the gltA locus. Amplicon sequencing identified B. henselae and B. coopersplainsensis in 1/25 (4%), and 4/25 (16%) samples, respectively. Moreover, 5/25 (20%) of Bartonella spp. positive samples showed gltA sequences with about 97% identity to B. grahamii. These results provide support to recently published observations suggesting that B. henselae circulates in wild rodent populations.

RevDate: 2020-11-16
CmpDate: 2020-11-16

Mantelatto MC, Póvoa AA, Skinner LF, et al (2020)

Marine litter and wood debris as habitat and vector for the range expansion of invasive corals (Tubastraea spp.).

Marine pollution bulletin, 160:111659.

Tubastraea coccinea Lesson, 1830 and T. tagusensis Wells 1982 are azooxanthellate corals non-native to Brazil and introduced through fouling on oil platforms, the primary vector. They first invaded the tropical rocky reefs at Ilha Grande Bay (southwest Atlantic Ocean), during the early 1990s. Currently, at some Brazilian locations these species occupy 80% of the benthos of the shallow subtidal. They cause economic and environmental impacts by fouling shipping and modifying native communities. This study provides observations of an additional mechanism of secondary dispersal by T. coccinea and T. tagusensis that were seen attached to floating wood debris and marine litter, which are highly abundant in the region. Such rafting corals have been found adjacent to invaded reefs and stranded on beaches. These observations indicate that transport by rafting over long distances may be another mechanism of range expansion and secondary introduction of these invasive species within the region.

RevDate: 2020-11-16
CmpDate: 2020-11-16

Ibabe A, Borrell YJ, Knobelspiess S, et al (2020)

Perspectives on the marine environment and biodiversity in recreational ports: The marina of Gijon as a case study.

Marine pollution bulletin, 160:111645.

Recreational ports are known to be sources of pollution to the coastal marine environment due to the pouring of pollutants or the transfer of invasive species to neighboring areas. Nonetheless, the responsibility of protecting the marine environment does not lie solely on the users of the ports, but also affects the rest of citizens. Thus, an effective communication is necessary between scientists and citizens to avoid the lack of knowledge and boost cooperation against these environmental problems. In this study, (focused on the marina of Gijon, Northwestern Spain) citizens set education and social media as the main sources of information, rarely considering science outreach. Also, their environmental knowledge showed to be based on a visual perception, rather than on a cognitive one, as marine litter was considered a great environmental problem, while invasive species and biofouling went unnoticed, remarking the lack of an effective communication from scientific sources.

RevDate: 2020-11-13
CmpDate: 2020-11-13

Sanders HN, Hewitt DG, Perotto-Baldivieso HL, et al (2020)

Invasive Wild Pigs as Primary Nest Predators for Wild Turkeys.

Scientific reports, 10(1):2625.

Depredation of wild turkey (Meleagris gallopavo) nests is a leading cause of reduced recruitment for the recovering and iconic game species. Invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa) are known to depredate nests, and have been expanding throughout the distributed range of wild turkeys in North America. We sought to gain better insight on the magnitude of wild pigs depredating wild turkey nests. We constructed simulated wild turkey nests throughout the home ranges of 20 GPS-collared wild pigs to evaluate nest depredation relative to three periods within the nesting season (i.e., early, peak, and late) and two nest densities (moderate = 12.5-25 nests/km2, high = 25-50 nests/km2) in south-central Texas, USA during March-June 2016. Overall, the estimated probability of nest depredation by wild pigs was 0.3, equivalent to native species of nest predators in the study area (e.g., gray fox [Urocyon cinereoargenteus], raccoon [Procyon lotor], and coyote [Canis latrans]). Female wild pigs exhibited a constant rate of depredation regardless of nesting period or density of nests. However, male wild pigs increased their rate of depredation in areas with higher nest densities. Management efforts should remove wild pigs to reduce nest failure in wild turkey populations especially where recruitment is low.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Reyserhove L, Desmet P, Oldoni D, et al (2020)

A checklist recipe: making species data open and FAIR.

Database : the journal of biological databases and curation, 2020:.

Species checklists are a crucial source of information for research and policy. Unfortunately, many traditional species checklists vary wildly in their content, format, availability and maintenance. The fact that these are not open, findable, accessible, interoperable and reusable (FAIR) severely hampers fast and efficient information flow to policy and decision-making that are required to tackle the current biodiversity crisis. Here, we propose a reproducible, semi-automated workflow to transform traditional checklist data into a FAIR and open species registry. We showcase our workflow by applying it to the publication of the Manual of Alien Plants, a species checklist specifically developed for the Tracking Invasive Alien Species (TrIAS) project. Our approach combines source data management, reproducible data transformation to Darwin Core using R, version control, data documentation and publication to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF). This checklist publication workflow is openly available for data holders and applicable to species registries varying in thematic, taxonomic or geographical scope and could serve as an important tool to open up research and strengthen environmental decision-making.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Tran LT, Bafort Q, Steen F, et al (2020)

Dictyota cyanoloma (Dictyotales, Phaeophyceae), A newly introduced brown algal species in California.

Journal of phycology [Epub ahead of print].

Here we report for the first time the presence of Dictyota cyanoloma in southern California. Dictyota cyanoloma is conspicuous in harbors and bays by its distinctive bright blue-iridescent margins. This species was originally described from Europe but subsequent studies have revealed that it represented an introduction from Australia. The current distribution of D. cyanoloma comprises southern Australia and the North East Atlantic, including the Mediterranean Sea and the Macaronesian islands. The presence of D. cyanoloma in southern California is supported by molecular cox1 and psbA gene sequences. A reconstruction of the invasive history based on nine polymorphic microsatellite markers reveals a close affinity of the Californian specimens with European populations. Dictyota cyanoloma in the United States appears to be (so far) restricted to the Californian coast from San Diego Bay in the south to Santa Catalina Island and Long Beach Harbor in the north. A correlative species distribution model suggests gradually declining habitat suitability north of the Southern Californian Bight and high suitability in Baja California, including the Gulf of California. Finally, its widespread abundance in bays and harbors suggests shipping is a likely transport mechanism.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Saebi M, Xu J, Curasi SR, et al (2020)

Network analysis of ballast-mediated species transfer reveals important introduction and dispersal patterns in the Arctic.

Scientific reports, 10(1):19558 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-76602-4.

Rapid climate change has wide-ranging implications for the Arctic region, including sea ice loss, increased geopolitical attention, and expanding economic activity resulting in a dramatic increase in shipping activity. As a result, the risk of harmful non-native marine species being introduced into this critical region will increase unless policy and management steps are implemented in response. Using data about shipping, ecoregions, and environmental conditions, we leverage network analysis and data mining techniques to assess, visualize, and project ballast water-mediated species introductions into the Arctic and dispersal of non-native species within the Arctic. We first identify high-risk connections between the Arctic and non-Arctic ports that could be sources of non-native species over 15 years (1997-2012) and observe the emergence of shipping hubs in the Arctic where the cumulative risk of non-native species introduction is increasing. We then consider how environmental conditions can constrain this Arctic introduction network for species with different physiological limits, thus providing a tool that will allow decision-makers to evaluate the relative risk of different shipping routes. Next, we focus on within-Arctic ballast-mediated species dispersal where we use higher-order network analysis to identify critical shipping routes that may facilitate species dispersal within the Arctic. The risk assessment and projection framework we propose could inform risk-based assessment and management of ship-borne invasive species in the Arctic.

RevDate: 2020-11-12

Jones EP, Conyers C, Tomkies V, et al (2020)

Managing incursions of Vespa velutina nigrithorax in the UK: an emerging threat to apiculture.

Scientific reports, 10(1):19553 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-76690-2.

Vespa velutina nigrithorax is an invasive species of hornet accidentally introduced into Europe in 2004. It feeds on invertebrates, including honey bees, and represents a threat to European apiculture. In 2016, the first nest of this hornet was detected and destroyed on mainland UK. A further 8 nests were discovered between 2016 and 2019. Nest dissection was performed on all nests together with microsatellite analyses of different life stages found in the nests to address the reproductive output and success of nests found in the UK. None of the nests had produced the next generation of queens. Follow-up monitoring in those regions detected no new nests in the following years. Diploid males were found in many UK nests, while microsatellite analysis showed that nests had low genetic diversity and the majority of queens had mated with one or two males. All UK nests derived from the European zone of secondary colonisation, rather than from the native range of the species. None of the nests discovered so far have been direct offspring of another UK nest. The evidence suggests that these nests were separate incursions from a continental population rather than belonging to a single established UK population of this pest.

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Sagoff M (2020)

Fact and value in invasion biology: reply to Cuthbert et al. 2020.

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

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Sandland GJ, JP Peirce (2020)

Patterns of Sphaeridiotrema pseudoglobulus infection in sympatric and allopatric hosts (Bithynia tentaculata) originating from widely separated sites across the USA.

Parasitology research pii:10.1007/s00436-020-06949-0 [Epub ahead of print].

In circumstances where populations of invasive species occur across variable landscapes, interactions among invaders, their parasites, and the surrounding environment may establish local coevolutionary trajectories for the participants. This can generate variable infection patterns when parasites interact with sympatric versus allopatric hosts. Identifying the potential for such patterns within an invasive-species framework is important for better predicting local infection outcomes and their subsequent impacts on the surrounding native community. To begin addressing this question, we exposed an invasive snail (Bithynia tentaculata) from two widely separated sites across the USA (Wisconsin and Montana) to the digenean parasite, Sphaeridiotrema pseudoglobulus, collected from Wisconsin. Parasite exposures generated high infection prevalences in both sympatric and allopatric snails. Furthermore, host survival, host growth, the proportion of patent snails, and the timing of patency did not differ between sympatric and allopatric combinations. Moreover, passaging parasites through snails of different origins had no effect on transmission success to subsequent hosts in the life cycle. However, the number of parasites emerging from snails and the pattern of their release varied based on snail origin. These latter observations suggest the potential for local adaptation in this system, but subsequent research is required to further substantiate this as a key factor underlying infection patterns in the association between S. pseudoglobulus and B. tentaculata.

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Friday B, Holzheuser C, Lips KR, et al (2020)

Preparing for invasion: Assessing risk of infection by chytrid fungi in southeastern plethodontid salamanders.

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

Understanding the responses of naïve communities to the invasion of multihost pathogens requires accurate estimates of susceptibility across taxa. In the Americas, the likely emergence of a second amphibian pathogenic fungus (Batrachochytrium salamandrivorans, Bsal) calls for new ways of prioritizing disease mitigation among species due to the high diversity of naïve hosts with prior B. dendrobatidis (Bd) infections. Here, we applied the concept of pathogenic potential to quantify the virulence of chytrid fungi on naïve amphibians and evaluate species for conservation efforts in the event of an outbreak. The benefit of this measure is that it combines and summarizes the variation in disease effects into a single numerical index, allowing for comparisons across species, populations or groups of individuals that may inherently exhibit differences in susceptibility. As a proof of concept, we obtained standardized responses of disease severity by performing experimental infections with Bsal on five plethodontid salamanders from southeastern United States. Four out of five species carried natural infections of Bd at the start of the experiments. We showed that Bsal exhibited its highest value of pathogenic potential in a species that is already declining (Desmognathus auriculatus). We find that this index provides additional information beyond the standard measures of disease prevalence, intensity, and mortality, because it leveraged these disease parameters within each categorical group. Scientists and practitioners could use this measure to justify research, funding, trade, or conservation measures.

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Guo W, Weiperth A, Hossain MS, et al (2020)

The effects of the herbicides terbuthylazine and metazachlor at environmental concentration on the burrowing behaviour of red swamp crayfish.

Chemosphere pii:S0045-6535(20)32851-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite their low concentrations in many aquatic environments, evidence exists to suggest that herbicides do affect non-target organisms. Given that burrowing is a primary life-history trait in crayfish, herbicides could potentially have serious negative effects on these ecologically important freshwater macroinvertebrates. In this study, we exposed the red swamp crayfish Procambarus clarkii to terbuthylazine (a triazine) and metazachlor (a chloroacetanilide) at an environmental concentration of 2.0 μg/L for 28 days, and then observed their burrowing behaviour for two days. The metazachlor-exposed males excavated a greater number of burrows than the other tested groups, with comparable depths and volumes relative to individual specimen weight. The relative depth and volume of female burrows were identical in all groups. The natural habit of female crayfish of constructing deeper burrows than males was marginally significant in the control and META groups but was not significant for relative volume. The hypothesized adverse effects of chronic exposure to real environmental concentrations of herbicides were not documented in terms of either relative depth or volume. However, the increased number of burrows in metazachlor-exposed animals may mean that this invasive species will cause greater damage to embankments and river banks. The mechanisms behind these effects require closer study.

RevDate: 2020-11-11

Tarusikirwa VL, Machekano H, Mutamiswa R, et al (2020)

Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) on the "Offensive" in Africa: Prospects for Integrated Management Initiatives.

Insects, 11(11): pii:insects11110764.

The South American tomato pinworm Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) has aggressively invaded the African continent. Since its first detection in North Africa in Morocco and Tunisia in 2008, it has successfully invaded the entire southern, eastern and western Africa, where it has been on the offensive, causing significant damage to Solanaceous food crops. While control of this prolific invader is primarily based on conventional synthetic pesticides, this form of control is consistently losing societal approval owing to (1) pesticide resistance development and consequential loss of field efficacy; (2) growing public health concerns; (3) environmental contamination and loss of biological diversity and its associated ecological services; and (4) unsustainable costs, particularly for resource-poor African farmers. As such, more ecologically sound pest management strategies, e.g., the use of natural substances (NSs), may offer a more sustainable approach to tackling this offensive. A systematic literature search through digital libraries and online databases (JSTOR, PubMed, Web of Science, SCOPUS and Google Scholar) was conducted using predetermined keywords on T. absoluta, e.g., South American tomato pinworm. We use this to explain the invasion of T. absoluta in Africa, citing mechanisms facilitating African invasion and exploring the potential of its control using diverse biological control agents, natural and low-risk substances. Specifically, we explore how botanicals, entomopathogens, semiochemicals, predators, parasitoids, host plant resistance, sterile insect technique and others have been spatially employed to control T. absoluta and discuss the potential of these control agents in African landscapes using more integrated approaches. We discuss the use of NSs as assets to general insect pest control, some potential associated liabilities and explain the potential use and barriers to adoption in African systems from a legislative, economic, ecological and social standpoint.

RevDate: 2020-11-12
CmpDate: 2020-11-12

Duru C, Olanipekun G, Odili V, et al (2020)

Molecular characterization of invasive Enterobacteriaceae from pediatric patients in Central and Northwestern Nigeria.

PloS one, 15(10):e0230037.

BACKGROUND: Bacteremia is a leading cause of mortality in developing countries, however, etiologic evaluation is infrequent and empiric antibiotic use not evidence-based. Here, we evaluated the patterns of ESBL resistance in children enrolled into a surveillance study for community acquired bacteremic syndromes across health facilities in Central and Northwestern Nigeria.

METHOD: Blood culture was performed for children aged less than 5 years suspected of having sepsis from Sept 2008-Dec 2016. Blood was incubated using the BACTEC00AE system and Enterobacteriacea identified to the species level using Analytical Profile Index (API20E®). Antibiotic susceptibility profile was determined by the disc diffusion method. Real time PCR was used to characterize genes responsible for ESBL production.

RESULT: Of 21,000 children screened from Sept 2008-Dec 2016, 2,625(12.5%) were culture-positive. A total of 413 Enterobacteriaceae available for analysis were screened for ESBL. ESBL production was detected in 160 Enterobacteriaceae, high resistance rates were observed among ESBL-positive isolates for Ceftriaxone (92.3%), Aztreonam (96.8%), Cefpodoxime (96.3%), Cefotaxime (98.8%) and Trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole (90%), while 87.5%, 90.7%, and 91.9% of the isolates were susceptible to Imipenem, Amikacin and Meropenem respectively. Frequently detected resistance genes were blaTEM-83.8% (134/160), and, blaCTX-M 83.1% (133/160) followed by blaSHVgenes 66.3% (106/160). Co-existence of blaCTX-M, blaTEM and blaSHV was seen in 94/160 (58.8%), blaCTX-M and blaTEM in 118/160 (73.8%), blaTEM and blaSHV in 97/160 (60.6%) and blaCTX-M and blaSHV in 100/160 (62.5%) of isolates tested.

CONCLUSION: Our results indicate a high prevalence of bacteremia from ESBL Enterobacteriaceae in this population of children. These are resistant to commonly used antibiotics and careful choice of antibiotic treatment options is critical. Further studies to evaluate transmission dynamics of resistance genes could help in the reduction of ESBL resistance in these settings.

RevDate: 2020-11-11
CmpDate: 2020-11-11

Pandolfi JM, Staples TL, W Kiessling (2020)

Increased extinction in the emergence of novel ecological communities.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 370(6513):220-222.

Environmental change is transforming ecological assemblages into new configurations, resulting in novel communities. We developed a robust methodology to detect novel communities, examine patterns of emergence, and quantify probabilities of local demographic turnover in transitions to and from novel communities. Using a global dataset of Cenozoic marine plankton communities, we found that the probability of local extinction, origination, and emigration during transitions to a novel community increased two to four times that of background community changes. Although rare, novel communities were five times more likely than chance to shift into another novel state. For marine plankton communities at a 100,000-year time grain, novel communities were sensitive to further extinctions and substantial community change.

RevDate: 2020-11-12
CmpDate: 2020-11-12

Kelehear C, R Shine (2020)

Tradeoffs between dispersal and reproduction at an invasion front of cane toads in tropical Australia.

Scientific reports, 10(1):486.

Individuals at the leading edge of a biological invasion experience novel evolutionary pressures on mating systems, due to low population densities coupled with tradeoffs between reproduction and dispersal. Our dissections of >1,200 field-collected cane toads (Rhinella marina) at a site in tropical Australia reveal rapid changes in morphological and reproductive traits over a three-year period after the invaders first arrived. As predicted, individuals with dispersal-enhancing traits (longer legs, narrower heads) had reduced reproductive investment (lower gonad mass). Post-invasion, the population was increasingly dominated by individuals with less dispersive phenotypes and a higher investment into reproduction (including, increased expression of sexually dimorphic traits in males). These rapid shifts in morphology and reproductive biology emphasise the impacts of the invasion process on multiple, interlinked aspects of organismal biology.

RevDate: 2020-11-11
CmpDate: 2020-11-11

Valone TJ, DP Weyers (2019)

Invasion intensity influences scale-dependent effects of an exotic species on native plant diversity.

Scientific reports, 9(1):18769.

Invasive plant species reduce the diversity of natives by altering habitats or disturbance regimes, but it is less clear whether they do so via competitive exclusion. Here, we show that invader abundance alters scale-dependent competitive effects of invasion on native plant richness. Large-seeded exotic annual Erodium cicutarium invaded a site that manipulated rodent granivores. The invader became dominant on all plots but attained its highest abundance on plots that removed rodents. Invasion reduced plant abundance but not evenness; site-wide richness did not change over time on control plots but declined significantly on rodent removal plots. Species-area relationships within plots changed differently with invasion intensity: slopes increased and y-intercepts decreased on control plots relative to rodent removal plots. Changes in species-area slopes and y-intercepts following invasion suggest that common rather than rare species were most strongly impacted at small spatial scales on control plots, while common and rare species were both negatively impacted at all spatial scales on rodent removal plots. Small-seeded species declined in abundance following invasion more so than large-seeded species, indicative of competitive interactions mediated by seed size. These results reveal variation in scale-dependent competitive effects of invasion on native richness associated with invasion intensity.

RevDate: 2020-11-11
CmpDate: 2020-11-11

Herrando-Moraira S, Nualart N, Herrando-Moraira A, et al (2019)

Climatic niche characteristics of native and invasive Lilium lancifolium.

Scientific reports, 9(1):14334 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-50762-4.

One of the topics currently under discussion in biological invasions is whether the species' climatic niche has been conserved or, alternatively, has diverged during invasions. Here, we explore niche dynamic processes using the complex invasion history model of Lilium lancifolium, which is the first tested case of a native species (Korea) with two hypothesized spatial (regional and intercontinental) and temporal arrivals: (1) as an archaeophyte in East Asia (before AD 1500); and (2) as a neophyte in Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand (after AD 1500). Following a niche examination through both environmental and geographical spaces, the species in the archaeophyte range has apparently filled the ancestral native niche and, rather, would have increased it considerably. The species as a neophyte shows a closer climatic match with the archaeophyte range than with the native one. This pattern of niche similarity suggests that the neophyte range was probably colonized by a subset of archaeophyte propagules adapted to local climate that promoted the species' establishment. Overall, niche conservatism is proposed at each colonization step, from native to archaeophyte, and from archaeophyte to neophyte ranges. We detected signals of an advanced invasion stage within the archaeophyte range and traces of an early introduction stage in neophyte ranges.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Hudson CM, Vidal-García M, Murray TG, et al (2020)

The accelerating anuran: evolution of locomotor performance in cane toads (Rhinella marina, Bufonidae) at an invasion front.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1938):20201964.

As is common in biological invasions, the rate at which cane toads (Rhinella marina) have spread across tropical Australia has accelerated through time. Individuals at the invasion front travel further than range-core conspecifics and exhibit distinctive morphologies that may facilitate rapid dispersal. However, the links between these morphological changes and locomotor performance have not been clearly documented. We used raceway trials and high-speed videography to document locomotor traits (e.g. hop distances, heights, velocities, and angles of take-off and landing) of toads from range-core and invasion-front populations. Locomotor performance varied geographically, and this variation in performance was linked to morphological features that have evolved during the toads' Australian invasion. Geographical variation in morphology and locomotor ability was evident not only in wild-caught animals, but also in individuals that had been raised under standardized conditions in captivity. Our data thus support the hypothesis that the cane toad's invasion across Australia has generated rapid evolutionary shifts in dispersal-relevant performance traits, and that these differences in performance are linked to concurrent shifts in morphological traits.

RevDate: 2020-11-10

Tang F, DC Aldridge (2020)

Using osmotic shock to control invasive aquatic species.

Journal of environmental management pii:S0301-4797(20)31529-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Coastal estuaries are especially vulnerable to the arrival and establishment of invasive aquatic species (IAS) as they are often the receiving locations of ship-based introductions. Rapid response tools, such as mechanical or chemical treatments to capture, remove, and contain of IAS, are needed to prevent subsequent spread into adjacent marine and freshwater systems. Abrupt salinity change, created when infrastructure in estuaries situated at the proximity of river mouths is operated, offers a novel, low-cost and environmentally friendly method for potentially controlling IAS. We investigated the use of osmotic shock to control the invasive brackish water clam Rangia cuneata that is quickly spreading through Europe. Clams were exposed in the laboratory to eight salinity concentrations ranging from 0.5 to 32.0‰ and monitored for 60 days. Saline shock, but not freshwater shock, could control R. cuneata. Salinities >26‰ killed 95% R. cuneata in two weeks. All specimens exposed to full strength seawater (32‰) were killed within 30 days. At lower salinities, clams collected from the most freshwater locality (1.2‰) showed lower mortality than clams from the most saline site (3.1‰). Furthermore, even modest increases in salinity during spawning periods of R. cuneata may prevent recruitment. Given the vulnerability of coastal estuaries to introduction of IAS, saline flushing presents a novel and effective management tool for many species.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Donihue CM, Daltry JC, Challenger S, et al (2020)

Population increase and changes in behavior and morphology in the Critically Endangered Redonda ground lizard (Pholidoscelis atratus) following the successful removal of alien rats and goats.

Integrative zoology [Epub ahead of print].

Redonda is a small volcanic Caribbean island that is home to at least four endemic lizard species, including the Critically Endangered ground lizard, Pholidoscelis atratus. Black rats (Rattus rattus) and domestic goats (Capra hircus) were introduced to the island at some time after its discovery by Europeans in the late 1500s. They had a devastating effect on the island, resulting in the loss of nearly all trees and most of the ground vegetation. Point count surveys of P. atratus in 2012 indicated low densities, and the invasive rats were observed hunting and preying on the lizards. Both populations of rats and goats were successfully removed in 2017 as part of an ecological restoration program, and native vegetation and invertebrate populations have increased rapidly since. Population surveys in 2017, 2018, and 2019 show the lizard population has increased by more than six-fold. In 2017, as rats and goats were being removed, we evaluated the morphology and escape behavior of this species and repeated these measurements one year later. We observed that P. atratus had become bolder, with a reduced flight distance. We also detected changes in limb morphology related to locomotion and suggest possible explanations that will need to be further investigated in the future. These results show how the removal of invasive species can rapidly affect lizard population recovery and behavior, potentially restoring island ecosystems to their pre-human interference dynamics. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Barbieri DM, Lou B, Passavanti M, et al (2020)

A survey dataset to evaluate the changes in mobility and transportation due to COVID-19 travel restrictions in Australia, Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Norway, South Africa, United States.

Data in brief, 33:106459 pii:S2352-3409(20)31341-X.

COVID-19 pandemic has heavily impacted the global community. To curb the viral transmission, travel restrictions have been enforced across the world. The dataset documents the mobility disruptions and the modal shifts that have occurred as a consequence of the restrictive measures implemented in ten countries: Australia, Brazil, China, Ghana, India, Iran, Italy, Norway, South Africa and the United States. An online questionnaire was distributed during the period from the 11st to the 31st of May 2020, with a total of 9 394 respondents. The first part of the survey has characterized the frequency of use of all transport modes before and during the enforcement of the restrictions, while the second part of the survey has dealt with perceived risks of contracting COVID-19 from different transport modes and perceived effectiveness of travel mitigation measures. Overall, the dataset (stored in a repository publicly available) can be conveniently used to quantify and understand the modal shifts and people's cognitive behavior towards travel due to COVID-19. The collected responses can be further analysed by considering other demographic and socioeconomic covariates.

RevDate: 2020-11-09

Wappl C, Cimadom A, Filek N, et al (2020)

Under adverse conditions, older small tree finch males (Camarhynchus parvulus) produce more offspring than younger males.

Ethology : formerly Zeitschrift fur Tierpsychologie, 126(10):966-975.

Females of many bird species prefer mating with older males, presumably because they provide superior parental care and possibly superior genes. A previous study found that female small tree finches (Camarhynchus parvulus) preferred pairing with old males and had a higher breeding success when paired with old males because their nests were more concealed, higher up in the canopy and therefore less likely to be depredated. However, causes for brood loss have changed over the last decade: predation of small tree finch nests has decreased, whereas brood losses due to parasitism by the invasive parasitic fly Philornis downsi have increased. In the present study, we investigated (a) how the change in predation and parasitism by P. downsi influenced the breeding success of small tree finches, (b) whether there were still differences in breeding success between young and old males, (c) whether P. downsi infestation had a differential effect on nests of young and old males and (d) whether young and old males differed in foraging success. During 2012-2016, we found an overall low influence of predation and a high influence of P. downsi, but neither differed between nests of young and old males. Nests of old males had more fledglings than those of young males. However, the difference in breeding success disappeared when P. downsi numbers were experimentally reduced by injecting an insecticide into nests. This indicates that older males were able to compensate for the detrimental effects of parasitism.

RevDate: 2020-11-07

Pagac BB, Spring AR, Stawicki JR, et al (2020)

Incursion and establishment of the Old World arbovirus vector Aedes (Fredwardsius) vittatus (Bigot, 1861) in the Americas.

Acta tropica pii:S0001-706X(20)31652-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Routine biosurveillance efforts at the Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on 18 June 2019, detected two unusual mosquitos in a CO2-baited CDC light trap. Morphological and molecular analysis confirmed the presence of Aedes (Fredwardsius) vittatus (Bigot, 1861) - the first record of the Old World dengue, chikungunya, Zika and yellow fever virus vector into the Americas - and provide evidence for its establishment in Cuba. Newly submitted GenBank sequences from Dominican Republic further evidence its establishment in the Caribbean, and a median-joining network analysis using mitochondrial COI gene sequences clearly supports multiple introductions of Ae. vittatus into the Caribbean from the Indian subcontinent. Many Ae. vittatus COI barcode sequences in GenBank are misidentified as Aedes (Fredwardsius) cogilli Edwards, 1922.

RevDate: 2020-11-07

Wang M, Tang X, Sun X, et al (2020)

An invasive plant rapidly increased the similarity of soil fungal pathogen communities.

Annals of botany pii:5960110 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Plant invasions can change soil microbial communities and affect subsequent invasions directly or indirectly via foliar herbivory. It has been proposed that invaders promote uniform biotic communities that displace diverse, spatially variable communities ("Biotic Homogenization Hypothesis"), but this has not been experimentally tested for soil microbial communities, so the underlying mechanisms and dynamics are unclear. Here, we compared density-dependent impacts of the invasive plant Alternanthera philoxeroides and its native congener A. sessilis on soil fungal communities, and their feedback effects on plants and a foliar beetle.

METHODS: We conducted a plant-soil feedback (PSF) experiment and a lab bioassay to examine PSFs associated with the native and invasive plants and a beetle feeding on them. We also characterized the soil fungal community using high-throughput sequencing.

KEY RESULTS: We found locally differentiated soil fungal pathogen assemblages associated with high densities of the native plant Alternanthera sessilis but little variation in those associated with the invasive congener A. philoxeroides, regardless of plant density. In contrast, AM fungal assemblages associated with high densities of the invasive plant were more variable. Soil biota decreased plant shoot mass but their effect was weak for the invasive plant growing in native plant conditioned soils. PSFs increased the larval biomass of a beetle reared on leaves of the native plant only. Moreover, PSFs on plant shoot, root and beetle mass were predicted by different pathogen taxa in a plant species-specific manner.

CONCLUSION: Our results suggest that plant invasions can rapidly increase the similarity of soil pathogen assemblages even at low plant densities leading to taxonomically and functionally homogeneous soil communities that may limit negative soil effects on invasive plants.

RevDate: 2020-11-07

Eppinga MB, Baudena M, Haber EA, et al (2020)

Spatially explicit removal strategies increase the efficiency of invasive plant species control.

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

Effective management strategies are needed to control expansion of invasive alien plant species and attenuate economic and ecological impacts. While previous theoretical studies have assessed optimal control strategies that balance economic costs and ecological benefits, less attention has been paid to the ways in which the spatial characteristics of individual patches may mediate the effectiveness of management strategies. We developed a spatially explicit cellular automaton model for invasive species spread, and compared the effectiveness of seven control strategies. These control strategies used different criteria to prioritize the removal of invasive species patches from the landscape. The different criteria were related to patch size, patch geometry and patch position within the landscape. Effectiveness of strategies was assessed for both seed-dispersing and clonally expanding plant species. We found that for seed dispersing species, removal of small patches and removal of patches that are isolated within the landscape comprised relatively effective control strategies. For clonally expanding species, removal of patches based on their degree of isolation and their geometrical properties comprised relatively effective control strategies. Subsequently, we parameterized the model to mimic the observed spatial distribution of the invasive species Antigonon leptopus on St. Eustatius (northern Caribbean). This species expands clonally and also disperses via seeds, and model simulations showed that removal strategies focusing on smaller patches that are more isolated in the landscape would be most effective and could increase the effectiveness of a ten-year control strategy by 30-90%, as compared to random removal of patches. Our study emphasizes the potential for invasive plant species management to utilize recent advances in remote sensing, which enable mapping of invasive species at the high spatial resolution needed to quantify patch geometries. The presented results highlight how this spatial information can be used in the design of more effective invasive species control strategies.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Moura RF, Queiroga D, Vilela E, et al (2020)

Polyploidy and high environmental tolerance increase the invasive success of plants.

Journal of plant research pii:10.1007/s10265-020-01236-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Ploidy level and genome size (GS) could affect the invasive capacity of plants, although these parameters can be contradictory. While small GS seems to favor dispersion, polyploidy-which increases the GS-also seems to favor it. Using a phylogenetic path analysis, we evaluated the effects of both factors on the environmental tolerance and invasive success of plants. We selected 99 invasive plant species from public online databases and gathered information about invasive capacity (number of non-original countries in which each species occurs), tolerance to environmental factors, ploidy level, and GS. The invasive capacity varied depending on the ploidy level and tolerance to environmental factors. Polyploids and species with increased tolerance to elevated temperatures and rainfall values exhibited high invasive capacity. We found no evidence that GS affects the invasive capacity of plants. We suggest that the genetic variability provided by polyploidization has a positive impact on plant competitiveness, which may ultimately lead to an increased ability to colonize new environments. In a global warming scenario, integrative approaches using phenotypic, genetic, epigenetic, and ecological traits should be a productive route to unveil the aspects of invasive plants.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Dunlop MJ, Clemons C, Reiner R, et al (2020)

Towards the scalable isolation of cellulose nanocrystals from tunicates.

Scientific reports, 10(1):19090 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-76144-9.

In order for sustainable nanomaterials such as cellulose nanocrystals (CNCs) to be utilized in industrial applications, a large-scale production capacity for CNCs must exist. Currently the only CNCs available commercially in kilogram scale are obtained from wood pulp (W-CNCs). Scaling the production capacity of W-CNCs isolation has led to their use in broader applications and captured the interest of researchers, industries and governments alike. Another source of CNCs with potential for commercial scale production are tunicates, a species of marine animal. Tunicate derived CNCs (T-CNCs) are a high aspect ratio CNC, which can complement commercially available W-CNCs in the growing global CNC market. Herein we report the isolation and characterization of T-CNCs from the tunicate Styela clava, an invasive species currently causing significant harm to local aquaculture communities. The reported procedure utilizes scalable CNC processing techniques and is based on our experiences from laboratory scale T-CNC isolation and pilot scale W-CNC isolation. To our best knowledge, this study represents the largest scale where T-CNCs have been isolated from any tunicate species, under any reaction conditions. Demonstrating a significant step towards commercial scale isolation of T-CNCs, and offering a potential solution to the numerous challenges which invasive tunicates pose to global aquaculture communities.

RevDate: 2020-11-06

Tsuji LJS, Tsuji SRJ, Zuk AM, et al (2020)

Harvest Programs in First Nations of Subarctic Canada: The Benefits Go Beyond Addressing Food Security and Environmental Sustainability Issues.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(21): pii:ijerph17218113.

By breaking down barriers that impacted the ability of subarctic First Nations people to harvest waterfowl, the Sharing-the-Harvest program provided a safe, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food (i.e., geese) to James Bay Cree communities while also helping to protect the environment by harvesting overabundant geese. However, the impacts extend beyond those described above. Thus, the objectives of the present paper are twofold: to document the food sharing networks of the Sharing-the-Harvest program; and to examine the benefits associated with the harvest program beyond food security and environmental sustainability issues, as revealed through semi-directed interviews. In the regional initiative, harvested geese were shared with all James Bay communities; sharing is an important part of Cree culture. Where detailed information was collected, the goose-sharing network reached 76% of the homes in one of the communities. Likewise, in the local initiative, the goose-sharing network had a 76% coverage rate of the homes in the community. Although decreasing food insecurity was an important focus of the harvest-sharing programs, there were other benefits, from an Indigenous perspective, of being on the land, as identified by the Cree harvesters through semi-directed interviews (e.g., the transmission of Indigenous knowledge, the strengthening of social networks, and the feeling of wellness while out on-the-land). Thus, by participating in the on-the-land harvest programs, the Cree gained benefits beyond those solely related to strengthening food security and contributing in part to environmental sustainability. The Sharing-the-Harvest protocol has the potential to be adapted and employed by other Indigenous (or marginalized) groups worldwide, to help improve health and wellness, while, also protecting the environment from overabundant and/or invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-11-01

Bujan J, Charavel E, Bates OK, et al (2020)

Increased acclimation ability accompanies a thermal niche shift of a recent invasion.

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

Globalization is removing dispersal barriers for the establishment of invasive species and enabling their spread to novel climates. New thermal environments in the invaded range will be particularly challenging for ectotherms, as their metabolism directly depends on environmental temperature. However, we know little about the role climatic niche shifts play in the invasion process, and the underlining physiological mechanisms. We tested if a thermal niche shift accompanies an invasion, and if native and introduced populations differ in their ability to acclimate thermal limits. We used an alien ant species-Tapinoma magnum-which recently started to spread across Europe. Using occurrence data and accompanying climatic variables we measured the amount of overlap between thermal niches in the native and invaded range. We then experimentally tested the acclimation ability in native and introduced populations by incubating T. magnum at 18, 25 and 30 °C. We measured upper and lower critical thermal limits after 7 and 21 days. We found that T. magnum occupies a distinct thermal niche in its introduced range, which is on average 3.5 °C colder than its native range. Critical thermal minimum did not differ between populations from the two ranges when colonies were maintained at 25°C or 30°C, but did differ after colony acclimation at a lower temperature. We found 2-fold greater acclimation ability of introduced populations to lower temperatures, after prolonged incubation at 18 °C. Increased acclimation ability of lower thermal limits could explain the expansion of the realized thermal niche in the invaded range, and likely contributed to the spread of this species to cooler climates. Such thermal plasticity could be an important, yet so far understudied, factor underlying the expansion of invasive insects into novel climates.

RevDate: 2020-11-09
CmpDate: 2020-11-09

Tempesti J, Mangano MC, Langeneck J, et al (2020)

Non-indigenous species in Mediterranean ports: A knowledge baseline.

Marine environmental research, 161:105056.

Port areas have been considered bioinvasion hotspots due to the concentration of several invasion vectors. However, the actual distribution of non-indigenous species (NIS) in Mediterranean ports is still poorly understood. Here we conducted a literature review with the aim to provide a knowledge baseline about NIS distribution in Mediterranean ports. NIS distribution in Mediterranean ports showed a high degree of heterogeneity in terms of studies across the whole basin, with a limited knowledge on both specific taxa and geographical areas, as well as a generally low proportion of investigated ports. The low rate of specific studies designed to monitor these particular environments may represent the main source of knowledge gaps. Mediterranean ports host NIS from all regions of the world, playing a key role in marine bioglobalization. Our synthesis represents the first baseline addressing the presence of NIS in Mediterranean ports, which may be useful to define plans of NIS management and strategies focusing on a network of recognised focal hotspots.

RevDate: 2020-11-09
CmpDate: 2020-11-09

Cossé AA, Zilkowski BW, Zou Y, et al (2020)

Female-Produced Sex Pheromone of Tetrastichus planipennisi, a Parasitoid Introduced for Biological Control of the Invasive Emerald Ash Borer, Agrilus planipennis.

Journal of chemical ecology, 46(5-6):508-519.

The Asian eulophid wasp Tetrastichus planipennisi is being released in North America as a biocontrol agent for the emerald ash borer (Agrilus planipennis), a very destructive invasive buprestid beetle that is devastating ash trees (Fraxinus spp.). We identified, synthesized, and tested a female-produced sex pheromone for the wasp. The key component eliciting behavioral responses from male wasps in flight tunnel bioassays was identified as (6S,10S)-(2E,4E,8E)-4,6,8,10-tetramethyltrideca-2,4,8-triene. Female specificity was demonstrated by gas chromatographic (GC) comparison of male and female volatile emissions and whole body extracts. The identification was aided by coupled gas chromatography/mass spectrometry analysis, microchemical reactions, NMR, GC analyses with a chiral stationary phase column, and matching GC retention times and mass spectra with those of synthetic standards. The tetramethyl-triene hydrocarbon was synthesized as a mixture of two enantiomeric pairs of diastereomers, and as the pure insect-produced stereoisomer. In flight-tunnel bioassays, males responded to both the natural pheromone and the chiral synthetic material by upwind flight and landing on the source. In contrast, the mixture of four stereoisomers was not attractive, indicating that one or more of the "unnatural" stereoisomers antagonized attraction. Field trials, using yellow pan traps baited with natural pheromone, captured significantly more male wasps than control traps over a four week trial. The identified pheromone could increase the efficiency and specificity of the current detection methods for Tetrastichus planipennisi and aid in the determination of parasitoid establishment at release sites.

RevDate: 2020-11-09
CmpDate: 2020-11-09

Atijegbe SR, Mansfield S, Ferguson CM, et al (2020)

Host Range Expansion of an Endemic Insect Herbivore is Associated With High Nitrogen and Low Fibre Content in Exotic Pasture Plants.

Journal of chemical ecology, 46(5-6):544-556.

Endemic moth species of the genus Wiseana spp. (Hepialidae) have become serious pests of introduced pasture plants in New Zealand. The original native host plants of these moths have not been confirmed. This study investigated the performance (survival, development time, weight gain) of three Wiseana species on seven putative host plants: five native and two exotic species. The aim was to identify native hosts for the three Wiseana species and to compare their performance on native plants and exotic pasture plants. The chemical composition of the seven putative host plants was investigated to compare native and exotic plant chemistries, and to test for associations between plant characteristics and performance of selected Wiseana species. Carbon, nitrogen, silica and fibre contents were measured for each plant species; primary metabolite composition was determined by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. For the three moth species, increased survival and weight gain were significantly associated with high nitrogen and low fibre contents in one exotic host plant, white clover (Trifolium repens), although one species, W. umbraculata, did not complete development to adult on any of the plants tested, including clover. Two exotic plants (T. repens, Lolium perenne × Lolium multiflorum), and two native plants (Aciphylla squarrosa and Festuca actae) supported W. copularis development to the adult stage, but only one exotic (T. repens) and one native (F. actae) species supported complete development of W. cervinata. Exotic and native plant species had distinct metabolite profiles, but there was no significant association between metabolite composition and Wiseana performance. We conclude that W. copularis and W. cervinata, but not W. umbraculata, have expanded their host range, because of their ability to use both native and new hosts. No evidence was found for a host shift, i.e., a loss of performance on the ancestral host compared with the new host.

RevDate: 2020-11-06
CmpDate: 2020-11-06

Cunha MV, Albuquerque T, Themudo P, et al (2020)

The Gut Microbiota of the Egyptian Mongoose as an Early Warning Indicator of Ecosystem Health in Portugal.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 17(9):.

The Egyptian mongoose is a carnivore mammal species that in the last decades experienced a tremendous expansion in Iberia, particularly in Portugal, mainly due to its remarkable ecological plasticity in response to land-use changes. However, this species may have a disruptive role on native communities in areas where it has recently arrived due to predation and the potential introduction of novel pathogens. We report reference information on the cultivable gut microbial landscape of widely distributed Egyptian mongoose populations (Herpestes ichneumon, n = 53) and related antimicrobial tolerance across environmental gradients. The panel of isolated species is consistent with the typical protein-based diet of a carnivore: Firmicutes predominate (89% of individuals), while Clostridiales, Enterobacteriales, and Lactobacillales are the major classes. Forty-one individuals (77.4%) harbour Clostridium spp. A spatial influence on mongooses' microbiota is confirmed by nonmetric multidimensional scaling analysis, with a significant contribution of municipality to their microbiota composition. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing of mongoose commensal bacteria to 28 compounds evidences xenobiotic tolerance of Escherichia coli (E. coli), enterococci, Salmonella Spartel and Mbandaka serotypes and Pseudomonas bacteria, among others. The common isolation of antimicrobial tolerant microbiota from the mongoose's gut suggests this species is exposed to anthropogenic influence and is affected by forestry and agricultural-related practices, reflecting its easy adaptation to ecological gradients across agroecosystems. We thus propose regular microbial and phenotypic resistance profiling of widely distributed mongooses as a sentinel tool for xenobiotics' lifecycle and ecosystem health in Portugal.

RevDate: 2020-11-09
CmpDate: 2020-11-09

Chouvenc T, Sillam-Dussès D, A Robert (2020)

Courtship Behavior Confusion in Two Subterranean Termite Species that Evolved in Allopatry (Blattodea, Rhinotermitidae, Coptotermes).

Journal of chemical ecology, 46(5-6):461-474.

Congeneric species that live in sympatry may have evolved various mechanisms that maintain reproductive isolation among species. However, with the spread of invasive organisms owing to increased global human activity, some species that evolved in allopatry can now be found outside their native range and may have the opportunity to interact, in the absence of mechanisms for reproductive isolation. In South Florida, where the Asian subterranean termite, Coptotermes gestroi (Wamann), and the Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki (Blattodea: Rhinotermitidae) are invasive, the two species can engage in heterospecific mating behavior as their distribution range and their dispersal flight season both overlap. Termites rely on semiochemicals for many of their activities, including finding a mate after a dispersal flight. In this study, we showed that females of both species produce (3Z,6Z,8E)-dodeca-3,6,8-trien-1-ol (DTE) from their tergal glands as a shared sex pheromone. We suggest that both species primarily rely on an inundative dispersal flight strategy to find a mate, and that DTE is used as a short distance pheromone or contact pheromone to initiate and maintain the tandem between males and females. The preference of C. gestroi males for C. formosanus females during tandem resulted from the relatively high amount of DTE produced by tergal glands of C. formosanus females, when compared with those of C. gestroi females. This results in confusion of mating in the field during simultaneous dispersal flights, with a potential for hybridization. Such observations imply that no prezygotic barriers emerged while the two species evolved in allopatry for ~18 Ma.

RevDate: 2020-11-10
CmpDate: 2020-11-10

French K, E Watts (2020)

Differences in vegetative growth of two invasive hawkweeds at temperatures simulating invaded habitats at two altitudes.

Scientific reports, 10(1):2180.

Hieracium pilosella and H. aurantiacum are invading alpine regions in New South Wales, Australia. In a glasshouse experiment we investigated germination and growth rates of these two species at temperatures simulating the altitudes where invasions are occurring from autumn to spring. We measured germination rates, growth rates and the development of stolons and ramets using seedlings and plantlets from established plants. Germination was low in H. aurantiacum and unaffected by altitude or seed age. H. pilosella showed site to site variability in germination but had greater germination. No species produced flower spikes. Both species grew rapidly and put at least twice as much biomass into roots compared to shoots. H. aurantiacum could begin to produce stolons after 27 days and seedlings grew a little larger than for H. pilosella. Hieracium aurantiacum put significantly more resources into ramets, allocating between 4-15% of biomass. H. pilosella produced 2.6 stolons month-1, in contrast to 9.8 stolons month-1 for H. aurantiacum. Furthermore, plantlets from established plants had vastly different growth rates. Plantlets of H. aurantiacum produced 2.1 leaves day-1 from late summer to winter where H. pilosella was 3 times slower for the same period but faster following winter. Both species were able to maintain strong growth over cooler months suggesting hawkweeds have the capacity for fast growth in the invaded range under high nutrients and lower competition. H. aurantiacum is likely to be a more effective invader than H. pilosella spreading through stolons and the development of weed mats.

RevDate: 2020-11-10
CmpDate: 2020-11-10

Harris HE, Fogg AQ, Allen MS, et al (2020)

Precipitous Declines in Northern Gulf of Mexico Invasive Lionfish Populations Following the Emergence of an Ulcerative Skin Disease.

Scientific reports, 10(1):1934.

Invasive Indo-Pacific lionfish Pterois volitans/miles have become well-established in many western Atlantic marine habitats and regions. However, high densities and low genetic diversity could make their populations susceptible to disease. We examined changes in northern Gulf of Mexico (nGOM) lionfish populations following the emergence of an ulcerative skin disease in August 2017, when estimated disease prevalence was as high as 40%. Ulcerated female lionfish had 9% lower relative condition compared to non-ulcerated females. Changes in lionfish size composition indicated a potential recruitment failure in early summer 2018, when the proportion of new recruits declined by >80%. Remotely operated vehicle surveys during 2016-2018 indicated lionfish population density declined in 2018 by 75% on natural reefs. The strongest declines (77-79%) in lionfish density were on high-density (>25 lionfish per 100 m2) artificial reefs, which declined to similar levels as low-density (<15 lionfish per 100 m2) artificial reefs that had prior lionfish removals. Fisheries-dependent sampling indicated lionfish commercial spearfishing landings, commercial catch per unit effort (CPUE), and lionfish tournament CPUE also declined approximately 50% in 2018. Collectively, these results provide correlative evidence for density-dependent epizootic population control, have implications for managing lionfish and impacted native species, and improve our understanding of biological invasions.

RevDate: 2020-11-09
CmpDate: 2020-11-09

Kołodziejek J (2019)

Growth performance and emergence of invasive alien Rumex confertus in different soil types.

Scientific reports, 9(1):19678.

Rumex confertus is known to be one of the most serious invasive weed species infesting meadows, pastures and ruderal lands throughout the Central Europe. Rumex confertus was grown in pot experiments using 8 soil types at 5 concentrations of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). Based on harvest data, the variables, seedlings emergence, root: shoot (R: S) ratio, N and P concentration, chlorophyll content, Relative Colimitation Index (RCI) and dry matter allocation to plant components, were determined. N and P addition stimulated the growth of plants in different soils, as reflected by a significant increase in seedling growth parameters such as total plant biomass and shoot biomass. Across all soil types, emergence of seedlings was negatively affected by very high N, but positively affected by increased P availability. This study indicates that Dystric Arenosol, Entic Podzol, Brunic Arenosol and Calcaric Leptosol are unfavorable for R. confertus growth, excluding R. confertus completely. Moreover, evidence suggests that plant growth is limited by both N and P, therefore R. confertus could be controlled by reducing available N and P content in the soil.

RevDate: 2020-11-10
CmpDate: 2020-11-10

Mogi M, Armbruster PA, N Tuno (2020)

Differences in Responses to Urbanization Between Invasive Mosquitoes, Aedes japonicus japonicus (Diptera: Culicidae) and Aedes albopictus, in Their Native Range, Japan.

Journal of medical entomology, 57(1):104-112.

The Asian mosquitoes, Aedes albopictus (Skuse) and Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald), have invaded North America, Europe, and other regions since the late 20th century. In invasive ranges, Ae. albopictus has well been recognized as urban, domestic species, whereas views about the macrohabitats of Ae. j. japonicus are inconsistent. Previous reports in Japan suggest the disappearance of Ae. j. japonicus from metropolises. However, container-mosquito larvae have not been inspected simultaneously for various macro and microhabitats in metropolises in Japan. The current study in Fukuoka City, a metropolis in southwest Japan, confirmed the absence of Ae. j. japonicus irrespective of macrohabitats (temples with graveyards, shrines, public graveyards, cultivated bamboo groves, and urban forests, all within the area densely inhabited by humans) and microhabitats (container types). In contrast, Ae. albopictus was dominant throughout the macro and microhabitats except forest tree holes rich with competitive species. Past records indicate the disappearance of Ae. j. japonicus from metropolitan Fukuoka within the last 70 yr. Based on careful examination of available evidence, we concluded that 1) both species benefit from human-made environments with artificial containers free from competitors, 2) Ae. j. japonicus disappeared due to hot, dry summer conditions facilitated by urban heat-island effects and a decrease in favored mammal hosts, and 3) Ae. albopictus has proliferated with higher tolerance to hot, dry climate and a wider blood-feeding host-range including humans. This difference is important for efficient control of each species as well as predicting and preventing the expansion into new distribution ranges.


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

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