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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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

RJR: Recommended Bibliography 19 Apr 2021 at 01:34 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®)

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RevDate: 2021-04-17

Fernández V, Caselli A, Tammone A, et al (2021)

Lead exposure in dogs fed game meat and offal from culled invasive species in El Palmar National Park, Argentina.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

This is the first field study to evaluate lead exposure in dogs fed game meat and offal and, to our knowledge, the first study exploring associations between game consumption and dog health status. We quantified lead concentrations in blood and hair and haematological parameters of 31 dogs fed game meat and offal from wild boar (Sus scrofa) and axis deer (Axis axis) culled with lead ammunition in El Palmar National Park, Argentina. Despite variable weekly frequency in game consumption, dogs had detectable blood and hair lead levels, demonstrating recent and chronic exposure. Lead geometric mean and SD were 18.91 ± 346.85 μg/dL w.w. in blood (range = 0.53-216.58), and 0.721 ± 6.444 μg/gr d.w. in hair (range = 0.007-34.800). Hair lead levels were relatively low in most samples, except for the oldest dog which had an atypically high value concurrent with anaemia, a common outcome of chronic lead exposure. Dog's owner was significantly predictive of both blood and hair lead levels, which reflects the same feeding patterns for all dogs owned by the same person. Body condition was associated with hair lead, with dogs in good condition presenting higher lead levels. This could be related to greater game consumption by those dogs, resulting in higher lead ingestion. Dogs fed game meat and offal at very low or low frequency (≤4 times per week) showed higher blood lead levels, suggesting there might not be a risk-free frequency for game provision to dogs. Considering the risks of dietary lead exposure, avoiding feeding dogs lead-killed game and replacing lead ammunition with non-toxic alternatives are recommended. This would allow using hunted game as a valuable food resource without unnecessary risk for the health of consumers and the environment.

RevDate: 2021-04-17

Westhoff JT, Abdelrahman HA, Rice CJ, et al (2021)

Linking multiple aspects of thermal performance to explore the potential for thermal resource partitioning between a native and an invasive crayfish.

Journal of thermal biology, 97:102864.

Ecologists require standardized, ecologically relevant information on the thermal ecology of aquatic ectotherms to address growing concerns related to changing climates, altered habitats, and introduced species. We measured multiple thermal endpoints to investigate potential for establishment of the invasive Ringed Crayfish (Faxonius neglectus) in thermally heterogeneous habitat of the narrowly distributed endemic Coldwater Crayfish (Faxonius eupunctus). For each species, we examined the relationships between thermal endpoints at the cellular and organismal levels. We then compared results between the two species to gain insight as to the generality of linkages between cellular and organismal-level endpoints, as well as the potential for thermal niche separation between the native and potential invader. At the cellular level, we found no differences in the temperature for maximum activity of electron transport system enzymes (ETSmax) between species. At the organismal level, F. neglectus preferred significantly warmer temperatures than F. eupunctus, but this difference was small (1.3 °C) and likely to have only limited biological significance. The critical thermal maximum (CTM) did not differ between species. For both species, the thermal performance curve for ETS enzyme activity served as a useful framework to link thermal endpoints and estimate the transition from optimal to stressful temperatures - organismal thermal preference and optimal temperature estimates consistently fell below ETSmax whereas CTM estimates fell above ETSmax. Taken together, the strong similarities in thermal endpoint patterns between the two species suggest habitats thermally suitable for the native F. eupunctus will also be thermally available to expanding populations of F. neglectus, thereby increasing the opportunity for negative interactions and population effects if F. neglectus invades one of the few remaining, uninvaded, critical habitats of F. eupunctus.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

León MR, Hughes KA, Morelli E, et al (2021)

International Response under the Antarctic Treaty System to the Establishment of A Non-native Fly in Antarctica.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Antarctica currently has few non-native species, compared to other regions of the planet, due to the continent's isolation, extreme climatic conditions and the lack of habitat. However, human activity, particularly the activities of national government operators and tourism, increasingly contributes to the risk of non-native species transfer and establishment. Trichocera (Saltitrichocera) maculipennis Meigen, 1888 (Diptera, Trichoceridae) is a non-native fly originating from the Northern Hemisphere that was unintentionally introduced to King George Island in the maritime Antarctic South Shetland Islands around 15 years ago, since when it has been reported within or in the vicinity of several research stations. It is not explicitly confirmed that T. maculipennis has established in the natural environment, but life-history characteristics make this likely, thereby making potential eradication or control a challenge. Antarctic Treaty Parties active in the region are developing a coordinated and expanding international response to monitor and control T. maculipennis within and around stations in the affected area. However, there remains no overarching non-native invasive species management plan for the island or the wider maritime Antarctic region (which shares similar environmental conditions and habitats to those of King George Island). Here we present some options towards the development of such a plan. We recommend the development of (1) clear mechanisms for the timely coordination of response activities by multiple Parties operating in the vicinity of the introduction location and (2) policy guidance on acceptable levels of environmental impacts resulting from eradication attempts in the natural environment, including the use of pesticides.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Cooke SJ, Bergman JN, Madliger CL, et al (2021)

One hundred research questions in conservation physiology for generating actionable evidence to inform conservation policy and practice.

Conservation physiology, 9(1):coab009 pii:coab009.

Environmental change and biodiversity loss are but two of the complex challenges facing conservation practitioners and policy makers. Relevant and robust scientific knowledge is critical for providing decision-makers with the actionable evidence needed to inform conservation decisions. In the Anthropocene, science that leads to meaningful improvements in biodiversity conservation, restoration and management is desperately needed. Conservation Physiology has emerged as a discipline that is well-positioned to identify the mechanisms underpinning population declines, predict responses to environmental change and test different in situ and ex situ conservation interventions for diverse taxa and ecosystems. Here we present a consensus list of 10 priority research themes. Within each theme we identify specific research questions (100 in total), answers to which will address conservation problems and should improve the management of biological resources. The themes frame a set of research questions related to the following: (i) adaptation and phenotypic plasticity; (ii) human-induced environmental change; (iii) human-wildlife interactions; (iv) invasive species; (v) methods, biomarkers and monitoring; (vi) policy, engagement and communication; (vii) pollution; (viii) restoration actions; (ix) threatened species; and (x) urban systems. The themes and questions will hopefully guide and inspire researchers while also helping to demonstrate to practitioners and policy makers the many ways in which physiology can help to support their decisions.

RevDate: 2021-04-16

Zhang Y, Wu H, Hörandl E, et al (2021)

Autonomous apomixis in Praxelis clematidea (Asteraceae: Eupatorieae), an invasive alien plant.

AoB PLANTS, 13(2):plab007 pii:plab007.

Understanding the reproductive mechanisms of invasive alien species can lay the foundation for effective control measures. Praxelis clematidea is a triploid neotropical Asteraceae species that is invasive in China and other countries. However, few studies have focused on its reproductive biology. In this study, flow cytometric seed screening (FCSS) was used to identify and confirm the reproductive mode of the species. The development of ovules, anthers, and mega- and microgametophytes was observed using a clearing method and differential interference contrast microscopy. Pollen viability was measured using the Benzidine test and Alexander's stain. Pollen morphology was observed via fluorescence microscopy after sectioning the disk florets and staining with water-soluble aniline blue or 4'6-diamidino-2-phenylindole nuclei dyes. Controlled pollination experiments were conducted on four populations in China to examine the breeding system and to confirm autonomous apomixis. The reproductive mode was found to be autonomous apomixis without pseudogamy, according to FCSS. Megaspore mother cells developed directly into eight-nucleate megagametophytes without meiosis, conforming to Antennaria-type diplospory. The unreduced egg cells developed into embryos through parthenogenesis, while the endosperm was formed by the fusion of two unreduced polar nuclei. Pollen viability was very low (0.82 ± 0.57 % and 0.36 ± 0.44 %) as measured by the Benzidine test and Alexander's stain, respectively. The majority of the pollen grains were empty and had neither cytoplasm nor nuclei. The seed set was >90 % for all treatments of open pollination, bagging and emasculated capitula. Mature cypselae developed in capitula that were emasculated before flowering, which confirmed that the breeding system of P. clematidea was autonomous apomixis. The present study is the first report of autonomous apomixis in P. clematidea in China. Antennaria-type autonomous apomixis in P. clematidea greatly increases the probability of successful colonisation and dispersal of P. clematidea into new areas, which likely contributes to its high invasion potential. Effective control measures should be implemented to prevent autonomous (pollen-independent) seed production.

RevDate: 2021-04-16
CmpDate: 2021-04-16

Stroud JT (2021)

Island species experience higher niche expansion and lower niche conservatism during invasion.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(1):.

RevDate: 2021-04-16
CmpDate: 2021-04-16

Liu C, Wolter C, Xian W, et al (2021)

Reply to Stroud: Invasive amphibians and reptiles from islands indeed show higher niche expansion than mainland species.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(1):.

RevDate: 2021-04-16
CmpDate: 2015-06-01

Osborne CP, Salomaa A, Kluyver TA, et al (2014)

A global database of C4 photosynthesis in grasses.

The New phytologist, 204(3):441-446.

RevDate: 2021-04-16
CmpDate: 2013-08-07

Moles AT, Peco B, Wallis IR, et al (2013)

Correlations between physical and chemical defences in plants: tradeoffs, syndromes, or just many different ways to skin a herbivorous cat?.

The New phytologist, 198(1):252-263.

Most plant species have a range of traits that deter herbivores. However, understanding of how different defences are related to one another is surprisingly weak. Many authors argue that defence traits trade off against one another, while others argue that they form coordinated defence syndromes. We collected a dataset of unprecedented taxonomic and geographic scope (261 species spanning 80 families, from 75 sites across the globe) to investigate relationships among four chemical and six physical defences. Five of the 45 pairwise correlations between defence traits were significant and three of these were tradeoffs. The relationship between species' overall chemical and physical defence levels was marginally nonsignificant (P = 0.08), and remained nonsignificant after accounting for phylogeny, growth form and abundance. Neither categorical principal component analysis (PCA) nor hierarchical cluster analysis supported the idea that species displayed defence syndromes. Our results do not support arguments for tradeoffs or for coordinated defence syndromes. Rather, plants display a range of combinations of defence traits. We suggest this lack of consistent defence syndromes may be adaptive, resulting from selective pressure to deploy a different combination of defences to coexisting species.

RevDate: 2021-04-16
CmpDate: 2013-06-21

Raghavendra AKH, G Newcombe (2013)

The contribution of foliar endophytes to quantitative resistance to Melampsora rust.

The New phytologist, 197(3):909-918.

Foliar endophytes of Populus do not induce the hypersensitive response associated with major genes for resistance to Melampsora leaf rust. But they could contribute to the quantitative resistance that represents a second line of defense. Quantitative resistance is thought to be determined by suites of minor genes in both host and pathogen that are influenced by the abiotic environment. Here, we determined the relative importance to quantitative resistance of foliar endophytes, one element of the biotic environment. Leaves of six host genotypes differing in genetic resistance to Melampsora × columbiana were inoculated first with one of four foliar endophytes (Stachybotrys sp., Trichoderma atroviride, Ulocladium atrum or Truncatella angustata), and then with Melampsora. These endophytes greatly reduced rust severity within inoculated leaves (i.e. local effects), but they had no systemic effect on rust of leaves not inoculated with endophytes. Differences among endophytes and their controls explained 54% of the total variation in quantitative resistance (i.e. rust severity); the six host/pathogen genotypes explained just 5%. In terms of magnitude of effect on rust severity, Stachybotrys, Trichoderma, Ulocladium and Truncatella were ranked in this order on all host/pathogen genotypes. Endophytes may contribute significantly to quantitative resistance to Melampsora in leaves of Populus.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Teider-Junior PI, Felipetto LG, Kmetiuk LB, et al (2021)

Exposure of Wild Boar (Sus scrofa) To the Common Vampire Bat and Lack of Immune Protection To Rabies Virus In Brazilian Hunters.

Journal of wildlife diseases pii:464123 [Epub ahead of print].

Rabies virus is recognized as one of the most fatal zoonotic agents affecting all mammals. Wild boars (Sus scrofa), classified as a large-size exotic invasive species in Brazil with nationwide hunting permitted, may serve as an extra blood source for the common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus). Our aim was to document wild boar exposure to vampire bats to determine the seroprevalence of rabies virus antibodies in wild boars and to determine the immune status of hunters in southern and central-western Brazilian regions. Serum samples were collected from 80 wild boars and 49 hunters from natural and degraded areas of the Atlantic Forest biome of southern Brazil and in degraded areas of the Cerrado biome of central-western Brazil. The rabies-modified rapid fluorescent focus inhibition test was performed to detect the presence of rabies virus neutralizing antibodies in wild boars and considered seropositive when ≥0.10 IU/mL. The simplified fluorescence inhibition microtest was used for samples from hunters with a titer of ≥0.50 IU/mL and considered indicative of seroconversion. While 11% (9/80) of wild boars had serum titers for rabies exposure (≥0.10 IU/mL), 88% (43/49) of corresponding hunters lacked immune protective titers (<0.50 IU/mL). Wild boars showed serum titers for rabies likely due to contact with contaminated saliva of vampire bats or from infected carcass consumption. Additionally, Brazilian wild boars can be exposed to rabies and may play an important role in the sylvatic rabies cycle by providing a blood supply for vampire bats, highlighting the possibility of direct transmission of rabies virus to hunting dogs and hunters. These findings suggested hunters are a potential risk group for contracting rabies, and the World Health Organization may consider adding this occupation to their recommendations of who should receive the pre-exposure rabies vaccination.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Yin X, Martinez AS, Sepúlveda MS, et al (2021)

Rapid genetic adaptation to recently colonized environments is driven by genes underlying life history traits.

BMC genomics, 22(1):269.

BACKGROUND: Uncovering the mechanisms underlying rapid genetic adaptation can provide insight into adaptive evolution and shed light on conservation, invasive species control, and natural resource management. However, it can be difficult to experimentally explore rapid adaptation due to the challenges associated with propagating and maintaining species in captive environments for long periods of time. By contrast, many introduced species have experienced strong selection when colonizing environments that differ substantially from their native range and thus provide a "natural experiment" for studying rapid genetic adaptation. One such example occurred when sea lamprey (Petromyzon marinus), native to the northern Atlantic, naturally migrated into Lake Champlain and expanded their range into the Great Lakes via man-made shipping canals.

RESULTS: Utilizing 368,886 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), we calculated genome-wide levels of genetic diversity (i.e., heterozygosity and π) for sea lamprey collected from native (Connecticut River), native but recently colonized (Lake Champlain), and invasive (Lake Michigan) populations, assessed genetic differentiation between all populations, and identified candidate genes that responded to selection imposed by the novel environments. We observed a 14 and 24% reduction in genetic diversity in Lake Michigan and Lake Champlain populations, respectively, compared to individuals from the Connecticut River, suggesting that sea lamprey populations underwent a genetic bottleneck during colonization. Additionally, we identified 121 and 43 outlier genes in comparisons between Lake Michigan and Connecticut River and between Lake Champlain and Connecticut River, respectively. Six outlier genes that contained synonymous SNPs in their coding regions and two genes that contained nonsynonymous SNPs may underlie the rapid evolution of growth (i.e., GHR), reproduction (i.e., PGR, TTC25, STARD10), and bioenergetics (i.e., OXCT1, PYGL, DIN4, SLC25A15).

CONCLUSIONS: By identifying the genomic basis of rapid adaptation to novel environments, we demonstrate that populations of invasive species can be a useful study system for understanding adaptive evolution. Furthermore, the reduction in genome-wide levels of genetic diversity associated with colonization coupled with the identification of outlier genes underlying key life history traits known to have changed in invasive sea lamprey populations (e.g., growth, reproduction) illustrate the utility in applying genomic approaches for the successful management of introduced species.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Briceño C, Yévenes K, Larraechea M, et al (2021)

First record of Ornithonyssus bursa (Berlese, 1888) (Mesostigmata: Macronyssidae) parasitizing invasive monk parakeets in Santiago, Chile.

Revista brasileira de parasitologia veterinaria = Brazilian journal of veterinary parasitology : Orgao Oficial do Colegio Brasileiro de Parasitologia Veterinaria, 30(1):e024020 pii:S1984-29612021000100315.

Myiopsitta monachus is an invasive psittacine with wide distribution due to the pet trade. Its large communal nests and synanthropic nature contribute to its successful colonization of cities, from where it seems to be expanding in range and numbers. This is relevant with regard to pathogens that invasive species may harbor, especially when host populations thrive. We aimed to identify an abundant mite found in invasive monk parakeet chicks that had been collected in Santiago during 2017 and 2018. Through morphological and molecular identification of the 18S ribosomal RNA gene, we confirmed the presence of Ornithonyssus bursa. This was the first report of this mite in Chile. This mite is common in native and invasive monk parakeet populations and may affect other birds, including domestic fowl. Further, this mite bites people and can be a potential vector of pathogens such as bacteria or viruses. We conclude that this parasite was likely introduced with the parakeet and discuss possible ecological, health and economic consequences of this new potential pest.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Roberts JL, Cooper WJ, D Luther (2021)

Global assessment of forest quality for threatened terrestrial vertebrate species in need of conservation translocation programs.

PloS one, 16(4):e0249378 pii:PONE-D-20-32594.

Conservation actions such as habitat protection, restoration, and translocations are critical actions in preventing further extinctions of threatened species. We used the 152 threatened species on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's Red List with conservation translocations as a recommended conservation action to access the habitat quality of these species' ranges. We determined where multi-species conservation translocation and forest restoration efforts can be concentrated. To determine the habitat quality of species' ranges, we assessed forest cover, forest restoration potential, protected area status, and invasive species concerns. Forty-four percent (67 species) of species with translocations recommended have part of their range in a protected area, existing forest cover, and currently no invasive species risk. However, the majority (85 species) currently need habitat management (63 species), invasive species control (71 species), or protection (34 species). We also identified key differences between species recommended for reintroductions (115 species) and benign introductions (37 species), such as the percentage of a species' range within a protected area, in which reintroductions (median = 7.4%) had more than benign introductions (median = 0.9%). Mauritius, central Africa, eastern Australia and Himalaya regions each have areas with range overlap of three or more species recommended for translocations and forest restoration potential. For those species with CT programs in place, mean forest cover was 32% and restoration potential was 16%, suggesting potential minimum habitat requirements for initial releases. Results provide a global perspective on reintroduction and translocation needs of threatened species with evidenced-based information on habitat quality, i.e. forest restoration potential, forest cover, protected areas, and invasive species control, to aid conservation translocation scientists and ultimately improve the success of such projects.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Levers LR, AK Pradhananga (2021)

Recreationist willingness to pay for aquatic invasive species management.

PloS one, 16(4):e0246860 pii:PONE-D-20-07491.

We estimated willingness to pay for local aquatic invasive species lake management in the form of a daily lake access fee by conducting summer lake surveys in Minnesota, USA. Similar pairs of lakes with differing infestations of zebra mussels, Dreissena polymorpha, and starry stonewort, Nitellopsis obtuse, were used as study sites to infer how being at an infested lake vs. being at an uninfested lake and different local species would impact responses. We also examined recreationists' visit motivation, and aquatic invasive species perceived risk, knowledge, and awareness of problem. We estimated mean willingness to pay about nine to ten dollars per day, which did not differ significantly by lake. Additionally, perceived risk, awareness of problem, and visit motivation were significant in predicting willingness to pay, which could have important ramifications for aquatic invasive species management.

RevDate: 2021-04-14

Semenas L, Viozzi G, M Arbetman (2021)

A regional study of the zoonotic broad tapeworm Dibothriocephalus spp. in Northwestern Patagonia (Argentina): origin of fishes and coastal cities as factors affecting infection in fishes.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

Diphyllobothriosis was first recorded in humans in Argentina in 1892 and in introduced salmonids in 1952. The aim of this work is to assess factors influencing the values of prevalence and abundance of plerocercoids in fishes that could increase the risk of transmission of Dibothriocephalus spp. in Andean Patagonian lakes. We analysed two key issues potentially related to the occurrence of tapeworms in fish: the presence of cities on coastlines (as potential sources of eggs to nearby lakes) and the difference between native and exotic fishes in susceptibility to infection. We investigated the probability of finding parasites in fish, the variation in parasite abundance in different environments and the relationship between host length and occurrence of plerocercoids. A total of 3226 fishes (belonging to six autochthonous and four introduced species) were analysed between 2010 and 2019 in eight environments. Plerocercoids were counted, and a subset was determined molecularly to species level. Two species, Dibothriocephalus latus and Dibothriocephalus dendriticus, were identified from both salmonids and native fishes, this being the first molecular confirmation of these tapeworm species parasitizing native South American fishes. Salmonids had higher levels of infection than native fishes, and these levels were higher in aquatic environments with a city on their coastline. Transmission to humans seems to occur mainly through Oncorhynchus mykiss, which showed the highest infection values and is the species most captured by fishers. Based on previous data and the present results, eggs shed by humans, dogs and gulls in cities could be the principal factors in maintaining the life cycle of this parasite in surrounding aquatic environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Shibata R, W Kojima (2021)

An introduced host plant alters circadian activity patterns of a rhinoceros beetle.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

The rhinoceros beetle Trypoxylus dichotomus (Coleoptera, Scarabaeidae, Dynastinae) feeds on the sap of trees. The main original host of the Japanese subspecies T. d. septentrionalis is the oak tree Quercus acutissima. However, this subspecies is also attracted to the introduced ash tree Fraxinus griffithii that has rapidly become popular as a garden plant in Japan (Hongo 2006). Recently, we noticed many individuals of T. d. septentrionalis feeding on the sap and mating on the introduced ash tree during daytime in Japan.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Batovska J, Piper AM, Valenzuela I, et al (2021)

Developing a non-destructive metabarcoding protocol for detection of pest insects in bulk trap catches.

Scientific reports, 11(1):7946.

Metabarcoding has the potential to revolutionise insect surveillance by providing high-throughput and cost-effective species identification of all specimens within mixed trap catches. Nevertheless, incorporation of metabarcoding into insect diagnostic laboratories will first require the development and evaluation of protocols that adhere to the specialised regulatory requirements of invasive species surveillance. In this study, we develop a multi-locus non-destructive metabarcoding protocol that allows sensitive detection of agricultural pests, and subsequent confirmation using traditional diagnostic techniques. We validate this protocol for the detection of tomato potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) and Russian wheat aphid (Diuraphis noxia) within mock communities and field survey traps. We find that metabarcoding can reliably detect target insects within mixed community samples, including specimens that morphological identification did not initially detect, but sensitivity appears inversely related to community size and is impacted by primer biases, target loci, and sample indexing strategy. While our multi-locus approach allowed independent validation of target detection, lack of reference sequences for 18S and 12S restricted its usefulness for estimating diversity in field samples. The non-destructive DNA extraction proved invaluable for resolving inconsistencies between morphological and metabarcoding identification results, and post-extraction specimens were suitable for both morphological re-examination and DNA re-extraction for confirmatory barcoding.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Reynolds SA, DC Aldridge (2021)

Impacts of invasive quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) on reservoir water quality, as revealed by progressive-change BACIPS analysis.

Water research, 197:117105 pii:S0043-1354(21)00303-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive quagga mussels (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) are an emerging threat to the functioning and management of freshwater ecosystems. Quagga mussels were first recorded in the UK in 2014 and have subsequently established at high densities in a number of major reservoirs. Through implementing a Progressive-Change BACIPS (Before-After-Control-Impact Paired Series) analysis, we found that the following trends were observed following quagga mussel establishment: reduced diatom and cyanobacteria abundances; increased soluble reactive phosphorus and reactive silica concentrations; and reduced abundances of Aphanizomenon sp., a potentially toxic cyanobacterium. We also found reservoirs with established quagga mussel populations experienced slightly increased overall chlorophyll a concentration but no changes in turbidity or Microcystis sp. abundance, which are often considered common indicators of dreissenid invasion. Our results show that Progressive-Change BACIPS analysis is a powerful tool which can be used to interrogate industry standard long-term datasets of water quality metrics in order to identify and quantify the impacts of invasive species when the approximate timeframe of species arrival is known. We also demonstrate that quagga mussels may have had significant effects on reservoir ecosystems which, primarily through their impacts on phytoplankton communities, may have implications for reservoir management.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Jia Z, Fu K, Guo W, et al (2021)

CAP Analysis of the Distribution of the Introduced Bemisia tabaci (Hemiptera: Aleyrodidae) Species Complex in Xinjiang, China and the Southerly Expansion of the Mediterranean Species.

Journal of insect science (Online), 21(2):.

Bemisia tabaci (Gennadius) cryptic complex has invaded Xinjiang, China, since 1998. The distribution of Mediterranean (MED) and Middle East-Asia Minor 1 (MEAM1) B. tabaci substrains has been gradually identified due to the development of molecular technology. In this study, the distribution of MED and MEAM1 in Xinjiang was determined by cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPs). Results showed that MED dominated in northern Xinjiang (84%), whereas MEAM1 was dominant in southern Xinjiang (72%). Five pairs of simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers were used to analyze the genetic diversity of B. tabaci among 36 geographic populations. The genetic diversity of MED and MEAM1was low and varied little among populations in Xinjiang (0.09 ± 0.14 and 0.09 ± 0.13, respectively). Based on ∆K statistic, 13 populations of MEAM1 could be classified into two subgroups at K = 2, whereas the 23 populations of MED could be classified into four subgroups at K = 4. However, Mantel t-test demonstrated no correlation between geographical and genetic distances among B. tabaci complex (R = 0.42, P = 1.00). Neighbor-joining and principal coordinate analysis showed that geographical isolation and interspecific differences were the main causes of the genetic variation. Gene flow predicted that MEAM1 was most likely introduced from Urumqi to the southern Xinjiang. Meanwhile, a large proportion of MED in Kashi region came from Changji and Yining. To block ongoing dispersal, strict detection and flower quarantine regulations need to be enforced.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Williams RJ, Dunn AM, Mendes da Costa L, et al (2021)

Climate and habitat configuration limit range expansion and patterns of dispersal in a non-native lizard.

Ecology and evolution, 11(7):3332-3346.

Invasive species are one of the main causes of biodiversity loss worldwide. As introduced, populations increase in abundance and geographical range, so does the potential for negative impacts on native communities. As such, there is a need to better understand the processes driving range expansion as species become established in recipient landscapes. Through an investigation into capacity for population growth and range expansion of introduced populations of a non-native lizard (Podarcis muralis), we aimed to demonstrate how multi-scale factors influence spatial spread, population growth, and invasion potential in introduced species. We collated location records of P. muralis presence in England, UK through data collected from field surveys and a citizen science campaign. We used these data as input for presence-background models to predict areas of climate suitability at a national-scale (5 km resolution), and fine-scale habitat suitability at the local scale (2 m resolution). We then integrated local models into an individual-based modeling platform to simulate population dynamics and forecast range expansion for 10 populations in heterogeneous landscapes. National-scale models indicated climate suitability has restricted the species to the southern parts of the UK, primarily by a latitudinal cline in overwintering conditions. Patterns of population growth and range expansion were related to differences in local landscape configuration and heterogeneity. Growth curves suggest populations could be in the early stages of exponential growth. However, annual rates of range expansion are predicted to be low (5-16 m). We conclude that extensive nationwide range expansion through secondary introduction is likely to be restricted by currently unsuitable climate beyond southern regions of the UK. However, exponential growth of local populations in habitats providing transport pathways is likely to increase opportunities for regional expansion. The broad habitat niche of P. muralis, coupled with configuration of habitat patches in the landscape, allows populations to increase locally with minimal dispersal.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Giraud D, Lima O, Rousseau-Gueutin M, et al (2021)

Gene and Transposable Element Expression Evolution Following Recent and Past Polyploidy Events in Spartina (Poaceae).

Frontiers in genetics, 12:589160.

Gene expression dynamics is a key component of polyploid evolution, varying in nature, intensity, and temporal scales, most particularly in allopolyploids, where two or more sub-genomes from differentiated parental species and different repeat contents are merged. Here, we investigated transcriptome evolution at different evolutionary time scales among tetraploid, hexaploid, and neododecaploid Spartina species (Poaceae, Chloridoideae) that successively diverged in the last 6-10 my, at the origin of differential phenotypic and ecological traits. Of particular interest are the recent (19th century) hybridizations between the two hexaploids Spartina alterniflora (2n = 6x = 62) and S. maritima (2n = 6x = 60) that resulted in two sterile F1 hybrids: Spartina × townsendii (2n = 6x = 62) in England and Spartina × neyrautii (2n = 6x = 62) in France. Whole genome duplication of S. × townsendii gave rise to the invasive neo-allododecaploid species Spartina anglica (2n = 12x = 124). New transcriptome assemblies and annotations for tetraploids and the enrichment of previously published reference transcriptomes for hexaploids and the allododecaploid allowed identifying 42,423 clusters of orthologs and distinguishing 21 transcribed transposable element (TE) lineages across the seven investigated Spartina species. In 4x and 6x mesopolyploids, gene and TE expression changes were consistent with phylogenetic relationships and divergence, revealing weak expression differences in the tetraploid sister species Spartina bakeri and Spartina versicolor (<2 my divergence time) compared to marked transcriptome divergence between the hexaploids S. alterniflora and S. maritima that diverged 2-4 mya. Differentially expressed genes were involved in glycolysis, post-transcriptional protein modifications, epidermis development, biosynthesis of carotenoids. Most detected TE lineages (except SINE elements) were found more expressed in hexaploids than in tetraploids, in line with their abundance in the corresponding genomes. Comparatively, an astonishing (52%) expression repatterning and deviation from parental additivity were observed following recent reticulate evolution (involving the F1 hybrids and the neo-allododecaploid S. anglica), with various patterns of biased homoeologous gene expression, including genes involved in epigenetic regulation. Downregulation of TEs was observed in both hybrids and accentuated in the neo-allopolyploid. Our results reinforce the view that allopolyploidy represents springboards to new regulatory patterns, offering to worldwide invasive species, such as S. anglica, the opportunity to colonize stressful and fluctuating environments on saltmarshes.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Hidalgo-Galiana A, Ribera I, JS Terblanche (2021)

Geographic variation in acclimation responses of thermal tolerance in South African diving beetles (Dytiscidae: Coleoptera).

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part A, Molecular & integrative physiology pii:S1095-6433(21)00061-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding sources of variation in animal thermal limits is critical to forecasting ecological responses to climate change. Here, we estimated upper and lower thermal limits, and their capacity to respond to thermal acclimation, in several species and populations of diving beetles (Dytiscidae) from diverse geographic regions representative of variable climate within South Africa. We also considered ecoregions and latitudinal ranges as potential predictors of thermal limits and the plasticity thereof. For upper thermal limits, species showed significant variation and limited acclimation-related plasticity. Lower thermal limits responded to acclimation in some cases and showed marked variation among species that could be explained by taxonomic affiliation and ecoregion. Limited acclimation ability in the species included in this study suggest plasticity of thermal limits will not be a likely buffer for coping with climate change. From the present results for the Dytiscidae of the region, it appears the group may be particularly susceptible to heat and/or drought and may thus serve as useful indicator species of ecosystem change. Understanding how these climate-related impacts play out at different spatial and temporal scales will have profound implications for conservation management and functional responses, especially important in a region already showing a trend for warming and drying.

RevDate: 2021-04-10

Tobin PC, Strom BL, Francese JA, et al (2021)

Evaluation of Trapping Schemes to Detect Emerald Ash Borer (Coleoptera: Buprestidae).

Journal of economic entomology pii:6220038 [Epub ahead of print].

Management responses to invasive forest insects are facilitated by the use of detection traps ideally baited with species-specific semiochemicals. Emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis Fairmaire, is currently invading North American forests, and since its detection in 2002, development of monitoring tools has been a primary research objective. We compared six trapping schemes for A. planipennis over 2 yr at sites in four U.S. states and one Canadian province that represented a range of background A. planipennis densities, canopy coverage, and ash basal area. We also developed a region-wide phenology model. Across all sites and both years, the 10th, 50th, and 90th percentile of adult flight occurred at 428, 587, and 837 accumulated degree-days, respectively, using a base temperature threshold of 10°C and a start date of 1 January. Most trapping schemes captured comparable numbers of beetles with the exception of purple prism traps (USDA APHIS PPQ), which captured significantly fewer adults. Trapping schemes varied in their trap catch across the gradient of ash basal area, although when considering trap catch as a binary response variable, trapping schemes were more likely to detect A. planipennis in areas with a higher ash component. Results could assist managers in optimizing trap selection, placement, and timing of deployment given local weather conditions, forest composition, and A. planipennis density.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Li D, Prinyawiwatkul W, Tan Y, et al (2021)

Asian carp: A threat to American lakes, a feast on Chinese tables.

Comprehensive reviews in food science and food safety [Epub ahead of print].

Asian carp, which are widely distributed in Asia and Europe, are nutritious and popular with consumers. In China, Asian carp is a tasty dish and has been consumed for thousands of years. However, they are considered aggressive invasive species that threaten rivers, lakes, and indigenous species in the United States. Asian carp have proliferated greatly in the water basin of the Mississippi River and its tributaries, and they have caused severe ecological problems over the past 20 years. In recent years, several state governments along the Mississippi River have implemented assistance programs to eliminate invasive Asian carp, but these did not alleviate the threat. We conducted a survey to understand consumers' attitudes toward Asian carp in the United States, and related reports were reviewed to explore the possibility of Asian carp as food fish on American tables. Emphasis is placed on the farming history, functional characteristics, consumption preferences, and successful utilization methods for Asian carp in China. In addition, suggestions and possible utilization methods were proposed to improve the negative impression of Asian carp in the United States. Further research is needed to take full advantage of this huge excellent source of food or health supplements. This review provides ideas and directions for the use of Asian carp in the United States. We believe that through effective cooperation between China and the United States, the negative aspects of Asian carp in the United States could be diminished, and a mutually beneficial situation could be achieved.

RevDate: 2021-04-09

Peffers CS, Pomeroy LW, ME Meuti (2021)

Critical Photoperiod and Its Potential to Predict Mosquito Distributions and Control Medically Important Pests.

Journal of medical entomology pii:6218746 [Epub ahead of print].

Diapause, a period of arrested development that allows mosquitoes to survive inhospitable conditions, is triggered by short daylengths in temperate mosquitoes. Different populations of mosquitoes initiate diapause in response to a specific photoperiod, or daylength, resulting in population-specific differences in annual cycles of abundance. The photoperiod that causes approximately 50% of a population to initiate diapause is known as the critical photoperiod (CPP). The autumn daylength corresponding to the CPP in the field likely marks the day beyond which the photoperiods would trigger and maintain 50% or more diapause incidence in a population, although temperature, diet, and other factors can impact diapause initiation. In the Northern Hemisphere, northern populations of mosquitoes experience lower temperatures earlier in the year and must be triggered into diapause by longer daylengths than southern populations. CPP is genetically based, but also adapts over time responding to the population's environment. Therefore, CPP has been shown to lengthen with increasing latitude and altitude. While the positive correlation between CPP and latitude/altitude has been established in a few mosquito species, including Aedes albopictus (Skuse, Diptera: Culicidae), Aedes triseriatus, Aedes sierrensis, and Wyeomyia smithii (Coquillett, Diptera: Culicidae), we do not know when most other species initiate their seasonal responses. As several of these species transmit important diseases, characterizing the CPP of arthropod vectors could improve existing control by ensuring that surveillance efforts align with the vector's seasonally active period. Additionally, better understanding when mosquitoes and other vectors initiate diapause can reduce the frequency of chemical applications, thereby ameliorating the negative impacts to nontarget insects.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Xavier EA, Almeida ACS, LM Vieira (2021)

The role of artificial habitats on fouling bryozoan fauna in the southwestern Atlantic.

Marine pollution bulletin, 167:112310 pii:S0025-326X(21)00344-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Artificial habitats, such as harbours and marinas, are entry doors for the introduction and dispersal of species. Surveys on fouling community in these habitats help to understand preventing environmental impacts and management of invasive species. Thus, a survey on fouling bryozoan fauna was carried out along 17 artificial habitats (eight harbours and nine marinas) from three coastal stretches in Southwestern Atlantic. A total of 55 species were identified, including 13 non-native, 33 cryptogenic and nine native taxa. Only five bryozoan species were found in more than 75% of sampled sites. Our analysis revealed that bryozoan fouling communities in artificial habitats do not vary significantly between commercial and recreational localities. However, we also found that faunal assemblages varied significantly along Brazilian coastal stretches that are distinguished by environmental conditions, such as salinity and temperature.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Sario S, Santos C, Gonçalves F, et al (2021)

DNA screening of Drosophila suzukii predators in berry field orchards shows new predatory taxonomical groups.

PloS one, 16(4):e0249673.

Drosophila suzukii (spotted wing drosophila, SWD) is a pandemic quarantine pest that attacks mostly red fruits. The high number of life cycles per year, its ability to rapidly invade and spread across new habitats, and highly polyphagous nature, makes this a particularly aggressive invasive species, for which efficient control methods are currently lacking. The use of native natural predators is particularly promising to anchor sustainable and efficient measures to control SWD. While several field studies have suggested the presence of potential predatory species in infested orchards, only a few confirmed the presence of SWD DNA in predators' gut content. Here, we use a DNA-based approach to identify SWD predators among the arthropod diversity in South Europe, by examining the gut content of potential predator specimens collected in SWD-infested berry fields in North Portugal. These specimens were morphologically identified to the family/order, and their gut content was screened for the presence of SWD DNA using PCR. New SWD predatory taxonomical groups were identified, as Opiliones and Hemerobiidae, in addition to known SWD predators, such as Hemerobiidae, Chrysopidae, Miridae, Carabidae, Formicidae and Araneae. Additionally, the presence of a spider family, Uloboridae, in the orchards was recorded for the first time, posing this family as another SWD-candidate predator. This study sets important bases to further investigate the potential large-scale use of some of these confirmed predator taxa for SWD control in South Europe.

RevDate: 2021-04-12
CmpDate: 2021-04-12

Whitfield SM, Alvarado-Barboza G, Abarca JG, et al (2021)

Ranavirus is widespread in Costa Rica and co-occurs with threatened amphibians.

Diseases of aquatic organisms, 144:89-98.

Amphibians are globally threatened by emerging infectious diseases, and ranaviruses are among the most concerning pathogens to threaten species in the wild. We sampled for ranaviruses in wild amphibians at 8 sites in Costa Rica, spanning broad climatic zones and taxonomic associations. Seven of these sites are inhabited by highly threatened amphibian species that persist at low global population sizes after population declines due to amphibian chytridiomycosis. One of the surveyed sites is occupied by an introduced amphibian species, which is relatively rare in Central America but may be an important pathway for long-distance transport of ranaviruses. We detected ranavirus using quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 16.3% of the 243 individuals and among 5 of our 8 sites, but not at the site with the introduced species. Infection prevalence varied among species and sites, but not with mean annual temperature or mean annual precipitation. Infection intensity did not vary with species, site, temperature, or precipitation. Our results show that ranavirus infection is spatially widespread in Costa Rica, affecting a broad range of host species, and occurs across climatic zones-though we encountered no mortality or morbidity in our sampled species. Ranaviruses are known to cause intermittent mass mortality in amphibian populations, and the threatened species sampled here are likely vulnerable to population impacts from emerging ranaviruses. Therefore, we believe the potential impacts of ranaviruses on amphibian populations in tropical regions have likely been underestimated, and that they should be viewed as a potential major stressor to threatened amphibians in tropical regions.

RevDate: 2021-04-11

Horváth C, Cazan CD, AD Mihalca (2021)

Emergence of the invasive Asian bush mosquito, Aedes (Finlaya) japonicus japonicus, in an urban area, Romania.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):192.

BACKGROUND: A study conducted at the International Airport of Cluj-Napoca, Romania, with the aim of investigating the presence/absence of invasive Aedes mosquito species resulted in finding Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald 1901) eggs in one of the ovitraps placed on site.

METHODS: The study was carried out between 30 June and 29 September 2020. On 24 August, 26 eggs were collected and later hatched at the University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca's insectary. On 15 October another adult female Ae. japonicus was caught entering a building in the center of the city, about 7 km from the first sampling spot.

RESULTS: The mosquitoes were identified morphologically and confirmed by molecular analysis, based on the genetic analysis of the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI).

CONCLUSION: This is the first report of the species in Romania, highlighting the need for surveillance and implemented control methods. However, in Romania to our knowledge only Aedes albopictus has been established; further studies are required to learn about this new invasive species' status in Romania.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Larson JL, Larson DL, RC Venette (2021)

Balancing the need for seed against invasive species risks in prairie habitat restorations.

PloS one, 16(4):e0248583 pii:PONE-D-20-30686.

Adequate diversity and abundance of native seed for large-scale grassland restorations often require commercially produced seed from distant sources. However, as sourcing distance increases, the likelihood of inadvertent introduction of multiple novel, non-native weed species as seed contaminants also increases. We created a model to determine an "optimal maximum distance" that would maximize availability of native prairie seed from commercial sources while minimizing the risk of novel invasive weeds via contamination. The model focused on the central portion of the Level II temperate prairie ecoregion in the Midwest US. The median optimal maximum distance from which to source seed was 272 km (169 miles). In addition, we weighted the model to address potential concerns from restoration practitioners: 1. sourcing seed via a facilitated migration strategy (i.e., direct movement of species from areas south of a given restoration site to assist species' range expansion) to account for warming due to climate change; and 2. emphasizing non-native, exotic species with a federal mandate to control. Weighting the model for climate change increased the median optimal maximum distance to 398 km (247 miles), but this was not statistically different from the distance calculated without taking sourcing for climate adaptation into account. Weighting the model for federally mandated exotic species increased the median optimal maximum distance only slightly to 293 km (182 miles), so practitioners may not need to adjust their sourcing strategy, compared to the original model. This decision framework highlights some potential inadvertent consequences from species translocations and provides insight on how to balance needs for prairie seed against those risks.

RevDate: 2021-04-09
CmpDate: 2021-04-09

Castro WAC, Luz RC, CK Peres (2021)

Seasonality and forest edge as drivers of Tradescantia zebrina Hort. ex Bosse invasion in the Atlantic Forest.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 82:e238403 pii:S1519-69842022000100224.

As a result of biodiversity and ecosystem service losses associated with biological invasions, there has been growing interest in basic and applied research on invasive species aiming to improve management strategies. Tradescantia zebrina is a herbaceous species increasingly reported as invasive in the understory of disturbed forest ecosystems. In this study, we assess the effect of spatial and seasonal variation on biological attributes of this species in the Atlantic Forest. To this end, we measured attributes of T. zebrina associated with plant growth and stress in the four seasons at the forest edge and in the forest interior of invaded sites in the Iguaçu National Park, Southern Brazil. The invasive plant had higher growth at the forest edge than in the forest interior and lower leaf asymmetry and herbivory in the winter than in the summer. Our findings suggest that the forest edge environment favours the growth of T. zebrina. This invasive species is highly competitive in the understory of semi-deciduous seasonal forests all over the year. Our study contributes to the management of T. zebrina by showing that the summer is the best season for controlling this species.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

Lamb BT, McCrea AA, Stoodley SH, et al (2021)

Monitoring and water quality impacts of an herbicide treatment on an aquatic invasive plant in a drinking water reservoir.

Journal of environmental management, 288:112444 pii:S0301-4797(21)00506-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Effective treatment options are needed for the management of aquatic invasive species. An herbicide treatment was used to control an invasive aquatic plant, yellow floating heart (Nymphoides peltata) in a 3350-acre drinking water reservoir. The purpose of this research was to document the success of the treatment in an individual cove of the reservoir using in-situ sampling and reservoir-wide using remotely sensed Sentinel-2 satellite imagery. We also determined if the dying vegetation negatively impacted biological oxygen demand and dissolved oxygen concentrations in the cove. The aquatic herbicide ProcellaCOR™ (active ingredient = florpyrauxifen-benzyl) was used to treat a 55-acre infestation of YFH at a rate of 3 Prescription Dose Units (PDU)/ac-ft by a certified applicator in July 2019. Total surface coverage of yellow floating heart in the reservoir was reduced by more than 90% within 15 days after the treatment, and to less than 3.0 acres within 50 days after the treatment. No blooming flowers were observed after treatment and the surface coverage was close to 0% within 17 days after treatment in the cove. The effect of the herbicide treatment also appeared to carry over into the following growing season as the total surface coverage of yellow floating heart in the reservoir was less than 8 acres one year after the treatment in July 2020. The herbicide treatment resulted in short term increases in biological oxygen demand and decreases in dissolved oxygen at some sites in the cove within 3-10 days after the treatment. Dissolved oxygen then increased and concentrations were greater 42 days after treatment than they were before the treatment. Our results show that ProcellaCOR™ has the potential to control yellow floating heart infestations with relatively short-term negative impacts on dissolved oxygen concentrations. We also show that Sentinel-2 satellite imagery can be used to monitor the success of herbicide applications over large spatial and temporal scales that would not be possible from ground based monitoring alone.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Hartshorn JA, DR Coyle (2021)

Comparative Meta-analysis Effects of Nonnative Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae), Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae), and Bark and Ambrosia Beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) on Native Confamilials.

Environmental entomology pii:6209069 [Epub ahead of print].

Nonnative species often transform local communities to the detriment of native species. Much of the existing invasion ecology research focuses on the effects of a few extremely impactful species, and it is less clear how nonnative species which are not causing economic or ecological impacts alter closely related natives at risk of being displaced. Filling these knowledge gaps is critical because consequences of nonnative species are likely to vary depending on taxonomic scale, functional trait, and spatial or temporal niche. We conducted a meta-analysis to evaluate how biodiversity of native Formicidae (ants), Carabidae (ground beetles), and Scolytinae (bark and ambrosia beetles) species changes across a gradient of pressure from nonnative confamilials. We calculated Hill numbers for each group from data presented in literature and correlated native diversity metrics to proportion of nonnative species. Species richness of native ants was significantly negatively correlated with proportions of nonnative ants, whereas bark and ambrosia beetle metrics showed a nonsignificant negative correlation. Nonnative ground beetles had neutral effects on diversity of native ground beetles. Resulting contrasting patterns of invasive species effects on natives suggest complex biotic and abiotic factors driving effects of nonnative species in these groups. Our results suggest that a few extreme examples (e.g., red imported fire ants) drive most of the changes seen in native arthropod communities. To accurately assess impacts of invaders on native arthropod diversity, baseline data are needed, and community analyses must consider diverse functional traits of native taxa and improve the depth and breadth of community sampling.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Aita RC, Kees AM, Aukema BH, et al (2021)

Effects of Starvation, Age, and Mating Status on Flight Capacity of Laboratory-Reared Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae).

Environmental entomology pii:6209071 [Epub ahead of print].

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is an invasive species to North America and has spread throughout most of the territory. Understanding flight in H. halys is crucial to understanding the dispersal capacity and developing forecasting models for this pest. The purpose of this research was to assess the effects of starvation, age, mating status, sex, and preflight weight on flight parameters of laboratory-reared H. halys using computer-monitored flight mills. The mean flight distance observed over a 24-h period was 266 m and the maximum distance was 7.3 km. Overall, the flight capacity of males and females was similar, even though females weighed more than males. The proportion of H. halys that initiated flight was not affected by starvation, age, or mating status. The number of bouts of individual flights and velocity significantly increased with longer durations of starvation. The number of bouts significantly decreased with increasing age. The total distance flew and total flight time was not affected by starvation, age, or mating status. Although some statistical differences were seen across the experiments, these differences likely represent minimal ecological significance. Therefore, these results suggest that H. halys are remarkably resilient, which may contribute to their success as an invasive species. The findings of this study could help better predict the dispersal potential of H. halys in Minnesota.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Elmer LK, Madliger CL, Blumstein DT, et al (2021)

Exploiting common senses: sensory ecology meets wildlife conservation and management.

Conservation physiology, 9(1):coab002.

Multidisciplinary approaches to conservation and wildlife management are often effective in addressing complex, multi-factor problems. Emerging fields such as conservation physiology and conservation behaviour can provide innovative solutions and management strategies for target species and systems. Sensory ecology combines the study of 'how animals acquire' and process sensory stimuli from their environments, and the ecological and evolutionary significance of 'how animals respond' to this information. We review the benefits that sensory ecology can bring to wildlife conservation and management by discussing case studies across major taxa and sensory modalities. Conservation practices informed by a sensory ecology approach include the amelioration of sensory traps, control of invasive species, reduction of human-wildlife conflicts and relocation and establishment of new populations of endangered species. We illustrate that sensory ecology can facilitate the understanding of mechanistic ecological and physiological explanations underlying particular conservation issues and also can help develop innovative solutions to ameliorate conservation problems.

RevDate: 2021-04-04

Tammone A, Caselli AE, Condorí WE, et al (2021)

Lead exposure in consumers of culled invasive alien mammals in El Palmar National Park, Argentina.

Environmental science and pollution research international [Epub ahead of print].

Consumption of meat from animals hunted with Pb ammunition can cause toxic accumulation with consequent health risks, even if relatively small amounts are consumed in each exposure. In El Palmar National Park, Argentina, invasive alien mammals, wild boar (Sus scrofa) and axis deer (Axis axis), are culled with Pb ammunition and their meat is consumed. In this study, we evaluated blood Pb concentrations in 58 consumers of culled game and examined Pb exposure risk according to their demographics, duty, and consumption habits. Likewise, the likelihood of exposure was evaluated by quantifying Pb concentrations in meat samples of seven culled axis deer. Twenty-seven participants (46%) had detectable blood Pb levels (limit of detection = 3.3 μg/dL), with an average 4.75 ± 1.35 μg/dL (geometric mean ± geometric S.D.); the average for all participants was 3.25 ± 1.51 μg/dL. Blood Pb concentrations were significantly higher in hunters, in participants who reported consuming game meat more than 5 times per week, and in participants who reported frequently consuming cured game meat (compared to cooked or pickled). Pb concentration varied significantly along the trajectory of the bullet in deer muscle, being highest at mid-point but with detectable Pb levels even in distant tissue samples (control), suggesting potential for dietary intake by consumers. These findings provide evidence of Pb exposure risk in consumers and emphasize the relevance of replacing Pb ammunition with non-toxic alternatives. This change would reduce dietary exposure in frequent consumers and allow the use of game meat as safe food for people whilst eliminating collateral risks to wild animals and the environment.

RevDate: 2021-04-03

Flucher SM, Krapf P, Arthofer W, et al (2021)

Effect of social structure and introduction history on genetic diversity and differentiation.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species are a global threat to biodiversity, and understanding their history and biology is a major goal of invasion biology. Population-genetic approaches allow insights into these features, as population structure is shaped by factors such as invasion history (number, origin, and age of introductions) and life-history traits (e.g., mating system, dispersal capability). We compared the relative importance of these factors by investigating two closely related ants, Tetramorium immigrans and Tetramorium tsushimae, that differ in their social structure and invasion history in North America. We used mitochondrial DNA sequences and microsatellite alleles to estimate the source and number of introduction events of the two species, and compared genetic structure among native and introduced populations. Genetic diversity of both species was strongly reduced in introduced populations, which also differed genetically from native populations. Genetic differentiation between ranges and the reduction in microsatellite diversity were more severe in the more recently introduced and supercolonial T. tsushimae. However, the loss of mitochondrial haplotype diversity was more pronounced in T. immigrans, which has single-queen colonies and was introduced earlier. Tetramorium immigrans was introduced at least twice from Western Europe to North America and once independently to South America. Its monogyny might have limited genetic diversity per introduction, but new mutations and successive introductions over a long time may have added to the gene pool in the introduced range. Polygyny in T. tsushimae likely facilitated the simultaneous introduction of several queens from a Japanese population to St. Louis, USA. In addition to identifying introduction pathways, our results reveal how social structure can influence the population-genetic consequences of founder events.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Rey-Campos M, Novoa B, Pallavicini A, et al (2021)

Comparative Genomics Reveals 13 Different Isoforms of Mytimycins (A-M) in Mytilus galloprovincialis.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(6):.

Mytimycins are cysteine-rich antimicrobial peptides that show antifungal properties. These peptides are part of the immune network that constitutes the defense system of the Mediterranean mussel (Mytilus galloprovincialis). The immune system of mussels has been increasingly studied in the last decade due to its great efficiency, since these molluscs, particularly resistant to adverse conditions and pathogens, are present all over the world, being considered as an invasive species. The recent sequencing of the mussel genome has greatly simplified the genetic study of some of its immune genes. In the present work, we describe a total of 106 different mytimycin variants in 16 individual mussel genomes. The 13 highly supported mytimycin clusters (A-M) identified with phylogenetic inference were found to be subject to the presence/absence variation, a widespread phenomenon in mussels. We also identified a block of conserved residues evolving under purifying selection, which may indicate the "functional core" of the mature peptide, and a conserved set of 10 invariable plus 6 accessory cysteines which constitute a plastic disulfide array. Finally, we extended the taxonomic range of distribution of mytimycins among Mytilida, identifying novel sequences in M. coruscus, M. californianus, P. viridis, L. fortunei, M. philippinarum, M. modiolus, and P. purpuratus.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Sandoval-Rodríguez A, Marcone D, Alegría-Morán R, et al (2021)

Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. in Free-Ranging Introduced Monk Parakeets from Santiago, Chile.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(3):.

Monk Parakeets (Myiopsitta monachus) are medium-sized parrots that due to international pet trade currently exist as invasive species in 19 countries globally. Such is the case of Chile, where Monk Parakeets have thrived in the city of Santiago. Cryptosporidium spp. and Giardia spp. are worldwide distributed gastrointestinal parasites whose potential hosts include birds and humans. The present study sought to determine the presence of these pathogens in Monk Parakeets from Santiago. During the austral summers of 2017 and 2018, 207 Monk Parakeet nestlings were captured, and fecal samples were studied via microscopical analyses. Environmental data related to the trees in which the nestlings were captured were analyzed to establish the existence of infection clusters. Associations between spatial clusters, environmental variables, and the presence or absence of these pathogens were explored. In total, 33 samples were positive to the presence of one or both protozoa. Of the 33, Cryptosporidium spp. oocysts were detected in 10 nestlings (30%) while Giardia spp. cysts were detected in 25 (76%). Two nestlings presented poly-parasitism (6%). Statistical analyses established pruned trees as a potential protective factor against infection with these parasites. The present study corresponds to the second report of Cryptosporidium spp. in Monk Parakeets in Chile and the first worldwide report of Giardia spp. in these birds, emphasizing Monk Parakeet's potential role as a reservoir and pathogen disseminator, especially in urban environments.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Scaccini D, Ruzzier E, KM Daane (2021)

Givira ethela (Neumoegen and Dyar, 1893) (Lepidoptera: Cossidae), A Previously Unidentified Pest on Vitis vinifera (L.).

Insects, 12(3):.

Grape cultivation is a billion-dollar agricultural sector in California, where invasive or novel pest species can disrupt management practices. We report herein on a new pest associated with California vineyards, the carpentermoth Givira ethela (Neumoegen and Dyar, 1893). Rather than an invasive species, G. ethela appears to be a newly recognized wood-boring pest of Vitis vinifera (L.) in regions of California's Central Valley, where its initial occurrence has been dated back to, at least, the beginning of the 2000s. The habitus of adult, genitalia and pupa is illustrated. Givira ethela distribution in California is updated including published records and new data. Carpentermoth galleries seem to facilitate the access of Planococcus ficus Signoret, 1875 to vine sap and protection from natural enemies, environmental stresses, and pesticide treatments. Notes on pest status, life history, monitoring practices, natural enemies, and management options on grapes are also discussed. Tools for the Integrated Pest Management of G. ethela should include the correct identification of the insect and its damage, a full understanding of its biology and ecology, the application of monitoring methods, and the identification of economic thresholds and injury levels.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Peterson HM, Talamas E, G Krawczyk (2021)

Survey for Adventive Populations of the Samurai Wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) in Pennsylvania at Commercial Fruit Orchards and the Surrounding Forest.

Insects, 12(3):.

The samurai wasp, Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead) (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae), is an egg parasitoid associated with the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae). Trissolcus japonicus is a candidate for classical biological control of H. halys populations. Since 2014, adventive populations of T. japonicus have been detected in 14 US states, in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, and in two European countries, Switzerland and Italy. Establishing baseline information about populations of T. japonicus is important, as this species is not host specific to H. halys and the potential ecological effects of the accidental introductions are not fully known. In this study, yellow sticky cards were deployed at commercial fruit orchards in nine counties in Pennsylvania separated by more than 400 km. Trissolcus japonicus was detected on cards in eight counties, and in two habitats, in the orchard and at the forest border. Other native species of Scelionidae known to attack the eggs of H. halys were also identified, including Trissolcus euschisti (Ashmead), Trissolcus brochymenae (Ashmead), and Telenomus podisi Ashmead (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae). These results are important baseline ecological knowledge for both T. japonicus, which appears to be established in orchards throughout Pennsylvania, and other native Scelionidae.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Lastra González D, Baláž V, Vojar J, et al (2021)

Dual Detection of the Chytrid Fungi Batrachochytrium spp. with an Enhanced Environmental DNA Approach.

Journal of fungi (Basel, Switzerland), 7(4): pii:jof7040258.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) is becoming an indispensable tool in biodiversity monitoring, including the monitoring of invasive species and pathogens. Aquatic chytrid fungi Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd) and B. salamandrivorans (Bsal) are major threats to amphibians. However, the use of eDNA for detecting these pathogens has not yet become widespread, due to technological and economic obstacles. Using the enhanced eDNA approach (a simple and cheap sampling protocol) and the universally accepted qPCR assay, we confirmed the presence of Bsal and Bd in previously identified sites in Spain, including four sites that were new for Bsal. The new approach was successfully tested in laboratory conditions using manufactured gene fragments (gBlocks) of the targeted DNA sequence. A comparison of storage methods showed that samples kept in ethanol had the best DNA yield. Our results showed that the number of DNA copies in the Internal Transcribed Spacer region was 120 copies per Bsal cell. Eradication of emerging diseases requires quick and cost-effective solutions. We therefore performed cost-efficiency analyses of standard animal swabbing, a previous eDNA approach, and our own approach. The procedure presented here was evaluated as the most cost-efficient. Our findings will help to disseminate information about efforts to prevent the spread of chytrid fungi.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Oh HJ, Chang KH, Jin MY, et al (2021)

Trophic Ecology of Endangered Gold-Spotted Pond Frog in Ecological Wetland Park and Rice Paddy Habitats.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(4): pii:ani11040967.

The gold-spotted pond frog (Pelophylax chosenicus) is an endangered amphibian species in South Korea. In order to obtain ecological information regarding the gold-spotted pond frog's habitat environment and biological interactions, we applied stable isotope analysis to quantify the ecological niche space (ENS) of frogs including black-spotted pond frogs (P. nigromaculatus) and bullfrogs (Lithobates catesbeianus) within the food web of two different habitats-an ecological wetland park and a rice paddy. The gold-spotted pond frog population exhibited a broader ENS in the ecological wetland park than in the rice paddy. According to the carbon stable isotope ratios, gold-spotted pond frogs mainly fed on insects, regardless of habitat type. However, the results comparing the range of both carbon and nitrogen stable isotopes showed that gold-spotted pond frogs living in the rice paddy showed limited feeding behavior, while those living in the ecological wetland park fed on various food sources located in more varied trophic positions. Although the ENS of the gold-spotted pond frog was generally less likely to be overlapped by that of other frog species, it was predicted to overlap with a high probability of 87.3% in the ecological wetland park. Nevertheless, gold-spotted pond frogs in the ecological wetland park were not significantly affected by the prey competition with competitive species by feeding on other prey for which other species' preference was low. Since these results show that a habitats' food diversity has an effect on securing the ENS of gold-spotted pond frogs and prey competition, we recommend that the establishment of a food environment that considers the feeding behavior of gold-spotted pond frogs is important for the sustainable preservation of gold-spotted pond frogs and their settlement in alternative habitats.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Dvoretsky AG, VG Dvoretsky (2021)

New Echinoderm-Crab Epibiotic Associations from the Coastal Barents Sea.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(3):.

During diving surveys for a Russian research project that monitored introduced species, red king crabs (Paralithodes camtschaticus) were collected at a coastal site of the Barents Sea to study the structure and dynamics of this species. Sampling of the organisms colonizing the crabs was part of this research project. For the first time, the presence of relatively large specimens of the common starfish Asterias rubens as epibionts of P. camtschaticus was observed in July 2010, 2018, and 2019. In 2010 and 2019, we also found three other echinoderm species (the Atlantic sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa, the green sea urchin Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, and the brittle star Ophiura sarsii). These findings add to the current list of associated species on king crabs not only in the Barents Sea but also in native areas of this host. Red king crabs have been documented as predators for these echinoderm species, and our records show additional possible interactions between king crabs and echinoderms in this region. More likely, the epibiotic lifestyle allows these echinoderms to avoid predation from red king crabs. There are no potential disadvantages derived by red king crabs through their relationships with the echinoderm epibionts due to low occurrences of these associations. We suggest no negative effects for the local red king crab population and populations of other commercial species in the Barents Sea.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Han WH, Zou C, Qian LX, et al (2021)

Functional Analysis of Alkaline Phosphatase in Whitefly Bemisia tabaci (Middle East Asia Minor 1 and Mediterranean) on Different Host Plants.

Genes, 12(4): pii:genes12040497.

Alkaline phosphatases (ALPs: EC 3.1.3.1) are ubiquitous enzymes and play crucial roles in the fundamental phosphate uptake and secretory processes. Although insects are regarded as the most diverse group of organisms, the current understanding of ALP roles in insects is limited. As one type of destructive agricultural pest, whitefly Bemisia tabaci, a phloem feeder and invasive species, can cause extensive crop damage through feeding and transmitting plant diseases. In this study, we retrieved five ALP genes in MEAM1 whitefly, nine ALP genes in MED whitefly via comparative genomics approaches. Compared with nine other insects, whiteflies' ALP gene family members did not undergo significant expansion during insect evolution, and whiteflies' ALP genes were dispersed. Moreover, whiteflies' ALP gene family was conserved among insects and emerged before speciation via phylogenetic analysis. Whiteflies' ALP gene expression profiles presented that most ALP genes have different expression patterns after feeding on cotton or tobacco plants. Female/male MED whiteflies possessed higher ALP activities on both cotton and tobacco plants irrespective of sex, relative to MEAM1 whiteflies. Meanwhile, adult MED whiteflies possessed higher ALP activity in both whole insect and salivary samples, relative to MEAM1 whiteflies. We also found that both MED and MEAM1 whiteflies could upregulate ALP activities after feeding on cotton compared with feeding on tobacco plants. These findings demonstrated the functions of whiteflies ALPs and will assist the further study of the genomic evolution of insect ALPs.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Kim CJ, MB Choi (2021)

First Discovery of Vespa velutina nigrithorax du Buysson (Hymenoptera: Vespidae), an Invasive Hornet in the Feces of the Yellow-Throated Marten in South Korea.

Insects, 12(4): pii:insects12040296.

Yellow-throated martens (YTMs) are omnivores that often prey on wasps in late autumn in Korea. However, to the best of our knowledge, predation of the invasive alien species Vespa velutina nigrithorax (VVN) has not previously been investigated. In this study, YTM feces were collected and analyzed from Mt. Onggangsan, Sinwon-ri, Cheongdo, South Korea, where VVN density was high and YTMs were active. Surveys were conducted three times between October and December 2019, during which a total of 22 samples were collected. Debris from VVN was found in three samples, along with evidence of two indigenous wasps, Vespa crabro and Vespula koreensis. The VVN remains were identified as one queen, four males, one female, and one individual whose caste was unclear. Martens prey on wasps, owing to a sudden decrease in plant food sources from late autumn to early winter, mostly eating males and new queens attempting to mate. If VVN reproduction is prevented or disturbed by YTM predation, there may be potential biological control effects in areas with high VVN density. Further studies should be conducted to verify whether there is a practical biological control effect.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Greiner DM, Skonberg DI, Perkins LB, et al (2021)

Use of Invasive Green Crab Carcinus maenas for Production of a Fermented Condiment.

Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 10(4): pii:foods10040659.

To control the population of an invasive species of green crab, we investigated the feasibility of producing a fermented crab condiment. Commercial fermented fish condiments were tested to assess variability in the marketplace and to identify targets for lab-fermented sauces. Finely chopped crab was combined with 100 mg g-1, 200 mg g-1, or 300 mg g-1 NaCl, and spontaneously fermented for up to 120 days. Chromatographic analysis revealed that histamine content was not a safety concern as all treatments were below the current U.S. legal threshold (50 mg 100 mL-1). The majority of microbial and physicochemical properties measured within salt level (proteolytic bacterial population, total volatile basic nitrogen (TVBN), amine nitrogen, water activity, moisture, and biogenic amines) were statistically unchanged between days 60 and 120 of fermentation, suggesting that most of the biochemical changes happened early in the fermentation. While the production of a fermented condiment was successful and could represent an opportunity for the valorization of this invasive species, additional work is needed to accelerate the process and further understand the dynamics of the early fermentation stages.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Loeffler CR, Tartaglione L, Friedemann M, et al (2021)

Ciguatera Mini Review: 21st Century Environmental Challenges and the Interdisciplinary Research Efforts Rising to Meet Them.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(6):.

Globally, the livelihoods of over a billion people are affected by changes to marine ecosystems, both structurally and systematically. Resources and ecosystem services, provided by the marine environment, contribute nutrition, income, and health benefits for communities. One threat to these securities is ciguatera poisoning; worldwide, the most commonly reported non-bacterial seafood-related illness. Ciguatera is caused by the consumption of (primarily) finfish contaminated with ciguatoxins, potent neurotoxins produced by benthic single-cell microalgae. When consumed, ciguatoxins are biotransformed and can bioaccumulate throughout the food-web via complex pathways. Ciguatera-derived food insecurity is particularly extreme for small island-nations, where fear of intoxication can lead to fishing restrictions by region, species, or size. Exacerbating these complexities are anthropogenic or natural changes occurring in global marine habitats, e.g., climate change, greenhouse-gas induced physical oceanic changes, overfishing, invasive species, and even the international seafood trade. Here we provide an overview of the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century regarding the many facets of ciguatera, including the complex nature of this illness, the biological/environmental factors affecting the causative organisms, their toxins, vectors, detection methods, human-health oriented responses, and ultimately an outlook towards the future. Ciguatera research efforts face many social and environmental challenges this century. However, several future-oriented goals are within reach, including digital solutions for seafood supply chains, identifying novel compounds and methods with the potential for advanced diagnostics, treatments, and prediction capabilities. The advances described herein provide confidence that the tools are now available to answer many of the remaining questions surrounding ciguatera and therefore protection measures can become more accurate and routine.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Tolo IE, K Padhi S, Hundt PJ, et al (2021)

Host Range of Carp Edema Virus (CEV) during a Natural Mortality Event in a Minnesota Lake and Update of CEV Associated Mortality Events in the USA.

Viruses, 13(3):.

Mass mortality events of common carp (Cyprinus carpio, carp) associated with carp edema virus (CEV) alone or in coinfections with koi herpesvirus (KHV), is an emerging issue. Despite recent outbreaks of CEV in wild carp populations, the host range of North American species has not been well studied. To that end, we intensively sampled carp (n = 106) and co-habiting native fish species (n = 5 species; n = 156 total fish) from a CEV-suspect mass-mortality event of carp in a small Minnesota lake (Lake Swartout). Additionally, fecal and regurgitant samples (n = 73 each) from double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus, DCCO) were sampled to test the potential of DCCO to act as a vector for virus transmission. CEV was confirmed to be widespread in the Lake Swartout carp population during the outbreak with high viral loads and histological confirmation, suggesting that CEV was the cause of the mortality event. There were no detections of CEV in any native fish species; however, DCCO regurgitant and fecal samples were positive for CEV DNA. In addition, three CEV-positive and one CEV + KHV-positive mortality events were confirmed with no observed mortality or morbidity of non-carp species in other lakes. This study provides evidence that CEV infection and disease may be specific to carp during mortality events with mixed-species populations, identifies DCCO as a potential vector for CEV, and further expands the known range of CEV, as well as coinfections with KHV, in North America.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Campbell LP, Burkett-Cadena ND, Miqueli E, et al (2021)

Potential Distribution of Aedes (Ochlerotatus) scapularis (Diptera: Culicidae): A Vector Mosquito New to the Florida Peninsula.

Insects, 12(3):.

Aedes scapularis is a neotropical mosquito known to transmit pathogens of medical and veterinary importance. Its recent establishment in southeastern Florida has potential public health implications. We used an ecological niche modeling approach to predict the abiotic environmental suitability for Ae. scapularis across much of the Americas and Caribbean Islands. Georeferenced occurrence data obtained from the Global Biodiversity Inventory Facility and recent collection records of Ae. scapularis from southern Florida served as input for model calibration. Environmental layers included bioclimatic variables provided in 2000 to 2010 average Modern Era Retrospective-analysis for Research and Applications climatic (MERRAclim) data. Models were run in the software program Maxent. Isothermality values often found in costal environments, had the greatest contribution to model performance. Model projections suggested that there are areas predicted to be suitable for Ae. Scapularis across portions of the Amazon Basin, the Yucatán Peninsula, the Florida Peninsula, and multiple Caribbean Islands. Additionally, model predictions suggested connectivity of highly suitable or relatively suitable environments spanning the United States Gulf Coast, which may facilitate the geographic expansion of this species. At least sixteen Florida counties were predicted to be highly suitable for Ae. scapularis, suggesting that vigilance is needed by vector control and public health agencies to recognize the further spread of this vector.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Rondoni G, Roman A, Meslin C, et al (2021)

Antennal Transcriptome Analysis and Identification of Candidate Chemosensory Genes of the Harlequin Ladybird Beetle, Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae).

Insects, 12(3):.

In predatory ladybirds (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae), antennae are important for chemosensory reception used during food and mate location, and for finding a suitable oviposition habitat. Based on NextSeq 550 Illumina sequencing, we assembled the antennal transcriptome of mated Harmonia axyridis (Pallas) (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) males and females and described the first chemosensory gene repertoire expressed in this species. We annotated candidate chemosensory sequences encoding 26 odorant receptors (including the coreceptor, Orco), 17 gustatory receptors, 27 ionotropic receptors, 31 odorant-binding proteins, 12 chemosensory proteins, and 4 sensory neuron membrane proteins. Maximum-likelihood phylogenetic analyses allowed to assign candidate H. axyridis chemosensory genes to previously described groups in each of these families. Differential expression analysis between males and females revealed low variability between sexes, possibly reflecting the known absence of relevant sexual dimorphism in the structure of the antennae and in the distribution and abundance of the sensilla. However, we revealed significant differences in expression of three chemosensory genes, namely two male-biased odorant-binding proteins and one male-biased odorant receptor, suggesting their possible involvement in pheromone detection. Our data pave the way for improving the understanding of the molecular basis of chemosensory reception in Coccinellidae.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Lee CM, Lee DS, Kwon TS, et al (2021)

Predicting the Global Distribution of Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) under Climate Change Using the MaxEnt Model.

Insects, 12(3):.

The tropical fire ant Solenopsis geminata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) is a serious invasive species that causes a decline in agricultural production, damages infrastructure, and harms human health. This study was aimed to develop a model using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) algorithm to predict the current and future distribution of S. geminata on a global scale for effective monitoring and management. In total, 669 occurrence sites of S. geminata and six bioclimatic variables of current and future climate change scenarios for 2050 and 2100 were used for the modeling. The annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and precipitation in the driest quarter were the key influential factors for determining the distribution of S. geminata. Although the potential global distribution area of S. geminata is predicted to decrease slightly under global warming, the distribution of favorable habitats is predicted to expand to high latitudes under climate scenarios. In addition, some countries in America and East Asia, such as Brazil, China, South Korea, the USA, and Uruguay, are predicted to be threatened by S. geminata invasion under future climate change. These findings can facilitate the proactive management of S. geminata through monitoring, surveillance, and quarantine measures.

RevDate: 2021-04-08

Mouga T, Mendes S, Franco I, et al (2021)

Recent Efforts to Recover Armeria berlengensis, an Endemic Species from Berlengas Archipelago, Portugal.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(3):.

Berlengas archipelago is a UNESCO world heritage site and the only location where Armeria berlengensis is found. This species faces various threats, namely, human disturbance, the presence of Carpobrotus edulis, yellow-legged gull, common-rabbit, and black-rat populations. Thus, exclusion areas were installed, which blocked the access of most Gulls, aiming to promote the recovery of A. berlengensis. Additionally, rabbits and rats were removed from the island. After six years of surveys, there has been an increase in the number of individuals of A. berlengensis in the exclusion areas, and a clear shift in the size structure of the A. berlengensis population. Significant changes in the height and diameter of the individuals were also noted. These findings indicate that the population of A. berlengensis is changing and becoming a healthier population. Principal component analysis results show a straightforward dissimilarity between the areas with A. berlengensis and those without the species and allowed the clustering of two groups: the rupicolous species and the nitrophilous species. A. berlengensis produces few seeds (seed set 3.4%), which raises concern regarding the long-term survival of the species. Thus, further conservation efforts must be implemented, such as the control of invasive species, gulls, and ruderals, to allow for the recovery of A. berlengensis.

RevDate: 2021-04-15

De-la-Torre GE, Dioses-Salinas DC, Pérez-Baca BL, et al (2021)

Marine macroinvertebrates inhabiting plastic litter in Peru.

Marine pollution bulletin, 167:112296 pii:S0025-326X(21)00330-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine litter, such as plastic bags, bottles, fabrics, or fishing gear, serve as a shelter for many marine organisms that are likely to colonize artificial substrata. Such assemblages can potentially turn marine litter into vectors of alien invasive species (AIS). Here, we report the abundance and diversity of macroinvertebrates inhabiting marine litter in Peruvian beaches. Results indicate that most of the fouled items found came from land-based sources (81.5%) and Bivalvia was the most abundant class (53.5%), mainly composed of the mussel Semimytilus algosus. No significant differences were found in the abundance and diversity of macroinvertebrates (class level) among sampling sites or sources of litter. Polypropylene and low-density polyethylene items were most frequently found with fouled biota. Although none of the identified species were non-native to the coast of Peru, we discuss marine litter as a potential source of AIS in this region.

RevDate: 2021-04-07

Yao ZY, Wang X, SQ Li (2021)

Tip of the iceberg: species diversity of Pholcus spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae) in the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China.

Zoological research, 42(3):267-271.

Despite 250 years of taxonomic classification and over 1.2 million species already catalogued, known species diversity is only a small part of true species diversity on Earth, and thus, the known species are only the tip of iceberg. Here, we investigated the genus Pholcus Walckenaer, 1805 of the family Pholcidae C. L. Koch, 1850 in the Changbai Mountains, Northeast China, which provides an excellent case of high species diversity. Previously, only 14 endemic Pholcus spiders, all belonging to the P. phungiformes species group, and two introduced species P. manueli Gertsch, 1937 and P. zichyi Kulczyński, 1901 from the P. crypticolens species group, have been recorded from this area. Our study confirmed 11 new species of the P. phungiformes species group based on morphology and three methods of molecular species delimitation: P. gaizhou Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. guanshui Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. jiguanshan Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. longxigu Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. luoquanbei Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. shenshi Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. tianmenshan Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. wangjiang Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. xingqi Yao & Li, sp. nov., P. yaoshan Yao & Li, sp. nov., and P. yuhuangshan Yao & Li, sp. nov. This study brings the fauna of the P. phungiformes species group from the Changbai Mountains to 25 species, approximately two times more than previously known, which could indicate that species diversity in the area is underestimated for all arthropod fauna.

RevDate: 2021-04-03

Park J, Park SM, Moon JI, et al (2021)

Complete mitochondrial genome of the distinct red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta ssp., Testudines: Emydidae) in Korea.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 6(3):1077-1079.

The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of Trachemys scripta ssp. in Korea was sequenced and characterized. The mt genome is constituted of 37 genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 2 ribosomal RNA genes) and a control region. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete mt genome showed that the unidentified turtle had the mt genome closely related to that of T. s. elegans, though it had distinct morphology compared to T. s. elegans. This study can provide information for biogeographical studies and management plan for invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-04-03

Park J, Moon JI, Song YJ, et al (2021)

Complete mitochondrial genome of the red-eared slider (Trachemys scripta elegans, Testudines: Emydidae) in Korea.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 6(3):918-919.

The complete mitochondrial (mt) genome of Trachemys scripta elegans in Korea was sequenced and characterized. The mt genome is constituted of 37 genes (13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNA genes and 2 ribosomal RNA genes) and a noncoding control region. Phylogenetic analysis based on the complete mt genome showed that T. s. elegans Korea has closer relationship with T. scripta Canada than T. s. elegans China. This is the first complete mt genome from T. s. elegans in Korea, which provides information for biogeographical studies and management plan for invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Gazzola A, Balestrieri A, Scribano G, et al (2021)

Contextual behavioural plasticity in Italian agile frog (Rana latastei) tadpoles exposed to native and alien predator cues.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:jeb.240465 [Epub ahead of print].

Predation is a strong driver for the evolution of prey behaviour. To properly assess the actual risk of predation, anuran tadpoles mostly rely on water-borne chemical cues, and their ability to evaluate environmental information is even more crucial when potential predators consist of unknown alien species. Behavioural plasticity, that is the capacity to express changes in behaviour in response to different environmental stimuli, is crucial to cope with predation risk. We explored the defensive behaviour of Italian agile frog (Rana latastei) tadpoles when exposed to the chemical cues of two predators' species, one native (dragonfly larvae) and one alien (red swamp crayfish). Firstly, we observed if a sensible life history trait (i.e. hatching time) might be affected by native predatory cues. Secondly, we recorded a suite of behavioural responses (activity level, lateralization and sinuosity) to each cue. For assessing lateralization and sinuosity, we developed a C++ code for the automatic analysis of digitally recorded tadpole tracks. Hatching time seemed not to be affected by the potential risk of predation, while both predator species and diet affected tadpoles' defensive behaviour. Tadpoles responded to predator threat by two main defensive strategies: freezing and "zig-zagging". While the first behaviour had been previously reported, the analysis of individual trajectories pointed out that tadpoles can also increase path complexity, probably to prevent predators from anticipating their location. We also recorded a decrease in lateralization intensity, which suggested that under predation risk tadpoles tend to scrutinize the surrounding environment equally on both sides.

RevDate: 2021-04-01

Montes MA, Neves CHCB, Ferreira AF, et al (2021)

Invasion and Spreading of Drosophila nasuta (Diptera, Drosophilidae) in the Caatinga Biome, Brazil.

Neotropical entomology [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are one of the main causes of biodiversity loss, and it is essential to understand the pattern and rate of expansion of invasive species outside their native distribution. In this study, we documented the invasion of the Asian fruit fly, Drosophila nasuta Lamb, in the Caatinga, and measured its geographical distribution in this environment, which covers 11% of the Brazilian territory. We collected drosophilids in eight sites distributed in the north of the Caatinga (in the state of Ceará), in the south (in Bahia), in the east (in Pernambuco), and in the west (in Piauí), as well as in sites in the central area of the biome. Drosophila nasuta occurred in all areas and was one of the most frequently occurring species in half of the sampled sites. We observed greater abundance in areas with arboreal vegetation and a possible preference of this species for areas with higher annual rainfall in the Caatinga. Of all the biomes where D. nasuta is found in Brazil, the area occupied in the Caatinga is the largest documented to date. Our results show D. nasuta's success in invading the Caatinga and the vast area this species has colonized in this biome. The success of this invasion can be explained by the high fertility and short life cycle as well as by the ability of D. nasuta to use different trophic resources.

RevDate: 2021-04-01

Diagne C, Leroy B, Vaissière AC, et al (2021)

High and rising economic costs of biological invasions worldwide.

Nature [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are responsible for substantial biodiversity declines as well as high economic losses to society and monetary expenditures associated with the management of these invasions1,2. The InvaCost database has enabled the generation of a reliable, comprehensive, standardized and easily updatable synthesis of the monetary costs of biological invasions worldwide3. Here we found that the total reported costs of invasions reached a minimum of US$1.288 trillion (2017 US dollars) over the past few decades (1970-2017), with an annual mean cost of US$26.8 billion. Moreover, we estimate that the annual mean cost could reach US$162.7 billion in 2017. These costs remain strongly underestimated and do not show any sign of slowing down, exhibiting a consistent threefold increase per decade. We show that the documented costs are widely distributed and have strong gaps at regional and taxonomic scales, with damage costs being an order of magnitude higher than management expenditures. Research approaches that document the costs of biological invasions need to be further improved. Nonetheless, our findings call for the implementation of consistent management actions and international policy agreements that aim to reduce the burden of invasive alien species.

RevDate: 2021-03-31

Makenov MT, Toure AH, Korneev MG, et al (2021)

Rhipicephalus microplus and its vector-borne haemoparasites in Guinea: further species expansion in West Africa.

Parasitology research [Epub ahead of print].

Rhipicephalus microplus is an ixodid tick with a pantropical distribution that represents a serious threat to livestock. West Africa was free of this tick until 2007, when its introduction into Benin was reported. Shortly thereafter, further invasion of this tick species into other West African countries was identified. In this paper, we describe the first detection of R. microplus in Guinea and list the vector-borne haemoparasites that were detected in the invading and indigenous Boophilus species. In 2018, we conducted a small-scale survey of ticks infesting cattle in three administrative regions of Guinea: N`Zerekore, Faranah, and Kankan. The tick species were identified by examining their morphological characteristics and by sequencing their COI gene and ITS-2 gene fragments. R. microplus was found in each studied region. In the ticks, we found the DNA of Babesia bigemina, Anaplasma marginale, Anaplasma platys, and Ehrlichia sp. The results of this study indicate that R. microplus was introduced into Guinea in association with cows from Mali and/or the Ivory Coast.

RevDate: 2021-03-31

Harkin C, AJA Stewart (2021)

Differential outcomes of novel plant-herbivore associations between an invading planthopper and native and invasive Spartina cordgrass species.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Non-native plants may benefit, briefly or permanently, from natural enemy release in their invaded range, or may form novel interactions with native enemy species. Likewise, newly arrived herbivores may develop novel associations with native plants or, where their hosts have arrived ahead of them, re-establish interactions that existed previously in their ancestral ranges. Predicting outcomes from this diversity of novel and re-established interactions between plants and their herbivores presents a major challenge for invasion biology. We report on interactions between the recently arrived invasive planthopper Prokelisia marginata, and the multi-ploidy Spartina complex of four native and introduced species in Britain, each representing a different level of shared evolutionary history with the herbivore. As predicted, S. alterniflora, the ancestral host, was least impacted by planthopper herbivory, with the previously unexposed native S. maritima, a nationally threatened species, suffering the greatest impacts on leaf length gain, new leaf growth and relative water content. Contrary to expectations, glasshouse trials showed P. marginata to preferentially oviposit on the invasive allododecaploid S. anglica, on which it achieved earlier egg hatch, faster nymphal development, larger female body size and greatest final population size. We suggest P. marginata is in the process of rapid adaptation to maximise its performance on what is now the most abundant and widespread host in Britain. The diversity of novel and re-established interactions of the herbivore with this multi-ploidy complex makes this a highly valuable system for the study of the evolutionary ecology of plant-insect interactions and their influence on invasion dynamics.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Legesse A, M Negash (2021)

Species diversity, composition, structure and management in agroforestry systems: the case of Kachabira district, Southern Ethiopia.

Heliyon, 7(3):e06477.

Agroforestry is increasingly being identified as an integrated land use enhancing plant diversity while reducing habitat loss and fragmentation. This paper examined species diversity, composition, structure and management in agroforestry systems. Two Kebeles (Kachabira and Mesafe) were purposively selected for this study. Then, farmers who dominantly practiced agroforestry practices such as home garden, parkland and live fence were stratified based on wealth categories. Ten percent of the sample households were randomly selected from each wealth category. Accordingly, a total of 83 households were selected. Inventories of plant species were done by sampling one plot of each farm management type. A total of 59 plant species, belonging to 56 genera and 36 families were recorded across the home gardens, parklands and live fences in the study area. Among the plant species, trees constituted 42%, shrubs 27%, herbs 29% and climber 2%. From recorded plant species, 66% were native and the remainders 34% were introduced species. From the native species recorded in this study, Lippia adoensis and Millettia ferruginea were endemic to Ethiopia. The mean Shannon diversity index of rich, medium and poor households in the three different agroforestry practices were 1.75, 1.57 and 1.62 in home garden, 0.36, 0.30 and 0.49 in parkland and 0.84, 0.99 and 1.00 in live fence respectively. The largest tree basal area was recorded in the live fence (14.7 m2ha-1), followed by home garden and parkland. The study revealed that agroforestry plays an important role in the conservation of biodiversity, and also by providing food, income and a wide range of other products such as fuel wood, construction material, fodder, spices and medicinal plants. Farm household landholding size, species preference and management found to be the most important influencing factors that affect the diversity of plant species. Further detailed study of explicit examining of the factors such as socio-ecological effects that determine species diversity and the contribution of different functional groups to livelihood is needed to fully understand the agroforestry system.

RevDate: 2021-03-31

Reaser JK, Witt A, Tabor GM, et al (2021)

Ecological Countermeasures for Preventing Zoonotic Disease Outbreaks: When Ecological Restoration is a Human Health Imperative.

Restoration ecology pii:REC13357 [Epub ahead of print].

Ecological restoration should be regarded as a public health service. Unfortunately, the lack of quantitative linkages between environmental and human health has limited recognition of this principle. The advent of COVID-19 pandemic provides the impetus for the further discussion. We propose ecological countermeasures as highly targeted, landscape-based interventions to arrest the drivers of land use-induced zoonotic spillover. We provide examples of ecological restoration activities that reduce zoonotic disease risk and a five-point action plan at the human-ecosystem health nexus. In conclusion, we make the case that ecological countermeasures are a tenant of restoration ecology with human health goals. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2021-04-03

Gilman E, Musyl M, Suuronen P, et al (2021)

Highest risk abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear.

Scientific reports, 11(1):7195.

Derelict abandoned, lost and discarded fishing gear have profound adverse effects. We assessed gear-specific relative risks from derelict gear to rank-order fishing methods based on: derelict gear production rates, gear quantity indicators of catch weight and fishing grounds area, and adverse consequences from derelict gear. The latter accounted for ghost fishing, transfer of microplastics and toxins into food webs, spread of invasive alien species and harmful microalgae, habitat degradation, obstruction of navigation and in-use fishing gear, and coastal socioeconomic impacts. Globally, mitigating highest risk derelict gear from gillnet, tuna purse seine with fish aggregating devices, and bottom trawl fisheries achieves maximum conservation gains. Locally, adopting controls following a sequential mitigation hierarchy and implementing effective monitoring, surveillance and enforcement systems are needed to curb derelict gear from these most problematic fisheries. Primary and synthesis research are priorities to improve future risk assessments, produce the first robust estimate of global derelict gear quantity, and assess the performance of initiatives to manage derelict gear. Findings from this first quantitative estimate of gear-specific relative risks from derelict gear guide the allocation of resources to achieve the largest improvements from mitigating adverse effects of derelict gear from the world's 4.6 million fishing vessels.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Wang L, Liu Y, Zhu X, et al (2021)

Identify potential allelochemicals from Humulus scandens (Lour.) Merr. root extracts that induce allelopathy on Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb.

Scientific reports, 11(1):7068.

Although it is well-documented that invasion of invasive plants is promoted with allelopathic effects by inhibiting the growth and phenotypic performance of native plants, little is known conversely. In this study, the allelopathy effects of a native plant, Humulus scandens (Lour.) Merr., on a typical invasive species Alternanthera philoxeroides (Mart.) Griseb., was investigated by exposing A. philoxeroides seedlings to three chemical solvent extracts (i.e., petroleum ether extract (PE), ethyl acetate extract (EE), and n-butanol extract (NE) of H. scandens root (HR). The three chemical extracts inhibited the growth, stem length, node number, leaf number, leaf area, and root number, and increased malondialdehyde (MDA) content of A. philoxeroides seedlings, which indicated that the extracts inhibited the plant growth by damaging the membrane system of leaves. And the synthetical effect of allelopathy (SE) index indicated that EE had the greatest inhibition on the growth of A. philoxeroides. Fifty compounds were identified from the three extracts of HR using GC-MS analysis, among which 5 compounds (dibutyl phthalate, stigmasta-3,5-diene, 2,6-Di-tert-butylphenol campesterol, and neophytadiene) were identified from H. scandens root extracts for the first time. And n-hexadecanoic acid exists in all three extracts. The findings of the present study provide a novel method to potentially control the invasion of A. philoxeroides. However, field monitoring under natural conditions would be necessary to confirm in practice the results obtained with the bioassays.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Roques L, Desbiez C, Berthier K, et al (2021)

Emerging strains of watermelon mosaic virus in Southeastern France: model-based estimation of the dates and places of introduction.

Scientific reports, 11(1):7058.

Where and when alien organisms are successfully introduced are central questions to elucidate biotic and abiotic conditions favorable to the introduction, establishment and spread of invasive species. We propose a modelling framework to analyze multiple introductions by several invasive genotypes or genetic variants, in competition with a resident population, when observations provide knowledge on the relative proportions of each variant at some dates and places. This framework is based on a mechanistic-statistical model coupling a reaction-diffusion model with a probabilistic observation model. We apply it to a spatio-temporal dataset reporting the relative proportions of five genetic variants of watermelon mosaic virus (WMV, genus Potyvirus, family Potyviridae) in infections of commercial cucurbit fields. Despite the parsimonious nature of the model, it succeeds in fitting the data well and provides an estimation of the dates and places of successful introduction of each emerging variant as well as a reconstruction of the dynamics of each variant since its introduction.

RevDate: 2021-04-02

Estrada-Castillón E, Villarreal-Quintanilla JÁ, Encina-Domínguez JA, et al (2021)

Ethnobotanical biocultural diversity by rural communities in the Cuatrociénegas Valley, Coahuila; Mexico.

Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 17(1):21.

BACKGROUND: Cuatrociénegas, part of the Chihuahuan Desert, is a region of unique biological, geological, geographical, and evolutionary importance. Its current population is mestizo; nevertheless, it has high national historical, cultural, and touristic relevance in Mexico. It has been cataloged as nationally significant for its flora and fauna by Mexican law, as well as being designated a High Protection site by the World Wildlife Fund and UNESCO. Because of its diverse and complex biological and sociocultural characteristics, we considered it important to determine, identify, and analyze various aspects of the traditional ethnobotanical knowledge and practices in this region.

METHODS: Between 2016 and 2019, seven field trips were made to document the knowledge and use of flora. Cuatrociénegas is a protected area, collecting botanical material is regulated, so specimens were photographed and collected in neighboring communities, and in public and private gardens. Later permission was obtained to complete the collection of specimens (2019-2020). The plants were identified and entered into the flora database of the state of Coahuila, and deposited in the Herbarium of the Faculty of Forest Sciences, Autonomous University of Nuevo León, Mexico. One hundred ten local residents (50 men and 60 women), aged between 27 and 91 years, were interviewed (semi-structured interviews). The cultural importance of ethnobotanical resources (cultural significance index) and its significance with respect to ethnobotanical richness in other Biosphere Reserves in Mexico (Mann-Whitney test), and similarities in the diversity of exotic species (Sørensen index) were studied.

RESULTS AND DISCUSSION: The ethnobotanical information registers 158 species and 132 genera in 57 vascular and non-vascular families, documenting a greater knowledge and use of cultivated species (84) with respect to wild species (74). The diversity of plants reported is compared to other ethnobotanical studies carried out in Mexican Biosphere Reserves. These results are highly relevant, in spite of unique exotic species. The people local pay special attention to medicinal and ornamental plants. The species that presented the highest use values are Larrea tridentata, Jatropha dioica, and Machaeranthera pinnatifida, three species characteristic of the desert region.

CONCLUSIONS: The particular diversity of wild flora in Cuatrociénegas Valley, combined with the varied introduced flora, is an important multifunctional resource. Special attention to introduced species is associated with harvesting use restrictions in the protected area as well as the high value of ornamental species that are difficult to maintain in desert areas. The extensive use of ethnobotanical knowledge is an example that biocultural diversity (at the conceptual level) is also strongly associated with socio-ecological systems incorporating mestizo groups and semi-urban rural landscapes, thus ceasing to be an exclusive focus of indigenous communities and regions.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Cuthbert RN, E Briski (2021)

Temperature, not salinity, drives impact of an emerging invasive species.

The Science of the total environment, 780:146640 pii:S0048-9697(21)01708-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are a growing ecological and socioeconomic problem worldwide. While robust predictions of impactful future invaders are urgently needed, understandings of invader impacts have been challenged by context-dependencies. In aquatic systems in particular, future climate change could alter the impacts of invasive non-native species. Widespread warming coupled with sea freshening may exacerbate ecological impacts of invaders in marine environments, compromising ecosystem structure, function and stability. We examined how multiple abiotic changes affect the potential ecological impact of an emerging invasive non-native species from the Ponto-Caspian region - a notorious origin hotspot for invaders, characterised by high salinity and temperature variation. Using a comparative functional response (feeding rates across prey densities) approach, the potential ecological impacts of the gammarid Pontogammarus maeoticus towards native chironomid prey were examined across a range of current and future temperature (18, 22 °C) and salinity (14, 10, 6, 2 ppt) regimes in a factorial design. Feeding rates of P. maeoticus on prey significantly increased with temperature (by 60%), but were not significantly affected by salinity regime. Gammarids displayed significant Type II functional responses, with attack rates not significantly affected by warming across all salinities. Handling times were, however, shortened by warming, and thus maximum feeding rates significantly increased, irrespective of salinity regime. Functional responses were significantly different following warming at high prey densities under all salinities, except under the ambient 10 ppt. Euryhalinity of invasive non-native species from the Ponto-Caspian region thus could allow sustained ecological impacts across a range of salinity regimes. These results corroborate high invasion success and field impacts of Ponto-Caspian gammarids in brackish through to freshwater ecosystems. Climate warming will likely worsen the potential ecological impact of P. maeoticus. With invasions growing worldwide, quantifications of how combined elements of climate change will alter the impacts of emerging invasive non-native species are needed.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Streit OT, Lambert G, Erwin PM, et al (2021)

Diversity and abundance of native and non-native ascidians in Puerto Rican harbors and marinas.

Marine pollution bulletin, 167:112262 pii:S0025-326X(21)00296-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Ascidians are an ideal taxon to study invasion processes: they require anthropogenic introduction vectors for long-distance dispersal, are easy to collect and monitor, and are abundant on artificial substrates. In March 2019 we surveyed 11 harbors around Puerto Rico and recorded 47 ascidian species. Eleven of these were only identified to the genus level or above based on morphological or genetic characterization. The remaining 36 species were classified as: 11 introduced (7 with worldwide distributions), 13 cryptogenic, and 12 native. We report the occurrence of Phallusia cf. philippinensis in the Atlantic for the first time. Ascidian community structure did not differ significantly across geographic locations and distances between marinas, while marina size had a significant effect on species richness and composition. Stakeholder involvement and periodic monitoring efforts are essential to detect the arrival of new species and the spread of already introduced ones to natural habitats.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Wacker A, S Harzsch (2021)

Crustaceans in a changing world.

Zoology (Jena, Germany), 146:125921 pii:S0944-2006(21)00029-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Global change already has a major impact on freshwater (reviews Woodward et al., 2010; Woolway et al., 2021) and marine ecosystems (reviews Molinos et al., 2016; Boyd et al., 2018), as witnessed by long term data series (Wiltshire et al., 2010; Boersma et al., 2016). Crustaceans represent one of the most species-rich groups both in our oceans and freshwater bodies and display a large diversity of sizes, morphologies, lifestyles, and life histories. Crustaceans representatives have colonized habitats extending from the deepest ocean trenches and hydrothermal vents, across the vast water bodies of the world's oceans, through intertidal and supratidal coastal habitats. They also inhabit anchihaline caves, inland freshwater ecosystems including endorheic lakes, and terrestrial habitats such as desert saltpans, epiphytic bromeliads in mountain forests, and rocky plateaus of coastal and oceanic islands (reviews e.g. Schram, 2013; Watling and Thiel, 2015; Wellborn and Thiel, 2018). Crustaceans play central roles in these various habitats, take part in ecosystem functioning by controlling primary production, and transfer energy and nutrients from primary producers to higher trophic levels. Many decapod crustaceans, for example, represent key species in coastal, estuarine, and intertidal habitats where they can have such a high abundance that changes in their population structure may directly influence the structure of the whole ecosystem. Because of their broad distribution and contribution in crucial ecosystem functions, crustaceans are strongly affected by changes of environmental drivers such as temperature, salinity and acidification. Therefore, they are ideal models to study the effects of global change, e.g., on species persistence, genetic adaptation, dispersal and colonization of new habitats but also of the impact of other anthropogenic stressors such as pollution by light, nutrients, toxins, and microplastics. This Special Issue brings together contributions on both laboratory-based and field studies written by experts in analysing the fate of crustaceans in a changing world.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

Evans MV, Drake JM, Jones L, et al (2021)

Assessing temperature-dependent competition between two invasive mosquito species.

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

Invasive mosquitoes are expanding their ranges into new geographic areas and interacting with resident mosquito species. Understanding how novel interactions can affect mosquito population dynamics is necessary to predict transmission risk at invasion fronts. Mosquito life-history traits are extremely sensitive to temperature and this can lead to temperature-dependent competition between competing invasive mosquito species. We explored temperature-dependent competition between Aedes aegypti and Anopheles stephensi, two invasive mosquito species whose distributions overlap in India, the Middle East, and North Africa, where An. stephensi is currently expanding into the endemic range of Ae. aegypti. We followed mosquito cohorts raised at different intraspecific and interspecific densities across five temperatures (16°C - 32°C) to measure traits relevant for population growth and to estimate species' per capita growth rates. We then used these growth rates to derive each species competitive ability at each temperature. We find strong evidence for asymmetric competition at all temperatures, with Ae. aegypti emerging as the dominant competitor. This was primarily due to differences in larval survival and development times across all temperatures that resulted in a higher estimated intrinsic growth rate and competitive tolerance estimate for Ae. aegypti compared to An. stephensi. The spread of An. stephensi into the African continent could lead to urban transmission of malaria, an otherwise rural disease, increasing the human population at risk and complicating malaria elimination efforts. Competition has resulted in habitat segregation of other invasive mosquito species, and our results suggest that it may play a role in determining the distribution of An. stephensi across its invasive range.

RevDate: 2021-04-13

Nicolaï MPJ, D'Alba L, Goldenberg J, et al (2021)

Untangling the structural and molecular mechanisms underlying colour and rapid colour change in a lizard, Agama atra.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

With functions as diverse as communication, protection and thermoregulation, coloration is one of the most important traits in lizards. The ability to change colour as a function of varying social and environmental conditions is thus an important innovation. While colour change is present in animals ranging from squids, to fish and reptiles, not much is known about the mechanisms behind it. Traditionally, colour change was attributed to migration of pigments, in particular melanin. More recent work has shown that the changes in nanostructural configuration inside iridophores are able to produce a wide palette of colours. However, the genetic mechanisms underlying colour, and colour change in particular, remain unstudied. Here we use a combination of transcriptomic and microscopic data to show that melanin, iridophores and pteridines are the main colour-producing mechanisms in Agama atra, and provide molecular and structural data suggesting that rapid colour change is achieved via melanin dispersal in combination with iridophore organization. This work demonstrates the power of combining genotypic (gene expression) and phenotypic (microscopy) information for addressing physiological questions, providing a basis for future studies of colour change.

RevDate: 2021-04-06

Khan MA, Hussain K, MA Shah (2021)

Ecological restoration of habitats invaded by Leucanthemum vulgare that alters key ecosystem functions.

PloS one, 16(3):e0246665.

Precise assessment of the impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) on ecosystem structure and functions is paramount for implementing appropriate management and restoration strategies. Here we investigated the impacts of Leucanthemum vulgare (ox-eye daisy), an aggressive invader in Kashmir Himalaya, on species diversity and primary productivity. We also evaluated bunch of strategies for the ecological restoration of the habitats invaded by this species. We found that uninvaded plots harbored on an average of 6.11 (±2.92) more species per 1m2 of quadrat than invaded plots. At multivariate scale, the ordination (nMDS) and ANOSIM exhibited significant differences between invaded and uninvaded plots with R = 0.7889 and p < 0.001. The decrease in diversity indices in invaded as compared to uninvaded plots was associated with more productive plant communities due to Leucanthemum invasion. Higher altitude Gulmarg site was more affected by Leucanthemum invasion than lower altitude Drung site. We tested different approaches for restoration and management of invaded habitats that include herbicide treatment at seedling stage, herbicide treatment before and after flowering stage, mowing and herbicide treatment together, joint mowing, digging and herbicide treatment and Leucanthemum uprooting. Among these treatments, uprooting and combined digging, mowing and herbicide treatment proved to be most effective in controlling Leucanthemum invasion. The implications of these results for effective management of ecologically sensitive and socio-culturally important landscapes are discussed.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

Gardiner MM, Perry KI, Riley CB, et al (2021)

Community science data suggests that urbanization and forest habitat loss threaten aphidophagous native lady beetles.

Ecology and evolution, 11(6):2761-2774.

Community scientists have illustrated rapid declines of several aphidophagous lady beetle (Coccinellidae) species. These declines coincide with the establishment of alien coccinellids. We established the Buckeye Lady Beetle Blitz program to measure the seasonal occupancy of coccinellids within gardens across a wide range of landscape contexts. Following the Habitat Compression Hypothesis, we predicted that gardens within agricultural landscapes would be alien-dominated, whereas captures of natives would be higher within landscapes encompassing a high concentration of natural habitat.Within the state of Ohio, USA, community scientists collected lady beetles for a 7-day period across 4 years in June and August using yellow sticky card traps. All identifications were verified by professional scientists and beetles were classified by three traits: status (alien or native), mean body length, and primary diet. We compared the relative abundance and diversity of coccinellids seasonally and determined if the distribution of beetles by size, status, and diet was related to landscape features.Alien species dominated the aphidophagous fauna. Native aphidophagous coccinellid abundance was positively correlated with forest habitat while alien species were more common when gardens were embedded within agricultural landscapes. Urbanization was negatively associated with both aphidophagous alien and native coccinellids. Synthesis and Applications: Our census of native coccinellid species within residential gardens-a widespread and understudied habitat-was enabled by volunteers. These data will serve as an important baseline to track future changes within coccinellid communities within this region. We found that native coccinellid species richness and native aphidophagous coccinellid abundance in gardens were positively associated with forest habitat at a landscape scale of 2 km. However, our understanding of when and why (overwintering, summer foraging, or both) forest habitats are important remains unclear. Our findings highlight the need to understand how declining aphidophagous native species utilize forest habitats as a conservation priority.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

Strait JT, Eby LA, Kovach RP, et al (2021)

Hybridization alters growth and migratory life-history expression of native trout.

Evolutionary applications, 14(3):821-833.

Human-mediated hybridization threatens many native species, but the effects of introgressive hybridization on life-history expression are rarely quantified, especially in vertebrates. We quantified the effects of non-native rainbow trout admixture on important life-history traits including growth and partial migration behavior in three populations of westslope cutthroat trout over five years. Rainbow trout admixture was associated with increased summer growth rates in all populations and decreased spring growth rates in two populations with cooler spring temperatures. These results indicate that non-native admixture may increase growth under warmer conditions, but cutthroat trout have higher growth rates during cooler periods. Non-native admixture consistently increased expression of migratory behavior, suggesting that there is a genomic basis for life-history differences between these species. Our results show that effects of interspecific hybridization on fitness traits can be the product of genotype-by-environment interactions even when there are minor differences in environmental optima between hybridizing species. These results also indicate that while environmentally mediated traits like growth may play a role in population-level consequences of admixture, strong genetic influences on migratory life-history differences between these species likely explains the continued spread of non-native hybridization at the landscape-level, despite selection against hybrids at the population-level.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

Baños-Villalba A, Carrete M, Tella JL, et al (2021)

Selection on individuals of introduced species starts before the actual introduction.

Evolutionary applications, 14(3):781-793.

Biological invasion is a global problem with large negative impacts on ecosystems and human societies. When a species is introduced, individuals will first have to pass through the invasion stages of uptake and transport, before actual introduction in a non-native range. Selection is predicted to act during these earliest stages of biological invasion, potentially influencing the invasiveness and/or impact of introduced populations. Despite this potential impact of pre-introduction selection, empirical tests are virtually lacking. To test the hypothesis of pre-introduction selection, we followed the fate of individuals during capture, initial acclimation, and captivity in two bird species with several invasive populations originating from the international trade in wild-caught pets (the weavers Ploceus melanocephalus and Euplectes afer). We confirm that pre-introduction selection acts on a wide range of physiological, morphological, behavioral, and demographic traits (incl. sex, age, size of body/brain/bill, bill shape, body mass, corticosterone levels, and escape behavior); these are all traits which likely affect invasion success. Our study thus comprehensively demonstrates the existence of hitherto ignored selection acting before the actual introduction into non-native ranges. This could ultimately change the composition and functioning of introduced populations, and therefore warrants greater attention. More knowledge on pre-introduction selection also might provide novel targets for the management of invasive species, if pre-introduction filters can be adjusted to change the quality and/or quantity of individuals passing through such that invasion probability and/or impacts are reduced.

RevDate: 2021-03-27

Zhu L, Zhang Z, Chen H, et al (2021)

Gut microbiomes of bigheaded carps and hybrids provide insights into invasion: A hologenome perspective.

Evolutionary applications, 14(3):735-745.

Gut microbiomes play an essential role in host survival and local adaptation and thus can facilitate the invasion of host species. Biological invasions have been shown to be linked to the genetic properties of alien host species. It is thus plausible that the holobiont, the host, and its associated microbiome act as an entity to drive invasion success. The bighead carp and silver carp (bigheaded carps), invasive species that exhibit extensive hybridization in the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), provided a unique model to test the holobiont hypothesis of invasion. Here, we investigated the microbiomes of foreguts and hindguts in bigheaded carps and their reciprocal hybrids reared in aquaculture ponds using 16S amplicons and the associated gene prediction. We found an admixed pattern in the gut microbiome community in bigheaded carp hybrids. The hybrid gut microbiomes showed special characteristics such as relatively high alpha diversity in the foregut, an increasing dissimilarity between foreguts and hindguts, and a remarkable proportion of genes coding for putative enzymes related to their digestion of main food resources (Cyanobacteria, cellulose, and chitin). The pond-reared hybrids had advantageous features in genes coding for putative enzymes related to their diet. The above results collectively suggested that the gut microbiomes of hybrids could be beneficial to their local adaptation (e.g., food resource utilization), which might have facilitated their invasion in the MRB. The gut microbial findings, along with the intrinsic genomic features likely associated with life-history traits revealed in our recent study, provide preliminary evidence supporting the holobiont hypothesis of invasion.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

Casabella-Herrero G, Martínez-Ríos M, Viljamaa-Dirks S, et al (2021)

Aphanomyces astaci mtDNA: insights into the pathogen's differentiation and its genetic diversity from other closely related oomycetes.

Fungal biology, 125(4):316-325.

The causative agent of crayfish plague, Aphanomyces astaci (Saprolegniales, Oomycota), is one of the 100 world's worst invasive alien species and represents a major threat to freshwater crayfish species worldwide. A better understanding of the biology and epidemiology of A. astaci relies on the application of efficient tools to detect the pathogen and assess its genetic diversity. In this study, we validated the specificity of two recently developed PCR-based approaches used to detect A. astaci groups. The first relies on the analysis of mitochondrial ribosomal rnnS (small) and rnnL (large) subunit sequences and the second, of sequences obtained by using genotype-specific primers designed from A. astaci whole genome sequencing. For this purpose, we tested the specificity against 76 selected isolates, including other oomycete species and the recently described species Aphanomyces fennicus, which, when used in nrITS-based specific tests for A. astaci, is known to result in a false positive. Under both approaches, we were able to efficiently and accurately identify A. astaci and its genetic groups in both pure cultures and clinical samples. We report that sequence analysis of the rnnS region alone is sufficient for the identification of A. astaci and a partial characterization of haplogroups. In contrast, the rnnL region alone is not sufficiently informative for A. astaci identification as other oomycete species present sequences identical to those of A. astaci.

RevDate: 2021-04-01

Smitz N, De Wolf K, Deblauwe I, et al (2021)

Population genetic structure of the Asian bush mosquito, Aedes japonicus (Diptera, Culicidae), in Belgium suggests multiple introductions.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):179.

BACKGROUND: Aedes japonicus japonicus has expanded beyond its native range and has established in multiple European countries, including Belgium. In addition to the population located at Natoye, Belgium, locally established since 2002, specimens were recently collected along the Belgian border. The first objective of this study was therefore to investigate the origin of these new introductions, which were assumed to be related to the expansion of the nearby population in western Germany. Also, an intensive elimination campaign was undertaken at Natoye between 2012 and 2015, after which the species was declared to be eradicated. This species was re-detected in 2017, and thus the second objective was to investigate if these specimens resulted from a new introduction event and/or from a few undetected specimens that escaped the elimination campaign.

METHODS: Population genetic variation at nad4 and seven microsatellite loci was surveyed in 224 and 68 specimens collected in Belgium and Germany, respectively. German samples were included as reference to investigate putative introduction source(s). At Natoye, 52 and 135 specimens were collected before and after the elimination campaign, respectively, to investigate temporal changes in the genetic composition and diversity.

RESULTS: At Natoye, the genotypic microsatellite make-up showed a clear difference before and after the elimination campaign. Also, the population after 2017 displayed an increased allelic richness and number of private alleles, indicative of new introduction(s). However, the Natoye population present before the elimination programme is believed to have survived at low density. At the Belgian border, clustering results suggest a relation with the western German population. Whether the introduction(s) occur via passive human-mediated ground transport or, alternatively, by natural spread cannot be determined yet from the dataset.

CONCLUSION: Further introductions within Belgium are expected to occur in the near future, especially along the eastern Belgian border, which is at the front of the invasion of Ae. japonicus towards the west. Our results also point to the complexity of controlling invasive species, since 4 years of intense control measures were found to be not completely successful at eliminating this exotic at Natoye.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Davies KW, Leger EA, Boyd CS, et al (2021)

Living with exotic annual grasses in the sagebrush ecosystem.

Journal of environmental management, 288:112417 pii:S0301-4797(21)00479-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Exotic annual grasses dominate millions of hectares and increase fire frequency in the sagebrush ecosystem of North America. This devastating invasion is so costly and challenging to revegetate with perennial vegetation that restoration efforts need to be prioritized and strategically implemented. Management needs to break the annual grass-fire cycle and prevent invasion of new areas, while research is needed to improve restoration success. Under current land management and climate regimes, extensive areas will remain annual grasslands, because of their expansiveness and the low probability of transition to perennial dominance. We propose referring to these communities as Intermountain West Annual Grasslands, recognizing that they are a stable state and require different management goals and objectives than perennial-dominated systems. We need to learn to live with annual grasslands, reducing their costs and increasing benefits derived from them, at the same time maintaining landscape-level plant diversity that could allow transition to perennial dominance under future scenarios. To accomplish this task, we propose a framework and research to improve our ability to live with exotic annual grasses in the sagebrush biome.

RevDate: 2021-03-25

Rodríguez-Robles JA, Leal M, Daza JD, et al (2021)

A biographical account of John Paul Richard Thomas, the man who leaves no stone unturned.

Anatomical record (Hoboken, N.J. : 2007) [Epub ahead of print].

This biographical account summarizes the professional career and scientific contributions of John Paul Richard Thomas, a contemporary leading figure in the systematics of West Indian amphibians and non-avian reptiles, especially of blind snakes of the families Typhlopidae and Leptotyphlopidae. Since his first expedition to the West Indies in 1957, Richard's vast field experience (including three trips to Peru between 1968 and 1974), impressive collecting skills, and remarkable ability to detect phenotypic variation among natural populations have resulted in the description of more than 70 species of snakes (24 typhlopids, 4 leptotyphlopids), lizards, and frogs in 16 genera and 11 taxonomic families. Richard joined the faculty of the Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, in 1976 and ever since his efforts significantly advanced organismal biology research at the institution. Although primarily a systematist, his desire to understand multiple aspects of an organism's biology and contagious passion for becoming intimately familiar with animals in their natural environments provided his students the opportunity to conduct research in fields such as behavioral and evolutionary ecology. Richard's mentoring fostered the scientific interests of his graduate students, who were exposed first-hand to every aspect of research, an invaluable experience that served as a springboard for the development of their professional careers inside and outside academia. This Commentary is a fitting tribute to an influential, unassuming scientist whose passion for turning over rocks has led to the discovery of many interesting species.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

González-Sánchez VH, Johnson JD, González-Solís D, et al (2021)

A review of the introduced herpetofauna of Mexico and Central America, with comments on the effects of invasive species and biosecurity methodology.

ZooKeys, 1022:79-154.

Among the principal causes producing detrimental effects on global biodiversity are introductions of alien species. Very few attempts to control introduced amphibians and reptiles in Middle America (Mexico and Central America) can be identified, so listings are provided for 24 exotic species, 16 translocated species, and 11 species that were removed from the introduced species listing because of lack of substantiating evidence that they are from established populations. Biosecurity methods are also identified that can be applied for preventing, controlling, and managing introduced and especially invasive species.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Jaffe BD, Wallin M, Fox M, et al (2021)

Cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) Is a Marginal Host for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6185092 [Epub ahead of print].

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), is a well-documented pest of agricultural crops across the globe. However, not all crops are suitable hosts for H. halys, and it is necessary to proactively document the susceptibility of economically important specialty crops, such as cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon; Ericaceae), a native fruit crop that contributes millions of dollars to the North American economy. In this study, we tested whether cranberry is a suitable host for H. halys by measuring the development and feeding injury inflicted by H. halys on cranberry fruit and foliage. We found that H. halys nymphs cannot successfully develop on cranberry fruit or foliage alone, but that the fruit are susceptible to adult feeding. On the basis of these findings, cranberry does not seem to be a suitable host to support nymph development, but adult feeding could negatively impact fruit quality. Future research should consider the impacts of adult feeding on fruit quality and how adult abundance in and near agricultural crops might change the risk profile of this pest.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Venkatraman M, Fleischer RC, MTN Tsuchiya (2021)

Comparative analysis of annotation pipelines using the first Japanese white-eye (Zosterops japonicus) genome.

Genome biology and evolution pii:6184866 [Epub ahead of print].

Introduced into Hawaii in the early 1900s, the Japanese white-eye or warbling white-eye (Zosterops japonicus) is now the most abundant land bird in the archipelago. Here, we present the first Z. japonicus genome, sequenced from an individual in its invasive range. This genome provides an important resource for future studies in invasion genomics. We annotated the genome using two workflows - standalone AUGUSTUS and BRAKER2. We found that AUGUSTUS was more conservative with gene predictions when compared to BRAKER2. The final number of annotated gene models was similar between the two workflows, but standalone AUGUSTUS had over 70% of gene predictions with Blast2GO annotations versus under 30% using BRAKER2. Additionally, we tested whether using RNA-seq data from 47 samples had a significant impact on annotation quality when compared to data from a single sample, as generating RNA-seq data for genome annotation can be expensive and requires well preserved tissue. We found that more data did not significantly change the number of annotated genes using AUGUSTUS but using BRAKER2 the number increased substantially. The results presented here will aid researchers in annotating draft genomes of non-model species as well as those studying invasion success.

RevDate: 2021-03-25
CmpDate: 2021-03-25

Nelson KR, Davies MM, Thomson HM, et al (2021)

Population dynamics and methodological assessments from a 15-year period of Amphibian monitoring in British Columbia's Southern Gulf Islands.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 193(4):216.

With amphibian populations facing a multitude of threats, including habitat loss, climate change, invasive species and infectious diseases, it is important to identify valuable amphibian habitat and the imminent pressures these environments face. Between 2004 and 2019, 6 years of amphibian surveys were conducted at Greenburn, Roe and McLean lakes in the Southern Gulf Islands of British Columbia, Canada. We assessed (1) species composition and trends of native amphibians, including at-risk northern red-legged frog (Rana aurora); (2) observations of invasive American bullfrog (Lithobates catesbeianus); and (3) the efficacy of visual encounter and trapping survey methods in determining multi-species amphibian occupancy. The shallow, semi-ephemeral McLean Lake hosted more amphibian species and more breeding activity than the larger, deeper waters of Greenburn and Roe lakes. Despite multiple observations, bullfrogs have thus far not established a detectable population within these lakes, with the presence of native and introduced predators as potential contributing factors. Declining trends in occupancy of native populations of R. aurora, Pacific chorus frog (Pseudacris regilla) and rough-skinned newt (Taricha granulosa) were observed at all three lakes. Results varied within years by species and survey method, highlighting the importance of effective replication and employing complementary survey methods to optimize studies of amphibian occupancy. These observations also emphasize the value of shallow, small- to medium-sized waterbodies to native amphibian populations in the Southern Gulf Islands. As these waterbodies become increasingly threatened by global climate change and habitat degradation, the potential impacts of declining freshwater ecosystem health on amphibian populations should be considered.

RevDate: 2021-03-24

Mills R, KJ McGraw (2021)

Cool birds: facultative use by an introduced species of mechanical air conditioning systems during extremely hot outdoor conditions.

Biology letters, 17(3):20200813.

Rapid climate change across the globe is having dramatic effects on wildlife. Responses of organisms to shifting thermal conditions often include physiological and behavioural accommodations, but to date these have been largely viewed and studied as naturally evolved phenomena (e.g. heat avoidance, sweating, panting) and not necessarily as strategies where animals exploit other anthropogenic conditions or resources. Moreover, the degree to which native versus introduced species show thermal plasticity has generated much conservation and ecological interest. We previously have observed introduced rosy-faced lovebirds (Agapornis roseicollis) perching in the relief-air vents on building faces in the Phoenix, Arizona, USA, metropolitan area, but doing so only during summer. Here, we show that such vent-perching events are significantly associated with extreme outdoor summer temperatures (when daily local highs routinely exceed 40°C). In fact, the temperature threshold at which we detected lovebirds starting to perch in cool air vents mirrors the upper range of the thermoneutral zone for this species. These results implicate novel, facultative use of an anthropogenic resource-industrial air-conditioning systems-by a recently introduced species (within the last 35 years) to cool down and survive extremely hot conditions in this urban 'heat-island' environment.

RevDate: 2021-03-30
CmpDate: 2021-03-30

Almeida ASE, Alves DFR, DE Paiva Barros-Alves S, et al (2021)

Morphology of the early larval stages of Lysmata lipkei Okuno amp; Fiedler, 2010 (Caridea: Lysmatidae): an invasive shrimp in the Western Atlantic.

Zootaxa, 4903(1):zootaxa.4903.1.4 pii:zootaxa.4903.1.4.

Considering the importance of establishing different approaches to the early detection of invasive species, the present study aimed to describe and illustrate the morphology of the early larval stages of the shrimp Lysmata lipkei, an invasive species in the Western Atlantic. Additionally, we did a morphological comparison and a review of the other Lysmata species from the Western Atlantic Ocean with a known larvae description. The larvae used in this study were obtained by the maintenance, under laboratory conditions, of ovigerous hermaphrodites of L. lipkei, collected in the wild. Then, larvae were dissected under a stereo microscope and illustrated using a microscope equipped with a camera lucida. The first three larval stages (zoeae) of L. lipkei were illustrated, described, and compared to other species of Lysmata previously described of the Western Atlantic. Some features of the larval morphology of L. lipkei are very similar when compared to other Lysmata species with previous larval descriptions, such as a rostrum long and simple, the eyes stalked with a long peduncle from the second zoeae, one pterygostomian spine and several denticles along the anterior ventral margin of the carapace, similarities in the segmentation of the maxillipeds, and the presence of dorsolateral spines on the posterior margin of the 5th pleomere, among other features. Also, unique features were observed for L. lipkei, such as differences in the setation of some structures, including the antennule, antenna, maxillule, and maxillipeds. Using the morphological descriptions, we expect to identify species from the plankton, especially invaders, that might be present in the Western Atlantic, as well as assist in several areas in which the larval morphology is relevant.

RevDate: 2021-03-30
CmpDate: 2021-03-30

Dippenaar-Schoeman AS, SH Foord (2020)

Revision of the Afrotropical crab-spider genus Parabomis Kulczyński, 1901 (Araneae: Thomisidae).

Zootaxa, 4899(1):zootaxa.4899.1.8 pii:zootaxa.4899.1.8.

The Afrotropical spider genus Parabomis Kulczyński, 1901 is revised. Members of Parabomis are some of the smallest thomisids known, and occur from Eritrea in the north of Africa to South Africa in the south, but are absent from Madagascar. Prior to this study, three species were known, namely P. levanderi Kulczyński, 1901 (Eritrea, ♂), P. martini Lessert, 1919 (Tanzania, ♂♀) and P. anabensis Lawrence, 1928 (Namibia, ♀). Parabomis anabensis sp. nov. is here recognized as a junior synonym of P. martini and four new species are described: P. elsae sp. nov. from South Africa (♂♀), P. megae sp. nov. from Zimbabwe (♂♀), P. pilosus sp. nov. from Botswana (♂♀) and P. wandae sp. nov. from Ghana (♂♀). A key to the six species is provided. The monotypic Afrotropical genus Felsina Simon, 1895, only known from its type species, F. granulum Simon, 1895, resembles Parabomis closely is known only from juveniles.

RevDate: 2021-03-30
CmpDate: 2021-03-30

Azarkina GN, CR Haddad (2020)

Partial revision of the Afrotropical Ballini, with the description of seven new genera (Araneae: Salticidae).

Zootaxa, 4899(1):zootaxa.4899.1.4 pii:zootaxa.4899.1.4.

The jumping spider tribe Ballini is reviewed in the Afrotropical Region. The genera Afromarengo Benjamin, 2004 and Goleta Peckham Peckham, 1894 are redefined. In Afromarengo, A. coriacea (Simon, 1900) is illustrated and A. ghanaensis sp. nov. (♀, from Ghana) and A. ugandensis sp. nov. (♂♀, from Uganda and D.R. Congo) are newly described. For Goleta, the type species, Goleta workmani (Peckham Peckham, 1885), is redescribed from both sexes. Seven new genera and twelve new species are described, including three monotypic genera, Ballagascar gen. nov., with B. insularis (Peckham Peckham, 1885) comb. nov. (ex Colaxes Simon, 1900) from Madagascar (♂♀) as the type species; Mondeku gen. nov., with M. albopilosum sp. nov. (♂♀, from Kenya) as the type species; and Oviballus gen. nov., with O. vidae sp. nov. (♂♀, from South Africa) as the type species. We also describe Planamarengo gen. nov., with P. bimaculata (Peckham Peckham, 1903) comb. nov. (ex Afromarengo) from South Africa (♂♀) as the type species, as well as P. gatamaiyu sp. nov. (♂, from Kenya) and P. kenyaensis sp. nov. (♂♀, from Kenya); Propiomarengo gen. nov., with P. plana (Haddad Wesołowska, 2013) comb. nov. (ex Afromarengo) from South Africa (♀) as the type species, as well as P. foordi sp. nov. (♂, from South Africa); Tenuiballus gen. nov., with T. minor sp. nov. (♂, from South Africa) as the type species, and also including T. coronatus sp. nov. (♂, from South Africa); and Wandawe gen. nov., with W. benjamini (Wesołowska Haddad, 2013) comb. n. (ex Colaxes) from South Africa (♂♀) as the type species, and also including W. australe sp. nov. (♂♀, from South Africa) and W. tigrinа sp. nov. (♂♀, from Kenya and Uganda). A new combination for Copocrossa albozonata Caporiacco, 1949, Afromarengo albozonata comb. nov. is provided, and the name A. albozonata is treated as a nomen dubium. A new species of Padilla Peckham Peckham, 1894, a genus only known from the Afrotropical Indian Ocean islands, P. wandae sp. nov. (♂♀, from Madagascar), is described. New data and illustrations for Sadies Wanless, 1984, as well as two Asian species of Colaxes, are provided. The recently revised Pachyballus Simon, 1900 and Peplometus Simon, 1900 are not treated further. A key to the genera of Afrotropical Ballinae is presented, as well as new data on their natural history, biogeography, and a discussion of the evolution of mimicry of various arthropod groups by balline jumping spiders. A putative synapomorphy and the new composition of Ballini sensu novo are proposed.

RevDate: 2021-03-29
CmpDate: 2021-03-29

Kök Ş, I Özdemir (2021)

Annotated Systematic Checklist of the Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphidomorpha) of Turkey.

Zootaxa, 4925(1):zootaxa.4925.1.1 pii:zootaxa.4925.1.1.

This comprehensive checklist of aphids presents a total of 591 species, including 26 subspecies, from 147 genera belonging to 15 subfamilies in three families distributed over three superfamilies of Aphidomorpha recorded from 1903 to 2020 in Turkey. In the current list, the systematic positions with the genus and species names of some taxa have been revised, and some species have been downgraded to subspecies in accordance with recent changes in nomenclature. Seven species have been removed from the Turkish fauna and four species that were not included in the previous checklist have been added to the list. Also, 59 of the listed species (about 10% of Aphidomorpha) are evaluated as alien to the Turkish fauna, and the distribution of all species in Turkey is given.

RevDate: 2021-03-30
CmpDate: 2021-03-30

Ruzzier E, CA Martínez-Muñoz (2021)

First record of the invasive Lagria villosa (Fabricius, 1781) (Coleoptera: Tenebrionidae: Lagriinae) in Europe.

Zootaxa, 4908(1):zootaxa.4908.1.11 pii:zootaxa.4908.1.11.

The lagriid beetle Lagria villosa (Fabricius, 1781), an invasive species of African origin, is recorded for the first time in Europe. A single specimen was found in November 2020 in Turku (Finland) inside a box of table grapes from a local supermarket. This species, included in the EPPO Global Database and in the CABI Invasive Species Compendium, is widely recognized as a significant pest of crops.

RevDate: 2021-04-12

Fu S, Rao Y, Chen X, et al (2021)

Comparison of benthic nematode assemblages in native mangrove forest and exotic mangrove plantations (Sonneratia apetala Buch-Ham) along the South China Coast.

Marine pollution bulletin, 166:112249 pii:S0025-326X(21)00283-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The exotic mangrove species Sonneratia apetala has been planted widely in China since 1985. As an exotic mangrove species, it is important to understand the influence of Sonneratia plantations on marine nematode assemblages. We studied the Zhanjiang and Xiatanwei mangrove wetlands on the South China Coast during the four seasons of 2010 and 2019. The results showed that S. apetala plantations increased the number of genera, Shannon-Wiener diversity, richness, evenness, maturity index (MI) and decreased the index of trophic diversity (ITD) values for nematodes compared to those in mudflats, but did not change significantly compared to those of native mangrove forests. In addition, Sonneratia plantations did not significantly change nematode assemblages compared to those of native mangroves, though they did change significantly compared to those in mudflats. Thus, interplanting S. apetala into native mangrove forests may be an effective substitute for using native mangroves in mangrove plantation.

RevDate: 2021-04-05

Willis K, A Burt (2021)

Double drives and private alleles for localised population genetic control.

PLoS genetics, 17(3):e1009333 pii:PGENETICS-D-20-01914.

Synthetic gene drive constructs could, in principle, provide the basis for highly efficient interventions to control disease vectors and other pest species. This efficiency derives in part from leveraging natural processes of dispersal and gene flow to spread the construct and its impacts from one population to another. However, sometimes (for example, with invasive species) only specific populations are in need of control, and impacts on non-target populations would be undesirable. Many gene drive designs use nucleases that recognise and cleave specific genomic sequences, and one way to restrict their spread would be to exploit sequence differences between target and non-target populations. In this paper we propose and model a series of low threshold double drive designs for population suppression, each consisting of two constructs, one imposing a reproductive load on the population and the other inserted into a differentiated locus and controlling the drive of the first. Simple deterministic, discrete-generation computer simulations are used to assess the alternative designs. We find that the simplest double drive designs are significantly more robust to pre-existing cleavage resistance at the differentiated locus than single drive designs, and that more complex designs incorporating sex ratio distortion can be more efficient still, even allowing for successful control when the differentiated locus is neutral and there is up to 50% pre-existing resistance in the target population. Similar designs can also be used for population replacement, with similar benefits. A population genomic analysis of CRISPR PAM sites in island and mainland populations of the malaria mosquito Anopheles gambiae indicates that the differentiation needed for our methods to work can exist in nature. Double drives should be considered when efficient but localised population genetic control is needed and there is some genetic differentiation between target and non-target populations.

RevDate: 2021-03-23

Gippet JMW, C Bertelsmeier (2021)

Invasiveness is linked to greater commercial success in the global pet trade.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(14):.

The pet trade has become a multibillion-dollar global business, with tens of millions of animals traded annually. Pets are sometimes released by their owners or escape, and can become introduced outside of their native range, threatening biodiversity, agriculture, and health. So far, a comprehensive analysis of invasive species traded as pets is lacking. Here, using a unique dataset of 7,522 traded vertebrate species, we show that invasive species are strongly overrepresented in trade across mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. However, it is unclear whether this occurs because, over time, pet species had more opportunities to become invasive, or because invasive species have a greater commercial success. To test this, we focused on the emergent pet trade in ants, which is too recent to be responsible for any invasions so far. Nevertheless, invasive ants were similarly overrepresented, demonstrating that the pet trade specifically favors invasive species. We show that ant species with the greatest commercial success tend to have larger spatial distributions and more generalist habitat requirements, both of which are also associated with invasiveness. Our findings call for an increased risk awareness regarding the international trade of wildlife species as pets.

RevDate: 2021-03-26

Lenancker P, Feldhaar H, Holzinger A, et al (2021)

Origin, behaviour, and genetics of reproductive workers in an invasive ant.

Frontiers in zoology, 18(1):13.

BACKGROUND: Worker reproduction has an important influence on the social cohesion and efficiency of social insect colonies, but its role in the success of invasive ants has been neglected. We used observations of 233 captive colonies, laboratory experiments, and genetic analyses to investigate the conditions for worker reproduction in the invasive Anoplolepis gracilipes (yellow crazy ant) and its potential cost on interspecific defence. We determined the prevalence of worker production of males and whether it is triggered by queen absence; whether physogastric workers with enlarged abdomens are more likely to be reproductive, how normal workers and physogastric workers compare in their contributions to foraging and defence; and whether worker-produced males and males that could have been queen- or worker-produced differ in their size and heterozygosity.

RESULTS: Sixty-six of our 233 captive colonies produced males, and in 25 of these, some males could only have been produced by workers. Colonies with more workers were more likely to produce males, especially for queenless colonies. The average number of days between the first appearance of eggs and adult males in our colonies was 54.1 ± 10.2 (mean ± SD, n = 20). In our laboratory experiment, queen removal triggered an increase in the proportion of physogastric workers. Physogastric workers were more likely to have yolky oocytes (37-54.9%) than normal workers (2-25.6%), which is an indicator of fertile or trophic egg production. Physogastric workers were less aggressive during interspecific aggression tests and foraged less than normal workers. The head width and wing length of worker-produced males were on average 4.0 and 4.3% greater respectively than those of males of undetermined source. Our microsatellite DNA analyses indicate that 5.5% of worker-produced males and 14.3% of males of undetermined source were heterozygous, which suggests the presence of diploid males and/or genetic mosaics in A. gracilipes.

CONCLUSIONS: Our experimental work provides crucial information on worker reproduction in A. gracilipes and its potential cost to colony defence. The ability of A. gracilipes workers to produce males in the absence of queens may also contribute to its success as an invasive species if intranidal mating can take place between virgin queens and worker-produced males.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Stevens MCA, Faulkner SC, Wilke ABB, et al (2021)

Spatially clustered count data provide more efficient search strategies in invasion biology and disease control.

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

Geographic profiling, a mathematical model originally developed in criminology, is increasingly being used in ecology and epidemiology. Geographic profiling boasts a wide range of applications, such as finding source populations of invasive species or breeding sites of vectors of infectious disease. The model provides a cost-effective approach for prioritising search strategies for source locations and does so via simple data in the form of the positions of each observation, such as individual sightings of invasive species or cases of a disease. In doing so, however, classic geographic profiling approaches fail to make the distinction between those areas containing observed absences and those areas where no data were recorded. Absence data are generated via spatial sampling protocols but are often discarded during the inference process. Here we construct a geographic profiling model that resolves these issues by making inferences via count data - analysing a set of discrete sentinel locations at which the number of encounters has been recorded. Crucially, in our model this number can be zero. We verify the ability of this new model to estimate source locations and other parameters of practical interest via a Bayesian power analysis. We also measure model performance via real-world data in which the model infers breeding locations of mosquitoes in bromeliads in Miami-Dade County, Florida. In both cases, our novel model produces more efficient search strategies by shifting focus from those areas containing observed absences to those with no data, an improvement over existing models that treat these areas equally. Our model makes important improvements upon classic geographic profiling methods, which will significantly enhance real-world efforts to develop conservation management plans and targeted interventions.

RevDate: 2021-03-30

Fine JD, Torres KM, Martin J, et al (2021)

Assessing Agrochemical Risk to Mated Honey Bee Queens.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE.

Current risk assessment strategies for honey bees rely heavily upon laboratory tests performed on adult or immature worker bees, but these methods may not accurately capture the effects of agrochemical exposure on honey bee queens. As the sole producer of fertilized eggs inside a honeybee colony, the queen is arguably the most important single member of a functioning colony unit. Therefore, understanding how agrochemicals affect queen health and productivity should be considered a critical aspect of pesticide risk assessment. Here, an adapted method is presented to expose honey bee queens and worker queen attendants to agrochemical stressors administered through a worker diet, followed by tracking egg production in the laboratory and assessing first instar eclosion using a specialized cage, referred to as a Queen Monitoring Cage. To illustrate the method's intended use, results of an experiment in which worker queen attendants were fed diet containing sublethal doses of imidacloprid and effects on queens were monitored are described.

RevDate: 2021-03-22

Solarczyk P, Dabert M, Frantz AC, et al (2021)

Zoonotic Giardia duodenalis sub-assemblage BIV in wild raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Germany and Luxembourg.

Zoonoses and public health [Epub ahead of print].

Giardia duodenalis is a cosmopolitan flagellate that causes giardiasis, one of the most significant gastrointestinal diseases in humans. This parasite can be a serious threat to public health because it can cause waterborne outbreaks as well as sporadic infections in humans. Invasive raccoons (Procyon lotor) may play a role in disseminating Giardia into the environment and transmitting it to humans and domestic animals because they live in high densities and deposit their faces in latrines near areas used by humans. While Giardia infections have been reported from raccoons in North America, it is unknown whether they carry G. duodenalis with zoonotic assemblage A and B, which have the potential to cause illness in humans. We collected faecal samples from 66 legally harvested raccoons in Germany and Luxembourg and examined for Giardia using molecular techniques. Using a quantitative PCR based on primers specific to Giardia genetic assemblages A and B, we detected the presence of zoonotic assemblage B in 27% (95% CI, 17.0-39.6) of all examined faecal samples from raccoons, including animals sampled in buildings. We did not detect genetic assemblage A in any of the samples. Sequences obtained from the glutamate dehydrogenase and beta-giardin gene fragments from a selection of three of the positive samples showed that raccoons carried a zoonotic G. duodenalis genotype belonging to sub-assemblage BIV, which is commonly found in humans and animals worldwide. Our results suggest that free-ranging raccoons have the potential to play an increasingly important role in the epidemiology of Giardia and pose a threat to public health in Europe and other regions where this species is common and lives in close association with humans.

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RJR Experience and Expertise

Researcher

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.

Educator

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.

Administrator

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.

Technologist

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.

Publisher

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.

Speaker

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.

Facilitator

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.

Designer

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

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