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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 26 Jan 2022 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: 2022-01-20

Medina-Vogel G, Muñoz F, Moeggenberg M, et al (2022)

Improving Trapping Efficiency for Control of American Mink (Neovison vison) in Patagonia.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(2): pii:ani12020142.

Two main challenges when controlling alien American mink (Neovison vison) in Patagonia are to maximize campaign efficacy and cost-effectiveness and to avoid trapping native species. We designed and tested new variants of collapsible wire box traps, compared the efficacy of a food-based bait and a scent lure and compared catch rates in different seasons of the year. We used the data to model the efficiency rate of the trapping and to determine the trapping effort required to remove 70-90% of the estimated discrete mink population. Between January 2018 and March 2021, we operated 59 trapping transects over 103 three-day trapping periods in southern Chile. Traps were first baited with canned fish, and afterwards with mink anal gland lure. We compared the efficacy of mink capture with that of our previous study. We trapped 196 mink (125 males, 71 females), with most captures in summer. The medium-sized GMV-18 trap caught more male mink, but the more compact GMV-13 caught fewer non-target rodents and no native mammals. The scent lure was more successful than the canned fish when the previous campaign's data were included in the analysis. There was also a significant improvement in the proportion of female mink trapped and reduced labour compared with our previous campaign that used larger traps, fish bait and 400-500 m trap spacings. We caught relatively more females than males after the third night of trapping on a transect. Our data analysis supports the use of the GMV-13 variant of wire cage trap as the best trap size: it is effective on female mink, small, cheap and easy to transport. Combined with mink anal scent lure, it reduces the possibility of trapping native species compared with other traps tested in Chile. As the most efficient method for removing at least 70% of the estimated discrete mink population within the area covered by each trap transect in southern Chile tested to date, we recommend trapping campaigns using GMV-13 during summer, with a 200-m trap spacing, for up to 6 days before moving traps to a new site, with a combination of three days with a female scent gland lure, followed by three days with a male scent gland lure.

RevDate: 2022-01-20

Hughes RF, Grossman D, Sowards TG, et al (2022)

Aboveground carbon accumulation by second-growth forests after deforestation in Hawai'i.

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

Successional processes ultimately determine and define carbon accumulations in forested ecosystems. Although primary succession on wholly new substrate occurs across the globe, secondary succession, often following storm events or anthropogenic disturbance, is more common and is capable of globally significant accumulations of carbon (C) at a time when offsets to anthropogenic carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are critically needed. In Hawai'i, prior studies have investigated ecosystem development during primary succession on lava flows, including estimates of C mass accumulation. Yet relatively little is known regarding secondary succession of Hawai'i's native forests, particularly regarding C mass accumulation. Here we documented above-ground C mass accumulation by native- and non-native-dominated 2nd -growth forests following deforestation of mature native lowland rainforests in the Puna District of Hawai'i Island. We characterized species composition and stand structure of three distinct successional forest stand types: those dominated by the native tree, Metrosideros polymorpha ('Ōhi'a), and those dominated by invasive non-native trees, Falcataria moluccana (albizia) and Psidium cattleianum (strawberry guava). We compared M. polymorpha-dominated and F. moluccana-dominated 2nd -growth forests to adjacent mature M. polymorpha-dominated forests as well as young M. polymorpha-dominated forests undergoing initial stages of primary succession on 35-year-old lava fields. Above-ground carbon density (ACD) values of mature primary forest stands (171 Mg ha-1) were comparable to those of mature continental tropical forests. M. polymorpha-dominated 2nd -growth stands attained nearly 50% of ACD values of mature primary forests after less than 30 years of post-disturbance succession and exhibited above-ground carbon accumulation rates of ca. 3 Mg C ha-1 y-1 . Such rates were comparable to those of 2nd -growth forests in continental tropics. Rates of ACD accumulation by 2nd -growth forests dominated by non-native F. moluccana stands were similar, or slightly greater than, those of M. polymorpha-dominated stands. However, M. polymorpha individuals were virtually absent from stands dominated by either P. cattleianum or F. moluccana. Taken together, results demonstrated that re-establishment and rapid accumulation of C mass by M. polymorpha stands during secondary succession is certainly possible, but only where populations of non-native species have not already colonized areas during early stages of secondary succession.

RevDate: 2022-01-20

Espindola S, Vázquez-Domínguez E, Nakamura M, et al (2022)

Complex genetic patterns and distribution limits mediated by native congeners of the worldwide invasive red-eared slider turtle.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Non-native (invasive) species offer a unique opportunity to study the geographic distribution and range limits of species, wherein the evolutionary change driven by interspecific interactions between native and non-native closely related species is a key component. The red-eared slider turtle, Trachemys scripta elegans (TSE), has been introduced and successfully established worldwide. It can coexist with its native congeners T. cataspila, T. venusta and T. taylori in Mexico. We performed comprehensive fieldwork, executed a battery of genetic analyses and applied a novel species distribution modeling approach to evaluate their historical lineage relationships and contemporary population genetic patterns. Our findings support the historical common ancestry between native TSE and non-native (TSEalien), while also highlighting the genetic differentiation of the exotic lineage. Genetic patterns are associated with their range size/endemism gradient, the microendemic T. taylori showed significant reduced genetic diversity and high differentiation, whereas TSEalien showed the highest diversity and signals of population size expansion. Counter to our expectations, lower naturally occurring distribution overlap and little admixture patterns were found between TSE and its congeners, exhibiting reduced gene flow and clear genetic separation across neighboring species despite having zones of contact. We demonstrate that these native Trachemys species have distinct climatic niche suitability, likely preventing establishment of and displacement by the TSEalien . Moreover, we found major niche overlap between TSEalien and native species worldwide, supporting our prediction that sites with closer ecological optima to the invasive species have higher establishment risk than those that are closer to the niche-center of the native species.

RevDate: 2022-01-20

Khanghah SS, Moameri M, Ghorbani A, et al (2022)

Modeling potential habitats and predicting habitat connectivity for Leucanthemum vulgare Lam. in northwestern rangelands of Iran.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 194(2):109.

Invasive plants can alter the function and structure of ecosystems resulting in social, economic, and ecological damage. Effective methods to reduce the dominance of invasive plants are needed. The present study was aimed at modeling the invasive species Leucanthemum vulgare Lam. in the rangelands of the Namin region in northwest Iran, as well as predicting the habitat connectivity of this species to detect areas with high habitat connectivity. Modeling of potential habitats was performed using logistic regression (LR) and maximum entropy (MaxEnt); the ensemble map which resulted from these was used to predict habitat connectivity using the electrical circuit method. Topography (elevation, slope, and aspect), climate (precipitation and temperature), and soil (acidity, electrical conductivity, soil texture, calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, organic carbon, organic matter, saturation percentage, and total neutralizing value) were used in this study. The presence and absence points of the L. vulgare were recorded using a stratified-random sampling method by means of a global positioning system. Soil samples were collected at a depth of 0 to 30 cm where L. vulgare was present and also where it was absent. According to the results, in LR, the variables of temperature, phosphorus, organic matter, and sand and in the MaxEnt, the variables of sand, total neutralizing value (TNV), and silt were the most influential factors on the distribution of L. vulgare. The appraisal of the MaxEnt performance and the precision of the model prediction were 0.97. The Kappa indices for the predicted map obtained from the LR and MaxEnt models were 0.80 and 0.73, respectively. The models' evaluation indicated that both models were able to predict the distribution of L. vulgare habitats with a high level of accuracy; however, LR was more reliable. According to the LR prediction, 9.91% (10,556.25 ha) of the Namin region was attacked by L. vulgare. Connectivity assessment showed that the current density spread of L. vulgare continued from the northeast of the Namin region toward the southeast. On the other hand, the higher current density spread was demonstrated in the eastern region (rangelands adjacent to Fandoghlu forests), and other rangelands which are more threatened by the invasion of L. vulgare. Identifying sites exposed to invasive species can help implement programs to prevent invasive species from invading areas where management and prevention should be implanted to prevent and/or reduce the spread.

RevDate: 2022-01-20
CmpDate: 2022-01-20

Lombardo A, Brocherel G, Donnini C, et al (2022)

First report of the zoonotic nematode Baylisascaris procyonis in non-native raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Italy.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):24.

Baylisascaris procyonis is a nematode parasite of the raccoon (Procyon lotor), and it can be responsible for a severe form of larva migrans in humans. This parasite has been reported from many countries all over the world, after translocation of its natural host outside its native geographic range, North America. In the period between January and August 2021, 21 raccoons were cage-trapped and euthanized in Tuscany (Central Italy), in the context of a plan aimed at eradicating a reproductive population of this non-native species. All the animals were submitted for necroscopic examination. Adult ascariids were found in the small intestine of seven raccoons (prevalence 33.3%). Parasites have been identified as B. procyonis based on both morphometric and molecular approaches. The aim of the present article is to report the first finding of this zoonotic parasite from Italy, highlighting the sanitary risks linked to the introduction of alien vertebrate species in new areas.

RevDate: 2022-01-20
CmpDate: 2022-01-20

Carrau T, Thümecke S, Silva LMR, et al (2021)

The Cellular Innate Immune Response of the Invasive Pest Insect Drosophila suzukii against Pseudomonas entomophila Involves the Release of Extracellular Traps.

Cells, 10(12):.

Drosophila suzukii is a neobiotic invasive pest that causes extensive damage to fruit crops worldwide. The biological control of this species has been unsuccessful thus far, in part because of its robust cellular innate immune system, including the activity of professional phagocytes known as hemocytes and plasmatocytes. The in vitro cultivation of primary hemocytes isolated from D. suzukii third-instar larvae is a valuable tool for the investigation of hemocyte-derived effector mechanisms against pathogens such as wasp parasitoid larvae, bacteria, fungi and viruses. Here, we describe the morphological characteristics of D. suzukii hemocytes and evaluate early innate immune responses, including extracellular traps released against the entomopathogen Pseudomonas entomophila and lipopolysaccharides. We show for the first time that D. suzukii plasmatocytes cast extracellular traps to combat P. entomophila, along with other cell-mediated reactions, such as phagocytosis and the formation of filopodia.

RevDate: 2022-01-20
CmpDate: 2022-01-20

Kang CQ, Meng QY, Dang W, et al (2021)

Divergent incubation temperature effects on thermal sensitivity of hatchling performance in two different latitudinal populations of an invasive turtle.

Journal of thermal biology, 100:103079.

The incubation temperature for embryonic development affects several aspects of hatchling performance, but its impact on the thermal sensitivity of performance attributes remains poorly investigated. In the present study, Trachemys scripta elegans hatchlings from two different latitudinal populations were collected to assess the effects of different incubation temperatures on the locomotor (swimming speed) and physiological (heart rate) performances, and the thermal sensitivity of these two attributes. The incubation temperature significantly affected the examined physiological traits. Hatchling turtles produced at low incubation temperature exhibited relatively higher cold tolerance (lower body temperatures at which the animals lose the ability to escape from the lethal conditions), and reduced heart rate and swimming speed. Furthermore, the effect of incubation temperature on the thermal sensitivity of swimming speed differed between the low- and high-latitude populations. At relatively high incubation temperatures, the high-latitude hatchling turtles exhibited reduced thermal sensitivities of swimming speed than those of the low-latitude ones. Reduced thermal sensitivity of locomotor performance together with high cold tolerance, exhibited by the high-latitude hatchling turtles potentially reflected local adaptation to relatively colder and more thermally-variable environments.

RevDate: 2022-01-18
CmpDate: 2022-01-18

Parkash R, Lambhod C, A Pathak (2021)

Developmental and adult acclimation impact cold and drought survival of invasive tropical Drosophila kikkawai.

Biology open, 10(6):.

Narrow distribution patterns of tropical Drosophila species are limited by lower resistance to cold or drought. In the invasive tropical Drosophila kikkawai, we tested whether developmental and adult acclimations at cooler temperatures could enhance its stress resistance level. Adult acclimation of winter collected body color morphs revealed a significant increase in the level of cold resistance. For light morph, its abundance during winter is not consistent with thermal-melanism hypothesis. However, higher cold acclimation capacity, as well as storage of energy metabolites could support its winter survival. In the wild-caught light and intermediate morphs, there is a lack of trade-off between cold and heat resistance but not in the case of dark morph. Developmental plasticity (15°C) resulted in the fivefold increase of cold survival at 0°C; and a twofold increase in desiccation resistance but a modest reduction (∼28-35%) in heat resistance as compared to morph strains reared at 25°C. Drought acclimation changes were significantly higher as compared with cold or heat pretreatment. We observed a trade-off between basal resistance and acclimation capacity for cold, heat, or drought resistance. For homeostatic energy balance, adult acclimation responses (cold versus drought; heat versus drought) caused compensatory plastic changes in the levels of proline or trehalose (shared patterns) but different patterns for total body lipids. In contrast, rapid cold or heat hardening-induced changes in energy metabolites were different as compared to acclimation. The ability of D. kikkawai to significantly increase stress tolerance through plasticity is likely to support its invasion potential.

RevDate: 2022-01-20
CmpDate: 2022-01-20

Molnár V A, Siffer S, Molnár HA, et al (2020)

Occurrence of the rare plant Sternbergia colchiciflora in an urban environment.

Biologia futura, 71(1-2):93-98.

In this paper, we report a remarkable population of the rare plant Sternbergia colchiciflora found along a busy road section in the downtown of county seat Veszprém (W-Hungary). The population contains at least 7000 individuals and spreads across fifteen grassy traffic islands. Regarding the position of individuals, their relative distance from the road/sidewalk within the traffic islands differed significantly from a hypothetical uniform distribution, with higher number of individuals situated close to the island edges than expected by chance. Besides this rare bulbous plant, several other dry grassland specialist plant species were also found in these habitat patches, e.g., Astragalus austriacus, Festuca rupicola, Filipendula vulgaris, Muscari neglectum, Petrorhagia saxifraga, Potentilla arenaria, Ranunculus illyricus, Salvia nemorosa, Sanguisorba minor, Teucrium chamaedrys, Thesium linophyllon, Verbascum phoeniceum and Vinca herbacea. The origin of these dry grassland plants in this highly disturbed urban environment is uncertain; possibly, they were introduced ca. 15 years ago in the course of earthworks during the construction of the road. Recent management (frequent and motorized lawn mowing) seems to favor the Sternbergia colchiciflora, while the habitat is currently not directly threatened. Unfortunately, the potential for local conservation appears to be highly limited.

RevDate: 2022-01-19

Nunez-Mir GC, Walter JA, Grayson KL, et al (2022)

Assessing drivers of localized invasive spread to inform large-scale management of a highly damaging insect pest.

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

Studies of biological invasions at the macroscale or across multiple scales can provide important insights for management, particularly when localized information about invasion dynamics or environmental contexts is unavailable. In this study, we performed a macroscale analysis of the roles of invasion drivers on the local scale dynamics of a high-profile pest, Lymantria dispar dispar L., with the purpose of improving the prioritization of vulnerable areas for treatment. Specifically, we assessed the relative effects of various anthropogenic and environmental variables on the establishment rate of 8010 quadrats at a localized scale (5 km by 5 km) across the entire L. dispar transition zone (the area encompassing the leading population edge, currently from Minnesota to North Carolina). We calculated the number of years from first detection of L. dispar in a quadrat to the year when probability of establishment of L. dispar was greater than 99% (i.e., waiting time to establishment after first detection). To assess the effects of environmental and anthropogenic variables on each quadrat's waiting time to establishment, we performed linear mixed-effects regression models for the full transition zone and three sub-regions within the zone. Seasonal temperatures were found to be the primary drivers of local establishment rates. Winter temperatures had the strongest effects, especially in the northern parts of the transition zone. Furthermore, the effects of some factors on waiting times to establishment varied across sub-regions. Our findings contribute to identifying especially vulnerable areas to further L. dispar spread, and informing region-specific criteria by invasion managers for the prioritization of areas for treatment.

RevDate: 2022-01-17

Stuart KC, Sherwin WB, Austin JJ, et al (2022)

Historical museum samples enable the examination of divergent and parallel evolution during invasion.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

During the Anthropocene, Earth has experienced unprecedented habitat loss, native species decline, and global climate change. Concurrently, greater globalisation is facilitating species movement, increasing the likelihood of alien species establishment and propagation. There is a great need to understand what influences a species' ability to persist or perish within a new or changing environment. Examining genes that may be associated with a species' invasion success or persistence informs invasive species management, assists with native species preservation, and sheds light on important evolutionary mechanisms that occur in novel environments. This approach can be aided by coupling spatial and temporal investigations of evolutionary processes. Here we use the common starling, Sturnus vulgaris, to identify parallel and divergent evolutionary change between contemporary native and invasive range samples and their common ancestral population. To do this, we use reduced-representation sequencing of native samples collected recently in north-western Europe and invasive samples from Australia, together with museum specimens sampled in the UK during the mid-19th Century. We found evidence of parallel selection on both continents, possibly resulting from common global selective forces such as exposure to pollutants. We also identified divergent selection in these populations, which might be related to adaptive changes in response to the novel environment encountered in the introduced Australian range. Interestingly, signatures of selection are equally as common within both invasive and native range contemporary samples. Our results demonstrate the value of including historical samples in genetic studies of invasion and highlight the ongoing and occasionally parallel role of adaptation in both native and invasive ranges.

RevDate: 2022-01-17

Knudsen SW, Hesselsøe M, Thaulow J, et al (2022)

Monitoring of environmental DNA from introduced species of algae, dinoflagellates and animals in the North Eastern Atlantic.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)00183-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Monitoring the distribution of marine non-indigenous species is a challenging task. To support this monitoring, we developed and validated the specificity of 12 primer-probe assays for detection of environmental DNA (eDNA) from marine species all non-indigenous to Europe. The species include sturgeons, a Pacific red algae, oyster thief, a freshwater hydroid from the Black Sea, Chinese mitten crab, Pacific oyster, warty comb jelly, sand gaper, round goby, pink salmon, rainbow trout and North American mud crab. We tested all assays in the laboratory, on DNA extracted from both the target and non-target species to ensure that they only amplified DNA from the intended species. Subsequently, all assays were used to analyse water samples collected at 16 different harbours across two different seasons during 2017. We also included six previously published assays targeting eDNA from goldfish, European carp, two species of dinoflagellates of the genera Karenia and Prorocentrum, two species of the heterokont flagellate genus Pseudochattonella. Conventional monitoring was carried out alongside eDNA sampling but with only one sampling event over the one year. Because eDNA was relatively fast and easy to collect compared to conventional sampling, we sampled eDNA twice during 2017, which showed seasonal changes in the distribution of non-indigenous species. Comparing eDNA levels with salinity gradients did not show any correlation. A significant correlation was observed between number of species detected with conventional monitoring methods and number of species found using eDNA at each location. This supports the use of eDNA for surveillance of the distribution of marine non-indigenous species, where the speed and relative easy sampling in the field combined with fast molecular analysis may provide advantages compared to conventional monitoring methods. Prior validation of assays increases taxonomic precision, and laboratorial setup facilitates analysis of multiple samples simultaneously. The specific eDNA assays presented here can be implemented directly in monitoring programmes across Europe and potentially worldwide to infer a more precise picture of the dynamics in the distribution of marine non-indigenous species.

RevDate: 2022-01-17

Dartois M, Pante E, Viricel A, et al (2021)

Molecular genetic diversity of seaweeds morphologically related to Ulva rigida at three sites along the French Atlantic coast.

PeerJ, 9:e11966 pii:11966.

Foliose species of the genus Ulva are notoriously difficult to identify due to their variable morphological characteristics and high phenotypic plasticity. We reassessed the taxonomic status of several distromatic foliose Ulva spp., morphologically related to Ulva rigida, using DNA barcoding with the chloroplastic tufA and rbcL (for a subset of taxa) genes for 339 selected attached Ulva specimens collected from three intertidal rocky sites. Two of the collection sites were in Brittany and one site was in Vendée, along the Atlantic coast of France. Molecular analyses included several museum specimens and the holotype of Ulva armoricana Dion, Reviers & Coat. We identified five different tufA haplotypes using a combination of phylogenetic analysis, with the support of several recently sequenced holotypes and lectotypes, and a species delimitation method based on hierarchical clustering. Four haplotypes were supported by validly named species: Ulva australis Areschoug, Ulva fenestrata Postels & Ruprecht, Ulva lacinulata (Kützing) Wittrock and U. rigida C. Agardh. The later was additionally investigated using rbcL. The fifth haplotype represented exact sequence matches to an unnamed species from European Atlantic coasts. Our results support: (1) the synonymy of both U. rigida sensu Bliding non C. Agardh and U. armoricana with U. lacinulata. This finding is based on current genetic analysis of tufA from the U. armoricana holotype and recent molecular characterization of the lectotype of U. laetevirens, which is synonymous to U. australis, (2) the presence of U. australis as a misidentified introduced species in Brittany, and (3) the presence of U. fenestrata and U. rigida in southern Brittany. The taxonomic history of each species is discussed, highlighting issues within distromatic foliose taxa of the genus Ulva and the need to genetically characterize all its available type specimens.

RevDate: 2022-01-16

Andersen JC, Havill NP, Boettner GH, et al (2022)

Real-time geographic settling of a hybrid zone between the invasive winter moth (Operophtera brumata L.) and the native Bruce spanworm (O. bruceata Hulst).

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Hybridization plays an important and underappreciated role in shaping the evolutionary trajectories of species. Following the introduction of a non-native organism to a novel habitat, hybridization with a native congener may affect the probability of establishment of the introduced species. In most documented cases of hybridization between a native and a non-native species, a mosaic hybrid zone is formed, with hybridization occurring heterogeneously across the landscape. In contrast, most naturally occurring hybrid zones are clinal in structure. Here we report on a long-term microsatellite dataset that monitored hybridization between the invasive winter moth, Operophtera brumata (Lepidoptera: Geometridae), and the native Bruce spanworm, O. bruceata, over a 12-year period. Our results document one of the first examples of the real-time formation and geographic settling of a clinal hybrid zone. In addition, by comparing one transect in Massachusetts where extreme winter cold temperatures have been hypothesized to restrict the distribution of winter moth, and one in coastal Connecticut, where winter temperatures are moderated by Long Island Sound, we find that the location of the hybrid zone appears to be independent of environmental variables and maintained under a tension model wherein the stability of the hybrid zone is constrained by population density, reduced hybrid fitness, and low dispersal rates. Documenting the formation of a contemporary clinal hybrid zone may provide important insights into the factors that shaped other well-established hybrid zones.

RevDate: 2022-01-16

Proença CEB, Tuler AC, Lucas EJ, et al (2022)

Diversity, Phylogeny and Evolution of the rapidly evolving genus Psidium L. (Myrtaceae, Myrteae).

Annals of botany pii:6509026 [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Psidium is the 4th largest genus of Myrtaceae in the Neotropics. Psidium guajava is widely cultivated in the tropics for its edible fruit. It is commercially under threat due to the disease guava decline. P. cattleyanum is one of the 100 most invasive organisms in the world. Knowledge of the phylogenetic relationships within Psidium is poor. We aim to provide a review of the biology, morphology and ecology of Psidium, a phylogenetic tree, an infra-generic classification and a list of species.

METHODS: Morphological and geographic data were obtained by studying Psidium in herbaria and in the field between 1988 and 2020. Forty-six herbaria were visited personally. A database of c. 6,000 specimens was constructed, and the literature was reviewed. Thirty species (c. 1/3 of the species in the genus) were sampled for molecular phylogenetic inference. Two chloroplast (psbA-trnH and ndhF) and two nuclear (ETS and ITS) regions were targeted. Phylogenetic trees were constructed using Maximum Likelihood (ML; RaxML) and Bayesian Inference (BI; MrBayes).

KEY RESULTS: Psidium is a monophyletic genus with four major clades recognized as sections. Section Psidium (ten species), to which P. guajava belongs, is sister to the rest of the genus; it is widespread across the Neotropics. Section Obversifolia (six species; restricted to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest), which includes P. cattleyanum, is sister to the innermost clade composed of sister sections Apertiflora (31 species; widespread but most diverse in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest) + Mitranthes (26 species; widespread in dry forests and probably diverse in the Caribbean). Characters associated to diversification within Psidium are discussed.

CONCLUSIONS: Research on prefoliation, colleters, leaf anatomy, leaf physiology, staminal development, placentation, and germination associated to the anatomy of the opercular plug is desirable. Studies are biased towards sections Psidium and Obversifolia, with other sections poorly known.

RevDate: 2022-01-16

Feuka AB, Nafus MG, Yackel Adams AA, et al (2022)

Individual heterogeneity influences the effects of translocation on urban dispersal of an invasive reptile.

Movement ecology, 10(1):2.

BACKGROUND: Invasive reptiles pose a serious threat to global biodiversity, but early detection of individuals in an incipient population is often hindered by their cryptic nature, sporadic movements, and variation among individuals. Little is known about the mechanisms that affect the movement of these species, which limits our understanding of their dispersal. Our aim was to determine whether translocation or small-scale landscape features affect movement patterns of brown treesnakes (Boiga irregularis), a destructive invasive predator on the island of Guam.

METHODS: We conducted a field experiment to compare the movements of resident (control) snakes to those of snakes translocated from forests and urban areas into new urban habitats. We developed a Bayesian hierarchical model to analyze snake movement mechanisms and account for attributes unique to invasive reptiles by incorporating multiple behavioral states and individual heterogeneity in movement parameters.

RESULTS: We did not observe strong differences in mechanistic movement parameters (turning angle or step length) among experimental treatment groups. We found some evidence that translocated snakes from both forests and urban areas made longer movements than resident snakes, but variation among individuals within treatment groups weakened this effect. Snakes translocated from forests moved more frequently from pavement than those translocated from urban areas. Snakes translocated from urban areas moved less frequently from buildings than resident snakes. Resident snakes had high individual heterogeneity in movement probability.

CONCLUSIONS: Our approach to modeling movement improved our understanding of invasive reptile dispersal by allowing us to examine the mechanisms that influence their movement. We also demonstrated the importance of accounting for individual heterogeneity in population-level analyses, especially when management goals involve eradication of an invasive species.

RevDate: 2022-01-18
CmpDate: 2022-01-18

Yang Q, Weigelt P, Fristoe TS, et al (2021)

The global loss of floristic uniqueness.

Nature communications, 12(1):7290.

Regional species assemblages have been shaped by colonization, speciation and extinction over millions of years. Humans have altered biogeography by introducing species to new ranges. However, an analysis of how strongly naturalized plant species (i.e. alien plants that have established self-sustaining populations) affect the taxonomic and phylogenetic uniqueness of regional floras globally is still missing. Here, we present such an analysis with data from native and naturalized alien floras in 658 regions around the world. We find strong taxonomic and phylogenetic floristic homogenization overall, and that the natural decline in floristic similarity with increasing geographic distance is weakened by naturalized species. Floristic homogenization increases with climatic similarity, which emphasizes the importance of climate matching in plant naturalization. Moreover, floristic homogenization is greater between regions with current or past administrative relationships, indicating that being part of the same country as well as historical colonial ties facilitate floristic exchange, most likely due to more intensive trade and transport between such regions. Our findings show that naturalization of alien plants threatens taxonomic and phylogenetic uniqueness of regional floras globally. Unless more effective biosecurity measures are implemented, it is likely that with ongoing globalization, even the most distant regions will lose their floristic uniqueness.

RevDate: 2022-01-18
CmpDate: 2022-01-18

Buddenhagen CE, Rubenstein JM, Hampton JG, et al (2021)

The phytosanitary risks posed by seeds for sowing trade networks.

PloS one, 16(11):e0259912.

When successful, the operation of local and international networks of crop seed distribution or "seed systems" ensures farmer access to seed and impacts rural livelihoods and food security. Farmers are both consumers and producers in seed systems and benefit from access to global markets. However, phytosanitary measures and seed purity tests are also needed to maintain seed quality and prevent the spread of costly weeds, pests and diseases, in some countries regulatory controls have been in place since the 1800s. Nevertheless, seed contaminants are internationally implicated in between 7% and 37% of the invasive plant species and many of the agricultural pests and diseases. We assess biosecurity risk across international seed trade networks of forage crops using models of contaminant spread that integrate network connectivity and trade volume. To stochastically model hypothetical contaminants through global seed trade networks, realistic dispersal probabilities were estimated from quarantine weed seed detections and incursions from border security interception data in New Zealand. For our test case we use contaminants linked to the global trade of ryegrass and clover seed. Between 2014 and 2018 only four quarantine weed species (222 species and several genera are on the quarantine schedule) warranting risk mitigation were detected at the border. Quarantine weeds were rare considering that average import volumes were over 190 tonnes for ryegrass and clover, but 105 unregulated contaminant species were allowed in. Ryegrass and clover seed imports each led to one post-border weed incursion response over 20 years. Trade reports revealed complex global seed trade networks spanning >134 (ryegrass) and >110 (clover) countries. Simulations showed contaminants could disperse to as many as 50 (clover) or 80 (ryegrass) countries within 10 time-steps. Risk assessed via network models differed 18% (ryegrass) or 48% (clover) of the time compared to risk assessed on trade volumes. We conclude that biosecurity risk is driven by network position, the number of trading connections and trade volume. Risk mitigation measures could involve the use of more comprehensive lists of regulated species, comprehensive inspection protocols, or the addition of field surveillance at farms where seed is planted.

RevDate: 2022-01-15

Haubrock PJ, Cuthbert RN, Hudgins EJ, et al (2022)

Geographic and taxonomic trends of rising biological invasion costs.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(22)00037-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species (IAS) are a growing global ecological problem. Reports on the socio-economic impacts of biological invasions are accumulating, but our understanding of temporal trends across regions and taxa remains scarce. Accordingly, we investigated temporal trends in the economic cost of IAS and cost-reporting literature using the InvaCost database and meta-regression modelling approaches. Overall, we found that both the cost reporting literature and monetary costs increased significantly over time at the global scale, but costs increased faster than reports. Differences in global trends suggest that cost literature has accumulated most rapidly in North America and Oceania, while monetary costs have exhibited the steepest increase in Oceania, followed by Europe, Africa and North America. Moreover, the costs for certain taxonomic groups were more prominent than others and the distribution also differed spatially, reflecting a potential lack of generality in cost-causing taxa and disparate patterns of cost reporting. With regard to global trends within the Animalia and Plantae kingdoms, costs for flatworms, mammals, flowering and vascular plants significantly increased. Our results highlight significantly increasing research interest and monetary impacts of biological invasions globally, but uncover key regional differences driven by variability in reporting of costs across countries and taxa. Our findings also suggest that regions which previously had lower research effort (e.g., Africa) exhibit rapidly increasing costs, comparable to regions historically at the forefront of invasion research. While these increases may be driven by specific countries within regions, we illustrate that even after accounting for research effort (cost reporting), costs of biological invasions are rising.

RevDate: 2022-01-14

Westrick SE, Laslo M, E Fischer (2022)

Natural History of Model Organisms: The big potential of the small frog Eleutherodactylus coqui.

eLife, 11: pii:73401 [Epub ahead of print].

The Puerto Rican coquí frog Eleutherodactylus coqui (E. coqui) is both a cultural icon and a species with an unusual natural history that has attracted attention from researchers in a number of different fields within biology. Unlike most frogs, the coquí frog skips the tadpole stage, which makes it of interest to developmental biologists. The frog is best known in Puerto Rico for its notoriously loud mating call, which has allowed researchers to study aspects of social behavior such as vocal communication and courtship, while the ability of coquí to colonize new habitats has been used to explore the biology of invasive species. This article reviews research on the natural history of E. coqui and opportunities for future research.

RevDate: 2022-01-14

Yagound B, West AJ, Richardson MF, et al (2022)

Brain transcriptome analysis reveals gene expression differences associated with dispersal behaviour between range-front and range-core populations of invasive cane toads in Australia.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Understanding the mechanisms allowing invasive species to adapt to novel environments is a challenge in invasion biology. Many invaders demonstrate rapid evolution of behavioural traits involved in range expansion such as locomotor activity, exploration and risk-taking. However, the molecular mechanisms that underpin these changes are poorly understood. In 86 years, invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) in Australia have drastically expanded their geographic range westward from coastal Queensland to Western Australia. During their range expansion, toads have undergone extensive phenotypic changes, particularly in behaviours that enhance the toads' dispersal ability. Common-garden experiments have shown that some changes in behavioural traits related to dispersal are heritable. At the molecular level, it is currently unknown whether these changes in dispersal-related behaviour are underlain by small or large differences in gene expression, nor is known the biological function of genes showing differential expression. Here we used RNA-seq to gain a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying dispersal-related behavioural changes. We compared the brain transcriptomes of toads from the Hawai'ian source population, as well as three distinct populations from across the Australian invasive range. We found markedly different gene expression profiles between the source population and Australian toads. By contrast, toads from across the Australian invasive range had very similar transcriptomic profiles. Yet, key genes with functions putatively related to dispersal behaviour showed differential expression between populations located at each end of the invasive range. These genes could play an important role in the behavioural changes characteristic of range expansion in Australian cane toads.

RevDate: 2022-01-14

Jaatinen K, Hermansson I, Mohring B, et al (2022)

Mitigating impacts of invasive alien predators on an endangered sea duck amidst high native predation pressure.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Anthropogenically introduced invasive species represent a major threat to global biodiversity by causing population declines and extinctions of native species. The negative impacts of introduced predators are well documented, yet a fundamental knowledge gap exists regarding the efficiency of potential mitigation methods to restore the ecosystem. Other understudied aspects concern prey behavioural antipredator responses and the historical context of native predator-prey interactions, which may moderate invasion impacts on native prey. Invasion impacts of American mink (Neovison vison) and raccoon dog (Nyctereutes procyonoides) into the Baltic Sea archipelago are poorly understood, and the efficiency of removal efforts as a means to alleviate depredation pressure on native prey is debated. Here, we examine the effectiveness of invasive predator removal on ground-nesting female common eider (Somateria mollissima) mortality, breeding success and breeding propensity over a 9-year period, while controlling for predation risk imposed by the main native predator, the white-tailed eagle (Haliaeetus albicilla). Our results clearly show that intensified removal of American minks and raccoon dogs decreased the number of female eiders killed during nesting, while improving both nesting success and breeding propensity. Such obvious positive effects of invasive predator removal are particularly noteworthy against the backdrop of a soaring eagle population, indicating that the impacts of invasives may become accentuated when native predators differ taxonomically and by hunting mode. This study shows that invasive alien predator removal is an effective conservation measure clearly aiding native fauna even under severe native predation pressure. Such cost-effective conservation actions call for governmental deployment across large areas.

RevDate: 2022-01-14

Ullah R, Khan N, K Ali (2022)

Which factor explains the life-history of Xanthium strumarium L., an aggressive alien invasive plant species, along its altitudinal gradient?.

Plant direct, 6(1):e375 pii:PLD3375.

Invasive biology acknowledges the concept of better performance by invasive plants in the introduced range. Xanthium strumarium L. is one of the successful invasive species in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan. The phenological pattern, vegetative and reproductive traits plasticity analysis of the species was explored to explain the invasive success across the altitudinal gradient in the current invaded habitats. Phenological patterns and timing (seedling, vegetative growth, flowering and fruiting, drying, and seed bank) were observed during a full year for two seasons. We also examine plant functional traits at altitudes of 500, 1000, and 1500 m a.s.l. to assess traits and biomass variations. The X. strumarium exhibits late vegetative and reproductive phenology at higher altitudes, enabling them to occupy an empty niche and benefit from decreased competition for resource acquisition. The lower altitude plants show a higher growth rate (stem size increase, number of leaves, and leaf area) due to the higher nutrient availability. Higher altitude plants have the highest reproductive biomass and biomass ratio revealing plant abilities to be reproductively adapted in the higher altitudes. Among climatic variables, mean yearly temperature, mean annual yearly humidity, and mean day length in hours, while in soil variables, organic matter and nitrogen percentage significantly affect the phenological and morphological stages. Therefore, we conclude that X. strumarium can invade higher altitudes with a shift in its phenological and morphological changes making the invasion process successful.

RevDate: 2022-01-13

Zhang J, Wang Z, Klett K, et al (2022)

Higher toxin tolerance to triptolide, a terpenoid foraged by a sympatric honeybee.

Journal of insect physiology pii:S0022-1910(22)00004-X [Epub ahead of print].

The thunder god vine, Tripterygium hypoglaucum, is a toxic nectar plant distributed across China. A terpenoid, called triptolide (TRP), found in nectar can impair honeybees' foraging responses, dance communication, and olfactory learning. In the present study, we tested the tolerances of the native honeybee Apis cerana and the introduced honeybee A. mellifera to short-term and long-term exposure to TRP. The results showed that introduced A. mellifera is more vulnerable in fatality to high concentrations of TRP sucrose solution (5 and 10 µg TRP mL-1) than A. cerana. We also compared the short-term and long-term exposure effects of TRP on olfactory learning and memory between the two honeybee species, and the olfactory learning and memory of both honey bee species showed impaired performance after both 2 hours or 7 days of being fed with TRP sucrose solution. However, A. cerana showed a higher tolerance and resistance to TRP toxin than A. mellifera. Our results support a coevolution hypothesis in that the native species A. cerana has higher toxin tolerance than the introduced species A. mellifera.

RevDate: 2022-01-12

Guilherme da Silva A, Carlos-Júnior LA, Sasada Sato CY, et al (2022)

Living with an enemy: Invasive sun-coral (Tubastraea spp.) competing against sponges Desmapsamma anchorata in southeastern Brazil.

Marine environmental research, 174:105559 pii:S0141-1136(22)00004-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The azooxanthellate corals Tubastraea coccinea and T. tagusensis invaded the Brazilian coast in the 1980s and is still in expansion, favored by lower predation and competition pressure in their new habitats. Interestingly, the native sponge Desmapsamma anchorata has been observed overgrowing these corals. Considering that competitive displacement is expected to play a major role in the successful outcome of an invasion, the present study tested the physical and chemical mechanisms possibly involved in the competition between D. anchorata and the Tubastraea corals through field and aquaria experiments as well as the Raman spectroscopy technique for chemical analysis. Our results showed that the sponge grew in all directions including over Tubastraea colonies and regardless of its presence. There was no evidence of a specific chemical response among sponges or corals. However, we observed the extrusion of mesenteric filaments and tentacles of corals and the projection of sponge tissue during interspecific interaction, which suggests that physical imposition plays a key role for space competition at micro scales. Given the interspersed nature of benthic species distributions and the fast expansion of Tubastraea, it is unlikely that D. anchorata or any other sponges could serve a biological control against these invasive corals at larger scales, but our results showed that at a microscale they can withstand the corals presence and even outgrow them locally.

RevDate: 2022-01-12

Twining JP, Sutherland C, Reid N, et al (2022)

Habitat mediates coevolved but not novel species interactions.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 289(1966):20212338.

Ongoing recovery of native predators has the potential to alter species interactions, with community and ecosystem wide implications. We estimated the co-occurrence of three species of conservation and management interest from a multi-species citizen science camera trap survey. We demonstrate fundamental differences in novel and coevolved predator-prey interactions that are mediated by habitat. Specifically, we demonstrate that anthropogenic habitat modification had no influence on the expansion of the recovering native pine marten in Ireland, nor does it affect the predator's suppressive influence on an invasive prey species, the grey squirrel. By contrast, the direction of the interaction between the pine marten and a native prey species, the red squirrel, is dependent on habitat. Pine martens had a positive influence on red squirrel occurrence at a landscape scale, especially in native broadleaf woodlands. However, in areas dominated by non-native conifer plantations, the pine marten reduced red squirrel occurrence. These findings suggest that following the recovery of a native predator, the benefits of competitive release are spatially structured and habitat-specific. The potential for past and future landscape modification to alter established interactions between predators and prey has global implications in the context of the ongoing recovery of predator populations in human-modified landscapes.

RevDate: 2022-01-12
CmpDate: 2022-01-12

Kolaczinski J, Al-Eryani S, Chanda E, et al (2021)

Comment on: Emergence of the invasive malaria vector Anopheles stephensi in Khartoum State, Central Sudan.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):588.

This letter comments on the article "Emergence of the invasive malaria vector Anopheles stephensi in Khartoum State, Central Sudan" published in Parasites and Vectors 2021, 14:511. Here we aim of provide a response to this paper in the broader context of the invasion and spread of An. stephensi in the Horn of Africa, and the required response to it. We agree with the authors that the arrival of this invasive vector in Khartoum State is of high public health concern. Equally concerning, however, we found that the detection of the vector by the authors in 2018 seemingly took 3 years to communicate to the Ministry of Health and World Health Organization (WHO), and was reliant on an academic journal. We consider that this short report sets a poor example of how public health threats should be reported. Suitable communication alternatives to alert public health authorities to such threats have been put in place by the WHO and its Member States, and are well known to at least some of the authors of the short report. We would like to encourage all readers not to follow the example of Ahmed et al. but instead act as responsible public health professionals by drawing on the established reporting mechanisms and escalate potential threats as soon as they are identified.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Henniges MC, Powell RF, Mian S, et al (2022)

A taxonomic, genetic and ecological data resource for the vascular plants of Britain and Ireland.

Scientific data, 9(1):1.

The vascular flora of Britain and Ireland is among the most extensively studied in the world, but the current knowledge base is fragmentary, with taxonomic, ecological and genetic information scattered across different resources. Here we present the first comprehensive data repository of native and alien species optimized for fast and easy online access for ecological, evolutionary and conservation analyses. The inventory is based on the most recent reference flora of Britain and Ireland, with taxon names linked to unique Kew taxon identifiers and DNA barcode data. Our data resource for 3,227 species and 26 traits includes existing and unpublished genome sizes, chromosome numbers and life strategy and life-form assessments, along with existing data on functional traits, species distribution metrics, hybrid propensity, associated biomes, realized niche description, native status and geographic origin of alien species. This resource will facilitate both fundamental and applied research and enhance our understanding of the flora's composition and temporal changes to inform conservation efforts in the face of ongoing climate change and biodiversity loss.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Hejda M, Čuda J, Pyšková K, et al (2022)

Water availability, bedrock, disturbance by herbivores, and climate determine plant diversity in South-African savanna.

Scientific reports, 12(1):338.

To identify factors that drive plant species richness in South-African savanna and explore their relative importance, we sampled plant communities across habitats differing in water availability, disturbance, and bedrock, using the Kruger National Park as a model system. We made plant inventories in 60 plots of 50 × 50 m, located in three distinct habitats: (i) at perennial rivers, (ii) at seasonal rivers with water available only during the rainy season, and (iii) on crests, at least ~ 5 km away from any water source. We predicted that large herbivores would utilise seasonal rivers' habitats less intensely than those along perennial rivers where water is available throughout the year, including dry periods. Plots on granite harboured more herbaceous and shrub species than plots on basalt. The dry crests were poorer in herb species than both seasonal and perennial rivers. Seasonal rivers harboured the highest numbers of shrub species, in accordance with the prediction of the highest species richness at relatively low levels of disturbance and low stress from the lack of water. The crests, exposed to relatively low pressure from grazing but stressed by the lack of water, are important from the conservation perspective because they harbour typical, sometimes rare savanna species, and so are seasonal rivers whose shrub richness is stimulated and maintained by the combination of moderate disturbance imposed by herbivores and position in the middle of the water availability gradient. To capture the complexity of determinants of species richness in KNP, we complemented the analysis of the above local factors by exploring large-scale factors related to climate, vegetation productivity, the character of dominant vegetation, and landscape features. The strongest factor was temperature; areas with the highest temperatures reveal lower species richness. Our results also suggest that Colophospermum mopane, a dominant woody species in the north of KNP is not the ultimate cause of the lower plant diversity in this part of the park.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

McCarthy AH, Peck LS, DC Aldridge (2022)

Ship traffic connects Antarctica's fragile coasts to worldwide ecosystems.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(3):.

Antarctica, an isolated and long considered pristine wilderness, is becoming increasingly exposed to the negative effects of ship-borne human activity, and especially the introduction of invasive species. Here, we provide a comprehensive quantitative analysis of ship movements into Antarctic waters and a spatially explicit assessment of introduction risk for nonnative marine species in all Antarctic waters. We show that vessels traverse Antarctica's isolating natural barriers, connecting it directly via an extensive network of ship activity to all global regions, especially South Atlantic and European ports. Ship visits are more than seven times higher to the Antarctic Peninsula (especially east of Anvers Island) and the South Shetland Islands than elsewhere around Antarctica, together accounting for 88% of visits to Southern Ocean ecoregions. Contrary to expectations, we show that while the five recognized "Antarctic Gateway cities" are important last ports of call, especially for research and tourism vessels, an additional 53 ports had vessels directly departing to Antarctica from 2014 to 2018. We identify ports outside Antarctica where biosecurity interventions could be most effectively implemented and the most vulnerable Antarctic locations where monitoring programs for high-risk invaders should be established.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Feás X, Vidal C, Vázquez-Tato MP, et al (2021)

Asian Hornet, Vespa velutina Lepeletier 1836 (Hym.: Vespidae), Venom Obtention Based on an Electric Stimulation Protocol.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 27(1): pii:molecules27010138.

The yellow-legged Asian hornet (Vespa velutina Lepeletier 1836 (Hymenoptera: Vespidae)) is naturally distributed in China, Southeast Asia, and India; however, recently it has been detected outside of its native area, confirmed as being established in South Korea, Europe, and Japan. Health risks and deaths caused by the invasive Vespa velutina stings have become a public health concern, being the most common cause of anaphylaxis due to hymenopterans in some European regions. This in turn has led to increased demand from medical practitioners and researchers for Vespa velutina venom for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes. In this study, a straightforward, quick, and inexpensive method for obtaining Vespa velutina venom by electric stimulation is described. The venom extracts were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-NMR). The availability of Vespa velutina venom will lead to improved diagnostic and therapeutic methods, mainly by venom immunotherapy (VIT), in patients allergic to this invasive species.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Shuttleworth CM, Everest D, Holmes P, et al (2022)

An Opportunistic Assessment of the Impact of Squirrelpox Disease Outbreaks upon a Red Squirrel Population Sympatric with Grey Squirrels in Wales.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(1): pii:ani12010099.

Native red squirrels (Sciurus vulgaris) persisted in the coastal mainland woodlands of northern Gwynedd whilst sympatric with an invasive grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) population suppressed by culling. Squirrelpox disease in the red squirrel population was recorded in 2017 and 2020/21. An autumn 2020 outbreak was associated with only 17.4% of animals caught and marked in the preceding June known to be present in March 2021. Despite an opportunistic data collection lacking the rigour of empirical experimental design, we observed low local survival rates similar to previously published accounts reported during major squirrelpox outbreaks. The use of a conservation dog to detect red squirrel carcasses resulted in positive detection and confirmation of a temporal and spatial expansion of one disease outbreak. The study is the first in Wales to use conservation dogs and the findings reinforce the vital strategic importance of geographical isolation reducing sympatry of red with grey squirrels in European regions where the introduced congener is a source of the squirrelpox infection.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Tolo IE, Bajer PG, Wolf TM, et al (2021)

Investigation of Cyprinid Herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) Disease Periods and Factors Influencing CyHV-3 Transmission in A Low Stocking Density Infection Trial.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 12(1): pii:ani12010002.

Cyprinid herpesvirus 3 (CyHV-3) is the etiological agent of koi herpesvirus disease (KHVD) and important pathogen of aquaculture and wild populations of common carp worldwide. Understanding the relative contributions of direct and indirect transmission of CyHV-3 as well as the factors that drive CyHV-3 transmission can clarify the importance of environmental disease vectors and is valuable for informing disease modeling efforts. To study the mechanisms and factors driving CyHV-3 transmission we conducted infection trials that determined the kinetics of KHVD and the contributions of direct and indirect forms of CyHV-3 transmission, as well as the contributions of contact rate, viral load, pathogenicity and contact type. The incubation period of KHVD was 5.88 + 1.75 days and the symptomatic period was 5.31 + 0.87 days. Direct transmission was determined to be the primary mechanism of CyHV-3 transmission (OR = 25.08, 95%CI = 10.73-99.99, p = 4.29 × 10-18) and transmission primarily occurred during the incubation period of KHVD. Direct transmission decreased in the symptomatic period of disease. Transmissibility of CyHV-3 and indirect transmission increased during the symptomatic period of disease, correlating with increased viral loads. Additionally, potential virulence-transmission tradeoffs and disease avoidance behaviors relevant to CyHV-3 transmission were identified.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Shang L, Zhai X, Tian W, et al (2021)

Pseudocochlodinium profundisulcus Resting Cysts Detected in the Ballast Tank Sediment of Ships Arriving in the Ports of China and North America and the Implications in the Species' Geographic Distribution and Possible Invasion.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(1): pii:ijerph19010299.

Over the past several decades, much attention has been focused on the dispersal of aquatic nonindigenous species via ballast tanks of shipping vessels worldwide. The recently reclassified dinoflagellate Pseudocochlodinium profundisulcus (previously identified as Cochlodinium sp., Cochlodinium geminatum, or Polykrikos geminatus) was not reported in China until 2006. However, algal blooming events caused by this organism have been reported almost every year since then in the Pearl River Estuary and its adjacent areas in China. Whether P. profundisulcus is an indigenous or an invasive species has thus become an ecological question of great scientific and practical significance. In this study, we collected the sediments from ballast tanks of ships arriving in the ports of China and North America and characterized dinoflagellate resting cysts via a combined approach. We germinated two dark brownish cysts from the tank of an international ship (Vessel A) arriving at the Jiangyin Port (China) into vegetative cells and identified them as P. profundisulcus by light and scanning electron microscopy and phylogenetic analyses for partial LSU rDNA sequences. We also identified P. profundisulcus cyst from the ballast tank sediment of a ship (Vessel B) arriving in the port of North America via single-cyst PCR and cloning sequencing, which indicated that this species could be transported as resting cyst via ship. Since phylogenetic analyses based on partial LSU rDNA sequences could not differentiate all sequences among our cysts from those deposited in the NCBI database into sub-groups, all populations from China, Australia, Japan, and the original sources from which the cysts in the two vessels arrived in China and North America were carried over appeared to share a very recent common ancestor, and the species may have experienced a worldwide expansion recently. These results indicate that P. profundisulcus cysts may have been extensively transferred to many regions of the world via ships' ballast tank sediments. While our work provides an exemplary case for both the feasibility and complexity (in tracking the source) of the bio-invasion risk via the transport of live resting cysts by ship's ballast tanks, it also points out an orientation for future investigation.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Kostić O, Gajić G, Jarić S, et al (2021)

An Assessment of the Phytoremediation Potential of Planted and Spontaneously Colonized Woody Plant Species on Chronosequence Fly Ash Disposal Sites in Serbia-Case Study.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:plants11010110.

In this study, the potential of planted (Tamarix tetrandra Pall. ex M.Bieb. and Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and spontaneously colonized (Amorpha fruticosa L. and Populus alba L.) woody species for the phytoremediation of potentially toxic trace elements (TEs) such as As, B, Cr, Cu, Mn, Ni, Se, and Zn, from the chronosequence fly ash (FA) deposit lagoons (L1 and L2) at the 'Nikola Tesla A' Thermal Power Plant (TENT-A) in Serbia were analyzed. The differences in the pseodototal and bioavailable (DTPA-extractable) concentrations and mobility (AR index) of TEs in FA at the examined lagoons are a result of the time-conditioned influence of weathering (3 and 11 years respectively) and vegetation development on changing the basic physical and chemical properties of FA (texture, pH, EC, CEC, C, N, and bioavailable P and K) and its toxicity. This resulted in differences in the concentration of TEs in the roots and leaves of the examined plants at L1 and L2. All examined species accumulated Cr the most in the root (BAF > 1 and TF < 1), which suggests that they are good stabilizers of this element. Biological indices for As (BAF > 1 and TF < 1) identified T. tetrandra and A.&nbsp;fruticose as good stabilizers of As. P. alba stood out as accumulating the highest levels of B, Ni, and Zn, T. tetrandra the highest levels of Cu, Mn, and Se, and R. pseudoacacia the highest levels of As and B in leaves (BAF > 1; TF > 1), which makes them good extractors of these elements from the FA at TENT-A. However, due to toxic concentrations of As, B, Se, and Zn in their leaves, they are not recommended for the phytoremediation of the investigated lagoons through the process of phytostabilization. Under conditions of elevated total Cu and Ni concentration in FA, the content of these elements in the leaves of A. fruticosa at both lagoons were within the normal range. This, in addition to a good supply of essential Zn, the stabilization of As and Cr in the roots, an increase in BAF, and a decrease in TF for B with a decrease in its mobility in ash over time, singles this invasive species out as the best candidate for the phytostabilization of TEs in FA at the TENT-A ash deposit site.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Wijayabandara K, Campbell S, Vitelli J, et al (2021)

Review of the Biology, Distribution, and Management of the Invasive Fireweed (Senecio madagascariensis Poir).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:plants11010107.

Whilst exotic invasive species are a major threat to natural and modified ecosystems around the world, management programs to reduce their impacts often fail due to a lack of information about their biology and how best to control them in various situations. This paper reviews the currently available information on the biology, distribution, and management options for the invasive weed Senecio madagascariensis Poir. (fireweed). In addition, we developed a model to predict the climatic suitability of this weed around the world based on the current climate. Senecio madagascariensis originates from southern Africa but it has been introduced to several other countries including Australia. Climatic suitability suggests that there are large areas around the world suitable for the weed's growth where it is currently not present. The weed poses a major threat to livestock industries in these countries through its ability to reduce pasture production and poison animals. A range of control techniques have been used to try and manage S. madagascariensis. This paper highlights how a better understanding of the biology of S. madagascariensis can help determine the most effective treatments to impose and to further develop integrated management strategies. Besides using traditional approaches, the use of competitive pastures and more tolerant livestock (such as sheep and goats) are some of the other options recommended as part of an integrated approach. On-going research to identify host-specific biological control agents is also considered a priority.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Fakhr MA, Mazrou YSA, Ellmouni FY, et al (2021)

Investigating the Phenotypic Plasticity of the Invasive Weed Trianthema portulacastrum L.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:plants11010077.

Phenotypic plasticity is frequently highlighted as a key factor in plant invasiveness, as it enables invasive species to adapt to diverse, complicated habitats. Trianthema portulacastrum is one of the most common aggressive species that threaten different crops around the world. Phenotypic plasticity in T. portulacastrum was investigated by comparing variation in germination, vegetative macromorphology, photosynthetic pigments, stomatal complexes, and seed micromorphological traits of 35 samples collected from 35 different localities. One-way cluster analysis and principal component analysis (PCA) were used to classify samples into homogeneous groups based on the measured traits. Pairwise statistical comparisons were conducted between the three resulting groups. The phenotypic plasticity index (PI) was calculated and compared among different groups of characters. Results showed that photosynthetic pigments and macromorphological characteristics had the highest PI, followed by seed micromorphology, and then stomatal complex traits, while germination parameters showed the lowest PI. We propose that soil moisture, salinity, and temperature are the most determinative and explanative variables of the variation between the three classified groups. We strongly believe that the phenotypic plasticity of T. portulacastrum will support species abundance and spread even under expected changes in climatic conditions, in contrast to the vulnerable traditional crops.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Nunes LJR, Meireles CIR, Gomes CJP, et al (2021)

The Impact of Climate Change on Forest Development: A Sustainable Approach to Management Models Applied to Mediterranean-Type Climate Regions.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:plants11010069.

Forest ecosystems are divided into three major groups: boreal, temperate, and tropical. These can be subdivided according to the particularities of each type due to its relative location (littoral, mountain, etc.), climatic conditions, or even geological substrate. Climate change affects each type of forest ecosystem differently. However, it seems to affect temperate forests in Mediterranean-type climate regions more intensely. These regions are located over several continents, with major impacts of increased temperature during summer and decreased precipitation during winter. This situation affects Mediterranean forest ecosystems by increasing the risk of fires, which arise more frequently and are more severe. In addition, the emergence of pests and the spread of invasive species are well-known problems affecting these ecosystems. All of these conditions contribute to losses of productivity and biodiversity. To avoid the destruction of forest resources, and since Mediterranean-type climate regions are considered climate change hot spots with increased vulnerability to disturbances, the implementation of adaptive forest management models could contribute to increasing the resilience of such forests, which could also contribute to mitigating climate change.

RevDate: 2022-01-11

Kato-Noguchi H (2021)

Allelopathy of Knotweeds as Invasive Plants.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 11(1): pii:plants11010003.

Perennial herbaceous Fallopia is native to East Asia, and was introduced to Europe and North America in the 19th century as an ornamental plant. Fallopia has been spreading quickly and has naturalized in many countries. It is listed in the world's 100 worst alien species. Fallopia often forms dense monospecies stands through the interruption of the regeneration process of indigenous plant species. Allelopathy of Japanese knotweed (Fallopia japonica), giant knotweed (Fallopia sachalinensis), and Bohemian knotweed (Fallopia x bohemica) has been reported to play an essential role in its invasion. The exudate from their roots and/or rhizomes, and their plant residues inhibited the germination and growth of some other plant species. These knotweeds, which are non-mycorrhizal plants, also suppressed the abundance and species richness of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in the rhizosphere soil. Such suppression was critical for most territorial plants to form the mutualism with AMF, which enhances the nutrient and water uptake, and the tolerance against pathogens and stress conditions. Several allelochemicals such as flavanols, stilbenes, and quinones were identified in the extracts, residues, and rhizosphere soil of the knotweeds. The accumulated evidence suggests that some of those allelochemicals in knotweeds may be released into the rhizosphere soil through the decomposition process of their plant parts, and the exudation from their rhizomes and roots. Those allelochemicals may inhibit the germination and growth of native plants, and suppress the mycorrhizal colonization of native plants, which provides the knotweeds with a competitive advantage, and interrupts the regeneration processes of native plants. Therefore, allelopathy of knotweeds may contribute to establishing their new habitats in the introduced ranges as invasive plant species. It is the first review article focusing on the allelopathy of knotweeds.

RevDate: 2022-01-11
CmpDate: 2022-01-11

Rogers KH, Mete A, Ip HS, et al (2021)

Emergence and molecular characterization of pigeon Paramyxovirus-1 in non-native Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) in California, USA.

Infection, genetics and evolution : journal of molecular epidemiology and evolutionary genetics in infectious diseases, 91:104809.

Eurasian collared doves (Streptopelia decaocto) were introduced into Florida in the 1980s and have since established populations throughout the continental United States. Pigeon paramyxovirus-1 (PPMV-1), a species-adapted genotype VI Avian orthoavulavirus 1, has caused periodic outbreaks among collared doves in the U.S. since 2001 with outbreaks occasionally involving native doves. In California, PPMV-1 mortality events were first documented in Riverside County in 2014 with subsequent outbreaks in 23 additional counties from southern to northern California between 2015 and 2019. Affected collared doves exhibited torticollis and partial paralysis. Pale kidneys were frequently visible on gross necropsy (65.4%; 51/78) while lymphoplasmacytic interstitial nephritis often with acute tubular necrosis (96.0%; 24/25) and pancreatic necrosis (80.0%; 20/25) were common findings on histopathology. In total, PPMV-1 was confirmed by rRT-PCR and sequence analysis from oropharyngeal and/or cloacal swabs in 93.0% (40/43) of the collared doves tested from 16 California counties. In 2017, Avian orthoavulavirus 1 was confirmed in a native mourning dove (Zenaida macroura) found dead during a PPMV-1 outbreak in collared doves by rRT-PCR from formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissues, after the initial rRT-PCR from swabs failed to detect the virus. Molecular sequencing of the fusion protein of isolates collected from collared doves during outbreaks in 2014, 2016, and 2017 identified two distinct subgenotypes, VIa and VIn. Subgenotype VIn has been primarily isolated from collared doves in the southern U.S., while VIa has been isolated from mixed avian species in the northeastern U.S., indicating two independent introductions into California. While populations of collared doves are not expected to be substantially impacted by this disease, PPMV-1 may pose a threat to already declining populations of native columbids. This threat could be assessed by monitoring native and non-native columbids for PPMV-1. Based on our study, swab samples may not be sufficient to detect infection in native columbids and may require the use of non-traditional diagnostic approaches, such as FFPE tissues, to ensure virus detection.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

DuBois K, Pollard KN, Kauffman BJ, et al (2022)

Local adaptation in a marine foundation species: implications for resilience to future global change.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental change is multidimensional, with local anthropogenic stressors and global climate change interacting to differentially impact populations throughout a species' geographic range. Within species, the spatial distribution of phenotypic variation and its causes (i.e. local adaptation or plasticity) will determine species' adaptive capacity to respond to a changing environment. However, comparatively little is known about the spatial scale of adaptive differentiation among populations and how patterns of local adaptation might drive vulnerability to global change stressors. To test whether fine-scale (2 - 12 km) mosaics of environmental stress can cause adaptive differentiation in a marine foundation species, eelgrass (Zostera marina), we conducted a three-way reciprocal transplant experiment spanning the length of Tomales Bay, CA. Our results revealed strong home-site advantage in growth and survival for all three populations. In subsequent common garden experiments and feeding assays we show that counter-gradients in temperature, light availability, and grazing pressure from an introduced herbivore contribute to differential performance among populations consistent with local adaptation. Our findings highlight how local-scale mosaics in environmental stressors can increase phenotypic variation among neighboring populations, potentially increasing species resilience to future global change. More specifically, we identified a range-center eelgrass population that is pre-adapted to extremely warm temperatures similar to those experienced by low-latitude range-edge populations of eelgrass, demonstrating how reservoirs of heat-tolerant phenotypes may already exist throughout a species range. Future work on predicting species resilience to global change should incorporate potential buffering effects of local-scale population differentiation and promote a phenotypic management approach to species conservation.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Lamb AD, Lippi CA, Watkins-Colwell GJ, et al (2021)

Comparing the dietary niche overlap and ecomorphological differences between invasive Hemidactylus mabouia geckos and a native gecko competitor.

Ecology and evolution, 11(24):18719-18732 pii:ECE38401.

Hemidactylus mabouia is one of the most successful, widespread invasive reptile species and has become ubiquitous across tropical urban settings in the Western Hemisphere. Its ability to thrive in close proximity to humans has been linked to the rapid disappearance of native geckos. However, aspects of Hemidactylus mabouia natural history and ecomorphology, often assumed to be linked with this effect on native populations, remain understudied or untested. Here, we combine data from ∂15N and ∂13C stable isotopes, stomach contents, and morphometric analyses of traits associated with feeding and locomotion to test alternate hypotheses of displacement between H. mabouia and a native gecko, Phyllodactylus martini, on the island of Curaçao. We demonstrate substantial overlap of invertebrate prey resources between the species, with H. mabouia stomachs containing larger arthropod prey as well as vertebrate prey. We additionally show that H. mabouia possesses several morphological advantages, including larger sizes in feeding-associated traits and limb proportions that could offer a propulsive locomotor advantage on vertical surfaces. Together, these findings provide the first support for the hypotheses that invasive H. mabouia and native P. martini overlap in prey resources and that H. mabouia possess ecomorphological advantages over P. martini. This work provides critical context for follow-up studies of H. mabouia and P. martini natural history and direct behavioral experiments that may ultimately illuminate the mechanisms underlying displacement on this island and act as a potential model for other systems with Hemidactylus mabouia invasions.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Lin CH, Wen TH, Liu YH, et al (2021)

Elucidating how the red imported fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) diffused spatiotemporally among different landscapes in north Taiwan, 2008-2015.

Ecology and evolution, 11(24):18604-18614 pii:ECE38465.

Solenopsis invicta Buren, also known as the red imported fire ant (RIFA), has had a large negative impact on human and livestock health. However, few studies have further investigated the influence of human land use, which is an important factor affecting the habitats of insects, on the expansion of RIFAs. In addition, there is a lack of knowledge of the empirical associations between RIFA diffusion and land use within countries. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to provide an approach to delineate the areas of RIFA infestations and explore how land use influences the spatiotemporal diffusion of S. invicta. We used RIFA data from 2008 to 2015 from the RIFA surveillance system, which was conducted by the National RIFA Control Center in Taiwan. Two regions in Taiwan with different RIFA infestation levels were investigated. The ordinary kriging method was applied to show the spatial intensity of RIFAs, and the extreme distance estimator method was applied to determine the critical dispersal distances, which showed the distance of the highest probability of RIFAs in two consecutive years. In addition, network analyses were used to identify RIFA invasion routes between land-use types. Finally, bivariate local indicators of spatial association were used to capture the invasion process in time and space. The results showed, paddy fields, main roads, and warehouses were identified as the top three land-use types of diffusion sources. On average, the critical RIFA dispersal distances were 600 and 650 m in two consecutive years in high- and low-infestation regions, respectively. Finally, RIFAs were likely to diffuse between main roads and warehouses in the low-infestation region. Therefore, it is suggested that RIFA control activities be implemented at least 600 m from the observed spot. Additionally, control activities should be conducted on the identified three land-use types of diffusion sources in the high-infestation region, and the roadsides between main roads and warehouses in the low-infestation region to prevent the accidental spread of RIFAs.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Jourdan J, Riesch R, S Cunze (2021)

Off to new shores: Climate niche expansion in invasive mosquitofish (Gambusia spp.).

Ecology and evolution, 11(24):18369-18400 pii:ECE38427.

Aim: Formerly introduced for their presumed value in controlling mosquito-borne diseases, the two mosquitofish Gambusia affinis and G. holbrooki (Poeciliidae) are now among the world's most widespread invasive alien species, negatively impacting aquatic ecosystems around the world. These inconspicuous freshwater fish are, once their presence is noticed, difficult to eradicate. It is, therefore, of utmost importance to assess their geographic potential and to identify their likely ability to persist under novel climatic conditions.

Location: Global.

Methods: We build species distribution models using occurrence data from the native and introduced distribution ranges to identify putative niche shifts and further ascertain the areas climatically suitable for the establishment and possible spread of mosquitofish.

Results: We found significant niche expansions into climatic regions outside their natural climatic conditions, emphasizing the importance of integrating climatic niches of both native and invasive ranges into projections. In particular, there was a marked shift toward tropical regions in Asia and a clear niche shift of European G. holbrooki. This ecological flexibility partly explains the massive success of the two species, and substantially increases the risk for further range expansion. We also showed that the potential for additional expansion resulting from climate change is enormous-especially in Europe.

Main conclusions: Despite the successful invasion history and ongoing range expansions, many countries still lack proper preventive measures. Thus, we urge policy makers to carefully evaluate the risk both mosquitofish pose to a particular area and to initiate appropriate management strategies.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Voulgaris K, Varkoulis A, Zaoutsos S, et al (2021)

Mechanical defensive adaptations of three Mediterranean sea urchin species.

Ecology and evolution, 11(24):17734-17743 pii:ECE38247.

In the Mediterranean, Paracentrotus lividus and Sphaerechinus granularis are important drivers of benthic ecosystems, often coexisting in sublittoral communities. However, the introduction of the invasive diadematoid Diadema setosum, which utilizes venomous spines, may affect these communities. To describe the mechanical properties of the test and spines of these three species, specimens were collected in winter of 2019 from the sublittoral zone of the Dodecanese island complex, southeastern Aegean Sea. This region serves as a gateway for invasive species to the Mediterranean Sea. Crushing test was conducted on live individuals, while 3-point bending test was used to estimate spine stiffness. Porosity and mineralogy of the test and spine, thickness of the test, and breaking length of the spine were measured and compared, while the microstructural architecture was also determined. The test of S. granularis was the most robust (194.35 ± 59.59 N), while the spines of D. setosum (4.76 ± 2.13 GPa) exhibited highest flexibility. Increased porosity and thickness of the test were related to increased robustness, whereas increased flexibility of the spine was attributed to high porosity, indicating that porosity in the skeleton plays a key role in preventing fracture. The spines of S. granularis exhibited highest length after fracture % (71.54 ± 5.5%). D. setosum exhibited higher values of Mg concentration in the test (10%) compared with the spines (4%). For the first time, the mineralogy of an invasive species is compared with its native counterpart, while a comparison of the mechanical properties of different species of the same ecosystem also takes place. This study highlights different ways, in which sea urchins utilize their skeleton and showcases the ecological significance of these adaptations, one of which is the different ways of utilization of the skeleton for defensive purposes, while the other is the ability of D. setosum to decrease the Mg % of its skeleton degrading its mechanical properties, without compromising its defense, by depending on venomous bearing spines. This enables this species to occupy not only tropical habitats, where it is indigenous, but also temperate like the eastern Mediterranean, which it has recently invaded.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Zahara K, Bibi Y, Arshad M, et al (2022)

In-vitro examination and isolation of antidiarrheal compounds using five bacterial strains from invasive species Bidens bipinnata L.

Saudi journal of biological sciences, 29(1):472-479.

Bidens bipinnata is widely utilized medicinal plant for treatment of diseases like malaria, sore throat, acute nephritis and dysentery. However, despite its traditional uses Bidens bipinnata is not widely explored for its antimicrobial effect. Thus, the current study is aimed to form antimicrobial activity report of Bidens bipinnata extracts, along with isolation and evaluation of antibacterial activity of the isolated compounds through bioassay-guided purification. Hexane extract of its leaves has appeared to be most active thus it is exposed to automated column chromatography. Further purification using High-performance liquid chromatography has led to isolation of active peaks, identified by Gas Chromatography-mass spectrometry, as 16-Pregnenolone and 9-Octadecenoic acid (Z)-, methyl ester. Their antimicrobial activity was confirmed via broth dilution procedure on Staphylococcus aureus, 16-Pregnenolone revealed a strong antimicrobial activity with MIC50 of 72 μg/mL whereas 9-Octadecenoic acid (Z)-, methyl ester display an MIC50 of >250 μg/mL. Present study is the first report on isolation of these compounds from Bidens bipinnata.

RevDate: 2022-01-10

Mühlenhaupt M, Baxter-Gilbert J, Makhubo BG, et al (2022)

No evidence for innate differences in tadpole behavior between natural, urbanized, and invasive populations.

Behavioral ecology and sociobiology, 76(1):11.

Abstract: Animals are increasingly challenged to respond to novel or rapidly changing habitats due to urbanization and/or displacement outside their native range by humans. Behavioral differences, such as increased boldness (i.e., propensity for risk-taking), are often observed in animals persisting in novel environments; however, in many cases, it is unclear how these differences arise (e.g., through developmental plasticity or evolution) or when they arise (i.e., at what age or developmental stage). In the Guttural Toad (Sclerophrys gutturalis), adult urban toads from both native and invasive ranges are bolder than conspecifics in natural habitats. Here, we reared Guttural Toad tadpoles in a common garden experiment, and tested for innate differences in boldness across their development and between individuals whose parents and lineage came from rural-native, urban-native, and urban-invasive localities (i.e., origin populations). Tadpoles did not differ in their boldness or in how their boldness changed over ontogeny based on their origin populations. In general, tadpoles typically became less bold as they aged, irrespective of origin population. Our findings indicate that differences in boldness in free-living adult Guttural Toads are not innate in the tadpole stage and we discuss three possible mechanisms driving phenotypic divergence in adult boldness for the focus of future research: habitat-dependent developmental effects on tadpole behavior, decoupled evolution between the tadpole and adult stage, and/or behavioral flexibility, learning, or acclimatization during the adult stage.

Significance statement: To determine if animals can persist in urban areas or become invasive outside their native ranges, it is important to understand how they adapt to life in the city. Our study investigates if differences in boldness that have been found in adult Guttural Toads (Sclerophrys gutturalis) represent heritable differences that can also be found in early life stages by rearing tadpoles from eggs in a common garden experiment. We did not find any differences in boldness among tadpoles from rural-native, urban-native, and urban-invasive origin populations. Our findings suggest that differences in boldness are not innate and/or that boldness is a behavioral trait that is decoupled between the tadpole and the adult stage.

RevDate: 2022-01-08

de Oliveira Pinto I, Sarmento MI, Martins AO, et al (2022)

Cell death and changes in primary metabolism: The onset of defence in Eucalyptus in the war against Leptocybe invasa.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Here we investigated changes in primary metabolism and cell death around oviposition sites in two hybrid clones of Eucalyptus with different degree of resistance to Leptocybe invasa Fisher & La Salle (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae), as well as, tolerance to water deficiency.

RESULTS: We showed that apices of the resistant clone with oviposition had a higher content of amino acids organic acids, and the compound putrescine, than those of the susceptible clone with oviposition. In contrast, apices of the resistant clone with oviposition had lower sugar content and pyruvate organic acid content than those of the susceptible clone with oviposition. Small areas of necrosis were induced around the oviposition sites in the stem apices of Eucalyptus 24 h after infestation. The resistant clone developed larger necrotic areas that showed progressive increases 24-72 h after infestation than the susceptible clone, in which cell death was significantly lower and no changes were observed in necrotic area over time. Thus, the programmed death of cells around the egg, modulated by several amino acids, is likely the first defence response of Eucalyptus against L. invasa.

CONCLUSION: Our results serve as the basis for the early identification of key metabolites produced in plants in defence against galling insects.

RevDate: 2022-01-07

Wang X, Zhang H, Lu G, et al (2022)

Detection of an invasive species through an environmental DNA approach: The example of the red drum Sciaenops ocellatus in the East China Sea.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(21)07944-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Biological invasions are among the most critical threats to local species diversity and ecosystem ecology. The red drum was introduced for marine aquaculture circa 1991 and has become a commercially important maricultural fish species in China and was widely cultured across the coastal areas in mainland China. However, after two decades of maricultural activities, the red drum has been consecutively recorded as escapees along the entire coastal waters of China. Due to the lack of effective monitoring methods, there are not many reports on its distribution in natural seas. In current study, the environmental DNA (eDNA) method was applied. A set of red drum-specific primers and probe were designed, and the distribution and biomass of the red drum were conducted in the East China Sea. The results showed that a total of 47 samples (26.40% of 178 samples) in 27 stations (61.36%) were found to be positive for red drum eDNA. The hotspot was found around the central areas of the East China Sea, especially around the Jiaojiang Estuary and Sanmen Bay area. Significant eDNA concentration differences were found among different stations. Moreover, the presence/absence was also found significantly different among stations. Vertical distribution differences of eDNA presence/absence and concentrations were also found. This study can provide technical support for the monitoring, evaluation, and eradication of invasive species in the future.

RevDate: 2022-01-07

Holden CA, Bailey JP, Taylor JE, et al (2022)

Know your enemy: Application of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy to invasive species control.

PloS one, 17(1):e0261742 pii:PONE-D-21-33488.

Extreme weather and globalisation leave our climate vulnerable to invasion by alien species, which have negative impacts on the economy, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Rapid and accurate identification is key to the control of invasive alien species. However, visually similar species hinder conservation efforts, for example hybrids within the Japanese Knotweed complex.We applied the novel method of ATR-FTIR spectroscopy combined with chemometrics (mathematics applied to chemical data) to historic herbarium samples, taking 1580 spectra in total. Samples included five species from within the interbreeding Japanese Knotweed complex (including three varieties of Japanese Knotweed), six hybrids and five species from the wider Polygonaceae family. Spectral data from herbarium specimens were analysed with several chemometric techniques: support vector machines (SVM) for differentiation between plant types, supported by ploidy levels; principal component analysis loadings and spectral biomarkers to explore differences between the highly invasive Reynoutria japonica var. japonica and its non-invasive counterpart Reynoutria japonica var. compacta; hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) to investigate the relationship between plants within the Polygonaceae family, of the Fallopia, Reynoutria, Rumex and Fagopyrum genera.ATR-FTIR spectroscopy coupled with SVM successfully differentiated between plant type, leaf surface and geographical location, even in herbarium samples of varying age. Differences between Reynoutria japonica var. japonica and Reynoutria japonica var. compacta included the presence of two polysaccharides, glucomannan and xyloglucan, at higher concentrations in Reynoutria japonica var. japonica than Reynoutria japonica var. compacta. HCA analysis indicated that potential genetic linkages are sometimes masked by environmental factors; an effect that can either be reduced or encouraged by altering the input parameters. Entering the absorbance values for key wavenumbers, previously highlighted by principal component analysis loadings, favours linkages in the resultant HCA dendrogram corresponding to expected genetic relationships, whilst environmental associations are encouraged using the spectral fingerprint region.The ability to distinguish between closely related interbreeding species and hybrids, based on their spectral signature, raises the possibility of using this approach for determining the origin of Japanese knotweed infestations in legal cases where the clonal nature of plants currently makes this difficult and for the targeted control of species and hybrids. These techniques also provide a new method for supporting biogeographical studies.

RevDate: 2022-01-07

Thuiller W, Richardson DM, Pyšek P, et al (2005)

Niche-based modelling as a tool for predicting the risk of alien plant invasions at a global scale.

Global change biology, 11(12):2234-2250.

Predicting the probability of successful establishment of plant species by matching climatic variables has considerable potential for incorporation in early warning systems for the management of biological invasions. We select South Africa as a model source area of invasions worldwide because it is an important exporter of plant species to other parts of the world because of the huge international demand for indigenous flora from this biodiversity hotspot. We first mapped the five ecoregions that occur both in South Africa and other parts of the world, but the very coarse definition of the ecoregions led to unreliable results in terms of predicting invasible areas. We then determined the bioclimatic features of South Africa's major terrestrial biomes and projected the potential distribution of analogous areas throughout the world. This approach is much more powerful, but depends strongly on how particular biomes are defined in donor countries. Finally, we developed bioclimatic niche models for 96 plant taxa (species and subspecies) endemic to South Africa and invasive elsewhere, and projected these globally after successfully evaluating model projections specifically for three well-known invasive species (Carpobrotus edulis, Senecio glastifolius, Vellereophyton dealbatum) in different target areas. Cumulative probabilities of climatic suitability show that high-risk regions are spatially limited globally but that these closely match hotspots of plant biodiversity. These probabilities are significantly correlated with the number of recorded invasive species from South Africa in natural areas, emphasizing the pivotal role of climate in defining invasion potential. Accounting for potential transfer vectors (trade and tourism) significantly adds to the explanatory power of climate suitability as an index of invasibility. The close match that we found between the climatic component of the ecological habitat suitability and the current pattern of occurrence of South Africa alien species in other parts of the world is encouraging. If species' distribution data in the donor country are available, climatic niche modelling offers a powerful tool for efficient and unbiased first-step screening. Given that eradication of an established invasive species is extremely difficult and expensive, areas identified as potential new sites should be monitored and quarantine measures should be adopted.

RevDate: 2022-01-05

Abram PK, Wang X, Hueppelsheuser T, et al (2022)

A Coordinated Sampling and Identification Methodology for Larval Parasitoids of Spotted-Wing Drosophila.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6497338 [Epub ahead of print].

We provide recommendations for sampling and identification of introduced larval parasitoids of spotted-wing drosophila, Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura) (Diptera: Drosophilidae). These parasitoids are either under consideration for importation (aka classical) biological control introductions, or their adventive (presumed to have been accidentally introduced) populations have recently been discovered in North America and Europe. Within the context of the ecology of D. suzukii and its parasitoids, we discuss advantages and disadvantages of estimating larval parasitism levels using different methods, including naturally collected fruit samples and sentinel baits. For most situations, we recommend repeated sampling of naturally occurring fruit rather than using sentinel baits to monitor seasonal dynamics of host plant-Drosophila-parasitoid associations. We describe how to separate Drosophilidae puparia from host fruit material in order to accurately estimate parasitism levels and establish host-parasitoid associations. We provide instructions for identification of emerging parasitoids and include a key to the common families of parasitoids of D. suzukii. We anticipate that the guidelines for methodology and interpretation of results that we provide here will form the basis for a large, multi-research team sampling effort in the coming years to characterize the biological control and nontarget impacts of accidentally and intentionally introduced larval parasitoids of D. suzukii in several regions of the world.

RevDate: 2022-01-05

Garrison RR, PC Tobin (2022)

Development of Azalea Lace Bug, Stephanitis pyrioides, on Susceptible and Resistant Rhododendron species in Western Washington.

Journal of economic entomology pii:6497375 [Epub ahead of print].

The invasive azalea lace bug, Stephanitis pyrioides (Scott) (Tingidae: Hemiptera), is an important pest of Rhododendron (L.) (Ericales: Ericaceae). Feeding by nymphs and adults removes chlorophyll, reduces rates of photosynthesis and transpiration, and causes leaf stippling, which reduces the aesthetic value of infested plants. Rhododendron spp. are a major component of landscapes in the Pacific Northwest. Previous studies on the seasonality of S. pyrioides in North America are largely from the southeastern United States, which could have limited applicability in the Pacific Northwest. To quantify S. pyrioides seasonality in western Washington, we sampled ~200 leaves from 18 Rhododendron plants 1-2 times per wk from April to October over 2 yr, and microscopically counted the number of eggs, early instars, late instars, and adults. We developed a degree-day model for first generation S. pyrioides, which we used to estimate that S. pyrioides undergoes two full and a partial third generation in western Washington. Our model estimates 5 and 50% early instar occurrence, after hatching from overwintering eggs, at 69 and 171 accumulated degree-days from 1 January, respectively, when using a base threshold of 10.2°, which can be used to optimize the timing of management decisions. We also observed faster development and adult emergence when S. pyrioides nymphs feed on susceptible host plants relative to more resistant host plants, which may influence the timing of management decisions and potentially increase the probability of a full third generation. This research enhances our knowledge of an emerging invasive species in the Pacific Northwest.

RevDate: 2022-01-05

Lee H, Gore J, KS Korolev (2022)

Slow expanders invade by forming dented fronts in microbial colonies.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 119(1):.

Most organisms grow in space, whether they are viruses spreading within a host tissue or invasive species colonizing a new continent. Evolution typically selects for higher expansion rates during spatial growth, but it has been suggested that slower expanders can take over under certain conditions. Here, we report an experimental observation of such population dynamics. We demonstrate that mutants that grow slower in isolation nevertheless win in competition, not only when the two types are intermixed, but also when they are spatially segregated into sectors. The latter was thought to be impossible because previous studies focused exclusively on the global competitions mediated by expansion velocities, but overlooked the local competitions at sector boundaries. Local competition, however, can enhance the velocity of either type at the sector boundary and thus alter expansion dynamics. We developed a theory that accounts for both local and global competitions and describes all possible sector shapes. In particular, the theory predicted that a slower on its own, but more competitive, mutant forms a dented V-shaped sector as it takes over the expansion front. Such sectors were indeed observed experimentally, and their shapes matched quantitatively with the theory. In simulations, we further explored several mechanisms that could provide slow expanders with a local competitive advantage and showed that they are all well-described by our theory. Taken together, our results shed light on previously unexplored outcomes of spatial competition and establish a universal framework to understand evolutionary and ecological dynamics in expanding populations.

RevDate: 2022-01-05

Becker N, Langentepe-Kong SM, Tokatlian Rodriguez A, et al (2022)

Integrated control of Aedes albopictus in Southwest Germany supported by the Sterile Insect Technique.

Parasites & vectors, 15(1):9.

BACKGROUND: The invasive species Aedes albopictus, commonly known as the Asian tiger mosquito, has undergone extreme range expansion by means of steady introductions as blind passengers in vehicles traveling from the Mediterranean to south-west Germany. The more than 25 established populations in the State of Baden-Württemberg, Palatine and Hesse (south-west Germany) have become a major nuisance and public health threat. Aedes albopictus deserves special attention as a vector of arboviruses, including dengue, chikungunya and Zika viruses. In Germany, Ae. albopictus control programs are implemented by local communities under the auspices of health departments and regulatory offices.

METHODS: The control strategy comprised three pillars: (i) community participation (CP) based on the elimination of breeding sites or improved environmental sanitation, using fizzy tablets based on Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis (fizzy Bti tablets; Culinex® Tab plus); (ii) door-to-door (DtD) control by trained staff through the application of high doses of a water-dispersible Bti granular formulation (Vectobac® WG) aimed at achieving a long-lasting killing effect; and (iii) implementation of the sterile insect technique (SIT) to eliminate remaining Ae. albopictus populations. Prior to initiating large-scale city-wide treatments on a routine basis, the efficacy of the three elements was evaluated in laboratory and semi-field trials. Special emphasis was given to the mass release of sterile Ae. albopictus males.

RESULTS: More than 60% of the local residents actively participated in the first pillar (CP) of the large-scale control program. The most effective element of the program was found to be the DtD intervention, including the application of Vectobac® WG (3000 ITU/mg) to potential breeding sites (10 g per rainwater container, maximum of 200 l = maximum of approx. 150,000 ITU/l, and 2.5 g per container < 50 l) with a persistence of at least 3 weeks. In Ludwigshafen, larval source management resulted in a Container Index for Ae. albopictus of < 1% in 2020 compared to 10.9% in 2019. The mean number of Aedes eggs per ovitrap per 2 weeks was 4.4 in Ludwigshafen, 18.2 in Metzgergrün (Freiburg) (SIT area) and 22.4 in the control area in Gartenstadt (Freiburg). The strong reduction of the Ae. albopictus population by Bti application was followed by weekly releases of 1013 (Ludwigshafen) and 2320 (Freiburg) sterile Ae. albopictus males per hectare from May until October, resulting in a high percentage of sterile eggs. In the trial areas of Ludwigshafen and Frieburg, egg sterility reached 84.7 ± 12.5% and 62.7 ± 25.8%, respectively; in comparison, the natural sterility in the control area was 14.6 ± 7.3%. The field results were in line with data obtained in cage tests under laboratory conditions where sterility rates were 87.5 ± 9.2% after wild females mated with sterile males; in comparison, the sterility of eggs laid by females mated with unirradiated males was only 3.3 ± 2.8%. The overall egg sterility of about 84% in Ludwigshafen indicates that our goal to almost eradicate the Ae. albopictus population could be achieved. The time for inspection and treatment of a single property ranged from 19 to 26 min depending on the experience of the team and costs 6-8 euros per property.

CONCLUSIONS: It is shown that an integrated control program based on a strict monitoring scheme can be most effective when it comprises three components, namely CP, DtD intervention that includes long-lasting Bti-larviciding to strongly reduce Ae. albopictus populations and SIT to reduce the remaining Ae. albopictus population to a minimum or even to eradicate it. The combined use of Bti and SIT is the most effective and selective tool against Ae. albopictus, one of the most dangerous mosquito vector species.

RevDate: 2022-01-05
CmpDate: 2022-01-05

Cranford HM, Browne AS, LeCount K, et al (2021)

Mongooses (Urva auropunctata) as reservoir hosts of Leptospira species in the United States Virgin Islands, 2019-2020.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(11):e0009859.

During 2019-2020, the Virgin Islands Department of Health investigated potential animal reservoirs of Leptospira spp., the bacteria that cause leptospirosis. In this cross-sectional study, we investigated Leptospira spp. exposure and carriage in the small Indian mongoose (Urva auropunctata, syn: Herpestes auropunctatus), an invasive animal species. This study was conducted across the three main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), which are St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. We used the microscopic agglutination test (MAT), fluorescent antibody test (FAT), real-time polymerase chain reaction (lipl32 rt-PCR), and bacterial culture to evaluate serum and kidney specimens and compared the sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, and negative predictive value of these laboratory methods. Mongooses (n = 274) were live-trapped at 31 field sites in ten regions across USVI and humanely euthanized for Leptospira spp. testing. Bacterial isolates were sequenced and evaluated for species and phylogenetic analysis using the ppk gene. Anti-Leptospira spp. antibodies were detected in 34% (87/256) of mongooses. Reactions were observed with the following serogroups: Sejroe, Icterohaemorrhagiae, Pyrogenes, Mini, Cynopteri, Australis, Hebdomadis, Autumnalis, Mankarso, Pomona, and Ballum. Of the kidney specimens examined, 5.8% (16/270) were FAT-positive, 10% (27/274) were culture-positive, and 12.4% (34/274) were positive by rt-PCR. Of the Leptospira spp. isolated from mongooses, 25 were L. borgpetersenii, one was L. interrogans, and one was L. kirschneri. Positive predictive values of FAT and rt-PCR testing for predicting successful isolation of Leptospira by culture were 88% and 65%, respectively. The isolation and identification of Leptospira spp. in mongooses highlights the potential role of mongooses as a wildlife reservoir of leptospirosis; mongooses could be a source of Leptospira spp. infections for other wildlife, domestic animals, and humans.

RevDate: 2022-01-05
CmpDate: 2022-01-05

Zheng C, Zhou Q, Wang Z, et al (2021)

Behavioral responses of Platycladus orientalis plant volatiles to Phloeosinus aubei by GC-MS and HS-GC-IMS for discrimination of different invasive severity.

Analytical and bioanalytical chemistry, 413(23):5789-5798.

In recent years, the invasive cypress bark beetle (Phloeosinus aubei) has caused extensive damage to Platycladus orientalis plants in China, but its infestation is hard to monitor in the early stages. In this study, gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) was initially employed to investigate the volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions of P. aubei-infested P. orientalis saplings. The emissions of total sesquiterpenes were dominating (84-86% of total VOCs) and increased by 3.09-fold in P. aubei-damaged P. orientalis samples compared to undamaged samples, and the monoterpenes, aromatic compounds, and ketone emissions also had varying degrees of increase between 1.39-fold and 5.65-fold. Based on this variation, gas chromatography-ion mobility spectrometry (GC-IMS) was applied, as an untargeted analytical approach, to discriminate P. orientalis samples with different invasive severity. Two different features derived from GC-IMS data were adopted as the input information for classification and prediction models. Results showed that grid search support vector machine (GS-SVM) combined with multilinear principal component analysis (MPCA) based on spectral fingerprint achieved the best classification performances (> 88.98%), and partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSR) method can accurately predict the pest numbers (R2 > 0.9423 and RMSE < 0.9827). In a word, the VOC profiling-based approach had the potential for evaluating P. aubei invasive severity and pest management.

RevDate: 2022-01-05
CmpDate: 2022-01-04

Chen P, Chen T, Liu B, et al (2022)

Song variation of a native songbird in a modified habitat by invasive plant.

Integrative zoology, 17(1):93-104.

Habitat structure has been considered as an important factor affecting the acoustic evolution of birds, and bird songs are increasingly affected by artificial environmental variation. Invasive plants sometimes can dramatically alter native habitats, but the song variation of native songbirds migrating into invaded habitats has received little attention. The invasion of smooth cordgrass Spartina alterniflora in the coastal wetlands of eastern China has drastically altered the vegetation structure and some small passerines have begun to use invaded habitats to breed. In this study, we compared the song type prevalence and the song characteristics of male plain prinia Prinia inornata to identify differences in vocal behavior between native and invaded habitats. We also tested for differences in vocal behavior in relation to singing perch and wind speed variation between different habitats. The results indicated that males of plain prinia in invaded habitats sang shorter songs than those in native habitats and had a lower song diversity. The homogeneous vegetation structure and higher wind speed in invaded habitats likely leads to males changing the traditional perched singing style. The song variation may be related to the founder effect, the alteration of vegetation structure and microclimate in invaded habitats. This finding highlights the need for better understanding the behavioral evolution of native species in the process of adapting to the invaded habitat. In the future, experimental manipulation is needed to ascertain how the invasive plant drove these vocal behavior changes of native songbirds.

RevDate: 2022-01-03

Kouba A, Oficialdegui FJ, Cuthbert RN, et al (2021)

Identifying economic costs and knowledge gaps of invasive aquatic crustaceans.

The Science of the total environment, 813:152325 pii:S0048-9697(21)07402-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Despite voluminous literature identifying the impacts of invasive species, summaries of monetary costs for some taxonomic groups remain limited. Invasive alien crustaceans often have profound impacts on recipient ecosystems, but there may be great unknowns related to their economic costs. Using the InvaCost database, we quantify and analyse reported costs associated with invasive crustaceans globally across taxonomic, spatial, and temporal descriptors. Specifically, we quantify the costs of prominent aquatic crustaceans - crayfish, crabs, amphipods, and lobsters. Between 2000 and 2020, crayfish caused US$ 120.5 million in reported costs; the vast majority (99%) being attributed to representatives of Astacidae and Cambaridae. Crayfish-related costs were unevenly distributed across countries, with a strong bias towards European economies (US$ 116.4 million; mainly due to the signal crayfish in Sweden), followed by costs reported from North America and Asia. The costs were also largely predicted or extrapolated, and thus not based on empirical observations. Despite these limitations, the costs of invasive crayfish have increased considerably over the past two decades, averaging US$ 5.7 million per year. Invasive crabs have caused costs of US$ 150.2 million since 1960 and the ratios were again uneven (57% in North America and 42% in Europe). Damage-related costs dominated for both crayfish (80%) and crabs (99%), with management costs lacking or even more under-reported. Reported costs for invasive amphipods (US$ 178.8 thousand) and lobsters (US$ 44.6 thousand) were considerably lower, suggesting a lack of effort in reporting costs for these groups or effects that are largely non-monetised. Despite the well-known damage caused by invasive crustaceans, we identify data limitations that prevent a full accounting of the economic costs of these invasive groups, while highlighting the increasing costs at several scales based on the available literature. Further cost reports are needed to better assess the true magnitude of monetary costs caused by invasive aquatic crustaceans.

RevDate: 2021-12-31
CmpDate: 2021-12-31

Hohmeister N, Werner D, H Kampen (2021)

The invasive Korean bush mosquito Aedes koreicus (Diptera: Culicidae) in Germany as of 2020.

Parasites & vectors, 14(1):575.

BACKGROUND: The Korean bush mosquito Aedes koreicus was recently reported to have established a population in western Germany (Wiesbaden) in 2016. The species is difficult to distinguish morphologically from its close relative, the invasive Japanese bush mosquito Ae. japonicus, which is already widely distributed in many parts of Germany, including the area colonised by Ae. koreicus. Genetic confirmation of morphologically identified "Ae. japonicus" collection material, however, had only been done exceptionally before the German Ae. koreicus population became known.

METHODS: Dried archived "Ae. japonicus" specimens both from the municipality of Wiesbaden and from deliberately and randomly selected distribution sites all over Germany were re-examined morphologically and genetically for admixture by Ae. koreicus. Moreover, cemeteries in the greater Wiesbaden area were sampled in 2019 and 2020 to check for Ae. koreicus spread. Korean and Japanese bush mosquitoes submitted to the German citizen science mosquito monitoring scheme "Mueckenatlas" in 2019 and 2020 were also subjected to particularly thorough species identification. The ND4 DNA sequences generated in this study in the context of species identification were phylogenetically compared to respective GenBank entries of Ae. koreicus. As a by-product, several genetic markers were evaluated for their suitability to identify Ae. koreicus.

RESULTS: Aedes koreicus specimens could be identified in mosquito collection material and submissions from Wiesbaden from 2015 onwards, suggesting establishment to have happened in the same year as Ae. japonicus establishment. Detections of Ae. koreicus from 2019 and 2020 in Wiesbaden indicate a negligible enlargement of the populated area as described for 2018. Two Ae. koreicus specimens were also submitted from the city of Munich, southern Germany, in 2019 but further specimens could not be identified during immediate local inspections. Comparison of ND4 sequences generated in this and other studies demonstrate a high degree of homology, suggesting that this DNA region is not informative enough for clarification of origins and relationships of Ae. koreicus populations. For genetic identification of Ae. koreicus, PCR primers used for classical CO1 barcoding were found to lead to mismatches and produce no or incorrect amplicons. Alternative CO1 primers or a validated ND4 marker should be used instead.

CONCLUSIONS: Aedes koreicus is probably introduced into Germany every now and then but rarely succeeds in becoming established. As with most European populations, the German population is characterised by a limited expansion tendency. Since Ae. koreicus is a potential vector, however, Asian bush mosquitoes found at new places should be examined quite carefully and known distribution areas of Ae. japonicus regularly checked for the presence of Ae. koreicus.

RevDate: 2022-01-03
CmpDate: 2022-01-03

Mahood AL, Jones RO, Board DI, et al (2022)

Interannual climate variability mediates changes in carbon and nitrogen pools caused by annual grass invasion in a semiarid shrubland.

Global change biology, 28(1):267-284.

Exotic plant invasions alter ecosystem properties and threaten ecosystem functions globally. Interannual climate variability (ICV) influences both plant community composition (PCC) and soil properties, and interactions between ICV and PCC may influence nitrogen (N) and carbon (C) pools. We asked how ICV and non-native annual grass invasion covary to influence soil and plant N and C in a semiarid shrubland undergoing widespread ecosystem transformation due to invasions and altered fire regimes. We sampled four progressive stages of annual grass invasion at 20 sites across a large (25,000 km2) landscape for plant community composition, plant tissue N and C, and soil total N and C in 2013 and 2016, which followed 2 years of dry and wet conditions, respectively. Multivariate analyses and ANOVAs showed that in invasion stages where native shrub and perennial grass and forb communities were replaced by annual grass-dominated communities, the ecosystem lost more soil N and C in wet years. Path analysis showed that high water availability led to higher herbaceous cover in all invasion stages. In stages with native shrubs and perennial grasses, higher perennial grass cover was associated with increased soil C and N, while in annual-dominated stages, higher annual grass cover was associated with losses of soil C and N. Also, soil total C and C:N ratios were more homogeneous in annual-dominated invasion stages as indicated by within-site standard deviations. Loss of native shrubs and perennial grasses and forbs coupled with annual grass invasion may lead to long-term declines in soil N and C and hamper restoration efforts. Restoration strategies that use innovative techniques and novel species to address increasing temperatures and ICV and emphasize maintaining plant community structure-shrubs, grasses, and forbs-will allow sagebrush ecosystems to maintain C sequestration, soil fertility, and soil heterogeneity.

RevDate: 2022-01-04
CmpDate: 2022-01-04

Ruíz-Rivero O, Garcia-Lor A, Rojas-Panadero B, et al (2021)

Insights into the origin of the invasive populations of Trioza erytreae in Europe using microsatellite markers and mtDNA barcoding approaches.

Scientific reports, 11(1):18651.

The African citrus psyllid Trioza erytreae is one of the major threats to citrus industry as the vector of the incurable disease known as huanglongbing (HLB) or citrus greening. The psyllid invaded the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula 6 years ago. The invasion alarmed citrus growers in the Mediterranean basin, the largest citrus producing area in Europe, which is still free of HLB. Before our study, no research had been carried out on the genetic diversity of T. erytreae populations that have invaded the Iberian Peninsula and the archipelagos of the Macaronesia (Madeira and the Canary Islands). In this study, combining microsatellites markers and mtDNA barcoding analysis, we characterize the genetic diversity, structure and maternal relationship of these new invasive populations of T. erytreae and those from Africa. Our results suggest that the outbreaks of T. erytreae in the Iberian Peninsula may have derived from the Canary Islands. The populations of T. erytreae that invaded Macaronesia and the Iberian Peninsula are likely to have originated from southern Africa. We anticipate our results to be a starting point for tracking the spread of this invasive pest outside of Africa and to be important for optimizing contingency and eradication plans in newly invaded and free areas.

RevDate: 2021-12-30

Keszte S, Ferincz A, Tóth-Ihász K, et al (2021)

Mitochondrial sequence diversity reveals the hybrid origin of invasive gibel carp (Carassius gibelio) populations in Hungary.

PeerJ, 9:e12441 pii:12441.

Background: Invasive gibel carp, Carassius gibelio (Bloch, 1782) has become well-established in the Hungarian waters and now are spreading in the European waters. On major concern now is the potential hybridization between gibel carp and the other invasive species in the Carassius auratus complex (CAC), which may further accelerate the spread of the whole invasive species complex. The identification of gibel carp and their hybrids is difficult because of its morphological similarity to the other species in CAC. Here we carry out a genomic assessment to understand the history of gibel carp invasion and its phylogenetic relationship with the other species in CAC. Three loci of the mitochondrial genome (D-loop, CoI, Cytb) were used to determine the phylogenetic origin of individuals and relarionship among six gibel carp populations and the other species in the CAC.

Methodolgy: A total of 132 gibel carp samples from six locations in Southern Transdanubia (Hungary) were collected after phenotypic identification to measure the genetic diversity within and among gibel carp populations of Southern Transdanubia (Hungary). The genetic background was examined by the sequences of the mitochondrial genome: D-loop, Cytochrome c oxidase I (CoI) and Cytochrome b (Cytb). Mitochondrial genetic markers are excellent tools for phylogenetic studies because they are maternally inherited. Successfully identified haplotypes were aligned and with reference sequences in nucleotide databases (i.e., NCBI-BLAST: National Centre for Biotechnology Information and BOLD: Barcode of Life Data System). The phylogenetic relationships among gibel carp populations were then analyzed together with the reference sequences to understand the relationship and the level of hybridization with the species in CAC.

Results: Among the 132 aligned D-loop sequences 22 haplotypes were identified. Further examination of representative individuals of the 22 haplotypes, six Cytb and four CoI sequences were detected. The largest number of haplotypes of all three loci were found in Lake Balaton, the largest shallow lake in Central Europe. Based on the NCBI-BLAST alignment of the D-loop, haplotypes of Carassius auratus auratus and Carassius a. buergeri in CAC were identified in the C. gibelio samples. Further analysis of haplotypes with the other two mitochondrial markers confirmed the occurrence of intragenus hybridization of C. gibelio in the Hungarian waters.

Conclusion: By using three mitochondrial markers (D-loop, Cytb, CoI), we genomically characterized a gibel carp-complex in Hungarian waters and assessed the C. gibelio phylogenetic status between them. Hybrid origin of locally invasive Carassius taxon was detected in Hungary. It points out that invasive species are not only present in Hungary but reproduce with each other in the waters, further accelerating their spread.

RevDate: 2021-12-30

Chang CS, Kwon SY, Shin HT, et al (2021)

Vascular plants occurrences in Dokdo Islands, Korea, based on herbarium collections and legacy botanical literature.

Biodiversity data journal, 9:e77695 pii:77695.

Background: The vascular flora of the Dokdo Islands has been reported, based on primary collections made in 2012 and 2013 and legacy botanical literature. The Dokdo Islands are the remotest islands of Korea, located in the East Sea approximately 87 km from Ulleungdo Islands. They comprise two main volcanic islands, Dongdo (east islands) and Seodo (west islands) and minor islets surrounding the two main islands. This research was conducted to document vascular plant species inhabiting Korea's most inaccessible islands. We present a georeferenced dataset of vascular plant species collected during field studies on the Dokdo Islands over the past seven decades.

New information: In the present inventory of the flora of Dokdo, there are listed 108 species belonging to 78 genera and 39 families, including 93 native species and 15 newly human-induced naturalised species for these Islands' flora. The Poaceae and Asteraceae families are the most diverse, with 22 and 15 taxa, respectively. Some of the previously-listed taxa were not found on Dokdo probably because they are rare and the limited time did not allow collectors to find rare species. The spread of introduced species, especially the invasive grass Bromuscatharticus Vahl., affects several native species of Dokdo flora.

RevDate: 2021-12-29

Delfino M, JH Signorelli (2021)

Taxonomic Revision of Living Boring Bivalves Belonging to the Family Pholadidae Lamarck, 1809, (Bivalvia: Myida) from the Southwestern Atlantic.

Zoological studies, 60:e28.

Boring bivalves of the family Pholadidae Lamarck, 1809 living in Argentinean and Uruguayan waters are herein revised. The literature research revealed twelve nominal species of Pholadidae mentioned as living in the study area. Type material of all nominal taxa were examined when it was possible. Additional specimens from field works and malacological collections were studied, illustrated and re-described. Details of type localities, repositories, and distribution range are provided for each valid taxa. This work revealed the presence of five native and one introduced species belonging to Pholadidae in Argentinean and Uruguayan waters. Barnea (Anchomasa) lamellosa, Cyrtopleura (Scobinopholas) lanceolata, Pholas (Thovana) campechiensis and Martesia fragilis belonging to the Argentine biogeographical province; Netastoma darwinii from Magellan province; and Barnea (Anchomasa) truncata introduced in the Bahía Blanca estuary. Finally, morphological comparison with congeneric species distributed in American seas are provided.

RevDate: 2021-12-29
CmpDate: 2021-12-29

Kroon FJ, Barneche DR, MJ Emslie (2021)

Fish predators control outbreaks of Crown-of-Thorns Starfish.

Nature communications, 12(1):6986.

Outbreaks of corallivorous Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (CoTS, Acanthaster spp.) have caused persistent and widespread loss of coral cover across Indo-Pacific coral reefs. The potential drivers of these outbreaks have been debated for more than 50 years, hindering effective management to limit their destructive impacts. Here, we show that fish biomass removal through commercial and recreational fisheries may be a major driver of CoTS population outbreaks. CoTS densities increase systematically with increasing fish biomass removal, including for known CoTS predators. Moreover, the biomass of fish species and families that influence CoTS densities are 1.4 to 2.1-fold higher on reefs within no-take marine reserves, while CoTS densities are 2.8-fold higher on reefs that are open to fishing, indicating the applicability of fisheries-based management to prevent CoTS outbreaks. Designing targeted fisheries management with consideration of CoTS population dynamics may offer a tangible and promising contribution to effectively reduce the detrimental impacts of CoTS outbreaks across the Indo-Pacific.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

du Plessis NS, Rebelo AJ, Richardson DM, et al (2021)

Guiding restoration of riparian ecosystems degraded by plant invasions: Insights from a complex social-ecological system in the Global South.

Ambio [Epub ahead of print].

Restoring riparian ecosystems in human-dominated landscapes requires attention to complexity, and consideration of diverse drivers, social actors, and contexts. Addressing a Global North bias, this case study uses a mixed-method approach, integrating historical data, remote sensing techniques and stakeholder perceptions to guide restoration of a river in the Western Cape, South Africa. An analysis of aerial photographs of the riparian zone from 1953 to 2016 revealed that although anthropogenic land conversion happened primarily before the 1950s, several land use and land cover classes showed marked increases in area, including: waterbodies (+ 1074%), urban areas (+ 316%), alien weeds (+ 311%) and terrestrial alien trees (+ 79%). These changes have likely been driven by land fragmentation, disturbance, and agricultural intensification. Stakeholder interviews revealed that despite the clear need for restoration, several barriers exist to successful implementation; these stem from inadequate financial resources, inappropriate funding models, institutional challenges, and a lack of techno-scientific knowledge. We give several recommendations to overcome these barriers.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Stanojevic M, Trailovic M, Dubljanin T, et al (2021)

Sewage Pollution Promotes the Invasion-Related Traits of Impatiens glandulifera in an Oligotrophic Habitat of the Sharr Mountain (Western Balkans).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:plants10122814.

An annual plant, Himalayan balsam (Impatiens glandulifera Royle) is globally widespread and one of Europe's top invaders. We focused on two questions: does this species indeed not invade the southern areas and does the environment affect some of its key invisibility traits. In an isolated model mountainous valley, we jointly analyzed the soil (21 parameters), the life history traits of the invader (height, stem diameter, aboveground dw), and the resident vegetation (species composition and abundances, Ellenberg indicator values), and supplemented it with local knowledge (semi-structured interviews). Uncontrolled discharge of fecal wastewaters directly into the local dense hydrological network fostered mass infestation of an atypical habitat. The phenotypic plasticity of the measured invasion-related traits was very high in the surveyed early invasion (30-50% invader cover) stages. Different microhabitat conditions consistently correlated with its growth performance. The largest individuals were restricted to the deforested riparian habitats, with extreme soil nutrient enrichment (primarily by P and K) and low-competitive, species-poor resident vegetation. We showed that ecological context can modify invasion-related traits and what could affect a further invasion process. Finally, this species is likely underreported in the wider region; public attitude and loss of traditional ecological knowledge are further management risks.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Alves D, Duarte S, Arsénio P, et al (2021)

Exploring the Phytochemicals of Acacia melanoxylon R. Br.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:plants10122698.

Invasive species are currently a world menace to the environment, although the study of their chemistry may provide a means for their future beneficial use. From a study of Portuguese Acacia melanoxylon R. Br. five known compounds were isolated: lupeol, 3β-Z-coumaroyl lupeol, 3β-E-coumaroyl lupeol (dioslupecin A), kolavic acid 15-methyl ester and vomifoliol (blumenol A). Their structures were elucidated by 1D and 2D NMR spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, and as a result some corrections are made to their previous 13C NMR assignments. Cytotoxicity of 3β-E-coumaroyl lupeol (dioslupecin A) and kolavic acid 15-methyl ester was evaluated against HCT116 human colorectal cancer cells although biological activity was not evident.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Szilassi P, Soóky A, Bátori Z, et al (2021)

Natura 2000 Areas, Road, Railway, Water, and Ecological Networks May Provide Pathways for Biological Invasion: A Country Scale Analysis.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:plants10122670.

Invasive species are a major threat to biodiversity worldwide. Controlling their rapid spread can only be effective if we consider the geographical factors that influence their occurrence. For instance, roads, railway networks, green and blue infrastructure, and elements of ecological networks (e.g., ecological corridors) can facilitate the spread of invasive species. In our study, we mapped the occurrence of five invasive plant taxa (tree of heaven, common milkweed, Russian olive, black locust, and goldenrods) in Hungary, using field photos from the EUROSTAT Land Use and Coverage Area Frame Survey (LUCAS) database from the year 2015. Species point occurrence data were compared with the spatial characteristics of linear transport infrastructure and with the green and blue infrastructure. We found that the occurrence of tree of heaven and Russian olive was strongly related to the road and railway network. The average Euclidean distance of LUCAS points infected with these species from railway embankments and roads was much smaller than that of uninfected points. However, black locust and goldenrods were more common only along the road network. According to our results, the occurrence of some investigated invasive plants was over-represented in the HEN and within Natura 2000 areas of Hungary compared to non-infected points. Our results may provide important information for predicting the rate of invasion and for applying targeted management within the HEN, and Natura 2000 protected areas.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Cucu AA, Baci GM, Dezsi Ş, et al (2021)

New Approaches on Japanese Knotweed (Fallopia japonica) Bioactive Compounds and Their Potential of Pharmacological and Beekeeping Activities: Challenges and Future Directions.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:plants10122621.

Known especially for its negative ecological impact, Fallopia japonica (Japanese knotweed) is now considered one of the most invasive species. Nevertheless, its chemical composition has shown, beyond doubt, some high biological active compounds that can be a source of valuable pharmacological potential for the enhancement of human health. In this direction, resveratrol, emodin or polydatin, to name a few, have been extensively studied to demonstrate the beneficial effects on animals and humans. Thus, by taking into consideration the recent advances in the study of Japanese knotweed and its phytochemical constituents, the aim of this article is to provide an overview on the high therapeutic potential, underlining its antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and anticancer effects, among the most important ones. Moreover, we describe some future directions for reducing the negative impact of Fallopia japonica by using the plant for its beekeeping properties in providing a distinct honey type that incorporates most of its bioactive compounds, with the same health-promoting properties.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Tayal M, R Kariyat (2021)

Examining the Role of Buzzing Time and Acoustics on Pollen Extraction of Solanum elaeagnifolium.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:plants10122592.

Buzz pollination is a specialized pollination syndrome that requires vibrational energy to extract concealed pollen grains from poricidal anthers. Although a large body of work has examined the ecology of buzz pollination, whether acoustic properties of buzz pollinators affect pollen extraction is less understood, especially in weeds and invasive species. We examined the pollination biology of Silverleaf nightshade (Solanum elaeagnifolium), a worldwide invasive weed, in its native range in the Lower Rio Grande Valley (LRGV) in south Texas. Over two years, we documented the floral visitors on S. elaeagnifolium, their acoustic parameters (buzzing amplitude, frequency, and duration of buzzing) and estimated the effects of the latter two factors on pollen extraction. We found five major bee genera: Exomalopsis, Halictus, Megachile, Bombus, and Xylocopa, as the most common floral visitors on S. elaeagnifolium in the LRGV. Bee genera varied in their duration of total buzzing time, duration of each visit, and mass. While we did not find any significant differences in buzzing frequency among different genera, an artificial pollen collection experiment using an electric toothbrush showed that the amount of pollen extracted is significantly affected by the duration of buzzing. We conclude that regardless of buzzing frequency, buzzing duration is the most critical factor in pollen removal in this species.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Assaeed AM, Alharthi AS, AM Abd-ElGawad (2021)

Impacts of Nicotiana glauca Graham Invasion on the Vegetation Composition and Soil: A Case Study of Taif, Western Saudi Arabia.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:plants10122587.

Invasive species are considered a serious problem in different ecosystems worldwide. They can compete and interfere with native plants, leading to a shift in community assembly and ecosystem function. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of Nicotiana glauca Graham invasion on native vegetation composition and soil of the most invaded locations in the Taif region, Western Saudi Arabia, including Alwaht (WHT), Ar-Ruddaf (RDF), and Ash-shafa (SHFA). Plant species list, life span, life form, and chorotypes were assessed. Six locations highly infested with N. glauca shrubs were selected, and the morphological parameters of the shrubs were measured. Within each location, richness, evenness, relative density of species, and soil were measured either under the canopy of N. glauca shrubs or outside the canopy. Floristic analysis revealed the existence of 144 plant species, mainly perennial. The shrubs at the SHFA1 location showed the highest values of all measured morphological parameters. The WHT 1 location showed high richness and evenness, while the WHAT 2 location showed less richness and evenness. The invaded locations showed substantial variation in the community composition. Additionally, the effect of N. glauca on the understory species varied from competition to facilitation, where most of the understory species were inhibited. As an average of all locations, 65.86% of the plant species were recorded only outside the canopy of N. glauca. The vegetation analysis revealed that the SHFA location is more vulnerable to invasion that could be ascribed to its wide range of habitats and high disturbance. The soil-vegetation relationships showed significant variations among the studied locations regarding soil composition, and thereby showed a wide ecological range of the invasive shrubs N. glauca. Therefore, the invasion of N. glauca in the Taif region altered the species interactions, nutrients, and soil properties.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Lavrič G, Zamljen A, Juhant Grkman J, et al (2021)

Organosolv Lignin Barrier Paper Coatings from Waste Biomass Resources.

Polymers, 13(24): pii:polym13244443.

The aim of the study was to isolate lignin from organosolv, beech tree (Fagus sylvatica), and Japanese knotweed (Reynoutria japonica), to use it for paper surface and to replace part of the non-renewable product resources with bio-based ones. A total of nine coated samples with different lignin formulations and starch were compounded, prepared, and evaluated. The basic (grammage, thickness, specific density), mechanical (elongation at break, tensile, burst and tear indices), and barrier properties (contact angle, water penetration, water vapour permeability, kit test) of the coated papers were investigated. The analysis showed no significant difference in tensile properties between uncoated and coated samples. Furthermore, the decrease in water vapour transmission rate and the lower contact angle for coated samples were nevertheless confirmed. The novel coating materials show promising products with very good barrier properties. Finally, the correlation between structural, morphological, and (other) natural lignin-based factors was revealed, highlighting the importance of parameters such as the equivalence ratio of aliphatic and phenolic hydroxyl groups or the average molecular weight. Tuning functionality by design could optimise performance in the future.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Jansen S, Cadar D, Lühken R, et al (2021)

Vector Competence of the Invasive Mosquito Species Aedes koreicus for Arboviruses and Interference with a Novel Insect Specific Virus.

Viruses, 13(12): pii:v13122507.

The global spread of invasive mosquito species increases arbovirus infections. In addition to the invasive species Aedes albopictus and Aedes japonicus, Aedes koreicus has spread within Central Europe. Extensive information on its vector competence is missing. Ae. koreicus from Germany were investigated for their vector competence for chikungunya virus (CHIKV), Zika virus (ZIKV) and West Nile virus (WNV). Experiments were performed under different climate conditions (27 ± 5 °C; 24 ± 5 °C) for fourteen days. Ae. koreicus had the potential to transmit CHIKV and ZIKV but not WNV. Transmission was exclusively observed at the higher temperature, and transmission efficiency was rather low, at 4.6% (CHIKV) or 4.7% (ZIKV). Using a whole virome analysis, a novel mosquito-associated virus, designated Wiesbaden virus (WBDV), was identified in Ae. koreicus. Linking the WBDV infection status of single specimens to their transmission capability for the arboviruses revealed no influence on ZIKV transmission. In contrast, a coinfection of WBDV and CHIKV likely has a boost effect on CHIKV transmission. Due to its current distribution, the risk of arbovirus transmission by Ae. koreicus in Europe is rather low but might gain importance, especially in regions with higher temperatures. The impact of WBDV on arbovirus transmission should be analyzed in more detail.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

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

Novel Picornavirus Detected in Wild Deer: Identification, Genomic Characterisation, and Prevalence in Australia.

Viruses, 13(12): pii:v13122412.

The use of high-throughput sequencing has facilitated virus discovery in wild animals and helped determine their potential threat to humans and other animals. We report the complete genome sequence of a novel picornavirus identified by next-generation sequencing in faeces from Australian fallow deer. Genomic analysis revealed that this virus possesses a typical picornavirus-like genomic organisation of 7554 nt with a single open reading frame (ORF) encoding a polyprotein of 2225 amino acids. Based on the amino acid identity comparison and phylogenetic analysis of the P1, 2C, 3CD, and VP1 regions, this novel picornavirus was closely related to but distinct from known bopiviruses detected to date. This finding suggests that deer/bopivirus could belong to a novel species within the genus Bopivirus, tentatively designated as "Bopivirus C". Epidemiological investigation of 91 deer (71 fallow, 14 sambar and 6 red deer) and 23 cattle faecal samples showed that six fallow deer and one red deer (overall prevalence 7.7%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 3.8-15.0%) tested positive, but deer/bopivirus was undetectable in sambar deer and cattle. In addition, phylogenetic and sequence analyses indicate that the same genotype is circulating in south-eastern Australia. To our knowledge, this study reports for the first time a deer-origin bopivirus and the presence of a member of genus Bopivirus in Australia. Further epidemiological and molecular studies are needed to investigate the geographic distribution and pathogenic potential of this novel Bopivirus species in other domestic and wild animal species.

RevDate: 2021-12-28

Jenckel M, Smith I, King T, et al (2021)

Distribution and Genetic Diversity of Hepatitis E Virus in Wild and Domestic Rabbits in Australia.

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(12): pii:pathogens10121637.

In 2020, Hepatitis E virus (HEV) was detected for the first time in Australian rabbits. To improve our understanding of the genetic diversity and distribution of the virus, 1635 rabbit liver samples from locations across Australia were screened via RT-qPCR for HEV. HEV genomes were amplified and sequenced from 48 positive samples. Furthermore, we tested 380 serum samples from 11 locations across Australia for antibodies against HEV. HEV was detected in rabbits from all states and territories, except the Northern Territory. Seroprevalence varied between locations (from 0% to 22%), demonstrating that HEV is widely distributed in rabbit populations across Australia. Phylogenetic analyses showed that Australian HEV sequences are genetically diverse and that HEV was likely introduced into Australia independently on several occasions. In summary, this study broadens our understanding of the genetic diversity of rabbit HEV globally and shows that the virus is endemic in both domestic and wild rabbit populations in Australia.

RevDate: 2021-12-28
CmpDate: 2021-12-28

Ren Z, Okyere SK, Wen J, et al (2021)

An Overview: The Toxicity of Ageratina adenophora on Animals and Its Possible Interventions.

International journal of molecular sciences, 22(21):.

Ageratina adenophora is one of the major invasive weeds that causes instability of the ecosystem. Research has reported that A. adenophora produces allelochemicals that inhibit the growth and development of food crops, and also contain some toxic compounds that cause toxicity to animals that consume it. Over the past decades, studies on the identification of major toxic compounds of A. adenophora and their toxic molecular mechanisms have been reported. In addition, weed control interventions, such as herbicides application, was employed to reduce the spread of A. adenophora. However, the development of therapeutic and prophylactic measures to treat the various A. adenophora-induced toxicities, such as hepatotoxicity, splenotoxicity and other related disorders, have not been established to date. The main toxic pathogenesis of A. adenophora is oxidative stress and inflammation. However, numerous studies have verified that some extracts and secondary metabolites isolated from A. adenophora possess anti-oxidation and anti-inflammation activities, which implies that these extracts can relieve toxicity and aid in the development of drug or feed supplements to treat poisoning-related disorders caused by A. adenophora. Furthermore, beneficial bacteria isolated from rumen microbes and A. adenophora can degrade major toxic compounds in A. adenophora so as to be developed into microbial feed additives to help ameliorate toxicity mediated by A. adenophora. This review presents an overview of the toxic mechanisms of A. adenophora, provides possible therapeutic strategies that are available to mitigate the toxicity of A. adenophora and introduces relevant information on identifying novel prophylactic and therapeutic measures against A. adenophora-induced toxicity.

RevDate: 2021-12-27

Price KJ, Ayres BN, Maes SE, et al (2021)

First detection of human pathogenic variant of Anaplasma phagocytophilum in field-collected Haemaphysalis longicornis, Pennsylvania, USA.

Zoonoses and public health [Epub ahead of print].

The Asian longhorned tick, Haemaphysalis longicornis, an invasive species associated with human pathogens, has spread rapidly across the eastern USA. Questing H. longicornis ticks recovered from active surveillance conducted from 1 May to 6 September, 2019 throughout Pennsylvania were tested for rickettsial pathogens. Of 265 ticks tested by PCR for pathogens, 4 (1.5%) were positive for Anaplasma phagocytophilum. Sequence analysis of the 16S rRNA gene confirmed two positives as A. phagocytophilum-human agent variant. This is the first reported detection of A. phagocytophilum-human pathogenic strain DNA in exotic H. longicornis collected in the USA.

RevDate: 2021-12-27

Altenritter ME, DeBoer JA, Maxson KA, et al (2021)

Ecosystem responses to aquatic invasive species management: A synthesis of two decades of bigheaded carp suppression in a large river.

Journal of environmental management, 305:114354 pii:S0301-4797(21)02416-6 [Epub ahead of print].

The invasion of silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) and bighead carp (H. nobilis) or "bigheaded carps" has caused extensive ecological and economic harm throughout the Mississippi River and its tributaries. To prevent their continued spread upstream toward the Great Lakes, intense commercial harvest was implemented on the Illinois River, a large tributary that connects the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan. Since implementation, harvest has reduced densities at the invasion front while also presenting an opportunity to generate a synthesis on ecosystem resilience in the face of accelerating invasion. Resilience, the ability of an ecosystem to recover after perturbation, was observed at local scales and within some taxa but has yet to manifest at a river-wide scale and often co-varied with abiotic environmental or seasonal factors. Thus, while intensive harvest has limited further spread of bigheaded carps, and evidence of additional secondary ecosystem benefits exists, opportunities remain to identify potential pathways that could spread such ecosystem benefits even farther.

RevDate: 2021-12-26

Blanchet CC, Arzel C, Davranche A, et al (2021)

Ecology and extent of freshwater browning - What we know and what should be studied next in the context of global change.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(21)07498-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Water browning or brownification refers to increasing water color, often related to increasing dissolved organic matter (DOM) and carbon (DOC) content in freshwaters. Browning has been recognized as a significant physicochemical phenomenon altering boreal lakes, but our understanding of its ecological consequences in different freshwater habitats and regions is limited. Here, we review the consequences of browning on different freshwater habitats, food webs and aquatic-terrestrial habitat coupling. We examine global trends of browning and DOM/DOC, and the use of remote sensing as a tool to investigate browning from local to global scales. Studies have focused on lakes and rivers while seldom addressing effects at the catchment scale. Other freshwater habitats such as small and temporary waterbodies have been overlooked, making the study of the entire network of the catchment incomplete. While past research investigated the response of primary producers, aquatic invertebrates and fishes, the effects of browning on macrophytes, invasive species, and food webs have been understudied. Research has focused on freshwater habitats without considering the fluxes between aquatic and terrestrial habitats. We highlight the importance of understanding how the changes in one habitat may cascade to another. Browning is a broader phenomenon than the heretofore concentration on the boreal region. Overall, we propose that future studies improve the ecological understanding of browning through the following research actions: 1) increasing our knowledge of ecological processes of browning in other wetland types than lakes and rivers, 2) assessing the impact of browning on aquatic food webs at multiple scales, 3) examining the effects of browning on aquatic-terrestrial habitat coupling, 4) expanding our knowledge of browning from the local to global scale, and 5) using remote sensing to examine browning and its ecological consequences.

RevDate: 2021-12-27

Rodríguez F, Lombardero-Vega M, San Juan L, et al (2021)

Allergenicity to worldwide invasive grass Cortaderia selloana as environmental risk to public health.

Scientific reports, 11(1):24426.

Allergies to grass pollen affects about 20% of the population worldwide. In the last few decades, the South American grass Cortaderia selloana (CS, Pampas grass) has expanded worldwide in a variety of countries including the USA, Australia and Western Europe. In many of these locations, CS has strikingly spread and has now been classified an invasive species. Many pernicious consequences of CS have been reported for local biodiversity, landscape and structures. However, the effect on human health has not been studied. To investigate this issue, we have chosen a European region on the northern cost of Spain where CS spread is overwhelming, Cantabria. We obtained CS pollen extract and analysed the allergenic reaction of 98 patients that were allergic to pollen of local grasses. We determined the skin reaction and the presence of specific IgE antibodies (sIgE) to CS or to a typical autochthonous grass, Phleum pratense. We also compared the seasonal symptoms with reported grass pollen counts in the area. The results strongly suggest that CS can cause respiratory allergies at a similar extent to the local grasses. Given that CS pollinises later than the local grasses, this would extend the period of grass allergies in the region for about three months every year, as stated by most of the patients. This is the first study reported on the effects of the striking expansion of CS on human health. Considering the strong impact that respiratory allergies have on the population, our results suggest that CS can currently constitute a relevant environmental health issue.

RevDate: 2021-12-27
CmpDate: 2021-12-27

Jiang SY, Chen LL, Yan L, et al (2021)

[Impacts of Spartina alterniflora invasion on the benthic food web in the Yellow River Delta during autumn].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 32(12):4499-4507.

Spartina alterniflora was introduced into the Yellow River Delta (YRD) in 1990 with the purpose of shore protection and siltation accretion. However, it spread rapidly and became a severe threat to the local coastal wetland ecosystem. To assess the impacts of S. alterniflora invasion on the benthic food web, we sampled the potential food sources of macrobenthos in November 2020, analyzed the trophic level and the benthic food web structure based on stable isotope technique. Results showed that the average δ13C values of macrobenthic food sources followed an order: sediment organic matter (SOM) > S. alterniflora > benthic microalgae > particulate organic matter (POM) > Suaeda salsa. The average δ15N values significantly differed among food sources, ranging from 1.24‰ to 9.03‰. The trophic levels of different macrobenthos ranged from 1.73 to 4.19, of which the bivalve species was the lowest one. S. alterniflora and the decayed debris were the most important food sources for macrobenthos, but without any impact on the trophic level structure of macro-benthos. In conclusion, Spartina alterniflora invasion distinctly changed the composition of food sources of macrobenthos through a "bottom-up" effect, which would probably impact the local food web structure in the YRD wetland.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Grunwald HA, Weitzel AJ, KL Cooper (2021)

Applications of and considerations for using CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene conversion systems in rodents.

Nature protocols [Epub ahead of print].

Genetic elements that are inherited at super-Mendelian frequencies could be used in a 'gene drive' to spread an allele to high prevalence in a population with the goal of eliminating invasive species or disease vectors. We recently demonstrated that the gene conversion mechanism underlying a CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene drive is feasible in mice. Although substantial technical hurdles remain, overcoming these could lead to strategies that might decrease the spread of rodent-borne Lyme disease or eliminate invasive populations of mice and rats that devastate island ecology. Perhaps more immediately achievable at moderate gene conversion efficiency, applications in a laboratory setting could produce complex genotypes that reduce the time and cost in both dollars and animal lives compared with Mendelian inheritance strategies. Here, we discuss what we have learned from early efforts to achieve CRISPR-Cas9-mediated gene conversion, potential for broader applications in the laboratory, current limitations, and plans for optimizing this potentially powerful technology.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Parra-Rincón E, Velandia-Huerto CA, Gittenberger A, et al (2021)

The Genome of the "Sea Vomit" Didemnum vexillum.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(12): pii:life11121377.

Tunicates are the sister group of vertebrates and thus occupy a key position for investigations into vertebrate innovations as well as into the consequences of the vertebrate-specific genome duplications. Nevertheless, tunicate genomes have not been studied extensively in the past, and comparative studies of tunicate genomes have remained scarce. The carpet sea squirt Didemnum vexillum, commonly known as "sea vomit", is a colonial tunicate considered an invasive species with substantial ecological and economical risk. We report the assembly of the D. vexillum genome using a hybrid approach that combines 28.5 Gb Illumina and 12.35 Gb of PacBio data. The new hybrid scaffolded assembly has a total size of 517.55 Mb that increases contig length about eightfold compared to previous, Illumina-only assembly. As a consequence of an unusually high genetic diversity of the colonies and the moderate length of the PacBio reads, presumably caused by the unusually acidic milieu of the tunic, the assembly is highly fragmented (L50 = 25,284, N50 = 6539). It is sufficient, however, for comprehensive annotations of both protein-coding genes and non-coding RNAs. Despite its shortcomings, the draft assembly of the "sea vomit" genome provides a valuable resource for comparative tunicate genomics and for the study of the specific properties of colonial ascidians.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Tan K, Li DP, Li N, et al (2021)

The Discontinuous Elevational Distribution of an Ungulate at the Regional Scale: Implications for Speciation and Conservation.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(12): pii:ani11123565.

The elevational range where montane species live is a key factor of spatial niche partitioning, because the limits of such ranges are influenced by interspecies interaction, abiotic stress, and dispersal barriers. At the regional scale, unimodal distributions of single species along the elevation gradient have often been reported, while discontinuous patterns, such as bimodal distributions, and potential ecological implications have been rarely discussed. Here, we used extensive camera trap records to reveal the elevation distribution of Himalaya blue sheep (Pseudois nayaur) and its co-existence with other ground animal communities along a slope of Baima Snow Mountain, southwest China. The results show that Himalaya blue sheep exhibited a distinctive bimodal distribution along the elevation gradient contrasting the unimodal distributions found for the other ungulates in Baima snow mountain. A first distributional peak was represented by a population habituating in scree habitat around 4100 m, and a second peak was found in the dry-hot valley around 2600 m. The two distinct populations co-existed with disparate animal communities and these assemblages were similar both in the dry and rainy seasons. The extremely low abundance of blue sheep observed in the densely forested belt at mid-elevation indicates that vegetation rather than temperature is responsible for such segregation. The low-elevation population relied highly on Opuntia ficus-indica, an invasive cactus species that colonized the region six hundred years ago, as food resource. Being the only animal that developed a strategy to feed on this spiky plant, we suggest invasive species may have formed new foraging niche to support blue sheep population in lower elevation hot-dry river valleys, resulting in the geographic separation from the original population and a potential morphological differentiation, as recorded. These findings emphasize the important conservation values of role of ecological functions to identify different taxa, and conservation values of apparent similar species of different ecological functions.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Choi JY, Kim SK, Kim JC, et al (2021)

Invasion and Dispersion of the Exotic Species Procambarus clarkii (Decapoda Cambaridae) in Yeongsan River Basin, South Korea.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(12): pii:ani11123489.

The introduction of exotic species negatively affects the distribution and interactions within local biological communities in an ecosystem and can threaten ecosystem health. This study aimed to provide the basic data required to manage P. clarkii in the Yeongsan River basin. We identified the dispersion pattern and evaluated the ecosystem risk of this newly introduced species. The distribution survey investigated Procambarus clarkii populations at 25 sites in the Yeongsan River basin over a four-year period. The initial introduction occurred in Jiseok Stream. The larvae of P. clarkii were most abundant in areas with a dense aquatic plant cover, whereas adults preferred silt/clay areas. The alterations in the water flow by the river refurbishment project (carried out in 2012) increased their preferred habitats and contributed to P. clarkii dispersion. However, stable isotope analysis showed that the dispersion has had little effect on the freshwater ecosystem. The interrelationship between P. clarkii (i.e., larvae and adults) and other biological communities has been limited. Although the rapid dispersion by P. clarkii in the Yeongsan River basin has not impacted the freshwater ecosystem, further ecological information is required on how to manage P. clarkii beyond this early stage of invasion.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Jubase N, Shackleton RT, J Measey (2021)

Public Awareness and Perceptions of Invasive Alien Species in Small Towns.

Biology, 10(12): pii:biology10121322.

Invasive alien species (IAS) are a growing threat globally and cause a variety of ecological, economic, and social impacts. People can introduce IAS and facilitate their spread, and can also implement, support, or oppose their management. Understanding local knowledge, awareness, and perceptions are therefore crucial if management and policy are to be effective. We administered questionnaires to members of the public in eight small towns along the Berg River Catchment in the biodiverse fynbos biome of South Africa. We aimed to assess: (1) awareness of IAS by the general public, (2) local perceptions of the impacts associated with IAS, (3) whether awareness of IAS is correlated with demographic covariates and IAS density, and (4) people's willingness to detect, report, and support IAS management. Overall, 262 respondents participated in the survey. Most respondents (65%) did not know what IAS are, and 10% were unsure. Many respondents also perceived IAS as beneficial. Using a logistic regression, we found that IAS density, educational level, and gender influenced people's knowledge and perceptions about IAS in the region. There were a small number (4%) of respondents currently detecting and reporting IAS, but many respondents were interested to learn more. We concluded that people living in small towns in the Western Cape of South Africa remain largely unaware of IAS and their impacts. It is crucial to increase awareness-raising initiatives, and build support and engagement in management of IAS in small towns.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Duarte B, Carreiras J, Feijão E, et al (2021)

Potential of Asparagopsis armata as a Biopesticide for Weed Control under an Invasive Seaweed Circular-Economy Framework.

Biology, 10(12): pii:biology10121321.

Marine macroalgae have been increasingly targeted as a source of bioactive compounds to be used in several areas, such as biopesticides. When harvesting invasive species, such as Asparagopsis armata, for this purpose, there is a two-folded opportunity: acquiring these biomolecules from a low-cost resource and controlling its spreading and impacts. The secondary metabolites in this seaweed's exudate have been shown to significantly impact the physiology of species in the ecosystems where it invades, indicating a possible biocidal potential. Considering this in the present work, an A. armata exudate cocktail was applied in the model weed Thellungiella halophila to evaluate its physiological impact and mode of action, addressing its potential use as a natural biocide. A. armata greatly affected the test plants' physiology, namely, their photochemical energy transduction pathway (impairing light-harvesting and chemical energy production throughout the chloroplast electron transport chain), carotenoid metabolism and oxidative stress. These mechanisms of action are similar to the ones triggered when using the common chemical pesticides, highlighting the potential of the A. armata exudate cocktail as an eco-friendly biopesticide.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Robertson PA, Mill AC, Adriaens T, et al (2021)

Risk Management Assessment Improves the Cost-Effectiveness of Invasive Species Prioritisation.

Biology, 10(12): pii:biology10121320.

International agreements commit nations to control or eradicate invasive alien species. The scale of this challenge exceeds available resources and so it is essential to prioritise the management of invasive alien species. Species prioritisation for management typically involves a hierarchy of processes that consider the likelihood and scale of impact (risk assessment) and the feasibility, costs and effectiveness of management (risk management). Risk assessment processes are widely used, risk management less so, but are a crucial component of resource decision making. To assess the cost-effectiveness of prioritisation, we considered 26 high-risk species considered for eradication from Great Britain (GB) with pre-existing risk assessment and risk management outputs. We extracted scores to reflect the overall risk to GB posed by the species, together with the estimated cost and the overall feasibility of eradication. We used these to consider the relative reduction in risk per unit cost when managing prioritised species based on different criteria. We showed that the cost-effectiveness of prioritisation within our sample using risk assessment scores alone, performed no better than a random ranking of the species. In contrast, prioritisation including management feasibility produced nearly two orders of magnitude improvement compared to random. We conclude that basing management actions on priorities based solely on risk assessment without considering management feasibility risks the inefficient use of limited resources. In this study, the cost-effectiveness of species prioritisation for action was greatly increased by the inclusion of risk management assessment.

RevDate: 2021-12-24

Banerjee P, Dey G, Antognazza CM, et al (2021)

Reinforcement of Environmental DNA Based Methods (Sensu Stricto) in Biodiversity Monitoring and Conservation: A Review.

Biology, 10(12): pii:biology10121223.

Recently developed non-invasive environmental DNA-based (eDNA) techniques have enlightened modern conservation biology, propelling the monitoring/management of natural populations to a more effective and efficient approach, compared to traditional surveys. However, due to rapid-expansion of eDNA, confusion in terminology and collection/analytical pipelines can potentially jeopardize research progression, methodological standardization, and practitioner adoption in several ways. Present investigation reflects the developmental progress of eDNA (sensu stricto) including highlighting the successful case studies in conservation management. The eDNA technique is successfully relevant in several areas of conservation research (invasive/conserve species detection) with a high accuracy and authentication, which gradually upgrading modern conservation approaches. The eDNA technique related bioinformatics (e.g., taxon-specific-primers MiFish, MiBird, etc.), sample-dependent methodology, and advancement of sequencing technology (e.g., oxford-nanopore-sequencing) are helping in research progress. The investigation shows that the eDNA technique is applicable largely in (i) early detection of invasive species, (ii) species detection for conservation, (iii) community level biodiversity monitoring, (iv) ecosystem health monitoring, (v) study on trophic interactions, etc. Thus, the eDNA technique with a high accuracy and authentication can be applicable alone or coupled with traditional surveys in conservation biology. However, a comprehensive eDNA-based monitoring program (ecosystem modeling and function) is essential on a global scale for future management decisions.

RevDate: 2021-12-27
CmpDate: 2021-12-27

Lambert M, Carlisle S, Cain I, et al (2021)

Unexpected involvement of a second rodent species makes impacts of introduced rats more difficult to detect.

Scientific reports, 11(1):19805.

Rodent predators are implicated in declines of seabird populations, and removing introduced rats, often, but not always, results in the expected conservation gains. Here we investigated the relationship between small mammal (Norway rat, wood mouse and pygmy shrew) abundance and Manx shearwater breeding success on the island of Rum, Scotland, and tested whether localised rodenticide treatments (to control introduced Norway rats) increased Manx shearwater breeding success. We found that Manx shearwater breeding success was negatively correlated with late summer indices of abundance for rats and mice, but not shrews. On its own, rat activity was a poor predictor of Manx shearwater breeding success. Rat activity increased during the shearwater breeding season in untreated areas but was supressed in areas treated with rodenticides. Levels of mouse (and shrew) activity increased in areas treated with rodenticides (likely in response to lower levels of rat activity) and Manx shearwater breeding success was unchanged in treated areas (p < 0.1). The results suggest that, unexpectedly, negative effects from wood mice can substitute those of Norway rats and that both species contributed to negative impacts on Manx shearwaters. Impacts were intermittent however, and further research is needed to characterise rodent population trends and assess the long-term risks to this seabird colony. The results have implications for conservation practitioners planning rat control programmes on islands where multiple rodent species are present.

RevDate: 2021-12-24
CmpDate: 2021-12-24

Hirose M, Yoshida K, Inoue E, et al (2021)

Population genetic structure of raccoons as a consequence of multiple introductions and range expansion in the Boso Peninsula, Japan.

Scientific reports, 11(1):19294.

The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an invasive carnivore that invaded various areas of the world. Although controlling feral raccoon populations is important to reduce serious threats to local ecosystems, raccoons are not under rigid population control in Europe and Japan. We examined the D-loop and nuclear microsatellite regions to identify spatially explicit and feasible management units for effective population control and further range expansion retardation. Through the identification of five mitochondrial DNA haplotypes and three nuclear genetic groups, we identified at least three independent introductions, range expansion, and subsequent genetic admixture in the Boso Peninsula. The management unit considered that two were appropriate because two populations have already genetic exchange. Furthermore, when taking management, we think that it is important to monitor DNA at the same time as capture measures for feasible management. This makes it possible to determine whether there is a invasion that has a significant impact on population growth from out of the unit, and enables adaptive management.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Subedi IP, Budha PB, Kunwar RM, et al (2021)

Diversity and Distribution of Forest Ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Nepal: Implications for Sustainable Forest Management.

Insects, 12(12): pii:insects12121128.

The information available on the diversity of ant species and their distribution and interaction with forest health in Nepal remains limited. As part of a nationwide project on forest health, we conducted inventories to assess the diversity and distribution of forest ants and their role in forest management in Nepal. Ants were collected from 187 plots of 10 m × 10 m size along the north-south belt transects in eastern, central, and western Nepal. We used vegetation beating, sweeping, and hand collection methods in selected forest types. In each transect, we designed six plots in each major forest type (Sal, Schima-Castanopsis, and broadleaf mixed forests) and three plots each in deodar, Alnus, riverine, and Cryptomeria forests. We recorded 70 ant species from 36 genera and six subfamilies. This includes five genera and nine species new for the country, as well as eight tramp species, four of which are major ecological, agricultural, and/or household pests. Our study indicates that forest ant species richness is high in western Nepal and the Siwaliks, and it decreases as elevation increases. The high diversity of ant species in the forests of Nepal needs to be assessed with further exploration using multiple sampling methods covering all seasons and forest types. Ants can be useful indicators for ecosystem management and human impacts on forests. Reports of invasive ants in Nepalese forests indicate the relevance of urgent interventions through sustainable forest management initiatives to prevent future incursions.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Ngo K, Castillo P, Laine RA, et al (2021)

Effects of Menadione on Survival, Feeding, and Tunneling Activity of the Formosan Subterranean Termite.

Insects, 12(12): pii:insects12121109.

The Formosan subterranean termite, Coptotermes formosanus Shiraki, is a highly destructive pest and a cosmopolitan invasive species. Sustainable termite management methods have been improving with the search for novel insecticides that are effective, safe, and cost efficient. Menadione, also known as vitamin K3, is a synthetic analogue and biosynthetic precursor of vitamin K with low mammalian toxicity. Menadione has shown insecticidal activity in several insects, presumably due to interference with mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. However, little is known about its effectiveness against termites. In this study, we evaluated the toxicity and repellency of menadione in C. formosanus. Our results showed that menadione affected the survival and feeding activity of termites both in filter paper and substrate (sand) treatments, and menadione influenced termite tunneling activity in treated sand. In a no-choice assay, ≥90% mortality after seven days and minimal or no food consumption were recorded when sand was treated with menadione at 6 to 600 ppm. In a two-choice assay with a combination of treated and untreated sand, termites were deterred by menadione at 6 to 600 ppm and exhibited low mortality (≤30%) over seven days, while tunneling activity was prevented with 60 to 600 ppm of menadione treatment. Overall, our study demonstrated dose-dependent toxicity and repellency of menadione in C. formosanus. The potential use of menadione as an alternative termite control agent is discussed.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Lambert AM, Tewksbury LA, RA Casagrande (2021)

Performance of a Native Butterfly and Introduced Moth on Native and Introduced Lineages of Phragmites australis.

Insects, 12(12): pii:insects12121102.

This study examined the performance of Poanes viator (Edwards) (Hesperiidae), a native North American skipper, and Rhizedra lutosa (Hübner) (Noctuidae), an introduced moth, reared on native and non-native, invasive lineages of Phragmites australis. Poanes viator is a generalist on monocots and larvae were also fed leaves of Zizania aquatica, a native macrophyte that the skipper commonly uses as a host plant. Larval survival and duration, pupal weight, and pupation time were compared for P. viator feeding on leaf tissue and R. lutosa feeding on rhizomes of either native or introduced plants. We also tested an artificial diet supplemented with P. australis rhizome powder as a potential food for rearing other stalk and rhizome boring Lepidoptera. In experiments using excised plant tissues, some individuals of both species fed and developed to the pupal stage on native and introduced plants, but overall, larval survival rates were low. Plant species/haplotype identity did not cause strong differences in larval survival for either species. However, P. viator larvae only pupated when feeding on native plants (Zizania aquatica and native P. australis haplotypes), whereas R. lutosa successfully pupated on both native and introduced P. australis. Although larval survival was low, 100% of P. viator and 95% of R. lutosa that reached the pupal stage emerged as adults. Rhizedra lutosa larvae fed an artificial diet supplemented with P. australis rhizome powder had significantly greater survival and pupal weights, and shorter pupation times than larvae fed rhizomes only. Several specialist Lepidopteran species are being considered for approval as biological control agents for the non-native P. australis haplotype, and the convenience and increased larval performance make this artificial diet a good alternative for rearing organisms.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Kalaentzis K, Kazilas C, Demetriou J, et al (2021)

Alientoma, a Dynamic Database for Alien Insects in Greece and Its Use by Citizen Scientists in Mapping Alien Species.

Insects, 12(12): pii:insects12121101.

Invasive alien species have been increasingly acknowledged as a major threat to native biodiversity and ecosystem services, while their adverse impacts expand to human health, society and the economy on a global scale. Insects represent one of the most numerous alien organismic groups, accounting for about one fifth of their total number. In Greece, a large number of alien insects have been identified, currently reaching 469 species. In recent decades, the contribution of citizen science towards detecting and mapping the distribution of alien insects has been steeply increasing. Addressing the need for up-to-date information on alien species as well as encouraging public participation in scientific research, the Alientoma website-derived from "alien" and the Greek word "entoma", meaning insects, is presented. The website aims towards providing updated information on alien species of insects to the public as well as the scientific community, raising awareness about biological invasions and addressing their distribution and impacts inter alia. By maintaining a dynamic online database alongside a strong social media presence since its launch, Alientoma has attracted individuals mainly from Greece and Cyprus, interacting with the website through a total of 1512 sessions. Alientoma intends to establish a constantly increasing network of citizen scientists and to supplement early detection, monitoring and management efforts to mitigate the adverse impacts of alien insects in Greece.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Joyce AL, Parolini H, H Brailovsky (2021)

Distribution of Two Strains of Leptoglossus zonatus (Dallas) (Hemiptera: Coreidae) in the Western Hemisphere: Is L. zonatus a Potential Invasive Species in California?.

Insects, 12(12): pii:insects12121094.

The leaffooted plant bug, Leptoglossus zonatus (Dallas) (Hemiptera: Coreidae) is polyphagous and widely distributed in the Western Hemisphere. Although it has been recorded in California since around 1900, it has become a more common pest in almonds in the last decade. Other studies have shown that an established insect can become a pest when a new genotype is introduced. This study investigated the distribution of two lineages (strains) of L. zonatus in the Western Hemisphere. Specimens from the Leptoglossus collection in the national insect collection in Mexico were used to extract DNA and sequence the mitochondrial DNA cytochrome oxidase I (mtDNA COI) gene, for use in population genetic and phylogenetic analyses. New sequences from Mexico, Central and South America were combined with those available in GenBank, from California and Brazil. Two lineages (strains) of L. zonatus were uncovered. One lineage occurs in California, Mexico and Ecuador. The second lineage is more widespread and found in California, Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Bolivia and Brazil. The haplotype number and diversity, and nucleotide diversity, were found for samples from California, Mexico, and Brazil, for the two lineages, and for all 118 sequences combined. All sequences combined produced five haplotypes, and a haplotype diversity of 0.54. California and Brazil had 3 haplotypes each, with one haplotype shared (5 total). Haplotype diversity in California and in Brazil were 0.526 and 0.505, respectively. A haplotype network found that one haplotype was most abundant and widespread. The small number of haplotypes, a range expansion, and economic pest status of L. zonatus in California, all contribute to this insect being a potentially invasive insect pest.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Shen X, Liu W, Wan F, et al (2021)

The Role of Cytochrome P450 4C1 and Carbonic Anhydrase 3 in Response to Temperature Stress in Bemisia tabaci.

Insects, 12(12): pii:insects12121071.

The position of the chromatin opening of Bemisia tabaci undergoes significant changes under different temperature stresses, and numerous regulatory factors have been found. In this study, we verified two key factors, cytochrome P450 4C1 and carbonic anhydrase 3. The results showed that invasive whiteflies had a significantly lower heat resistance after silencing BtCYP 4C1 and BtCar3. In addition, whiteflies had a higher cold tolerance after silencing BtCYP 4C1. These results indicate that BtCYP 4C1 and BtCar3 are key regulators in the temperature adaptation of B. tabaci. Moreover, they may be key factors in influencing the geographical distribution and dispersal of B. tabaci as an invasive species in China.

RevDate: 2021-12-23

Latombe G, Richardson DM, McGeoch MA, et al (2021)

Mechanistic reconciliation of community and invasion ecology.

Ecosphere (Washington, D.C), 12(2):e03359 pii:ECS23359.

Community and invasion ecology have mostly grown independently. There is substantial overlap in the processes captured by different models in the two fields, and various frameworks have been developed to reduce this redundancy and synthesize information content. Despite broad recognition that community and invasion ecology are interconnected, a process-based framework synthesizing models across these two fields is lacking. Here we review 65 representative community and invasion models and propose a common framework articulated around six processes (dispersal, drift, abiotic interactions, within-guild interactions, cross-guild interactions, and genetic changes). The framework is designed to synthesize the content of the two fields, provide a general perspective on their development, and enable their comparison. The application of this framework and of a novel method based on network theory reveals some lack of coherence between the two fields, despite some historical similarities. Community ecology models are characterized by combinations of multiple processes, likely reflecting the search for an overarching theory to explain community assembly and structure, drawing predominantly on interaction processes, but also accounting largely for the other processes. In contrast, most models in invasion ecology invoke fewer processes and focus more on interactions between introduced species and their novel biotic and abiotic environment. The historical dominance of interaction processes and their independent developments in the two fields is also reflected in the lower level of coherence for models involving interactions, compared to models involving dispersal, drift, and genetic changes. It appears that community ecology, with a longer history than invasion ecology, has transitioned from the search for single explanations for patterns observed in nature to investigate how processes may interact mechanistically, thereby generating and testing hypotheses. Our framework paves the way for a similar transition in invasion ecology, to better capture the dynamics of multiple alien species introduced in complex communities. Reciprocally, applying insights from invasion to community ecology will help us understand and predict the future of ecological communities in the Anthropocene, in which human activities are weakening species' natural boundaries. Ultimately, the successful integration of the two fields could advance a predictive ecology that is urgently required in a rapidly changing world.

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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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Collection of publications by R J Robbins

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

Research Gate page for R J Robbins

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

Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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Curriculum Vitae for R J Robbins

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