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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project: Providing world-wide, free access to classic scientific papers and other scholarly materials, since 1993.


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Sep 2021 at 01:34 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)


RevDate: 2021-09-15

Hamann D, C Hamann (2021)

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-15

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

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

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):12092-12113 pii:ECE37974.

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

Location: Global.

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-15

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

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

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):12075-12091 pii:ECE37973.

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

RevDate: 2021-09-15

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

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

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):11874-11889 pii:ECE37954.

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

RevDate: 2021-09-15

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

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

Ecology and evolution, 11(17):11749-11761 pii:ECE37920.

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

RevDate: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2021-09-15

Peneaux C, Grainger R, Lermite F, et al (2021)

Detrimental effects of urbanization on the diet, health, and signal coloration of an ecologically successful alien bird.

The Science of the total environment, 796:148828.

Theory suggests that overcrowding and increased competition in urban environments might be detrimental to individual condition in avian populations. Unfavourable living conditions could be compounded by changes in dietary niche with additional consequences for individual quality of urban birds. We analysed the isotopic signatures, signal coloration, body condition, parasitic loads (feather mites and coccidia), and immune responsiveness of 191 adult common (Indian) mynas (Acridotheres tristis) captured in 19 localities with differing levels of urbanization. The isotopic signature of myna feathers differed across low and high urbanized habitats, with a reduced isotopic niche breadth found in highly urbanized birds. This suggests that birds in high urban environments may occupy a smaller foraging niche to the one of less urbanized birds. In addition, higher degrees of urbanization were associated with a decrease in carotenoid-based coloration, higher ectoparasite loads and higher immune responsiveness. This pattern of results suggests that the health status of mynas from more urbanized environments was poorer than mynas from less modified habitats. Our findings are consistent with the theory that large proportions of individual birds that would otherwise die under natural conditions survive due to prevailing top-down and bottom-up ecological processes in cities. Detrimental urban ecological conditions and search for more favourable, less crowded habitats offers the first reasonable explanation for why an ecological invader like the common myna continues to spread within its global invasive range.

RevDate: 2021-09-15
CmpDate: 2021-09-15

Arranz I, Brucet S, Bartrons M, et al (2021)

Fish size spectra are affected by nutrient concentration and relative abundance of non-native species across streams of the NE Iberian Peninsula.

The Science of the total environment, 795:148792.

Aquatic ecosystems are strongly body-size structured with a decline of numerical abundance with increasing body size (hereafter, the size spectrum). Marine and lake fish studies have reported consistent variations of size spectra in relation to environmental conditions and biotic composition, but little is known about stream fishes. Accordingly, in this study we test several hypotheses about the effects of local water conditions, biotic introductions and cumulative pressures (measured as the IMPRESS index) on the fish size-spectrum slope (that is, the linear rate of decline of fish abundance as body size increase in a log-log scale) and the size-spectrum intercept (commonly used as proxy for carrying capacity) among 118 local fish assemblages in streams of the NE Iberian Peninsula. To our knowledge, this is the first time that an extensive river fish dataset is used in a dendritic network to cover systematic changes of size-spectrum parameters. We find that the slope and intercept of the fish size spectrum are negatively correlated with nutrient concentration (mainly total phosphorus), with a greater relative abundance of small fishes but a decline of overall carrying capacity. Moreover, fish assemblages with greater relative abundance of non-native species have flatter size-spectrum slopes. In contrast, the IMPRESS index and climate-related variables are poor predictors of the shape of the fish size spectra. This study contributes to better understanding of the main factors structuring fish assemblages in lotic environments of the Iberian Peninsula. We encourage more research on this line to further explore the use of fish size structure to evaluate the ecological health of riverine ecosystems.

RevDate: 2021-09-14

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

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

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-14

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-14

Herben T (2005)

Species pool size and invasibility of island communities: a null model of sampling effects.

Ecology letters, 8(9):909-917.

The success of alien species on oceanic islands is considered to be one of the classic observed patterns in ecology. Explanations for this pattern are based on lower species richness on islands and the lower resistance of species-poor communities to invaders, but this argument needs re-examination. The important difference between islands and mainland is in the size of species pools, not in local species richness; invasibility of islands should therefore be addressed in terms of differences in species pools. Here I examine whether differences in species pools can affect invasibility in a lottery model with pools of identical native and exotic species. While in a neutral model with all species identical, invasibility does not depend on the species pool, a model with non-zero variation in population growth rates predicts higher invasibility of communities of smaller pools. This is because of species sampling; drawing species from larger pools increases the probability that an assemblage will include fast growing species. Such assemblages are more likely to exclude random invaders. This constitutes a mechanism through which smaller species pools (such as those of isolated islands) can directly underlie differences in invasibility.

RevDate: 2021-09-14
CmpDate: 2021-09-14

Echeverry-Cárdenas E, López-Castañeda C, Carvajal-Castro JD, et al (2021)

Potential geographic distribution of the tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1894) (Diptera: Culicidae) in current and future conditions for Colombia.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(5):e0008212.

In Colombia, little is known on the distribution of the Asian mosquito Aedes albopictus, main vector of dengue, chikungunya, and Zika in Asia and Oceania. Therefore, this work sought to estimate its current and future potential geographic distribution under the Representative Concentration Paths (RCP) 2.6 and 8.5 emission scenarios by 2050 and 2070, using ecological niche models. For this, predictions were made in MaxEnt, employing occurrences of A. albopictus from their native area and South America and bioclimatic variables of these places. We found that, from their invasion of Colombia to the most recent years, A. albopictus is present in 47% of the country, in peri-urban (20%), rural (23%), and urban (57%) areas between 0 and 1800 m, with Antioquia and Valle del Cauca being the departments with most of the records. Our ecological niche modelling for the currently suggests that A. albopictus is distributed in 96% of the Colombian continental surface up to 3000 m (p < 0.001) putting at risk at least 48 million of people that could be infected by the arboviruses that this species transmits. Additionally, by 2050 and 2070, under RCP 2.6 scenario, its distribution could cover to nearly 90% of continental extension up to 3100 m (≈55 million of people at risk), while under RCP 8.5 scenario, it could decrease below 60% of continental extension, but expand upward to 3200 m (< 38 million of people at risk). These results suggest that, currently in Colombia, A. albopictus is found throughout the country and climate change could diminish eventually its area of distribution, but increase its altitudinal range. In Colombia, surveillance and vector control programs must focus their attention on this vector to avoid complications in the national public health setting.

RevDate: 2021-09-14
CmpDate: 2021-09-14

Ronca SE, Ruff JC, KO Murray (2021)

A 20-year historical review of West Nile virus since its initial emergence in North America: Has West Nile virus become a neglected tropical disease?.

PLoS neglected tropical diseases, 15(5):e0009190.

After the unexpected arrival of West Nile virus (WNV) in the United States in 1999, the mosquito-borne virus quickly spread throughout North America. Over the past 20 years, WNV has become endemic, with sporadic epizootics. Concerns about the economic impact of infection in horses lead to the licensure of an equine vaccine as early as 2005, but few advances regarding human vaccines or treatments have since been made. There is a high level of virus transmission in hot/humid, subtropical climates, and high morbidity that may disproportionately affect vulnerable populations including the homeless, elderly, and those with underlying health conditions. Although WNV continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality at great cost, funding and research have declined in recent years. These factors, combined with neglect by policy makers and amenability of control measures, indicate that WNV has become a neglected tropical disease.

RevDate: 2021-09-13

De Jesus AD, AG Jimenez (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-13

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

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

Physiologia plantarum [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-13

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

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

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-13

Nguyen HTM, Ha PV, T Kompas (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-13

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-10

LaForgia ML, Kang H, CL Ettinger (2021)

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

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-10

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-09

Hulme PE, W Liu (2021)

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

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

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

Nuske SJ, Fajardo A, Nuñez MA, et al (2021)

Soil biotic and abiotic effects on seedling growth exhibit context-dependent interactions: evidence from a multi-country experiment on Pinus contorta invasion.

The New phytologist, 232(1):303-317.

The success of invasive plants is influenced by many interacting factors, but evaluating multiple possible mechanisms of invasion success and elucidating the relative importance of abiotic and biotic drivers is challenging, and therefore rarely achieved. We used live, sterile or inoculated soil from different soil origins (native range and introduced range plantation; and invaded plots spanning three different countries) in a fully factorial design to simultaneously examine the influence of soil origin and soil abiotic and biotic factors on the growth of invasive Pinus contorta. Our results displayed significant context dependency in that certain soil abiotic conditions in the introduced ranges (soil nitrogen, phosphorus or carbon content) influenced responses to inoculation treatments. Our findings do not support the enemy release hypothesis or the enhanced mutualism hypothesis, as biota from native and plantation ranges promoted growth similarly. Instead, our results support the missed mutualism hypothesis, as biota from invasive ranges were the least beneficial for seedling growth. Our study provides a novel perspective on how variation in soil abiotic factors can influence plant-soil feedbacks for an invasive tree across broad biogeographical contexts.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

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

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

Phytopathology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-08

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-08

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

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

Microbiology spectrum [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Xie XF, Sun XM, Wu T, et al (2020)

[Impacts of Spartina alterniflora invasion on coastal wetland ecosystem: Advances and prospects].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 31(6):2119-2128.

Coastal wetland, affected by the interaction of land and marine ecosystems, is a typical fragile and sensitive zone. Spartina alterniflora is the most successful invasive species in global coastal zone, with important impact on coastal wetland ecosystems. We systematically summarized available literature, and reviewed the effects of S. alterniflora invasion on biogeochemical cycling (soil carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus cycling, and soil heavy metal migration) and biological community (microorganisms, plants, and animals) in coastal wetlands. Then, three perspectives were proposed for the future research: 1) strengthening the mechanism of the impact of S. alterniflora invasion on ecosystem health of coastal wetlands; 2) focusing on the coupling mechanism of the interaction between S. alterniflora community and coastal wetland environment in the context of global change; 3) carrying out long-term positioning monitoring to clarify the responses of coastal wetlands at different stages of S. alterniflora invasion. This review could provide guidance for the ecological utilization and management of S. alterniflora.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Xiao QZ, Chen LJ, Jin JJ, et al (2020)

[Ecomorphological traits explaining the competition exclusion between Oryzias and mosqui-tofish].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 31(6):2087-2097.

The theory of ecomorphology predicts that species with similar morphological traits can occupy similar ecological niche, which may cause competitive exclusion. To apply this theory into fish invasion ecology research is of significance for understanding the interaction between native and invasive species. Here, we compared the morphological difference between two native (Oryzias pectoralis, Oryzias curvinotus) and one invasive species (Gambusia affinis) to explore the competitive exclusion among them. The results showed that despite O. pectoralis and O. curvinotus were sympa-tric species, they varied in spatial distribution. Such a result supported the theory of ecomorphology, which predicts that two species with similar morphological traits might have strong competition. Moreover, their population density exhibited a significant negative relationship with that of G. affinis. The morphology of G. affinis and both Oryzias species were more similar when comparing to other fish in the assemblage. Results from the cluster analysis showed that G. affinis and Oryzias species were close in a branch, with extremely low spatial niche overlap between invasive mosquitofish and native Oryzias species. There was significant negative correlation between the population abundance of mosquitofish and Oryzias species. All the results suggested that mosquitofish led to population decline of both Oryzias species, due to the ecomorphological similarity. More studies are needed to better understand the mechanisms of G. affinis invasion in habitats of native Oryzias species.

RevDate: 2021-09-08

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

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

The Journal of experimental biology pii:272111 [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-08

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

Amplified plasmonic and microfluidic setup for DNA monitoring.

Mikrochimica acta, 188(10):326.

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

RevDate: 2021-09-08

Hom EFY, AS Penn (2021)

Symbiosis and the Anthropocene.

Symbiosis (Philadelphia, Pa.) pii:794 [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-08
CmpDate: 2021-09-08

Westwood JH (2021)

Plant Biology: Genome Reveals Secrets of the Alien Within.

Current biology : CB, 31(5):R241-R243.

The genome of the parasitic plant Sapria himalayana reveals extraordinary changes that reflect its endoparasitic lifestyle. The genome has lost many genes, including the entire chloroplast genome, but has gained genes through horizontal gene transfer and repeated transposable elements.

RevDate: 2021-09-06

Fryzlewicz L, VanWinkle A, C Lahondère (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-09-06

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

First Coronavirus Active Survey in Rodents From the Canary Islands.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 8:708079.

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

RevDate: 2021-09-06

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

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

Frontiers in nutrition, 8:719438.

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

RevDate: 2021-09-04

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

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

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-04

Franklin PA, Baker CF, KA Reeve (2021)

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

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-03

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

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

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-03

Shakya SK, Grünwald NJ, Fieland VJ, et al (2021)

Phylogeography of the wide-host range panglobal plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Various hypotheses have been proposed regarding the origin of the plant pathogen Phytophthora cinnamomi. P. cinnamomi is a devastating, highly invasive soilborne pathogen associated with epidemics of agricultural, horticultural and forest plantations and native ecosystems worldwide. We conducted a phylogeographic analysis of populations of this pathogen sampled in Asia, Australia, Europe, southern and northern Africa, South America, and North America. Based on genotyping-by-sequencing, we observed the highest genotypic diversity in Taiwan and Vietnam, followed by Australia and South Africa. Mating type ratios were in equal proportions in Asia as expected for a sexual population. Simulations based on the index of association suggest a partially sexual, semi-clonal mode of reproduction for the Taiwanese and Vietnamese populations while populations outside of Asia are clonal. Ancestral area reconstruction provides new evidence supporting Taiwan as the ancestral area, given our sample, indicating that this region might be near or at the centre of origin for this pathogen as speculated previously. The Australian and South African populations appear to be a secondary centre of diversity following migration from Taiwan or Vietnam. Our work also identified two panglobal, clonal lineages PcG1-A2 and PcG2-A2 of A2 mating type found on all continents. Further surveys of natural forests across Southeast Asia are needed to definitively locate the actual centre of origin of this important plant pathogen.

RevDate: 2021-09-03
CmpDate: 2021-09-03

Ørsted M, Lye J, Umina PA, et al (2021)

Global analysis of the seasonal abundance of the invasive pest Drosophila suzukii reveal temperature extremes determine population activity potential.

Pest management science, 77(10):4555-4563.

BACKGROUND: The global pest spotted winged drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) continues to have a significant economic impact on fruit production in areas where it is established, in addition to newly invaded ranges. Management activities spanning national biosecurity responses to farm-scale pest control are limited by the inability to predict the timing and severity of seasonal outbreaks of D. suzukii and its climatic drivers.

RESULTS: Here, we compiled and analysed data on international seasonal abundances for D. suzukii under different climates, crop types and management contexts to improve the predictability of seasonal population dynamics. In relating seasonal abundances to environmental predictors, specifically temperature, we found strong negative effects of exposure to high and low temperatures during the preceding month. Unlike most regional studies on D. suzukii phenology that focus on temperature in the physiological development range, we show that thermal extremes better explain seasonal population fluctuations.

CONCLUSION: Although trap catches remain an indirect measure of infestations and must be interpreted carefully in terms of crop risk, our results should support monitoring programmes through enhanced knowledge of the climatic factors affecting D. suzukii population activity. The negative impact of high temperatures suggests that late-season management strategies focusing on manipulating crop microclimates to temperatures above 25 °C can reduce D. suzukii abundance. We show that early season abundance is modulated by climate, particularly the depth of cold extremes experienced in the preceding time interval. These associations may be further developed into early-season crop risk forecasts to support monitoring programs. © 2021 Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2021-09-01

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

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

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-09-01

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

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

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-08-31

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

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

Nature ecology & evolution [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-08-30

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

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

Persoonia, 45:177-195.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-28

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-28

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

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

Viruses, 13(8): pii:v13081492.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-28

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

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

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8): pii:plants10081519.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-28

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

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

Pathogens (Basel, Switzerland), 10(8): pii:pathogens10080947.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

PeerJ, 9:e11783 pii:11783.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

Insects, 12(8): pii:insects12080755.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Veldtman R, Daly D, GFHVG Bekker (2021)

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

Insects, 12(8): pii:insects12080732.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

Insects, 12(8): pii:insects12080675.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

Insects, 12(8): pii:insects12080662.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 11(8): pii:life11080814.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

Genes, 12(8): pii:genes12081279.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

Biology, 10(8): pii:biology10080698.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

Schuster RK, Specht P, S Rieger (2021)

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

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(8): pii:ani11082444.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-27

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

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

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 11(8): pii:ani11082436.

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

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

Xavier CAD, Allen ML, AE Whitfield (2021)

Ever-increasing viral diversity associated with the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta (Formicidae: Hymenoptera).

Virology journal, 18(1):5.

BACKGROUND: Advances in sequencing and analysis tools have facilitated discovery of many new viruses from invertebrates, including ants. Solenopsis invicta is an invasive ant that has quickly spread worldwide causing significant ecological and economic impacts. Its virome has begun to be characterized pertaining to potential use of viruses as natural enemies. Although the S. invicta virome is the best characterized among ants, most studies have been performed in its native range, with less information from invaded areas.

METHODS: Using a metatranscriptome approach, we further identified and molecularly characterized virus sequences associated with S. invicta, in two introduced areas, U.S and Taiwan. The data set used here was obtained from different stages (larvae, pupa, and adults) of S. invicta life cycle. Publicly available RNA sequences from GenBank's Sequence Read Archive were downloaded and de novo assembled using CLC Genomics Workbench 20.0.1. Contigs were compared against the non-redundant protein sequences and those showing similarity to viral sequences were further analyzed.

RESULTS: We characterized five putative new viruses associated with S. invicta transcriptomes. Sequence comparisons revealed extensive divergence across ORFs and genomic regions with most of them sharing less than 40% amino acid identity with those closest homologous sequences previously characterized. The first negative-sense single-stranded RNA virus genomic sequences included in the orders Bunyavirales and Mononegavirales are reported. In addition, two positive single-strand virus genome sequences and one single strand DNA virus genome sequence were also identified. While the presence of a putative tenuivirus associated with S. invicta was previously suggested to be a contamination, here we characterized and present strong evidence that Solenopsis invicta virus 14 (SINV-14) is a tenui-like virus that has a long-term association with the ant. Furthermore, based on virus sequence abundance compared to housekeeping genes, phylogenetic relationships, and completeness of viral coding sequences, our results suggest that four of five virus sequences reported, those being SINV-14, SINV-15, SINV-16 and SINV-17, may be associated to viruses actively replicating in the ant S. invicta.

CONCLUSIONS: The present study expands our knowledge about viral diversity associated with S. invicta in introduced areas with potential to be used as biological control agents, which will require further biological characterization.

RevDate: 2021-08-26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-26

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-26

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

Behavioral flexibility in Wasmannia auropunctata (Hymenoptera: Formicidae).

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-26

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-26

Ponce JJ, Arismendi I, A Thomas (2021)

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

PeerJ, 9:e11835 pii:11835.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-26

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

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

Frontiers in microbiology, 12:653998.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-24

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-26
CmpDate: 2021-08-26

Goetz SM, Steen DA, Miller MA, et al (2021)

Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator merianae) can survive the winter under semi-natural conditions well beyond their current invasive range.

PloS one, 16(3):e0245877.

The Argentine Black and White Tegu (Salvator merianae, formerly Tupinambis merianae) is a large lizard from South America. Now established and invasive in southern Florida, and it poses threats to populations of many native species. Models suggest much of the southern United States may contain suitable temperature regimes for this species, yet there is considerable uncertainty regarding either the potential for range expansion northward out of tropical and subtropical zones or the potential for the species establishing elsewhere following additional independent introductions. We evaluated survival, body temperature, duration and timing of winter dormancy, and health of wild-caught tegus from southern Florida held in semi-natural enclosures for over a year in Auburn, Alabama (> 900 km northwest of capture location). Nine of twelve lizards emerged from winter dormancy and seven survived the greater-than-one-year duration of the study. Average length of dormancy (176 d) was greater than that reported in the native range or for invasive populations in southern Florida and females remained dormant longer than males. Tegus grew rapidly throughout the study and the presence of sperm in the testes of males and previtellogenic or early vitellogenic follicles in female ovaries at the end of our study suggest the animals would have been capable of reproduction the following spring. The survival and overall health of the majority of adult tegus in our study suggests weather and climate patterns are unlikely to prevent survival following introduction in many areas of the United States far from their current invasive range.

RevDate: 2021-08-26
CmpDate: 2021-08-26

Werner SJ, DeLiberto ST, McLean HE, et al (2021)

Toxicity of sodium nitrite-based vertebrate pesticides for European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris).

PloS one, 16(3):e0246277.

In the 21st century, invasive animals rank second only to habitat destruction as the greatest threat to global biodiversity. Socially-acceptable and cost-effective strategies are needed to reduce the negative economic and environmental impacts of invasive animals. We investigated the potential for sodium nitrite (SN; CAS 7632-00-0) to serve as an avian toxicant for European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris L.). We also assessed the non-target hazard of an experimental formulation of SN that is being developed as a toxicant for invasive wild pigs (Sus scrofa L.). In gavage experiments with European starlings, we identified a lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for mortality of 2.40% technical SN (w/v; 120 mg SN/kg body mass) and a no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) for mortality of 1.30% technical SN (65 mg/kg). The exposure of ten starlings to the experimental formulation of SN (10% SN pig toxicant) resulted in one starling mortality during four days of exposure to the toxic bait. Sodium nitrite toxicity presented a moderate hazard to European starlings; thus, the future development of SN as an avian toxicant is dependent upon its cost-effectiveness. We discuss the management of toxic effects and non-target hazards of SN for wild birds, including best practices for toxic baiting of vertebrate pests and management of invasive wild pigs.

RevDate: 2021-08-26
CmpDate: 2021-08-26

Pieper S, Dorken M, J Freeland (2020)

Genetic structure in hybrids and progenitors provides insight into processes underlying an invasive cattail (Typha × glauca) hybrid zone.

Heredity, 124(6):714-725.

Traditional models of hybrid zones have assumed relatively low hybrid fitness, and thus focussed more on interspecific gene flow than on hybrid dispersal. Therefore, when hybrids have high fitness and the potential for autonomous dispersal, we have limited understanding of whether hybrid dispersal or repeated local hybrid formation is more important for maintaining hybrid zones. The invasive hybrid cattail Typha × glauca occupies an extensive hybrid zone in northeastern North America where it is sympatric with its progenitors T. latifolia and T. angustifolia. We characterized genetic diversity and genetic structure of the three taxa across a broad spatial scale where the maternal parent is relatively rare, and tested the hypothesis that the hybrid shows stronger evidence of gene flow than its progenitor species, particularly among disturbed sites (ditches) compared with established wetlands. Support for this hypothesis would suggest that dispersal, rather than repeated local formation, is more important for maintaining hybrid zones. Within each taxon, genetic differentiation among ditches was comparable to that among wetlands, although clonal richness was consistently greater in ditches, suggesting more frequent seed establishment. Genetic structure across sites was more pronounced in the hybrid compared with either progenitor species. Overall, our data reflect relatively low gene flow in hybrids, and suggest that hybrids are more likely to be created in situ than to be introduced from other sites. Despite the high fitness of invasive T. × glauca and its potential for autonomy, local processes appear more important than dispersal in maintaining this hybrid zone.

RevDate: 2021-08-26
CmpDate: 2021-08-26

Sendell-Price AT, Ruegg KC, SM Clegg (2020)

Rapid morphological divergence following a human-mediated introduction: the role of drift and directional selection.

Heredity, 124(4):535-549.

Theory predicts that when populations are established by few individuals, random founder effects can facilitate rapid phenotypic divergence even in the absence of selective processes. However, empirical evidence from historically documented colonisations suggest that, in most cases, drift alone is not sufficient to explain the rate of morphological divergence. Here, using the human-mediated introduction of the silvereye (Zosterops lateralis) to French Polynesia, which represents a potentially extreme example of population founding, we reassess the potential for morphological shifts to arise via drift alone. Despite only 80 years of separation from their New Zealand ancestors, French Polynesian silvereyes displayed significant changes in body and bill size and shape, most of which could be accounted for by drift, without the need to invoke selection. However, signatures of selection at genes previously identified as candidates for bill size and body shape differences in a range of bird species, also suggests a role for selective processes in driving morphological shifts within this population. Twenty-four SNPs in our RAD-Seq dataset were also found to be strongly associated with phenotypic variation. Hence, even under population founding extremes, when it is difficult to reject drift as the sole mechanism based on rate tests of phenotypic shifts, the additional role of divergent natural selection in novel environments can be revealed at the level of the genome.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

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

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

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

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

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Adaptation across environmental gradients has been demonstrated in numerous systems with extensive dispersal, despite high gene flow and consequently low genetic structure. The speed and mechanisms by which such adaptation occurs remain poorly resolved, but are critical to understanding species spread and persistence in a changing world. Here, we investigate these mechanisms in the European green crab Carcinus maenas, a globally distributed invader. We focus on a northwestern Pacific population that spread across >12 degrees of latitude in 10 years from a single source, following its introduction <35 years ago. Using six locations spanning >1,500 km, we examine genetic structure using 9,376 Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs). We find high connectivity among five locations, with significant structure between these locations and an enclosed lagoon with limited connectivity to the coast. Among the five highly connected locations, the only structure observed was a cline driven by a handful of SNPs strongly associated with latitude and winter temperature. These SNPs are almost exclusively found in a large cluster of genes in strong linkage disequilibrium that was previously identified as a candidate for cold tolerance adaptation in this species. This region may represent a balanced polymorphism that evolved to promote rapid adaptation in variable environments despite high gene flow, and which now contributes to successful invasion and spread in a novel environment. This research suggests an answer to the paradox of genetically depauperate yet successful invaders: populations may be able to adapt via a few variants of large effect despite low overall diversity.

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Sato T, T Jogahara (2021)

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

Molecular biology reports [Epub ahead of print].

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

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

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

Ecology and evolution, 11(16):11457-11476 pii:ECE37938.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Adey AK, ER Larson (2021)

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

Ecology and evolution, 11(16):11310-11322 pii:ECE37916.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Narimanov N, Hatamli K, MH Entling (2021)

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

Ecology and evolution, 11(16):11200-11206 pii:ECE37905.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

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

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

Evolutionary applications, 14(8):2134-2144 pii:EVA13274.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-25

Kruitwagen A, Wertheim B, LW Beukeboom (2021)

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

Evolutionary applications, 14(8):1993-2011 pii:EVA13252.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-24

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

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

Scientific reports, 11(1):17058.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-23

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

Cutaneous Bacteria of Confiscated Telmatobius Culeus in Lima, Peru.

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-23

Wagener C, Kruger N, J Measey (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-23

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

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

The Journal of experimental biology pii:271920 [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-08-23

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

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

Frontiers in plant science, 12:612702.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-23

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

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

Environment, development and sustainability pii:1753 [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-08-22

Bonnamour A, Gippet JMW, C Bertelsmeier (2021)

Insect and plant invasions follow two waves of globalisation.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-22

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

Solutions in microbiome engineering: prioritizing barriers to organism establishment.

The ISME journal [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-08-20

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

Novel chemicals engender myriad invasion mechanisms.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

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

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Arnesen CH, F Rosell (2021)

Pest detection dogs for wood boring longhorn beetles.

Scientific reports, 11(1):16887.

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

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Birzu G, Hallatschek O, KS Korolev (2021)

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

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

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

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Young C, Ravida N, Rochford M, et al (2021)

Sperm cryopreservation in the Burmese python Python bivittatus as a model for endangered snakes.

Reproduction, fertility, and development pii:RD21023 [Epub ahead of print].

Burmese pythons Python bivittatus captured in the Florida Everglades as part of an invasive species monitoring program served as a model for the development of sperm cryopreservation protocols for endangered snakes. Spermatozoa were collected from the vas deferens and initial motility, plasma membrane integrity and acrosome integrity were recorded before cryopreservation. Spermatozoa were extended in TES and Tris (TEST) yolk buffer with glycerol (GLY) or dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) concentrations of 8%, 12% or 16%, or combinations of GLY and DMSO with final concentrations of 4%:4%, 6%:6% or 8%:8%, and frozen at a rate of 0.3°C min-1. Sperm frozen in combinations of GLY and DMSO exhibited greater post-thaw motility and plasma membrane integrity than those frozen in GLY or DMSO alone. All DMSO and GLY:DMSO treatments preserved a greater proportion of intact acrosomes than GLY alone. To determine the best overall cryopreservation protocol for this species, a sperm quality index was calculated, giving equal weight to each of the three measured indicators of cryosurvival. This analysis revealed that Burmese python spermatozoa frozen in 6% GLY:6% DMSO or 4% GLY:4% DMSO exhibited the highest post-thaw viability. This study represents the first comparative, comprehensive attempt to develop a sperm cryopreservation protocol for any snake species.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Schols R, Carolus H, Hammoud C, et al (2021)

Invasive snails, parasite spillback, and potential parasite spillover drive parasitic diseases of Hippopotamus amphibius in artificial lakes of Zimbabwe.

BMC biology, 19(1):160.

BACKGROUND: Humans impose a significant pressure on large herbivore populations, such as hippopotami, through hunting, poaching, and habitat destruction. Anthropogenic pressures can also occur indirectly, such as artificial lake creation and the subsequent introduction of invasive species that alter the ecosystem. These events can lead to drastic changes in parasite diversity and transmission, but generally receive little scientific attention.

RESULTS: In order to document and identify trematode parasites of the common hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) in artificial water systems of Zimbabwe, we applied an integrative taxonomic approach, combining molecular diagnostics and morphometrics on archived and new samples. In doing so, we provide DNA reference sequences of the hippopotamus liver fluke Fasciola nyanzae, enabling us to construct the first complete Fasciola phylogeny. We describe parasite spillback of F. nyanzae by the invasive freshwater snail Pseudosuccinea columella, as a consequence of a cascade of biological invasions in Lake Kariba, one of the biggest artificial lakes in the world. Additionally, we report an unknown stomach fluke of the hippopotamus transmitted by the non-endemic snail Radix aff. plicatula, an Asian snail species that has not been found in Africa before, and the stomach fluke Carmyerius cruciformis transmitted by the native snail Bulinus truncatus. Finally, Biomphalaria pfeifferi and two Bulinus species were found as new snail hosts for the poorly documented hippopotamus blood fluke Schistosoma edwardiense.

CONCLUSIONS: Our findings indicate that artificial lakes are breeding grounds for endemic and non-endemic snails that transmit trematode parasites of the common hippopotamus. This has important implications, as existing research links trematode parasite infections combined with other stressors to declining wild herbivore populations. Therefore, we argue that monitoring the anthropogenic impact on parasite transmission should become an integral part of wildlife conservation efforts.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Cooper AR, Infante DM, O'Hanley JR, et al (2021)

Prioritizing native migratory fish passage restoration while limiting the spread of invasive species: A case study in the Upper Mississippi River.

The Science of the total environment, 791:148317.

Despite increasing efforts globally to remove dams and construct fish passage structures, broad-scale analyses balancing tradeoffs between cost and habitat gains from these mitigations infrequently consider invasive species. We present an optimization-based approach for prioritizing dam mitigations to restore habitat connectivity for native fish species, while limiting invasive species spread. Our methodology is tested with a case study involving 240 dams in the Upper Mississippi River, USA. We integrate six native migratory fish species distribution models, distributions of two invasive fishes, and estimated costs for dam removal and construction of fish passes. Varying budgets and post-mitigation fish passage rates are analyzed for two scenarios: 'no invasives' where non-selective mitigations (e.g., dam removal) are used irrespective of potential invasive species habitat gains and 'invasives' where a mixture of selective (e.g., lift-and-sort fish passage) and non-selective mitigations are deployed to limit invasive species range expansion. To achieve the same overall habitat connectivity gains, we find that prioritizations accounting for invasive species are 3 to 6 times more costly than those that do not. Habitat gains among native fish species were highly variable based on potential habitat overlap with invasive species and post-mitigation passabilities, ranging from 0.4-58.9% ('invasives') and 7.9-95.6% ('no invasives') for a $50M USD budget. Despite challenges associated with ongoing nonnative fish invasions, opportunities still exist to restore connectivity for native species as indicated by individual dams being frequently selected in both scenarios across varying passabilities and budgets, however increased restoration costs associated with invasive species control indicates the importance of limiting their further spread within the basin. Given tradeoffs in managing for native vs. invasive species in river systems worldwide, our approach demonstrates strategies for identifying a portfolio of candidate barriers that can be investigated further for their potential to enhance native fish habitat connectivity while concurrently limiting invasive species dispersal.

RevDate: 2021-08-20

Rilov G, David N, Guy-Haim T, et al (2021)

Sea level rise can severely reduce biodiversity and community net production on rocky shores.

The Science of the total environment, 791:148377.

Sea level rise (SLR), driven by anthropogenic climate change, can be a major threat to coastal ecosystems. Among the most biologically diverse but SLR-threatened coastal ecosystems are rocky shores, especially in regions with a small tidal range. Nonetheless, the impacts of SLR on rocky shore biodiversity, community structure and ecosystem functions have rarely been studied. Here, we use the biogenic intertidal ecosystem, Mediterranean vermetid reefs on the Israeli coast, as case study for testing the potential impact of SLR on reef communities, with surveys, 3D topographic mapping plus SLR simulations, and a manipulative community translocation experiment. We show that: (1) biodiversity is much lower on very shallow, permanently submerged, horizontal rocky surfaces compared to that on intertidal reef platforms, (2) the extensive intertidal platforms will permanently drown under even modest SLR scenarios, (3) the rich intertidal community will transform, when permanently submerged, either to a very different but still rich community when protected from grazing by highly abundant invasive fish (rabbitfish), or to a much poorer turf community when exposed to such fish grazing, and (4) the reef community net production will drastically drop under permanent submersion. Because the main ecosystem engineer of the vermetid reefs, Dendropoma anguliferum (Monterosato, 1878), is nearly extinct in the southeast Levant, it is unlikely that new reefs will be formed higher on the shore in the future, presumably resulting in extensive coastal ecological shifts. Considerable coastal community shifts are forecasted for many regions globally due to SLR, as many shorelines are predicted to suffer from "coastal squeeze". Hence, similar manipulative experiments are encouraged in other regions to test for generality vs. context dependency in SLR ecological impacts. We suggest that in cases where essential/unique intertidal habitats like vermetid reefs are expected to vanish by SLR, constructing carefully-planned, ecologically friendly, artificial alternatives should be considered.

RevDate: 2021-08-19

Ferenc V, Merkert C, Zilles F, et al (2021)

Native and alien species suffer from late arrival, while negative effects of multiple alien species on natives vary.

Oecologia [Epub ahead of print].

Ongoing globalisation and climate change are causing plant species to invade new habitats and thereby alter biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. Since numbers of plant invasions continue to increase globally, it is crucial to investigate the effects of multiple co-occurring alien species on native communities. Furthermore, priority effects due to the earlier emergence of certain species affecting fitness of later arriving species can shape community structure and affect native species performance. We investigate in a common garden pot experiment the interactions among five alien-native species pairs. First we focus on the effect of growing with either one or two alien neighbour species on a native plant, second we alter the arrival time of the alien or native neighbour by 3 weeks. Generally, native species performance decreased when surrounded by two alien species compared to only one, although the magnitude of this effect varied depending on species, with one species even performing better with alien neighbours than in monoculture. Species performance greatly decreased when arriving second in the pot, for both native and alien species. In contrast, alien species tended to benefit more from arriving early. Given that we studied annual ruderal species, their potentially lower competitive ability might explain why we detected negative effects of late arrival. We highlight the need to further elucidate underlying mechanisms of small-scale invasion dynamics to achieve generalisations concerning the response of multiple alien and native plants given their species-specific differences in response to neighbour species and arrival time.

RevDate: 2021-08-19

Eastis AN, Fast KM, MW Sandel (2021)

The complete mitochondrial genome of the Variable Platyfish Xiphophorus variatus.

Mitochondrial DNA. Part B, Resources, 6(9):2640-2642 pii:1963339.

We present the complete mitochondrial genome sequence of the Variable Platyfish, Xiphophorus variatus (Meek 1904) (Cyprinodontiformes: Poeciliidae). The genome consists of 16,624 bp which encodes 13 protein-coding genes, 22 transfer RNAs, 2 ribosomal RNAs, and 1 control region. Genome-wide nucleotide composition is 27.79% adenine, 31.11% cytosine, 15.63% guanine, and 25.48% thymine. The X. variatus mitochondrial genome shares similar GC content and identical gene order and gene strand location with other members of Poeciliidae. The sequence presented herein will be of utility for future phylogenetic and biomedical research and for designing primers for species detection from environmental DNA samples.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Edwards T, Jones CB, Perkins SE, et al (2021)

Passive citizen science: The role of social media in wildlife observations.

PloS one, 16(8):e0255416 pii:PONE-D-21-05380.

Citizen science plays an important role in observing the natural environment. While conventional citizen science consists of organized campaigns to observe a particular phenomenon or species there are also many ad hoc observations of the environment in social media. These data constitute a valuable resource for 'passive citizen science'-the use of social media that are unconnected to any particular citizen science program, but represent an untapped dataset of ecological value. We explore the value of passive citizen science, by evaluating species distributions using the photo sharing site Flickr. The data are evaluated relative to those submitted to the National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas, the largest collection of species distribution data in the UK. Our study focuses on the 1500 best represented species on NBN, and common invasive species within UK, and compares the spatial and temporal distribution with NBN data. We also introduce an innovative image verification technique that uses the Google Cloud Vision API in combination with species taxonomic data to determine the likelihood that a mention of a species on Flickr represents a given species. The spatial and temporal analyses for our case studies suggest that the Flickr dataset best reflects the NBN dataset when considering a purely spatial distribution with no time constraints. The best represented species on Flickr in comparison to NBN are diurnal garden birds as around 70% of the Flickr posts for them are valid observations relative to the NBN. Passive citizen science could offer a rich source of observation data for certain taxonomic groups, and/or as a repository for dedicated projects. Our novel method of validating Flickr records is suited to verifying more extensive collections, including less well-known species, and when used in combination with citizen science projects could offer a platform for accurate identification of species and their location.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Yu HW, WM He (2021)

Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Compete Asymmetrically for Amino Acids with Native and Invasive Solidago.

Microbial ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and soil amino acids both affect plant performance. However, little is known about how AMF compete for amino acids with native and invasive congeners. We conducted a factorial experiment (inoculation, native and invasive species, and amino acids) to examine the competition for amino acids between soil microbes and both native and invasive congeners. The competition for amino acids between AMF and invasive Solidago canadensis was weaker than that observed between AMF and native S. decurrens. This asymmetric competition increased the growth advantage of S. canadensis over S. decurrens. The efficacy (biomass production per unit of nitrogen supply) of amino acids compared to ammonium was smaller in S. canadensis than in S. decurrens when both species were grown without inoculation, but the opposite was the case when both species were grown with AMF. AMF and all microbes differentially altered four phenotypic traits (plant height, leaf chlorophyll content, leaf number, and root biomass allocation) and the pathways determining the effects of amino acids on growth advantages. These findings suggest that AMF could enhance plant invasiveness through asymmetric competition for amino acids and that amino acid-driven invasiveness might be differentially regulated by different microbial guilds.

RevDate: 2021-08-18

Siddiqui JA, Bamisile BS, Khan MM, et al (2021)

Impact of invasive ant species on native fauna across similar habitats under global environmental changes.

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

Biotic invasions can predominantly alter the dynamics, composition, functions, and structure of natural ecosystems. Social insects, particularly ants, are among the most damaging invasive alien species. Invasive ant species are among the supreme threats to ecosystems. There are about 23 species of invasive ants recorded worldwide, according to the ant invasive databases. The ecological impacts of invasive ants comprise predation, hybridization, and competition with native species that changes the ecosystem processes with the biodiversity loss and upsurge of pests. The effects of invasion on native fauna in the same habitats might be catastrophic for the native community through various ecological mechanisms, e.g., habitat disturbance, resource competition, limiting the foraging activity of native species, and various other indirect mechanisms of invasive species. Invasive species may have harmful impacts on habitats and devastating effects on natural flora and fauna, and stopping these new species from being introduced is the most effective way to deter future invasions and maintain biodiversity. This paper reviews the literature to evaluate the effects of invasive ant species on the native species, including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants sharing the same habitats as the non-native species under global environmental changes. We also highlighted the various management strategies that could be adopted in minimizing the adverse effects of these invasive ant species on the natural ecosystem. To this end, strategies that could regulate the mode and rate of invasion by these alien ant species are the most effective ways to deter future invasions and maintain biodiversity.

RevDate: 2021-08-18
CmpDate: 2021-08-18

Carrau T, Lamp B, Reuscher CM, et al (2021)

Organization of the Structural Protein Region of La Jolla Virus Isolated from the Invasive Pest Insect Drosophila suzukii.

Viruses, 13(5):.

Drosophila suzukii (Ds) is an invasive pest insect that infests ripening fruit, causing severe economic losses. Control measures based on chemical pesticides are inefficient and undesirable, so biological alternatives have been considered, including native Ds viruses. We previously isolated a strain of La Jolla virus (LJV-Ds-OS20) from Ds in Germany as a candidate biopesticide. Here we characterized the new strain in detail, focusing on the processing of its capsid proteins. We tested LJV growth during Ds development to optimize virus production, and established a laboratory production system using adult flies. This system was suitable for the preparation of virions for detailed analysis. The LJV-Ds-OS20 isolate was cloned by limiting dilution and the complete nucleotide sequence was determined as a basis for protein analysis. The terminal segments of the virus genome were completed by RACE-PCR. LJV virions were also purified by CsCl gradient centrifugation and analyzed by SDS-PAGE and electron microscopy. The capsid proteins of purified LJV virions were resolved by two-dimensional SDS-PAGE for N-terminal sequencing and peptide mass fingerprinting. The N-terminal sequences of VP1 and VP2, together with MS data representing several capsid proteins, allowed us to develop a model for the organization of the LJV structural protein region. This may facilitate the development of new viral strains as biopesticides.

RevDate: 2021-08-18
CmpDate: 2021-08-18

Kannan M, Elango K, Kalyanasundaram M, et al (2021)

Ultra-structural and physico-chemical characterization of eggs and egg hairs (setae) of the new invasive pest, fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda (J. E. Smith) in India: A first report.

Microscopy research and technique, 84(7):1422-1430.

In this study, we report first time in India on the morphology, ultra-architectural pattern of the chorion in the egg and egg hair (setae). Further, physico-chemical characterizations of egg hairs (setae) were studied in the new invasive pest, fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda. The egg is dome shaped with flattened base and curves upward to a broadly rounded point at the apex. HR-SEM micrographs revealed the surface ultrastructure of eggs chorion and shows structural elements of a marked rosette of petals surround the micropyle followed by micropylar rosette region around the micropyle plate. There was a small single micropylar opening along with 9 micropylar rosette cells and 13 micropylar rosette zones present near to the micropylar pit. In the egg the first order ribs were absent, but around 58-60 numbers of second order ribs were present. All the ventral and lateral cells of the eggs are connected by 19-22 cross striae and not forming a grid pattern, but joints with the longitudinal ribs at several of angles and totally 1,277-1,495 convex cells present at the egg's surface. The physico-chemical characteristics of egg hairs were studied using Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) and thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) analysis. TGA results show that three weight losses occurred at 142, 418, and 880°C, respectively. FT-IR confirms the presence of amides, sulfoxide, and nitro compounds in egg hairs (setae).


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

In the early 1990's, Robert Robbins was a faculty member at Johns Hopkins, where he directed the informatics core of GDB — the human gene-mapping database of the international human genome project. To share papers with colleagues around the world, he set up a small paper-sharing section on his personal web page. This small project evolved into The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Support

In 1995, Robbins became the VP/IT of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA. Soon after arriving in Seattle, Robbins secured funding, through the ELSI component of the US Human Genome Project, to create the original ESP.ORG web site, with the formal goal of providing free, world-wide access to the literature of classical genetics.

ESP Rationale

Although the methods of molecular biology can seem almost magical to the uninitiated, the original techniques of classical genetics are readily appreciated by one and all: cross individuals that differ in some inherited trait, collect all of the progeny, score their attributes, and propose mechanisms to explain the patterns of inheritance observed.

ESP Goal

In reading the early works of classical genetics, one is drawn, almost inexorably, into ever more complex models, until molecular explanations begin to seem both necessary and natural. At that point, the tools for understanding genome research are at hand. Assisting readers reach this point was the original goal of The Electronic Scholarly Publishing Project.

ESP Usage

Usage of the site grew rapidly and has remained high. Faculty began to use the site for their assigned readings. Other on-line publishers, ranging from The New York Times to Nature referenced ESP materials in their own publications. Nobel laureates (e.g., Joshua Lederberg) regularly used the site and even wrote to suggest changes and improvements.

ESP Content

When the site began, no journals were making their early content available in digital format. As a result, ESP was obliged to digitize classic literature before it could be made available. For many important papers — such as Mendel's original paper or the first genetic map — ESP had to produce entirely new typeset versions of the works, if they were to be available in a high-quality format.

ESP Help

Early support from the DOE component of the Human Genome Project was critically important for getting the ESP project on a firm foundation. Since that funding ended (nearly 20 years ago), the project has been operated as a purely volunteer effort. Anyone wishing to assist in these efforts should send an email to Robbins.

ESP Plans

With the development of methods for adding typeset side notes to PDF files, the ESP project now plans to add annotated versions of some classical papers to its holdings. We also plan to add new reference and pedagogical material. We have already started providing regularly updated, comprehensive bibliographies to the ESP.ORG site.


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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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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Papers in Classical Genetics

The ESP began as an effort to share a handful of key papers from the early days of classical genetics. Now the collection has grown to include hundreds of papers, in full-text format.

Digital Books

Along with papers on classical genetics, ESP offers a collection of full-text digital books, including many works by Darwin (and even a collection of poetry — Chicago Poems by Carl Sandburg).


ESP now offers a much improved and expanded collection of timelines, designed to give the user choice over subject matter and dates.


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

Bibliographies on several topics of potential interest to the ESP community are now being automatically maintained and generated on the ESP site.

ESP Picks from Around the Web (updated 07 JUL 2018 )