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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 17 Sep 2019 at 01:40 Created: 

Invasive Species

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

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

Citations The Papers (from PubMed®)

RevDate: 2019-09-16

Urban JM (2019)

Perspective: Shedding light on spotted lanternfly impacts in the USA.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

Spotted lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) is an invasive phloem-feeding planthopper currently being quarantined in a 24 000 km2 area in eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware, with a second population under quarantine in a 46 km2 area in Virginia. Because this insect feeds on over 70 species of plants, it has the potential to impact a wide range of sectors, and as a result, there has been great public speculation that the economic impact of SLF could be severe. SLF is a large-bodied voracious feeder that reduces plant resources directly by feeding, and indirectly, from sooty mold that grows on its excrement and blocks photosynthesis. SLF is causing severe damage to vineyards from feeding, and is a significant nuisance pest. It has high potential for spread via human-mediated transport, particularly of egg cases, and may therefore significantly impact commerce in the near future. The ultimate impacts of this insect are not yet known, and will depend upon its longer term impacts on plant and tree health, and the extent to which its range expands. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-09-16

Bezeng BS, HF van der Bank (2019)

DNA barcoding of southern African crustaceans reveals a mix of invasive species and potential cryptic diversity.

PloS one, 14(9):e0222047 pii:PONE-D-19-08733.

Globally, crustaceans represent one of the most taxonomically diverse and economically important invertebrate group. Notwithstanding, the diversity within this group is poorly known because most crustaceans are often associated with varied habits, forms, sizes and habitats; making species identification by conventional methods extremely challenging. In addition, progress towards understanding the diversity within this group especially in southern Africa has been severely hampered by the declining number of trained taxonomists, the presence of invasive alien species, over exploitation, etc. However, the advent of molecular techniques such as "DNA barcoding and Metabarcoding" can accelerate species identification and the discovery of new species. To contribute to the growing body of knowledge on crustacean diversity, we collected data from five southern African countries and used a DNA barcoding approach to build the first DNA barcode reference library for southern African crustaceans. We tested the reliability of this DNA barcode reference library to facilitate species identification using two approaches. We recovered high efficacy of specimen identification/discrimination; supported by both barcode gap and tree-base species identification methods. In addition, we identified alien invasive species and specimens with 'no ID" in our DNA barcode reference library. The later; highlighting specimens requiring (i) further investigation and/or (ii) the potential presence of cryptic diversity or (iii) misidentifications. This unique data set although with some sampling gaps presents many opportunities for exploring the effect and extent of invasive alien species, the role of the pet trade as a pathway for crustacean species introduction into novel environments, sea food authentication, phylogenetic relationships within the larger crustacean groupings and the discovery of new species.

RevDate: 2019-09-16
CmpDate: 2019-09-16

Wilcox CL, Motomura H, Matsunuma M, et al (2018)

Phylogeography of Lionfishes (Pterois) Indicate Taxonomic Over Splitting and Hybrid Origin of the Invasive Pterois volitans.

The Journal of heredity, 109(2):162-175.

The lionfish is an iconic marine fish, and recently renowned for a disastrous introduction into the West Atlantic. Genetic surveys of the putative invaders (Pterois volitans and Pterois miles) in their natural Indo-Pacific range can illuminate both topics. Previous research indicated that P. volitans and P. miles are sister species that hybridize in the invasive range, but hybridization in the native range is unknown. Here, we apply mtDNA COI and 2 nuclear introns (S7 RP1 and Gpd2) from 229 lionfish including the 2 invaders and 2 closely-related taxa (44 P. miles, 91 P. volitans, 31 Pterois lunulata, and 63 Pterois russelii) from 10 locations in their native ranges. Genetic data are supplemented with key morphological characters: dorsal, anal, and pectoral fin ray counts. We observed 2 lineages (d = 4.07%, 0.89%, and 2.75% at COI, S7 RP1, and Gpd2, respectively) among the 4 putative species: an Indian Ocean lineage represented by P. miles, and a Pacific Ocean lineage represented by P. lunulata and P. russelii. All specimens of the invasive P. volitans appear to be hybrids between the Indian Ocean P. miles and a Pacific lineage encompassing P. lunulata/russelii, a conclusion supported by both genetics and morphology. The divergences between Indian and Pacific forms are within the range of species-level partitions in fishes, and we recommend retention of the names P. miles and P. russelii for Indian and Pacific forms. The hybrid origin of the Atlantic invasion invokes the possibility of heterosis as a contributing factor to invasion success.

RevDate: 2019-09-14

Viera C, Garcia LF, Lacava M, et al (2019)

Silk physico-chemical variability and mechanical robustness facilitates intercontinental invasibility of a spider.

Scientific reports, 9(1):13273 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-49463-9.

There are substantive problems associated with invasive species, including threats to endemic organisms and biodiversity. Understanding the mechanisms driving invasions is thus critical. Variable extended phenotypes may enable animals to invade into novel environments. We explored here the proposition that silk variability is a facilitator of invasive success for the highly invasive Australian house spider, Badumna longinqua. We compared the physico-chemical and mechanical properties and underlying gene expressions of its major ampullate (MA) silk between a native Sydney population and an invasive counterpart from Montevideo, Uruguay. We found that while differential gene expressions might explain the differences in silk amino acid compositions and protein nanostructures, we did not find any significant differences in silk mechanical properties across the populations. Our results accordingly suggest that B. longinqua's silk remains functionally robust despite underlying physico-chemical and genetic variability as the spider expands its range across continents. They also imply that a combination of silk physico-chemical plasticity combined with mechanical robustness might contribute more broadly to spider invasibilities.

RevDate: 2019-09-13

Prudic KL, Wilson JK, Toshack MC, et al (2019)

Creating the Urban Farmer's Almanac with Citizen Science Data.

Insects, 10(9): pii:insects10090294.

Agriculture has long been a part of the urban landscape, from gardens to small scale farms. In recent decades, interest in producing food in cities has grown dramatically, with an estimated 30% of the global urban population engaged in some form of food production. Identifying and managing the insect biodiversity found on city farms is a complex task often requiring years of study and specialization, especially in urban landscapes which have a complicated tapestry of fragmentation, diversity, pollution, and introduced species. Supporting urban growers with relevant data informs insect management decision-making for both growers and their neighbors, yet this information can be difficult to come by. In this study, we introduced several web-based citizen science programs that can connect growers with useful data products and people to help with the who, what, where, and when of urban insects. Combining the power of citizen science volunteers with the efforts of urban farmers can result in a clearer picture of the diversity and ecosystem services in play, limited insecticide use, and enhanced non-chemical alternatives. Connecting urban farming practices with citizen science programs also demonstrates the ecosystem value of urban agriculture and engages more citizens with the topics of food production, security, and justice in their communities.

RevDate: 2019-09-13
CmpDate: 2019-09-13

Lowrey B, Garrott RA, McWhirter DE, et al (2018)

Niche similarities among introduced and native mountain ungulates.

Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, 28(5):1131-1142.

The niche concept provides a strong foundation for theoretical and applied research among a broad range of disciplines. When two ecologically similar species are sympatric, theory predicts they will occupy distinct ecological niches to reduce competition. Capitalizing on the increasing availability of spatial data, we built from single species habitat suitability models to a multispecies evaluation of the niche partitioning hypothesis with sympatric mountain ungulates: native bighorn sheep (BHS; Ovis canadensis) and introduced mountain goats (MTG; Oreamnos americanus) in the northeast Greater Yellowstone Area. We characterized seasonal niches using two-stage resource selection functions with a used-available design and descriptive summaries of the niche attributes associated with used GPS locations. We evaluated seasonal similarity in niche space according to confidence interval overlap of model coefficients and similarity in geographic space by comparing model predicted values with Schoener's D metric. Our sample contained 37,962 summer locations from 53 individuals (BHS = 31, MTG = 22), and 79,984 winter locations from 57 individuals (BHS = 35, MTG = 22). Slope was the most influential niche component for both species and seasons, and showed the strongest evidence of niche partitioning. Bighorn sheep occurred on steeper slopes than mountain goats in summer and mountain goats occurred on steeper slopes in winter. The pattern of differential selection among species was less prevalent for the remaining covariates, indicating similarity in niche space. Model predictions in geographic space showed broad seasonal similarity (summer D = 0.88, winter D = 0.87), as did niche characterizations from used GPS locations. The striking similarities in seasonal niches suggest that introduced mountain goats will continue to increase their spatial overlap with native bighorn. Our results suggest that reducing densities of mountain goats in hunted areas where they are sympatric with bighorn sheep and impeding their expansion may reduce the possibility of competition and disease transfer. Additional studies that specifically investigate partitioning at finer scales and along dietary or temporal niche axes will help to inform an adaptive management approach.

RevDate: 2019-09-12

Xue Q, XQ Wu (2019)

Characteristics and function of a novel cystatin gene in the pine wood nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus.

Biology open pii:bio.042655 [Epub ahead of print].

Bursaphelenchus xylophilus is the pathogen, which causes pine wilt disease (PWD). The disease has caused significant economic losses and damage to forests. However, the pathogenic mechanism of B. xylophilus remains unclear. Cystatins are involved in various biological processes where they regulate normal proteolysis and also play a role in pathogenicity, but their functions in B. xylophilus are unknown. Therefore, we cloned the full-length cDNA of a cystatin gene of B. xylophilus (Bx-cpi-1) by rapid-amplification of cDNA ends and analyzed its characteristics with bioinformatic methods. In situ mRNA hybridization analyses showed that transcripts of Bx-cpi-1 were abundantly expressed in the reproductive organs of B. xylophilus The expression of Bx-cpi-1 was investigated using qPCR. Bx-cpi-1 was expressed during each of the different developmental stages of B. xylophilus The highest gene expression was at the egg stage. After infection of Pinus massoniana, the expression of Bx-cpi-1 increased. The functions of Bx-cpi-1 were verified by RNA interference. The feeding rate, reproduction and pathogenicity of B. xylophilus all decreased as a result of silencing of the Bx-cpi-1 gene. These results revealed that Bx-cpi-1 may be a variant of a type II cystatin gene which is involved in the development and pathogenic process of B. xylophilus.

RevDate: 2019-09-12

Osaki A, Sashika M, Abe G, et al (2019)

Comparison of feeding habits and habitat use between invasive raccoons and native raccoon dogs in Hokkaido, Japan.

BMC ecology, 19(1):35 pii:10.1186/s12898-019-0249-5.

BACKGROUND: In Japan, invasive raccoons cause severe ecological and social problems by transmitting pathogens to humans, livestock, and native species, causing substantial crop damage, and competing with native species. Possible competition between invasive raccoons and native raccoon dogs is of concern in Japan because Japanese raccoon dogs have a limited distribution and are native only to Japan and the two species have similar characteristics. We assessed potential competition between raccoons and raccoon dogs by comparing feeding habits and habitat use.

RESULTS: Both species were captured in Hokkaido, Japan from 2004 to 2017. More raccoons were captured close to agricultural land at the forest periphery (70.1%, 358/511); conversely, more raccoon dogs were captured in the forest core (74.9%, 253/338). Feeding habits were then examined by fecal analysis and stable isotope analyses. Fecal analysis revealed both species to be opportunistic omnivores that consumed easily found food items. However, raccoon feces contained more crops, whereas raccoon dog feces contained more insects, reflecting the different locations in which the species were trapped. Moreover, stable isotope ratios were significantly higher in raccoons than raccoon dogs (Corn has the highest carbon stable isotope (δ13C) value, and amphibians and reptiles are high in nitrogen stable isotope (δ15N); forest resources such as insects and wild fruits are low in δ13C and δ15N).

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that both species ate similar food types, but their food preferences appeared to differ. Raccoon and raccoon dog habitat use also differed, possibly because the two species inhabited areas where they could easily obtain their preferred foods. Therefore, the current feeding habits and habitat use of raccoons do not appear to overlap sufficiently with those of raccoon dogs to impact the latter. The results of this study, particularly the stable isotope data, may provide a useful precedent for future studies of competition in medium-sized mammals, particularly canids.

RevDate: 2019-09-12
CmpDate: 2019-09-12

Kralemann LEM, Scalone R, Andersson L, et al (2018)

North European invasion by common ragweed is associated with early flowering and dominant changes in FT/TFL1 expression.

Journal of experimental botany, 69(10):2647-2658.

During the last two centuries, the North American common ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia L.) invaded a large part of the globe. Local adaptation of this species was revealed by a common garden experiment, demonstrating that the distribution of the species in Europe could extend considerably to the North. Our study compares two populations of common ragweed (one from the native range and one from the invaded range) that differ in flowering time in the wild: the invasive population flowers earlier than the native population under non-inductive long-day photoperiods. Experiments conducted in controlled environments established that the two populations differ in their flowering time even under inductive short-day photoperiods, suggesting a change in autonomous flowering control. Genetic analysis revealed that early flowering is dominantly inherited and accompanied by the increased expression of the floral activator AaFTL1 and decreased expression of the floral repressor AaFTL2. Early flowering is also accompanied by reduced reproductive output, which is evolutionarily disadvantageous under long vegetation periods. In contrast, under short vegetation periods, only early-flowering plants can produce any viable seeds, making the higher seed set of late-flowering plants irrelevant. Thus, earlier flowering appears to be a specific adaptation to the higher latitudes of northern Europe.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

Bojko J, Subramaniam K, Waltzek TB, et al (2019)

Genomic and developmental characterisation of a novel bunyavirus infecting the crustacean Carcinus maenas.

Scientific reports, 9(1):12957 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-49260-4.

Carcinus maenas is in the top 100 globally invasive species and harbours a wide diversity of pathogens, including viruses. We provide a detailed description for a novel bunyavirus (Carcinus maenas Portunibunyavirus 1) infecting C. maenas from its native range in the Faroe Islands. The virus genome is tripartite, including large (L) (6766 bp), medium (M) (3244 bp) and small (S) (1608 bp) negative sense, single-stranded RNA segments. Individual genomic segments are flanked by 4 bp regions of similarity (CCUG). The segments encode an RNA-dependent RNA-polymerase, glycoprotein, non-structural protein with a Zinc-Finger domain and a nucleoprotein. Most show highest identity to the 'Wenling Crustacean Virus 9' from an unidentified crustacean host. Phylogenomics of crustacean-infecting bunyaviruses place them across multiple bunyavirus families. We discuss the diversity of crustacean bunyaviruses and provide an overview of how these viruses may affect the health and survival of crustacean hosts, including those inhabiting niches outside of their native range.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

Ryan SF, Lombaert E, Espeset A, et al (2019)

Global invasion history of the agricultural pest butterfly Pieris rapae revealed with genomics and citizen science.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America pii:1907492116 [Epub ahead of print].

The small cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae, is a major agricultural pest of cruciferous crops and has been introduced to every continent except South America and Antarctica as a result of human activities. In an effort to reconstruct the near-global invasion history of P. rapae, we developed a citizen science project, the "Pieris Project," and successfully amassed thousands of specimens from 32 countries worldwide. We then generated and analyzed nuclear (double-digest restriction site-associated DNA fragment procedure [ddRAD]) and mitochondrial DNA sequence data for these samples to reconstruct and compare different global invasion history scenarios. Our results bolster historical accounts of the global spread and timing of P. rapae introductions. We provide molecular evidence supporting the hypothesis that the ongoing divergence of the European and Asian subspecies of P. rapae (∼1,200 y B.P.) coincides with the diversification of brassicaceous crops and the development of human trade routes such as the Silk Route (Silk Road). The further spread of P. rapae over the last ∼160 y was facilitated by human movement and trade, resulting in an almost linear series of at least 4 founding events, with each introduced population going through a severe bottleneck and serving as the source for the next introduction. Management efforts of this agricultural pest may need to consider the current existence of multiple genetically distinct populations. Finally, the international success of the Pieris Project demonstrates the power of the public to aid scientists in collections-based research addressing important questions in invasion biology, and in ecology and evolutionary biology more broadly.

RevDate: 2019-09-11

Polverino G, Karakaya M, Spinello C, et al (2019)

Behavioural and life-history responses of mosquitofish to biologically inspired and interactive robotic predators.

Journal of the Royal Society, Interface, 16(158):20190359.

Invasive alien species threaten biodiversity worldwide and contribute to biotic homogenization, especially in freshwaters, where the ability of native animals to disperse is limited. Robotics may offer a promising tool to address this compelling problem, but whether and how invasive species can be negatively affected by robotic stimuli is an open question. Here, we explore the possibility of modulating behavioural and life-history responses of mosquitofish by varying the degree of biomimicry of a robotic predator, whose appearance and locomotion are inspired by natural mosquitofish predators. Our results support the prediction that real-time interactions at varying swimming speeds evoke a more robust antipredator response in mosquitofish than simpler movement patterns by the robot, especially in individuals with better body conditions that are less prone to take risks. Through an information-theoretic analysis of animal-robot interactions, we offer evidence in favour of a causal link between the motion of the robotic predator and a fish antipredator response. Remarkably, we observe that even a brief exposure to the robotic predator of 15 min per week is sufficient to erode energy reserves and compromise the body condition of mosquitofish, opening the door for future endeavours to control mosquitofish in the wild.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Murillo AC (2019)

Highlights in the Field of Veterinary Entomology, 2018.

Journal of medical entomology, 56(5):1194-1198.

The 2018 annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America meeting theme 'Crossing Boarders' guided the veterinary highlight compilation of papers, focusing on the themes: 1) emerging and re-emerging pest threats; 2) alternative control methods; and 3) tools for future research. Here the papers presented are summarized to serve as a presentation archive.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Thorne BL, Vargo EL, Adams ES, et al (2019)

Genetic Analysis of Invasive Conehead Termites (Blattodea: Termitidae) Reveals a Single Origin for Two Populations in Florida.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5553075 [Epub ahead of print].

In 2001, Nasutitermes corniger (Motschulsky), common name conehead termite, were discovered near a marina in Dania Beach, FL, where the invasive species was probably transported from its native range in Central and South America or the Caribbean. In January 2016, an infestation was found in Pompano Beach, Florida, approximately 21 km north of the Dania Beach population. This study compares variants in seven microsatellite loci across specimens from 11 nests in Dania Beach and 8 nests in Pompano Beach. Results are consistent with all N. corniger in both locations being descendants of a single introduced colony, spreading within Broward County, FL through human transport of infested materials. No more than four alleles were found at any of the seven microsatellite loci analyzed, inferring that a single Queen and King, or multiple sibling reproductives descended from a monogamous pair, headed the colony that arrived in Florida. The potential economic and environmental impacts of this invasive termite are enormous due to its broad diet, including agricultural crops and orchards, native and ornamental plants, natural landscapes, and structures. Conspicuous tunnels and aboveground nests are the key aspects of N. corniger biology that render colonies vulnerable to discovery and control. The now proven ability of N. corniger to establish breeding populations in the United States, to cause extensive property and landscape destruction, and to spread by human transport underscores the need for continued aggressive efforts toward eradication of known infestations as well as quick operational actions the next time invasive N. corniger are discovered.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Clark RE, CL Seewagen (2019)

Invasive Japanese Barberry, Berberis thunbergii (Ranunculales: Berberidaceae) Is Associated With Simplified Branch-Dwelling and Leaf-Litter Arthropod Communities in a New York Forest.

Environmental entomology pii:5555681 [Epub ahead of print].

Arthropod food webs can be indirectly impacted by woody plant invasions, with cascading consequences for higher trophic levels. There are multiple bottom-up pathways by which invasive plants can alter food webs: above-ground interactions based on plant-herbivore associations and below-ground at the interface of leaf-litter and soil food webs. We compared arthropod community composition in these two food web dimensions in a New York forest that has been heavily invaded by nonnative Japanese barberry. Using two sampling protocols, we compared arthropod community composition on Japanese barberry shrubs to multiple species of native host shrubs and then compared leaf-litter arthropod assemblages between forest patches with exceptionally high Japanese barberry densities and those with relatively little to no Japanese barberry present. Fitting with trends in other woody shrub invasions, arthropod species richness was significantly lower in the leaf litter around Japanese barberry and on Japanese barberry plants themselves. Although overall arthropod abundance was also significantly lower on and in the leaf litter around Japanese barberry than on and around native shrubs, total biomass did not differ due to the taxa associated with Japanese barberry tending to be larger-bodied. We observed a dramatic reduction in predatory arthropods in response to both bottom-up pathways, particularly among ants and spiders. Our results show that Japanese barberry-invaded habitats may be experiencing trophic downgrading as result of lower numbers of generalist predators like spiders and ants, which may have rippling effects up the food web to insectivorous animals and their predators.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Calcino AD, de Oliveira AL, Simakov O, et al (2019)

The quagga mussel genome and the evolution of freshwater tolerance.

DNA research : an international journal for rapid publication of reports on genes and genomes pii:5556422 [Epub ahead of print].

Freshwater dreissenid mussels evolved from marine ancestors during the Miocene ∼30 million years ago and today include some of the most successful and destructive invasive species of freshwater environments. Here, we sequenced the genome of the quagga mussel Dreissena rostriformis to identify adaptations involved in embryonic osmoregulation. We provide evidence that a lophotrochozoan-specific aquaporin water channel, a vacuolar ATPase subunit and a sodium/hydrogen exchanger are involved in osmoregulation throughout early cleavage, during which time large intercellular fluid-filled 'cleavage cavities' repeatedly form, coalesce and collapse, expelling excess water to the exterior. Independent expansions of aquaporins coinciding with at least five freshwater colonization events confirm their role in freshwater adaptation. Repeated aquaporin expansions and the evolution of membrane-bound fluid-filled osmoregulatory structures in diverse freshwater taxa point to a fundamental principle guiding the evolution of freshwater tolerance and provide a framework for future species control efforts.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Kirkpatrick DM, Acebes-Doria AL, Rice KB, et al (2019)

Estimating Monitoring Trap Plume Reach and Trapping Area for Nymphal and Adult Halyomorpha halys (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) in Crop and Non-crop Habitats.

Environmental entomology pii:5554151 [Epub ahead of print].

Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), the brown marmorated stink bug, is an invasive polyphagous insect that can cause serious economic injury to specialty and row crops in the United States and globally. To date, H. halys has been managed with repeated insecticide applications. While progress has been made toward development of trap-based monitoring tools to guide management decisions, little is known regarding the trapping area over which a single pheromone-baited trap captures H. halys. We conducted single trap, multiple distance mark-release-recapture experiments; results were used to estimate trapping area for nymphs and adults in sites without host plants present (open field) and for adults in sites with host plants present (apple orchard). Plume reach for pheromone-baited sticky traps was consistently estimated to be <3 m. Maximum dispersive distance in an open field devoid of host plants was estimated to be 40 m for nymphs and 120-130 m for adults resulting in trapping areas of 0.58 ha and 4.83-5.56 ha, respectively. When traps were deployed in association with host plants within the border row of an apple orchard, adult maximum dispersive distance and trapping area was reduced to 70 m and 1.67 ha, respectively. These results indicate that the behavioral response of H. halys to pheromonal stimuli is influenced by the presence of host plants and that trapping area for pheromone-baited traps will likely change relative to the cropping system in which it is deployed. Caution should be taken when extrapolating these results, because the measured values may differ in other crop systems.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Acebes-Doria AL, Agnello AM, Alston DG, et al (2019)

Season-Long Monitoring of the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) Throughout the United States Using Commercially Available Traps and Lures.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5564854 [Epub ahead of print].

Reliable monitoring of the invasive Halyomorpha halys abundance, phenology and geographic distribution is critical for its management. Halyomorpha halys adult and nymphal captures on clear sticky traps and in black pyramid traps were compared in 18 states across the Great Lakes, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast, Pacific Northwest and Western regions of the United States. Traps were baited with commercial lures containing the H. halys pheromone and synergist, and deployed at field sites bordering agricultural or urban locations with H. halys host plants. Nymphal and adult captures in pyramid traps were greater than those on sticky traps, but captures were positively correlated between the two trap types within each region and during the early-, mid- and late season across all sites. Sites were further classified as having a low, moderate or high relative H. halys density and again showed positive correlations between captures for the two trap types for nymphs and adults. Among regions, the greatest adult captures were recorded in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic on pyramid and sticky traps, respectively, with lowest captures recorded in the West. Nymphal captures, while lower than adult captures, were greatest in the Southeast and lowest in the West. Nymphal and adult captures were, generally, greatest during July-August and September-October, respectively. Trapping data were compared with available phenological models showing comparable population peaks at most locations. Results demonstrated that sticky traps offer a simpler alternative to pyramid traps, but both can be reliable tools to monitor H. halys in different geographical locations with varying population densities throughout the season.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Leach H, Van Timmeren S, Wetzel W, et al (2019)

Predicting Within- and Between-Year Variation in Activity of the Invasive Spotted Wing Drosophila (Diptera: Drosophilidae) in a Temperate Region.

Environmental entomology pii:5556943 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive insect pests can be challenging to manage because their recent arrival provides limited information on which to build predictive population models. The magnitude and timing of activity by the invasive vinegar fly, Drosophila suzukii, in crop fields has been unpredictable due to its recent arrival in many new regions of the world and changes in methods for its detection. Using 7 yr of consistent trapping of adults at four blueberry farms in Michigan, United States, we modeled the temporal and environmental factors influencing D. suzukii activity. We found that this pest established high levels within 2 yr of being detected, with peak fly activity continuing to increase. Fly activity timing and abundance were predicted by the annual number of days below 0°C, the number of winter and spring days above 10°C, and by the fly activity in the preceding year, providing support for overwintering in our region. We monitored larval infestation for 4 yr at these same sites and found a moderate positive correlation between larvae in fruit and adults in traps. Finally, we developed a generalized additive model to predict D. suzukii fly capture throughout the season based on relevant environmental factors and examined the relative timing and magnitude of activity under varying winter and spring temperature conditions. Our results suggest that D. suzukii activity is predictable and that environmental conditions can be used in temperate regions to provide regional risk warnings as a component of strategies to manage this invasive insect pest.

RevDate: 2019-09-10

Chow A, Czokajlo D, Patt JM, et al (2019)

Development and Field Validation of a Beta-cyfluthrin-Based 'Attract-and-Kill' Device for Suppression of Asian Citrus Psyllid (Hemiptera: Liviidae) on Residential Citrus.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5549616 [Epub ahead of print].

An 'attract-and-kill' (AK) device was evaluated for suppression of adult Asian citrus psyllid, Diaphorina citri Kuwayama (Hemiptera: Liviidae), on residential citrus. The AK device, made from weather-resistant plasticized PVC, lured D. citri adults by simulating the color of citrus flush and killed them with beta-cyfluthrin. This study evaluated: 1) lethality of AK devices weathered up to 8 wk on residential citrus; 2) survival of psyllids caged with potted plants and AK devices; 3) psyllid suppression achieved by AK devices on individual dooryard trees. AK devices weathered for up to 8 wk remained lethal to psyllids. Greenhouse trials evaluated survival of adult psyllids caged for 4 d with orange jasmine plants that were: 1) treated with an (beta-cyfluthrin-infused) AK device; 2) treated with a blank (no insecticide) AK device; or 3) 'untreated' with no AK device. After 4 d, psyllid survival was on average 95% lower among adults exposed to plants with AK devices than adults exposed to untreated plants or plants with blank AK devices. Less than half of the adults exposed to plants with AK devices were alive after 1 d and nearly all were dead after 4 d. Deployment of 20 AK devices per tree provided significant psyllid suppression on infested lemon trees from winter to summer and reduced mean reproduction (cumulative eggs) by 91% and mean attack intensity (cumulative psyllid-days) of adults by 59% and nymphs by 53%. AK devices could be an effective control option for D. citri in urban areas.

RevDate: 2019-09-09

Schneider SA (2019)

A key to the flat grass scale genus Nipponaclerda (Hemiptera, Coccomorpha, Aclerdidae).

ZooKeys, 862:81-87 pii:35294.

The flat grass scale genus Nipponaclerda comprises four species, native to Central and East Asia. Nipponaclerdabiwakoensis has been introduced to the United States and is considered a serious pest of Phragmitesaustralis, the common reed. Heavy infestations of N.biwakoensis in coastal marshes of Louisiana have coincided with extensive die-off of reeds. In this article, dichotomous identification keys to the genera of Aclerdidae and to the species of Nipponaclerda are provided, allowing for accurate identification of species found in the native and invasive range.

RevDate: 2019-09-09

Sarker SK, Matthiopoulos J, Mitchell SN, et al (2019)

1980s-2010s: The world's largest mangrove ecosystem is becoming homogeneous.

Biological conservation, 236:79-91.

Knowledge gaps in spatiotemporal changes in mangrove diversity and composition have obstructed mangrove conservation programs across the tropics, but particularly in the Sundarbans (10,017 km2), the world's largest remaining natural mangrove ecosystem. Using mangrove tree data collected from Earth's largest permanent sample plot network at four historical time points (1986, 1994, 1999 and 2014), this study establishes spatially explicit baseline biodiversity information for the Sundarbans. We determined the spatial and temporal differences in alpha, beta, and gamma diversity in three ecological zones (hypo-, meso-, and hypersaline) and also uncovered changes in the mangroves' overall geographic range and abundances therein. Spatially, the hyposaline mangrove communities were the most diverse and heterogeneous in species composition while the hypersaline communities were the least diverse and most homogeneous at all historical time points. Since 1986, we detect an increasing trend of compositional homogeneity (between-site similarity in species composition) and a significant spatial contraction of distinct and diverse areas over the entire ecosystem. Temporally, the western and southern hypersaline communities have undergone radical shifts in species composition due to population increase and range expansion of the native invasive species Ceriops decandra and local extinction or range contraction of specialists including the globally endangered Heritiera fomes. The surviving biodiversity hotspots are distributed outside the legislated protected area network. In addition to suggesting the immediate coverage of these hotspots under protected area management, our novel biodiversity insights and spatial maps can form the basis for spatial conservation planning, biodiversity monitoring and protection initiatives for the Sundarbans.

RevDate: 2019-09-09
CmpDate: 2019-09-09

Leclerc JC, Viard F, González Sepúlveda E, et al (2018)

Non-indigenous species contribute equally to biofouling communities in international vs local ports in the Biobío region, Chile.

Biofouling, 34(7):784-799.

Growing coastal urbanization together with the intensification of maritime traffic are major processes explaining the increasing rate of biological introductions in marine environments. To investigate the link between international maritime traffic and the establishment of non-indigenous species (NIS) in coastal areas, biofouling communities in three international and three nearby local ports along 100 km of coastline in south-central Chile were compared using settlement panels and rapid assessment surveys. A larger number of NIS was observed in international ports, as expected in these 'invasion hubs'. However, despite a few environmental differences between international and local ports, the two port categories did not display significant differences regarding NIS establishment and contribution to community structure over the studied period (1.5 years). In international ports, the free space could be a limiting factor for NIS establishment. The results also suggest that local ports should be considered in NIS surveillance programs in Chile.

RevDate: 2019-09-09
CmpDate: 2019-09-09

Zanolla M, Altamirano M, Carmona R, et al (2018)

Assessing global range expansion in a cryptic species complex: insights from the red seaweed genus Asparagopsis (Florideophyceae).

Journal of phycology, 54(1):12-24.

The mitochondrial genetic diversity, distribution and invasive potential of multiple cryptic operational taxonomic units (OTUs) of the red invasive seaweed Asparagopsis were assessed by studying introduced Mediterranean and Hawaiian populations. Invasive behavior of each Asparagopsis OTU was inferred from phylogeographic reconstructions, past historical demographic dynamics, recent range expansion assessments and future distributional predictions obtained from demographic models. Genealogical networks resolved Asparagopsis gametophytes and tetrasporophytes into four A. taxiformis and one A. armata cryptic OTUs. Falkenbergia isolates of A. taxiformis L3 were recovered for the first time in the western Mediterranean Sea and represent a new introduction for this area. Neutrality statistics supported past range expansion for A. taxiformis L1 and L2 in Hawaii. On the other hand, extreme geographic expansion and an increase in effective population size were found only for A. taxiformis L2 in the western Mediterranean Sea. Distribution models predicted shifts of the climatically suitable areas and population expansion for A. armata L1 and A. taxiformis L1 and L2. Our integrated study confirms a high invasive risk for A. taxiformis L1 and L2 in temperate and tropical areas. Despite the differences in predictions among modelling approaches, a number of regions were identified as zones with high invasion risk for A. taxiformis L2. Since range shifts are likely climate-driven phenomena, future invasive behavior cannot be excluded for the rest of the lineages.

RevDate: 2019-09-08

Raffa KF, Bonello P, JL Orrock (2019)

Why do entomologists and plant pathologists approach trophic relationships so differently? Identifying biological distinctions to foster synthesis.

The New phytologist [Epub ahead of print].

Plant interactions with herbivores and pathogens are among the most widespread ecological relationships, and show many congruent properties. Despite these similarities, general models describing how plant defenses function in ecosystems, and prioritization of responses to emerging challenges like climate change, invasive species, and habitat alteration, often differ markedly between entomologists and plant pathologists. We posit that some fundamental distinctions between how insects and pathogens interact with plants underlie these differences. We propose a conceptual framework to help incorporate these distinctions into robust models and research priorities. The most salient distinctions include features of host-searching behavior, evasion of plant defenses, plant tolerance to utilization, and sources of insect and microbial population regulation. Collectively, these features lead to relatively more diffuse and environmentally mediated plant-insect interactions, and more intimate and genetically driven plant-pathogen interactions. Specific features of insect vs. pathogen life histories can also yield different patterns of spatiotemporal dynamics. These differences can become increasingly pronounced when scaling from controlled laboratory to open ecological systems. Integrating these differences alongside similarities can foster improved models and research approaches to plant defense, trophic interactions, coevolutionary dynamics, food security, and resource management, and provide guidance as traditional departments increase collaborations, or merge into larger units.

RevDate: 2019-09-08

Henn JJ, Yelenik S, EI Damschen (2019)

Environmental gradients influence differences in leaf functional traits between native and non-native plants.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-019-04498-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Determining the characteristics of non-native plants that can successfully establish and spread is central to pressing questions in invasion ecology. Evidence suggests that some non-native species establish and spread in new environments because they possess characteristics (functional traits) that allow them to either successfully compete with native residents or fill previously unfilled niches. However, the relative importance of out-competing native species vs. filling empty niche space as potential mechanisms of invasion may depend on environmental characteristics. Here, we measured plant functional traits, proxies indicative of competitive and establishment strategies, to determine if these traits vary among native and invasive species and if their prevalence is dependent on environmental conditions. Using a natural environmental gradient in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, we evaluated how functional traits differ between native and non-native plant communities and if these differences change along an environmental gradient from hot, dry to cool, wet conditions. Functional trait differences suggested that both competition and open niche space may be important for invasion. Non-native communities tended to have traits associated with faster growth strategies such as higher specific leaf area and lower leaf thickness. However, native and non-native community traits became more dissimilar along the gradient, suggesting that non-native species may be occupying previously unfilled niche space at the hot, dry end of the gradient. We also found that most of the variation in functional trait values amongst plots was due to species turnover rather than intraspecific variation. These results highlight the role of environmental context when considering invasion mechanisms.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Papacostas KJ, AL Freestone (2019)

Multi-trophic native and non-native prey naïveté shape marine invasion success.

PloS one, 14(9):e0221969 pii:PONE-D-19-09768.

Invasive predators have caused rapid declines in many native prey species across the globe. Predator invasion success may be attributed to prey naïveté, or the absence of anti-predator behavior between native and non-native species. An understanding of the effects of naïveté at different timescales since introduction and across multiple trophic levels is lacking, however, particularly in marine systems. Given the central role of trophic interactions in invasion dynamics, this knowledge gap limits the ability to predict high impact predator invasions. Naïveté was examined across three trophic levels of marine invertebrates: a native basal prey (hard clam), two non-native intermediate predators (the recently-introduced Asian shore crab and the long-established European green crab), a native intermediate predator (juvenile blue crabs), and a native top predator (adult blue crab). We hypothesized that naïveté would be more pronounced in trophic interactions involving the recently-introduced non-native predator in comparison to the long-established non-native and native intermediate predators. We further hypothesized that the recently-introduced intermediate predator would both benefit from naïveté of the native basal prey and be hindered by higher mortality through its own naïveté to the native top predator. To test these hypotheses, three laboratory experiments and a field experiment were used. Consistent with our hypotheses, basal prey naïveté was most pronounced with the recently-introduced intermediate predator, and this increased the predator's foraging success. This recently-introduced intermediate predator, however, exhibited an ineffective anti-predator response to the native top predator, and was also preyed upon more in the field than its long-established and native counterparts. Therefore, despite direct benefits from basal prey naïveté, the recently-introduced intermediate predator's naïveté to its own predators may limit its invasion success. These results highlight the importance of a multi-trophic perspective on predator-prey dynamics to more fully understand the consequences of naïveté in invasion biology.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Johnson JC, Urcuyo J, Moen C, et al (2019)

Urban heat island conditions experienced by the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus): Extreme heat slows development but results in behavioral accommodations.

PloS one, 14(9):e0220153 pii:PONE-D-19-07061.

While shifts in organismal biology stemming from climate change are receiving increased attention, we know relatively little about how organisms respond to other forms of anthropogenic disturbance. The urban heat island (UHI) effect describes the capture of heat by built structures (e.g. asphalt), resulting in elevated urban temperatures. The UHI is a well-studied phenomenon, but only a handful of studies have investigated trait-based shifts resulting from the UHI, and even fewer have attempted to quantify the magnitude of the UHI experienced at the microclimate scale. Here, using a common urban exploiter, the Western black widow spider (Latrodectus hesperus), we show that the UHI experienced by spiders in July in their urban Phoenix, AZ refuges is 6°C hotter (33°C) than conditions in the refuges of spiders from Sonoran Desert habitat outside of Phoenix's development (27°C). We then use this field microclimate UHI estimate to compare the development speed, mass gain and mortality of replicate siblings from 36 urban lineages reared at 'urban' and 'desert' temperatures. We show that extreme heat is slowing the growth of spiderlings and increasing mortality. In contrast, we show that development of male spiders to their penultimate moult is accelerated by 2 weeks. Lastly, in terms of behavioral shifts, UHI temperatures caused late-stage juvenile male spiders to heighten their foraging voracity and late-stage juvenile female spiders to curtail their web-building behavior. Trait-based approaches like the one presented herein help us better understand the mechanisms that lead to the explosive population growth of urban (sometimes invasive) species, possibly at the expense of urban biodiversity. Studies of organismal responses to the present day UHI can be used as informative surrogates that help us grasp the impact that projected climate change will have on biodiversity.

RevDate: 2019-09-06

Prudhomme J, Velo E, Bino S, et al (2019)

Altitudinal variations in wing morphology of Aedes albopictus (Diptera, Culicidae) in Albania, the region where it was first recorded in Europe.

Parasite (Paris, France), 26:55.

The rapid spread and settlement of Aedes albopictus mosquitoes across at least 28 countries in Europe, as well as several countries in Asia Minor, the Middle East and Africa, has made it one of the most invasive species of all time. Even though the biology of Ae. albopictus in its native tropical environment has been documented for a long time, the biology and ecology of this species in newly colonized temperate environments remain poorly known despite its important role as a vector for about twenty arboviruses. In this context, the main goals of this work were to investigate Ae. albopictus phenotypic variations at a local scale in Albania, the country where Ae. albopictus was first recorded in Europe, and to determine if its phenotypes could be affected by altitude. Analysis of Ae. albopictus wing phenotypes was performed using a geometric morphometric approach. We observed shape and size variations among altitudinal populations of Ae. albopictus. Differences of wing phenotypes were highlighted between altitude groups for male and female mosquitoes. The phenotypic variations observed in Ae. albopictus between altitudinal groups indicated these populations are exposed to environmental and ecological pressures. These results suggest the presence of phenotypic plasticity in this species.

RevDate: 2019-09-06
CmpDate: 2019-09-05

Yang T, Han G, Yang Q, et al (2018)

Resource stoichiometry shapes community invasion resistance via productivity-mediated species identity effects.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 285(1893):20182035.

Diversity-invasion resistance relationships are often variable and sensitive to environmental conditions such as resource availability. Resource stoichiometry, the relative concentration of different elements in the environment, has been shown to have strong effects on the physiology and interactions between different species. Yet, its role for diversity-invasion resistance relationships is still poorly understood. Here, we explored how the ratio of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus affects the productivity and invasion resistance of constructed microbial communities by a plant pathogenic bacterium, Ralstonia solanacearum. We found that resource stoichiometry and species identity effects affected the invasion resistance of communities. Both high N concentration and resident community diversity constrained invasions, and two resident species, in particular, had strong negative effects on the relative density of the invader and the resident community productivity. While resource stoichiometry did not affect the mean productivity of the resident community, it favoured the growth of two species that strongly constrained invasions turning the slope of productivity-invasion resistance relationship more negative. Together our findings suggest that alterations in resource stoichiometry can change the community resistance to invasions by having disproportionate effects on species growth, potentially explaining changes in microbial community composition under eutrophication.

RevDate: 2019-09-06
CmpDate: 2019-09-06

Beaulieu C, Lavoie C, R Proulx (2018)

Bookkeeping of insect herbivory trends in herbarium specimens of purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria).

Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 374(1763):.

The potential use of herbarium specimens to detect herbivory trends is enormous but largely untapped. The objective of this study was to reconstruct the long-term herbivory pressure on the Eurasian invasive plant, purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), by evaluating leaf damage over 1323 specimens from southern Québec (Canada). The hypothesis tested is that that the prevalence of herbivory damage on purple loosestrife is low during the invasion phase and increases throughout the saturation phase. Historical trends suggest a gradual increase in hole feeding and margin feeding damage from 1883 to around 1940, followed by a period of relative stability. The percentage of specimens with window feeding damage did not begin to increase until the end of the twentieth century, from 3% (2-6%) in 1990 to 45% (14-81%) in 2015. Temporal changes in the frequency of window feeding damage support the hypothesis of an increasing herbivory pressure by recently introduced insects. This study shows that leaf damage made by insects introduced for the biocontrol of purple loosestrife, such as coleopterans of the Neogalerucella genus, can be assessed from voucher specimens. Herbaria are a rich source in information that can be used to answer questions related to plant-insect interactions in the context of biological invasions and biodiversity changes.This article is part of the theme issue 'Biological collections for understanding biodiversity in the Anthropocene'.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Feis ME, Goedknegt MA, Arzul I, et al (2019)

Global invasion genetics of two parasitic copepods infecting marine bivalves.

Scientific reports, 9(1):12730 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-48928-1.

Invasive species, and especially invasive parasites, represent excellent models to study ecological and evolutionary mechanisms in the wild. To understand these processes, it is crucial to obtain more knowledge on the native range, invasion routes and invasion history of invasive parasites. We investigated the consecutive invasions of two parasitic copepods (Mytilicola intestinalis and Mytilicola orientalis) by combining an extensive literature survey covering the reported putative native regions and the present-day invaded regions with a global phylogeography of both species. The population genetic analyses based on partial COI sequences revealed significant population differentiation for M. orientalis within the native region in Japan, while introduced populations in North America and Europe could not be distinguished from the native ones. Thus, M. orientalis' invasion history resembles the genetic structure and recent spread of its principal host, the Pacific oyster, Crassostrea gigas, while M. intestinalis lacks population genetic structure and has an overall low genetic diversity. Therefore, the native origin of M. intestinalis remains unclear. With this study, we demonstrate that even highly related and biologically similar invasive species can differ in their invasion genetics. From this, we conclude that extrapolating invasion genetics dynamics from related invasive taxa may not always be possible.

RevDate: 2019-09-04

Geschke J (2019)

Decrease in Bat Diversity Points towards a Potential Threshold Density for Black Cherry Management: A Case Study from Germany.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 8(9): pii:plants8090320.

In times of land use changes towards more close-to-nature forestry, the application of bioindicators becomes an interesting tool for effective land-use management schemes. Forest managers are increasingly confronted by alien tree species. Therefore, this case study aimed to investigate the influence of the invasive black cherry (Prunus serotina) on bats (Chiroptera: Verpertilionidae) in pine (Pinus sylvestris) forest ecosystems, in order to identify the potential of bats as bioindicators for a black cherry invasion. In three pre-classified succession stages of the black cherry, the diversity and relative abundance of bats were bioacoustically monitored for a period of 60 nights. From the bat call recordings made during the study period, eight bat species could be identified to species level. Within the succession stages of pine monoculture and light black cherry forest, a comparable bat diversity of eight bat species and three sonotypes with a similar relative abundance were observed. In dense black cherry forest, only four species and one sonotype were detected. Compared to the pine monoculture and light black cherry forest, the overall abundance of the bat community was significantly lower in the dense black cherry forest. Upon evaluation, those bat species associated with the edge and narrow space forager guilds were found to have a high sensitivity to a dense black cherry understory within naturally monocultural pine stands. Their activity patterns indicate that the transition from light to dense black cherry understory can be considered as a potential threshold value for a close-to-nature black cherry understory density in high canopy pine forest stands.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Decourtye A, Alaux C, Le Conte Y, et al (2019)

Toward the protection of bees and pollination under global change: present and future perspectives in a challenging applied science.

Current opinion in insect science, 35:123-131 pii:S2214-5745(19)30023-9 [Epub ahead of print].

Over the past 30 years (1987-2016), bibliometric data have shown a drastic change in the scientific investigation of threats to bee populations. Bee research efforts committed to studying bioagressors of honeybees (mainly Varroa sp.) were predominant, but now appear to be shifting from bioagressors to global change in the published literature. This rise of global change science reveals prevailing topics, for current and future years: climate change, landscape alteration, agricultural intensification and invasive species. We argue that with increased investment in applied research and development, the scientific, beekeeping and agricultural communities will be able to find management strategies for productive agrosystems and enhanced resilience of pollination and beekeeping. This implies the need for restoring and improving food resources and shelters of bees by ecological intensification of diversified farming systems, and also reconciling sustainable beekeeping with wild pollinator conservation.

RevDate: 2019-08-31

Asa C, A Moresco (2019)

Fertility Control in Wildlife: Review of Current Status, Including Novel and Future Technologies.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1200:507-543.

Wildlife conservation requires varying degrees of management of endangered species as well as management of their potential predators and competitors. Conservation also depends on ameliorating human-wildlife conflict, especially where there is a threat to the safety of people and of their pets and livestock. In addition, sustainability of wildlife populations can be affected by feral domestic animals or invasive species, that require removal or control. With the increasing concern for animal welfare, non-lethal methods of limiting population size and distribution, such as fertility control, are gaining favor. Breeding programs in zoos depend on highly effective and selective contraception to manage sustainable insurance populations. This review covers fertility control methods currently in use, those that have not lived up to past promises, and others that are under development and present hope for addressing remaining challenges.

RevDate: 2019-08-31

Clulow J, Upton R, Trudeau VL, et al (2019)

Amphibian Assisted Reproductive Technologies: Moving from Technology to Application.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1200:413-463.

Amphibians have experienced a catastrophic decline since the 1980s driven by disease, habitat loss, and impacts of invasive species and face ongoing threats from climate change. About 40% of extant amphibians are under threat of extinction and about 200 species have disappeared completely. Reproductive technologies and biobanking of cryopreserved materials offer technologies that could increase the efficiency and effectiveness of conservation programs involving management of captive breeding and wild populations through reduced costs, better genetic management and reduced risk of species extinctions. However, there are relatively few examples of applications of these technologies in practice in on-the-ground conservation programs, and no example that we know of where genetic diversity has been restored to a threatened amphibian species in captive breeding or in wild populations using cryopreserved genetic material. This gap in the application of technology to conservation programs needs to be addressed if assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) and biobanking are to realise their potential in amphibian conservation. We review successful technologies including non-invasive gamete collection, IVF and sperm cryopreservation that work well enough to be applied to many current conservation programs. We consider new advances in technology (vitrification and laser warming) of cryopreservation of aquatic embryos of fish and some marine invertebrates that may help us to overcome factors limiting amphibian oocyte and embryo cryopreservation. Finally, we address two case studies that illustrate the urgent need and the opportunity to implement immediately ARTs, cryopreservation and biobanking to amphibian conservation. These are (1) managing the biosecurity (disease risk) of the frogs of New Guinea which are currently free of chytridiomycosis, but are at high risk (2) the Sehuencas water frog of Bolivia, which until recently had only one known surviving male.

RevDate: 2019-08-31

Mayer I (2019)

The Role of Reproductive Sciences in the Preservation and Breeding of Commercial and Threatened Teleost Fishes.

Advances in experimental medicine and biology, 1200:187-224.

The teleost fishes are the largest and most diverse vertebrate group, accounting for nearly half of all known vertebrate species. Teleost fish exhibit greater species diversity than any other group of vertebrates and this is reflected in the unique variety of different reproductive strategies displayed by fish. Fish have always been an important resource for humans worldwide, especially as food. While wild capture fisheries have historically been the main source of fish, the farming of fish (aquaculture) is increasingly becoming the more dominant source of food fish, and is predicted to account for 60% of total global fish production by 2030.Fishes are increasingly threatened by a wide range of anthropogenic impacts, including loss of habitat, pollution, invasive species and over-exploitation. In addition, climate change, especially the consequences of global warming, can impact fish at all levels of biological organization from the individual to the population level, influencing both physiological and ecological processes in a variety of direct and indirect ways. As such, there is an urgent need to protect and conserve the huge genetic diversity offered by this diverse vertebrate group, not just as a source of genes for contemporary breeding and for protection against the consequences of climate change and disease, but also as part of our national heritage. While the cryopreservation of reproductive cells is a means of achieving these objectives, currently only fish sperm can be successfully frozen. Due to their large size, large yolk compartment, low membrane permeability and high chilling sensitivity, successful and reproducible protocols for the cryopreservation of fish oocytes and embryos still remains elusive. However, significant advances have been made in the cryopreservation of primordial germ cells as an alternative means of conserving both paternal and maternal genomes. Although more research needs to be carried out on how these cells can be optimally applied to emerging reproductive technologies, including transplantation techniques and surrogate broodstock technologies, the successful cryopreservation of fish germ cells, and the establishment of genetic resource banks, offers the possibility of both conserving and restoring threatened species. Further, current and future conservation efforts need to consider the impact of climate change in both in situ conservation and reintroduction efforts.In conclusion, it is anticipated that the successful cryopreservation of fish germplasm will result in a range of economic, ecological and societal benefits. In partnership with emerging assisted reproductive technologies, the successful cryopreservation of fish germplasm will lead to more efficient reproduction in aquaculture, assist selective breeding programmes, and be of crucial importance to future species conservation actions.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Houé V, Gabiane G, Dauga C, et al (2019)

Evolution and biological significance of flaviviral elements in the genome of the arboviral vector Aedes albopictus.

Emerging microbes & infections, 8(1):1265-1279.

Since its genome details are publically available, the mosquito Aedes albopictus has become the central stage of attention for deciphering multiple biological and evolutionary aspects at the root of its success as an invasive species. Its genome of 1,967 Mb harbours an unusual high number of non-retroviral integrated RNA virus sequences (NIRVS). NIRVS are enriched in piRNA clusters and produce piRNAs, suggesting an antiviral effect. Here, we investigated the evolutionary history of NIRVS in geographically distant Ae. albopictus populations by comparing genetic variation as derived by neutral microsatellite loci and seven selected NIRVS. We found that the evolution of NIRVS was far to be neutral with variations both in their distribution and sequence polymorphism among Ae. albopictus populations. The Flaviviral elements AlbFlavi2 and AlbFlavi36 were more deeply investigated in their association with dissemination rates of dengue virus (DENV) and chikungunya virus (CHIKV) in Ae. albopictus at both population and individual levels. Our results show a complex association between NIRVS and DENV/CHIKV opening a new avenue for investigating the functional role of NIRVS as antiviral elements shaping vector competence of mosquitoes to arboviruses.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Jensen MA, Wang YY, Lai SK, et al (2019)

Antibody-Mediated Immobilization of Virions in Mucus.

Bulletin of mathematical biology pii:10.1007/s11538-019-00653-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Antibodies have been shown to hinder the movement of herpes simplex virus virions in cervicovaginal mucus, as well as other viruses in other mucus secretions. However, it has not been possible to directly observe the mechanisms underlying this phenomenon, so the nature of virion-antibody-mucin interactions remain poorly understood. In this work, we analyzed thousands of virion traces from single particle tracking experiments to explicate how antibodies must cooperate to immobilize virions for relatively long time periods. First, using a clustering analysis, we observed a clear separation between two classes of virion behavior: freely diffusing and immobilized. While the proportion of freely diffusing virions decreased with antibody concentration, the magnitude of their diffusivity did not, implying an all-or-nothing dichotomy in the pathwise effect of the antibodies. Proceeding under the assumption that all binding events are reversible, we used a novel switch-point detection method to conclude that there are very few, if any, state switches on the experimental timescale of 20 s. To understand this slow state switching, we analyzed a recently proposed continuous-time Markov chain model for binding kinetics and virion movement. Model analysis implied that virion immobilization requires cooperation by multiple antibodies that are simultaneously bound to the virion and mucin matrix and that there is an entanglement phenomenon that accelerates antibody-mucin binding when a virion is immobilized. In addition to developing a widely applicable framework for analyzing multistate particle behavior, this work substantially enhances our mechanistic understanding of how antibodies can reinforce a mucus barrier against passive invasive species.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Frevola DM, SM Hovick (2019)

The independent effects of nutrient enrichment and pulsed nutrient delivery on a common wetland invader and its native conspecific.

Oecologia pii:10.1007/s00442-019-04493-y [Epub ahead of print].

Human activities often lead natural systems to be nutrient enriched, with anthropogenically derived nutrients commonly delivered in discrete pulses. Both nutrient enrichment and nutrient pulses can impact plant performance and phenotypic plasticity, especially in invasive species, but quantifying their independent effects remains challenging. To explore the effects of nutrient enrichment and nutrient pulse magnitude, we established a common garden experiment using the North American wetland invader Phragmites australis and its native conspecific Phragmites australis subsp. americanus (five source populations each). We exposed plants to three levels of nutrient enrichment that were delivered either in small or large-magnitude pulses, examining productivity and plasticity responses over a single growing season. Productivity and biomass allocation differed by lineage, with invasive Phragmites producing 73% more biomass and 66% more culms, but with the native growing 31% taller and allocating more of its biomass belowground. Contrary to expectations, both lineages responded similarly to nutrient enrichment and were similarly plastic in their traits. Nutrient enrichment, rather than nutrient pulses, led to large productivity gains and trait plasticity magnitudes. However, total biomass and leaf-level traits (specific leaf area and chlorophyll concentration) were responsive to variation in nutrient pulse magnitudes. By decoupling the effects of nutrient enrichment from nutrient pulses, our study demonstrates the independent effects of these two key factors for plant performance and, by extension, invasion success. We report trait-based similarities between two lineages of Phragmites that play contrasting ecological roles in North American wetlands, and we highlight the potentially detrimental effects of nutrient pulses.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Soti P, Purcell MF, K Jayachandran (2019)

Data on foliar nutrient concentration of invasive plants in the recipient habitat and their native habitat.

Data in brief, 25:104201 pii:104201.

Higher foliar nitrogen concentration in plants is often attributed to higher biomass assimilation and subsequently higher plant growth rate. To understand the underlying mechanism of extensive growth rate of an invasive plant, Old World climbing fern (Lygodium microphyllum), we analyzed the leaf tissue samples from the native and invaded habitats. In each habitat we selected 3 different locations with varying habitat characteristics (soil type, land use history and coexisting vegetation). Plant aboveground tissue collected from each site were analyzed for macro and micro nutrients. Total C and N were measured with a Truspec CN Analyzer. Total Ca, Fe, Mg, K, Mn, and P in plant tissue samples were measured using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP -MS). Here we present the difference in foliar nutrient concentration of invasive plant species in their native habitats and invaded habitats.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Deak BP, Ostendorf B, Taggart DA, et al (2019)

The Significance of Social Perceptions in Implementing Successful Feral Cat Management Strategies: A Global Review.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 9(9): pii:ani9090617.

This review examines the social aspects that influence feral cat management. In particular, it examines definitions and perceptions of feral cats as a species in different countries and across cultures. Using case studies from around the world, we investigate the factors that can influence public perceptions and social acceptance of feral cats and management methods. The review then highlights the importance of social factors in management and suggests the best approach to use in the future to ease the process of gaining a social license for management campaigns. Implications of the influence of education and awareness on public perception and acceptance are further explained, and are suggested to be an essential tool in successfully engaging the community about management in the future.

RevDate: 2019-09-01

Yue M, Yu H, Li W, et al (2019)

Flooding with shallow water promotes the invasiveness of Mikania micrantha.

Ecology and evolution, 9(16):9177-9184 pii:ECE35465.

The invasive ability of alien plants is not only affected by their biological characteristics but also by environmental factors. Therefore, investigating the relationship between plant growth and environmental factors is helpful for predicting the invasive potential of alien species. Mikania micrantha H.B.K. (a vine of Asteraceae) is one of the top 10 most invasive weeds worldwide and causes serious damage to agroforestry ecosystems. Water is an important environmental factor that affects plant growth; however, the relationship between water conditions and the rapid growth of M. micrantha is not clear. In this study, 162 M. micrantha population sizes were investigated in dry, wet and aquatic habitats in the Pearl River Delta region of Guangdong, China. In addition, the seed germination and seedling growth characteristics of M. micrantha were determined by submerging tests. The results showed that the population size of M. micrantha was the largest in aquatic habitats, and the soil moisture content was positively correlated to the population size in dry and wet habitats. Furthermore, M. micrantha seeds could germinate underwater and grow out of the water surface at a depth of 6 cm with a survival rate of 7.4%. Aquatic habitat promoted vine elongation, whereas dry habitats resulted in the reverse pattern. After 8 weeks of water treatments, the vine stem length was 2 and 3 times longer in the aquatic habitat than the wet and dry habitats, respectively. The total root length, root volume, and root tip number increased significantly in the aquatic habitat when compared to those in the wet habitat; however, these parameters exhibited the opposite pattern in the dry habitat. The results showed that flooding with shallow water is conducive to the invasiveness of M. micrantha, suggesting that water is the key determinant during the intrusion process of M. micrantha populations.

Open Research Badges: This article has been awarded Open Data, Open Materials and Preregistered research design Badges. All materials and data are publicly accessible via the Open Science Framework at, and

RevDate: 2019-09-01

Couret J, Huynh-Griffin L, Antolic-Soban I, et al (2019)

Even obligate symbioses show signs of ecological contingency: Impacts of symbiosis for an invasive stinkbug are mediated by host plant context.

Ecology and evolution, 9(16):9087-9099 pii:ECE35454.

Abstract: Many species interactions are dependent on environmental context, yet the benefits of obligate, mutualistic microbial symbioses to their hosts are typically assumed to be universal across environments. We directly tested this assumption, focusing on the symbiosis between the sap-feeding insect Megacopta cribraria and its primary bacterial symbiont Candidatus Ishikawaella capsulata. We assessed host development time, survival, and body size in the presence and absence of the symbiont on two alternative host plants and in the insects' new invasive range. We found that association with the symbiont was critical for host survival to adulthood when reared on either host plant, with few individuals surviving in the absence of symbiosis. Developmental differences between hosts with and without microbial symbionts, however, were mediated by the host plants on which the insects were reared. Our results support the hypothesis that benefits associated with this host-microbe interaction are environmentally contingent, though given that few individuals survive to adulthood without their symbionts, this may have minimal impact on ecological dynamics and current evolutionary trajectories of these partners.

OPEN RESEARCH BADGES: This article has earned an Open Data Badge for making publicly available the digitally-shareable data necessary to reproduce the reported results. The data is available at

RevDate: 2019-09-01

Lamer JT, Ruebush BC, McClelland MA, et al (2019)

Body condition (Wr) and reproductive potential of bighead and silver carp hybrids: Postzygotic selection in the Mississippi River Basin.

Ecology and evolution, 9(16):8978-8986 pii:ECE35423.

Invasive bighead (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and silver carp (H. molitrix) are reproductively isolated in their native range, but form a bimodal, multigenerational hybrid swarm within the Mississippi River Basin (MRB). Despite observed F1 hybrid superiority in experimental settings, effects of postzygotic selection on bighead and silver carp hybrids have not been tested in a natural system. Individual parent and hybrid genotypes were resolved at 57 species-specific loci and used to evaluate postzygotic selection for body condition (Wr) and female reproductive potential (presence of spawning stage gonads and gonadosomatic index [GSI]) in the MRB during 2009-2011. Body condition in the Marseilles Reach, Illinois River declined with a decrease in species-specific allele frequency from 1.0 to 0.4 for each species and early generation hybrids (F1, F2, and first-generation backcross) had lower mean Wr than late generation hybrids (2nd+ generation backcrosses) and parentals. Proportions of stage IV and stage V (spawning stage) female gonads differed between bighead and silver carp, but not among parentals and their early and late generation hybrids within the MRB. Mean GSI values did not differ between parentals and hybrids. Because reproductive potential did not differ between hybrids and parentals, our results suggest that early generation hybrids occur in low frequency either as a factor of poor condition (Wr) and postreproductive survival, infrequent reproductive encounters by parental bighead and silver carp, or selection pressures acting on juvenile or immature life stages. Our results suggest that a combination of genetic and environmental factors may contribute to the postzygotic success of bighead and silver carp hybrids in the Mississippi River Basin.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Bollaín Pastor C, D Vicente Agulló (2019)

[Presence of microplastics in water and the potential impact on public health].

Revista espanola de salud publica, 93:.

The use of plastics has increased exponentially over recent years. Difficulties in their recycling and their low degradability result in their accumulation in the environment. Despite their great stability, they are subject to physical and chemical erosion resulting in smaller fragments. Although there is no standard definition of microplastics, the maximum limit of 5 mm has been accepted as a criterion. Plastics, in addition to the consequences on the environment, have a direct effect on living beings, either by ingestion or toxicity. They may also act as a vehicle for invasive species and adsorb other contaminants on their surface such as PCBs, PAHs or DDT. This, increases the toxic effect of their own components such as plasticizers, additives, heavy metals, etc. There is disparity in the published results regarding the presence of microplastics in both water supplies and drinking water and bottled water. There are no standard analytical methods, nor a consensus in the definition and description of microplastics that allow an appropriate comparison of results. In the absence of scientific evidence, it is necessary to study in depth the presence of microplastics in water and the potential effects on health, in order to be able to consider microplastics as a monitoring parameter in drinking water.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Germinara GS, Pistillo M, Griffo R, et al (2019)

Electroantennographic Responses of Aromia bungii (Faldermann, 1835) (Coleoptera, Cerambycidae) to a Range of Volatile Compounds.

Insects, 10(9): pii:insects10090274.

BACKGROUND: The red-necked longhorn beetle, Aromia bungii, is one of the most damaging pests of stone fruit trees. Native to the south-eastern Palearctic and Oriental regions, it invaded and is established to some extent in the Campania Region (Southern Italy). In several cerambycid species, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have been shown to play a role in mate and host plant location.

METHODS: The electroantennographic (EAG) technique was employed to explore the antennal chemoreceptivity of male and female A. bungii antennae to 90 VOCs.

RESULTS: Increasing EAG amplitudes from the basal to the distal antennal segments were recorded in response to six selected plant volatiles. From the distal flagellomeres, the largest EAG responses (>0.8 mV) were elicited by 2-hexanol, octanal, sulcatone, guaiacol, sulcatol, 2,4-dimethyl-3-hexanol, 2,4-dimethyl-2-hexanone, heptanal, nonanal, (Z)-3-hexenol, and 1-heptanol in both sexes, and by linalool, (E)-2-heptenal, 1-octen-3-ol, (E)-2-octenal, 3-octanol, (E)-2-octen-1-ol, α-phellandrene, and α-terpinene in males. The olfactory system of both sexes proved to be sensitive to changes in stimulus concentration and compound structure.

CONCLUSIONS: this study demonstrates the capability of A. bungii males and females to detect and discriminate among a wide range of VOCs and provides a basis for further olfactometer and field trapping experiments aimed at identifying behaviorally-active compounds useful for the implementation of semiochemical-based control strategies for this pest.

RevDate: 2019-08-28

Brandenburger CR, Cooke J, Sherwin WB, et al (2019)

Rapid evolution of leaf physiology in an introduced beach daisy.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1909):20191103.

Photosynthesis is a key biological process. However, we know little about whether plants change their photosynthetic strategy when introduced to a new range. We located the most likely source population for the South African beach daisy Arctotheca populifolia introduced to Australia in the 1930s, and ran a common-garden experiment measuring 10 physiological and morphological leaf traits associated with photosynthesis. Based on predictions from theory, and higher rainfall in the introduced range, we hypothesized that introduced plants would have a (i) higher photosynthetic rate, (ii) lower water-use efficiency (WUE) and (iii) higher nitrogen-use efficiency. However, we found that introduced A. populifolia had a lower photosynthetic rate, higher WUE and lower nitrogen-use efficiency than did plants from Arniston, South Africa. Subsequent site visits suggested that plants in Arniston may be able to access moisture on a rocky shelf, while introduced plants grow on sandy beaches where water can quickly dissipate. Our unexpected findings highlight that: (1) it is important to compare introduced species to their source population for an accurate assessment of evolutionary change; (2) rainfall is not always a suitable proxy for water availability and (3) introduced species often undergo evolutionary changes, but without detailed ecological information we may not be able to accurately predict the direction of these changes.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Verbrugge LNH, de Hoop L, Aukema R, et al (2019)

Lessons learned from rapid environmental risk assessments for prioritization of alien species using expert panels.

Journal of environmental management, 249:109405 pii:S0301-4797(19)31123-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Limiting the spread and impacts of invasive alien species (IAS) on biodiversity and ecosystems has become a goal of global, regional and national biodiversity policies. Evidence based management of IAS requires support by risk assessments, which are often based on expert judgment. We developed a tool to prioritize potentially new IAS based on their ecological risks, socio-economic impact and feasibility of management using multidisciplinary expert panels. Nine expert panels reviewed scientific studies, grey literature and expert knowledge for 152 species. The quality assessment of available knowledge revealed a lack of peer-reviewed data and high dependency on best professional judgments, especially for impacts on ecosystem services and feasibility of management. Expert consultation is crucial for conducting and validating rapid assessments of alien species. There is still a lack of attention for systematic and methodologically sound assessment of impacts on ecosystem services and weighting negative and positive effects of alien species.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Boundenga L, Ngoubangoye B, Ntie S, et al (2019)

Rodent malaria in Gabon: Diversity and host range.

International journal for parasitology. Parasites and wildlife, 10:117-124 pii:S2213-2244(19)30057-4.

Malaria parasites infect a wide range of vertebrate hosts, such as reptiles, birds and mammals (i.e., primates, ungulates, bats, and rodents). Four Plasmodium species and their subspecies infect African Muridae. Since their discoveries in the 1940s, these rodent Plasmodium species have served as biological models to explore many aspects of the biology of malaria agents and their interactions with their hosts. Despite that, surprisingly, little is known about their ecology, natural history and evolution. Most field studies on these parasites, performed from the 1940s to the early 1980s, showed that all rodent Plasmodium species infect only one main host species, the thicket rat. In the present study, we re-explored the diversity of Plasmodium parasites infecting rodent species living in peridomestic habitats in Gabon, Central Africa. Using molecular approaches, we found that at least two Plasmodium species (Plasmodium vinckei and Plasmodium yoelii) circulated among five rodent species (including the invasive species Mus musculus). This suggests that the host range of these parasites might be larger than previously considered. Our results also showed that the diversity of these parasites could be higher than currently recognized, with the discovery of a new phylogenetic lineage that could represent a new species of rodent Plasmodium.

RevDate: 2019-08-29

Mangiante MJ, Davis AJS, Panlasigui S, et al (2018)

Trends in nonindigenous aquatic species richness in the United States reveal shifting spatial and temporal patterns of species introductions.

Aquatic invasions, 13(3):323-338.

Understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics underlying the introduction and spread of nonindigenous aquatic species (NAS) can provide important insights into the historical drivers of biological invasions and aid in forecasting future patterns of nonindigenous species arrival and spread. Increasingly, public databases of species observation records are being used to quantify changes in NAS distributions across space and time, and are becoming an important resource for researchers, managers, and policy-makers. Here we use publicly available data to describe trends in NAS introduction and spread across the conterminous United States over more than two centuries of observation records. Available data on first records of NAS reveal significant shifts in dominance of particular introduction patterns over time, both in terms of recipient regions and likely sources. These spatiotemporal trends at the continental scale may be subject to biases associated with regional variation in sampling effort, reporting, and data curation. We therefore also examined two additional metrics, the number of individual records and the spatial coverage of those records, which are likely to be more closely associated with sampling effort. Our results suggest that broad-scale patterns may mask considerable variation across regions, time periods, and even entities contributing to NAS sampling. In some cases, observed temporal shifts in species discovery may be influenced by dramatic fluctuations in the number and spatial extent of individual observations, reflecting the possibility that shifts in sampling effort may obscure underlying rates of NAS introduction.

RevDate: 2019-08-26

Le Roux JJ, Hui C, Castillo ML, et al (2019)

Recent Anthropogenic Plant Extinctions Differ in Biodiversity Hotspots and Coldspots.

Current biology : CB pii:S0960-9822(19)30943-1 [Epub ahead of print].

During the Anthropocene, humans are changing the Earth system in ways that will be detectable for millennia to come [1]. Biologically, these changes include habitat destruction, biotic homogenization, increased species invasions, and accelerated extinctions [2]. Contemporary extinction rates far surpass background rates [3], but they seem remarkably low in plants [4, 5]. However, biodiversity is not evenly distributed, and as a result, extinction rates may vary among regions. Some authors have contentiously argued that novel anthropic habitats and human-induced plant speciation can actually increase regional biodiversity [6, 7]. Here, we report on one of the most comprehensive datasets to date, including regional and global plant extinctions in both biodiversity hotspots (mostly from Mediterranean-type climate regions) and coldspots (mostly from Eurasian countries). Our data come from regions covering 15.3% of the Earth's surface and span over 300 years. With this dataset, we explore the trends, causes, and temporal dynamics of recent plant extinctions. We found more, and faster accrual of, absolute numbers of extinction events in biodiversity hotspots compared to coldspots. Extinction rates were also substantially higher than historical background rates, but recent declines are evident. We found higher levels of taxonomic uniqueness being lost in biodiversity coldspots compared to hotspots. Causes of plant extinctions also showed distinct temporal patterns, with agriculture, invasions, and urbanization being significant drivers in hotspots, while hydrological disturbance was an important driver in coldspots. Overall, plant extinctions over the last three centuries appear to be low, with a recent (post-1990) and steady extinction rate of 1.26 extinctions/year.

RevDate: 2019-08-24

Chen XL, Li F, Xie XJ, et al (2019)

Nanoscale Zero-Valent Iron and Chitosan Functionalized Eichhornia crassipes Biochar for Efficient Hexavalent Chromium Removal.

International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(17): pii:ijerph16173046.

Sorption is widely used for the removal of toxic heavy metals such as hexavalent chromium (Cr(VI)) from aqueous solutions. Green sorbents prepared from biomass are attractive, because they leverage the value of waste biomass and reduce the overall cost of water treatment. In this study, we fabricated biochar (BC) adsorbent from the biomass of water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes), an invasive species in many river channels. Pristine BC was further modified with nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) and stabilized with chitosan (C) to form C-nZVI-BC. C-nZVI-BC adsorbent showed high hexavalent chromium sorption capacity (82.2 mg/g) at pH 2 and removed 97.34% of 50 mg/L Cr(VI) from aqueous solutions. The sorption capacity of chitosan-nZVI-modified biochar decreased while increasing the solution pH value and ionic strength. The results of a sorption test indicated that multiple mechanisms accounted for Cr(VI) removal by C-nZVI-BC, including complexation, precipitation, electrostatic interactions, and reduction. Our study suggests a way of adding value to biomass waste by considering environmental treatment purposes.

RevDate: 2019-08-24

M Smith S, F Gomez D, A Beaver R, et al (2019)

Reassessment of the Species in the Euwallacea Fornicatus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae: Scolytinae) Complex after the Rediscovery of the "Lost" Type Specimen.

Insects, 10(9): pii:insects10090261.

Ambrosia beetles of the Euwallacea fornicatus (Eichhoff, 1868) species complex are emerging tree pests, responsible for significant damage to orchards and ecosystems around the world. The species complex comprises seven described species, all of which are nearly identical. Given that the morphology-defined species boundaries have been ambiguous, historically, there has been much disagreement on species validity, which was compounded by the presumed loss of the type series of E. fornicatus. The species complex was recently reviewed using morphometrics to associate the type specimens to the clades delineated with molecular data under the assumption of the lost type series. We rediscovered a syntype of Xyleborus fornicatus, and reevaluated the species in the complex using morphometrics. We propose the following taxonomic changes to the species complex: Euwallacea fornicatus (=E. tapatapaoensis (Schedl, 1951); = E. whitfordiodendrus (Schedl, 1942)) syn. res.); E. fornicatior (Eggers, 1923) (=E. schultzei (Schedl, 1951) syn. nov.); E. kuroshio (Gomez and Hulcr, 2018) and E. perbrevis (Schedl, 1951) stat. res. These taxonomic changes shift the species name associated with the widely used common names for two taxa, namely: Euwallacea fornicatus should be used for the "Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer", and E. perbrevis for the "Tea Shot Hole Borer clade a". A lectotype is designated for X. fornicatus in order to stabilize the use of the name.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Yemshanov D, Haight RG, Chen C, et al (2019)

Managing biological invasions in urban environments with the acceptance sampling approach.

PloS one, 14(8):e0220687 pii:PONE-D-19-13922.

Detections of invasive species outbreaks are often followed by the removal of susceptible host organisms in order to slow the spread of the invading pest population. We propose the acceptance sampling approach for detection and optional removal of susceptible host trees to manage an outbreak of the emerald ash borer (EAB), a highly destructive forest pest, in Winnipeg, Canada. We compare the strategy with two common delimiting survey techniques that do not consider follow-up management actions such as host removal. Our results show that the management objective influences the survey strategy. The survey-only strategies maximized the capacity to detect new infestations and prioritized sites with high likelihood of being invaded. Comparatively, the surveys with subsequent host removal actions allocated most of the budget to sites where complete host removal would minimize the pest's ability to spread to uninvaded locations. Uncertainty about the pest's spread causes the host removal measures to cover a larger area in a uniform spatial pattern and extend to farther distances from already infested sites. If a decision maker is ambiguity-averse and strives to avoid the worst-case damages from the invasion, the optimal strategy is to survey more sites with high host densities and remove trees from sites at farther distances, where EAB arrivals may be uncertain, but could cause significant damage if not detected quickly. Accounting for the uncertainty about spread helps develop a more robust pest management strategy. The approach is generalizable and can support management programs for new pest incursions.

RevDate: 2019-09-05

Wrońska-Pilarek D, Wiatrowska B, J Bocianowski (2019)

Pollen morphology and variability of invasive Spiraea tomentosa L. (Rosaceae) from populations in Poland.

PloS one, 14(8):e0218276 pii:PONE-D-19-03377.

The aim of this study was to investigate the pollen morphology and the ranges of intraspecific and interindividual variability of the North American steeplebush-Spiraea tomentosa L., an invasive species in Poland. Steeplebush inflorescences were collected randomly from 30 localities of S. tomentosa in Poland. In total, 900 pollen grains were analysed with both a light and a scanning electron microscope. Nine quantitative and three qualitative pollen features were studied. The diagnostic features were: exine ornamentation (size and direction of the muri), operculum and perforation size. For the first time, the intraspecific and interindividual variability of the pollen grains of the highly invasive S. tomentosa were investigated. Pollen grain features were so similar, that they did not allow to differentiate individual samples of S. tomentosa and only groups of samples were recognized.

RevDate: 2019-08-23

Pless E, V Raman (2018)

Origin of Aedes aegypti In Clark County, Nevada.

Journal of the American Mosquito Control Association, 34(4):302-305.

Aedesaegypti is the primary vector for serious diseases, including those caused by chikungunya, dengue, and Zika viruses. In 2017, the Southern Nevada Health District first detected this invasive species in Clark County, NV, including in the city of Las Vegas. We analyzed Ae. aegypti from the city of North Las Vegas to determine the likely source of the invasion. We genotyped a sample of Ae. aegypti at 12 highly variable microsatellites and analyzed the data in reference to published data from 25 sites in the southern USA. We found that the Ae. aegypti in Las Vegas most likely invaded from southern California. Knowing the source of new invasions may provide information about the invading population (e.g., previous insecticide exposure) and can help prevent future invasions from the region.

RevDate: 2019-09-04

Weitzman CL, Kaestli M, Gibb K, et al (2019)

Disease Exposure and Antifungal Bacteria on Skin of Invasive Cane Toads, Australia.

Emerging infectious diseases, 25(9):1770-1771.

Cane toads, an invasive species in Australia, are resistant to fungal pathogens affecting frogs worldwide (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis). From toad skin swabs, we detected higher proportions of bacteria with antifungal properties in Queensland, where toad and pathogen distributions overlap, than in other sites. This finding suggests that site-specific pathogen pressures help shape skin microbial communities.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Wu B, Wang L, Wei M, et al (2019)

Silver nanoparticles reduced the invasiveness of redroot pigweed.

Ecotoxicology (London, England) pii:10.1007/s10646-019-02097-z [Epub ahead of print].

The differences in the growth performance between invasive species and native species might paly a key role in the effective invasion. The extensive use of silver nanoparticles (AgNPs) has created the concern of their release into environment. Thus, the possible effects of AgNPs on the growth performance of invading agents are critical to better illustrate the underlying mechanisms for effective invasion. This study aimed to assess the impacts of AgNPs with different concentrations [200 and 400 mg kg (soil)-1] and particle sizes (30 and 70 nm) on the growth performance and competitive ability of well known invasive Amaranthus retroflexus L. (redroot pigweed) and native A. tricolor L. (red amaranth). It was observed that the growth characteristics and supporting ability of redroot pigweed were significantly lower than those of amaranth. Results of the relative competitive intensity index and the relative dominance index also revealed that redroot pigweed exhibited lower competitive ability compared to red amaranth, especially under AgNPs. It can be assumed that the poor growth performance and competitive ability of redroot pigweed might prevent its invasiveness under AgNPs. The supporting ability, leaf photosynthetic area, leaf growing ability, leaf resource use efficiency and acquisition capability, and growth competitiveness of the two plant species were found to be significantly reduced under AgNPs. AgNPs with 30 nm at 400 mg kg (soil)-1 triggered more toxicity on the supporting ability and growth competitiveness of the two plant species than AgNPs with 30 nm at 200 mg kg (soil)-1. In addition, AgNPs with 30 nm imparted high toxicity on the leaf growing ability of red amaranth than AgNPs with 70 nm. However, the particle size of AgNPs did not address significant effects on the growth performance of redroot pigweed. Ag+ solution exhibited stronger toxicity on the supporting ability and leaf growing ability of the two plant species than AgNPs.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Lambert MR, McKenzie JM, Screen RM, et al (2019)

Experimental removal of introduced slider turtles offers new insight into competition with a native, threatened turtle.

PeerJ, 7:e7444 pii:7444.

The red-eared slider turtle (Trachemys scripta elegans; RES) is often considered one of the world's most invasive species. Results from laboratory and mesocosm experiments suggest that introduced RES outcompete native turtles for key ecological resources, but such experiments can overestimate the strength of competition. We report on the first field experiment with a wild turtle community, involving introduced RES and a declining native species of conservation concern, the western pond turtle (Emys marmorata; WPT). Using a before/after experimental design, we show that after removing most of an introduced RES population, the remaining RES dramatically shifted their spatial basking distribution in a manner consistent with strong intraspecific competition. WPT also altered their spatial basking distribution after the RES removal, but in ways inconsistent with strong interspecific competition. However, we documented reduced levels of WPT basking post-removal, which may reflect a behavioral shift attributable to the lower density of the turtle community. WPT body condition also increased after we removed RES, consistent with either indirect or direct competition between WPT and RES and providing the first evidence that RES can compete with a native turtle in the wild. We conclude that the negative impacts on WPT basking by RES in natural contexts are more limited than suggested by experiments with captive turtles, although wild WPT do appear to compete for food with introduced RES. Our results highlight the importance of manipulative field experiments when studying biological invasions, and the potential value of RES removal as a management strategy for WPT.

RevDate: 2019-08-21

Manser A, Cornell SJ, Sutter A, et al (2019)

Controlling invasive rodents via synthetic gene drive and the role of polyandry.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1909):20190852.

House mice are a major ecosystem pest, particularly threatening island ecosystems as a non-native invasive species. Rapid advances in synthetic biology offer new avenues to control pest species for biodiversity conservation. Recently, a synthetic sperm-killing gene drive construct called t-Sry has been proposed as a means to eradicate target mouse populations owing to a lack of females. A factor that has received little attention in the discussion surrounding such drive applications is polyandry. Previous research has demonstrated that sperm-killing drivers are extremely damaging to a male's sperm competitive ability. Here, we examine the importance of this effect on the t-Sry system using a theoretical model. We find that polyandry substantially hampers the spread of t-Sry such that release efforts have to be increased three- to sixfold for successful eradication. We discuss the implications of our finding for potential pest control programmes, the risk of drive spread beyond the target population, and the emergence of drive resistance. Our work highlights that a solid understanding of the forces that determine drive dynamics in a natural setting is key for successful drive application, and that exploring the natural diversity of gene drives may inform effective gene drive design.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Aigbedion-Atalor PO, Hill MP, Zalucki MP, et al (2019)

The South America Tomato Leafminer, Tuta absoluta (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae), Spreads Its Wings in Eastern Africa: Distribution and Socioeconomic Impacts.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5552054 [Epub ahead of print].

Following the arrival of Tuta absoluta Meyrick in the eastern African subregion in 2012, several studies have shown numerous ecological aspects of its invasion. We investigated the impact of T. absoluta on people's livelihoods across four counties of Kenya. Here, 200 farmers in the country were interviewed in person using semistructured questionnaires. In addition to livelihood surveys, T. absoluta distribution was mapped between 2016 and 2018 to determine its current distribution across four countries (Kenya, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda) in the subregion. Albeit a recent invader, T. absoluta is abundant and distributed throughout the subregion and is viewed as the worst invasive alien species of agriculturally sustainable livelihoods by tomato farmers. The arrival of T. absoluta in the subregion has resulted in livelihood losses and increased both the cost of tomato production and frequency of pesticide application. We recommend the implementation of biological control along, with other control measures in an integrated approach, against T. absoluta in the subregion, where its impact on sustainable livelihoods is serious and long-term control strategies are required to curb its detrimental effects.

RevDate: 2019-08-22

Maggiora R, Saccani M, Milanesio D, et al (2019)

An Innovative Harmonic Radar to Track Flying Insects: the Case of Vespa velutina.

Scientific reports, 9(1):11964 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-48511-8.

Over the last 30 years, harmonic radars have been effective only in tracking insects flying at low altitude and over flat terrain. We developed an innovative harmonic radar, implementing the most advanced radar techniques, which covers a large field of view in elevation (with an angular aperture of about 24°) and can track insects up to a range of 500 m. We show all the components of this new harmonic radar and its first application, the tracking of Vespa velutina (yellow-legged Asian hornet). This is an invasive species which, although indigenous to South-East Asia, is spreading quickly to other regions of the world. Because of its fast diffusion and the serious threat it poses to both honeybee colonies and to humans, control measures are mandatory. When equipped with a small passive transponder, this radar system can track the flight trajectory of insects and locate nests to be destroyed. This tool has potential not only for monitoring V. velutina but also for tracking other larger insects and small size vertebrates.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Miralles L, Parrondo M, Hernández de Rojas A, et al (2019)

Development and validation of eDNA markers for the detection of Crepidula fornicata in environmental samples.

Marine pollution bulletin, 146:827-830 pii:S0025-326X(19)30588-0 [Epub ahead of print].

The invasive Crepidula fornicata caused major problems along the European Atlantic coast, especially in France and Netherlands where high densities leads on changes in the habitat, disturb native marine wildlife as well as it originates competition for space and food. Despite its dangerous invasive nature, regular monitoring to alert about its presence in risk areas, like the south Bay of Biscay (Spain and south France), is not done yet. Here, we developed a species-specific marker to detect the presence of C. fornicata in environmental samples (eDNA) of seawater. The novel C. fornicata specific primers amplified a region of 239 bp within the COI gen. We employed this tool to check its presence in 6 estuaries of the Cantabrian Sea, an area comprised between the Spanish and French limits of the previously reported presence of this limpet in the south Bay of Biscay. The presence of C. fornicata was confirmed in A Coruña (Galicia, Spain), Eo and Villaviciosa estuaries (Asturias, Spain) while it was not detected in Santander, Bilbao (Spain), and Bayonne (France). This new method to detect C. fornicata could be easily implemented in regular monitoring to prevent and manage future invasions of this species.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Purba NP, Handyman DIW, Pribadi TD, et al (2019)

Marine debris in Indonesia: A review of research and status.

Marine pollution bulletin, 146:134-144 pii:S0025-326X(19)30425-4 [Epub ahead of print].

With the status as the world's top contributor of marine plastic debris, Indonesia has committed to reduce marine plastic debris up to 70% in 2025 by establishing the National Action Plan (NAP) on Marine Debris. The high amount of marine plastic debris as a result of transport and accumulation become a complex issue in Indonesia due to its ocean-atmospheric circulation, high population of coastal communities, and marine activities. Based on our findings, there are gap of publications related to marine debris in Indonesia that had been already published. Marine debris is ubiquitous and transboundary, as they were found in marine environment and transported by currents to various direction including uninhabited islands, thus, we propose more comprehensive future research about the impact of marine debris on ecosystem (e.g. biological impact of organisms in the water column, ecological alteration in distribution pattern, and invasive species), human health, and economic loss.

RevDate: 2019-08-19

Taggart PL, Fancourt BA, Fabijan J, et al (2019)

No Evidence of Toxoplasma Gondii Exposure in South Australian Koalas (Phascolarctos cinereus).

The Journal of parasitology, 105(4):638-641.

Infection with the cat-borne parasite Toxoplasma gondii has been detected in numerous Australian marsupials and can lead to severe disease (toxoplasmosis) in some cases. The seroprevalence of Toxoplasma on Kangaroo Island, South Australia has been reported to be higher than the South Australian mainland in macropods, cats, and sheep, suggesting an increased risk of infection on this island. However, Toxoplasma seroprevalence in small- and medium-sized terrestrial mammals was almost zero on the island and did not differ from that on the mainland. We surveyed Toxoplasma seroprevalence in koala (Phascolarctos cinereus) populations on the island and on the mainland and assessed their risk of infection and their role in the life cycle of Toxoplasma. All screened koalas from the island (n = 94) and the mainland (n = 63) were seronegative. This represents the largest Toxoplasma seroprevalence survey in this species and provided sufficient evidence to confidently demonstrate freedom from parasite exposure in both island and mainland populations at the time of the survey. Because koalas are extensively arboreal and predominately consume tree foliage, they appear to be at negligible risk of Toxoplasma infection. Furthermore, as koalas are rarely consumed by cats, we suggest that they have a minor role in the parasite's life cycle.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Rojas-Hucks S, Gutleb AC, González CM, et al (2019)

Xenopus laevis as a Bioindicator of Endocrine Disruptors in the Region of Central Chile.

Archives of environmental contamination and toxicology pii:10.1007/s00244-019-00661-6 [Epub ahead of print].

One of the direct causes of biodiversity loss is environmental pollution resulting from the use of chemicals. Different kinds of chemicals, such as persistent organic pollutants and some heavy metals, can be endocrine disruptors, which act at low doses over a long period of time and have a negative effect on the reproductive and thyroid system in vertebrates worldwide. Research on the effects of endocrine disruptors and the use of bioindicators in neotropical ecosystems where pressure on biodiversity is high is scarce. In Chile, although endocrine disruptors have been detected at different concentrations in the environments of some ecosystems, few studies have been performed on their biological effects in the field. In this work, Xenopus laevis (African clawed frog), an introduced species, is used as a bioindicator for the presence of endocrine disruptors in aquatic systems with different degrees of contamination in a Mediterranean zone in central Chile. For the first time for Chile, alterations are described that can be linked to exposure to endocrine disruptors, such as vitellogenin induction, decreased testosterone in male frogs, and histological changes in gonads. Dioxin-like and oestrogenic activity was detected in sediments at locations where it seem to be related to alterations found in the frogs. In addition, an analysis of land use/cover use revealed that urban soil was the best model to explain the variations in frog health indicators. This study points to the usefulness of an invasive species as a bioindicator for the presence of endocrine-disruptive chemicals.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Mohd Zaideen IM (2019)

The paradox in implementing Ballast Water Management Convention 2004 (BWMC) in Malaysian water.

Marine pollution bulletin, 148:3-4 pii:S0025-326X(19)30579-X [Epub ahead of print].

The strategic location of Malaysia along the world's busiest trade waterways underscores the need to cope ballast water issues for both domestic and international shipping. The adoption of Ballast Water Management Convention 2004 (BWMC) by the International Maritime Organization is suitable for management plans intended to prevent the introduction of invasive species through ballast water discharge. Malaysia has ratified the BWMC in September 2010 and the Convention has come into force in September 2017. However up to now, the BWMC has not been fully implemented by Malaysia for ships operating in its waters. This paper analyse the headway in implementing the provisions of the BWMC in Malaysia as well as the issues and challenges encountered for the implementation. The paper concludes that Malaysian government should promulgate laws and policies to clearly communicate on ballast water issues to the shipping industry communities.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Jeffrey JD, Jeffries KM, CD Suski (2019)

Physiological status of silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) in the Illinois River: An assessment of fish at the leading edge of the invasion front.

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Part D, Genomics & proteomics, 32:100614 pii:S1744-117X(19)30143-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) are invasive to North America, and their range has expanded within the Mississippi River Basin, seemingly unchecked, since their introduction in the late 1970s, with the exception of the upper reaches of the Illinois River. With the imminent threat of their movement into the Great Lakes, the goal of the present study was to assess whether differences in the physiological status between silver carp at the leading edge of their invasion front and core population sites could explain their lack of expansion upstream toward Lake Michigan over the past decade. A transcriptomic approach using RNA sequencing and analysis of plasma variables were used to quantify differences among fish at the leading edge and two downstream core population sites. Leading-edge fish exhibited upregulation of genes associated with xenobiotic defense (e.g., ATP-binding cassette C1 [abcc1], abcc2, abcc6), decreased cell integrity (i.e., macroautophagy and apoptosis; autophagy-related protein 9A [atg9a], caspase 3b [casp3b]), and cholesterol metabolism (e.g., abca1, apolipoprotein A1 [apoa1], sterol O-acyltransferase [soat1]) and downregulation of genes associated with DNA repair (e.g., tumor suppressor p53-binding protein 1 [tp53bp1]) compared to core population sites. Transcriptomic profiles of leading-edge fish were consistent with fish inhabiting a polluted environment and suggest that poorer water quality conditions upstream of the leading edge may represent a non-permanent barrier to silver carp range expansion. The present study provides potential molecular targets for monitoring the physiological status of silver carp over time and in response to future improvements in water quality upstream of their leading edge.

RevDate: 2019-09-03

Niemiec RM, Asner GP, Gaertner JA, et al (2019)

Using spatially explicit, time-dependent analysis to understand how social factors influence conservation outcomes.

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

Conservation across human-dominated landscapes requires an understanding of the social and ecological factors driving outcomes. Studies that link conservation outcomes to social and ecological factors have examined temporally static patterns. However, there may be different social and ecological processes driving increases and decreases in conservation outcomes that can only be revealed through temporal analyses. Through a case study of the invasion of Falcataria moluccana in Hawaii, we examined the association of social factors with increases and decreases in invader distributions over time and space. Over 7 years, rates of invader decrease varied substantially (66-100%) relative to social factors, such as building value, whether land was privately or publically owned, and primary residence by a homeowner, whereas rates of increase varied only slightly (<0.1-3.6%) relative to such factors. These findings suggest that links between social factors and invasion in the study system may be driven more by landowners controlling existing invasive species, rather than by landowners preventing the spread of invasive species. We suggest that spatially explicit, time-dependent analyses provide a more nuanced understanding of the way social factors influence conservation outcomes. Such an understanding can help managers develop outreach programs and policies targeted at different types of landowners in human-dominated landscapes.

RevDate: 2019-09-03
CmpDate: 2019-09-03

Zhang DH, Hu YM, M Liu (2019)

[Potential distribution of Spartinal alterniflora in China coastal areas based on Maxent niche model].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 30(7):2329-2337.

Maxent niche model was used to project the potential distribution of alien plant species Spartina alterniflora in China, with 96 S. alterniflora records and marine and climatic data along China coastal area. The results showed that suitable area for the distribution of S. alterniflora occupied 85% of coastal areas, with the highly suitable area, the medium, and low suitable area accounting for 18%, 34% and 33%, respectively. Only 15% of the coastal areas were regions with distribution possibility of less than 5%. Its distribution suitability was mainly related to annual lowest seawater temperature, annual mean seawater temperature, annual mean air temperature, and annual lowest temperature in January. However, the importance of annual mean precipitation, annual mean daily diurnal range, seawater salinity, annual highest seawater temperature, annual highest tempe-rature in June and current velocity was relatively small. At the highly suitable areas for S. alterni-flora, the annual lowest seawater temperature ranged from 0.62 to 24.81 ℃, the annual mean seawater temperature ranged from 10.46 to 27.29 ℃, the annual mean air temperature was between 9 to 25 ℃, and the annual lowest temperature in January was between -13.5 and 16.7 ℃. The distribution possibility of S. alterniflora in the northern coastal area was over 20%, indicating it has a great potential to invade further north in China, especially in Bohai Bay areas. According to the current distribution records and climatic data in China, the invasion risk of S. alterniflora in central and southern coasts of Hainan and most regions of Taiwan Province was low, but the possibility of future invasion can not be excluded.

RevDate: 2019-08-16

Li ZP, Zhao J, Chen YB, et al (2019)

[Spatial variation and driving factors of invasive plants in Fujian Province, China].

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 30(8):2682-2690.

Based on the field investigation data and the integration GIS spatial methods and geographical detector model, we analyzed the main and interactive effects of geographical and social environmental factors on the distribution of invasive plants in Fujian Province, China. The results showed that a total of 82 invasive plant species were recorded, with Compositae as the dominant family. Conyza canadensis, Ageratum conyzoides, and Alternanthera philoxeroides had the highest frequencies. There were more invasive species in coastal areas than in inland areas. Fuzhou and Xiamen were the hot areas for plant invaision. The invasive plants widely distributed at different altitudes, and the invasion reduced with the increasing altitude. The geographical detector analysis showed that rainfall as a natural environment factor and road density and people density as socio-economy factors were the major driving factors for the distribution of invasive plant species. The multi-factor interaction had a positive effect on the spatial distribution of invasive plants, implying the complexity of impact factors on the distribution of invasive plant species. In conclusion, the geographical detector could be used in the studies of invasive plants, and environmental factors could be also applied for monitoring the suitable establishment areas of invasive plants in Fujian Province. Our results provide a scientific basis for effective management of invasive plants.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Geladi I, De León LF, Torchin ME, et al (2019)

100-year time series reveal little morphological change following impoundment and predator invasion in two Neotropical characids.

Evolutionary applications, 12(7):1385-1401 pii:EVA12763.

Human activities are dramatically altering ecosystems worldwide, often resulting in shifts in selection regimes. In response, natural populations sometimes undergo rapid phenotypic changes, which, if adaptive, can increase their probability of persistence. However, in many instances, populations fail to undergo any phenotypic change, which might indicate a variety of possibilities, including maladaptation. In freshwater ecosystems, the impoundment of rivers and the introduction of exotic species are among the leading threats to native fishes. We examined how the construction of the Panama Canal, which formed Lake Gatun, and the subsequent invasion of the predatory Cichla monoculus influenced the morphology of two native fishes: Astyanax ruberrimus and Roeboides spp. Using a 100-year time series, we studied variation in overall body shape over time (before vs. after impoundment and invasion) as well as across space (between an invaded and an uninvaded reservoir). In addition, we examined variation in linear morphological traits associated with swim performance and predator detection/avoidance. Notwithstanding a few significant changes in particular traits in particular comparisons, we found only limited evidence for morphological change associated with these two stressors. Most observed changes were subtle, and tended to be site- and species-specific. The lack of a strong morphological response to these stressors, coupled with dramatic population declines in both species, suggests they may be maladapted to the anthropogenically perturbed environment of Lake Gatun, but direct measures of fitness would be needed to test this. In general, our results suggest that morphological responses to anthropogenic disturbances can be very limited and, when they do occur, are often complex and context-dependent.

RevDate: 2019-08-18

Gering E, Incorvaia D, Henriksen R, et al (2019)

Maladaptation in feral and domesticated animals.

Evolutionary applications, 12(7):1274-1286 pii:EVA12784.

Selection regimes and population structures can be powerfully changed by domestication and feralization, and these changes can modulate animal fitness in both captive and natural environments. In this review, we synthesize recent studies of these two processes and consider their impacts on organismal and population fitness. Domestication and feralization offer multiple windows into the forms and mechanisms of maladaptation. Firstly, domestic and feral organisms that exhibit suboptimal traits or fitness allow us to identify their underlying causes within tractable research systems. This has facilitated significant progress in our general understandings of genotype-phenotype relationships, fitness trade-offs, and the roles of population structure and artificial selection in shaping domestic and formerly domestic organisms. Additionally, feralization of artificially selected gene variants and organisms can reveal or produce maladaptation in other inhabitants of an invaded biotic community. In these instances, feral animals often show similar fitness advantages to other invasive species, but they are also unique in their capacities to modify natural ecosystems through introductions of artificially selected traits. We conclude with a brief consideration of how emerging technologies such as genome editing could change the tempos, trajectories, and ecological consequences of both domestication and feralization. In addition to providing basic evolutionary insights, our growing understanding of mechanisms through which artificial selection can modulate fitness has diverse and important applications-from enhancing the welfare, sustainability, and efficiency of agroindustry, to mitigating biotic invasions.

RevDate: 2019-08-15

Pazmiño-Palomino A, Mendoza J, GA Brito-Vera (2019)

First Record of Invasive Tawny Crazy Ant Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Continental Ecuador and Notes on Its Ecology in Sugarcane Crops.

Neotropical entomology pii:10.1007/s13744-019-00709-1 [Epub ahead of print].

We report the first known record of the tawny crazy ant Nylanderia fulva (Mayr) in continental Ecuador. In addition, we describe the mutualistic association between ants and white aphids Melanaphis sacchari (Zehntner) in a sugarcane crop. Finally, we highlight the necessity to carry out studies of this nature due to an increasing number of invasive ant species in Ecuador and their potential damage to agricultural and natural ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-08-14

Dennert F, Meyer JB, Rigling D, et al (2019)

Assessing the phytosanitary risk posed by an intraspecific invasion of Cryphonectria parasitica in Europe.

Phytopathology [Epub ahead of print].

Intraspecific cryptic invasions may occur when new strains of an invasive species are introduced into an area where this species had already been introduced previously. In plant pathogens, such invasions are not well studied, even if potentially they can have severe consequences. Here, we investigated the effects of a potential intraspecific invasion in Europe of Cryphonectria parasitica, the causal agent of chestnut blight. Specifically, we tested the hypotheses that (1) non-European strains are more virulent on Castanea sativa than those already present in Europe because they have never encountered this new host, and (2) the variation in virulence among strains is higher within native than within introduced populations. In a greenhouse, two-year old C. sativa seedlings were inoculated with C. parasitica strains from South Korea, the USA and Switzerland and lesion development and seedling mortality weekly recorded. Additionally, growth and sporulation of the strains were measured in vitro on agar medium at 15 and 24 °C. While lesion growth was similar for all strains, seedlings inoculated with strains from South Korea and Switzerland died faster than seedlings inoculated with strains from the USA. Moreover, in vitro strains from South Korea grew faster and produced more spores at both temperatures than the strains from the other two countries. In conclusion, our results did not support the two hypotheses. All strains, regardless of their origin, were found to be highly virulent on the inoculated chestnut seedlings. Nevertheless, current phytosanitary measures to avoid the introduction of new genotypes of C. parasitica into Europe should be further implemented.

RevDate: 2019-09-03
CmpDate: 2019-09-03

Kun ME, M Masciocchi (2019)

First detection of the cosmopolitan invader Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann (Heteroptera: Coreidae) in Argentina.

Anais da Academia Brasileira de Ciencias, 91(3):e20180493 pii:S0001-37652019000500606.

Leptoglossus occidentalis Heidemann is a conifer seed bug, native to North America. This species is considered invasive and has reached several countries in the Northern Hemisphere and most recently Chile in South America. This work reports the first detection of this species in Argentina, with specimens from the Rio Negro province, in 2017. Ecological traits and its potential rapid spread were also discussed.

RevDate: 2019-08-16

Pimsler ML, Sze SH, Saenz S, et al (2019)

Gene expression correlates of facultative predation in the blow fly Chrysomya rufifacies (Diptera: Calliphoridae).

Ecology and evolution, 9(15):8690-8701 pii:ECE35413.

Effects of intraguild predation (IGP) on omnivores and detritivores are relatively understudied when compared to work on predator guilds. Functional genetic work in IGP is even more limited, but its application can help answer a range of questions related to ultimate and proximate causes of this behavior. Here, we integrate behavioral assays and transcriptomic analysis of facultative predation in a blow fly (Diptera: Calliphoridae) to evaluate the prevalence, effect, and correlated gene expression of facultative predation by the invasive species Chrysomya rufifacies. Field work observing donated human cadavers indicated facultative predation by C. rufifacies on the native blow fly Cochliomyia macellaria was rare under undisturbed conditions, owing in part to spatial segregation between species. Laboratory assays under conditions of starvation showed predation had a direct fitness benefit (i.e., survival) to the predator. As a genome is not available for C. rufifacies, a de novo transcriptome was developed and annotated using sequence similarity to Drosophila melanogaster. Under a variety of assembly parameters, several genes were identified as being differentially expressed between predators and nonpredators of this species, including genes involved in cell-to-cell signaling, osmotic regulation, starvation responses, and dopamine regulation. Results of this work were integrated to develop a model of the processes and genetic regulation controlling facultative predation.

RevDate: 2019-08-16

Muha TP, Skukan R, Borrell YJ, et al (2019)

Contrasting seasonal and spatial distribution of native and invasive Codium seaweed revealed by targeting species-specific eDNA.

Ecology and evolution, 9(15):8567-8579 pii:ECE35379.

Aim: Codium fragile, an invasive seaweed, has spread widely during the last century, impacting on local seaweed communities through competition and disturbance. Early detection of C. fragile can help on its control and management. Environmental DNA (eDNA) has proved successful for early detection of aquatic invasive species but its potential use for seaweed remains understudied. We used a species-specific eDNA qPCR approach to investigate the spatial distribution, abundance, and coexistence of the invasive C. fragile and three native Codium species (Codium vermilara, Codium tomentosum, and Codium decorticatum) in the Cantabrian Sea.

Location: Bay of Biscay, Northern Atlantic Coast of the Iberian Peninsula; two ports, a beach and a rocky cliff.

Methods: We designed species-specific primers in barcoding regions targeting short fragments of the rbcL gene for the invasive Codium species, and the elongation factor Tu (tufA) gene for the native species, to assess their spatial and seasonal distributions using quantitative real-time PCR in samples collected during summer, autumn, and winter.

Results: We found seasonal differences in the presence of the invasive Codium fragile and two of the native Codium species, but did not detect C. decorticatum at any point. Species distribution patterns produced with qPCR targeting species-specific eDNA coincided with the known distribution based on previous conventional sampling, with a seasonal alternance of C. fragile and C. vermilara, and a marked dominance of invasive C. fragile in ports, which are known hotspots for invasive species.

Main conclusions: Our results demonstrate the utility of using eDNA for early detection and monitoring of invasive seaweed. Native and invasive Codium spp. displayed significant seasonal and spatial differentiation that needs to be taken into account in risk management. Regular monitoring of ports and adjacent areas using eDNA should help to assess the potential expansion of invasive Codium and the need for management interventions to avoid the displacement of native seaweed.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Shang L, Hu Z, Deng Y, et al (2019)

Metagenomic Sequencing Identifies Highly Diverse Assemblages of Dinoflagellate Cysts in Sediments from Ships' Ballast Tanks.

Microorganisms, 7(8): pii:microorganisms7080250.

Ships' ballast tanks have long been known as vectors for the introduction of organisms. We applied next-generation sequencing to detect dinoflagellates (mainly as cysts) in 32 ballast tank sediments collected during 2001-2003 from ships entering the Great Lakes or Chesapeake Bay and subsequently archived. Seventy-three dinoflagellates were fully identified to species level by this metagenomic approach and single-cell polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based sequencing, including 19 toxic species, 36 harmful algal bloom (HAB) forming species, 22 previously unreported as producing cysts, and 55 reported from ballast tank sediments for the first time (including 13 freshwater species), plus 545 operational taxonomic units (OTUs) not fully identified due to a lack of reference sequences, indicating tank sediments are repositories of many previously undocumented taxa. Analyses indicated great heterogeneity of species composition among samples from different sources. Light and scanning electron microscopy and single-cell PCR sequencing supported and confirmed results of the metagenomic approach. This study increases the number of fully identified dinoflagellate species from ballast tank sediments to 142 (> 50% increase). From the perspective of ballast water management, the high diversity and spatiotemporal heterogeneity of dinoflagellates in ballast tanks argues for continuing research and stringent adherence to procedures intended to prevent unintended introduction of non-indigenous toxic and HAB-forming species.

RevDate: 2019-08-10

Auffret AG, CD Thomas (2019)

Synergistic and antagonistic effects of land use and non-native species on community responses to climate change.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change, land-use change and introductions of non-native species are key determinants of biodiversity change worldwide. However, the extent to which anthropogenic drivers of environmental change interact to affect biological communities is largely unknown, especially over longer time periods. Here, we show that plant community composition in 996 Swedish landscapes has consistently shifted to reflect the warmer and wetter climate that the region has experienced during the second half of the 20th century. Using community climatic indices, which reflect the average climatic associations of the species within each landscape at each time period, we found that species compositions in 74% of landscapes now have a higher representation of warm-associated species than they did previously, while 84% of landscapes now host more species associated with higher levels of precipitation. In addition to a warmer and wetter climate, there have also been large shifts in land use across the region, while the fraction of non-native species has increased in the majority of landscapes. Climatic warming at the landscape level appeared to favour the colonization of warm-associated species, while also potentially driving losses in cool-associated species. However, the resulting increases in community thermal means were apparently buffered by landscape simplification (reduction in habitat heterogeneity within landscapes) in the form of increased forest cover. Increases in non-native species, which generally originate from warmer climates than Sweden, were a strong driver of community-level warming. In terms of precipitation, both landscape simplification and increases in non-natives appeared to favour species associated with drier climatic conditions, to some extent counteracting the climate-driven shift towards wetter communities. Anthropogenic drivers can act both synergistically and antagonistically to determine trajectories of change in biological communities over time. Therefore, it is important to consider multiple drivers of global change when trying to understand, manage and predict biodiversity in the future.

RevDate: 2019-08-30

Zhao Z, Hui C, Plant RE, et al (2019)

The failure of success: cyclic recurrences of a globally invasive pest.

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

In the six decades since 1960, the oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), has been announced successfully eradicated in California by the U.S. Department of Agriculture a total of 564 times. This includes eradication declarations in one city a total of 25 different years, in 12 cities 8-19 different years, and in 101 cities 2-7 different years. We here show that the false negatives in declaring elimination success hinge on the easily achieved regulatory criteria, which have virtually guaranteed the failure of complete extirpation of this pest. Analyses of the time series of fly detection over California placed on a grid of 100-km2 cells revealed (1) partial success of the eradication program in controlling the invasion of the oriental fruit fly; (2) low prevalence of the initial detection in these cells is often followed by high prevalence of recurrences; (3) progressively shorter intervals between years of consecutive detections; and (4) high likelihood of early-infested cells also experiencing the most frequent outbreaks. Facing the risk of recurrent invasions, such short-term eradication programs have only succeeded annually according to the current regulatory criteria but have failed to achieve the larger goal of complete extirpation of the oriental fruit fly. Based on the components and running costs of the current programs, we further estimated the efficiency of eradication programs with different combinations of eradication radius, duration, and edge impermeability in reducing invasion recurrences and slowing the spread of the oriental fruit fly. We end with policy implications including the need for agricultural agencies worldwide to revisit eradication protocols in which monitoring and treatments are terminated when the regulatory criteria for declaring eradication are met. Our results also have direct implications to invasion biologists and agriculture policy makers regarding long-term risks of short-term expediency.

RevDate: 2019-08-28

Suckling DM, Stringer LD, Baird DB, et al (2019)

Will growing invasive arthropod biodiversity outpace our ability for eradication?.

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

The Global Eradication Database documents 811 eradication attempts against invasive arthropods since 1890, in 104 countries. Eradication programs show a greater than exponential increase in the number of programs started in recent decades. In addition, there is a trend of a rapidly diversifying burden of the most severe threats. The species richness showed a three-fold increase in number of species under eradication in the last 50 yr, and all taxonomic levels rose dramatically. The increase in number of eradication programs shows that current management measures for constraining the spread of invasive species are inadequate. A similar surge in the number of governments trying to prevent the establishment of new pests has occurred. Increased biodiversity of arthropod eradication targets includes new pest groups with fewer tools developed for management. We argue that a rapid increase in biodiversity of invasive and economically or environmentally damaging organisms represents a substantial and underestimated challenge for managers wanting to prevent their establishment, requiring a shift in research focus to accelerate delimitation and suppression options with less reliance on insecticides.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Puckett EE, Magnussen E, Khlyap LA, et al (2019)

Genomic analyses reveal three independent introductions of the invasive brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) to the Faroe Islands.

Heredity pii:10.1038/s41437-019-0255-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Population genomics offers innovative approaches to test hypotheses related to the source and timing of introduction of invasive species. These approaches are particularly appropriate to study colonization of island ecosystems. The brown rat is a cold-hardy global invasive that has reached most of the world's island ecosystems, including even highly isolated archipelagoes such as the Faroe Islands in the North Atlantic Ocean. Historic records tell of rats rafting to the southern island of Suðuroy in 1768 following a shipwreck off the coast of Scotland, then expanding across the archipelago. We investigated the demographic history of brown rats in the Faroes using 50,174 SNPs. We inferred three independent introductions of rats, including to Suðuroy, the islands of Borðoy and Viðoy, and onto Streymoy from which they expanded to Eysturoy and Vágar. All Faroese populations showed signs of strong bottlenecks and declining effective population size. We inferred that these founder events removed low frequency alleles, the exact data needed to estimate recent demographic histories. Therefore, we were unable to accurately estimate the timing of each invasion. The difficulties with demographic inference may be applicable to other invasive species, particularly those with extreme and recent bottlenecks. We identified three invasions of brown rats to the Faroe Islands that resulted in highly differentiated populations that will be useful for future studies of life history variation and genomic adaptation.

RevDate: 2019-08-15

Holman LE, de Bruyn M, Creer S, et al (2019)

Detection of introduced and resident marine species using environmental DNA metabarcoding of sediment and water.

Scientific reports, 9(1):11559 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-47899-7.

Environmental DNA (eDNA) surveys are increasingly being used for biodiversity monitoring, principally because they are sensitive and can provide high resolution community composition data. Despite considerable progress in recent years, eDNA studies examining how different environmental sample types can affect species detectability remain rare. Comparisons of environmental samples are especially important for providing best practice guidance on early detection and subsequent mitigation of non-indigenous species. Here we used eDNA metabarcoding of COI (cytochrome c oxidase subunit I) and 18S (nuclear small subunit ribosomal DNA) genes to compare community composition between sediment and water samples in artificial coastal sites across the United Kingdom. We first detected markedly different communities and a consistently greater number of distinct operational taxonomic units in sediment compared to water. We then compared our eDNA datasets with previously published rapid assessment biodiversity surveys and found excellent concordance among the different survey techniques. Finally, our eDNA surveys detected many non-indigenous species, including several newly introduced species, highlighting the utility of eDNA metabarcoding for both early detection and temporal / spatial monitoring of non-indigenous species. We conclude that careful consideration on environmental sample type is needed when conducting eDNA surveys, especially for studies assessing community change.

RevDate: 2019-08-27

Petri B, Chaganti SR, Chan PS, et al (2019)

Phytoplankton growth characterization in short term MPN culture assays using 18S metabarcoding and qRT-PCR.

Water research, 164:114941.

The most probable number dilution-culture assay (MPN) is used to enumerate viable phytoplankton in regulatory tests of ballast water treatment systems. However the United States Coast Guard has not yet accepted MPN, in part due to concerns of biased results due to cells being viable but not growing. MPN does not assess the fate of every cell, and thus the bias can only be evaluated by a companion method that assesses the ability of the various taxa to grow. This growth ability ("growability") is the complement of the bias, and has been evaluated by microscopic taxonomy of before-culture and after-culture samples. However, microscopic taxonomy is extremely laborious and few data have been produced for phytoplankton growability in MPN assays. To address the need for more and more reliable growability data, a method was developed using next-generation sequencing (NGS) and quantitative real time PCR (qRT-PCR) techniques that target the V9 region of the 18S rRNA gene for the taxonomic identification and growth assessment of eukaryotic phytoplankton, respectively. This growability method was applied to MPN samples from a ballast water management system test that were incubated with two different enrichment media at two different temperatures. DNA was extracted from filters of before-culture and after-culture samples, and assessed for taxonomy by NGS and for PCR template DNA concentration by qRT-PCR. Growth ratios based on changes in 18S template concentration over the incubation period were calculated for each taxon, and dead-cell DNA persistence through a 14 day incubation was verified to be <1% and did not influence the growth calculations. In total, 95 of 97 eukaryotic phytoplankton in the before-culture sample demonstrated growth, with definitive growth ratios ranging from 4.0 × 101-2.6 × 105. An additional 13 taxa demonstrated growth from non-detect in before-culture samples. Taxa-based growability values were 87-88% in individual incubation conditions with no statistical differences among conditions, and 98% for all conditions combined. When growability was weighted by the before-culture abundance of each taxa, relevant to regulations based on all organisms regardless of taxa, community-based growability was >99% in each condition and in all conditions combined because the most abundant taxa all exhibited growth. This study verifies that conventional phytoplankton MPN assays produce accurate results with low bias from undetected viable cells, regardless of enrichments and incubation temperatures. This work can provide regulatory confidence for broader acceptance of MPN assays without limitations.

RevDate: 2019-08-09

Bortolus A, Adam P, Adams JB, et al (2019)

Supporting Spartina: Interdisciplinary perspective shows Spartina as a distinct solid genus.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

In 2014 a DNA-based phylogenetic study confirming the paraphyly of the grass subtribe Sporobolinae proposed the creation of a large monophyletic genus Sporobolus, including (among others) species previously included in the genera Spartina, Calamovilfa, and Sporobolus. Spartina species have contributed substantially (and continue contributing) to our knowledge in multiple disciplines, including ecology, evolutionary biology, molecular biology, biogeography, experimental ecology, biological invasions, environmental management, restoration ecology, history, economics, and sociology. There is no rationale so compelling to subsume the name Spartina as a subgenus that could rival the striking, global iconic history and use of the name Spartina for over 200 years. We do not agree with the subjective arguments underlying the proposal to change Spartina to Sporobolus. We understand the importance of both the objective phylogenetic insights and of the subjective formalized nomenclature and hope that by opening this debate we will encourage positive feedback that will strengthen taxonomic decisions with an interdisciplinary perspective. We consider that the strongly distinct, monophyletic clade Spartina should simply and efficiently be treated as the genus Spartina. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-08-11

Moreno Salas L, Espinoza-Carniglia M, Lizama Schmeisser N, et al (2019)

Fleas of black rats (Rattus rattus) as reservoir host of Bartonella spp. in Chile.

PeerJ, 7:e7371 pii:7371.

Background: Rattus rattus is a widely distributed, invasive species that presents an important role in disease transmission, either directly or through vector arthropods such as fleas. These black rats can transmit a wide variety of pathogens, including bacteria of the genus Bartonella, which can cause diseases in humans and animals. In Chile, no data are available identifying fleas from synanthropic rodents as Bartonella vectors. The aim of this study was to investigate the prevalence of Bartonella spp. in the fleas of R. rattus in areas with different climate conditions and featuring different human population densities.

Methods: In all, 174 fleas collected from 261 R. rattus captured from 30 localities with different human densities (cities, villages, and wild areas) across five hydrographic zones of Chile (hyper-arid, arid, semi-arid, sub-humid, and hyper-humid) were examined. Bartonella spp. presence was determined through polymerase chain reaction, using gltA and rpoB genes, which were concatenated to perform a similarity analysis with BLAST and phylogenetic analysis.

Results: Overall, 15 fleas species were identified; Bartonella gltA and rpoB fragments were detected in 21.2% (37/174) and 19.5% (34/174) of fleas, respectively. A total of 10 of the 15 fleas species found were positive for Bartonella DNA. Leptopsylla segnis was the most commonly collected flea species (n = 55), and it also presented a high prevalence of Bartonella DNA (P% = 34.5%). The highest numbers of fleas of this species were collected in villages of the arid zone. There were no seasonal differences in the prevalence of Bartonella DNA. The presence of Bartonella DNA in fleas was recorded in all hydrographic areas, and the arid zone presented the highest prevalence of this species. Regarding areas with different human densities, the highest prevalence was noted in the villages (34.8% gltA and 31.8% rpoB), followed by cities (14.8% gltA and 11.1% rpoB) and wild areas (7.4% gltA and 14.8% rpoB). The BLAST analysis showed a high similitude (>96%) with four uncharacterized Bartonella genotypes and with two species with zoonotic potential: B. mastomydis and B. tribocorum. The phylogenetic analysis showed a close relationship with B. elizabethae and B. tribocorum. This is the first study to provide evidence of the presence of Bartonella in fleas of R. rattus in Chile, indicating that the villages and arid zone correspond to areas with higher infection risk.

RevDate: 2019-08-20

Shabani F, Nasrolahi A, M Thiel (2019)

Assemblage of encrusting organisms on floating anthropogenic debris along the northern coast of the Persian Gulf.

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 254(Pt A):112979 pii:S0269-7491(19)31540-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Global concern about floating marine debris and its fundamental role in shaping coastal biodiversity is growing, yet there is very little knowledge about debris-associated rafting communities in many areas of the world's oceans. In the present study, we examined the encrusting assemblage on different types of stranded debris (wood, plastic, glass, and metal cans) along the Iranian coast of the Persian Gulf. In total, 21 taxa were identified on 132 items. The average frequency of occurrence (±SE) across all sites and stranded debris showed that the barnacle Amphibalanus amphitrite (68.9 ± 1.1%), the oyster Saccostrea cucullata (40.9 ± 0.7%), the polychaete Spirobranchus kraussii (27.3 ± 0.5%), green algae (22 ± 0.5%) and the coral Paracyathus stokesii (14.4 ± 0.7%) occurred most frequently. Relative substratum coverage was highest for A. amphitrite (44.3 ± 2.7%), followed by green algae (14.4 ± 1.5%), Spirobranchus kraussii (9.3 ± 1.3%), Saccostrea cucullata (7.6 ± 1.3%) and the barnacle Microeuraphia permitini (5.8 ± 0.9%). Despite the significant difference in coverage of rafting species on plastic items among different sites, there was no clear and consistent trend of species richness and coverage from the eastern (Strait of Hormuz) to the western part of the Persian Gulf. Some rafting species (bryozoans and likely barnacles) were found to be non-indigenous species in the area. As floating marine debris can transport non-indigenous species and increase the risk of bio-invasions to this already naturally- and anthropogenically-stressed water body, comprehensive monitoring efforts should be made to elucidate the vectors and arrival of new invasive species to the region.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Hintz WD, Schuler MS, Jones DK, et al (2019)

Nutrients influence the multi-trophic impacts of an invasive species unaffected by native competitors or predators.

The Science of the total environment, 694:133704 pii:S0048-9697(19)33642-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Non-native species often lead to undesirable ecological and environmental impacts. Two hypotheses that predict establishment of non-native species are enemy release and biotic resistance. Support for these hypotheses in freshwater invasions is mixed. Experiments combined with field observations provide a complementary approach to understanding how interactions between native and non-native species lead to enemy release or biotic resistance. We tested experimentally whether these hypotheses provided insights into the invasion of the banded mystery snail (Viviparus georgianus), which has invaded the Great Lakes region and northeastern Unites States (US) from the southeastern US. Because freshwater systems vary widely in their nutrient concentrations due to natural and anthropogenic processes, we tested whether nutrient additions altered competitive and predatory interactions that regulate mechanisms of enemy release or biotic resistance. We evaluated the status of the mystery snail invasion in a 3-year field survey of Lake George (NY, US) to identify if field observations supported any experimental conclusions. The presence of the banded mystery snail led to a 14% and 27% reduction in biomass of a native competitor under low- and high-nutrient concentrations, respectively. The mystery snail also triggered a 29% biomass loss of a native snail predator, but only in low-nutrient concentrations. Field surveys indicated that the mystery snail dominated the snail community; of seven snail species, it comprised 77% of all snails. Results from the field surveys combined with experimental results indicate that neither competitors nor predators have likely suppressed the invasion of the banded mystery snail. This conclusion is consistent with competitive- and predatory-enemy release as we found no indication of biotic resistance via competition or predation from native species. Our results further highlight that the post-establishment impacts of invasive species are altered by the trophic state of freshwater ecosystems.

RevDate: 2019-08-08

Cornelissen B, Neumann P, O Schweiger (2019)

Global warming promotes biological invasion of a honey bee pest.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change and biological invasions are two major global environmental challenges. Both may interact, e.g. via altered impact and distribution of invasive alien species. Even though invasive species play a key role for compromising the health of honey bees, the impact of climate change on the severity of such species is still unknown. The small hive beetle (SHB, Aethina tumida, Murray) is a parasite of honey bee colonies. It is endemic to Sub-Saharan Africa and has established populations on all continents except Antarctica. Since SHBs pupate in soil, pupation performance is governed foremost by two abiotic factors, soil temperature and moisture, which will be affected by climate change. Here, we investigated SHB invasion risk globally under current and future climate scenarios. We modelled survival and development time during pupation (= pupal performance) in response to soil temperature and soil moisture using published and novel experimental data. Presence data on SHB distribution were used for model validation. We then linked the model with global soil data in order to classify areas (resolution: 10 arcmin; i.e. 18.6 km at the equator) as unsuitable, marginal and suitable for SHB pupation performance. Under the current climate, the results show that many areas globally yet uninvaded are actually suitable, suggesting considerable SHB invasion risk. Future scenarios of global warming project a vehement increase in climatic suitability for SHB and corresponding potential for invasion, especially in the temperate regions of the Northern hemisphere, thereby creating demand for enhanced and adapted mitigation and management. Our analysis shows, for the first time, effects of global warming on a honey bee pest and will help areas at risk to prepare adequately. In conclusion, this is a clear case for global warming promoting biological invasion of a pest species with severe potential to harm important pollinator species globally. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2019-08-19
CmpDate: 2019-08-19

Milnes JM, EH Beers (2019)

Trissolcus japonicus (Hymenoptera: Scelionidae) Causes Low Levels of Parasitism in Three North American Pentatomids Under Field Conditions.

Journal of insect science (Online), 19(4):.

Trissolcus japonicus (Ashmead), an Asian parasitoid of Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae), was first detected in North America in 2014. Although testing in quarantine facilities as a candidate for classical biological control is ongoing, adventive populations have appeared in multiple sites in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Extensive laboratory testing of T. japonicus against other North American pentatomids and H. halys has revealed a higher rate of parasitism of H. halys, but not complete host specificity. However, laboratory tests are necessarily artificial, in which many host finding and acceptance cues may be circumvented. We offered sentinel egg masses of three native pentatomid (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) pest species (Chinavia hilaris (Say), Euschistus conspersus Uhler, and Chlorochroa ligata (Say)) in a field paired-host assay in an area with a well-established adventive population of T. japonicus near Vancouver, WA. Overall, 67% of the H. halys egg masses were parasitized by T. japonicus during the 2-yr study. Despite the 'worst case' scenario for a field test (close proximity of the paired egg masses), the rate of parasitism (% eggs producing adult wasps) on all three native species was significantly less (0.4-8%) than that on H. halys eggs (77%). The levels of successful parasitism of T. japonicus of the three species are C. hilaris > E. conspersus > C. ligata. The potential impact of T. japonicus on these pentatomids is probably minimal.

RevDate: 2019-08-16

Martín-Torrijos L, Kokko H, Makkonen J, et al (2019)

Mapping 15 years of crayfish plague in the Iberian Peninsula: The impact of two invasive species on the endangered native crayfish.

PloS one, 14(8):e0219223 pii:PONE-D-19-13318.

Crayfish plague, caused by the pathogen Aphanomyces astaci, is one of the main factors responsible for the decimation of the native European crayfish species Austropotamobius pallipes. In Spain, two North American freshwater crayfish species, Procambarus clarkii and Pacifastacus leniusculus, were intentionally introduced during the 1970s for aquaculture and fishery purposes. Since then, incidences of crayfish plague have been continually reported. In this work, we evaluated more than 50 diagnosed cases of crayfish plague that have occurred in the Iberian Peninsula since 2004 by performing a microscopic examination of infected specimens and by molecularly identifying and haplotyping the pathogen. Our results showed that (i) the pathogen A. astaci has been active 45 years since the first introductions of the invasive North American crayfish species in the Iberian Peninsula, and (ii) P. clarkii and P. leniusculus are chronic reservoirs of the crayfish plague pathogen. Moreover, our data confirmed a correspondence between pathogen origin and spread and the specific haplotypes carried by the North American invasive crayfish located in the vicinity of each outbreak. We generated a crayfish plague incidence map of the Iberian Peninsula that shows (i) a northern area, mainly inhabited by alien P. leniusculus, where crayfish plague cases are associated with the b-haplotype specific to P. leniusculus, and (ii) southern, central and eastern areas that are basically inhabited by alien P. clarkii, where crayfish plague cases are associated with the d1- and d2-haplotypes specific to P. clarkii. The results presented here are evidence of the long standing and negative impact of the two invasive crayfish species on the native species, indicating the need for more extensive control measures.

RevDate: 2019-08-11

DeBellis T, Kembel SW, JP Lessard (2019)

Shared mycorrhizae but distinct communities of other root-associated microbes on co-occurring native and invasive maples.

PeerJ, 7:e7295 pii:7295.

Background: Biological invasions are major drivers of environmental change that can significantly alter ecosystem function and diversity. In plants, soil microbes play an important role in plant establishment and growth; however, relatively little is known about the role they might play in biological invasions. A first step to assess whether root microbes may be playing a role in the invasion process is to find out if invasive plants host different microbes than neighbouring native plant species.

Methods: In this study we investigated differences in root associated microbes of native sugar maple (Acer saccharum Marsh.) and exotic Norway maple (A. platanoides L.) collected from a forested reserve in eastern Canada. We used microscopy to examine root fungi and high-throughput sequencing to characterize the bacterial, fungal and arbuscular mycorrhizal communities of both maple species over one growing season.

Results: We found differences in root associated bacterial and fungal communities between host species. Norway maple had a higher bacterial and fungal OTU (operational taxonomic units) richness compared to sugar maple, and the indicator species analysis revealed that nine fungal OTUs and three bacterial OTUs had a significant preference for sugar maple. The dominant bacterial phyla found on the roots of both maple species were Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. The most common fungal orders associated with the Norway maple roots (in descending order) were Helotiales, Agaricales, Pleosporales, Hypocreales, Trechisporales while the Agaricales, Pleosporales, Helotiales, Capnodiales and Hypocreales were the dominant orders present in the sugar maple roots. Dark septate fungi colonization levels were higher in the sugar maple, but no differences in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and colonization rates were detected between maple species.

Discussion: Our findings show that two congeneric plant species grown in close proximity can harbor distinct root microbial communities. These findings provide further support for the importance of plant species in structuring root associated microbe communities. The high colonization levels observed in Norway maple demonstrates its compatibility with arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in the introduced range. Plant-associated microbial communities can affect host fitness and function in many ways; therefore, the observed differences suggest a possibility that biotic interactions can influence the dynamics between native and invasive species.

RevDate: 2019-08-13

Heuring C, Barber D, Rains N, et al (2019)

Genetics, morphology and diet of introduced populations of the ant-eating Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum).

Scientific reports, 9(1):11470 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-47856-4.

Introduced species can diverge from their source population when they become established in a new ecosystem. The Texas Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma cornutum) is native to the western United States (US) and was historically introduced to several locations in the southeastern US. We studied three introduced populations in South Carolina, US to determine if they exhibit dietary, morphological and genetic divergence from the native western US populations. We expected little divergence from western populations because P. cornutum is a specialist whose biology is largely shaped by its diet of Pogonomyrmex harvester ants. We show that the introduced populations have mixed ancestry between south Texas and more northern areas and experienced founder effects and genetic bottlenecks resulting in decreased genetic diversity. South Carolina lizards primarily consume ants (94%), but surprisingly, they did not eat harvester ants. Introduced lizards primarily eat Dorymyrmex ants, but each introduced population complements Dorymyrmex with significantly different amounts of other species of ants, insects and plant matter. Introduced populations have smaller body size and have different limb and head shapes compared to western populations. This study demonstrates successful persistence of an introduced vertebrate that may be attributed to phenotypic change, even in the face of reduced genetic diversity.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Ramírez-Pizarro F, Silva-de la Fuente C, Hernández-Orellana C, et al (2019)

Zoonotic Pathogens in the American Mink in Its Southernmost Distribution.

Vector borne and zoonotic diseases (Larchmont, N.Y.) [Epub ahead of print].

The American mink, Neovison vison, is an invasive species in Chile. Its impact on native fauna and public health has not been studied in depth in the country. In this study, we searched for gastrointestinal parasites, including helminths and zoonotic Cryptosporidium sp., the presence of Trichinella sp. in muscle, and the renal carriage of pathogenic Leptospira sp. in minks caught on Navarino Island, "Magallanes y la Antártica Chilena" Region, and Maullín and Ancud, "Los Lagos" Region, Chile. A total of 58, 15, and 21 minks from Navarino Island, Maullín, and Ancud, respectively, were examined for Trichinella sp. (artificial digestion of muscle). A total of 36, 11, and 17 minks from Navarino Island, Maullín, and Ancud, respectively, were examined for pathogenic Leptospira species (molecular detection of LipL32 gen fragment in renal tissue) infection. Finally, 45, 11, and 17 minks from Navarino Island, Maullín, and Ancud, respectively, were analyzed to detect gastrointestinal parasites (by optical inspection of the digestive tract for helminths, and by both Ziehl-Neelsen stain and molecular detection of small subunit-ribosomal DNA for Cryptosporidium species). Trichinella larvae were not observed. Pathogenic Leptospira sp. was detected in 22 samples: 15 from Navarino Island, 3 from Maullín, and 4 from Ancud. Two nematodes, belonging to Ascaridinae (subfamily) and Pterygodermatites (Paucipectines) sp., were found in samples of two minks from Navarino Island. Oocysts and DNA of Cryptosporidium sp. were detected in three fecal samples from Navarino Island. Further studies could determine the zoonotic potential of Cryptosporidium sp., as well as the potential impact of the zoonotic Leptospira sp. on the human population of the Navarino Island, Maullín, and Ancud districts. The enemy release theory could explain the low helminth species richness in the minks. In addition, we did not find evidence of parasite transmission from native fauna.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Poirier MV (2019)

A trade-off model for immunocompetence: The potential contribution of immunological regulation in invasive vertebrate success.

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

Invasive species have become a prolific environmental issue, second only to climate change, yet many of the phenomena that facilitate invasive success are not well understood (Phillip & Shine, Proc. Roy. Soc. B, 273, 1545-1550). The combination of several generalist life-history traits, certain physiological mechanisms, and environmental conditions is thought to play a significant role in invasion success. The ability to undergo fitness trade-offs-to reallocate nutritional and energetic resources towards processes that increase reproduction, growth, and dispersal-is also thought to be an adaptive quality of many invasive species. Due to their inherent flexibility, phenotypically plastic traits in particular are often targeted for fitness reallocations. Immune function, for example, is determined by a highly plastic phenotype, which is crucial for combating a diverse array of pathogens. When active, immune function also demands extensive resources from the host. Laboratory and field studies suggest that certain aspects of the immune system are more costly than others, though, and that its components can be regulated independent of one another. In invasive species undergoing fitness trade-offs, costly innate inflammatory responses are often downregulated, while antibody-mediated responses may be enhanced. A combination of fixed physiological responses and environmentally induced trade-offs are thought to regulate the immune system, though the relationship between these facets of regulation is still an area of active research. The field of ecoimmunology, then, has emerged in effort to understand the phenomena by which individual immune regulation can drive (and be driven by) species-level ecology and evolution, and therefore be linked to invasive success (Downs et al., 2014. Integr. Compar. Biol., 54, 340-352).

RevDate: 2019-08-09

Sadchatheeswaran S, Moloney CL, Branch GM, et al (2019)

Blender interstitial volume: A novel virtual measurement of structural complexity applicable to marine benthic habitats.

MethodsX, 6:1728-1740 pii:S2215-0161(19)30189-X.

Blender interstitial volume is a novel method that utilizes 3D modeling techniques to accurately and efficiently quantify the volume of interstitial gaps in marine benthic habitats, as well as the space provided by substrate rugosity. This method builds upon the analog methods routinely used on rocky shores and intertidal habitats, including those that measure rugosity, topography, fractals and volume. The method provides a direct Euclidean measurement and uniquely allows retrospective analysis if historical data on species composition are available. Blender interstitial volume allows users to quickly build and measure a large number of samples at no extra cost. •The program for Blender is free and opensource, and requires no extra equipment.•Once 3D models of species are made, the entire method takes less than ten minutes to complete.•Blender interstitial volume is as accurate as Fractal analysis in determining structural complexity on rocky shores, but is more consistent and precise, and better at discerning differences.

RevDate: 2019-08-12

Ahmad R, Khuroo AA, Charles B, et al (2019)

Global distribution modelling, invasion risk assessment and niche dynamics of Leucanthemum vulgare (Ox-eye Daisy) under climate change.

Scientific reports, 9(1):11395 pii:10.1038/s41598-019-47859-1.

In an era of climate change, biological invasions by alien species represent one of the main anthropogenic drivers of global environmental change. The present study, using an ensemble modelling approach, has mapped current and future global distribution of the invasive Leucanthemum vulgare (Ox-eye Daisy) and predicted the invasion hotspots under climate change. The current potential distribution of Ox-eye Daisy coincides well with the actual distribution records, thereby indicating robustness of our model. The model predicted a global increase in the suitable habitat for the potential invasion of this species under climate change. Oceania was shown to be the high-risk region to the potential invasion of this species under both current and future climate change scenarios. The results revealed niche conservatism for Australia and Northern America, but contrastingly a niche shift for Africa, Asia, Oceania and Southern America. The global distribution modelling and risk assessment of Ox-eye Daisy has immediate implications in mitigating its invasion impacts under climate change, as well as predicting the global invasion hotspots and developing region-specific invasion management strategies. Interestingly, the contrasting patterns of niche dynamics shown by this invasive plant species provide novel insights towards disentangling the different operative mechanisms underlying the process of biological invasions at the global scale.

RevDate: 2019-08-07

Ibáñez MD, MA Blázquez (2019)

Phytotoxic Effects of Commercial Eucalyptus citriodora, Lavandula angustifolia, and Pinus sylvestris Essential Oils on Weeds, Crops, and Invasive Species.

Molecules (Basel, Switzerland), 24(15): pii:molecules24152847.

BACKGROUND: essential oils are well known for their pharmacological effectiveness as well as their repellent, insecticide, and herbicide activities. The emergence of resistant weeds, due to the overuse of synthetic herbicides, makes it necessary to find natural alternatives for weed control. The aim of this study was to evaluate the phytotoxic effects of Eucalyptus citriodora, Lavandulaangustifolia, and Pinus sylvestris, three common commercial essential oils, on weeds (Portulaca oleracea, Lolium multiflorum, and Echinochloa crus-galli), food crops (tomato and cucumber), and the invasive species Nicotiana glauca. Methods: to determine herbicidal effects, essential oils were tested at different concentrations (0.125-1µL/mL). The index of germination and seedling length data were recorded over 14 days.

RESULTS: the in vitro assays showed that L. angustifolia with linalool (38.7 ± 0.1%), 1,8-cineole (26.5 ± 0.1%), and camphor (14.2 ± 0.1%) as the main compounds showed the most phytotoxic effects affecting seed germination in weeds and tomato, and the aforementioned invasive species. L. multiflorum was the most sensitive weed, particularly to lavender essential oil, which decreased the growth of its hypocotyl and radicle by 87.8% and 76.7%, respectively, at a dose of 1 µL/mL. Cucumber was the most resistant food crop, with no significant reduction observed in seed germination and hypocotyl growth with E. citriodora and L. angustifolia essential oils.

CONCLUSIONS: lavender essential oil represents a promising candidate for the development of effective and safe herbicides in the management of L. multiflorum affecting cucumber crops.


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.


Order from Amazon

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
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

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 )