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Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 02 Dec 2023 at 01:47 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: 2023-12-01

Lühken R, Brattig N, N Becker (2023)

Introduction of invasive mosquito species into Europe and prospects for arbovirus transmission and vector control in an era of globalization.

Infectious diseases of poverty, 12(1):109.

BACKGROUND: Mosquito research in Europe has a long history, primarily focused on malaria vectors. In recent years, invasive mosquito species like the Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus) and the spread of arboviruses like dengue virus, chikungunya virus or bluetongue virus have led to an intensification of research and monitoring in Europe. The risk of further dissemination of exotic species and mosquito-borne pathogens is expected to increase with ongoing globalization, human mobility, transport geography, and climate warming. Researchers have conducted various studies to understand the ecology, biology, and effective control strategies of mosquitoes and associated pathogens.

MAIN BODY: Three invasive mosquito species are established in Europe: Asian tiger mosquito (Aedes albopictus), Japanese bush mosquito (Ae. japonicus), and Korean bush mosquito (Aedes koreicus). Ae. albopictus is the most invasive species and has been established in Europe since 1990. Over the past two decades, there has been an increasing number of outbreaks of infections by mosquito-borne viruses in particular chikungunya virus, dengue virus or Zika virus in Europe primary driven by Ae. albopictus. At the same time, climate change with rising temperatures results in increasing threat of invasive mosquito-borne viruses, in particular Usutu virus and West Nile virus transmitted by native Culex mosquito species. Effective mosquito control programs require a high level of community participation, going along with comprehensive information campaigns, to ensure source reduction and successful control. Control strategies for container breeding mosquitoes like Ae. albopictus or Culex species involve community participation, door-to-door control activities in private areas. Further measures can involve integration of sterile insect techniques, applying indigenous copepods, Wolbachia sp. bacteria, or genetically modified mosquitoes, which is very unlike to be practiced as standard method in the near future.

CONCLUSIONS: Climate change and globalization resulting in the increased establishment of invasive mosquitoes in particular of the Asian tiger mosquito Ae. albopictus in Europe within the last 30 years and increasing outbreaks of infections by mosquito-borne viruses warrants intensification of research and monitoring. Further, effective future mosquito control programs require increase in intense community and private participation, applying physical, chemical, biological, and genetical control activities.

RevDate: 2023-12-01

Uhey DA, Vissa S, Haubensak KA, et al (2023)

Increased cover of native and exotic plants on the rims of harvester ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) nests under grazing and drought.

Environmental entomology pii:7456500 [Epub ahead of print].

Harvester ants create habitats along nest rims, which some plants use as refugia. These refugia can enhance ecosystem stability to disturbances like drought and grazing, but their potential role in invasion ecology is not yet tested. Here we examine the effects of drought and grazing on nest-rim refugia of 2 harvester ant species: Pogonomyrmex occidentals and P. rugosus. We selected 4 rangeland sites with high harvester ant nest densities in northern Arizona, USA, with pre-existing grazing exclosures adjacent to heavily grazed habitat. Our objective was to determine whether nest refugia were used by native or exotic plant species for each site and scenario of drought and grazing. We measured vegetation cover on nest surfaces, on nest rims, and at 3 distances (3, 5, and 10 m) from nests. At each site, we sampled 2 treatments (grazed/excluded) during 2 seasons (drought/monsoon). We found that nest rims increased vegetation cover compared with background levels at all sites and in almost all scenarios of treatment and season, indicating that nest rims provide important refugia for plants from drought and cattle grazing. In some cases, plants enhanced on nest rims were native grasses such as blue gramma (Bouteloua gracilis) or forbs such as sunflowers (Helianthus petiolaris). However, nest rims at all sites enhanced exotic species, particularly Russian thistle (Salsola tragus), purslane (Portulaca oleracea), and bull thistle (Cirsium vulgare). These results suggest that harvester ants play important roles in invasion ecology and restoration. We discuss potential mechanisms for why certain plant species use nest-rim refugia and how harvester ant nests contribute to plant community dynamics.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Li Y, Blackburn TM, Luo Z, et al (2023)

Quantifying global colonization pressures of alien vertebrates from wildlife trade.

Nature communications, 14(1):7914.

The global trade in live wildlife elevates the risk of biological invasions by increasing colonization pressure (the number of alien species introduced to an area). Yet, our understanding of species traded as aliens remains limited. We created a comprehensive global database on live terrestrial vertebrate trade and use it to investigate the number of traded alien species, and correlates of establishment richness for aliens. We identify 7,780 species involved in this trade globally. Approximately 85.7% of these species are traded as aliens, and 12.2% of aliens establish populations. Countries with greater trading power, higher incomes, and larger human populations import more alien species. These countries, along with island nations, emerge as hotspots for establishment richness of aliens. Colonization pressure and insularity consistently promote establishment richness across countries, while socio-economic factors impact specific taxa. Governments must prioritize policies to mitigate the release or escape of traded animals and protect global biosecurity.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Noshad D, van der Merwe L, A Yanchuk (2023)

First report of Truncatella angustata causing leaf blight on Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don in Canada.

Plant disease [Epub ahead of print].

Western redcedar (Thuja plicata Donn ex D. Don) is one of the most important commercial tree species in British Columbia, generates more than $1 billion in economic activity annually and about 8-10 million trees are planted in reforestation efforts (Gregory et al. 2018). It has been selected as the provincial tree of British Columbia (BC) because of its tremendous economic, ecoogical and cultural value. However, foliar diseases such as leaf blights have serious impact on redcedar growth and may cause significant loss of tree volume (Russell, 2007). Our 2014 - 2015 surveys of western redcedar forests in coastal areas of BC indicated high incidence of a distinctive type of blight. We observed the incidence of this disease on more than 80% of western redcedar (approximately 493) trees from late May to early December. Early symptoms appeared as circular to oval, brownish to black spots (2-3 mm), 1-5 spots per branch tip, scattered at the tip margins. Sequentially, the spots enlarged and developed into necrotic lesions on both young and old leaves. More than 50 symptomatic leaves from 10 different trees were collected and rinsed in distilled water then surface-sterilized with three times washing in Tween 20 (%5 solution) for 2 minutes (each time) and %70 ethanol for 30 second (3 times repeat). Tissues from under lesions were placed on MEA (Malt Extract Agar; Phyto Tech® labs-Product ID: M498) and PDA (Potato Dextrose Agar; Phyto Tech® Labs-Product ID: P772). The plates were incubated at 21°C in the dark. They developed distinct dull white to brown, cottony colonies with each black acervuli approximately 450-500µm. The isolates produced fusiform conidia with four cells. They didn't have any distinct color. The conidiophore size was approximately 23-24 x 2-3 µm with mostly hyaline to light brown color, branched and conidiogenous was hyaline and not branched and simple. The spore size was approximately 15-20μm by 7-10μm with three transverse septa and endogenous papillae with hyaline apical appendages. Next, we collected spores and replated them on fresh MEA media culture and placed back in the incubator to produce pure cultures. We studied conidia from leaves of trees mentioned above using light and electron microscopy using Hitachi S-3500N Scanning Electron Microscope (Noshad et al. 2023). After morphological study, further identification to the species level conducted using Zambounis and Wenneker's approach (Zambounis 2019; Wenneker,2017). Genomic DNA from two single-spore isolates were isolated and sequenced. Sequences of ITS (Internal Transcribed Spacer) region amplified using primers ITS1/ITS4 and sequenced. Final sequences were deposited in Genbank and published (accession numbers OP086244 and OP086251). Blast analysis of these sequences showed 99% and 99% resemblances with T. angustata sequence (Sutton 1980). To verify its pathogenicity, we performed a comprehensive pathogenicity test to fulfill Koch's postulates. We collected their distinctive spores in an aseptic environment and standardized them (5000/ml) using a haemocytometer. Then we inoculated 100 western redcedar seedlings (three years old) by injecting standardized spore suspension solution (inoculum) using ultra-fine 0.3ml, 31G, 8mm syringes (approximately 0.1ml per inoculation site). Ten positive control seedlings were inoculated with distilled water and ten negative control seedlings were not inoculated at all. All inoculated (experimental) seedlings demonstrated same symptoms (black spots and characteristic spores) after eight weeks. None of the control seedlings showed any similar symptoms. In the next stage, we isolated and cultured spores from inoculated seedlings and studied them. The identity of reisolates confirmed using DNA sequencing. We used these spores for our next set of disease screening which was successful again. We identified Truncatella angustata (Pers.) Hughes as the causal agent for shoot-tip blight (STB) on western redcedar by examining morphological and molecular characteristics of the pathogen. This is the first report of T. angustata as a primary pathogen on western redcedar in British Columbia, Canada.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Sales I, Vieira-da-Motta O, Tavares A, et al (2023)

Impact of human created environments in the pathogenic potential and antimicrobial resistance of staphylococci from wild neotropical primates in Brazil.

Comparative immunology, microbiology and infectious diseases, 104:102094 pii:S0147-9571(23)00152-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The non-human primate (NHP) Leontopithecus rosalia is an endangered species native of Brazil and lives in forest fragments with different levels of contact with humans (natural, private and urban). Other NHPs - Callithrix spp. - were introduced by humans and co-exist and interact with the native species in these forests. To evaluate if living in or close to human-modified environments could constitute a risk for L. rosalia, we compared the prevalence, genetic background, antibiotic susceptibility and virulence gene content of staphylococci collected from the native and the introduced species from different forest fragments. We found that presence in human-dominated environments increased the colonization rate of L. rosalia with Mammaliicoccus sciuri (former Staphylococcus sciuri) from 18 % to 85 % (p = 0.0001) and of Callithrix spp with Staphylococcus aureus from 6 % to 100 % (p = 0.0001). According to molecular typing data obtained differences probably resulted from dissemination of these bacterial species from the invader NHP species and from humans. Changes in microbiota were paralleled by an increase in the prevalence of Panton-Valentine Leukocidin gene and in resistance to beta-lactams, macrolides and/or lincosamides as exposure to human environment increased. In particular, erythromycin resistance in S. aureus from Callithrix spp. increased from 0 % to 50 % and resistance rate to at least one antibiotic in coagulase-negative staphylococci species from L. rosalia increased from 13 % to 56 % (p = 0.0003). Our results showed that contact of native animal species with human-created environments increased the content of antimicrobial resistant and pathogenic bacteria on their commensal microbiota, which ultimately can impact on their health. IMPORTANCE: Endangered animal species are vulnerable to environmental alterations and human activities have been repeatedly identified as factors driving drastic changes in the natural landscape. It is extremely important to monitor changes in the environment surrounding protected species, because this could lead to early detection of any potential threats. In this study, we found that the contact of L. rosalia - a protected non-human primate from Brazil - with human environments is related to changes in their commensal microbiota. These included an increase in the number of pathogenic and antibiotic resistant bacteria, which have a higher potential to cause infections that are more difficult to treat. We provided evidence for the harmful impact human contact has on L. rosalia. Also, our results suggest that monitoring of commensal microbiota of protected animal species might be a useful way of sensing the risks of protected species to human exposure.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Wang X, Guo X, Ding W, et al (2023)

Precipitation pattern alters the effects of nitrogen deposition on the growth of alien species Robinia pseudoacacia.

Heliyon, 9(11):e21822.

AIMS: Nitrogen (N) supply and precipitation pattern (amount and frequency) both affect plant growth. However, N deposition is increasing and precipitation regimes are changing in the context of global change. An experiment was conducted to access how the growth of Robinia pseudoacacia, a widely distributed and cultivated N2-fixing alien species, is affected by both the pattern of precipitation and N supplies.

METHODS: Seedlings were grown in a glasshouse at four different N levels combined with different precipitation regimes, including three precipitation amounts, and two precipitation frequencies. After treatment for 75 days, plant height, biomass allocation, leaf and soil nutrient concentrations were measured.

RESULTS: Plants under high precipitation frequency had greater biomass compared with plants lower precipitation frequency, despite receiving the same amount of precipitation. Higher N supply reduced biomass allocation to nodules. Under low precipitation level, nodule growth and N2 fixation of R. pseudoacacia was more inhibited by high N deposition compared with plants under higher precipitation level. Even slightly N deposition under higher precipitation inhibited N2 fixation but it was insufficient to meet the N needs of the plants.

CONCLUSIONS: Even at low levels, N deposition might inhibit N2 fixation of plants but low N in soil cannot meet the N requirements of plants, and caused N2 fixation limitation in plants during seedling stage. There was likely a transition from N2 fixation to acquisition of N from soil directly with root when N supply was increased.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Quin MJ, Morgan JW, NP Murphy (2023)

Assessing the diet and seed dispersal ability of non-native sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) in native ecosystems of south-eastern Australia.

Ecology and evolution, 13(11):e10711 pii:ECE310711.

Understanding the influence of non-native herbivores on ecosystems by means of dietary foraging and seed dispersal is important for understanding how non-native species can alter an invaded landscape, yet requires multiple methodologies. In south-eastern Australia, introduced sambar deer (Rusa unicolor) are rapidly expanding in range and placing native ecosystems at risk through browsing and as vectors for seed dispersal. We simultaneously investigated sambar deer dietary composition and seed dispersal using DNA sequencing and germination trials, from faecal pellets collected in alpine and wet forest ecosystems. This allowed us to contrast the dietary impacts of introduced sambar deer in different environments, and to explore the potential for habitat-specific variation in diet. DNA sequencing of the trnL, ITS2 and rbcL gene regions revealed a diverse plant species dietary composition comprising 1003 operational taxonomic units (OTUs). Sambar deer exhibited intermediate feeder behaviours dominated by forbs in alpine and shrubs in wet forest ecosystems. A large proportion of plant OTUs were considered likely to be native, however, the proportion of exotic species in the diet in both ecosystems was greater than would be expected based on the proportion of exotic species in each of the two landscapes. Seed germination trials indicated that sambar deer can disperse a substantial number of native and exotic species in both alpine and wet forest ecosystems. In alpine ecosystems, an individual sambar deer was estimated to disperse on average 816 (±193) seeds per day during the study period, of which 652 (±176) were exotic. Synthesis and applications. Our results suggest that native plant species comprise the majority of sambar deer diets in Australian ecosystems and that the introduced species is dispersing both native and exotic plant species via endozoochory. However, exotic species seedling germination numbers were significantly higher in alpine ecosystems, and given the large daily movements of sambar deer, represents a significant vector for the spread of exotic plant species. Management of native plant species and vegetation communities of conservation significance, or at risk to sambar deer browsing is of high priority, through either the removal of sambar deer or implementation of exclusion-based methods.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Mendoza-Becerril MA, Pedroche FF, Estrada-González MC, et al (2023)

Records of the non-native alga Acanthophoraspicifera (Rhodophyta) and their colonial epibionts in La Paz Bay, Gulf of California.

Biodiversity data journal, 11:e114262 pii:114262.

Acanthophoraspicifera, a red alga considered an alien species, was discovered for the first time on the Pacific coast of Mexico in 2006 from a locality inside La Paz Bay, Gulf of California. Since then, more records have shown its presence, 17 localities having been added up to 2015. A two-year field study (2020-2022) visiting 31 sites along the coast of La Paz Bay, complemented with data from literature and citizen science, resulted in a database of 709 entries that spans the data from 2004 to 2023. These data showed a distribution that goes from Punta Coyote, close to Boca Grande, the northern entrance to the Bay to Playa Tecolote in the south, more than 100 km of coastline, including Espiritu Santo Archipelago, an area considered a natural reserve since 2007. Anthropogenic activity and environmental variables did not present statistical differences that explain A.spicifera spreading. It represents a naturalised alien species without evidence of a negative impact. Still, it soon could acquire the status of invasive species together with its epibionts Bryozoa and Hydrozoa detected in this study.

RevDate: 2023-11-30

Root HT, Chan J, Ponzetti J, et al (2023)

Long-term biocrust responses to wildfires in Washington, USA.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE: Dryland ecosystems in the western US are affected by invasive species, wildfires, livestock grazing, and climate change in ways that are difficult to distinguish. Biocrusts perform important ecological roles in these systems and are sensitive to all of these pressures.

METHODS: We revisited a Washington, USA site sampled for biocrusts in 1999 to focus on effects of exotic annual grass invasion and wildfires in the absence of livestock grazing. We examined changes between 1999 and 2020 using a Bayesian Directed Acyclic Graph (DAG) to interpret direct and indirect causal impacts of wildfire on perennial bunchgrasses, exotic annual grasses, and biocrusts.

RESULTS: Between 1999 and 2020, exotic annual grass cover increased in all and unburned plots by 16% and 18%, bunchgrass cover decreased by 21% and 25%, and biocrust cover decreased by 8.9% and 9.8%. Our DAG suggested that decreases in bunchgrass increased exotic annual grass, which reduced biocrust cover. Wildfires did not directly influence changes in bunchgrass, exotic annual grass, or biocrust cover. Areas dominated by exotic annual grass had less abundant and diverse biocrusts compared with areas with less exotic annual grass.

CONCLUSIONS: Biocrust community changes were more strongly related to increasing exotic annual grasses than to wildfires. Changes may relate to other soil disturbances or broad scale changes in climate or air quality. The minimal influence of wildfire on exotic annual grass and biocrusts suggests that apparent negative impacts of wildfire at other sites may be due to exacerbation by livestock grazing or other surface disturbance. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Trindade de Castro MC, Peixoto Scapolatempore M, F da Silva Rangel-Pereira (2023)

Biofouling in-water cleaning and scrubbers wash waters, potential sources of marine pollution: the Brazilian case.

Environmental monitoring and assessment, 195(12):1551.

Maritime transport is considered a sustainable mean of transporting goods worldwide. In addition to cargo, ships unintentionally transport non-native species. While managing the transport of organisms through ballast water has been at the centre of international efforts, biofouling from ships has not been addressed in the same way and some potentially harmful practices, such as in-water cleaning, still occur worldwide. Another problem arising from ship operating standards is the equipment known as "open-loop scrubbers," which utilizes seawater to "wash" the sulfur content out of the heavy fuel oil (HFO) and, in turn, discharges an acidic wash water full of sulfur and other substances from fuel oils in the environment. Here, we compare the international regulations applied to both issues and how they have been implemented in Brazil so far, considering the perspective of ports and terminals. Results showed that six of sixteen states have already imposed restrictions/bans on scrubbers wash waters, indicating a clear movement in the direction of restricting the discharge as the best way to prevent air and marine pollution. Regarding biofouling, although there is hope with the adoption of the revised guidelines, there are still some doubts considering these are non-binding, depending on national policies to be implemented. In Brazil, there is no national policy yet, and all public ports prohibit vessels in-water cleaning.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Wen Y, Su X, Cai F, et al (2023)

The differences in plant invasion in two types of shorelines under flow regulation of the Three Gorges Reservoir.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07521-6 [Epub ahead of print].

Riparian zones, crucial for linking fluvial and terrestrial habitats, are among the most diverse ecosystems. However, they are intensively invaded by alien plants, particularly in dam-regulated rivers. Therefore, understanding the mechanisms underlying plant invasion in dam-regulated river systems has become increasingly important, given that over two-thirds of global rivers are artificially regulated. Regulated rivers may flood upland areas or pristine riparian zones, resulting in shorelines developed from pre-upland and pre-riparian areas. However, differences in invasion intensities, adaptive strategies of invasive plants, and native species' resistance (namely the diversity-invasibility relationship) across these shorelines are unclear. To address these uncertainties, we performed field investigations in the Three Gorges Reservoir (TGR) on the upper Yangtze River, where both pre-upland and pre-riparian shorelines are present. Our findings indicate that pre-upland shorelines are more intensively invaded, showing higher relative richness and cover of invasive species. Invasive plants in this area displayed more conservative resource strategies and greater drought tolerance, exhibiting lower community-weighted mean (CWM) specific leaf area, higher CWM leaf dry mass content, and larger CWM seed mass. Pre-upland shorelines' invasibility decreased as the richness and cover of native species increased, a trend not observed in pre-riparian shorelines. The observed variations in plant invasion between the two shoreline types are primarily driven by differences in resident plant presence, soil moisture levels, and hydrological disturbances. This study provides valuable insights for policymakers and practitioners involved in managing invasive plants in regulated river ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Istas O, M Szűcs (2023)

Biological control potential of a laboratory selected generalist parasitoid versus a co-evolved specialist parasitoid against the invasive Drosophila suzukii.

Evolutionary applications, 16(11):1819-1829.

A few generations of laboratory selection can increase the developmental success of native parasitoids on invasive targets. However, for this approach to be used more widely for biological control, we need to understand if the improved performance of native species, achieved under artificial laboratory conditions, translates to improved control in more natural environments. It is also unknown what the biocontrol potential of laboratory selected generalist native parasitoids may be compared to co-evolved specialists that are typically introduced for biological control of invasive species. To assess how rearing in artificial diet affected host finding ability in natural hosts, we used laboratory selected (adapted) and nonadapted populations of the generalist native parasitoid Trichopria drosophilae to parasitize the invasive fly, Drosophila suzukii in three different fruit types. In a separate experiment, we compared the effectiveness of adapted and nonadapted populations of T. drosophilae in raspberries with a co-evolved specialist larval parasitoid Ganaspis brasiliensis from Asia that was recently approved for release in the USA. More adult parasitoids emerged in each fruit type of the adapted compared to the nonadapted population of T. drosophilae. D. suzukii emergence rates were reduced on average by 85% by the adapted T. drosophilae population indicating that the artificial rearing conditions did not significantly impair the ability of parasitoids to locate and attack hosts in natural hosts. The specialist G. brasiliensis had higher adult emergence than the adapted population of T. drosophilae; however, both parasitoid species were able to reduce D. suzukii populations to the same extent. These results show that despite the lower developmental success of the laboratory selected T. drosophilae, they killed the same proportion of D. suzukii as G. brasiliensis when host choice was restricted. In nature, where host choices are available, specialist and generalist parasitoids will be unlikely to exhibit the same biocontrol potential.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

White SA, ME Dillon (2023)

Climate warming and bumble bee declines: the need to consider sub-lethal heat, carry-over effects, and colony compensation.

Frontiers in physiology, 14:1251235.

Global declines in abundance and diversity of insects are now well-documented and increasingly concerning given the critical and diverse roles insects play in all ecosystems. Habitat loss, invasive species, and anthropogenic chemicals are all clearly detrimental to insect populations, but mounting evidence implicates climate change as a key driver of insect declines globally. Warming temperatures combined with increased variability may expose organisms to extreme heat that exceeds tolerance, potentially driving local extirpations. In this context, heat tolerance limits (e.g., critical thermal maximum, CTmax) have been measured for many invertebrates and are often closely linked to climate regions where animals are found. However, temperatures well below CTmax may also have pronounced effects on insects, but have been relatively less studied. Additionally, many insects with out-sized ecological and economic footprints are colonial (e.g., ants, social bees, termites) such that effects of heat on individuals may propagate through or be compensated by the colony. For colonial organisms, measuring direct effects on individuals may therefore reveal little about population-level impacts of changing climates. Here, we use bumble bees (genus Bombus) as a case study to highlight how a limited understanding of heat effects below CTmax and of colonial impacts and responses both likely hinder our ability to explain past and predict future climate change impacts. Insights from bumble bees suggest that, for diverse invertebrates, predicting climate change impacts will require a more nuanced understanding of the effects of heat exposure and additional studies of carry-over effects and compensatory responses by colonies.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Fletcher RA, Atwater DZ, Haak DC, et al (2023)

Adaptive constraints at the range edge of a widespread and expanding invasive plant.

AoB PLANTS, 15(6):plad070 pii:plad070.

Identifying the factors that facilitate and limit invasive species' range expansion has both practical and theoretical importance, especially at the range edges. Here, we used reciprocal common garden experiments spanning the North/South and East/West range that include the North American core, intermediate and range edges of the globally invasive plant, Johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense) to investigate the interplay of climate, biotic interactions (i.e. competition) and patterns of adaptation. Our results suggest that the rapid range expansion of Johnsongrass into diverse environments across wide geographies occurred largely without local adaptation, but that further range expansion may be restricted by a fitness trade-off that limits population growth at the range edge. Interestingly, plant competition strongly dampened Johnsongrass growth but did not change the rank order performance of populations within a garden, though this varied among gardens (climates). Our findings highlight the importance of including the range edge when studying the range dynamics of invasive species, especially as we try to understand how invasive species will respond to accelerating global changes.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Altamirano-Ponce L, Dávila-Játiva M, Pozo G, et al (2023)

First genetic insights of Gonatodescaudiscutatus (Reptilia, Gekkota) in the Galapagos Islands and mainland Ecuador.

Biodiversity data journal, 11:e113396 pii:113396.

Studies on genetic variability amongst native and introduced species contribute to a better understanding of the genetic diversity of species along their autochthonous distribution and identify possible routes of introduction. Gonatodescaudiscutatus is a gecko native to western Ecuador and introduced to the Galapagos Islands. Despite being a successful species in human-modified habitats along its native and non-native ranges, neither the colonisation process nor the genetic diversity of this gecko is known. In this study, we analysed 55 individuals from 14 localities in western Ecuador and six localities in San Cristobal Island, Galapagos - the only island with a large, self-sustaining population. We amplified and analysed the genetic variability of two nuclear genes (Cmos and Rag2) and one mitochondrial gene (16S). Cmos and Rag2 sequences presented little to none genetic variability, while 16S allowed us to build a haplotype network. We identified nine haplotypes across mainland Ecuador, two of which are also present in Galapagos. Low genetic diversity between insular and continental populations suggests that the introduction of G.caudiscutatus on the Islands is relatively recent. Due to the widespread geographical distribution of mainland haplotypes, it was not possible to determine the source population of the introduction. This study represents the first exploration of the genetic diversity of Gonatodescaudiscutatus, utilising genetic tools to gain insights into its invasion history in the Galapagos.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Buldrini F, Alessandrini A, Mossetti U, et al (2023)

Botanical memory: five centuries of floristic changes revealed by a Renaissance herbarium (Ulisse Aldrovandi, 1551-1586).

Royal Society open science, 10(11):230866 pii:rsos230866.

We analysed the spatially explicit floristic information available in the herbarium of Ulisse Aldrovandi (1551-1586) to track floristic changes in the surroundings of Bologna across five centuries. Aldrovandi's data were compared with the Flora della Provincia di Bologna by Girolamo Cocconi (1883) and the Floristic Database of Emilia-Romagna (1965-2021). We explored potential variations in native range and life forms composition, and habitat affinity of the species in the three floras, also contrasting between native and alien species. Native species, mainly in terms of variations of hydro-hygrophytes, chamaephytes and therophytes, provide clear signals of human disturbance and habitat loss. Signals of climate change are provided by the high-mountain species, that were comparably rare between Aldrovandi and current flora and more represented in Cocconi, probably reflecting the effect of the Little Ice Age. Our findings also indicate the increasing importance of alien species from the Renaissance onwards. In this perspective, Aldrovandi's herbarium preserves the memory of the first signs of a radical transformation of the European flora and habitats. Finally, the study warns about the risk of dismissing herbaria and herbarium specimens collection, which would cause irreparable lacunas in our botanical memory, hindering our ability to predict biodiversity trajectories.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Becoche-Mosquera JM, Gomez-Bernal LG, Zambrano-Gonzalez G, et al (2023)

Unraveling plant-pollinator interactions from a south-west Andean forest in Colombia.

PeerJ, 11:e16133 pii:16133.

BACKGROUND: Loss of biological connectivity increases the vulnerability of ecological dynamics, thereby affecting processes such as pollination. Therefore, it is important to understand the roles of the actors that participate in these interaction networks. Nonetheless, there is a significant oversight regarding the main actors in the pollination networks within the highly biodiverse forests of Colombia. Hence, the present study aims to evaluate the interaction patterns of a network of potential pollinators that inhabit an Andean Forest in Totoró, Cauca, Colombia.

METHODS: The interactions between plants and potential pollinators were recorded through direct observation in 10 transects during six field trips conducted over the course of one year. Subsequently, an interaction matrix was developed, and network metrics such as connectance, specialization, nestedness, and asymmetry of interaction strength were evaluated by applying null models. An interpolation/extrapolation curve was calculated in order to assess the representativeness of the sample. Finally, the key species of the network were identified by considering degree (k), centrality, and betweenness centrality.

RESULTS: A total of 53 plant species and 52 potential pollinator species (including insects and birds) were recorded, with a sample coverage of 88.5%. Connectance (C = 0.19) and specialization (H2' = 0.19) were low, indicating a generalist network. Freziera canescens, Gaiadendron punctatum, Persea mutisii, Bombus rubicundus, Heliangelus exortis, Chironomus sp., and Metallura tyrianthina were identified as the key species that contribute to a more cohesive network structure.

DISCUSSION: The present study characterized the structure of the plant-pollinator network in a highly diverse Andean forest in Colombia. It is evident that insects are the largest group of pollinators; however, it is interesting to note that birds form a different module that specializes in pollinating a specific group of plants. On the other hand, the diversity and generality of the species found suggest that the network may be robust against chains of extinction. Nevertheless, the presence of certain introduced species, such as Apis mellifera, and the rapid changes in vegetation cover may affect the dynamics of this mutualistic network. So, it is imperative to apply restoration and conservation strategies to these ecosystems in order to enhance plant-animal interactions and prevent the loss of taxonomical and functional diversity.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Pauwels OSG, Brecko J, Baeghe D, et al (2023)

Morphological, acoustic and genetic identification of a reproducing population of the invasive African clawed frog Xenopuslaevis (Anura, Pipidae) recently discovered in Belgium.

ZooKeys, 1184:41-64 pii:103702.

Using external morphology of adults and tadpoles, osteology from high-resolution microcomputed tomography, vocalization analysis, and DNA sequence data, the identity of a reproducing Belgian population of invasive Xenopus at the current northernmost edge of the distribution of the genus in Europe was assessed. All data concur to an identification as Xenopus (Xenopus) laevis (Daudin, 1802). Genetically it is most closely related to populations of the Cape region in South Africa. No studies on the natural history of the Belgian Xenopus population and its impact on the local environment have been made to date.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Lake TA, Briscoe Runquist RD, Flagel LE, et al (2023)

Chronosequence of invasion reveals minimal losses of population genomic diversity, niche expansion, and trait divergence in the polyploid, leafy spurge.

Evolutionary applications, 16(10):1680-1696 pii:EVA13593.

Rapid evolution may play an important role in the range expansion of invasive species and modify forecasts of invasion, which are the backbone of land management strategies. However, losses of genetic variation associated with colonization bottlenecks may constrain trait and niche divergence at leading range edges, thereby impacting management decisions that anticipate future range expansion. The spatial and temporal scales over which adaptation contributes to invasion dynamics remain unresolved. We leveraged detailed records of the ~130-year invasion history of the invasive polyploid plant, leafy spurge (Euphorbia virgata), across ~500 km in Minnesota, U.S.A. We examined the consequences of range expansion for population genomic diversity, niche breadth, and the evolution of germination behavior. Using genotyping-by-sequencing, we found some population structure in the range core, where introduction occurred, but panmixia among all other populations. Range expansion was accompanied by only modest losses in sequence diversity, with small, isolated populations at the leading edge harboring similar levels of diversity to those in the range core. The climatic niche expanded during most of the range expansion, and the niche of the range core was largely non-overlapping with the invasion front. Ecological niche models indicated that mean temperature of the warmest quarter was the strongest determinant of habitat suitability and that populations at the leading edge had the lowest habitat suitability. Guided by these findings, we tested for rapid evolution in germination behavior over the time course of range expansion using a common garden experiment and temperature manipulations. Germination behavior diverged from the early to late phases of the invasion, with populations from later phases having higher dormancy at lower temperatures. Our results suggest that trait evolution may have contributed to niche expansion during invasion and that distribution models, which inform future management planning, may underestimate invasion potential without accounting for evolution.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Tóth P, Green AJ, Wilkinson DM, et al (2023)

Plant traits associated with seed dispersal by ducks and geese in urban and natural habitats.

Ecology and evolution, 13(11):e10677 pii:ECE310677.

Ducks and geese are little studied dispersal vectors for plants lacking a fleshy fruit, and our understanding of the traits associated with these plants is limited. We analyzed 507 faecal samples of mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) and Canada goose (Branta canadensis) from 18 natural and urban wetlands in England, where they are the dominant resident waterfowl. We recovered 930 plant diaspores from 39 taxa representing 18 families, including 28 terrestrial and five aquatic species and four aliens. Mallards had more seeds and seed species per sample than geese, more seeds from barochory and hydrochory syndromes, and seeds that on average were larger and from plants with greater moisture requirements (i.e., more aquatic). Mallards dispersed more plant species than geese in natural habitats. Plant communities and traits dispersed were different between urban (e.g., more achenes) and natural (e.g., more capsules) habitats. Waterfowl can readily spread alien species from urban into natural environments but also allow native terrestrial and aquatic plants to disperse in response to climate heating or other global change. Throughout the temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere, the mallard is accompanied by a goose (either the Canada goose or the greylag goose) as the most abundant waterfowl in urbanized areas. This combination provides a previously overlooked seed dispersal service for plants with diverse traits.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Nelsen DR, Corbit AG, Chuang A, et al (2023)

Veni, vidi, vici? Future spread and ecological impacts of a rapidly expanding invasive predator population.

Ecology and evolution, 13(11):e10728 pii:ECE310728.

Economic and ecological consequences of invasive species make biological invasions an influential driver of global change. Monitoring the spread and impacts of non-native species is essential, but often difficult, especially during the initial stages of invasion. The Jorō spider, Trichonephila clavata (L. Koch, 1878, Araneae: Nephilidae), is a large-bodied orb weaver native to Asia, likely introduced to northern Georgia, U.S. around 2010. We investigated the nascent invasion of T. clavata by constructing species distribution models (SDMs) from crowd-sourced data to compare the climate T. clavata experiences in its native range to its introduced range. We found evidence that the climate of T. clavata's native range differs significantly from its introduced range. Species distribution models trained with observations from its native range predict that the most suitable habitats in North America occur north of its current introduced range. Consistent with SDM predictions, T. clavata appears to be spreading faster to the north than to the south. Lastly, we conducted surveys to investigate potential ecological impacts of T. clavata on the diversity of native orb weaving spiders. Importantly, Trichonephila clavata was the most common and abundant species observed in the survey, and was numerically dominant at half of the sites it was present in. Our models also suggest that there is lower native orb weaver species richness and diversity closer to where T. clavata was initially found and where it has been established the longest, though human population density complicates this finding. This early study is the first to forecast how widely this spider may spread in its introduced range and explore its potential ecological impacts. Our results add evidence that T. clavata is an invasive species and deserves much more ecological scrutiny.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Sennikov AN, MN Kozhin (2023)

Taxonomic revision of the Erigeronacris group (Asteraceae) in Murmansk Region, Russia, reveals a complex pattern of native and alien taxa.

PhytoKeys, 235:83-128 pii:111020.

Based on the evidence of morphology and a comprehensive revision of herbarium collections and field records, the taxonomy of the Erigeronacris group in Murmansk Region, European Russia, is completely revised. Its accepted diversity is increased from 2 to 8 taxa, including putative hybrids. The only native species, E.politus, is distributed in mountainous regions, along sea coasts and in the Kutsa River basin. Five species are alien: E.rigidus (previously confused with E.acris s.str.), E.acris s.str. (first recorded in the narrow taxonomic definition), E.brachycephalus (previously unrecorded), E.droebachiensis and E.uralensis (previously reported in error). Two major waves of the introduction of alien taxa are discovered, with different occurrences and species compositions. Regional and local dispersal by pomors (historical Russian settlers) occurred during their colonisation and traditional activities since the 12[th] century (archaeophytes or early neophytes); such alien taxa (E.rigidus, E.brachycephalus, and partly E.acris) are particularly common within the territory traditionally settled by Russian colonists but also found elsewhere along historical trade routes. Other alien species of the E.acris group (E.droebachiensis, E.uralensis, and partly E.acris and E.brachycephalus) colonised industrial areas in the 1960s-1990s as seed contaminants introduced during revegetation of slag dumps, stockyards, dams and channels. Putative hybrids between E.politus (native), E.rigidus and E.acris (aliens) are found in the places of co-occurrence. Updated nomenclature, synonymy and descriptions are provided for all accepted taxa.

RevDate: 2023-11-29

Kampouris TE, Pappou S, Erga Z, et al (2023)

Assessing the fish fauna diversity and abundance at Aegean and Ionian seas, with emphasis on certain NIS fish species via Scientific diving and Visual Census.

PloS one, 18(11):e0294770 pii:PONE-D-23-16624.

The Mediterranean Sea and its exceptional biodiversity suffer from non-indigenous (NIS) and invasive species. These result from Lessepsian migration and human activities. Species with the highest negative impact include Pterois miles, Lagocephalus sceleratus and Fistularia commersonii. The current study assessed the distribution and abundance of these three species in the Aegean and Ionian Seas in the context of the regional diversity of ichthyofauna. Using Scientific Diving and Visual Census, we focused on NIS fish fauna, and surveyed most of the areas where the occurrence or establishment of NIS had been documented. Emphasis was given to regions with limited available data. This study assessed the homogeneity of diversity and abundance of the fish species at the diving sites; assessed the most dominant species per region; and calculated relevant biodiversity indexes. Our results suggest that the south and east parts of the Aegean Sea are the most affected by the establishment of NIS. Samos Island is concluded to be an important region for the expansion of NIS to the northern parts of the Aegean Sea. Also, both the Saronikos Gulf and the whole area of the Peloponnese seem to have a pivotal role in the expansion of distribution of NIS from the east Mediterranean sub-basin to the west sub-basin. The genus Siganus seems to have very high abundances and population densities in certain areas, and therefore its establishment could have negative impacts in these regions. We conclude that scientific diving is not appropriate for monitoring the population status of L. sceleratus and we propose more appropriate methodologies such as the use of baited cameras and ROV's to be used in the future.

RevDate: 2023-11-28

Tonkel KC, Kirchoff VS, BG Rector (2023)

Carabidae and Tenebrionidae diversity in the Great Basin Province of California.

Journal of insect science (Online), 23(6):.

The high desert regions of eastern California within the Great Basin are vast areas of shrub-dominated habitat heavily impacted by invasive exotic grasses and forbs. Trapping efforts within these areas provided distributional information about various surface-active arthropod taxa. Two groups with high species diversity and abundance encountered at our sites were the coleopteran families Carabidae and Tenebrionidae. Here, we report trapping of 45 species of carabids and 46 species of tenebrionids, along with mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI) sequence data for 65 of these 92 species. These results build upon existing distributional information regarding these families in California and further refine our knowledge of the biodiversity of the understudied Great Basin provinces.

RevDate: 2023-11-29
CmpDate: 2023-11-29

Martín-Forés I, Guerin GR, Lewis D, et al (2023)

The Alien Flora of Australia (AFA), a unified Australian national dataset on plant invasion.

Scientific data, 10(1):834.

Biological invasions are a major threat to Australia. Information on alien flora in Australia is collated independently by different jurisdictions, which has led to inconsistencies at the national level, hampering efficient management. To harmonise different information sources, we present the Alien Flora of Australia (AFA), a nationally unified dataset. To create the AFA, we developed an R script that compares existing data sources (the Australian Plant Census and state and territory censuses), identifies mismatches among them and integrates the information into unified invasion statuses at the national scale. The AFA follows the taxonomy and nomenclature adopted for the Australian Plant Census, introduction status and impact of plants known to occur in Australia. The up-to-date information presented in this dataset can aid early warning of alien species invasions, facilitate decision-making at different levels, and biosecurity at national scale. The associated script is ready to be implemented into new versions of the AFA with updated releases of any of the data sources, streamlining future efforts to track of alien flora across Australia.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Wheeler CE, Vandervoort C, JC Wise (2023)

Trunk injection to control Xylosandrus germanus (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in topworked apple trees.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7452272 [Epub ahead of print].

Xylosandrus germanus (Blandford) is an invasive species of ambrosia beetle known to attack apple trees in North America. Xylosandrus germanus are attracted to ethanol produced by stressed and injured trees and can be a serious problem when grafting a new cultivar onto established fruit trees (topworking). The objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of 2 insecticides (emamectin benzoate and azadirachtin) and injection timing (fall and spring) on their ability to control X. germanus colonization in apple trees with simulated topworking. Our study shows evidence that both emamectin benzoate and azadirachtin injections can reduce X. germanus infestations; however, our results were inconsistent. The timing of injections influenced X. germanus, with spring injected azadirachtin being more effective than fall injections. Residue analyses of emamectin benzoate and azadirachtin showed the presence of residues in woody tissue comparable to those found in leaves.

RevDate: 2023-11-26

Matskiv T, Martyniuk V, Khoma V, et al (2023)

Biochemical basis of resistance to multiple contaminations in the native and invasive populations of Dreissena polymorpha.

Comparative biochemistry and physiology. Toxicology & pharmacology : CBP pii:S1532-0456(23)00258-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The zebra mussel Dreissena polymorpha (Pallas, 1771) is an invasive species and a valuable bioindicator in the inland waters. Nevertheless, the biochemical reasons for the unique competitiveness of zebra mussels are not clear. This study aimed to compare the native and invasive populations of D. polymorpha in their ability to withstand the same multiple environmental challenges (i.e. chemical: microplastics and caffeine; physical: temperatures). The specimens from the invasive population in west Ukraine (Tn) and native population at lower streams of river Dnipro (south Ukraine, Kh) were sampled in the August of 2021 y. Molluscs from both populations were treated simultaneously with microplastics (MP, 1 mg L[-1], pore size 2 μm); caffeine (Caf, 20.0 μg L[-1]) at 18 °C, elevated temperature (25 °C) and MP and Caf combinations at 18 °C and 25 °C for 14 days. Untreated molluscs exposed at 18 °C represented control groups. A set of the 20 markers of oxidative stress, biotransformation, detoxification and apoptosis were assayed in the total soft tissues. From the two controls, Kh-group indicated lower stressful impact. However, both populations increased caspase-3 and GST activities and lysosomal instability in most exposures, and cholinesterase and phenoloxidase activities under the heating and combine exposures, indicating the remarkable properties to respond to new challenges and synergistic effect of mixtures. Inter-population differences were related to the metallothionein, cathepsin D, cytochrome P540 and oxidative stress responses that reflect population-dependent adverse outcome pathways. The discriminant analysis separated two populations with a substantially lesser magnitude of responses in the invasive population as a sign of higher resistance.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Casabella-Herrero G, Martín-Torrijos L, J Diéguez-Uribeondo (2023)

eDNA monitoring as a tool for evaluating the reintroduction of Austropotamobius pallipes after a crayfish plague outbreak.

Journal of invertebrate pathology pii:S0022-2011(23)00143-X [Epub ahead of print].

The crayfish plague, a severe disease caused by the oomycete Aphanomyces astaci, is responsible for most population declines of susceptible crayfish in Europe. This pathogen has been devastating native populations of Austropotamobius pallipes since the 1970s in the Iberian Peninsula. In this study, we report a massive mortality event in one of the most important Spanish populations of A. pallipes. We aimed to: (i) identify the cause of the mortality, and (ii) evaluate the reintroduction viability of the species. Over the course of six months, we used environmental DNA (eDNA) and traditional trap-based methods to detect the presence of A. astaci or of native or invasive crayfish in order to evaluate the reintroduction viability of A. pallipes to the affected population. We did not capture any live crayfish or detect the presence of A. astaci in the reservoir water during the six months following the mass mortality event. Our analyses indicated that it was feasible to initiate a reintroduction program at the site, which will continue to be monitored for three to five years and will help improve the conservation status of A. pallipes.

RevDate: 2023-11-27

Wen X, Zeng M, Chen J, et al (2023)

Recognition of Wheat Leaf Diseases Using Lightweight Convolutional Neural Networks against Complex Backgrounds.

Life (Basel, Switzerland), 13(11):.

Wheat leaf diseases are considered to be the foremost threat to wheat yield. In the realm of crop disease detection, convolutional neural networks (CNNs) have emerged as important tools. The training strategy and the initial learning rate are key factors that impact the performance and training speed of the model in CNNs. This study employed six training strategies, including Adam, SGD, Adam + StepLR, SGD + StepLR, Warm-up + Cosine annealing + SGD, Warm-up + Cosine, and annealing + Adam, with three initial learning rates (0.05, 0.01, and 0.001). Using the wheat stripe rust, wheat powdery mildew, and healthy wheat datasets, five lightweight CNN models, namely MobileNetV3, ShuffleNetV2, GhostNet, MnasNet, and EfficientNetV2, were evaluated. The results showed that upon combining the SGD + StepLR with the initial learning rate of 0.001, the MnasNet obtained the highest recognition accuracy of 98.65%. The accuracy increased by 1.1% as compared to that obtained with the training strategy with a fixed learning rate, and the size of the parameters was only 19.09 M. The above results indicated that the MnasNet was appropriate for porting to the mobile terminal and efficient for automatically identifying wheat leaf diseases.

RevDate: 2023-11-27
CmpDate: 2023-11-27

Xiong Q, Yang J, S Ni (2023)

Microbiome-Mediated Protection against Pathogens in Woody Plants.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(22):.

Pathogens, especially invasive species, have caused significant global ecological, economic, and social losses in forests. Plant disease research has traditionally focused on direct interactions between plants and pathogens in an appropriate environment. However, recent research indicates that the microbiome can interact with the plant host and pathogens to modulate plant resistance or pathogen pathogenicity, thereby altering the outcome of plant-pathogen interactions. Thus, this presents new opportunities for studying the microbial management of forest diseases. Compared to parallel studies on human and crop microbiomes, research into the forest tree microbiome and its critical role in forest disease progression has lagged. The rapid development of microbiome sequencing and analysis technologies has resulted in the rapid accumulation of a large body of evidence regarding the association between forest microbiomes and diseases. These data will aid the development of innovative, effective, and environmentally sustainable methods for the microbial management of forest diseases. Herein, we summarize the most recent findings on the dynamic structure and composition of forest tree microbiomes in belowground and aboveground plant tissues (i.e., rhizosphere, endosphere, and phyllosphere), as well as their pleiotropic impact on plant immunity and pathogen pathogenicity, highlighting representative examples of biological control agents used to modulate relevant tree microbiomes. Lastly, we discuss the potential application of forest tree microbiomes in disease control as well as their future prospects and challenges.

RevDate: 2023-11-27
CmpDate: 2023-11-27

Gong Z, Wen TY, Jin C, et al (2023)

Distribution characteristics and influencing factors of soil organic carbon in tidal flat wetland of central Jiangsu, China.

Ying yong sheng tai xue bao = The journal of applied ecology, 34(11):2978-2984.

We measured winter and summer soil organic carbon (SOC) contents in two typical coastal wetlands, the Spartina alterniflora salt marsh and the non-vegetation mudflat, on the south side of the Chuandong River Estuary in Yancheng, Jiangsu Province. We investigated the spatiotemporal variations of soil organic carbon contents and its driving factors. The results showed that SOC content ranged from 0.75 to 2.38 g·kg[-1] in the mudflat area and from 2.07 to 18.59 g·kg[-1] in the S. alterniflora salt marsh area, showing a decreasing trend towards the sea. The SOC content in the S. alterniflora salt marsh area was approximately 2.5 to 3.5 times of that in the mudflat area. Within a depth range of 1 m, there was no vertical variation in SOC content in the mudflat area, but an increasing and then decreasing pattern in the S. alterniflora marsh area with the peak occurring in the depth range of 20 to 30 cm. Soil organic carbon content exhibited significant seasonal difference, with higher value in summer than in winter. The summer SOC content was 5% to 10% higher than that in winter in the S. alterniflora marsh area, while it was 43% higher in summer than in winter in the mudflat area. In the S. alterniflora marsh area, soil organic carbon content was positively correlated with soil moisture and salinity, but negatively correlated with sediment particle size. In contrast, there was no significant correlation between soil organic carbon content and soil physicochemi-cal factors in the mudflat area. Those results indicated that the correlation between various soil physicochemical factors and SOC is established on the basis of vegetation cover in coastal wetlands. Our findings could provide valuable insights for the conservation of blue carbon ecosystems in coastal wetlands in China.

RevDate: 2023-11-25

Yan S, Ma P, Zuo C, et al (2023)

Genetic Analysis Based on Mitochondrial nad2 Gene Reveals a Recent Population Expansion of the Invasive Mussel, Mytella strigata, in China.

Genes, 14(11):.

Mytella strigata is a highly adaptable invasive alien species that has been established in coastal China since 2014. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is an important tool for studying the evolution and population genetics of invasive species. In this study, the mitochondrial genome of M. strigata from China was sequenced by Illumina high-throughput sequencing and characterized with 13 protein-coding genes (PCGs). By assessing the selective pressure of 13 PCGs, the nad2 gene had the fastest evolutionary rate and was finally selected for population genetic analysis. A total of 285 nad2 sequences from seven M. strigata populations in China were analyzed and showed obviously T-rich and C-rich characteristics. According to population genetic diversity analysis, all the seven populations had haplotype (gene) diversity (Hd) ≥ 0.5 and nucleotide diversity (Pi) < 0.005. Haplotype networks showed a "star" distribution. Population historical dynamic analyses showed that Fu's Fs and Tajima's D values of all populations were negative except the Qukou (QK) and Beihai (BH) populations. The Zhangzhou (ZJ) and Xiamen (XM) populations were unimodal while the other populations were multimodal. These results suggested that the population of M. strigata in China may have passed the bottleneck period and is currently in a state of population expansion.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Tesfay YB, Blaschke A, J Kreyling (2023)

An inferior competitor is a successful invader due to its stress tolerance and productivity.

Scientific reports, 13(1):20694.

The invasion of ecosystems by non-native species is recognized as one of the most significant global challenges, particularly in semiarid regions where native biodiversity is already under stress from drought and land degradation. The implicit assumption is that invaders are strong competitors, but a greenhouse pairwise experiment conducted to examine intraspecific and interspecific competition effects of Opuntia ficus-indica, a widespread invader in semiarid ecosystems, with two species native to the highlands of Eritrea, Ricinus communis and Solanum marginatum, revealed that O. ficus-indica is a weak competitor. The unique ability of O. ficus-indica's fallen cladodes to undergo vegetative growth becomes a fundamental trait contributing to its spread. This growth strategy allows O. ficus-indica to outgrow native species and establish a significant presence. In direct interaction, the competition in aboveground productivity measured by the logarithmic response ratio for O. ficus-indica was 3.4-fold and 5.9-fold higher than for R. communis and S. marginatum, respectively. Belowground, the native R. communis was facilitated (- 1.00 ± 0.69) by O. ficus-indica which itself suffered from high competition. This pattern became even more evident under water shortage, where aboveground competition for S. marginatum decreased 5.7-fold, and for O. ficus-indica, it increased 1.4-fold. Despite being a poor competitor, O. ficus-indica outperformed R. communis and S. marginatum in both aboveground (4.3 and 3.8 times more) and belowground (27 and 2.8 times more) biomass production, respectively. The findings of this study challenge the common interpretation that invasive species are strong competitors and highlight the importance of considering other factors, such as productivity and tolerance limits when assessing the potential impacts of invasive species on semiarid ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Lopes C, Rodrigues ACM, Pires SFS, et al (2023)

Responses of Mytilus galloprovincialis in a Multi-Stressor Scenario: Effects of an Invasive Seaweed Exudate and Microplastic Pollution under Ocean Warming.

Toxics, 11(11): pii:toxics11110939.

Microplastic pollution, global warming, and invasive species are known threats to marine biota, but the impact of their simultaneous exposure is still not well understood. This study investigated whether the toxic effects posed by the invasive red seaweed Asparagopsis armata exudate (2%) to the mussel Mytilus galloprovincialis are amplified by a 96 h exposure to increased temperature (24 °C) and polyethylene microplastics (PE-MPs, 1 mg/L). Biochemical (neurotoxicity, energy metabolism, oxidative stress, and damage) and physiological (byssal thread production) responses were evaluated. The number of produced byssus greatly decreased under concomitant exposure to all stressors. The antioxidant defences were depleted in the gills of mussels exposed to temperature rises and PE-MPs, regardless of exudate exposure, preventing oxidative damage. Moreover, the heat shock protein content tended to decrease in all treatments relative to the control. The increased total glutathione in the mussels' digestive gland exposed to 24 °C, exudate, and PE-MPs avoided oxidative damage. Neurotoxicity was observed in the same treatment. In contrast, the energy metabolism remained unaltered. In conclusion, depending on the endpoint, simultaneous exposure to A. armata exudate, PE-MPs, and warming does not necessarily mean an amplification of their single effects. Studies focusing on the impact of multiple stressors are imperative to better understand the underlying mechanisms of this chronic exposure.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Bălăcenoiu F, Toma D, C Nețoiu (2023)

From Field Data to Practical Knowledge: Investigating the Bioecology of the Oak Lace Bug-An Invasive Insect Species in Europe.

Insects, 14(11):.

Corythucha arcuata, commonly known as the oak lace bug (OLB), is an insect species originally native to North America that has become an invasive species of significant concern in Europe. This invasive pest has been observed in various European countries, raising concerns about its impact on forest ecosystems. In 2015, it was first documented in Romania, further highlighting the need for research on its bioecology and life cycle. This study investigated the bioecology of the OLB in the southern region of Romania, focusing on its life cycle, development, and population dynamics. The results indicated that the OLB has three generations per year and overwinters in the adult stage in sheltered locations. Temperature significantly influenced the timing of egg hatching, nymph appearance, and adult development, with variation observed between generations. Additionally, a life table analysis provided insights into the population dynamics of the OLB in its natural environment, revealing variation in egg laying trends across generations. This research contributes to a better understanding of the OLB's bioecology and provides essential data for forest managers developing science-based management strategies to mitigate its impact. By elucidating the life cycle and development patterns of the OLB in southern Romania, this study aids in the development of predictive models and life tables tailored to the region. These findings empower forest managers with the knowledge needed to make informed decisions for effective OLB management, ultimately preserving the health of forest ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Daher E, Chierici E, Urbani S, et al (2023)

Characterization of Olive Fruit Damage Induced by Invasive Halyomorpha halys.

Insects, 14(11):.

The brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys (Stål), is an invasive species causing economic crop losses. This species was recently detected attacking olive fruits. The aim of this study was to characterize feeding damage. Olive samples were initially collected from a field where H. halys was reported to cause damage to olive fruits. Hence, we conducted a field trial on the Moraiolo variety using sleeve cages to test the effect of H. halys feeding pressure on olive fruit drop and evaluated the effect of feeding on fruit quality. We tested two densities of H. halys (two or eight adults/cage) at two different stages of olive development, pre- and post-pit hardening. High pressure of H. halys before pit hardening caused a significant fruit drop compared to the control. In addition, chemical analysis of damaged and infested fruits revealed higher levels of total phenols compared to healthy fruits. These findings indicate that feeding by H. halys induced a stress response in the plants that could translate in quality variations in the olive drupes.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Käfer H, Kovac H, A Stabentheiner (2023)

Habitat Temperatures of the Red Firebug, Pyrrhocoris apterus: The Value of Small-Scale Climate Data Measurement.

Insects, 14(11):.

Ambient temperature is a main parameter that determines the thriving and propagation of ectothermic insects. It affects egg and larval development as well as adults' survival and successful overwintering. Pyrrhocoris apterus is a herbivorous bug species almost ubiquitous in Eurasia. Its distribution extends from the Atlantic Coast to Siberia, Northwest China and Mongolia. After introduction, it established successfully in the USA, Central America, India and Australia, which indicates a high invasive potential of this species. We determined the climatic conditions in Central Europe in a habitat where P. apterus has been continuously observed for decades. We conducted temperature measurements in the habitat and in the microhabitats where individuals could be found during the year and set them against freely available climate data commonly used to characterize habitat climate. Our temperature measurements were also compared to thermal limits (critical thermal minima and maxima). Although ambient temperatures outside the thermal boundaries of P. apterus can and do occur in the habitat, the bugs thrive and propagate. Microhabitat measurement in winter showed that individuals sought areas with favorable temperatures for hibernation. In particular, these areas are not (always) represented in large-scale climate tables, leading to possible misinterpretation of future patterns of spread of invasive species spread.

RevDate: 2023-11-25
CmpDate: 2023-11-25

Taylor L (2023)

Colombia begins sterilizing its invasive hippos: what scientists think.

Nature, 623(7988):678.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Zhou Y, G Zhang (2023)

Competitive Advantage of Broussonetia papyrifera Growing in a Native Area as Suggested by Structural Diversity.

Biology, 12(11): pii:biology12111410.

Paper mulberry (Broussonetia papyrifera) is currently an invasive species on several continents. However, little is known about whether paper mulberry has a competitive advantage over its surrounding trees in its native distribution range, subtropical regions of China. Here, we determined the relative intraspecific and interspecific competitive capacity of paper mulberry in three subtropical deciduous broad-leaved forests using the indices of structural diversity including the mixing index, the tree-tree interval index, and the diameter/height differentiation index. It was found that more than 80% of mingling index values were not greater than 0.25, suggesting a stronger competitiveness of paper mulberry relative to other tree species. The tree-tree interval index values ranged between 1 m and 2 m, suggesting a strong competition between paper mulberry and its neighbors. Moreover, more than 60% of the height differentiation index and diameter differentiation index values were positive, suggesting that the reference paper mulberry had a slight competitive advantage over neighboring trees in both the horizontal and vertical planes. These collectively suggest a competitive advantage over other tree species in the native distribution range, which may play a significant role in the ecological invasion of paper mulberry. Our findings not only help to reveal the invasion mechanism of paper mulberry, but also provide an important reference for the management and utilization of paper mulberry in invaded areas.

RevDate: 2023-11-24

Greenleaf J, Karimzadeh R, YL Park (2023)

Spatial Patterns of Frangula alnus (Rosales: Rhamnaceae): Implications for Invasive Plant Management.

Biology, 12(11): pii:biology12111393.

Glossy buckthorn (Frangula alnus) (Rosales: Rhamnaceae) is an invasive shrub from Europe that has been invading North America for over a century and threatening native vegetation in open and disturbed habitats. The treatment of F. alnus is currently restricted to the roadside, suggesting any individual F. alnus residing within the forest would be left unmanaged and would continue to spread in the area. This research was conducted to determine the spatial patterns and relationship of F. alnus with forest roads. The presence and density of F. alnus at 1412 sample points were recorded on four sites in the Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania, USA. Buffer analyses were conducted along roads to determine the relationship between F. alnus density and proximity to forest roads. Geostatistics and spatial analysis by distance indices (SADIE) were used to characterize the spatial pattern of F. alnus. Results of this study showed that F. alnus was spatially aggregated and resided beyond forest roads. Both the density and presence of F. alnus decreased as the distance from the forest road increased. These results imply the potential for precision management of F. alnus by locating and managing only where F. alnus presents.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Chase-Lubitz J (2023)

Anthropocene briefing: Invasive species could replace native species in extreme weather.

RevDate: 2023-11-23

Martín-Cruz B, Cecchetti M, Simbaña-Rivera K, et al (2023)

Potential exposure of native wildlife to anticoagulant rodenticides in Gran Canaria (Canary Islands, Spain): Evidence from residue analysis of the invasive California Kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae).

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07389-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Anticoagulant rodenticides (ARs), particularly second-generation compounds (SGARs), are extensively used in pest management, impacting non-target wildlife. The California kingsnake (Lampropeltis californiae), an invasive species in Gran Canaria, is under a control plan involving capture and euthanasia. This research aimed to detect 10 different ARs in these snakes, explore geographical and biometrical factors influencing AR exposure, and assess their potential as sentinel species for raptors, sharing similar foraging habits. Liver samples from 360 snakes, euthanized between 2021 and 2022, were analysed for ARs using LC-MS/MS. Results showed all detected rodenticides were SGARs, except for one instance of diphacinone. Remarkably, 90 % of the snakes tested positive for ARs, with over half exposed to multiple compounds. Brodifacoum was predominant, found in over 90 % of AR-positive snakes, while bromadiolone and difenacoum were also frequently detected but at lower levels. The study revealed that larger snakes and those in certain geographic areas had higher AR concentrations. Snakes in less central or more peripheral areas showed lower levels of these compounds. This suggests a correlation between the snakes' size and distribution with the concentration of ARs in their bodies. The findings indicate that the types and prevalence of ARs in California kingsnakes on Gran Canaria mirror those in the island's raptors. This similarity suggests that the kingsnake could serve as a potential sentinel species for monitoring ARs in the ecosystem. However, further research is necessary to confirm their effectiveness in this role.

RevDate: 2023-11-24
CmpDate: 2023-11-24

Masciocchi M, Mattiacci A, Villacide JM, et al (2023)

Sugar responsiveness could determine foraging patterns in yellowjackets.

Scientific reports, 13(1):20448.

Sympatric-related species often exhibit resource partitioning. This can occur through different mechanisms, such as behavioral, morphological, and sensory variations, leading to qualitative, temporal, or spatial differences in resource exploitation, such as consuming different types of food. Sensory-based niche partitioning could be the underlying mechanism through which closely related species effectively reduce niche overlap. Here we ask whether variations in sensory responses to carbohydrates could reflect differences in the foraging patterns of two Vespula species present in Patagonia. For this, we established (i) the response thresholds toward carbohydrate solutions of foraging V. germanica and V. vulgaris in the laboratory, (ii) the sugar concentration of foraged carbohydrates in the field, and (iii) possible effects of incoming sugar concentration and performance at individual and colony levels. Results indicate a higher sucrose response threshold in V. germanica than V. vulgaris. Field results indicate that higher carbohydrate concentrations foraged by V. germanica, with 57% of V. germanica foragers returning with concentrations above 50% w/w, while only 23% of V. vulgaris foragers did so. These differences in sucrose sensitivity and foraging patterns positively correlate with colony size, irrespective of the species. Our results suggest that competition could be reduced in these closely related invasive social wasp species through sensory differences in their sugar perception levels, which would lead to them foraging different carbohydrate sources. This study suggests that sensory niche partitioning could promote species coexistence in these social wasps.

RevDate: 2023-11-24
CmpDate: 2023-11-24

Pérez-Fleitas E, Milián-García Y, Sosa-Rodríguez G, et al (2023)

Environmental DNA-based biomonitoring of Cuban Crocodylus and their accompanying vertebrate fauna from Zapata Swamp, Cuba.

Scientific reports, 13(1):20438.

Crocodylians globally face considerable challenges, including population decline and extensive habitat modification. Close monitoring of crocodylian populations and their habitats is imperative for the timely detection of population trends, especially in response to management interventions. Here we use eDNA metabarcoding to identify the Critically Endangered Crocodylus rhombifer and the Vulnerable C. acutus, as well as vertebrate community diversity, in Cuba's Zapata Swamp. We tested four different primer sets, including those used previously in Crocodylus population genetic and phylogenetic research, for their efficiency at detecting crocodylian eDNA. We detected C. rhombifer eDNA in 11 out of 15 sampled locations within its historical geographic distribution. We found that data analyses using the VertCOI primers and the mBRAVE bioinformatics pipeline were the most effective molecular marker and pipeline combination for identifying this species from environmental samples. We also identified 55 vertebrate species in environmental samples across the four bioinformatics pipelines- ~ 85% known to be present in the Zapata ecosystem. Among them were eight species previously undetected in the area and eight alien species, including known predators of hatchling crocodiles (e.g., Clarias sp.) and egg predators (e.g., Mus musculus). This study highlights eDNA metabarcoding as a powerful tool for crocodylian biomonitoring within fragile and diverse ecosystems, particularly where fast, non-invasive methods permit detection in economically important areas and will lead to a better understanding of complex human-crocodile interactions and evaluate habitat suitability for potential reintroductions or recovery programs for threatened crocodylian species.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Kardum Hjort C, Paris JR, Smith HG, et al (2023)

Selection despite low genetic diversity and high gene flow in a rapid island invasion of the bumblebee, Bombus terrestris.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species are predicted to adjust their morphological, physiological and life-history traits to adapt to their non-native environments. Although a loss of genetic variation during invasion may restrict local adaptation, introduced species often thrive in novel environments. Despite being founded by just a few individuals, Bombus terrestris (Hymenoptera: Apidae) has in less than 30 years successfully spread across the island of Tasmania (Australia), becoming abundant and competitive with native pollinators. We use RADseq to investigate what neutral and adaptive genetic processes associated with environmental and morphological variation allow B. terrestris to thrive as an invasive species in Tasmania. Given the widespread abundance of B. terrestris, we expected little genetic structure across Tasmania and weak signatures of environmental and morphological selection. We found high gene flow with low genetic diversity, although with significant isolation-by-distance and spatial variation in effective migration rates. Restricted migration was evident across the mid-central region of Tasmania, corresponding to higher elevations, pastural land, low wind speeds and low precipitation seasonality. Tajima's D indicated a recent population expansion extending from the south to the north of the island. Selection signatures were found for loci in relation to precipitation, wind speed and wing loading. Candidate loci were annotated to genes with functions related to cuticle water retention and insect flight muscle stability. Understanding how a genetically impoverished invasive bumblebee has rapidly adapted to a novel island environment provides further understanding about the evolutionary processes that determine successful insect invasions, and the potential for invasive hymenopteran pollinators to spread globally.

RevDate: 2023-11-22

Araspin L, Measey J, A Herrel (2023)

Does aquatic performance predict terrestrial performance: a case study with an aquatic frog, Xenopus laevis.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:335488 [Epub ahead of print].

The physical properties of the environment impose strong selection on organisms and their form-function relationships. In water or on land, selective pressures differ, with water being more viscous and denser than air, and gravity being the most important external force on land for relatively large animals like vertebrates. These different properties of the environment could drive variation in the design and mechanics of the locomotor system of organisms. Animals that use multiple environments can consequently exhibit locomotion conflicts between the demands imposed by the media, leading to potential trade-offs. Here, we tested for the presence of such locomotor trade-offs depending on the environment (water or land) in a largely aquatic frog, Xenopus laevis. We focused on terrestrial and aquatic exertion capacity (time and distance swum or jumped until exhaustion) and aquatic and terrestrial burst capacity (maximal instantaneous swimming velocity and maximal force jump) given the ecological relevance of these traits. We tested these performance traits for trade-offs, depending on environments (water vs. air) and locomotor modes (i.e., exertion and burst performance). Finally, we assessed the contribution of morphological traits to each performance trait. Our data show no trade-offs between the performance traits and between the environments, suggesting that X. laevis is equally good at swimming and jumping thanks to the same underlying morphological specialisations. We did observe, however, that morphological predictors differed depending on the environment, with variation in head shape and forelimb length being good predictors for aquatic locomotion and variation in hind limb and forelimb segments predicting variation in jumping performance on land.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Yuan L, Xiang J, Xue J, et al (2023)

Recommendations for representative sampling methodologies in ballast water: A case study from the land-based test.

Marine pollution bulletin, 197:115814 pii:S0025-326X(23)01249-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Accurate assessment of ballast water's community composition and organism concentrations is crucial for effective management. Yet, the lack of standardized global sampling methods presents challenges to achieving this objective. Inconsistencies hinder data comparison across regions and vessels, impeding efficient ballast water treatment and discharge regulation. This study conducted land-based tests to establish suitable methodologies. For organisms ≥50 μm and ≥10 μm to <50 μm, the recommended max flow rate is 50 L/min; for <10 μm organisms, 25 L/min is advised to prevent cell damage. Sampling should cover substantial discharge durations. To ensure representation, ≥50 μm organisms require ≥1m[3], while ≥10 μm to <50 μm and <10 μm organisms need 20 L. The ultimate aim is standardized methods for assessing ballast water across regions and vessel types, facilitating effective management to curb invasive species and protect aquatic ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Groffen T, Keirsebelik H, Dendievel H, et al (2023)

Are Chinese mitten crabs (Eriocheir sinensis) suitable as biomonitor or bioindicator of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) pollution?.

Journal of hazardous materials, 464:133024 pii:S0304-3894(23)02308-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are ubiquitous in the environment. In Flanders, the bioaccumulation in aquatic organisms is currently being monitored using European perch and European eel. Since both are native species, there is an ethical need to search for other suitable biomonitors. This study aims to investigate whether the invasive Chinese mitten crab could be used in biomonitoring programs by assessing PFAS accumulation in hepatopancreas, muscle tissue, and carapace. Furthermore, we correlated accumulated concentrations to those in the local abiotic environment. Concentrations in the crabs (highest average ∑PFAS concentration of 688 ± 505 ng/g ww) were often higher than those in crab species from other regions across the globe, confirming that Flanders is highly polluted with PFAS. Concentrations in the crabs did not reflect those in the abiotic environment. This implies that biomonitoring is necessary to investigate the impact of PFAS pollution on organisms in aquatic ecosystems, as important data is missing when only the abiotic environment is monitored. The accumulation profiles differed between the invasive crab and the native European perch and European eel, potentially due to a different ecology and trophic position. Since all three species provide complementary information on the PFAS pollution, a multi-species approach in biomonitoring is recommended. Overall, our results show that the crabs can be used as biomonitor, but more information is necessary to confirm their suitability as bioindicator.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Sun X, Guo N, Gao J, et al (2023)

Using eDNA to survey amphibians: Methods, applications, and challenges.

Biotechnology and bioengineering [Epub ahead of print].

In recent years, environmental DNA (eDNA) has received attention from biologists due to its sensitivity, convenience, labor and material efficiency, and lack of damage to organisms. The extensive application of eDNA has opened avenues for the monitoring and biodiversity assessment of amphibians, which are frequently small and difficult to observe in the field, in areas such as biodiversity survey assessment and detection of specific, rare and threatened, or alien invasive species. However, the accuracy of eDNA can be influenced by factors such as ambient temperature, pH, and false positives or false negatives, which makes eDNA an adjunctive tool rather than a replacement for traditional surveys. This review provides a concise overview of the eDNA method and its workflow, summarizes the differences between applying eDNA for detecting amphibians and other organisms, reviews the research progress in eDNA technology for amphibian monitoring, identifies factors influencing detection efficiency, and discusses the challenges and prospects of eDNA. It aims to serve as a reference for future research on the application of eDNA in amphibian detection.

RevDate: 2023-11-22
CmpDate: 2023-11-22

Catapano PL, Falcinelli M, Damiani C, et al (2023)

De novo genome assembly of the invasive mosquito species Aedes japonicus and Aedes koreicus.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):427.

BACKGROUND: Recently, two invasive Aedes mosquito species, Ae. japonicus and Ae. koreicus, are circulating in several European countries posing potential health risks to humans and animals. Vector control is the main option to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, and an accurate genome sequence of these mosquitoes is essential to better understand their biology and to develop effective control strategies.

METHODS: A de novo genome assembly of Ae. japonicus (Ajap1) and Ae. koreicus (Akor1) has been produced based on a hybrid approach that combines Oxford Nanopore long-read and Illumina short-read data. Their quality was ascertained using various metrics. Masking of repetitive elements, gene prediction and functional annotation was performed.

RESULTS: Sequence analysis revealed a very high presence of repetitive DNA and, among others, thermal adaptation genes and insecticide-resistance genes. Through the RNA-seq analysis of larvae and adults of Ae. koreicus and Ae. japonicus exposed to different temperatures, we also identified genes showing a differential temperature-dependent activation.

CONCLUSIONS: The assembly of Akor1 and Ajap1 genomes constitutes the first updated collective knowledge of the genomes of both mosquito species, providing the possibility of understanding key mechanisms of their biology such as the ability to adapt to harsh climates and to develop insecticide-resistance mechanisms.

RevDate: 2023-11-21

Erkinaro J, Orell P, Kytökorpi M, et al (2023)

Active feeding of downstream migrating juvenile pink salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) revealed in a large Barents Sea river using diet and stable isotope analysis.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

The recent, rapid spreading of non-native pink salmon Oncorhynchus gorbuscha in the North Atlantic area has raised concerns about their possible negative impacts on native salmonid species. Potential interactions include competition for food resources during the short freshwater phase of juvenile O. gorbuscha, but little is known about their feeding behavior in the newly occupied North Atlantic rivers. Using stable isotope and stomach content analyses, patterns of freshwater feeding of non-native O. gorbuscha fry were studied in a large Fennoscandian river, the Teno, that discharges to the Barents Sea. Changes in stable isotope values (δ[13] C, δ[15] N, δ[34] S) and stomach contents from the period of emergence (April to mid-May) to estuarine entry (late May/June) were examined and provided both temporally integrated and short-term indicators of freshwater feeding dependency. In addition, the occurrence of juvenile O. gorbuscha and changes in their length and weight during their emergence/migration period were investigated. Juvenile O. gorbuscha were at the spawning grounds from April through to mid-May with abundance peaking in mid-May. Fish moved to the estuary by late May and their abundance decreased towards June, and their body size increased concurrently. Stomach analyses indicated no feeding activity in April - early May in the spawning areas, but the stomach fullness indices increased markedly in fish sampled in the estuary in May and June. The most important prey items in stomachs were Chironomidae and Ephemeroptera larvae. Significant changes in all analyzed stable isotopes were detected among sample periods, with a peak in mid-May and June showing significantly lower values than other sample periods. A change from the higher values reflective of parental marine feeding to the lower values reflective of freshwater feeding indicated active in-river feeding by juveniles during the study period. The documented active freshwater feeding of non-native juvenile O. gorbuscha suggests potential resource competition with native fluvial fishes, particularly salmonids. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Dumith MT, AFGN Santos (2023)

Use of trophic ecology of omnivorous fish and abiotic factors as supporting tools for assessing environmental impacts in a neotropical river.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

The study of diet is one of the mechanisms by which competition for resources between species that cohabit in the same ecosystem can be inferred. Therefore, the relationships of the indices that measure specialization in the diet of fish species are necessary to characterize the nutritional quality of these populations and the ecosystem's environmental health. Three species of catfish were selected: one invasive (Clarias gariepinus) and two natives (Trachelyopterus striatulus and Rhamdia quelen), with similar distribution along the Guapi-Macacu River, in the Guapimirim Protection Area (Rio de Janeiro). Fifty-nine catfish of the three species were collected in total, along 32 collection points in the Guapi-Macacu River in two periods (dry and rainy) in 2018. Nonparametric statistics showed the partition of resources between species and the influence of abiotic factors (temperature, pH, transparency, dissolved oxygen) contributing to the selection of available resources in the environment. Diet-related indices - repletion index (RI), condition factor (K), niche width, and trophic position of the specimens collected - contributed to measuring the nutritional status of each of these catfish species, showing that the R. quelen species has a relationship between RI and K, tending to absorb and metabolize nutrients faster than other species. In addition, the invasive species occupies a wide range of trophic positions compared to native species, confirming its feeding plasticity. On the other hand, T. striatulus needs large amounts of terrestrial insects to maintain its poor condition factor. Also, the RI showed direct influences of abiotic variables, with the temperature being the most prominent. Our results suggest that the invasive species can benefit from this environment that shows signs of environmental degradation. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-11-20

Simmons M, Horbelt N, Sverko T, et al (2023)

Invasive mussels fashion silk-like byssus via mechanical processing of massive horizontally acquired coiled coils.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 120(48):e2311901120.

Zebra and quagga mussels (Dreissena spp.) are invasive freshwater biofoulers that perpetrate devastating economic and ecological impact. Their success depends on their ability to anchor onto substrates with protein-based fibers known as byssal threads. Yet, compared to other mussel lineages, little is understood about the proteins comprising their fibers or their evolutionary history. Here, we investigated the hierarchical protein structure of Dreissenid byssal threads and the process by which they are fabricated. Unique among bivalves, we found that threads possess a predominantly β-sheet crystalline structure reminiscent of spider silk. Further analysis revealed unexpectedly that the Dreissenid thread protein precursors are mechanoresponsive α-helical proteins that are mechanically processed into β-crystallites during thread formation. Proteomic analysis of the byssus secretory organ and byssus fibers revealed a family of ultrahigh molecular weight (354 to 467 kDa) asparagine-rich (19 to 20%) protein precursors predicted to form α-helical coiled coils. Moreover, several independent lines of evidence indicate that the ancestral predecessor of these proteins was likely acquired via horizontal gene transfer. This chance evolutionary event that transpired at least 12 Mya has endowed Dreissenids with a distinctive and effective fiber formation mechanism, contributing significantly to their success as invasive species and possibly, inspiring new materials design.

RevDate: 2023-11-19

Beca-Carretero P, Winters G, Teichberg M, et al (2023)

Climate change and the presence of invasive species will threaten the persistence of the Mediterranean seagrass community.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07303-5 [Epub ahead of print].

The Mediterranean Sea has been experiencing rapid increases in temperature and salinity triggering its tropicalization. Additionally, its connection with the Red Sea has been favouring the establishment of non-native species. In this study, we investigated the effects of predicted climate change and the introduction of invasive seagrass species (Halophila stipulacea) on the native Mediterranean seagrass community (Posidonia oceanica and Cymodocea nodosa) by applying a novel ecological and spatial model with different configurations and parameter settings based on a Cellular Automata (CA). The proposed models use a discrete (stepwise) representation of space and time by executing deterministic and probabilistic rules that develop complex dynamic processes. Model applications were run under two climate scenarios (RCP 2.6 and RCP 8.5) projected from 2020 to 2100 in four different regions within the Mediterranean. Results indicate that the slow-growing P. oceanica will be highly vulnerable to climate change, suffering vast declines in its abundance. However, the results also show that western and colder areas of the Mediterranean Sea might represent refuge areas for this species. Cymodocea nodosa has been reported to exhibit resilience to predicted climate scenarios; however, it has shown habitat regression in the warmest predicted regions in the easternmost part of the basin. Our models indicate that H. stipulacea will thrive under projected climate scenarios, facilitating its spread across the basin. Also, H. stipulacea grew at the expense of C. nodosa, limiting the distribution of the latter, and eventually displacing this native species. Additionally, simulations demonstrated that areas from which P. oceanica meadows disappear would be partially covered by C. nodosa and H. stipulacea. These outcomes project that the Mediterranean seagrass community will experience a transition from long-lived, large and slow-growing species to small and fast-growing species as climate change progresses.

RevDate: 2023-11-18

Liu W, Liu Y, Wei F, et al (2023)

NTR-1's Essential Contribution to Asymmetric Mating Between Two Sibling Nematode Species: Bursaphelenchus xylophilus and B. mucronatus.

Gene pii:S0378-1119(23)00847-8 [Epub ahead of print].

The pine-wood invasive species nematode Bursaphelenchus xylophilus causes great forestry damage globally, particularly in Eurasia. B. xylophilus can hybridize with its native sibling, Bursaphelenchus mucronatus, with whom it shares an interestingly asymmetric mating behavior. However, the molecular mechanism underlying interspecific asymmetric mating has yet to be clarified. ntr-1, a nematocin receptor gene, is involved in an oxytocin/vasopressin-like signaling system that can regulate reproduction. Structural analysis using bioinformatics revealed that both Bxy- and Bmu-ntr-1 encode 7TM-GPCR, a conserved sequence. In situ hybridization and qPCR showed that both Bxy- and Bmu-ntr-1 were highly expressed in adult nematodes. Specifically, Bxy-ntr-1 was expressed in the vulva of females and caudal gonad of males, whereas Bmu-ntr-1 was expressed in the postal vulva and uterus of females and the whole gonads of males. Furthermore, RNAi of ntr-1 further demonstrated the biological function of interspecific mating: ntr-1 can regulate mating behavior, lead to male-female specificity, and ultimately result in interspecific differences. In B. mucronatus, ntr-1 influenced male mating more than female mating success, while downregulation of ntr-1 in B. xylophilus resulted in a significant decline in the female mating rate. Competitive tests revealed that the mating rate of the cross significantly declined after downregulation of Bxy♀- and Bmu♂-ntr-1, but no obvious change occurred in the reciprocal cross. Thus, we speculate that ntr-1 may be the key factor behind interspecific asymmetric mating. The current study (1) demonstrated the regulatory function of ntr-1 on mating behavior and (2) theoretically revealed the molecular basis of interspecific asymmetric mating.

RevDate: 2023-11-18

Peng Q, Huo B, Yang H, et al (2023)

Increased invasion of submerged macrophytes makes native species more susceptible to eutrophication in freshwater ecosystems.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07286-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasion and eutrophication are considered to pose serious threats to freshwater biodiversity and ecosystem function. However, little is known about the synergistic effects of invasion density and nutrient concentration on native submerged macrophytes. Here, we selected a common invasive species (Elodea nuttallii) and two native plants (Hydrilla verticillata and Potamogeton maackianus) to elucidate the effects of invasion density and eutrophication on native submerged plants. We found that (1) high nutrient concentrations inhibited the growth of both invasive and native species, but E. nuttallii, with a wide ecological niche, was more tolerant to eutrophication than the two native species. (2) High invasion density had a remarkable negative effect on the growth of the two native species under the medium and high nutrient concentrations. (3) Medium and high invasion densities of E. nuttallii made native macrophytes more susceptible to eutrophication. (4) The two native macrophytes had species-specific responses to medium and high invasion densities under medium and high nutrient concentrations. Specifically, a high invasion density of E. nuttallii significantly delayed the growth of H. verticillata rather than P. maackianus. Thus, it is necessary to consider the synergistic effects of invasion with eutrophication when assessing invasion in freshwater ecosystems. And our results implied that invasion with eutrophication was a powerful factor determining the results of interspecific competition among submerged macrophytes, which could change the biodiversity, community structure and functions of freshwater ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Hao D, Liu J, Zhao L, et al (2023)

Applying an ensemble of small models in predicting habitat suitability of invasive M. sallei along the southern coast of China.

Marine pollution bulletin, 197:115777 pii:S0025-326X(23)01212-2 [Epub ahead of print].

A false mussel Mytilopsis sallei has caused serious ecological and economic losses after invading in China. In this research, we first assessed the niche differentiation between its native range and invasive range in China and then predicted the habitat suitability along the southern coast of China under present and future climatic circumstances. Distance to shore and water depth were the first two important factors in affecting the distribution of M. sallei, followed by minimum chlorophyll concentration and salinity. The niche of M. sallei shows significant expansion and unfilling. The ensemble of small models can account for few occurrences and presents high predictive performance. A general reduction and northward movement of suitable areas were found in the southern coast of China in the future. This study furnished significant insights regarding the areas under invasive risks, and provided valuable information for preventing the further invasion of M. sallei in China.

RevDate: 2023-11-20
CmpDate: 2023-11-20

Monroe TGR, Cantanhêde SPD, Sousa NSM, et al (2023)

Inventory reveals non-native species and variation in spatial-temporal dynamics of fish community in a Brazilian protected area.

Brazilian journal of biology = Revista brasleira de biologia, 83:e274232 pii:S1519-69842023000101008.

The increase in the number of Brazilian protected areas has been progressive and, although it is essential for the conservation of biodiversity, it is important to monitor and properly manage these areas, as they present several cases of biological invasions. The Lençóis Maranhenses constitute the peculiar delta of the Americas and are under the consequences of the bioinvasion of tilapias and peacock bass. Collections were carried out in the Lençóis Maranhenses National Park from March/2016 to November/2020, with the aid of gill nets and cast nets. The species were identified with the help of specialized literature and a historical comparison with previous works was carried out. Cytochrome oxidase subunit I was sequenced to confirm identification of non-native species. We recorded the expansion of the occurrence of Oreochromis niloticus, and the first record of the species Oreochromis mossambicus and Cichla monoculus. A total of 31 species belonging to eight orders, eighteen families and twenty-nine genera were identified, indicating a lag in the diversity of species found in relation to previous studies. After 20 years of the first record of invasive fish, there is an expansion of bioinvasion and new cases that indicate a lack of monitoring and containment measures for the species, indicating the fragility of conservation in the area.

RevDate: 2023-11-17

Rock SL, Oudendijk Z, Kürten FT, et al (2023)

The effect of stress on rates of asexual reproduction in an invasive planarian.

Ecotoxicology (London, England) [Epub ahead of print].

Animal reproduction under stressful conditions is often reduced, with current survival and future reproduction being generally traded off against current reproductive activity. This study examines the impacts of physical and chemical stressors on the rates of asexual reproduction of the invasive planarian Girardia tigrina. 320 wild-caught planaria (mixed size class) were kept individually in Petri dishes such that their individual rates of fission through fragmentation could be easily monitored. Four treatment groups were compared, one chemical (5 mg/L ammonia) and one physical (decapitation), in comparison to a negative control (animals were starved of food) and a positive control where the animals were given an abundance of food. The two treatment groups immediately began reproducing asexually and accumulated the highest number of fissions over the course of the 12-day investigation period, while the positive control only began to fission after 7 days. We propose that the reproductive response observed here is an adaptive one to stressful conditions, whereby the likelihood of survival through numerical abundance is enhanced, although the size and vulnerability of resulting fragments may impose a balancing cost. The response may play a role in the invasiveness of G. tigrina by making it able to colonize environments where adverse conditions prevail.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Heddergott M, Lippert S, Schliephake A, et al (2023)

Spread of the Zoonotic Nematode Baylisascaris procyonis into a Naive Raccoon Population.

EcoHealth [Epub ahead of print].

The raccoon roundworm (Baylisascaris procyonis), a gastrointestinal nematode of the raccoon (Procyon lotor), may cause a severe form of larva migrans in humans, which can lead to death or permanent neurological damage. Although roundworms were inadvertently introduced to Europe alongside their raccoon hosts, the parasite is not present in every raccoon population. It is important to understand the geographic distribution of B. procyonis, as early and rapid treatment can prevent severe pathologies in humans. We present evidence for the roundworm spreading into a naive raccoon population through natural dispersal of infected raccoons. We sampled 181 raccoons from Saxony-Anhalt, a German federal state containing contact zones of different raccoon populations, two of which were previously free of the parasite. We screened the raccoons for roundworms and used microsatellite-based assignment tests to determine the genetic origin of the raccoons and their parasites. We detected roundworms in 16 of 45 raccoons sampled in a previously roundworm-free area in the northern part of the state. The largest proportion of the genetic ancestry (≥ 0.5) of the 16 raccoon hosts was assigned to the previously naive raccoon population. Conversely, the genetic ancestry of almost all the roundworms was assigned to the nearest roundworm population in the southern part of the state. Infected raccoons have, therefore, spread to the north of the state, where they interbred with and infected local raccoons. It seems likely that the roundworms will continue to spread. Health authorities should consider continuous surveillance programmes of naive populations and raise public awareness.

RevDate: 2023-11-19
CmpDate: 2023-11-17

Sauer FG, Pfitzner WP, Jöst H, et al (2023)

Using geometric wing morphometrics to distinguish Aedes japonicus japonicus and Aedes koreicus.

Parasites & vectors, 16(1):418.

BACKGROUND: Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald, 1901) and Aedes koreicus (Edwards, 1917) have rapidly spread in Europe over the last decades. Both species are very closely related and occur in sympatry. Females and males are difficult to distinguish. However, the accurate species discrimination is important as both species may differ in their vectorial capacity and spreading behaviour. In this study, we assessed the potential of geometric wing morphometrics as alternative to distinguish the two species.

METHODS: A total of 147 Ae. j. japonicus specimens (77 females and 70 males) and 124 Ae. koreicus specimens (67 females and 57 males) were collected in southwest Germany. The left wing of each specimen was removed, mounted and photographed. The coordinates of 18 landmarks on the vein crosses were digitalised by a single observer. The resulting two-dimensional dataset was used to analyse the differences in the wing size (i.e. centroid size) and wing shape between Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. koreicus using geometric morphometrics. To analyse the reproducibility of the analysis, the landmark collection was repeated for 20 specimens per sex and species by two additional observers.

RESULTS: The wing size in female Ae. koreicus was significantly greater than in Ae. j. japonicus but did not differ significantly for males. However, the strong overlap in wing size also for the females would not allow to discriminate the two species. In contrast, the wing shape clustering was species specific and a leave-one-out validation resulted in a reclassification accuracy of 96.5% for the females and 91.3% for the males. The data collected by different observers resulted in a similar accuracy, indicating a low observer bias for the landmark collection.

CONCLUSIONS: Geometric wing morphometrics provide a reliable and robust tool to distinguish female and male specimens of Ae. j. japonicus and Ae. koreicus.

RevDate: 2023-11-16

Yang Q, Ribeiro-Barros AIF, Silva L, et al (2023)

Editorial: Adaptive evolution of plants in mountainous regions.

Frontiers in plant science, 14:1296987.

RevDate: 2023-11-16
CmpDate: 2023-11-16

Park JS, H Lee (2023)

Predicting the spatio-temporal distribution of the invasive alien plant Andropogon virginicus, in the South Korean peninsula considering long-distance dispersal capacities.

PloS one, 18(11):e0291365.

The spread of invasive alien species is a major threat to biodiversity. Estimating the long-distance dispersal capacity of invasive alien plants is vital for understanding their population dynamics and community composition. We predicted the spatial-temporal distribution of the alien plant Andropogon virginicus, in the Korean peninsula under climate change scenario using Random Forest (RF) and Cellular Automaton (CA) methods. Land use, barriers to dispersal, long-distance dispersal frequency, and maximum long-distance dispersal range were considered in our analysis. Our results showed that, among the five selected environmental variables, annual mean temperature and Human Foot-Printing (HFP) were positively associated with the occurrence probability of A. virginicus. This suggests that A. virginicus is likely to spread to the disturbed northern part of the Korean Peninsula due to climate change and habitat preference. When comparing modeling results for dispersal to field survey data, the modeling raster sets drawn from the long-distance dispersal frequency of 0.05 and maximum long-distance dispersal distance of 30 km y-1 had the most similar spatial expansion among the six long-distance dispersal parameter sets. The dispersal directions were associated with the landscape. Specifically, seeds dispersed by wind (anemochorous seeds) could propagate into open landscapes more easily than in forests. Regarding A. virginicus management, this grass can quickly invade bare ground with their wind-dispersed seeds, therefore habitat destruction, such as excessive logging and weeding, should be restrained.

RevDate: 2023-11-15
CmpDate: 2023-11-15

Foote S, Sinhadc P, Mathis C, et al (2023)

False Positives and the Challenge of Testing the Alien Hypothesis.

Astrobiology, 23(11):1189-1201.

The origin of life and the detection of alien life have historically been treated as separate scientific research problems. However, they are not strictly independent. Here, we discuss the need for a better integration of the sciences of life detection and origins of life. Framing these dual problems within the formalism of Bayesian hypothesis testing, we demonstrate via simple examples how high confidence in life detection claims require either (1) a strong prior hypothesis about the existence of life in a particular alien environment, or conversely, (2) signatures of life that are not susceptible to false positives. As a case study, we discuss the role of priors and hypothesis testing in recent results reporting potential detection of life in the venusian atmosphere and in the icy plumes of Enceladus. While many current leading biosignature candidates are subject to false positives because they are not definitive of life, our analyses demonstrate why it is necessary to shift focus to candidate signatures that are definitive. This indicates a necessity to develop methods that lack substantial false positives, by using observables for life that rely on prior hypotheses with strong theoretical and empirical support in identifying defining features of life. Abstract theories developed in pursuit of understanding universal features of life are more likely to be definitive and to apply to life-as-we-don't-know-it. We discuss Molecular Assembly theory as an example of such an observable which is applicable to life detection within the solar system. In the absence of alien examples these are best validated in origin of life experiments, substantiating the need for better integration between origins of life and biosignature science research communities. This leads to a conclusion that extraordinary claims in astrobiology (e.g., definitive detection of alien life) require extraordinary explanations, whereas the evidence itself could be quite ordinary.

RevDate: 2023-11-16
CmpDate: 2023-11-16

Butler RA, RT Trout Fryxell (2023)

Management of Haemaphysalis longicornis (Acari: Ixodidae) on a cow-calf farm in East Tennessee, USA.

Journal of medical entomology, 60(6):1374-1379.

Haemaphysalis longicornis Neumann is an exotic and invasive tick species rapidly expanding across the United States. Large infestations of these ticks on cattle can cause anemia, and in eastern regions of the country, they are transmitting Theileria orientalis Ikeda within herds. Methods for managing H. longicornis in the environment are rarely successful and rely on chemicals. To document population effects from producer management decisions, we investigated the change in H. longicornis populations to different tick management practices chosen by producers at 3 different H. longicornis-infested farms. Farm 1 kept a closed herd, chose to cut brush monthly, used on-animal acaricides, and allowed us to drag weekly. Farm 2 kept an open herd, chose to cut brush yearly, did not use on-animal acaricides, and allowed us to drag for ticks weekly/monthly. Farm 3 kept an open herd, chose to cut brush yearly, used on-animal acaracides, and allowed us to drag for ticks monthly. We assessed H. longicornis populations responding to those methods over time using active surveillance methods at each farm. Management decisions on Farms 1 and 3 significantly reduced H. longicornis on farms. Importantly, Farm 1 management decisions reduced the chance of a tick being present by 90%; the number of questing ticks collected fell from 5,000 to 12 H. longicornis in 2 years. Therefore, combined management strategies such as keeping a closed herd, use of on-animal chemical control, mechanical control, and reducing the amount of vegetation on farms were effective ways for producers to manage Haemaphysalis longicornis Neuman (Ixodidae).

RevDate: 2023-11-16
CmpDate: 2023-11-16

Obala F, Mohamed SA, Magomere TO, et al (2023)

Old and new association of Cotesia icipe (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) with alien invasive and native Spodoptera species and key stemborer species: implication for their management.

Pest management science, 79(12):5312-5320.

BACKGROUND: Maize production in Africa is hindered by a myriad of biotic challenges, key among them being invasive and native lepidopteran stemborers. Recent invasion of the continent by fall armyworm, Spodoptera frugiperda, has further exacerbated the situation. Fortunately, Cotesia icipe was found to be very promising against S. frugiperda. However, the co-occurrence and interaction between S. frugiperda and the stemborers (Busseola fusca, Sesamia calamistis, and Chilo partellus) in maize agroecosystem may jeopardize the efficiency of C. icipe as a biocontrol agent of S. frugiperda. This study investigated the performance of C. icipe on S. frugiperda, Spodoptera littoralis and the stemborers. Specifically, the preference and acceptability of C. icipe to the host insects, the physiological suitability of the hosts for its development, and the effect of these hosts on the fitness parameters of the offspring were assessed.

RESULTS: Cotesia icipe accepted all the tested hosts, albeit with higher preference for Spodoptera species than for stemborers under multiple-choice tests. Also, the highest parasitism of up to 97% was recorded on S. frugiperda compared with parasitism on the stemborers of 43% in B. fusca. Moreover, physiological suitability and fitness traits (except for per cent female offspring) varied with host species, again being optimal on Spodoptera species.

CONCLUSION: Cotesia icipe demonstrated strong potential to control S. frugiperda in maize due to its high affinity for parasitization and developmental success in this host; and despite its non-specific parasitization, the presence of other hosts may not prevent its maximum control of S. frugiperda. © 2023 The Authors. Pest Management Science published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2023-11-16
CmpDate: 2023-11-16

Liao JR, Chiu MC, MH Kuo (2023)

Reassessing the presence of alien predatory mites and their prospects in the face of future climate change.

Pest management science, 79(12):5186-5196.

BACKGROUND: Climate change poses uncertainties in the effectiveness of classical biological control (CBC), and there is a lack of information on the establishment of natural enemy populations under present and future climatic conditions. The objective is to explore current traces of two alien predators (Neoseiulus californicus and Neoseiulus fallacis; introduced for the CBC program in the 1980s) and their future expansion under climate change in Taiwan.

RESULTS: The results indicated that N. californicus was present in alpine orchards (e.g., Lishan and Meifeng) but N. fallacis was not found. Under current climate condition, most areas in Taiwan were deemed highly suitable for N. californicus, but not for N. fallacis, which may explain the outcomes of the CBC program. With intensifying climate change, the ranges of both species are projected to contract to varying extents in Taiwan but expand in some countries.

CONCLUSION: The findings from this study can provide insights for evaluating and developing future CBC programs worldwide, and can help predict the implications of climate change on biological control efforts. © 2023 Society of Chemical Industry.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Hassan MO, Mohamed HY, Okla MK, et al (2023)

Dense Cover, but Not Allelopathic Potential, of Naturalized Alien Cenchrus echinatus L. Threatens the Native Species in Urban Vegetation.

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 12(21): pii:plants12213736.

Exotic plants usually exhibit problems for native species where they coexist. This study evaluated the effect of naturalized alien Cenchrus echinatus L. on native plants in urban vegetation. A field trial was conducted to assess the effect of this species on the cover and diversity of the native vegetation. The allelopathic potential of such species was examined. Sites comprising C. echinatus had a lower cover than some native species. Lower floristic diversity was observed at higher densities of this plant. The soil under this plant attained lower N, P, and K contents. This soil had no effect on the germination and growth of native species. It also comprised germinable seeds of some species which were absent from the standing vegetation. Exotic C. echinatus may exert negative effects on the native vegetation of the urban plant communities. A dense cover of this species may inhibit the germination of native species, leading to a reduction in their cover. Reduction in cover and diversity of native species may not be attributed to allelopathy. These results suggest that naturalized C. echinatus may be more competitive than the native ones, particularly at higher densities. Furthermore, it may represent a threat to the native plants in the urban vegetation.

RevDate: 2023-11-15
CmpDate: 2023-11-15

Shi L, Zhu X, Qian T, et al (2023)

Mechanism of Salt Tolerance and Plant Growth Promotion in Priestia megaterium ZS-3 Revealed by Cellular Metabolism and Whole-Genome Studies.

International journal of molecular sciences, 24(21): pii:ijms242115751.

Approximately one-third of agricultural land worldwide is affected by salinity, which limits the productivity and sustainability of crop ecosystems. Plant-growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are a potential solution to this problem, as PGPR increases crop yield through improving soil fertility and stress resistance. Previous studies have shown that Priestia megaterium ZS-3(ZS-3) can effectively help plants tolerate salinity stress. However, how ZS-3 regulates its metabolic adaptations in saline environments remains unclear. In this study, we monitored the metabolic rearrangement of compatibilisers in ZS-3 and combined the findings with genomic data to reveal how ZS-3 survives in stressful environments, induces plant growth, and tolerates stress. The results showed that ZS-3 tolerated salinity levels up to 9%. In addition, glutamate and trehalose help ZS-3 adapt to osmotic stress under low NaCl stress, whereas proline, K[+], and extracellular polysaccharides regulate the osmotic responses of ZS-3 exposed to high salt stress. Potting experiments showed that applying the ZS-3 strain in saline and neutral soils could effectively increase the activities of soil acid phosphatase, urease, and invertase in both soils, thus improving soil fertility and promoting plant growth. In addition, strain ZS-3-GFP colonised the rhizosphere and leaves of Cinnamomum camphora well, as confirmed by confocal microscopy and resistance plate count analysis. Genomic studies and in vitro experiments have shown that ZS-3 exhibits a variety of beneficial traits, including plant-promoting, antagonistic, and other related traits (such as resistance to saline and heavy metal stress/tolerance, amino acid synthesis and transport, volatile compound synthesis, micronutrient utilisation, and phytohormone biosynthesis/regulatory potential). The results support that ZS-3 can induce plant tolerance to abiotic stresses. These data provide important clues to further reveal the interactions between plants and microbiomes, as well as the mechanisms by which micro-organisms control plant health.

RevDate: 2023-11-15
CmpDate: 2023-11-15

Ahmad M, Uniyal SK, Sharma P, et al (2023)

Enhanced plasticity and reproductive fitness of floral and seed traits facilitate non-native species spread in mountain ecosystems.

Journal of environmental management, 348:119222.

Floral and seed traits, their relationships, and responses to abiotic constraints are considered the key determinants of the invasion success of non-native plant species. However, studies evaluating the pattern of floral and seed traits of non-native species in mountain ecosystems are lacking. In this study, we determined (a) whether the floral and seed traits of native and non-native species show similarity or dissimilarity across elevations in mountains, and (b) whether the non-native species follow different allometric patterns compared with native species. Functional variations between native and non-native species were assessed through floral and seed traits: flower count, flower display area, flower mass, specific flower area, seed count, and seed mass across an elevational gradient. Permanent plots (20 × 20 m) were laid at each 100 m elevation rise from 2000 to 4000 m a.s.l. for sampling of herbaceous plant species. The mean values of floral and seed traits such as flower display area, specific flower area, and seed count were significantly higher for non-native species compared to native species. A significant difference in trait values (flower display area, flower mass, seed count, and seed mass) between non-native species and native species was observed along the elevational gradient, except for flower count and specific flower area. The bivariate relationship revealed non-native species to exhibit a stronger relationship between flower display area ∼ flower mass, and flower display area ∼ seed mass traits than the native species. Non-native species showed enhanced reproductive ability under varying environmental conditions along an elevational gradient in mountain ecosystems. Greater flower display area and seed mass at lower elevations and a stronger overall trait-trait relationship among non-native species implied resource investment in pollinator visualization, flower mass, and seed quality over seed quantity. The study concludes that enhanced plasticity and reproductive fitness of floral and seed traits would consequently aid non-native species to adapt, become invasive, and displace native species in mountain ecosystems if the climatic barriers acting on non-native species are reduced with climate change.

RevDate: 2023-11-15
CmpDate: 2023-11-15

Beyene BB, Li J, Yuan J, et al (2024)

Climatic zone effects of non-native plant invasion on CH4 and N2O emissions from natural wetland ecosystems.

The Science of the total environment, 906:167855.

Plant invasion can significantly alter the carbon and nitrogen cycles of wetlands, which potentially affects the emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The extent of these effects can vary depending on several factors, including the species of invasive plants, their growth patterns, and the climatic conditions prevailing in the wetland. Understanding the global effects of plant invasion on the emission of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) is crucial for the climate-smart management of wetlands. Here, we performed a global meta-analysis of 207 paired case studies that quantified the effect of non-native plant invasion on CH4 and N2O emissions in tropical/sub-tropical (TS) and temperate (TE) wetlands. The average emission rate of CH4 from the TS wetlands increased significantly from 337 to 577 kg CH4 ha[-1] yr[-1] in areas where native plants had been displaced by invasive plants. Similarly, in TE wetlands, the emission rates increased from 211 to 299 kg CH4 ha[-1] yr[-1] following the invasion of alien plant species. The increase in CH4 emissions at invaded sites was attributed to the increase in plant biomass, soil organic carbon (SOC), and soil moisture (SM). The effects of plant invasion on N2O emissions differed between TS and TE wetlands in that there was no significant effect in TS wetlands, whereas the N2O emissions reduced in TE wetlands. This difference in N2O emissions between climate zones was attributed to the depletion of NH4[+] and NO3[-] in soils and the lower soil temperature in temperate regions. Overall, plant invasion increased the global net CH4 emissions from natural wetlands by 10.54 Tg CH4 yr[-1]. However, there were variations in CH4 emissions across different climatic zones, indicated by a net increase in CH4 emissions, of 9.97 and 0.57 Tg CH4 yr[-1] in TS and TE wetlands, respectively. These findings highlight that plant invasion not only strongly stimulates the emission of CH4 from TS wetlands, but also suppresses N2O emissions from TE wetlands. These novel insights immensely improve our current understanding of the effects of climatic zones on biogeochemical controlling factors that influence the production of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from wetlands following plant invasion. By analyzing the specific mechanisms by which invasive plants affect GHG emissions in different climatic zones, effective strategies can be devised to reduce GHG emissions and preserve wetland ecosystems.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Santiago SM, Paes Cavalcante N, LM Leveau (2023)

What Drives the Alien Parrot Richness and Occurrence in Urban Green Spaces along the Annual Cycle in Buenos Aires City, Argentina?.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(21): pii:ani13213426.

Biological invasions are often one of the main causes of global biodiversity loss. Parrots are among the most globally traded taxa and have successfully invaded urban areas. Studies analyzing alien parrot-habitat relationships are scarce in cities of the southern hemisphere. This study aims to determine habitat characteristics influencing exotic parrot species richness, presence, and composition in urban parks in Buenos Aires City and to analyze variations during breeding and non-breeding seasons. A total of 35 parks were sampled during the breeding season and the non-breeding season, and habitat variables at local and landscape scales were measured. Parrot species richness was positively associated with tree species richness and a shorter distance to the La Plata River throughout the year. During the non-breeding season, parrot species richness increased in parks with a higher abundance of tree genera such as Eugenia, Podocarpus, Olea, and Washingtonia. However, during the breeding season, parrot species richness decreased with increased environmental noise. Taxonomic richness was higher during the breeding season. The occurrence of different species and composition depended differentially on each variable, and it varied between seasons. Our findings suggest that exotic parrot richness and presence may be influenced not only by tree diversity and park proximity to green corridors but also by specific exotic tree species providing resources for the parrots. Future urban green space designs should prioritize native tree planting to support local biodiversity over exotic trees that benefit invasive bird species.

RevDate: 2023-11-14

Fischer EF, Müller R, Todte M, et al (2023)

Role of Free-Ranging Synanthropic Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiaca) as Natural Host Reservoirs for Salmonella spp. in Germany.

Animals : an open access journal from MDPI, 13(21): pii:ani13213403.

Salmonella is one of the most common and pathogenic bacteria worldwide, causing severe enteritis in humans and representing a relevant intestinal illness in One Health for young, old and immunosuppressed patients. Various Salmonella serovars have been described to be responsible for human Salmonellosis. Birds represent natural carriers of different zoonotic-relevant Salmonella serovars and Anseriformes can not only transmit Salmonella spp. to humans but also manifest clinical Salmonellosis. In this study, 138 scat samples (n = 138) of free-ranging Egyptian geese (EG; Alopochen aegyptiaca) were collected in Germany, including 83 scat samples from city parks, 30 samples from 14 public swimming pools and 25 fresh caecal samples of dead EG. Collected EG scat samples were examined for the presence of Salmonella spp. according either to the ISO 6579 (2017) norm or to a combination of bacterial pre-enrichment and specific PCR for detection of Salmonella DNA. All 138 analysed EG faecal samples resulted Salmonella-negative. Furthermore, the survival of Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica Serovar Anatum in spiked EG droppings was tested in four different concentrations of chlorinated pool water. In vitro testing demonstrated that S. Anatum-spiked EG droppings were still infectious for up to six hours in chlorinated pool water according to current German regulations for public swimming pools. This study is to be considered as a baseline investigation to clarify the role of synanthropic EG as natural carriers of zoonotic Salmonella in cities; nonetheless, large-scale epidemiological studies, including higher numbers of samples as well as more urban locations, are needed for final conclusions on the occurrence of this intestinal bacteria in neozootic EG.

RevDate: 2023-11-13

Mo L, Zohner CM, Reich PB, et al (2023)

Integrated global assessment of the natural forest carbon potential.

Nature [Epub ahead of print].

Forests are a substantial terrestrial carbon sink, but anthropogenic changes in land use and climate have considerably reduced the scale of this system[1]. Remote-sensing estimates to quantify carbon losses from global forests[2-5] are characterized by considerable uncertainty and we lack a comprehensive ground-sourced evaluation to benchmark these estimates. Here we combine several ground-sourced[6] and satellite-derived approaches[2,7,8] to evaluate the scale of the global forest carbon potential outside agricultural and urban lands. Despite regional variation, the predictions demonstrated remarkable consistency at a global scale, with only a 12% difference between the ground-sourced and satellite-derived estimates. At present, global forest carbon storage is markedly under the natural potential, with a total deficit of 226 Gt (model range = 151-363 Gt) in areas with low human footprint. Most (61%, 139 Gt C) of this potential is in areas with existing forests, in which ecosystem protection can allow forests to recover to maturity. The remaining 39% (87 Gt C) of potential lies in regions in which forests have been removed or fragmented. Although forests cannot be a substitute for emissions reductions, our results support the idea[2,3,9] that the conservation, restoration and sustainable management of diverse forests offer valuable contributions to meeting global climate and biodiversity targets.

RevDate: 2023-11-13

Padilla P, Herrel A, M Denoël (2023)

What makes a great invader? Anatomical traits as predictors of locomotor performance and metabolic rate in an invasive frog.

The Journal of experimental biology pii:334726 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive species are characterized by their ability to establish and spread in a new environment. In alien populations of anurans, dispersal and fitness-related traits such as endurance, burst performance, and metabolism are keys to their success. However, few studies have investigated inter-individual variation in these traits and more specifically have attempted to understand the drivers of variation in these traits. Associations of anatomical features may be excellent predictors of variation in performance and could be targets for selection or subject to trade-offs during invasions. In this study, we used marsh frogs (Pelophylax ridibundus), a species which has been introduced in many places outside its native range and which is now colonizing large areas of Western Europe. We first measured the inter-individual variation in resting metabolism, the time and distance they were able to jump until exhaustion, and their peak jump force, and then measured the mass of specific organs and lengths of body parts suspected to play a role in locomotion and metabolism. Among the 5000 bootstraps replicates on body size corrected variables, our statistical models most often selected the stomach (75.42%), gonads (71.46%), and the kidneys (67.26%) as predictors of inter-individual variation in metabolism and the gluteus maximus muscle (97.24%) mass was the most often selected predictor of jump force. However, endurance was poorly associated with the anatomical traits (R[2]distance=0.42, R[2]time=0.37). These findings suggest that selection on these predictors may lead to physiological changes that may affect the colonization, establishment, and dispersal of these frogs.

RevDate: 2023-11-14
CmpDate: 2023-11-14

Stanczak N, Harvey MS, Harms D, et al (2023)

A new pseudoscorpion genus (Garypinoidea: Garypinidae) from the Eocene supports extinction and range contraction in the European paleobiota.

PeerJ, 11:e15989.

During the Paleogene, the Holarctic experienced drastic climatic oscillations, including periods of extensive glaciation. These changes had a severe impact on both the flora and fauna causing widespread extinction and range shifts with some taxa retreating to refugia in the Mediterranean Basin. Here we provide evidence for this hypothesis using fossils from the pseudoscorpion family Garypinidae Daday, 1889 (Arachnida: Pseudoscorpiones). This family comprises 21 extant genera from all continents except Antarctica but is restricted to low mid-latitudes (<44°N) in the Northern Hemisphere. We provide the second record of garypinids from the European succinite ambers of the Eocene by describing the first extinct genus in Garypinidae, Baltamblyolpium gen. nov., which includes two species: Baltamblyolpium gizmotum sp. nov. from Baltic amber and Baltamblyolpium grabenhorsti sp. nov. from Bitterfeld amber. The new genus exhibits a morphology that closely resembles Neoamblyolpium Hoff, 1956 from western North America and the genus Amblyolpium Simon, 1898, which is widespread but includes taxa restricted to Mediterranean refugia in Europe. The discovery of a new fossil genus of Garypinidae from Europe confirms that the family was found at more northerly latitudes during the Eocene, however, extinction and range contraction resulted in their present-day relictual distribution in southern Europe like many other lineages that once thrived in the European "Baltic amber forest" of the Eocene.

RevDate: 2023-11-12

Kang S, Kim S, Park KC, et al (2023)

Molecular evidence for multiple origins and high genetic differentiation of non-native winter crane fly, Trichocera maculipennis (Diptera: Trichoceridae), in the maritime Antarctic.

Environmental research pii:S0013-9351(23)02440-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Native biodiversity and ecosystems of Antarctica safeguarded from biological invasion face recent threats from non-native species, accelerated by increasing human activities and climate changes. Over two decades ago, the winter crane fly, Trichocera maculipennis, was first detected on King George Island. It has now successfully colonized several research stations across King George Island. To understand the origin, genetic diversity, and population structure of this Holarctic species, we conducted mitochondrial DNA cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequence analysis across both its native and invasive ranges. In parallel, we performed microsatellite loci analysis within the invasive ranges, utilizing 12 polymorphic microsatellite markers. Furthermore, we compared body sizes among adult males and females collected from three different locations of King George Island. Our COI sequence analysis exhibited two different lineages present on King George Island. Lineage I was linked to Artic Svalbard and Polish cave populations and Lineage II was related to Canadian Terra Nova National Park population, implying multiple origins. Microsatellite analysis further exhibited high levels of genetic diversity and significant levels of genetic differentiation among invasive populations. Body sizes of adult T. maculipennis were significantly different among invasive populations but were not attributed to genetics. This significant genetic diversity likely facilitated the rapid colonization and establishment of T. maculipennis on King George Island, contributing to their successful invasion. Molecular analysis results revealed a substantial amount of genetic variation within invasive populations, which can serve as management units for invasive species control. Furthermore, the genetic markers we developed in the study will be invaluable tools for tracking impending invasion events and the travel routes of new individuals. Taken together, these findings illustrate the highly invasive and adaptable characteristics of T. maculipennis. Therefore, immediate action is necessary to mitigate their ongoing invasion and facilitate their eradication.

RevDate: 2023-11-12

Macêdo RL, Haubrock PJ, Klippel G, et al (2023)

The economic costs of invasive aquatic plants: A global perspective on ecology and management gaps.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)06844-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Protecting aquatic ecosystems requires comprehensive understanding and quantification of threats posed by invasive species to inform effective management strategy. In particular, aquatic invasive plants cause profound alterations to aquatic ecosystem composition, structure and productivity, however, monetary cost assessments have lacked at large scales. Here, for the first time, we synthesize the global economic impacts of aquatic and semi-aquatic invasive plants to describe the distributions of these costs across taxa, habitat types, environments, impacted sectors, cost typologies and geographic regions. We also examine the development of recorded costs over time across linear and non-linear models and infer the geographical gaps of recorded costs by superimposing cost and species distribution data. Between 1975 and 2020, the total cost of aquatic and semi-aquatic invasive plants to the global economy exceeded US$ 32 billion, of which the majority of recorded costs (57 %) was attributable to multiple or unspecified taxa. Submerged plants had $8.4 billion (25.5 %) followed by floating plants $4.7 billion (14.5 %), emergent $684 million (2.1 %) and semi-aquatic $306 million (0.9 %). Recorded costs were disproportionately high towards freshwater ecosystems, which have received the greatest cost research effort compared to marine and brackish systems. Public and social welfare and fisheries were the sectors most affected, while agriculture and health were most underreported. Cost attributed to management (4.8 %; $1.6 billion) represented only a fraction of damages (85.8 %; $28.2 billion). While recorded costs are rising over time, reporting issues e.g., robustness of data, lack of higher taxonomic resolution and geographical gaps (costly taxa currently occupying regions where monetary cost reports are lacking despite well-known impacts) likely have led to a dampening of trajectories. More robust and timely cost estimates will enhance interpretation of current and future impacts of aquatic invasive plants, assisting the long-term sustainability of our aquatic ecosystems and associated economic activities.

RevDate: 2023-11-11

Yang S, Yang H, Xu Z, et al (2023)

Use of CMIP6 scenarios as a reference to understand the responses of macrophyte germination and seedling growth to future warming and allelopathy co-stressors.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)07091-2 [Epub ahead of print].

The application of appropriate references such as CMIP6 climate scenarios for benchmarking studies of climate change on ecosystems can promote consistency among different climate change research. However, the use of CMIP6 climate scenarios is not common among experiments on the effects of climate change on freshwater ecosystems. Also, little is known about the impact of ecological factor such as allelopathy of alien species on macrophyte germination and seedling growth under different climate scenarios. In our study, by simulating three annual mean temperature changes at global warming levels of 1.5 °C (low warming scenario), 2 °C (medium warming scenario) and 4 °C (high warming scenario) corresponding to CMIP6 multi-model mean change at the corresponding global warming level, we conducted a mesocosm experiment to investigate their possible effects of different climate scenarios and allelopathy co-stressors on macrophyte germination and seedling growth. Our study showed that three warming scenarios all can facilitate macrophyte propagule germination and seedling growth, but the effect paths vary with CMIP6 warming scenarios and there are more influence pathways under high warming scenarios than under low and medium warming scenarios. Higher aqueous extract concentrations of Eichhornia crassipes can significantly stimulate macrophyte propagule germination and seedling growth. And the medium and high warming scenarios may exacerbate the impacts of allelopathic substances on macrophyte germination and seedling growth, and their effects depend on the combination of the two stressors. These results indicated that medium- and high-temperature scenarios may have greater ecological effects on macrophytes than low-temperature scenarios. Thus, our results highlighted that future climate studies need proper benchmarks such as CMIP6 warming scenarios, because it can provide relatively more accurate and realistic simulations, valid comparative results, comprehensive understanding and supportive coordination among researchers.

RevDate: 2023-11-11

Winston M, Fuller K, Neilson BJ, et al (2023)

Complex drivers of invasive macroalgae boom and bust in Kāne'ohe Bay, Hawai'i.

Marine pollution bulletin, 197:115744 pii:S0025-326X(23)01179-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive macroalgae Eucheuma sp. and Kappaphycus spp. (E/K) became a dominant benthic feature in Kāne'ohe Bay throughout the past four decades - occurring on up to 74 ha of reef area and growing up to three meters thick, which prompted intensive management action. In 2013, E/K cover began decreasing at managed and unmanaged sites. This study examined the extent and timing of the E/K decline and evaluated environmental and ecological drivers beyond management contributing to the decline. E/K continued to recede into 2017 and remains sparse in Kāne'ohe Bay today. Increasing over the sampling period, herbivore biomass was negatively correlated with E/K cover, and other significant, non-linear relationships emerged between E/K cover and coral cover, sea surface temperature, wind, and rainfall. This study uncovers several possible mechanisms explaining a boom and bust in E/K abundance, emphasizes the importance of herbivory, and highlights the resilience of coral reefs in Kāne'ohe Bay.

RevDate: 2023-11-11

Ruiz-Velasco S, Ros M, JM Guerra-García (2023)

Estuarine versus coastal marinas: Influence of the habitat on the settlement of non-indigenous peracarids on the polychaete Sabella spallanzanii (Gmelin, 1791).

Marine pollution bulletin, 197:115740 pii:S0025-326X(23)01175-X [Epub ahead of print].

Recreational marinas are key points for the introduction and secondary spread of non-indigenous species (NIS). However, little is known about the influence of the habitat surrounding the marina on NIS communities. To explore this issue, we compared peracarid assemblages associated to the widespread ecosystem engineer Sabella spallanzanii in lower estuarine marinas (with oceanic salinity) and coastal marinas of the south of the Iberian Peninsula. Sabella spallanzanii hosted a total of 23 species, 7 of them NIS. While NIS richness was similar between marinas located in estuaries and coastal habitats, NIS abundance was significantly higher in estuarine marinas. The NIS community structure was influenced by both the marina itself and the surrounding habitat. These results suggest that lower estuarine conditions promote NIS abundance in marinas, increasing potential invasion risks. This supports prioritization of estuarine marinas in NIS monitoring programs and the suitability of S. spallanzanii as a bioinvasion monitoring tool.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Taylor M, Davison A, A Harwood (2023)

Local Ecological Learning: Creating Place-based Knowledge through Collaborative Wildlife Research on Private Lands.

Environmental management [Epub ahead of print].

Wildlife across all land tenures is under threat from anthropogenic drivers including climate change, invasive species, and habitat loss. This study focuses on private lands, where effective management for wildlife conservation requires locally relevant knowledge about wildlife populations, habitat condition, threatening ecological processes, and social drivers of and barriers to conservation. Collaborative socio-ecological research can inform wildlife management by integrating the place-based ecological and social knowledge of private landholders with the theoretical and applied knowledge of researchers and practitioners, including that of Traditional Owners. In privately-owned landscapes, landholders are often overlooked as a source of local ecological knowledge grounded in learning through continuous embodied interaction with their environment and community. Here we report on WildTracker, a transdisciplinary socio-ecological research collaboration involving 160 landholders in Tasmania, Australia. This wildlife-focused citizen science project generated and integrated local socio-ecological knowledge in the research process. The project gathered quantitative and qualitative data on wildlife ecology, land management practices, and landholder learning via wildlife cameras, sound recorders, workshops, questionnaires, and semi-structured interviews. Through this on-going collaboration, landholders, researchers, and conservation practitioners established relationships based on mutual learning, gathering and sharing knowledge, and insights about wildlife conservation. Our project documents how local ecological knowledge develops and changes through everyday processes of enquiry and interaction with other knowledge holders including researchers and conservation practitioners. Qualitative insights derived from the direct experience and citizen science practices of landholders were integrated with quantitative scientific assessments of wildlife populations and habitat condition to produce a novel model of collaborative conservation research.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Corbett JJ, GC Trussell (2023)

Local and regional geographic variation in inducible defenses.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive predators can cause substantial evolutionary change in native prey populations. Although invasions by predators typically occur over large scales, their distributions are usually characterized by substantial spatiotemporal heterogeneity that can lead to patchiness in the response of native prey species. Our ability to understand how local variation shapes patterns of inducible defense expression has thus far been limited by insufficient replication of populations within regions. Here, we examined local and regional variation in the inducible defenses of 12 native marine snail (Littorina obtusata) populations within two geographic regions in the Gulf of Maine that are characterized by vastly different contact histories with the invasive predatory green crab (Carcinus maenas). When exposed in the field to water-borne risk cues from the green crab for 90 days, snails expressed plastic increases in shell thickness that reduce their vulnerability to this shell crushing predator. Despite significant differences in contact history with this invasive predator, snail populations from both regions produced similar levels of shell thickness and shell thickness plasticity in response to risk cues. Such phenotypic similarity emerged even though there were substantial geographic differences in shell thickness of juvenile snails at the beginning of the experiment, and we suggest that it may reflect the effects of warming ocean temperatures and countergradient variation. Consistent with plasticity theory, a trend in our results suggests that southern snail populations, which have a longer contact history with the green crab, paid less in the form of reduced tissue mass for thicker shells than northern populations. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Elmore JW, Wilcox TM, Dutcher AE, et al (2023)

An inside "beak": Molecular analysis of swab samples reveals the seabird diet of invasive Barn Owls in Hawai'i.

The Journal of heredity pii:7381105 [Epub ahead of print].

Predation is an important species interaction to monitor when assessing an invasive species' impact on a particular ecosystem, but it can be difficult to observe and thus, fully understand. On Kaua'i island, invasive Barn Owls (Tyto alba) predate native seabirds, but difficult terrain in this region and the cryptic nature of owl predation make traditional monitoring of predation quite challenging. Using Barn Owls collected as part of removal efforts on Kaua'i and Lehua islands, we conducted DNA metabarcoding of owl digestive tracts to detect and determine seabird species they predate. We used a seabird-targeted 12s marker to sequence 112 swabs from 55 owls and detected six seabird species, including two ESA-listed seabirds - Hawaiian Petrel (Pterodroma sandwichensis) and Newell's Shearwater (Puffinus newelli), in 12 swabs from 11 owls (20% of sampled owls). Corresponding morphological assessment of owl stomach contents detected seabird species as prey items in only 2% (1/55) of sampled owls, highlighting the utility of molecular approaches for detecting diet items, especially degraded or visually absent items. Additionally, this approach has proven very useful in revealing cryptic trophic interactions in inaccessible seabird populations. For the most comprehensive analysis of diet, the use of both esophageal and cloacal swabs for metabarcoding is recommended. Supplementing metabarcoding with other methods that can provide complementary prey information, such as stable isotope analysis, would help to characterize trophic interactions more fully. The method described here has proven to be a reliable tool for investigating diet in invasive owls and may be used to investigate cryptic predation in living birds as a minimally invasive technique, as well.

RevDate: 2023-11-09

Palomba M, Marchiori E, Tedesco P, et al (2023)

An update and ecological perspective on certain sentinel helminth endoparasites within the Mediterranean Sea.

Parasitology pii:S0031182023000951 [Epub ahead of print].

The Mediterranean Sea is recognized as a marine biodiversity hotspot. This enclosed basin is facing several anthropogenic-driven threats, such as seawater warming, pollution, overfishing, bycatch, intense maritime transport and invasion by alien species. The present review focuses on the diversity and ecology of specific marine trophically transmitted helminth endoparasites (TTHs) of the Mediterranean ecosystems, aiming to elucidate their potential effectiveness as ‘sentinels’ of anthropogenic disturbances in the marine environment. The chosen TTHs comprise cestodes and nematodes sharing complex life cycles, involving organisms from coastal and marine mid/upper-trophic levels as definitive hosts. Anthropogenic disturbances directly impacting the free-living stages of the parasites and their host population demographies can significantly alter the distribution, infection levels and intraspecific genetic variability of these TTHs. Estimating these parameters in TTHs can provide valuable information to assess the stability of marine trophic food webs. Changes in the distribution of particular TTHs species can also serve as indicators of sea temperature variations in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the bioaccumulation of pollutants. The contribution of the chosen TTHs to monitor anthropogenic-driven changes in the Mediterranean Sea, using their measurable attributes at both spatial and temporal scales, is proposed.

RevDate: 2023-11-09

Cottier-Cook EJ, Bentley-Abbot J, Cottier FR, et al (2023)

Horizon scanning of potential threats to high-Arctic biodiversity, human health and the economy from marine invasive alien species: A Svalbard case study.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

The high Arctic is considered a pristine environment compared with many other regions in the northern hemisphere. It is becoming increasingly vulnerable to invasion by invasive alien species (IAS), however, as climate change leads to rapid loss of sea ice, changes in ocean temperature and salinity, and enhanced human activities. These changes are likely to increase the incidence of arrival and the potential for establishment of IAS in the region. To predict the impact of IAS, a group of experts in taxonomy, invasion biology and Arctic ecology carried out a horizon scanning exercise using the Svalbard archipelago as a case study, to identify the species that present the highest risk to biodiversity, human health and the economy within the next 10 years. A total of 114 species, currently absent from Svalbard, recorded once and/or identified only from environmental DNA samples, were initially identified as relevant for review. Seven species were found to present a high invasion risk and to potentially cause a significant negative impact on biodiversity and five species had the potential to have an economic impact on Svalbard. Decapod crabs, ascidians and barnacles dominated the list of highest risk marine IAS. Potential pathways of invasion were also researched, the most common were found associated with vessel traffic. We recommend (i) use of this approach as a key tool within the application of biosecurity measures in the wider high Arctic, (ii) the addition of this tool to early warning systems for strengthening existing surveillance measures; and (iii) that this approach is used to identify high-risk terrestrial and freshwater IAS to understand the overall threat facing the high Arctic. Without the application of biosecurity measures, including horizon scanning, there is a greater risk that marine IAS invasions will increase, leading to unforeseen changes in the environment and economy of the high Arctic.

RevDate: 2023-11-10

Li Y, FH Yu (2023)

Managing the risk of biological invasions.

iScience, 26(11):108221.

The large environmental impacts and enormous economic costs caused by biological invasions provide a strong impetus for managing invasion risks. Understanding the factors driving the invasion process and their consequences will raise awareness of invasions among the general public, stakeholders, and policymakers and inform effective management strategies. The identification of priority species and introduction pathways and sites and the development of national capabilities for prevention and preparedness, early detection, monitoring, and rapid response will reduce the impacts of invasive species in terms of effectiveness and cost efficiency.

RevDate: 2023-11-09

Harvey E, Mifsud JCO, Holmes EC, et al (2023)

Divergent hepaciviruses, delta-like viruses, and a chu-like virus in Australian marsupial carnivores (dasyurids).

Virus evolution, 9(2):vead061.

Although Australian marsupials are characterised by unique biology and geographic isolation, little is known about the viruses present in these iconic wildlife species. The Dasyuromorphia are an order of marsupial carnivores found only in Australia that include both the extinct Tasmanian tiger (thylacine) and the highly threatened Tasmanian devil. Several other members of the order are similarly under threat of extinction due to habitat loss, hunting, disease, and competition and predation by introduced species such as feral cats. We utilised publicly available RNA-seq data from the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) Sequence Read Archive (SRA) database to document the viral diversity within four Dasyuromorph species. Accordingly, we identified fifteen novel virus sequences from five DNA virus families (Adenoviridae, Anelloviridae, Gammaherpesvirinae, Papillomaviridae, and Polyomaviridae) and three RNA virus taxa: the order Jingchuvirales, the genus Hepacivirus, and the delta-like virus group. Of particular note was the identification of a marsupial-specific clade of delta-like viruses that may indicate an association of deltaviruses with marsupial species. In addition, we identified a highly divergent hepacivirus in a numbat liver transcriptome that falls outside of the larger mammalian clade. We also detect what may be the first Jingchuvirales virus in a mammalian host-a chu-like virus in Tasmanian devils-thereby expanding the host range beyond invertebrates and ectothermic vertebrates. As many of these Dasyuromorphia species are currently being used in translocation efforts to reseed populations across Australia, understanding their virome is of key importance to prevent the spread of viruses to naive populations.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Liu S, Huang X, Bin Z, et al (2023)

Wild edible plants and their cultural significance among the Zhuang ethnic group in Fangchenggang, Guangxi, China.

Journal of ethnobiology and ethnomedicine, 19(1):52.

INTRODUCTION: Fangchenggang is situated in the Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, China, renowned for its rich biodiversity and ethnically diverse population. The Zhuang people, constituting the largest minority group in the area, possess a wealth of traditional knowledge concerning wild edible plants (WEPs) owing to the region's favorable environment and dietary customs. With the rapid development of urbanization, tourism, and trade, the Zhuang people's food culture, including the consumption of wild edible plants, has become an attractive aspect of urban development. However, there is almost no comprehensive report available on WEPs consumed by the Zhuang people. The objectives of this study were to: (1) conduct a comprehensive ethnobotanical investigation of the WEPs among the Zhuang people in the region; (2) evaluate the cultural food significance index (CFSI) for the local communities; (3) summarize the cultural characteristics of the wild edible plants consumed, providing scientific support for the development of Fangchenggang as a sustainable and attractive tourism destination.

METHODS: Ethnobotanical investigation including market surveys, semi-structured interviews, key informant interviews and participatory observations was conducted in Fangchenggang from January 2021 to March 2023. A total of 137 informants were selected using the snowball method. Information about WEPs, including vernacular names, food categories, parts used, mode of consumption, collecting season, and recipes, was collected and recorded. The CFSI (cultural food significance index) was calculated to identify the most culturally significant WEPs.

RESULTS: A total of 163 species of wild edible plants consumed by the Zhuang people were identified, belonging to 67 families. The main categories of WEPs include wild vegetables (69) and tea substitutes (42). The most commonly consumed parts are fruits (37), followed by whole plants (33) and leaves (21), with herbaceous plants (74) being the most numerous. The availability of wild edible plants remains high throughout the year, with the peak seasons occurring in August and October, and significant abundance also noted in July and November. In the highly significant category (CFSI > 500), a total of 15 plant species were identified, which play a crucial role in the local diet. Additionally, 17 alien species have become part of the local consumption of wild plants, with 7 species listed as invasive alien species. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: This study documented 163 wild edible plant species and their associated traditional knowledge of the Zhuang people. The research identified culturally significant WEPs and analyzed their multiple uses. The historical development of wild plant consumption in Fangchenggang showed the strong influence of natural and social environments on the Zhuang ethnic group's dietary traditions. The WEPs are characterized by "sour food", "fresh ingredients" and "cold dishes", aligning with their health-oriented philosophy of "homology of medicine and food". Future prospects encompass the cultivation of economically sustainable wild edible plants (WEPs), the preservation of their traits through cross-breeding, ensuring safe consumption through research and safety evaluations, and advocating for the preservation of WEPs' culinary culture to support tourism and sustainable urban development.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Thomas SM (2023)

Invasive alien species: a rising global threat that needs control.

The Lancet. Planetary health, 7(11):e875-e876.

RevDate: 2023-11-08

Song J, Beule L, Jongmans-Hochschulz E, et al (2022)

The travelling particles: community dynamics of biofilms on microplastics transferred along a salinity gradient.

ISME communications, 2(1):35.

Microplastics (MP), as novel substrata for microbial colonization within aquatic ecosystems, are a matter of growing concern due to their potential to propagate foreign or invasive species across different environments. MP are known to harbour a diversity of microorganisms, yet little is understood of the dynamics of their biofilms and their capacity to successfully displace these microorganisms across different aquatic ecosystems typically marked by steep salinity gradients. To address this, we performed an in situ sequential incubation experiment to simulate MP transport from riverine to coastal seawaters using synthetic (high-density polyethylene, HDPE and tyre wear, TW) and natural (Wood) substrata. Bacterial communities on incubated particles were compared to each other as well as to those in surrounding waters, and their dynamics along the gradient investigated. All communities differed significantly from each other in their overall structure along the salinity gradient and were shaped by different ecological processes. While HDPE communities were governed by environmental selection, those on TW and Wood were dominated by stochastic events of dispersal and drift. Upon transfer into coastal seawaters, an almost complete turnover was observed among HDPE and TW communities. While synthetic particles displaced a minor proportion of communities across the salinity gradient, some of these comprised putatively pathogenic and resistant taxa. Our findings present an extensive assessment of MP biofilms and their dynamics upon displacement across different aquatic systems, presenting new insights into the role of MP as transport vectors.

RevDate: 2023-11-07

Kang Y, Wu H, Guan Q, et al (2023)

Responses of soil greenhouse gas emissions to soil mesofauna invasions and its driving mechanisms in the alpine tundra: A microcosm study.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)06882-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Climate change is resulting in significant modifications of the altitudinal patterns of soil fauna in mountains, leading to their upward invasion and alteration of soil ecological processes. However, the effects of soil greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from soil mesofauna invasion and their driving mechanisms have not been clearly understood. To address this knowledge gap, we simulated a soil mesofauna invasion from an Erman's birch forest (EB) to the alpine tundra (AT) of the Changbai Mountain in Northeast China. Four treatments were established: no soil mesofauna (S0), native species (SN), invasive species (SI), and invasive species superposed native species (SS). We conducted a 79-day microcosm experiment, utilizing gas chromatography and high-throughput sequencing, to explore the variations in soil greenhouse gas emissions and their driving factors. Results showed that the cumulative CO2 emissions under SN, SI, and SS, compared with S0, increased by 34.14 %, 73.93 %, and 107.64 % and cumulative N2O emissions increased by 59.05 %, 101.18 %, and 183.88 %, respectively. Compared to SN, the cumulative emissions of CO2 and N2O increased by 29.89 % and 26.31 % under SI and by 42.28 % and 78.59 % under SS, respectively. The impacts of invasive species and native species on greenhouse gases were not a simple additive effect. Abiotic (soil variables) and biotic (soil mesofauna and microbial diversity) factors explained 37.76 % and 44.41 % of the total variations in CO2 and N2O emissions, respectively, in which NH4[+]-N and C: N ratios contributed the largest variations. The contribution of soil mesofauna diversity to the variations in CO2 and N2O emissions was higher than that of microbial diversity. The bacterial network graph density was correlated with soil CO2 and N2O emissions. Our findings highlight that soil mesofauna invasions increased GHG emissions, and these variations were predominantly explained by biotic rather than abiotic factors.

RevDate: 2023-11-07

Hofmeister NR, Stuart KC, Warren WC, et al (2023)

Concurrent invasions of European starlings in Australia and North America reveal population-specific differentiation in shared genomic regions.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

A species' success during the invasion of new areas hinges on an interplay between the demographic processes common to invasions and the specific ecological context of the novel environment. Evolutionary genetic studies of invasive species can investigate how genetic bottlenecks and ecological conditions shape genetic variation in invasions, and our study pairs two invasive populations that are hypothesized to be from the same source population to compare how each population evolved during and after introduction. Invasive European starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) established populations in both Australia and North America in the 19th century. Here, we compare whole-genome sequences among native and independently introduced European starling populations to determine how demographic processes interact with rapid evolution to generate similar genetic patterns in these recent and replicated invasions. Demographic models indicate that both invasive populations experienced genetic bottlenecks as expected based on invasion history, and we find that specific genomic regions have differentiated even on this short evolutionary timescale. Despite genetic bottlenecks, we suggest that genetic drift alone cannot explain differentiation in at least two of these regions. The demographic boom intrinsic to many invasions as well as potential inversions may have led to high population-specific differentiation, although the patterns of genetic variation are also consistent with the hypothesis that this infamous and highly mobile invader adapted to novel selection (e.g., extrinsic factors). We use targeted sampling of replicated invasions to identify and evaluate support for multiple, interacting evolutionary mechanisms that lead to differentiation during the invasion process.

RevDate: 2023-11-06

Guastella R, Evans J, Mancin N, et al (2023)

Assessing the effect of Amphistegina lobifera invasion on infralittoral benthic foraminiferal assemblages in the Sicily Channel (Central Mediterranean).

Marine environmental research, 192:106247 pii:S0141-1136(23)00375-6 [Epub ahead of print].

This article documents, through a quantitative approach, the negative effect of the highly invasive species Amphistegina lobifera Larsen, 1976 on native benthic foraminiferal assemblages of coastal areas in the Sicily Channel (Central Mediterranean). A nested sampling design was applied through the comparison of benthic foraminiferal community structure across three areas that are known to be at different stages of invasion (i.e. Maltese Islands - advanced, southern Sicily - medium, and eastern Sicily - early). Results suggested that both diversity and richness of benthic foraminiferal community from the Maltese Islands were strongly modified by increased abundances of A. lobifera. In contrast, this phenomenon is less evident in southern and eastern Sicily, where the invader displayed lower abundances and the community structure was more diversified. Collected data also allowed for predicting what could happen in the near future in the whole Sicily Channel, as well as in the rest of the Mediterranean Sea.

RevDate: 2023-11-06

Elsensohn JE, Nixon LJ, Kloos A, et al (2023)

Development and survivorship of Lycorma delicatula (Hemiptera: Fulgoridae) on cultivated and native Vitis spp. (Vitales: Vitaceae) of the Eastern United States.

Journal of economic entomology pii:7336857 [Epub ahead of print].

As Lycorma delicatula (White) continues to spread across the United States, more winegrapes are potentially susceptible to damage from this pest. Lycorma delicatula, spotted lanternfly, is primarily associated with Ailanthus altissima (Mill.) Swingle, a tree from its native range that is now globally distributed. While L. delicatula is a known pest of cultivated Vitis spp. in South Korea, its relationship with the specific grape species grown in the United States is unclear. This study assessed L. delicatula survivorship and development on 5 Vitis species, including 2 winegrape V. vinifera L. varieties, 'Pinot Noir' and 'Chardonnay', Concord grape, Vitis labrusca L., River grape, Vitis riparia Michx., and muscadine grape, Vitis rotundifolia Michx. var. 'Carlos'. A diet of A. altissima served as a positive control. Lycorma delicatula provided with a diet of V. riparia or V. vinifera 'Pinot Noir' yielded the highest survivorship and fastest rates of development among grape diets and were statistically equivalent to those provided with A. altissima. Vitis rotundifolia did not support L. delicatula growth past the third-instar life stage, indicating this species is a poor host for the early development of this pest. Our results indicate that both V. riparia and V. vinifera are favorable hosts for L. delicatula and may provide the means for this insect to invade and establish in new regions.

RevDate: 2023-11-07
CmpDate: 2023-11-07

Shan L, Oduor AMO, Y Liu (2023)

Herbivory and elevated levels of CO2 and nutrients separately, rather than synergistically, impacted biomass production and allocation in invasive and native plant species.

Global change biology, 29(23):6741-6755.

Large parts of the Earth are experiencing environmental change caused by alien plant invasions, rising atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2), and nutrient enrichments. Elevated CO2 and nutrient concentrations can separately favour growth of invasive plants over that of natives but how herbivory may modulate the magnitude and direction of net responses by the two groups of plants to simultaneous CO2 and nutrient enrichments remains unknown. In line with the enemy release hypothesis, invasive plant species should reallocate metabolites from costly anti-herbivore defences into greater growth following escape from intense herbivory in the native range. Therefore, invasive plants should have greater growth than native plants under simultaneous CO2 and nutrient enrichments in the absence of herbivory. To test this prediction, we grew nine congeneric pairs of invasive and native plant species that naturally co-occurred in grasslands in China under two levels each of nutrient enrichment (low-nutrient vs. high-nutrient), herbivory (with herbivory vs. without herbivory) and under ambient (412.9 ± 0.6 ppm) and elevated (790.1 ± 6.2 ppm) levels of CO2 concentrations in open top chambers in a common garden. Elevated CO2 and nutrient enrichment separately increased total plant biomass, while herbivory reduced it regardless of the plant invasive status. High-nutrient treatment caused the plants to allocate a significantly lower proportion of total biomass to roots, while herbivory induced an opposite pattern. Herbivory suppressed total biomass production more strongly in native plants than invasive plants. The plants exhibited significant interspecific and intergeneric variation in their responses to the various treatment combinations. Overall, these results suggest that elevated CO2 and nutrients and herbivory may separately, rather than synergistically, impact productivity of the invasive and co-occurring native plant species in our study system. Moreover, interspecific variation in resource-use strategies was more important than invasive status in determining plant responses to the various treatment combinations.

RevDate: 2023-11-07
CmpDate: 2023-11-07

Puppato S, Fiorenza G, Carraretto D, et al (2023)

High promiscuity among females of the invasive pest species Drosophila suzukii.

Molecular ecology, 32(22):6018-6026.

Drosophila suzukii (Matsumura, 1931), the spotted-wing drosophila, is a highly invasive fruit fly that spread from Southern Asia across most regions of Asia and, in the last 15 years, has invaded Europe and the Americas. It is an economically important pest of small fruits such as berries and stone fruits. Drosophila suzukii speciated by adapting to cooler, mountainous, and forest environments. In temperate regions, it evolved seasonal polyphenism traits which enhanced its survival during stressful winter population bottlenecks. Consequently, in these temperate regions, the populations undergo seasonal reproductive dynamics. Despite its economic importance, no data are available on the behavioural reproductive strategies of this fly. The presence of polyandry, for example, has not been determined despite the important role it might play in the reproductive dynamics of populations. We explored the presence of polyandry in an established population in Trentino, a region in northern Italy. In this area, D. suzukii overcomes the winter bottleneck and undergoes a seasonal reproductive fluctuation. We observed a high remating frequency in females during the late spring demographic explosion that led to the abundant summer population. The presence of a high degree of polyandry and shared paternity associated with the post-winter population increase raises the question of the possible evolutionary adaptive role of this reproductive behaviour in D. suzukii.

RevDate: 2023-11-06

Naik AT, Kamensky KM, Hellum AM, et al (2023)

Disturbance frequency directs microbial community succession in marine biofilms exposed to shear.

mSphere [Epub ahead of print].

Marine biofilm growth poses significant challenges across marine industries ("biofouling"). Understanding the microbial communities involved in biofouling processes is crucial for developing effective mitigation strategies. These communities experience strong disturbances under antifouling pressure, the implications of which must be considered when developing new technologies due to their potential to alter succession, invertebrate settlement, and invasive species establishment risk. We leveraged the development of a shear-based antifouling technique to examine marine biofilm community assembly and stability under disturbance. The influence of repeated underwater shear on microbial community succession and biofilm matrix stability was assessed over 37 days on uncoated and "foul release" paint-coated surfaces. Foul-release coating decreased matrix biomass, and uncoated and coated surfaces hosted different biofilm communities with converging bacterial compositions and diverging eukaryotic compositions over time. On both surfaces, highly frequent shear strongly shifted the community composition and enriched several shear-tolerant bacteria, diatoms, green algae, and ciliates. Infrequent shear decreased matrix biomass, resulted in weaker compositional shifts and fewer enriched taxa, and additionally prevented macrofouling growth when combined with foul-release coating. A cross-domain co-occurrence network revealed mostly positive correlations persisting through the disturbance continuum and identified the diatom Melosira as a highly connected genus. Infrequent shear on anti-biofouling paint-coated surfaces was the most effective biofilm removal strategy, demonstrating that longer recovery periods enabled continued biomass removal and fewer shear-tolerant taxa. The results support the idea that variability in the frequency of a stress disturbance can significantly alter microbial community succession and biomass stability in marine biofilms, resulting in a varied potential for species invasiveness. IMPORTANCE Disturbances are major drivers of community succession in many microbial systems; however, relatively little is known about marine biofilm community succession, especially under antifouling disturbance. Antifouling technologies exert strong local disturbances on marine biofilms, and resulting biomass losses can be accompanied by shifts in biofilm community composition and succession. We address this gap in knowledge by bridging microbial ecology with antifouling technology development. We show that disturbance by shear can strongly alter marine biofilm community succession, acting as a selective filter influenced by frequency of exposure. Examining marine biofilm succession patterns with and without shear revealed stable associations between key prokaryotic and eukaryotic taxa, highlighting the importance of cross-domain assessment in future marine biofilm research. Describing how compounded top-down and bottom-up disturbances shape the succession of marine biofilms is valuable for understanding the assembly and stability of these complex microbial communities and predicting species invasiveness.

RevDate: 2023-11-03

Gorule PA, Šmejkal M, Tapkir S, et al (2023)

Long-term sublethal exposure to polyethylene and tire wear particles: Effects on risk-taking behaviour in invasive and native fish.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(23)06860-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Anthropogenic polymer particulates pollute even the most remote ecosystems and may compromise the behaviour and movement skills of organisms. It is expected that invasive species cope better with pollution than native species (i.e., pollution resistance hypothesis). In this study, invasive gibel carp (Carassius gibelio) and native crucian carp (Carassius carassius) were used as model organisms. Specimens were fed daily with food pellets (1 % body weight) added with 0.1 % polyethylene (PE), tire wear particles (TWPs) and control. Their behavioural parameters were compared before and after 14 and 60 days of exposure. Additionally, we evaluated burst swimming capacity after 60 days of exposure to the treatments. The fishes exposed to the PE and TWPs treatments showed significant trends toward increased boldness scores and, in the PE treatment, higher utilization of the open field, and both behavioural changes are associated with higher risk-taking. Invasive gibel carp had substantially better swimming performance than crucian carp, but the expected trend in relation to the treatments was not found. Fish exposed to sublethal doses of PE and TWPs showed signs of behavioural changes after two months of exposure that may affect risk-taking behaviour, which might impact species interactions with predators.

RevDate: 2023-11-03

Seidl CM, Ferreira FC, Parise KL, et al (2023)

Linking avian malaria parasitemia estimates from quantitative PCR and microscopy reveals new infection patterns in Hawai'i.

International journal for parasitology pii:S0020-7519(23)00204-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Plasmodium parasites infect thousands of species and provide an exceptional system for studying host-pathogen dynamics, especially for multi-host pathogens. However, understanding these interactions requires an accurate assay of infection. Assessing Plasmodium infections using microscopy on blood smears often misses infections with low parasitemias (the fractions of cells infected), and biases in malaria prevalence estimates will differ among hosts that differ in mean parasitemias. We examined Plasmodium relictum infection and parasitemia using both microscopy of blood smears and quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) on 299 samples from multiple bird species in Hawai'i and fit models to predict parasitemias from qPCR cycle threshold (Ct) values. We used these models to quantify the extent to which microscopy underestimated infection prevalence and to more accurately estimate infection patterns for each species for a large historical study done by microscopy. We found that most qPCR-positive wild-caught birds in Hawaii had low parasitemias (Ct scores ≥ 35), which were rarely detected by microscopy. The fraction of infections missed by microscopy differed substantially among eight species due to differences in species' parasitemia levels. Infection prevalence was likely 4-5-fold higher than previous microscopy estimates for three introduced species, including Zosterops japonicus, Hawaii's most abundant forest bird, which had low average parasitemias. In contrast, prevalence was likely only 1.5-2.3-fold higher than previous estimates for Himatione sanguinea and Chlorodrepanis virens, two native species with high average parasitemias. Our results indicate that relative patterns of infection among species differ substantially from those observed in previous microscopy studies, and that differences depend on variation in parasitemias among species. Although microscopy of blood smears is useful for estimating the frequency of different Plasmodium stages and host attributes, more sensitive quantitative methods, including qPCR, are needed to accurately estimate and compare infection prevalence among host species.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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


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This is a must read book for anyone with an interest in invasion biology. The full title of the book lays out the author's premise — The New Wild: Why Invasive Species Will Be Nature's Salvation. Not only is species movement not bad for ecosystems, it is the way that ecosystems respond to perturbation — it is the way ecosystems heal. Even if you are one of those who is absolutely convinced that invasive species are actually "a blight, pollution, an epidemic, or a cancer on nature", you should read this book to clarify your own thinking. True scientific understanding never comes from just interacting with those with whom you already agree. R. Robbins

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
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 )