Viewport Size Code:
Login | Create New Account


About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot

About | Classical Genetics | Timelines | What's New | What's Hot


Bibliography Options Menu

Hide Abstracts   |   Hide Additional Links
Long bibliographies are displayed in blocks of 100 citations at a time. At the end of each block there is an option to load the next block.

Bibliography on: Invasive Species

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


ESP: PubMed Auto Bibliography 05 Jun 2020 at 01:43 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: 2020-06-04

Kim JY, J Nishihiro (2020)

Responses of lake macrophyte species and functional traits to climate and land use changes.

The Science of the total environment, 736:139628 pii:S0048-9697(20)33148-X [Epub ahead of print].

Aquatic plants are essential components in the regulation of microhabitat complexity and physico-chemical parameters in lake ecosystems. Increased eutrophication, land use change, modification of hydrological regimes, and expansion of invasive species are expected to impact aquatic plant community composition; however, historical pathways and response patterns are not well understood at the national scale. We analyzed temporal changes in aquatic plant communities in Japan from the early 1900s to the 2000s using field survey records from 248 lakes. Relationships of species associations with climate, land use, and lake characteristics were described using a joint species distribution model. The mean variation attributable to lake characteristics was 25.4%, followed by climate (14.0%), and land use (10.5%). Among the 13 functional traits used in our analysis, sexual and pollination traits showed marked responses to precipitation and land use. Hypohydrophily increased with precipitation, whereas monoecious aquatic plants increased in lakes surrounded by urbanized area. The relative ratio of floating to submerged plants has increased over time. Our results provide insight into long-term changes in aquatic plant communities and identify functional traits sensitive to environmental change.

RevDate: 2020-06-04

Hanson HE, Koussayer B, Kilvitis HJ, et al (2020)

Epigenetic Potential in Native and Introduced Populations of House Sparrows (Passer domesticus).

Integrative and comparative biology pii:5851429 [Epub ahead of print].

Epigenetic potential, defined as the capacity for epigenetically-mediated phenotypic plasticity, may play an important role during range expansions. During range expansions, populations may encounter relatively novel challenges while experiencing lower genetic diversity. Phenotypic plasticity via epigenetic potential might be selectively advantageous at the time of initial introduction or during spread into new areas, enabling introduced organisms to cope rapidly with novel challenges. Here, we asked whether one form of epigenetic potential (i.e. the abundance of CpG sites) in three microbial surveillance genes: Toll-like Receptors 1B (TLR1B), 2A (TLR2A), and 4 (TLR4) varied between native and introduced house sparrows (Passer domesticus). Using an opportunistic approach based on samples collected from sparrow populations around the world, we found that introduced birds had more CpG sites in TLR2A and TLR4, but not TLR1B, than native ones. Introduced birds also lost more CpG sites in TLR1B, gained more CpG sites in TLR2A, and lost fewer CpG sites in TLR4 compared to native birds. These results were not driven by differences in genetic diversity or population genetic structure, and many CpG sites fell within predicted transcription factor binding sites (TFBS), with losses and gains of CpG sites altering predicted TFBS. Although we lacked statistical power to conduct the most rigorous possible analyses, these results suggest that epigenetic potential may play a role in house sparrow range expansions, but additional work will be critical to elucidating how epigenetic potential affects gene expression and hence phenotypic plasticity at the individual, population, and species levels.

RevDate: 2020-06-04

Heddergott M, Frantz AC, Pohl D, et al (2020)

Detection of Cryptosporidium spp. Infection in Wild Raccoons (Procyon lotor) from Luxembourg Using an ELISA Approach.

Acta parasitologica pii:10.2478/s11686-020-00234-x [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Cryptosporidium spp. are protozoan parasites that cause enteric infection in a wide range of mammals, including humans. The raccoon (Procyon lotor) is an invasive species in many parts of the world and studies have shown that they can be infected with Cryptosporidium spp. both outside and in their original distribution area. The aim of the present study was to determine the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. antigens in the faeces of raccoons in Luxembourg.

METHODS: Using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), we tested 81 faeces samples, collected between 2014 and 2018, for the presence of Cryptosporidium spp. coproantigens. Samples with an optical density equal to or greater than 0.15% were considered positive.

RESULTS: Antigens were detected in 12.35% (10/81; 95% CI 6.68-21.26) of the tested samples. There was no significant difference in the prevalence of Cryptosporidium spp. infection between the sexes and age categories. Cryptosporidium spp.-positive raccoons were found in 7 of the 12 Luxembourg administrative districts (Clervaux, Diekirch, Echternach, Mersch, Remich, Vianden and Wiltz).

CONCLUSION: The results show that Cryptosporidium infections are not uncommon in Luxembourg raccoons and suggest possible transmission of Cryptosporidium by raccoons.

RevDate: 2020-06-04

Palit P, Kudapa H, Zougmore R, et al (2020)

An integrated research framework combining genomics, systems biology, physiology, modelling and breeding for legume improvement in response to elevated CO2 under climate change scenario.

Current plant biology, 22:100149.

How unprecedented changes in climatic conditions will impact yield and productivity of some crops and their response to existing stresses, abiotic and biotic interactions is a key global concern. Climate change can also alter natural species' abundance and distribution or favor invasive species, which in turn can modify ecosystem dynamics and the provisioning of ecosystem services. Basic anatomical differences in C3 and C4 plants lead to their varied responses to climate variations. In plants having a C3 pathway of photosynthesis, increased atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) positively regulates photosynthetic carbon (C) assimilation and depresses photorespiration. Legumes being C3 plants, they may be in a favorable position to increase biomass and yield through various strategies. This paper comprehensively presents recent progress made in the physiological and molecular attributes in plants with special emphasis on legumes under elevated CO2 conditions in a climate change scenario. A strategic research framework for future action integrating genomics, systems biology, physiology and crop modelling approaches to cope with changing climate is also discussed. Advances in sequencing and phenotyping methodologies make it possible to use vast genetic and genomic resources by deploying high resolution phenotyping coupled with high throughput multi-omics approaches for trait improvement. Integrated crop modelling studies focusing on farming systems design and management, prediction of climate impacts and disease forecasting may also help in planning adaptation. Hence, an integrated research framework combining genomics, plant molecular physiology, crop breeding, systems biology and integrated crop-soil-climate modelling will be very effective to cope with climate change.

RevDate: 2020-06-04
CmpDate: 2020-06-04

Urcelay C, AT Austin (2020)

Exotic plants get a little help from their friends.

Science (New York, N.Y.), 368(6494):934-936.

RevDate: 2020-06-04
CmpDate: 2020-06-04

Czortek P, Królak E, Borkowska L, et al (2020)

Impacts of soil properties and functional diversity on the performance of invasive plant species Solidago canadensis L. on post-agricultural wastelands.

The Science of the total environment, 729:139077.

Amongst the numerous consequences of the rapid development of agriculture and urbanization, biological invasions are highlighted as having the biggest impact on the functioning of ecosystems. One of the alien plant species, considered in Europe and Asia to be highly invasive, is Solidago canadensis L.; and its impact on the functioning of ecosystems has been studied in numerous respects. However, knowledge about how the physico-chemical parameters of soils and biotic interactions between species shape the performance of S. canadensis in a transformed landscape is still insufficient. The aim of this study was to assess how complex soil abiotic conditions and the functional diversity of co-occurring vegetation shape the performance of S. canadensis on the wastelands abandoned by agriculture. Apart from detailed investigations of soil properties and S. canadensis biomass, to achieve our study aims, we used parameters of functional diversity, which allowed us to identify the main ecological processes determining the community assembly processes. Under higher contents of loamy fractions in soil, but lower functional richness in surroundings, S. canadensis achieved larger cover. Alongside increasing functional richness and dispersion in co-occurring vegetation, this species has demonstrated sturdy attributes when competing for water and nutrients, expressed by a higher production of rhizomes and roots. Under elevated zinc and lead levels, as well as higher functional evenness in the surroundings, the flower biomass decreased, while the biomass of stems increased. Thus, S. canadensis exhibits a highly adaptive capacity to grow in soils contaminated by heavy metals, due to the buffer properties and life strategies allowing the use of resources absorbed in loamy soils. Environmental factors seem to be more responsible for the shaping of the performance and for the colonization success of S. canadensis than biotic interactions with plants occurring in the surroundings.

RevDate: 2020-06-04
CmpDate: 2020-06-04

Zhao L, Liang J, Liang J, et al (2020)

Experimental study of transgenerational effects, pH and predation risk on byssus production in a swiftly spreading invasive fouling Asian mussel, Musculista senhousia (Benson).

Environmental pollution (Barking, Essex : 1987), 260:114111.

Marine biofouling by the highly invasive Asian date mussel, Musculista senhousia (Benson), has caused devastating ecological and economic consequences in most coastal seas. Acute and short-term exposure experiments have demonstrated the susceptibility of mussel byssus - a holdfast structure by which mussels strongly adhere to underwater substrates, to pH. Yet, the influence of long-term exposures, especially across multiple generations, is largely unknown. Here, we evaluated transgenerational effects of pH on byssal threads secreted by M. senhousia, and compared byssus performance in absence versus presence of predators. If no predation occurred, neither pH nor transgenerational exposure significantly affected the number, length and diameter of byssal threads. Under predation risk, mussels, even exposed to low pH, significantly enhanced byssus production. In particular, individuals originating from parents grown under low conditions produced significantly more, longer and stronger byssal threads compared with those spawn from parents exposed to high pH, demonstrating positive transgenerational effects which can confer mussel byssus resilience at low pH. Given the energetically expensive nature of byssus production, these observations can be in line with previously documented plasticity of energy metabolism arose following transgenerational exposure to low pH, which allows mussels to allocate more energy to fulfill the synthesis and secretion of byssal proteins. Our findings demonstrate the remarkable ability of highly invasive fouling mussel species to respond plastically and adapt behaviorally to low pH and hence provide important implications for linking marine biofouling, biological invasion, and coastal acidification.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Portilla MA, SP Lawler (2020)

Herbicide treatment alters the effects of water hyacinth on larval mosquito abundance.

Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology, 45(1):69-81.

Invasive aquatic weeds are managed with herbicides to reduce their negative impacts on waterways in many areas, including the California Delta Region. Herbicides create a dynamic environment of living and decomposing plant matter that could affect larval mosquitoes and other invertebrates, such as their predators and competitors. Our objective was to compare the number of larval mosquitoes in water or water hyacinth, before and after an herbicide treatment. We created replicated pond mesocosms with water hyacinth, water hyacinth treated with glyphosate and an oil adjuvant, open water, and water with glyphosate plus adjuvant. We sampled for larval mosquitoes and other aquatic invertebrates. Before herbicide addition, there was a trend for more larval mosquitoes in open water tanks than in tanks with water hyacinth. Herbicide application resulted in an immediate decrease of larval mosquitoes. As decay progressed, larval mosquitoes became most abundant in mesocosms with herbicide-treated hyacinth and very few larval mosquitoes were found in other habitat treatments. Although the numbers of predatory and competitor insects had some variation between treatments, no clear pattern emerged. This information on how invasive weed management with herbicides affects larval mosquitoes will allow control practices for larval mosquitoes and invasive weeds to be better integrated.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Merdić E, Klobučar A, Žitko T, et al (2020)

Updated checklist of the mosquitoes (Diptera: Culicidae) of Croatia.

Journal of vector ecology : journal of the Society for Vector Ecology, 45(1):135-139.

Improvement of morphological and molecular identification methods allows the detection of new species of mosquitoes. The mosquito fauna of Croatia currently includes 52 species, belonging to eight genera, including Anopheles (12 species), Aedes (24 species), Coquillettidia (one species), Culex (seven species), Culiseta (six species), Orthopodomyia (one species), and Uranotaenia (one species). This is an updated checklist, which includes five new species found in Croatian mosquito fauna. Two of these are invasive mosquito species, Aedes albopictus (Skuse, 1895) and Aedes japonicus (Theobald 1901), which are spreading across Europe and Croatia. The other three species, Culex laticinctus (Edwards 1913), Culex torrentium (Martini 1925), and Anopheles daciae (Linton, Nicolescu & Harbach 2004) are autochthonous species which haven't been recorded so far. Since there are several more invasive species spreading across Europe, we assume that this is not the final list.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Ben-Moshe N, T Iwamura (2020)

Shelter availability and human attitudes as drivers of rock hyrax (Procavia capensis) expansion along a rural-urban gradient.

Ecology and evolution, 10(9):4044-4065 pii:ECE36174.

While anthropogenic land-use changes threaten wildlife globally, some species take advantage of such changes and disperse into urban areas. The wildlife in urban areas often promotes conflicts with humans, notably when the animals are associated with the spread of zoonotic diseases. In Israel, current urban invasion of rock hyraxes (Procavia capensis) draws public attention, since the species is a reservoir host of cutaneous leishmaniasis, a serious skin disease. The rock hyrax, however, has seldom been studied in densely populated areas, and the drivers for its urban expansion, as well as its abilities to live and spread in core urban areas, are relatively unknown. Here, we explore the rock hyrax expansion to urban areas process by examining the availability, characteristics and use of shelter along an urban gradient. Our findings suggest that a series of factors determines shelter availability and quality for the rock hyrax, which facilitates its dispersion across the urban gradient. We found that rock hyraxes from the Judean Desert expand to the peri-urban region of Jerusalem by colonizing new rocky shelters formed as by-products of urban development. With their populations reaching extreme densities in this area and saturating the available shelters, there is some spill over to the adjacent core urban areas where they colonize littered sites, which are made available due to the local socio-economic conditions and cultural norms of waste disposal and illegal placement of temporary structures. Our work emphasizes the significance of the urban gradient approach for studying the mechanisms promoting wildlife expansion to cities. Our findings suggest that changes in shelter availability and quality due to urban development, and cultural norms promote shifts of the hyrax population by pushing from the already established areas and pulling into new environment across the urban gradient.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Pipek P, Blackburn TM, Delean S, et al (2020)

Lasting the distance: The survival of alien birds shipped to New Zealand in the 19th century.

Ecology and evolution, 10(9):3944-3953 pii:ECE36143.

Invasive alien species are a major threat to biodiversity and human activities, providing a strong incentive to understand the processes by which alien invasion occurs. While it is important to understand the determinants of success at each of several invasion stages-transport, introduction, establishment, and spread-few studies have explored the first of these stages. Here, we quantify and analyze variation in the success of individual animals in surviving the transport stage, based on shipping records of European passerines destined for New Zealand. We mined the original documents of Acclimatisation Societies, established in New Zealand for the purpose of introducing supposedly beneficial alien species, in combination with recently digitized newspaper archives, to produce a unique dataset of 122 ships that carried passerines from Europe to New Zealand between 1850 and 1885. For 37 of these shipments, data on the survival of individual species were available. Using generalized linear mixed models, we explored how survival was related to characteristics of the shipments and the species. We show that species differed greatly in their survival, but none of the tested traits accounted for these differences. Yet, survival increased over time, which mirrors the switch from early haphazard shipments to larger organized shipments. Our results imply that it was the quality of care received by the birds that most affected success at this stage of the invasion process.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Guzmán-Méndez IA, Rivera-Madrid R, Planes S, et al (2020)

Genetic connectivity of lionfish (Pterois volitans) in marine protected areas of the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea.

Ecology and evolution, 10(9):3844-3855 pii:ECE35829.

Lionfish (Pterois volitans) have rapidly invaded the tropical Atlantic and spread across the wider Caribbean in a relatively short period of time. Because of its high invasion capacity, we used it as a model to identify the connectivity among nine marine protected areas (MPAs) situated in four countries in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. This study provides evidence of local genetic differentiation of P. volitans in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. A total of 475 lionfish samples were characterized with 12 microsatellites, with 6-20 alleles per locus. Departures from Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium (HWE) were found in 10 of the 12 loci, all caused by heterozygous excess. Moderate genetic differentiation was observed between Chiriviche, Venezuela and Xcalak, México localities (FST = 0.012), and between the Los Roques and the Veracruz (FST = 0.074) sites. STRUCTURE analysis found that four genetic entities best fit our data. A unique genetic group in the Gulf of Mexico may imply that the lionfish invasion unfolded both in a counterclockwise manner in the Gulf of Mexico. In spite of the notable dispersion of P. volitans, our results show some genetic structure, as do other noninvasive Caribbean fish species, suggesting that the connectivity in some MPAs analyzed in the Caribbean is limited and caused by only a few source individuals with subsequent genetic drift leading to local genetic differentiation. This indicates that P. volitans dispersion could be caused by mesoscale phenomena, which produce stochastic connectivity pulses. Due to the isolation of some MPAs from others, these findings may hold a promise for local short-term control of by means of intensive fishing, even in MPAs, and may have regional long-term effects.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Assis VR, Gardner ST, Smith KM, et al (2020)

Stress and immunity: Field comparisons among populations of invasive cane toads in Florida.

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

Cane toads (Rhinella marina) were introduced worldwide and have become invasive in multiple locations, representing a major driver of biodiversity loss through competition (food, shelter, territory), predation, and the poisoning of native species. These toads have been used in Australia as a model for studies concerning invasion biology and ecoimmunology, as longer-established (core) and invasion front (edge) populations show altered stress and immune response profiles. Although cane toads were also introduced into the United States in the 1950s, these patterns have yet to be evaluated for the populations spanning Florida. Toads introduced into Florida have dispersed primarily northward along a latitudinal gradient, where they encounter cooler temperatures that may further impact stress and immune differences between core and edge populations. In this study, we sampled cane toads from nine different locations spanning their invasion in Florida. Cane toads from southern populations showed higher plasma bacterial killing ability and natural antibody titers than the toads from the northern populations, indicating they have a better immune surveillance system. Also, southern toads were more responsive to a novel stressor (1 hr restraint), showing a higher increase in corticosterone levels. These results indicate that possible trade-offs have occurred between immune and stress responses as these toads have become established in northern cooler areas in Florida.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Nuñez MA, Pauchard A, A Ricciardi (2020)

Invasion Science and the Global Spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Trends in ecology & evolution pii:S0169-5347(20)30134-8 [Epub ahead of print].

Emerging infectious diseases, such as coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are driven by ecological and socioeconomic factors, and their rapid spread and devastating impacts mirror those of invasive species. Collaborations between biomedical researchers and ecologists, heretofore rare, are vital to limiting future outbreaks. Enhancing the crossdisciplinary framework offered by invasion science could achieve this goal.

RevDate: 2020-06-03

Anton A, Geraldi NR, Ricciardi A, et al (2020)

Global determinants of prey naiveté to exotic predators.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1928):20192978.

Prey naiveté-the failure of prey to recognize novel predators as threats-is thought to exacerbate the impact that exotic predators exert on prey populations. Prey naiveté varies under the influence of eco-evolutionary mediating factors, such as biogeographic isolation and prey adaptation, although an overall quantification of their influence is lacking. We conducted a global meta-analysis to test the effects of several hypothesized mediating factors on the expression of prey naiveté. Prey were overall naive towards exotic predators in marine and freshwater systems but not in terrestrial systems. Prey naiveté was most pronounced towards exotic predators that did not have native congeneric relatives in the recipient community. Time since introduction was relevant, as prey naiveté declined with the number of generations since introduction; on average, around 200 generations may be required to erode naiveté sufficiently for prey to display antipredator behaviour towards exotic predators. Given that exotic predators are a major cause of extinction, the global predictors and trends of prey naiveté presented here can inform efforts to meet conservation targets.

RevDate: 2020-06-02

Kinmonth-Schultz H, SH Kim (2011)

Carbon gain, allocation and storage in rhizomes in response to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide and nutrient supply in a perennial C3 grass, Phalaris arundinacea.

Functional plant biology : FPB, 38(10):797-807.

Reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.) is a fast-growing, perennial, rhizomatous C3 grass considered as a model invasive species for its aggressive behaviour. The same traits make it a candidate for bioenergy feedstock. We tested the following hypotheses: (1) elevated atmospheric [CO2] and nutrient supply enhance photosynthetic carbon acquisition of this fructan-accumulating grass with little or no photosynthetic downregulation; (2) elevated [CO2] promotes carbon allocation to growth when nutrients are sufficient and to fructan storage in rhizomes when nutrients are low. Plants were grown at ambient or elevated (+320μmolmol-1) [CO2], and fertilised using full or one-eighth strength modified Hoagland solution. We investigated leaf photosynthesis, whole-plant water use, biomass allocation, and nitrogen and carbon storage in rhizomes. Elevated [CO2] enhanced light-saturated net CO2 assimilation by 61%. It doubled whole-plant, stem and root biomass in summer. Plants grown in elevated [CO2] had a greater rate of CO2 assimilation at higher [CO2], indicating a shift in photosynthetic apparatus for enhanced carbon gain under elevated [CO2]. The majority of belowground biomass was allocated to rhizomes for storage rather than to roots in both seasons. In autumn, elevated [CO2] increased fructan concentration in rhizomes from 8.1 to 11.7% of biomass when nutrients were low (P=0.023). Our results suggest that elevated [CO2] combined with sufficient nutrients is likely to enhance carbon gain and growth of P. arundinacea, and to increase its productivity and competitiveness in summer. Elevated [CO2] is likely to enhance long-term fructan storage in rhizomes, which may benefit overwintering and vegetative spread.

RevDate: 2020-06-03
CmpDate: 2020-06-03

Dragun Z, Krasnići N, Ivanković D, et al (2020)

Comparison of intracellular trace element distributions in the liver and gills of the invasive freshwater fish species, Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio Bloch, 1782).

The Science of the total environment, 730:138923.

Prussian carp (Carassius gibelio) is an invasive freshwater fish known for its high tolerance to aquatic pollution. Our aim was to try to clarify its tolerance to increased exposure to metals/nonmetals, by determining their cytosolic distributions among peptides/proteins of different molecular masses (MM), which form a part of the fish protective mechanisms. The applied approach consisted of fractionation of gill and hepatic cytosols of Prussian carp from the Croatian river Ilova by size-exclusion high performance liquid chromatography, whereas Cd, Cu, Zn, Fe, Mo, and Se analyses were done by high resolution inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The results indicated high detoxification of Cd by its binding to metallothioneins (MTs) in both fish organs. In addition, binding to MTs was observed for Cu in both organs and for Zn in the liver, whereas clear Zn binding to MTs in the gills was not recorded. Zinc in the gills was predominantly bound to proteins of higher MM (50-250 kDa) and to biomolecules of MM below 2 kDa. Predominant Fe binding to proteins of MM of ~400 kDa (presumably storage protein ferritin) was observed in the liver, whereas in the gills Fe was mainly associated to proteins of MM of ~15-65 kDa (presumably hemoglobin oligomers). Maximum Mo and Se elutions in the liver were noted at 235 kDa and 141 kDa, respectively, and in the gills below 10 kDa. The striking difference was observed between two organs of Prussian carp, with predominant metal/nonmetal binding to high MM proteins (e.g., enzymes, storage proteins) in the liver, and to very low MM biomolecules (<10 kDa) in the gills (e.g., antioxidants, metallochaperones, nonprotein cofactors). Such metal/nonmetal distributions within the gills, as the first site of defense, as well as association of several metals to MTs, indicated highly developed defense mechanisms in some organs of Prussian carp.

RevDate: 2020-06-02

Santi F, Riesch R, Baier J, et al (2020)

A century later: Adaptive plasticity and rapid evolution contribute to geographic variation in invasive mosquitofish.

The Science of the total environment, 726:137908.

One century after their introduction to Europe, eastern mosquitofish (Gambusia holbrooki) represent a natural experiment to determine the relative contributions of adaptive plasticity and rapid evolutionary change in creating large-scale geographic variation in phenotypes. We evaluated the population-genetic structure and invasion history based on allele length polymorphisms of 15 nuclear microsatellites, which we quantified for N = 660 individuals from 23 populations sampled in 2013 across the invasive range of G. holbrooki in Europe. We analysed body-shape and life-history variation in N = 1331 individuals from 36 populations, sampled in 2013 and 2017, and tested heritability of phenotypic differences in a subset of four populations using a common-garden experiment. The genetic structure of wild-caught individuals suggested a single introduction for all European mosquitofish, which were genetically impoverished compared to their native counterparts. We found some convergent patterns of phenotypic divergence across native and invasive climatic gradients (e.g., increased body size in colder/more northern populations); however, several phenotypic responses were not consistent between sampling years, pointing towards plastic phenotypes. Our analysis of common-garden reared individuals uncovered moderate heritability estimates only for two measures of male body size (intraclass correlation coefficient, ICC = 0.628 and 0.556) and offspring fat content (ICC = 0.734), while suggesting high levels of plasticity in most other phenotypic traits (ICC ≤ 0.407). Our results highlight the importance of phenotypic plasticity in invasive species during range expansions and demonstrate that strong selective pressures-in this case towards increased body size in colder environments-simultaneously promote rapid evolutionary divergence.

RevDate: 2020-06-02

Landry C, Houde M, Brodeur P, et al (2020)

Biological markers to establish a relationship between the health status of the St. Lawrence River yellow perch (Perca flavescens) with a gradient of anthropogenic disturbances.

The Science of the total environment, 726:138515.

Since the mid-1990s, the decline of the yellow perch population of Lake Saint-Pierre (hereinafter LSP) in Quebec, Canada has been the subject of several research programs. The combined effect of habitat deterioration, the presence of invasive species, and poor water quality negatively affected the yellow perch population in this lake. In 2013, we sampled yellow perch (larvae, juveniles and adults) at six sites along the St. Lawrence River representing a gradient of increasing human influences from upstream to downstream and measured several biomarkers including retinoid compounds (vitamin A). In the most contaminated sites (LSP, north and south shores), we found that retinoid stores were decreased in all three stages of development. To corroborate these results and to test other biomarkers, we once again sampled yellow perch (adults only) from the same sites. Results from our 2014 and 2015 samplings confirmed that LSP yellow perch appeared to be at a disadvantage compared to fish from upstream populations. Individuals from LSP have lower acetylcholinesterase (AChE) activity as well as lower retinoid levels in liver and plasma. These fish were also marked by lower levels of antioxidants such as lycopene and vitamin E. A discriminant analysis of this set of results confirmed that the yellow perch of the LSP could be easily discriminated from those of the other sites (2014 and 2015) on the basis of liver retinoid and, to a lesser extent, of the liver tocopherol and protein concentration of the muscle, as well as AChE activity and DROH (all-trans-3,4-dehydroretinol) measured in plasma.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Tarusikirwa VL, Mutamiswa R, English S, et al (2020)

Thermal plasticity in the invasive south American tomato pinworm Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae).

Journal of thermal biology, 90:102598.

South American tomato pinworm, Tuta absoluta (Meyrick) (Lepidoptera: Gelechiidae) is a devastating invasive global insect pest of tomato, Solanum lycopersicum (Solanaceae). In nature, pests face multiple overlapping environmental stressors, which may significantly influence survival. To cope with rapidly changing environments, insects often employ a suite of mechanisms at both acute and chronic time-scales, thereby improving fitness at sub-optimal thermal environments. For T. absoluta, physiological responses to transient thermal variability remain under explored. Moreso, environmental effects and physiological responses may differ across insect life stages and this can have implications for population dynamics. Against this background, we investigated short and long term plastic responses to temperature of T. absoluta larvae (4th instar) and adults (24-48 h old) from field populations. We measured traits of temperature tolerance vis critical thermal limits [critical thermal minima (CTmin) and maxima (CTmax)], heat knockdown time (HKDT), chill coma recovery time (CCRT) and supercooling points (SCP). Our results showed that at the larval stage, Rapid Cold Hardening (RCH) significantly improved CTmin and HKDT but impaired SCP and CCRT. Heat hardening in larvae impaired CTmin, CCRT, SCP, CTmax but not HKDT. In adults, both heat and cold hardening generally impaired CTmin and CTmax, but had no effects on HKDT, SCP and CCRT. Low temperature acclimation significantly improved CTmin and HKDT while marginally compromising CCRT and CTmax, whereas high temperature acclimation had no significant effects on any traits except for HKDT in larvae. Similarly, low and high temperature acclimation had no effects on CTmin, SCPs and CTmax, while high temperature acclimation significantly compromised adult CCRT. Our results show that larvae are more thermally plastic than adults and can shift their thermal tolerance in short and long timescales. The larval plasticity reported here could be advantageous in new envirnments, suggesting an asymmetrical ecological role of larva relative to adults in facilitating T. absoluta invasion.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Romero-Báez Ó, Santos-Bibiano R, Domínguez-Godoy MA, et al (2020)

Thermal ecophysiology of a native and an invasive gecko species in a tropical dry forest of Mexico.

Journal of thermal biology, 90:102607.

For ectotherms, thermal physiology plays a fundamental role in the establishment and success of invasive species in novel areas and, ultimately, in their ecological interactions with native species. Invasive species are assumed to have a greater ability to exploit the thermal environment, higher acclimation capacities, a wider thermal tolerance range, and better relative performance under a range of thermal conditions. Here we compare the thermal ecophysiology of two species that occur in sympatry in a tropical dry forest of the Pacific coast of Mexico, the microendemic species Benedetti's Leaf-toed Gecko (Phyllodactylus benedettii) and the invasive Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus). We characterized their patterns of thermoregulation, thermoregulatory efficiency, thermal tolerances, and thermal sensitivity of locomotor performance. In addition, we included morphological variables and an index of body condition to evaluate their effects on the thermal sensitivity of locomotor performance in these species. Although the two species had similar selected temperatures and thermal tolerances, they contrasted in their thermoregulatory strategies and thermal sensitivity of locomotor performance. Hemidactylus frenatus had a higher performance than the native species, P. benedettii, which would represent an ecological advantage for the former species. Nevertheless, we suggest that given the spatial and temporal limitations in habitat use of the two species, the probability of agonistic interactions between them is reduced. We recommend exploring additional biotic attributes, such as competition, behavior and niche overlap in order assess the role of alternative factors favoring the success of invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Gracia C A, N Rangel-Buitrago (2020)

The invasive species Perna viridis (Linnaeus, 1758 - Bivalvia: Mytilidae) on artificial substrates: A baseline assessment for the Colombian Caribbean Sea.

Marine pollution bulletin, 152:110926.

This baseline paper shows the Indo-Pacific mussel Perna viridis (Asian green mussel) inhabiting on floating plastic substrates in the Atlantico Department, as well as rafting on marine debris found at the Via Parque Isla de Salamanca (Magdalena). Both observations are the northernmost record of the species found in the Colombian Caribbean Sea. The above finding opens a new door that suggests that larval dispersion alone may not be the only process responsible for the presence of this invasive suspension-feeder bivalve because this species needs specific vectors for its dispersal. Some organisms such Perna viridis can persist in the marine environment, but they do not necessarily have a rafting capability that allows them to move over long distances. Floating structures as well as marine debris can serve as optimal substrates in the marine environment, contributing to an increase in the problems of non-native species on sites with a high degree of susceptibility to species invasion.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Kanankege KST, Phelps NBD, Vesterinen HM, et al (2020)

Lessons Learned From the Stakeholder Engagement in Research: Application of Spatial Analytical Tools in One Health Problems.

Frontiers in veterinary science, 7:254.

Stakeholder engagement in research is widely advocated as a tool to integrate diverse knowledge and perspectives in the management of health threats while addressing potential conflicts of interest. Although guidelines for stakeholder engagement exist in public health and environmental sciences, the feasibility of actionable decisions based on scientific analyses and the lessons learned from the stakeholder engagement in the process co-creation of knowledge have been rarely discussed in One Health literature and veterinary sciences. Risk maps and risk regionalization using spatiotemporal epidemiological/analytical tools are known to improve risk perception and communication. Risk maps are useful when informing policy and management decisions on quarantine, vaccination, and surveillance intended to prevent or control threats to human, animal, or environmental health interface (i.e., One Health). We hypothesized that researcher-stakeholder engagement throughout the research process could enhance the utility of risk maps; while identifying opportunities to improve data collection, analysis, interpretation, and, ultimately, implementation of scientific/evidence-based management and policy measures. Three case studies were conducted to test this process of co-creation of scientific knowledge, using spatiotemporal epidemiological approaches, all related to One Health problems affecting Minnesota. Our interpretation of the opportunities, challenges, and lessons learned from the process are summarized from both researcher and stakeholder perspectives. By sharing our experience we intend to provide an understanding of the expectations, realizations, and "good practices" we learned through this slow-moving iterative process of co-creation of knowledge. We hope this contribution benefits the planning of future transdisciplinary research related to risk map-based management of One Health problems.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Paterson AH, Kong W, Johnston RM, et al (2020)

The Evolution of an Invasive Plant, Sorghum halepense L. ('Johnsongrass').

Frontiers in genetics, 11:317.

From noble beginnings as a prospective forage, polyploid Sorghum halepense ('Johnsongrass') is both an invasive species and one of the world's worst agricultural weeds. Formed by S. bicolor x S. propinquum hybridization, we show S. halepense to have S. bicolor-enriched allele composition and striking mutations in 5,957 genes that differentiate it from representatives of its progenitor species and an outgroup. The spread of S. halepense may have been facilitated by introgression from closely-related cultivated sorghum near genetic loci affecting rhizome development, seed size, and levels of lutein, a photochemical protectant and abscisic acid precursor. Rhizomes, subterranean stems that store carbohydrates and spawn clonal propagules, have growth correlated with reproductive rather than other vegetative tissues, and increase survival of both temperate cold seasons and tropical dry seasons. Rhizomes of S. halepense are more extensive than those of its rhizomatous progenitor S. propinquum, with gene expression including many alleles from its non-rhizomatous S. bicolor progenitor. The first surviving polyploid in its lineage in ∼96 million years, its post-Columbian spread across six continents carried rich genetic diversity that in the United States has facilitated transition from agricultural to non-agricultural niches. Projected to spread another 200-600 km northward in the coming century, despite its drawbacks S. halepense may offer novel alleles and traits of value to improvement of sorghum.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Davidson IC, Smith G, Ashton GV, et al (2020)

An experimental test of stationary lay-up periods and simulated transit on biofouling accumulation and transfer on ships.

Biofouling [Epub ahead of print].

Biofouling accumulation on ships' submerged surfaces typically occurs during stationary periods that render surfaces more susceptible to colonization than when underway. As a result, stationary periods longer than typical port residence times (hours to days), often referred to as lay-ups, can have deleterious effects on hull maintenance strategies, which aim to minimize biofouling impacts on ship operations and the likelihood of invasive species transfers. This experimental study tested the effects of different lay-up durations on the magnitude of biofouling, before and after exposure to flow, using fouling panels with three coating treatments (antifouling, foul-release, and controls), at two sites, and a portable field flume to simulate voyage sheer forces. Control panels subjected to extended stationary durations (28-, 45- and 60-days) had significantly higher biofouling cover and there was a 13- to 25-fold difference in biofouling accumulation between 10-days and 28-days of static immersion. Prior to flume exposure, the antifouling coating prevented biofouling accumulation almost entirely at one site and kept it below 20% at the other. Foul-release coatings also proved effective, especially after flume exposure, which reduced biofouling at one site from >52% to <6% cover (on average). The experimental approach was beneficial for co-locating panel deployments and flume processing using a consistent (standardized) flow regime on large panels across sites of differing conditions and biofouling assemblages. While lay-ups of commercial vessels are relatively common, inevitable, and unavoidable, it is important to develop a better understanding of the magnitude of their effects on biofouling of ships' submerged surfaces and to develop workable post-lay-up approaches to manage and respond to elevated biofouling accumulation that may result.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

da Silva RS, Fidelis EG, Amaro G, et al (2020)

Climate-based seasonal dynamics of the invasive red palm mite Raoiella indica.

Pest management science [Epub ahead of print].

BACKGROUND: Raoiella indica Hirst (Acari: Tenuipalpidae) is the most critical coconut and banana pest recently introduced in Brazil. Once mite pests are introduced, it is essential to understand their dynamics in important crops under open-field climatic conditions to implement strategies for their management and determine the periods when species populations may increase in the field. Modelling tools have been used to determine the potential distribution of species and implications for the management of invasive species. Thus, our aim in this study was to determine the seasonal variation in R. indica and the influence of the monthly climate using CLIMEX modelling. We adjusted the CLIMEX model for R. indica based on distribution data, additional biological characteristics, and fluctuations in the R. indica population in a commercial coconut plantation.

RESULTS: The model for the current climate shows a good match between the ecoclimatic index and the global distribution of R. indica. The model results demonstrate that most states of Brazil and several regions worldwide include areas with highly suitable climatic conditions for R. indica. We observed variations in the density of R. indica in commercial coconut crops, with the highest incidence occurring during the first months of the year.

CONCLUSION: Our results showed different alterations in seasonal suitability for R. indica that may provide information for the implementation of methods for time management, such as strategies for sampling and control during periods with a high degree of suitability for R. indica. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-06-01

Deguines N, Lorrilliere R, Dozières A, et al (2020)

Any despot at my table? Competition among native and introduced bird species at garden birdfeeders in winter.

The Science of the total environment pii:S0048-9697(20)32780-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Garden bird feeding constitutes a massive provision of food that can support bird communities, but there is a growing concern it might favour the establishment of exotic species that could be detrimental to others. How bird species compete with novel species for this anthropogenic food resources needs to be assessed. Here, we investigated competition in wintering bird communities at garden birdfeeders. We evaluated whether - and how much - bird access to resources is hampered by the presence of putative superior competing species, among which the Rose-ringed parakeet, the most abundant introduced species across Europe. Using the nation-wide citizen science scheme BirdLab, in which volunteers record in real-time bird attendance on a pair of birdfeeders during 5-minute sessions, we tested whether i) cumulative bird presence time and richness at birdfeeders, and ii) species probability of presence at birdfeeders, were influenced by three large species (the Eurasian magpie, the Eurasian collared-dove, and the Rose-ringed parakeet). Additionally, we assessed whether the Rose-ringed parakeet occupied resources significantly more than others. Presence of the Rose-ringed parakeet or the Eurasian collared-dove similarly reduced community cumulative presence time at birdfeeders, but only the dove reduced community richness. Each of the three large species influenced the presence of at least one of the six smaller species that could be separately modelled, but effects varied in strength and direction. The Rose-ringed parakeet and the Eurasian collared-dove were among the three species monopolising birdfeeders the longest, substantially more than the Eurasian magpie. Our findings confirm the competitive abilities of the large species studied, but do not suggest that garden bird feeding may alarmingly favour introduced species with detrimental effects on native species. Given the variability of large species' effects on small passerines, direct and indirect interactions among all species must be examined to fully understand the ecological net effects at stake.

RevDate: 2020-05-30

Hasstedt SL, P Annighöfer (2020)

Initial Survival and Development of Planted European Beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) and Small-Leaved Lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) Seedlings Competing with Black Cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.).

Plants (Basel, Switzerland), 9(6): pii:plants9060677.

Black cherry (Prunus serotina Ehrh.) is considered one of the most invasive tree species in central Europe and causes problems for both nature conservation and silviculture. Besides mechanical control treatments, a suggested control method to prevent its ongoing spread is to underplant shade-tolerant native tree species. Therefore, we combined two mechanical treatments, with underplanting of European beech (Fagus sylvatica L.) or small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata Mill.) on fenced and unfenced plots. After the first growing season, survival rates were evaluated, and selected seedlings were destructively harvested to analyze their growth performance and leaf morphology in association with the different light regimes resulting from mechanical treatments Survival rates for both seedlings were very high (>95%). Survival rates were higher on fenced plots than on unfenced plots, most likely as result of browsing. The mortality of F. sylvatica decreased with increasing light availability on fenced plots. The mortality of T. cordata did not change along the light gradient. After one vegetation period no differences with respect to biomass allocation could be detected along the light gradient. However, the specific leaf areas of both species responded similarly, decreasing with increasing light availability. In summary, both species were able to establish and survive in the dense P. serotina understory and might have the potential to outcompete the invasive alien species in the long run.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Battaglin W, Duncker J, Terrio P, et al (2020)

Evaluating the potential role of bioactive chemicals on the distribution of invasive Asian carp upstream and downstream from river mile 278 in the Illinois waterway.

The Science of the total environment, 735:139458 pii:S0048-9697(20)32975-2 [Epub ahead of print].

Two non-native carp species have invaded the Illinois Waterway and are a threat to Great Lakes ecosystems. Poor water quality in the upper Illinois Waterway may be a factor contributing to the stalling of the carp population front near river mile 278. In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey collected 4 sets of water samples from two sites upstream and 4 sites downstream from river mile 278, and one tributary. Each sample was analyzed for up to 649 unique constituents of which 287 were detected including 96 pesticides, 62 pharmaceuticals, 39 wastewater indicator chemicals, 29 metals, 19 volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 6 disinfection by-products (DBPs), 5 hormones, and 5 carboxylic acids. Potential for bioactivity was estimated by comparing chemical concentrations to aquatic life or human health criteria and to in-vitro bioactivity screening results in the U.S Environmental Protection Agency ToxCast™ database. The resulting hazard quotients and exposure-activity ratios (EARs) are toxicity indexes that can be used to rank potential bioactivity of individual chemicals and chemical mixtures. This analysis indicates that several bioactive chemicals (BCs) including: carbendazim, 2,4-D, metolachlor, terbuthylazine, and acetochlor (pesticides); 1,4-dioxane (VOC); metformin, diphenhydramine, sulfamethoxazole, tramadol, fexofenadine, and the anti-depressants (pharmaceuticals); bisphenol A, 4-nonylphenol, galaxolide, 4-tert-octylphenol (wastewater indicator chemical); lead and boron (metals); and estrone (hormone) all occur in the upper Illinois Waterway at concentrations that produce elevated EARs values and may be adversely affecting carp reproduction and health. The clear differences in water quality upstream and downstream from river mile 278 with higher contaminant concentrations and potential bioactivity upstream could represent a barrier to carp range expansion.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Dézerald O, Mondy CP, Dembski S, et al (2020)

A diagnosis-based approach to assess specific risks of river degradation in a multiple pressure context: Insights from fish communities.

The Science of the total environment, 734:139467 pii:S0048-9697(20)32984-3 [Epub ahead of print].

In the context of increasing pressure on water bodies, many fish-based indices have been developed to evaluate the ecological status of rivers. However, most of these indices suffer from several limitations, which hamper the capacity of water managers to select the most appropriate measures of restoration. Those limitations include: (i) being dependent on reference conditions, (ii) not satisfactorily handling complex and non-linear biological responses to pressure gradients, and (iii) being unable to identify specific risks of stream degradation in a multi-pressure context. To tackle those issues, we developed a diagnosis-based approach using Random Forest models to predict the impairment probabilities of river fish communities by 28 pressure categories (chemical, hydromorphological and biological). In addition, the database includes the abundances of 72 fish species collected from 1527 sites in France, sampled between 2005 and 2015; and fish taxonomic and biological information. Twenty random forest models provided at least good performances when evaluating impairment probabilities of fish communities by those pressures. The best performing models indicated that fish communities were impacted, on average, by 7.34 ± 0.03 abiotic pressure categories (mean ± SE), and that hydromorphological alterations (5.27 ± 0.02) were more often detected than chemical ones (2.06 ± 0.02). These models showed that alterations in longitudinal continuity, and contaminations by Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons were respectively the most frequent hydromorphological and chemical pressure categories in French rivers. This approach has also efficiently detected the functional impact of invasive alien species. Identifying and ranking the impacts of multiple anthropogenic pressures that trigger functional shifts in river biological communities is essential for managers to prioritize actions and to implement appropriate restoration programmes. Actually implemented in an R package, this approach has the capacity to detect a variety of impairments, resulting in an efficient assessment of ecological risks across various spatial and temporal scales.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Biwer C, Kawam B, Chapelle V, et al (2020)

The role of stochasticity in the origin of epigenetic variation in animal populations.

Integrative and comparative biology pii:5848647 [Epub ahead of print].

Epigenetic mechanisms such as DNA methylation modulate gene expression in a complex fashion and are consequently recognized as among the most important contributors to phenotypic variation in natural populations of plants, animals and microorganisms. Interactions between genetics and epigenetics are multifaceted and epigenetic variation stands at the crossroad between genetic and environmental variance, which make these mechanisms prominent in the processes of adaptive evolution. DNA methylation patterns depend on the genotype and can be reshaped by environmental conditions, while transgenerational epigenetic inheritance has been reported in various species. On the other hand, DNA methylation can influence the genetic mutation rate and directly affect the evolutionary potential of a population. The origin of epigenetic variance can be attributed to genetic, environmental or stochastic factors. Generally less investigated than the first two components, variation lacking any predictable order is nevertheless present in natural populations and stochastic epigenetic variation, also referred to spontaneous epimutations, can sustain phenotypic diversity. Here, potential sources of such stochastic epigenetic variability in animals are explored, with a focus on DNA methylation. To this day, quantifying the importance of stochasticity in epigenetic variability remains a challenge. However, comparisons between the mutation and the epimutation rates showed a high level of the latter, suggesting a significant role of spontaneous epimutations in adaptation. The implications of stochastic epigenetic variability are multifold: by affecting development and subsequently phenotype, random changes in epigenetic marks may provide additional phenotypic diversity, which can help natural populations when facing fluctuating environments. In isogenic lineages and asexually reproducing organisms, poor or absent genetic diversity can hence be tolerated. Further implication of stochastic epigenetic variability in adaptation is found in bottlenecked invasive species populations and in populations using a bet-hedging strategy.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

McCaw B, Stevenson TJ, LT Lancaster (2020)

Epigenetic responses to temperature and climate.

Integrative and comparative biology pii:5848649 [Epub ahead of print].

Epigenetics represents a widely accepted set of mechanisms for how organisms respond to the environment by regulating phenotypic plasticity and life history transitions. Understanding the effects of environmental control on phenotypes and fitness, via epigenetic mechanisms, is essential for understanding the ability of organisms to rapidly adapt to environmental change. This review highlights the significance of environmental temperature on epigenetic control of phenotypic variation, with the aim of furthering our understanding of how epigenetics might help or hinder species' adaptation to climate change. It outlines how epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation and histone/chromatin modification, i) respond to temperature and regulate thermal stress responses in different kingdoms of life, ii) regulate temperature-dependent expression of key developmental processes and seasonal phenotypes, iii) facilitate transgenerational epigenetic inheritance of thermal adaptation, iv) adapt populations to local and global climate gradients and finally v) facilitate in biological invasions. Although the evidence points towards a conserved role of epigenetics in responding to temperature change, there appears to be an element of temperature- and species-specificity in the specific effects of temperature change on epigenetic modifications and resulting phenotypic responses. The review identifies areas of future research in epigenetic responses to environmental temperature change.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

McCann S, Crossland M, R Shine (2020)

Exposure of cane toad hatchlings to older conspecifics suppresses chemosensory food tracking behaviour and increases risk of predation post-exposure.

PloS one, 15(5):e0233653 pii:PONE-D-19-31964.

Attempts to control invasive species using species-specific pheromones need to incorporate an understanding of interactive effects among those pathways. The larvae of invasive cane toads (Rhinella marina) utilise chemical cues to repulse, attract or suppress conspecific larvae. We can exploit these effects to reduce toad abundance, but the effects of each cue may not be additive. That is, exposure to one type of cue may lessen the impact of exposure to another cue. To assess this possibility, we exposed toad larvae to combinations of cues. Tadpoles that had been exposed to the suppression cue during larval development exhibited no response to the attraction cue, resulting in lower capture rates in attractant-baited traps. Suppression, however, did not affect a tadpole's response to the alarm cue, and exposure to the alarm cue during tadpole development did not affect response to the attraction cue. Tadpoles exposed to the suppression cue were smaller than control tadpoles at 10 days post-exposure, and consequently were more vulnerable to gape-limited invertebrate predators. Our results demonstrate that the responses by toad tadpoles to chemical cues interact in important ways, and are not simply additive when combined. Control efforts need to incorporate an understanding of such interactions if we are to most effectively use chemical-communication pathways to control invasive amphibians.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Soler-Figueroa BM, Fontaine DN, Carney KJ, et al (2020)

Characteristics of global port phytoplankton and implications for current ballast water regulations.

Marine pollution bulletin, 155:111165.

The International Maritime Organization and U.S. Coast Guard have implemented regulations to reduce introductions of non-indigenous species via ballast water (BW). For phytoplankton, regulations limit discharges to <10 live/viable cells mL-1 (size: 10-50 μm), ignoring other size fractions. Additionally, challenge conditions of 100 (shipboard) and 1000 (land-based) cells mL-1 are required in BW management system certification testing. How these requirements correspond to natural phytoplankton populations is poorly resolved. We analyzed phytoplankton samples from 31 major ports to evaluate: a) how natural communities compare to challenge requirements and b) abundances of unregulated size fractions (i.e., <10 and ≥50 μm). None of the ports met land-based challenge conditions, and only 32% met requirements for shipboard testing. Approximately 71% of organisms ≥50 μm were centric diatoms, also unregulated by current protocols. This study demonstrates that current regulations do not consider natural phytoplankton populations, limiting control efforts for potentially harmful non-indigenous species.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Lim CS, Tay TS, Tan KS, et al (2020)

Removal of larvae of two marine invasive bivalves, Mytilopsis sallei (Récluz, 1849) and Mytella strigata (Hanley, 1843), by water treatment processes.

Marine pollution bulletin, 155:111154.

The uptake and discharge of bivalve larvae through ballast water operations is a highly viable mechanism for transfer of shellfish. In this paper, we investigate the effects of common water treatment processes on the planktotrophic larvae of the two invasive species of shellfish, Mytilopsis sallei and Mytella strigata. The study found that common water treatment processes used in many ballast water treatment systems were effective for the removal of bivalve larvae, although later stages of larval forms required more effort to remove.

RevDate: 2020-05-29

Renzi M, Cilenti L, Scirocco T, et al (2020)

Litter in alien species of possible commercial interest: The blue crab (Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896) as case study.

Marine pollution bulletin, 157:111300 pii:S0025-326X(20)30418-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Marine litter levels were measured in the stomach contents, hepatopancreas, and gonad tissues of crustacea decapod (Callinectes sapidus Rathbun, 1896; n = 6), a widespread alien species affecting the Lesina lagoon. Results highlight a mean of 2.5 (SD = 1.6) items/animal and indicate the presence of metals fragments (13%) and plastics (13% PE; 6.7% PET) in the stomach contents of collected individuals. No microplastic particles were detected in the hepatopancreas or in muscle tissue, while microplastic fibres (nylon, rayon, polyester) were found present in female specimen gonads. The presence of synthetic fibres in the investigated species reflects the relative contamination level in this habitat type and suggests that the blue crab could be considered a model organism for evaluating the contamination status of the study area.

RevDate: 2020-05-28

Fontaine SS, KD Kohl (2020)

The gut microbiota of invasive bullfrog tadpoles responds more rapidly to temperature than a non-invasive congener.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Environmental temperature can alter the composition, diversity, and function of ectothermic vertebrate gut microbial communities, which may result in negative consequences for host physiology, or conversely, increase phenotypic plasticity and persistence in harsh conditions. The magnitude of either of these effects will depend on the length of time animals are exposed to extreme temperatures, and how quickly the composition and function of the gut microbiota can respond to temperature change. However, the temporal effects of temperature on gut microbiota are currently unknown. Here, we investigated the length of time required for increased temperature to alter the composition of gut bacterial communities in tadpoles of two frog species, the green frog, Lithobates clamitans, and its congener, the globally invasive American bullfrog, L. catesbeianus. We also explored the potential functional consequences of these changes by comparing predicted metagenomic profiles across temperature treatments at the last experimental time point. Bullfrog-associated microbial communities were more plastic than those of the green frog. Specifically, bullfrog communities were altered by increased temperature within hours, while green frog communities took multiple days to exhibit significant changes. Further, over ten times more bullfrog bacterial functional pathways were temperature-dependent compared to the green frog. These results support our hypothesis that bullfrog gut microbial communities would respond more rapidly to temperature change, potentially bolstering their ability to exploit novel environments. More broadly, we have revealed that even short-term increases in environmental temperature, expected to occur frequently under global climate change, can alter the gut microbiota of ectothermic vertebrates.

RevDate: 2020-05-28

Novoa A, Keet JH, Lechuga-Lago Y, et al (2020)

Urbanization and Carpobrotus edulis invasion alter the diversity and composition of soil bacterial communities in coastal areas.

FEMS microbiology ecology pii:5848193 [Epub ahead of print].

Coastal dunes are ecosystems of high conservation value that are strongly impacted by human disturbances and biological invasions in many parts of the world. Here we assessed how urbanization and Carpobrotus edulis invasion affect soil bacterial communities on the north-western coast of Spain, by comparing the diversity, structure and composition of soil bacterial communities in invaded and uninvaded soils from urban and natural coastal dune areas. Our results suggest that coastal dune bacterial communities contain large numbers of rare taxa, mainly belonging to the phyla Actinobacteria and Proteobacteria. We found that the presence of the invasive C. edulis increased the diversity of soil bacteria andchanged community composition, while urbanization only influenced bacterial community composition. Furthermore, the effects of invasion on community composition were conditional on urbanization. These results were contrary to predictions, as both C. edulis invasion and urbanization have been shown to affect soil abiotic conditions of the studied coastal dunes in a similar manner, and therefore were expected to have similar effects on soil bacterial communities. Our results suggest that other factors (e.g. pollution) might be influencing the impact of urbanization on soil bacterial communities, preventing an increase in the diversity of soil bacteria in urban areas.

RevDate: 2020-05-28
CmpDate: 2020-05-28

Fang K, Chen L, Zhou J, et al (2019)

Plant-soil-foliage feedbacks on seed germination and seedling growth of the invasive plant Ageratina adenophora.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 286(1917):20191520.

Some exotic plants become invasive because they partially release from soil-borne enemies and thus benefit from positive plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) in the introduced range. However, reports that have focused only on PSFs may exaggerate the invader's competitiveness. Here, we conducted three experiments to characterize plant-soil-foliage feedbacks, including mature leaves (ML), leaf litter (LL), rhizosphere soil (RS) and leaves plus soil (LS), on the early growth stages of the invasive plant Ageratina adenophora. In general, the feedbacks from aboveground (ML, LL) adversely affected A. adenophora by delaying germination time, inhibiting germination rate and reducing seedling growth. The increased invasion history exacerbated the adverse effects of LL and LS feedbacks on seedling growth. These adverse effects were partially contributed by more abundant fungi (e.g. Didymella) or/and more virulent fungi (e.g. Fusarium) developed in the aboveground part of A. adenophora during the invasion. Interestingly, the aboveground adverse effects can be weakened by microbes from RSs. Our novel findings emphasize the important role of aboveground feedbacks in the evaluation of plant invasiveness, and their commonness and significance remain to be explored in other invasive systems.

RevDate: 2020-05-27
CmpDate: 2020-05-27

Rolling W, Lake R, Dorrance AE, et al (2020)

Genome-wide association analyses of quantitative disease resistance in diverse sets of soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] plant introductions.

PloS one, 15(3):e0227710.

Phytophthora sojae is one of the costliest soybean pathogens in the US. Quantitative disease resistance (QDR) is a vital part of Phytophthora disease management. In this study, QDR was measured in 478 and 495 plant introductions (PIs) towards P. sojae isolates OH.121 and C2.S1, respectively, in genome-wide association (GWA) analyses to identify genetic markers linked to QDR loci (QDRL). Populations were generated by sampling PIs from the US, the Republic of Korea, and the full collection of PIs maintained by the USDA. Additionally, a meta-analysis of QDRL reported from bi-parental studies was done to compare past and present findings. Twenty-four significant marker-trait associations were identified from the 478 PIs phenotyped with OH.121, and an additional 24 marker-trait associations were identified from the 495 PIs phenotyped with C2.S1. In total, 48 significant markers were distributed across 16 chromosomes and based on linkage analysis, represent a total of 44 QDRL. The majority of QDRL were identified with only one of the two isolates, and only a region on chromosome 13 was consistently identified. Regions on chromosomes 3, 13, and 17 were identified in previous GWA-analyses and were re-identified in this study. Five QDRL co-localized with P. sojae meta-QDRL identified from QDRL reported in previous biparental mapping studies. The remaining regions represent novel QDRL, in the soybean-P. sojae pathosystem and were primarily identified in germplasm from the Republic of Korea. Overall, the number of loci identified in this study highlights the complexity of QDR to P. sojae.

RevDate: 2020-05-26

Lohr JN, CR Haag (2020)

Parasite-driven replacement of a sexual by a closely related asexual taxon in nature.

Ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Asexual species are thought to suffer more from coevolving parasites than related sexuals. Yet a variety of studies do not find the patterns predicted by theory. Here, to shine light on this conundrum, we investigate one such case of an asexual advantage in the presence of parasites. We follow the frequency dynamics of sexual and asexual Daphnia pulex in a natural pond that was initially dominated by sexuals. Coinciding with an epidemic of a microsporidian parasite infecting both sexuals and asexuals, the pond was rapidly taken over by the initially rare asexuals. With experiments comparing multiple sexual and asexual clones from across the local metapopulation, we confirm that asexuals are less susceptible and also suffer less from the parasite once infected. These result are consistent with the parasite driven, ecological replacement of dominant sexuals by closely related, but more resistant asexuals, ultimately leading to the extinction of the formerly superior sexual competitor. Our study is one of the clearest examples from nature, backed up by experimental verification, showing a parasite-mediated reversal of competition dynamics. The experiments show that, across the metapopulation, asexuals have an advantage in the presence of parasites. In this metapopulation, asexuals are relatively rare, likely due to their recent invasion. While we cannot rule out other reasons for the observed patterns, the results are consistent with a temporary parasite-mediated advantage of asexuals due to the fact that they are rare, which is an underappreciated aspect of the Red Queen Hypothesis.

RevDate: 2020-05-26

Cordeiro EMG, Pantoja-Gomez LM, de Paiva JB, et al (2020)

Hybridization and introgression between Helicoverpa armigera and H. zea: an adaptational bridge.

BMC evolutionary biology, 20(1):61 pii:10.1186/s12862-020-01621-8.

BACKGROUND: Invasion of organisms into new ecosystems is increasingly common, due to the global trade in commodities. One of the most complex post-invasion scenarios occurs when an invasive species is related to a native pest, and even more so when they can hybridize and produce fertile progeny. The global pest Helicoverpa armigera was first detected in Brazil in 2013 and generated a wave of speculations about the possibility of hybridization with the native sister taxon Helicoverpa zea. In the present study, we used genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms from field-collected individuals to estimate hybridization between H. armigera and H. zea in different Brazilian agricultural landscapes.

RESULTS: The frequency of hybridization varied from 15 to 30% depending on the statistical analyses. These methods showed more congruence in estimating that hybrids contained approximately 10% mixed ancestry (i.e. introgression) from either species. Hybridization also varied considerably depending on the geographic locations where the sample was collected, forming a 'mosaic' hybrid zone where introgression may be facilitated by environmental and landscape variables. Both landscape composition and bioclimatic variables indicated that maize and soybean cropland are the main factors responsible for high levels of introgression in agricultural landscapes. The impact of multiple H. armigera incursions is reflected in the structured and inbred pattern of genetic diversity.

CONCLUSIONS: Our data showed that the landscape composition and bioclimatic variables influence the introgression rate between H. armigera and H. zea in agricultural areas. Continuous monitoring of the hybridization process in the field is necessary, since agricultural expansion, climatic fluctuations, changing composition of crop species and varieties, and dynamic planting seasons are some factors in South America that could cause a sudden alteration in the introgression rate between Helicoverpa species. Introgression between invasive and native pests can dramatically impact the evolution of host ranges and resistance management.

RevDate: 2020-05-25

Panicz R, Eljasik P, Śmietana N, et al (2020)

New invertebrate species as potential CyHV-3 reservoirs: A case study of common carp mortalities in hyperthermal conditions.

Journal of fish diseases [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-05-24

Cohen KE, George AE, Chapman DC, et al (2020)

Developmental ecomorphology of the epibranchial organ (EBO) of the silver carp, Hypophthalmichthys molitrix.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

Silver carp regularly consume and digest particles of food as small as 5 μm. This ability drives their efficient consumption of phytoplankton and, because they feed low on the food chain, they have an important place in aquaculture worldwide. In North America, where they are considered invasive, silver carp deplete food resources for native species and in so doing occupy increased niche space. Here, we determine the ontogenetic stage and size at which silver carp are morphologically capable of primarily feeding on particles <10μm. Ecological studies on this species have shown that there is an ontogenetic shift in diet as predominantly zooplanktivorous juveniles later switch to eating much smaller phytoplankton. The occupation of this new trophic niche presents both a metabolic and mechanical challenge to these fish, since it is unclear how they can efficiently feed on such small particles. We hypothesize that the epibranchial organ in silver carp is essential in aggregating these small particles of food, allowing the species to consume mass quantities of tiny particles, thus mitigating metabolic constraints. In this study, we investigate early ontogeny of the epibranchial organ in silver carp to determine when this structure achieves the requisite morphology to become functional. We find that at around 80 mm standard length (SL) the epibranchial organs are consistently filled with food, demonstrating that this accumulating organ has become functional. This size corresponds with previous ecological data documenting important shifts in the type of food consumed. While the basic bauplan of the EBO is established very early in ontogeny (by 15 mm SL), multiple waves of histological maturation of muscle, cartilage, gill rakers, and epithelium ultimately form the functional structure. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

RevDate: 2020-05-24

Akotsen-Mensah C, Blaauw B, Short B, et al (2020)

Using IPM-CPR as a Management Program for Apple Orchards.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5843579 [Epub ahead of print].

We have demonstrated how management of key orchard pests including the insect invasive species Halyomorpha halys (Stål) (Hemiptera: Pentatomidae) can be accomplished using a systems-level approach termed IPM-CPR (Integrated Pest Management-Crop Perimeter Restructuring) in apple. We conducted on-farm comparisons of IPM-CPR to standard management program for managing H. halys, Cydia pomonella (L.) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), Grapholita molesta (Busck) (Lepidoptera: Tortricidae), and Lygus lineolaris Palisot de Beauvois (Hemiptera: Miridae) in commercial apple orchards in 2014, 2016, and 2017 in New Jersey, Maryland, and Virginia. The presence and abundance of key pests and fruit injury at harvest were used as a measure of success of the program. We compared the amount of insecticide applied for each management program. In majority of instances, there were no differences in the IPM-CPR and the standard management program in terms of H. halys numbers in baited pyramid traps and stink bug injury at harvest. Damage from C. pomonella and G. molesta in the IPM-CPR treatment was significantly lower than the standard management program in 2014 and 2017. Amount of active ingredient used was on average 62.1% lower in the IPM-CPR treatment compared with standard management program. Despite a reduction in insecticide use, there were minimal impacts on beneficial insects. Overall, IPM-CPR in apples successfully managed key orchard pests, including H. halys, and used significantly less insecticide than a standard insecticide-based management program and could be adopted as a systems-level approach for pest population reduction.

RevDate: 2020-05-23

Ashman TL, Arceo-Gómez G, Bennett JM, et al (2020)

Is heterospecific pollen receipt the missing link in understanding pollen limitation of plant reproduction?.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

RevDate: 2020-05-23

Petersen TK, Speed JDM, Grøtan V, et al (2020)

Urban aliens and threatened near-naturals: Land-cover affects the species richness of alien- and threatened species in an urban-rural setting.

Scientific reports, 10(1):8513 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-65459-2.

Urbanisation has strong effects on biodiversity patterns, but impacts vary among species groups and across spatial scales. From a local biodiversity management perspective, a more general understanding of species richness across taxonomic groups is required. This study aims to investigate how fine-scale land-cover variables influence species richness patterns of locally threatened and alien species. The study was performed in Trondheim, Norway, covering a steep urbanisation gradient. Spatially correlated Generalised Linear Mixed Effects Models predicting the number of all-, threatened-and alien species by taxon, habitat, habitat heterogeneity and mean aspect within 500 m×500 m grid cells were constructed. The habitat categories were based on detailed land-cover maps. The highest number of threatened species was found in habitats relatively less affected by humans, whereas the number of alien species were only dependent on taxonomic group and spatial correlation. It is shown that land-cover variables within an administrative border can be used to make predictions on species richness within overarching species groups. Recommendations to biodiversity management agencies are to ensure protection of natural habitats to favour locally threatened species, and closely monitor urban areas to mitigate the introduction and spread of alien species.

RevDate: 2020-05-22

Smith JA, Suraci JP, Hunter JS, et al (2020)

Zooming in on mechanistic predator-prey ecology: integrating camera traps with experimental methods to reveal the drivers of ecological interactions.

The Journal of animal ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Camera trap technology has galvanized the study of predator-prey ecology in wild animal communities by expanding the scale and diversity of predator-prey interactions that can be analyzed. While observational data from systematic camera arrays have informed inferences on the spatiotemporal outcomes of predator-prey interactions, the capacity for observational studies to identify mechanistic drivers of species interactions is limited. Experimental study designs that utilize camera traps uniquely allow for testing hypothesized mechanisms that drive predator and prey behavior, incorporating environmental realism not possible in the lab while benefiting from the distinct capacity of camera traps to generate large data sets from multiple species with minimal observer interference. However, such pairings of camera traps with experimental methods remain underutilized. We review recent advances in the experimental application of camera traps to investigate fundamental mechanisms underlying predator-prey ecology and present a conceptual guide for designing experimental camera trap studies. Only 9% of camera trap studies on predator-prey ecology in our review mention experimental methods, but the application of experimental approaches is increasing. To illustrate the utility of camera trap-based experiments using a case study, we propose a study design that integrates observational and experimental techniques to test a perennial question in predator-prey ecology: how prey balance foraging and safety, as formalized by the risk allocation hypothesis. We discuss applications of camera trap-based experiments to evaluate the diversity of anthropogenic influences on wildlife communities globally. Finally, we review challenges to conducting experimental camera trap studies. Experimental camera trap studies have already begun to play an important role in understanding the predator-prey ecology of free-living animals, and such methods will become increasingly critical to quantifying drivers of community interactions in a rapidly changing world. We recommend increased application of experimental methods in the study of predator and prey responses to humans, synanthropic and invasive species, and other anthropogenic disturbances.

RevDate: 2020-05-22

Saul-Gershenz L, Grodsky SM, RR Hernandez (2020)

Ecology of the Western Queen Butterfly Danaus gilippus thersippus (Lepidoptera: Nymphalidae) in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.

Insects, 11(5): pii:insects11050315.

The purpose of this study was to assess the ecological knowledge surrounding the western queen butterfly, Danaus gilippus thersippus (H. Bates). Specifically, our objectives were to synthesize existing data and knowledge on the ecology of the queen and use results of this assessment to inform the direction of future research on this understudied species. We identified six core areas for assessment: distribution, the biodiversity of plant resources, western queen and their host plant phenology, chemical ecology, and four key life history traits. We mapped the distribution of D. g. thersippus from museum specimen records, citizen science (e.g., iNaturalist) and image sharing app-based observations, along with other observational data enumerating all current known plant resources and long-range movements. We assembled 14 larval food plants, six pyrrolizidine alkaloids plants and six nectar plants distributed in the western Mojave and Sonoran Desert regions of the United States and Baja California. We report on its phenology and its long-range movement. Butterfly species have declined across the western US, and western monarch populations have declined by 97%. Danaus g. thersippus has received little research attention compared with its famous congener D. plexippus L. Danaus g. thersippus' desert distribution may be at its temperature limits for the species distribution and for its rare host plant Asclepias nyctaginifolia.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Baird HP, Moon KL, Janion-Scheepers C, et al (2020)

Springtail phylogeography highlights biosecurity risks of repeated invasions and intraregional transfers among remote islands.

Evolutionary applications, 13(5):960-973 pii:EVA12913.

Human-mediated transport of species outside their natural range is a rapidly growing threat to biodiversity, particularly for island ecosystems that have evolved in isolation. The genetic structure underpinning island populations will largely determine their response to increased transport and thus help to inform biosecurity management. However, this information is severely lacking for some groups, such as the soil fauna. We therefore analysed the phylogeographic structure of an indigenous and an invasive springtail species (Collembola: Poduromorpha), each distributed across multiple remote sub-Antarctic islands, where human activity is currently intensifying. For both species, we generated a genome-wide SNP data set and additionally analysed all available COI barcodes. Genetic differentiation in the indigenous springtail Tullbergia bisetosa is substantial among (and, to a lesser degree, within) islands, reflecting low dispersal and historic population fragmentation, while COI patterns reveal ancestral signatures of postglacial recolonization. This pronounced geographic structure demonstrates the key role of allopatric divergence in shaping the region's diversity and highlights the vulnerability of indigenous populations to genetic homogenization via human transport. For the invasive species Hypogastrura viatica, nuclear genetic structure is much less apparent, particularly for islands linked by regular shipping, while diverged COI haplotypes indicate multiple independent introductions to each island. Thus, human transport has likely facilitated this species' persistence since its initial colonization, through the ongoing introduction and inter-island spread of genetic variation. These findings highlight the different evolutionary consequences of human transport for indigenous and invasive soil species. Crucially, both outcomes demonstrate the need for improved intraregional biosecurity among remote island systems, where the policy focus to date has been on external introductions.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Sjodin BMF, Irvine RL, Ford AT, et al (2020)

Rattus population genomics across the Haida Gwaii archipelago provides a framework for guiding invasive species management.

Evolutionary applications, 13(5):889-904 pii:EVA12907.

Invasive species have led to precipitous declines in biodiversity, especially in island systems. Brown (Rattus norvegicus) and black rats (R. rattus) are among the most invasive animals on the planet, with eradication being the primary tool for established island populations. The need for increased research for defining eradication units and monitoring outcomes has been highlighted as a means to maximize success. Haida Gwaii is an archipelago ~100 km off the northern coast of British Columbia, Canada, that hosts globally significant breeding populations of seabirds that are at risk due to invasive rats. Here, we paired sampling of brown (n = 287) and black (n = 291) rats across the Haida Gwaii archipelago with genotyping by sequencing (10,770-27,686 SNPs) to investigate patterns of population connectivity and infer levels/direction of gene flow among invasive rat populations in Haida Gwaii. We reconstructed three regional clusters for both species (north, central and south), with proximate populations within regions being largely more related than those that were more distant, consistent with predictions from island biogeography theory. Population assignment of recently detected individuals post-eradication on Faraday, Murchison and the Bischof Islands revealed all were re-invaders from Lyell Island, rather than being on-island survivors. Based on these results, we identified six eradication units constituting single or clusters of islands that would limit the potential for reinvasion, some of which will need to be combined with biosecurity measures. Overall, our results highlight the importance of targeted research prior to conducting eradications and demonstrate a framework for applying population genomics for guiding invasive species management in island systems.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Pabijan M, Palomar G, Antunes B, et al (2020)

Evolutionary principles guiding amphibian conservation.

Evolutionary applications, 13(5):857-878 pii:EVA12940.

The Anthropocene has witnessed catastrophic amphibian declines across the globe. A multitude of new, primarily human-induced drivers of decline may lead to extinction, but can also push species onto novel evolutionary trajectories. If these are recognized by amphibian biologists, they can be engaged in conservation actions. Here, we summarize how principles stemming from evolutionary concepts have been applied for conservation purposes, and address emerging ideas at the vanguard of amphibian conservation science. In particular, we examine the consequences of increased drift and inbreeding in small populations and their implications for practical conservation. We then review studies of connectivity between populations at the landscape level, which have emphasized the limiting influence of anthropogenic structures and degraded habitat on genetic cohesion. The rapid pace of environmental changes leads to the central question of whether amphibian populations can cope either by adapting to new conditions or by shifting their ranges. We gloomily conclude that extinction seems far more likely than adaptation or range shifts for most species. That said, conservation strategies employing evolutionary principles, such as selective breeding, introduction of adaptive variants through translocations, ecosystem interventions aimed at decreasing phenotype-environment mismatch, or genetic engineering, may effectively counter amphibian decline in some areas or for some species. The spread of invasive species and infectious diseases has often had disastrous consequences, but has also provided some premier examples of rapid evolution with conservation implications. Much can be done in terms of setting aside valuable amphibian habitat that should encompass both natural and agricultural areas, as well as designing protected areas to maximize the phylogenetic and functional diversity of the amphibian community. We conclude that an explicit consideration and application of evolutionary principles, although certainly not a silver bullet, should increase effectiveness of amphibian conservation in both the short and long term.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Hudson J, Johannesson K, McQuaid CD, et al (2020)

Secondary contacts and genetic admixture shape colonization by an amphiatlantic epibenthic invertebrate.

Evolutionary applications, 13(3):600-612 pii:EVA12893.

Research on the genetics of invasive species often focuses on patterns of genetic diversity and population structure within the introduced range. However, a growing body of literature is demonstrating the need to study how native genotypes affect both ecological and evolutionary mechanisms within the introduced range. Here, we used genotyping-by-sequencing to study both native and introduced ranges of the amphiatlantic marine invertebrate Ciona intestinalis. A previous study using microsatellites analysed samples collected along the Swedish west coast and showed the presence of genetically distinct lineages in deep and shallow waters. Using 1,653 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from newly collected samples (285 individuals), we first confirmed the presence of this depth-defined genomic divergence along the Swedish coast. We then used approximate Bayesian computation to infer the historical relationship among sites from the North Sea, the English Channel and the northwest Atlantic and found evidence of ancestral divergence between individuals from deep waters off Sweden and individuals from the English Channel. This divergence was followed by a secondary contact that led to a genetic admixture between the ancestral populations (i.e., deep Sweden and English Channel), which originated the genotypes found in shallow Sweden. We then revealed that the colonization of C. intestinalis in the northwest Atlantic was as a result of an admixture between shallow Sweden and the English Channel genotypes across the introduced range. Our results showed the presence of both past and recent genetic admixture events that together may have promoted the successful colonizations of C. intestinalis. Our study suggests that secondary contacts potentially reshape the evolutionary trajectories of invasive species through the promotion of intraspecific hybridization and by altering both colonization patterns and their ecological effects in the introduced range.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Green L, Havenhand JN, C Kvarnemo (2020)

Evidence of rapid adaptive trait change to local salinity in the sperm of an invasive fish.

Evolutionary applications, 13(3):533-544 pii:EVA12859.

Invasive species may quickly colonize novel environments, which could be attributed to both phenotypic plasticity and an ability to locally adapt. Reproductive traits are expected to be under strong selection when the new environment limits reproductive success of the invading species. This may be especially important for external fertilizers, which release sperm and eggs into the new environment. Despite adult tolerance to high salinity, the invasive fish Neogobius melanostomus (round goby) is absent from fully marine regions of the Baltic Sea, raising the possibility that its distribution is limited by tolerance during earlier life stages. Here, we investigate the hypothesis that the spread of N. melanostomus is limited by sperm function in novel salinities. We sampled sperm from two invasion fronts with higher and lower salinities in the Baltic Sea and tested them across a range of salinity levels. We found that sperm velocity and percentage of motile sperm declined in salinity levels higher and lower than those currently experienced by the Baltic Sea populations, with different performance curves for the two fronts. Sperm velocity also peaked closer to the home salinity conditions in each respective invasion front, with older localities showing an increased fit to local conditions. By calculating how the sperm velocity has changed over generations, we show this phenotypic shift to be in the range of other fish species under strong selection, indicating ongoing local adaptation or epigenetic acclimation to their novel environment. These results show that while immigrant reproductive dysfunction appears to at least partly limit the distribution of invasive N. melanostomus in the Baltic Sea, local adaptation to novel environments could enable future spread beyond their current boundaries.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Popovic I, Matias AMA, Bierne N, et al (2020)

Twin introductions by independent invader mussel lineages are both associated with recent admixture with a native congener in Australia.

Evolutionary applications, 13(3):515-532 pii:EVA12857.

Introduced species can impose profound impacts on the evolution of receiving communities with which they interact. If native and introduced taxa remain reproductively semi-isolated, human-mediated secondary contact may promote genetic exchange across newly created hybrid zones, potentially impacting native genetic diversity and invasive species spread. Here, we investigate the contributions of recent divergence histories and ongoing (post-introduction) gene flow between the invasive marine mussel, Mytilus galloprovincialis, and a morphologically indistinguishable and taxonomically contentious native Australian taxon, Mytilus planulatus. Using transcriptome-wide markers, we demonstrate that two contemporary M. galloprovincialis introductions into south-eastern Australia originate from genetically divergent lineages from its native range in the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Europe, where both introductions have led to repeated instances of admixture between introduced and endemic populations. Through increased genome-wide resolution of species relationships, combined with demographic modelling, we validate that mussels sampled in Tasmania are representative of the endemic Australian taxon (M. planulatus), but share strong genetic affinities to M. galloprovincialis. Demographic inferences indicate late-Pleistocene divergence times and historical gene flow between the Tasmanian endemic lineage and northern M. galloprovincialis, suggesting that native and introduced taxa have experienced a period of historical isolation of at least 100,000 years. Our results demonstrate that many genomic loci and sufficient sampling of closely related lineages in both sympatric (e.g. Australian populations) and allopatric (e.g. northern hemisphere Mytilus taxa) ranges are necessary to accurately (a) interpret patterns of intraspecific differentiation and to (b) distinguish contemporary invasive introgression from signatures left by recent divergence histories in high dispersal marine species. More broadly, our study fills a significant gap in systematic knowledge of native Australian biodiversity and sheds light on the intrinsic challenges for invasive species research when native and introduced species boundaries are not well defined.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Steele CH, King JR, Boughton EH, et al (2020)

Distribution of the Red Imported Fire Ant Solenopsis invicta (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Central Florida Pastures.

Environmental entomology pii:5840937 [Epub ahead of print].

Habitat disturbance has been found to facilitate the introduction of a wide range of species, including the red imported fire ant Solenopsis invicta Buren (Hymenoptera: Formicidae: Myrmicinae). Despite the link between S. invicta colonization and disturbance, little is known about how different intensities or types of disturbance might impact S. invicta populations. In this study, we used S. invicta populations in cattle pastures to understand how variation in disturbance type and frequency correlates with the density of S. invicta mounds. In total, 56 plots were surveyed for mound abundance during both the wet and dry seasons on a subtropical south Florida ranch. Explanatory variables were grouped into five categories based on disturbance type: 1) historic pasture conversion; 2) modern pasture management (mowing, dragging, chopping, or aerating); 3) grazing intensity (a measure vegetation height and dung pat abundance); 4) distance to human-made and natural localized disturbance (roads, ditches, and wetlands); and 5) abiotic conditions (soil temperature, soil moisture). Overall, the average number of mounds per plot was not significantly different between seasons, but was significantly higher in intensive pastures, which are converted to nonnative forage grasses than in seminative pastures during the dry season. Time since soil disturbance (aeration and chopping of pasture) was a significant predictor of S. invicta densities in both dry and wet seasons, with an increase in time since disturbance being associated with higher mound densities. Other forms of pasture management that did not disturb the soil, such as dragging and mowing, as well as distance to localized disturbances (wetlands, roads, and ditches) were not found to have a significant correlation in either season.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Kemp ME, Mychajliw AM, Wadman J, et al (2020)

7000 years of turnover: historical contingency and human niche construction shape the Caribbean's Anthropocene biota.

Proceedings. Biological sciences, 287(1927):20200447.

The human-mediated movement of species across biogeographic boundaries-whether intentional or accidental-is dramatically reshaping the modern world. Yet humans have been reshaping ecosystems and translocating species for millennia, and acknowledging the deeper roots of these phenomena is important for contextualizing present-day biodiversity loss, ecosystem functioning and management needs. Here, we present the first database of terrestrial vertebrate species introductions spanning the entire anthropogenic history of a system: the Caribbean. We employ this approximately 7000-year dataset to assess the roles of historical contingency and priority effects in shaping present-day community structure and conservation outcomes, finding that serial human colonization events contributed to habitat modifications and species extinctions that shaped the trajectories of subsequent species introductions by other human groups. We contextualized spatial and temporal patterns of species introductions within cultural practices and population histories of Indigenous, colonial and modern human societies, and show that the taxonomic and biogeographic diversity of introduced species reflects diversifying reasons for species introductions through time. Recognition of the complex social and economic structures across the 7000-year human history of the Caribbean provides the necessary context for interpreting the formation of an Anthropocene biota.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Wang S, Cheng H, Wei M, et al (2020)

Litter decomposition process dramatically declines the allelopathy of Solidago canadensis L. on the seed germination and seedling growth of Lactuca sativa L.

International journal of phytoremediation [Epub ahead of print].

A variety of invasive alien species (IAS) can trigger distinct allelopathy on the seed germination and seedling growth (SGeSGr) of native plant species (NPS) mainly through the released allelochemicals. However, the decomposition process of IAS litters may affect their allelopathy on SGeSGr of NPS because part of the allelochemicals will be released during the litter decomposition process, especially under heavy metal pollution. This study focuses on the impacts of the litter decomposition process of the notorious IAS Solidago canadensis L. on its allelopathy on SGeSGr of NPS Lactuca sativa L. under cadmium (Cd) pollution. The decomposition process signally declines the allelopathy of S. canadensis litters on SGeSGr of L. sativa likely because partial allelochemicals in S. canadensis litters discharged during the decomposition process. Cd addition noticeably rises the allelopathy of S. canadensis litters on SGeSGr of L. sativa probably because Cd can reduce plant growth largely via the improved lipid membrane permeability and the induced reactive oxygen molecules which is unfavorable to plant cell metabolism. This phenomenon may also be attributed to the weak acid properties of one of the most abundant allelochemicals in S. canadensis litters, i.e., phenolics (particularly polyphenols), can improve the solubility and the toxicity of Cd.

RevDate: 2020-05-19

Halliday FW, Heckman RW, Wilfahrt PA, et al (2020)

Eutrophication, biodiversity loss, and species invasions modify the relationship between host and parasite richness during host community assembly.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

Host and parasite richness are generally positively correlated, but the stability of this relationship in response to global change remains poorly understood. Rapidly changing biotic and abiotic conditions can alter host community assembly, which in turn, can alter parasite transmission. Consequently, if the relationship between host and parasite richness is sensitive to parasite transmission, then changes in host composition under various global change scenarios could strengthen or weaken the relationship between host and parasite richness. To test the hypothesis that host community assembly can alter the relationship between host and parasite richness in response to global change, we experimentally crossed host diversity (biodiversity loss) and resource supply to hosts (eutrophication), then allowed communities to assemble. As previously shown, initial host diversity and resource supply determined the trajectory of host community assembly, altering post-assembly host species richness, richness-independent host phylogenetic diversity, and colonization by exotic host species. Overall, host richness predicted parasite richness, and as predicted, this effect was moderated by exotic abundance: communities dominated by exotic species exhibited a stronger positive relationship between post-assembly host and parasite richness. Ultimately, these results suggest that, by modulating parasite transmission, community assembly can modify the relationship between host and parasite richness. These results thus provide a novel mechanism to explain how global environmental change can generate contingencies in a fundamental ecological relationship: the positive relationship between host and parasite richness.

RevDate: 2020-05-19

Asaeda T, Senavirathna MDHJ, L Vamsi Krishna (2020)

Evaluation of Habitat Preferences of Invasive Macrophyte Egeria densa in Different Channel Slopes Using Hydrogen Peroxide as an Indicator.

Frontiers in plant science, 11:422.

Egeria densa is an often-found invasive species in Japan, which has spread widely in the past two decades in rivers where no macrophytes had previously been found. As a result, these ecosystems have now become dominated by E. densa. The habitat preference for E. densa colony formation was investigated using the tissue concentrations of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2: a reactive oxygen species) under varying conditions in rivers and laboratory conditions. The empirical equations that can describe the macrophyte tissue H2O2 formation under various velocity and light conditions were produced. The H2O2 concentrations of dark-adapted plants are proportional to the flow velocity, and the surplus H2O2 concentration in the light-exposed condition corresponded to the photosystems produced H2O2. When the H2O2 concentration exceeds 16 μmol/gFW, plant tissue starts to deteriorate, and biomass declines, indicating the critical values required for long-term survival of the plant. The empirically obtained relationships between flow velocity or light intensity and the analysis of H2O2 concentration for different slopes and depths of channels found that the H2O2 value exceeds the critical H2O2 concentration in channels with above 1/100 at around 0.6 m depth. This agrees with the observed results where colonies were not found in channels with slopes exceeding 1/100, and biomass concentration was the largest at depths of 0.6 to 0.8 m. H2O2 concentration is quite applicable to understanding the macrophyte condition in various kinds of macrophyte management.

RevDate: 2020-05-20

Pongkijvorasin S, Wada CA, KM Burnett (2020)

Optimal multi-instrument management of interrelated resources and a groundwater dependent ecosystem.

Journal of environmental management, 269:110723 pii:S0301-4797(20)30655-1 [Epub ahead of print].

We develop and operationalize an integrated groundwater and watershed management model using data from the Kīholo aquifer on the west coast of Hawai'i Island. Results from a numerical simulation suggest that investment in fencing (passive management) is preferred to invasive species removal (active management) if we are limited to selecting a single conservation tool. However, using both instruments jointly increases net present value relative to using either instrument independently in most cases tested, and the additional benefit of invasive species removal increases as water becomes scarcer. The general results are largely insensitive to variations in the invasive species uptake rate and recharge benefits of fencing, and in all cases, use of both instruments reduces the loss resulting from the imposition of a safe minimum standard for groundwater-dependent ecosystems more effectively than either instrument alone.

RevDate: 2020-05-19

Douek J, Harbuzov Z, Galil BS, et al (2020)

Developing novel microsatellite markers by NGS technology for Rhopilema nomadica, an invasive jellyfish.

Molecular biology reports pii:10.1007/s11033-020-05533-0 [Epub ahead of print].

Twelve microsatellite loci, obtained by whole genome sequencing approach, were developed and validated for the rhizostomatid jellyfish Rhopilema nomadica, the most pernicious invasive species in the Mediterranean Sea. A sample of 40 specimens collected at six locations along the Mediterranean coast of Israel were genotyped and all loci presented suitable outcomes to population genetic studies, revealing 5-19 alleles/locus with clean and reproducible amplifications. Observed and expected heterozygosity ranged 0.0.353 to 0.971 and 0.335 to 0.870, respectively, and the fixation index (inbreeding coefficient) and the polymorphic information content (PIC) ranged between - 0.190 and 0.240 and 0.32 to 0.858, respectively. The new set of microsatellite loci will be used to study long-term changes in the population genetic parameters of this invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-05-19

Cleeland JB, Pardo D, Raymond B, et al (2020)

Introduced species and extreme weather as key drivers of reproductive output in three sympatric albatrosses.

Scientific reports, 10(1):8199 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-64662-5.

Invasive species present a major conservation threat globally and nowhere are their affects more pronounced than in island ecosystems. Determining how native island populations respond demographically to invasive species can provide information to mitigate the negative effects of invasive species. Using 20 years of mark-recapture data from three sympatric species of albatrosses (black-browed Thalassarche melanophris, grey-headed T. chrysostoma, and light-mantled albatrosses Phoebetria palpebrata), we quantified the influence of invasive European rabbits Oryctolagus cuniculus and extreme weather patterns on breeding probability and success. Temporal variability in rabbit density explained 33-76% of the variability in breeding probability for all three species, with severe decreases in breeding probability observed after a lag period following highest rabbit numbers. For black-browed albatrosses, the combination of extreme rainfall and high rabbit density explained 33% of total trait variability and dramatically reduced breeding success. We showed that invasive rabbits and extreme weather events reduce reproductive output in albatrosses and that eliminating rabbits had a positive effect on albatross reproduction. This illustrates how active animal management at a local breeding site can result in positive population outcomes even for wide ranging animals like albatrosses where influencing vital rates during their at-sea migrations is more challenging.

RevDate: 2020-05-20
CmpDate: 2020-05-20

Liang JF, Yuan WY, Gao JQ, et al (2020)

Soil resource heterogeneity competitively favors an invasive clonal plant over a native one.

Oecologia, 193(1):155-165.

Soil resource heterogeneity can affect plant growth and competitive ability. However, little is known about how soil resource heterogeneity affects competitive interactions between invasive and native plants. We conducted an experiment with an invasive clonal plant Alternanthera philoxeroides and a coexisting native one Alternanthera sessilis. The experiment was a randomized design with three factors, i.e. two species (A. philoxeroides and A. sessilis), two interspecific competition treatments (with and without) and five soil treatments (three homogeneous treatments and two small-scale heterogeneous treatments consisting of two patches of 10 cm × 15 cm and with different initial planting positions). Irrespective of competition, increasing soil resource availability increased the growth of A. philoxeroides. Increasing soil resource availability also increased the growth of A. sessilis without competition, but had no impact with competition. Irrespective of competition, soil resource heterogeneity increased biomass and ramet production of A. philoxeroides, and such effects were independent of initial planting position. For A. sessilis, however, soil resource heterogeneity only increased ramet production when the initial plant was grown in the low-resource patch without competition. Our results suggest that both high soil resource availability and small-scale soil resource heterogeneity can increase the relative competitive ability of the invasive plant A. philoxeroides when grown with its native congener A. sessilis. These findings may partly explain the invasion success of this clonal species in area with high soil resource availability and heterogeneity caused by e.g. nitrogen deposition, fertilization and disturbance.

RevDate: 2020-05-18

Magliozzi C, Tsiamis K, Vigiak O, et al (2020)

Assessing invasive alien species in European catchments: Distribution and impacts.

The Science of the total environment, 732:138677 pii:S0048-9697(20)32194-X [Epub ahead of print].

Invasive alien species (IAS) induce changes to community structure and functions which lead to a decline of endemic species and major irreversible changes to the local physical habitat. The distribution and the impacts of multiple freshwater IAS are not well known, and they have not been investigated simultaneously at catchment and at European scales. This study provides an assessment of the distribution and cumulative impact of freshwater IAS over European catchments. IAS occurrences were retrieved from the European Alien Species Information Network geospatial dataset and updated with the most recent records from the literature. The Cumulative Impact Index of Invasive Alien Species (CIMPAL) was derived by aggregating the impacts of species and their occupied area at catchment level by following three steps: i) IAS were scored by both the magnitude of impacts on freshwater ecosystems and the strength of evidence in the literature, ii) scores were mapped over the catchment area, and iii) scores were summed across IAS over the catchment. The distribution of CIMPAL in the river ecological classes of the Water Framework Directive was examined and increasing/decreasing patterns identified across ecological statuses. Results showed strong spatial variation in the documented distribution and impacts of IAS in Europe. Catchments with CIMPAL scores >40 (range 0-55) clustered in Western European countries (e.g. Belgium and France) were characterised by plant, invertebrate and vertebrate IAS that had both a large impact in magnitude and colonisation at local (catchment level) and large scale (across catchments). CIMPAL showed statistically significant and increasing values from high to bad ecological classes in eight countries only (Belgium, the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Hungary, Italy, Luxemburg, Poland). This study provides comprehensive evidence of the distribution and impact of IAS within freshwater environments that could be used to improve understanding of the ecological pressures at catchment scale.

RevDate: 2020-05-17

Brain RA, JC Anderson (2020)

Anthropogenic factors affecting wildlife species status outcomes: why the fixation on pesticides?.

Environmental science and pollution research international pii:10.1007/s11356-020-08980-1 [Epub ahead of print].

Most Americans are at least three generations removed from the farm, thereby at least three generations removed from the reality of where their food comes from. Not surprisingly, there are many misconceptions about modern food production, including the potential collateral environmental damage attributed to agriculture, particularly the application of pesticides. However, the implication of conventional agriculture in the broader narrative of wildlife species status outcomes (SSOs) lacks context and relativity. Since the dawn of civilization, humans have had a profound impact on their environment. Originating as hunter-gatherer societies, our ancient ancestors initially exploited anything that could be consumed or brought to bear. With the advent of the "first proto-farmers," humans began manipulating their environments to maximize available resources. Urban centers propagated and flourished proximal to agricultural origins, where modern societies have been built primarily on an abundance of food. As societies "developed," and continue to develop, an inevitable economic transition occurs from agriculture to industry/service predominance, culminating in a corresponding shift in land use. Developed countries have typically experienced maximal expansion of the agricultural frontier, where farmland is now steadily eroding by a proverbial flood of urban development. In contrast, in developing countries, this shift in economic development has not yet fully manifested and the agricultural footprint continues to expand at the expense of native habitats. Thus, the relative influence of "agriculture" on SSOs, in terms of land use, is primarily dependent on economic developmental status, which can be, at least in part, ameliorated via technology by increasing yield from existing land. Moreover, in addition to the land use challenge, there are multiple other factors affecting wildlife SSOs, including a figurative plague of invasive species, a literal plague of disease, a barrage of buildings, bumpers, grilles, and windshields to collide with, light pollution to confuse cues with, poachers to contend with, and even more complicated factors such as climate change. Being an easy target does not mean pesticides are the right target, and this fixation can potentially detract from public awareness regarding the primary drivers affecting SSOs as well as the opportunity to proactively address them. So, relatively speaking, how do these other factors compare to "pesticides" in terms of driving SSOs? Moreover, why is the popular media so fixated on the pesticide narrative? Based on the available evidence, this manuscript attempts to address these questions from a holistic and relative perspective within the context of land use change, economic development, population growth, and associated implications of global connectivity and commerce.

RevDate: 2020-05-17

Little CM, Chapman TW, NK Hillier (2020)

Plasticity Is Key to Success of Drosophila suzukii (Diptera: Drosophilidae) Invasion.

Journal of insect science (Online), 20(3):.

After its initial discovery in California in 2008, Drosophila suzukii Matsumura has become one of the most important invasive agricultural pest insects across climate zones in much of Asia, Europe, North America, and South America. Populations of D. suzukii have demonstrated notable behavioral and physiological plasticity, adapting to diverse environmental and climatic conditions, interspecific competition, novel food sources, and potential predators. This adaptability and plasticity have enabled rapid range expansion and diversified niche use by D. suzukii, making it a species particularly suited to changing habitats and conditions. This article reviews factors and evidence that influence plasticity in D. suzukii and promotes this species' invasiveness.

RevDate: 2020-05-15

Marchioro M, Battisti A, M Faccoli (2020)

Light Traps in Shipping Containers: A New Tool for the Early Detection of Insect Alien Species.

Journal of economic entomology pii:5837498 [Epub ahead of print].

Insects are one of the most successful groups of invasive species, and the number of new introductions has been increasing in the last decades. Insect invasions are affected mainly by the increase in international trade, as most of them travel across the world inside shipping containers. The effectiveness of sticky light traps was tested for the interception of alien pests inside the containers. The tested hypotheses were that light traps have a valuable broad-spectrum attraction and their trapping performance differs between empty or loaded containers. The optimal trap density in a container was also investigated. Trapping tests were conducted on four model species: Cadra cautella Walker (Lepidoptera: Pyralidae), Drosophila melanogaster Meigen (Diptera: Drosophilidae), Sitophilus zeamais, Motschulsky and Ips typographus L. (Coleoptera: Curculionidae). Insects were released within a standard shipping container, in either empty or loaded conditions, where sticky light traps were deployed for 15 h. Traps were tested with light on (activated) or off (control). Activated traps captured more Lepidoptera and Diptera than control ones, with no differences between empty and loaded container. Instead, Coleoptera were rarely caught, probably because of their ability to escape from traps. Results show that higher trap density in the container (from 1 to 8) increases the probability of insect capture. In conclusion, positive results on C. cautella and D. melanogaster suggest a possible application of sticky light traps against some small Lepidoptera and Diptera species flying in containers and infesting seeds, grains, and fruits, while traps need improvement for application against beetles.

RevDate: 2020-05-15

Vaz FF, Raso TF, Agius JE, et al (2020)

Opportunistic sampling of wild native and invasive birds reveals a rich diversity of adenoviruses in Australia.

Virus evolution, 6(1):veaa024 pii:veaa024.

Little is known about the diversity of adenoviruses in wild birds and how they have evolved and are maintained in complex ecosystems. In this study, 409 samples were collected from woodland birds caught for banding (droppings), birds submitted to a wildlife hospital (droppings and tissues), silver gulls (droppings or tissues), and feral pigeons (Columbia livia; oral, cloacal swabs, or tissues) from the Greater Sydney area in NSW, Australia. Additional samples were from native pigeons and doves (swabs) presented to the Healesville Sanctuary, VIC, Australia. Samples were screened for adenovirus DNA using degenerate primers and polymerase chain reaction. Adenovirus sequences were detected in eighty-three samples representing thirty-five novel amino acid sequences. Fourteen novel sequences were atadenoviruses, seven were aviadenoviruses, twelve were siadenoviruses, and one was a mastadenovirus. Sequences from passerine birds were predominately found to form a single lineage within the atadenoviruses, a second lineage in the siadenoviruses, and a third smaller aviadenovirus lineage. These viruses appeared to have co-evolved with a diverse group of woodland birds that share similar habitat. Evidence for host/virus co-evolution in some viruses and a wide host range in others was observed. A high prevalence of adenovirus infection was found in rainbow lorikeets (Trichoglossus haematodus), galahs (Eolophus roseicapilla), and sulphur-crested cockatoos (Cacatua galerita). Sequences were either identical to or mapped to already established lineages in the Aviadenovirus, Siadenovirus, and Atadenovirus genera, suggesting a possible origin of the psittacine adenoviruses in ancestral Australian psittacine birds. The sequences of passerine and psittacine origin provided insight into diversity and structure of the Atadenovirus genus and demonstrated for the first-time viruses of passerine origin in the Aviadenovirus genus. Four unrelated adenovirus sequences were found in silver gull samples (Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae), including one of pigeon origin, suggesting environmental virus exposure. Three pigeon adenovirus types were detected in feral pigeons and infection prevalence was high. Evidence for host switching between invasive species and native species and native species and invasive species was documented. A variant of a murine adenovirus was detected in kidney tissue from two bird species suggesting mouse to bird transmission.

RevDate: 2020-05-15

Fenollosa E, Jené L, S Munné-Bosch (2020)

A rapid and sensitive method to assess seed longevity through accelerated aging in an invasive plant species.

Plant methods, 16:64 pii:607.

Background: Seed longevity and vigor assessment is crucial for efficient ex situ biodiversity conservation in genebanks but may also have potential applications for the understanding of ecological processes and in situ biodiversity conservation. In fact, one of the factors determining the persistence of invasive species, a main threat to global biodiversity, is the generation of soil seed banks where seeds may remain viable for several years. Artificial seed aging tests using high temperatures and high relative humidity have been described for seed longevity estimation but have been mainly optimized for species with commercial interest. Thus, the aim of the study is to define a rapid and sensitive method to assess seed longevity and vigor through accelerated aging in the worldwide distributed invasive species Carpobrotus edulis to provide tools to biodiversity managers to evaluate invasive potential and develop effective post-eradication plans.

Results: Slow seed deterioration rate was obtained when C. edulis seeds were subjected to common accelerated aging temperatures (43-45 °C). This contrasts with the rapid viability decay between 24-72 h when seeds were subjected to temperatures superior to 55 °C, a strong inflection point for this species' thermosensitivity. Relative humidity also played a role in defining seed survival curves, but only at high temperatures, speeding up the deterioration process. The selected aging conditions, 55 °C at 87% relative humidity were tested over two C. edulis populations and three measures were proposed to parametrize the differential sigmoidal seed survival curves, defining the seed resistance to deterioration (L5, aging time where 95% of seeds maintain their viability), medium longevity (L50, 50% of seeds lose their viability) and lethal aging time (L95, 95% of viability loss).

Conclusions: An accelerated aging test at 55 °C and 87% relative humidity constitutes a rapid and sensitive method that can be performed within a working week, allowing managers to easily test seed vigor and longevity. This test may contribute to assess invasive potential, design effective monitoring programs and soil seed bank eradication treatments.

RevDate: 2020-05-15

Hernández-Brito D, Blanco G, Tella JL, et al (2020)

A protective nesting association with native species counteracts biotic resistance for the spread of an invasive parakeet from urban into rural habitats.

Frontiers in zoology, 17:13 pii:360.

Background: Non-native species are often introduced in cities, where they take advantage of microclimatic conditions, resources provided by humans, and competitor/predator release to establish and proliferate. However, native communities in the surrounding rural or natural areas usually halt their spread through biotic resistance, mainly via top-down regulative processes (predation pressure). Here, we show an unusual commensal interaction between exotic and native bird species that favours the spread of the former from urban to rural habitats.

Results: We show how Monk parakeets Myiopsitta monachus, an invasive species often introduced in cities worldwide, associated for breeding with a much larger, native species (the white stork Ciconia ciconia) to reduce predation risk in central Spain, thus allowing their colonization of rural areas. Parakeets selected stork nests close to conspecifics and where breeding raptors were less abundant. Parakeets always flushed when raptors approached their nests when breeding alone, but stayed at their nests when breeding in association with storks. Moreover, when storks abandoned a nest, parakeets abandoned it in the following year, suggesting that storks actually confer protection against predators.

Conclusions: Our results show how a protective-nesting association between invasive and native species can counteract biotic resistance to allow the spread of an invasive species across non-urban habitats, where they may become crop pests. Monk parakeet populations are now growing exponentially in several cities in several Mediterranean countries, where they coexist with white storks. Therefore, management plans should consider this risk of spread into rural areas and favour native predators as potential biological controllers.

RevDate: 2020-05-15

Pili AN, Tingley R, Sy EY, et al (2020)

Niche shifts and environmental non-equilibrium undermine the usefulness of ecological niche models for invasion risk assessments.

Scientific reports, 10(1):7972 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-64568-2.

Niche shifts and environmental non-equilibrium in invading alien species undermine niche-based predictions of alien species' potential distributions and, consequently, their usefulness for invasion risk assessments. Here, we compared the realized climatic niches of four alien amphibian species (Hylarana erythraea, Rhinella marina, Hoplobatrachus rugulosus, and Kaloula pulchra) in their native and Philippine-invaded ranges to investigate niche changes that have unfolded during their invasion and, with this, assessed the extent of niche conservatism and environmental equilibrium. We investigated how niche changes affected reciprocal transferability of ecological niche models (ENMs) calibrated using data from the species' native and Philippine-invaded ranges, and both ranges combined. We found varying levels of niche change across the species' realized climatic niches in the Philippines: climatic niche shift for H. rugulosus; niche conservatism for R. marina and K. pulchra; environmental non-equilibrium in the Philippine-invaded range for all species; and environmental non-equilibrium in the native range or adaptive changes post-introduction for all species except H. erythraea. Niche changes undermined the reciprocal transferability of ENMs calibrated using native and Philippine-invaded range data. Our paper highlights the difficulty of predicting potential distributions given niche shifts and environmental non-equilibrium; we suggest calibrating ENMs with data from species' combined native and invaded ranges, and to regularly reassess niche changes and recalibrate ENMs as species' invasions progress.

RevDate: 2020-05-15

Li HP, Wickham JD, Bushley K, et al (2020)

New Approaches in Urban Forestry to Minimize Invasive Species Impacts: The Case of Xiongan New Area in China.

Insects, 11(5): pii:insects11050300.

China is implementing an extensive urban forestry plan in Xiongan New Area (XNA), a new city in Hebei province. The city has been designated to serve Beijing's noncapital functions and promote the integration of the broader Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei city-region. As part of a green initiative to minimize environmental impacts and its carbon footprint, a massive urban forestry system has been planned on an unprecedented scale, expected to cover over 600 km2 by 2030. Using science to inform policy, one major goal is to simultaneously minimize impacts of invasive species, while making urban forests more resilient to potential invasive species threats. In this review, we introduce these urban forestry plans such as basic concepts and principles for afforestation, tree species to be planted, delineation of existing pests already established, and expected forest invasive species of concern threatening the new area. Finally, we introduce a framework for invasive pest management strategies in XNA based on a "big data" approach and decision system to minimize impacts of invasive species. This new approach to urban forestry has the potential to become an exemplary global model for urban forestry planning, one that integrates research activities focused on forest health surveys and monitoring with sustainable forestry management. Finally, we provide an overview of the forest health policy required for the design of an unprecedentedly large new urban forest from initial planning to full implementation of an integrated forest management program.

RevDate: 2020-05-15
CmpDate: 2020-05-15

Raj S, Kumar AB, Raghavan R, et al (2020)

Amazonian invaders in an Asian biodiversity hotspot: Understanding demographics for the management of the armoured sailfin catfish, Pterygoplichthys pardalis in Kerala, India.

Journal of fish biology, 96(2):549-553.

Invasion of armoured catfish, Pterygoplichthys spp., is a major threat to global aquatic biodiversity, and developing effective strategies for their control and eradication is both a concern and a research priority. A length-based population assessment of invasive Pterygoplichthys pardalis in southern India, a hotspot for endemic aquatic biodiversity, indicated that rapid growth, high growth performance index and continuous recruitment have aided their successful invasion. Increasing fishing pressure on the adults is not adequate for population management, and only targeting young individuals (<30 cm) will result in overexploitation and population collapse.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Bonthond G, Bayer T, Krueger-Hadfield SA, et al (2020)

How do microbiota associated with an invasive seaweed vary across scales?.

Molecular ecology [Epub ahead of print].

Communities are shaped by scale dependent processes. To study the diversity and variation of microbial communities across scales, the invasive and widespread seaweed Agarophyton vermiculophyllum presents a unique opportunity. We characterized pro- and eukaryotic communities associated with this holobiont across its known distribution range, which stretches over the northern hemisphere. Our data reveal that community composition and diversity in the holobiont vary at local but also larger geographic scales. While processes acting at the local scale (i.e., within population) are the main structuring drivers of associated microbial communities, changes in community composition also depend on processes acting at larger geographic scales. Interestingly, the largest analyzed scale (i.e., native and nonnative ranges) explained variation in the prevalence of predicted functional groups, which could suggest a functional shift in microbiota occurred over the course of the invasion process. While high variability in microbiota at the local scale supports A. vermiculophyllum to be a generalist host, we also identified a number of core taxa. These geographically independent holobiont members imply that co-introduction of specific microbiota may have additionally promoted the invasion process.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Tang J, Zhang S, Zhang X, et al (2020)

Effects of pyrolysis temperature on soil-plant-microbe responses to Solidago canadensis L.-derived biochar in coastal saline-alkali soil.

The Science of the total environment, 731:138938 pii:S0048-9697(20)32455-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Because salinity of coastal soils is drastically increasing, the application of biochars to saline-alkali soil amendments has attracted considerable attention. Various Solidago-canadensis-L.-derived biochars prepared through pyrolysis from 400 to 600 °C were applied to coastal saline-alkali soil samples to optimise the biochar pyrolysis temperature and investigate its actual ecological responses. All biochars reduced the soil bulk density and exchangeable sodium stress and increased soil water-holding capacity, cation exchange capacity, and organic matter content. Principal-component-analysis results showed that pyrolysis temperature played an important role in the potential application of biochars to improve the coastal saline-alkali soil, mainly contributed to ameliorating exchangeable sodium stress and decreasing biochar-soluble toxic compounds. Furthermore, soil bulk density and organic matter, as well as carboxylic acids, phenolic acids and amines of biochar were major driving factors for bacterial community composition. Compared to low-temperature biochar (pyrolyzed below 550 °C), which showed higher toxicity for Brassica chinensis L. growth due to the higher content of carboxylic acids, phenols and amines, high-temperature biochar (pyrolyzed at or above 550 °C) possessed less amounts of these toxic functional groups, more beneficial soil bacteria and healthier for plant growth. Therefore, high-temperature biochar could be applied as an effective soil amendment to ameliorate the coastal saline-alkali soil with acceptable environmental risk.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Goldsmit J, McKindsey CW, Schlegel RW, et al (2020)

What and where? Predicting invasion hotspots in the Arctic marine realm.

Global change biology [Epub ahead of print].

The risk of aquatic invasions in the Arctic is expected to increase with climate warming, greater shipping activity, and resource exploitation in the region. Planktonic and benthic marine aquatic invasive species (AIS) with the greatest potential for invasion and impact in the Canadian Arctic were identified and the 23 riskiest species were modelled to predict their potential spatial distributions at pan-Arctic and global scales. Modelling was conducted under present environmental conditions and two intermediate future (2050 and 2100) global warming scenarios. Invasion hotspots - regions of the Arctic where habitat is predicted to be suitable for a high number of potential AIS - were located in Hudson Bay, Northern Grand Banks/Labrador, Chukchi/Eastern Bering seas, and Barents/White seas, suggesting that these regions could be more vulnerable to invasions. Globally, both benthic and planktonic organisms showed a future poleward shift in suitable habitat. At a pan-Arctic scale, all organisms showed suitable habitat gains under future conditions. However, at the global scale, habitat loss was predicted in more tropical regions for some taxa, particularly most planktonic species. Results from the present study can help prioritize management efforts in the face of climate change in the Arctic marine ecosystem. Moreover, this particular approach provides information to identify present and future high-risk areas for AIS in response to global warming.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Gillard MB, Drenovsky RE, Thiébaut G, et al (2020)

Seed source regions drive fitness differences in invasive macrophytes.

American journal of botany [Epub ahead of print].

PREMISE: Worldwide, ecosystems are threatened by global changes, including biological invasions. Invasive species arriving in novel environments experience new climatic conditions that can affect their successful establishment. Determining the response of functional traits and fitness components of invasive populations from contrasting environments can provide a useful framework to assess species responses to climate change and the variability of these responses among source populations. Much research on macrophytes has focused on establishment from clonal fragments; however, colonization from sexual propagules has rarely been studied. Our objective was to compare trait responses of plants generated from sexual propagules sourced from three climatic regions but grown under common environmental conditions, using L. peploides subsp. montevidensis as a model taxon.

METHODS: We grew seedlings to reproductive stage in experimental mesocosms under a mediterranean California (MCA) climate from seeds collected in oceanic France (OFR), mediterranean France (MFR), and MCA.

RESULTS: Seed source region was a major factor influencing differences among invasive plants recruiting from sexual propagules of L. peploides subsp. montevidensis. Trait responses of young individual recruits from MCA and OFR, sourced from geographically distant and climatically distinct source regions, were the most different. The MCA individuals accumulated more biomass, flowered earlier, and had higher leaf N concentrations than the OFR plants. Those from MFR had intermediate profiles.

CONCLUSIONS: By showing that the closer a seedling is from its parental climate, the better it performs, this study provides new insights to the understanding of colonization of invasive plant species and informs its management under novel and changing environmental conditions.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Rees MW, Carwardine J, Reeson A, et al (2020)

Rapidly assessing cobenefits to advance threat-management alliances.

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

Conservation strategies aimed at reducing threats to biodiversity can have significant implications for multiple sectors in a socioeconomic system, but these cobenefits are often poorly understood. For example, many of the threats to native species also impede agricultural production, yet agriculture is typically perceived as in competition with conservation objectives. Although a comprehensive, multiobjective decision analysis is usually beyond the scope and capacity of conservation decision makers, failing to incorporate key socioeconomic costs and benefits into conservation decision-making processes can result in missed opportunities for diversifying outcomes and creating cost-sharing multisectoral partnerships. We devised a straightforward and readily interpretable approach to incorporate cobenefits into a threat-management prioritization approach. We used it to analyze the agricultural cobenefits of implementing 9 invasive animal management strategies designed to ensure the persistence of 148 threatened species across Australia's Lake Eyre Basin over 50 years. A structured elicitation process with 24 participants (scientists, land managers, agriculturalists, and other stakeholders) was used to collect information on each strategy, including costs, technical and social feasibility, benefits to native threatened species, and cobenefits to agricultural production systems. The costs of targeted invasive animal management to save threatened species across the basin (AU$33 million/year) outweighed the overall benefits to the agricultural industry (estimated AU$226 million/year). The return on investment for these management strategies varied substantially when agricultural cobenefits were considered alongside threatened species benefits and showed synergies and challenges. Our approach demonstrates the value of incorporating cobenefits of conservation actions into cost-effectiveness analyses to guide potential investment and partnerships and to diversify implementation pathways.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Bálsamo Crespo E, Pereyra PJ, Silvestro A, et al (2020)

Acute Toxicity of [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], and [Formula: see text] to the Golden Mussel Limnoperna fortunei (Dunker 1857).

Bulletin of environmental contamination and toxicology pii:10.1007/s00128-020-02854-5 [Epub ahead of print].

In this study we test the sensitivity of three sizes of golden mussel (Limnoperna fortunei), an introduced species in Argentina, to a 96-h exposure to [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], and [Formula: see text]. We also analysed the relative sensitivity of L. fortunei compared to other freshwater bivalve equivalent sensitivity data. The ANOVA results showed that both factors, heavy metal and size, had significant effects (p = 0.0013 and p = 0.0091, respectively) on the mortality of the golden mussel. Tukey's test showed significant differences for [Formula: see text] treatment and the smallest size class (7 mm [Formula: see text]). The relative sensitivity analysis showed that [Formula: see text] values for the smallest size class of L. fortunei exposed to [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] were in the low range, with values of 11.40 mg/L and 12.65 mg/L, respectively. In the case of [Formula: see text] (1.66 mg/L), its [Formula: see text] was in the medium-low range of the freshwater bivalve sensitivity distribution.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Fu N, Wang M, Wang L, et al (2020)

Genome Sequencing and Analysis of the Fungal Symbiont of Sirex noctilio, Amylostereum areolatum: Revealing the Biology of Fungus-Insect Mutualism.

mSphere, 5(3): pii:5/3/e00301-20.

Amylostereum areolatum is the symbiotic fungus of the Eurasian woodwasp, Sirex noctilio, a globally invasive species. The mutualistic symbiont is associated with the woodwasp, assisting the damage process and providing nutrition for its insect partners. Colonization and growth of A. areolatum have essential impacts on the development and spread of S. noctilio, though the mechanism of interaction between the two has been poorly described. In this study, the first genome of this symbiotic fungus was sequenced, assembled, and annotated. The assembled A. areolatum genome was 57.5 Mb (54.51% GC content) with 15,611 protein-coding genes. We identified 580 carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes), 661 genes associated with pathogen-host interactions, and 318 genes encoding transport proteins in total. The genome annotation revealed 10 terpene/phytoene synthases responsible for terpenoid biosynthesis, which could be classified into three clades. Terpene synthase gene clusters in clade II were conserved well across Russulales. In this cluster, genes encoding mevalonate kinase (MK), EGR12 (COG1557), and nonplant terpene cyclases (cd00687) were the known biosynthesis and regulatory genes. Genome sequence analysis of this fungus would prove the possibility of A. areolatum volatiles affecting the host selection of S. noctilio on a molecular basis. We further clarified that A. areolatum was a strict obligate symbiotic fungus. The wasps might protect the fungus before it was introduced into a suitable host substrate by oviposition, while the fungus would provide S. noctilio with a suitable environment and nutrients for the larval growth. These results would lay a foundation for our understanding of the mechanism of this entomogenous symbiosis.IMPORTANCESirex noctilio (F.), together with Amylostereum areolatum, a wood-decaying symbiotic fungus, causes severe damage to Pinus species worldwide. In China, it causes extensive death of Mongolian pine (Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica). There is an obligate dependency mutualism between the woodwasp and its fungus. Studies have suggested that the fungal growth rate affected the size of the wasps: larger adults emerged from sites with a higher fungus growth rate. This genome is the first reported genome sequence of a woodwasp symbiotic fungus. Genome sequence analysis of this fungus would prove the possibility of A. areolatum volatiles affecting the host selection of S. noctilio on a molecular basis. We further clarified that A. areolatum was a strict obligate symbiotic fungus and that it would provide S. noctilio with a suitable environment and with nutrients for the larval growth. These results would lay a foundation for our understanding of the mechanism of this entomogenous symbiosis.

RevDate: 2020-05-14

Monti MM, Ruocco M, Grobbelaar E, et al (2020)

Morphological and Molecular Characterization of Lema bilineata (Germar), a New Alien Invasive Leaf Beetle for Europe, with Notes on the Related Species Lema daturaphila Kogan & Goeden.

Insects, 11(5): pii:insects11050295.

Lema bilineata (Germar) is an alien invasive leaf beetle (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae) first recorded in Europe in the summer of 2017 in the province of Naples (Campania, Italy). It occurs on both cultivated plants (Nicotiana tabacum) and weeds (Salpichroa origanifolia and Datura spp.). Information on morphological characters, color variation and molecular data are deficient for L. bilineata, as is the case for most Lema species. These data could be useful to discriminate between this species and the closely related Lema daturaphila Kogan & Goeden, which has the same potential to become an alien invasive species. In this paper, color variation in adults and the morphology of the aedeagi and spermathecae of the two species are documented and compared, including micrographic images. Additional data on the current distribution of L. bilineata in Campania is also provided. The cytochrome c oxidase I (COI) barcoding region of both Italian and South African specimens of L. bilineata, as well as South African specimens of L. daturaphila, was sequenced. A preliminary phylogenetic tree is provided, based on the sequences available for Lema species.

RevDate: 2020-05-14
CmpDate: 2020-05-14

Smales LR, Allain SJR, Wilkinson JW, et al (2020)

A new species of Pseudoacanthocephalus (Acanthocephala: Echinorhynchidae) from the guttural toad, Sclerophrys gutturalis (Bufonidae), introduced into Mauritius, with comments on the implications of the introductions of toads and their parasites into the UK.

Journal of helminthology, 94:e119 pii:S0022149X19001044.

Pseudoacanthocephalus goodmani n. sp. is described from faecal pellets collected from Sclerophrys gutturalis (Power, 1927), the guttural toad. The species is characterized by a suite of characters, including a proboscis armature of 14-18 longitudinal rows of 4-6 hooks with simple roots, lemnisci longer than the proboscis receptacle, equatorial testes, a cluster of elongated cement glands and eggs without polar prolongations of the middle membrane 72.6-85.8 long. The toad had been accidentally translocated from Mauritius to the UK in a tourist's luggage and survived a washing machine cycle. The guttural toad was introduced into Mauritius from South Africa in 1922 and the cane toad, Rhinella marina (Linneaus, 1758), from South America, between 1936 and 1938. It seems most likely, therefore, that P. goodmani was introduced, with the guttural toad, from South Africa. The cane toad is host to the similar species, Pseudoacanthocephalus lutzi, from the Americas, but P. lutzi has not been recorded from places where the cane toad has been introduced elsewhere. Clearly, the guttural toad is a hardy and adaptable species, although it seems unlikely that it could become established in Northern Europe. Nevertheless, any accidental translocation of hosts poses the potential risk of introducing unwanted pathogens into the environment and should be guarded against.

RevDate: 2020-05-14
CmpDate: 2020-05-14

García JA, Rosas JE, García Y Santos C, et al (2020)

Senecio spp. transboundary introduction and expansion affecting cattle in Uruguay: Clinico-pathological, epidemiological and genetic survey, and experimental intoxication with Senecio oxyphyllus.

Toxicon : official journal of the International Society on Toxinology, 173:68-74.

The genus Senecio is distributed worldwide, being responsible of poisoning in livestock and humans. Many species of Senecio have high invasion and expansion capacity, highly competitive with agricultural and native plant species, causing ecological damage. Particularly in Uruguay, poisoning by Senecio have grown exponentially to reach epidemic proportions. Herein we describe Seneciosis as a re-emerging and expanding epidemic disease affecting cattle, by describing clinico-pathological, epidemiological and genetic variation of species involved, as well as an experimental intoxication with Senecio oxyphyllus. For this, a study was carried out on 28 cattle farms in Eastern Uruguay, with history of seneciosis from 2010 to 2016. Plants of fifty populations of Senecio were sampled, in 2015 and 2016, for identification, analysis of alkaloids and study of genetic variation. In turn, post-mortem examination was performed in cattle of natural and an experimental case to confirm the intoxication, showing microscopic characteristic lesions (hepatomegalocytosis, diffuse fibrosis and ductal reaction). Four species of Senecio were identified: S. oxyphyllus, S. madagascariensis, S. selloi and S. brasiliensis. In the genetic study, 489 molecular markers of amplified sequence-related polymorphisms (SRAP), associated with species and pasture, were used for genetic variation analysis. There was no statistically significant association between genetic variation determined by molecular markers and population (specimens of same species collected from the same farm), botanically determined species, or geographical origin. The increase of seneciosis in cattle in the last years, the presence of species not identified to the moment with implication in the poisoning outbreaks and expansion of these plants shows that the disease is in an epidemic growing active stage. In turn, the experimental poisoning with S. oxyphyllus confirms its chronic hepatotoxic effect, being an emergent species for the region, of high distribution and toxic risk. This latter turned out the main Senecio species involved. This case of expansion of harmful plant for animal production and desirable plant species, can be useful as a model of ecopathological characterization, which is likely to occur with other toxic plants in different geographical ranges globally.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Gomes-Silva G, Cyubahiro E, Wronski T, et al (2020)

Water pollution affects fish community structure and alters evolutionary trajectories of invasive guppies (Poecilia reticulata).

The Science of the total environment, 730:138912 pii:S0048-9697(20)32429-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Anthropogenic habitat alterations have the potential to affect both, ecological dynamics of communities and populations, as well as evolutionary processes within populations. Invasive species may benefit from anthropogenic disturbance, such as water pollution, to which they sometimes seem more resistant than native ones. They also allow investigating evolutionary divergence among populations occurring along pollution gradients. We assessed fish communities at 55 sampling sites in the degraded and heavily overstocked Mutara Rangelands of north-eastern Rwanda (upper Nile drainage), which receive pollution from domestic wastewater and cattle dung. Diverse fish communities became apparent that included invasive guppies (Poecilia reticulata, Poeciliidae), and canonical correspondence analyses found significant differentiation of community structures along several environmental parameters (condensed into principal components), including pollution-effects. As predicted, generalized linear models found guppies to have a higher likelihood of occurrence at polluted sites. Local abundances of guppies, however, decreased at polluted sites. Since guppies are color-polymorphic, and color patterns have a heritable basis, they allow inferences regarding both pollution-induced suppression of male ornamentation (e.g., through xenestrogens) and evolutionary population divergence. We thus quantified different ornament types (numbers and percent body surface cover). ANCOVAs uncovered several weak (based on effect strengths), but statistically significant pollution-effects and interactions with other environmental parameters. The direction of several interaction effects was similar for blue/black and red/orange ornaments, while white/iridescent ornaments responded dissimilarly. As responses differed between ornament types, they likely reflect evolutionary divergence due to site-specific alterations of selective regimes rather than developmental inhibition of male secondary sexual characters. We propose that pollution affects local fitness landscapes resulting, e.g., from predation and mate competition (as a function of local abundances), altogether driving evolutionary divergence of sexually selected traits. This study highlights how human activities not only impact ecological dynamics, but-mediated by altered Eco-Evo dynamics-might change the evolutionary trajectories of populations.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Lapointe D, Pelletier M, Paradis Y, et al (2020)

Trophic transfer of polybrominated diphenyl ethers in a recently modified freshwater food web from the St. Lawrence River, Canada.

Chemosphere, 255:126877 pii:S0045-6535(20)31070-5 [Epub ahead of print].

Introduction of invasive species can have a profound impact on food web structure and therefore on trophic transfer of contaminants. In the St. Lawrence River (Canada), 20 years after its first detection in the system, invasive round goby (Neogobius melanostomus) has become the main prey for several piscivorous species. To evaluate the accumulation, trophic transfer, and the ecological risk of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) in this recently modified freshwater food web, samples of sediment, invertebrates, fish and aquatic bird eggs and plasma were collected. Sampling sites were located upstream and at two locations downstream of the Montreal wastewater treatment plant outfall. The results suggest that the influence of the WWTP effluent on PBDEs concentrations varied among the various compartments of this recently modified freshwater food web. The results also suggest that although predatory fish have switched to consuming round goby as a prey item instead of native yellow perch, this new feeding behaviour is not expected to have important impacts on the level of transfer of PBDE within this food web. The biota-sediment accumulation factors (BSAFs) ranged from 0.6 to 436, whereas biomagnification factors (BMFs) varied between 0.2 and 475. Despite our conservative method of risk assessment, we calculated an important risk for piscivorous fish and gull eggs within this study area.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Anderson AB, da Silva JP, Sorvilo R, et al (2020)

Population expansion of the invasive Pomacentridae Chromis limbata (Valenciennes, 1833) in Southern Brazilian coast: long-term monitoring, fundamental niche availability and new records.

Journal of fish biology [Epub ahead of print].

Human-mediated species invasions are recognized as a leading cause for global biotic homogenization and extinction. Studies on colonization events since early stages, establishment of new populations and range extension are scarce due to their rarity, difficult detection and monitoring. Chromis limbata is a reef-associated and non-migratory marine fish from the family Pomacentridae found in depths ranging between 3 to 45 m. The original distribution of the species encompassed exclusively the Eastern Atlantic, including the Azores, Madeira, and the Canary Islands. It is also commonly reported from West Africa between Senegal and Pointe Noire, Congo. In 2008, vagrant individuals of Chromis limbata were recorded off the east coast of Santa Catarina Island, South Brazil (27°41'44" S 48°27'53" W). In this study we evaluated the increasing densities of C. limbata populations in Santa Catarina State shoreline. Two recent expansions northwards to São Paulo State and southwards to Rio Grande do Sul State are discussed, and a niche model of maximum entropy (MaxEnt) was performed to evaluate suitable C. limbata habitats. Brazilian populations are established and significantly increasing in most sites where the species has been detected. The distributional boundaries predicted by the model are clearly wider than their known range of occurrence, evidencing environmental suitability in both hemispheres from areas where the species still does not occur. Ecological processes such as competition, predation and specially habitat selectivity may regulate their populations and overall distribution range. A long-term monitoring program and population genetics studies are necessary for a better understanding of this invasion and its consequences to natural communities.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Patil M, Kumar A, Kumar P, et al (2020)

Comparative litter decomposability traits of selected native and exotic woody species from an urban environment of north-western Siwalik region, India.

Scientific reports, 10(1):7888 pii:10.1038/s41598-020-64576-2.

Exotic plants can potentially modify ecosystem functions like cycling of nutrients by adjusting their decomposition rates. However, these effects are largely unknown for urban ecosystems, though they act as reservoirs of exotic plants. The present study evaluated the decomposition rates of five native and five exotic (three invasive and two non-invasive) species by conducting the litter bag experiment. Our study, however, did not find any significant differences in overall decomposition rates of native and exotic species but decomposition rates were strongly correlated with initial chemical quality of the litter. Further, litter carbon, lignin to nitrogen ratio and carbon to nitrogen ratio seemed to be good predictors for decomposition rates in this study. Interestingly, invasive exotic species had higher decomposition rate while non-invasive exotic species showed a slower rate as compared to the native species. In conclusion, our study indicates that invasive exotic plants try to maintain a higher chemical quality of litter than native and non-invasive exotic species which promotes their rapid decomposition. Thus, the better chemical quality of litter may facilitate the naturalisation and invasion of exotic plants irrespective of their origin.

RevDate: 2020-05-13

Li H, Qu W, Obrycki JJ, et al (2020)

Optimizing Sample Size for Population Genomic Study in a Global Invasive Lady Beetle, Harmonia Axyridis.

Insects, 11(5): pii:insects11050290.

Finding optimal sample sizes is critical for the accurate estimation of genetic diversity of large invasive populations. Based on previous studies, we hypothesized that a minimal sample size of 3-8 individuals is sufficient to dissect the population architecture of the harlequin lady beetle, Harmonia axyridis, a biological control agent and an invasive alien species. Here, equipped with a type IIB endonuclease restriction site-associated (2b-RAD) DNA sequencing approach, we identified 13,766 and 13,929 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), respectively, among native and invasive H. axyridis populations. With this information we simulated populations using a randomly selected 3000 SNPs and a subset of individuals. From this simulation we finally determined that six individuals is the minimum sample size required for the accurate estimation of intra- and inter-population genetic diversity within and across H. axyridis populations. Our findings provide an empirical advantage for population genomic studies of H. axyridis in particular and suggest useful tactics for similar studies on multicellular organisms in general.

RevDate: 2020-05-12

Crowley SL, Cecchetti M, RA McDonald (2020)

Our Wild Companions: Domestic cats in the Anthropocene.

Trends in ecology & evolution, 35(6):477-483.

Cats share a long history with humans but are remarkable among domesticated species in largely retaining behavioural and reproductive independence from people. In many societies, the cat maintains liminal status as both a domestic and a wild animal. An adaptive push-and-pull between wild and domestic traits corresponds with dual roles as companions and pest controllers, and with conflicted treatment in husbandry, management, law, and public discourse. To move forward, we must proceed by understanding that cats are not exclusively pets or pests, but both a central component of human societies and an important, often adverse, influence on ecosystems. Developing a collaborative 'companion animal ecology', in which human-animal domestic relations link to ecological processes, will enable sustainable management of this wild companionship.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Zhao Z, Yuan L, Li W, et al (2020)

Re-invasion of Spartina alterniflora in restored saltmarshes: Seed arrival, retention, germination, and establishment.

Journal of environmental management, 266:110631.

The invasive plant Spartina alterniflora presents a serious threat to the saltmarsh ecosystems in the Yangtze Estuary. Various measures have been implemented to control S. alterniflora and restore the natural saltmarshes in this area. However, many saltmarsh restoration activities often fail partly because of recursions of this invasive plant. In this study, we investigated the re-invasion of S. alterniflora in a restored saltmarsh in the Chongming Dongtan National Nature Reserve by analysing the aspects of seed arrival, retention, germination, and establishment, to better understand the potential factors that may influence the re-invasion of restored saltmarshes. The results showed that 1) tidal currents dispersed the seeds from the possible source area to the restored saltmarsh and adjacent mudflat. The spatio-temporal dynamics of arrived seeds were shown to vary greatly depending on the intertidal geomorphology, vegetation, and hydrodynamic processes. 2) Seed retention in the re-invaded area was shown to be greatly influenced by burial depth, and moderate sedimentation rates provided safe sites for the retention of arrived seeds. 3) Only when both the burial depth and inundation duration below certain thresholds, the retained seeds could germinate and establish in the recipient habitats successfully. The results from this study highlight that control efforts and the management of S. alterniflora should not only focus on the re-invaded areas of restored saltmarshes, but also on the possible source areas of re-invasive species.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Carlier J, Davis E, Ruas S, et al (2020)

Using open-source software and digital imagery to efficiently and objectively quantify cover density of an invasive alien plant species.

Journal of environmental management, 266:110519.

The most commonly used method for measuring vegetation cover is visual estimation, which is highly subjective, potentially leading to measurement errors. This poses serious implications to the assessment and continued management of plant species cover, for example in the control of invasive plant species. Morphological analysis of digital imagery has, to date, been primarily applied in the classification of landscape features. Our novel application of morphological image analysis provides an objective method for detection and accurate cover assessment of an invasive alien plant species (IAS), giving reduced measurement errors when compared to visual estimation. Importantly, this method is entirely based on free software. Guidos Toolbox is a collection of generic raster image processing routines, including Morphological Spatial Pattern Analysis (MSPA), which classifies and quantifies features according to shape. MSPA was employed in this study to detect and quantify cover of invasive Petasites pyrenaicus (Winter heliotrope) in digital images of 1 m × 1 m plots. Its efficacy was compared to that of two other methods- GIS Digitisation (used as an accurate baseline) and Visual Estimation (standard method). We tested the limit of MSPA usability on images of varying complexity, i.e. "simple", intermediate" or "complex", depending on presence/absence of other vascular plant species and the species richness of plot. Our results show good agreement between all three methods. MSPA measurement of P. pyrenaicus cover was most closely aligned with the GIS Digitisation (concordance correlation coefficients of 0.966). Visual Estimation was less closely aligned with GIS Digitisation (concordance correlation coefficients of 0.888). However, image complexity resulted in differing levels of agreement; with the closest agreement being achieved between MSPA and GIS Digitisation when used on images of lower and higher complexity. MSPA consistently provides higher accuracy and precision for P. pyrenaicus cover measurement than the standard Visual Estimation method. Our methodology is applicable to a range of focal vegetation species, both herbaceous and graminoid. Future application of MSPA for larger-scale surveying and monitoring via remote sensing is discussed, potentially reducing resource demands and increasing cover measurement consistency and accuracy. We recommend this method forms part of vegetation management toolkits for not only environmental managers, but for anyone concerned with plant cover assessment, from agricultural systems to sustainable resource use.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Seewagen CL, Slayton EJ, S Smith Pagano (2020)

Physiological indicators of habitat quality for a migratory songbird breeding in a forest invaded by non-native Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii).

Conservation physiology, 8(1):coaa037 pii:coaa037.

Non-native, invasive plants can impact birds by altering food sources, nesting substrates and other critical resources. Japanese barberry (Berberis thunbergii) is one of the most invasive, non-native woody plants in in the northeastern USA, and yet almost nothing is known about its effects on birds or other wildlife. To investigate individual-level impacts of Japanese barberry on a forest-breeding bird, we compared food abundance (leaf-litter arthropod biomass) and the physiological condition of territorial male ovenbirds (Seiurus aurocapilla) between areas of a forest preserve in New York State that had high or low densities of Japanese barberry. We used haemoglobin and plasma triglyceride concentrations to indicate energetic condition, plasma uric acid and total plasma protein levels to indicate diet quality, and heterophil to lymphocyte ratios to indicate chronic stress. We found no difference in arthropod biomass between ovenbird territories that were heavily invaded by or relatively free of Japanese barberry. Perhaps largely as a result, we found no relationship between Japanese barberry density and any of our five haematological condition indices. There was also no difference in body mass, body size or age ratio between ovenbirds nesting in areas with low or high densities of Japanese barberry to suggest that relatively uninvaded forest patches were in greater demand and acquired by the most dominant individuals. Our results indicate that Japanese barberry does not reduce habitat quality for breeding male ovenbirds in a way that affects their prey abundance or physiological condition, but we caution that other species of birds and other aspects of habitat quality could be affected differently. We encourage future research on additional bird species and the effects of Japanese barberry on factors such as diet composition, pairing and nesting success and post-fledging survival to improve science-based decision-making about the extent to which conservation resources should be applied towards Japanese barberry control.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Xia L, Geng Q, S An (2020)

Rapid Genetic Divergence of an Invasive Species, Spartina alterniflora, in China.

Frontiers in genetics, 11:284.

Hundreds of plants and half a kilogram of seeds of Spartina alterniflora, which were collected from Morehead City in North Carolina, Sapelo Island in Georgia, and Tampa Bay in Florida, were introduced to China in 1979. However, according to documented records, S. alterniflora from different origins were introduced to different areas when the species was first introduced to the coastal areas of China in the 1980s. In order to understand the relationship between the invasive S. alterniflora populations of China and the native S. alterniflora populations of the United States, and whether the genetic structure and genetic diversity of the invasive populations of China were affected by different introductions in the 1980s, molecular markers were used to determine the levels of gene flow and its effect on population differentiation. A total of 715 samples of S. alterniflora were collected from nine invasive populations in China and nine native populations from the United States. The genetic diversity and genetic structure of invasive and native populations were compared using microsatellite markers. The heterozygosity of Chinese invasive populations of S. alterniflora (HO = 0.538, HE = 0.725) were similar with those of native populations (HO = 0.530, HE = 0.744), which may attribute to its multiple introductions with the multisource populations from different geographic areas of the United States. However, the lower allelic diversities of Chinese invasive populations were detected, which may be due to the founder effect, or the bottleneck, which supports the theory that the allelic diversity is more sensitive to population bottlenecks than heterozygosity. The results of the STRUCTURE analysis among all sampling sites showed that the value of ΔK was largest when K = 2, which indicated that the invasive S. alterniflora populations in China had completed differentiated from the native populations of the United States. This may be because of admixture and hybridization of three non-overlapping original populations, or the postintroduction rapid evolution in China, and reproductive isolation under long-term geographic isolation. There was significant differentiation among invasive populations, which was mainly affected by different human-mediated introductions in 1980s. Significant genetic structure (K = 7) and high genetic differentiation (Fst = 0.30193) were detected in Chinese invasive populations, which may due to the low natural gene flow among populations. The genetic structure of the invasive populations in China was still affected by the human-mediated introductions in the 1980s, and the different initial introductions might promote differentiation among the invasive populations. In fact, the human-mediated long-distance dispersal should take the most of responsibility for the rapid spread of S. alterniflora along the coast of China. Multisource introductions of S. alterniflora are perhaps helpful for local adaptation but itself cannot cause rapid spread along the whole coast of China. Meanwhile, we suggest that the prevention of gene exchange among populations of S. alterniflora is the first and most important step in the control of the species on the coast of China, because admixture and hybridization of isolated populations might generate new heterosis and increase the difficulty of managing S. alterniflora in China.

RevDate: 2020-05-11

Wesener T, PA Anilkumar (2020)

The millipedes collected by the Museum "La Specola" on Madagascar 1989/1991, with the description of three new species of giant pill-millipedes (Diplopoda, Sphaerotheriida, Arthrosphaeridae).

ZooKeys, 930:3-35 pii:47620.

A large collection of millipedes (Diplopoda) from Madagascar, belonging to the Museum "La Specola" in Florence, Italy were investigated. The collection includes three new species of the giant pill-millipede genus Zoosphaerium Pocock, 1895 which are described here as Zoosphaerium mangabe Wesener, sp. nov., Z. bartolozzii Anilkumar & Wesener, sp. nov., and Z. taitii Anilkumar & Wesener, sp. nov., all belonging to the Z. coquerelianum species group. The latter two are currently only known from a single site. Other specimens belonging to eight orders (Polyxenida, Sphaerotheriida, Polyzoniida, Siphonophorida, Chordeumatida, Polydesmida, Spirobolida, and Spirostreptida) are listed. Three tropical tramp species, Pseudospirobolellus avernus (Butler, 1876), Glyphiulus granulatus Gervais, 1847, and Chondromorpha xanthotricha (Attems, 1898) are recorded for the first time from Madagascar. New locality data is provided for Zoosphaerium neptunus (Butler, 1872), Z. villosum Wesener & Sierwald, 2005, Z. blandum (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897), Sphaeromimus musicus (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1897), Rhinotus purpureus (Pocock, 1894), Hylekobolus andasibensis Wesener, 2009, Aphistogoniulus infernalis Wesener, 2009, Ostinobolus rufus Wesener, 2009, Ostinobolus subterraneus Wesener, 2009, Dactylobolus bivirgatus (Karsch, 1881), and Eumekius antimena (de Saussure & Zehntner, 1901).

RevDate: 2020-05-10

Sánchez-Pérez A, Oliva-Paterna FJ, Colin N, et al (2020)

Functional response of fish assemblage to multiple stressors in a highly regulated Mediterranean river system.

The Science of the total environment, 730:138989 pii:S0048-9697(20)32506-7 [Epub ahead of print].

Mediterranean rivers are characterised by strong environmental constrains and species-poor, highly endemic fish fauna. In Europe, these systems are exposed to multiple stressors due to extensive human activities. Studies on the effects of some stressors on riverine fish are available but complex responses of fish assemblages to interplay of flow alteration with physical habitat changes and invasive species have not been evaluated up to date. This study analysed the response of functional diversity of fish assemblages to multiple stressors in the Segura River system in the southern Spain. Fish assemblages were sampled in 16 sites in two consecutive periods (2009-2010 and 2013-2015). Subsequently, we assessed the responses of functional specialisation, originality and entropy (based on nine functional traits and abundances) as well as species richness and abundance to interplay of flow regime alteration and ecological status, fragmentation as well as non-native species abundance across spatial and temporal scales. The governing role of flow regime in structuring fish assemblage was superimposed on physical habitat changes, water quality deterioration and fragmentation as well as the presence of non-native fish species. We found an increase of species richness and abundance but decrease of functional specialisation and originality in river reaches with high level of base flow and more stable hydrological conditions. Opposite pattern was observed in reaches with severe reduction of base flow and marked inversion in the seasonal pattern of high and low flows. We postulate that the use of tools that consider the functional identity of the species as method to assess the effects of environmental alterations on fish biodiversity could improve conservation measures for Mediterranean fish fauna. Furthermore, design flows that mimic natural flow regime patterns characteristic for Mediterranean rivers are a promising tool to provide environmental conditions that would favour native fish within the assemblage and benefit their conservation.

RevDate: 2020-05-10

Wang C, Wang W, Sardans J, et al (2020)

Higher fluxes of C, N and P in plant/soil cycles associated with plant invasion in a subtropical estuarine wetland in China.

The Science of the total environment, 730:139124 pii:S0048-9697(20)32641-3 [Epub ahead of print].

Invasion of plants in wetland ecosystems is often associated with changes in litter decomposition and in nutrient use, uptake and cycling between invasive and native plants. We studied litter decomposition rates, N and P release and elemental composition and stoichiometry during the invasion of Phragmites australis and Spartina alterniflora into native Cyperus malaccensis wetlands in the Minjiang River estuary (China). Aboveground litter in mono-specific stands decomposed faster for Cyperus malaccensis than for Spartina alterniflora and for Phragmites australis. Cyperus malaccensis litter decomposed slower under the stands of both invasive species. In contrast, the litter of both invasive species decomposed faster under Cyperus malaccesis stands. We observed that the invasion of these species was associated with an increased rate of aboveground litter decomposition and large absolute amounts of C, N and P released from the litter when litter from invasive species was mixed with that of native species. Our results suggest that the large nutrient release from litter during early stages of the invasion favored invasive species with larger size and higher nutrient-uptake capacity than the native species.

RevDate: 2020-05-07

Salgado J, Vélez MI, González-Arango C, et al (2020)

A century of limnological evolution and interactive threats in the Panama Canal: Long-term assessments from a shallow basin.

The Science of the total environment, 729:138444 pii:S0048-9697(20)31957-4 [Epub ahead of print].

Large tropical river dam projects are expected to accelerate over the forthcoming decades to satisfy growing demand for energy, irrigation and flood control. When tropical rivers are dammed the immediate impacts are relatively well studied, but the long-term (decades-centuries) consequences of impoundment remain poorly known. We combined historical records of water quality, river flow and climate with a multi-proxy (macrofossils, diatoms, biomarkers and trace elements) palaeoecological approach to reconstruct the limnological evolution of a shallow basin in Gatun Lake (Panama Canal, Panama) and assess the effects of multiple linked factors (river damming, forest flooding, deforestation, invasive species, pollution and hydro-climate) on the study area. Results show that a century after dam construction, species invasion, deforestation and salt intrusions have forced a gradual change in the study basin from a swamp-type environment towards a more saline lake-governed system of benthic-littoral production likely associated with the expansion of macrophyte stands. Hydrology still remains the most important long-term (decades) structural factor stimulating salinity intrusions, primary productivity, deposition of minerals, and reduction of water transparency during wet periods. During dry periods, physical-chemical conditions are in turn linked to clear water and aerobic conditions while nutrients shift to available forms for the aquatic biota in the detrital-rich reductive sediments. Our study suggests that to preserve the natural riverine system functioning of this area of the Panama Canal, management activities must address long-term ecosystem structural drivers such as river flow, runoff patterns and physical-chemical conditions.

RevDate: 2020-05-07

van der Geer AAE (2020)

Size matters: micro-evolution in Polynesian rats highlights body size changes as initial stage in evolution.

PeerJ, 8:e9076 pii:9076.

Microevolutionary patterns in populations of introduced rodent species have often been the focus of analytic studies for their potential relevance to understanding vertebrate evolution. The Polynesian rat (Rattus exulans) is an excellent proxy species because of its wide geographic and temporal distribution: its native and introduced combined range spans half the globe and it has been living for at least seven centuries wherever it was introduced. The objective of this study was to assess the effects of long-term isolation (insularity; up to 4,000 years) and geographic variables on skull shape variation using geometric morphometrics. A sample of 513 specimens from 103 islands and four mainland areas was analysed. This study, to my knowledge the first to extensively sample introduced rats, analysed 59 two-dimensional landmarks on the skull. Landmarks were obtained in three separate aspects (dorsal, lateral, ventral skull view). The coordinate data were then subjected to a multivariate ordination analysis (principal components analysis, or PCA), multivariate regressions, and a canonical variates analysis (CVA). Three measures of disparity were evaluated for each view. The results show that introduced Polynesian rats evolve skull shapes that conform to the general mammalian interspecific pattern of cranial evolutionary allometry (CREA), with proportionally longer snouts in larger specimens. In addition, larger skulls are more tubular in shape than the smaller skulls, which are more balloon-shaped with a rounder and wider braincase relative to those of large skulls. This difference is also observed between the sexes (sexual dimorphism), due to the slightly larger average male size. Large, tubular skulls with long snouts are typical for Polynesia and Remote Oceania, where no native mammals occur. The greater disparity of Polynesian rats on mammal species-poor islands ('exulans-only' region) provides further insight into how diversity may affect diversification through ecological release from predators and competitors.

RevDate: 2020-05-06

Leong KM, Gramza AR, CA Lepczyk (2020)

Understanding conflicting cultural models of outdoor cats to overcome conservation impasse.

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

Many conservation conflicts are scientifically complex yet are rooted in value conflicts, which result in an impasse. Additional biological information alone is insufficient to resolve this type of conflict. Conceptual models that articulate the material aspects of a system are increasingly used to identify areas where parties disagree. Yet, modeling processes typically follow the conveners' rules for discussing and assessing the topic, which can exacerbate conflict. Researchers have identified a need for processes that require participants to reflect on the limits of their own philosophical assumptions and acknowledge other perspectives. Cultural models are a promising tool for this purpose because they include nonmaterial beliefs, morals, and values that guide people's understanding of how to interact with an issue, sometimes subconsciously. We explored how cultural models used with conceptual models can improve understanding of value conflicts and used outdoor cat management as a case study. We conducted interviews and focus group discussions with wildlife conservation and cat welfare professionals involved in outdoor cat policy discussions in Hawaii and Washington, D.C. From these conversations, we developed a conceptual model of the outdoor cat management system and cultural models that led stakeholders to weigh elements of the conceptual model differently. Whereas wildlife conservation professionals generally spoke about outdoor cats as invasive species, cat welfare professionals spoke about them as homeless pets. These conflicting conceptualizations of what an outdoor cat is may help explain the root of many longstanding disagreements. Examining how and when stakeholders invoke different cultural models allowed us to identify management actions that work with, rather than challenge, those models. Dialogue that embraces conflicting cultural models can be difficult and uncomfortable, but has great potential to overcome conservation impasse and achieve lasting conservation results. Article impact statement: Understanding unstated yet conflicting cultural models of cats as invasive species versus homeless pets can transform conservation conflicts. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.


ESP Quick Facts

ESP Origins

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

ESP Support

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

ESP Rationale

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

ESP Goal

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

ESP Usage

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

ESP Content

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

ESP Help

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

ESP Plans

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


Order from Amazon

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

Electronic Scholarly Publishing
961 Red Tail Lane
Bellingham, WA 98226

E-mail: RJR8222 @

Papers in Classical Genetics

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

Digital Books

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


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


Biographical information about many key scientists.

Selected Bibliographies

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

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