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2021 ◽  
Vol 67 (6) ◽  
Author(s):  
Valentina Zini ◽  
Kristin Wäber ◽  
Karen Hornigold ◽  
Ian Lake ◽  
Paul M. Dolman

AbstractUnderstanding how habitat, landscape context, and human disturbance influence local species-specific deer density provides evidence informing strategic management of increasing deer populations. Across an extensive (187 km2) heterogeneous forest-mosaic landscape in eastern England, spatially explicit density surface models of roe deer Capreolus capreolus and introduced muntjac Muntiacus reevesi were calibrated by thermal imaging distance sampling (recording 1590 and 400 muntjac and roe deer groups, respectively, on 567 km of driven transects). Models related deer density to local habitat composition, recreational intensity, and deer density (roe deer models controlled for muntjac density and vice versa) at a local grain across 1162 composite transect segments, incorporating geographical coordinates accounting for spatial autocorrelation. Abundance of both species was lower in localities with more grasslands (inter-quartile, IQ, effect size: roe −2.9 deer/km2; muntjac −2.9 deer/km2). Roe abundance (mean = 7 deer/km2, SD = 6) was greater in localities with more young stands (IQ effect size, + 1.3 deer/km2) and lower at localities with more recreationists (−1.1 deer/km2). Muntjac density (mean = 21 deer/km2, SD = 10) was greater in localities with more recreationists (+ 2.4 deer/km2), with more mature (≥ 46 years) stands (+ 1.5 deer/km2), or calcareous soil (+ 7.1 deer/km2). Comparison of models incorporating candidate variables and models comprising geographical coordinates only shows candidate variables to be weak predictors of deer densities. Adapting forest management to manipulate habitat and recreational access may influence local deer densities, but only subtly: effect sizes are not sufficient to mitigate deer impacts through planting vulnerable tree crops in areas avoided by deer. Effective culling remains the most viable management option.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Guillaume Latombe ◽  
Jane A Catford ◽  
Franz Essl ◽  
Bernd Lenzner ◽  
David M Richardson ◽  
...  

The total impact of an alien species was conceptualised as the product of its range size, local abundance and per-unit effect in a seminal paper by Parker and colleagues in 1999, but a practical approach for estimating the three components has been lacking. Here, we generalise the impact formula and, through use of regression models, estimate the relationship between the three components of impact, an approach we term G-IRAE (Generalised Impact - Range size - Abundance - per-unit Effect). Moreover, we show that G-IRAE can also be applied to damage and management costs. We propose two methods for applying G-IRAE. The species-specific method computes the relationship for a given species across multiple invaded sites or regions, assuming a constant per-unit effect across the invaded area. The multi-species method combines data from multiple species across multiple sites or regions to calculate a per-unit effect for each species. While the species-specific method is more accurate, it requires a large amount of data for each species. The multi-species method is more easily applicable and data-parsimonious. We illustrate the multi-species method using data about money spent managing plant invasions in different biomes of South Africa. We found clear differences between species in terms of money spent per unit area invaded, with per-unit expenditures varying substantially between biomes for some species. G-IRAE offers a versatile and practical method which can be applied to many different types of data, to better understand and manage invasions.


Animals ◽  
2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (10) ◽  
pp. 2990
Author(s):  
Franziska Hörner ◽  
Ann-Kathrin Oerke ◽  
Dennis W. H. Müller ◽  
Uta Westerhüs ◽  
Idu Azogu-Sepe ◽  
...  

The introduction of elephants into new groups is necessary for breeding programmes. However, behavioural studies on the reactions of these animals at first encounters are missing. In the present study, female African elephants (Loxodonta africana) living in zoos were observed during unifications with unfamiliar elephants (introduction of two to one females and one to two females; n = 6) and reunifications with related elephants (two mother–daughter-pairs; n = 4) that were separated for 2 and 12 years, respectively. First encounters of the elephants were observed and recorded by scan sampling. The parameters measured were (a) signs of the characteristic Greeting Ceremony, (b) distance to the fence separating the elephants during first contact, and (c) time until trunks touched for the first time. The data were statistically analysed with SPSS. The results showed that related elephants performed a full Greeting Ceremony on reunifications. Unrelated elephants only expressed a minor greeting. During first encounters, related elephants predominantly showed affiliative behaviour (p = 0.001), whilst unrelated elephants expressed more agonistic behaviour (p = 0.001). The distance to the fence was significantly smaller for related elephants than for unrelated elephants (p = 0.038). first contact of trunks occurred on average after 3.00 s. in related elephants and 1026.25 s. in unrelated elephants. These findings indicate that related elephants recognise their kin after up to 12 years of separation, meet them with a full Greeting Ceremony during reunification, and seek contact to the related elephant, while unrelated elephants are hesitant during unifications with unfamiliar elephants and express more agonistic behaviour. The results testify that zoo elephants show the same species-specific social behaviour as their conspecifics in the wild. It also confirms the cognitive abilities of elephants and the significance of matrilines for breeding programmes.


2021 ◽  
Vol 9 ◽  
Author(s):  
Katharina Brandt ◽  
Stefan Dötterl ◽  
Santiago R. Ramírez ◽  
Florian Etl ◽  
Isabel Cristina Machado ◽  
...  

Male euglossine bees exhibit unique adaptations for the acquisition and accumulation of chemical compounds from “perfume flowers” and other sources. During courtship display, male bees expose perfume mixtures, presumably to convey species-specific recognition and/or mate choice signals to females. Because olfaction regulates both signal production (in males) and signal detection (in females) in this communication system, strong selective pressures are expected to act on the olfactory system, which could lead to sensory specialization in favor of an increased sensitivity to specific chemical compounds. The floral scents of euglossine-pollinated plants are hypothesized to have evolved in response to the preexisting sensory biases of their male euglossine bee pollinators. However, this has never been investigated at the peripheral olfactory circuitry of distinct pollinating genera. Here, we present a comparative analysis using electroantennography (EAG) of males across the phylogeny of 29 euglossine bee species, among them Euglossa and Eulaema species. First, we tested whether antennal responses differ among different euglossine genera, subgenera and species. Secondly, we conducted a comparative phylogenetic analysis to investigate the macroevolutionary patterns of antennal responses across the euglossine bee phylogeny. We found that antennal response profiles are very unique on the species level and differ on the subgenus and the genus level. The differences can be explained by chemical compounds typically found in the floral scent bouquets of perfume flowers and specific compounds of species either pollinated by Euglossa (e.g., ipsdienol) or Eulaema bees (e.g., (−)-(E)-carvone epoxide). Also, we detected a phylogenetic signal in mean antennal responses and found that especially at the species level of our simulation the overall antennal responses exhibit greater disparity relative to a null model of pure Brownian-motion across the phylogeny. Altogether, our results suggest that (1) euglossine bee species exhibit species-specific antennal responses that differ among euglossine genera and subgenera, (2) antennal responses diverge early after speciation events, and (3) scent composition of perfume flowers evolved in response to pollinator-mediated selection imposed by preexisting sensory biases in euglossine bees.


Author(s):  
Ganpati B Jagdale ◽  
Gema Takbir Takbir Nugraha ◽  
Katherine Martin ◽  
Alfredo D D Martinez-Espinoza ◽  
Abolfazl Hajihassani

A high population of lance nematodes Hoplolaimus spp. were found associated with creeping bentgrass (Agrostis stolonifera L.) in May 2019 in Georgia, USA. The nematode was pathogenic to bentgrass as its population increased by over 3-fold 180 days after inoculation under greenhouse conditions. Morphological measurements of body and stylet lengths of both mature females and males were similar to a grass population of H. stephanus from South Carolina. DNA sequence analyses of the D1-D3 expansion segments of the 28s gene identified the nematode as H. stephanus. The DNA sequence of the nematode was 99.7% identical to a H. stephanus isolate from South Carolina. Also, the PCR method using a species-specific primer set confirmed the identity of H. stephanus. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of H. stephanus Sher, 1963, infecting creeping bentgrass in Georgia.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Asha Goodman ◽  
Bhavya Papudeshi ◽  
Michael P. Doane ◽  
Colton Johnson ◽  
Maria Mora ◽  
...  

Abstract Background: Characterizations of sharks-microbe systems in wild environments have outlined patterns of species-specific microbiomes; however, whether captivity affects these trends has yet to be determined. We used high-throughput shotgun sequencing to assess the epidermal microbiome belonging to leopard sharks (Triakis semifasciata) in captive (Birch Aquarium, La Jolla California), semi-captive (<1 year in captivity; Scripps Institute of Oceanography, California) and wild environments (Moss Landing and La Jolla, California). Results: Here we report captive environments do not drive microbiome composition of T. semifasciata to significantly diverge from wild counterparts as life-long captive sharks maintain a species-specific epidermal microbiome resembling those associated with semi-captive and wild populations. Major taxonomic composition shifts observed were inverse changes of top taxonomic contributors across captive duration, specifically an increase of Pseudoalteromonadaceae and consequent decrease of Pseudomonadaceae relative abundance as T. semifasciata increased duration in captive conditions. Moreover, we show captivity did not lead to significant losses in microbial α-diversity of shark epidermal communities. Finally, we present a novel association between T. semifasciata and the Muricauda genus as MAGs revealed a consistent relationship across captive, semi-captive, and wild populations. Conclusions: Our report illustrates the importance of conservation programs for coastal fishes as epidermally-associated microbes of near-shore shark species do not suffer detrimental impacts from long or short-term captivity. Our findings also expand on current understanding of shark epidermal microbiomes, explore the effects of ecologically different scenarios on benthic shark microbe associations, and highlight novel microbial associations that are consistent across captive gradients.


2021 ◽  
Author(s):  
Mariana Costa Dias ◽  
Cecílio Caldeira ◽  
Markus Gastauer ◽  
Silvio Ramos ◽  
Guilherme Oliveira

Abstract BackgroundCanga is the Brazilian term for the savanna-like vegetation harboring several endemic species on iron-rich rocky outcrops, usually considered for mining activities. Parkia platycephala Benth. and Stryphnodendron pulcherrimum (Willd.) Hochr. naturally occur in the cangas of Serra dos Carajás (eastern Amazonia, Brazil) and the surrounding forest, indicating high phenotypic plasticity. The morphological and physiological mechanisms of the plants’ establishment in the canga environment are well studied, but the molecular adaptative responses are still unknown. We aimed to identify molecular mechanisms that allow the establishment of these plants in the canga environment.ResultsPlants were grown in canga and forest substrates collected in the Carajás Mineral Province. RNA was extracted from pooled leaf tissue, and RNA-seq paired-end reads were assembled into representative transcriptomes for P. platycephala and S. pulcherrimum containing 31,728 and 31,311 primary transcripts, respectively. We identified both species-specific and core molecular responses in plants grown in the canga substrate using differential expression analyses. In the species-specific analysis, we identified 1,112 and 838 differentially expressed genes for P. platycephala and S. pulcherrimum, respectively. Enrichment analyses showed unique biological processes and metabolic pathways affected for each species. Comparative differential expression analysis was based on shared single-copy orthologs. The overall pattern of ortholog expression was species-specific. Even so, almost 300 altered genes were identified between plants in canga and forest substrates, responding the same way in both species. The genes were functionally associated with the response to light stimulus and the circadian rhythm pathway.ConclusionsPlants possess species-specific adaptative responses to cope with the substrates. Our results also suggest that plants adapted to both canga and forest environments can adjust the circadian rhythm in a substrate-dependent manner. The circadian clock gene modulation might be a central mechanism regulating the plants’ development in the canga substrate in the studied legume species. The mechanism may be shared as a common mechanism to abiotic stress compensation in other native species.


Author(s):  
Lu Shan ◽  
Zongjie Dai ◽  
Qinhong Wang

Non-conventional yeasts have attracted a growing interest on account of their excellent characteristics. In recent years, the emerging of CRISPR/Cas technology has improved the efficiency and accuracy of genome editing. Utilizing the advantages of CRISPR/Cas in bioengineering of non-conventional yeasts, quite a few advancements have been made. Due to the diversity in their genetic background, the ways for building a functional CRISPR/Cas system of various species non-conventional yeasts were also species-specific. Herein, we have summarized the different strategies for optimizing CRISPR/Cas systems in different non-conventional yeasts and their biotechnological applications in the construction of cell factories. In addition, we have proposed some potential directions for broadening and improving the application of CRISPR/Cas technology in non-conventional yeasts.


2021 ◽  
Vol 11 (4) ◽  
pp. 205-209
Author(s):  
Muhammad Nabeel Ghayur ◽  
Anwarul Hassan Gilani

2021 ◽  
Vol 99 (Supplement_3) ◽  
pp. 342-343
Author(s):  
Jazmin A Markey ◽  
Angel Riggs ◽  
Alexi Moehlenpah ◽  
David Lalman ◽  
Dan Stein

Abstract The role of extension educators is to convey cutting-edge information to the varying sectors of the agricultural industry. In recent years, Oklahoma State University has initiated the process of creating online continuing education courses for Oklahoma-based extension educators. The objective is to develop online modules to enhance educator professional development through expansion of animal science knowledge. In the spring of 2021, Oklahoma extension educators will receive the opportunity to enroll in the introductory level course of this series, “Livestock Production Practices 101” (LPP 101). LPP 101 has been designed for extension educators that have little to no animal science background. The course will be comprised of eight lessons. The eight lessons include livestock species terminology, vision, hearing and handling, nutrient classification, digestive anatomy, reproductive anatomy, life cycles - from conception to consumption, breeds and genetic evaluation parameters, and comparative anatomy. Each lesson will convey species-specific information relative to cattle, horses, pigs, sheep, goats, and chickens. Lessons will include activities such as readings and interactive illustrations. At the conclusion of each lesson, knowledge checks will be given as review to prepare educators for a quiz. Knowledge checks and quiz questions will be a combination of fill-in the blank, multiple choice, matching, and species-specific sorting. Educators must obtain an eighty percent or higher on all lesson quizzes to receive a course certificate. Educators will complete approximately five hours of course work over a ten-week period. A survey will be offered at the conclusion of the course to assess whether the educator found the course to be both engaging and beneficial. The survey will also serve as a guide as to which topics provided in this course would be sought after if developed into courses of their own.


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