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In this article, we conduct a number of benefit–cost analyses to clarify whether the establishment of ragweed in Denmark should be prevented (pure prevention) or if the damage from this invasive species should be mitigated (pure mitigation). The main impact of the establishment of ragweed in Denmark would be a substantial increase in the number of allergy cases, which we use as a measure of the physical damage from this species. As valuation methods, we use both the cost-of-illness and benefit transfer methods to quantify the total gross benefits of these two policy actions. Based on the idea of an invasion function, we identify the total and average net benefits under both prevention and mitigation and find that all are significantly positive regardless of the valuation method. Therefore, both prevention and mitigation are beneficial policy actions, but the total and average net benefits under mitigation are larger than those under prevention in all the scenarios we consider. This finding implies that the former policy action is more beneficial. Despite this result, we propose that prevention, not mitigation, may be the proper policy because of information externalities, altruistic preferences, possible catastrophic events, and ethical considerations.
This article makes the case that the legacy of institutional racism by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is connected to the encroachment of the invasive species Juniperus virginiana (eastern red cedar) on farming land. Red cedar's encroachment impacts Black farmers disproportionately in Oklahoma, even as it undermines broader USDA conservation goals and ability to adapt to climate change. As such, this case study illustrates the shortcomings of Farm Bill Conservation Title programs to address ecological issues across the landscape—shortcomings that hinder farmers' ability to carry out long-term adaptation and mitigate risks. Conversely, we show how the work of Oklahoma Black Historical Research Project, Inc. and the Rural Coalition has been vital allies in Black farmers inter-related struggles against racial injustice and red cedar. Thus, we argue community-based organizations have a pivotal, but under-supported, role to play in the shaping and application of farm bill programs and funds.
North-west Atlantic rocky intertidal shores contain few species that are affected by sharp environmental gradients. As a result, these communities have been widely used as a model experimental system. Earlier studies focussed on how average differences in ecological processes can be driven by environmental differences. More recently, there is an emphasis on how variability in recruitment and ecological interactions can shape communities. In this chapter, we explore how these two distinctly different conceptual approaches – average effects versus variability in effects – have affected the course of ecological research. Our review touches on how phylogeographic history, large-scale variability in ecological processes and small-scale indirect interactions have contributed to the generation and maintenance of community patterns. We argue that human activities, including harvesting, introducing non-native species, eutrophication and climate change, are likely to increase the variability of ecological processes. We conclude that variability of ecological processes and human activities vary on a scale much larger or longer than a typical experiment. Future studies should explicitly incorporate scales that capture the role of variability on the resilience of coastal ecosystems.
Three broad contributions have recently emerged from South African marine biology. First, even strong environmental and biological effects like upwelling are context dependent, nested in biogeography and differ from fine to coarse taxonomic scales. This can lead to small-scale spatial predictability in grazing effects. While top-down control, including fishing, is critical in shallow subtidal systems, the intertidal exhibits stronger bottom-up regulation. Second, phylogeographic patterns can be strong, without coinciding with biogeographic boundaries. This is important because intra-specific genetic lineages can show critical differences in behaviour and physiology, making species responses to environmental change and biological interactions variable at the population level. Third, many non-indigenous species have come to light. Few have become invasive, but they can have dramatic effects, positive and negative. Their simple distributional patterns emerge from complex interactions of many variables, making predicting species distributions under climate change difficult.
The rocky intertidal of the Argentinean coast extends 7,000 km from Río de la Plata (36°S) to Tierra del Fuego (54°S). Intertidal rocky platforms increase in frequency and extent from north to south. In the north, part of this extension has a microtidal nature changing to meso- and macro-tidal in southern Patagonia. The rocky shores of Argentina are characterised by low biodiversity and low biomass compared with other parts of the world. There is an increase in biodiversity at high latitudes, an opposite trend to the current paradigm. Facilitation, competition and grazers shape these patterns at local scales, while there are few predators and their size is frequently small, having lower effects than predators in other coasts. The role of invasive species and anthropogenic impacts on the rocky shores are reviewed as well as the global change effect along the coast. We conclude by considering the knowledge gaps and the special features of Argentine rocky shores which are shaped by their environmental setting and phylogeographic history leading to low diversity, missing functional groups for some taxa and a gradient of increasing diversity towards the poles.
Agronomic surveys of summer weed species are necessary to identify future research directions for optimal weed control, but usually focus on agricultural fields in a single season. To survey all species in the absence of weed control measures and determine species variability between seasons, a survey of 133 sites was conducted on roadsides adjoining agricultural fields throughout the Western Australian grainbelt in early 2015 and repeated in 2016 and 2017. The survey identified 144 species, but only 19 species were evident at more than 10% of sites. The most common species were weeping lovegrass [Eragrostis curvula (Schrad.) Nees], fleabane (Erigeron sp.), windmillgrass (Chloris truncata R. Br.), and wild radish (Raphanus raphanistrum L). The survey highlighted that weed species incidence varied between years. For example, C. truncata incidence was 30% in 2015 and 55% in 2016, while stinkgrass [Eragrostis cilianensis (All.) Vignolo ex Janch.] ranged from 20% in 2015 to 50% of sites in 2017. Conversely, density of individual species on the roadside was usually low, and density remained consistent between years. The survey highlighted multiple weed species that will require further research to optimize management programs. Raphanus raphanistrum and wild oat (Avena fatua L.) in particular are an issue for growers, as these species are highly detrimental winter weeds, and the survey demonstrates that they can also be common summer weeds. Control of these species with nonselective herbicides in summer as well as winter is likely to exacerbate the development of herbicide resistance.
Anthropogenic habitat alteration and invasive species are threatening carnivores globally. Understanding the impact of these factors is critical for creating localized, effective conservation programmes. Madagascar's Eupleridae have been described as the least studied and most threatened group of carnivores. We investigated the effects of habitat degradation and the presence of people and exotic species on the modelled occupancy of the endemic fosa Cryptoprocta ferox, conducting camera-trap surveys in two western deciduous forests, Ankarafantsika National Park and Andranomena Special Reserve. Our results indicated no clear patterns between habitat degradation and fosa occupancy but a strong negative association between cats Felis sp. and fosas. Cat occupancy was negatively associated with birds and positively associated with contiguous forest and narrow trails. In contrast, dog Canis lupus familiaris occupancy was best predicted by wide trails, degraded forest and exotic civets. Our results suggest fosas are capable of traversing degraded landscapes and, in the short term, are resilient to contiguous forest disturbance. However, high occupancy of cats and dogs in the landscape leads to resource competition through prey exploitation and interference, increasing the risk of transmission of potentially fatal diseases. Management strategies for exotic carnivores should be considered, to reduce the widespread predation of endemic species and the transmission of disease.
Flowering rush (Butomus umbellatus L.) is an invasive aquatic and wetland plant capable of developing monotypic stands in emergent and submersed sites. This plant can rapidly outcompete native vegetation and impede human practices by reducing recreation (boating, fishing, and skiing) and disrupting agricultural use of water resources (irrigation canals). Mechanical removal practices occurring biweekly, monthly, bimonthly, and once per growing season were compared with chemical control with diquat applied sequentially at 0.19 ppmv ai for two consecutive months over 2 yr (2016 and 2017). Biweekly removal gave the most consistent control of B. umbellatus biomass and propagules. Diquat application along with monthly and bimonthly clippings gave varying degrees of B. umbellatus control. Clipping once per growing season did not control B. umbellatus when compared with reference plants, while clipping B. umbellatus every 2 wk (biweekly) controlled rush propagules most effectively. However, it is unlikely this method will be sufficient as a stand-alone control option due to the slow speed of harvester boats, the potential these boats have to spread B. umbellatus propagules to more sites, and the expense of mechanical operations. However, clipping could be used as part of an integrated strategy for B. umbellatus control.
In California, invasive grasses have displaced native plants, transforming much of the endemic coastal sage scrub (CSS) to nonnative grasslands. This has occurred for several reasons, including increased competitive ability of invasive grasses and long-term alterations to the soil environment, called legacy effects. Despite the magnitude of this problem, however, it is not well understood how these legacy effects have altered the soil microbial community and, indirectly, native plant restoration. We assessed the microbial composition of soils collected from an uninvaded CSS community (uninvaded soil) and a nearby 10-ha site from which the invasive grass Harding grass (Phalaris aquatica L.) was removed after 11 yr of growth (postinvasive soil). We also measured the survival rate, biomass, and length of three CSS species and P. aquatica grown in both soil types (uninvaded and postinvasive). Our findings indicate that P. aquatica may create microbial legacy effects in the soil that likely cause soil conditions inhibitory to the survival rate, biomass, and length of coastal sagebrush, but not the other two native plant species. Specifically, coastal sagebrush growth was lower in the postinvasive soil, which had more Bacteroidetes, Proteobacteria, Agrobacterium, Bradyrhizobium, Rhizobium (R. leguminosarum), Candidatus koribacter, Candidatus solibacter, and rhizophilic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and fewer Planctomycetes, Acidobacteria, Nitrospira, and Rubrobacter compared with the uninvaded soil. Shifts in soil microbial community composition such as these can have important implications for restoration strategies in postinvasive sites.
Susceptibility of a system to colonization by a weed is in part a function of environmental resource availability. Doveweed [Murdannia nudiflora (L.) Brenan] can establish in a variety of environments; however, it is found mostly in wet or low-lying areas with reduced interspecies competition. Four studies evaluated the effect of mowing height, interspecies competition, and nitrogen, light, and soil moisture availability on M. nudiflora establishment and growth. A field study evaluated the effect of mowing height on M. nudiflora establishment. In comparison with unmowed plots, mowing at 2 and 4 cm reduced spread 46% and 30%, respectively, at 9 wk after planting. Effect of mowing height and nitrogen fertilization on ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass (Cynodon dactylon Burtt-Davy×C. transvaalensis L. Pers.) and M. nudiflora interspecies competition was evaluated in a greenhouse trial. Murdannia nudiflora coverage was 62% greater in flats maintained at 2.6 cm than flats maintained at 1.3 cm. Supplemental application of 49 kg N ha−1 mo−1 increased M. nudiflora coverage 75% in comparison with 24.5 kg N ha−1 mo−1. A difference in M. nudiflora coverage could not be detected between flats receiving 0 and 24.5 kg N ha−1 mo−1, suggesting moderate nitrogen fertilization does not encourage M. nudiflora colonization. Effect of light availability on M. nudiflora growth and development was evaluated in a greenhouse study. Growth in a 30%, 50%, or 70% reduced light environment (RLE) did not affect shoot growth on a dry weight basis in comparison with plants grown under full irradiance; however, internode length was 28% longer in a 30% RLE and 39% longer in a 50% and 70% RLE. Effect of soil moisture on M. nudiflora growth and development was evaluated in a greenhouse study. Plants maintained at 50%, 75%, and 100% field capacity (FC) increased biomass>200% compared with plants maintained at 12.5% or 25% FC.
Essential variables to consider for an efficient control strategy for invasive plants include dispersion pattern (i.e., satellite or invasion front) and patch expansion rate. These variables were demonstrated for buffelgrass [Pennisetum ciliare (L.) Link], a C4 perennial grass introduced from Africa, which has invaded broadly around the world. The study site was along a roadway in southern Arizona (USA). The P. ciliare plant distributions show the pattern of clumping associated with the satellite (nascent foci) colonization pattern (average nearest neighbor test, z-score −47.2, P<0.01). The distance between patches ranged from 0.743 to 12.8 km, with an average distance between patches of 5.6 km. Median patch expansion rate was 271% over the 3-yr monitoring period versus 136% found in other studies of established P. ciliare patches. Targeting P. ciliare satellite patches as a control strategy may exponentially reduce the areal doubling time, while targeting the largest patches may have less effect on the invasion speed.
The brush-clawed shore crab Hemigrapsus takanoi is a native species from the Western Pacific and an invader of the European Atlantic coast from northern Spain to southern Denmark. Despite the increasing concern about its rapid expansion, little is known about the early stages in its life history. In the present study, the larval morphology of H. takanoi is described and illustrated from specimens obtained in the laboratory from its type locality, Tokyo Bay, Japan. Its larval development follows the pattern of Varunidae, that involves five zoeae and one megalopa. The morphological characters of the larvae of H. takanoi are compared with those of the other known Hemigrapsus species of the North Pacific. In addition, to facilitate an early detection of the invasive species of Varunidae inhabiting European Atlantic waters, a summary of the key characters to identify their larval stages is included.
Biological invasions are one of the grand challenges facing society, as exotic species introductions continue to rise and can result in dramatic changes to native ecosystems and economies. The scale of the “biological invasions crisis” spans from hyperlocal to international, involving a myriad of actors focused on mitigating and preventing biological invasions. However, the level of engagement among stakeholders and opportunities to collaboratively solve invasives issues in transdisciplinary ways is poorly understood. The Biological Invasions: Confronting a Crisis workshop engaged a broad group of actors working on various aspects of biological invasions in Virginia, USA—researchers, Extension personnel, educators, local, state, and federal agencies, nongovernmental organizations, and land managers—to discuss their respective roles and how they interact with other groups. Through a series of activities, it became clear that despite shared goals, most groups are not engaging with one another, and that enhanced communication and collaboration among groups is key to designing effective solutions. There is strong support for a multistakeholder coalition to affect change in policy, public education/engagement, and solution design. Confronting the biological invasions crisis will increasingly require engagement among stakeholders.
Common reed [Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.], an aggressive invader in North American wetlands, is likely to undergo a range expansion as the climate changes. Increased atmospheric [CO2] and temperature have been shown to cause morphological and physiological changes in many species, sometimes altering the way they respond to herbicides. To understand how climate-related environmental parameters may impact P. australis management, we grew two P. australis haplotypes (the Gulf Coast type and the Eurasian type) under ambient (400 ppm CO2, 32/21 C) or elevated (650 ppm CO2, 35/24 C) climate conditions. After 6 wk, the Gulf Coast type had reduced leaf area, increased stomatal conductance, and increased transpiration under the elevated conditions. The Eurasian type had lower Vcmax (the maximum carboxylation rate of Rubisco) and lower Jmax (the maximum electron transport rate of RuBP regeneration) under elevated climate conditions. Results likely reflected a greater impact of higher temperatures rather than increased [CO2]. After the 6-wk period, plants were either treated with glyphosate (0.57 kg ae ha−1) or remained an untreated control. Data were collected 30 d after treatment (DAT) and 60 DAT to evaluate herbicide efficacy. Overall, the Gulf Coast type was less responsive to glyphosate applications under the elevated climate conditions than under current climate conditions. The lower leaf area of the Gulf Coast type in these climate conditions may have resulted in less herbicide interception and uptake. Glyphosate efficacy was less impacted by climate treatment for the Eurasian type than for the Gulf Coast type.
Millipede diversity in tropical regions, and in Mexico in particular, is still mostly unknown. A modest but recurrent source of new Mexican species is the colonization of exotic species, due to human activity. The invasive species Cylindrodesmus hirsutus Pocock, 1889 has spread from its area of origin in Indonesia or Melanesia and become a virtually pantropical species. Although long known from South and Central America, reports from the Caribbean are sparse and limited to some eastern islands and southern Central America. On 9 March 2016, two adult specimens were found on Cozumel Island, Quintana Roo, in an area of medium semideciduous tropical forest. This paper comprises the first record of this species from Mexico and the northern Caribbean. Given the intense commercial activity in the region, the presence of more populations both in Cozumel Island and in the mainland coast is highly probable.
Invasive species constitute one of the most serious threats to biodiversity and ecosystems, and they potentially cause economic problems and impact human health. The globally invasive New Guinea flatworm, Platydemus manokwari (Platyhelminthes: Geoplanidae), has been identified as a threat to terrestrial biodiversity, particularly soil-dwelling native species (e.g. molluscs, annelids and other land planarians), and is listed among 100 of the world's worst invasive alien species. We report here, for the first time, P. manokwari occurrences in many locations throughout Thailand, using voluntary digital public participation from the social network portals associated with the Thailand Biodiversity Conservation Group and collections of living flatworm specimens. Mitochondrial cytochrome c oxidase subunit I (COI) sequences confirmed that all collected flatworms were P. manokwari and placed them in the “world haplotype” clade alongside other previously reported specimens from France, Florida (USA), Puerto Rico, Singapore, French Polynesia, New Caledonia, and the Solomon Islands. In addition, infective stage larvae (L3) of the nematode Angiostrongylus malaysiensis were found in the flatworm specimens, with a 12.4% infection rate (15/121 specimens examined). Platydemus manokwari occurrence in Thailand and its capacity to carry L3 of Angiostrongylus should be of concern to biodiversity conservation and human health practitioners, because this invasive flatworm species may be involved in the life cycle of angiostrongylid worms in Thailand.
Silvery-Thread Moss (Bryum argenteum Hedw.) is an undesirable invader of golf course putting greens across North America, establishing colonies and proliferating despite practices to suppress it. The goal was to grow genotypes of green (growing in putting greens) and native (growing in habitats outside of putting greens) B. argenteum in a common garden experiment, allowing an experimental test of life-history traits between genotypes from these two habitats. Seventeen collections of green and 17 collections of native B. argenteum were cloned to single genotypes and raised through a minimum of two asexual generations in the lab. A culture of each genotype was initiated using a single detached shoot apex and was allowed to grow for 6 mo under conditions of inorganic nutrients present and absent. Compared with genotypes from native habitats, genotypes of B. argenteum from putting greens exhibited earlier shoot regeneration and shoot induction, faster protonemal extension, longer (higher) shoots, lower production of gemmae and bulbils, and greater aerial rhizoid cover, and showed similar tendencies of chlorophyll fluorescence properties and chlorophyll content. Cultures receiving no inorganic nutrients produced less chlorophyll content, greatly reduced growth, and bleaching of shoots. Mosses from putting greens establish more quickly, grow faster, produce more abundant rhizoids, and yet do not produce as many specialized asexual propagules compared with mosses of the same species from native habitats. The highly managed putting green environment has either selected for a suite of traits that allow the moss to effectively compete with grasses, or genotypic diversity is very high in this species, allowing a set of specialized genotypes to colonize the putting green from native habitats. Successful golf course weeds have been able to adapt to this highly competitive environment by selection acting on traits or genotypes to produce plants more successful in competing with golf course grasses.
This study evaluated the effectiveness of 14 herbicide treatments for purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria L.) control over a period of 10 yr. The study commenced in 2000/2001 at four wetland locations in Nebraska. The evaluated herbicides included: glyphosate at 2.2 and 3.4 kg ha−1; 2,4-D dimethylamine at 1.4 and 2.8 kg ae ha−1; triclopyr at 1.3 and 2.1 kg ae ha−1; imazapyr at 1.1 and 1.7 kg ae ha−1; metsulfuron at 0.042 and 0.084 ai kg ha−1; fosamine at 13.5 and 22.4 kg ai ha−1; triclopyr at 1.3 kg ae ha−1 plus 2,4-D amine at 1.4 ae kg ha−1; and metsulfuron at 0.042 kg ai ha−1 plus 2,4-D amine at 1.4 kg ae ha−1. Some treatments provided excellent control (90%) that lasted only one season, while others suppressed L. salicaria growth for multiple seasons, depending on the location and the age of L. salicaria stand. Application of higher rates of glyphosate, imazapyr, and metsulfuron consistently provided excellent control (≥90%) of L. salicaria that lasted 360 d after treatment at most locations. Application of fosamine and the lower rate of 2,4-D amine provided the least L. salicaria control at most locations. The older the L. salicaria stand, the more multiple applications of herbicides were needed to completely control L. salicaria. Generally, there were higher percentages of grasses in the 2,4-D-, triclopyr-, and metsulfuron-treated plots compared with higher percentages of broadleaf species in the glyphosate- and imazapyr-treated plots at each location.
Climate change will increase variability in temperature and precipitation on rangelands, impacting ecosystem services including livestock grazing. Facing uncertainty about future climate, managers must know if current practices will maintain rangeland sustainability. Herein, the future density of an invasive species, broom snakeweed, is estimated using a long-term ecological dataset and climate projections. We find that livestock stocking rates determined using a current method result in lower forage production, allowable stocking rate, and grazing value than an economically efficient stocking rate. Results indicate that using ecology and adaptive methods in management are critical to the sustainability of rangelands.
Angiostrongylus cantonensis (rat lungworm), a parasitic nematode, is expanding its distribution. Human infection, known as angiostrongyliasis, may manifest as eosinophilic meningitis, an emerging infectious disease. The range and incidence of this disease are expanding throughout the tropics and subtropics. Recently, the Hawaiian Islands have experienced an increase in reported cases. This study addresses factors affecting the parasite's distribution and projects its potential future distribution, using Hawaii as a model for its global expansion. Specimens of 37 snail species from the Hawaiian Islands were screened for the parasite using PCR. It was present on five of the six largest islands. The data were used to generate habitat suitability models for A. cantonensis, based on temperature and precipitation, to predict its potential further spread within the archipelago. The best current climate model predicted suitable habitat on all islands, with greater suitability in regions with higher precipitation and temperatures. Projections under climate change (to 2100) indicated increased suitability in regions with estimated increased precipitation and temperatures, suitable habitat occurring increasingly at higher elevations. Analogously, climate change could facilitate the spread of A. cantonensis from its current tropical/subtropical range into more temperate regions of the world, as is beginning to be seen in the continental USA.