Special Issue "Biological Invasions and Biodiversity"

A special issue of Life (ISSN 2075-1729). This special issue belongs to the section "Ecology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 September 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Carl Beierkuhnlein
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Biogeography, University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstr. 30, D-95447 Bayreuth, Germany
Interests: biogeography; plant ecology; global change ecology; landscape ecology
Miss Anna Walentowitz
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Department of Biogeography, University of Bayreuth, Universitätsstr. 30, D-95447 Bayreuth, Germany
Interests: invasion biology; island biogeography; plant ecology; flora of the Galápagos Islands; novel ecosystems; species distribution modelling; conservation biology; endemic plants

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Invasion processes are related to the establishment and spread of species in areas and even continents beyond their natural range. The transportation of species by means of anthropogenic vectors promotes the emergence of new species assemblages and, in some cases, the disruption of previously well-functioning ecosystems. A series of negative impacts on native species and ecosystems have been documented. In many cases, severe societal damage is caused through destabilized ecosystems, health hazards, failed harvests, and other interferences with human interests. Although invasion processes and the intentional or unintentional anthropogenically supported establishment of biota in a new environment have occurred for millennia, the relevance of invasion processes is increasing, with the rapidly evolving functional connectivity, due to globalization. Climate change and land use change are additional drivers. Alterations in biogeographic patterns are observed at a global level and at a speed that is not reflected in natural mechanisms such as speciation or adaptation. Non-native, alien, or invasive species mingle with native species, creating novel and locally unprecedented communities. The speed, the large scale, and the diversity of invasive species and impacted ecosystems demand more in-depth knowledge to identify current and future risks and to reduce uncertainty for decision-making and management. Disentangling the contributions of drivers such as anthropogenic vectors, land use change, and climate change is one aim of this Special Issue. The second is the search for generality in the traits of invasive plant species and in the traits of invaded ecosystems.

This Special Issue seeks studies focused at the interface of invasion ecology and climate change and welcomes field studies, modelling approaches, remote-sensing applications, and conceptual approaches to the topic.

Prof. Carl Beierkuhnlein
Miss Anna Walentowitz
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • non-native
  • invasive
  • alien
  • novel
  • climate change
  • temperature
  • species assemblages
  • drought
  • global change
  • Anthropocene

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Article
Biological Invasion of Fish Parasite Neoergasilus japonicus (Harada, 1930) (Copepoda: Ergasilidae) in Lake Grand Laoucien, France: A Field Study on Life Cycle Parameters and Reasons for Unusual High Population Density
Life 2021, 11(10), 1100; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11101100 - 16 Oct 2021
Viewed by 470
Abstract
The fish parasite, Neoergasilus japonicus (Harada, 1930), native to Eastern Siberia and the Amur River catchment area, invaded European water bodies in the middle of the last century, possibly due to the human-mediated distribution of fish in the Amur complex (i.e., the genera [...] Read more.
The fish parasite, Neoergasilus japonicus (Harada, 1930), native to Eastern Siberia and the Amur River catchment area, invaded European water bodies in the middle of the last century, possibly due to the human-mediated distribution of fish in the Amur complex (i.e., the genera Hypophthalmichthys and Ctenopharyngodon). In the deep karst lake, Grand Laoucien (Marseille area, France), this species had an unusually high population density (from 1000 ind./ m3 in zooplankton to 4000 ind./ m3 in the nearshore area) during the free-living period of its life cycle. The annual cycle of N. japonicus includes a 5-month overwintering of fertilized females attached to fish fins and, following this, a five- to six-generation chain from March to November, when the free-living stages in the population alternate with parasite females which attach to their hosts for breeding. The population density of the parasites in zooplankton increased exponentially from spring to autumn, which positively correlated with temperature. We found a strong correlation between N. japonicus density and the community development of microphytobenthos, but not between N. japonicus and phyto- or zooplankton dynamics. The local contributing factors included a seasonal three-fold decrease in water levels and the development of anoxia in profundal waters, which led to a high ambient fish density and thus susceptibility to the parasite. Although the free-living parasite represented only 1% of zooplankton production, it consumed up to 25% of small invertebrate productivity. The maximum intensity of infection reached 140 parasites per fish, or 4.14 per g of weight. The high infection of fish with this parasite, in our opinion, indicated the danger it poses to the local ichthyofauna, which first encountered this new parasite. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions and Biodiversity)
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Article
The Role of the Songbird Trade as an Anthropogenic Vector in the Spread of Invasive Non-Native Mynas in Indonesia
Life 2021, 11(8), 814; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11080814 - 11 Aug 2021
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Abstract
The wildlife trade has facilitated the introduction of invasive non-native species, which may compete with native species for resources and alter ecosystems. Some of these species have great potential to become invasive if released or escaped from captivity. Here we studied the pet [...] Read more.
The wildlife trade has facilitated the introduction of invasive non-native species, which may compete with native species for resources and alter ecosystems. Some of these species have great potential to become invasive if released or escaped from captivity. Here we studied the pet trade in a group of open countryside birds, the mynas (Acridotheres spp.) in Indonesia, and identified the areas that are at high risk of facing the establishment of these species. Mynas are among the most invasive birds in Southeast Asia. Once established in a new area, they are almost impossible to eradicate and can have strong negative impacts on the ecosystem. Preventing their introduction is therefore essential. Yet, invasive non-native mynas continue to be traded openly. We present data on the trade in seven species of mynas on Java, Bali and Lombok, with three species being native to parts of one or two of these islands, but not to the remainder, and four that are non-native to the region. From 2016 to 2021 we conducted 255 surveys of 30 animal markets. We recorded over 6000 mynas that were offered for sale outside their native range. Areas most at risk because of their high prevalence in specific animal markets, are Greater Jakarta, eastern Java, Bali and Lombok. The number of invasive non-native mynas recorded was positively related to the size of the animal market. Indonesia is signatory to several international agreements (CBD, ASEAN) that have policies and guidelines to prevent the introduction of invasive non-native species, but compliancy is weak. Annually hundreds and possibly thousands of invasive non-native mynas are released by Indonesian conservation authorities in regions that are outside their native range. Effective management of, and regulation of trade in, potential invasive non-native birds in Indonesia falls short and inadvertently greatly aids both their introduction and establishment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions and Biodiversity)
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Article
First Record of the Alien Species Procambarus virginalis Lyko, 2017 in Fresh Waters of Sardinia and Insight into Its Genetic Variability
Life 2021, 11(7), 606; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11070606 - 24 Jun 2021
Viewed by 543
Abstract
In the fresh waters of Sardinia (Italy), the non-indigenous crayfish species Procambarus clarkii has been reported from 2005, but, starting from 2019, there have been several reports of a new non-indigenous crayfish in southern and central areas of this Mediterranean island, and its [...] Read more.
In the fresh waters of Sardinia (Italy), the non-indigenous crayfish species Procambarus clarkii has been reported from 2005, but, starting from 2019, there have been several reports of a new non-indigenous crayfish in southern and central areas of this Mediterranean island, and its morphology suggests that this species may be the marbled crayfish Procambarus virginalis. Forty-seven individuals of this putative species were analyzed, using the mitochondrial gene Cytochrome c Oxidase subunit I as molecular marker to identify this crayfish and investigate the level of genetic variability within the recently established population. Phylogenetic and phylogeographic analyses were carried out on a dataset including sequences from the Sardinian individuals and from all congenerics available in GenBank. Results showed that the new Sardinian crayfish belong to the species P. virginalis. All the sequences belonging to P. virginalis from European countries are identical, with only few exceptions found among Sardinian individuals. In conclusion, this paper highlights the occurrence of a new further alien species in the Sardinian fresh waters, which are already characterized by the high presence of non-indigenous species. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions and Biodiversity)
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Article
Microsatellite Loci Reveal Genetic Diversity of Asian Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana) in the Species Native Range and in the North American Cultivars
Life 2021, 11(6), 531; https://doi.org/10.3390/life11060531 - 07 Jun 2021
Viewed by 997
Abstract
Pyrus calleryana Decne. (Callery pear) includes cultivars that in the United States are popular ornamentals in commercial and residential landscapes. Last few decades, this species has increasingly naturalized across portions of the eastern and southern US. However, the mechanisms behind this plant’s spread [...] Read more.
Pyrus calleryana Decne. (Callery pear) includes cultivars that in the United States are popular ornamentals in commercial and residential landscapes. Last few decades, this species has increasingly naturalized across portions of the eastern and southern US. However, the mechanisms behind this plant’s spread are not well understood. The genetic relationship of present-day P.calleryana trees with their Asian P. calleryana forebears (native trees from China, Japan, and Korea) and the original specimens of US cultivars are unknown. We developed and used 18 microsatellite markers to analyze 147 Pyrus source samples and to articulate the status of genetic diversity within Asian P. calleryana and US cultivars. We hypothesized that Asian P. calleryana specimens and US cultivars would be genetically diverse and would show genetic relatedness. Our data revealed high genetic diversity, high gene flow, and presence of population structure in P. calleryana, potentially relating to the highly invasive capability of this species. Strong evidence for genetic relatedness between Asian P. calleryana specimens and US cultivars was also demonstrated. Our data suggest the source for P. calleryana that have become naturalized in US was China. These results will help understand the genetic complexity of invasive P. calleryana when developing management for escaped populations: In follow-up studies, we use the gSSRs developed here to analyze P. calleryana escape populations from across US. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biological Invasions and Biodiversity)
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