673 research outputs found

    Forest management intensity affects aquatic communities in artificial tree holes

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    Forest management could potentially affect organisms in all forest habitats. However, aquatic communities in water-filled tree-holes may be especially sensitive because of small population sizes, the risk of drought and potential dispersal limitation. We set up artificial tree holes in forest stands subject to different management intensities in two regions in Germany and assessed the influence of local environmental properties (tree-hole opening type, tree diameter, water volume and water temperature) as well as regional drivers (forest management intensity, tree-hole density) on tree-hole insect communities (not considering other organisms such as nematodes or rotifers), detritus content, oxygen and nutrient concentrations. In addition, we compared data from artificial tree holes with data from natural tree holes in the same area to evaluate the methodological approach of using tree-hole analogues. We found that forest management had strong effects on communities in artificial tree holes in both regions and across the season. Abundance and species richness declined, community composition shifted and detritus content declined with increasing forest management intensity. Environmental variables, such as tree-hole density and tree diameter partly explained these changes. However, dispersal limitation, indicated by effects of tree-hole density, generally showed rather weak impacts on communities. Artificial tree holes had higher water temperatures (on average 2° C higher) and oxygen concentrations (on average 25% higher) than natural tree holes. The abundance of organisms was higher but species richness was lower in artificial tree holes. Community composition differed between artificial and natural tree holes. Negative management effects were detectable in both tree-hole systems, despite their abiotic and biotic differences. Our results indicate that forest management has substantial and pervasive effects on tree-hole communities and may alter their structure and functioning. We furthermore conclude that artificial tree-hole analogues represent a useful experimental alternative to test effects of changes in forest management on natural communities.Fil: Petermann, Jana S.. University of Salzburg; Austria. Berlin-Brandenburg Institute of Advanced Biodiversity Research; AlemaniaFil: Rohland, Anja. Friedrich Schiller University; AlemaniaFil: Sichardt, Nora. Friedrich Schiller University; AlemaniaFil: Lade, Peggy. Friedrich Schiller University; AlemaniaFil: Guidetti, Brenda Yamile. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina. Friedrich Schiller University; AlemaniaFil: Weisser, Wolfgang W.. Friedrich Schiller University; Alemania. Technische Universität München; AlemaniaFil: Gossner, Martin M.. Friedrich Schiller University; Alemania. Technische Universität München; Alemani

    From bottom-up to top-down control of invertebrate herbivores in a retrogressive chronosequence

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    In the long-term absence of disturbance, ecosystems often enter a decline or retrogressive phase which leads to reductions in primary productivity, plant biomass, nutrient cycling and foliar quality. However, the consequences of ecosystem retrogression for higher trophic levels such as herbivores and predators, are less clear. Using a post-fire forested island-chronosequence across which retrogression occurs, we provide evidence that nutrient availability strongly controls invertebrate herbivore biomass when predators are few, but that there is a switch from bottom-up to top-down control when predators are common. This trophic flip in herbivore control probably arises because invertebrate predators respond to alternative energy channels from the adjacent aquatic matrix, which were independent of terrestrial plant biomass. Our results suggest that effects of nutrient limitation resulting from ecosystem retrogression on trophic cascades are modified by nutrient-independent variation in predator abundance, and this calls for a more holistic approach to trophic ecology to better understand herbivore effects on plant communities

    From the South and from the North? – Quilnus marcosi Heiss & Baena and Aradus angularis J. Sahlberg, two flat bug species new for Central Europe (Hemiptera, Heteroptera, Aradidae)

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    The flat bug fauna of Switzerland is still insufficiently studied. We describe the first records of Aradus angularis J. Sahlberg, 1886 and Quilnus marcosi Heiss & Baena, 2006 (Heteroptera: Aradidae) in Switzerland from a burnt forest area in the canton Valais. These are also the first records for Central Europe. With these new records, the number of Aradidae species recorded in Switzerland increases to 21, and in the canton Valais to 16. A cantonal record list of aradid species in Switzerland and photographs of the two recently new recorded species are provided. The pyrophilous A. angularis shows a disjunct distribution pattern, disconnected from its known distributional range from Fennoscandia to Northeast China, which suggests that the species is a relict of the Ice Age in Central Europe. In contrast, the sub-Mediterranean Q. marcosi seems to have expanded its distributional range to the north-east or has previously gone unnoticed in Switzerland. The host plants of Q. marcosi include Pinus nigra and P. sylvestris

    Dengue virus infections among European travellers, 2015 to 2019

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    Background: Dengue is a disease with major impacts on public health in tropical and subtropical countries. In Europe, in the past decade, few autochthonous outbreaks were described. Aim: We aimed to identify factors associated with frequency of dengue virus infection among European travellers and at assessing how surveillance data could support preparedness against autochthonous outbreaks within Europe. Methods: We performed a descriptive analysis of travel-related dengue cases reported by European countries from 2015 through 2019. Using flight passenger data, we calculated travellers’ infection rates (TIR). We investigated the following associations: (i) between TIR and incidence rate in selected countries of infection and (ii) between number of travel-related cases and occurrence of autochthonous outbreaks within Europe. Results: There were 11,478 travel-related dengue cases and the TIR was 2.8 cases per 100,000 travellers. Most cases were infected in Asia (71%), predominantly in south-eastern Asia. The TIR was highest among travellers returning from Asia (6.1/100,000). There was an association between the incidence rate in the country of infection and the TIR but no association between the number of travel-related cases and occurrence of autochthonous outbreaks in Europe. Conclusions: The likelihood of infection in travellers is a function of the ongoing epidemiological situation in the country of exposure. The number of travel-related cases alone is not sufficient to estimate the likelihood of autochthonous outbreaks where vectors are present in Europe. Additional contributing factors such as adequate vectorial capacity and suitable environmental conditions are required.Peer Reviewe

    Relationship between susceptibility of Blackface sheep to Teladorsagia circumcincta infection and an inflammatory mucosal T cell response

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    <p>Abstract</p> <p><it>Teladorsagia circumcincta</it> is the most economically important gastrointestinal (abomasal) nematode parasite of sheep in cool temperate regions, to which sheep show genetically-varying resistance to infection. Lambs, from parents with genetic variation for resistance<it>,</it> were trickle infected with L3 larvae over 12 weeks. 45 lambs were identified with a range of susceptibilities as assessed by: adult worm count at post mortem, faecal egg count (FEC) and IgA antibody levels. This project investigated the correlation of T cell cytokine expression and resistance to infection at the mature stage of response, when the resistant lambs had excluded all parasites.</p> <p>Histopathology showed only minor changes in resistant animals with a low level lymphocyte infiltration; but in susceptible lambs, major pathological changes were associated with extensive infiltration of lymphocytes, eosinophils and neutrophils.</p> <p>Absolute quantitative RT-qPCR assays on the abomasal lymph node (ALN) revealed a significant positive correlation between IL6, IL21 and IL23A transcript levels with adult worm count and FEC. IL23A was also negatively correlated with IgA antibody levels. Significantly positive correlation of TGFB1 levels with adult worm count and FEC were also seen in the abomasal mucosa. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the inability to control L3 larval colonization, adult worm infection and egg production is due to the activation of the inflammatory Th17 T cell subset.</p

    Blue and green food webs respond differently to elevation and land use.

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    While aquatic (blue) and terrestrial (green) food webs are parts of the same landscape, it remains unclear whether they respond similarly to shared environmental gradients. We use empirical community data from hundreds of sites across Switzerland and a synthesis of interaction information in the form of a metaweb to show that inferred blue and green food webs have different structural and ecological properties along elevation and among various land-use types. Specifically, in green food webs, their modular structure increases with elevation and the overlap of consumers' diet niche decreases, while the opposite pattern is observed in blue food webs. Such differences between blue and green food webs are particularly pronounced in farmland-dominated habitats, indicating that anthropogenic habitat modification modulates the climatic effects on food webs but differently in blue versus green systems. These findings indicate general structural differences between blue and green food webs and suggest their potential divergent future alterations through land-use or climatic changes
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