Journal: Animal Conservation
Location: Fuerteventura, Canary Islands

Artificial ground-nesting birds‘ nests were placed along lines 200m to 34km from man-made vulture restaurants and scattered goat carcasses, and of the 67% lines predated by carrion-eaters, 90% of nests were attacked.

Cortés-Avizanda A, Carrete M, Serrano D, Donázar JA, 2009. “Carcasses increase the probability of predation of ground-nesting birds: a caveat regarding the conservation value of vulture restaurants.” Animal Conservation, 12(1): 85-88, doi: 10.1111/j.1469-1795.2008.00231.x
Affiliations: CSIC (Spanish National Research Council)

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Journal: Biological Control
Location: ?

The invasive Japanese knotweed has 180 natural arthropod enemies; the sap-sucking jumping plant louse Aphalara itadori may be the first authorised for use in the European Union. 146,885 A. itadori eggs were laid, and it took 33 days to go through 5 nymph stages at 23oC. 1.52% of eggs laid on 87 species or varieties of plants were not on Japanese knotweed, but these did not become adults. When nymphs were transferred to Maidenhair vine, 7% developed to adulthood.

Japanese knotweed – Fallopia japonica
Maidenhair vine – Meuhlenbeckia complexa

Shaw RH, Bryner S, Tanner R, 2009. “The life history and host range of the Japanese knotweed psyllid, Aphalara itadori Shinji: Potentially the first classical biological weed control agent for the European Union” Biological Control 49(2): 105-113, doi:10.1016/j.biocontrol.2009.01.016
Affiliations: Commonwealth Agricultural Bureaux International (CABI), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH)

Journal: Basic and Applied Ecology
Location: Boreal Sweden

In 30 managed forests (180ha in total) in boreal Sweden surveyed before harvest, 33 red list bryophyte and lichen species (35% of all red list species that have been observed in that part of Sweden) were found, ranging from 5 to 16 species per stand (10 on average), or 6 per hectare. This is more frequent than in designated hot-spot areas. 51% of species were growing on dead trees, and 48% on live. Mature managed forests may be important habitats for red list bryophyte and lichen species.

Gustafsson L, Appelgren L, Jonsson F, Nordin U, Persson AA, Weslien J-O, 2004. “High occurrence of red-listed bryophytes and lichens in mature managed forests in boreal Sweden” Basic and Applied Ecology, Volume 5(2): 123-129, DOI: 10.1078/1439-1791-00223.
Affiliations: Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Vänersborg, Trångsviken, The Forestry Research Institute of Sweden (Skogforsk)

Journal: BioScience
Location: Delaware Bay, USA

In the 1990s, there was a 90% decline in horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus) egg availability due to a 10-fold increase in harvesting for bait, resulting in a decline in body weight of their predator the red knot (Calidris canutus rufa), which congregates in the Delaware Bay every May to feed on the eggs. Between 1997 and 2007 red knots declined by 75%, and the proportion weighing more than 180g by their usual departure from the Bay (26th-28th May) decreased from 0.6-0.8 to 0.14-0.4. The horseshoe crab harvest has continued to increase despite restrictions, and red knots are not recovering.

Niles LJ, Bart J, Sitters HP, Dey AD, Clark KE, Atkinson PW, Baker AJ, Bennett KA, Kalasz KS, Clark NA, Clark J, Gillings S, Gates AS, González PM, Hernandez DE, Minton CDT, Morrison RIG, Porter RR, Ross RK, and Veitch CR, 2009. “Effects of Horseshoe Crab Harvest in Delaware Bay on Red Knots: Are Harvest Restrictions Working?” BioScience 59(2):153-164.
Affiliations: Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey; USGS Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Centre; International Wader Study Group Bulletin; New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife; British Trust for Ornithology; Royal Ontario Museum; Delaware Division of Fish and Wildlife; Fundacion Inalafquen; Richard Stockton College; Victoria Wader Studies Group; Carleton University; Canadian Wildlife Service; The Shorebird Project.

Journal: Science
Location: ?, USA

It is suggested that some pea aphids, a crop pest, are tolerant to heat stress because of bacterial symbionts, Buchnera aphidicola. Members of a strain of heat-sensitive pea aphids with only a non-resistant symbiont were put in 2x2x2m mesh cages, and heat shocks were simulated by putting plastic sheets over the cages (increasing temperature by ~5°C to what would normally affect pea aphid reproduction but still occur naturally). Introduction of predators does not necessarily cause the number of aphids to drop. The number of pea aphids was reduced when subjected to heat shocks, and the presence of 7-spot ladybird predators made no difference (X2 = 2.4, P > 0.5). However, when harlequin ladybirds were introduced, the effect of heat shock was alleviated (X2 = 41.8, P <10–6) because they only predate when population density of aphids is high.

In pairs of one green aphid clone and one red aphid clone, the population growth rate of both red heat-sensitive clones (0.243 ± 0.009) and green heat sensitive clones (0.269 ± 0.008) was greater than their green (0.214 ± 0.007, selection coefficient 0.25) and red (0.247 ± 0.010, selection coefficient 0.20) heat-tolerant counterpart, respectively. When subjected to heat shocks, the growth rate of heat-tolerant clones was notably greater for both green (0.234 ± 0.023 compared to 0.155 ± 0.027 in sensitive reds) and red (0.208 ± 0.031 compared to 0.129 ± 0.033 in sensitive greens) clones. Although the population growth rate was reduced in heat-sensitive clones upon heat shock, this was less than the decrease in growth of heat-sensitive clones (X2A = 12.1, P < 0.001; X2B = 6.96, P < 0.01). Thus rapid evolution of heat-tolerant pea aphid strains may occur if climate change causes more frequent heat shocks.

Pea Aphid – Acyrthosiphon pisum
Seven-Spot Ladybird – Coccinella septempunctata
Harlequin Ladybird – Harmonia axyridis

Harmon JP, Moran NA, Ives AR, 2009. “Species Response to Environmental Change: Impacts of Food Web Interactions and Evolution” Science 323(5919): 1347-1350, DOI: 10.1126/science.1167396
Affiliations: University of Wisconsin, and University of Arizona

Journal: Limnologica: Ecology and Management of Inland Waters
Location: Lake Tegel, Berlin, Germany

Fine polymer resin particles 2.4μm in diameter were stained with 7-amino-4-methylcoumarin (AMC), and Chlorella vulgaris (a single-celled alga) was labelled with fluorescein-5-isothiocyanate (FITC). The fine polymer particles were ingested by several groups (chironomids, microcrustaceans, oligochaetes and tardigrads), whereas Chlorella was only taken up by oligochaetes, and over 85% of particles ended up in the top centimetre of sediment within 14 days. In plexiglass sediment cores, <1mm dried alder leaf fine particulate organic matter (FPOM) stayed within the top 2-3cm of sediment, with finer particles deepest. 65-96% of algae settled there were attached to sand, restricting vertical transport.

Gunker G, Beulker C, Hoffmann A, Kosmol J, 2008. “Fine particulate organic matter (FPOM) transport and processing in littoral interstices – use of fluorescent markers.” Limnologica, in press, doi:10.1016/j.limno.2008.11.001
Affiliations: Berlin University of Technology

Location: GCLME, West Africa

The Guinea Current Large Marine Ecosystem (GCLME) is polluted, degraded, and has declining fish stocks, but most countries in the GCLME rely on its natural resources. Local marine fishery, offshore oil production, periwinkle* harvesting and mining have an estimated value of US$49,941.4 million, of which offshore oil production accounts for 59.79%.

*Periwinkle – Catharanthus roseus G. Don (used to make the chemotherapy drug Vinblastine Sulfate)

Chukwuonea NA, Ukwec CN, Onugud A, Ibee CA, 2009. “Valuing the Guinea current large marine ecosystem: Estimates of direct output impact of relevant marine activities” Ocean & Coastal Management, 52:(3-4) 189-196, doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2008.12.008

Centre for Entrepreneurship and Development Research, University of Nigeria
Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nigeria
United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Vienna
Bioresources Development and Conservation programme (BDCP), Nigeria
Interim Guinea Current Commission, Ghana