Science Enabled by Specimen Data

Campbell, S. E., Hubbard, J. A. G., & Mandrak, N. E. (2022). Changing community dynamics and climate alter invasion risk of freshwater fishes historically found in invasion pathways of the Laurentian Great Lakes. Diversity and Distributions. Portico.

Aim Here, we use an integrative, comprehensive risk assessment framework as a screening tool to evaluate how the invasion risk of previously failed introduced freshwater fish species, commonly found in the live-trade pathway, will change under future climate-change scenarios. Location Laurentian Great Lakes, North America. Methods The 34 species screened for invasion risk previously failed to establish populations, likely due to poor environmental suitability, low propagule pressure, and/or biotic resistance from the recipient community, and are most commonly found in the increasingly important live-trade pathway. Using established trait-based models, we quantified the probability of establishment success and probability of having high ecological impact in the decade of first introduction and present-day communities (2020) based on known species extirpations, introductions and establishments between 1870 and 2020. We completed a climate match analysis under future climate-change scenarios based on 16 bioclimatic variables. This approach identified a list of species that should be prioritized in surveillance management. Results We identified seven species that have an increased climate match with the region and an increased probability of establishment success. Five of these species have an increased probability of high ecological impacts. Twenty-four species have a current probability of establishment success greater than 50% and 33 species have a current probability of high ecological impacts greater than 50%. Climate match was dynamic under future climate-change scenarios with 14 species experiencing a better match between their native geographical range and the Laurentian Great Lakes region. Main conclusions Our models identify and predict the invasion risk of non-native freshwater fish species present in pathways relevant to the Great Lakes region and provide a comprehensive framework for future management that prioritize efforts to species of highest risk. This framework could be applied to different taxa, pathways, and/or ecosystems to estimate current and predicted invasion risk under multiple scenarios.

Gainsbury, A. M., Santos, E. G., & Wiederhecker, H. (2022). Does urbanization impact terrestrial vertebrate ectotherms across a biodiversity hotspot? Science of The Total Environment, 155446.

Urbanization is increasing at an alarming rate altering biodiversity. As urban areas sprawl, it is vital to understand the effects of urbanization on biodiversity. Florida is ideal for this research; it has many reptile species and has experienced multiple anthropogenic impacts. Herein, we aim to evaluate human impacts on registered reptile richness across an urbanization gradient in Florida. The expectation is that highly urbanized areas would harbor a lower number of species. To represent urbanization, we used Venter et al. (2016) human footprint index. We downloaded georeferenced occurrence records from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility to collate species richness. We ran generalized linear regressions controlling for spatial autocorrelation structure to test the association between urbanization and reptile records across Florida. We found a positive association between urbanization and registered reptiles across Florida for total and non-native species richness; however, a lack of association occurred for native species. We performed rarefaction curves due to an inherent bias of citizen science data. The positive association was supported for non-native reptile species richness with greater species richness located at urban centers. Interestingly, total and native species richness were largest at low as well as moderate levels of urbanization. Thus, moderately urbanized areas may have the potential to harbor a similar number of reptile species compared to areas with low urbanization. Nevertheless, a difference exists in sample completeness between the urbanization categories. Thus, a more systematic monitoring of reptile species across an urbanization gradient, not only focusing on urban and wild areas but also including moderate levels of urbanization, is needed to provide informed conservation strategies for urban development planning. Advances in environmental sensors, environmental DNA, and citizen science outreach are necessary to implement if we are to effectively monitor biodiversity at the accelerated rate of urbanization.

Ecke, F., Magnusson, M., Han, B. A., & Evander, M. (2022). Orthohantaviruses in the Arctic: Present and Future. Arctic One Health, 393–414.

Orthohantaviruses, family Hantaviridae , are globally distributed except for Antarctica where they are absent. In animals, orthohantaviruses are transmitted horizontally, either directly through aggressive interactions and grooming or by inhaling infectious particles shed from urine, feces, or saliva in the environment. Humans become infected by inhaling aerosols of the virus-contaminated excretions of small mammals. Orthohantaviral infections in humans cause severe hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in the North American Artic and hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome (HFRS) in the Eurasian Arctic. In the Arctic, 16 rodent species (order Rodentia) and five shrew species (order Eulipotyphla) have been identified as reservoirs of orthohantaviruses by RNA detection. The two most important reservoir rodents in the Arctic are the bank vole ( Myodes glareolus ) in Eurasia carrying Puumala orthohantavirus (PUUV) and North American deermouse ( Peromyscus maniculatus ) in the North American Arctic carrying Sin Nombre orthohantavirus (SNV); both rodents being habitat generalists occurring in natural and human-modified habitats. Global warming, either independently or in combination with onshore exploitation of natural resources, is expected to increase the distribution range of reservoirs (including bank vole and North American deermouse, rats ( Rattus rattus and R. norvegicus ), house mouse ( Mus musculus ) and field mice ( Apodemus spp.)), and their associated orthohantaviruses. These changes pose the risk of introducing New World orthohantaviruses (e.g., Jemez Springs virus (JMSV) and SNV) to areas where so far only Old World orthohantaviruses (e.g., Hantaan orthohantavirus (HTNV) and PUUV) occur and vice versa. Climate change in the Arctic will likely also promote transmission and prevalence of orthohantaviruses in their reservoirs and hence increase zoonotic risk. The expected environmental changes call for increased surveillance and preparedness to mitigate potential outbreaks of orthohantavirus diseases in humans.

Hanzen, C. C., Lucas, M. C., Weyl, O. L. F., Marr, S. M., O’Brien, G., & Downs, C. T. (2022). Slippery customers for conservation: Distribution and decline of anguillid eels in South Africa. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Portico.

Four anguillid eel species occur in the western Indian Ocean rivers of Africa: Anguilla bengalensis, Anguilla bicolor, Anguilla marmorata and Anguilla mossambica. These catadromous fishes face multiple stressors, including habitat alteration and deterioration, barriers to migration, pollution and the adverse impacts of alien species, but knowledge of eel species occurrence, abundance and ecology in Africa remains poor.This study investigated the present and historical distribution of anguillid eels and the potential associated drivers of declines at the southern extremities of their ranges in South Africa. Data analysed included sampling conducted in KwaZulu–Natal and Eastern Cape between 2015 and 2020, and secondary data extracted from databases, museums and local management agencies.The median extent of inland penetration increased as follows: 22 km for A. bicolor, 29 km for A. marmorata, 94 km for A. bengalensis and 293 km for A. mossambica. The median altitude followed a similar pattern.Extent of occurrence analyses were carried out at the regional level in KwaZulu–Natal. The sampling data on present distribution (2015–2020), compared with historical data, suggests declines in the extents of occurrence of the four eel species in KwaZulu–Natal, ranging between 31 and 48% in the last 30 years and between 35 and 82% since the 1950s.With increasing human threats in the region, especially from watercourse modification and water abstraction, further declines for these species are expected. Conservation measures recommended include the maintenance or restoration of the ecological connectivity of important rivers and the implementation of freshwater protected areas. Although eels are at present not widely exploited in South Africa, there is a need for fisheries regulations to manage sustainable commercial exploitation.

Maimela, L. T., Chimimba, C. T., & Zengeya, T. A. (2022). The legacy of over a century of introductions: Spread debt of rainbow trout ( Oncorhynchus mykiss ) in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. River Research and Applications. Portico.

For over a century, rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) has been widely introduced into lakes and rivers in South Africa to create and enhance sport‐fishing opportunities. Despite its long history of introduction, naturalized populations of rainbow trout are still localized to a few areas with suitable habitats and climate. This study assessed the spread debt (i.e., the increase in area invaded by invasive species over time) of rainbow trout in Mpumalanga Province, South Africa to highlight areas with known introductions, the extent of the invasion, and to identify areas that are suitable for establishment but are still invasion‐free. The total river length that was predicted as suitable for rainbow trout under current climate was about ca. 3,500 km in an extension of about ca. 15,000 km. Current occupancy (river length predicted as suitable with known rainbow trout occurrence records) was ca. 1,220 km (35%) and the invasion debt was therefore estimated as 65%. While these data infer a large invasion debt, they are confounded by a lack of knowledge on sampling effort and verified true absence and should therefore be recognized as an estimate. In addition, the extent of the suitable area varied under different climate change scenarios where it was projected to decrease under RCP 4.5 scenarios and increase under the RCP 8.5 scenarios. This study demonstrates some of the difficulties of quantifying the potential future extent and impacts of biological invasions and how the invasion debt concept can be applied to provide an important link between invasion biology, management, and policy.

Cote, D., Konecny, C. A., Seiden, J., Hauser, T., Kristiansen, T., & Laurel, B. J. (2021). Forecasted Shifts in Thermal Habitat for Cod Species in the Northwest Atlantic and Eastern Canadian Arctic. Frontiers in Marine Science, 8.

Climate change will alter ecosystems and impose hardships on marine resource users as fish assemblages redistribute to habitats that meet their physiological requirements. Marine gadids represent some of the most ecologically and socio-economically important species in the North Atlantic, but face an uncertain future in the wake of rising ocean temperatures. We applied CMIP5 ocean temperature projections to egg survival and juvenile growth models of three northwest Atlantic coastal species of gadids (Atlantic cod, Polar cod, and Greenland cod), each with different thermal affinities and life histories. We illustrate how physiologically based species distribution models (SDMs) can be used to predict habitat distribution shifts and compare vulnerabilities of species and life stages with changing ocean conditions. We also derived an integrated habitat suitability index from the combined surfaces of each metric to predict areas and periods where thermal conditions were suitable for both life stages. Suitable thermal habitat shifted poleward for the juvenile life stages of all three species, but the area remaining differed across species and life stages through time. Arctic specialists like Polar cod are predicted to experience reductions in suitable juvenile habitat based on metrics of egg survival and growth potential. In contrast, habitat loss in boreal and subarctic species like Atlantic cod and Greenland cod may be dampened due to increases in suitable egg survival habitats as suitable juvenile growth potential habitats decrease. These results emphasize the need for mechanistic SDMs that can account for the combined effects of changing seasonal thermal requirements under varying climate change scenarios.

Belitz, M. W., Barve, V., Doby, J. R., Hantak, M. M., Larsen, E. A., Li, D., Oswald, J. A., Sewnath, N., Walters, M., Barve, N., Earl, K., Gardner, N., Guralnick, R. P., & Stucky, B. J. (2021). Climate drivers of adult insect activity are conditioned by life history traits. Ecology Letters, 24(12), 2687–2699. Portico.

Insect phenological lability is key for determining which species will adapt under environmental change. However, little is known about when adult insect activity terminates and overall activity duration. We used community‐science and museum specimen data to investigate the effects of climate and urbanisation on timing of adult insect activity for 101 species varying in life history traits. We found detritivores and species with aquatic larval stages extend activity periods most rapidly in response to increasing regional temperature. Conversely, species with subterranean larval stages have relatively constant durations regardless of regional temperature. Species extended their period of adult activity similarly in warmer conditions regardless of voltinism classification. Longer adult durations may represent a general response to warming, but voltinism data in subtropical environments are likely underreported. This effort provides a framework to address the drivers of adult insect phenology at continental scales and a basis for predicting species response to environmental change.

Nekrasova, O., Tytar, V., Pupins, M., Čeirāns, A., Marushchak, O., & Skute, A. (2021). Distribution of Viviparous American Fish Species in Eastern Europe on the Example of Gambusia holbrooki Girarg, 1859 and Poecilia reticulata Peters, 1859 in the Context of Global Climate Change. The 1st International Electronic Conference on Biological Diversity, Ecology and Evolution.

The potential distribution of tropical fish species in Eastern Europe—Gambusia holbrooki Girarg, 1859 (introduced for biological control) and Poecilia reticulata Peters, 1859 (aquarium species, found in wastewaters of big cities)—tends to be of particular interest in terms of global climate change. After GIS modeling of our own data and findings listed in the GBIF databases (2278 points for G. holbrooki and 1410 points for P. reticulata) by using the Maxent package and 18 uncorrelated variables of 35 Bioclim climatic parameters from the CliMond dataset, it was found that by 2090, guppies will appear in the south of Ukraine (Danube River estuary, as well as in several places in the Caucasus and Turkey with habitat suitability of >0.3–0.5). G. holbrooki will also slightly expand its range in Europe. Limiting factors for G. holbrooki distribution are as follows: bio1 (annual mean temperature, optimum +12–+23 °C) and bio19 (precipitation of coldest quarter (mm)). Limiting factors for guppies are as follows: bio1 (optimum +14–+28 °C), bio4 (temperature seasonality), and bio3 (isothermality). Guppies, unlike G. holbrooki, prefer warmer waters (correlation 0.02). Such thermophilic fish species do not compete with the native ichthyofauna, but they can occupy niches in anthropogenically transformed habitats, playing an important role as agents of biological control.

Sweet, F. S. T., Apfelbeck, B., Hanusch, M., Garland Monteagudo, C., & Weisser, W. W. (2022). Data from public and governmental databases show that a large proportion of the regional animal species pool occur in cities in Germany. Journal of Urban Ecology, 8(1).

Cities have been shown to be biodiverse, but it is unclear what fraction of a regional species pool can live within city borders and how this differs between taxa. Among animals, most research has focused on a few well-studied taxa, such as birds or butterflies. For other species, progress is limite…

Nekrasova, O., Tytar, V., Pupins, M., & Čeirāns, A. (2022). Range expansion of the alien red-eared slider Trachemys scripta (Thunberg in Schoepff, 1792) (Reptilia, Testudines) in Eastern Europe, with special reference to Latvia and Ukraine. BioInvasions Records, 11(1), 287–295.

An increasing number of thermophilic invasive species are spreading and becoming naturalized in Eastern Europe, at least partially due to recent climate change. This can be exemplified by current expansion of the red-eared slider, Trachemys scripta, in Latvia and Ukraine. We collected 44 records of …