Science Enabled

Vilardo, G., M. Faccoli, J. C. Corley, and M. V. Lantschner. 2022. Factors driving historic intercontinental invasions of European pine bark beetles. Biological Invasions 24: 2973–2991.

Largely assisted by global trade, alien insect species are being introduced into new territories at unprecedented rates. Among forest insects, pine bark beetles (Coleoptera: Curculionidae, Scolytinae) are a large and diverse group commonly recognized as successful invaders and important tree mortality agents in pine forests and commercial plantations. In this study, we collected information on the native and invaded distribution of 51 European bark beetles developing in Pinus species. We analyzed their invasion history in the Southern Hemisphere and the Americas and explored several factors that can help explain their invasion success: (1) propagule pressure: interception frequency in the non-native range(2) invasibility: potential establishment area based on climatic matching and host availability and (3) invasiveness: biological traits of the bark beetles ( i.e. , feeding habit, host range, body size, mating system, colonization behavior). We found that most (87%) of the introductions of the species to new regions occurred in the period 1960–2013, and that variables related with the three main factors were relevant in explaining invasion success. Propagule pressure was the factor that best explained bark beetle invasion probability, followed by invasibility of the novel area. In turn, biological attributes like mating system, body size and host range were also relevant, but showed a lower relative importance. Our study contributes to understand the main factors that explain forest insect invasion success. This information is critical for predicting future invasions to new regions and optimizing early-detection and biosecurity policies.

Williams, C. J. R., D. J. Lunt, U. Salzmann, T. Reichgelt, G. N. Inglis, D. R. Greenwood, W. Chan, et al. 2022. African Hydroclimate During the Early Eocene From the DeepMIP Simulations. Paleoceanography and Paleoclimatology 37.

The early Eocene (∼56‐48 million years ago) is characterised by high CO2 estimates (1200‐2500 ppmv) and elevated global temperatures (∼10 to 16°C higher than modern). However, the response of the hydrological cycle during the early Eocene is poorly constrained, especially in regions with sparse data coverage (e.g. Africa). Here we present a study of African hydroclimate during the early Eocene, as simulated by an ensemble of state‐of‐the‐art climate models in the Deep‐time Model Intercomparison Project (DeepMIP). A comparison between the DeepMIP pre‐industrial simulations and modern observations suggests that model biases are model‐ and geographically dependent, however these biases are reduced in the model ensemble mean. A comparison between the Eocene simulations and the pre‐industrial suggests that there is no obvious wetting or drying trend as the CO2 increases. The results suggest that changes to the land sea mask (relative to modern) in the models may be responsible for the simulated increases in precipitation to the north of Eocene Africa. There is an increase in precipitation over equatorial and West Africa and associated drying over northern Africa as CO2 rises. There are also important dynamical changes, with evidence that anticyclonic low‐level circulation is replaced by increased south‐westerly flow at high CO2 levels. Lastly, a model‐data comparison using newly‐compiled quantitative climate estimates from palaeobotanical proxy data suggests a marginally better fit with the reconstructions at lower levels of CO2.

Colli-Silva, M., J. R. Pirani, and A. Zizka. 2022. Ecological niche models and point distribution data reveal a differential coverage of the cacao relatives (Malvaceae) in South American protected areas. Ecological Informatics 69: 101668.

For many regions, such as in South America, it is unclear how well the existent protected areas network (PAs) covers different taxonomic groups and if there is a coverage bias of PAs towards certain biomes or species. Publicly available occurrence data along with ecological niche models might help to overcome this gap and to quantify the coverage of taxa by PAs ensuring an unbiased distribution of conservation effort. Here, we use an occurrence database of 271 species from the cacao family (Malvaceae) to address how South American PAs cover species with different distribution, abundance, and threat status. Furthermore, we compared the performance of online databases, expert knowledge, and modelled species distributions in estimating species coverage in PAs. We found 79 species from our survey (29% of the total) lack any record inside South American PAs and that 20 out of 23 species potentially threatened with extinction are not covered by PAs. The area covered by South American PAs was low across biomes, except for Amazonia, which had a relative high PA coverage, but little information on species distribution within PA available. Also, raw geo-referenced occurrence data were underestimating the number of species in PAs, and projections from ecological niche models were more prone to overestimating the number of species represented within PAs. We discuss that the protection of South American flora in heterogeneous environments demand for specific strategies tailored to particular biomes, including making new collections inside PAs in less collected areas, and the delimitation of more areas for protection in more known areas. Also, by presenting biasing scenarios of collection effort in a representative plant group, our results can benefit policy makers in conserving different spots of tropical environments highly biodiverse.

Pomoim, N., Y. Trisurat, A. C. Hughes, and R. T. Corlett. 2022. Can Thailand Protect 30% of Its Land Area for Biodiversity, and Will This Be Enough? Diversity 14: 344.

The draft post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework asks CBD parties to conserve at least 30% of the planet by 2030 ‘through a well-connected and effective system of protected areas … with the focus on areas particularly important for biodiversity’. We use Thailand as a case study for the ability of a densely populated, hyper diverse, tropical, middle-income country to meet this target at a national level. Existing protected areas (PAs) total 24.3% of Thailand’s land area. Adding forest on government land adjacent to existing PAs, plus unprotected areas of Ramsar sites, raises this to 29.5%. To assess the importance for biodiversity, we used modeled distributions of birds and mammals plus, as proxies for other biodiversity components, elevation, bioclimate, forest type, and WWF ecoregion. All modeled species occur in the current PA system but <30% meet representation targets. Expansion of the system increases the proportion of mammals and birds adequately protected and increases the protection for underrepresented bioclimatic zones and forest types. The expanded system remains fragmented and underrepresents key habitats, but opportunities for increasing protection of these are limited. It is also still vulnerable to climate change, although projected impacts are reduced. Additional protection is needed for wetland and coastal habitats, and limestone karsts.

Ecke, F., M. Magnusson, B. A. Han, and M. Evander. 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.

Pomoim, N., A. C. Hughes, Y. Trisurat, and R. T. Corlett. 2022. Vulnerability to climate change of species in protected areas in Thailand. Scientific Reports 12.

Although 23% of Thailand’s land is in protected areas, these are vulnerable to climate change. We used spatial distribution modelling for 866 vertebrate and 591 plant species to understand potential climate change impacts on species in protected areas. Most mammals, birds, and plants were projected to decline by 2070, but most amphibians and reptiles were projected to increase. By 2070 under RCP8.5, 54% of modeled species will be threatened and 11 nationally extinct. However, SDMs are sensitive to truncation of the climate space currently occupied by habitat loss and hunting, and apparent truncation by data limitations. In Thailand, lowland forest clearance has biased records for forest-dependent species to cooler uplands (> 250 m a.s.l.) and hunting has confined larger vertebrates to well-protected areas. In contrast, available data is biased towards lowland non-forest taxa for amphibians and reptiles. Niche truncation may therefore have resulted in overestimation of vulnerability for some mammal and plant species, while data limitations have likely led to underestimation of the threat to forest-dependent amphibians and reptiles. In view of the certainty of climate change but the many uncertainties regarding biological responses, we recommend regular, long-term monitoring of species and communities to detect early signals of climate change impacts.

Sweet, F. S. T., B. Apfelbeck, M. Hanusch, C. Garland Monteagudo, and W. W. Weisser. 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.

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…

Carvalho¹, C. E., M. O. T. Menezes, F. S. Araújo, and J. C. Sfair. 2022. High endemism of cacti remains unprotected in the Caatinga. Biodiversity and Conservation 31: 1217–1228.

Protected areas are one of the main strategies of biodiversity conservation. However, if these areas do not coincide spatially with priority areas for conservation, they may not fully achieve their objective. Cactaceae is one of the most frequent plant families in the drylands of the neotropical reg…

Ramírez, F., V. Sbragaglia, K. Soacha, M. Coll, and J. Piera. 2022. Challenges for Marine Ecological Assessments: Completeness of Findable, Accessible, Interoperable, and Reusable Biodiversity Data in European Seas. Frontiers in Marine Science 8.

The ongoing contemporary biodiversity crisis may result in much of ocean’s biodiversity to be lost or deeply modified without even being known. As the climate and anthropogenic-related impacts on marine systems accelerate, biodiversity knowledge integration is urgently required to evaluate and monit…

Van de Vuurst, P., M. M. Díaz, A. Rodríguez-San Pedro, J. L. Allendes, N. Brown, J. D. Gutiérrez, H. Zarza, et al. 2022. A database of common vampire bat reports. Scientific Data 9.

The common vampire bat (Desmodus rotundus) is a sanguivorous (i.e., blood-eating) bat species distributed in the Americas from northern Mexico southwards to central Chile and Argentina. Desmodus rotundus is one of only three mammal species known to feed exclusively on blood, mainly from domestic mam…