Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Internet viruses help ecologists control invasive species

02.03.2005


Studying how computer viruses spread through the internet is helping ecologists to prevent invasions of non-native species. New research published today in the British Ecological Society’s Journal of Applied Ecology, describes the use of network theory to predict how the spiny water flea - a native of Russia - will spread through the Canadian lake system.



Ecologists Jim Muirhead and Professor Hugh MacIsaac of the University of Windsor, Ontario have been studying the spread of the spiny water flea, Bythotrephes longimanus, through Canadian lakes. Using network theory, they built up a picture of the lakes as nodes in a network connected by human traffic, including boat trailers and anglers. Like internet viruses, which spread fastest when they attack the most widely-used email programmes, Muirhead and MacIsaac examined patterns of human vector movement to see whether some invaded systems have the potential to develop into invasion hubs.

According to Muirhead and MacIsaac: "Some lakes invaded by the spiny water flea may serve as invasion hubs if departing boaters and anglers travel to large numbers of non-invaded destination lakes." They found that two of the five lakes they studied, Lake Simcoe and Lake Kashagwigamog, are likely to develop as invasion hubs because most boaters and anglers leaving these lakes travel to lakes that are still free from the spiny water flea.


Earlier work by the pair found that another lake in the network, Lake Muskoka in central Ontario, has served as the hub from which 39 other lakes have become infected since 1989. "It quickly developed into a regional hub for two reasons. First, all of its outbound traffic was to non-invaded lakes and second, the total amount of traffic leaving this source was high," they say.

The findings are important because they allow the limited resources available to control invasive species to be targeted at points on the network where they will have most impact. "Outbound vector traffic from hubs with large flows to non-invaded destinations should be targeted for management efforts to restrict the transportation of propagules across the network and to reduce the rate at which non-indigenous species disperse to novel sites," Muirhead and MacIsaac conclude.

The spiny water flea was first found in Lake Ontario in 1982 and by 2003 it had invaded at least 57 inland lakes and lake systems in Canada. Its spread has been facilitated because it can produce resting eggs able to survive adverse environmental conditions (such as drying out or being eaten by fish), and because humans transport the eggs on their fishing gear and pleasure boats.

Professor Norman Yan of Ontario’s York University has demonstrated that predation by the spiny water flea causes an average loss of three zooplankton species. Thus, as the species spreads, it could cause loss of thousands of populations of zooplankton species in Ontario alone.

Lynne Miller | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.blackwellpublishing.com

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Listening in: Acoustic monitoring devices detect illegal hunting and logging
14.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

nachricht How fires are changing the tundra’s face
12.12.2017 | Gesellschaft für Ökologie e.V.

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: First-of-its-kind chemical oscillator offers new level of molecular control

DNA molecules that follow specific instructions could offer more precise molecular control of synthetic chemical systems, a discovery that opens the door for engineers to create molecular machines with new and complex behaviors.

Researchers have created chemical amplifiers and a chemical oscillator using a systematic method that has the potential to embed sophisticated circuit...

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Engineers program tiny robots to move, think like insects

15.12.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

One in 5 materials chemistry papers may be wrong, study suggests

15.12.2017 | Materials Sciences

New antbird species discovered in Peru by LSU ornithologists

15.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>