Biological Invasions can Begin with Just One Insect
A new study by York University biologists Amro Zayed and Laurence Packer has shown that a lone insect can initiate a biological invasion.
Zayed, a recent graduate of Packer’s lab, examined patterns of genetic diversity in both native European and invasive North American populations of a solitary bee. He concluded that the invasion was most likely founded by one mated female. The study was published today in the open access journal PLoS ONE.
“This is a shocking result, especially since bees suffer from huge genetic problems in small populations,” says Zayed, now a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois.
“We’re now seeing that the introduction of even one single insect can cause a potentially costly invasion, so we have to be extremely vigilant with reducing the number of animals that are unintentionally transported around the globe,” he says.
The study contradicts a popular theory of invasive biology: the more individuals introduced to an area, the higher the success of the invasion. This concept is commonly referred to as the “propagule pressure hypothesis.”
Zayed adds that numbers are not the only factor controlling the success of invasions. “Chance and the specific characteristics of invasive species and their introduced habitats can be more important,” he says.
Packer, a professor in York’s Department of Biology, notes that exotic invasive species are considered a major threat to biodiversity conservation, and can cause huge economic losses.
“Understanding how exotic species establish and spread in their new habitats is the first step to solving the invasive species problem,” Packer says.
Andrew Hyde | alfa
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...