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Tag: invasive

Without genetic variation, asexual invasive species have to find other ways to adapt

Without genetic variation, asexual invasive species have to find other ways to adapt

Science
July 30 (UPI) -- Invasive all-female weevils pass along epigenetic changes to their offspring, helping them adapt to new environs, according to a new study. Across most of the animal kingdom, an organism's ability to adapt and evolve is largely dependent on genetic variation. Sufficient genetic diversity makes it more likely that favorable traits will emerge and proliferate as the fittest specimens populate subsequent generations. Some species, however, reproduce asexually, which means their genetic reservoir is limited. So how do they adapt to new environs? To find out, researchers collected specimens of two asexually reproducing, invasive weevil species, Naupactus cervinus and N. leucoloma, from Florida, California and Argentina. Despite sharing the exact same DNA, research...
Measuring the cost of an invasive tree killer

Measuring the cost of an invasive tree killer

Science
For the first time, a study has attempted to assess the devastation caused by the emerald ash borer in US forests that shape river systems.Researchers discovered a range of ways that the ecologically vital habitat is being systematically changed at a landscape level.Since it was discovered in the US in 2002, the invasive insects have wiped out tens of millions of ash trees.The findings will appear in the journal Forest Ecology and Management.Since it was first recorded in Michigan, the tiny wood-boring beetle has spread across the north-eastern reach of the US, killing tens of millions of ash trees.The cost to the nation's economy has been estimated to exceed $ 10bn. However, a team from Michigan State University saw that little ...
Parasitic wasp species that targets invasive stink bug named after Idris Elba

Parasitic wasp species that targets invasive stink bug named after Idris Elba

Science
Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Scientists have named a newly discovered parasitic wasp species after the actor Idris Elba. The species -- its scientific name, literally, Idris elba -- was found in Guanajuato, Mexico. The wasp parasitizes an invasive stink bug called the bagrada bug, a pest that causes major damage to cruciferous vegetables. Scientists described the new species this week in the Journal of Hymenoptera Research. The Idris genus was first described in 1856. Today, the genus includes more than 300 species. All other known Idris species infest the eggs of spiders. "This is the first association of an Idris species with a non-spider host, and the association is confirmed with molecular diagnostic tools that enable identification of parasitoid and host from the remains of parasitized eggs," ...
‘One million volunteers needed to tackle invasive non-native species’

‘One million volunteers needed to tackle invasive non-native species’

Technology
One million volunteers are needed to tackle the growing threat posed by invasive non-native species such as giant hogweed which are costing the economy £1.7bn a year, MPs have said.Between 36 and 48 new invasive species will become established in the next two decades in Britain - and slowing the rate of their arrival is key to preventing their establishment, a report by the Environmental Audit Committee said. Invasive non-native species (Inns) are species directly moved as a result of human activity, and include non-native deer which attract ticks carrying Lyme disease and Oak Processionary Moth Caterpillars that have caused ash dieback, predicted to kill half of the UK's ash trees within 50 years - costing £15bn.Giant hogweed, which causes skin rashes and blistering and the Asian hornet w...
Galapagos home to 53 invasive species, 10 times previous estimates

Galapagos home to 53 invasive species, 10 times previous estimates

Science
March 29 (UPI) -- The Galapagos Islands hosts at least 53 invasive species, ten times as many as previously thought. The survey was conducted by a team of scientists with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Williams College and the Charles Darwin Foundation, and published this week in the journal Aquatic Invasions. Researchers began their search for non-native species in 2015 by hanging underwater settlement plates from docks on Santa Cruz and Baltra, two the archipelago's larger islands. Scientists monitored the species that attached to and grew on the plates. The team of ecologists also sampled mangrove roots, as well as searched previous studies of Galapagos invaders. The survey revealed 48 non-native species, mostly sea squirts, marine worms and moss animals, or bryozoans...