• Malacosporean myxozoans exploit a diversity of fish hosts

      Naldoni, Juliana; Adriano, EA; hartigan, ashlie; Sayer, C; Okamura, B (Cambridge University Press (CUP), 2019-06)
      Myxozoans are widespread and common endoparasites of fish with complex life cycles, infecting vertebrate and invertebrate hosts. There are two classes: Myxosporea and Malacosporea. To date about 2500 myxosporean species have been described. By comparison, there are only five described malacosporean species. Malacosporean development in the invertebrate hosts (freshwater bryozoans) has been relatively well studied but is poorly known in fish hosts. Our aim was to investigate the presence and development of malacosporeans infecting a diversity of fish from Brazil, Europe and the USA. We examined kidney from 256 fish belonging variously to the Salmonidae, Cyprinidae, Nemacheilidae, Esocidae, Percidae, Polyodontidae, Serrasalmidae, Cichlidae and Pimelodidae. Malacosporean infections were detected and identified by polymerase chain reaction and small subunit ribosomal DNA sequencing, and the presence of sporogonic stages was evaluated by ultrastructural examination. We found five malacosporean infections in populations of seven European fish species (brown trout, rainbow trout, white fish, dace, roach, gudgeon and stone loach). Ultrastructural analyses revealed sporogonic stages in kidney tubules of three fish species (brown trout, roach and stone loach), providing evidence that fish belonging to at least three families are true hosts. These results expand the range of fish hosts exploited by malacosporeans to complete their life cycle.
    • Mammalian tolerance to humans is predicted by body mass: evidence from long-term archives.

      Crees, JJ; Turvey, ST; Freeman, R; Carbone, C (Ecological Society of America, 2019-06-08)
      Humans are implicated as a major driver of species extinctions from the Late Pleistocene to the present. However, our predictive understanding of human-caused extinction remains poor due to the restricted temporal and spatial scales at which this process is typically assessed, and the risks of bias due to "extinction filters" resulting from a poor understanding of past species declines. We develop a novel continent-wide dataset containing country-level last-occurrence records for 30 European terrestrial mammals across the Holocene (c.11,500 years to present), an epoch of relative climatic stability that captures major transitions in human demography. We analyze regional extirpations against a high-resolution database of human population density (HPD) estimates to identify species-specific tolerances to changing HPD through the Holocene. Mammalian thresholds to HPD scale strongly with body mass, with larger-bodied mammals experiencing regional population losses at lower HPDs than smaller-bodied mammals. Our analysis enables us to identify levels of tolerance to HPD for different species, and therefore has wide applicability for determining biotic vulnerability to human impacts. This ecological pattern is confirmed across wide spatiotemporal scales, providing insights into the dynamics of prehistoric extinctions and the modern biodiversity crisis, and emphasizing the role of long-term archives in understanding human-caused biodiversity loss. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    • Managed Bumblebees Outperform Honeybees in Increasing Peach Fruit Set in China: Different Limiting Processes with Different Pollinators

      Zhang, H; Huang, J; Vaissiere, BE; Zhou, Z; Gai, Q; Dong, J; An, J; Williams, PH; Dyer, AG (2015-03-23)
    • Managing a sustainable deep-sea 'blue economy' requires knowledge of what actually lives there

      Glover, AG; Wiklund, H; Chen, C; Dahlgren, TG (2018-11-27)
      Ensuring that the wealth of resources contained in our oceans are managed and developed in a sustainable manner is a priority for the emerging 'blue economy'. However, modern ecosystem-based management approaches do not translate well to regions where we know almost nothing about the individual species found in the ecosystem. Here, we propose a new taxon-focused approach to deep-sea conservation that includes regulatory oversight to set targets for the delivery of taxonomic data. For example, a five-year plan to deliver taxonomic and genomic knowledge on a thousand species in regions of the ocean earmarked for industrial activity is an achievable target. High-throughput, integrative taxonomy can, therefore, provide the data that is needed to monitor various ecosystem services (such as the natural history, connectivity, value and function of species) and to help break the regulatory deadlock of high-seas conservation.
    • Manduca exiguus (Gehlen, 1942): a valid species from southern and south-eastern Brazil, Uruguay and north-eastern Argentina (Lepidoptera: Sphingidae).

      Haxaire, J; Rougerie, R; Mielke, CGC; Kitching, I (Entomologischer Verein Apollo e. V., Frankfurt am Main, 2015-07)
      Manduca exiguus (Gehlen, 1942) stat. n. was first described as a subspecies of Manduca lucetius (Cramer, 1780), but later considered as a junior synonym of Manduca contracta (Butler, 1875). Here, we compare the two taxa and demonstrate the validity of M. exiguus as a species on the basis of a distinctive habitus and differences in the male genitalia, together with corroborating evidence from DNA barcodes. The distribution of M. exiguus is detailed.
    • Mapping freshwater snails in north-western Angola: distribution, identity and molecular diversity of medically important taxa

      Allan, F; Sousa-Figueiredo, JC; Emery, AM; Paulo, R; Mirante, C; Sebastião, A; Brito, M; Rollinson, D (BMC & Springer Nature, 2017-10-10)
      This study was designed to determine the distribution and identity of potential intermediate snail hosts of Schistosoma spp. in Bengo, Luanda, Kwanza Norte and Malanje Provinces in north-western Angola. This is an area where infection with Schistosoma haematobium, causing urogenital schistosomiasis, is common but little is yet known about transmission of the disease. Angola has had a varied past with regard to disease control and is revitalising efforts to combat neglected tropical diseases.
    • Mariana serpentinite mud volcanism exhumes subducted seamount materials: implications for the origin of life

      Fryer, P; Wheat, CG; Williams, T; Kelley, C; Johnson, K; Ryan, J; Kurz, W; Shervais, J; Albers, E; Bekins, B; et al. (The Royal Society, 2020-01-06)
      The subduction of seamounts and ridge features at convergent plate boundaries plays an important role in the deformation of the overriding plate and influences geochemical cycling and associated biological processes. Active serpentinization of forearc mantle and serpentinite mud volcanism on the Mariana forearc (between the trench and active volcanic arc) provides windows on subduction processes. Here, we present (1) the first observation of an extensive exposure of an undeformed Cretaceous seamount currently being subducted at the Mariana Trench inner slope; (2) vertical deformation of the forearc region related to subduction of Pacific Plate seamounts and thickened crust; (3) recovered Ocean Drilling Program and International Ocean Discovery Program cores of serpentinite mudflows that confirm exhumation of various Pacific Plate lithologies, including subducted reef limestone; (4) petrologic, geochemical and paleontological data from the cores that show that Pacific Plate seamount exhumation covers greater spatial and temporal extents; (5) the inference that microbial communities associated with serpentinite mud volcanism may also be exhumed from the subducted plate seafloor and/or seamounts; and (6) the implications for effects of these processes with regard to evolution of life.
    • Marine hotspots of activity inform protection of a threatened community of pelagic species in a large oceanic jurisdiction

      Requena, S; Oppel, S; Bond, AL; Hall, J; Cleeland, J; Crawford, RJM; Davies, D; Dilley, BJ; Glass, T; Makhado, A; et al. (Wiley, 2020-03-25)
      Remote oceanic islands harbour unique biodiversity, especially of species that rely on the marine trophic resources around their breeding islands. Identifying marine areas used by such species is essential to manage and limit processes that threaten these species. The Tristan da Cunha territory in the South Atlantic Ocean hosts several endemic and globally threatened seabirds, and pinnipeds; how they use the waters surrounding the islands must be considered when planning commercial activities. To inform marine management in the Tristan da Cunha Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), we identified statistically significant areas of concentrated activity by collating animal tracking data from nine seabirds and one marine mammal. We first calculated the time that breeding adults of the tracked species spent in 10 × 10 km cells within the EEZ, for each of four seasons to account for temporal variability in space use. By applying a spatial aggregation statistic over these grids for each season, we detected areas that are used more than expected by chance. Most of the activity hotspots were either within 100 km of breeding colonies or were associated with seamounts, being spatially constant across several seasons. Our simple and effective approach highlights important areas for pelagic biodiversity that will benefit conservation planning and marine management strategies.
    • The marine mollusc collection at the Natural History Museum, London

      Salvador, A (2016-07-01)
      The Natural History Museum, London holds one of the largest and most important collections of molluscs in the world with an estimate 8 million specimens. The marine collection includes around 40,000 type lots for the phylum, mainly from the collections of Cuming, Sowerby, Smith, Gray, Adams, Melvill, Hinds, Carpenter, d’Orbigny, to name a few. As well as the scientific importance of the collections, a wealth of material originating with Sloane, Banks, Cook, Darwin, Lyell, Cracherode and Montagu gives an unparalleled historic dimension to our holdings. A dedicated library of over 6,000 bound volumes and 30,000 reprints on molluscs, dating from the 17th century, provides an incredibly accessible source of information to support collections, curation and research.
    • Mastodon and on and on…a moving story

      Allington-Jones, L (NatSCA, 2018-02-01)
      This is the latest chapter in the history of the mastodon (Mammut americanum (Kerr, 1792)) specimen on display at the Natural History Museum (NHM) in London (UK), and continues from the story told by Lindsay (1991). The specimen was selected to be one of the new exhibits for the Wonder Bays of the refurbished Hintze Hall, at the heart of the Waterhouse building. Residing, until recently, on open display in a different exhibition space, the mastodon required stabilisation and careful dismantling before transportation and reassembly in its new site.
    • Measuring Biodiversity and Extinction-Present and Past

      Sigwart, JD; Bennett, KD; Edie, SM; Mander, L; Okamura, B; Padian, K; Wheeler, Q; Winston, JE; Yeung, NW (Oxford Academic, 2018-09-18)
      How biodiversity is changing in our time represents a major concern for all organismal biologists. Anthropogenic changes to our planet are decreasing species diversity through the negative effects of pollution, habitat destruction, direct extirpation of species, and climate change. But major biotic changes—including those that have both increased and decreased species diversity—have happened before in Earth’s history. Biodiversity dynamics in past eras provide important context to understand ecological responses to current environmental change. The work of assessing biodiversity is woven into ecology, environmental science, conservation, paleontology, phylogenetics, evolutionary and developmental biology, and many other disciplines; yet, the absolute foundation of how we measure species diversity depends on taxonomy and systematics. The aspiration of this symposium, and complementary contributed talks, was to promote better understanding of our common goals and encourage future interdisciplinary discussion of biodiversity dynamics. The contributions in this collection of papers bring together a diverse group of speakers to confront several important themes. How can biologists best respond to the urgent need to identify and conserve diversity? How can we better communicate the nature of species across scientific disciplines? Where are the major gaps in knowledge about the diversity of living animal and plant groups, and what are the implications for understanding potential diversity loss? How can we effectively use the fossil record of past diversity and extinction to understand current biodiversity loss?
    • Mechanisms for the generation of HREE mineralization in carbonatites: Evidence from Huanglongpu, China.

      Smith, M; Cangelosi, D; Yardley, B; Wenlei Song, CX; Spratt, J (The Society for Geology Applied to Mineral Deposits, 2019-12-30)
      The Hunaglongpu carbonatites, Qinling Mountains, China, are exceptional as they form both an economic Mo resource, and are enriched in the HREE compared to typical carbonatites, giving a metal profile that may closely match projected future demand. The carbonatites at the level currently exposed appear to be transitional between magmatic and hydrothermal processes. The multistage dykes and veins are cored by quartz which hosts a fluid inclusion assemblage with a high proportion of sulphate daughter or trapped minerals, and later stage, cross-cutting veins are rich in barite-celestine. The REE mineral paragenesis evolves from monazite, through apatite and bastnäsite to Ca-REE fluorcabonates, with an increase in HREE enrichment at every stage. Radio-isotope ratios are typical of enriched mantle sources and sulphur stable isotopes are consistent with magmatic S sources. However, Mg stable isotopes are consistent with a component of recycled subducted marine carbonate in the source region, The HREE enrichment is a function of both unusual mantle source for the primary magmas and REE mobility and concentration during post-magmatic modification in a sulphate-rich hydrothermal system. Aqueous sulphate is a none specific ligand for the REE, and this coupled with crystal fraction lead to HREE enrichment during subsolidus alteration.
    • Megafauna of the UKSRL exploration contract area and eastern Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the Pacific Ocean: Echinodermata

      Amon, Diva; Ziegler, AF; Kremenetskaia, A; Mah, CL; Mooi, R; O Hara, T; Pawson, DL; Roux, M; Smith, CR (Pensoft Publishers, 2017-05-11)
      Background: There is growing interest in mining polymetallic nodules from the abyssal Clarion-Clipperton Zone (CCZ) in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Despite being the focus of environmental studies for decades, the benthic megafauna of the CCZ remain poorly known. In order to predict and manage the environmental impacts of mining in the CCZ, baseline knowledge of the megafauna is essential. The ABYSSLINE Project has conducted benthic biological baseline surveys in the UK Seabed Resources Ltd polymetallic-nodule exploration contract area (UK-1). Prior to these research cruises in 2013 and 2015, no biological studies had been done in this area of the eastern CCZ. New information: Using a Remotely Operated Vehicle and Autonomous Underwater Vehicle, the megafauna within the UKSRL exploration contract area (UK-1) and at a site ~250 km east of the UK-1 area were surveyed, allowing us to make the first estimates of megafaunal morphospecies richness from the imagery collected. Here, we present an atlas of the abyssal echinoderm megafauna observed and collected during the ABYSSLINE cruises to the UK-1 polymetallic-nodule exploration contract area in the CCZ. There appear to be at least 62 distinct morphospecies (13 Asteroidea, 5 Crinoidea, 9 Echinoidea, 29 Holothuroidea and 6 Ophiuroidea) identified mostly by imagery but also using molecular barcoding for a limited number of animals that were collected. This atlas will aid the synthesis of megafaunal presence/absence data collected by contractors, scientists and other stakeholders undertaking work in the CCZ, ultimately helping to decipher the biogeography of the megafauna in this threatened habitat.
    • The melanistic variety of Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa continued

      van Grouw, H; Besson, L; Mellier, B (The British Ornithologists' Club, 2019-03-15)
    • Metabarcoding unsorted kick‐samples facilitates macroinvertebrate‐based biomonitoring with increased taxonomic resolution, while outperforming environmental DNA

      Pereira-da-Conceicoa, Lyndall; Elbrecht, V; Hall, Andie; Briscoe, AG; Barber‐James, H; Price, BW (Wiley, 2020-07-21)
      Pereira‐da‐Conceicoa, L, Elbrecht, V, Hall, A, Briscoe, A, Barber‐James, H, Price, B. Metabarcoding unsorted kick‐samples facilitates macroinvertebrate‐based biomonitoring with increased taxonomic resolution, while outperforming environmental DNA. Environmental DNA. 2020; 00: 1– 19. https://doi.org/10.1002/edn3.116