Year of publication
- Wie vertragen sich Artenvielfalt und menschliche Besiedlung? : Städtische Biotope und gefährdete Arten im Rhein-Main-Gebiet (2008)
- Ohne das Eingreifen des Menschen wäre Mitteleuropa fast ein reines Waldgebiet. Noch heute beheimaten die Wälder eine große Vielfalt an Pflanzen und Tieren, die für diese Region spezifisch sind. Regionale Besonderheiten gehen aber verloren, je mehr Menschen in die Ökosysteme eingreifen: So unterscheiden sich die Pflanzenarten auf der North Charles Street in Baltimore nur wenig von denjenigen der Mainzer Landstraße in Frankfurt. Gleichzeitig verdrängen zugewanderte und eingeschleppte Arten heimische Tiere und Pflanzen. Allerdings gibt es auch im Frankfurter Stadtgebiet echte Horte der Biodiversität.
- From sea to land and beyond : new insights into the evolution of euthyneuran Gastropoda (Mollusca) (2008)
- Background The Euthyneura are considered to be the most successful and diverse group of Gastropoda. Phylogenetically, they are riven with controversy. Previous morphology-based phylogenetic studies have been greatly hampered by rampant parallelism in morphological characters or by incomplete taxon sampling. Based on sequences of nuclear 18S rRNA and 28S rRNA as well as mitochondrial 16S rRNA and COI DNA from 56 taxa, we reconstructed the phylogeny of Euthyneura utilising Maximum Likelihood and Bayesian inference methods. The evolution of colonization of freshwater and terrestrial habitats by pulmonate Euthyneura, considered crucial in the evolution of this group of Gastropoda, is reconstructed with Bayesian approaches. Results We found several well supported clades within Euthyneura, however, we could not confirm the traditional classification, since Pulmonata are paraphyletic and Opistobranchia are either polyphyletic or paraphyletic with several clades clearly distinguishable. Sacoglossa appear separately from the rest of the Opisthobranchia as sister taxon to basal Pulmonata. Within Pulmonata, Basommatophora are paraphyletic and Hygrophila and Eupulmonata form monophyletic clades. Pyramidelloidea are placed within Euthyneura rendering the Euthyneura paraphyletic. Conclusion Based on the current phylogeny, it can be proposed for the first time that invasion of freshwater by Pulmonata is a unique evolutionary event and has taken place directly from the marine environment via an aquatic pathway. The origin of colonisation of terrestrial habitats is seeded in marginal zones and has probably occurred via estuaries or semi-terrestrial habitats such as mangroves.
- Isolation by distance in a population of a small land snail Trochoidea geyeri: evidence from direct and indirect methods (1996)
- Population structure was estimated in a continuous population of a small land snail (Trochoidea geyeri). Mark-recapture experiments and randomly amplified polymorphic DNA analyses indicate that the population structure can be described by the isolation by distance model of Wright (1946). Estimates of density and dispersal suggest a neighbourhood size of 70-208 individuals on an area of 13-21 m 2 . A principal component analysis of the randomly amplified polymorphic DNA data reveals clinal variation of genetic composition across the population, as predicted by the neighbourhood concept. An analysis of molecular variance indicates substantial genetic structuring. Comparisons of the genetic distances, expressed as euclidean distances among individuals, versus the geographic distance between sampling sites yield a highly significant positive correlation (Mantel test: r = 0.567, p<0.0001). The revealed pattern of populational subdivision on a microgeographic scale seems to be one of the principal processes generating and maintaining genetic diversity within populations of small land gastropods.
- Comparing the efficacy of morphologic and DNA-based taxonomy in the freshwater gastropod genus Radix (Basommatophora, Pulmonata) (2006)
- Background Reliable taxonomic identification at the species level is the basis for many biological disciplines. In order to distinguish species, it is necessary that taxonomic characters allow for the separation of individuals into recognisable, homogeneous groups that differ from other such groups in a consistent way. We compared here the suitability and efficacy of traditionally used shell morphology and DNA-based methods to distinguish among species of the freshwater snail genus Radix (Basommatophora, Pulmonata). Results Morphometric analysis showed that shell shape was unsuitable to define homogeneous, recognisable entities, because the variation was continuous. On the other hand, the Molecularly defined Operational Taxonomic Units (MOTU), inferred from mitochondrial COI sequence variation, proved to be congruent with biological species, inferred from geographic distribution patterns, congruence with nuclear markers and crossing experiments. Moreover, it could be shown that the phenotypically plastic shell variation is mostly determined by the environmental conditions experienced. Conclusion Contrary to DNA-taxonomy, shell morphology was not suitable for delimiting and recognising species in Radix. As the situation encountered here seems to be widespread in invertebrates, we propose DNA-taxonomy as a reliable, comparable, and objective means for species identification in biological research.
- Ökonomische Folgen der Ausbreitung von Neobiota : Forschungsbericht 20186211 (2003)
- In dem Entwurf einer European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species T-PVS (2002) 8 werden verstärkte Forschungsaktivitäten der Mitgliedstaaten angeregt, die nicht nur auf den biologischen Bereich oder Bekämpfung invasiver Arten beschränkt bleiben, sondern auch die Bewertung der Auswirkungen auf Gesundheitswesen und Volkswirtschaft untersuchen sollen. Derartige Studien wurden bisher nur für die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika oder mit eher regionalen Charakter durchgeführt. Aus diesem Grunde wurden 20 Tiere und Pflanzen aus verschiedenen Problemgebieten (Gesundheitsgefährdende Arten, Schäden in Forst-, Land-, und Fischereiwirtschaft, im kommunalen Bereich, an aquatischen und terrestrischen Verkehrswegen sowie Kosten von Arten, die einheimische Spezies gefährden oder in der Empfehlung 77 der Berner Konvention aufgeführt sind) ausgewählt und beispielhaft für das Gebiet Deutschlands bearbeitet. Die entstehenden Kosten wurden in drei Kategorien aufgeschlüsselt: a) direkte ökonomische Schäden, beispielsweise durch Vorratsschädlinge, b) ökologische Schäden, verursacht durch Pflege und Schutz gefährdeter heimischer Arten, Biozönosen oder Ökosysteme und c) Kosten für Maßnahmen zur Bekämpfung invasiver Arten. Es zeigte sich, dass auf Grund der Datenlage sowie der unterschiedlichen Biologie und Ökologie der invasiven Arten jeweils individuelle Ansätze notwendig waren. Die hier ermittelten Kosten unterscheiden sich stark von Art zu Art. Nicht alle untersuchten Arten verursachen ökonomische Schäden. Eine differenzierte Betrachtung von Neobiota ist nach dem Prinzip der Einzelfallbewertung erforderlich. Die Monetisierung von ökologischen Schäden gelang hierbei nur in wenigen Fällen. Weitergehende, mehrjährige Studien sollten willingness to pay-Analysen einbeziehen, um offen gebliebene Fragen zu beantworten.
- Economic impact of the spread of alien species in Germany : research report 20186211 (2003)
- The European Strategy on Invasive Alien Species T-PWS(2002) 8 mandates intensified research by member nations on invasive species. This research will not be restricted solely to the biology and remediation of invasive species, but will also evaluate their adverse health effects and economic impact. Previous studies of these issues have only been carried out in the Unites States of America, or in a limited, regional manner. Consequently, 20 plant and animal species from various problem areas (species which pose a threat to public health; losses to agriculture, fisheries, and forestry; damage to public roads and waterways; costs associated with the protection of native species threatened by non-native species as mandated by Recommendation 77 of the Bern Convention were assessed in Germany nation-wide. The accruing costs were sorted into 3 categories: a) direct economic losses, such as those caused by destructive pest species; b) ecological costs, in the form of extra care and protection of native taxa, biotopes, or ecosystems threatened by invasive species; c) costs of measures to combat invasive species. Because of the nature of available data, as well as the different biology and ecology of the invasive species, each had to be treated individually, and the associated costs vary greatly from species to species. Moreover, not all of the species investigated cause economic losses. Accordingly, a nuanced approach to alien species is essential. Cost assessment of losses deriving from ecological damage was only possible in a few cases. Ongoing, multi-year studies incorporating cost/benefit analysis will be necessary to resolve remaining issues.
- Speciation and phylogeography in the cosmopolitan marine moon jelly, Aurelia sp (2002)
- Background: The cosmopolitan moon jelly Aurelia is characterized by high degrees of morphological and ecological plasticity, and subsequently by an unclear taxonomic status. The latter has been revised repeatedly over the last century, dividing the genus Aurelia in as many as 12 or as little as two species. We used molecular data and phenotypic traits to unravel speciation processes and phylogeographic patterns in Aurelia. Results: Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data (16S and ITS-1/5.8S rDNA) from 66 world-wide sampled specimens reveal star-like tree topologies, unambiguously differentiating 7 (mtDNA) and 8 (ncDNA) genetic entities with sequence divergences ranging from 7.8 to 14% (mtDNA) and 5 to 32% (ncDNA), respectively. Phylogenetic patterns strongly suggest historic speciation events and the reconstruction of at least 7 different species within Aurelia. Both genetic divergences and life history traits showed associations to environmental factors, suggesting ecological differentiation forced by divergent selection. Hybridization and introgression between Aurelia lineages likely occurred due to secondary contacts, which, however, did not disrupt the unambiguousness of genetic separation. Conclusions: Our findings recommend Aurelia as a model system for using the combined power of organismic, ecological, and molecular data to unravel speciation processes in cosmopolitan marine organisms. © 2002 Schroth et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Verbatim copying and redistribution of this article are permitted in any medium for any non-commercial purpose, provided this notice is preserved along with the article's original URL: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1471-2148/2/1
- Introduction: extent, processes and evolutionary impact of interspecific hybridization in animals (2008)
- Since the time of Charles Darwin, studies of interspecific hybridization have been a major focus for evolutionary biologists. Although this phenomenon has often been viewed as problematic in the fields of ecology, taxonomy and systematics, it has become a primary source of data for studies on speciation and adaptation. Effects from genetic/evolutionary processes, such as recombination and natural selection, usually develop over extended periods of time; however, they are accelerated in cases of hybridization. Interspecific hybrids exhibit novel genomes that are exposed to natural selection, thus providing a key to unravel the ultimate causes of adaptation and speciation. Here we provide firstly a historic perspective of hybridization research, secondly a novel attempt to assess the extent of hybridization among animals and thirdly an overview of the reviews and case studies presented in this theme issue.
- Audience effects in the Atlantic molly (Poecilia mexicana)-prudent male mate choice in response to perceived sperm competition risk? (2009)
- Background Multidirectional interactions in social (or communication) networks can have a profound effect on mate choice behavior. For example, Poecilia mexicana males show weaker expression of mating preferences when being observed by an audience male. It was suggested that this behavior is an adaptation to reduce sperm competition risk, which arises because commonly preferred female phenotypes will receive attention also by surrounding males, and/or because the audience male can copy the focal male's mate choice. Do P. mexicana males indeed respond to perceived sperm competition risk? We gave males a choice between two females and repeated the tests under one of the following conditions: (1) during the 2nd part of the tests an empty transparent cylinder was presented (control); (2) an audience male inside the cylinder observed the focal male throughout the 2nd part, or (3) the audience male was presented only before the tests, but could not eavesdrop during the actual choice tests (non-specific sperm competition risk treatments); (4) the focal male could see a rival male sexually interacting with the previously preferred, or (5) with the non-preferred female before the 2nd part of the tests (specific sperm competition risk treatments). Results When comparing the strength of individual male preferences between the 1st and 2nd part of the tests (before and after presentation of an audience), male preferences declined slightly also during the control treatment (1). However, the decrease in strength of male preferences was more than two-fold stronger in audience treatment (2), i.e., with non-specific sperm competition risk including the possibility for visual eavesdropping by the audience male. No audience effect was found in treatments (3) and (5), but a weak effect was also seen when the focal male had seen the previously preferred female sexually interact with a rival male (treatment 4; specific sperm competition risk). Conclusions When comparing the two 'non-specific sperm competition risk' treatments (2 and 3), a very strong effect was found only when the audience male could actually observe the focal male during mate choice in treatment (2). This suggests that focal males indeed attempt to conceal their mating preferences in the visual presence of other males so as to avoid mate choice copying. When there is no potential for eavesdropping [treatment (3)], non-specific specific sperm competition risk seems to play a minor or no role. Congruent with studies on other poeciliid species, our results also show that P. mexicana males respond to perceived specific sperm competition risk, and tend to share their mating effort more equally among females when the resource value of their previously preferred mate decreases (after mating with a rival male). However, this effect is comparatively weak.