Wissenschaft ermöglicht durch Exemplardaten

Hanzen, C. C., Lucas, M. C., Weyl, O. L. F., Marr, S. M., O’Brien, G., & Downs, C. T. (2022). Slippery customers for conservation: Distribution and decline of anguillid eels in South Africa. Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. Portico. https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3823 https://doi.org/10.1002/aqc.3823

Four anguillid eel species occur in the western Indian Ocean rivers of Africa: Anguilla bengalensis, Anguilla bicolor, Anguilla marmorata and Anguilla mossambica. These catadromous fishes face multiple stressors, including habitat alteration and deterioration, barriers to migration, pollution and the adverse impacts of alien species, but knowledge of eel species occurrence, abundance and ecology in Africa remains poor.This study investigated the present and historical distribution of anguillid eels and the potential associated drivers of declines at the southern extremities of their ranges in South Africa. Data analysed included sampling conducted in KwaZulu–Natal and Eastern Cape between 2015 and 2020, and secondary data extracted from databases, museums and local management agencies.The median extent of inland penetration increased as follows: 22 km for A. bicolor, 29 km for A. marmorata, 94 km for A. bengalensis and 293 km for A. mossambica. The median altitude followed a similar pattern.Extent of occurrence analyses were carried out at the regional level in KwaZulu–Natal. The sampling data on present distribution (2015–2020), compared with historical data, suggests declines in the extents of occurrence of the four eel species in KwaZulu–Natal, ranging between 31 and 48% in the last 30 years and between 35 and 82% since the 1950s.With increasing human threats in the region, especially from watercourse modification and water abstraction, further declines for these species are expected. Conservation measures recommended include the maintenance or restoration of the ecological connectivity of important rivers and the implementation of freshwater protected areas. Although eels are at present not widely exploited in South Africa, there is a need for fisheries regulations to manage sustainable commercial exploitation.

Mantintsilili, A., Shivambu, N., Shivambu, T. C., & Downs, C. T. (2022). Online and pet stores as sources of trade for reptiles in South Africa. Journal for Nature Conservation, 67, 126154. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126154 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnc.2022.126154

The ever-increasing human population, globalisation, and desire to keep pets have resulted in the translocation of many species into non-native environments. As a result, some of the non-native reptile species have been introduced to South Africa through the pet trade. However, little is known about…

Deka. (2022). Predictive Risk Mapping of Schistosomiasis in Madagascar Using Ecological Niche Modeling and Precision Mapping. Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 7(2), 15. https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7020015 https://doi.org/10.3390/tropicalmed7020015

Schistosomiasis is a neglected tropical disease (NTD) found throughout tropical and subtropical Africa. In Madagascar, the condition is widespread and endemic in 74% of all administrative districts in the country. Despite the significant burden of the disease, high-resolution risk maps have yet to b…

Strona, G., Beck, P. S. A., Cabeza, M., Fattorini, S., Guilhaumon, F., Micheli, F., … Parravicini, V. (2021). Ecological dependencies make remote reef fish communities most vulnerable to coral loss. Nature Communications, 12(1). doi:10.1038/s41467-021-27440-z https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-27440-z

Ecosystems face both local hazards, such as over-exploitation, and global hazards, such as climate change. Since the impact of local hazards attenuates with distance from humans, local extinction risk should decrease with remoteness, making faraway areas safe havens for biodiversity. However, isolat…

Schneider, K., Makowski, D., & van der Werf, W. (2021). Predicting hotspots for invasive species introduction in Europe. Environmental Research Letters. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/ac2f19 https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ac2f19

Plant pest invasions cost billions of Euros each year in Europe. Prediction of likely places of pest introduction could greatly help focus efforts on prevention and control and thus reduce societal costs of pest invasions. Here, we test whether generic data-driven risk maps of pest introduction, val…

Schickele, A., Guidetti, P., Giakoumi, S., Zenetos, A., Francour, P., & Raybaud, V. (2021). Improving predictions of invasive fish ranges combining functional and ecological traits with environmental suitability under climate change scenarios. Global Change Biology. doi:10.1111/gcb.15896 https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15896

Biological invasions represent one of the main threats to marine biodiversity. From a conservation perspective, especially in the context of increasing sea warming, it is critical to examine the suitability potential of geographical areas for the arrival of Range Expanding Introduced and Native Spec…

McManamay, R. A., Vernon, C. R., & Jager, H. I. (2021). Global Biodiversity Implications of Alternative Electrification Strategies Under the Shared Socioeconomic Pathways. Biological Conservation, 109234. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109234 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2021.109234

Addressing climate mitigation while meeting global electrification goals will require major transitions from fossil-fuel dependence to large-scale renewable energy deployment. However, renewables require significant land assets per unit energy and could come at high cost to ecosystems, creating pote…

Hughes, A. C., Orr, M. C., Ma, K., Costello, M. J., Waller, J., Provoost, P., … Qiao, H. (2021). Sampling biases shape our view of the natural world. Ecography. doi:10.1111/ecog.05926 https://doi.org/10.1111/ecog.05926

Spatial patterns of biodiversity are inextricably linked to their collection methods, yet no synthesis of bias patterns or their consequences exists. As such, views of organismal distribution and the ecosystems they make up may be incorrect, undermining countless ecological and evolutionary studies.…

Chi Chan, M. Y., Sosa-Nishizaki, O., & Pérez-Jiménez, J. C. (2021). Potential distribution of critically endangered hammerhead sharks and overlap with the small-scale fishing fleet in the southern Gulf of Mexico. Regional Studies in Marine Science, 46, 101900. doi:10.1016/j.rsma.2021.101900 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rsma.2021.101900

Understanding the degree to which fishing operations overlap with the distribution of exploited populations is essential for population assessments and in the formulation of management measures. Here we used ecological niche models to estimate hammerhead sharks’ potential distribution that allowed t…

Ruiz, S. A., Bickel, S., & Or, D. (2021). Global earthworm distribution and activity windows based on soil hydromechanical constraints. Communications Biology, 4(1). doi:10.1038/s42003-021-02139-5 https://doi.org/10.1038/s42003-021-02139-5

Earthworm activity modifies soil structure and promotes important hydrological ecosystem functions for agricultural systems. Earthworms use their flexible hydroskeleton to burrow and expand biopores. Hence, their activity is constrained by soil hydromechanical conditions that permit deformation at e…