Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Reintroduction of freshwater macroinvertebrates : challenges and opportunities
Jourdan, Jonas ; Plath, Martin ; Tonkin, Jonathan D. ; Ceylan, Maria ; Dumeier, Arlena C. ; Gellert, Georg ; Graf, Wolfram ; Hawkins, Charles P. ; Kiel, Ellen ; Lorenz, Armin W. ; Matthaei, Christoph D. ; Verdonschot, Piet F.M. ; Verdonschot, Ralf C.M. ; Haase, Peter - \ 2018
Biological reviews (2018). - ISSN 1464-7931
conservation - invertebrate reintroduction - population restoration - restoring diversity - species management - translocation

Species reintroductions – the translocation of individuals to areas in which a species has been extirpated with the aim of re-establishing a self-sustaining population – have become a widespread practice in conservation biology. Reintroduction projects have tended to focus on terrestrial vertebrates and, to a lesser extent, fishes. Much less effort has been devoted to the reintroduction of invertebrates into restored freshwater habitats. Yet, reintroductions may improve restoration outcomes in regions where impoverished regional species pools limit the self-recolonisation of restored freshwaters. We review the available literature on macroinvertebrate reintroductions, focusing on identifying the intrinsic and extrinsic factors that determine their success or failure. Our study reveals that freshwater macroinvertebrate reintroductions remain rare, are often published in the grey literature and, of the attempts made, approximately one-third fail. We identify life-cycle complexity and remaining stressors as the two factors most likely to affect reintroduction success, illustrating the unique challenges of freshwater macroinvertebrate reintroductions. Consideration of these factors by managers during the planning process and proper documentation – even if a project fails – may increase the likelihood of successful outcomes in future reintroduction attempts of freshwater macroinvertebrates.

From Biopower to Ontopower? Violent Responses to Wildlife Crime and the New Geographies of Conservation
Büscher, Bram - \ 2018
Conservation and Society 16 (2018)2. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 157 - 169.
Biopower - Brian Massumi - conservation - ontopower - violence - wildlife crime

Intensifying global dynamics of wildlife crime are rapidly reshaping conservation politics, practices and geographies. Most pronounced are the manifold violent responses to wildlife crime, including direct lethal action and increasing anticipatory action to prevent these crimes from happening in the first place. This paper reflects on these dynamics in relation to recent literature that employs Foucault's concept of biopower to understand the governance of increasingly precarious human and non-human life. Building on Brian Massumi's exposition of ontopower - an 'environmental power' that 'alters the life environment's conditions of emergence' - I explore whether we are seeing a move from bio- to ontopower where the imperative is less the construction of systemic forms of governmentality to ensure life's 'optimisation' than on processually pre-empting incipient tendencies towards unknown but certain future threats to life. Phrased differently, ontopower focuses on how to prevent nature's destruction in the future through pre-emptive measures in the present. Drawing on empirical research on violent responses to rhino poaching in South Africa, the paper argues that we are seeing the uneven emergence of new geographies of conservation based on ontopower. It concludes by speculating whether conservation's insecurity is turning into its pre-emptive other by making (green) war necessary for non-human life's survival.

Under Pressure : Conceptualising Political Ecologies of Green Wars
Büscher, Bram ; Fletcher, Robert - \ 2018
Conservation and Society 16 (2018)2. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 105 - 113.
conservation - green violence - intensification - political ecology - political economy
This article introduces the special issue on 'Political Ecologies of Green Wars' and the research papers comprising it. While state-authorised and state-directed forms of violence in support of conservation have been evident in many places for quite some time, the current scope, scale and rhetorical justification of the violent defence of biodiversity seem quite unprecedented in the history of global conservation. We, therefore, ask whether and how the term green wars may be appropriate to describe this new intensity of violence and the changes in environmental governance it signifies. In bringing together a number of important recent discussions around green grabbing, green militarisation/violence, green economy, neoliberal conservation and biopower, amongst others, the special issue emphasises the increasingly central role of environmental and conservation concerns within the global political economy as a whole. In the process, it also points towards an overarching conceptual framing for understanding these conjoined dynamics in terms of an 'intensification of pressure' precipitated by the combined yet uneven magnification and integration of power and capital within the world today. Consequently, we argue that the concept of green wars potentially heralds the new twenty-first century 'real-politik' of the centrality of violence and conflict both to the neoliberal political economy and to environmental conservation, and their integrated socio-ecological manifestations and effects.
From urban gardening to planetary stewardship : human–nature relationships and their implications for environmental management1
Buijs, Arjen ; Fischer, Anke ; Muhar, Andreas - \ 2018
Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 61 (2018)5-6. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 747 - 755.
citizens - conservation - governance - human–nature relationship - nature experience
Interspecies Respect and Potato Conservation in the Peruvian Cradle of Domestication
Angé, Olivia ; Chipa, Adrian ; Condori, Pedro ; Ccoyo, Aniceto Ccoyo ; Mamani, Lino ; Pacco, Ricardo ; Quispe, Nazario ; Quispe, Walter ; Sutta, Mariano - \ 2018
Conservation and Society 16 (2018)1. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 30 - 40.
affect - agrobiodiversity - Andes - conservation - Cuzco Highlands - ethics - interspecies sociality - non-human charisma - Peru - potato - respect
This paper explores people and tuber affective encounters, as they unfold in a biodiversity conservation programme in the Peruvian Andes. It draws on ethnographic data from the Potato Park, renowned worldwide as one of the most successful in-situ initiatives for the conservation of biocultural diversity. Concerned with interspecies relations, the paper focusses on the circulation of respeto that is both an affect and a normative stance posited locally as necessary for the conservation of the potato. Addressing first expressions of respeto in daily potato practices by highland peasants, the paper then explores its importance within the context of the Park's conservation policy. Agricultural investigations and seed-banking are indeed enmeshed in activities intended to intensify potato-people regard. Throughout the paper, the concept of non-human charisma is used to point out the different kinds of potato appraisals experienced in the Park; as well as how the Park concretely works toward human beings' learning 'how to be affected' by tuber agrobiodiversity. The article finally explains how potato affective agency is extended beyond the Park, to reach the international scene. Exploring the Potato Park from the perspective of respeto, and using charisma as a heuristic tool, it enlightens a mode of conservation initiative; creating flourishing ecologies through affective encounters, that cannot be accounted for with an instrumental approach.
Natural capital must be defended : green growth as neoliberal biopolitics
Fletcher, Robert ; Dressler, Wolfram H. ; Anderson, Zachary R. ; Büscher, Bram - \ 2018
The Journal of Peasant Studies (2018). - ISSN 0306-6150 - p. 1 - 28.
biopower - conservation - environmental markets - Natural capital - neoliberalism
This contribution addresses the growing global trend to promote ‘natural capital accounting’ (NCA) in support of environmental conservation. NCA seeks to harness the economic value of conserved nature to incentivize local resource users to forgo the opportunity costs of extractive activities. We suggest that this represents a form of neoliberal biopower/biopolitics seeking to defend life by demonstrating its ‘profitability’ and hence right to exist. While little finance actually reaches communities through this strategy, substantial funding still flows into the idea of ‘natural capital’ as the basis of improving rural livelihoods. Drawing on two cases in Southeast Asia, we show that NCA initiatives may compel some local people to value ecosystem services in financial terms, yet in most cases this perspective remains partial and fragmented in communities where such initiatives produce a range of unintended outcomes. When the envisioned environmental markets fail to develop and benefits remain largely intangible, NCA fails to meet the growing material aspirations of farmers while also offering little if any bulwark against their using forests more intensively and/or enrolling in lucrative extractive enterprise. We thus conclude that NCA in practice may become the antithesis of conservation by actually encouraging the resource extraction it intends to combat.
Ju/'hoansi Lodging in a Namibian Conservancy : CBNRM, Tourism and Increasing Domination
Koot, Stasja ; Beek, Walter Van - \ 2017
Conservation and Society 15 (2017)2. - ISSN 0972-4923 - p. 136 - 146.
Bushmen - CBNRM - conservation - dwelling - Ju/'hoansi - lodging - Namibia - Nyae Nyae - tourism

Following Ingold's dwelling perspective, the world comes into being because an organism/person is continuously interacting with his/her environment through bodily activity. Ingold contrasts dwelling with building; in the latter, people construct the world cognitively before they can live in it. In this paper, we add the concept of 'lodging' to refer to a situation in which people live in an environment that contains increasing dominating powers. Under the influence of conservation and the implementation of a Community Based Natural Resource Management (CBNRM) programme, with a strong focus on tourism, the environment of the Ju/'hoansi Bushmen of the Nyae Nyae Conservancy in Namibia has changed dramatically. In this paper, we use various examples to show how the environment has become more dominant, often in very subtle ways. We argue that the Ju/'hoansi do not dwell as they used to, but lodge instead in an environment that is increasingly influenced by CBNRM and tourism activities. Some of the Ju/'hoansi's agency has become limited to acquiescing; they passively adapt to and cope with the changes in their environment, while others have shown a more active adaptation strategy.

Heritage as sector, factor and vector : conceptualizing the shifting relationship between heritage management and spatial planning
Janssen, Joks ; Luiten, Eric ; Renes, Hans ; Stegmeijer, Eva - \ 2017
European Planning Studies 25 (2017)9. - ISSN 0965-4313 - p. 1654 - 1672.
conservation - Heritage management - spatial planning - the Netherlands
Heritage is a highly malleable concept that is constantly in flux and whose substance and meaning are continuously being redefined by society. From such a dynamic perspective, it is inevitable that new approaches and practices have developed for dealing with heritage in the context of planned development. While most scholars acknowledge the existence of various heritage approaches, one of the major defining features is often neglected: their distinctive outlook on spatial dynamics. In this article, the shifting role and purpose of heritage conservation in Dutch spatial planning is analysed. A conceptual framework is introduced that frames three approaches to the planning treatment of heritage; the sector, factor and vector approach, respectively. Although these approaches have developed in a historical sequence, the new did not replace the old but rather gained ground amongst different actors. Thus, three quite different ways of treating the past in the present now coexist in Dutch planning practice. Although this coexistence can raise conflict, we argue that contemporary heritage planning does not call for a one-size-fits-all approach, but rather for a mixed-mode model.
Data from: Genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) identification and characterization in a non-model organism, the African buffalo (Syncerus caffer), using next generation sequencing
Smitz, Nathalie ; Hooft, W.F. van; Heller, Rasmus ; Cornélis, Daniel ; Chardonnet, Philippe ; Kraus, Robert ; Greyling, Ben ; Crooijmans, R.P.M.A. ; Michaux, Johan - \ 2016
population genomics - conservation - disease ecology - molecular markers - Syncerus caffer
This study aimed to develop a set of SNP markers with high resolution and accuracy within the African buffalo. Such a set can be used, among others, to depict subtle population genetic structure for a better understanding of buffalo population dynamics. In total, 18.5 million DNA sequences of 76 bp were generated by next generation sequencing on an Illumina Genome Analyzer II from a reduced representation library using DNA from a panel of 13 African buffalo representative of the four subspecies. We identified 2534 SNPs with high confidence within the panel by aligning the short sequences to the cattle genome (Bos taurus). The average sequencing depth of the complete aligned set of reads was estimated at 5x, and at 13x when only considering the final set of putative SNPs that passed the filtering criterion. Our set of SNPs was validated by PCR amplification and Sanger sequencing of 15 SNPs. Of these 15 SNPs, 14 amplified successfully and 13 were shown to be polymorphic (success rate: 87%). The fidelity of the identified set of SNPs and potential future applications are finally discussed
Microsatellite marker data of Boswellia papyrifera populations in Ethiopia
Addisalem, A.B. ; Duminil, J. ; Wouters, A.P. ; Bongers, F. ; Smulders, M.J.M. - \ 2016
Fine-scale genetic structure - gene dispersal - spatial autocorrelation - gene flow - conservation
The file "Data fine-scale structure of Boswellia papyrifera TGGE paper.xlsx" contains the microsatellite data used in the study " Fine-scale spatial genetic structure in the frankincense tree Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst. and implications for conservation", by A. B. Addisalem, J. Duminil, D. Wouters, F. Bongers, M. J. M. Smulders, published in Tree Genetics & Genomes (2016) DOI 10.1007/s11295-016-1039-2. The data are given both as a list (sheet ‘Genotype and GPS’) and as input files for SpaGeDi (sheets ‘Input for SPAGEDI’). Microsatellite marker data are given as allele size in bp, two columns per genotype/marker, 0 = null allele
Data from: Fine-scale spatial genetic structure in the frankincense tree Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst. and implications for conservation
Bekele, A.A. ; Duminil, J. ; Wouters, T.C.A.E. ; Bongers, F. ; Smulders, M.J.M. - \ 2016
Fine-scale genetic structure - gene dispersal - spatial autocorrelation - gene flow - conservation
The file "Data fine-scale structure of Boswellia papyrifera TGGE paper.xlsx" contains the microsatellite data used in the study " Fine-scale spatial genetic structure in the frankincense tree Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst. and implications for conservation", by A. B. Addisalem, J. Duminil, D. Wouters, F. Bongers, M. J. M. Smulders, published in Tree Genetics & Genomes (2016) DOI 10.1007/s11295-016-1039-2. The data are given both as a list (sheet ‘Genotype and GPS’) and as input files for SpaGeDi (sheets ‘Input for SPAGEDI’). Microsatellite marker data are given as allele size in bp, two columns per genotype/marker, 0 = null allele
Crop Wild Relatives (CWRs) in Nederland
Hoekstra, R. ; Treuren, R. van; Hintum, T.J.L. van - \ 2016
wilde verwanten - genetische bronnen van plantensoorten - conservering - ex-situ conservering - in-situ conservering - natuurgebieden - genenbanken - nederland - wild relatives - plant genetic resources - conservation - ex situ conservation - in situ conservation - natural areas - gene banks - netherlands
http://www.cwrnl.nl
Solutions for ecosystem-level protection of ocean systems under climate change
Queirós, Ana M. ; Huebert, Klaus B. ; Keyl, Friedemann ; Fernandes, Jose A. ; Stolte, Willem ; Maar, Marie ; Kay, Susan ; Jones, Miranda C. ; Hamon, Katell G. ; Hendriksen, Gerrit ; Vermard, Youen ; Marchal, Paul ; Teal, Lorna R. ; Somerfield, Paul J. ; Austen, Melanie C. ; Barange, Manuel ; Sell, Anne F. ; Allen, Icarus ; Peck, Myron A. - \ 2016
Global Change Biology 22 (2016)12. - ISSN 1354-1013 - p. 3927 - 3936.
climate change - conservation - COP21 - ecosystem model - habitat - marine spatial planning - ocean - ocean acidification - species distribution - warming
The Paris Conference of Parties (COP21) agreement renewed momentum for action against climate change, creating the space for solutions for conservation of the ocean addressing two of its largest threats: climate change and ocean
acidification (CCOA). Recent arguments that ocean policies disregard a mature conservation research field and that protected areas cannot address climate change may be oversimplistic at this time when dynamic solutions for the
management of changing oceans are needed. We propose a novel approach, based on spatial meta-analysis of climate impact models, to improve the positioning of marine protected areas to limit CCOA impacts. We do this by estimating the vulnerability of ocean ecosystems to CCOA in a spatially explicit manner and then co-mapping human activities such as the placement of renewable energy developments and the distribution of marine protected areas. We test this approach in the NE Atlantic considering also how CCOA impacts the base of the food web which supports protected species, an aspect often neglected in conservation studies. We found that, in this case, current regional conservation plans protect areas with low ecosystem-level vulnerability to CCOA, but disregard how species may redistribute to new, suitable and productive habitats. Under current plans, these areas remain open to commercial
extraction and other uses. Here, and worldwide, ocean conservation strategies under CCOA must recognize the longterm importance of these habitat refuges, and studies such as this one are needed to identify them. Protecting these
areas creates adaptive, climate-ready and ecosystem-level policy options for conservation, suitable for changing oceans.
What does Life-Cycle Assessment of agricultural products need for more meaningful inclusion of biodiversity?
Teillard, Félix ; Maia de Souza, Danielle ; Thoma, Greg ; Gerber, Pierre J. ; Finn, John A. - \ 2016
Journal of Applied Ecology 53 (2016)5. - ISSN 0021-8901 - p. 1422 - 1429.
agricultural production systems - conservation - environmental assessment methods - environmental impact - food products - life-cycle assessment (LCA) - livestock - off-farm impact - policy - sustainable agriculture

Decision-makers increasingly use life-cycle assessment (LCA) as a tool to measure the environmental sustainability of products. LCA is of particular importance in globalized agricultural supply chains, which have environmental effects in multiple and spatially dispersed locations. Incorporation of impacts on biodiversity that arise from agricultural production systems into environmental assessment methods is an emerging area of work in LCA, and current approaches have limitations, including the need for (i) improved assessment of impacts to biodiversity associated with agricultural production, (ii) inclusion of new biodiversity indicators (e.g. conservation value, functional diversity, ecosystem services) and (iii) inclusion of previously unaccounted modelling variables that go beyond land-use impacts (e.g. climate change, water and soil quality). Synthesis and applications. Ecological models and understanding can contribute to address the limitations of current life-cycle assessment (LCA) methods in agricultural production systems and to make them more ecologically relevant. This will be necessary to ensure that biodiversity is not neglected in decision-making that relies on LCA.

Fine-scale spatial genetic structure in the frankincense tree Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst. and implications for conservation
Addisalem, A.B. ; Duminil, J. ; Wouters, D. ; Bongers, F. ; Smulders, M.J.M. - \ 2016
Tree Genetics and Genomes 12 (2016). - ISSN 1614-2942
conservation - Fine-scale genetic structure - gene dispersal - gene flow - spatial autocorrelation

The fine-scale genetic structure and how it varies between generations depends on the spatial scale of gene dispersal and other fundamental aspects of species’ biology, such as the mating system. Such knowledge is crucial for the design of genetic conservation strategies. This is particularly relevant for species that are increasingly fragmented such as Boswellia papyrifera. This species occurs in dry tropical forests from Ethiopia, Eritrea and Sudan and is an important source of frankincense, a highly valued aromatic resin obtained from the bark of the tree. This study assessed the genetic diversity and fine-scale spatial genetic structure (FSGS) of two cohorts (adults and seedlings) from two populations (Guba-Arenja and Kurmuk) in Western Ethiopia and inferred intra-population gene dispersal in the species, using microsatellite markers. The expected heterozygosity (HE) was 0.664–0.724. The spatial analyses based on kinship coefficient (Fij) revealed a significant positive genetic correlation up to a distance of 130 m. Spatial genetic structure was relatively weak (Sp = 0.002–0.014) indicating that gene dispersal is extensive within the populations. Based on the FSGS patterns found, we estimate indirectly gene dispersal distances of 103 and 124 m for the two populations studied. The high heterozygosity, the low fixation index and the low Sp values found in this study are consistent with outcrossing as the (predominant) mating system in B. papyrifera. We suggest that seed collection for ex situ conservation and reforestation programmes of B. papyrifera should use trees separated by distances of at least 100 m but preferably 150 m to limit genetic relatedness among seeds from different trees.

‘Rhino poaching is out of control!’ Violence, race and the politics of hysteria in online conservation
Büscher, Bram - \ 2016
Environment and Planning A 48 (2016)5. - ISSN 0308-518X - p. 979 - 998.
conservation - hysteria - politics - Rhino poaching - South Africa - violence

The rhino-poaching crisis in South Africa, according to many concerned citizens, conservation organisations and governments, is ‘out of control’. With over 1000 rhinos poached in each of 2013, 2014 and 2015, the crisis has triggered a massive response, much of which heavily depends on online tools to raise funds and awareness. The paper analyses emotive discourses and imaginaries as part of dominant online responses to the rhino-poaching crisis and found that these are predominantly espoused by whites and show a worrying penchant towards (extreme) violence. Building on a theorisation of the links between race, nature, affect and control, the paper hypothesises that these responses reflect a ‘politics of hysteria’. This politics captures the employment of affective and emotive expressions as a way to demand control over a situation ‘out of control’ in the context of historical and contemporary South African political economies of racial inequality. And as these expressions often tend towards exaggerated or extreme violence, they become potent forms of political mobilisation and intervention. New media are a crucial ingredient of this potency, and the paper concludes that this opens up important new questions about the relations between race, nature and violence.

Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological-Social Concepts
Abelson, Avigdor ; Halpern, Benjamin S. ; Reed, Daniel C. ; Orth, Robert J. ; Kendrick, Gary A. ; Beck, Michael W. ; Belmaker, Jonathan ; Krause, Gesche ; Edgar, Graham J. ; Airoldi, Laura ; Brokovich, Eran ; France, Robert ; Shashar, Nadav ; Blaeij, Arianne De; Stambler, Noga ; Salameh, Pierre ; Shechter, Mordechai ; Nelson, Peter A. - \ 2016
Bioscience 66 (2016)2. - ISSN 0006-3568 - p. 156 - 163.
conservation - marine ecosystems - marine spatial planning (MSP) - Ocean Health Index (OHI) - social-ecological restoration

Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science. Bridging these gaps is essential to using restoration as an effective management tool and reversing the decline of marine ecosystems and their services. Ecological restoration should address objectives that include improved ecosystem services, and it therefore should encompass social-ecological elements rather than focusing solely on ecological parameters. We recommend using existing management frameworks to identify clear restoration targets, to apply quantitative tools for assessment, and to make the re-establishment of ecosystem services a criterion for success.

Semiotics of Silent Lakes. Sigurd Olson and the Interlacing of Writing, Policy and Planning
Assche, Kristof Van - \ 2015
Journal of Environmental Policy and Planning 17 (2015)2. - ISSN 1523-908X - p. 262 - 276.
conservation - environmental policy - narrative - planning and design - semiotics - Sigurd Olson

Through the analysis of the semiotics of place, history and self in the writings of Sigurd Olson (1899–1982), a reflection on his impact on American conservation and a development of his ideas towards a practicable approach to environmental policy, planning and design, we revisit the importance of narrative for these disciplines. Writing enabled Olson to discover meaning in nature and in life, to create an audience that could help in conservation and to develop ideas for environmental policy and planning that can still be relevant. Olson's investigations and his biography offer insights in the enabling and limiting effects of narrative dynamics on attempts to care for the environment.

Strong recovery of dragonflies in recent decades in The Netherlands
Termaat, T. ; Grunsven, R.H.A. van; Plate, C.L. ; Strien, A. van - \ 2015
Freshwater Science 34 (2015)3. - ISSN 2161-9549 - p. 1094 - 1104.
change odonata corduliidae - boreal forest lakes - climate-change - trends - conservation - assemblages - indicators - integrity - abundance - plants
Many dragonfly species in The Netherlands declined in the 20th century because of acidification, eutrophication, and desiccation of lotic and lentic habitats and canalization of streams and rivers. These pressures peaked in the 1970s, when 26 of 65 native species had an unfavorable conservation status on the 1997 Dutch Red List. Since the 1980s, environmental regulations have led to improved water quality, and any habitat restoration projects have been carried out. We used standardized monitoring data (1999–2013) and unstandardized observations (1991–2013) to investigate how dragonflies have changed in the last 20 y on a national scale. We compared trends of dragonfly species from different habitat types and with southern vs northern distribution in Europe. Dragonflies recovered strongly in The Netherlands in a period of ~20 y, probably because of recent habitat improvements. Lotic species have benefitted more than lentic species, and southern species have more positive trends than northern species, suggesting that climate change has contributed to the recovery. Dragonflies were resilient and able to quickly recover when their habitats were restored. Recovery has led to a better conservation status for many species. Unstandardized data delivered results consistent with those from monitoring data and had greater statistical power to detect trends because many more unstandardized data than standardized data were available. Thus, when the goal is to provide a general overview of changes in dragonflies, unstandardized data can outperform standardized abundance data. However, abundance data may deliver complementary information for individual species. Our results support the suitability of dragonflies as indicators of freshwater habitat condition, but they recover more strongly in The Netherlands than many other insects, possibly because of their higher dispersal abilities or different habitat requirements.
Novel introner-like elements in fungi are involved in parallel gains of spliceosomal introns
Collemare, J. ; Beenen, H.G. ; Crous, P.W. ; Wit, P.J.G.M. de; Burgt, A. van der - \ 2015
PLoS One 10 (2015)6. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 12 p.
daphnia populations - maximum-likelihood - evolution - gene - positions - conservation - selection - sequence - genomes
Spliceosomal introns are key components of the eukaryotic gene structure. Although they contributed to the emergence of eukaryotes, their origin remains elusive. In fungi, they might originate from the multiplication of invasive introns named Introner-Like Elements (ILEs). However, so far ILEs have been observed in six fungal species only, including Fulvia fulva and Dothistroma septosporum (Dothideomycetes), arguing against ILE insertion as a general mechanism for intron gain. Here, we identified novel ILEs in eight additional fungal species that are phylogenetically related to F. fulva and D. septosporum using PCR amplification with primers derived from previously identified ILEs. The ILE content appeared unique to each species, suggesting independent multiplication events. Interestingly, we identified four genes each containing two gained ILEs. By analysing intron positions in orthologues of these four genes in Ascomycota, we found that three ILEs had inserted within a 15 bp window that contains regular spliceosomal introns in other fungal species. These three positions are not the result of intron sliding because ILEs are newly gained introns. Furthermore, the alternative hypothesis of an inferred ancestral gain followed by independent losses contradicts the observed degeneration of ILEs. These observations clearly indicate three parallel intron gains in four genes that were randomly identified. Our findings suggest that parallel intron gain is a phenomenon that has been highly underestimated in ILE-containing fungi, and likely in the whole fungal kingdom.
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