Navigation Links
New invasive species breakthrough sparks interest around the world
Date:2/27/2014

A research breakthrough at Queen's University Belfast has sparked interest among aquatic biologists, zoologists and ecologists around the world.

The joint research between Queen's and several South African institutions centred on the behaviour of some of the "world's worst" invasive species, including the large-mouth bass, an invasive fish which typically devastates invertebrate and other fish communities wherever it is introduced.

Previously, the search for general characteristics of invasive species had been elusive, but work carried out by Professor Jaimie Dick and post-doctoral researcher Mhairi Alexander, both from the School of Biological Sciences at Queen's and Centre for Invasion Biology in Stellenbosch, South Africa, revealed that the ecological impacts of invasive species might be readily predicted from features of their behaviour.

The paper has been selected for F1000Prime, a group which identifies and recommends important articles in biology and medical research publications, as being of special significance in its field.

Using an ecological theory that relates the rate at which an organism consumes resources to the density of that resource - known as the 'functional response curve' the researchers showed that damaging invaders have consistently higher curves than natives.

Prof Dick explained the technique: "We presented the invasive fish, and local native fish of the same type, with tadpole prey at increasing densities. The invader fish consumed the prey at more than three times the rate of the native fish. The prey populations are simply not able to tolerate this increased mortality, and often go extinct soon after the invaders arrive. The data show that the invaders are predictable in their impacts by relatively simple derivation of their functional response curves as compared to natives".

Until now, the only reliable predictor of the impact of an invasive species has been its prior impacts elsewhere, but this was no use for invaders with no known impact history. Prof Dick continued: "We now have a method that allows us to understand the impacts of current invaders, but also to forecast the impacts of emerging and new invaders. We can also use the technique to predict how changing features of the environment, such as temperature, can increase or decrease the impacts of invaders. Our focus now is to examine if this technique works for a wide range of organisms. We are now testing the idea for other invasive fish, shrimps, wasps, and even plants, as they too can be measured as to their resource uptake rates, for example, with enriched nitrogen."

"The more invasive species that are tested with our method around the world the more we can draw broad conclusions as to the reliability of the method, but all results so far are very promising," Prof Dick added.


'/>"/>
Contact: Michelle Cassidy
comms.officer@qub.ac.uk
44-289-097-5310
Queen's University Belfast
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Are invasive plants a problem in Europe? Controversial views among invasion biologists
2. Effective control of invasive weeds can help attempts at reforestation in Panama
3. Increase in hemlock forest offsetting effect of invasive hemlock woolly adelgid for now
4. Dispersal patterns key to invasive species success
5. Novel noninvasive therapy prevents breast cancer formation in mice
6. Meloidogyne mali: A new invasive plant parasitic nematode in Europe
7. Muscle-invasive and non-muscle invasive bladder cancers arise from different stem cells
8. Peaceful bumblebee becomes invasive
9. USF researchers show invasive sparrows immune cells sharpen as they spread
10. Edited RNA + invasive DNA add individuality
11. Angel or demon: Can a potentially invasive plant bring a positive influence to a region?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:2/16/2017)... 16, 2017  Genos, a community for personal ... has received Laboratory Accreditation from the College of ... to laboratories that meet stringent requirements around quality, ... processes. "Genos is committed to maintaining ... We,re honored to be receiving CAP accreditation," said ...
(Date:2/13/2017)... , Feb. 13, 2017  RSA Conference -- RSA, ... that is designed to enhance fraud detection and ... in the RSA Fraud & Risk Intelligence Suite. ... to leverage additional insights from internal and external ... better protect their customers from targeted cybercrime attacks. ...
(Date:2/10/2017)... , Feb 10, 2017 Research ... report "Personalized Medicine - Scientific and Commercial Aspects" ... ... medicine. Diagnosis is integrated with therapy for selection of treatment ... early detection and prevention of disease in modern medicine. Biochip/microarray ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/21/2017)... ... February 21, 2017 , ... With ... operational capacity with its strategic internal leadership to provide clients with best ... operational management. With office locations in North Carolina, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... VANCOUVER, British Columbia , Feb. 21, 2017  OncoGenex ... apatorsen results from two randomized Phase 2 clinical trials were ... Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, held February 16 th - 18 th ... trials in bladder and prostate cancers demonstrated apatorsen was well-tolerated ... treatments. ...
(Date:2/21/2017)... , February 21, 2017 ... Technology for Adoption by Plastic Industry  ... STEER, creator ... functionalise materials in the fields of plastics, pharmaceuticals, food and ... with Merck, a leading science & technology company, on ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... Global relationship ... been approved for full, active membership in the Canadian Direct Sellers Association (DSA) ... Chief Executive Officer Jeff Olson in 2011. Today Nerium International, with ...
Breaking Biology Technology: