Time filter

Source Type

Kruse J.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Kruse J.,University of Bayreuth | Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Aas G.,University of Bayreuth
Nova Hedwigia | Year: 2016

Obligatory plant parasitic micromycetes (Chromista,Fungi) are fungi that subsist and grow on living plant tissues. These fungi comprise a considerable portion of global biodiversity and fulfill important ecological functions. Many species and their host spectra are known only insufficiently. Botanic gardens are particularly well suited for studying these fungi due to the variety of potential hosts and the likely fungal introductions via the exchange of plant material between gardens. The enemy-release hypothesis (ERH),which predicts that exotic species tend to be successful in their introduced range because they leave behind their natural enemies,is particularly relevant for botanic gardens,given their cultivation of many neophytes. This study examined whether the neophytes of three selected plant families (Asteraceae,Betulaceae and Rosaceae) in the Ecological-Botanical Gardens (EBG),Bayreuth,Germany,are less frequently infected by parasitic micromycetes than native plant species of the same family. Native plant species of all three families were significantly more often infected by micromycetes than neophytes,strongly supporting the ERH. Remarkably,neophytes were more frequently infected by native micromycetes than by neomycetes. To the best of our knowledge,this is the first study on micromycetes in a botanical garden to examine the ERH. Botanic gardens provide a test for ecological theory that deserves more research also by mycologists and invasion biologists. © 2016 J. Cramer in Gebr.


Steiner F.M.,University of Innsbruck | Pautasso M.,Universitatstr 16 | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Zettel H.,Natural History Museum Vienna | And 3 more authors.
Systematic Biology | Year: 2015

Current science evaluation still relies on citation performance, despite criticisms of purely bibliometric research assessments. Biological taxonomy suffers from a drain of knowledge and manpower, with poor citation performance commonly held as one reason for this impediment. But is there really such a citation impediment in taxonomy?We compared the citation numbers of 306 taxonomic and 2291 non-taxonomic research articles (2009-2012) onmosses, orchids, ciliates, ants, and snakes, usingWeb of Science (WoS) and correcting for journal visibility. For three of the five taxa, significant differences were absent in citation numbers between taxonomic and non-taxonomic papers. This was also true for all taxa combined, although taxonomic papers received more citations than non-taxonomic ones. Our results show that, contrary to common belief, taxonomic contributions do not generally reduce a journal's citation performance and might even increase it. The scope of many journals rarely featuring taxonomy would allow editors to encourage a larger number of taxonomic submissions. Moreover, between 1993 and 2012, taxonomic publications accumulated faster than those from all biological fields. However, less than half of the taxonomic studies were published in journals in WoS. Thus, editors of highly visible journals inviting taxonomic contributions could benefit from taxonomy's strong momentum. The taxonomic output could increase even more than at its current growth rate if: (i) taxonomists currently publishing on other topics returned to taxonomy and (ii) nontaxonomists identifying the need for taxonomic acts started publishing these, possibly in collaboration with taxonomists. Finally, considering the high number of taxonomic papers attracted by the journal Zootaxa, we expect that the taxonomic community would indeed use increased chances of publishing in WoS indexed journals. We conclude that taxonomy's standing in the present citation-focused scientific landscape could easily improve-if the community becomes aware that there is no citation impediment in taxonomy. © The Author(s) 2015.


Gossner C.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Gossner C.,Maastricht University | Danielson N.,U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention | Gervelmeyer A.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | And 7 more authors.
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2016

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases without documented contact with another human MERS-CoV case make up 61% (517/853) of all reported cases. These primary cases are of particular interest for understanding the source(s) and route(s) of transmission and for designing long-term disease control measures. Dromedary camels are the only animal species for which there is convincing evidence that it is a host species for MERS-CoV and hence a potential source of human infections. However, only a small proportion of the primary cases have reported contact with camels. Other possible sources and vehicles of infection include food-borne transmission through consumption of unpasteurized camel milk and raw meat, medicinal use of camel urine and zoonotic transmission from other species. There are critical knowledge gaps around this new disease which can only be closed through traditional field epidemiological investigations and studies designed to test hypothesis regarding sources of infection and risk factors for disease. Since the 1960s, there has been a radical change in dromedary camel farming practices in the Arabian Peninsula with an intensification of the production and a concentration of the production around cities. It is possible that the recent intensification of camel herding in the Arabian Peninsula has increased the virus' reproductive number and attack rate in camel herds while the 'urbanization' of camel herding increased the frequency of zoonotic 'spillover' infections from camels to humans. It is reasonable to assume, although difficult to measure, that the sensitivity of public health surveillance to detect previously unknown diseases is lower in East Africa than in Saudi Arabia and that sporadic human cases may have gone undetected there. © 2016 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


PubMed | Animal and Plant Health Unit, CIRAD - Agricultural Research for Development and U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zoonoses and public health | Year: 2016

Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) cases without documented contact with another human MERS-CoV case make up 61% (517/853) of all reported cases. These primary cases are of particular interest for understanding the source(s) and route(s) of transmission and for designing long-term disease control measures. Dromedary camels are the only animal species for which there is convincing evidence that it is a host species for MERS-CoV and hence a potential source of human infections. However, only a small proportion of the primary cases have reported contact with camels. Other possible sources and vehicles of infection include food-borne transmission through consumption of unpasteurized camel milk and raw meat, medicinal use of camel urine and zoonotic transmission from other species. There are critical knowledge gaps around this new disease which can only be closed through traditional field epidemiological investigations and studies designed to test hypothesis regarding sources of infection and risk factors for disease. Since the 1960s, there has been a radical change in dromedary camel farming practices in the Arabian Peninsula with an intensification of the production and a concentration of the production around cities. It is possible that the recent intensification of camel herding in the Arabian Peninsula has increased the virus reproductive number and attack rate in camel herds while the urbanization of camel herding increased the frequency of zoonotic spillover infections from camels to humans. It is reasonable to assume, although difficult to measure, that the sensitivity of public health surveillance to detect previously unknown diseases is lower in East Africa than in Saudi Arabia and that sporadic human cases may have gone undetected there.


Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Schlegel M.,ETH Zurich | Holdenrieder O.,ETH Zurich
Microbial Ecology | Year: 2015

Forest pathology, the science of forest health and tree diseases, is operating in a rapidly developing environment. Most importantly, global trade and climate change are increasing the threat to forest ecosystems posed by new diseases. Various studies relevant to forest pathology in a changing world are accumulating, thus making it necessary to provide an update of recent literature. In this contribution, we summarize research at the interface between forest pathology and landscape ecology, biogeography, global change science and research on tree endophytes. Regional outbreaks of tree diseases are requiring interdisciplinary collaboration, e.g. between forest pathologists and landscape ecologists. When tree pathogens are widely distributed, the factors determining their broad-scale distribution can be studied using a biogeographic approach. Global change, the combination of climate and land use change, increased pollution, trade and urbanization, as well as invasive species, will influence the effects of forest disturbances such as wildfires, droughts, storms, diseases and insect outbreaks, thus affecting the health and resilience of forest ecosystems worldwide. Tree endophytes can contribute to biological control of infectious diseases, enhance tolerance to environmental stress or behave as opportunistic weak pathogens potentially competing with more harmful ones. New molecular techniques are available for studying the complete tree endobiome under the influence of global change stressors from the landscape to the intercontinental level. Given that exotic tree diseases have both ecologic and economic consequences, we call for increased interdisciplinary collaboration in the coming decades between forest pathologists and researchers studying endophytes with tree geneticists, evolutionary and landscape ecologists, biogeographers, conservation biologists and global change scientists and outline interdisciplinary research gaps. © 2014, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit
Ecological Modelling | Year: 2014

Borrett et al. (2014) report a jump in network ecology publications between 1990 and 1991 but fail to find a cause for it. This jump in publication output is not a mystery, but a Web of Science artefact, due to the restriction of this database search to titles until 1990, whilst also abstracts and keywords are systematically searched in Web of Science starting from 1991. Indeed there is no such leap in publication numbers between 1990 and 1991 in Google Scholar. A sudden increase in publication numbers between the years 1990 and 1991 is instead found in Web of Science when searching for a variety of keywords. Until Web of Science allows researchers to consistently search for keywords within abstracts also before 1991, bibliometric research on publication growth rates using Web of Science should avoid comparing the number of publications retrieved before and after 1991. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.


Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich
Forests | Year: 2016

Maintaining forest health is a worldwide challenge due to emerging tree diseases, shifts in climate conditions and other global change stressors. Research on forest health is thus accumulating rapidly, but there has been little use of scientometric approaches in forest pathology and dendrology. Scientometrics is the quantitative study of trends in the scientific literature. As with all tools, scientometrics needs to be used carefully (e.g., by checking findings in multiple databases) and its results must be interpreted with caution. In this overview, we provide some examples of studies of patterns in the scientific literature related to forest health and tree pathogens. Whilst research on ash dieback has increased rapidly over the last years, papers mentioning theWaldsterben have become rare in the literature. As with human health and diseases, but in contrast to plant health and diseases, there are consistently more publications mentioning "tree health" than "tree disease," possibly a consequence of the often holistic nature of forest pathology. Scientometric tools can help balance research attention towards understudied emerging risks to forest trees, as well as identify temporal trends in public interest in forests and their health. © 2016 by the authors.


Pautasso M.,ETH Zurich | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit
EPPO Bulletin | Year: 2015

Scientometric and bibliometric methods are increasingly applied to study temporal trends in scientific outputs, but there has been little application in plant and forest health. This research note uses the Google Books N-Grams search engine to explore temporal trends in the use of terms related to forest pathology in published books. The search was performed for books in American and British English, French, German and Italian. There is evidence for a relative decline in the use of the term 'forest pathology', since the 1950s in books in American English and since the 1990s in books in British English. This decline was counterbalanced by a relative increase in the use of the term 'forest health' between the 1980s and the end of the 1990s, whereas the term 'tree diseases' roughly followed the same trend as 'forest pathology'. A declining trend was observed for 'pathologie forestière' (since the 1980s), both 'Waldschutz' and 'Forstschutz' (since the 1990s), as well as 'patologia forestale' (since the 1950s). The use of the terms 'dendrology', 'forest entomology', 'forest genetics', 'mycology', 'plant pathology' appears to have followed the trend observed for 'forest pathology' in all studied languages. Conversely, there has been an increase in books mentioning topics such as 'ecosystem health' and 'old-growth forests.' The trends observed here call for increased efforts to make the public aware of trees, their diseases and the health of forests. © 2015 Organisation Européenne et Méditerranéenne pour la Protection des Plantes/European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization.


Jeger M.J.,Imperial College London | Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Stancanelli G.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Vos S.,Animal and Plant Health Unit
EPPO Bulletin | Year: 2016

This paper summarizes the first assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Plant Health (PLH) Panel of a biological control agent (BCA) of an invasive plant. This followed a request by the European Union (EU) Commission to assess the risk to plant health in the EU of an intentional release of the bud-galling wasp Trichilogaster acaciaelongifoliae for the control of Acacia longifolia. The EFSA PLH Panel also published a statement on the process of assessing the risk of the intentional releases of BCAs of invasive alien plants. Trichilogaster acaciaelongifoliae feeds on A. longifolia and Acacia floribunda. Acacia longifolia is an invasive alien plant species that has a negative effect on biodiversity and ecosystems in Portugal, whereas A. floribunda is not invasive in the EU. Both species are cultivated as ornamental plants in some EU countries. Climatic conditions in the EU are suitable for establishment of T. acaciaelongifoliae where host species are present. This BCA is moderately likely to spread in the EU by natural means, but could be intentionally moved to control A. longifolia in other locations. Its potential effects on invasive A. longifolia and on the cultivated ornamentals were assessed. The EFSA PLH Panel has shown with this work how such advice could be provided in the European Union. © 2016 The Authors. Journal compilation © 2016 OEPP/EPPO


Pautasso M.,Animal and Plant Health Unit | Petter F.,EPPO | Rortais A.,Scientific Committee and Emerging Risks Unit | Roy A.-S.,EPPO
CAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources | Year: 2015

Emerging plant pests and diseases are a threat to biodiversity, food security and sustainability. In Europe, recent plant health emergencies include European ash dieback (due to the ascomycete Hymenoscyphus fraxineus), the outbreak of the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa on olive trees in Apulia, Italy and the invasion by the vinegar cherry fly Drosophila suzukii. The main drivers of new plant health threats are increased long-distance plant trade, climate changes and the adoption of new crops (e.g. biofuels). This overview provides an update on available literature on tools and approaches to assess the risk posed by emerging plant health threats in Europe. In the European Union (EU), as well as in other regions, plant health risk assessment (carried out since 2006 by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)) is clearly separated from risk management decisions (taken by the European Commission and Council through the Standing Committee on Plant Health). The role of the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organization (EPPO) is very important as an independent plant health risk assessment body covering the whole of Europe, not just the EU, thus liaising with neighbouring regions such as the Maghreb, Asia Minor and Russia. The main activities and projects of EPPO and EFSA in the domain of emerging plant health risks are summarized. The ongoing revision of the EU plant health regulations is an opportunity to improve biosecurity in the face of both the massive increase in trade of plant commodities and climate change. However, improving regulations (e.g. integrating new tools from evolutionary ecology and network theory) is not a panacea: there is also the need to increase public awareness and engagement, to facilitate interdisciplinary careers related to plant health, as well as to ensure long-term funding for research on emerging risks to plant health. © CAB International 2011.

Loading Animal and Plant Health Unit collaborators
Loading Animal and Plant Health Unit collaborators