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van der Wal J.E.M.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | Dorenbosch M.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | Immers A.K.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | Vidal Forteza C.,Netherlands Institute of Ecology | And 4 more authors.

Submerged macrophytes enhance water transparency and aquatic biodiversity in shallow water ecosystems. Therefore, the return of submerged macrophytes is the target of many lake restoration projects. However, at present, north-western European aquatic ecosystems are increasingly invaded by omnivorous exotic crayfish. We hypothesize that invasive crayfish pose a novel constraint on the regeneration of submerged macrophytes in restored lakes and may jeopardize restoration efforts. We experimentally investigated whether the invasive crayfish (Procambarus clarkii Girard) affects submerged macrophyte development in a Dutch peat lake where these crayfish are expanding rapidly. Seemingly favourable abiotic conditions for macrophyte growth existed in two 0.5 ha lake enclosures, which provided shelter and reduced turbidity, and in one lake enclosure iron was added to reduce internal nutrient loading, but macrophytes did not emerge. We transplanted three submerged macrophyte species in a full factorial exclosure experiment, where we separated the effect of crayfish from large vertebrates using different mesh sizes combined with a caging treatment stocked with crayfish only. The three transplanted macrophytes grew rapidly when protected from grazing in both lake enclosures, demonstrating that abiotic conditions for growth were suitable. Crayfish strongly reduced biomass and survival of all three macrophyte species while waterfowl and fish had no additive effects. Gut contents showed that crayfish were mostly carnivorous, but also consumed macrophytes. We show that P. clarkii strongly inhibit macrophyte development once favourable abiotic conditions for macrophyte growth are restored. Therefore, expansion of invasive crayfish poses a novel threat to the restoration of shallow water bodies in north-western Europe. Prevention of introduction and spread of crayfish is urgent, as management of invasive crayfish populations is very difficult. © 2013 van der Wal et al. Source

Smit J.,European Invertebrate Survey the Netherlands | Reijnen B.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center | Stokvis F.,Naturalis Biodiversity Center

A feasibility test of molecular identification of European fruit flies (Diptera: Tephritidae) based on COI barcode sequences has been executed. A dataset containing 555 sequences of 135 ingroup species from three subfamilies and 42 genera and one single outgroup species has been analysed. 73.3% of all included species could be identified based on their COI barcode gene, based on similarity and distances. The low success rate is caused by singletons as well as some problematic groups: several species groups within the genus Terellia and especially the genus Urophora. With slightly more than 100 sequences - almost 20% of the total - this genus alone constitutes the larger part of the failure for molecular identification for this dataset. Deleting the singletons and Urophora results in a success-rate of 87.1% of all queries and 93.23% of the not discarded queries as correctly identified. Urophora is of special interest due to its economic importance as beneficial species for weed control, therefore it is desirable to have alternative markers for molecular identification. We demonstrate that the success of DNA barcoding for identification purposes strongly depends on the contents of the database used to BLAST against. Especially the necessity of including multiple specimens per species of geographically distinct populations and different ecologies for the understanding of the intra- versus interspecific variation is demonstrated. Furthermore thresholds and the distinction between true and false positives and negatives should not only be used to increase the reliability of the success of molecular identification but also to point out problematic groups, which should then be flagged in the reference database suggesting alternative methods for identification. © John Smit et al. Source

Schouten M.A.,Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation | Barendregt A.,Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation | Verweij P.A.,Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development and Innovation | Kalkman V.J.,European Invertebrate Survey the Netherlands | And 3 more authors.
Biodiversity and Conservation

Biogeographical zonation based on single taxa poses major limitations on planning for nature conservation. This paper identifies biogeographical patterns of multiple taxa in the Netherlands, where no endemics are present at species level, on the basis of characteristic species. We used occurrence data on five species groups in order to identify spatially coherent, ecologically important regions. TWINSPAN was used to cluster grid squares according to similarity in species composition for each taxonomic group. Species that are characteristic of each of the clusters were identified using a preference index, and corresponding clusters among the taxonomic groups were identified with Kappa statistics. Regions containing characteristic species for several taxonomic groups were defined as 'hotspots'. Stepwise discriminant analysis was then used to characterize these hotspots according to differences in environmental conditions. The analysis yielded five regions that are clearly distinct in terms of species composition for individual taxonomic groups. Each region is characterized by a set of unique species that occur in the zonation of at least two of the taxonomic groups. Stepwise discriminant analysis revealed significant environmental differences among these regions. The concept of hotspots as operationalized in this study can make nature conservation planning more efficient. In combination, the hotspots defined here comprise the majority of the species occurring in the Netherlands for the studied groups. Therefore, this regionalization should be taken into account when prioritizing nature conservation efforts. © 2010 The Author(s). Source

Smit J.,European Invertebrate Survey the Netherlands

Two new species of the genus Callicera Panzer are described from the Palaearctic region: C. exigua sp. nov. from the Russian Altay and C. scintilla sp. nov. from Jordan. A key is provided for all Callicera species of the Palaearctic Region Copyright © 2014 Magnolia Press. Source

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