Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal
Vila Real de Santo António, Portugal

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Paiva-Cardoso M.N.,University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences | Paiva-Cardoso M.N.,Center for the Research and Technology of Agro Environment and Biological science | Morinha F.,Center for the Research and Technology of Agro Environment and Biological science | Morinha F.,Laboratory of Applied Ecology | And 13 more authors.
European Journal of Wildlife Research | Year: 2014

The psychrophilic fungus Pseudogymnoascus destructans (formerly known as Geomyces destructans) is considered the etiological agent of white-nose disease (WND), an emerging disease which affects bats during their hibernation period. This disease is clinically characterized by the growth of a white fungus on muzzle, ears, and wings' membranes of affected bats. This infection caused the death of several million bats in North America. Conversely, European bats show no evidence of significant mortality occurrences associated with P. destructans colonization. This fungus has been isolated from bats in at least 15 European countries since 2008, but was never before reported in the Iberian Peninsula. This study describes the first case report of P. destructans colonization in bats from Portugal. We isolated P. destructans from three hibernating Myotis blythii (lesser mouse-eared bat) with visual signs of P. destructans colonization, during a routine visit to a mine located in the Trás-os-Montes region, Northern Portugal. M. blythii is one of the rarest bat species in Europe, classified as critically endangered in Portugal. P. destructans was obtained from at least three different parts of the body of each specimen analyzed. The identification of the respective fungal isolates was based on the macroscopic and microscopic characterization of the cultures and confirmed by PCR-based analysis. All nucleotide sequences obtained showed 100 % identity with previous data reported for P. destructans. This new finding improves the current knowledge about the European distribution of P. destructans, which is of great interest for forthcoming studies on the fungus dispersion and impact among bat populations at regional and/or global level. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Stechert C.,TU Braunschweig | Kolb M.,TU Braunschweig | Bahadir M.,TU Braunschweig | Djossa B.A.,Laboratory of Applied Ecology | And 3 more authors.
Environmental Science and Pollution Research | Year: 2014

Many regions in Africa are currently being converted from subsistence to cash crop farming such as cotton. Agricultural intensification is usually accompanied by increased use of pesticides, which can have an impact on non-target organisms. Bats are particularly sensitive to insecticide loads while providing substantial ecosystem services as predators of herbivorous insects. In this study, pesticide residues in bats in a landscape in northern Benin were investigated, which spanned a land use gradient from an agricultural zone dominated by cotton farms, through a buffer zone, and into a national park. Insecticides used in cotton cultivation, such as endosulfan, chlorpyrifos, flubendiamide, and spirotetramat, as well as persistent insecticides such as bis(4-chlorophenyl)-1,1,1-trichloroethane (DDT), lindane, and aldrine, were analysed. Insecticide residues detected in bats comprised DDT, endosulfan, and their corresponding transformation products. Maximum concentrations in the sampled bats were 11.2 mg/kg lipid of p,p′-DDE (median: 0.0136 mg/kg lipid) and 0.797 mg/kg lipid of β-endosulfan (median: below detection limit [DL]). While insecticide concentrations were below lethal concentrations our data suggest that DDT had probably been recently used in the study region, and larger scale use would pose an increased risk for bat populations due to the high biomagnification of DDT. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Vihotogbe R.,Laboratory of Applied Ecology | van den Berg R.G.,Wageningen University | Sosef M.S.M.,Wageningen University
Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution | Year: 2013

The variation of the morphological characters of bitter and sweet African bush mango trees (Irvingia species) was investigated in the Dahomey Gap which is the West African savannah woodland area separating the Upper and the Lower Guinean rain forest blocks. African bush mangoes have been rated as the highest priority multi-purpose food trees species that need improvement research in West and Central Africa. A total of 128 trees from seven populations were characterized for their bark, fruits, mesocarp and seeds to assess the morphological differences between bitter and sweet trees and among populations. Multivariate analysis revealed that none of the variables: type of bark, mature fruit exocarp colour, fruit roughness and fresh mesocarp colour, could consistently distinguish bitter from sweet trees in the field. The analysis of the measurements of fruits, mesocarps and seeds demonstrated that bitter fruits have the heaviest seeds and this consistently distinguishes them from sweet fruits. However, the measurements of the fruit, mesocarp and seed did not have a joint effect in grouping types and populations of ABMTs. This indicates high diversity with a potential for selection existing across all phytogeographical regions investigated. The sweet trees of Couffo and those of Dassa in Benin are clearly different from all other populations. This can be attributed to traditional domestication (bringing into cultivation) and climate, respectively. The large fruits and the heavy seeds of the cultivated populations are evidence of successful on-going traditional selection of sweet trees in the Dahomey Gap. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

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