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Levin B.A.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology
Journal of Applied Ichthyology | Year: 2010

The ontogeny of the larvae and juveniles of the common roach, Rutilus rutilus, was accelerated and retarded via treatment with the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine (T 3), and thiourea. This treatment resulted in differential timing of scale formation. Development of squamation was earlier in accelerated fish but delayed in retarded fish compared with a control fish. A drastic shift in the number of lateral line scales (LL) resulted. Instead of a typical range of LL, retarded fish had an increased LL compared to the control as well as for the species as a whole, 47-71 vs 41-48, while accelerated fish had reduced LL: 38-44 vs 41-48. The mechanism of this drastic change in LL was related to developmental change in the timing of events, leading to changes in size and shape (heterochrony). The number of scales obtained experimentally was correlated to the body length at which scales first appeared. © 2010 Blackwell Verlag, Berlin.

Lister A.M.,Natural History Museum in London | Sher A.V.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology
Science | Year: 2015

Mammoths provide a detailed example of species origins and dispersal, but understanding has been impeded by taxonomic confusion, especially in North America. The Columbian mammoth Mammuthus columbi was thought to have evolved in North America from a more primitive Eurasian immigrant. The earliest American mammoths (1.5 million years ago), however, resemble the advanced Eurasian M. trogontherii that crossed the Bering land bridge around that time, giving rise directly to M. columbi. Woolly mammoth M. primigenius later evolved in Beringia and spread into Europe and North America, leading to a diversity of morphologies as it encountered endemic M. trogontherii and M. columbi, respectively. In North America, this included intermediates ("M.jeffersonii"), suggesting introgression of M. primigenius with M. columbi. The lineage illustrates the dynamic interplay of local adaptation, dispersal, and gene flow in the evolution of a widely distributed species complex.

Orlova-Bienkowskaja M.J.,RAS Severtsov Institute of Ecology
Biological Invasions | Year: 2014

The emerald ash borer, Agrilus planipennis (Coleoptera, Buprestidae), is a pest of ash native to Asia. This major stem borer has killed millions of ash trees in North America. It was first found in Europe in 2003 in the city of Moscow. Now it is rapidly spreading in European Russia. In 2012 A. planipennis was found in the Tula, Kaluga, and Smolensk regions. A survey of green plantations in 22 localities in 2013 has revealed that A. planipennis occurs also in the Tver, Orel, Voronezh, Tambov, and Yaroslavl regions. It occurs 230 km northeast, 350 km southeast, and 460 km south from Moscow. Most ashes in the Moscow region, both alien American Fraxinus pennsylvanica and the indiginous European ash Fraxinus excelsior, are dying or already dead. Thousands of trees in other regions are seriously damaged. The pest will cross the western border of Russia soon. It represents a serious threat for ashes in other European countries. © 2013 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.

The invasive fish rotan or Amur sleeper, Perccottus glenii (Perciformes, Odontobutidae), arrived in Western Ukraine during the stocking of commercial cyprinid fish in the 1960s. Three periods were identified in its expansion. Period I: during the first two decades post-arrival, the fish was restricted to the upper section of a local river basin. Period II: rotan penetrated the adjacent river basins and over the following two decades, it rapidly self-distributed over huge distances, using rivers as long-distance, one-way natural corridors (natural conveyors). This expansion resulted in the invasion of many European river systems including the Danube, Dniester, western part of the Dnieper basin, Southern Bug (all belonging to Black Sea basin), and the Vistula (Baltic Sea basin). During colonization, rotan was found in Lviv, Zakarpatie, Volynskaya, Povno, Ivano-Frankovsk, Chernovtsy and Khmelnitskiy provinces of Western Ukraine, as well as in territories of south-western Belarus, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, and Moldova. This invader demonstrated comparatively rapid expansion from riverheads to downstream river mouths, but slower or negligible expansion upstream in tributaries. This example of the West-Ukrainian centre of distribution demonstrates the significance of upper parts of river basins for rapid distribution of this species, as well as the important function of rivers in crossing country borders. Period III relates to the period from approx. 2005 to the present day. During this period, perceived to be the longest in terms of colonization, its invaded range extends to tributaries and isolated water bodies filling gaps in areas between already colonized main rivers. Rotan did not reach high densities in the main river channels or deep, well-oxygenated lakes because of the presence of native fish predators. However, this alien species did form numerous dense populations in shallow lentic water bodies. The expansion of rotan may lead to adverse economic impacts upon European aquaculture farms, as well as predictable, ecological consequences for populations of some native European aquatic animals including invertebrates, fish and amphibians. Rotan has the potential to also influence adjacent terrestrial ecosystems. A review of rotan and native species interactions is presented. © 2013 The Author(s).

Emerald ash borer Agrilus planipennis is a serious pest of ash. It was accidentally introduced to Moscow in the 1990s. In May 2013, ashes in four cities located to the northwest of Moscow were examined. In Zelenograd (20 km from Moscow), Klin (70 km from Moscow), and Konakovo (100 km from Moscow), most of the ashes have been already killed or severely damaged by the pest. Obviously, within the next several years, ashes will be entirely eliminated from green plantations of these cities. Ashes examined in Tver (145 km from Moscow) are not damaged. The European range of the pest has significantly expanded to the northwest. Its border now crosses Tver oblast. © 2014 Pleiades Publishing, Ltd.

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