EEOB Publications September 1 - September 30

September 10, 2020

EEOB Publications September 1 - September 30

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Species Distribution Models for a Native Imperiled Minnow and a Nonnative Sport Fish in a Western Ohio River

Kenneth J. Oswald, Sophia Beery, Kalyn Rossiter, Yong Wang, Marc R. Kibbey. North Amer J of Fisheries Management (2020).


Sport fisheries are frequent drivers of nonnative fish introductions throughout the inland waters of North America. These fisheries often value aggressive, large‐bodied predators, and although they satiate angling demand they are also potentially problematic in systems that support imperiled species. The Tonguetied Minnow Exoglossum laurae is a rare species that maintains a disjunct distribution across small portions of four watersheds in the eastern and Midwestern United States, all of which are stocked with nonnative Brown Trout Salmo trutta for sportfishing. This study estimated habitat preferences for Tonguetied Minnow and Brown Trout in the Great Miami River, the westernmost drainage within the Tonguetied Minnow’s range. Model data were based on eight water quality variables and seven stream habitat variables. Negative binomial regressions identified gradient, maximum water temperature, substrate, pool/glide habitat, total dissolved solids, and specific conductance as important predictors of the distribution of Tonguetied Minnow, whereas maximum water temperature and substrate were identified for Brown Trout. These reduced numbers of variables then served as input into maximum entropy species distribution models for Tonguetied Minnow and Brown Trout. Only gradient (model contribution [MC] = 46.9%; permutation importance [PI] = 11.6%) and maximum water temperature (MC = 44.2%; PI = 79.8%) contributed substantially to the species distribution model for Tonguetied Minnow, while maximum water temperature (MC = 63.4%; PI = 76.2%) and substrate (MC = 36.6%; PI = 23.8%) were important contributors for Brown Trout. Water temperature appears to exert the principal influence on the distributions of both species and supports the premise that these species share similar habitat preferences within the Great Miami River. Therefore, the Tonguetied Minnow is likely unable to avoid interspecific interactions, such as predation, posed by Brown Trout that are introduced for sportfishing, thus raising concerns about the conservation of this isolated and highly imperiled population.

Mediators of invasions in the sea: life history strategies and dispersal vectors facilitating global sea anemone introductions

Heather Glon, Marymegan Daly, James T. Carlton, Megan M. Flenniken & Zara Currimjee. Biol Invasions (2020).


Widespread non-native species tend to demonstrate an apparent lack of selectivity in habitat requirements, feeding regimes, and reproductive needs, while displaying a tendency to thrive in human-modified habitats. The high phenotypic plasticity typical of sessile, substrate-attached marine species may enhance their chances of survival and spread in a new region. Anthropogenic activities have changed marine habitats over a wide range of phenomena, including water temperature, community species composition, and the types of available substrates, creating new physical and biotic regimes that may contribute to the potential for successful species introduction. Here we examine ten species of sea anemones that have been introduced outside of their native range, and elucidate specific characteristics that are common among globally introduced sea anemones. Various life history strategies enable these species to survive and flourish through transport, introduction, establishment and spread, leading to the successful colonization of a new geographic area. Considering life history strategies and weighing of vector potential, we suggest conditions that facilitate introduction of these species, and identify species of sea anemones that may be introduced in the future in the face of changing climate and increased anthropogenic activities.

Noyesaphytis (Chalcidoidea: Aphelinidae) – an unusual new genus from Madagascar, and a reassessment of Aphelininae classification based on morphology

Andrew Polaszek, Zachary Lahey & James B. Woolley. Journal of Natural History (2020).


Noyesaphytis Polaszek & Woolley gen. nov. (type species Noyesaphytis lasallei Polaszek & Woolley sp. n. ) is described from Berenty, Tuléar, Madagascar. The genus differs from its closest relatives primarily in the structure of the female antenna, which has a single, elongate flagellum preceded by four anelli, the largest of which could be interpreted as a single anelliform funicle. This type of antenna is unknown in other Aphytini, but approaches the condition found in many Signiphoridae. Noyesaphytis possesses a character state that was until now thought to be an autapomorphy of Azotidae (sole genus Ablerus), being the groove in front of the propodeal spiracle. A second putative autapomorphy shared by Azotidae and Signiphoridae, and also Noyesaphytis, is the presence of anterior projections on the metasomal sterna. However, in Azotidae and Signiphoridae these are narrow, whereas as they are broader in Noyesaphytis. The form of the wing is consistent with Aphytini, although lacking a linea calva. The presumed male of Noyesaphytis lasallei has an antennal structure completely unknown in Aphelinidae, with a 1-segmented clava preceded by an extremely elongate single funicle, and four anelli. Differences between the female and male are discussed, some of which could indicate that the male might eventually be shown to belong to a different species, although the species are undoubtedly congeneric, despite the striking difference in antennal structure which is common in Aphelinidae. The male genitalia also suggest Aphytini. Based on a phylogenetic analysis of 50 morphological characters, we provisionally place Noyesaphytis in Aphytini pending the results of a forthcoming phylogenomic analysis. The new genus is named for its collector, John Noyes (NHM, London), and the new species is named after the late John La Salle.

Assessing the Ecological Risks of Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Current State-of-the Science and a Proposed Path Forward

Gerald T. Ankley, Philippa Cureton, Robert A. Hoke, Magali Houde, Anupama Kumar, Jessy Kurias, Roman Lanno, Chris McCarthy, John Newsted, Christopher J. Salice, Bradley E. Sample, Maria S. Sepúlveda, Jeffery Steevens, Sara Valsecchi. Environ Toxicol Chem. 2020 Sep 8. doi: 10.1002/etc.4869


Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) encompass a large, heterogenous group of chemicals of potential concern to human health and the environment. Based on information for a few relatively well understood PFAS such as perfluorooctane sulfonate and perfluorooctanoate, there is ample basis to suspect that at least a subset can be considered persistent, bioaccumulative, and/or toxic. However, data suitable for determining risks in either prospective or retrospective assessments are lacking for the majority of PFAS. In August 2019, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry sponsored a workshop that focused on the state-of-the-science supporting risk assessment of PFAS. This paper summarizes discussions concerning ecotoxicology and ecological risks of PFAS. First, we summarize currently available information relevant to problem formulation/prioritization, exposure, and hazard/effects of PFAS in the context of regulatory and ecological risk assessment activities from around the world. We then describe critical gaps and uncertainties relative to ecological risk assessments for PFAS and propose approaches to address these needs. Recommendations include the development of more comprehensive monitoring programs to support exposure assessment, an emphasis on research to support the formulation of predictive models for bioaccumulation, and the development of in silico, in vitro, and in vivo methods to efficiently assess biological effects for potentially sensitive species/endpoints. Addressing needs associated with assessing the ecological risk of PFAS will require cross-disciplinary approaches that employ both conventional and new methods in an integrated, resource-effective manner.

Rapid recovery of plant–pollinator interactions on a chronosequence of grassland-reclaimed mines

Jessie Lanterman Novotny & Karen Goodell. Journal of Insect Conservation. 2020.


Reclamation of abandoned mines to grassland may benefit non-target wildlife like pollinators by providing conservation habitat. Co-colonization of wildflowers and pollinators has been used to measure ecological recovery in other disturbed herbaceous habitats. Revegetated surface coal mines in eastern North America are a unique system in which to study re-establishment of plant–pollinator interactions because they are field islands isolated by forest. Using a time series of 10 grassland-reclaimed mines (aged < 10, 10–20, or > 20 years) in Ohio, USA, we evaluate whether former mines provide habitat for bees, seek insights into species accumulation as sites mature, and examine the consequences for bee conservation and plant–pollinator interactions. In 120 h of netting over two consecutive years, we documented 7749 bees of 139 species visiting 117 wildflower species. Bee richness did not differ between young and mature sites, suggesting that diverse communities established rapidly following reclamation and persisted. Bee species assemblage, however, differed between sites < 10 versus > 10 years post-reclamation, and was influenced by vegetation and the amount of nearby forest. Plant–bee networks on sites > 10 years old had more links per species and greater network nestedness than new reclamations, suggesting the development of a core community of interacting species that stabilize pollination services over time. Reclamation grasslands are not typically considered high-quality pollinator conservation habitat, but we found that they harbor a diverse bee fauna similar to other regional meadow habitats. Reclaimed mines remain undeveloped for many years, and can accumulate pollinator species and export bees to the surrounding landscape.