Institut für Ökologie, Evolution und Diversität
A Bayesian framework to estimate diversification rates and their variation through time and space
- Background: Patterns of species diversity are the result of speciation and extinction processes, and molecular phylogenetic data can provide valuable information to derive their variability through time and across clades. Bayesian Markov chain Monte Carlo methods offer a promising framework to incorporate phylogenetic uncertainty when estimating rates of diversification.
Results: We introduce a new approach to estimate diversification rates in a Bayesian framework over a distribution of trees under various constant and variable rate birth-death and pure-birth models, and test it on simulated phylogenies. Furthermore, speciation and extinction rates and their posterior credibility intervals can be estimated while accounting for non-random taxon sampling. The framework is particularly suitable for hypothesis testing using Bayes factors, as we demonstrate analyzing dated phylogenies of Chondrostoma (Cyprinids) and Lupinus (Fabaceae). In addition, we develop a model that extends the rate estimation to a meta-analysis framework in which different data sets are combined in a single analysis to detect general temporal and spatial trends in diversification.
Conclusions: Our approach provides a flexible framework for the estimation of diversification parameters and hypothesis testing while simultaneously accounting for uncertainties in the divergence times and incomplete taxon sampling.
A genomic approach to examine the complex evolution of laurasiatherian mammals
Björn M. Hallström
- Recent phylogenomic studies have failed to conclusively resolve certain branches of the placental mammalian tree, despite the evolutionary analysis of genomic data from 32 species. Previous analyses of single genes and retroposon insertion data yielded support for different phylogenetic scenarios for the most basal divergences. The results indicated that some mammalian divergences were best interpreted not as a single bifurcating tree, but as an evolutionary network. In these studies the relationships among some orders of the super-clade Laurasiatheria were poorly supported, albeit not studied in detail. Therefore, 4775 protein-coding genes (6,196,263 nucleotides) were collected and aligned in order to analyze the evolution of this clade. Additionally, over 200,000 introns were screened in silico, resulting in 32 phylogenetically informative long interspersed nuclear elements (LINE) insertion events.
The present study shows that the genome evolution of Laurasiatheria may best be understood as an evolutionary network. Thus, contrary to the common expectation to resolve major evolutionary events as a bifurcating tree, genome analyses unveil complex speciation processes even in deep mammalian divergences. We exemplify this on a subset of 1159 suitable genes that have individual histories, most likely due to incomplete lineage sorting or introgression, processes that can make the genealogy of mammalian genomes complex.
These unexpected results have major implications for the understanding of evolution in general, because the evolution of even some higher level taxa such as mammalian orders may sometimes not be interpreted as a simple bifurcating pattern.
A new golden frog species of the genus Diasporus (Amphibia, Eleutherodactylidae) from the Cordillera Central, western Panama
- We describe the frog species Diasporus citrinobapheussp. n. from the Cordillera Central of western Panama. The new species differs from all other species in its genus in coloration, disk cover and disk pad shape, skin texture, advertisement call, and size. It is most similar to Diasporus tigrillo, from which it differs in dorsal skin texture, relative tibia length, number of vomerine teeth, ventral coloration, dorsal markings, and relative tympanum size, and to Diasporus gularis, from which it can be distinguished by the lack of membranes between the toes, adult size, posterior thigh coloration, and position of the choanae. We provide data on morpho- logy, vocalization, and distribution of the new species, as well as brief information on its natural history.
A new species of the basal araneomorph spider genus Ectatosticta (Araneae, Hypochilidae) from China
Norman I. Platnick
- The hypochilid spider Ectatosticta davidi (Simon) is redescribed on the basis of adults from Mt. Taibaishan in Shaanxi Province, China; the specimens from Qinghai Province previously identified as E. davidi by most modern authors belong to a new species described as E. deltshevi. Keywords: Araneae, Araneomorphae, Hypochilidae, Ectatosticta, China
A new species of Thecadactylus from Sint Maarten, Lesser Antilles (Reptilia, Squamata, Gekkonidae)
- We describe a new species of Thecadactylusfrom the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. The new species differs from all other species in the genus by having a distinct dorsal pattern of numerous irregular but sharply deliminated black spots and blotches on an otherwise almost patternless background.
Adaptive Radiation und Zoogeographie anisakider Nematoden verschiedener Klimazonen und Ozeane
- Anisakide Nematoden sind Parasiten aquatischer Organismen und weltweit in marinen Habitaten verbreitet. Ihre Übertragungswege sind tief im marinen Nahrungsnetz verwurzelt und schließen ein breites Spektrum pelagisch/benthischer Invertebraten (z.B. Cephalopoda, Gastropoda, Crustacea, Polychaeta) und Vertebraten (z.B. Teleostei, Elasmobranchia, Cetacea, Pinnipedia, Aves) als Zwischen- bzw. Endwirte ein. Aufgrund der hohen Befallszahlen u.a. in der Muskulatur und Viszera kommerziell intensiv genutzter Fischarten (z.B. Clupea harengus, Gadus morhua, Salmo salar) sowie ihrer Rolle als Auslöser der menschlichen Anisakiasis nehmen die Vertreter der Gattung Anisakis unter den anisakiden Nematoden eine Sonderstellung ein. Anhand der verbesserten Diagnostik und der Etablierung sowie Weiterentwicklung molekularbiologischer Methoden ist es in den letzten zwei Dekaden gelungen, die bestehende Taxonomie und Systematik der Gattung Anisakis zu erweitern bzw. zu revidieren. Aktuelle molekulare Analysen weisen auf die Existenz von insgesamt neun distinkten Arten hin, welche eine hohe genetische Heterogenität und Wirtsspezifität aufweisen, äußerlich jedoch nahezu identisch sind (sog. kryptische Arten). Trotz kontinuierlicher Forschung auf dem Gebiet ist das Wissen über die Biologie von Anisakis immer noch unzureichend.
Die vorliegende Dissertation ist in kumulativer Form verfasst und umfasst drei (ISI-) Einzelpublikationen. Die Zielsetzung der durchgeführten Studien bestand unter anderem darin, unter Verwendung molekularbiologischer und computergestützter Analyseverfahren, Fragestellungen zur Zoogeographie, (Co-)Phylogenie, Artdiagnostik, Lebenszyklus-Ökologie sowie des bioindikatorischen Potentials dieser Gattung zu bearbeiten und bestehende Wissenslücken zu schließen.
Die Verbreitung von Anisakis, welche bisher ausschließlich anhand von biogeographischen Einzelnachweisen abgeschätzt wurde, konnte durch den angewandten Modellierungsansatz erstmalig interpoliert und in Kartenform vergleichend dargestellt werden. Dabei wurde gezeigt, dass die Verbreitung von Anisakis spp. in den Ozeanen und Klimazonen nicht gleichmäßig ist. Die Analysen deuten auf die Existenz spezies-spezifischer horizontaler und vertikaler Verbreitungsmuster hin, welche neben abiotischen Faktoren durch die Verbreitung und Abundanz der jeweiligen Zwischen- und Endwirte sowie deren Tiefenverteilung und Nahrungspräferenzen geprägt sind.
Durch die umfangreiche Zusammenstellung und anschließende Kategorisierung der (mit molekularen Methoden) geführten Zwischenwirtsnachweise konnten indirekte Rückschlüsse über die vertikale Verbreitung von Anisakis spp. entlang der Tiefenhabitate gezogen werden.
Während Anisakis auf Gattungsebene in der gesamten Wassersäule entlang verschiedener Tiefenhabitate abundant ist, wurde für die stenoxene Art Anisakis paggiae ein meso-/bathypelagisch orientierter Lebenszyklus postuliert. Durch den Einbezug eines breiten Spektrums (paratenischer) Zwischen- und Transportwirte aus unterschiedlichen trophischen Ebenen werden Transmissionslücken im Lebenszyklus der Gattung weitestgehend minimiert und der Transmissionserfolg auf den Endwirt, und damit die Wahrscheinlichkeit einer erfolgreichen Reproduktion, erhöht. Ausgeprägte Wirtspräferenzen sowie phylogenetische Analysen des ribosomalen ITS-Markers stützen eine Theorie zur co-evolutiven Anpassung der Parasiten an ihre Endwirte. Anisakis eignet sich daher unter Einschränkungen als Bioindikator für die vertikale und horizontale Verbreitung und Abundanz der Endwirte und lässt Rückschlüsse auf trophische Interaktionen im Nahrungsnetz zu. Durch die weitere Beprobung von Zwischenwirten aus verschiedenen trophischen Ebenen in zukünftigen Studien, kann eine genauere Bewertung potentiell abweichender Lebenszyklus-Strategien gewährleistet werden. Insbesondere ist die Datenlage zur Prävalenz und Abundanz anisakider Nematoden in Cephalopoda und Crustacea noch unzureichend. Die Probennahme sollte dabei unter besonderer Berücksichtigung bislang wenig oder unbeprobter geographischer Regionen, Tiefenhabitate und Wirtsarten durchgeführt werden.
Adaptive radiation within marine anisakid nematodes: a zoogeographical modeling of cosmopolitan, zoonotic parasites
- Parasites of the nematode genus Anisakis are associated with aquatic organisms. They can be found in a variety of marine hosts including whales, crustaceans, fish and cephalopods and are known to be the cause of the zoonotic disease anisakiasis, a painful inflammation of the gastro-intestinal tract caused by the accidental consumptions of infectious larvae raw or semi-raw fishery products. Since the demand on fish as dietary protein source and the export rates of seafood products in general is rapidly increasing worldwide, the knowledge about the distribution of potential foodborne human pathogens in seafood is of major significance for human health. Studies have provided evidence that a few Anisakis species can cause clinical symptoms in humans. The aim of our study was to interpolate the species range for every described Anisakis species on the basis of the existing occurrence data. We used sequence data of 373 Anisakis larvae from 30 different hosts worldwide and previously published molecular data (n = 584) from 53 field-specific publications to model the species range of Anisakis spp., using a interpolation method that combines aspects of the alpha hull interpolation algorithm as well as the conditional interpolation approach. The results of our approach strongly indicate the existence of species-specific distribution patterns of Anisakis spp. within different climate zones and oceans that are in principle congruent with those of their respective final hosts. Our results support preceding studies that propose anisakid nematodes as useful biological indicators for their final host distribution and abundance as they closely follow the trophic relationships among their successive hosts. The modeling might although be helpful for predicting the likelihood of infection in order to reduce the risk of anisakiasis cases in a given area.
Are plant species able to keep pace with the rapidly changing climate?
- Future climate change is predicted to advance faster than the postglacial warming. Migration may therefore become a key driver for future development of biodiversity and ecosystem functioning. For 140 European plant species we computed past range shifts since the last glacial maximum and future range shifts for a variety of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) scenarios and global circulation models (GCMs). Range shift rates were estimated by means of species distribution modelling (SDM). With process-based seed dispersal models we estimated species-specific migration rates for 27 dispersal modes addressing dispersal by wind (anemochory) for different wind conditions, as well as dispersal by mammals (dispersal on animal's coat – epizoochory and dispersal by animals after feeding and digestion – endozoochory) considering different animal species. Our process-based modelled migration rates generally exceeded the postglacial range shift rates indicating that the process-based models we used are capable of predicting migration rates that are in accordance with realized past migration. For most of the considered species, the modelled migration rates were considerably lower than the expected future climate change induced range shift rates. This implies that most plant species will not entirely be able to follow future climate-change-induced range shifts due to dispersal limitation. Animals with large day- and home-ranges are highly important for achieving high migration rates for many plant species, whereas anemochory is relevant for only few species.
Assessing the combined effects of xenobiotics, climate change and predators on aquatic organisms in multiple stressor experiments - a case study with pyrimethanil
- The environmental impact of climate change is meanwhile not only discussed in the scientific community but also in the general public. However, little is known about the interaction between climate change and pollutants like pesticides. A combination of multiple stressors (e.g. temperature, pollutants, predators) may lead to severe alterations for organisms such as changes in time of reproduction, reproductive success and growth performance, mortality and geographic distribution. The questions if aquatic organisms tend to react more sensitive towards incidents under climate change conditions remains. Therefore, within the present thesis the aquatic ecotoxicological profile of the fungicide pyrimethanil, as an exemplarily anthropogenic used contaminant, was examined.
A large test battery of ecotoxicological standard tests and supplement bioassays with non-model species was conducted to investigate if species-specific or life stage-specific differences occur or if temperature alteration may change the impact of the fungicide. Two of the most sensitive species (Chironomus riparius and Daphnia magna) were used to investigate the acute and chronic thermal dependence of pyrimethanil effects. The results clearly depict that the ecotoxicity of pyrimethanil at optimal thermal conditions did not depend on the trophic level, but was species-specific. With regard to EC10 values the acute pyrimethanil toxicity on C. riparius increased with higher temperature (6.78 mg L-1 at 14°C and 3.06 mg L-1 at 26°C). The chronic response of D. magna to the NOEC (no observed effect concentration) of the fungicide (0.5 mg L-1) was examined in an experiment which lasted for several generations under three simulated near-natural temperature regimes (‘cold year, today’ (11 to 22.7°C), ‘warm year, today’ (14 to 25.2°C) and ‘warm year, 2080’ (16.5 to 28.1°C)). A pyrimethanil-induced mortality increase was buffered by the strongly related increase of the general reproductive capacity, while population growth was stronger influenced by temperature than by the fungicide. At a further pyrimethanil concentration (LOEC – lowest observed effect concentration: 1 mg L-1), a second generation could not be established by D. magna under all thermal regimes.
Besides daphnids, the midge C. riparius was used for a second multigeneration study. In a bifactorial test design it was tested if climate change conditions alter or affect the impact of a low fungicide concentration on life history and genetic diversity. The NOAEC/2 (half of the no observed adverse effect concentration derived from a standard toxicity test) was used as a low pyrimethanil concentration to which laboratory populations of the midges were chronically exposed under the mentioned temperature scenarios. During the 140-day-multigeneration study, survival, emergence, reproduction, population growth, and genetic diversity of C. riparius were analyzed. The results reveal that high temperatures and pyrimethanil act synergistically on life history parameters of C. riparius. In simulated present-day scenarios, a NOAEC/2 of pyrimethanil provoked only slight to moderate beneficial or adverse effects. In contrast, an exposure to a NOAEC/2 concentration of pyrimethanil at a thermal situation likely for a summer under the future expactations uncovered adverse effects on mortality and population growth rate. In addition, genetic diversity was considerably reduced by pyrimethanil in the ‘warm year, 2080’ scenario, but only slightly under current climatic conditions. The multigeneration studies under near-natural thermal conditions indicate that not only the impact of climate change, but also low concentrations of pesticides may pose a reasonable risk for aquatic invertebrates in the future. This clearly shows that thermal and multigenerational effects should be considered when appraising the ecotoxicity of pesticides and assessing their future risk for the environment.
In addition to temperature further multiple abiotic and biotic stressors alterate pollutant effects. Moreover, to better discriminate and understand the intrinsic and environmental correlates of changing aquatic ecosystems, it was experimentally unraveled how the effects of a low-dose of pyrimethanil on daphnids becomes modified by different temperatures (15°C, 20°C, 25°C) and in the presence/ absence of predator kairomones of Chaoborus flavicans larvae. The usage of a fractional multifactorial test design provided the possibility to investigate the individual growth, reproduction and population growth rate of Daphnia pulex via different exposure routes to the fungicide pyrimethanil at an environmentally relevant concentration (0.05 mg L-1) - either directly (via the water phase), indirectly (via algae food), dually (via water and food) or for multiple generations (fungicide treated source population).
The number of neonates increased with increasing temperatures. At a temperature of 25°C no significant differences between the individual treatment groups were observed although the growth was overall inhibited due to pyrimethanil. Besides, at 15 and 20°C it is obvious that daphnids which were fed with contaminated algae had the lowest reproduction and growth rate. The obtained results clearly demonstrate that multiple stress factors can modify the response of daphnids to pollutants. The exposure routes of the contaminant are of minor importance, while temperature and the presence of a predator are the dominant factors impacting the reproduction of D. pulex. It can be concluded that low concentrations of pyrimethanil may disturb the zooplankton community at suboptimal temperature conditions, but the effects will become masked if chaoborid larvae are present. Therefore it seems necessary to observe prospectively if the combination of several stress factors like pesticide exposure and suboptimal temperature may influence the life history and sensitivity of several aquatic invertebrates differently.
Besides standard test organisms it is inevitable to conduct test with aquatic invertebrate which are not yet considered regularly in ecotoxicological experiments. For example molluscs represent one of the largest phyla of macroinvertebrates with more than 100.000 species, being ecologically and economically important. Therefore, within the present study embryo, juvenile, half- and full-life cycle toxicity tests with the snail Physella acuta were performed to investigate the impact of pollutants on various life stages. Different concentrations of pyrimethanil (0.06-0.5 or 1.0 mg L-1) assessed at three temperatures (15°C, 20°C, 25°C) revealed that pyrimethanil caused concentration-dependent effects independent of temperature. Interestingly, the ecotoxicity of pyrimethanil was higher at lower temperature for the embryo hatching and F1 reproduction, but its ecotoxicity for the growth of juveniles and the F0 reproduction increased with increasing temperature. More specifically, it could have been observed that especially during the reproduction test high mortality rates occurred at the highest concentration of 1 mg L-1 at all temperatures. Due to high mortality rates no snails were available for the F1 at the highest concentrations (0.5 and 1.0 mg L-1). Compared to the F0, overall more egg masses were produced in the F1, being all fertile and no mortality occurred. For the F1-generation the strongest pyrimethanil effects were detected at 15°C. A comparison of effect concentrations between both generations showed that the F1 is more sensitive than the F0.
These results indicate that an exposure over more than one generation may give a better overview of the impact of xenobiotics. With the establishment of an embryo and reproduction test under different temperatures and various concentrations of pyrimethanil with P. acuta we could successfully show that molluscs can respond more sensitive than model organisms and that both, chemical and thermal stressor strongly influence the behaviour of the pulmonates. It can be concluded that the high susceptibility for the fungicide observed in gastropods clearly demonstrates the complexity of pesticide-temperature interactions and the challenge to draw conclusions for the ecotoxicological risk assessment of pesticides under the impact of global climate change.
Biodegradation and elimination of industrial wastewater in the context of whole effluent assessment
- The focus of this thesis is on the assessment of the degradability of indirectly discharged wastewater in municipal treatment plants and on assessing indirectly discharged effluents by coupling the Zahn-Wellens test with effect-based bioassays. With this approach persistent toxicity of an indirectly discharged effluent can be detected and attributed to the respective emission source. In the first study 8 wastewater samples from different industrial sectors were analysed according to the “Whole-Effluent Assessment“ (WEA) approach developed by OSPAR. In another study this concept has been applied with 20 wastewater samples each from paper manufacturing and metal surface treating industry. In the first study generally low to moderate ecotoxic effects of wastewater samples have been determined. One textile wastewater sample was mutagenic in the Ames test and genotoxic in the umu test. The source of these effects could not be identified. After treatment in the Zahn-Wellens test the mutagenicity in the Ames test was eliminated completely while in the umu test genotoxicity could still be observed. Another wastewater sample from chemical industry was mutagenic in the Ames test. The mutagenicity with this wastewater sample was investigated by additional chemical analysis and backtracking. A nitro-aromatic compound (2-methoxy-4-nitroaniline) used for batchwise azo dye synthesis and its transformation products are the probable cause for the mutagenic effects analysed. Testing the mother liquor from dye production confirmed that this partial wastewater stream was mutagenic in the Ames test. The wasteweater samples from paper manufacturing industry of the second study were not toxic or genotoxic in the acute Daphnia test, fish egg test and umu test. In the luminescent bacteria test, moderate toxicity was observed. Wastewater of four paper mills demonstrated elevated or high algae toxicity, which was in line with the results of the Lemna test, which mostly was less sensitive than the algae test. The colouration of the wastewater samples in the visible band did not correlate with algae toxicity and thus is not considered as its primary origin. The algae toxicity in wastewater of the respective paper factory could also not be explained with the thermomechanically produced groundwood pulp (TMP) partial stream. Presumably other raw materials such as biocides might be the source of algae toxicity. In the algae test, often flat dose–response relationships and growth promotion at higher dilution factors have been observed, indicating that several effects are overlapping. The wastewater samples from the printed circuit board and electroplating industries (all indirectly discharged) were biologically pre-treated for 7 days in the Zahn–Wellens test before ecotoxicity testing. Thus, persistent toxicity could be discriminated from non-persistent toxicity caused, e.g. by ammonium or readily biodegradable compounds. With respect to the metal concentrations, all samples were not heavily polluted. The maximum conductivity of the samples was 43,700 micro S cm -1 and indicates that salts might contribute to the overall toxicity. Half of the wastewater samples proved to be biologically well treatable in the Zahn–Wellens test with COD elimination above 80%, whilst the others were insufficiently biodegraded (COD elimination 28–74%). After the pre-treatment in the Zahn–Wellens test, wastewater samples from four companies were extremely ecotoxic especially to algae. Three wastewater samples were genotoxic in the umu test. Applying the rules for salt correction to the test results following the German Wastewater Ordinance, only a small part of toxicity could be attributed to salts. In one factory, the origin of ecotoxicity has been attributed to the organosulphide dimethyldithiocarbamate (DMDTC) used as a water treatment chemical for metal precipitation. The assumption, based on rough calculation of input of the organosulphide into the wastewater, was confirmed in practice by testing its ecotoxicity at the corresponding dilution ratio after pre-treatment in the Zahn–Wellens test. The results show that bioassays are a suitable tool for assessing the ecotoxicological relevance of these complex organic mixtures. The combination of the Zahn–Wellens test followed by the performance of ecotoxicity tests turned out to be a cost-efficient suitable instrument for the evaluation of indirect dischargers and considers the requirements of the IPPC Directive.