Determination of anthropogenic contamination in surface waters using helophytes

Nitrogen (N) loading from anthropogenic activities is contributing to the eutrophication and degradation of wetlands worldwide. Doñana (southwestern Spain), includes a dynamic marshland protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has a catchment area exposed to increasing N inputs from intensive agriculture and poorly treated urban wastewaters. Identifying the sources of N entering this iconic wetland complex is vital for its conservation.

The life cycle of an alien boatman

Trichocorixa verticalis (Corixidae) is native to North America but is well established as an alien in the Western Mediterranean region, where it is invasive in permanent coastal wetlands with high salinities. The annual cycle and generation time of T. verticalis was investigated in the introduced range in south-west Spain, through a combination of field surveys and laboratory experiments.

Identifying the most threatened areas by human activity in the Mediterranean Sea

A study analysed and distributed the existing information on several impacts that are simultaneously affecting the Mediterranean Sea: from climate impacts like the rise of temperatures in the sea, to the fishing pressure on natural resources or changes in physical and chemical conditions. The result is a map of the places that are most affected by human activity such as the Adriatic Sea, the Aegean Sea, the African coast and the Catalan sea, among others. According to the researchers, this...

Towards the identification of C. paolae and C. circumscriptus as potential vectors of avian haemosporidian parasites

Haemosporidians are the most important vector-borne parasites due to their cosmopolitan distribution and their wide range of hosts, including humans. Identification of their vectors is critical to highlight ecologically and epidemiologically relevant features such as host specificity or transmission routes. Biting midges of the genus Culicoides are considered the main vectors of Haemoproteus spp., yet important information on aspects such as vector feeding preferences or vector-host...

Predation risk determines pigmentation phenotype in nuthatches by melanin?related gene expression effects

Pigments determine the appearance of organisms. However, pigment production can be associated to physiological constraints as in the case of pheomelanin, the sulphurated form of melanin whose synthesis in melanocytes consumes cysteine and consequently reduces the availability of glutathione (GSH) to exert antioxidant protection. Pheomelanogenesis may thus increase the susceptibility to suffer chronic oxidative stress. The possibility that environmental lability in the expression of genes...