Parasitoidism of host flies by parasitoid wasps in Spain

Parasitoid wasps may act as hyperparasites and sometimes regulate the populations of their hosts by a top-down dynamic. Nasonia vitripennis is a generalist gregarious parasitoid that parasitizes several host flies, including the blowfly Protocalliphora, which in turn parasitizes bird nestlings. Nonetheless, the ecological factors underlying N. vitripennis prevalence and parasitoidism intensity on its hosts in natural populations are poorly understood. The prevalence of N. vitripennis in...

LC-MS determination of catecholamines and related metabolites in red deer urine and hair

A novel analytical methodology for the determination and extraction of catecholamines (dopamine, epinephrine and norepinephrine) and their metabolites DL-3,4-dihydroxyphenyl glycol and DL-3,4-dihydroxymandelic acid by LC-MS is here developed and validated for application to human and animal urine and hair samples.

Size increase without genetic divergence in the Eurasian water shrew Neomys fodiens

When a population shows a marked morphological change, it is important to know whether that population is genetically distinct; if it is not, the novel trait could correspond to an adaptation that might be of great ecological interest. Here, a subspecies of water shrew, Neomys fodiens niethammeri, which is found in a narrow strip of the northern Iberian Peninsula was studied.

A source of exogenous oxidative stress improves oxidative status and favors pheomelanin synthesis in zebra finches

Some organisms can modulate gene expression to trigger physiological responses that help adapt to environmental stress. The synthesis of the pigment pheomelanin in melanocytes seems to be one of these responses, as it may contribute to cellular homeostasis. Environmental oxidative stress was experimentally induced in male zebra finches Taeniopygia guttata by the administration of the herbicide diquat dibromide during feather growth to test if the expression of genes involved in pheomelanin...

A risk assessment in Spain reveals that 30 invasive plant species are available for sale

Horticulture is one of the main pathways of deliberate introduction of non-native plants, some of which might become invasive. Of the 914 commercial ornamental outdoor plant species sold in Spain, 700 (77%) are non-native (archaeophytes excluded) marketed species. These species were classified into six different lists based on their invasion status in Spain and elsewhere, their climatic suitability in Spain, and their potential environmental and socioeconomic impacts.