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Article Reference From a long-distance threat to the invasion front: a review of the invasive Aedes mosquito species in Belgium between 2007 and 2020
Invasive mosquito species (IMS) and their associated mosquito-borne diseases are emerging in Europe. In Belgium, the first detection of Aedes albopictus (Skuse 1894) occurred in 2000 and of Aedes japonicus japonicus (Theobald 1901) in 2002. Early detection and control of these IMS at points of entry (PoEs) are of paramount importance to slow down any possible establishment. This article reviews the introductions and establishments recorded of three IMS in Belgium based on published (2007–2014) and unpublished (2015–2020) data collected during several surveil- lance projects. In total, 52 PoEs were monitored at least once for the presence of IMS between 2007 and 2020. These included used tyre and lucky bamboo import companies, airports, ports, parking lots along highways, shelters for imported cutting plants, wholesale markets, industrial areas, recycling areas, cemeteries and an allotment garden at the country border with colonised areas. In general, monitoring was performed between April and November. Mos- quitoes were captured with adult and oviposition traps as well as by larval sampling. Aedes albopictus was detected at ten PoEs, Ae. japonicus at three PoEs and Aedes koreicus (Edwards 1917) at two PoEs. The latter two species have established overwintering populations. The percentage of PoEs positive for Ae. albopictus increased significantly over years. Aedes albopictus is currently entering Belgium through lucky bamboo and used tyre trade and passive ground transport, while Ae. japonicus through used tyre trade and probably passive ground transport. In Belgium, the import through passive ground transport was first recorded in 2018 and its importance seems to be growing. Belgium is currently at the invasion front of Ae. albopictus and Ae. japonicus. The surveillance and control management actions at well-known PoEs associated to long-distance introductions are more straightforward than at less-defined PoEs associ- ated with short-distance introductions from colonised areas. These latter PoEs represent a new challenge for IMS management in Belgium in the coming years. Aedes albopictus is expected to become established in Belgium in the coming years, hence increasing the likelihood of local arbovirus transmission. The implementation of a sustainable, structured and long-term IMS management programme, integrating active and passive entomological surveillance, vector control and Public Health surveillance is therefore pivotal.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference MODIRISK: Mosquito vectors of disease, collection, monitoring and longitudinal data from Belgium
The MODIRISK project studied mosquito biodiversity and monitored and predicted biodiversity changes, to actively prepare to address issues of biodiversity change, especially invasive species and new pathogen risks. This work is essential given continuing global changes that may create suitable conditions for invasive species spread and the (re-)emergence of vector-borne diseases in Europe. Key strengths of MODIRISK, in the context of sustainable development, were the links between biodiversity and health and the environment, and its contribution to the development of tools for describing the spatial distribution of mosquito biodiversity. MODIRISK addressed key topics of the global Diversitas initiative, which was a main driver of the Belspo ‘Science for a Sustainable Development’ research program. Three different MODIRISK datasets were published in the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF): the Collection dataset (the Culicidae collection of the Museum of Natural History in Brussels); the Inventory dataset (data from the MODIRISK inventory effort); and the Longitudinal dataset (experiment data used for risk assessments.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference First outdoor record of Crematogaster scutellaris (Olivier, 1792) in Belgium (Hymenoptera: Formicidae)
We report the first observation of an outdoor nest of the ant species Crematogaster scutellaris (Olivier, 1792) in Belgium. In spring 2022, a nest of this species was discovered at Rood Klooster in Auderghem, Brussels Capital Region. Large and very active trails of workers were detected in a hedge and along the walls of a small building. The nest is probably already present several years and situated in the wooden construction of the building. Interactions with other ant species indicate that this new arrival will not immediately become an invasive problem for the local native ant fauna. We expect that more records of this species might be discovered in the near future in the neighborhood but also elsewhere in Belgium.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2023
Article Reference Soil-litter arthropod communities under pasture land use in southern Rwanda
Land use change caused by human activities is the main driver of biodiversity loss and changes in ecosystem functioning. However, less is known about how the conversion of a natural to pasture land favour the biological diversity of soil-litter arthropods to advance effective conservation plans and management systems. To fill the gap, this study focussed on soil-litter arthropod communities under a pasture land use in southern Rwanda. Data have been collected using pitfall traps and hand collection between April and June 2021. Sampled specimens of soil-litter arthropods have been identified to order and family levels by using dichotomous keys. Further, the species name was given when the identification key was available, while the morphological description was provided in absence of the identification keys. Results indicated a total of 3013 individuals of soil-litter arthropods grouped into 3 classes, 13 orders, 46 families and 87 morpho-species. Coleoptera showed a high number of families, while higher abundance and the number of morpho-species were found for ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae). Higher abundance of sampled soil-litter arthropods is a sign that the studied area offers suitable habitat for soil-litter arthropods. However, less abundance found for some groups of soil-litter arthropods might be influenced by the used sampling techniques which were not appropriate for them. We recommend surveys using multiple sampling techniques to maximize chances of capturing a wide range of soil-litter arthropods.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Discovery of a new inland population of Amara strenua Zimmerman, 1832 at Heverlee, central Belgium (Coleoptera: Carabidae)
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Cross-taxon congruence of taxonomic and functional beta diversity facets across spatial and temporal scales
An intensively debated issue in ecology is whether the variations in the biodiversity patterns of different biological groups are congruent in space and time. In addition, ecologists have recognized the necessity of accounting for both taxonomic and functional facets when analysing spatial and temporal congruence patterns. This study aimed to determine how the cross-taxon congruence of taxonomic and functional beta diversity varies across space and time, using data from four floodplains at a continental scale. Our general hypothesis was that the congruence between aquatic biological groups, either taxonomic or functional, would decrease with the “between-group” functional distance. Also, we examined how congruence patterns varied across spatial and temporal scales by focusing on how the cross-taxon relationships differ among Brazilian floodplains and between dry/wet periods. Our study comprised information on eight biological groups from the four largest Brazilian river-floodplain systems, and cross-taxon congruence was assessed using Procrustes analysis. Our results show how detailed analyses can reveal different patterns of cross-taxon congruence, and partially support the hypothesis that the strength of cross-taxon congruence is negatively related to between-group functional distance.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference A (very) brief vademecum on biological nomenclature
This editorial is aimed at explaining why the editors of Hydrobiologia are so concerned with biological nomenclature and why we ask our authors the utmost precision when referring to species in their papers. In particular, the Instructions for Authors of the journal specify that “When a species name is used for the first time in an article, it should be stated in full, and the name of its describer should also be given” ( In the next lines, we want to show that this is not just an old fashion formalism, but a necessity to correctly and univocally identify the biological subjects that are the basis of the research published in this journal. Moreover, Hydrobiologia is a generalist journal giving voice to research embedded in a wide ecological and evolutionary context, carried out in any kind of aquatic ecosystem, and considering all their biological entities from small viruses onwards to large whales! Thus, the work of a, for example, fish biologist, should be readable for a botanist and vice versa. This achievement can be reached by avoiding as much as possible the jargon typical of each discipline (as the so called “common names” can be considered) and allowing the unequivocal identification of the targeted biological entities.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference Dried aquatic macrophytes are floating egg banks and potential dispersal vectors of ostracods (Crustacea) from pleuston communities.
In aquatic ecosystems, such as Neotropical floodplains, it is common to find dried aquatic macrophytes along the margins of various environments (e.g. lakes and rivers) during the dry season. Here, we evaluate the potential of dried Eichhornia crassipes as a dispersal vector of ostracod resting eggs by assessing the abundance, richness and beta diversity of the dormant associated fauna. We test two hypotheses: (1) that the roots of E. crassipes shelter and disperse ostracod resting eggs and (2) that the abundance, richness and beta diversity of dormant assemblages will increase over the incubation time after re-hydration. Dried E. crassipes from floodplain lakes were hydrated with distilled water. The microcosms were kept in germinating chambers with controlled temperature and photoperiod during 147 days. A total of 397 ostracods representing seven species hatched from the resting eggs attached to dried macrophyte roots. An increase in richness and a decrease in abundance were observed over the weeks, although these trends were not significant. However, the beta diversity increased significantly over the incubation time. Our results show that the complex root systems of E. crassipes have the potential for storage and dispersal of ostracod resting eggs.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference A comparison of three main scientific literature databases using a search in aquatic ecology
Online searches for relevant scientific references using keywords have become common practice. Several multidisciplinary scientific online databases are available, of which Web of Science, Scopus (both payable) and Google Scholar (free of charge) are the most commonly used. We test the hypothesis that results of highly similar searches in these three databases do not necessarily give comparable results. We set out to query the three databases with a real example on “diapause in microcrustaceans” (Cladocera, Copepoda and Ostracoda), using the same time period (2012–2021), the same keywords with the same syntaxis and the same sorting criterion (“relevance”), and compared the first 100 hits provided by each database. There were several references provided which were irrelevant to the search, especially in the Web of Science, and of the remaining relevant references, only 9.84% were provided by all three databases. Our survey showed significant differences amongst the results provided by the databases, especially for “hydroperiod” and “type of environment”. These differences can be the result of different coverage of the scientific literature by the databases, but also of the different ways by which the criterion “relevance” is calculated by the three algorithms. We, therefore, recommend that literature surveys must be based on several databases; otherwise, the results might become biased.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022
Article Reference On a new species of Pseudocypretta Klie, 1932 (Crustacea, Ostracoda) from the Neotropical region, with a discussion on the position of the genus. 
Pseudocypretta amor sp. nov. (named after the carapace spots resembling the word “Love”) is here described from all-female populations from the four major floodplains in Brazil. The new species is compared to the other two know species in the genus, P. maculata Klie (1932), the type species, and P. lineata Ma and Yu (2020). As the latter two species are thus far found exclusively in South East Asia and China, respectively, the present extension of the area of the genus to South America is considerable. Several morphological characters in this genus and species are discussed, especially the presence of marginal septa in the valves, the candonid type T3 with 3rd and 4th segment separated (candonid type) and the caudal ramus which is reduced to a flagellum (cypridopsine type) or is fully absent. Based on the combination of these and other characters, the genus Pseudocypretta is here transferred from the Cyprettinae to the tribe Cyprettadopsini in the Cypridopsinae, as it is closely related to the genus Cyprettadopsis Savatenalinton, 2020. The presence of the candonid type T3 in Cyprididae and Notodromadidae, where the T3 generally has a pincer-shaped tip by the fusion of the 3rd and the 4th segment, is further discussed.
Located in Library / RBINS Staff Publications 2022