Jason Lee Anders, a Postdoc researcher from CEES, Oslo will be giving a seminar entitled “Effects of dietary shift and intestinal helminths on the gut microbiota of two sympatric rodents in urban environments“. Cities are among the most extreme forms of anthropogenic ecosystem modification and urbanization processes that exert profound effects on animal populations through multiple ecological pathways. Understanding how urbanization alters the gut microbiome of wildlife is essential as it plays a pivotal role in health and development. The focus of this project is to understand how the gut microbiota of two sympatric species of rodents, the omnivorous large Japanese field mouse (Apodemus speciosus) and the relatively more herbivorous grey red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus), is altered within urban ecosystems and what factors may be affecting those changes. Both species exhibited an expanded dietary niche width within the urban areas potentially attributable to novel anthropogenic foods and altered resource availability. We detected a dietary shift in which urban A. speciosus consumed more terrestrial animal protein and M. rufocanus more plant leaves and stems. These changes in resource use may be associated with an altered gut microbial community structure such as an increased abundance of the presumably probiotic Lactobacillus in the small intestine of urban A. speciosus. While urbanization negatively impacted several intestinal helminth species (i.e. lower prevalence and abundance), the cosmopolitan nematode Heterakis spumosa may be important for maintaining high gut microbial alpha diversity. Furthermore, it may promote lower relative abundance of the potentially pathogenic Helicobacter in the lower gastrointestinal tract of urban M. rufocanus. Together, these results suggest that even taxonomically similar species may exhibit divergent responses to urbanization with consequences for the gut microbiota and broader ecological interactions.

Jason’s seminar will be streamed live on zoom through https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology on Tuesday 24 May at 13.15 CEST.

Lutz Eckstein, professor at Karlstad University, is involved in a recently published paper, studying techniques for control of the invasive Garden Lupine (Lupinus polyphyllus) and the introduction of target species in mountain meadow plant communities.

This paper with Wiebke Hansen as the lead author, published in the journal Restoration Ecology (https://doi.org/10.1111/rec.13682), tested the restoration techniques “seed bank activation” and “green hay transfer” in combination with “manual removal of the invasive L. polyphyllus” on three types of grassland (Nardus grassland, mesic and wet mountain hay meadows) in the Rhön UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in Central Germany.

The main implications for restoration practice are the following:

  • Green hay application might not be a suitable tool for restoring Nardus grassland since small species might not be able to grow through the plant material layer.
  • Lupinus polyphyllus cover on restoration sites can be reduced by manual removal of all parts of the plants, but a lasting reduction requires at least repeated applications
  • Reinvasion of Lupinus polyphyllus into restoration sites must be prevented with an appropriate management, e.g. early and/or repeated mowing.
  • Active restoration through seed bank activation failed to promote mountain meadow target species and reduced the cover of wet mountain hay meadow target species.

Dr. Tom Staveley, an aquatic ecologist and a researcher from SLU Aqua, Sweden will be giving a talk entitled Coastal seascapes and seagrass ecosystems on Tuesday 10 May at 13.15 CET over zoom. Tom’s research interest is in marine landscape ecology concepts and applications, particularly fish ecological connectivity using methods such as acoustic telemetry. You can visit Tom’s page to read more about his research interest and publications.

You are welcome to join this seminar free of charge via https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology.

Road verges act as important refuges for grassland species since the areas of semi-natural grassland have declined during the last century. However, as linear habitats, road verges increase connectivity in fragmented landscapes, which also makes them prone to colonization by non-native species. This is currently seen as the greatest threat to species-rich road verges. The invasive Garden Lupine is commonly found in road verges where it alters competitive interactions, reduces native populations, and even causes extinctions of native species. 

This project is funded by The Swedish Transport Administration (Trafikverket) and the aim is to improve ecosystem functions and services of species-rich road verges and green infrastructure through evidence-based control and monitoring of Garden Lupine at the landscape scale.

During this seminar, I’m going to introduce the background for the project, and talk about what has been done and what I am planning to do in the next years.

The seminar will be streamed live over zoom on Tuesday 26th April at 13.15 CET. The zoom link for the seminar is https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology. You are welcome

Dr. Navinder Singh, a researcher at SLU Silva will be giving a talk about Movement ecology on Tuesday XX th April at 13.15 CET over zoom. Navinder’s research focuses on Moose and how spatio-temporal variation in environment, human influence and life history interact to influence the demography and population dynamics of moose and their movement ecology. Navinder’s seminar is entitled “Movement ecology”. You can visit Navinder’s page to read more about her research interest. You are welcome to join this seminar free of charge via https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology.

Dr. Erin McCallum, a researcher at (Forskare) at SLU in Umeå will be giving a talk about waterwater effluents and salmonid migration in freshwaters on Tuesday 5th April at 13.15 CET over zoom. Erin is a behavioral ecologist and ecotoxicologist interested in understanding the causes and consequences of anthropogenic stressors for aquatic wildlife. Erin’s seminar is entitled “A tale of two research programs: Wastewater effluents and salmonid migration in freshwaters”. She will present her current research on wastewater effects on fish communities and the migratory success of anadromous brown trout smolt. You can visit Erin’s page to read more about her research interest.

You are welcome to join this seminar free of charge via https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology.

Dr. Hein van Kleef from the Bargerveen Foundation in The Netherlands will give a seminar entitled Sailing mostly uncharted waters when applying concepts of ecosystem resilience to enhance invasive resistance. This seminar will be streamed live over zoom on Tuesday 29th March at 13.15 CET through https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology

Congratulations to Kalle Filipsson for a successful Ph.D. defense held last Friday (18th March 2022) at Karlstad University. Thanks to External Reviewer Professor Neil Metcalfe (Glasgow University) and Examination Committee members Professor Gunilla Rosenqvist (Uppsala University), Professor Per Larsson (Linneuniversitet) and Professor Anders Finstad, (NTNU).

On March 8th at 13.15 (CET), KAU Biology doctoral candidate Jeff Marker will present his seminar on riparian functional diversity. Measuring biodiversity in an ecosystem is more than just counting species, it is essential that we understand exactly what effects those species have on their habitats and how they shape ecosystem processes. By looking at a combination of indices and pinpointing functional traits, Jeff will walk us through the effects of forested riparian buffer and forestry management on the functional diversity of riparian spiders and plants. Join the meeting on zoom via https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology

Professor Hans de Kroon

On 15 March, Professor Hans de Kroon will be giving a talk on his work on Living Labs: innovative projects that have been set up for nature restoration research. With his colleagues from Radboud University (NL) and many societal partners, he looks into ways in which nature and agriculture can be integrated to ensure livelihood for farmers while conserving and restoring landscape elements that contribute to the local and regional biodiversity.

Read a bit more information on the project here, and attend the seminar via Zoom: https://kau-se.zoom.us/my/kaubiology, at 13:15 CET on 15 March.