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Farmland practices are driving bird population decline across Europe

The paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), is the result of a collaboration between scientists from 28 countries. They analysed abundance indices of 170 bird species that have been consistently monitored over 37 years in more than 20,000 study plots. The authors linked the bird indices to publicly available […]

New publication: Huge diversity of mites in wood warbler nests

In this study, based on comprehensive sampling and evaluation of infestation parameters, we found a great diversity of mites that inhabit wood warbler nests. We showed that this ephemeral, single-season microhabitat, provides a space for survival of numerous mite species, and may play a role in mites’ dispersal. Alicja Laska, Ewa Puchalska, Martyna Mikołajczyk, Dariusz […]

New publication: dispersal and feeding strategies in mites

In this article, based on a comprehensive literature review, we explain the relationships between the ability to disperse and the feeding strategy in mites. Alicja Laska, Brian G Rector, Anna Przychodzka, Agnieszka Majer, Kamila Zalewska, Lechosław Kuczynski, Anna Skoracka, Do mites eat and run? A systematic review of feeding and dispersal strategies, Zoological Journal of […]

New publication: How environmental heterogeneity influences niche breadth

In this article, we explain how environmental heterogeneity influences niche breadth evolution, which may in turn affect the ability of pests to persist in agricultural systems.   The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland, research projects no. 2016/21/B/NZ8/00786 and 2017/27/N/NZ8/00305. Skoracka A., Laska A., Radwan J., Konczal. M., Lewandowski M., Puchalska E., […]

New publication: Mechanisms of dispersal in plant-feeding mites

In this article, we explain what mechanisms influence the effective colonisation of plants by parastic mites. The paper is part of Alicja’s PhD thesis. Congratulations! The study was supported by the National Science Centre, Poland, research grant no. 2017/27/N/NZ8/00305 and the Dean Faculty of Biology grant no. GDWB-07/2018. Laska, A., Przychodzka, A., Puchalska, E., Lewandowski, […]

New paper: Hitchhiking or hang gliding? Dispersal strategies of two cereal‑feeding eriophyoid mite species

In this study, dispersal strategies of two phytophagous eriophyoid mite species: Aceria tosichella (wheat curl mite, WCM) and Abacarus hystrix (cereal rust mite, CRM) were investigated. We estimated their dispersal success using different dispersal agents: wind and vectors. Results showed that both species dispersed mainly with wind currents whereas phoretic dispersal was rather accidental, as […]

New paper: Two new Wheat streak mosaic virus isolates and their transmission

A recent paper, co-authored by Wiktoria Szydło, reported the full genomes of two European Wheat streak mosaic virus isolates, provided their molecular and biological characteristics and transmissibility by wheat curl mite (lineage MT-8), the only known vector of the virus. Although widely present in Europe, the virus transmissibility was formally checked for the first time […]

New paper: adaptive responses to temperature increase in Daphnia

A new paper, co-authored by Lechosław Kuczyński from our Lab, was published in Limnology and Oceanography. The authors investigated thermal adaptation of Daphnia from lakes that had been artificially warmed for six decades and served as a whole ecosystem model of future temperature increase. Daphnia from heated lakes evolved larger body size, which is contradictory […]

Tips and tricks on culturing water bears

A new paper on culturing tardigrades summarizes published methods and provides clear protocols for culturing tardigrades to use in taxonomic and experimental studies. The paper, authored by the multidisciplinary team led by Milena Roszkowska and Łukasz Kaczmarek from Department of Bioenergetics and Department of Animal Taxonomy and Ecology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, was co-authored by […]