Alicja Laska received ETIUDA grant from National Science Centre in Poland to study evolutionary trade-offs in host specialization and dispersal in phytophagous mites, and for 6-months scholarship in the University of Ghent (Belgium). Congratulations!
Jakub Szymkowiak received SONATA grant from National Science Centre in Poland to study social learning of auditory risk recognition in wild birds. Here you can read the lay summary highlighting main objectives of the project.
The article about the effects of local climate on the correlation between weather and seed production in sessile oak (Quercus petraea) and European beech (Fagus sylvatica), co-authored by Jakub Szymkowiak, has been published in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology!
Weather is believed to play a key role in triggering mast seeding in plants. However, while the relationships between weather and seed production are well-recognized for some species, there is also a range of species for which there seems to be no consistent links between meteorological conditions and seeding. Our results suggest that this puzzle can be explained by the variation in life history traits among species i.e., whether a particular species is a “flowering masting species” (= with seed production determined by variable flower production) or “fruit-maturation masting species” (= with seed production determined by variable ripening of more constant flower production). In particular, our results suggest that in case of “flowering masting species” (in our study: European beech), the meteorological cuing is spatially-consistent. In contrast, in “fruit-maturation masting species” (in our study: sessile oak) the effects of weather cues on seed production are mediated by the local climate, which leads to spatial variation in meteorological conditioning of seed production.
Bogdziewicz M., Szymkowiak J., Fernández-Martinez M., Peñuelas J., Espelta J.M. 2019. The effects of local climate on the correlation between weather and seed production differ in two species with contrasting masting habit. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 268: 109-115, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.agrformet.2019.01.016
MSc Agnieszka Majer, MSc Alicja Laska, BSc Kamila Karpicka-Ignatowska, and Anna Radwańska have been awarded individual scholarships of the Minister of Science for the academic year 2016/2017 for their outstanding achievements. Congratulations!
Lechosław Kuczyński received OPUS grant from National Science Centre in Poland to study population-level consequences of social information use in birds.
More info: project page
The 4th Marcin Antczak Award for the most inspiring ornithological paper published in 2017 goes to Jakub Szymkowiak from our Lab!
The Award commemorates Marcin Antczak, who was an excellent field ornithologist, but also our good friend. He tragically died in car accident on his way to the field on 2nd May 2014, in his 37th year of life.
Our recent paper published in Bird Conservation International is the first attempt to estimate the size of the Polish breeding population of the highly vulnerable farmland raptor: the Montagu’s Harrier. By combining multiple sources of data we estimated the Polish Montagu’s Harrier population at almost 3,400 breeding pairs, thus constituting 20% of the European Union population. Furthermore, we showed that public-gathered data obtained by volunteer-based citizen-science projects offer great potential for regular surveys to obtain large-scale estimates of population size.
The paper is part of Natalia’s PhD thesis. Congratulations!
Królikowska N., Krupiński D., Kuczyński L. 2018. Combining data from multiple sources to design a raptor census – the first national survey of the Montagu’s Harrier Circus pygargus in Poland. Bird Conservation International, 28(3): 350-362.
The article about genetic and host differentiation within the complex of phytophagous species belonging to Abacarus genus, authored by members of our Lab, was published in Experimental and Applied Acarology. The molecular analyses indicate that there may be at least several new species within the complex, that are awaiting formal description. One of them, Abacarus plumiger inhabiting smooth brome, has been described in this article.
More info: Laska A., Majer A., Szydło W., Karpicka-Ignatowska K., Hornyák M., Labrzycka A., Skoracka A. 2018. Cryptic diversity within grass-associated Abacarus species complex (Acariformes: Eriophyidae), with the description of a new species, Abacarus plumiger n. sp. Experimental and Applied Acarology, 1-28. doi.org/10.1007/s10493-018-0291-6
An article co-authored by Anna Skoracka, Lechosław Kuczyński, Agnieszka Majer and Wiktoria Szydło, about the genetic structure within species complex of phytophagous mite, Aceria tosichella, was published in BMC Evolutionary Biology.
Mites belonging to the complex Aceria tosichella (wheat curl mite, WCM) are major pests of the world’s grain industry and our aim was to identify the factors behind its extensive diversification. We demonstrated unusually deep lineage diversification within the taxon. Using time-calibrated phylogenetic reconstruction we showed that lineage diversification pre-dates the influence of agricultural practices, and lineages started to radiate in the mid‑Miocene when major radiation of C4 grasses is known to have occurred. Furthermore, we showed that host generalization coincided with the expansion of the world’s grasslands in Pliocene. The genetic structure and evolutionary history of WCM lineages indicate their great colonization potential.
Skoracka A., Lopes L. F., Alves M. J., Miller A., Lewandowski M., Szydło W., Majer A., Różańska E. i Kuczyński L. 2018. Genetics of lineage diversification and the evolution of host usage in the economically important wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella Keifer, 1969. BMC Evolutionary Biology 18: 122, doi.org/10.1186/s12862-018-1234-x
Review papers, co-authored by Anna Skoracka, about relationships between the mite Aceria tosichella, its main host: wheat, and the viruses that the mite transmits were published in Molecular Plant Pathology and Frontiers in Plant Science
The mite Aceria tosichella (wheat curl mite, WCM) in the interaction with the virus causes considerable yield losses worldwide. The challenge of effectively managing this pest-virus complex is exacerbated by the existence of divergent WCM lineages that differ in host colonization and virus transmission abilities. In these publications, there is highlighted research progress in mite ecology and virus epidemiology that affects management and development of cereal cultivars with WCM- and virus-resistance genes. The potential application of molecular methods (e.g., transcriptomics, epigenetics, and whole-genome sequencing) are proposed to understand the chemical and cellular interface between the wheat plant and WCM-viruses complexes.
The publications were prepared in cooperation with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA and Crop Research Institute, Czech Republic.
Skoracka A., Rector B. G., Hein G., L. 2018. The interface between wheat and the wheat curl mite, Aceria tosichella, the primary vector of globally important viral diseases. Frontiers in Plant Science 9 (1098), 1-8; DOI: 10.3389/fpls.2018.01098
Singh K., Wegulo S. N., Skoracka A., Kundu J. K. Wheat streak mosaic virus: a century-old virus with rising importance worldwide. Molecular Plant Pathology 19(9): 2193-2206; DOI: 10.1111/mpp.12683
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