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Tang, T., Y. Zhu, Y.-Y. Zhang, J.-J. Chen, J.-B. Tian, Q. Xu, B.-G. Jiang, et al. 2024. The global distribution and the risk prediction of relapsing fever group Borrelia: a data review with modelling analysis. The Lancet Microbe. https://doi.org/10.1016/s2666-5247(23)00396-8

Background The recent discovery of emerging relapsing fever group Borrelia (RFGB) species, such as Borrelia miyamotoi, poses a growing threat to public health. However, the global distribution and associated risk burden of these species remain uncertain. We aimed to map the diversity, distribution, and potential infection risk of RFGB.MethodsWe searched PubMed, Web of Science, GenBank, CNKI, and eLibrary from Jan 1, 1874, to Dec 31, 2022, for published articles without language restriction to extract distribution data for RFGB detection in vectors, animals, and humans, and clinical information about human patients. Only articles documenting RFGB infection events were included in this study, and data for RFGB detection in vectors, animals, or humans were composed into a dataset. We used three machine learning algorithms (boosted regression trees, random forest, and least absolute shrinkage and selection operator logistic regression) to assess the environmental, ecoclimatic, biological, and socioeconomic factors associated with the occurrence of four major RFGB species: Borrelia miyamotoi, Borrelia lonestari, Borrelia crocidurae, and Borrelia hermsii; and mapped their worldwide risk level.FindingsWe retrieved 13 959 unique studies, among which 697 met the selection criteria and were used for data extraction. 29 RFGB species have been recorded worldwide, of which 27 have been identified from 63 tick species, 12 from 61 wild animals, and ten from domestic animals. 16 RFGB species caused human infection, with a cumulative count of 26 583 cases reported from Jan 1, 1874, to Dec 31, 2022. Borrelia recurrentis (17 084 cases) and Borrelia persica (2045 cases) accounted for the highest proportion of human infection. B miyamotoi showed the widest distribution among all RFGB, with a predicted environmentally suitable area of 6·92 million km2, followed by B lonestari (1·69 million km2), B crocidurae (1·67 million km2), and B hermsii (1·48 million km2). The habitat suitability index of vector ticks and climatic factors, such as the annual mean temperature, have the most significant effect among all predictive models for the geographical distribution of the four major RFGB species.InterpretationThe predicted high-risk regions are considerably larger than in previous reports. Identification, surveillance, and diagnosis of RFGB infections should be prioritised in high-risk areas, especially within low-income regions.FundingNational Key Research and Development Program of China.

Lim, J.-C., J.-E. Yang, G.-Y. Lee, and B.-K. Choi. 2023. An in-depth characterization of the Habitat of Thelypteris interrupta in South Korea. Journal of Coastal Conservation 27. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11852-023-00968-6

Purpose The Deonggae coast on Jeju Island is a unique habitat that has not yet been studied from an ecological management or conservation perspective, despite its importance as the northernmost habitat of subtropical plants in Asia and the sole habitat of an endangered fern, Thelypteris interrupta , in Korea. To provide insights into this habitat’s systematic management, we comprehensively characterized its abiotic and biotic components. Methods Our study found two distinct plant communities ( Persicaria japonica - Thelypteris interrupta and Thelypteris interrupta - Phragmites australis ), driven by their respective microhabitats and influenced by soil inundation frequency, water depth, and salinity. We examined the phytosociological similarities and habitat characteristics of these two communities. Results Thelypteris interrupta could be distributed in the northernmost part of the Deonggae coast due to its greater heat preference. However, this limits its spread toward polar regions. We suggested minimizing the transformation of wetlands into terrestrial habitats by reducing the introduction of external soils and establishing ecological continuity with neighboring ecosystems while educating visitors about the area’s ecology as two habitat conservation practices. Conclusion The Deonggae coast is a natural wetland with a high conservation value as a habitat for endangered wildlife and a refuge for opportunistic species under the influence of climate change.

Segura-Hernández, L., G. Barrantes, E. Chacón-Madrigal, and A. García-Rodríguez. 2022. Species distribution models and climatic niche comparisons provide clues on the geographic origin of a spider invasion in the Americas. Biological Invasions. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10530-022-02904-5

Identifying the source population of alien species is important to assess the distribution and potential effects in the invaded area. The araneid spider Cyrtophora citricola is widely distributed in Europe, Asia, and Africa; however, in the last 26 years, it has been reported in several countries across the Americas. To date, the geographic origin of the populations established in the Americas remains unclear, but considering the successful colonization after its recent arrival, assessing climatic similarities between the invaded and native geographic ranges could be useful to address this question. In this study, we used a combination of Species Distribution Models and Ordination Methods to assess the climatic match between the invaded region (the Americas) and two potential origins (southern Africa and the Mediterranean) aiming to determine the more likely origin for the populations established in the Americas. We found that the American populations of C. citricola occupy sites with climatic conditions more similar to those occupied by southern African populations, than to those occupied by the Mediterranean populations. Therefore, our results suggest a southern African rather than a Mediterranean origin for the populations established in America. In addition, our results also show that populations in America are spreading into sites that differ in climate conditions from those occupied by native populations. Further studies assessing intrinsic (e.g., physiological tolerances, plasticity, behavior, reproduction) and extrinsic (physical barriers, predator release) factors could provide further information to disentangle the mechanisms behind the geographic and climatic niche expansion of this species.

Li, X., B. Li, G. Wang, X. Zhan, and M. Holyoak. 2020. Deeply digging the interaction effect in multiple linear regressions using a fractional-power interaction term. MethodsX 7: 101067. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mex.2020.101067

In multiple regression Y ~ β0 + β1X1 + β2X2 + β3X1 X2 + ɛ., the interaction term is quantified as the product of X1 and X2. We developed fractional-power interaction regression (FPIR), using βX1M X2N as the interaction term. The rationale of FPIR is that the slopes of Y-X1 regression along the X2 gr…

Scharff, N., J. A. Coddington, T. A. Blackledge, I. Agnarsson, V. W. Framenau, T. Szűts, C. Y. Hayashi, and D. Dimitrov. 2019. Phylogeny of the orb‐weaving spider family Araneidae (Araneae: Araneoidea). Cladistics 36: 1–21. https://doi.org/10.1111/cla.12382

We present a new phylogeny of the spider family Araneidae based on five genes (28S, 18S, COI, H3 and 16S) for 158 taxa, identified and mainly sequenced by us. This includes 25 outgroups and 133 araneid ingroups representing the subfamilies Zygiellinae Simon, 1929, Nephilinae Simon, 1894, and the typ…

Beja, P., P. Vaz Pinto, L. Veríssimo, E. Bersacola, E. Fabiano, J. M. Palmeirim, A. Monadjem, et al. 2019. The Mammals of Angola. Biodiversity of Angola: 357–443. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03083-4_15

Scientific investigations on the mammals of Angola started over 150 years ago, but information remains scarce and scattered, with only one recent published account. Here we provide a synthesis of the mammals of Angola based on a thorough survey of primary and grey literature, as well as recent unpub…

Figueira, R., and F. Lages. 2019. Museum and Herbarium Collections for Biodiversity Research in Angola. Biodiversity of Angola: 513–542. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-03083-4_19

The importance of museum and herbarium collections is especially great in biodiverse countries such as Angola, an importance as great as the challenges facing the effective and sustained management of such facilities. The interface that Angola represents between tropical humid climates and semi-dese…

Taylor, P. J., G. Neef, M. Keith, S. Weier, A. Monadjem, and D. M. Parker. 2018. Tapping into technology and the biodiversity informatics revolution: updated terrestrial mammal list of Angola, with new records from the Okavango Basin. ZooKeys 779: 51–88. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.778.25964

Using various sources, including the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), published literature, recent (2015–2017) collections, as well as bat detector and camera trap surveys with opportunistic sightings and live capture in the upper Okavango catchment in central Angola, we present an u…