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Université de Fribourg

Understanding negative biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationship in semi-natural wildflower strips

Sandau, Nadine ; Naisbit, Russell E. ; Fabian, Yvonne ; Bruggisser, Odile T. ; Kehrli, Patrik ; Aebi, Alexandre ; Rohr, Rudolf P. ; Bersier, Louis-Félix

In: Oecologia, 2019, vol. 189, no. 1, p. 185–197

Studies on biodiversity–ecosystem functioning (BEF) in highly controlled experiments often yield results incompatible with observations from natural systems: experimental results often reveal positive relationships between diversity and productivity, while for natural systems, zero or even negative relationships have been reported. The discrepancy may arise due to a limited or closed local...

Université de Neuchâtel

A worldwide survey of neonicotinoids in honey

Mitchell, Edward A. D ; Mulhauser, Blaise ; Mulot, Matthieu ; Mutabazi, A ; Glauser, Gaëtan ; Aebi, Alexandre

In: Science, 2017, vol. 358, no. 6359, p. 109-111

Growing evidence for global pollinator decline is causing concern for biodiversity conservation and ecosystem services maintenance. Neonicotinoid pesticides have been identified or suspected as a key factor responsible for this decline. We assessed the global exposure of pollinators to neonicotinoids by analyzing 198 honey samples from across the world. We found at least one of five tested...

Université de Fribourg

The relative contributions of species richness and species composition to ecosystem functioning

Sandau, Nadine ; Fabian, Yvonne ; Bruggisser, Odile T. ; Rohr, Rudolf P. ; Naisbit, Russell E. ; Kehrli, Patrik ; Aebi, Alexandre ; Bersier, Louis-Félix

In: Oikos, 2017, vol. 126, no. 6, p. 782–791

How species diversity influences ecosystem functioning has been the subject of many experiments and remains a key question for ecology and conservation biology. However, the fact that diversity cannot be manipulated without affecting species composition makes this quest methodologically challenging. Here, we evaluate the relative importance of diversity and of composition on biomass...

Université de Fribourg

Including community composition in biodiversity–productivity models

Sandau, Nadine ; Rohr, Rudolf P. ; Naisbit, Russell E. ; Fabian, Yvonne ; Bruggisser, Odile T. ; Kehrli, Patrik ; Aebi, Alexandre ; Bersier, Louis-Félix

In: Methods in Ecology and Evolution, 2014, vol. 5, no. 8, p. 815–823

Studies on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) have elicited debate over the interpretation of the positive relationship between species richness and plant productivity. Manipulating richness cannot be achieved without affecting composition; it is thus essential to consider the latter in statistical models.We firstly review existing approaches that use species richness as an explanatory...

Université de Neuchâtel

Horismenus species (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) in a bruchid beetle parasitoid guild, including the description of a new species

Hansson, Christer ; Aebi, Alexandre ; Benrey, Betty

In: Zootaxa, 2004, vol. 548, p. 1-16

Four species of Horismenus (Hymenoptera: Eulophidae) associated with Acanthoscelides spp.(Coleoptera: Bruchidae), three of which are also associated with Phaseolus spp., are treated. One of the species, H. butcheri, is described as new and the remaining three species are redescribed. Allfour species are diagnosed in a key. A lectotype is designated for Holcopelte...

Université de Neuchâtel

The role of the bacterial community in the nutritional ecology of the bulb mite Rhizoglyphus robini (Acari: Astigmata: Acaridae)

Zindel, Renate ; Ofek, Maya ; Minz, Dror ; Palevsky, Eric ; Zchori-Fein, Einat ; Aebi, Alexandre

In: The FASEB Journal, 2013, vol. 27, no. 4, p. 1488-1497

The biology of many arthropods can only be understood when their associated microbiome is considered. The nutritional requirements of the bulb mite Rhizoglyphus robini Claparede (Acari: Astigmata: Acaridae) in the laboratory have been shown to be very easily satisfied, and in the field the mites prefer fungus-infected over uninfected plants. To test whether symbiotic bacteria facilitate the...

Université de Neuchâtel

Arthropod symbioses : a neglected parameter in pest- and disease-control programmes

Zindel, Renate ; Gottlieb, Yuval ; Aebi, Alexandre

In: Journal of Applied Ecology, 2011, vol. 48, no. 4, p. 864–872

1. Arthropods are important players in biological control as pests, control agents and transmitters of invertebrate diseases. Arthropods are frequently infected with one or several micro-organisms, serving as micro-ecosystems in which multiple interactions can take place. These micro-organisms include disease agents and symbiotic micro-organisms. The latter are usually vertically...

Université de Neuchâtel

The potential of native parasitoids for the control of Mexican bean beetles : A genetic and ecological approach

Aebi, Alexandre ; Shani, Tal ; Hansson, Christer ; Contreras-Garduno, Jorge ; Mansion, Guilhem ; Benrey, Betty

In: Biological Control, 2008, vol. 47, no. 3, p. 289–297

Bruchid beetles in the genus Zabrotes are important pests of field and stored beans all around the world and cause enormous economical losses in Mexico and Central America. Native parasitoids have been successfully used to suppress infestations by bruchid beetles in Africa, but few studies have assessed their potential to reduce seed damage in the New World and no successful biological...

Université de Neuchâtel

Evolution and diversity of Rickettsia bacteria

Weinert, Lucy A ; Werren, John H ; Aebi, Alexandre ; Stone, Graham N ; Jiggins, Francis M

In: BMC biology, 2009, vol. 7, no. 6, p. 1-15

Background: Rickettsia are intracellular symbionts of eukaryotes that are best known for infecting and causing serious diseases in humans and other mammals. All known vertebrate-associated Rickettsia are vectored by arthropods as part of their life-cycle, and many other Rickettsia are found exclusively in arthropods with no known secondary host. However, little is known...

Université de Neuchâtel

Early parasitoid recruitment in invading cynipid galls

Schönrogge, Karsten ; Moriya, Seiichi ; Melika, George ; Randle, Zoë ; Begg, Tracey ; Aebi, Alexandre ; Stone, Graham N

In: Galling Arthropods and Their Associates, 2006, p. 91-101

Biological invasions are widely seen as the biggest threat to biodiversity next to the loss of habitats. One aspect of considerable interest is the recruitment of natural enemies after the establishment of the invad-ing species and how such enemies link invaders to native communities. However, not all invaders are invasive. Eight cynipid species originating in south-eastern Europe invaded Britain...